Marketers: Identify and Activate Your ‘Dark Social’ Blind Spot

By Sarah Chorey - Marketing Manager

image

The concept of “Dark Social” is a new compelling and significant area for marketers today who want to understand their entire audience. Wondering why it is important and how to track this valuable social activity? Recently our VP of Business Development for RadiumOne and Po.st, Rebecca Watson, answered these questions and more in a recent article, “Marketers: Identify and Activate Your ‘Dark Social’ Blind Spot.” Read the full article below or view the original on Mobile Marketing Watch.

=============

It is hard to act on what you can’t see, a concept that has lead marketers to largely ignore ‘dark social’ up until now. The term represents all the instances in which consumers share a brand’s digital content with personal contacts through tools such as email, instant messaging, SMS/texting and similar communication apps.

‘Dark social’ is a surprisingly large blind spot for companies. Recent data indicates that over 72% of all shares happen through copy and paste activity compared to 25% of sharing happening to Facebook and Twitter combined. Put another way, the average marketer’s website gets almost three times as many shares from ‘dark social’ than anywhere else, exposing a huge area of opportunity for brands. Being able to identify this hidden sharing activity and the users behind it is key to unlocking another level of engaged current and potential consumers.

Luckily, big brands can use technology to harness and activate their ‘dark social’ blind spot.

Marketers can easily enhance their websites to report on where shares happen and how recipients engage with these shares. In just one month of reporting, music magazine NME saw over seven times the number of content shares originate via content copied into email (at 44,850 instances) versus Facebook and Twitter (at 5,700 instances). Bigger still, fashion magazine Marie Claire saw over 10 times the number of content shares originate via content copied into email (at 18,900 instances) versus Facebook and Twitter (at 1,750 instances).[1]

These sharing metrics from the NME and Marie Claire websites illustrate how most ‘dark social’ shares happen: through copying and pasting branded content into email. Subsequently, ‘dark social’ produces a huge amount of email activity on mobile. Of all email opens, 43-51% happen on a mobile device according to email analytics company Litmus.[2] This means about half or more of the average marketer’s ‘dark social’ activity can be targeted and activated with mobile advertising.

Savvy marketers have begun to advertise to ‘dark social’ audiences in mobile environments. They use programmatic media to retarget mobile ads to the past recipients of social sharing by device. Here are three examples:

  • A luxury retailer grew their iPad audience and sales by targeting digital ads to all iPad users who had received its content via social sharing. This drove an incredible CTR that was over 950% higher than the luxury retailer’s existing benchmark.[3]
  • A movie studio increased the size of its mobile audience by 10x after retargeting past recipients of social sharing on smartphones and tablets.[4]
  • A quick service restaurant drove a 40% lift in traffic to its mobile destination page after retargeting past recipients of social sharing on iPad and iPhone devices.[5]

These examples show how acting on ‘dark social’ data along with a smart retargeting strategy is taking off. More and more marketers are identifying where they are missing out on tracking their user activity to conquer this ‘dark social’ blind spot. By capturing and connecting this sharing data to media campaigns, marketers are able to target the right consumers and convert them into actual customers. As a result this boost in advertising performance unlocks new target audiences and drives down the cost to acquire a new customer. Stay ahead of the curve and equip your website and social links with sharing analytics to pinpoint your site’s sharing recipients, turning them into one addressable, valuable audience.

Mobile’s Private Parts: How Data Privacy and Security Are Paramount to Mobile Consumer Usage

By Jason Wolfson - Marketing Manager

image

The mobile environment is evolving at a rapid pace, becoming more connected and more personalized.  Advertisers may reach consumers just about anywhere and anytime, retailers are providing customers with simpler ways to make purchases, and banks are providing customers options to avoid having to step foot in an actual bank.  As many opportunities as this technology provides, there are strings are attached (there are always strings attached, right?)  With Yahoo’s recent acquisition of Flurry, and other major data collectors under the microscope for their usage of data, the issues of consumer security and privacy have been pushed to the forefront of many discussions.

