Decoding The Programmatic Media Buying Ecosystem In The World’s Largest Digital Market

Xiaofeng Wang

Digital media buying is changing dramatically all over the world — traditional buying models have been displaced by new programmatic buying models. China, the world’s largest and fastest-growing digital market, started later in programmatic buying, but is catching up quickly. However, China’s ecosystem is less mature, with hundreds of players competing fiercely in different sectors. My latest report, The World’s Largest Digital Market Goes Programmatic, provides an overview of the landscape and key features of the programmatic buying market in China.

Programmatic buying is gaining momentum in China because:

  • Chinese consumers are addicted to online media. Metro Chinese online adults already spend more time on online media than offline.
  • Spending on online display ads is increasing rapidly. As a result of skyrocketing online media consumption, China is now the second-largest online advertising market in the world. Metro Chinese online adults are also more open to online display ads than online adults in the US.
  • Advertisers are eager to improve buying effectiveness. China’s digital advertising market is more fragmented than those in Western countries, and it’s more challenging for Chinese marketers to achieve a positive return on their digital investments.
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Just Don't Call It Native Advertising

Ryan Skinner

In the context of writing a report on the native advertising technology landscape, I was looking at many publishers' native advertising products when it occurred to me:

Nobody uses the same damn name for native ads, no one calls it 'advertising', and almost no one calls it 'native'.

Here's a word cloud of all the names used for native advertising products by 20 leading publishing houses (full list of the publishers below).

Not a single name for this product was repeated publisher to publisher.

Let me repeat that:

Not a single name for this product was repeated publisher to publisher.

Now, I get branding. Ford's not going to name their new car Chevy. But this isn't branding. Chevy and Ford can both agree that the Mustang and the Camaro are, in fact, cars. Ford doesn't call its cars Frisbees, and Chevy doesn't call them PersonTransporters, and think they're competing in wildly different markets.

Further, here's the hall of native ad product naming fame (or shame, if you will):

Top Prize For Most Orwellian-Named Native Ad Product: Mashable's 'BrandSpeak'
(apparently, this is a dialect invented on Madison Avenue, spoken only by a gaggle of editorial primates and consists entirely of CamelCase AdjectiveNames)

Top Prize For Advertising Not-Advertising But-Still-Advertising: Vox's 'Vox Creative'
It sits under the 'Advertising' category of the site, next to another offering called...'Advertising'. I don't even.

Top Prize For 'Let's Admit It, This Could Be Just About Any Old Thing': Economist's 'Content'

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Have What It Takes To Win In A Post-Digital World?

Carlton Doty

We had a fantastic event last week in New York, as 750+ marketing leaders converged on Forrester’s Marketing 2016. The big theme this year was how to succeed as a marketer in a post-digital world.

What’s “post-digital” you ask? Well, we’re living in that world today and it’s time to acknowledge it. Digital technology is embedded in our daily lives as consumers, as professionals – as human beings. I opened the event describing how marketing evolves in three phases: The pre-digital era was characterized by a mass-media centric, one-to-many approach; the digital era ushered in a data-driven, one-to-one mantra; and today we’re in a post-digital world, and your success will be determined by your ability to adapt to one-to-moment marketing.

The digital distinction now dissolves into our daily lives. This raises the stakes for marketers because your customers aren’t just empowered by digital technology – they’re actually entitled. They think they deserve something, they want it now, and if you can’t provide it, they will quickly find it somewhere else. Forrester and industry speakers explored this phenomenon over the course of our 2-day forum. Here are the top 5 key takeaways from last week:

1. Adopt A Post-Digital Mindset.

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Master Mobile Moments To Win In The IoT World

Thomas Husson

Marketers are always falling in love with mobile’s latest “shiny new object” and new technology acronyms — 5G, BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy), NFC (near-field communication), RWD (responsive web design), etc. — and they’re constantly looking for the next platform, whether it’s virtual reality (VR), bots, artificial intelligence (AI), or the internet of things (IoT).

However, it is time to stop this quixotic quest for a paradigmatic new platform to replace mobile! Instead, recognize that mobile will activate these adjacent technologies to enable new brand experiences.

I’ve just published a new report, “The Internet Of Things Redefines Brand Engagement,” which looks at the benefits that IoT will open up for marketers and how IoT and mobile will overlap in the years to come.

Over the past decade, smartphones have become a sort of black hole, integrating a huge array of sensors, but mobile is now exploding back out to our environments. Sensors and connectivity are expanding beyond smartphones to our wrists, bodies, cars, TVs, and washing machines as well as to buildings and “invisible” places in the world around us. The IoT is generating tectonic shifts among digital platforms and tech vendors, signaling a new wave of disruption, and unleashing new forms of competition.

The IoT is also redefining brand engagement by enabling marketers to:

  • Listen to their customers and analyze their real behaviors.
  • Create more frequent and intimate consumer interactions.
  • Differentiate their customer experience.
  • Build new offerings and business models.
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Let’s Put Enterprise Marketing Technology Into Context

Rusty Warner

Context – noun –  con·text – \ˈkän-ˌtekst\

What is context? According to Merriam-Webster, context is “the situation in which something happens or the group of conditions that exist where and when something happens.” We’ve been using it since late Middle English speakers adapted the Latin contextus, from con (together) and texere (to weave). For marketers, context means understanding attitudes, behaviors, and preferences to address the requirements of individual customers in their moments of need.

It is critical for marketers to embrace customer context. Why? Winning in the age of the customer depends on the interactions that people have with your brand, and compelling customer experiences materialize only when your firm understands its customers and anticipates their needs.  The context of all those interactions determines whether customers will engage and, more importantly, transact with your brand again. Marketing’s job is to harness the power of customer context to create a repeatable cycle of interactions, drive deeper engagement, and learn more about the customer in the process.

