How Contextual Targeting Puts Privacy First While Closing the Engagement Gap

How Contextual Targeting Puts Privacy First While Closing the Engagement Gap

Too good to be true? It’s not. Here’s why you need a platform that incorporates contextual targeting into your digital advertising strategy.

We’re Living in a Privacy First World

It started with GDPR. CCPA soon followed. Then Apple released its new Intelligent Tracking Prevention (IPT) in Safari placing restrictions on cookies. And most recently, Google made headlines when it announced it was doing away with third-party cookies altogether. 

Consumers are getting greater control and transparency into how their data is used. And not just once a year on Data Privacy Day – the trend of personal data empowerment is here to stay. 

Since GDPR became enforceable, the number of third-party cookies used per webpage declined from about 80 in April to about 60 in July, and the number of third-party cookies found on news websites (major advertising publishers) in Europe declined by 22%. According to a recent report by eMarketer, 30% of US companies currently comply with CCPA and 27% will be compliant sometime in 2020 (eMarketer, 2020)

But this doesn’t mean the end is in sight for real-time bidding (RTB) and all of programmatic. 

It does mean this is the beginning of a new era in digital advertising.

Contextual Targeting: More Than A Privacy Solution – A Strategy

If you’re not using a platform with contextual targeting capabilities, you’re behind. Bidding platforms can use contextual targeting to determine the value of the user and placement in the bidding process based on the information on the page, rather than the user. Understanding that we have enough information about ad space without user information means the industry can face the future of the industry with consumers’ privacy at the center of advertising strategy.

Not only are data protection standards changing, so are brands’ and clients’ unique goals. Contextual targeting – that is, targeting based on the information available of the site of the ad space, rather than user data – covers both. It’s possible to determine a unique ad space’s location, the time of day, day of the week, the size and location of the ad on the page, the site it’s on, the page of the site it’s on, and even specifics about what content is on that page. The look and feel of every single ad placement is unique, and can be correlated even more closely with user behavior.

Consider the recent announcement of the deepened partnership between Just Media and Bidtellect. Just Media initially noticed gaps in the B2B market, with DSPs often unable to penetrate the Native Advertising space and offer tangible analytics on engagements and conversions. With Adblocking and “banner blindness” becoming increasingly prevalent, content advertising with strong contextual-driven decisioning offers an alternative to close the engagement gap. 

“Intent has become an important part of our B2B campaigns across clients,” said Kathryn Nassar, Media Account Manager at Just Media. “Most of the data segments that judge intent do so by monitoring content registration, downloads, views and general consumption against certain topics. With Bidtellect’s contextual targeting we can strategically deliver ads next to the content helping to power that data, complementing our other intent strategies and delivering deep engagement with our content.”

Bidtellect’s contextual optimization capabilities enabled content to go beyond where standard banner and display ads can reach: in front of the eyes of decision-makers like CTOs and CIOs for meaningful engagement.

Consider this case study: a major university used contextual targeting to reach students, ultimately landing 88.3% VCR for the month. Contextual targeting allowed them to target based on location and categories like news and business, and science was ultimately the best-performing contextual category.

The value of contextual targeting cannot be understated. Context-driven optimization capabilities combined with post-click engagement measurement, creative services, unapparelled scale in consumer-friendly ad environments were all developed to drive performance for advertisers – without the reliance of traditional cookie-based advertising approaches. 

The result? Advertising intended to provide value to the end consumer. Not annoy them. 

It’s Data Privacy Day: So What?

It’s Data Privacy Day: So What?

Happy Data Privacy Day! This is a very real day with a very real purpose: to shed light on data protection and privacy. Today the industry unites to empower users and businesses to implement better standards for data usage and processing. Here’s what it means.

What is Data Privacy Day?

Data Privacy Day began as Data Protection Day. The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe officially signed it into existence in April of 2006 to be celebrated each year on January 28th. 