Customer data is an incredibly valuable tool; however it can be a volatile one in the wrong hands. The challenge is how to best harness this information without impeding on consumer privacy. Much of the data collected by new technologies does not recognize individuals; rather a unique, anonymous identifier is used. When these identifiers are combined with additional offline data sources, it may then relate to an identifiable individual.

Realizing this is no easy task, an organization must be committed to both development of safeguards, resources, and the ability to maintain accountability. RadiumOne prioritizes data privacy and security for all consumers. At the technical level, each piece of information stored in our DMP has an owner and an associated access policy. Access policies include a whitelist and are enforced across all RadiumOne applications, including our DSP and reporting applications. Our access policy structure allows us to cover the most complex use cases.

RadiumOne is also a member of industry associations that govern rules and regulations for consumer privacy, such as the NAI, IAB, PrivacyChoice, DAA, and MMA. RadiumOne complies with all advertising standards, including anything that pertains to consumer privacy and security, and we meet all of Facebook’s privacy standards for its FBX platform.

While consumers may be skeptical about data collection and privacy, studies show people prefer pertinent advertising and beneficial promotions.  Data-driven companies can maintain privacy and pertinence by developing trust with consumers while being cognoscente of how this data is deployed. As mobile advertising capabilities advance, it is our responsibility to ensure that the security and privacy of individuals remains a priority. It’s not only the morally right thing to do, but it also will open the flood gates for more consumers to utilize mobile devices the way advertisers, retailers, and banks intended.

For more information please email mobilebd@radiumone.com.

How Dark Social Can Impact Brands

By Sarah Chorey - Marketing Manager

image

Recently Po.st and RadiumOne Vice President of Business Development, Rebecca Watson, sat down with Kristina Knight for a Q&A on one of the hottest publishing and brand topics today, “dark social.” In “How Dark Social Can Impact Brands” Rebecca explains exactly what dark social is, why it is important and how to harness it. Read the full article below or view the original on Bizreport.

===============

There is a new buzz phrase out there – dark social, and it refers to the sharing of digital content outside the usual social places. For example, Consumer A sharing a link with Friend B through Skype or IM rather than within Facebook or Pinterest. According to some experts nearly one-third of shares could be through dark social trends.

Kristina: Can you give us an example of a dark social share?

Rebecca Watson, Vice President of Business Development, RadiumOne: [Dark social] includes copying and pasting a URL or portion of text into an email, text message or IM. This activity is one of the most unintentionally overlooked – yet highly valuable – by digital media executives.
For example, say a user on a retailer’s website finds a product that she thinks a friend might like and decides to copy and paste the URL from the address bar into an email to her friend. If the friend clicks on this link to see the product, almost all web analytics providers will bucket this new user into the “direct” traffic category, when in reality it should be attributed to social acquisition.

Kristina: Why is dark social important for brands?

Rebecca: As brand marketers and website developers have moved beyond looking at page view volume as the sole indication of a webpage’s value, they’ve recognized the need to track social ROI. This explains why you see most pages with Facebook, Twitter and other social network sharing buttons near the title or primary content (it is also intended to make it quick and easy for users to share). The reality is that fewer users are choosing to share through these buttons (approximately 28% of all digital shares of content) than those using Dark Social methods (overwhelmingly 72%).
One such company that implemented a Dark Social tracking tool was able to identify and attribute 38,000 new visitors that were sourced from 59,000 shares of text over 30 days. These click backs were measured from the “Read more here…” link – enabled via RadiumOne Po.st’s Dark Social tool – that appeared under the shared text. Prior to having this functionality in place, these new socially-sourced visitors were incorrectly labeled as “direct” traffic in the company’s web analytics dashboard. What’s more, without the original link included with the portions of text, the company missed out on free user acquisition.

Kristina: How can retailers better harness dark social data?

