75 Marketing Trends found for Agencies / Digital

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Artificial Intelligence - the Future Creative Pointer for Online Display Ads

Bottom Line: The effectiveness of online display ads is set to undergo a seachange with the advent of Artificial Intelligence-driven serving sytems that match the creative to propects' online behaviour patterns.

Adnetik and Cognitive Match, creators of the Dynamic Creative Targeting platform, announced on Tuesday a partnership to enhance the capabilities of the former's Audience Investment Management (AIM) system for display advertising. Building on AIM’s ability to help advertisers buy targeted display ads via an impression-by-impression basis, the new collaboration claims to offer a real-time dynamic creative solution that targets different versions of creative to each individual user. The triple goal is to ...

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... increase consumer engagement, reach and overall campaign performance.

Says Edward Montes, ceo of Adnetik: “Partnering with Cognitive Match is the next step toward accomplishing the Adnetik mission of maximizing an advertiser’s investment in media.

Leveraging Cognitive Match’s Dynamic Creative Targeting platform in conjunction with the AIM targeting system provides marketers with a breakthrough for driving greater display ad performance.”

Using Cognitive Match’s Dynamic Creative Targeting platform, Adnetik will enable advertisers to increase acquisition and reach for both brand and performance campaigns. Combined with Adnetik’s sophisticated targeting tools, advertisers can easily increase the effectiveness of their online display advertising campaigns.

Cognitive Match founder/ceo Alex Kelleher can be excused a [justifiable] plug: “Marketers are now successfully targeting the right audience profile with their display ad campaigns, but they still don’t know what elements within the creative are eliciting response from individual users.

"The collaboration between Adnetik and Cognitive Match means that advertisers can now target the right audience with the right creative at the right time. Every stage of the campaign lifecycle is now optimized.”

What's more, Adnetik clients can easily turn on dynamic creative for their display ad campaigns.

Explains Kelleher: “The trick is to make meaningful decisions in real-time,” he says, offering an example of a travel category advertiser trying to target users based on variables like location, weather conditions and time and date -- all of which can greatly influence a user’s predisposition to a specific advertising message.

“If it’s hot weather and they’re on the East Coast and they’re at work during a weekday we know that’s going to generate a different behavior than if they are someone from the West Coast and it’s cold and on the weekend,” he explains.

[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2011 onward]

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: MediaPost.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5699

WPP Exports US Back-Office Agency Jobs to India ... Who's Next?

Bottom Line: Over one hundred finance-related jobs will be outsourced from WPP Group's US agencies to a specialist Indian offshore center before the year end. Some ask if this is the trickle that precedes the flood?

Despite posting its highest ever pre-tax profit in 2010 -- a 27% year-on-year increase to over £1 billion -- the world's largest marketing services conglomerate plans to slash its back-office costs stateside by exporting "more than one hundred" non-client facing jobs from its US agencies to India. WPP Group claims the decision to oursource US jobs was not mandated from the top, although WPP-watchers think it unlikely the move lacks the blessing of global ceo Sir Martin Sorrell.  Among the shops immediately affected are ...   

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... Ogilvy & Mather, JWT, Grey, Y&R and Wunderman.

The partyline, according to a WPP spokesman is that the agencies "have decided to seek greater efficiencies in their companies and presently plan to have 'non-client' facing services delivered from an offshore specialist center in India.

In most cases, the positions affected are in New York, but finance department staff in other North American offices may also be impacted. WPP's partyline: "The total number of jobs under consideration represent less than one percent of overall staff (including associates) and the job transfer will happen over the coming months."

Toeing that line at Ogilvy & Mather -- which will bear the brunt of the cuts -- was O&M Worldwide chief marketing officer Eleanor Mascheroni who claims: "This action will reduce overhead costs while maintaining the quality and level of support we provide to our clients and partners.

"We have entered into an agreement with a top-tier business-process outsourcing services provider specializing in this kind of service delivery at lower costs to handle the processes. Many of our clients have been working with this model for many years."

Ms Mascheroni, however, curiously failed to mention that the jobs will go to outsourcing giant Genpact which -- by one of those odd coincidences -- also happens to be a major client of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide.

Genpact is an offshoot of GE Capital and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. It operates in seventeen countries and supports over twenty-five languages.

Which begs the question as to when the New York cull will be extended to other WPP locations?

[Estimated timeframe: Q3 2011 onward]

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: AdAge.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5640

Is New WPP Venture Set to Dominate Future Personalized Ad Market?