Why the January 28th? It commemorates the January 28th, 1981, signing of Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty dealing with privacy and data protection.

According to The Council of Europe’s official website,

This date corresponds to the anniversary of the opening for signature of the Council of Europe’s Convention 108 for the Protection of individuals with regard to automatic processing of personal data which has been for over 30 years a cornerstone of data protection, in Europe and beyond.

Data Protection Day is now celebrated globally and is called the “Privacy Day” outside Europe.”

While data privacy may be in the news constantly today, at the holiday’s first inception the everyday person still didn’t fully grasp how their data was being used and to what extent.

The aim of the Data Protection/Privacy Day is to bring awareness to consumers about this process: how their personal data is collected and processed and what their rights are with respect to this processing. Not to mention risks from unfair usage to completely illegal processing and selling.

Now, it’s an international effort to empower individuals and business to respect privacy, safeguard data and enable trust.

How Is the Industry Measuring Up?

Today, data protection and privacy is at the forefront of all digital conversations. Here’s how recent enforcement like CCPA and GDPR have encouraged change:

A November 2019 Egress survey found that 93% of US IT decision-makers said they had at least taken some steps to comply with privacy regulation such as CCPA or the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (eMarketer, 2020)

At least half of respondents said they had taken steps like improving their use of existing security technologies, investing in new technologies and improving their data handling practices (Egress via eMarketer, 2020)

30% of US companies currently comply with CCPA and 27% will be compliant sometime in 2020 (eMarketer, 2020)

59% of US IT Security decision-makers improved teh use of existing security technologies in and 56% improved data handling practices in 2019.

Since GDPR became enforceable, the number of third-party cookies used per webpage declined from about 80 in April to about 60 in July, and the number of third-party cookies found on news websites (major advertising publishers) in Europe declined by 22%. (eMarketer, 2018)

What Can You Do?

For digital advertisers, it’s impossible to ignore the effects of greater privacy measures. It has and will continue to affect the digital advertising industry and encourage new strategies to take hold.

According to Forbes’s 2020 predictions for Content Marketing: “Privacy and limiting personal consumer information will play an even greater role in 2020. Delivering relevant, high-value content can no longer be reliant on personal data and cookies alone; sophisticated tools like contextual targeting will become invaluable. Understanding that we have enough information without user information means we can face the future of the industry with far less fear. – Lon Otremba, Bidtellect CEO.” (Forbes, 2020)

A side note on Contextual Targeting and Digital Advertising

Bidding platforms can use contextual targeting to determine the value of the user and placement in the bidding process based on the information on the page, rather than the user.

Understanding that we have enough information about ad space without user information means we can face the future of the industry with consumers’ privacy in mind.

The digital future is privacy-minded. Today we celebrate users taking back their data. 

 

Read more:

What You Need to Know About CCPA

Bidtellect’s Brand Safety and Fraud Protection

Why Interns?

Why Interns?

Does your company sponsor internships?  If so, why? And if yours doesn’t, why not? Here’s everything you should keep in mind during the process for mutual success.

Internships are NOT about getting coffee and donuts, running errands or busy work.  The National Association of Colleges and Employers provides these guidelines for internships.  Most soon-to-be college graduates want to participate in internships to provide “real-world” experience for their resumes, hoping that it will help them get their first job after graduation.  Many companies offer internships hoping to scout prospective talent before it reaches the job pool. Some companies even develop academic/professional partnerships with colleges and universities to ensure they get to “pick from the tree, not from the barrel.”

But if scouting potential talent is the only reason your company offers internships, then you’re missing out on the many benefits internships offer to your current employees.  And if your company doesn’t offer internships, here are some reasons why you should consider offering them.

If you’ve read even a few management articles or books, you’ll know that the number one biggest cost for most employers is employee turnover.  When an employee leaves, experience, time, morale and ultimately lots of money to recruit and train their replacement leave with them. And even if you provide a great salary and benefits, your best people will eventually leave if they don’t have opportunities to grow professionally.  And internships can provide some of those additional opportunities.

