What You Need to Know About CCPA

It was only a matter of time before the U.S. passed its version of GDPR: The California Consumer Privacy Act, AKA CCPA (because the industry definitely needs another acronym), will go into effect January 2020.  But how similar is California’s take on privacy and will current GDPR protections comply with CCPA? 


Motivated by recent, large scale breaches of consumers’ information, including the March 2018 incident with data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica that exposed the misuse of tens of millions of people’s personal data, the CCPA’s purpose is to take greater safeguards to protect consumers’ privacy against misuse stemming from carelessness, shadiness, and outright theft and fraudulent activities. The bill grants California residents grants greater privacy and control over their data while demanding more transparency and communication from businesses.

What is it? 

Essentially, businesses must now provide explicit information on how and to whom personal data is being used, as well as honor requests for more information by consumers.  Businesses must also clearly state if they engage in selling their customer data. 

Under CCPA, businesses are required to provide California residents with the right to:

  • Know what personal data is being collected about them.
  • Know whether their personal data is sold or disclosed and to whom.
  • Say no to the sale of personal data.
  • Access their personal data.
  • Request a business to delete any personal information about a consumer collected from that consumer.
  • Not be discriminated against for exercising their privacy rights.

As such, businesses are required to notify and request permission from customers before collecting data, state its purpose, use the data in a lawful manner, and comply with consumers’ requests for deletion.

When does it go into effect?

January 1, 2020 (confusing as it is called “The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018.”). It becomes enforceable on July 1, 2020. 

Who does it apply to?

The CCPA applies to any for-profit businesses (not nonprofits or governmental entities) in the state of California that collect consumers’ personal data and meets at least one of the following criteria:

  • Has annual gross revenues in excess of $25 million
  • Handles data of more than 50,000 people or devices
  • Earns more than 50% of its annual revenue from selling consumers’ personal information.

Is it really California only?

California is an important state to set a privacy precedent. Not only does it hold the largest population in the United States (39.56 million in 2018), but it’s home to the hot bed incubator of tech powerhouses and cutting edge startups. Notable digital companies headquartered in California include Alphabet/Google, Apple, Facebook, and Oracle.

While the law only applies to customers that live in California, most companies will have to shift privacy policies to accommodate it. Other states will likely follow suit and use the CCPA as an example to set their own state-level privacy laws. 


The good news is that CCPA and the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) have many similarities, so companies that have adopted practices that comply with GDPR will be pretty well-prepared for CCPA. Both the CCPA and the GDPR adopt an expansive definition of personally identifiable information (PII) and value the customer’s right to choose and understand how their data is being used.  There are some differences – overall, CCPA is more specific in their requirements, while GDPR is a bit broader. 

PWC offers a great table comparing the two on main points, from scope to enforcement:

What about child data: CCPA vs. GDPR vs. COPPA?

The protection of child data is not new in the US: the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) came into effect in 1998. (In Europe, child data was treated like every other piece of personal data until the GDPR set specific and stronger rules.) Now, the CCPA goes even further than COPPA in children’s data protection: While all consumers can opt-out of the sharing of their information, consumers under the age of 16 must opt-in. And if they’re under 13, their parents or guardians must opt-in (EdSurge, 2018).

What do consumers think?

67% of US online adults and 57% of European (EU-5) online adults are not comfortable with companies sharing and selling their data and online activities, according to Forrester research. And 51% of US online adults and 48% of EU-5 online adults report taking active measures to limit the collection of their data by apps and websites (“Tackle The California Consumer Privacy Act Now” Forrester Research, Inc., February 8, 2019).

55% of US privacy professionals plan to be CCPA-compliant prior to January 1, 2020. 25% plan to be ready for July 1, 2020, when the law becomes enforceable (International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) and OneTrust via eMarketer).



5 Takeaways from Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report 2019

5 Takeaways from Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report 2019

Cover Image Source: AdAge

Mary Meeker released her annual Internet Trends Report last week, and, as always, we can all agree on one constant in this fractious world: technology and internet use is growing. In that sense, nothing was “groundbreaking,” but there were some definite recurring themes, like growing internet and device use, privacy, the gig economy and China’s general dominance in internet and retail. Also, Fortnite made it in. Below, we round up our Top 5 Takeaways from the 333 slide deck.

1. The Mobile Advertising Spend Gap is Now Closed

Everyone listened up: there was no glaring $7 billion mobile advertising spending opportunity in this year’s Report. In 2018, the percentage of advertising spend in desktop and mobile channels was even with the percentage of time consumers spent in those channels—18% for desktop and 33% for mobile.

Overall Internet ad spend was up 22%  (only 1% higher than 2017). Platforms that gain ad share are doing so with better targeting, new creative, commerce and high relevance. (Sooooo, Native and Content Marketing?)


