OPS Markets NY – Live Blog

Complete coverage of the NYC Event!

We’re very close to kick-off here at OPS Week NY. Some of the brightest minds in the digital ad space are currently milling through the doorway into the impressive space that is 82 Mercer right in the heart of Soho.

Looks like we’re all set for a day of stellar peer to peer discussions for day 1 of OPS Week NY – OPS Markets.

We’ll be keeping you up-to-date with some of the insights from the day right here so don’t go anywhere.

And don’t forget you can keep up wherever you are with Twitter – check out #OPSWEEK.

Ok let’s get this show on the road.

And we’re under way. AdMonsters President Matt O’Neill takes to the floor to introduce the day – starting with a short video of last year’s OPS Markets highlights.

AdMonsters CEO and founder Bowen Dwelle takes the floor and continues the day’s introductions.

“We’re starting to combine the myriad of companies that operate in this space, the people who understand this – you people – OPS people – are criticial to it’s success”

Your MC for the day Rob Beeler is at the mic, at AdMonsters we like to think of Rob as the grease that helps the running of our conferences and content. 

Our keynote sponsor The Rubicon Project are up now with Josh Wexler detailing what they’re up to and introducing JT Batson.

JT Batson is the first up of our Morning Keynote double act.

“What do MediaOcean do? We provide front office to back office soloutions for agencies – any IO you’ve had recently has a good chance of having come through us”

“My initial thought was that television buying was more automated than digital buying initialy – this was like a kick in the gut for me so I wanted to change that”

“Everyone in the digital space needs different information as they’re trying to do different things – branding, DR – different goals and different needs”

“It used to be that every market was it’s own eco system but now there’s more of a case for a global marketplace.”

“Three trends I want to cover today, 

– Tech moving from back to front office 

– Publishers have more power in video

– The efficiency/inefficieny cycle is killing us”

“The CRO of the future will come from Ad Ops/ Tech – not Direct Sales.”

“How do we move more money from traditional media to digital? The media plan is made a year in advance – so we can’t just show what happened, but let’s show what will happen also”

“The top video sellers of the future are the same as the ones today. For e.g ABC the network will make 3bn plus a couple percent gains each year – why would they want to mess with that model?

As long as the content is created and distributed in this channels – it won’t change, yes it will evolve but the model will remain”

But, if another player – a YouTube or a Hulu come into the market and that aren’t tied into the traditional model – things could change”

We’re going to split up now for the Focus Sessions starring,

Vikram Somaya – Data Beyond Display (DMP as an OS)

Dustin Engel – An Insiders Guide to Attribution

Jane Barrett – Putting the Creative into Dynamic Creative Optimisation 

I’ll be jumping in and out of each room so will do my utomost to bring you any tidbits of information – but if you want it all? 

Well you’re going to have to head down to Soho, NY now aren’t you?

Ok well I didn’t get as much down as I wanted there – told you that you should have made the trip!

Up next US Editor and all-around good guy Gavin Dunaway is moderating a panel on Programmatic Buying titled Programmatic Buying Beyond RTB.

Your players are, 

John Ramey – CEO & Founder Isocket
Jeremy Hlavacek – VP Strategic Partnerships Varick Media Management
Ben Kneen – Director of Ad Ops WebMD
Anthony Katsur – CEO Maxifier

John: “Programmatic buying is not RTB – RTB is just a facet of what can be done in Programmatic Buying”

Why isn’t RTB alone doing it? 

Anthony: “RTB operates in the interest of the buyer, buyers and sellers are currently trying to work out a medium but it’s still a relationship driven buy’

Ben: “What’s lacking on the Publisher side in RTB is the transparency and that’s what needs to change”

Anthony: “When you’re buying direct from a Publisher you know what you’re getting – it’s transparent, in RTB that’s not there yet and I think that’s where the current issues lie”

Jeremy “There’s a whole another world that no one is talking about and the time is right to do something about it – premium inventory needs to go through programmatic buying, we need an even playing field”

 Is this the end of the Direct Sales team?

Ben: “The way we want it to go is that agencies and clients tell us exactly what they want and we deliver it. There’s room for efficiency – there always in and that’s what will win out”


After a quick lunch break, we’re back in business with our Focus on Sessions. I (Maria Tucker, @mariatucker3) will be taking over for Gautam at this point.


