Top 5 Myths of Programmatic: A Programmatic Primer Part 3


by Maryam Motamedi, Director of Marketing 

(This is part 3 of a 3 part series. Read part 1 and part 2.)

Having a solid understanding of programmatic marketing principles (what it does, how it works and why you need it) is hard enough. Try tackling the public vs. private debate on top of all this and you’re likely to run yourself in circles.

Below are just a few of the common myths about public and private exchanges circulating within the industry right now:

Myth 1. You must pick a side.
A common programmatic misstatement you’ll find is that publishers and advertisers have to choose what side to stand on: public or private. But, says Kevin Dalias, Product Solutions Consultant for RadiumOne, “You can’t think of public vs. private as two different camps. They are simply two ways to reach users.” So why the strong debate over which one is better? Many  automated media buying agencies prefer one exchange over the other and target their content accordingly, others, like RadiumOne prefer to be “exchange agnostic”.

Myth 2. Premium programmatic is a new animal.
The concept of leveraging private exchanges to house premium content and command higher revenues isn’t entirely new, despite all the fanfare. Historically, publishers put together “ad networks” by bundling selected sites and selling brands access to these handpicked networks at a premium. Private networks are simply the automated answer to an already-established ad buying/serving model.

Myth 3. Public exchanges carry more risk than private.
The answer is: It depends. Public exchanges are as clean as you keep them. “[RadiumOne] invests a huge amount of time in making sure our inventory  is clean and that we are serving impressions to human beings in the right times and places,” says Dalias. In the case of RadiumOne guarding its clients against fraud, the company uses their own, proprietary algorithms and have integrations with several third-party protection providers.

Myth 4. Private exchanges are the “best place” to see and be seen.
In the old world advertising model, “where” you reached users was paramount. Buying and serving ad impressions in a select setting, after all, comes with certain guarantees as to brand strength and eyeball count. But delivering a relevant ad experience with the intent of increasing conversions isn’t just about reaching customers in the right place…it’s also about reaching the right customers at the right time. The right user may be surfing a news publication and then a shoe store. In this context, private exchanges are limiting in terms of reach as you are taking the gamble that the right customer will happen to exist within the confines of that private space with limited reach.

Myth 5. Automated ad buying eliminates the need for human interaction.
Though automation is helping make the ad buying process more efficient and effective, it can’t replace the relationships that have to be built and maintained in order to ensure,that campaigns are being run in a way that is aligned with the advertisers’ expectations.  It’s shortsighted to assume that all you need from a programmatic solutions provider is good technology. You need good people too.

If you’d like to find out how RadiumOne can help you make more sense of the public vs private debate while helping you reach the right people at the right place and time, contact us.

Weighing in on Private Marketplaces: A Programmatic Primer Part 2

by Tony Biel, Account Director


This is part two in our programmatic primer series focusing on RTB public and private marketplaces. You can read part one here.

Today programmatic marketing is a well-oiled, fast moving machine. But it wasn’t always that way. The growth of digital advertising has seen the ad buying process evolve from person-to-person ad negotiation to a complex technology-driven configuration of traders, advertisers, publishers and targets.

From the first year digital advertising took off until now, the number of ads, clicks and impressions available has continued to grow exponentially. New marketplaces or “exchanges” were the industry’s answer to the need to centralize quickly rising digital ad inventory. Out of these original “public” exchanges arose the eventual implementation of publisher-created, private marketplaces. These public and private marketplaces make up the Real Time Bidding (RTB) arm of programmatic marketing.programmatic_activate graphic

In Part 2 of this RTB primer we define “private” exchanges, who uses this exclusive method of buying and selling digital inventory, its benefits and what place it holds in the future of programmatic advertising.

Private Marketplaces Defined

A private marketplace is one created by the publisher, made public to select clients, and represents their premium inventory. As opposed to awarding impressions to the highest bidder (as is the case with a public exchange), private marketplaces are closed systems. It’s up to the publisher who they want to invite to make purchases on their platform. Also unlike public exchanges where real-time market competition is driving rates, private marketplaces include pre-negotiated terms like flight dates, floor prices, auction types and budget.

Though the debate continues as to which type of marketplace is truly the better place to invest digital advertising dollars (public vs. private), publisher-created private marketplaces attempt to elevate the quality of their content and draw a crowd that values service and singular relationships over price.. Though several recent articles are predicting interest in private marketplaces will eventually overtake public exchanges in terms of popularity, as of 2015, private marketplaces only accounted for 23% of the total RTB market spend.

The benefits of private marketplaces are the following:

  • More control on pricing policy
  • Not tied to an underlying system.
  • Publisher has the chance to be more creative.
  • Publisher has more control over brands and products represented.

