Benefit or buzz: IAB looks to gauge true value of blockchain in digital advertising

Few industries have escaped the hype around the transformational, nay, revolutionary, benefits of blockchain technology, and the digital advertising community is certainly not exempt.

Owed to its fundamental blueprint of distributed ledgers, enabling secure, public and decentralised transaction records data, documents, and of course, currency, blockchain has been widely touted as a transparent and less expensive solution to the “murky” world of...

By Mark Jones, 20 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Automation, Programmatic.

E-commerce giant Alibaba makes $1.43bn bid for digital OOH ad tech

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group has made a $1.43bn (£1.09bn) bid for a 6.62% share of Focus Media, a Shanghai-based specialist in digital out-of-home (OOH) advertising.

Focus Media’s digital advertising screens can be seen on the street, subways and in elevators across 300 Chinese cities, reaching 200 million “middle class” consumers, according to Alibaba’s own news outlet Alizila.

The investment is part of the company’s wider ‘New Retail’ strategy, which looks to...

By Mark Jones, 19 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Commerce, E-Commerce.

How to let influencer marketing ease the death of display ads

What do shag carpets, landlines, and display advertising all have in common? The heyday for each has long since passed. And in the case of display ads, a shiny and new alternative — one that blends word-of-mouth buzz with high frequency — has emerged: influencer marketing.

It’s easy to understand why influencers have more reach than website banners or YouTube adverts. Our company did a joint study with Nielsen on consumer conduct, and we found that

By Jeff Epstein, 19 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Content Marketing, Publishing, Social Media Marketing.

Google has been hit with a record €4.34bn fine for Android antitrust violations

Google has been hit with a record fine of €4.34bn (£3.9bn) by the European Commission, accusing the company of using the Android operating system to illegally “cement its dominant position”.

According to the Commission, the ad tech giant has imposed illegal restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators since 2011 in efforts to secure a monopoly on general internet search.

The firm’s parent Alphabet...

By Mark Jones, 18 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Best Practice, Organic Search, Search Marketing.

Consumer data responsibility lies with head of IT, say third of marketers

With consumer data now considered the fundamental bedrock of digital advertising and minds sharpened by the recent introduction of GDPR, you’d think marketers would have a firm grasp on where responsibility for it sits within their organisations. Wouldn’t you?

In fact, while the majority of marketers consider data use a “very important” aspect of business growth, there seems to be an ongoing conflict when it comes to who should be in charge of it.

A study by the global association for...

Salesforce snaps up Israeli cloud-based AI group Datorama for $800m

Salesforce has announced the acquisition of Israel-based Datorama, a cloud-based AI (artificial intelligence) company.

While terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, reports suggest the deal could be worth approximately $800m (£602m), as the US sales and marketing cloud tech giant looks to keep pace with rivals such as Adobe and Oracle.

Datorama enables more than 3,000 leading global agencies and brands - including PepsiCo, Ticketmaster, Trivago, Unilever, Pernod Ricard and Foursquare, make sense of...

By Mark Jones, 17 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, CRM, Customer Experience, Data Science.

Why empowered marketers will own the customer experience by 2020

By 2020, customer experience is expected to overtake both price and product as a key brand differentiator. A 280-character Twitter post, Instagram snap or Facebook update from a disgruntled consumer can destroy a brand’s long-built reputation and performance in an instant, so brands must deliver a consistent, connected, competitive customer experience. Those businesses that get this right are rewarded: 68% of UK consumers in a

By Andy Berry, 12 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Customer Experience, Data-driven marketing, Personalised Marketing.

The core pillars of technical international SEO

Thinking of marketing to customers in another country, or who speak another language? Even if you’re familiar with SEO (search engine optimisation) in your domestic market, international SEO opens up some new issues you may not have considered.

This article offers an overview of the technical aspects of SEO you’ll need to handle for effective international online marketing. There’s a lot to think about and research when establishing an international web presence.

Decide whether to market to a country...

By Annie Pagano, 12 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Organic Search, Search Marketing.

Facebook is bringing augmented reality ads to the news feed

With a limited supply of inventory available to advertisers in its news feed, Facebook seems to be trying out slightly more novel ways of ensuring brands are getting the best bang for their buck.  

Limited to its US users at launch, a new augmented reality (AR) feature will enable customers to virtually try on items “in just one click” from certain ads, including fashion accessories and cosmetics, as well as...

By Mark Jones, 12 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Branding, S-Commerce, Social Media Marketing.

Google rolls out rack of machine learning ad tools

Just a week after announcing a wide-scale rebrand of its ad products, Google yesterday (July 10) launched a suite of new ad tools boxed together using its machine-learning tech capabilities.

The updates were announced in a blog post by Jerry Dischler, the ad tech giant’s vice president of product management, who said the tools came as growing consumer demand for “helpful and...

