Real Time Advertising – The future of Advertising? Experts debate it’s challenges at IAB event

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Regarding my previous post about Oreo’s Real Time Advertising, here’s interesting debate among industry experts on the topic. Gathered at the Internet Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) to enforce a few home truths about the real-time bidding market. The Drum’s has rounded up some of the key themes and main points from the event. Check it out and read my insights below.


ddesk‘s insight:

Is Real Time Advertising really the future of advertising? The phenomena is described as follow on Wikipedia:

A user visits a website with a display advertising, a call is made by the exchange server (database web server) supporting Real Time Bidding (RTB) to the Demand Side Platforms (DSP) or Ad Networks (Ad Exchange) to determine which advertiser gets to serve the ad. Each user has an associated set of attributes, which is transferred from exchange server to the DSP and determines whether the user has the desired attributes (cookies) that the advertiser wants to target. Based on the perceived value of this user, a bid is placed on this ad impression by relevant advertisers and the highest bidding advertiser gets the placement.
A simple real time example: A user heads to a page on a publisher’s website, causing it to start loading. In the same instant the publisher sends out a “bid request” to thousands of potential advertisers saying, “We’ve got this user who is 30, Indian, male and based in New Jersey, US, and recently searched for return air tickets to Delhi, opening a page on our site. How much are you willing to bid for being the only ad on this page?” Within about 100 milliseconds the publisher gets bids from different advertisers, which then analyses to figure out the highest bidder and the brands being advertised. The winner is alerted by the publisher and allowed to place its ad on the page. The remarkable thing about this entire process is how fast and how often it takes place. The entire series of to-and-from communication between publisher and advertisers takes place in 300-500 milliseconds, causing no visible delay to the user. This process is repeated for every ad slot on a page.

The biggest question still remains though: Is this really what the users are asking for? Not the advertisers, but the users?


Check out the video about Real Time Advertising and bidding:

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Facebook’s Growth Since IPO In 12 Big Numbers | TechCrunch

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$FB is still stuck at $26.25, way down from its $38 IPO price, but it’s made important progress since going public a year ago. Daily users up 26%, mobile monthly users up 56%, and revenue up 38% are some highlights.


ddesk‘s insight:

Amazing figures from Facebook. Indeed.

Facebook’s efforts to earn more money have not significantly impeded its mission of connecting the world. The engagement and usage has increased in an astonishing pace. Yes – There are definitely more ads on Facebook, especially on mobile, these days, but the data shows that they’re not annoying users to much. Me included.


The revenue went up 38%  to $1.46 Billion in the first quarter of 2013, up from $1.06 billion in the first quarter of 2012, says Techcrunch.

Mobile is still a problem but there’s a light in the tunnel. On mobile, the revenue went from nearly zero to $375 million a quarter, or about 30% of Facebook’s total ad revenue.

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Real-Time Advertising Has Arrived, Thanks To Oreo And The Super Bowl

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One of the best ads during the Super Bowl yesterday didn’t exist until well after the game started–and didn’t even run on television. It was Oreo’s ad, which was embedded in a tweet made during the half-hour blackout in the third quarter.


ddesk‘s insight:

The future of advertising? A lifesaver for old school media? I still doubt…

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Google+ 2:nd place means nothing without user engagement

Do you remember when Google+ was launched? Then you might remember – it took only 24 days for the social network to reach 20 million users compare to 1035 days for Twitter and 1152 days for Facebook?

According to Global Web Index research, Google+ has continued to grow rapidly, and now, just 1,5 years later, Google+ says to be the second largest social network in the world, with 343 million active users. Whow!! Everyone goes bananas. What a success! Despite Google’s advantage of having a wide range of other services as basis, it’s a heavy growth. No doubt about it.

But are we still in the numbers game? Users? I remember when a user had a commercial value, no matter what. But these days, when we know so much better? “Active user”? Global Web Index defined “active user” as someone who used or contributed to the network in the past month(!) From my perspective it’s not even “a user”, is it?

Less than a year ago, when Google’s CEO, Larry Page, announced that Google Plus had passed over the 100 million users, RJMetrics suspected that the growth was “fueled by Google forcing membership upon users of its other products”, with a very poor engagement as a result.

To find out, they pulled publicly available data on a random population into their online dashboard and got it confirmed that the users engagement was very poor.

Some of their key findings was:

  • The average post has less than one +1, less than one reply, and less than one re-share.
  • 30% of users who make a public post never make a second one. Even after making five public posts, there is a 15% chance that a user will not post publicly again.
  • Among users who make publicly-viewable posts, there is an average of 12 days between each post
  • A cohort analysis reveals that, after a member makes a public post, the average number of public posts they make in each subsequent month declines steadily. This trend is not improving in newer cohorts.
  • Todd Wasserman wrote an article about the findings for Mashable: “Google+ Engagement Still Way Behind Facebook, Twitter” and added that, in contrast, a the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 52% of Facebook users and 33% of Twitter users engage with the platform daily.

