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Advertising Week New York Day 3: School is Back in Session

Advertising Week Day 3: School is Back in Session

The School of Programmaticawny_day3_2_small officially launched in the US on Day 3 of Advertising Week and started with an in-depth session on the basics of header bidding. A classroom full of publishers and buyers eager to learn about the game changing technology listened intently as Qasim Saifee, SVP of Monetization, delivered a comprehensive lesson: Header Bidding 101 on his trusty white board.

The breakfast session introduced newcomers to the complex world of header bidding and explored a series of topics for the more seasoned publishers and advertisers, such as how to optimize buys and extending audience reach. Attendees learned about the advertiser benefits of header bidding and how to obtain incremental value from accessing header bidding impressions. awny_day3_5_small

Qasim was then joined on stage by Joe Catanzaro, VP, Ad Operations & Strategy, Warner Bros. Digital Media Sales and Stephanie Snow Vice President, Ad Operations, Intermarkets to talk about real-life header bidding strategies. In an open forum, the group discussed how they’re implementing and optimizing header bidding today and the challenges they’re looking to overcome in the near future. 

awny_day3_8smallOnce school let out, it was off to Pier 40 off the West Side Highway, where more than 300 clients, employees and friends of OpenX jumped aboard a yacht and set sail on the Hudson for a night of live music (from The Magnificent DJ Jazzy Jeff!!!), good food, and gambling (play money only!). Along with stunning views of NYC and its landmarks, the crowd danced the night away to 90s hip-hop hits and tagged #OpenXYachtLife (click here for more pictures!) to document the festivities and re-live the best memories of the night!

 

Advertising Week New York Day 2: Header Bidding, Header Bidding, Header Bidding

The second day of Advertising Week NY was all about header bidding (and pizza bagels at the OpenX School of Programmatic Snack Bar in the Times Center!). Pioneers and first adopters of the technology spoke to the value proposition of maximum competition enabling maximum monetization. The panel of experts, including executives from OpenX, Hearst, CafeMedia and MediaMath and moderated by AdExchanger’s Sarah Sluis, engaged in discussions on the issues of speed, transparency, consumer experience and what’s next in header bidding’s application across formats.

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Importantly, header bidding has allowed publishers to be more effective and thoughtful about how they let programmatic and direct compete together. Both Hearst and CafeMedia were early adopters of the technology, which has empowered them to gain a much better understanding of the value of their inventory. The data provided by header bidding provides insight into what inventory is highly desired and by which buyers, enabling publishers to conduct a better and deeper analysis of their available inventory and price it accordingly. Insight into bids also enables them to prioritize their inventory better so that they can be confident when letting programmatic compete with direct sales, knowing they’re still going to be able to deliver on their guaranteed campaigns. 

Even though the value of header bidding for desktop is clear, challenges still remain for many publishers in the mobile environment. Right now publishers have very little control in mobile, and when utilizing Google’s AMP or Facebook’s Instant Articles, they’re unable to integrate header bidding. 

 Another challenge discussed heavily in the panel is the value proposition to the buy side. MediaMath’s Tanuj Joshi noted that for them, header bidding means more bid opportunities and selection, and more inventory is always better. But, while access to inventory has reached unparalleled levels, buyers are looking for the value it ads. There’s still no standardized way to determine if a bid comes from a header bidding integration or not, and that does matter to players like MediaMath and others on the buy side. Knowing that information impacts auction mechanics, forecasting, etc., so finding a solution that gives buyers that level of insight will significantly increase value.

Key Takeaway: OpenX’s Qasim Saifee said it best, “With header bidding implementations, more is not always better. Work with partners that add differentiated value and incremental revenue, and you will be successful.”

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After the session, attendees had the opportunity to grab an afternoon treat at the OpenX Snack Bar in the Times Center. Bring on the pizza bagels, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and carrot sticks to get everyone through the rest of the day!  

Day 3 is another jam packed day for OpenX as we are hosting the first School of Programmatic session in the US, as well as our client cruise. Stay tuned for our updates tomorrow. 

