Tag: ad exchanges

ad exchanges or what is Ballueder up to?

Ok, this post is not the opinion of my company mexad but an article I wanted to write for a while. Many people, including my mum, ask me what I am actually doing all day? What is your company doing, and what is the landscape like? Are you still in digital marketing? So this article really is for my mum, so she understands what I am doing all day πŸ™‚

I worked in search marketing before, and PPC (pay per click) is synchronized bid management on keywords across multiple search engines like Google or Bing. Most people have understood that by now.

advertising landscape
advertising landscape
Now, I moved into display advertising or display optimisation in January, launching a company called mexad in the UK. What mexad or other Display Engine Marketing (DEM) agencies do, is providing a service (mainly) to media planning and buying agencies to access inventory on ad exchanges and optimise display media. We have our own technology that sits across ad exchanges and yield optimisers alike that effectively, similar to PPC, allows synchronized bid management across multiple ad exchange platforms – just that we don’t bid on keywords but on placements.

Ad Exchanges and Yield Optimisers, e.g. Right Media, Doubleclick ad exchange, Rubicon, Appnexus, Admeld and so on, are like a stock market where bidders like mexad bid on inventory and sellers, e.g. websites or publishers, offer their inventory (space for an ad). It is a market place where both sellers and buyers meet in real time. Depending on your target audience, cookies, audience data etc., you decide (or your bidding engine does it for you) whether or not to bid for any given impression and of course how much you want to bid. That is what people would call ad exchange optimisation.

Similar to search engine marketing, we can optimise towards targets, the main one being “CPA” – cost per action. That could be a newsletter sign up, a sales, or any action you want to measure. And, we only buy – in real time – inventory (space) on the ad exchanges that actually work towards the campaign objectives.

Mum, was that clear? We are like a stockbroker that decides how much we pay for any share and whether that share makes a difference for our clients’ business outcome. Just with a small difference that we are not limited to how many shares are available. There are billions of impressions to go around.

How do we differ to ad networks? Maybe mum should stop reading now πŸ˜‰

Networks traditionally have their own inventory, e.g. they need to fill space. They also work on a fixed price, that could be CPM (cost per 1000 impressions), CPA (cost per action), or CPC (cost per click).

Display Engine Marketing agencies like mexad buy across the exchanges on a CPM basis but pass on the price savings, e.g. working on a lower, dynamic CPM. We also offer different matrix, depending on campaign set up but cannot guarantee leads for example. This is because we are a service provider, not owning inventory and work with a much lower margin than networks. Additionally, mexad then optimises towards the best possible outcome for your campaign, and in case it doesn’t work, you can stop the campaign and don’t have to continue running the campaign. Similar again to PPC.

We can buy blind or fully transparent, again all that depends on what our clients want.

What are DSPs?

I might not be the best person to ask as mexad isn’t a DSP (demand side platform). A DSP, at least in my opinion, is a technology similar to the one mexad has in house but you can use it yourself. You might want to compare it to a search marketing bidding tool. However, there are dangers of using a “blackbox technology” across ad exchanges at this current market place which is still very young. The current market place is new, and only if you have experience and knowledge about each individual technology and exchange, you can make ad exchange optimisation work well. Mike Nolet, co-founder of Appnexus, writes that in one of his blog articles, that the current marketplace needs the human factor to achieve the best possible performance across multiple bidding platforms.

More coverage of our area can be found on Ad Exchanger.com and Exchangewire.com.

Of course, mum or anyone reading this, if you have further quesitons, please let me know. I love optimizing πŸ™‚

Digital Marketing Thoughts

Ok, I admit it. On Sunday afternoon, just before the game, I had one of those moments. I thought I had to write a blog post about Digital Marketing and why and how it works. Here are those thoughts:

I spoke about Inbound Marketing on my blog before. The idea of inbound marketing is that, particularly online, you as a company or individual make enough noise to be seen and getting interest. This interest is then converted into sales. I know that is over simplified, but that is basically it.

To do that, e.g. making enough noise, a lot of companies use Social Media these days. Twitter to form an opinion or to build a brand, maybe a Facebook page, some Facebook discussions, a group on LinkedIn or just a good blog that gets quoted within the industry. Speaking at events is usually welcomed, or sponsorship at events to associate a brand with a sport, e.g. Rolex and Golf as an example.

Now, there is another way of creating awareness. I recently, as you know, entered the online display arena with a company that executes media plans across ad exchanges. That means we can buy inventory more cost effective and get a greater reach for less money than using ad networks for instance. This brand performance can be used solely for branding or it could be used for branding in association with direct response to actually measure the ROI straight away, similar to search marketing.

Another way is to use TV of course. Maybe less targeted (until IPTV comes into play) and of course more expensive. However, the costs of producing a good display ad (creative) or TV advert might differ, but both shouldn’t be neglected.

To my mind, and thanks to Kotler, the 4Ps are still valid. Product, place, price, promotion. People buy because they know a product or a brand and they saw it in a place or associate it with a certain status. Then the price….that is tricky but general speaking if one really likes something, one will be able to afford it. So now, the promotion, is really what I am talking about.

Looking at a Digital Marketing Strategy, there are only a few ways to think, and these ways are 90% online and 10% offline (or all online) and to have the right mix between inbound and outbound Direct Response. What do I mean with that?

1st:
As a brand you need to create a lot of awareness. Brand performance is the newest word I use for that. To do that you can use a mixture of TV and Display Advertising with a measurable KPI, e.g. sign-ups or voucher code use. This way you don’t only spend money on a big brand reach and awareness campaign but you start from the beginning to focus on your ROI for every penny you spend.

2nd:
User Engagement. Again: competition or user codes, discussions in forums or blogs, feedback and research rounds, social media like Facebook and Twitter. Having all that combined and using the feedback you are getting from your customers to improve your service and products is key.

3rd:
The trick is to utilise the user engagement (2) and turn that into sales. Using DR (direct response) channels like Display (DR & brand awareness = brand performance), PPC (DR but also brand awareness), social media, and Email campaigns. That means you are turning your brand performance into DR and get a list of hot leads.

4th:
Use good sales people and close those hot leads. Using their feedback and good account management skills for client engagement to make sure clients are happy.

5th:
Feed all those information back into your system – CRM Software. That means you have a feedback loop and know exactly which channel worked best, where to spend more money, where to spend less money and which channel gives you the greatest ROI. Measuring, comparing, adjusting.

It sounds simple but there are a lot of things where brands do go wrong. And, don’t forget, not every user is the same, and not every brand either πŸ˜‰

I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts on my Digital Marketing Ideas.

Volker