The RJ Metrics report emerges after comScore found that Google+ users spent an average of 3.3 minutes on the site in January vs. 7.5 hours for Facebook.

An inconvenient truth for Google+ that also became the chart of the day for Silicon Alley Insider.

Well – that’s a year ago, but I haven’t seen any indicators that the engagement has increased. Have you?


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Don’t scare your audience away in an attempt to convert them into customers

PR practitioners, If you would like to make a difference, to get some attention; to get great relationship with the people that matters to you; to get a sustainable and long lasting relationship with your audience –  stop aiming for sales leads as if it would be the purpose of your efforts.

Business leaders, If you would like your business to be one of the premier institutions – the crown jewels – in its industry; if you would like your business to be widely admired by knowledgeable business people; if you would like your business to make an indelible imprint on the world in which we all live – a sustainable business year after year – stop striving to make a profit as if it would be the purpose of your business.

If the purpose of a business is to make a profit. And the purpose of PR efforts is to generate leads and sales – you will fail.

Visionary companies - the best of the best in their industries

After six years of research, Jim Collins, the author of “Build to last”, found out that the common themes of what he call “the visionary companies” is that they all have got a “visionary framework”. He has chosen the term “visionary companies”, rather than just “successful” or “enduring” companies, to reflect the fact that they have distinguished themselves as a very special and elite breed of institutions. They are more than successful. They are more than enduring. In most cases, they are the best of the best in their industries, and have been that way for decades.

The purpose of their business is not to make profit

The key elements of the visionary framework are core values and core purpose. Values – the essential and enduring tenets of an organization, a small set of timeless guiding principles. And Purpose – the organization’s reason for being; the soul of the organization. Elements that never changes.

The purpose of a visionary company is not to make a profit. Visionary companies strive to provide value, change things for the better, solve problems and meet needs.

A few quotes from people mentioned in the book:

John Young, former CEO, Hewlett-Packard, 1992 said: “…profit – as important as it is – is not why the Hewlett-Packard exists; it exists for more fundamental reasons.”

In Merck & Company’s, Internal management guide, 1989, it’s written: “We are in the business of preserving and improving human life. All of our actions must be measured by our success in achieving this goal.”

And Don Petersen, former CEO, Ford, said 1994: “Putting profits after people and products was magical at Ford.”

The purpose of your PR efforts shouldn’t be t to generate sales leads

I believe this applies to your PR efforts as well. Unfortunately, we’re now drowning in posts that’s all about how to generate sales leads as a result of our PR efforts.

Ian Cleary (PR Daily) invited us earlier this month to Convert Facebook fans to customers… He said: “It’s easy to get caught up with the number of fans you have on Facebook, but we’re in the business of selling our products and services. Your time spent on Facebook needs to be rewarded.”

No, we PR practitioners are not in “the business of selling”. We are in the business of serving our community.

A year ago I read another article by Mike Santoro, President for Walker Sands: 8 Ways To Measure Return On PR Investments, where Mike says: “Good PR [...] driving leads to your door. When your company prioritizes strategic placements in trade and consumer publications, your sales organization will inevitably experience a bump in the area of inbound leads.”
And furthermore:  “A robust PR strategy should substantially shorten the length of your organization’s sales cycle. In general, the use of thought-leadership materials and media placements reduces sales cycles by 10% or more–creating efficiencies that can be leveraged to increase the volume of prospects and leads that are managed by your existing sales team.”

From my perspective, a great side effect, but hopefully not the goal, nor the purpose.

The Council of Public Relations Firms in U.S made a statement in a post by Tim Marklein that “Money matters: Rethinking ROI for Public Relations”.

The Council had earlier that year “established a new measurement committee to help drive development and adoption of industry standards for public relations measurement” which argue “for a strict definition of ROI for public relations focused purely on financial calculations of return against investment.” And the committee argues for that a “strict “money in, money out” definition is critical for public relations leaders to embrace if they are to maintain credibility in the executive suite and boardroom.”

Don’t do that. Please, stick to your mission instead and fulfill the real purpose with your PR efforts.

Because, as another blogger said: “…  it is not a matter of selling campaign, the role is more structural to bring confidence from the reader to the informer.” Or as Alison Theaker explains in his book the Public Relations Handbook: “Public Relations is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and understanding between an organisation and its publics.” Period!

Meghan Peters wrote an very interesting post The Future of Community Management for Mashable, relating to the same topic. He refers to Kathy Sierra, a programming instructor and game developer, presentation Building the Minimum Badass User, in which she said:

“People don’t buy your product because they like the product; they buy your product because they like themselves”. And Sierra argues that “this is the brand-user disconnect: Community managers want users to think the brand is awesome — but users want to be awesome.”

Like Mashable’s Meghan Peters, who urges his reader to “focus on a vested community”, I strongly recommend you to serve the people your are there for; the people who are the reason for why your business exist. Period! Money will follow.

Posted in kommunikation, Marketing, PR, PR 2.0, Uncategorized. Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , . Comments: Leave a comment