Rebecca: First, brands can use their social analytics data to recognize which types of content are best resonating with their audience. By bucketing their content into types (pictures, videos, long articles, short pieces, “top 5″ type lists, informational, news, evergreen, etc.) marketers can see what content is resulting in the most click backs. Second, they can identify which social sharing channels and devices are used most for consuming and sharing their content, making sure to target and reach their audience on these platforms.

Media Technology Partnership Adds New Dimension To Publisher Business Model

By Rupert Staines - Managing Director, Europe

A New Approach

A significant shift is happening in the UK media industry as leading publishers look to improve their commercial returns in digital through innovative media technology partnerships.  One hugely successful example comes from IPC Media, who became the first UK publisher to enable brands to target the right online user within a contextually relevant environment at scale thanks to its unique partnership with RadiumOne UK.  This collaboration saw the two businesses win the Most Effective Media Technology Partner Award at the 2014 AOP Awards in July 2014.  

Here’s the story of how we created UK media history.

‘Amplified’ Reach

Traditionally, media owners have expended much effort and resource driving people to online partnerships, ultimately meaning that the scale of their websites limited their revenue growth.  In order for this growth to keep pace with expectation, IPC Media needed to find a way to add reach to their online campaigns whilst still delivering contextual relevance and targeting in order to drive incremental revenues.  

They created the ‘Amplify’ concept – a blend of partnership editorial and overt advertiser branding in a variety of online advertising units that they could deliver to users at scale.  To make this truly powerful they knew that they would need a data aggregation partner to help them drive this scale with intelligent targeting as well as measurements that would universally translate the success of the targeting.  This was a radical departure from traditional editorial and brand guidelines and required key partners to help activate the format operationally and measure the success of the concept.

First Class Results

‘Amplify’ used branded content from IPC to ensure that campaigns were consistent with the premium content that consumers expect from the publisher and reassured the consumer that the advertiser is their trusted partner.  Working with RadiumOne as their data management partner, IPC was able to target consumers primarily based on their social sharing of our proprietary content.  These bespoke data sets, built from first party data, allowed them to target people who they know have engaged with these specific types of content and reach them wherever they are.

This new approach has delivered really powerful engagement with the advertising, as these metrics clearly illustrate.  An average of 5.6 million impressions served delivering 2.7 million unique users per campaign; an average in view time 32.5 seconds per campaign; an average combined hours of exposure of 15,300 hours per campaign, and an average interaction percentage per campaign of 6.21%.  

Most importantly, at a time when publishing businesses face severe operational challenges, the media technology partnership between IPC Media and RadiumOne UK delivered an incremental increase in YoY spend of an astonishing 1754%!  And at a client level the partnership led to a major new business win that converted car client, Mazda; from no spend to IPC’s biggest Automotive spender in 2013!

This unique media technology partnership not only opened up a valuable new revenue stream for IPC Media, it proved that big data can work incredibly well for businesses if understood & implemented in the right way.  

 For more information please email MarketingUK@radiumone.com

Mind The Gap: Ad Results Fall Between The Cracks If Your DMP and DSP Aren’t Integrated

By Eric Bader - CMO

“Now moments,” “hand-raisers,” “real-time audiences.” These all happen when consumers engage with relevant advertising messages. They’re also the most valuable signals that advertisers can pick up and use to make their advertising better and more effective. While most advertisers use off-the-shelf, stitched-together audience data, often referred to as “third-party data,” they’re missing both the most intelligent data about consumers—the engagement signals—and the opportunity that comes with using it to build their brands.

Real-time audiences are the fruits of programmatic advertising and the reasons why digital advertising spending is shifting from individual media plans to longer-term, highly efficient and effective automated advertising platforms.