  • Ed Montes, CEO Adnetik: “The Truth about Targeting Revealed”
  • Richard Monihan, Director of Sales Operations Policy and Contract Oversight, ESPN, and Julian Zilberbrand, SVP, Digital Director, Technology Activation Group, Starcom MediaVest: “Terms and Conditions: Is It Possible to Standardize?”
  • Sandra Baez, VP of Advertising Operations and Yield Management, Wall Street Journal Interactive: “The Publisher Data Manifesto”


Some notes from Ed Montes’ session:

“Retargeting is everywhere.” Ed has walked us through the basics of using cookies to re-target and re-direct users back to the initial page they visited. He’s now using his own experience as a user to show us how it actually works. But it can be a terrible environment – ads stacked upon ads.

He shows us 5 re-targeted ads, which show ads stacked upon ads. “This is a problem that’s only going to get worse. I’m only talking about display. We have a huge economic environmental issue: over-supply, under-demanded.”

“How do you take precuations if you’re buying the ad that you’re not buying these sort of environments? How do you buy quality?”

Most models give credit to the impression served immediately before conversion event or to the click immediately before the conversion event. “Publishers should be railing against this. All of the stuff in the early end of the funnel isn’t gettiing credit.” From the sell-side, if you think you have a top-performing property, this attribution methodology might disappoint you.

“You could be an impression that drives all new users to the website, and you’re getting optimized off the plan. And guess who’s getting on the plan? Someone’s who’s getting re-targeted. Really perverse effect, and it gets compounded because we keep doing it.”

“The long-term, pervailing view is that retargeting doesn’t scale. We’re taking individuals at the bottom of the funnel and getting them past the goal line, but it’s limited to the number of people who are in the funnel. If you’re premium publisher A and your content gets a lot of traffic to the website, but it doesn’t have a lot of meaning because it doesn’t make the last impression, you get no credit and get kicked off the plan. Retargeting doesn’t scale because you aren’t growing the funnel.”

“Pages below the fold are two times more likely to receive attribution credit than pages above the fold.”

“If advertisers measure solely on last view-through attribution, optimization algorithms will gravitate to:


  • Domains that serve only below-the-fold placements.
  • If their algorithm uses ATF/BTF as an attirbute it will actually pay a premium to place an ad below the fold.”


“Self-competition for the same user deteriorates performace. Average CPM increases with each additional retargeting vendor.”

“Retargeting tactics are an extremely strong signal.”

“Retargeting tactics steal credit from non-retargeting tactics””Alternate froms of targeting drive users into the retargeting line items and need to be measured in separation from retargeting.”

2:31: Andrea Fernandez, Vice President, 360 Solutions and Digital Sales of TC Media introduces Julie Schoenfeld (@schoenfeldj), CEO of Perfect Market, who will lead the afternoon keynote: “Simplifying the LUMAscape: A Game of 3D Chess”

“I think that anyone who’s running a small company in the space needs to apy attention very, very carefully to the LUMAscape. I’d like to give you an alternative look at the LUMAscape, and show you how we view it. I’d then like to take the LUMAscape, flip it on its side, tear it apart, and blow your mind.”

As money flows through all the middle men between the advertiser to publisher, money leaks through the system. The pipes are also a little rusty as people aren’t paying careful attention to the companies next to them. There’s too much friction in the system, and it’s going to change.

Looking at the LUMAscape as a chess board. Instead of looking at logos, let’s divide it into six functions and the buy and sell.

On the demand side, three major functions that companies are created to support:

  1. Ability to establish campaign goals
  2. Plan and develop creative
  3. Place and optimize ads

On the supply side:

  1. Develop audience
  2. Package and price
  3. Implement and optimize

2:39 Efficiency and consolidation must begin in the funnel from the marketer to the publisher.

First layer of the LUMAscape: functionality. “In chess, there’s the notion of the break, something you need to pull off if your position is blocked.” The LUMAscape has a block in it right now.

2:41 If the top is premium and the bottom is remnant – what is really going on in the marketplace? We’ve heard a lot about the fat middle, but it’s really the Barbie Doll waist.

There are two power players in the LUMAscape now: advertising agencies and Google. The Barbie Doll block between the two exists because Google and agencies have to move to the middle in order to grow their presence online. Everyone in the LUMAscape is getting sucked to one side: Google or ad agencies. 

So how do you break this block? The block is the network of people who are now taking a new position in the digital landscape. Never before has there been an opportunity for people to say what they want to read, when they want to read it, how they want to read it, and how/whether they will share it. The people who will break the block are users – users who consume and share.

