WorkSpan Survey: Only 11% of Marketers Spend Their Budget Effectively

99 out of 100 marketing executives say it would be valuable to have a better handle on joint budgets when marketing with partners—46 percent say it would be “extremely valuable”

That’s the key takeaway this week from WorkSpan, a Business Network for marketing with partners, that has just announced the results of a new survey that looked at the tools marketing executives use to track campaigns and how effectively their marketing budgets are being used and how they measure the success of campaigns.

The survey was conducted online within the United States by Propeller Insights on behalf of WorkSpan November 7-13, 2017, among 100 marketing executives—44 percent VPs of marketing, 32 percent CMOs and 24 percent SVPs of marketing. The results were weighted to the U.S. census for age, gender, region and income.

The top three concerns of American marketing executives are digital marketing (87 percent), product marketing (80 percent) and partner marketing (67 percent)—although 83 percent of senior level marketers aren’t using a partner management tool.

VPs, SVPs and CMOs unanimously agree that marketing with partners has benefits, prime among them:

  • Increased lead generation — 58 percent
  • Access to new potential customers — 50 percent
  • New market segments — 50 percent
  • Access to partner audiences and brand power — 48 percent
  • Stronger media outreach & better social media content — 47 percent each

“Companies need to engage with thriving ecosystems of partners to make themselves strategic and valuable for their ecosystem, but this creates many potential complications and inefficiencies,” said Mayank Bawa, CEO and founder of WorkSpan. “We created WorkSpan to make joint marketing with partners accountable, innovative and impactful at scale—and to create unparalleled visibility throughout the process, making their campaigns more effective and helping them to put every cent of their marketing budgets to good use.”

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FIRST LOOK: Datonics, Kochava Collective Helping Mobile Marketers Easily Reach Desired Audiences

MMW learned Thursday hat online data company Datonics has partnered with Kochava, an industry leader providing holistic measurement solutions for connected devices.

What’s behind the new agreement?W We’re told the effort will provide mobile marketers with access to even more audience data to help them reach specific consumers who are most likely to be interested in their products.

Mobile marketers can access Datonics data through the Kochava Collective, the world’s largest independent mobile data marketplace. Datonics data, which is based on high-quality search, purchase intent, life-stage and B2B data on 180+ million U.S. and Canadian users, enables marketers to run mobile campaigns that are both granular and scalable.

“Increasingly, consumers are using their mobile devices for researching, browsing and purchasing products, including more expensive items than in years past. Marketers are eager to capture the attention of consumers on mobile. We are delighted to partner with Kochava and help marketers reach their desired audiences as they turn more to mobile on their consumer journeys,” said Michael Benedek, CEO of Datonics.

The Kochava Collective houses data from four sources: first-party data collected from the Free App Analytics SDK from over one billion devices globally, integrated mobile networks, direct app and game publishing partners who choose to contribute their data, and data providers such as Datonics.

“Marketing campaigns are strengthened by the scale and accuracy of data. It’s our goal to supply marketers with these two attributes. We are happy to partner with Datonics and extend its rich data to marketers using the Kochava Collective,” said Grant Cohen, GM of Kochava Collective.

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Calls for SMS Industry to Rein in 18% Overcharge

Business SMS provider, The SMS Works has called for the business SMS industry to rethink its unfair and unclear charging policy.

Ever since the industry’s inception in the late 90s, users of business SMS services have always been charged for all messages they send, even if a proportion of them haven’t been delivered.

By contrast, SMS providers are not charged when a message is undelivered, so there’s an additional margin that almost all providers are taking advantage of.

With the average non-delivery rate standing at around 18%, there’s a significant hidden, additional profit that the industry has been enjoying for the past 20 years or so.

Business SMS provider, The SMS Works, is challenging this pricing policy by offering an SMS API service where any undelivered messages are refunded back to the customer.

For too long the SMS industry has been unfairly charging its customers for undelivered texts. We think it’s time this changed”, said Henry Cazalet, Director at The SMS Works.

This new offering may cause rumblings of disquiet in the SMS industry which will be uncomfortable with a spotlight being thrown onto its opaque charging strategy.

SMS Providers have always charged for failed messages and they’ve always struggled to justify this to customers. 

SMS companies don’t pay for failed messages, so there’s no reason that customers should have to. We’re offering a much fairer and more transparent approach to pricing.”
The Bristol based company attracts customers who need a reliable business SMS API service at a low cost and believe their service is amongst the lowest priced in the industry.

To back this up, they have published an SMS price comparison table, so customers can compare prices from over 22 companies.

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PubMatic Partners with White Ops to Fight Bot Fraud

This week, White Ops announced its partnership with sell-side platform (SSP) PubMatic, to defend against fraudulent, non-human traffic impressions across PubMatic’s video and mobile inventory.