Both marketers and publishers are leaving money on the table. The industry supporting them in programmatic advertising is missing out on growth opportunities for one very important reason – the data and the activation are separated. RadiumOne knows the impact this chasm has on performance and we built our company’s capabilities around that crucial connection. In fact, our ShareGraph software, at the heart of our closed-loop platform, earned a US Patent. It’s the first system that generates data in real-time, absorbs the data on an integrated DMP, and delivers it across channel via our DSP to address these problems and opportunities. We use the unique app layer in our platform to enable advertisers to engage a consumer throughout the whole decision-making process from awareness, interest, and desire, and not just the retargeting at the very bottom that serves only to make efficient conversions.  The integrated, closed-loop system makes it possible to activate influential audiences in real-time and makes them into your next customer.

image

We know from our performance analysis that 80% of all conversions happen within the first day that a consumer is exposed to a digital ad – across the web, online video, social or mobile. And of that 80%, the highest rates of conversion happen within the first hour. So, if your DMP where you collect customer behavioral and demographic data and create productive segments for advertisers and your DSP where you activate the advertising to meet the opportunities to engage those customers are separated between companies, then you can expect significant loss of intelligence, real-time data, customers and opportunities.  The DMP and DSP need to be integrated not just because of the immediacy of activating on the segment data, but also because real-time audiences require real-time optimization and amplification to second degree audiences to reach the full impact of their potential yield. In fact, we’ve measured that there can be as much as 20-40% cookie loss between systems. That’s seriously evaporated money and lost customers.

To illustrate this point, we looked at two typical examples of campaigns that RadiumOne ran this year. In the first campaign for a major travel industry client, 81% of the conversions happened in the first hour. After that first hour, the conversion rate dropped by 7 times. What that means to the advertiser is that the time between the signal and the impression are crucial for monetizing the “sweet-spot” of the campaign. Of course the hours and days after the first hour produced efficient conversions, but nowhere near the rate of the “sweet-spot”.

image

In the second campaign for a global financial services client, after only 7% of the impressions had run, 29% of the conversions happened in the first hour. After that first hour, the conversion rate dropped by 2.5 times. That’s significant because financial services products are not necessarily impulse buys so if a brand misses the peak moments of the consumer’s interest, the consumer can get distracted with myriad other engagements—content, email, entertainment—and not take action right away. Also, conversions for financial services products usually happen over a longer period of time due to longer consumer consideration cycles, with other factors like eligibility and credit approval creating barriers to action. In this campaign, we saw proof that if you reach and engage consumers in the first-hour “sweet-spot” when they’re most receptive, they convert at surprisingly high levels. But, there can’t be any latency between the signal (when the data show’s the consumer is in the market) and the impression.

Consequently, the whole programmatic advertising industry, including publishers, are missing out on the opportunities to deliver exceptional performance for paying brand clients just because there is a gap between the preparation of the data and its activation. As a result, RadiumOne is committed to the approach that real-time data about consumers must be activated in milliseconds, not minutes, or even hours, as so much of the industry does with separate DMPs and DSPs.

Consider your own consumer activity. When you browse products, especially when you’re in the market to buy (which are the consumers that RadiumOne is uniquely able to determine from consumer signals), it takes only milliseconds for you to draw up a mental list of what you will consider and how products meet your conditions or interests. If a contextually relevant or even localized ad is presented to you, it is likely to impact the way you are participating in the buying process. If it took minutes or even hours for you to see—well after you’ve moved on in your busy life—you’ll be much less likely to act on it.

For publishers, this isn’t just about media results; it’s a matter of monetizing yield. For marketers it’s maximizing ROI. Brands are spending money in the digital media marketplace to reach, engage, and convert maximum prime audiences per dollar spent, which is delivered to them programmatically as real-time audiences. And publishers are trying to maximize their yield monetization. But with separate data and delivery systems, they both miss out on the opportunity to monetize the real-time audiences they’ve cultivated and have to settle for lower-yielding “warm” audiences that don’t convert at the same rates. It’s simple economics and it’s a problem for advertisers who are underserved by the automated advertising industry players. Separating data and delivery doesn’t work. RadiumOne is proudly delivering outstanding results to its clients by creating a hyper-efficient system of turning “now moments” and customers who are ready to buy, into converted, monetized customers—their next customers.

