Category: Digital Media & Marketing

Any post related to digital marketing, media, search marketing etc.

Luma Landscape and Adtech Valuation

This weekend I was made aware of re/code’s latest article on Ad-Tech Valuation.

This is worth sharing I thought, looking at our complex Luma Landscape in Digital.

According to the article the main points to consider for the valuation of adtech companies are

– Growth
– Operating Leverage
– Predictability
– Strategic Value

Net revenue is still key, e.g. the media costs which sometimes blow up balance sheets are neglected, so if a company takes 20% margin or 58% is a huge difference. In other words the latter might be valued higher despite a lower gross revenue (media).

For valuation purposes Luma groups companies into:

– Network 1.0
– Network 2.0
– Programmatic
– SaaS

This of course explains, and please read the article in full, why most companies aim to be in the SaaS bracket, a programmatically driven platform with own technology, ongoing contracts. On the other spectrum are the I/O based networks.

What becomes clear to me is that our industry is growing up. Our digital industry is changing. We move from the network I/O business to specialised adtech partners (programmatic) to SaaS companies.

To my mind this is not only a market valuation ‘play’ but foremost a market shift. We start to think differently about media and as companies we are more accountable for what we do. Hence bespoke solutions based on solid tech and data input make our companies valued more within the marketplace to our clients. This is key to any business and not different in digital. However, it is still new to digital. Somewhat it shows how immature our markets had been prior to programmatic and with the increased value for customers, we ultimately create shareholder value.

Yet we should consider that we are just starting the shift, and that the old network model is still alive. It will be for a few years but slowly comes to an end over the next couple of years.

Please see below for the Slideshare presentation.

Any comments?

AdMonsters Screens London

Last week I chaired my last AdMonsters Conference for now. It was the conference looking at the second screen, the omni screen attribution, and the multi channel aspect of advertising.

Luckily I had a second moderator too, so the day was a little less stressful compared to previous conferences. Below you find my key take aways from the day:

Twitter had a presentation, and I am often wondering how they will make money, particularly that they are now a public limited company. But they started to connect TV and social, the public conversation, through a little hashtag. The conversations around a product, a TV show or a topic can be scaled and brands or advertisers can engage and get communicating. Actually, this is a great way of utilising the 2nd screen to TV, the mobile, from which 82% of all tweets are sent.

Often I wonder what we have done in the time before Twitter. I suppose it give the shy people an opportunity to engage, the loud people to write rather than to shout, and of course it gives brands a way of communicating with their fan base. It gives me a way of ranting about commuting with Southern Railway. This wasn’t there before, this is incremental reach and engagement. Soon Twitter will allow synced advertising to the TV streamed advertising. Also, vine, it’s video micro chatter programme, gives it another channel too. I believe there will be more exciting things ahead.

TV attention

Nielsen’s presentation was aiming to give us a good understanding of cross device measurement, what has been done so far. It tells us that actually you cannot really measure people but you should measure people, and you shouldn’t trust the 3rd party cookie. So measuring people is becoming more important, e.g. people NOT cookies, collecting data, encoding data, and making use of big data. Yet, we all know that big data only answers the ‘what’ question, not the ‘why’. So we measure the person after all, but we cannot measure unduplicated reach across devices and also the sample sizes Nielsen showed seemed a bit vague. I believe they got the infrastructure, the idea and experience but is there enough scale in Europe. Hopefully we hear more exciting stuff soon!

The whole debate about he preferred screen, or as Jon from ITV put it in a later discussion, “the biggest preferred screen after TV is your 2nd screen”, started with his X Factor case study. He made a good point that from a broadcaster perspective the mobile or tablet would always be a 2nd screen, yet TV learned from those devices to link them up and engage with their audience in real time. His case for Dominos Pizza was clear, close to 750,000 pizzas were thrown into boxes in an online game on the X Factor application whilst people were supposed to be watching the show. Engagement in apps, questions and answers, games and prize wins, are crucial for a good engagement. I enjoyed this session and it made a lot of sense.

Whilst of course those campaigns achieve a high CTR, brand awareness and engagement, the idea as such is not new. However, the challenge to deliver it, make it more engaging and proving the ROI is getting harder. The technology to link the “live advertising on TV” to “in app or mobile/desktop web advertising” will be a future proof thing. Adobe and M6 showed that clearly during their ‘fire side chat’ too.

ad monster

And again, in the ongoing discussions on the 2nd screen panel, the attribution panel, and the transcendent screen panel….the overall view was the same. Mobile is the preferred device for most things. Then if anything important needs to be done, the excel example, we choose a laptop/desktop whilst the tablet is more of an entertainment device. With price points dropping and Tesco and Argos both making tablets available for the masses, it will be the first screen for anyone accessing the web soon. Mobiles and tablets are dominating the online access, being used whilst TV is on in the background. Some would differentiate on the emotional attachment to each device too.