 

Advertising Week New York Day 1: Mobile and the Future of Programmatic

Day 1 of Advertising Week NY is already in the books and the week started off with some great sessions on mobile and the future of programmatic advertising.

All About Mobile

Maggie Mesa, VP Mobile Buunknownsiness Development represented OpenX on a session titled,“The Lion of the Revenue jungle: Mobile Messaging.” With representatives from TUNE, Emogi, Line and Kik, and, moderated by marketing mogul, B. Bonin Bough, the panel addressed how advertisers can advance to where they are able to have a meaningful and engaging interaction with mobile users. 

Given market expectations that messaging is going to be larger than social media, the issues of multi-platform opportunities, context, and native ads that help brands tell better stories were discussed candidly. 

Key Takeaway: Messaging apps are allowing marketers to build better direct relationships with consumers, but that the technology hasn’t yet fully developed to enable optimization at scale. 

Following that dynamic discussion, Maggie moderated an OpenX sponsored panel, “Bringing Brands In-App: Here’s what you need to know.” Joined by executives from Cheetah Mobile, MeetMe and TapAd, the conversation centered around how publishers or app-developers can evolve their mobile in-app strategy to find the right balance between monetization and user experience, given that brands are under investing in mobile right now. 

Panelists also identified some of the road blocks brands face in-app and what publishers and app-developers can do to help bridge the gap. Importantly, one of the biggest challenges for publishers and app developers is convincing brands that the data they put forward is real and valuable. 

Key Takeaway:  Accountability and creating better metrics for brands to understand the value of mobile advertising will bring brands in app. As Ian Wu noted “In-app is a more engaging environment, brands shouldn’t be afraid to try it out!”

The Evolution of Programmatic & What to Expect in the Future

awny2At a panel later in the afternoon, Tim Cadogan led a discussion with many of the pioneers in online advertising on the Times Center Main Stage. The session, “The Programmatic Evolution,” took a deep dive into the biggest challenges and opportunities of the online advertising industry and what we can expect to see in the near future. 

 

Moderated by Berry Liu from Bloomberg News, Tim, along with Greg Raifman, President, Rubicon Project, Scott Howe, President and CEO, Acxiom, Eric Franchi, Co-founder, Undertone and Mark Zagorski, CEO, eXelate, engaged in a lively conversation that touched on the successes of the first decade of programmatic and the opportunities and challenges like ad blocking that we can expect in the next decade. Core to the discussion was the concept, that Tim raised, of needing to help the principle players: the publishers, marketers and consumers reconstruct a relationship that has become a little frayed. As Greg Raifman said, “Advertising has gotten better, but it’s still not good enough for consumers – we’ve got a lot of work to do, and unless we make big changes in creativity and advertising we won’t make strides against ad blocking.” 

For more of the key takeaways on this session: Media Post’s Tobi Elkin wrote this article providing an excellent recap of the lively debate.

Bidding Without a Header: A Guide to Bidder for Apps

Header bidding is one of the hottest topics in ad tech and the trend isn’t slowing down any time soon. Much like on desktop, serving ads via a “header bidding” implementation on mobile apps provides publishers and app developers with the benefits of more competition and greater revenue potential.

Maggie Mesa, VP of Mobile Business Development, and Justin Re, Director of Mobile Product, recently discussed the key differences between header bidding on desktop and in-app, and how the technology is now being applied to the mobile in-app environment in a Q&A by AdMonsters. 

Read the full article on AdMonsters, Bidding Without a Header: OpenX Explains Their Take on In-App Bidding, to understand the distinct features of bidder in-app, how publishers and app developers can use the technology to gain access to demand from premium brands, and how it’s imperative to work with a partner, like OpenX, that can help you to find the best solution for maximizing your revenue.

If you have any questions about header bidding and Bidder for Apps or for anything else, please contact us and a member of our team will be happy to help you.

Quality Assurance Interns Pave the Way for OpenX’s Broker Software

By: Sandra Ning, QA Intern

Over the past two months, I have been working alongside a fellow Quality Assurance intern, Andrew, to ensure the changes OpenX engineers make to broker software are working as intended.

