The ad tech company Infillion was identified as the top contender to acquire the recently insolvent DSP MediaMath during bankruptcy proceedings on August 23. Given that the company was originally valued at $1 billion, the company’s winning bid of $22 million was a great deal. According to Digiday, MediaMath CEO Joe Zawadski’s investment fund company, AperiumVentures, provided advice on the acquisition. Additionally, he sparked the idea that the ad tech expert would try to get back in touch with the business he created more than 15 years ago. According to court records, Genius Sports, a London-based provider of sports data and video streaming, placed the second-highest bid for MediaMath assets for $20.55 million.
On June 30, MediaMath submitted a Chapter 11 petition. The DSP service provider has a new home thanks to Infillion’s acquisition. The Delaware bankruptcy court accepted Infillion’s cash offer for MediaMath’s DSP and DMP holdings on August 23. One of the ad tech stories this year has also been concluded by a bankruptcy filing. Dozens of businesses have lost money as a result of one of the most well-known names in ad tech’s Chapter 11 procedures. Some others even speculate about what it indicates for the most vibrant industry in digital media.
MediaMath has 16 years of experience in the ad tech sector. However, it has recently had trouble keeping up with rivals like Google, Amazon, and The Trade Desk. It was unable to collect the required cash despite seeking more money a while ago this year and almost concluding a $70 million deal with a possible acquirer. The upshot was that the business filed for bankruptcy, which unfortunately resulted in the loss of nearly 300 employees.
MediaMath was one of the early pioneers in ad tech. It is usually regarded as the very first DSP in the sector. Thus, MediaMath’s surprising Chapter 11 filing roughly two months ago is what prompted the sale. This dramatic tale comes to a close with Infillion’s acquisition as the company’s former customers left. For the latter, the Infillion-MediaMath merger represents a remarkable fall from grace. Infillion will provide a modest 2% of MediaMath’s peak value.
Infillion’s Acquisition of MediaMath
It makes sense for Infillion to include MediaMath in its ad tech portfolio. The location data business Gimbal and the video ad tech platform TrueX gave birth to the video advertising platform. It focuses on the interactive advertising units that Gimbal purchased from Disney. A year ago, Gimbal and TrueX changed their names to become Infillion.
The 15-year-old demand-side platform that MediaMath brings to the story will enable Infillion’s programmatic ad tech stack to take shape. However, the business revealed in its bankruptcy filings that it owed over $125 million in trade obligations to a number of corporations. They include Google, Microsoft’s Xandr, and ad tech firms including PubMatic and Magnite. What will transpire to these outstanding invoices is still up for discussion as Infillion might be interested in rekindling those ties. Infillion is yet to confirm the accountability for MediaMath’s outstanding debt.
Infillion’s founder and executive chairman, Rob Emrich, stated that the company anticipates MediaMath would be in a good spot to expand under new management. In the course of the auction on Wednesday, Emrich expressed his opinion that over the following five years, the MediaMath tech stack will produce $1 billion in inventory traffic, data fees, and hosting contracts.
Our current financial model calls for an additional $30 million [sic] There will be operating losses in the next three years as we bring this business back. Plus an additional $40 million [sic] In working capital.
In any case, Infillion seems certain that it can resurrect MediaMath’s advertising technology and start a new chapter. Whether the acquisition turns out to be profitable or a major oversight on Infillion’s part, only time will tell.
WPP and Optimizely, one of the market leaders in digital experience platforms (DXPs), have formed a strategic worldwide relationship. The alliance will aim at assisting clients in offering customers enhanced digital experiences. This groundbreaking collaboration will serve as WPP’s principal digital experimentation focus and Optimizely’s first global strategic undertaking.
Informed digital experience-focused deal
WPP and Optimizely have collaborated for 17 years through businesses like ACCO businesses, Aegon, Oister, etc. These days, customer standards are higher than ever. With this partnership, Optimizely will enable digital innovation and potential for WPP’s enterprise clients. As a platinum partner of Optimizely, WPP is privy to the latter’s DXP toolkit. These tools include experimentation, commerce, content management, and marketing. By utilizing these technologies, businesses will be able to leverage data to continually improve their digital experiences to increase engagement, conversions, and ROI.
As Google launches Google Optimize, its web and analytics product later this year, the strategic collaboration will also extend to enable partners to seamlessly connect Optimizely’s Web Experimentation and Google Analytics (GA4). WPP and Optimizely have agreed to work together to ensure a smooth transition to a new experimental network that will help brands deliver pertinent features and content.
Here’s what they said
Stephan Pretorius, chief technology officer at WPP stated in the announcement,
“Powerful creativity and effective media strategy can be wasted if brands do not also prioritise conversion. Optimizely’s platform provides data that allows brands to maximise the chance of driving customers through the ideal journey across channels, and we’re excited to develop a joint offering to take to our shared clients.”
Alex Atzberger, CEO of Optimizely remarked,
“The world’s leading companies must have world-leading digital experiences, which can only be achieved through a test and learn approach. Together, WPP and Optimizely will ensure customers get the most out of their experimentation programmes so they can turn insights into increased conversions. We are thrilled to kick off this partnership.”
The goal of Optimizely is to assist people in realizing their full digital potential. They achieve this by reimagining the way that product and marketing teams collaborate to design and enhance digital experiences across multi-channels. They assist businesses all over the world in orchestrating their whole content lifecycle, monetizing each digital experience, and conducting experiments across every customer interaction with the aid of their industry-leading digital experience platforms (DXP). In its 21 international offices, Optimizely employs nearly 1500 people and has more than 700 partners. More than 10,000 companies, including H&M, PayPal, Zoom, Toyota, and Vodafone, benefit from their assistance to improve client lifetime value, boost sales, and develop their brands.