Hiring an intern follows all of the same steps as hiring for any full-time or part-time positions.  So instead of doing those steps yourself, assign them to your team to gain leadership experiences.

There needs to be a description of the internship that includes the time frame, what skills are needed, what skills are nice to have, how to apply, and a blurb to upsell your company.  Plus, you need to post the internship, usually through a university’s career development department. Most universities have internship and job posting platforms, like Handshake, but some introductory emails, follow-up phone calls and even an on-site visit will build a better relationship with your partner schools.

After that, applications and resumes need reviewing and communications need to be sent.  Our company’s hiring process involves an initial phone screening and candidates that make it past the phone screen are asked to an in-person interview, so conference rooms and meetings need to be scheduled.  Interview questions and any tests need to be developed, administered and scored. And all of this needs to be collected in an easily digestible fashion to decide to whom you will extend your offer (and one or two back-ups, in case your first choice declines the invitation).

Once a candidate accepts, all of the standard on-boarding, orientation and training activities need to happen exactly as you would on board a full-time new hire. 

All interns receive an overview of what we do as a Company, documentation on the many concepts and acronyms, and then specific orientation by team (Technology, Quality, Marketing, etc.).  There are specific goals for Communication Skills, such as the tools we use, what are formal vs. informal communication methods and when to use them based on understanding the audience to which the communication is directed.  There are Context Building exercises, to help learn the inter-team, intra-team and extra-team dynamics, including high-level business stakeholders. And finally the specifics of the work, which can take the form of over-the-shoulder observations, peer work or individual work.  A sampling of internal and external resources is provided and interns are encouraged to seek out additional resources and present them to the team.

Throughout the internship, regular one-on-one meetings review the internship goals and progress, as well as offer insights into interviewing for “real” jobs, understanding career trajectory, and evaluating potential employers and the benefits they offer.  At the end of the internship, candidates must give a presentation about their internship experience, including feedback on areas that they wished they had more experiences, areas that they felt needed less emphasis, and experiences they did not receive, but would have liked.

Internships provide many opportunities for your team to get out of their daily routine and perform leadership tasks for which they would not normally be responsible.  The experiences provided can help them grow professionally, and the more experienced they get, the more you can keep them growing, ideally, into the next leadership opportunity your company provides.  And, if the stars align, you may also find your next new hire.

We Asked IT: Your Digital Safety Guide

We Asked IT: Your Digital Safety Guide

‘Tis the season for Holiday Joy and reinvigorated email scam attempts. Here are a few tips from IT to avoid falling into a trap and inadvertently sending scammers personal information or even compromising Bidtellect itself. Almost all attacks are thwarted by simply applying a little dose of intuition and logic. If it doesn’t make sense, you should question it before providing any information.

Email Phishing

Phishing is a type of online scam where criminals send an email that appears to be from a legitimate company and ask you to provide sensitive information.

Always think twice before clicking the links in emails:

The people who are sending phishing emails have to be clever email marketers to get the user to engage. They often do this by preying on your emotions. You should be generally reluctant to download any attachments or click any links, no matter how innocuous they seem or who appears to have sent them. If you are going to download an attachment or click a link in an email, be sure you know who it is from and that the email was not spoofed. If our google email account puts an email in your spam folder but it looks like it is from someone legitimate, you should definitely be suspect of spoofing. There is usually a reason Google’s Spam Logic moved it to spam. If you are unsure, please reach out to IT for assistance. We can help you check the email headers to sniff out any spoofing. The scammer/phishers goal is to find ways to wreak havoc inside the company infrastructure, including propagating malware, turning the systems into botnets, stealing private company information and most often stealing corporate banking information for the purpose of taking money.

