OMMA Adnets – “The Targeting Machine Gets Tested”

I’ll be the first one to admit that while I can talk social media tools and marketing strategy all day long, advertising networks and metrics are a little further from my comfort zone.  I’m hoping to change that this week by attending and covering a couple of advertising conferences.  I’m looking to educate myself and my readers.  As usual, the blogging is almost live, that is, I’ll be writing the posts as I listen to panels and posting right afterward with only a quick proofreading.  If you have any questions or need some more explanations about a concept, leave me a comment.  I’ll do my best to help you out!

Opening Remarks

Kenneth Fadner, the Chairman and Publisher of MediaPost Communication, the publication that puts on the OMMA events, welcomed the participants to the conference and explained how pleased he was to have seen the OMMA AdNet conference grow over the past two years.  He also announced my competition for the day, the official MediaPost blog stream of the event, as well as the Twitter conversation at the hashtag #OMMAnets.

The program emcee was Steve Smith, a columnist for MediaPost Communication.  He described how MediaPost predicted a consolidation of ad networks that has not yet happened.  The question that he has about the ad supply chain is who provides the value.  He also wonders how the new era of display advertisement (as demonstrated by growth in spend by companies like Google) will change the market.  His aim for the show is to go “beyond the test stage” and talk about performance instead of just laying out which technologies exist.  Branding, sentiment and context, and industry regulation will all be topics of conversations.

Keynote – How Broken is the Ad Network Business, Anyway?

Mark Papia, the former SVP of Performance Marketing at Fox Interactive Media, was asked to start the day by asking how broken the ad network business is.  He explained it in context by asking “how broken is Tony Romo’s collar bone?”  He believes that most ad networks today are really performance networks that “troll” for business at the bottom of the conversion funnel.  Is the glass half full or half empty?

For those who relish change, the glass “could not be more full.”  Upstarts are stealing dollars from the tried and true.  New technologies like audience targeting through social graphs and real-time bidding are making it easier to serve ads, and that’s not good news for traditional ad networks who don’t keep up with the times.  An ad network dollar is quickly become a quarter, a dime, a nickel.  As a business, advertisers need to be careful with their data, especially when it comes to personally identifiable data.  The industry must police privacy in order to prevent government from feeling the need to step in.

Networks need to think differently about their positions and policies to succeed today.  Networks must do more for their publishers by taking less.  They need to remove partners about whom they have any doubt or concern about privacy, data leakage, or inappropriate creative.  Finally, they need to create virtual networks that include ads for the publishers themselves, driving internal site traffic.  Networks need to be conservative to prosper.  Papia finished his remarks by outlining his “Top Ten Ways to Ensure Success for Your Ad Network”

10. It’s the CPM, stupid!  Maximize CPM for your partners instead of accommodating too much volume.

9. Don’t accept real-time bidding that doesn’t allow for floor pricing at the category level.

8. Call out technology and vendors who are not ready for primetime.

7. Don’t cave when challenged on how success you were in delivering against a target.

6. Never agree to pay fees on a performance deal.

5. Never pass your cost of doing business to publishers by netting expenses out of the publishers’ revenue.

4. Don’t work with people you don’t know and don’t trust.

3. Have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to violations of terms and conditions.

2. Invest properly in your publisher team.  Don’t settle for less than the best!

1. Start saying no to dumb media requests.

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