There are a few challenges to overcome when testing the broker’s real-time bidding auction function. If we want to test new changes to the broker, we must do it without disrupting real-time ad exchanges. That means the code needs to be tested separately from auctions happening in real-time. Furthermore, the broker relies on client data in order to run an auction. If we can’t run real-time auctions to get this data, how can the broker perform its calculations?

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We can circumvent this issue by simulating an auction instance. Old data is fed from previous clients to the broker. This simulation uses broker code to calculate the value of clearing prices and price floors. These numbers are compared against the actual figures from the historical data. If they differ significantly, then the code changes may have disrupted important broker operations like currency conversion or clearing price calculation. This helps engineers identify potential problems in the code early on, which is exactly what testing and quality assurance is all about!

OpenX engineers push changes to the broker development repository several times a day. Therefore a simulation must be run every time a change is made to catch the most errors. Manually running the package after every change is tiresome. Our goal was to develop a precise automated solution. If the system could update the broker, run an auction with old user data, check to see if the broker returned expected values or not, and do it all automatically, testing becomes frequent and easy.

Between Andrew and I, our job was to create this automatic system using GoCD, a continuous delivery server specifically designed to automate workflows like the the process needed to compile and run broker. On GoCD, related tasks that are executed in sequence are called pipelines. Our pipelines needed to begin executing whenever a change is made to the broker code, and:

  1. Build the new version of the broker
  2. Use the new broker version to compile the new simulation package
  3. Run the simulation using data with known input and output
  4. Allow the pipeline to succeed if the broker returns the expected values, or fails if it doesn’t

Without needing to build the architecture for automating these tasks, it seemed simple to build the pipeline. But like any project, various problems cropped up for every step of progress. The first problem is one any intern, or new employee, experiences: overcoming the learning curve. OpenX uses a lot of internal tools to maintain their code and data. Andrew and I ran Hive queries to grab old user data, and used Maven to build the simulation package. We branched, pulled and pushed code from Github and learned how to debug in Eclipse. All of this was in addition to figuring out how to fit the materials, dependencies, tasks and artifacts on GoCD together to make a working pipeline. The auction simulation code was already written when we started working on the project. Problem two was dusting off the code, which hadn’t been updated in months, and editing it to mesh seamlessly with the latest version of broker. Problem three was the trickiest of all—debugging the simulation.

Although the simulation code was written by OpenX’s data science team, it hadn’t been kept up-to-date with the broker’s API. Initial runs of the simulation resulted in errors that made testing impossible. Debugging the problem was tough. The simulation code depends on data files that change daily, and thus must all be from the same date and time for the broker to output correct values. Before making any attempt to comb through the code, we double and triple-checked that these data files were correct, and pulled more files from Hive if they weren’t.

Bugs cropped up from data types not being initialized correctly and from updating the code to fit the new broker API. In the end, Andrew and I were able to completely set up the pipeline to automate the simulation on GoCD. I learned a lot—not just about internal tools or how OpenX’s broker works, but also about asking for help from those around me, and tackling problems from various angles until something gives. I also created something that OpenX engineers will—hopefully—use, long after Andrew and I leave.

Account Managers: OpenX’s Indispensable Utility Players

By: Cameron MacLean, AM Intern

My idea of an Account Manager’s role leading up to my internship with Partner Services at OpenX was simply the management of day-to-day operations with existing clients. I assumed Account Managers made sure every aspect of the partnership ran smoothly. What I quickly learned, however, is that the Account Managers at OpenX don’t just manage day-to-day operations, they do this and more – much more.

From onboarding, testing, launching and implementing new products, to fine tuning the inner workings of the partnership, Account Managers at OpenX are involved in every aspect of a client’s experience. All of these tasks exceeded what I assumed to be an Account Manager’s responsibility. This industry is ever evolving and everyone within it must come to work each and every day and embrace being a “Jack of all Trade.”