Consider the Source:

As a standard rule, we should never email anyone within Bidtellect, both to and from, a non @bidtellect.com email account. Our Google Email accounts have security measures in place to help avoid spam and spoofing but there are ways around everything. From an IT security point of view, private emails should never be used for any business communications unless explicitly directed to do so by the receiving executive. And even then it should be communicated in person or by another trusted and secure method prior to sending an email. 

Sometimes “spoofers” will send an email that looks to be from a legitimate address, but when you press reply, the email recipient is no longer the legitimate email address. Example: Email from charlotte@bidtellect.com arrives, you hit reply and then the TO field is scammer@abc.com. Google spam usually catches these as the names do not match. It seems like a silly scam, but it is easily overlooked. Usually the goal of spoofing is to gain access to banking information or trick an employee into sending payment to an illegitimate source.

 

 

So what can you do?

First, scrutinize the address it says it came from and the text of any URLs it contains to weed out theboss@apple.com from theboss@app1e.com. If the source is legit, but the text is out of character, ask yourself, “Would my boss really send me this email?” Again, if something feels weird about an email that someone you know sends, especially if it has a request in it, bear in mind there’s a distinct possibility they’ve been hacked. Reach out to them separately and ask if they sent you an email.

 

Types of Email Phishing

Phishing scams vary widely in terms of their complexity, the quality of the forgery, and the attacker’s objective. Several distinct types of phishing have emerged.

Deceptive Phishing:

These are the most common types of email scams. The sender will attempt to mimic or clone an official Company or Vendor that we do business with. An example would be an email from someone that is pretending to be a Paypal Employee asking for sensitive information and provides a link in the body of the email. The Link text may display as “paypal.com/123123” but when you highlight the link or click on it you are redirected to a fake website such as “friendpalpay.com/123456”. The fake site may even look just like a real web page and request you to fill out digital forms that send your information to not so good people.

 

Spear Phishing:

Phishing attacks directed at specific individuals, roles, or organizations are referred to as “spear phishing”. Since these attacks are so pointed, attackers may go to great lengths to gather specific personal or institutional information in the hope of making the attack more believable and increasing the likelihood of its success. The best defense against spear phishing is to carefully, securely discard information (i.e., using a cross-cut shredder) that could be used in such an attack. Further, be aware of data that may be relatively easily obtainable (e.g., your title at work, your favorite places, or where you bank), and think before acting on seemingly random requests via email or phone.

 

Executive Fraud:

These phishing attacks (usually spear phishing)  are directed specifically at executive officers or other high-profile targets within a business, government, or other organization. Scammers typically target the financial departments by either pretending to be an Executive asking the Finance Team to provide information or the reverse where they pretend to be the Finance Team asking the Executive for information.

 

General Web Security Reminders

Verify a Site’s Security:

It’s natural to be a little wary about supplying sensitive financial information online. As long as you are on a secure website, however, you shouldn’t run into any trouble. Before submitting any information, make sure the site’s URL begins with “https” and there should be a closed lock icon near the address bar. Check for the site’s security certificate as well. If you get a message stating a certain website may contain malicious files, do not open the website. Never download files from suspicious emails or websites. Even search engines may show certain links which may lead users to a phishing webpage which offers low cost products. If the user makes purchases at such a website, the credit card details will be accessed by cybercriminals.

Keep Your Browser Up to Date:

Security patches are released for popular browsers all the time. They are released in response to the security loopholes that phishers and other hackers inevitably discover and exploit. If you typically ignore messages about updating your browsers, stop. The minute an update is available, download and install it. Chrome and most browsers automatically download and install security patches unless you have disabled it.

 

Be Wary of Popups:

Pop-up windows often masquerade as legitimate components of a website. All too often, though, they are phishing attempts. Many popular browsers allow you to block pop-ups; you can allow them on a case-by-case basis. If one manages to slip through the cracks, don’t click on the “cancel” button; such buttons often lead to phishing sites. Instead, click the small “x” in the upper corner of the window.

