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UK Adtech leading women share their predictions for 2019



After reflecting on the digital strategy choices your company made in 2018, it's wise consider the emerging trends for the year ahead. Appetite Creative recently asked seven leading female Adtech professionals in the UK digital sector to share their predictions for 2019. Topics on the agenda include the influence of China, AI, voice, data, innovation, ad fraud and personalisation…

Bianca Best, global managing director of Blink & Strategic Partnerships at Mediacom



I believe 2019 will see our media landscape shaped by some of the staggering trends we’ve seen surge in China over the past 18 months. Firstly, I believe we’ll shift into a mobile only, as opposed to mobile first, agenda with personalised voice intimacy top of engagement goals.

Secondly, I foresee brands becoming bolder, embracing the ‘age of acceleration’ with more aggressive trials and rapid core data gathering as opposed to waiting for perfection before launch eg cashier-less stores: thousands in China gathering behavioural data while the technology is refined vs Amazon Go’s tentative smallscale three-store Californian launch.

Thirdly, I predict the power of key influencers becoming fundamental to marketers’ e-commerce strategies, for example, live-streaming teleshopping functionality opening up new revenue channels. I’m hugely excited by all of this and a mindset of curiosity, experimentation and specialist partnerships will need to underpin every foray.

Jenny Stanley, chief executive, Appetite Creative Solutions and FemmeNiche

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2019 is already being heralded as a year of radical change and challenges. The two areas that will have a significant effect on this are GDPR; and the increased use of AI in digital.

GDPR legislation has reduced the use of ‘cookies’ which has damaged ad revenue streams. However, off the back of legalising has come enforced creativity. There is less programmatic inventory available which has pushed prices up and made higher quality sites and ad formats more appealing. Creativity, not conformity, will be the biggest differentiating factor in who successfully monetises their inventory or campaigns in 2019.

The second prediction is the increased growth in audio in 2019 through machine learning. Given that nearly 50% of all searches will be made through voice search by 2020, brands should plan on using AI to be more creative in communicating with consumers, via audio and voice-activated creative formats.

Fiona Salmon, managing director, UK at 1plusX AG

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Instead of brands and publishers giving users personalized experiences based on their previous interests, in 2019, AI will accurately predict users' future interests from their very first visit to a webpage. Advanced machine learning will attribute specific interests and characteristics to users so relevant content and advertising can be displayed to each consumer immediately.

Shirley Smith, sales director, flashtalking

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In 2019, publishers are set to make greater investments in updates to their sites to support more creative ad formats such as interactive, responsive and rewarded video.

To really set these formats on fire, ads must be data-driven and highly personalised. By utilising data and marketing insights to inform dynamic video campaigns, brands can deliver impactful messages at scale and captivate audience attention.

To keep advertising cutting-edge, publishers, agencies, brands and vendors, all need to work closely together, and remain committed to driving constant innovation in the industry.

Celine Saturnino, chief commercial officer, Total Media

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2019 will bring quality and value in media into an even sharper focus. We expect to see significant leaps in transparency delivered across the ecosystem and a much greater emphasis placed on delivering effective creative suited to the environment. Developments in retail and voice activated devices will mean many brands will need to focus on ensuring high levels of spontaneous awareness perhaps heralding greater investments into channels which have, more recently, suffered from the dominance of ‘digital’ platforms.

Julia Smith, director of communications, Impact

Julia Smith, director of communications, Impact


2019 may well be the year where we see companies hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Fraud continues to be a battle that our industry is fighting against; and whilst many companies are committed to ensuring that they are trading in fraud-free inventory, those that don't are likely to be exposed.

The stark truth is that ad fraud messes with every aspect of digital marketing; skewing the attribution model and channeling marketing spend into the hands of the fraudsters. Let's hope that, as an industry, we win the battle against this epidemic in 2019.

Lucia Mastromauro – VP global development, Adform

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Ad creative will increasingly catch up with Adtech. The speed of delivery and personalisation of content will increase in 2019. After all, a creative is more than its click-through rate! Dynamic advertising media that addresses every user in a personalised way will increasingly liberate us from the same repetitive creative.