2:45: “Winning Strategy: Mobilize Your Audience.”

A 2D-Chess Game: Facebook or Google. Google+ as a real player: “the social spine that connects all of its products.”

Google delivers ads at the moment of commercial intent, while Facebook pushes ads during “emotional” moments. “When you serve up ads at the moment of commercial intent, the response is amazing.”

2:50: So what does all this mean? 

On the Google side: intent. On the Facebook side: emotion. Where does the user fall? Both? Think of Pinterest.

The winner is TBD.

Are you ready for more focus on sessions? After a lot of coffee, we are too! This afternoon features:


  • Paul Dolan, Managing Director, NA Xaxis: “Get Back in the Driver’s Seat: Managing Your Own Digital Mix with DMPs”
  • Sarah Livingston, Manager, Digital Marketing, Seamless: “What Programmatic Buying Means to the End Marketer”
  • Matt Barash, Digital Media Adviser & Entrepreneur, and JR Randall, Director of Partnerships & Ventures, VivaKi Nerve Center: “Trading Desks & Pubs: Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?”


3:39 I’m cozied up watching Paul Dolan delve into a great explanation of a Data Management Platform (DMP) and how marketers may use DMPs to strenthen online digital marketing efforts.

No unified strategy behind retargeting. Retargeting was just left as a line item on a media plan and wasn’t thought of strategically. 

A DMP would help the client harness the data all in one place and leverage it. 

Get smarter about how we message, where we buy based on all the data we have from users aggregated on one platform. And understand how efforts can be either successful or duplicative  – how they might create waste.

3:43 “Understand what your customers do when they’re on your website. A DMP ought to be able to do this for you.”

“Understand optimal frequency, but also understand tolerance.”

Not only can I use data online to make digital marketing efforts smarter, but I can make the rest of my organization smarter about the customers we’re trying to reach.

3:50 “Audience buying is no longer just another line on a media plan. It’s not jsut retargeting or behavioral targeting. There’s a lot more that goes into it. And marketers have tools, including DMPs,  to evolve from media buying to audience buying.”

Alright people i’m back – taking over from Maria ‘Insanely Soft Hands’ Tucker is your humble EU Editor Gautam Srivastava.

OK next up is our wrap up panel all about Private Exchanges aptly titled ‘Opening Up Private Exchanges’. 

Key players for you fine folk to all be aware of, 

Mario Diez – CEO QuadrantONE
Jason Kelly – CRO Google AdMeld
Jeff Burkett – Senior Director Ad Innovations & Client Services Washington Post Digital
Craig Ziegler – VP Partnerships Accuen

Private Exchanges and Private Marketplaces are the same thing – regardless of what your vendor calls it, it’s the same its and it’s all about premium.

Mario: ‘The Private Marketplace simply gives us the tools to do things that we couldn’t do before – we’re now able to tap into new budgets that weren’t available to us previously”

Craig: You have to look at as two seperate budgets, it’s a direct relationship between the client/agency and the publisher – completely untapped previously’.

“One thing we support is the idea of working with fewer partners. This benefits agencies as people want to work directly with the end product – why wouldn’t they?.

Mario: “If you’re going to get into the word of Private Exchanges you need to have the staff to help assess the data coming in – otherwise you’re out of the game, if you don’t know what you’re selling, you don’t know what you’re doing”

“We started out with this because we strive for efficiency and this is a good sensical way to do it”

Jeff: “We got in because we wanted to see if we could make more money from it – and not only have we found this to be true but we’ve also managed to work in direct deals”

Craig: “It’s up to use to understand what you want and what works best for you, i’m happy to take responsibility for that”

Mario “Its just advertising, the more visible the ad – the higher the rate, it’s as simple as that”

“We’re complicatng this too much – people want to run ads that others will see, it’s just that simple”

Mario: “A frustrating conversation that we seem to consistantly have with Publishers is them complaining that they’re not getting premium returns on their RTB inventory or from exchanges – but what are they putting in their? It’s their inventory in there, it’s not premium it’s remnant – how can they expect premium returns”.

That’s the end of the Private Exchange Panel – great insight all round i’m sure you’ll agree. 

Papa Beeler is back on stage and wrapping up like a man with a thirst. Thanks for joining us today, it’s been more than insightful i’m sure you’ll agree. 

We’re doing it all over again tomorrow so if you’ve a vested interest in the world of Mobile you’re not going to want to miss OPS Mobile tomorrow. 

See you then!

Maria & Gautam