As discussed in Part 1 of our programmatic primer, public exchanges also have a wealth of benefits all their own:

  • Equal access to any impression.
  • Massive amounts of inventory.
  • Widest campaign coverage possible.
  • Meets full range of advertising goals.

Public vs. Private? The Jury is Still Out.

So is one format better than the other? Are private marketplaces elitist or do they really add value? If so, where?
Maybe you’re mulling over your options. Public? Private? Both?? Maybe you have so much on your marketing plate you can’t seem to see the forest for the trees? Either way, our next primer will include in depth insider discussion about public vs. private marketplaces that you won’t want to miss.

Mobile’s Disruption to the Holiday Shopping Season: Retail & Ecommerce Trends 2015

By Tina Risker, Mobile and Social Marketing Manager


Traditional “big deal” shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren’t as big a deal in terms of revenue as they once were. Last year, the revenue from Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined only accounted for 9.5% of 2014’s holiday e-commerce revenue. Yet, Black Friday 2012 set a revenue record as the heaviest online spending day to date that year.
What’s different just three years later?

The answer: Mobile

By 2016, the number of smartphone users worldwide will surpass the 2 billion mark. Today, consumers can shop for anything, from anywhere, any shopping
What drove Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers in 2012 was a single emotion that buyers may no longer need to experience organically: Anticipation.

Mobile is to “big deal days” as satellite TV was to once-a-year Christmas specials. They’re just not that special anymore. Today there’s another emotion retailers should take into account for a holiday season that emphasizes mobile: Expectation. 

2015 holiday shoppers expect to find deals throughout the entire 60-day season.

Last year, diminished interest in date-specific shopping deals left 90.5% of retail revenue up for grabs to nimble retailers with creative campaigns. This year, more retailers are switching tactics to data-driven approaches to plug in along the 60-day shopping window. Some examples include:

  • Running intelligent ad campaigns before the season starts to build up visibility and interest pre-sale with customer segments most likely to buy (based on past interest, relativity to offering, etc.).
  • Prioritizing and incentivizing high-value customers (those most loyal and/or those who spent certain dollar amounts the previous year).
  • Personalizing holiday offers by leveraging historical data on customers’ shopping tendencies (what they shopped for, what they liked, what they bought, what shipping options they preferred).

2015 holiday shoppers expect you to value them by communicating effectively via mobile.

1 in 3 consumers are using a mobile device while they shop to redeem coupons, manage shopping lists and read product reviews. What does it mean for retailers? Just being mobile isn’t enough. Provide an interesting, optimized and cohesive experience across all platforms. Be able to identify and personalize messages to customers through advanced segmentation practices.

Retailers should also be aware of how this mobile shift may impact industry SEO strategy. Mobile-friendliness rankings could mean that retailers who fail to optimize will be relegated to second page search results.

2015 holiday shoppers expect you to tell good stories—both yours and theirs.

Consumers want to engage with stories and campaigns that fit in context with the device they are using.  Beyond great digital advertising campaigns, consumers want to see themselves as part of the story. Personalizing the user experience with customized content that reflects their habits, interests, and who they are, is important for the 2015 holiday shopping season and beyond.

2015 holiday shoppers expect a different kind of digital ad experience.

Retailers on the leading edge of mobile need ways to raise the bar on their customers’ digital experience by intelligently connecting online campaigns across platforms and putting more effort into interactivity.

Video advertising is also expected to accelerate in 2015 on sites such as YouTube, both with 30-60 second ad impressions and more affordable pre-roll.

If you’d like to find out how RadiumOne can help you plan out the 2015 holiday shopping season in more revenue-enhancing ways, contact us today!

Real Time Bidding and Public Exchanges: A Programmatic Primer – Part 1


by Kevin Dalias, Product Solutions Consultant


When the first digital banner ad launched in 1994, old_banner_ad-300x39no one could have predicted that the 468 pixel wide by 60 deep display was the precursor to a highly sophisticated, profitable digital advertising industry.
In the beginning, digital ad placement was a direct negotiation between advertiser and publisher. Today, ad buying, selling and fulfilling ad placement is achieved through intelligently-automated technology, people and processes we call programmatic advertising.

The Birth of The Exchange
As the volume of advertisers, publishers and inventory shot up, marketplaces or “exchanges” were created as a centralized place to make real-time bids for display, video and mobile ad inventory. Today, these exchanges allow ad buyers to simultaneously purchase ads across multiple sites, eliminating tricky and time-consuming direct negotiations.

The two kinds of exchanges involved in the Real Time Bidding (RTB) arm of programmatic advertising include “public” and “private.”

In Part 1 of this RTB primer we define “public” or “public auction” exchanges, who uses this inclusive method of buying and selling digital inventory, its benefits, and what place it holds in the future of programmatic advertising.