Online we no longer have weeks, days or hours, the user is now in a time-specific situation and we can reach them with a certain message in the moment. The technology is there to tell us exactly when this moment is, and how a user can be identified and targeted at that precise moment.

All in all, the barriers to creativity are mostly human – as the technology is already there, enabling efficient human machine collaboration and interfaces – what we call artificial intelligence (AI) nowadays.

Another prediction, is on data ownership and execution no longer being a niche issue, as it is gaining strategic importance.

This means a great opportunity for agencies in particular, who have been seeing consulting firms expand their presence in the advertising space. Well realistically, only very few advertising companies will be able to handle in-house the complete strategy and execution of their data strategy. Agencies need to continue to play a very important role not only in media, but assisting their clients understand, integrate and leverage their data creatively and efficiently.

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10 questions with… Anna Watkins, UK managing director of Verizon Media



In an attempt to showcase the personalities of the people behind the media and marketing sector, The Drum speaks to individuals who are bringing something a little different to the industry and talks to them about what insights and life experience they can offer the rest of us. This week's 10 Questions are put to Verizon Media's UK managing director Anna Watkins.

What was your first ever job?
It would have been washing my dad's car to earn my £1 pocket money each week. Smart man.

Which industry buzzword annoys you most?

Who do you find most interesting to follow on social media?
@POTUS is truly mind-boggling.

what is the highlight of your career (so far?)
Working with such a creative, inspiring and intelligent bunch of people every step of the way.

What piece of tech can you not live without?
It's baffling that I was born in London yet still seem to use Citymapper every day.

Who or what did you have posters of on your bedroom wall as a teenager?
Adam Ant and Count Dracula (aged 7). I'm not quite sure what that says about me.

In advertising, what needs to change soon?
We need a truly diverse workforce.

If you could change anything about a social media platform you use, which one and what would you choose to do?
It’s more a question of changing myself – I need to flex my creative muscles if I’m ever to make more than one friend on Tumblr…

What is (in your opinion) the greatest film/album/book of your life?
Scarface / Sign of the Times / War and Peace – delusions of grandeur, mine and theirs.

Which industry event can you not afford to miss each year and why?
The big awards bashes – it's like going to a series of weddings where you know half the guests.

The Drum's 10 Questions With… runs each week with previous entries available to view here.

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Mobile carriers end data sharing with location aggregators; should marketers worry?



The collection and use of real-time mobile-location data has emerged as a critical piece of the larger data-privacy debate. A recent run of negative stories have conveyed the impression that location data usage by marketers is tantamount to spying on consumers.

We’re also starting to see lawsuits, like one recently filed by the Los Angeles City Attorney against the Weather Company, for allegedly misleading consumers about how their location data would be used. More suits will likely follow.

Carriers cut off data sharing. The negative coverage and exposure of some high-profile abuses have motivated major U.S. mobile carriers to cut off location data sharing with third party “location aggregators.” The latest to do so is AT&T, following a story by Motherboard that indicated carrier data was getting into the hands of unauthorized third parties — bounty hunters, in this case — and being used for legally dubious purposes.

As a practical matter, these moves are unlikely to significantly impact use of location data by advertisers on major platforms or in the programmatic ecosystem. AT&T owns AppNexus; Verizon owns Verizon Media Group (the rebranded Oath). Location data will probably still be available to advertisers on these platforms — they’re not “third parties.” (We’ve asked Verizon for clarification on this point and will update the story if they respond.)

Calls for more regulation or legislation. Location data are so valuable and widely available that abuses are inevitable. Some of these increasingly frequent reports are adding momentum to calls for federal data privacy legislation. The carriers’ decision to cut off location aggregators is at least partly an effort to preempt investigations and potentially forestall regulation.

Some location data companies embrace the proposition of clear regulatory or legislative guidelines, however.

