Day Three Of The MediaPost Online Video Summit: Focus On Native And Social Video

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How do brands capitalize on built in social communities? How do you deliver engaging social video content, yet still be authentic? Before you engage, ask yourself is this shareable and would you watch on a mobile device?

Video will account for 2/3rds of mobile traffic by 2015. What makes story telling in video different on mobile and social? It is essential that your content is authentic. You need to respect your audience, be fun, impromptu and natural, irreverent, but not glib. It needs to be highly visual and they need to be able to watch it or read it; the platforms are all short form. Also, keep in mind most mobile will not have their audio on. How do you break through? A brand must deliver the best part of the video to deliver core message in first 3-5 seconds. You need to “ruin” the reveal- give away the goods upfront to get a user’s attention.

There are 80 million millennials that have grown up with the environments of You Tube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine and Snapchat. If you want to reach them, you have to go where they are, but keep in mind that each of these social platforms act differently, so you need to see which would work best for your brand and design the video for the specific platform.

Social Platforms:

Vine is owned by Twitter. The format is 6.5 seconds or 180 frames to tell your story. Every second there are 9 tweets that go out with a Vine video attached. Humor and personality need to be huge here. Vine is truly a natural environment with non-celebrities leading the social pack.

Instagram, 150MM+ users. :15 video format. 17% of US adults use Instagram. 11% of US teens. It is owned by Facebook. Big potential for growth for brands because it is a sophisticated community that shares and uses hashtags to organize photos. Cull from the community and usual highly visual pictures to tell your story.

Snapchat- audience is young, 70% female between the ages of 13-25. 400MM messages are sent per day. Most of these messages are sent to one person, and it is growing. Highly visual, engaged audience.

Twitter, 240MM WW users. Represent 18% of US adults, 46% use daily with 29% coming back multiple times daily. 76% of those use it do so in the mobile space. Twitter is often a first source for news; the audience is sophisticated and aspirational. You have to be part of the real time conversation.

Facebook, 71% of US adults. 94% of US teens. Teens are sampling other networks, but not abandoning it. With Facebook you need to be able to tell a complex story in a simple way. On Facebook, you have to have a story post that will last for 18-48 hours.

So how do you decide which platform? Look at where your audience is. Decide what you want to achieve from your social video and manage your goals to determine the type of engagement you want. Remember:  the web is not the same as social. Your content won’t work the same across both. There are different audiences, length, and writing styles for each. You have to design and measure differently for each platform.


Roni Jenkins, VP, Interactive Marketing Director

Day Two: MediaPost Online Video Summit; focus on viewability and fraudulent activity.

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How should video viewability be defined? How do we provide transparency and accountability? How to we protect our brands for fraudulent activity? How do you know if you are purchasing fraudulent ads? Who pays for it? Whose responsibility is it to monitor this?

There is an estimate that roughly 25% of of the $30 billion online ad industry is fraudulent. This is much higher in the programmatic space because there is a mix of both premium and long tail inventory so the “bad guys” i.e., pirates who hack into sites and create fake traffic, can more easily hide in this area to blend in with good inventory. The challenge of fraudulent inventory is creeping into the video space because CPMs are generally 10x higher than display, so this provides a greater revenue opportunity for malicious companies that run these fraudulent ads.

Here’s an example of how this works:  a PC gets infected with a virus. Software gets installed into the background of your computer and is unknown to the user. When a user goes online, the pirate software launches in the background and is directed by an outside computer. It directs what sites to visit, and these sophisticated systems will serve ads on a random page URL that are full of stacked ads, non human bots, and non viewable inventory– all deliberately malicious behavior that generates revenue for the bad guys, yet all this background activity is unknown to the user. The site gets fake traffic, and the users cookies get dropped, so there is a user profile associated with that traffic, and sites can sell this inventory to third parties because it seems real. This activity primarily shows up in the exchange or real-time bidding space, but even legitimate publishers- the ones looking to expand their inventory- are accidentally purchasing this fraudulent activity. Most of this in the video space comes in the form of running video in-banner ads rather than pre roll inventory.