By Mark Jones, 11 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Automation, Paid Search, Search Marketing.

MediaMath seals $225m financing for AI ad tech and tactical mergers

MediaMath, a long-time pioneer in programmatic advertising, has announced $225m (£170m) in new financing, courtesy of Searchlight Capital Partners.

The windfall brings the ad tech company’s total funding to over $607m (£458m), according to Crunchbase.

Delivered in two tranches, this will provide the “strategic growth capital” needed to accelerate the expansion of its DSP (demand side platform) - which allows brands to buy ads using automated systems - and DMP (data management...

By Mark Jones, 11 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Mergers and acquisitions, Programmatic.

7 secrets for managing tech-driven change

Digital transformation is a crucial consideration for many SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) in their business strategies. 

With technologies emerging at a fast pace and business models continuing to evolve, new revenue streams and opportunities for previously technophobic companies are now becoming a reality.

For SMEs, digital transformation is seen more as a business transformation as it is not just about technology, but also people, including staff, customers and stakeholders.

Research by 

By Paul Whitelam, 11 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Campaigns, Customer Experience, E-Commerce.

When AI misses the mark: The unlikely casualties of Facebook’s political ad filter

Following its time in the public petri dish over Cambridge Analytica and implications that Russia-backed content on its platform had an influential effect on the US election results, you can’t blame Facebook for being a tad overcautious.

As part of its recently rolled-out political ad policies which requires all political advertisements to undergo verification and feature listed details of the buyer, the social network employs an artificial intelligence (AI) system to identify politically-fuelled ads...

By Mark Jones, 10 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Advertising Technology, S-Commerce, Social Media Marketing.

UK’s most martech-driven SME exporters most optimistic about Brexit

With an increasingly uncertain Brexit emerging, UK SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) exporters with a “progressive” and data-driven mindset are most confident about future business success.

A study by marketing agency Croud on 100 leaders of exporting SMEs, including companies such as UNiDAYS, Monty Bojangles and Kit for Kids, looked to shed light on the biggest challenges and opportunities smaller companies expect to face in the run-up to, and after, Brexit.

With all businesses in the...

By Mark Jones, 10 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Commerce, Data-driven marketing, E-Commerce.

Is artificial intelligence in need of a rebrand?

When we think of cutting-edge technology, it’s usually in a positive context. New technologies are exciting, futuristic and belong in Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters. So why has artificial intelligence (AI) gained such a bad reputation?

Jaywing Intelligence recently conducted research into Twitter conversations about AI - exploring whether the negative media content around ‘robots stealing our jobs’ was fake news. It found that data scientists are principally concerned with the...

By Alex Craven, 10 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Branding, Content Marketing.

Alibaba develops AI tool capable of writing 20,000 lines of ad copy per second

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has developed an AI tool (artificial intelligence) capable of producing 20,000 lines of content per second.

Created as part of Alibaba’s digital marketing unit Alimama, the tool aims to reduce the heavy and arduous workload of producing copy for product listings by retailers, working by scraping “millions” of existing human writing samples from the company’s e-commerce platforms which it interprets using deep-learning models and natural language...

By Mark Jones, 09 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Content Marketing, E-Commerce.

Google to scuttle its AdWords and DoubleClick brands after two decades

Some two decades after launching, Google’s AdWords and DoubleClick brands are about to be sunsetted and rolled in under one of three simple banners.

The search engine says its aim is to streamline its ad products, better representing the solutions it offers and intentions for growth, as well as making it easier for brands to select the tools needed for campaigns.

Google Adwords will become Google Ads

Having launched in 2000 allowing local businesses to buy text ads within its SERPs (search engine...

By Mark Jones, 06 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Paid Search, Search Marketing.

Channel 4 gets in on AI action with contextual TV ads

UK broadcaster Channel 4’s progressive approach to content is seeping through to its ad strategy.

While publicly-owned and touting a successful on-demand digital arm, the television company still relies on good old TV advertising for a large part of its revenue. However, gains from ad spend, which makes up about 93% of its total revenue, dipped around £40m last year as a result of a TV ad market decline of 3%.

To offset this,...

DMA Email Benchmark 2018: Clicks driven by relevance, opens driven by interest

Yesterday (July 5), the DMA (Direct Marketing Association) published its annual Email Benchmarking Report.

Analysing the performance of over 23 billion emails over the course of 2017, results showed that email has yet to be unseated as digital marketers’ top-performing channel.

At 97.5%, delivery rates remained extremely high - that figure represents just a slight dip year on year - although this does equate to over 500 million emails missing the target.

On the other hand, open rates have seen a 0.5%...

By Mark Jones, 05 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Data-driven marketing, E-Commerce, Email marketing.