This Week In Ad Ops: Social Data, Mobile Tracking and More

Big Data, Social Data and Mobile Tracking Round Up the Week

Getting Ready for Sonoma

There’s tons going on over here at AdMonsters, including a major update — we’ve filled all our seats for our Sonoma Publisher Forum. We’re truly excited to have industry leaders from some great companies including the Washington Post Company, NBC Universal, BuzzFeed, and more, joining us in Sonoma, March 3-6.

If you didn’t snag a seat for Sonoma, don’t fret, you can still put your name on the wait list. And, check out our other upcoming events, including our OPS Markets event on April 4 in New York, and our Boulder Publisher Forum, Aug. 18-21. 

A Lot Of Chatter About TV

Just in case you didn’t know, the online world has a sort-of addiction to television – actually, more like a TV contagion. Social networks and television seem to go hand-in-hand. From live tweeting the latest episode of Scandal to figuring out just why you had to wait an extra 30 minutes to see the Ravens win, social media channels are replete with TV buzz – and Twitter’s about to cash in on it even more. 

The kingdom of 140 characters confirmed Tuesday that it acquired Bluefin Labs, a company that, essentially, paved the way for social TV analysis (and, also have scored about $20 million in investments since its founding). We actually hosted BlueFin Labs along with some of their competitors last July at OPS TV, where MPG’s Mitch Oscar and Fordham Professor Philip Napoli analyzed social data for a variety of TV programs. TV watchers love chatting it up about their shows online – and, Twitter takes the cake, with almost 95 percent of social TV discussion analyzed by Bluefin Labs coming from Twitter.

“We believe that Bluefin’s data science capabilities and social TV expertise will help us create innovative new ad products and consumer experiences in the exciting intersection of Twitter and TV,” said Twitter’s chief operating officer Ali Rowghani in a blog post announcing the acquisition.

The announcement comes on the heels of Twitter’s deal with Nielsen to help create Twitter TV ratings; and, signals Twitter’s ongoing commitment to social TV data, which could very well be a goldmine for TV advertisers looking to expand their branding beyond the small screen.

OPS TV will be returning on July 19 in NYC, but before check out another session that shows the incredible power of social data across digital channels. CEO and Founder of Sulia, Jonathan Glick and VP of Operations Claudia Page will be on hand at this year’s OPS Markets event on April 4 in New York to discuss how social data can help reinvent how advertisers target consumers.

It’s Not Just TV Data

Big moves are being made in data-driving advertising. Social ad firm Nanigans recently unveiled a new way to target Facebook audiences by tracking in-app spending, helping to create and cinch current Facebook targeting profiles. Nanigans latest capability effectively gives mobile advertisers the ability to refine mobile-app user targeting, allowing them to target and track proven lucrative users and audiences, helping to streamline ROI and conversion tracking.

“A lot of companies optimize on higher funnel metrics like cost per click or cost per acquisition, but we’ve built an algorithm looking at the lifetime value or true ROI, actual return on ad spend,” Nanigans COO Marc Grabowski told AdWeek.

Data marketer Causata also raked in $7.5 million in investments, raising its total investments to $23 million. Causata’s data platform has been called creepy by Gigaom’s Derrick Harris, who highlights just how much data the platform traps – from a consumer’s email address to their previous customer-service phone calls.  Time will tell if companies like Causata truly change the ad/audience-targeting game; but, right now, many of them have to fight a particular foe – privacy advocates. 

In a recent blog post on his website, Avinash Kaushik, digital marketing evangelist at Google, discusses the implications of the EU cookie and privacy laws on the progress of data targeting. In gist, Kaushik says data collection is as complicated and intricate as the people whom the data is about – and concerns over data use are only normal.  

But, no need to fret, Kaushik argues.

“So you can cry about all the data you won’t have or don’t have” he said. “Or you can be happy that you still have 5,000 times more [data] than you have on any other channel on the planet, and analyze that data and use the insights. “

A New Dive Into Mobile Tracking

Mobile devices offer up their own set of obstacles when it comes to consumer tracking – foremost of which is privacy, which we’ve talked about extensively here at AdMonsters. But, limitations go beyond mere integrity – unlike desktop browsing, it is much harder to track audience data on mobile devices. 

Leading ad tech firm OpenX has joined forces with AdTruth to offer advertisers streamlined RTB solutions based on AdTruth’s patented device recognition technologies and OpenX’s OpenX Market platform. So, what does this mean exactly?

Well, programmatic and mobile ads are both rising the ranks of popularity in the digital-ad realm, but mobile and RTB don’t really play all that nice together. For once, as mentioned, the ability to truly track audiences is limited, while privacy continues to be an important concern.

And, with AdTruth’s “privacy-by-design” approach (AdTruth circumvents the need to collect personal identifiable information from consumers), OpenX and AdTruth may be a winning collaboration.

“We desperately need a privacy by design, universal, audience identification and targeting capability for our advertisers in mobile,” Carl Uminski, chief operating officer of global mobile marketing company, Somo said in an OpenX press release.

 “With the availability of AdTruth DeviceInsight ID in OpenX Market, we can now take mobile advertising ROI to the next level quickly.”

Learn more at OPS Markets, where AdTruth will be presenting.

Search Is Worth 1,000 Words 

Google AdWords is great and all; but, let’s be honest, who’s perusing Google on a desktop anymore (pas moi)? Mobile and AdWords haven’t been necessarily known to play nice, and Google’s set to change that.  Now, advertisers can use one campaign to target consumers on all devices, rather than create campaigns for mobile, one for desktop, etc. But, what are the implications of Google’s newest AdWords iteration? 

Well, according to AdWeek’s Chris Copeland, simplified buying may mean excess buying – a possible gain for Google.

“Google has attempted to make that process easier with a strong shove towards more mobile buying, “ Copeland said. “And as such, is welcoming market anarchy whereby increased competition and lack of deep understanding lead to necessitated buying above optimum price points.”

But, Google’s aggregation of AdWords into one big channel for mobile and desktop is, in the end, quite the win for advertisers and the search-engine giant alike, especially as mobile audiences continue to increase.