Bottom Line: In a move that could reinforce WPP Group's position over the next decade as the world's largest marketing services conglomerate, savvy Sorrell has stolen another march on rival ad groups. 

As internet and technology companies race to build new systems for buying digital ads in real time across hundreds of thousands of websites, enabling marketers to target their messages to those most likely to be interested, WPP Group today announced the launch of Xasis -- a new venture that melds the group's formidable existing media-buying power with a massive consumer profiling database. Proclaiming this as "the next stage in advertising", Mark Read, ceo of WPP Digital claims its technology can even be extended to ...

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... directly personalised TV ad buying. The engines for such pinpoint targeting are extensive databases that compile personal information about individuals, then track their ongoing activity across the web and social media.

According to WPP, Xaxis will have more than 500 million unique profiles, reaching virtually 100% of the population in markets where it operates. But this is an increasingly sensitive area, with privacy advocates and lawmakers alike fixing an eagle eye on targeting practices.

WPP insists, however, that all the information it collects is anonymous. In addition, ads targeted via this tracking data will include the ad industry's special privacy icon that alerts consumers to the fact that they are being targeted and offers them the opportunity to opt out.

"We will clearly play in terms of the strictest rules of self-regulation," says Rob Norman, ceo of WPP's ad buying arm GroupM Interaction.

Xaxis will supplement its core database by tracking consumers via ads and marketers' websites. It also will tap existing customer databases as well as buying data from some two dozen outside sources, among them BlueKai and DataLogix.

Xaxis says it will store advertisers' data separately to avoid conflicts. Says Xaxis CEO Brian Lesser: "The change isn't so much how we are using the technology, but how we are centralizing the audience data. When advertisers work with third parties, they can lose control over that data."

As of today's launch, Xaxis becomes operational in eleven nations countries across North America, Europe and Australia. WPP plans further international expansion this year.

[Estimated timeframe: Q2 2011 - onward]

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: WSJ.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5604

Dentsu Pioneers Crowd-Sourced AI-Based Website

Japanese advertising colossus Dentsu has launched a new website, Finding Gifts with Sasha, which assists users to choose gifts via a conversation with a young lad called Sasha. Do we hear a chorus of 'So whats'? But yawns are very definitely misplaced in that Sasha doesn't exist except as a series of digits. This endearing kid is the spawn of artificial intelligence, while  the site itself is the end-product of crowd-sourcing. So is this the beginning of the end for agency creatives? A doomsday for live actors and a whole new ballgame for web marketing? Sasha signals ...

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... a new phase in an 8-month-old, crowd-sourced, artificial-intelligence project conducted with the MIT Media Lab and IT consulting company Nihon Unisys.

Finding Gifts with Sasha helps users choose gifts through conversations with the boy character. "At first, his gift suggestions may not be perfect," Dentsu admits, "but the system learns from the user's feedback in the same way that children do in the course of their development."

Links to ecommerce sites are provided for the suggested gifts.

Before making its gift recommendations the digital prodigy analyzes the profiles and comments posted on social media sites both by the user and the intended gift recipient.

Sasha also has the help of 200,000 pieces of "common sense" observations assimilated into a database during earlier phases of the project. The first, Play a Quiz Game with Nadya, used a girl character to gather logical suggestions from participating players.

The second, Poi Bot, used a personalized robot character to automatically generate Tweets, imitating each user's distinctive communication style and way of thinking.

According to Dentsu, Sasha works deductively rather than literally: Based on a 'common sense' statement such as "cats like warm places," someone seeking a gift for a cat-lover won't be directed to an actual cat, but to things that would make a cat feel warm.

The ultimate aim of the project, Dentsu says, is to "leverage the shared common background knowledge and senses -- used by humans when we converse with others -- to create a computer system that can understand implicit meanings and nuances of language in the same way as humans."

Dentsu is a sponsor of the MIT Media Lab's Things That Think consortium.

[Estimated timeframe: Q2 2011 onward ]

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: MediaPost.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5574

Euro RSCG Introduces 'The New Consumers'

The New Consumer study was created by Euro RSCG Worldwide and fielded by Market Probe International in October–November 2009 in seven markets: Brazil, China, France, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In all but the latter, the national sample was 700; in the USA it was increased to 1,500. The survey was supplemented with extensive secondary research and local/regional insights from brand and strategy experts across the agency's global network. Complete findings of the study, including country and Prosumer-mainstream breakouts, are available to the network's employees and clients via its Knowledge Exchange. Among the study's key findings are ...

