LiveRamp & PushSpring Enhance Partnership; Headway Acquired by Entravision Communications; More

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Also featured in this edition of News U Can Use: Hitwise on Luxe Brands; Return Path–New Data; PCH/Media Hires Spencer Scott.

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LiveRamp and PushSpring Enhance Partnership to Offer Transparency, Control and Speed of Data Activation.

PushSpring, an app-based mobile audience platform, announced an enhanced partnership with LiveRamp™, an Acxiom® company and leading provider of omnichannel identity resolution. The enhanced partnership establishes the LiveRamp IdentityLink™ Data Store as a preferred method for accessing PushSpring branded audience data and custom segments.

PushSpring’s Audience Console provides advertisers and app publishers with mobile-originated audience data and insights for nearly 200 million unique device IDs across North America. In addition to audience data, PushSpring provides analytics and modeling services accessible via the LiveRamp IdentityLink Data Store services ecosystem.

LiveRamp’s IdentityLink resolves this data to a privacy-compliant consumer identifier leveraged by hundreds of brands and technology platforms for people-based marketing. In so doing, LiveRamp allows PushSpring to connect their data to brands’ people-based marketing initiatives and extend the reach of the data across channels.

This enhanced partnership provides capabilities that help marketers deliver better experiences with the right message at the right time for consumers.

“We’re excited to strengthen our longstanding partnership with LiveRamp for the distribution and monetization of PushSpring data and services. As a data provider to the most sophisticated programmatic buyers and digital marketers in the world, we put an emphasis on transparency, control, and speed of data activation for mobile and cross-device targeting,” says Karl Stillner, PushSpring’s co-founder and CEO (pictured top left). “The LiveRamp IdentityLink Data Store features offer best-in-class capabilities in each of these areas, and is committed to driving additional innovation for buyers and sellers of audience data.”

Through LiveRamp, marketers can resolve their first-party data into the PushSpring platform and access detailed app-based audience analysis, segmentation, and lookalike modeling built on the PushSpring App Graph™. These insights are actionable via LiveRamp’s IdentityLink Data Store features and can be activated in nearly 500 demand side platforms (DSPs), data management platforms (DMPs), social platforms, and publisher distribution partner platforms.

“As marketers pursue people-based strategies, they need access to mobile data to build and engage audiences across channels,” said Travis May, LiveRamp president and general manager (pictured left). “PushSpring is an innovator in providing mobile originated audience data for marketers. We’re delighted that PushSpring is using the IdentityLink Data Store features to provide value to their customers.”

LiveRamp offers brands and the companies they work with identity resolution that is integrated throughout the digital ecosystem, and provides the foundation for omnichannel marketing.

PushSpring is an independent mobile app audience data provider, offering data, tools, and intelligence products to advertisers and mobile app publishers.
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Headway Acquired by Publicly-held Entravision Communications Corporation.

Since 2010, Headway Digital has grown from an idea dreamed up by founders Martin Kogan (pictured left), CEO of the company, and Agustin Coll (pictured lower left), Chief Revenue Officer, who began their journey in the digital advertising space focused on the emerging markets in LatAm, and have now become a global company offering proprietary technology in Mobile, Programmatic, Native/Video and Data and DMP.

“When Agustin and I first began the company, we had little resources but big dreams on what we could bring to the digital ad space,” says Kogan. “We knew we wanted to create our own technologies and bring on talented teams that could help us realize our vision.”

Funded by their own investment in the firm, they were able to gather a handful of the best and brightest in the industry, and started building.

Having a deep understanding of the technology and its capabilities, the founders took advantage of the limited knowledge that the industry had of programmatic and DSP. The networks that were in this game were rarely legitimate, and the guys knew that they could turn this technology into valuable, engaging campaigns for their clients. They focused on creating audience clusters that went into more detail than any other network, allowing advertisers to target the right audience at the right time with the right message. They capitalized on the rise of data analytics, creating their own data-driven audience marketplace (DataXpand) and then a mobile-specific platform (Mobrain).