Of course TV is still being watched. Maybe even more intense by connecting the devices, the advertising and engaging through apps rather than the “red button”. But online and offline are merging too: Blippar showed us an amazing case study about AR (Augmented Reality). Quisma nicely pointed out, as stated before, that only a few companies have logged in accounts across all screens: Amazon, Twitter, Yahoo!, Apple, Microsoft and Google. They will be able to track you. Adtruth, Drawbridge and others try to crack attribution and identification without cookies yet still haven’t quite got to where the big guys are. Or have they?

Now my last question to the audience would be: do we actually want to be targeted across all devices or is it uncool to see the same ad on your mobile whilst seeing it on TV. Would complimentary ads be better? How does the re-targeting piece fit in?

There are still a lot of unanswered questions. As I am hoping to continue to contribute to the AdMonsters programmes in the future, I am looking forward to continuing the conversation.

We see you at the next AdMonsters hopefully.


4^2 – Foursquare

I have been joining Foursquare a few times in my career in digital. I joined it, quit it, joined it and quit it again. I didn’t want anyone to know where I was, particularly if I left home.

However, not too long ago, I finally joined for good. Joining for good meant for me to be part of the Foursquare community. I tried to get as many mayorships as possible in as little time as possible.

In my 64 days I checked into over 400 venues. I managed to gain 11 badges and 9 mayorships. Most of them are my regular train stations and of course home and work. So I am not sure how successful I am.

In the UK you find that only a few shops offer promotions, so the reason to join Foursquare is more about “see and being seen” and showing off where you are. This could be “dining at the Ritz” for instance or “checking in at the Charlotte Street Hotel”. I haven’t found use of meeting people using it yet, and I haven’t used any promotions yet.

So as a conclusion after using it for as short as 2 months, I think it is a nice game. Something that is fun to do, and potentially has an attraction particularly if you are in an environment and within a community where people use it a lot.

As a friend suggested, in the US this has a more relevant use as almost every shop is using it for promotions and hence it is more useful and commercially viable.

So until I either live in the US or Foursquare offers more promotions, e.g. pairing up with Groupon, I think I might be a little less active than I was.

Location Based Services (LBS) is still on the raise, and having the option to not share a check in, makes it a lot more attractive and safe too. However, I just cannot see the full benefit yet.


It has been a few weeks since I joined Google+ or Google Plus. Do I like it?

Yes and No. I am a big advocate of Google and Google Clouds. I have used their Picasa web album for many years, and the document suite for quite a few years too. I had a Google profile, know how log on to it and find out which YouTube videos I watched 3 years ago at 2 am on a Saturday night, and generally speaking my life is manifested in gmail and Google Calendar.

Now, when I got the invite to Google+, and I still have invites if you like one, I logged on with my Google credentials. My profile picture was there, my Google profile became my “about me” page and all I needed to do is filling circles.

Personally, I like the idea of Google’s circles. Instead of compiling lists of different visibility on Facebook, I just drag and drop my friends into these friendly shapes. It makes is easier.

Things I haven’t figured out yet is why some people add me that I don’t know. Is that like following someone on Twitter? I follow people like Matt Cutts but would he put me into a circle? Probably not. So it combines my circle of friends with my followers on Twitter. A “one size fits all solution”?

Then I haven’t figured out yet how to sync it with Twitter to make my life easier. However, having Google+ on your Android helps you upload any picture from your mobile directly to Picasa. Invisible to everyone, and a good backup solution.

Overall it combines a lot of useful things. It gives me a platform for my Google online account. Now the only thing that is missing is the collaboration and instant messaging that Google Wave promised, but maybe that feature will come back on top of Google Talk and some VOIP service.

I wouldn’t be suprised. Then again, I haven’t really tried the “hangout” yet, so I am still exploring.

Google+ has hit it off with users….

Google+ has hit it off with users the world over who wanted to get the latest slice of technology on hands. There is a delirious response to the search giant’s newest social networking service, which is hyped by many to deal a death blow…

The international business times published an article on Google+ with some quotes, including mine 🙂

You can read the full article here.

Socially public

Now this post was triggered by Claire at the iMedia summit in Brighton. Her, and also John, were speaking about connections made through social media.

It is difficult to think where I best start, and what I really want to say. I was supposed to launch the social media unit of an agency back in 2009. It never happened but it gives me a certain authority to speak about social media. I also managed to get a corporate account up to 1,000 followers within 3 weeks. However, of course I never ran a social media campaign, or did I?

