Data costs more, but is it worth it?

We analyzed ads in Q4 of 2011 to see what the correlation was between the cost for targeted ads and completion rate. Not surprising, advertisers who invested in third-party and custom audience data segments were rewarded with higher completion rates. Despite the incremental cost of data targeting, it continues to be a key strategy for video advertisers as the number of Marketplace ads using third-party and custom data has grown a steady monthly average of 28% over the last twelve months.

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Get Ready For Mobile Video Ads Or Get Busy Losing Money

Have you seen the video with the funny cat that jumps into the box? How about the thousands of variations of “Sh*t {insert-your-favorite-group-here} says?” Chances are, if you did, you saw it on your mobile device.  This is no surprise as a recent study cited that over 35% of US adults own a smartphone and of those that own a smartphone, 87% use their phones as an Internet portal.

Similar to how we moved on from propeller planes to jet planes; mobile phones are quickly becoming one of the main ways we consume media. At the same time it makes making it more challenging for brands to reach their ever-more fragmented audiences. For savvy marketers however, harnessing the mobile video trend has its upside and it seems the adoption has already started.

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4 questions you should be asking to make sequential ads work for video

Sequential ads are an online advertising tactic that I’ve seen mainly in display banner advertising. The idea is to show a different ad, one after another to either tell a story, or to push a user further down the purchase funnel.  I’ve seen it work in display because users can become more engaged with a campaign. Recently, I’ve had more and more clients as me, “Can it be done for video?” My answer – absolutely! However, there may be various reasons why we haven’t seen this tactic executed yet.  For instance, it’s likely many advertisers don’t have multiple 15 second or 30 second spots to execute this strategy. But if they do, sequential video ads can be more effective than a standard video campaign and this tactic is easier than you might think.

Like display/banner advertising, it involves basic re-targeting capabilities and a smart ad serving engine. Here are some questions you should consider asking your client to determine whether this tactic is best suited for their ad campaign.

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15 second ads vs. 30 second ads – which costs more?

We get this question quite often from media buyers who equate the length of an online video ad to a typical TV spot. At first glance, most might think a 30 second video spot would cost more since it’s longer. But the fact is, the price for both durations is nearly the same in online video. We tracked the average CPMs for 15 and 30 second spots over the past 8 months, and found the average deviation in price to be a mere $.01.

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What kind of data are advertisers using?

While geo targeting is a given for nearly all video brand advertisers, we wanted to take a closer look and see how different industries were using various types of data, and to some extent no data, to reach their desired audience. Restaurants appear to invest the most heavily in first party data using it target slightly more than 40% of their video campaigns; Wireless is a close second, applying it to 37% of all campaigns.

And while the majority of advertiser categories leverage some sort of third party data, Food and  Beverage brands rely on it the most, applying it to nearly half of all their video ads.

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Online advertising optimization – how far we’ve come in 10 years

10 years ago, I had just left the ad agency world and began my career on the client side of online advertising. The task given to me by my first client, a hardware company in high-tech, was to optimize our online media spend to the lowest possible cost-per-action (CPA). Of course, these were the days before video, mobile, pay-per-click (PPC), interactive banners and geo targeting.

Optimization in this day and age was much like programming a computer in the 1980s – it was a very manual process. In order to optimize the campaign you had to deal with multiple sets of unique creative (all in a single 468×60 banner format) and sometimes dozens of a unique landing pages.  Once it was live and running, the manual process continued when you had to pick up the phone and talk to the publisher in order to have the creative removed from rotation.

Fast forward 10 years later and online advertising has become a much more complex world.  Instead of a single medium we now have video, display web, mobile and social to deal with and the 468×60 banner is completely extinct. Keywords and PPC rule the day and advertisers have more access to a more diversified information sources than ever before, continuingly increasing expectations in return for their investment.

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The case for private video ad marketplaces

We looked at a case study for a successful gaming network and analyzed the relationship between the number of ad sources connecting to its private marketplace and the average CPM. It seems that opening up your inventory to the power of competitive bidding provides some key advantages.

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Re-defining pre-roll for better measurability and performance

Over the last two years, the Marketplace has seen an interesting trend with regards to the demand for pre-roll inventory. What we’re seeing is that buyers are becoming increasingly more willing to run their pre-roll ads in front of content that does not necessarily conform to the IAB definition of pre-roll inventory.

To understand why this is happening, you have to first start with IAB’s initial definition of pre-roll, “…a Linear video ad spot that appears before the video content plays.”  Sounds simple enough, right?

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