As an Account Manager you are the keeper of all information for both OpenX, as well as for the respective partner. Account Managers work diligently to provide the highest quality service to each and every partner. Often they are on the front line serving the client in a plethora of ways. Whether it means presenting quarterly business reports, conducting weekly calls with their partners, finding ways to maximize revenue, decreasing or increasing floor prices, submitting domains to traffic quality for approval or creating ad tags for partners to implement on their sites, everyday is a new journey for account managers.

In ad tech, there are curveballs, there are fastballs, there are changeups and there are wild pitches; that’s a lot to be prepared for and Account Managers must be able to hit, rather, crush every type of pitch. One of the first curveballs I faced was creating video inventory for a partner for the first time. The partner was new to video, so making sure their testing phase was smooth and effective was of the utmost importance. It was here where I learned the importance of leveraging the in-house expertise from the product engineers to solutions architects. I quickly learned the importance of fully understanding a partner’s needs and how OpenX could provide a solution.

My internship has exposed me to various facets of the ad tech industry. I never imagined that I would help create the code for ads that publishers implement on their websites. I work closely with Yield Analysts to develop specific performance reports and alongside Solutions Architects when partners are in need of specific, highly technical support.

The opportunity I’ve most enjoyed thus far is working directly with the Business Development team, which has allowed me to gain invaluable insight about new business opportunities. By working closely with Business Development, Sales Engineers, Solutions Architects, Yield Analysts, among other teams, Account Managers achieve a holistic view of business across the company – ultimately helping OpenX to achieve its goal of creating awesome programmatic marketplaces.

In the weeks I spent at OpenX I learned much more than I expected from a summer internship. Much of what I have learned can be attributed to the culture at OpenX where the opportunity to collaborate is ever-present. My internship presented new challenges and tasks on a daily basis and I can’t imagine a better environment for someone who is just starting out in ad tech to learn and grow. It is challenging, it evolves quickly and it is rewarding.

Insight from the Next Generation: Back for Round 2

It’s that time of the year again. We’ve brought back the intern series!

We believe that an internship program is more than just an opportunity to build your resume. From Pasadena to London to New York to Menlo Park, OpenX interns are fully integrated with their teams, working on fascinating projects and helping shape the future of the company. Our goal is for each OpenX intern to build lasting relationships while doing meaningful work that will lead to full-time employment to those who ‘knock it out of the park’.

This year we’re kicking off the 2016 “Insight from the Next Generation” series with a post from our Corporate Communications Intern, Vasavi Pandey:

A Deep Dive into Corporate Communications 
By: Vasavi Pandey, Corporate Communications Intern

When people ask me what it’s like to work in corporate communications, I often describe the role as the backbone of a company. As a communications professional, it is your responsibility to keep both your internal teams and external contacts informed of relevant industry news, product launches, and your company’s point of view. A communications team has the power to establish recognition for a business, create credibility and educate an audience about its products and perspective.

The countless reruns of Sex and the City don’t help the common perception people have about communications, or public relations, professionals. Working in corporate communications, isn’t the glitz and glam that it’s so often made out to be in the television series. Rather, communications professionals are more akin to “firefighters”. The communications team is responsible for preventing any “crises” and in some cases rescuing a company from a misperception that may exist in the public domain. In the wake of a salmonella crisis, it was Chipotle’s communications team who devised the “free burrito day” campaign to boost sales and restore consumers trust in the Mexican grill chain. It’s a communications specialist who puts on their bunker gear and runs into the fire, it’s a communications specialist who will work with Taylor Swift to recreate her image after a few weeks of Twitter scuffle and negative press.

A corporate communications team is the bridge to the world outside of a business or vertical. A company entrusts its communications team to keep a pulse on industry trends and identify opportunities to join the conversation or highlight a company’s perspective or product. This team of firefighters then must take proactive measures to do so, such as producing content to be disseminated internally and positioned externally.

As an intern with OpenX’s communications team, I have the opportunity to join a team of firefighters and dive into the world of ad tech. Directly experiencing the inner workings of a corporate communications team is a fantastic learning opportunity and because of it, I’ve been able to hone in on a vast range of communications skills.