Some pirates are even able to insert their malicious software on a levitate publisher site. Why would the bad guys want go to a legitimate publisher site? They do this, without being paid, to build up the cookie pool, also to throw off the tracking of their software so they seem legitimate. The bad guys are extremely sophisticated. We are brands, and the publishers we align with are going up against some of the best hackers in the world. Exchange inventory is rampant with fraud.  We need to Encourage all of our publishers to invest in ad technology to help fight the bots such as Intergal Ad Science, Double Verify, or White Ops.

Verification and brand safety software is a must have. We need additional levels of defense such as blocking to proactively block fraudulent activity. Block the activity before it happens. Be proactive versus reactive. The bad guys are moving fast, you have to constantly be on top of it and monitor and update your tracking. Assume all the impressions you are buying are guilty (fraudulent) until proven innocent (legitimate inventory). Recognize the value in premium content and legitimate publishers. The premium price is beneficial to pay because you can have guaranteed non-fraud, viewable impressions and rely less on questionable third party ad sources.

With all this fraudulent activity it poses the question “Who should pay for blocked impressions?” Should it be the agency or publisher? The suggestion is to work it out in advance with the publishers. If a publisher had ad monitoring software and your brand has ad monitoring software, then you have the best protection you can have. Your fraudulent activity will be limited. I feel this idea of payment for blocked ads is a bigger issue and would take a tremendous amount of time to negotiate payment terms with all of our vendors. This should be addressed in the contracts we enter into and the IAB should update our Terms and Conditions to version 4.0 which would include payment terms for blocked impressions after mutually agreed upon discussions in the industry.


Roni Jenkins, VP, Interactive Marketing Director

Day One of the MediaPost Online Video Summit

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How do we have online video marketing success and what defines it? There were four key topics of discussion:  measurement, production, performance, and distribution.

Measurement via reach, frequency and GRPs: what else should we measure?

How do we build, reach and frequency in the online space? Micro targeting is great but comes at a cost of reach. With social, marketers thought that if they developed content, the reach would come. Facebook has reminded us that reach isn’t free. Video can help solve for both:  Video is 3 or 4 times more engaging than just imagery. A good online video will be your tool to help build frequency because it is engaging. A word of caution though with changing technology and the new “disappearing content” programs. Snapchat, and a Mark Cuban investment in a new company called CyberDust, which is aiming to be for texts what SnapChat is for photos, will make user posts disappear once seen, and will challenge marketers on how to build frequency in age of disappearing content. Agencies are requiring content creators to guarantee views. We need OCR or VCE to manage the new online currency.

What else should we look at? When you get into online you have to add in other metrics other than reach, frequency and GRPs…you have to add in secondary metrics such as viewability.  We also need to understand technology to manage R/F across devices.

How do we produce video that will drive engagement?

Technology has changed video landscape where low quality video can produce quality results, production values can be lower than what have expected in past, and there is no need for “Hollywood” type videos that drives cost and takes longer. Buzzfeed is a good example of creating content that drive a habit. What Buzzfeed did is establish a series of things that are recognizable, users know the format and what to expect– a series of quick lists that are easily digestible and you don’t have to work hard at figuring out what you’ll get.

Reality of human behavior is that people want quick sound bites, it’s a twitter world.

When thinking about brand video, you have to think like a talk show host…you have to think on your feet and deliver. To get a video viral there needs to be one of three things:  Make someone cry, make them fall on floor laughing, or have the ask themselves “is that real?”.  Keeping in mind, this must be authentic to get users to engage.

Performance: what should we expect on Paid vs Earned Media?

Brands need to create strong content, but focus on optimization tactics to strengthen the reach. Average earned media is on average 100% of what you received from paid media while paid media is in flight, but if video is tagged correctly then you can also get an additional 50% earned from SEM over next year.

You need to look at engagement immediately:  How a video performs during the first 24 hours is critical. Velocity, completion rate, and engagement are the three things you have to optimize to get distribution based on the search engine algorithms. The odds of true viral success are low.

Here is an example of an online video that revived a tremendous amount of earned media. Take a look at this Anna Kendrick New Castle video: Other brands that have great earned media success are Red Bull, Nike and Chipotle.