For more information email sales@radiumone.com

7 Things To Look For In A Sharing Tool

By Sarah Chorey

Our VP of business development, Rebecca Watson, shares her insights on developments in social sharing technology and the essential features advanced sharing tools offer today. Read the original article on iMedia Connection, or the full text below:

—————————————————————————————————————

Content creation and sharing fuel the internet. Having access and insight into exactly how and where your content is shared is a unique advantage. Embedded sharing tools offer a quick reminder and easy opportunity for your audience to share your content, thereby driving increased traffic for your business.

A sharing tool may seem like a generic, unassuming feature — an afterthought for developers that doesn’t involve strategic planning. In reality, this seemingly simple technology has developed several innovative advancements that help boost user engagement, optimize clickbacks, and track, monitor, and analyze influencers’ behaviors.

The following is a list of features and functions you should now expect from advanced content sharing widgets.

Custom messaging

When your audience chooses to share your content it becomes a virtual company endorsement giving the content extended reach beyond its original location. Once users share your content they are directly validating, supporting, and engaging with your brand.

A huge missed opportunity by most websites is the moment after readers share your content, when they are open to receiving messaging from your brand. With the right sharing tool you can take advantage of this moment of undivided attention to reach them with a custom message. Message opportunities can include:

  • A call-to-action to follow your social channels or sign up for your newsletter.
  • A relevant ad that monetizes these premium readers and influencers.
  • Custom messages to drive users to another section of your website to increase the likelihood of additional content views/shares.

This is a prime moment where your audience is receptive to your messaging. Use it!

Track copy-and-paste sharing activity

Out of all the ways users can share digital content, 82 percent do so through copy-and-paste sharing. It makes sense: When reading content online, you often want to select a quick snippet of information from a site to share with friends or family. An advanced sharing tool can track this behavior, where the clickbacks are sourced (i.e. Facebook, email, publication, etc.), as well as the frequent keywords shared within the copy-pasted portion of text. Reviewing these behavioral analytics can help you optimize your editorial decisions and audience development efforts. For example, if readers are sharing more content on current events versus advice, it’s likely you’ll want to cover more content on current events to fuel that demand.

Automatic link back to your site

You should always be capturing and attributing even the smallest portions of your content that goes viral. If a user copy-and-pastes content directly into an email, instant message, or social network, make sure a linkback is included that displays a “Read more at ‘http://www.yourwebsite.com’” at the end of the sourced quote to lead them back to your site. This simple, but typically overlooked, feature is a free way to acquire users and build your brand recognition.

Keyword analysis reports

Your sharing tool tracks a ton of actionable insights and information that Google Analytics or Omniture does not include. Advanced sharing tools can capture specific keywords and phrases that are most often shared by users on a particular site. For example, by utilizing these insights, one national news site discovered that while crime-related stories tended to be shared via the entire article, crime-related content was more likely to be shared via snippets of text including neighborhood location and suspects’ names. Your company can leverage this type of data when developing your content strategy and SEO and SEM efforts.

Audience insight reports

Standard widgets give you click and source data for your site’s sharing activity. Advanced tools provide insights into the type of users who share your content and compare it to the types of users (their friends) who click back on the shared links. Audience insights can include average education level, household incomes, demographics, and hobbies/interests of your influencers and newly acquired users.

Mobile optimization

The number of mobile connected consumers is skyrocketing with increased mobile usage worldwide. Between 2013 and 2017, mobile phone penetration will rise from 61.1 percent to 69.4 percent of the global population, according to eMarketer. To enable quality social engagement, your content needs to be optimized for mobile devices to offer a seamless sharing experience across platforms. Advanced sharing tools will automatically adjust to each phone’s display across different models, switching icons to a higher resolution on Retina screens.