· Recently launched Mobrain Genuis, proprietary technology that provides mobile advertisers with protection against fraudulent clicks stemming from anonymous IP addresses. On average, the proportion of highly suspicious traffic lowered from 15.8% to 5.6%, and clean traffic raised from 73% to 88.6%.

They have also achieved successes for clients such as:

· 66K new customers in six months (iFood),

· 500K unique users in a year (Souq), and

“It brings me great pride to see our company go from a two-man operation to over 170 in 18 offices worldwide focused on helping our clients optimize advertising on a global scale,” says Kogan. “It is exciting to see the fruits of our hard work and determination and now with the backing of Entravision, we will be able to fuel innovation and expansion even further. Our dedication to providing the most advanced technology, customizable solutions and multi-channel marketing platforms is stronger than ever, and we look forward to bringing even more advancements to the marketplace”
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Virtual Reality Production Company, MANDT VR, Appoints Film Industry Veteran to Executive Team.

Virtual reality (VR) production company, MANDT VR, announced the expansion of its executive team with the addition of Emmy Award-winning director, Brian Cavallaro (pictured left), as the company’s chief creative officer. An entertainment industry veteran, Brian brings his wide breadth of knowledge to the MANDT VR team and will oversee the creative team and direct its artistic design strategy.

In addition to his role at MANDT VR, Brian is also the director of development and vice president of production for Mandt Bros. Production. His most recent feature film, “Dog Years,” will world premiere at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival and stars acting legend, Burt Reynolds. Brian has previously developed branded content for Woven Digital, Disney Parks and DisneyChannel, where he was the executive producer and director of the very first 360-degree hosted program that was live-streamed all over the world. Brian is also a member of both the Directors Guild of America and the Producers Guild of America.

“As the VR industry continues to unveil improved products and methods, it is crucial that we also up the ante with compelling content,” said Neil Mandt, CEO and founder of MANDT VR. “Brian is truly a seasoned professional, having directed and produced projects throughout the world in more than 40 countries. Coupled with our many years of working and collaborating together, I’m confident that he will help shape the creative direction of MANDT VR towards the future of this ever-growing new medium.”
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Hitwise Focuses on Online Search For Luxe Brands

A recent study by Hitwise shows that in terms of online market share, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren and Coach reign supreme as most searched for luxury brands (as seen on chart below). In fact, the three of them take 63.5% of the share of online visits to the luxury apparel industry. Louise Vuitton, Gucci and Chanel are the next major set of luxury players.

Yet, on the right Hitwise ranks the top luxury brands based on the percentage of their audience that is 18-34 years old. Several luxury brands that fell in the middle of the pack in the rankings on the left, such as Versace, Tom Ford and Yves Saint Laurent, emerge with the largest proportion of Millennials in their audience on the right:

Millennial Market Share, Over Time

How did the top five Millennial luxury brands fare at capturing 18-34 year old luxury consumers over the course of a year in 2016? How did events, sponsorships and social media affect their ability to capture a larger market share of youthful consumers?

“As you can see, Gucci captures a huge share of luxury Millennials, simply by way of being an older, larger company. Gucci has always maintained a youthful, edgy approach to high fashion, renowned for their progressive embrace of gender fluidity and androgyny, bold granny chic florals and Instagram-exclusive model interviews. However, it is interesting to note that Gucci struggles maintain their majority Millennial market share during the holiday season,” says Rochelle Bailis, Director of Content at Hitwise.

Meanwhile Versace—the luxury brand with the highest percentage of 18-34 year olds in their audience—saw a record jump in overall Millennial market share around June of 2016. It was during this time that superstars Gigi Hadid and Karlie Kloss modeled for Versace’s fall campaign; a few months later the youthful “Versus Versace” line announced their recruitment of Gigi’s popstar boyfriend, Zayn Malik.