I have my blog. My blog links to Facebook and to Twitter. Twitter links to Linkedin, and my Linkedin profile of course has a link to my blog. Anyone searching for my name will find me, and find out what I do and where I am. The latter thanks to Foursquare which I recently joined (for good).

Now what is my reach? Just short of 1,200 followers on Twitter, over 2,000 connections on Linkedin, and about 160 friends on Facebook. With the latter I am very selective as I am happy to speak very openly about my feelings there which I wouldn’t do on any of the other sites. That is where I draw a fine line between personal and public social life.

But can there be a personal social life? I start to disbelieve that to be honest. I share my life, and I don’t mind. I am happy for John Smith to know that I just checked in at Victoria Station on my way home or that I am at work. He can read my blog and find out how much I love my kids and wife. And I am happy to share my feelings, what I believe is special and what I have done all week. Not many people are interested, but more so my clients enjoy reading my blog. A client said the other day “you are on my Google reader”: I thought that was a compliment.

In our industry, digital and online marketing, we are not client and seller, we are friends with the same passion. Most of us anyway. It is about opportunities, creating value and not being one in a million. We share our lives without being shy about what we think. This industry is open, we share!

However, there is a small percentage of my life I prefer not to share. If my wife is ill, when my dog dies or when I look for a new job. No one’s business really. How bad would it be for me to share on Twitter that I need a new job before my employer finds out. Or for me to tell the world that a close friend died whilst I just have to keep up morale in a client pitch.

This is, luckily I suppose, the minority of my experiences. Besides I am happy in my job, I don’t have too many “problems” that I don’t want to share.

Hence for me the answer to the question whether you might want to have different profiles for a “work twitter” or a “personal twitter” is NO. You are one personality, you are one person. You are who you are, and of course, even Google has a profile of me.

So for me being engaged in social media, writing a blog and being active in and for our industry, I am happy to share. Twitter is me, my blog is about me, and Facebook is my private little online space reserved for closest friends.

I love it. A mini celebrity, somehow. Don’t you think? 😉

Ocado @ocadouk

I was sold to Ocado. The ex investment bankers that gave up their job to improve the world. Right….

It says on their website:

“We believe that you should be able to enjoy first-class service without having to pay more for your shopping.

[…] the same outstanding quality, range of choice and service you’d expect in your favourite supermarket.

We bend over backwards to make our service extra-special, and you’ll quickly spot lots of thoughtful touches, like colour-coded delivery bags, text message delivery reminders and drivers that bring your shopping right to your kitchen table.”

Now we started shopping with Ocado about 8 weeks ago. Once I complained about the freshness but I believe I was wrong. Happens. One of our first deliveries was late but the driver called saying he will be there shortly. I was impressed. From the first moment I dealt with Ocado, things seem to be right. I got an i-calendar invite, so my delivery slot was added straight to my calendar.

About 2 weeks ago we didn’t get all the ordered articles. I tried phoning their hotline but no one answered. I tried a different number and it was dead. My subsequent email explaining we didn’t get two items and I would like to have a call was ignored. Not the items, e.g. I got a refund, but that I wanted to speak to someone.

Now, being a great social media geek, I thought I go on Twitter – no response. Not even when I re-tweeted other people that were unhappy.

One off, things happen. Or do they?

Last night our delivery was due between 8 and 9 pm. No call, no text message, no email. So at 9:15 I called the customer service. The line dropped 3 times until I got through. A lovely chap said very apologetic “the driver should have called you”. The driver then said “sorry, someone should have told you”.

Now that doesn’t help. You arrange diner and baby duties around your delivery time. It is Friday night and you don’t want to wait up for your shopping.

They could clearly track the van from the customer service line but they couldn’t let customers know they are running an hour late? Why not sending everyone a text message every twenty minutes once the delivery slot has passed to make people aware. Nothing like waiting for your groceries, particularly if you had diner guests (which I luckily didn’t).

I was hoping for an apology, or a follow up this morning. But nothing. I went on Twitter instead:

You can do your own search on Twitter for “ocadouk”. Or just “ocado” if you like. For a company that “bends backwards” and excels in customer service, there is no reply, word or statement on Twitter. Only mention is the bike ride some members do this weekend…

My wish is that from now on I get what I pay for: a company that let’s you know if they are running late and have all the groceries you ask for.

We are all human, we all make mistakes. But if I go out to the public with a bold statement that I deliver best customer service, and then I don’t, that is bad. Ignoring customer comments, probably just adds to it.

DM me if you like. I am not having much capacity at the moment, but maybe I should run a workshop on social media and customer service with you guys 😉

Looking forward to a comment or call. Whichever you like!

See you next week, hopefully in time with all the food 🙂