For example, PlaceIQ CEO Duncan McCall recently told me in email: “I think that the California Consumer Privacy Act and hopefully a similar federal law (as a state-by-state patchwork of different laws would be good for no one) will not only give consumers protection and confidence, but will finally give the digital data and location data ecosystem a well-thought out set of rules and guidelines to adhere to. This will bring stability and predictability to the industry, and help weed out some of the “wild west” players that have had no interest in investing for the long term good of the ecosystem.”

Most location-data companies also say they adhere to ethical data-collection practices and are scrupulous about being “good actors” in the ecosystem. Some are vocal about the responsible and/or socially beneficial use of location technology. And some organizations (e.g., NAI) are seeking to enforce transparent and ethical data collection standards. Foursquare told me in email that their apps and partners seek opt-in consent for use of location data.

Why you should care. Location data is available from a wide range of sources in the market, including app developers and the programmatic bid stream. The loss of carrier location is not a significant blow to the ecosystem.

However it is reflective of a trend toward the tightening of access to location information more generally. While it remains to be seen whether federal privacy legislation passes in 2019 (multiple bills have been proposed), California’s Consumer Privacy Act will go into effect January 1, 2020. Other states may enact similar or more strict laws, which would lend further impetus to comprehensive federal legislation.

The post Mobile carriers end data sharing with location aggregators; should marketers worry? appeared first on Marketing Land.

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Catalina adds first attribution tracking service



Best known as a provider of retail marketing intelligence based around loyalty cards and in-store printed coupons, Catalina this week released its first attribution service.

Called Catalina Multi-touch AttributR, it traces a path from digital advertising — in various channels on various devices — to a purchase made in a store with a loyalty card. The company is able to track purchases down to the UPC bar code level.

At the level of the Diet Coke flavor. Coca-Cola, for instance, can now track how a web site ad shown on a computer affects the purchase of a Diet Coke, as well as whether the flavor chosen is Twisted Mango versus Ginger Lime. Additionally, the attribution service can report if it’s the first time this consumer bought Twisted Mango.

Previously, Catalina measured how its printed in-store coupons affected buyer behavior, but it didn’t track the impact of ads. The new attribution solution is the company’s first effort to link digital ads to buyer behavior, and it plans to add addressable TV ads to the system.

Catalina tags the digital ad with its own attribution pixel, which is called when the ad is shown and provides data on the specific campaign deployments.

But the connection between the ads shown, the various devices used by a single individual, and the in-store purchases are actually made by consumer data firm Experian on Catalina’s behalf, through such persistent identifiers as phone numbers or email addresses.

“Not in the business of knowing who you are.” In the new attribution service, the retailer sends the loyalty card ID to Experian, which matches it with the digital cross-device profile of a given individual and with the ads shown to the user on those devices. Experiam then returns a report to Catalina that uses an anonymized ID.

Catalina CMO Marta Cyhan told me the company deals only with anonymized IDs because “we’re not in the business of knowing who you are,” although Experian does have PII.

The data is updated daily to a self-service dashboard for brands (see below) and, since Experian tracks profiles, the attribution can also include the effect of ads on repeat purchases, new buyers of a product category and other consumer behaviors.

Difference from NCS. Catalina, which filed for bankruptcy protection last month, is also known as a partner in Nielsen Catalina Solutions (NCS), which employs data from the in-store coupons and loyalty cards. But, Cyhan said, Catalina’s new attribution measures individuals across multiple channels deterministically, since the actual people are known through the Experian matching, while NCS is focused on measuring single channels through probabilistic modeled data.

Additionally, she said, Catalina’s new solution is updated daily, includes buyer behavior changes and provides granularity down to the UPC level, while NCS provides post-campaign reports on overall sales lifts.

Why you should care. Catalina’s shopper data is used widely by marketers, and this first attribution service will help brands determine the impact of their paid media spend.

Additionally, Catalina is providing a very fine level of granularity, down to the individual product bar code, with a very high level of certainty. This approach could provide the kind of accurate, return-on-spending results that major consumer brands have clamored for.

The post Catalina adds first attribution tracking service appeared first on Marketing Land.

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