Distribution and You Tube:

You Tube is its own medium, it is the world largest repository for videos with more than a billion views per day; it’s also the worlds second largest search engine and the third social network by percentage of active users. One size does not fit all when it comes to marketing on YouTube.

  • -90% of you Tube is viewed off of YouTube -YouTube reaches more males 18-34 than any cable network. It is where to find those people who don’t watch TV anymore.
  • -40% of You Tube views are on mobile
  • -in comparison, video is only about 3% of Facebook activities

“The best thing to make something go viral is to pay for it.” ~Unknown


Roni Jenkins, VP Interactive Marketing Director

The Power of Content Marketing

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On Tuesday, April 1st Taboola and Beet.TV partnered to host a Content (i.e., Native) Marketing Summit at the Group M offices. Content Marketing is the idea of producing and publishing  information that builds trust of your brand and helps grows your community. A brand can be seen as a trusted authority and drive sales without the “hard sell”.  Speakers participating in the conference ranged from Adam Singolda, CEO & Founder of Taboola, a content distribution platform,  to Craig Ettinger, GM of Adam spoke to how “content discovery will be the fourth category of Digital Advertising” while Craig talked about how Time Inc. has embraced recirculation of original content.  Currently, 93% of marketers use content marketing and 42% say they use if effectively to reach their customers.

As agencies shift towards a more integrated approach, they will be better equipped to handle the ever evolving landscape.  As more brands begin to explore content marketing, a potential barrier could be gaining the consumer’s trust.   Not forcing the brand into the content, authenticity, and relevancy are three ways to help gain consumers’ trust.  They suggested articles or video that is clever, counter intuitive, and quickly digestible. Articles should be either shorter than 400 words or longer than 800 words for those deeper insightful pieces to get you thinking. As content marketing continues to emerge, we as an industry still need to figure out the best way to measure success. What is your ultimate goal? How does content marketing fit into your overall marketing objective? How much are you willing to invest? What is your core message?

One thing is for sure; content marketing is growing and should play a role in your brand strategy. If you are interested in learning more, Beet.TV has posted several of interviews on their site

Ken Druckman, Interactive Communications Associate & Katie Smithson, Interactive Communications Associate

I’m running for mayor and Foursquare CEO, Dennis Crowley, is supporting me!

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Along with several other Assembly folks, I had the pleasure of attending the Fast Company “Austin Comes to NYC” panel on March 26th, with special guest, Dennis Crowley. At a high level, Foursquare is the app that allows you to broadcast your where about’s where ever you are, to your select social community. You’re probably asking yourself- “what’s the difference between Facebook, Yelp and Foursquare?” Simple- the algorithm. Foursquare focuses on where you’ve been and makes suggestions on where you should go, solely based on previous check in’s as well as those of your friends. This is what we call, a truly customized experience. Five years and 160 employees later, Foursquare has had over 5 billion check in’s with each receiving a different experience- that’s a lot of customization happening on the fly!

Try using Google or Yelp to locate a bar or a restaurant in your neighborhood and you along with Bob, Jill, Melissa and Sam will all receive the SAME search results. Mr. Crowley sees this as “broken method” that lacks the ability to create a personalized experience, and that’s the world we all live in. “Local search just hasn’t gotten there yet” says Crowley, “Foursquare is the first to really push this model”.

So what does Dennis Crowley see as the future of this Microsoft version of “Clippy” (go on, look up the analogy- It’s the cool hipster-esque gadget that sits in your pocket and knows what you’re doing and where you’re doing it. Sound creepy? Just wait till you visit Bushwick or the Lower East Side and can’t determine where to eat or what activities to indulge in. Foursquare’s got your back.

Oh, and if you’re going on vacation anytime soon, let Foursquare know. You’ll be greeted at your destination with a customized list of activities, restaurants and bars that mirror those you’ve done in your home city. Tourist- no more.


Christine Monahan, Manager, Marketing & Business Development

Trendy Meets Techie & Voila! Smart Watches

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Up until this point smart watches have been nothing more than an extension of smart phones.  Fear no more–Google has announced Android Wear, an Android operating system made specifically for Wearable Technology.

What does this technology promise? It promises actionable information that will help amplify our daily lives.

You check the weather; you see it is raining.

You check the time; you’re running behind.