2. Multi-Channel Approach…With TV…Leads to Success

Ever wondered how often people look up stuff on their phone what they are watching? Meeker measured it. 88% used a second digital device while watching TV and 71% look up content related to the content they are watching.

3. Data and Personalization Make for Happy Customers

Despite your friends groaning about being “followed” by ads, Meeker found that, in fact, users do prefer it. In a survey of retail customers, 91% said they prefer brands that provide personalized offers and recommendations; 83% said they are willing to passively share data for personalized experiences, and 74% said they are willing to actively share data for personalized experiences.

Read more: How To Drive Awareness and Sales: E-Commerce + Native Best Practices


4.  Adults Are Spending an Unprecedented Amount of Time in Digital…Which is Great for Advertisers.

E-commerce contributed to 15 percent of all retail sales (slide 20), meaning advertisers have a captive audience ready to click ‘buy.’”


5.  China Dominated

The number of internet and retail users in China continues to soar, despite restrictions in China. While the government in China blocks Netflix, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google, they’ve built their own versions like iflix, Baidu, WeChat, and the population consumes them. And seven Chinese companies in the top-30 spots for internet market cap leaders, namely Alibaba, Tencent, Meituan Dianping, JD.com, Baidu, NetEase and Xiaomi.

Of note…

Also noted was the importance of Free Trials as the leading way services gained subscribers. The “free trial” model helped companies like Spotify and Zoom account for 60% of paid subscribers. In a similar vein, the “freemium” model of offering free use with extra cost add-ons (as Fortnite does) has proven successful, especially in gaming (slide 102).


Want more from the Bidtellectual? We have a monthly newsletter!

Bidtellect’s Top 5 Favorite Takeways from ContentTECH 2K19

Bidtellect’s Top 5 Favorite Takeways from ContentTECH 2K19

Last week, Bidtellect swarmed the inaugural ContentTECH Summit in San Diego, CA as the platinum sponsor. We were proud to be at the forefront of a conference filled of content game-changers and digital gurus, spreading the content distribution gospel to eager audiences. While we wish we could stay in sunny San Diego forever, we can reminisce on our favorite parts of the invigorating conference. Here are our top 5 favorite takeaways.

1. The New NEW Content Stack Panel.

What a power panel. This group represented each phase of the content cycle: determine what to create to best represent your goals/brand, how to create the very best and most engaging content, and then how to distribute it effectively and get it in front of the right eyeballs. Sitting on the panel included Lon Otremba, Bidtellect’s CEO, Corrinne Schmid of ScribbleLIVE, and Marty Muse of Vennli. Cruce Saunders did an incredible job moderating, guiding discussion, finding connections, and giving high-level overviews and bite-sized summaries. At each turn, panelists discussed the importance of using technology and advancements in AI to your advantage when creating and distributing content, but not to a fault – nothing can replace a human writing beautifully. AI and advanced optimization technology (hi Bidtellect!) can place content in the most contextually relevant placements for optimum engagement. A huge takeaway? 5% of content gets 95% of engagement. And Lon’s quotes were heavily quoted and trending on Twitter, especially “If content is King then content distribution is King Kong.” Amen.

Lon Otremba, Corinne Schmid, and Marty Muse on the New New Content Stack Panel moderated by Cruce Saunders. Image courtesy of Content Marketing Institute.

2. Location Location.

This may seem like a small detail, but it honestly made such a difference. Kudos to the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina. Right on the Marina, the views from the hotel windows were incredible, as was our final rooftop lunch overlooking the water. More importantly, though, the staff at every turn was helpful and so kind. When one of my vendors was lost on his way to drop of our booth furniture, the head of valet personally spoke to him on the phone and guided him to the right entrance, while another team member rode in his truck with him. It’s hard to put into words how much extra stress that relieved. Help was at every turn – from the wait staff to the onsite UPS store to the concierge. The beautiful weather and poolside cocktail receptions were also gorgeous and made for spirited and happy conversations after sessions all day! Oh, and the food. Oh my goodness. So much and so good.

3. Lounge Seating is the Key to Booth Love. So Are Live Demos.

The bustling Bidtellect Booth!

That’s right, if there’s anything our savvy Head of Marketing Missy Steiner taught us, a place to sit brings people by the droves. We set up an awesome lounge in our booth space with sleek white couches, a white coffee table where we displayed ample collateral and yummy candy to snack on, and a cool high top table and seating to chat and work at. Everybody wanted to come hang. We accentuated this with a TV monitor that displayed an original promo video with stats on stats. Speaking of Key Booth Experiences, we also did two LIVE DEMOS of the platform. Our COO Jason Boshoff walked through putting creative assets into the platform to create optimal Native Ads and showed viewers what they looked like out on the web. Amazing. It really helped attendees understand at a concrete level what we’re capable of.