Through this partnership, PubMatic has globally implemented White Ops’ pre-bid and post-bid solutions to provide ad fraud detection and prevention.

“PubMatic is a global leader with tremendous reach in video,” says Rajeev Goel, Co-Founder and CEO of PubMatic. “We believe the best way to serve our customers is to provide transparency and quality. When ad fraud is prevented, everyone wins. Our publishers, who have great content and audiences, see higher yield, and our demand-side platform partners can buy with confidence.”

“Bot fraud threatens the future of digital advertising and the broader internet,” said Sandeep Swadia, CEO of White Ops. “PubMatic has made a commitment to help create more transparency in programmatic advertising. We are delighted to be working with them to fight fraud in the digital advertising ecosystem and the internet overall.”

For more information on White Ops’ bot fraud detection and prevention solutions, click here.

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First Look: DynAdmic Uses Digital Element’s Mobile-Derived Geolocation Data within Its Digital Video Advertising Targeting Solution

Digital Element, a global geolocation data and services provider, just announced that DynAdmic, a digital video advertising firm, has selected its global, mobile-derived geolocation dataset to use within its contextual targeting solution, helping to deliver more efficient and effective campaigns throughout Latin America.

Headquartered in France with operations in Brazil, the United States, Canada, Mexico and Germany, DynAdmic has emerged as a leading innovator in the digital video advertising space with its contextual targeting solution powered by audio recognition technology that identifies viewers’ real-time interests, allowing the delivery of ads at the moment their interest level is the highest. Some of the world’s largest brands, including BMW, Red Bull, Kellogg’s, McDonalds and American Express, depend on DynAdmic to deliver high-performing video advertising campaigns in the safest environments.

“Recognized brands began pulling their spending from Google in the spring as a result of their ads appearing next to objectionable content on YouTube and other websites it monetizes,” said Stéphane Bonjean, CEO and co-founder of DynAdmic. “Through DynAdmic’s unique set of tools, we’ve been able to step in to ensure that brands have a safer environment for their advertisements.”

DynAdmic will integrate Digital Element’s NetAcuity PulseTM, the industry’s first mobile-derived IP targeting solution that identifies geographic location down to a postal code level, to effectively target video ads, identify fraudulent ad traffic, and ensure brand safety. Additionally, the company will also employ Digital Element’s mobile carrier and Internet Service Provider (ISP) databases to help add even more viewer context to its targeting solution―without invading consumers’ privacy.

“It’s all about relevancy,” said Bruno Champion, CTO and co-founder of DynAdmic. “We use data to identify consumers in order to match them with the right video ad when it will be most relevant to them. That’s why it’s imperative for DynAdmic to use the most accurate and reliable global geolocation available.”

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Video Creation Platform Wibbitz Releases New Research Report

Wibbitz, a leading AI-powered video creation platform, today released Building the Ultimate Toolbox for Visual Storytelling, a report based on responses, collected in November 2017, from 1,478 professionals across verticals such as telecommunications, entertainment, marketing, pharma, and education whose jobs involve the creation of visual content.

The report looks at which types of visual content creation tools are most popular, in what ways those tools support business goals, and how visual content supports business success overall, in order to help storytellers understand how to equip themselves in the pursuit of a successful content strategy.

The study’s overall findings revealed that visual content makes a noticeable impact on every major business goal, influencing website traffic (85 percent), brand awareness (84 percent), social media engagement (81 percent), and lead generation and sales (71 percent). Additionally, of survey respondents, 80 percent leverage automation tools for visual content creation, which directly correlates to their ability to create the five key formats of visual content (photos, video, infographics, illustrations, and animations) at a significantly more regular cadence than those who do not use automation.

Looking ahead, as demand for visual content increases in 2018 and beyond, the study found that more than three quarters (77 percent) of respondents plan to expand their visual content creation efforts inclusive of their budgets, human capital, visual content creation tools, and types of visual content.

“It’s undeniable that the need for visual content and tools to support its creation will continue to grow exponentially in the years ahead, yet there are so many ways to execute visual content creation that it’s easy for companies to get lost. Regardless of industry, company size, or amount of visual content already being produced, companies will need to continue adapting their visual technology toolboxes in order to satisfy audiences on every new platform and device,” said Zohar Dayan, Co-founder and CEO of Wibbitz. “Whether companies are hiring fresh talent, introducing innovative tech tools, trying out new content types, or just expanding their investment in visual content overall, the shift towards a multiplatform, visual-first business strategy is well on its way. We’re excited for 2018 and beyond as we deliver solutions to make production easier and distribution more effective to improve our clients’ bottom lines.”

Want to know more? Check out the full report here.

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M Science Launches Alibaba Advertising Spending Data Product

M Science, a titan in the realm of data driven research and analytics, has launched a proprietary data product that tracks the performance of e-commerce giant Alibaba’s advertising revenue. The data provides clients with an in-depth, near real-time view of top revenue-driving metrics for the company.