While most of the brands are struggling to survive during the tough times of pandemic, Google has set its goals right for the whole year. It is innovating itself without any trouble. Every month Google targets to enhance itself, according to the growing demand of the society. Google makes sure, that it fulfills the need of its users by providing them with exactly what they desire.
Recently, Google introduced two new features for its search portals. One of the features is designed, and dedicated to the Black community. The feature will help in the upliftment of the community in society and will aim to end the injustice against them.
Due to the rise of anger in the community against the centuries-long injustice experienced by the community, several brands came forward to show their support towards the community. Google was amongst them.
To fulfill his promise, the CEO at Google, Sundar Pichai recently added a feature to the map and Google search listing.
This feature is launched to empower the Black community. The feature will highlight businesses owned by the Black community helping them grow. However, only those members can avail of the benefit whose business has verified profiles in the US. Also, the business must be owned by a member of the black community.
Those businesses highlighted under this feature will be marked by an image(as shown below). The symbol will signify that the business is owned by a member of the Black community.
It is said that the step was taken to provide a financial boost to the community. It is a foreseen step to finally end the orthodox discrimination towards the community. Google is also partnering with U.S. Black Chambers, inc. To provide better features like Analytics helping the businesses groom and blossom.
In a statement regarding this following statement was issued by Google:
“As part of our $300 million commitment to support under-represented entrepreneurs, we’re integrating the attribute into the digital skills training programs we offer Black business owners through Grow with Google Digital Coaches. And through Google for Startups Accelerator for Black Founders, we’re starting our work with the first cohort of 12 startups.”
Google is keen to develop the feature even more and is seeking ideas internally. According to the management, they have already received more than 500 creative ideas to get this model to develop more brilliantly.
The company is also working on better and much strict “Policies against hate and harassment”
“About this ad”- More power to the user!
With a more transparent approach towards their users, Google has launched a new feature popularly known as “About this ad”.
To implement this feature Google will be launching new tools. It will help the users gain information about the advertisement they are receiving. It will help enhance security and will increase user privacy on the digital platform.
According to Google spokesperson, the vision is designed for a “thriving internet where people around the world can continue to access ad-supported content, while also feeling confident that their data is protected”.
“But in order to get there, we must increase transparency into how digital advertising works, offer users additional controls, and ensure that people’s choices about the use of their data are respected not worked around or ignored.”
For a long time now, tech giants like Google are have faced a lot of criticism. Most of those were linked to their explicit behavior when it comes to money and user privacy. After being criticized and called upon several times by different government authorities for blind approach in the business during the usage of advertisers’ money, Google has finally decided to be more transparent with its business policies and proposals.
Therefore, Google shared a list of pricing for its tools used by advertisers for the advertisement. It was a huge step by Google, since before this release, advertisers were kept in the dark about the spent of their share of the money, and the profit earned by Google.
The tools for which Google revealed the prices include, DV360, Google Ads, ad manager, and its publisher tech.
The revealed prices are as follows:
These prices were revealed by Google in a series of articles and blog posts.
The prices are in the ratio of percentage for a $1 amount spent by an advertiser on an advertisement, divided between the publisher and Google.
- Google tech: Publishers – 69%, Google – 31%
- DV360: Publisher – 87%, Google – 13%
- Ad Manager: Publisher – 82%, Google – 18%
- Google Ads: Publisher – 86%, Google – 14%
- Ad sense by Google: 68% share taken by Google of the total spent by the advertiser.
Google has never been so transparent in regards to its prices, the sources say that this new transparent face of Google is due to the ongoing legal hearing conducted by the state attorney general and the Department of Justice.
Innovation has always been the motto of the company. To make sure that the advertisers at Google are equipped with the best tools available in the market, it recently launched its new self-service toolkit known as Display & Video 360.
The tool is launched to change the landscape of the advertisement. Display &Video 360 is a gift to its advertisers by Google.
Earlier, advertisers used the tools to make a hypothetical projection while running an online marketing campaign. The most crucial question that bothered the advertisers was the amount of audience that they will reach with the campaign. To make sure it’s no more a hit and try show for the advertisers, Google launched DV360.
With the DV360, the advertisers can now create a new campaign and check its reach to the audience as the tool provides a duplicate view of the campaign. The duplicate view will help the advertisers view the exact or say a more accurate number of audiences that they will reach with the campaign. Hence, no more blind bets!
The tool has better forecasting capabilities, giving the advertisers a glimpse of the future for their campaign. It is also a better solution for the media planners as it provides them with a large proportion of benefits as better access to the tool as they always have a larger role to play.
The most crucial answer answered with the tool is, “how many unique people can I expect to reach with my overall campaign across any open auction display and video inventory as well as YouTube?”
According to Anudeep Pedditi, Programmatic Manager, OMD NZ:
“Once we commit to a reach objective, neither underachieving nor overachieving is an option. Display & Video 360 gives media planners the accuracy they need to effectively plan across all our programmatic campaigns.”
The Tools main aim is to provide the following features to its advertisers:
Options For Buying
Optimization And Reporting
Google will launch a new algorithm for its page experience and design. The new model will be based on user experience.
The new algorithm will surely affect SEO and web traffic. Therefore, to make sure that the advertisers are not affected by the changes, Google has announced that they will apply the changes in 2021. They have promised to inform upfront, at least six months beforehand.
An early reminder will help advertisers to prepare themselves for the changes.