4. Your Brain on Content Matters.

The Bidtellect team all agreed that this was one of the most interesting sessions at the Summit. Cognitive Neuroscientist Carmen Simon of Memzy gave a full presentation on the brain, focus, stimulating interest, and how to create memorable messages.  This means everything from asking questions (“Do you agree?”) to using movement and video for key statements at pointed times, plus habits to adopt, color schemes, communication styles, creating relevance, and more. I’m counting down to when these slides become available so I can memorize them. Some key new habits to adopt: Allow for some similarity and then deviate from the pattern. Balance abstract and concrete content. Direct focus and clarify the reward.

Carmen Simon of Memzy. Image courtesy of Content Marketing Institute.

5. Henry Rollins.

What. A. Powerhouse. The Summit’s closing keynote speaker was Henry Rollins: singer, writer, actor, speaker, podcast host, leader, and advocate. He is the ULTIMATE power content creator. His message was simple: your words matter. You can use your power to do good or you can be reckless with it.  He took us through his own story: stumbling into becoming the lead singer of rock band Black Flag with no money to his name, to creating his own band Rollins Band, to acting, to writing numerous books and columns, and then to traveling the world and speaking to troops, at hospitals, and conferences, to launching a podcast, he understands the power of messaging and the beauty that the right content distribution can bring. The message you send matters. This man was full of energy, humor, and wonder, and proof that staying true to yourself can not only determine your path but inspires others to do the same.

Henry Rollins. Image courtesy of Content Marketing Institute.

And remember, those are SCREEN CLEANERS in your schwag bag, guys! 😂

Want more need-to-know info? Subscribe to our Bidtellectual newsletter. It only comes once a month (we promise)!

Valentine’s Day is Coming. Why Content First Should Be Your Strategy for Retail

Valentine’s Day is Coming. Why Content First Should Be Your Strategy for Retail

Did you know early Valentine’s Day gifts were given to children to ward off sickness? How far we’ve come! Once a day dedicated to love and family in honor of St. Valentine, the popular holiday has evolved into a display of love and romance with flowers, gifts, romantic dinners, and even an “anti-Valentine” movement of self-celebration.

Which makes it tough to ignore: Valentine’s Day is a top retail holiday. It contributed about $19.6 billion to the economy in 2018, with more than half (55%) of the population getting involved, with each person spending about $143.56 (National Retail Federation). Hello shoppers!  These lovers are not only looking for gifts, they are looking for inspiration: whether it be through a trusted brand or media source for direction.

Which brings us to the value of high-quality content. Shoppers are savvy and eager for information before making a purchase. Just as shoppers in the pre-internet era might turn to a trusted stylist in a department store or a discerning friend with inside scoop, shoppers now turn to blog posts, niche media outlets, and brand lookbooks for advice and guidance.

Not sure that’s true? Consider these:

  • Two Thirds (⅔) of shoppers say online video has given them ideas and inspiration for their purchases (Google/Ipsos)
  • When consumers read an educational article, they are 131% more inclined to buy from that company (Conductor via Forbes).
  • 36.9% of those shopping for Valentine’s Day on smartphones use it for research (National Retail Federation)

And if you still are skeptical about the bottom line: 

  • Marketers who prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to generate a positive ROI (Hubspot via Shopify)

Even as shopping becomes increasingly isolated to screens, consumers still crave a human-to-human like personalization or recommendation. Creating high-quality content, like blog posts, videos, articles, and other visual showcases offer a personal touch and a perception of expertise; a thought leader will always cut through the noise.

Bidtellect’s Top 3 KPIs for Retail Advertisers: 

  1. Drive Traffic to Blog Content
  2. Offer-Driven Creative
  3. Drive Sales

Make your Native ads a preview of what’s to come – what are you offering? Top 5 Gift Ideas for Your Picky Boyfriend? The Comfiest Pajamas for Staying In? Deliver insight and knowledge and stay true to your brand.

And don’t forget to appeal to last minute shoppers this Valentine’s Day! Last year, 1800Flowers.com saw a 30% jump in desktop conversions on February 13th compared to just a week before (Digital Commerce 360).

With high quality content, expert creative copy, and targeted placements, Valentine’s Day might be your new love affair.   

Check out our Valentine’s Day Infographic for even more stats to put you ahead.


Want more from the Bidtellectual? We have a monthly newsletter!



