Leading Operations Online

If you're a brand that wants to push out a native advertising campaign that consumers find genuine and meaningful -- as "native" as it gets, really, on a premium publisher property of inimitable quality -- one of the best things you could do is to have the publisher develop the content themselves. If you're a publisher that wants to rope in some dollars from brands hungry for native, it certainly wouldn't hurt to start up an in-house creative studio to work on it. That effort could turn into an auxiliary revenue stream in itself, even.

The New York Times has received much praise in recent years for its work in native on behalf of advertisers, courtesy of its Brand T Studio, a creative shop focused on developing sponsored content that adheres to the look, narrative style and general standard of quality of non-sponsored Times content. More recently, the Times has been taking a sledgehammer to the negative...

May 17, 2016 OPS Gavin Dunaway

OPS approaches! Our yearly one-day gathering in NYC of more than 700 digital strategists from publishers, brands and agencies is merely a few weeks away (June 7!). If you’ve given a gander to the agenda lately, you may have noticed… There’s a lot going on. Yes, at times we are going to have six concurrent sessions on four floors covering the hottest happenings in digital media and marketing. 

In the past, I’ve had people complain to me that there was just too much content to take in at OPS, to which I replied, “You think it’s hard to attend this event? You try assembling all these damn sessions and wrangling these prima donna speakers and then we’ll talk, you whiny miscreant!” before slipping away to my hidey spot behind the bar and crying between swigs off a bottle of Maker’s Mark.

What was I talking about again?

Oh yeah – there’s a reason why we offer group discounts...

Of course the mainstreaming of header bidding has rocked the broader digital landscape, for reasons that ought to be familiar to most AdMonsters readers. But for all its merits, there’s been this widespread suspicion that maybe the header isn’t the end game here: What if the header is just a way station on the road to a better way of transacting?   

That said, there’s a lot of uncertainty about what the next step might be. We’re starting to hear some suggestions, some theoretical and a few already in play. One of those suggestions is that server-to-server connections, not the header, are a more appropriate place for publishers to manage demand. Sonobi is one of the companies that’s gung ho about making a go of server-to-server solutions right now, and they’ve just released a whitepaper, “Evolution of a Market—Impressions to People,”...

For years now, we've heard grumbling about how impressions and click-throughs, still in many ways the reigning metrics of digital advertising, are outmoded and insufficient means of measuring campaign performance. Sure, a click on an ad can be a meaningful action -- but, say the many agitators for change, there are lot of kinds of campaigns where clicks shouldn't rate, and the act of clicking on an ad doesn't represent the way users behave with digital media today.

Dissatisfaction with CTR and related metrics have given rise to a call for attention metrics, such those based around time spent with an ad, that many say should be implemented and acted upon in today's digital media environment. The interest may be there, but there's no consensus quite yet on which attention metrics should become standard practice. (Hey, there's an AdMonsters playbook about this, if you're in the mood for some background.) That hasn't stopped some key players...

The field of media buying, at one point the domain of influential agencies that specialized in that particular task, has been completely upended by the programmatic marketplace and other developments in transactional technology. In recent years, we've seen a great restructuring in who's involved in media buying and where they're transacting. Whether or not you want to call this effect democratizing, it's certain decentralizing, and it's changed the game, in no small part for entities that have the resources, the tech and the scratch to step in and take ownership of the media buying process.

Emmy Spahr is someone who can speak authoritatively on this, having spent over a decade working with a clutch of national and international brands on their digital strategy. Her career path has included five years with subsidiaries of Publicis Groupe -- four with MediaVest, until she was named the first Director of Programmatic...

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