All posts by Chris Bluethgen

Moat Seeks to Reshape Metrics Tracking

Analytics firm Moat is looking to completely overhaul the way buying and selling online ads works. Their plan? To “build the currency for digital advertising,” in the words of co-founder Jonah Goodhart.

In order to create this new standard currency Moat is devising a way to measure whether or not people actually see and pay attention to online ads. Traditionally (and for most companies, currently) what would be tracked is simply the number of ads delivered by media companies, without emphasis on an ad’s visibility or impact.

Moat’s goal may seem lofty for a company founded only 6 years ago, but the 125-person company has recently raised $50 million in funding, and they already have visibility tracking mechanisms in place on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, which puts them in a position to unseat Google and other metric providers.

To learn more about Moat and their bid for the top. visit Wall Street Journal.

Billions of Internet Users Exposed to Malware

A recent malware attack targeted multiple websites that see billions of visitors daily. The malware, known as ransomware, was delivered through a number of ad networks used by the New York Times, the BBC, and the NFL, among others.

Ransomware allows an attacker to “hijack” a device, and the attacker will only unlock it when their victim pays them to do so. Some of these ransom payments have been as high as $17,000.

A massive security breach notwithstanding, this attack could have implications for digital advertising: ad-blocking software, which has faced criticism from advertisers and publishers for disrupting their business models, is touted as a way to protect users from attacks such as these. This could very well add legitimacy to that argument.

To read more about this malware attack, visit BusinessInsider.

Swedish Publishers Unite Against Ad-Blockers

Nearly 200 million people globally use ad-blocking software, and online publisher frustration has reached a tipping point: 90% of Swedish publishers have collectively decided to block users who have ad-blocking software installed. This is a decision that could have huge ramifications for digital advertising, and the internet in general.

There is still a large disconnect between sites that rely on advertising for revenue and their users, who are increasingly unhappy with the way ads are run. Speaking from a user standpoint: 73% of users from one survey found ads to be interruptive, and a recent report from Enders Analysis found that ads can account for as much as 79% of total data usage on mobile devices.

Read more about this story at BusinessInsider.


Supercookies: Not a Delicious Treat

In a perfect world, the only time someone would hear the word supercookie is when another person is asking them “would you like a delicious supercookie?” Sadly, our world is far from perfect. In this world a supercookie is much like a normal internet cookie, except for the fact that it is nearly impossible to track.

Verizon has just been hit with a $1.35 million fine from the FCC for having used supercookies for over 2 years without disclosure or customer permission – extremely troubling, being that they are one of the largest internet providers in the U.S. One may wonder what some other sources of hidden supercookies are, and if they are being watched right now…

Find out more about the case at Business Insider.

Waste and Fraud in Programmatic Buying

It’s the age of automation. From the stock market to national security, algorithms seem to be running the world.

Accordingly, ad-buying has followed suit, and now marketers have their very own algorithms with which to buy ad space – and it’s become a very popular practice. The number of marketing agencies who utilized programmatic buying spiked last year: in 2014, 35% of surveyed advertisers reported that they had used automated buying, and in 2015 that number was 79%.

Alarmingly though, the whole process seems to be rife with fraud. A recent joint study by the Association of National Advertisers and Forrester Research found that advertisers wasted over $7 billion last year, largely due to bot fraud – computer programs mimicking human behavior and falsely boosting web traffic. Many in the industry have also voiced concerns about the lack of transparency on the part of media sellers.

Visit Wall Street Journal to learn more about the risks of programmatic buying.

Hot Trends in Email Marketing

Did you know that automated emails can help you achieve a 152% higher click rate? How about the fact that birthday emails can increase conversion by 60%?

Email marketing continues to be one of the most effective tools in a marketer’s arsenal, making it increasingly important to be aware of new developments in the channel’s use. For example, the incredible effectiveness of automation: want to save time and increase conversion? Automate. Want to increase brand loyalty and awareness? Personalize. It is becoming more and more clear that automated, personalized messages help to nurture leads and increase revenue.

Visit MarketingProfs to read their full article on 5 hot trends in email marketing, including mobile optimization, personalization, and interactivity.