Never Give Out Personal Information:

As a general rule, you should never share personal or financially sensitive information over the Internet. This rule spans all the way back to the days of America Online, when users had to be warned constantly due to the success of early phishing scams. When in doubt, go visit the main website of the company in question, get their number and give them a call. Most of the phishing emails will direct you to pages where entries for financial or personal information are required. An Internet user should never make confidential entries through the links provided in the emails. Never send an email with sensitive information to anyone. Make it a habit to check the address of the website. A secure website always starts with “https”.

Reputable organizations will never use email to request that you reply with your password, full Social Security number, or confidential personal or business information. Be suspicious of any email message that asks you to enter or verify personal or business information, through a website or by replying to the message itself. Never reply to or click the links in such a message. If you think the message may be legitimate, go directly to the company’s website (i.e., type the real URL into your browser) or contact the company to see if you really do need to take the action described in the email message.

 

Remember: the best security against fishy phishing or scam attempts is always

1. common sense and

2. your intuition.

When in doubt, just double check! 

Bidtellect Stats

Native auctions daily

distinctly targetable placements

30+ Partnerships

with leading supply and demand partners for the most expansive network in the ecosystem 

Pre-bid Viewability and Safety

 thanks to AdmantX and IAS so you can understand user behavior without jeopardizing privacy

Managed, Self-Serve, and Hybrid Options

for a service approach that works best for you

[b]+studio Creative Services

team for all image, copy, content, and creative needs

Post-Click Metrics

to understand how consumers engage with your content, factoring in number of sessions, pageviews, bounce rate, and time on site, giving you key insights about your campaigns, creative, content, and audiences so you can optimize accordingly.

Advanced Optimization

capabilities like Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO).

Ask the Experts: 2020 Predictions for the Digital Advertising Industry

Ask the Experts: 2020 Predictions for the Digital Advertising Industry

2020 is around the corner and if 2019 is any indication of what’s to come…there’s going to be a lot more changes. We asked experts at Bidtellect their predictions for the new year and what emerged was that as privacy moves to the forefront of conversation, so, too, will shifts in quality, ad types, and creative. Read on.

What are your predictions for the industry in 2020?

1. Privacy will play a major role in 2020 strategy with CCPA going into effect along with existing GDPR.

“The issue that will have the biggest impact on all digital marketing efforts in 2020, but particularly digital advertising campaigns, is privacy.  Specifically, the use of and reliance on personal consumer information in advertising, and how the use of that information will be regulated, protected, and limited.  Marketers must factor this into all their digital advertising plans in 2020​”

– Lon Otremba, CEO

“Platforms that rely heavily on audience targeting for performance will see a decline in results as the market continues to put restrictions on user data. Brands will be forced to rethink strategies and test new ones to make up for it.”

– Terah Bocchi, VP of Sales

“My 2020 prediction for AdTech, “Power to the People”, consumers will have more control over what personal information should be private, what is shared, with whom and how it can be used.”

– Kyle Suhan, Sr. Frontend Deveoper

“In the changing digital advertising ecosystem, focused on privacy and deeper regulation, contextual advertising will capture a greater portion of ad spend gaining ground against other methods of audience targeting.”

– Mike Conway, Chief Technology Officer

2. With Facebook under greater scrutiny for false accounts and shady ad placement, it’s time to start thinking beyond social, while DSPs will move to the forefront thanks to greater scale and optimization capabilities.

“Non-social native spending will decline and content distributions DSPs will benefit from that revenue!”

– Lisa Friedman, Director of Sales – East

“2020 – year of SPO. Clients will look to get a better understanding of DSPs supply paths to ensure they are not paying any unneeded tech tax.”