However, Google made it clear that the new algorithm will be even stricter in ranking the web pages. If the user experience of a web-page is poor, Google will not rank the page on to the top list.
Google has also published a detailed document dedicated to the page experience criteria.
The new algorithm will consist of some core vital features. This feature includes the following:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): Measures the loading performance of your webpage.
- First Input Delay(FID): Measures the user interaction with the page.
- Cumulative layout Shift: Checks the stability factors of your webpage.
The Accelerated Mobile version (AMP) will also play a major role in the ranking of your page, as will be a metrics for the page experience.
Also, good content will always play a lead role in the page ranking.
As per a statement:
“While all of the components of page experience are important, we will prioritize pages with the best information overall, even if some aspects of page experience are subpar.
A good page experience doesn’t override having great, relevant content. However, in cases where there are multiple pages that have similar content, page experience becomes much more important for visibility in Search.”
Hence, entrepreneurs, startups, and businesses should be well prepared for the new changes.
Have you ever imagine the amount of traffic Google experience in a minute, month, or year?
Well, here are some fun facts, every second there is an approximate of 63,000 search queries entered on Google search.
Also, near to 2 trillion searches are conducted every year!
Isn’t it amazing? However, you might ask, why does it matter?
Let us understand!
Google holds an approximate 72% market share of search engines. To make sure that your webpage is listed on the top of the list of Google search results you must have an understanding of Google SERP (Search Engine Result Page).
What is SERP? And, what all it provides to the advertisers on Google?
The Search Engine Result Page of Google has gone through a lot of changes according to the user view. It has become much more dynamic, relevant, personalized, and helpful.
Now the search engine of Google is equipped with several enhancements that use structured data. The search page consists of visual enhancement, better index, and optimization for the website. You must be aware of all these changes if you are planning for a better organic ranking for your website.
Here is the new enhancement for the search page of Google:
- Direct answer Box
- Rich Snippet
- Rich cards
- Knowledge Graphs
- Knowledge Panels
- Local Pack
- People also ask
- Image Pack
- Site Links
You must be equipped with the knowledge of these for better results in organic ranking.
MSME’s got adversely affected due to the widespread of COVID-19. Several small and medium scale businesses have lost their source of income due to the sudden breakthrough of this epidemic.
Therefore to make sure that these businesses sustain the effects of the crisis, Google is allowing small retailers to list their products for free on Google Shopping.
Explaining this decision, Bill Ready, President of Commerce at Google cites the fact that it is difficult for struggling businesses to pay for Google shopping listings at this time.
“And as consumers increasingly shop online, they’re searching not just for essentials but also things like toys, apparel, and home goods.
While this presents an opportunity for struggling businesses to reconnect with consumers, many cannot afford to do so at scale.”
Earlier, Google charged its customers as Pay per click (PPC). It can also be seen as a tactic by Google to compete with Amazon in the market of e-commerce.
Two years ago, Google announced that it will discontinue the usage of third-party cookies in its browser, which is Google Chrome. Since the announcement, several speculations surfaced, to understand its effects on internet traffic and advertisement. However, Google seems determined about the elimination, and this year Google announced “Privacy Sandbox” a step towards the replacement of third-party cookies.
It is developed to provide a secure browsing experience to its user.
According to a spoke person from Google, “This is an early-stage concept, and we don’t have more details to share right now, We plan to publish updates and progress in GitHub as part of the process.”
The concept uses a new algorithm designed by performing “Bit Request Signal Experiment”.
Privacy Sandbox was launched in August. The idea was to innovate ad recurrence and behavioral advertising. It aimed to help them work on the web without using third-party cookies. A mega event was organized, 163 giant tech organizations like Apple, Facebook, Axel Springer, The Washington Post, Criteo, The Trade Desk, and even Google participated. All are requested to share their views via. World Wide Web Consortium or GitHub to help the project succeed.
However, according to the Google developers, it is still in its initial stage and there is a lot of work that is needed to be done in this field.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai explained:
“As the coronavirus outbreak continues to worsen around the world, it’s taking a devastating toll on lives and communities. To help address some of these challenges, today we’re announcing a new $800+ million commitment to support small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), health organizations and governments, and health workers on the frontline of this global pandemic.”
- WHO and other health organizations will get $250 million for advertisement.
- MSME’s and NGO’s will get $200 million.
- An additional $15 million in cash will be granted by Google.org to non-profits to bridge the gap between SMB’s.
- Those small businesses that are already active for a year with Google advertisement will get the help of a total of $340 million in Google ad. They will receive the credit in their accounts and can spend it by the end of 2020.
- The academic and research institutions in the field of COVID research will get $20 million.
- Financial support will be provided to the organizations to increase the production capacity for life-saving equipment.
However, not everything went great for Google during this tough time of COVID:
- Budget cuts and hiring freezes across marketing and across Google.
- For the second half of 2020, Google is cutting its marketing budget to 50%.
- The cut is due to the reduced expenditure on advertisement by the brands during the time of the crisis.
- The development comes in less than a week from where Google is scheduled to discuss Q1 2020 results on 28th April.
According to a statement released by email:
“There are budget cuts and hiring freezes happening across marketing and across Google…We, along with the rest of marketing, have been asked to cut our budget by about half for H2.”
A company spokesperson said in an emailed statement to CNBC,
“As we outlined last week, we are re-evaluating the pace of our investment plans for the remainder of 2020 and will focus on a select number of important marketing efforts….We continue to have a robust marketing budget, particularly in digital, in many business areas.”