The communications team at OpenX works endlessly to build relationships and execute messaging that positions the company as the leading programmatic partner for publishers. The team is responsible for securing company bylines and speaking opportunities, pitching stories and news to the media, monitoring press coverage, strengthening social media presence and much more.

Each decision, and resulting action, that is made directly affects the company, its products and its reputation. The fast paced nature of the communications industry balances out perfectly with the collaborative environment at OpenX. At OpenX, each individual contributor has the opportunity to directly impact the company’s growth and success. On the communications team, each contributor has the autonomy to spearhead projects from end-to-end and the opportunity to explore new creative ways of achieving the team’s objectives.

I learned early on in my internship about the importance of versatility. Working at a smaller, more agile company like OpenX, allows employees greater autonomy with projects, but it also requires a certain level of flexibility. I have been writing as much as I am designing graphics for social media or blogs; being able to transition from one medium to the next is incredibly important especially in such a fast paced industry.

From drafting briefing documents for press events to working on bolstering our social media presence to creating infographics for blogs or social media, my internship has helped to refine my communication skills immensely. Everything I’ve learned this summer about ad tech and communications can be attributed to my experience at OpenX.

Interning with OpenX has given me the opportunity to have a hand in projects that shape the future of the company and the collaborative culture has been a perfect place to grow my career from intern to professional.  

Ad-Tech Exits

Archie Sharma, Director of Corporate Strategy at OpenX

The boom in ad-tech during this decade is most pronounced in the number of market entrants using automation technologies, also known as ‘programmatic,’ to facilitate precise delivery of advertising campaigns to any connected device. The proliferation of ad-tech companies begs the question: with so many companies entering the space, what will the industry structure look like in the long run? We were curious to know what trends could be extrapolated from the life cycle of ad-tech firms and the overall ad-tech sector in general. What we found is that the future of programmatic advertising looks very promising, but only for a very few firms.

If we look at the number of new ad-tech companies founded over the last 15 years (Fig. 1), it has consistently grown and peaked in 2012, meaning we can now see normalization in industry entrants. Equally informative is Fig. 2, showing that the number of exits continues to grow each year. The trend highlights the state of many ad-tech companies that are at the point in their lifecycle where their investors are looking for exits.

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That the number of industry entrants peaked in 2012 but the number of exits still continue to increase, suggests that net consolidation in the industry will continue apace for the next few years. The common exits are IPO’s, acquisitions, or failure (going out of business). IPO’s make-up less than 5% of exits; leaving the primary reasons for exits: acquisitions (82%) and failures (13%). Acquisitions and failures reduce the net companies in the industry, leading to further consolidation.

So, how long will consolidation last?
Our data driven approach suggests a high number (200+ per year) of exits through 2018, suggesting the continuation of a strong consolidation trend in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

In order to predict the number of exits in the future, we looked first to the past and determined (Fig. 3) that the average lifespan of an ad-tech firm is approximately 6 years. Additionally, less than 5% of ad-tech firms have survived past 10 years.

Image2We found a strong correlation between the number of companies that have exited in a year to the # of companies that were founded six years ago; the resultant model helped us predict the number of exits (Fig. 4).

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Using the linear fit model; we predict the number of exits for future years shown in Fig. 5. The years 2016 through 2018 show high number of exits (200+ per year). This suggests continued consolidation through 2018. Below, Fig. 7 shows the net operating companies after the consolidation wave.

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Note: Net Companies = [Companies that are operating in year x + New companies Founded in year x] – [Total Exits in year x]

What companies will remain after the consolidation wave?
Despite the increase in number of exits in the ad-tech space, companies that have demonstrated scale and stability are positioned well for future. There is a clear relationship between average investment raised and average revenue when aggregated by company lifetime (Fig. 6) The average revenue for ad-tech firms with proven longevity (10 years or more) is greater than $100mm per year suggesting that attaining scale is increasingly important for survival.