Fully customized design

Web design is an extremely personal element to each company. Your visual web presence makes a statement about the personality of your brand, while also providing a service or information utility for your users. With this in mind, sharing buttons should be fully customizable to your existing design, including their size, style, and placement. Based on best practices, you want your sharing buttons to be streamlined to your general aesthetics, but you don’t want them to lack the identifying characteristics and symbols (blue for Facebook and Twitter, red for Google plus) that users have become accustomed to easily finding on a page.

The best sharing platforms bring your content full-circle. By taking advantage of innovative sharing functionality, companies and publishers developing unique content can simultaneously gain increased virality by adjusting content type based on valuable data about users.

Casual Connect Roundup

By Kathryn Morrison – Director, Business Development

image

Two weeks ago, the RadiumOne Engage team attended Casual Connect in San Francisco. If you’re not familiar with Casual Connect, it’s an event to learn more about the casual gaming industry. Engage was there to show the best ways to engage consumers every single day through our leading network of social media games and applications.

Three full days provided us with three key takeaways.

1. Mobile Data Integration is Essential:  Mobile is extremely fragmented. There are very deep, niche players in each vertical (analytics, monetization, UA, etc.) but without a deep integration between all the different industry providers, data is lost and opportunities are missed. For instance, if your analytics provider is identifying what users you are organically monetizing then it is in your best interest not to show them ads. But if your monetization provider isn’t talking with your analytics provider, then it’s a missed opportunity to engage with your users. 

2. Data Vendors are Being Gobbled Up by Larger Companies:  Fragmentation makes optimization difficult, but it also creates a market ripe for acquisitions. Take Yahoo’s recent acquisition of Flurry for instance. It now calls into question whether the rich data Flurry has historically provided will continue to be offered as a free service to its publishers or if that will change? It also brings up questions surrounding its processes, account management, etc.

3. User Acquisition is Very Much Still the Wild West: Many publishers mentioned not knowing how to most effectively measure their ROI, making it difficult to ensure their Lifetime Value (LTV) is higher than their Cost Per Install (CPI) cost. Knowing that is an important element in figuring out your marketing mix.

There are many of questions and uncertainty right now in casual gaming and how to best monetize and acquire new users. Engage can help with those efforts and we can even help you figure out solutions to ensure your LTV is higher than the CPI cost.

To learn more email busdev@radiumone.com.

3 Reasons Why Twitter Is a Serious Threat to Facebook’s Mobile Business

By Rob Tye - Business Development, Mobile

image

Right now, Facebook is the number one place where games and stand-alone apps spend their user acquisition money. Currently, app-install ads account for 59% of Facebook’s revenue or roughly $1.48 billion. Aside from recent news of large user base growth and it’s stock price surging, Twitter has been making silent moves to become a user acquisition and mobile ad powerhouse—both in and outside of its properties. Here are three reasons why Twitter will become a considerable threat to Facebook’s business:

1. MoPub Acquisition: This is arguably the most important acquisition in Twitter’s existence. MoPub is the world’s largest mobile RTB exchange that also offers the ability to customize and monetize native apps. Not only is MoPub’s scale impressive, it also provides Twitter with insights in and out of its properties. This data is incredibly valuable to marketers; since it will assist in lowering their media spend. Until Facebook officially releases its highly anticipated Audience Network, Twitter will have an edge in this regard.

2. Twitter’s Mobile App Promotion: Open to the public a few weeks ago, Twitter released its first Install Ad unit into users’ feeds. In the Beta program, monster apps like Spotify, HotelTonight, and Kabam have seen promising results in scale and quality of users. Not only do the ad units have an install button, that drives direct to the ad store, but it also is compatible with deep-linking. This increases app re-opens, extending the lifetime value of users.

3. TapCommerce Acquisition: TapCommerce is a mobile-first retargeting and reengagement solution that uses data and statistical analysis to reach users—something that’s very difficult to do on mobile due to lack of cookies. This product seems like it could fit well with retargeting in the Twitter Feed and appeal to brands and commerce sites.

By combining customer acquisition with retargeting, engagement, and reach, Twitter has a lethal solution that I suspect will creep into advertiser’s Facebook budgets in the near future.

