Forging the Data Landscape in Canada

Mediative’s Toronto office hosted its first Executive Summit on May 16, 2012 to discuss the power of Data in online advertising. Representatives from Bluekai, Evidon, AppNexus, Recoset and Environics Analytics shared insights on how they each manage to forge in their own way pieces of the Data Landscape in Canada. Here are the biggest takeaways from our Industry keynote speakers.

Data tells stories.

The most universal challenge each advertiser faces today, is how to achieve better performance and ROI for their online campaigns. Not so different from traditional advertising. However, the evolution of the data landscape in Canada has not gone through any significant evolution with display. For the last decade, behavioural targeting has been dumping a massive amount of cookies on computers to deliver web pages enthusiasts to marketers. The question that we need to ask ourselves is whether we want to be liked or do we want the whole thing. ‘Like’ can never replace love. So, why settle for less? We need more of what works online in display. We can learn from Search.

Behavioural targeting is the past – literally.

Not only is it the old way of data advertising but the information provided to marketers is history. Data advertising is about intent to buy. In this sense, data becomes knowledge. This can be achieved by combining art (product management) and technology. Rather than simply being a psychologist looking at past behaviours, we need to become actuaries predicting future purchases with great accuracy. Instead of trying to influence future behaviors we need to predict consumers’ next intent to buy.

Data is the new fuel.

We know Search works because somebody is virtually tapping you on the shoulder passing you a note telling you what they want. In a 2011 Digiday poll, 70% of advertisers/agencies said that remarketing was the single most important signal in successful ad campaigns. But the thing we all suffer from the most is not having enough of those signals to power the millions of impressions we need.
While we all agree that search is a successful indicator of intent, we also know that 85% of purchases don’t happen until after the initial search. So we know that those same intent users are out there doing other things, in an even deeper funnel than search. When DMPs like BlueKai separated data from media and gave data providers like Mediative a platform to control and monetize their data, we found that the marketplace did not just open the doors to making intent data available – at scale for the first time – but now that data was out of the shadows of the black box, BT buys and advertisers have the luxury of choice and transparency. Data providers were held more accountable. It helps that Canada’s Advertising Industry has released self-regulation framework for Online Behavioural Advertising that ensures transparency, education, choice and accountability for consumers. And the regulations are still evolving.

Data has its own flavour.

Because of the classification and segmentation capability that BlueKai offered that organizes that data into 50,000 available categories and cross referencing with Mediative first Party Canadian data to advertisers for the first time, advertisers could measure and compare performance of different depth, different types, and different sources of data. What it brings us to is the importance for a marketer to review their knowledge about conversion path and attribution models to creative and segments. It has become crucial to understand the online behaviour of consumers’ pre and post conversion, in addition to their needs and buying process – essentially looking at their interest, intent and interaction. Mediative has acquired and identified intent to buy digital customers through data expertise and ownership of the leading online properties and directories in Canada.

What we have seen is that once the digital objectives are defined, advertisers will expect strategies and connections to the customers who have already demonstrated an intention to buy through their online activities, through multiple online channels to maximize exposure and ultimately generate sales.

Where does RTB fit into this?

Up until 2007 we experienced an inefficient marketplace of sellers and buyers before RTB was introduced and a surge of opportunities were created. Today there are 25 billion RTB impressions daily! RTB enables more control between direct sales, and private and public exchanges. It has been forecasted that by 2015 RTB-based spending will quadruple from 2011 levels in the UK, and quintuple in Germany and France. In Canada, sellers are leading the way for RTB with big media companies and publishers creating the opportunities. We have certainly experienced this in the last year with a number of our own publishers pushing to enable the service.

The bottom line is today’s advertisers want to connect buyers, sellers, and third party data providers in real time. And publishers and advertisers are looking for the tip of the iceberg when it comes to data. More is coming! And we at Mediative are excited to be involved in the transformation.

Here are some pictures from this event.

Forging the Data Landscape in Canada Forging the Data Landscape in Canada Forging the Data Landscape in Canada