SQAD POD: 5 Game Changers Every Advertiser Should Know – October 2017

Industry news and insights podcast curated from the world of advertising and marketing trends.

We’re unpacking the sweaters and heating up the chai tea… that must mean autumn is finally here. But, before you drive into the mountains to watch the leaves change, or binge on Halloween candy, we’re taking a minute to get you updated on what’s happening in the world of advertising. This month, we’re talking about Google’s new Insight Engine Project and Stamp tools, Amazon’s full-court press as an advertising platform, the ability to read minds and manipulate consumers, and Adobe’s programmatic platform for connected TV ad targeting.

1. Part I: Google Using New Data to Attract Publishers

Once again, Google is stepping up its game against its biggest rivals, Facebook and Apple, to win the hearts of content publishers with the promise of providing them with the same valuable data it already offers its advertisers. The Internet giant says it will offer publishers previously unavailable data on website visitors traffic – including age, relevant search history, gender, and more – in a new tool it’s releasing known as the Insight Engine Project. The data will be a part of DoubleClick, Google’s ad sales management platform for publishers, and will allow publishers to more granularly target their ads through Google’s programmatic exchange as it reorganizes the vast amounts of raw data tracked on websites into an easy, readable format. It will also bring machine learning to DoubleClick, granting publishers insight on how their sites are performing against competitors. And as if that was not enough, they will also gain access to key ad metrics to aid in forecasting. The Insight Engine Project aims to help publishers pave the road ahead in a world where data and technology are vital, not just to success, but survival.

2. Part II: Google Swipes Another Snapchat Feature

It seems like poor Snapchat can’t catch a break these days. Every time it rolls out some cool new feature to attract more users, another platform is standing by ready to snatch it up and make it their own. Up next for cloning is Snapchat’s Discover section – the in-app media hub for entertainment & news content targeted at the coveted app users – which offers an engaging mobile experience unlike any other and has been serving as a significant source of revenue for the company. And surprising no one, Google has announced a platform that basically mimics Discover – only, they’re calling it Stamp, for some reason. Like on Discover, Stamp users will be able to swipe through headlines and trending stories just like they were texts, photos, and videos in an app. And to add insult to injury, Google will be digging into their very deep pockets to pay publishers (such as Conde Nast, Hearst, Vox) to produce content specifically for the service. While Google isn’t planning to sell any ads on the platform at the time, you can bet the advertising giant has big plans to monetize their new efforts. Meanwhile, Snapchat is trying to stay relevant and solvent by chasing startups and small businesses – hoping to get them to advertise on the app by luring them in with offers like free branded filters and early access to ad products. All of this in the hopes they can develop long-term strategic partnerships and box out Google and Facebook. If you stop and think too much about it, you might almost start feeling sorry for Snap… almost.

Amazon Gets Aggressive as an Advertising Platform

Amazon is cooking up some serious advertising initiatives, making moves to break out of its reputation as solely being a global marketplace and establishing itself as a respectable player in the world of ads and paid content. Amazon has been making serious moves in the advertising world, so much so that we have covered them in at least three recent Game Changers. It’s no secret that they are making aggressive moves and rising up as a serious player to disrupt the advertising duopoly of Google and Facebook. Now they have set their sights on adding 2,000 new jobs to New York City, mostly in advertising, and is planning to add more advertising features such as TV-like ads on its Thursday Night Football programming on Prime Video and self-service programmatic tools. In an advertising world that has long been dominated by the two giant powerhouses, Amazon is gaining speed at a spectacular pace. With their ambition, aggressive market plays, and seemingly infinite cash reserves, Google and Facebook should have one eye over their shoulder.

If Brands Could Read Your Mind

Imagine a world where brands had the power to read the minds of consumer… would they use this power for good or for evil? We may not need to wonder for much longer. The online auction-commerce giant eBay has launched what they are calling the Inspiration Zone, an experience where they hook participants up to an electroencephalogram headset that detects brain wave activity. They are then given 20 minutes to complete a series of number exercises and browse through an art gallery. Afterwards, based on the neural feedback provided during the seemingly mundane tests, participants are shown a shopping list specially curated by a deep-learning AI machine. In theory, the machine knows your brain and what you want, and can deliver far more tailored and relevant product recommendations. While you may not initially think you need the new DSLR camera or the vegetable spiralizer the AI is suggesting, the mere suggestion in the list may tickle your subconscious and suddenly hours or days later, you’re just itching to get the new gadgets. Is this just harmless efficiency or subconscious mind manipulation that creates inescapable urges to purchase unneeded items by bypassing the reasoning areas of your brain? While eBay says that it will not be utilizing this technology for marketing purposes, it’s only a matter of time. Maybe someday, your phone will be reading your mind and complicit in your new shopping addiction.

Adobe Expands Connected TV Advertising

As more households hook their TVs up to Rokus, Chromecasts, and other connected devices, advertisers are searching for new ways to capture the growing audience. Earlier this year, Adobe launched the Adobe Advertising Cloud to compete with major ad tech firms, offering tools for advertisers to manage TV and digital buying across platforms. Just this month, the company enhanced their Advertising Cloud with a new tool that will enable digital marketers to better target connected TV audiences through a cross-screen planner. Adobe is hoping to expand programmatic advertising, which has traditionally been used in digital, to the TV space. The Planner gives advertisers the power to execute linear TV buys, digital buys, or combinations of both using household-level data from both first and third parties. Additionally, Adobe is partnering with Nielson (for planning purposes), as well as a range of networks including A&E and Discovery. In a landscape where ad-supported, connected TV services are increasing at a rate of 30% month-over-month, Adobe seems to be making the right moves to lead the way in cord-cutter advertisement targeting.