The Merchant Advertising Spending Data product analyzes more than 200,000 keywords with insight into price and volume measures across 13 categories and 112 subcategories on Taobao and Tmall. Key metrics include impressions, click volumes, cost-per-click (CPC), click-through-rates, conversion rates and revenue.

“In addition to the company’s core commerce segment, advertising is a key growth driver for the company,” said Henry Guo, Senior Analyst at M Science. “Our proprietary analysis of Alibaba enables our clients to view drivers of a significant portion of Alibaba’s total revenue. Our tracking data suggests that in the month of October, strong traffic growth and improving click-through-rates helped drive the growth of Alibaba’s advertising revenue, benefitting from the robust user growth and the company’s ongoing efforts to increase user engagement through personalization enhancements.”

M Science will deliver its Merchant Advertising Spending Data product monthly and will include three years of historical data beginning as of October 2014. Additionally, M Science offers a proprietary view into Alibaba’s commission revenue, tracking Gross Merchandise Volume across 18 core categories and over 70 local and international brands on Tmall.com

“Our priority is to provide clients with actionable insights derived from in-depth analysis and a panoramic view of success metrics for companies,” added Michael V. Marrale, M Science CEO. “The addition of this data product meaningfully expands the depth and richness of our China Internet and Media offering.”

We’re told that M Science’s current product suite of M Analysis and M Data cover over 430 companies and sub-brands across U.S. and European Consumer, Industrials and TMT in North America and Asia.

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Chatbots in the Hospitality Industry: Enhanced Personalized Guest Experiences

The following is a guest contributed post by Dana Gibber, Co-Founder and COO of Headliner Labs, the leading chatbot creation platform.

Chatbots for Hotels

These days, almost every imaginable industry is experimenting with the use of intelligent, AI-powered chatbots to speed up processes, increase efficiency and provide more satisfactory customer service. Among the most exciting and high-potential are the uses for chatbots in the hospitality industry. Hotel patrons expect on-demand service; it is difficult to imagine anything easier than messaging a hotel concierge right on your mobile phone with an instantaneous response. Hotels should adopt chatbots to serve as the first line of contact for guests in certain circumstances, especially when the need is simple (more towels!) or when accessibility should be twenty-four/seven. In the hotel context, chatbots afford much of the functionality that mobile apps provide, without requiring guests to download an app. Chatbots are an ideal tool for fast service when the need is short in duration (typically, a hotel stay of a few nights), but requires a high frequency of interaction during that time.

Here are five ways chatbots can be used by the hotel industry:

  1. Instant Reminders

After check-in, chatbots can send useful updates related to a guest’s stay. For example, a chatbot can notify a guest when his or her room becomes available, or conversely send reminders about upcoming check-out times. The chatbot can even be used to set wake up alarms in the morning, or send reminders about dinner and spa reservations. For a hotel, this reduces the volume of simple queries directed at human staff and clogging up phone lines, while reducing wasted resources due to missed appointments.

2.            Ability to provide upgrades/ additional services

A chatbot can be a valuable channel for upselling to hotel guests. With its unique ability to ping guests with concise, bite-sized messages, a chatbot can proactively notify guests of things like available upgrades, spa appointments, amenities, activities, etc. Chatbots are typically powered by machine learning algorithms that optimize messaging, so when implemented properly, these messages are helpful and informative — leading to conversion — rather than aggressive and intrusive.

3.            Customer Service

Up to 67% of queries directed at concierges or hotel personnel are repetitive on a daily basis, and can often be reduced to the same five or six topics. A text chatbot accessible from a guest’s mobile phone, or a voice chatbot sitting in each hotel room, could easily absorb some of these queries. For example, a voice bot sitting in a room can be directed to bring new towels, to request additional shampoo or soap, to provide the hours of operation of various hotel amenities, and serve as a clearinghouse for basic information and outbound requests.

4.            Room Service Delivery/ Online Ordering

Using a chatbot for online ordering is much more efficient than having a guest calling in. Chatbots can show photos of menus, enabling guests to click and instantly order. This streamlines the room service delivery process on both ends. With proper integrations into the hotel’s systems, a chatbot can give updates on how long the wait will be before room service arrives.

5.            Stay in Touch

After guests check out, chatbots are an optimal channel for soliciting feedback and securing a repeat booking. Chatbots can send feedback surveys with incentives for filling them out. Sending promotions and deals for future stays is also a highly effective way to encourage a second booking.

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3 Most Important Questions for Holiday 2017

The holiday season is officially upon us, and for many brands, it’s a critical time for their business. The pressure is on for marketers to deliver not just impressions and brand lift, but maximum conversions and direct sales revenue.