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The New Consumers are smarter, more empowered, and more demanding than previous generations of shoppers. They make full use of online tools to connect with others and score the right buys. 

  • 69% of global respondents to Euro RSCG’s New Consumer study say they are smarter shoppers than they were a few years ago.
  • 63% are more demanding shoppers than they used to be.
  • 62% do lots of consumer research online—e.g., seeking out product info, reviews and ratings, price comparisons.

These consumers increasingly look to their peers for guidance and support when shopping.

  • 79% read consumer product feedback/reviews online before making a purchase.
  • 57% trust customer reviews more than “expert” reviews.

Anxiety levels remain high:

  • 54% feel more anxious in general compared with a few years ago.
  • 55% worry about their future or their family’s future more than they used to.
  • 47% have become more worried about not being able to keep up with the cost of living.
  • 41% worry about not having enough money to retire on.

The New Consumers are deeply dissatisfied with the status quo and are seeking change in their personal lives and in the world around them.

  • 58% think society is moving in the wrong direction.
  • 69% worry society has become too shallow, focusing on things that don’t really matter.
  • 60% believe society has grown intellectually lazy, while 67% believe we have grown physically lazy.
  • 59% worry people have become too disconnected from the natural world.
  • 47% wish they could start fresh with an entirely different lifestyle.

The New Consumers feel disconnected and even alienated. They are looking for a stronger sense of community and belonging

  • 59% worry we are losing our ability to engage in civil debate, saying people are no longer willing to consider others’ points of view.
  • 51% would like to be part of a truly important cause.
  • 43% sometimes feel they don’t have enough close friendships.
  • 80% feel it is very important that families eat at least one meal together each day.

The New Consumers have taken advantage of the downturn to consider moving down a new path, finding a better way forward in terms of how they consume and how they live their lives.

  • 56% say the recession has served to remind people of what’s really important in life—and that’s a good thing.
  • 72% are making an effort to improve the way they live.
  • 71% are trying to improve who they are as individuals.
  • 50% are actively trying to figure out what makes them happy.

In spite of (or perhaps because of) their anxiety, people have resolved to change the status quo and take greater control of their present lives and futures. A primary way in which they will do this is through their consumption choices—their strongest means of power and influence. We are seeing the advent of “proactive mindfulness”:

  • 72% are shopping more carefully and mindfully than they used to.
  • 54% are paying more attention to the environmental and/or social impact of the products they buy.
  • 51% are more interested today in how and where products are made.
  • 45% are willing to pay a slightly higher price for products that are socially or environmentally responsible.

They are eager to reduce their negative impact on the environment and on other people:

  • 64% say making environmentally friendly choices makes them feel good.
  • 72% feel good about reducing the amount of waste they create.
  • 54% are making an effort to buy fewer disposable goods.
  • 65% believe they have a responsibility to censure unethical companies by avoiding their products.
  • 51% avoid shopping at stores that don’t treat their employees fairly.
  • 57% say it makes them feel good to support local producers, artisans, and manufacturers, and 45% say it is important to buy locally produced goods.

They are turning away from over-consumption and mindless excess in favor of a more considered approach to spending.

  • 70% say saving money makes them feel good about themselves, while just 30% say the same about buying luxury items.
  • 48% are determined not to go back to their old shopping patterns even after the economy rebounds.
  • 43% (60% in U.S.) are committed to reducing their use of credit cards over the long term.
  • 38% (49% in U.S.) are deriving a sense of satisfaction from reducing their purchases during the downturn.

The New Consumers are embracing “intelligent simplification”:

  • 70% respect/admire people who live simply (minimal purchases, debt free, etc.), while only 19% respect/admire people who live a high-luxury lifestyle.
  • 67% believe most of us would be better off if we lived more simply.
  • 68% no longer want a lot of bells and whistles on the products they buy; they would rather just have the functions they really need.
  • 46% wish their homes were less cluttered.

They seek to align with brand partners who share their personal values:

  • 50% say it is more important to them today to feel good about the companies with which they do business.
  • 57% prefer to buy from companies that share their personal values.
  • 49% prefer to do business with companies that have a reputation for a purpose beyond profits (e.g., Newman’s Own, The Body Shop).
  • 54% believe the most successful and profitable businesses in the future will be those that practice sustainability.