National Retail Federation, “Holiday and Seasonal Trends: Valentine’s Day,” 

Google/Ipsos, “The Role of Digital Video in People’s Lives,” July 2018

Conductor via Forbes, “Use This Strategy To Increase Willingness To Purchase By 131 Percent,” September 2, 2017

Hubspot via Shopify, “State of Inbound 2018,” 24 April 2018

Digital Commerce 360, “Valentine’s Day 2018 online sales recap,” 12 March 2018


What We’re Thankful For (x5)

What We’re Thankful For (x5)

What a busy year it has been! From changing data privacy to the latest advances in technology, the industry has been bustling. As a Content Marketing Native DSP with a whole lot of ads to place and deliver on the cusp of the busiest shopping season of the year, we thought we’d take this chance to share what we’re grateful for this year.
We’re Thankful For:

Our Partnerships

Our 38 supply partners give us access to unparalleled scale (58 million distinct placements!) across ad formats, video, and devices, as well as further analytics and optimization capabilities! Thanks in part to them, we handle over 10 billion Native auctions daily. Thank you!


Wait… really? We are grateful for the push it gave us to really hone our contextual placement capabilities and let our Forecasting 2.0 shine. We have deeply-integrated contextual targeting by category, keyword, and placement to understand audiences at the environmental level. And we stand by IAB’s standards of data usage!

Our Award-Winning Creative Services Team

For all things creative-related, [b]+studio delivers. From creating one-of-a-kind Native ads for clients to unique landing pages and content hubs, gifs, cinemagraphs, carousel units, and beautiful infographics like these using a data-driven approach – we wouldn’t be up and running without them!

Our Engineers

Placement-level optimization technology, optimizing multiple goal types, unique Engagement Score measurement, and continuous advancements and troubleshooting…our technology and engineering teams are the brightest, hardest workers we know. They’re constant innovation is making our platform the best it can be!

Our Sales & Account Management Teams

From creating, building, and maintaining relationships from start to implementation, our dedicated teams work with our clients every step of the way from training, planning, and forecasting, to campaign management, strategy, and insights, or can take a back seat for a self-service model! We’re grateful for their personalized support system to help you reach your goals.
And an extra special shout out to…

Our Fabulous Clients

Your trust in our ability pushes us forward, and your diverse goals challenge us to improve. We hope we serve you in the best way possible. #GoNative #ContentFirst – we’ll continue to do our very best to make your business thrive. Thank you!
P.S. We’re giving the whole month of November. Want to help? Click here.
Want more from the Bidtellectual? We have a monthly newsletter!

Top 10 Reasons I’m Proud to be a Bidtellectual

Top 10 Reasons I’m Proud to be a Bidtellectual

Last week, Bidtellect held its annual company all-hands meeting in Delray Beach, Florida. We managed to bring together all of our employees from around the country for a jam-packed, informative three days – with a little fun, of course.  One thing is for certain – and it hasn’t changed since my first day at Bidtellect – I love this company and I love the people I work with.
Here are the top ten reasons I’m proud to be a Bidtellectual.

1. Our CEO is Awesome.

Our conference kicked off with a lovely party hosted by our CEO… at his home. How many CEOs do you know that would open up his or her home to the entire company? Talk about generous.  Talk about awesome.

2. Transparency.

At any given time, every employee knows exactly how the company is doing – from new sales opportunities to tech planning to our marketing endeavors, we are well-informed on the status of each department and the trajectory of the business.

3. Knowledge.

We work with some of the most brilliant people in the business – and we’re paving the way to the digital advertising future. There’s no greater excitement that comes from walking into a workplace every day where you know you’re going to learn something new.

4. Family.

Not only does Bidtellect support a healthy work/life balance (hello, Responsible Adult Vacation Policy!), but from the minute you start at Bidtellect, you are part of one big work family, too. Many make it a priority to pick up kids from school, make it to family events, and leave at a reasonable hour to spend time at home – and my Bidtellect family respects that. 

5. We Work as a Team.

It’s rare for just one person to get a shout out during our weekly meetings. When Bidtellectuals have a project to tackle, we collaborate in groups or pods to get things done as a team.

6. Creativity.

I work in a department where my creativity is explored, supported, and challenged every day. In this business, we are constantly exploring new and creative ideas on how to package our products and solutions, as well as provide creative custom solutions for our customers.

7. Innovation.

Our tech team is constantly innovating. Each week they make updates to our platform, improve the way it works, constantly check the systems in accordance with quality standards, and create the most advanced bidding and placements technologies out there.


We take a customer-centric approach to everything we do in every department. We even had a “Shark Tank” team building exercise last week to figure out how we can improve and do EVEN MORE for our clients. Watching each team work together was inspiring and the ideas that came out of this were incredibly unique.

9. We Empower Women. 

Bidtellect understands the importance of a balanced, representative workforce – and just under half of all employees are women with roles in leadership, director, and C-level positions.

10. We Have FUN.

Did we mention we have fun doing it? From post-work dinner cruises and themed potlucks, we know how to have a great time.

Missy Steiner is the Vice President Marketing at Bidtellect.
Want more from the Bidtellectual? We have a monthly newsletter!