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    cross device targeting

    7 hacks to choose the perfect ad tech partner

    599 400 Prerna Mehta

    Are you in the right hands, choose your ad tech partner wisely

    Every piece of news that we read these days about digital media industry talks about the tremendous growth in ad spends over the coming years. Due to advances in advertising technology, it is becoming ever increasingly difficult for advertisers to choose the right ad tech partner to deliver user engagement driven campaigns. Let’s have a look at Statisa’s report about digital advertising spending worldwide from 2012 to 2018 (in billion U.S. dollars).

    7 hacks to choose the perfect ad tech partner

    All these trends show a steep rise in digital ad spends globally for both desktop and mobile advertising. The world is becoming digital first and content consumption pattern has changed over the period. This change is also driving advertiser optimism and ad budget growth.

    To ease this decision-making process I have compiled few points that every fellow marketer or media planner should consider before choosing the perfect ad tech partner for their next campaign.

    1.     Your digital strategy and goals:

    Before even thinking of looking out for an ad tech partner, it is important to be clear about your own digital strategy and goals. Your annual ad spends or media spends should be well calculated and budgeted. You should be clear about the expectations you have from the campaign. All your strategies revolve around your target audiences, so make sure your new partner knows who your target audiences are and will they be able to reach them. A precise campaign delivered to the right audience at the right time will definitely yield better results. Keep all the valuable data collected over the years handy for future reference.

    2.     Test the Water: 

    You have an existing partner, but it is not necessary to stick to them just because they have been associated with your company since donkey years. You should keep a track of the latest technology, trends and breakthroughs in digital advertising industry. Check if the partner in consideration will be able to deliver those for you. Also, are these technologies right for your marketing strategy?  Few important questions that you should answer before starting off.

    • Do they have a strong digital background?
    • Do they understand your marketing needs and goals?
    • Is the new partner at par with the latest trends in ad tech?
    • Will they be able to give you a 360-degree approach/experience?

    3.  Beware of the Catchy Words:

    Every industry has a list of jargons used by members of the fraternity. Similarly, digital media industry also has some dominating terms like programmatic, native ads, Big Data, viewability etc. Don’t get blown away by these terms and don’t keep these highly rated jargons as deciding parameters to choose a partner. The ad tech partner should be able to deliver the desired results using the latest technology build around these jargons but be careful not to fall in the trap.

    4.     Work Profile:

    Ensure that the ad tech partner to be, has previously worked with similar clients and solved similar problems. Do they understand the challenges that your industry faces and are they ready with solution. Take into consideration their successful campaigns and technology that they have previously used in campaign execution across multiple platforms like mobile, native ad, video and more. Having this information will help you understand their capabilities to run your campaign.

    5.     What’s their forte?

    A lot of media agencies and ad tech companies offer ‘n’ number of services under their umbrella. You need to find out what they specialize in. Their specialization will have a positive effect on the deliverable. Also, check if the technology partner has an in-house technical team to deliver the campaign or have they outsourced their technical responsibilities. It’s imperative to choose a partner who can provide an end to end solution rather than just marketing expertise.

    6.     Key Metrics:

    One of the most vital question to be answered when delivering digital campaigns is, has the technology partner measured the results and if yes, how? You need to check what metrics they use to measure the performance of the campaign. The metrics used at your end should be aligned with your ad technology partner. Measuring elements that don’t matter to you should not be considered while evaluating. There are several key metrics used industry wide like for your branding campaigns it can be CTR (Click through Rate) or engagement rate. For performance-based campaigns, it can be the last mile action/ lead or purchase that happened. Point to be noted here is with users consuming content over multiple devices, tracking cross-device conversions is also a critical metric. With video ads and viewable impression being talk of the town, time spend and viewability can also be an important metric. It’s important to work with a partner who uses robust data, converts data into useful analytics to ultimately deliver results as you want.