We asked the leadership team at AdColony, the largest independent mobile ad platform, about what needs to be top of mind – and what actions need to taken – during the 2017 holiday season.

Why are the holidays such a critical time for brands – and how must marketers’ mindset shift during this period?

Q4 is such a ‘make or break’ time for so many brands, not just traditional retailers. With as much as 40% of of business occurring during this time – and about a third of total holiday business occurring digitally, if brands do not have a strong mobile presence, they’re leaving significant opportunity on the table.

  • Ryan Griffin, SVP Strategy

The holidays are just a crazy time – there is no other way to put it. It’s really about volume, reaching as many people as you can. Consumers are being bombarded with brand messaging, and direct response advertisers in every vertical, not just retail, are running in high gear. With so much competition, it’s all the more important to cover your bases. Are you taking every single opportunity, every mobile touchpoint, to reach your customer? If you’re not, your competition surely is.

  • Jude O’Connor, VP Brand & Agency Performance

What are some new, innovative advertising experiences that you’re seeing this year?

Interactive video ads have opened up a whole new world for retail. Rather than having to rely on targeting to serve ads for, say, men’s shirts from Target strictly to men (for themselves) or women (who are buying presents for men) we can scale the campaign to both genders and let them choose what they want to see. So, a guy could be watching a video and choose to tap on a button-down shirt to get product information, or switch over to the women’s clothing or jewelry section to shop for his wife or girlfriend. It’s not just more efficient for the advertiser, it also provides a stronger sense of choice for the consumer.

And, going into 2018, with the arrival of the iPhone X and its augmented reality capabilities, I think we’ll see progressive brands lean in to AR experiences. Brands will be able to lay their own filter over the real world and provide value-add information and relevant products to the user depending on where they are. A mobile user on a camping trip, for instance, could get tent-building instructions from an outdoor brand like REI or LL Bean, or pan the scenery and read weather signals to pop-up just the right jacket for that environment.

  • Doug Manson, VP Creative

 What should brands do to avoid the post-holiday sales drop?

This year, there’s been a clear trend toward programmatic buying in Q4. While many brand performance advertisers are pleased in the short-term about what programmatic can do for them to achieve Q4 goals, I believe that there is still value to be had in developing more strategic direct-response campaigns going into 2018.

For the first time, smartphone and tablet visits to retail sites will eclipse desktop – Adobe predicts as much of an 8% difference in favor of mobile. Now that mobile is the majority, I think we’re going to see even retail brands that were late to digital start to prioritize their mobile presence, not just over the holidays, but throughout their entire annual marketing and sales cycles.

  • Jude O’Connor, VP Brand & Agency Performance

If you carefully study the ups and downs of the market in and around the New Year, you can leverage the rise or fall in demand – and competition. I’ve seen many performance marketers, for instance, successfully scale their campaigns up in the weeks before the big holiday push, and then pull back their campaigns for the last week or two – while others throw everything they have into advertising, only to come back with a vengeance in the early weeks of the New Year as many other advertisers are winding down their holiday spends. It all comes down to testing and discovering what works for their specific needs and ROAS goals.

  • Tim O’Neil, VP Performance, North America

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Amobee Rolls Out Advanced Brand Safety Technology

Amobee, a global digital marketing technology company serving brands and agencies, has just announced the launch of the Amobee Inventory Accountability Program, its comprehensive brand safety offering that “ensures marketers have access to a safe, transparent buying ecosystem with the highest quality inventory to more effectively reach target consumers.”

Amobee’s brand safety and fraud prevention solution leverages an early detection system using advanced technology and partnership integrations to prevent fraud from reaching the Amobee platform and ensures Amobee DSP customers have access to the highest quality programmatic inventory.

In addition, Amobee is among the first DSPs to block fraudulent mobile apps as part of the platform-wide offering. Amobee is also the first DSP to offer multiple goal optimization, coupling key performance indicators with a built-in viewability algorithm that delivers view rates up to 30 percent higher than other DSPs and minimizes the time required to adjust campaigns while they’re in-flight.

More than 15 Amobee exchange partners, including OpenX, Telaria and Index Exchange, have joined the Amobee Inventory Accountability Program and have agreed to extend their own anti-fraud program—preferably through an MRC-accredited vendor—and provide a level of fraud accountability, including issuing refunds, which exposure for brands and agencies alike.

“Brand safety and ensuring fraud prevention are two of the biggest challenges facing marketers today,” says Katie Ford, Amobee’s Chief Client Officer. “This long-term, advanced brand safety initiative ensures Amobee is able to align brand and agency clients with the highest quality inventory to support campaign objectives by delivering ads that are in view and seen by a real audience in a brand safe environment. Our industry-leading technology and partnership with DoubleVerify helps eliminate fraud before it reaches our platform and equips clients with pre-bid brand safety, contextual targeting and protection in the fight against fraud.”

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