Public Exchange Defined
A “public” exchange is a 24/7 technology-driven marketplace where any publisher can add inventory and impressions are public to be bid on by any brand.

Publishers benefit from a public exchange format because of the wide range of advertising budgets accessible to them. Advertisers benefit from public exchanges because of the increased competition and equal access to any impression.

The amount of inventory available in a public exchange across media houses is massive and best serves brands wanting the widest campaign coverage possible. You can think of a public exchange like throwing a party where everyone is invited. You’re going to have to deal with some uninvited guests (traffic authenticity, though a concern, is easily resolved with the right protocols in place), but with an incredibly diverse group of people sharing the same space, things will always be interesting.

Interesting how?
Every advertiser knows that targeting the most relevant audience for their message is critical to increasing performance. A public exchange is open to anyone and everyone–every publisher, every agency and every impression. A private marketplace, however, includes an exclusive group of advertisers hand-picked by their respective publishers. The ability of advertisers to reach their most relevant audiences goes way up when provided with an unlimited “public” resource such as this.

A public exchange…

  • Is public to any and every publisher, agency and individual impression
  • Includes the widest coverage
  • Provides maximum competition for ad space
  • Ensures a wide range of ad budgets to compete for

Major ad exchange operators include:

Google, The Rubicon Project, PublicX, AppNexus and Yahoo.

According to eMarketer, public exchanges will continue to have a commanding lead over private marketplaces well into next year. It is predicted that in 2016, the public exchange will represent 72% of all digital ad spending within RTB.

If you’d like to learn more about programmatic or need help making sense of where your digital ad dollars should go, please contact us.

Next up will be Part 2 of our programmatic primer, Real Time Bidding (RTB) and Private Marketplaces. We’ll discuss benefits, common usage and predicted future growth.

Webinar: Programmatic 101 – The Future of Digital Media Buying


Join RadiumOne and 4As on a webinar September 21, 2015 to learn about “Programmatic 101: The Future of Digital Media Buying”. Register here.

Programmatic is having a profound effect on digital media buying, allowing brands to tap into insights and technologies which were previously not available for advertisers. Programmatic buying is the fastest growing method of buying digital, allowing brands to tap into insights and technologies to help them reach their best prospects at the right time and place.

You can expect to learn from this webinar:

  • What exactly is a programmatic ad-buying platform?
  • Which advertising challenges does programmatic address?
  • Why programmatic buying rules?
  • How programmatic works?
  • Myths and realities
  • Who should attend?

The webinar is ideal for executives at all levels, but especially relevant for those in media planning and buying. It will appeal to any agency personnel who are interested in understanding how programmatic ad buying works, and what makes it so important to the future of advertising.

Register here to learn more.

Back-to-school Buying Season Disappearing? Why Smart Marketers Aren’t Shuddering

By Maryam Motamedi, Director of Marketing


Back to school headlines like “Parents Blow Off Back to School Shopping ” have industry insiders predicting an end to a shopping season that marketers have long relied on to justify their ad spend. This doesn’t mean it’s time to panic. Consumers are still buying back-to-school goods, but on their own time.

Back to school purchases are now being spread out over the course of the year. When a backpack loses a strap, a parent will want to buy a new backpack that week, not wait until the next spring sale. The trick is to offer your target audience a special price on a new backpack at the moment she wants it, which is most likely when she’s shopping on her mobile device.

Today’s shoppers enjoy the information and discovery a good online experience can bring. They expect it and have become savvy, cross-platform consumers, intent on getting the best deal regardless of seasonality. The surge of mobile usage has accelerated the need for marketers to have an agile advertising strategy to follow alongside each customer buying journey—through every environment (couch, brick-and-mortar store, poolside, etc).

Mobile will account for 72% of US digital ad spend in 2019 and is predicted to increase 50% this year alone. Mobile is allowing people to shop differently. They are researching earlier and making buying decisions later. They don’t feel the “get-it-while-you-can” seasonal urgency that advertising once inspired and have taken on much more ownership as to “when, where and why” they buy.

“Consumers are sending a message to retailers that says the back-to-school shopping season just isn’t that important anymore,” said Alison Paul, Deloitte LLP vice chairman and retail and distribution sector leader. “The question for retailers is how to capture the sales that may not fall exclusively in July or August, but increasingly spread throughout the year.”

How can marketers respond right now?

Most companies have already done the data groundwork needed to increase click-throughs and conversions for online shoppers. Success hinges on finding solutions that can put all that big data to work and adding a smart mobile strategy. Programmatic marketing is a game changer in terms of automating, intelligent media buying. These solutions leverage big data and proprietary analytics to book, flight, analyze and optimize all forms of digital data. This means publishers and advertisers can get the right ads in front of the consumers most likely to engage with them—in milliseconds.