“Versace does an outstanding job leveraging megastars that young people idolize, and connecting with Millennials through racy videos, celebrity-laden social media content and digital experiences; Versace has similar traffic volume to Tom Ford, Yves Saint Laurent and Salvatore Ferragamo, and yet has more Instagram followers than all three combined,” says Ms Bailis.

Not All Millennials Are Created Equal

The term “Millennial” encompasses a vast, diverse segment of the population. 18-34 year olds includes young teenagers in high school, as well as 34-year-old career moms. How do these age demographics differ amongst luxury brands?

Versace’s audience skews heavily Millennial, but a little on the older side; they are 47% more likely than average population to be older Millennials (aged 25-34), and 32% more likely to be younger Millennials aged 18-24. There are also 23% more likely to be 35-44 year olds, which means Versace engages younger Gen X consumers as well.

“Obviously, this Millennial ‘lag’ has not caught up with brands like Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren or Coach quite yet; their share of 18-24 year olds may be relatively small, but their market share still looms very large within the luxury industry,” says Ms Bailis.

“And yet, there are hints that edgier, more Instagram-savvy luxury brands may be capturing the attention of the next generation of luxury shoppers. The age of the luxury brand appears to be irrelevant; Michael Kors has only been around since the 80’s yet appears to have stagnated its hold on young consumers, while Gucci has been around for almost a century but manages to reinvent itself by pushing the boundaries of experimental, unapologetic fashion and modern marketing,” continues says Ms Bailis.

“The fact is, Millennials care more about what luxury goods say about them than the luxury goods themselves. Luxury brands are about making a statement, creating an experience, building social capital and making an emotional connection to celebrities who lead incredible lives,” says Ms Bailis in summary. “To buy a Versace dress that Gigi Hadid wore is to feel part of her world, connected to something more glamorous, opulent and beautiful than ordinary life (and of course, to capture your abundance on social media for all your friends to see).”

Source: Data pulled using Hitwise’s AudienceView tool, based on visitors to top luxury brand websites. Top luxury brand visit share and Millennial visit share lists pulled over the month of December, 2016. Millennial visit share graph charted over the year of 2016. Age demographics pulled over a 4-week period ending 2/18/2017.

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Return Path released new data on the hidden metrics of email, based on 5 billion emails across key industries.

New research from Return Path shows strong correlation between subscriber engagement and spam placement.

Return Path‘s has released the second annual email engagement benchmark report, The Hidden Metrics of of Email Deliverability. It provides sector-specific results for email marketing metrics like read rate, reply rate, forward rate, and complaint rate, which measure consumers’ level of engagement with the email they receive. Overall, industries that outperformed the average in these metrics also saw less email delivered to spam.

“More than ever before, subscriber engagement is critical to getting your email delivered to the inbox. Major mailbox providers like Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo are constantly looking for ways to improve their customer experience, and they are increasingly reliant on engagement signals to filter out unwanted messages,” said Return Path President George Bilbrey (pictured above left). “Yet many marketers don’t track these metrics, and may not even be aware that they’re available.”

Among the key findings from this report:

· Although overall spam placement increased slightly year over year (13% in 2016 vs 12% in 2015), positive engagement metrics like read rate, reply rate, and forward rate also saw significant improvement.

· Industries with the lowest spam rate (banking/finance, distribution & manufacturing, travel, and utilities) also exceeded nearly every benchmark for subscriber engagement.

· The amount of email delivered to the spam folder ranged from just 6% (banking/finance and distribution & manufacturing) to 24% (automotive). Automotive also had the worst spam placement of 2015 (28%).

· Overall read rate increased by 8% year over year, and every industry saw an increase in read rate compared with 2015. Industries with the highest read rate were distribution & manufacturing (58%) and utilities (57%). By comparison, the best read rate of 2015 was 47% (utilities).