[Estimated timeframe:Q3 2010 - onward]

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: Euro RSCG Worldwide
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5279

P&G Applies Green Thumbscrews to Ad Shops, Media Agencies

"There's no prude like the reformed whore," as the old proverb has it. Likewise, there's none greener than yesterday's environmental Godzillas. [Interpolates MarketingTomorrow's legal-eagle hastily: "Procter & Gamble (a doughty defender of planet earth's diminishing assets for the past five hundred years) has never, not once, ever, at any time, fallen into the category of 'despoiler'."]
  Meantime, on Wednesday May 12 the planet's biggest advertiser unveiled its Supplier Environmental Sustainability Scorecard for key suppliers, with the first reports due July 1. And among those 'key suppliers' are advertising  and media agencies ... 

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As a P&G spokeswoman pointed out, the 'Sustainability Scorecard' was in part crafted by Sir Martin Sorrell's Green Grenadiers. However, fearing this news might trigger a spate of nervous tics on Madison Avenue, the Champs d'Elysee and Charlotte Street, the spokeslady reassured that "agencies and others won't be held accountable for answering questions that don't pertain to their industries".

However, P&G remains schtüm as to the names and numbers of suppliers it requires to file the first round of questionnaires. The Cincinnatti colossus was likewise silent as to whether any media companies are yet participating.

But the eventual goal is for all P&G suppliers to file the scorecards, following evaluations of the first phase of reporting. The latter was developed by a committee comprising twenty major suppliers.

The scorecard "represents the next step in P&G's commitment to environmental sustainability," says P&G chairman/ceo Bob McDonald. "Keeping sustainability at the core of our business fuels innovation and strengthens our results."

P&G suppliers will have one year to prepare their data before their performance ratings can adversely affect their supplier status. Eventually, though, P&G will use the scorecard to determine sustainability ratings as part of P&G's annual performance reviews.



[Estimated timeframe:2011 onward]

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: AdAge.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5180

UK Advertisers' Environmental Claims to Undergo Greater Scrutiny

Following a twelve-month period of industry-wide consultation, Britain's Advertising Standards Authority has unveiled details of new rules governing what advertisers may - or may not - claim for their products. Especially prominent in the ASA's crosswires is the hazy issue of of environmental credentials - which will face far tougher future scrutiny.

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The ASA's Committee of Advertising Practice, along with BCAP, the body governing broadcast ads, has simplified the current code from four sets of rules into a single document which contains a new provision for “social responsibility” - an amorphous term intended to prevent advertisers' exploitation of loopholes in the Code.

The most crucial changes attempt to stifle “greenwash”, where advertisers or agencies exaggerate a brand's environmental benefits.

According to the CAP, the claimed benefits “must be supported by a high level of substantiation”.  Failure to do so means that advertisers could be penalised for omitting “significant information”.

Any “green” claims must cover the full “life cycle” of a product, CAP says, and also acknowledge areas where scientists’ opinions are divided.

The Advertising Standards Authority has the notional power to ban advertisements it judges to be 'misleading', usually after complaints from the public.

The new guidelines will come into effect in September2010, although they do not have the force of law and depend on the voluntary cooperation of the UK advertising and media industries.


[Estimated timeframe:September 2010 onward]

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: FT.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5093

Breakthrough Brings Precision Targeting to Banner Ads

The latest web ad architecture is set to fulfill a decade-old promise to revamp the online buying and selling of banner and similar formats, adapting these to paid search auction methodology. More significantly yet, going beyond 'assumption' targeting to enable advertisers to show each ad only to their target audience.

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Automated ad exchanges, driven by swathes of internet user data, provide both promise and potential  peril to all parts of the industry, from clients to agencies to publishers, opines William Morrison, an analyst with ThinkEquity.

"It's going to facilitate a lot of brand dollars coming online because they'll be able to buy audience -and right now it's really hard for them to do it at scale outside of a few portals," he says.

The promise of digital display advertising - as yet unfulfilled - has always been that it would enable marketers to place the right ad in front of the right audience at the right time.

For the most part, says the AdWeek article, the promise remains just that. A promise.

"Display is hampered by the fact that it doesn't have a clear intent signal like search. Instead, display advertising has looked for signals elsewhere, with mixed results. Content is still the top proxy used for finding the right audience."

But as the article points out, there are sizeable drawbacks to this. "Site audiences are far from monoliths. What's more, a travel advertiser might want to reach not just male sports enthusiasts, but male sports enthusiasts who are interested in traveling to Las Vegas."

Other techiniques, such as contextual ads, have likewise disappointed. As have behavioral ad systems.

