Leading Operations Online

This morning, Adobe announced it would cease development of Flash Player by the end of 2020, along with its roadmap for killing it off with minimal disruptions to user experience. It’s almost surprising to finally hear it from Adobe—much of the digital world has been bracing for a Flashless world for years. For a good time, Google “death of Flash” or “Flash dead.” The digital trail suggesting Flash is past its use-by date goes back seven years, easily. (I’m looking forward to the end of “death of Flash” headlines, personally—bring me to the Death of Death of Flash already!)

And yet, despite all those morbid proclamations, it’s 2017 and we’re still living with Flash. In the publisher-side ad ops world, folks are living with a heck...

Digital media types have been buzzing for a while about a shift in the marketing tech world: Marketing tech is being drawn closer to advertising tech, and this is going to change the way advertisers and publishers do business. The messaging in advertising will become more personal, and in order to do that, they'll need to lean on publishers' relationships with their audiences for relevant data insights.

That said, many in the industry have observed it's taken a while for the promised "ad tech/mar tech convergence" to get off the ground. To get a better idea of the state of the convergence, and of what's still holding it back, LiveIntent recently commissioned Forrester to survey marketers for their perspective. The resulting study, "Kick Start Your Ad Tech/Mar Tech Convergence," found that marketers know mar tech capabilities are coming into advertising, and they want it to happen. But they often struggle to communicate to their colleagues what that convergence means, and they...

I can’t say I was surprised by findings from research firm L2 Marketing that Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa is more likely to push Amazon Prime products on users seeking a variety of wares. There’s nothing scandalous in that—if I had an Alexa, I’d probably want it to look for Prime sellers first because… that’s what I do on Amazon’s website. I don’t want to pay extra for shipping.

But the news reminded me of something that had been spinning ‘round my brain since I attended the giant startup celebration known as Collision in New Orleans back in May. While I did run into some old ad tech comrades, I actually was in NOLA to escape my narrow world of header bidding...

Science fiction turns fact—the term artificial intelligence seems ubiquitous at the moment, whether it’s marketing technology firms boasting about superior processing power for campaign personalization or the coming singularity and robot apocalypse.

Those of us in the trenches of the digital advertising world have become immune to the lure of buzzwords, no matter how many times and in how many contexts they are repeated. But at some point our curiosity bests us and we have to ask, “How much of this is the real deal and what’s sheer hype?”

AI is an even more unusual case—sure, chatbots and virtual personal assistants are neat, but how does that relate to the digital media world, and more precisely digital advertising and media monetization? 

In the end, it’s all about UX—AI has the potential to be the ultimate user experience tool. But to see why, we have to take a step back and consider the roots...

Viewability has been one of the more contentious issues in digital advertising for several years, in spite of the fact that MS Word apparently doesn’t recognize it as a properly spelled word. That’s appropriate, in a way. Media types have found the viewability issue maddening, and most laypersons would never really need to think about it.

Let’s take it back to the late ‘00s. There was a time when study after study showed that despite ever-increasing brand spending on digital ad inventory, massive percentages of the impressions they were buying were never seen by an actual person. We’re talking about ads loading at the bottom of the page, ads in slots partly obscured by page content, ads on a page the user bounced off of almost immediately, ads that are seen only by bots, and so on. Advertiser brands got all up in arms over this perception that they were wasting loads of money. In a way, it’s hard to blame them—they’re paying to reach their consumers, and they want a chance to do that. In another way, the counterarguments also make sense—...

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