    7.     Service Level:

    Whenever we talk about a business partnership, comfort and service levels are points that we cannot ignore. It’s important to define the level of service that you expect from your ad tech partner. The whole campaign delivery cycle involves support and service at all levels. You’ll want to understand whether their working principle is that of a self-serve model, a dedicated account manager or a combination of both. What services they offer post campaign delivery is also of importance. The ad tech partner should be able to give you industry insights and take you one step ahead of others.


    To deliver a successful digital campaign, you need to have the perfect ad tech partner by your side. Choose the right one and you will have a smooth sailing.

    Why cross device targeting is the new black

    Why cross device targeting is the new black

    599 400 Apurv Lungade

    Scenario – (as if it is a magic!)

    User was searching for a t-shirt on a shopping site on his desktop but didn’t buy it. Now he searches for more t-shirts on his mobile and gets to see the same t-shirt which he had searched on the desktop previously. An instant question that comes to your mind is – how does mobile get to know that the user on desktop and mobile is the same? Is it cookie or device identifier? But the cookie is present on the desktop. Is it something different which links these two devices with a single identifier? Was he logged in chrome/shopping site on both desktop and mobile? Yes, maybe! We don’t know…let’s explore!

    What was the scenario about?

    We all can see the shift in content consumption. More and more people are consuming content on the go i.e. on their mobiles or tablets. The above scenario considers the case of a typical cross-device targeting which many brands/advertisers are adopting in order to engage with their users/consumers hopping on multiple devices. Peechha naa chhodenge! (Wherever you go, our ads will follow you). The basic understanding about cross device targeting is “Identify a user or its behavior on more than one device and show him relevant ads accordingly”. It can be any two devices (see the image % share by eMarketer)

    Why cross device targeting is the new black

    A recent TNS study in Australia showed that for those owning at least three Internet devices, share of time was split as follows: PC/laptop (52 percent), smartphone (29 percent), and tablet (19 percent) (Source: TNS Mobile Life 2013).

    There are two approaches to cross-device targeting.

    Deterministic – This approach is executed using PII (Personal Identified information) of the user. This process is more accurate since the user is either logged in or he has shared his information with the publishers. The user data/behavior is tracked (stored) against this PII (email id, mobile no., physical address) instead of storing it in a cookie. The reason being cookies and virtual IDs do differ device to device but PII remains same. Now once a new user logs in, it checks if the PII is available – if it is, then stores the behavior info as well as based on previous data it shows ad; else creates a new entry in the database and starts studying the user’s behavior (fingerprinting). The above example is based on the deterministic approach.

    Benefits: Since user’s behavioral pattern is studied across devices in this model the ads served are more accurate and precise. Digital advertisers prefer this approach as here the user is already identified and segmented for personalized targeting.

    Challenges: In the deterministic model it is difficult to scale. We can say “Scale is inversely proportional to accuracy”. Privacy of the user is the biggest concern in this model. Another challenge is browser incapability when serving ads on different devices with different default browsers.

    Probabilistic – This approach involves using data points and attributes from different devices, operating systems, location data associated with bid requests, time of day and a host of other such details to predict statistical, aka likely, matches between devices. These probabilities take time to result in accurate predictions. The accuracy level in this model is 60 to 90%. Example 1- if a phone, a tablet, and a laptop connect to the same networks or Wi-Fi hotspots in the same places every weekday, it’s safe to summarize that all three devices belong to a specific user.

    Example 2- SilverPush did it for one of their clients. When a user is watching the brand’s ad, an ultrasonic sound (Beacons) is emitted from TV which triggers the user’s mobile to show the offer on it.

    Benefits: In this model user privacy is not at risk at all. Users can be paired across devices, operating systems, browsers which increase the scalability. Advertisers get to reach to their fragmented audiences in a better way.

    Challenges: This model is based on probability, and continuously recursive algorithms. Precise predictions take time to deliver desired results.

    Conclusion: The future lies in cross-device/screen targeting. Today’s marketers and advertisers should be ready for the big change. Both the approaches require efforts to overcome huge technical feats. They require huge infra, database (Big data), strong analytics tool (multidimensional reporting through slicing and dicing) and self-learning complex algorithms. Cross-device targeting plays a vital role in campaign performance which should be kept in mind before setting up a campaign.