eBay Selects Triad For Display Advertising; NY Times On Google, Microsoft Browser Opt-Outs; Knowledge Networks' Social Signal

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Display Auction

Online auction site eBay tried to enter the media buying business a few years ago with its media marketplace for cable advertising (networks and agencies balked). But now, eBay is aiming squarely at the display market. The company has struck a deal with online ad services specialist Triad Retail Media to build up its display business. Tampa-based Triad will help eBay sell and manage all on-site display advertising for eBay.com and eBay Motors, the St. Petersburg Times and Dow Jones reported. The deal will be formally announced next week. Read the Times’ story here and the Dow Jones story here.

Opt-On/Off

With Google and Microsoft heavily dependent on online ad revenues a NYT editorial interprets their respective moves to include a “Do Not Track” button in their respective browser updates for Chrome and IE as a clear indication that easy opt-outs for web users will not diminish revenues in general. Another way of seeing their moves, along with a similar function being released for Mozilla’s Firefox, as a way to get ahead of federal regulators and legislators, while trying to maintain as much control over the opt-out switch for ad targeting as they can. Read more.

Engineers Asleep?

Were Google engineers, who are considered so far-sighted when it comes to the core search product, asleep at the wheel when came to some of the worst abuses of the ad system? Alexis Madrigal, a senior editor at The Atlantic magazine, thinks so. But at least someone at the search giant is reading the NYT. Madrigal pointed to a bizarre profile of an online merchant who racked up complaints – on purpose, he claimed – so that his business would constantly be mentioned across blog sites. Even vehement complaints, he reasoned, helped keep his site high in the search rankings for its eyeglass sales. Google should have clearly sensed how someone could game the system that way, yet, as Madrigal points out, it took a newspaper exposé for it to be corrected. Read more.

Blind Faith

DST’s Yuri Milner, known for spearheading investments in such hot properties such as Facebook, Zynga and Groupon is now partnering with fellow investing all-star Ron Conway’s angel fund, SV Angel, Techcrunch’s Mike Arrington reported. Milner is doing this on his own, not with DST. The fruit of SV Angel’s and Milner’s work involves a blanket investment offer to “every Y Combinator startup in the most recent batch” which numbers about 40. They haven’t actually looked at the individual companies they’re funding, Arrington adds, noting that it’s all based on complete faith in Y Combinator. Read more.

When To Spend

It would be nice if costs of getting a display ad in front of a consumer and then getting them to click and make a purchase. Brig Graff, director, Solution Architecture at Omniture, has offered the company’s plan for how to solve the problem of “when to spend” in a series of blog posts. In the fifth and last in the series, Graff outlines Omniture’s Test&Target product, which has a feature called “AdBoxing” that allows users to create a testing script that will compare two different display banners against each other and see which one brings in the most traffic, revenue and orders, etc. Read more.

Pulling Up Stakes

Google will stop including real estate listings on Google Maps, citing low usage. The feature, which launched in July 2009, was perceived as a significant threat to established real estate sites. But in the end, Google pointed to the existence of “excellent property-search tools on real estate websites” as driving the decision to end its program, says Brian McClendon, VP, Google Earth and Maps, in a blog post. But Bronte Media’s Niki Scevak doesn’t buy it. In his own blog post, he writes, “The real estate clean up is likely the result of Marissa Mayer and her move across to local.” Scevak also doubts that Google is giving up on its classifieds ambitions, so stay tuned. Read Google’s post here, while Scevak’s views are here.

More Than Clicks

When it comes to measurement, online advertising was supposed to be the be all, end all. But as Daniel de Sybel, director of Technology and Operations, of Infectious Media writes, you practically have to spend an arm and a leg for any reliable econometric analysis of actionable data relating to intent. The model, in Sybel’s view, is broken if you assume that only the last click (or impression if no clicks were recorded) influenced a user to make a sale is not just wrong, but is actually misleading. “What is required is more information,” he writes. “Impressions need to be augmented with above / below the fold data, time and position on page and page context / quality. Clicks need to be supplanted by interactions and page landings.”  But that’s the beginning. Read more.

Revenue Motive

Real entrepreneurs care more about revenues than profits, says Ari Poparo, in a blog post. The kinds of people who create startups are excited by “run rates” and growth, both of which are best reflected in revenues. Being “cash flow positive” is something to consider later, when the business has gotten off the ground. Read more.

DSP Rules

Econsultancy has published a Demand-Side Platforms Buyer’s Guide which profiles 16 DSPs and outlines some of the trends affecting the business. For one thing, technology can only do so much. The human touch is as necessary as ever. As the report asserts, having a dedicated campaign manager who understands this kind of modeling and understands the options at hand in buying inventory through an exchange is essential. Therefore, players in the RTB ecosystem will start to create new business models and define strategies that facilitate the integration of “human interfaces,” the report says. The report and free summary are available here.

Expanded Knowledge

Knowledge Networks is expanding its social media offerings to include custom analytics. The intelligence Knowledge Networks is offering to marketers and researchers is a look at how social media influences product categories and what the buzz is about specific products. The move is an extension of the company’s work with MediaPost that was struck last year. Read the release.

Dutch Guide To Ad Exchanges

Tim Geenen, the business development manager, at Dutch ad firm  BannerConnect, has prepared a slide show on ad exchange. It looks good and if you can read Dutch, it actually seems pretty useful. Check it out here.

Storenvy Funding

Social e-commerce firm Storenvy has raised $1.5 million in funding. The round was led by Spark Capital and First Round Capital, and also including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Charles River Ventures, David Cohen, as well as angels John Maloney (Tumblr), David Cancel (Performable), as well as David Hauser and Siamak Taghaddos (Grasshopper). Read more.

Go Green

Former Publicis Groupe exec and now Akamai prez David Kenny was in Davos this past week. He’s written a piece for GreenBiz.com which offers a sense of how tech execs can apply their knowledge and expertise to improving the environment. Read more.

You're Hired!

Former IAB marketing guru Marla Aaron has joined the McCann Worldgroup as the global SVP of Corporate Communications for MRM Worldwide. According to a company spokesperson, "She will oversee the communications strategy across the agency's 33 offices around the world. Based in New York City, Marla will work with the global leadership team to expand business and showcase the diverse technology-based solutions that have become a signature for MRM and the innovative work produced on behalf of blue chip clients."

 

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