But thanks to advances made in ad exchanges such as Google's DoubleClick, the promise is on course for delivery. Advertisers can now spread their bets among  six or more collaborating exchanges, specifying the set price they are prepared to pay for a particular audience - for example males in the 18-35 age group interested in traveling to Las Vegas.

When a surfer arrives at a page, an exchange makes a critical decision based on the data available about that user. It scans through the bids to find the best match for the user. These real-time computations are executed on a banner-by-banner basis.

Which means that although the surfer on the page might not fit the profile of a Las Vegas traveler, other data could indicate that the surfer is a female looking at SUVs, thereby triggering a bid from an automaker.

Elucidates Havas Digital's svp of corporate development Nathan Woodman: "What's happening is that you as a buyer will have the opportunity to make a decision about which ad impressions are most valuable across a gigantic swath of impressions,"

Although only a small percentage of Web ads are processed via such systems, Forrester Research forecasts that 30% of online ads will pass through such such exchanges by the end of this year.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: Adweek.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5040

Will Rubicon Become the NASDAQ for Online Ads?

There's some serious Wall Street money being pumped into the Rubicon Project, a Los Angeles-based startup that aims to do for digital ads what NASDAQ [National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations] did for the digitized broking of stocks and shares. Many online publishers, among them Time Inc, hail Rubicon as a lifeline that enables them to match ad inventory to ad buyers' demands.

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Rubicon evp John Thomas Batson (27) has thrown a lifeline to some online publishers with a system that matches ad inventory to high bids on ad networks and advertising exchanges in which web publishers and advertisers buy and sell space.

In just two months Batson has convinced thirty of the web's larger digital publishers to form a digital consortium where they aim to sell online advertising at rates 60% to 300% higher than at present.

Batson describes his role as that of a 'scarcity referee', ensuring that no publisher under his watch will continue to sell large amounts of cheap digital ad space. (He deflects concerns about antitrust liability by explaining that publishers will all decide their own prices just as they do now.)

Instead, media outlets will sell the premium ads themselves, transferring what's left over to Rubicon. The latter will meld  the inventory, infuse it with consumer data that news outlets collect from their readers [e-mail addresses, gender, income and hobbies] and sell it to marketers with a need to reach carefully defined audiences. "Everybody wins," says Batson.

Participating web publishers include such gold-plated names as Time Inc, Tribune, Hearst and Media News Group.

If Rubicon nosedives, more media outlets could fold for lack of ad revenue. Or they'll come up with new business models, which would mean consumers could be paying for the news they read online.

But if Rubicon succeeds it will help publishers challenge Google-owned DoubleClick, the largest online ad seller which handles 50% of ad network inventory and controls 23% of the world's $65 billion internet ad market.

Observes Rubicon ceo Frank Addante: "That's huge, but it means there's a fragmented 77% still out there. We're going to bring that together and be the platform that helps people compete against Google."

But there's no shortage of competition from other firms that repackage or resell web ad slots. They include AdMeld, Pubmatic and Yahoo's Rightmedia.

Publishers are motivated to work with Rubicon by a survival instinct,  Batson says.

Whereas he is motivated by the nobler desire to keep news and information free. "I don't want to see the day when people have less access to online information - when only the wealthy can afford to read news," says Batson. "But with what we're doing, that day won't come."

In addition to Batson's selfless ambition, Rubicon might well pick up a few billion dollars en route!

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: Forbes.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=4967

US Consumer Groups Oppose Google's Plan to Buy AdMob

US consumer groups Center for Digital Democracy and Consumer Watchdog are up in arms over Google's proposed $750m acquisition of mobile advertising company AdMob and have called upon Jon Leibowitz, chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, to block the deal.

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In the letter to Leibowitz, the watchdogs call on the Federal Trade Commission to block the acquisition by Google of its
direct competitor AdMob.

They argue that the proposed deal "would substantially lessen competition in the increasingly important mobile advertising market".

"The acquisition as proposed is harmful to consumers, advertisers and application developers, among others. We call on
the FTC to use the appropriate statutory and regulatory authority to oppose the merger.

AdMob describes itself as the “largest mobile ad network globally” and claims it has served “100 billion ads since inception, 8 billion/month across 160 countries.”

The two consumer groups complain that Google's acqusition of AdMob would give the former “a massive amount of consumer data to exploit for its benefit”. They further criticized AdMob for providing "inadequate notice and little ability to opt out of its data collection and targets children 13 and over”.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: FT.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=4951

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