Here's today's AdExchanger.com news round-up... Want it by email? Sign-up here.
Evaluating Ad Tech
Sensing a need on the client and agency sides to crowdsource opinion on the latest digital tech, MediaPost's Laurie Sullivan covers the creation of the DMR Index (see the site), which Sullivan writes "will help to connect clients with the best vendors and solutions, as identified by advertisers' reviews and comments." Read more. Launched by DMR Partners leadership, which includes former agency execs Sean Finnegan and Jessica Joines, former mobile and Adenyo exec Alec Andronikov, and former ValueClick-er Gayle Meyers, the site promises to subscribers "Search and review - from the hottest startups to established media tech platforms." Startups are urged to leave their company profile. "Reviews and rankings of companies are only available to view by agencies and brands," according to Sullivan.
Private Exchange Machinations
In Ad Age, Jason Del Rey looks at display ad private exchanges and how publishers have come to terms with the new way of selling. He writes, "Forbes initially blacklisted advertisers that bought reserved inventory (in other words, prevented direct ad buyers from buying private exchange inventory), then reversed course. On the other hand, Condé Nast at first granted access only to advertisers that increased their direct-sales buys in fourth-quarter 2011 from the year before." As buyers AND sellers get a better idea what "first look" on inventory is worth, which is a key value prop of the private exchange, it would seem these private exchanges will evolve if not merge into the wider, "public" ad exchange. Might take a while though - it's still early days for the understanding and dissemination of all the data in a display ad auction. Read more. And, see Ad Age's new Audience Buying guide.
The social signal space got a little bit smaller last week as Visible Technologies bought Cymfony (both are WPP investments says Geekwire) for an undisclosed sum according to Geekwire. As you may recall, Salesforce.com bought social analytics and monitoring company Radian6 for over $300 million last year. For Visible, it means a new 125-person company and 200 total customers. Read more.
Increasingly, the gamification of ads has become a topic as pundits wonder whether making games out of ads really helps make them more relevant to the consumer. On his personal blog, Tom Fishburne writes, "More importantly, gamification can’t make an un-engaging brand engaging. It may be the shiny new thing, but it’s not a silver bullet. Game mechanics are enablers to big ideas. They aren’t the big ideas themselves." Read - and see - more from the Marketoonist.
What They Know
The Wall Street Journal's "What They Know" series, which it looks at the use of consumer data by online technology and service companies, says that the business of Facebook apps is a treasure trove of personal data that users may not wish to have revealed. WSJ authors also write, "Dozens of apps allow advertisers that haven't been approved by Facebook within their apps, which enables advertisers including Google to track users of the apps, according to data collected by PrivacyChoice, which offers privacy services. Google said app-makers control which technology they use to deliver online ads." From here, though Facebook has never moved Google to the publicly approved list (likely due to sticky, strategic considerations - read AdExchanger in April 2011), it has not stopped their use by app developers because Google AdSense and, by extension, the DoubleClick Ad Exchange, remain a key monetization mechanism for Facebook app developers. Read more.
Rocket Fuel, which has gone by the moniker "ad network" for a while, has refreshed its website with a new design and without the phrase "ad network" according to a company rep. See it now! "Ad network" has had negative connotations in recent years, but the fact remains that a performance-driven solution using demand-side platform technology is essentially using the ad network model -whether it buys on a per-impression basis through networks and exchanges or direct-to-publisher. Arbitrage/margin can be the reward for performance and meeting the client's goals.
I, Invest - Agency-style
Joe Mandese reviews MDC Partners' kbs+p's burgeoning, venture investment efforts in an article on MediaPost. kbs+p venture maven Darren Herman tells Mandese that the agency-as-investor model has meant "the agencies have gained intellectual capital by learning the inner workings of new advertising technologies that could have a significant bearing on the ad industry, and by integrating key members of its agencies into those processes. On the flip side, he says the entrepreneurs involved in those startups have gained important insights into the advertising business that are likely to help with their success."
- Operative Appoints Francois DeCourtivron as CFO - press release
But Wait. There's More!
- New Lures for 'Quants': Wharton Rebrands Itself (subscription) - The Wall Street Journal
- Your Marketing Machine: What You Need to Know About Ad Tech 'Stacks' - Ad Age
- An Upgrade for the Show Before the Show - The New York Times