For more information email mobilebd@radiumone.com.

Integrate Vanity Domains Into Shares to Twitter from Po.st

By Luis Aguilar - Senior Manager, Business Development

Those aware of Po.st are likely most familiar with our Sharing Tool, providing publishers with customizable sharing buttons, copy/paste tracking, social analytics, audience insight reports, keyword sharing analysis, and friendly customer service. What you may not know is that Po.st also has a Link Shortener product that helps brands and publishers shorten their URLs when sharing content to social platforms and track the engagement with these links. No longer do businesses have to wonder which types of content perform best on certain platforms, and which devices users prefer to access this content.

Today we’re excited to announce the next level of integration between these two great products: publishers can now opt for their Po.st Sharing Tool to include their unique “vanity domain” in shortened links that users share to Twitter.

Let us break it down for you.

If you have ever used a Twitter share button powered by Po.st to share a piece of content, then you have already seen our link shortening technology in action. For shares specifically to Twitter we automatically use the technology from the Po.st URL Shortener to shrink the link of the webpage being shared. It shortens your link and wraps it in our “po.st” domain in order to give you the maximum character space to write the body of your Tweet.

Here is an example of what share to Twitter from a Po.st Sharing Tool looks like below:


Image1_Regular Shortened Po.st

This is where it gets good. Now you can actually customize shares to Twitter from the Po.st Sharing Tool to show your own vanity domain in place of our “po.st” domain.

Check out how Star Tribune has customized their Twitter sharing to include their short vanity domain, http://strib.mn:

Image2_Startribune vanity URL_Doesn't exist yet

Using a vanity domain brings an extra level of branding and credibility to your links, increasing the number of click-throughs you might otherwise see. Branded vanity domains have been proven to boost click volume by 25%.

If you are interested in this customization option let us know and we will do the rest. Even if you don’t own a unique vanity domain, we can research available and relevant options for you. Most domains are less than $25. 

Just email us at info@po.st to get started.

Football and Advertising Share Winning Formulas for Success

By Edo Povel – Managing Director, Amsterdam

image

The Coach of the Dutch World Cup football team, Louis van Gaal, brought his team to 3rd place, against all odds and expectations. Not a single match was lost in official or extended playtime. Why? It’s because the best teams, not the best player, win championships. Programmatic advertising is no different.

If you followed the World Cup, chances are you have heard about Coach van Gaal’s exceptional approach, referred to as the “Method van Gaal.” The method shows interesting parallels to media, especially for demanding advertisers.

The basis of the Method van Gaal is to rule out the possibility of luck by analyzing what is best for the team and building a fact-based strategy. There are many great technologies available all battling for the attention of the advertiser, but it is very rare that we see them in action as a team. Advertising processes, such as collecting data and real-time media buying, are often completely separated.

First, the result is that the majority of data collected is stale by the time it is ready to be activated. It is not unusual for data, sourced from a wide variety of digital touch points (and not just an advertiser’s website), to be more than four weeks old; thereby making real-time “intent” a challenge for advertisers to achieve.

Second, all the effort in collecting data has limited usefulness if we cannot connect data to media. Programmatic advertising gives advertisers intelligence about their audiences, but the vast majority on the demand side platform market, are unable to connect that intelligence to media in real time. An agency trading desk shared with me the other day that in their experience, match rates of data to delivery is commonly as low as 8 - 12%, meaning that for a staggering 9 out of 10 impressions, data cannot be matched to those audiences.

Considering intelligence and activation as a team: never separate intelligence from activation, should be one of the guiding principles for any demanding advertiser. Bolting intelligence collected in data management platforms and activation through demand side platforms lets advertisers connect with audiences as they raise their hands across digital media. At the same time match rates increase to 60%+, letting advertisers reach more of their next customers.

As Louis van Gaal eliminated luck and proved that it’s not the best players, but the best team that win, advertising teams win by connecting intelligence to activation.

For more information email epovel@radiumone.com.