If you’ve already adopted programmatic advertising in your retail strategy, you should be in great shape. But, if you aren’t leveraging programmatic advertising, it’s not too late to dodge the back-to-school dilemma before the push to mobile is a necessity for bottom line revenue.

Find out how RadiumOne can add intelligence to your advertising strategy through programmatic marketing: Contact RadiumOne Today! 

Back-to-School Shopping Increasingly Influenced By Mobile and Social Media

By Betty Chen, Senior Marketing Manager


RadiumOne reached out to 1,452 shoppers to gain deeper understanding of mobile usage, social media behaviors, and purchase decisions for the 2015 Back-to-School shopping season.

Data shows parents are increasingly shopping from the comfort of their tablet, laptop, and/or mobile phone.

While the majority of shoppers still plan to shop in-store (90%) for back-to-school products, an increasing percentage plan to do their shopping online (45%, +8% from 2014). Even when consumers buy in stores, 1 in 3 uses a mobile device while they shop.


Receiving coupons, researching, managing lists, and comparison shopping have risen in mobile shopping behaviors:


Facebook is still the top channel for sharing deals and purchases, followed by text messages for purchases and email for deals.


Of those who use live video technology, Apple’s FaceTime was by far the most popular live video app used when shopping.


To learn more about Back-To-School shopping habits and why marketers should consider cross-channel media investments, check out our full Back-To-School infographic or email

Intergenerational Change is Disrupting Connections Norms

By Rupert Staines – Managing Director, Europe


Brands are struggling their way through a disruptive period of ‘intergenerational’ change that is having a profound impact on every facet of business.

Charles Darwin famously said, “It’s not the strongest who survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

One of the biggest challenges facing marketing departments today is that of “connecting the dots” in a rapidly changing world. The increasingly complex, fast-paced, real-time media environment they operate in means that reaching the consumer effectively is the ultimate challenge.

We’re living in the most exciting yet complex media environment ever witnessed so it’s easy to understand why there is the “Connections Conundrum”.  A fundamental shift in behaviour, approach and strategy is required if brands are to succeed.

What is intergenerational change?

We often refer to ‘Generational change’ – significant change that happens once in a generation. It gives businesses a false reference point in that they can broadly plan their product and business cycles around the trends and behaviours of the different generations.

Since around 2004, we started to experience exponential technological change that has taken human and information connectivity to another level. The rapid growth of the internet; Google’s dominance; the rise of social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; the chatter of instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp and WeChat; the advent of the Internet of Things, and much more, has completely changed the reference point for business. This rapid evolution has fundamentally shifted our natural speed of adaptability and necessitated a new norm, which I like to refer to as ‘intergenerational’ change behavior.

Why is it important?

It has spawned new ‘species’ of communication into an ecosystem that most believed was static and not prone to such speed of change. This false comfort has seen severe disruption with many businesses not able to cope or move fast enough. You only have to look at the struggles of Blockbuster, Kodak, Nokia and Blackberry in recent years to understand that not all companies are coping.

What does it mean for brands?

Intergenerational change has empowered consumers and made consumption patterns extremely fluid. It’s also meant that brands and agencies have had to play catch up and adopt new business models to cater for the increasingly empowered consumer. We need to understand how people share content, determine what is relevant to an individual at the right time, and adopt the right communication vehicle while maintaining the integrity and ethics that are increasingly important to people.

Brands need to focus on what makes them relevant and different. The narrative to their customer base needs to be clear and simple so that any communication is highly adaptable and agile to an individual’s pattern of consumption behaviour, which will increasingly align to their engagement with the ‘networks’ that they choose to contract with.

The question is who can move fastest to maximise the opportunity? Who can adapt to change as per Darwin’s famous quote the best? Who will be most responsive to change?

To take full advantage of this intergenerational change brands need to fundamentally shift their structures, behaviours, approaches and attitudes. Many are already doing so and are putting themselves firmly at the forefront of the revolution.

RadiumOne Partners with Students Rising Above to Empower Youth

By Morgan Chilton – Senior Account Manager


RadiumOne recently participated in a career fair with Students Rising Above and had the privilege of meeting bright and driven students. Students Rising Above (SRA) is dedicated to impacting the future by investing in low-income, first generation college students who have demonstrated a deep commitment to education and strength of character while overcoming tremendous odds.

At their semi-annual career fair/workshop, many companies including Cisco, Google, Genentech, and Ritz-Carlton help SRA high school students prepare for the world beyond college. The companies were able to offer some career guidance, conduct mock interview sessions, and review their resumes to ensure that they are set up for success.

Most of the students we met had clearly defined career goals, relevant internships, and were actively searching for opportunities. We were also very impressed with the SRA volunteers who had strong relationships with the students; many of whom have been involved with SRA for 15+ years!

We enjoyed our time at the career fair and look forward to continued involvement with Students Rising Above!