You check your schedule; the meeting location has moved.

You text your coworker; you want to let them know you will be late.

You check your teams score; you fell asleep during the game last night.

You do all of this while making waffles for the smiling faces sitting at your kitchen table.

Of course I’m not telling you to be late to work. I am merely telling you that instead of spending your time glued to your smart phone, you can focus your attention on the experiences happening around you while seamlessly retrieving the information you need, instantaneously. Android Wear is “information that moves with you” and I couldn’t have phrased it better myself.

Each individual user will receive notifications most important to them to create an entirely unique user experience. To see this technology in action, I highly recommend you watch this video: Android Wear; Information that moves with you

Not only are these watches smart, but they are trendy. Google knows presentation matters and has pared with designers like Fossil Group to keep up appearances.

It is time a device helps us plug back into the world surrounding us and I am hoping Android Wear will be just that.


Cassie Lavo, Integrated Communications Assistant

Assembly, assembled.

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Wednesday, March 5th, 2014, our professional lives as we knew it, were completely transformed. Two highly successful agencies with unique crafts transformed into the most evolved media agency of its kind.

We’re Assembly, nice to meet you!

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.” – Mark Twain

And that we did. Led by CEO, Martin Cass, Assembly defines what most agencies fail to- creativity conjoined with technology smarts, backed by one rockin’ staff! Simply put, modern day media agencies connect brands with consumers. Fast forward to 2014, Assembly’s proposition introduces the concept of meaningful connection. As Cass states in his interview with Mediapost’s Steve McClellan, “we don’t see advertising technology and automation as contradictory to the human creativity powering meaningful connection…we are freeing up significant resources to create the truly breakthrough ideas that meaningfully connect brands with consumers.” As the first scaled U.S. media agency in over 15 years, Assembly is committed to innovation and advanced technology, embracing the entrepreneur in all of us…and you.

So why should you care? Because you’re forward thinking, immersed in technology, you scoff at archaic corporations and the culture that accompanies it.

I’ve run out of reasons why we shouldn’t get to know each other… haven’t you?


In Defense of Search Marketing: Is SEM a Good Platform for Small Businesses?

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A couple weeks ago, a New York Times article considering the worthiness of Google AdWords (and similar platforms) for small businesses was published on the newspaper’s blog. It follows a narrative between three small business owners (of a high-end bridesmaid dress shop, an event planning firm, and an online shopping tool start-up, respectively) who discuss their woes and failed attempts at search marketing, reasoning that AdWords is not a marketing initiative fit for small businesses, mostly because it’s too expensive (“It’s a pretty expensive channel for small companies,” according to one entrepreneur) and doesn’t reach the right people (their words, not mine).

Naturally, the search community exploded with angry responses.

Many SEM bloggers have pointed out that perhaps these business owners did not utilize AdWords correctly, quoting pieces of the article that refer to the owners’ somewhat half-hearted efforts. Others have gone into further detail, pinpointing the issue as an inability to manage the platform rather than the platform itself. While the grievances of these small business owners have merit in their own right, there is another perspective that should be examined. Part of the issue here may be that these business owners are missing the point of paid search.

SEM is meant to be flexible. While Ms. Blumin (an entrepreneur interviewed for the article,) noted, “…you can’t set your AdWords for ‘people who really want to spend a ton of money,’” this is an issue for many marketing channels, but can potentially be addressed by more concentrated optimization efforts like targeting. With search, you can set your own campaign budgets, decide where they run, when they run, and who sees them. You can easily evaluate which efforts are successful and which aren’t, giving you the ability to focus time and funds in the right places. The point that these small business owners were missing is that SEM requires time and attention, not huge budgets.

The crux of SEM is figuring out how to meet the “hand-raisers” halfway. If someone is searching for a product or service, the potential is already there. SEM is therefore about learning how to get to those potential customers, not necessarily just sticking a huge budget on AdWords (although we never mind those either). Therefore, SEM is worth it for small businesses – it gives you the ability to capture these potential customers in an easy and targeted way. It just requires effort.