…we continue to invest, but will be recalibrating the focus and pace of our investments in areas like data centers and machines, and non-business essential marketing and travel.”
As quoted by Digiday, the Head of Display at the U.S based retailer said,
“Google’s ad exchange didn’t make the list primarily because they’re not willing to give us any transparency or data around not only their take rates on our media sped but also anything we could already pull from our demand-side platform.”
“We’re seeing Google’s ad exchange become slightly less of the total pie,” said Jay Friedman, president at programmatic agency Goodway Group to DigiDay.
”I don’t have a percentage but it’s less but not significant.”, he further added.
The advertisers registered their doubts and raised concerns regarding the non-transparent behavior of Google. However, this must have been resolved after the release of the price list for its advertising tools by Google.
Google is all set to reveal its new initiative to fight the dominant Amazon in the e-commerce business.
After a series of serious attempts made by Google, to end the monopoly of Amazon in prior consecutive years, that is in 2013, 2014, 2017, and 2019. 2020 seems to be severely crucial as more customers are turning towards the online market every day, due to the COVID virus spread across the world.
Google announcement was a clear indication in the direction of its plans to spread its roots in the online market. Google has declared to charge lesser sales commission from the sellers on its platform and will also let third-party sellers like Shopify to use its platform.
Currently, the commission rates of Google’s online sales platform range from 5 percent to 15 percent depending on the category of the product.
Google might dominate the field of knowledge and information when trying to search for information. But, when it comes to searching and buying goods online, Amazon is the first choice of consumers. Due to consumers’ first choice as e-commerce, Amazon is spreading its wings in the advertisement market, which is a clear threat to Google’s core source of earning.
Google has taken several hits during these years while competing with Amazon. In a seven-year-long battle with Amazon, Google introduced several products to compete with Amazon. However, none of them succeeded. One such attempt at Google was Google Shopping Express! The service launched in 2013, offered one-day delivery for groceries. The users can take an annual membership for $95 and can avail of faster service. However, Google ended up shutting down the project.
After its failed attempts with Google Shopping Express, Google decided to convert it into Google online Mall. The Google online Mall included retailers like Best Buy and Target. In 2017, Google partnered with Walmart. This deal was supposed to bring many fortunes to the Google online market, but unfortunately, the partnership ended too soon.
However, never giving up Google, added a buy button to its search engine. The online-button allowed the users to directly purchase the search engine, with the help of their credit and debit cards.
For an effective competition strategy with Amazon, Google brought in Bill Ready. Bill Ready was a former executive at PayPal.
The announcement in April came as a piece of happy news for the retailers. Now, retailers can list their products for free on Google online market listing. However, early the sellers had to buy the ads to get their products listed with Google. By this step, Google is expecting to attract huge audiences!
Mr. Ready, in an interview, described the position of E-commerce across the world. According to him, there is a wide range of audiences who are shopping online for their needs. Although, there is just a handful of platforms entertaining all of them.
“We want to make sure selling online is easy and inexpensive,” said Mr Ready. Follow
According to Google spokesperson, the changes will be visible to the people in the USA. Those who are already listing products on Amazon can use the same listing on Google, that is, without making any changes to the format.
The aim of Google is to take over Amazon, or at least, for the time being, be the biggest competitor. However is a 20 minutes long conference, Mr. Reddy shy out to take the name of their competitor, even for once.
Even when asked the question to name the largest rain forest in South America, Mr. Ready decided to dodge the question.
Although, he stated:
“Consumers benefit from a diverse and thriving ecosystem of sellers.” Adding that, “There is no one player that can serve all the needs of consumers.”
- The Ad studio debuted in 2017 and thereafter Spotify has nearly doubled its user base.
- Spotify witnessed an 11% rise globally in mobile downloads.
- Spotify reports an average of 25% of overall ad revenue from video accounts.
- In the past one year, Spotify has witnessed a 68% increase of active advertisers, with double the ads running.
Spotify has announced video advertising on Ad studio, its self-serve platform, in Canada, the U.K, and the U.S. This update is available to select advertisers in the recently added test markets to Ad Studio in April.
The Ad Studio was created initially for small and medium-sized advertisers to connect with Spotify listeners and create budget-friendly, customized audio ads for the platform. In April, it had expanded to 18 more markets and exited the beta version.
Spotify Push into Video Ads can increase brand awareness and brand recall.
Spotify said that often users on other platforms prefer viewing video ads muted, however, Spotify listeners are’ engaging with their sounds on.’ Complimenting their audio ad offering, video ads will give brands a visual storytelling opportunity for the in-focus moments.
The streaming giant further notes that running video ads with audio produces higher brand results than going solely for video ads. Video ads with sound-on lead to 1.9x ad recall and 2.2x increase in brand awareness, according to the company data.
The company said in a statement,
“Unlike many other platforms, on Spotify, listeners are already engaging with their sound on, offering a valuable opportunity for a brand’s message to be seen and heard. This multisensory experience can extend a brand’s audio ad strategy, providing another touchpoint to capture listeners’ attention and share messages across all relevant moments.”
Rise in advertisers using Spotify Ad Studio’s creative perk
Ad studio that is available in 22 countries globally has leveled up the playing field in creative production by offering a free service to generate a brand’s ad spot. Advertiser on Spotify’s Ad Studio can upload a script and in as little as one hour (48 hours in some cases) they will deliver a fully produced ad that includes music and voice over.
The company said that 37% of Ad Studio customers rely on their free voiceover tool for ad creation. Additionally, 50% of its advertisers used this tool in May, which is an 11% rise from March.