· Subscribers took a more active role this year in separating wanted mail from unwanted mail. The overall “deleted without reading” rate rose from 9% in 2015 to 13% in 2016, while the “this is not spam” rate (which measures how often a subscriber retrieves a message from the spam folder and marks it as “not junk” jumped from just 0.03% in 2015 to 1.04% in 2016.

Report findings are drawn from more than 5 billion commercial emails received in 2016. The report analysis is broken down by industry sector, allowing marketers to compare their own subscriber engagement against their industry peers and identify opportunities for improvement—ultimately leading to better deliverability and marketing ROI.

“Optimizing consumer engagement can certainly improve deliverability, but these metrics also provide valuable data about the effectiveness of your email campaigns. And Return Path is uniquely positioned to help marketers uncover these important insights,” continued Bilbrey. “Unlike other deliverability solutions, Return Path’s consumer panel of more than 2.5 million active consumer inboxes offers an unprecedented look at how real people interact with real email messages.”

Methodology

Return Path conducted this study using global consumer data consisting of more than 17,000 commercial senders, 2.5 million consumer panelists, and 5 billion commercial email messages received between January 1 and December 31, 2016. Consumer data is defined as information captured from monitored email accounts controlled by real subscribers to sample user initiated and engagement based filtering decisions by mailbox providers. Consumer data can uncover behavior-based factors and thresholds that influence inbox placement at large mailbox providers, and can’t be identified by non-interactive seeds.

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Following a Transformative Year in Digital Innovation, PCH/Media Finds its First Ever Head of Media Platforms in Spencer Scott.

PCH/Media, the digital advertising and data arm of Publishers Clearing House, is proud to announce the appointment of Spencer Scott (pictured left) as its first ever Head of Media Platforms, a newly created role. A seasoned ad tech executive and investor with a proven track record of scaling business operations, Mr. Scott will be responsible for leading product development strategy and implementing planning processes to advance the company’s media and product offering. Mr. Scott will report directly to PCH/Media’s General Manager, Steve Bagdasarian.

“Over the past two years, we have made significant progress in strengthening our brand and positioning our first-party data resources to drive digital strategies within the ad tech ecosystem,” said Mr. Bagdasarian. “As we prepared for the next phase of our evolution, we knew we needed to bring on the best executive on the market to help us streamline opportunities to scale our business. Spencer comes from a strong background of media and data, with an unmatched track record of growing business operations by balancing rapid growth with resource allocation. We are so excited to bring his energy and expertise on board as we continue to make strides towards overall innovation and product disruption.”

The addition of Mr. Scott comes at a time of accelerated growth for the business. Its 2016 rebrand as PCH/Media helped strengthen awareness of the company’s ties to parent brand Publishers Clearing House and its unique offerings (including its massive reach of 73% of US households). Most recently, PCH/Media announced an innovative partnership with leading real-time bidding platform OpenX, integrating the firm’s header bidding technology and private marketplaces into its monetization strategy. With its 2015 acquisitions of demand-side platform (DSP) Plethora Mobile and CRM automation platform CommandIQ, PCH/Media continues to rapidly evolve as a robust source of data and tools that help brands and agencies more effectively engage targeted consumer audiences across all digital media.

“I’m very excited to be joining a dynamic company like PCH/Media at such a pivotal time in their growth,” said Spencer Scott, Head of Media Platforms for PCH/Media. “I have had my eye on the massive momentum that the company has had over the past year as they matched the speed and pace of the shifting digital advertising market. The team that has been built here is something special. I look forward to building upon this vision and identifying the best opportunities for our company to compete and win in the marketplace.”

With 15 years of experience in the ad tech industry, Mr. Scott comes to PCH/Media from Meed Mobile, where he served as CEO. Prior to his time at Meed Mobile, Mr. Scott was the Chief Revenue Officer at Fiksu, the leading mobile app DSP. He also held executive positions at OneScreen and Adverplex. Mr. Scott is an active advisory board member of Yesware and has served on the board of several companies acquired by Facebook and Groupon.

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