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United States of #Engagement’s Declaration of #Engagement

Ryan Skinner
Just go with this for a moment:
 
We hold these #engagements to be self-evident, that all #engagements are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are #engagement, #engagement and #moreengagement.--That to secure these rights, #engagements are instituted among Men, deriving their just #engagements from the consent of the #engaged, --That whenever any Form of #engagement becomes destructive of these #engagements, it is the Right of the [brands/advertisers/publishers/viral video creators/social agencies/engagement metrics vendors] to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new #engagement, laying its foundation on such #engagement and organizing its #engagement in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their #engagement. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that #engagements long established should not be changed for light and transient #engagements; and accordingly all #engagement hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to #share, while #engagements are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the #engagements to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of #engagements, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute #engagement, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such #engagement, and to provide new Guards for their future #engagement.
 
Signed,
The #Engaged
 
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The Magic of Disney's Brand Promise

Melissa Parrish

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Disney World for what's recently become an annual trip. I've always been a fan-- I spent most of my childhood in South Florida which means I was either going to love everything Disney or develop a deep aversion to it-- which makes it as nostalgic a vacation choice as it is a "magical" one.

If you're a Forrester client, you've seen Disney mentioned in research and speeches many times-- and for good reason. They're frequently on the forefront of innovation across the company, its products and brand extensions, all of which contributes to making it one of the country's most admired companies. As a consumer, these annual vacations give me a tangible glimpse into both the constant iterations of their digital commitment and the consistency with which they embrace and apply their brand promise. On the other hand, the experience also reveals just how difficult it can be maintain such a high standard once a brand has established it.

Here's what stood out this trip:

Disney continues to demonstrate its brand promise-- "magical" experiences abound

All of us marketing analysts at Forrester talk about the importance of demonstrating and delivering your brand promise, not just communicating it. And if you're joining us atMarketing 2016 next week, you'll hear this emphasized many times. Disney never fails to impress me on this front. For example:

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6 Reasons BuzzFeed's Revenue Miss Is OMG!

Ryan Skinner

BuzzFeed's supposed to be the media company that holds the answer to the media business's future in a post-banner world. While the media world is dying, BuzzFeed's been hiring, growing to new markets, winning new investment on high valuations and projecting hockey stick sales growth.

But worrying signals that BuzzFeed was struggling were confirmed in an article by Financial Times, which cited a miss on 2015's revenue target and a halving of 2016's target. To this, BuzzFeed's chairman said "There's nothing cratering in the industry. It's better than ever." Meanwhile, he offered no evidence to the contrary, reminding this analyst of:

 Counter to Lerer's assurances and in line with FT's findings, there are some pretty good reasons BuzzFeed may be missing its numbers. I'll present them in true BuzzFeed listicle style (all gifs credited to giphy.com). Here goes:

1) BuzzFeed's tried to position itself and its expected revenue as a software play, but it's just....not.

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Zuckerberg 101 - F8 2016

Erna Alfred Liousas

If you’re unfamiliar with it, F8 is a two-day event focused on developers, a crucial part of Facebook’s ecosystem. I was fortunate enough to attend, and though I have many takeaways, which I'll discuss in upcoming posts, the one that surprises me most is Mark Zuckerberg himself.

Zuckerberg’s rousing introductory keynote set the foundation for the two-day event. He kicked things off with an ambitious 10-year road map.

(Image credit: Facebook News)

Let’s be honest: The most we see from companies today is a three-year road map or, for the adventurous, a five-year road map. Yes, Zuckerberg caught our attention once he took the stage; however, when the 10-year road map slide appeared, a new type of energy filled the venue. As a result, I couldn’t help but take a holistic look at his approach and name it “Zuckerberg 101.” For F8, this approach consisted of a foundational message, expectation setting, and an appeal to the audience. Take note marketers because this approach is one we can all use to foster connections with our audiences. It also helps us understand Facebook’s long-term strategy, along with its near- and long-term investments. Zuckerberg 101 consists of:

  • A foundational message. F8 2016's message is that Facebook’s mission of connecting everyone is everything. The 10-year road map echoes this vision with key milestones that aim to provide everyone with the power to share. All subsequent presentations reflected this theme throughout the event, creating a consistent message.
    Key takeaway: If you're trying to change the world (or anything else), make sure everyone knows why you’re in it to win it.
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Facebook To Collect Brand-Sponsored Content Data

Ryan Skinner

An announcement late last week by the Facebook media team may have been overlooked by many marketers, but it has intriguing ramifications.

Facebook announced that it would effectively allow any organization with a verified page to publish brand-sponsored content without asking Facebook for explicit permission first, provided that content was tagged to the brand. They said:

Today we're updating our branded content policy to enable verified Pages to share branded content on Facebook. Along with changes to our branded content policy and ads policy, we're offering a new tool that makes it easy for publishers and influencers to tag a marketer when they publish branded content. Publishers and influencers must use this tag for all branded content shared on Facebook.

What does it mean?

  1. Facebook's going to have lots and lots of data on which publishers work with which brands and how that content performs across Facebook. This 'new tool' is at the very least a passive instrument (clocking events), with the opportunity to turn it into an active program (reporting and optimizing events). MarketingLand moots the idea that Facebook may in future ask for a cut of that relationship, which seems unlikely; why would Facebook double tax in a way that potentially supressed creation and thus, as a knock-on effect, suppressed the content's distribution, which is where Facebook is playing? Rather, Facebook would want to use the data to encourage more partnerships.
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