Ad Studio offers two options of ad format for video ads- horizontal video and vertical video. Horizontal video can run across all platforms and vertical video is optimized for iOS and Android.
Why should brands advertise on Spotify?
Spotify Ad Studio enables brands to reach targeted and relevant customers. Their programmatic audio advertising is the best way to reach Gen X and beyond.
If you think ads may annoy the listeners of Spotify, think again. Statistics by Acquisio states, 75% of digital audio listeners think commercials are totally fine on a free streaming service. 47% think ads are even less intrusive on Spotify than traditional radio.
For instance, brands targeting the hip audience that are interested in current trends can consider advertising on Spotify. Advertisers can take advantage of the Spotify data of logged users like moods, preferences, listening habits, interests, and activities. This will help brands to create customized ads.
Snap introduced an array of new products and partnerships for Snapchat including original shows, Minis, new lenses, new navigation bars, and games at the 2020 Snap Partner Summit.
The highlight of the event was Minis – a suite of miniature apps developed by third parties that will run inside Snapchat. This will be integrated into the Snapchat chat window that would allow users to buy movie tickets, shop with friends or meditate.
In an interview with The Verge, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel said,
“Let’s say you’re getting ready with your friends, or your school dance is two weeks from now — you can actually shop together with your friends, which I think could be a really fun experience.”
What Snap Announced:
-Minis are web-based apps built on HTML-5 for Android and iOS.
-Minis will start rolling out next month on Snapchat with the first seven minis.
-A mini-app by Coachella to coordinate and plan a festival line up with the friends.
-A mini version of Headspace to meditate and send encouraging messages to friends.
-A mini-app by Tembo to create flashcards for studying,
-A mini-app by Atom to buy movie tickets, pick seats, and choose timings.
Why They Matter:
– The inclusion of mini-apps will increase Snapchat’s functionality and potentially making it a one-stop app like WeChat for GenZ.
– The main purpose behind creating minis is creating eCommerce avenues as its main competitor WhatsApp has already ventured into digital payments and shopping.
– The company’s growth is stable in the messaging space but is not big enough to compete with the likes of Facebook and Google for ad revenues in the long term.
– As a result, it plans to build an ecosystem that revolves around its camera technology to unlock new revenue generation options.
What’s New For Brands:
– Brands especially looking to target the younger audience should consider developing a Snap Mini to provide services and ensure easy accessibility to Snapchat users.
– It is easy to maintain a mini-app than a full-size app as brands can leverage the Snapchat’s user base to gain traction.
By The Numbers:
– These miniatures applications are compared to WeChat’s mini-programs that generated $113 billion for Tencent last year, according to The Verge.
– Snap execs revealed that it reached over 229 million daily active users on average in the first quarter of this year, with over 100 million in the U.S. alone. (That’s larger than TikTok or Twitter’s U.S. footprint.)
And, there’s lots more from the 2020 Snap Partner Summit:
1. Camera Kit: It allows developers to bring Snapchat’s AR capabilities and engagement into their own apps that enable apps like Squad to create a co-viewing experience while video chatting with friends.
2. Dynamic Lenses: It allows developers to bring real-time information from their app into Snapchat lenses.
3. Bitmoji For Games: A cross-platform avatar for gaming on mobile, PC, or console. This means it is easier for a user to maintain a uniform gaming identity online by using one avatar across all games.
4. Snap Games: An interactive way for friends to play the game on mobile which includes “Bitmoji Party.”
5. Lens Studio: A free and new desktop feature that allows developers to bring their machine learning models to power lenses. For the first SnapML creations, the company partnered with Prisma, Wannaby, and others.
6. Local Lenses: A new feature that allows users to create 3D worlds on top of their building and or decorate nearby buildings with colorful paints and have a new AR experience.
7. Scans: Snap expanded its scan platform and announced new partners for plants, dogs, and nutrition information. Plant Snap will help the user identify 90% of all known plants and trees. Dog Scanner to identify 400 breeds, Yuka will launch a nutrition scanner to provide ratings on the quality of ingredients in the packaged foods and Louis Vuitton will help users scan the monogram to be transported into the inspiration behind their latest collection.
8. Voice Scan: It allows users to issue voice commands to find lenses.
- Snapchat announced a new advertising product called Dynamic Ads. It brings automated customization to ads and is designed to make it easy for brands to set up their e-commerce business on Snapchat.
- Snap first introduced Dynamic Ads in 2019 to e-commerce retailers in the U.S and began testing the ad unit last October.
- The stock was down 1% after the company launched Dynamic Ads in the U.K, Europe, Australia, and the Middle East after being offered only in the U.S.
- Google and Facebook both offer brands Dynamic Ads.
Snapchat Dynamic Ads or Dynamic Product Ads (DPAs) allow a brand to automatically create ads in real-time based on their own product catalogs which may contain hundreds of items. This means if a price or availability changes, ads will be updated automatically with less human intervention. Dynamic ads will make selling products easier for retailers and brands and can serve Snapchat’s 229 million daily active users based on their interests. Snap offers five templates to advertisers to showcase their products in a way that they look native.
Here is the example of the template after a product is populated:
Brands like Adidas, FarFetch, and Topshop were amongst the first brands to test Snapchat Dynamic Product Ads and all reported positive sales results from showcasing their products and services through customized ad formats.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Adidas has further accelerated its digital business and eCommerce is their key focus in 2020. Adidas test in Europe elicited positive feedback:
“We’re excited to beta test Snapchat’s Dynamic Ads in the U.K., Germany, France, and the Netherlands. Within weeks we saw a 52% growth in ROAS (return on advertising spend) and we have subsequently grown our investment.”