Obviously, there is a caveat – not all businesses run as well with paid search as others. This is a natural part of marketing; we all know that some mediums work better than others for different types of businesses. Perhaps there is a small business out there that has tried paid search and failed – this really could be because search just isn’t the right initiative for that business. But SEM shouldn’t be written off for all small businesses due to its seemingly high price tag. Know your customers, and know if they’ll be searching – and how they’ll be searching. This is a pretty unique role in the marketing space – and if you dive in deep enough, you get some pretty amazing results.

By Sarah Weg, Assistant Search Analyst

Facebook Is One Step Closer To Messaging Domination

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With over 450 million users, and a one of a kind business model, WhatsApp was sold for a whopping $19B to Facebook on February 19th. Co-creators, Jan Koum and Brian Acton, former Yahoo members, launched WhatsApp in 2009 with the goal of creating a platform that allowed smartphone users to message friends and family without the interruption of ads; a goal that ad-obsessed Facebook intends to adhere to.

With the two being the leaders in the space , WhatsApp brings Facebook one step closer to smartphone messaging domination. When asked about WhatsApp’s stellar growth over such a short period of time, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg replied “no one in the history of the word has done anything like that”.

From Instagram to WhatsApp, Facebook has been gobbling up one of a kind social platforms over the past few years, eliminating potentially major rivals. So what’s next for Facebook? Following their ten year birthday and a lot of skepticism around the question “is Facebook dead,” they have been making waves in the space, proving that they are very much alive and well.

So who will be their next victim? Viber? Voxer? Something tells me it won’t be a quiet remainder of the year.






Made Up Media Words… Take 3!

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And we’re back!  Here is it, for some Monday media merry … Made Up Media Words Part Trois!

  • EOD. The use of the famed EOD is pretty epic merely due to its widespreadness. Throwing an EOD into any verbal exchange, email, im, or any other mode of communication for that matter, makes said exchange instantly rude. Those three little letters, just by sitting next to each other, have an amazing ability to morph an exchange from casual to INSTANT, URGENT, RED FLAG!!! “Yeah, hey, I need that report from you… by EOD.” Just before the three dots, you felt totally okay about the report. Afterwards… not so much.
  • POV. Not that POV is in any way exclusive to media, however,  I estimate its usage to be about threefold in media what it is in other, non-media-oriented places of employment. The POV, like the EOD, can be fairly used in written communication and spoken dialogue alike. Writing a POV can be a lofty project. Well, maybe not lofty but you know. Stating your POV is a bit simpler. For instance. “Rachel, please put together a ‘quick’ POV on that 14 page proposal in the next hour.” Errrr, ok. Versus. “Rachel, what is your POV of Cate Blanchett’s SAG dress?” Loves it. You get the difference here, right? But either way, the POV makes its sneaky way into media life each and every hour of every day.
  • COB. Once upon a time, in another place and another time when I was a little baby assistant, the difference between EOD and COB was lost on me. But, what do you mean I have to have it done by COB? So that means 8p when I leave, right? Okay, cool. Fail, Rachel, fail. Little did I know back then that that 8p delivery time was 3 hours tardy to the party. The COB is less commonly used in media than, say, finance, since, well, no one really leaves at the close of the business day in the lovely land of media. But the COB still does manage to find its way into media on occasion. Perfect example: See you COB Friday… for happy hour. #priorities
  • One-sheeter. I am fairly certain that other industries make use of one-sheeters, which typically are indeed more like two-or-three-sheeters. But you get the point. The one-sheeter is a pretty epic document in media. The one-sheeter boasts a magical ability to synthesize pages and pages of slides in a deck (see original MUMW TCMTalks post) into one little Word document!! Wow, just wow right? Well, I mean, oftentimes it really isn’t one sheet like I said. But just calling it that gives it a prowess far greater than calling it by any other name. “Ugh, I cannot look at this 10 slide deck. Please hang up the phone and reschedule this meeting with a simple one-sheeter instead.” #epicdeckfail
  • Round Robin. Probably the biggest, er, time suck of the bunch. Yes, please, let’s all go around this 20-person conference call that we have every single week and announce our names and where we work. Maybe it’s just me but I’d be fine if the round robin spread its wings and flew far, far away.
And that about wraps it up for now. Until part 4, keep on rocking those decks, calls and acronyms!


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