– Mike Feeley, VP Supply Partnerships

3. Ad types will continue to advance and evolve, from format to design.

“Each year, we see emerging trends with design. 2020 will be no exception to really explore surrealism and vivid, almost futuristic colors. Surrealism will be especially effective for retail clients to really showcase their products in a majestic way. The term “Zero Gravity” has been tossed around – images, text and copy will float on your page. We’ll begin to see a layered mix of portrait photography and bold digital design with simple minimalist shapes. [b]+studio is excited about these new trends and will begin testing out new imagery with a mixed use for our clients in 2020.”

– Missy Steiner, VP of Marketing

“I believe with consumers gaining more access to 5G, video ads will become more common and dynamic on mobile sites.”

– Tim Chidsey, Quality Engineer

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5 Steps to Engaging Creatives this Holiday Season

5 Steps to Engaging Creatives this Holiday Season

As the holiday season approaches, one thing on most retailers’ minds is how to get their products in front of gift-givers. How do they set themselves apart in such a competitive space?

What is that extra special something that will call gift seekers to engage with your content?

As more and more brands rely on content distribution to earn trust and loyalty, I wanted to provide some of the top creative Native best practices that are not only trending but are also driving results for brands.

Retail is Booming 

In case you missed it, the 2019 holiday season is supposed to be record-breaking. eMarketer predicts it to be the first-ever trillion-dollar holiday season! And the key to serving up a successful holiday strategy, according to experts and trends documented by eMarketer, is sponsored, branded, or native advertising, which offer the highest-value for advertisers and is easiest to monetize for retailers.

From Q1 to Q3, we saw a 443% jump in Bidtellect’s retail space in just one year. 443%. Consumers rely on brands more and more often to get informed, for inspiration, and for valuable content. This shift to Native proves that shoppers are more likely to click on a “Top 5 Gifts Your Dad Will Love” versus “Sock Sale.” Content sells.

This is why creatives are so important. They are the gateway to a retail product; they are the invitation to and a representation of the brand. From a heartwarming image to a compelling headline, our top creative practices for the holidays will ensure that customers will want to engage with you first!

Content distribution starts with the right creative. Simple as that.

Headlines

The first (and arguably best) way to catch a shopper’s eye? The headline.

Remember to provide value, solve a problem from holiday shopping stress, educate the consumer, and use listacles to imply a quick and informative read. If you have a special offer or a promo code, now is the time to inform your prospective shoppers.

Ask questions! Be punny! Invite readers without shouting at them. Anything too pushy or blatant will deter readers. Keep it short and sweet (no more than 60 characters) and in title case.

Bottom line: engage, educate and entertain.

Images

Actually, the image is probably the first and best visual cue – so don’t slack here! Images that feature people or animals are more relatable and draw more of an emotional response. And if you have been thinking about utilizing cinemagraphs, now is the time to test it out.

Think lifestyle, authentic, people in the moment and in the holiday spirit. Do not include text to images – otherwise you’re entering display territory!

Bottom line: be emotional, authentic.

Description

This is the copy under the headline – it gives a little extra information about what your product or content offers! Remember to include value-driven, relevant copy that is consistent with the message in your headline.

And (this should go without saying) the description should be longer than your headline. It’s a slight explanation if you will. Establish the connection, create a conflict, and your call-to-action (KPI) is the solution.

Bottom line: call-to-action, consistent with the headline

Video

Consumers are engaging with Native video – and not just autoplay. Bidtellect saw a 143% increase in completion rate of in-feed, click-to-play videos in one year, proving that consumers do engage. The most successful videos are those that convey a clear message immediately.

Long videos that require time (and sound) from the viewer will not work. Keep the videos short and sweet, with a clear message that’s conveyed with or without sound and use subtitles or text.

Bottom line: clear message without sound

Testing

Don’t forget to utilize optimization strategies! Test out different creatives combinations and personalization tactics based on your KPIs for maximum engagement. It is essential to use a platform that will optimize to your KPIs to find your sweet spot.

Bottom line: optimization is key

Missy Steiner is the Vice President of Marketing at Bidtellect.

She’s hoping for Phish tickets as a gift this year!!

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