“The launch of DPAs allows us a route to reach our target Gen Z and Millennial audiences with relevant product creative throughout the consumer journey.”
– Rob Seidu, Sr. Director of Media Activation, Europe
FarFetch chief marketing officer Gareth Jones said that there is a shift in consumer interaction with eCommerce as consumers are increasingly shopping on their mobile phones during the COVID-19 lockdown which is expected to continue. Jones added that Snapchat Dynamic Ads have transformed the brand’s activity across the entire sales funnel.
“We lent heavily into DPAs during the testing period and we have seen significant success that has translated into high-quality customers and ultimately transactions. We plan to continue to build on our relationship with Snapchat and we see them as an always-on partner.”
Topshop was the first brand to do a beta test and it achieved four times the UK benchmarks for ROAS within two weeks. According to Topshop,
“DPAs have allowed Topshop to reach Snapchatters with high-quality, and relevant ads throughout the consumer journey, and based on such strong results, the activity will be scaled and launched into further markets over the coming weeks.”
Implications on Business
Lockdown has forced many businesses to shift their focus to eCommerce and keep up with consumer demands. According to Interactive Media in Retail Group, online sales reached a 10-year high in April, marking a year-over-year increase of 23.8%.
Snap reported revenue of $462 million in the first quarter, up more than 44% over the first quarter of 2019 and ad revenue grew as they relied on big-spending large advertisers.
According to Ed Couchman, general manager of Snapchat U.K,
“The coronavirus has accelerated the need for businesses to look at their digital sales channels and encouraged them to be more innovative in how they do that.”
“Since we opened up the beta testing I was impressed at the number of businesses who wanted to get involved – far above what we expected – which really shows the appetite for brands to get on board with e-commerce.”
“We are seeing strong results from advertisers in multiple sectors from high street clothing stores to food delivery who have been testing the product.”
Google announced a new ranking algorithm -Page Experience- designed to evaluate web pages based on the user’s experience.
Will this impact my traffic and SEO? Yes.
But the good news is — it will be rolled out in 2021. Google said it will provide six months’ notice beforehand. So, there is ample time to prepare for it.
What is Page Experience?
Page Experience measures aspects of how a user perceives the experience of interacting with a web page. Simply, it means if Google thinks that the user experience is poor on your pages, it may not rank those pages as highly as of now.
Here is an example that Google doesn’t want users to experience.
In the above GIF shared by Google, the user was trying to click on “No, go back “ but because of an install bar pop up, it pushed the whole page down and led the user to click on “Yes, place my order” accidentally.
The purpose of this Google Page Experience update is to ensure that the sites that rank on top are not creating experiences that users hate. This shift is a step to a big change in SEO.
Google has a detailed developer document on the page experience criteria. The new Page Experience update uses the existing Google ranking factors -page speed, mobile-friendly, safe browsing, HTTPS, presence of intrusive ads, and now also layout shifts Google is refining metrics around speed and usability and these refinements are under Core Web Vital.
What are the core web vital?
They include real-world, user-centered metrics, that give scores on aspects of pages such as load time, interactivity, and the stability of content as it loads.
The core web vitals and existing Google ranking factors make the new Page Experience algorithm.
These are the core web vitals factors:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): Measures the Loading performance and should occur within 2.5 seconds of when the page starts loading.
- First Input Delay (FID): Measures the user’s interactivity with the page and pages should have an FID of less than 100 milliseconds.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Measures visual stability of a page which means pages don’t have jumping buttons. The page should maintain a CLS of less than 0.1.
Additionally, a web page should not contain malicious or deceptive content, mobile-friendly, content easily available to users, and should be servers over HTTPS.
Preparation for this update
Google is adapting its algorithm to closely align with its aim of showing the sites first that the user likes. According to Google, changes will not happen before early next year, so no immediate action is needed.
This update will use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), page experience metrics for scoring purposes if you have an AMP version of your page.
Good content will still be the most important factor despite a poor page experience.
“While all of the components of page experience are important, we will prioritize pages with the best information overall, even if some aspects of page experience are subpar.
A good page experience doesn’t override having great, relevant content. However, in cases where there are multiple pages that have similar content, page experience becomes much more important for visibility in Search.”
The future will say how big will this update be, till then start preparing for it as sites will get better with this update.
Roundtable with Industry experts
Here are the tweets from the roundtable that Google had with industry folks – Glenn Gabe and Aleyda Solis:
First, the update will be page-level like some other algos (https, mobile-friendly, etc.) But if there are many pages that have the same issues, they can all be impacted. Hard to say yet how much impact that would be. Could be lightweight, maybe stronger. But again, page-level. pic.twitter.com/4yiu49vKp7
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) May 28, 2020
The Page Experience update will combine the new core web vitals with previous factors like mobile-friendly, https, mobile-popup algo, etc. I asked if those would be changing strength-wise. They didn't have anything to share about that. My guess is no, but anything is possible. pic.twitter.com/2EG4uXfhDa
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) May 28, 2020
If a new core web vital is added in the future, it should not shock anyone. It won't be out of the blue. The metric will be written about, talked about, documented, etc. pic.twitter.com/GjA9okmmYb
— Glenn Gabe (@glenngabe) May 28, 2020
If a page has an AMP alternate that is shown to the user, then Google will take the AMP page into consideration to assess the page experience signal, since it’s the one that the users see.
— Aleyda Solis 🇺🇦 (@aleyda) May 28, 2020
* The signals taken into consideration for "page experience" will evolve and be updated yearly.