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We predict that an increasingly well-defined landscape is coming into focus for as more ad-tech firms, unable to achieve long-term stability, exit the industry. The majority of ad-tech companies are “stuck in a sub-scale state,” fighting against barrier to achieve scale (if they don’t have it by now, they are not likely to get it at this late in the game). There are a number of reasons these companies have not achieved scale – lack of product differentiation, late entry, lack of focus, poor execution, lack of true technology, and so on. Any one of those factors guarantees low profitability, as their presence in an ad-tech firm creates an inherent inability to serve high volume customers or attract high value clients. The companies left will be the ones who have excelled in these fundamental areas: scale, differentiation (in product and supply or demand), and technological innovations that provide optimal value for their clients and advances the evolution of programmatic industry KPIs overall.

During the first decade of programmatic OpenX achieved differentiation of inventory at scale, earned repeated recognition as a source of highest quality inventory and established a history of product innovation, such as RTB in an open exchange, and header bidding, two technologies that have propelled programmatic to reach its full potential by enabling maximum competition to secure maximum value. The view from OpenX is as much (if not more) excitement as when Tim Cadogan and Jason Fairchild first founded OpenX with a clear and simple purpose: to help publishers monetize great content.

In the next decade of programmatic, the consolidation wave will play out through 2018. Companies with strength of scale and financial stability (>$100mm net) will initiate the M&A activity, representing the majority of ad tech exits for most firms. A few will go public; a few more will simply go out of business. The players today who have a proven history of success are those best positioned to continue to operate as the strongest independent players.

About Archie Sharma
Archie is currently Director, Corporate Strategy at OpenX, a global leader in programmatic advertising. Archie is passionate about helping people in all aspects of understanding where the ad-tech industry is heading. At OpenX, Archie focuses on corporate development and defining/executing various strategic initiatives. Archie’s background as a strategy consultant; both internally for a Fortune 65 technology company & externally as a Management Consultant where he advised Fortune 500 clients has helped him tackle complex problems and present simple solutions using fact-based approach. Archie also holds two US patents in the field of machine learning & predictive analytics, and is passionate about making companies operate more efficiently.

 

Transforming Your Programmatic Strategy: How to Hire Elite Yield Analysts 

Tim Sheets, Senior Director, Monetization at OpenX

With programmatic advertising going mainstream and the walls between direct and indirect sales channels collapsing, the process of managing ad revenue has become a more complicated endeavor for digital media companies. As a result, the role of a yield management team has expanded, and with it, the responsibility to guide their organizations through a myriad of new technologies and plausible revenue increasing opportunities. While there is a ton of great information available for identifying these opportunities, the industry is lacking the practical advice for identifying the people to execute them.

So how can you build an elite yield management team? Hiring managers must move beyond the typical yield analyst job description that only emphasizes quantitative skills. To operate in a cross-functional leadership role as monetization experts, yield analysts must excel in the areas of creativity, communication and pragmatism – qualitative skills often overlooked in the hiring process. Without established certifications or programs to assert expertise in these traits, here are three questions hiring managers should ask to identify an exceptional yield analyst.

HIRING ELITE YIELD ANALYSTS

Creativity: When was the last time you improved an existing process?
With the modern demand stack comprised of hundreds of partners spread across several interconnected platforms, the leading yield-optimization strategies aren’t going to be found in an ops manual. Rather, best practices continually evolve through applying baseline knowledge in innovative ways – taking a creative approach to improve an existing yield-optimization strategy.

For example, in recent memory, the industry has moved from prioritizing demand partners at third-party reported CPMs, to discrepancy-adjusted CPMs, and finally to effective CPMs based on the value of the entire ad call with measures for latency. Taking this progression even further, a creative yield analyst would then overturn a previously accepted truth and recommend serving a demand partner that doesn’t generate the highest CPM for an individual impression, but instead one who contributes to generating maximum yield across the entirety of a publisher’s inventory. By assessing the relative certainty and predictability of each line item in an ad server, the yield team can determine when to employ such a strategy.

