#next11 - Boon and Bane of Analytics

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Warning: liveblogging. Here be error, inaccuracy and typos…


Media track session on data-drive publishing…

Host: Anitra Eggler

Started as a journalist, became infected by the media fever, and ran several startups from the mid-90s. One principle: whereever there is an elephant in the room we like to mention him…

What is the elephant here? The debate is about data; data is the new black; trendy. Publishers are agonising about how to monetise their advertising. But, in the absence of good data, they still don’t know what price to sell their data-driven advertising at. And all this activity being threatened by privacy regulation. Is the cookie about to be shackled? Is the click dead and data the new currency. Is semantic the way to go? Are we becoming data slaves?

Smart use of data will define good media businesses.

Thomas Promny, Velvet Ventures

Thomas Promny

Various players are trying to move us into the next era of targeting. Gutenberg gave us the content target era. The Google team gave us the search targeted era. But if you topics are extremely innovative, no-one is searching for it. Data driven targeting could mean the end of wastage. The key is real time pricing. More and more data streams are becoming available, including social networks, that allow us to target people’s intentions so much more accurately.

Right now, we have loads of advertisers, but only a small proportion are suitable for display advertising. With increased data flows around people, eventually everyone should be a potential display advertisers – moving from search to display advertising.

Wow. He’s just put up a slide of all the inter-related companies in the online advertising space – complex? Or a mess? Or an opportunity to bring together more and more data before you serve up an ad? If we can transition people to display advertisings, the return on online publishing will shoot up. Premium publishers are scared of this. Why? Because people start buying audiences NOT sites – underlying ad trafficking can publish to people wherever they are. The business might get more profitable, but it won’t get easier. They need to learn new skills to use data in a virtuous cycle, to ensure they’re attracting valuable audiences.

Jason Kelly, AdMeld

Jason Kelly of AdMeld

AdMeld is a “Supply side platform” – works with over 400 “premium” publisher clients worldwide. Kelly spent 10 years within the airline industry, working with Virgin, helping move it into the US, then moved to Time Inc and then AdMeld. Travel has moved a long way since the era of the travle agent . Advertising is still in a “legacy system” era, with traditional tools. The airline business went through a series of changes from the 70s onwards, that allowed them to manager and sell directly to different tiers of demand. This change hasn’t removed middlemen between airlines and passengers, but it has fundamentally changed them to a combinations of online sites and highly-specialised, personalised agency services.

Publishers are coming through a similar cycle, where online services have emerged, but publishers are realising that they need to investing in their own people and systems around sophisticated ad-targeting if they are to keep up with their clients’ needs.

Realtime Bidding: bidding for a cookie to serve ads against in real time. In the US, there was a lot of skepticism about it at the end of 2009. By the middle of 2010, people were opening up to it, and now they are hitting mainstream adoption. $823m of business right now… They manage ad networks, and are seeing tags as their revenue source dropping from 85 to 46% over a year, thanks to the rise of RTB.

Lots of players moving into this space, and innovation is happening really fast. Publishers need to rise to the challenge. If you don’t like change,. you’ll like irrelevance even less.

[The next presenter was in German, so I had no idea what he was saying – something about affiliate marketing and online dating]

[Final speaker in German, too, so bailing on this one]

NEXT11AdMeldadvertisingdisplay advertisingmonetisationuser data

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.