* And a confirmation: The new Page Experience as ranking signal won't be happening until next year, so there's enough time to improve things if there's the need 🙂
— Aleyda Solis 🇺🇦 (@aleyda) May 28, 2020
On His Hustle As An AdTech Entrepreneur, Industry Insights, And More: Interview With Digitalks Founder, Mohit Jain
Mohit Jain has been working in the AdTech space for over a decade in various capacities, the recent being the founder and chief consultant in his own venture- Digitalks in Dubai. He is passionate about data analytics, and particularly enthusiastic about the endless possibilities with the integration of technology and marketing. He has spent the last 15 years working focused on digital advertising & data and has worked with some of the biggest & brightest agency names in the MENA region.
Today he shares with us his thoughts and insights about not just the latest developments in AdTech, but also his hustle as an entrepreneur at Digitalks.
Mohit, firstly, tell us what made you take the leap from your already established career to starting your own venture, Digitalks?
I have just loved working with the agencies throughout my career span and that’s where I learnt the skills which made me whatever I am now but at some point, the work became quite repetitive, dealing with similar challenges over & over again, enormous work pressure and 14 – 16 hours working days was impacting work-life balance. On top of that, I wasn’t able to develop new skills to keep up with the pace of the industry. That’s when I decided to take this leap and take control. I am very glad I took this decision at the right time.
What unseen opportunities do you aim to tap with Digitalks?
I don’t know about unseen but I am trying to position Digitalks in between a world that sits between Marketing & IT i.e. Ad Tech. I think of us as “technical marketers” who understand how marketing communications succeed in the digital world and who can code at the same time and tie both worlds together with the help of data and that is why we call ourselves “Data Whisperers”.
Speaking about AdTech, what recent developments are you most thrilled and concerned about? You can cite one example for each.
Frankly, I am more concerned about how advertisers make use of existing AdTech they have access to.
Agencies are great in promising bells and whistles and sharing incredibly beautiful stories using words such as big data, artificial intelligence, deep learning, machine learning, etc but they fail miserably in fixing the foundations and most basic things in their AdTech. I’ll be very happy if they can simply just use Excel and Google Analytics properly to their full potential, to begin with.
How much importance or budget do today’s Advertisers give to data compared to their marketing budgets? Do they have separate budgets allocated for data alone (similar to marketing budgets)?
The true fact today is that the budgets for projects related to data come out from overall marketing budgets. Unfortunately there are not many advertisers who set budgets aside specifically for data specific work in the region we operate in but the situation is rapidly changing. Businesses seek more accountability and this can be only measured by data so things are already shifting. I believe that Covid-19 pandemic is going to further strengthen the budgets in this direction.
Is DMP mandatory for all the Advertisers who are spending their budgets across multiple platforms. Isn’t that a costly affair for small & mid-sized Advertisers?
DMP is an enterprise technology and definitely not for SMEs. In my opinion, DMP is a dying technology which is severely impacted by walled gardens from Google & Facebook, the war of browsers against cookies, GDPR & similar laws, and most importantly it is dying because DMP ad tech companies oversold & overcharged advertisers to a great extent and then they failed miserably in delivering the business results.
Marketers often get confused between DMP & CDP. Can you please simply state the difference between them both and which one should the Advertisers pick first?
Both of these terms can be confusing for someone who doesn’t work with these platforms closely. The confusion is understandable as both technologies claim to collect, unify, segment and activate customer data across digital channels. In simple words, think of a DMP as a big database that collects addressable “cookies” of your prospects & customers and provides a capability to push this data to outside activation platforms so you can reach them with the right message wherever they are or use this data to personalize their experiences on your website or app. On the other hand, think of CDP as a “data pipe” to pass your own customer data to multiple places depending on the use cases such as when someone fills up a lead form on your website you want to send this data to your CRM, to your email marketing vendor, to your SMS vendor, Google’s & Facebook’s of your world so you can target these users online and then also trigger a workflow to your contact centre partner in India so they can schedule a call with your sales team.
What’s your take on Google disabling the third-party cookies in Chrome? How is it going to affect the data industry of advertising?
It does mean the honeymoon is over for some companies and it is going to impact the audience sizes available in your DSP based on interest and affinity however as the biggest budgets are going to Google, Facebook, Amazon and new social channels such as Snap and TikTok – these guys have built their companies on data they own so I am sure nothing is going to change for them as they will figure out a way however for consumers it does mean more “privacy”. I think it was a very smart move from Google as they prepared themselves clearly to tackle this situation before they announced the change to the world. They gave themselves a 2 years deadline too. Cookies track consumers on the web but things would really change when this rule will be applied on mobile apps as well where cookies are not present and the glue is the device ID of the consumer which is a more powerful piece of data than a cookie. It would be interesting to see how the future will unfold on this front.
Should Advertisers keep buying third-party data from DMPs for their campaigns on programmatic? Is it really worth spending those additional dollars on this data?
It depends on what is your objective. If you are a CPG advertiser looking for mass reach, then these 3rd party datasets can be useful but if you are a performance-driven advertiser then in my experience these 3rd party datasets don’t bring the results they seek. 3P data bought from a DMP or through a DSP is more or less the same but the data volumes of a DMP-based 3rd party data could be higher depending on how that segment was configured.
Coming back to your company Digitalks, how do you plan to increase your verticals and business overall? Is there any expansion plan on cards?
We are a talent-driven business and expansion for us means bigger team sizes. A lot of companies prefer the “hire fast fire fast” approach but that is not my style.