Pragmatism: What is header bidding and how should it be used to generate incremental revenue?
Although header bidding is one of hottest topics in late 2015, we can substitute it with the product or concept du jour in programmatic ad sales.  Effective yield analysts need to keep a pulse on industry trends, in turn, they must apply this knowledge to navigate through a growing list of options when making decisions about which products or technologies are worth making the investment when engineering resources are scarce and what is a waste of time.

The ability to fuse multiple sources of demand in a single unified auction proved the value of header bidding. However, as publishers consider “meta” solutions, at what point does redundancy, latency and the chances of something going wrong outweigh the benefits of adding yet another platform? Also, when is the right time to transition from a focus on the quantity of ad impressions to prioritizing viewability and a native experience for buyers? The yield team should be able to forecast the impact and provide recommendations.

Pragmatism is often an unsung virtue in hyper-quantitative roles. To succeed in the fast paced and highly fragmented digital advertising industry, yield analysts must move beyond ideas and theories to uncover practical applications.

Communication: Can you explain the relationship between site latency and total revenue?
When it comes to emerging selling options, there are gaps in baseline knowledge across functional groups, including sales, account management, product and engineering. While considering changes that will impact revenue, the yield team will need to explain concepts in a manner that drives understanding and consensus building. Look for a candidate’s ability to provide concrete examples and use analogies that add a sense of comfort to unfamiliar ideas or terminology.

For instance, driving along the freeways in central California during harvest season reveals caravans of open-top trucks transporting tomatoes across the state, errant tomatoes spilling along the way.  Voila…time, distance and millions of items makes for a fitting analogy for the inevitability of ad server discrepancies and the negative impact of introducing latency in the form of new or unproven partners.

With more than fifty percent of online ad spend expected to flow through programmatic platforms in 2016, there’s a big need for digital media companies to develop subject matter expertise in this area. By emphasizing creativity, pragmatism and communication when hiring for a yield management role, forward-looking companies can turn to their analysts to help develop a programmatic strategy that transforms the way digital ad inventory is sold.

OpenX at Cannes Lions 2016

OpenX’s Cannes Lions 2016 has come to a close after four day of intense meetings, networking, educational and information panels and lots of socializing.

To give you all some context, OpenX at Cannes by the numbers:

  •         Business meetings on board the OpenX yacht: 98
  •         RSVPs for all OpenX events: 1950
  •         Presentations and panels hosted by OpenX: 5
  •         Number of bottles of rose consumed during 4 days: Countless!

On day three, OpenX’s panel titled “Smartphone: Smarter Revenue” drew a capacity crowd as delegates came to hear Maggie Mesa, Vice President, Mobile Business Development at OpenX moderate a discussion on monetization, optimization, trends and strategies for mobile. Joining her was Jason Cooper, General Manager Mobile, Integral Ad Science, Christina Constandache, Vice President of Business Partnerships EMEA & Americas, Cheetah Mobile, Josh Partridge, VP of Sales for EMEA, LATAM and CA from Shazam and Dominic Dunne, UK Managing Director, Drawbridge.

A lively discussion touched on the key advantages of cross device attribution where the increasing use of creative concepts to engage users and location intelligence were all noted as leading trends driving more marketers to mobile apps. The importance of education was cited by the panelists, more specifically how brands need to be educated about what mobile can deliver and how some of mobile’s unique data assets can be leveraged across other media.

When asked about their predictions for the rest of the year, panelists predicted that there will be an upsurge in leveraging different data assets to drive performance, we will see brands differentiate themselves by utilizing more creative solutions as they look to leverage mobile more comprehensively, and that we will see a lot more agencies and brands use verification to measure the success of campaigns.

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Following the panel, OpenX hosted a lunch for attendees, and that evening a “G&T and Fish & Chips” dinner. There was also brisk business in the trading of wristbands to try and get onboard the Daily Mail boat to gawk at B-list celebrities. Some OpenXers were more successful than others!

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Day four saw the Lady in Blue go out into open waters with a VIP guest list on board for an afternoon of quiet away from the heat and hectic energy of the Festival. And finally, OpenX closed out Cannes 2016 with a farewell party on board the yacht.

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A big thank you to all those who joined us for Cannes 2016, au revoir until next year!