Ad serving, measurement... global technologies of tomorrow

Ad serving technology has been discussed in the digital space for some time now. Many don’t bring the conversation up again for the sheer complexity of the data that it involved. Matthew Hunt, MD, UK, Adconian, spoke further on ad serving and the role that it played in the technologies of tomorrow. Also speaking on the subject was Gian Fulgoni, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder, Comscore, who spoke about measurement and how simple actions impacted online measurement.

e4m by Noor Fathima Warsia
Published: Apr 21, 2010 8:44 AM  | 3 min read
Ad serving, measurement... global technologies of tomorrow

Ad serving networks became popular when Google announced its intention to buy DoubleClick and shortly after Microsoft acquired aQuantive. Since the big online giants were on that road, it looked like the right direction but the situation lacked clarity and answers to questions such as why would anyone let an outsider distribute their content. On the second day of the Festival of Media 2020, Matthew Hunt, MD UK, Adconian spoke more on ad serving and why it was a global technology of tomorrow.

Hunt informed that the advertising networks space was a third of the total internet population. They were the leading content distribution of tomorrow, and that today many ad networks had priority ad serving technology. He said, “When we think about ad serving tech, the key is to get a scalable platform.”

He observed that distribution was about monetisation, and the forms of content varied from music clips to films that required distribution strategy - the challenge was that it was proving difficult in a media market that had become far too segmented. Hunt said, “Internet allows you to deliver niche content to niche audience but niche marketing doesn’t not provide scale. How do you find that audience that would give you scale, and what are the pull and push distribution mechanisms?” He cited the example of the BBC that was clearly a pull example, and the CBS that was pushing its content through various online channels.

He said, “Rather than waiting for people to come to your site, take the message out to where the audience are. Work with a partner who has a syndication network, has a network of affiliates. In a network environment, any site that reaches a huge number of audience, is the TV station of tomorrow. Apart from scale, all advertising is contextually relevant in this form of advertising. From content consumption, data generation, content recommendation and content targeting, ad serving allowed a robust video platform with significant scale.”

Gian Fulgoni, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder, Comscore came on the stage next and spoke how digital was driving a trend to massive databases that delivered in real time. He explained to the audience on simple aspects such as deletion of cookies and the impact that that could have in online measurement. He said, “Around 30 per cent to 50 percent audience delete cookies in a month, and cookie deletion creates audiences measurement issues.” He spoke on website cookies and ad server cookies, and how deletion rates added to the problem.

He said, “Massive data and real time can be misleading if wrong metrics are used. Cookie deletion for instance can give up to 2.5 times overstatement of unique visitors, and overstatement of reach and understatement of frequency. The way we reconciled this was by doing complete online measurement.” He also spoke on mobile media measurement, where mobile users logged on to the internet.

Fulgoni also stressed that online advertising was beyond click rates. He said, “Click rates on individual campaigns have continued to drop, and if click was the only metric, the takeoff from that would be that Internet advertising doesn't work anymore. However, that is not how online has to be viewed -- the digital world is not flat, your view of it shouldn't be either.”

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