I am not too concerned about the business as there is too much work out there if you know what you are doing. In addition, I don’t want me or my team to end up working 18 hours a day.
What would you suggest to the young Digital Advertising professionals who are looking to build their career around data science? Is there any specific course or education that you would want to recommend to them to enhance their skills?
I think the first piece of advice I give to young professionals entering into the world of data is to understand where they want to start first. I see 3 very broad categories-
- Folks who focus on data collection and who can code, build data pipes, build data lakes, work with APIs, etc
- Folks who can take this data and give it a shape in the form of a report, dashboard, analysis, etc
- Folks who can go beyond and use this data in machine learning, artificial intelligence, statistical modelling and beyond.
At some point when you keep working on multiple projects, the lines become blurry and you start learning skills outside your core focus area naturally. Once you determine where you want to start then choose a course of your choice. There are so many providers out there that the choices have rather too many and confusing to choose. Coursera, Code Academy, EDX, Udacity, Udemy, Data Camp, Pluralsight, etc… the list goes on and on. However, folks who are interested in developing skills more focused on digital advertising & surrounding ecosystems than I highly recommend CXL.com. In all cases, newcomers should first start using the free training courses from Google, IBM, Harvard, Coursera and other technology providers which provide specific pieces of training related to their platforms.
The last question- During this unprecedented Coronavirus phase, brands are becoming conservative about their marketing strategies and spends. How do you think this will affect the overall Digital advertising industry? Does data have a role to play here to help the marketers float through?
The need for measuring every dollar spent is always critical but now due to the CoronaVirus situation, this demand is at its peak. Data has played a great role and will continue to do so in bringing this clarity to advertisers. The advertising budgets were already shifting to online but I think CoronaVirus will work like jet fuel and will speed up the journey of all advertisers who were missing out and will also fuel more money coming to online channels from offline channels.
More and more consumers will go online and as a result demand and supply both will increase however I think brands will be more driven to spend on performance campaigns than just branding campaigns. That right mix between branding & performance will make or break sense from a brand’s advertising budgets. Data will continue to proliferate and how advertisers make use of this data will be the only differentiator left between a successful brand vs average brand.
Lotame, the world’s leading unstacked data solutions company is looking to help publishers, marketers, media, and agencies to leverage their first-, second-, and third-party data to create and analyze audience segments with a new suite of data enrichment products called ‘Lotame Panorama’.
The suite will help users find customers, increase engagement and growth revenue across the cookie challenged web browsers like Safari, Chrome and Firefox, mobile devices, and OTT environments.
Jason Downie, chief revenue officer, Lotame, said,
“First-party data is a valuable asset, but unfortunately it doesn’t provide the scale marketers need. Bridging together customers’ online and offline lives has been a persistent industry dilemma that was made even more complicated with recent browser changes. To solve for this, we developed Panorama which enables a fuller view of activity that is actionable across a connected ecosystem, even in cookie-challenged or first-party-cookie-only environments.”
Unwrapping data enrichment services
Panorama offers two solutions, one for marketers and agencies, the other for publishers and media companies. Lotame has unveiled three data enrichment services powered by Cartographer, Lotame’s ID graph technology.
- Panorama Insights: It offers a varied set of curated data tools and analysis for better storytelling, prospecting, segmentation, and modeling without cookies needed. It connects users’ first-party data to second and third-party data across the web, mobile, and OTT devices from 250+ online and offline data providers.
- Panorama Buyer: It ensures that media buyers connect customers’ attributes across first-, second- and third-party data to create an addressable audience in the cookie-challenged environment.
- Panorama Seller: This allows publishers to monetize their inventory across the web, mobile, and OTT through direct or programmatic advertising. It also enables publishers to set exact CPM’s in cookie challenged environments.
Panorama launches as publishers and others that rely on extensive data sets may have to struggle to find the scale they need. Lotame has appointed Ruby Brenden as head of data products to drive Panorama Insights forward. Brendan said,
“I have spent the last decade helping innovative marketing companies launch products. I am excited to launch Panorama, a solution that is exactly what the industry needs as third-party cookies start fading out. Insights will give marketers and agencies a single, trusted place to uncover relevant data stories and build smarter, addressable audiences, which means better advertising for consumers.”
Customers Signing for new Lotame Panorama products
Companies like Procter & Gamble and IPG’s Cadreon have already signed up for the new Lotame Panorama products.
Clients agree and testify,
Paras Mehta, Business Head – India, at Cadreon said,
“Understanding customer attributes and behaviors is key to our data-driven strategy when working with advertisers. Data enrichment using high-quality second and third-party data like Lotame’s enables us to draw insights we wouldn’t have access to with first-party data alone. We look forward to leveraging more of Lotame’s data solutions to deliver the exceptional service and results Cadreon is known for.”
Tim Hung, marketing director and lead of media, P&G Hong Kong & Taiwan said,
“Improving the lives of consumers around the world isn’t just our mission, but our daily practice..This requires getting to know those customers through the use of high-quality second and third-party data vetted and verified by Lotame. As cookie blocking becomes more prevalent, data enrichment solutions like Panorama will become even more important for global brands like P&G to understand customers and engage with them in meaningful and respectful ways everywhere they are.”
Partners at launch include Domo amongst others. Jeff Skousen, GM, North American Corp/Ent Sales, at Domo said “We’re excited to partner with Lotame to power Panorama Insights.” He further added,
“By dynamically integrating data and delivering live visualizations, Lotame is providing brands bespoke audience real-time insights in a digestible, actionable format to improve analysis, prospecting, segmentation, and data modeling.”