Why Contextual Ads Are Generating More Interest

Increased attention to consumer privacy is shifting the way advertisers do business. One of these shifts is the increased embrace of contextual advertising, which shows Internet users ads based on the content of the sites they’re searching, not based on their previous digital activity.

I checked in with John Clavadetscher, president and chief commercial officer at Cooler Screens, for more on why brands are taking up contextual ads and what benefits the format offers.

Amperity Adapts as Covid Raises the Bar for CDPs

The work of customer data platforms has gotten a great deal more complicated in the Covid-19 era. Budgets have tightened, privacy standards are rising, the shift to e-commerce has accelerated, and brands are asking for more.

CDP Amperity unveiled an updated platform today to meet those challenges. Matthew Lubeck, VP and head of product at the company, spoke to Street Fight about the company’s updated platform and the challenges the CDP industry is facing now.

InMarket Buys NinthDecimal as Location Consolidation Persists

The move comes at a time when location marketing competition is heating up as the number of major players in the space winds down. Foursquare is widely recognized as the leader in location, especially after its merger with Factual earlier this year. PlaceIQ acquired Freckle IoT. X-Mode bought Location Sciences’ location data assets. 

With the boost of NinthDecimal’s tech, talent, and partnerships, InMarket is better positioned to compete.

California Attorney General Targets “Low-Hanging Fruit” for CCPA Non-Compliance

The California Consumer Privacy Act enforcement period began July 1, and two months later, numerous firms have received letters from the attorney general’s office about noncompliance. Multiple major companies, including Walmart, Sephora, and Ring, have been hit with class-action lawsuits.

But there’s no great mystery or nefarious agenda tied to the companies that have been targeted as this point, says Dan Clarke, president at IntraEdge. To avoid meeting the same fate, companies need to adhere to the fundamentals of the nation’s first major statewide privacy law. Clarke spoke with Street Fight to explain.

More Americans Are Using Delivery. The Change Is Here to Stay

Delivery has perhaps been the industry most clearly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. When physically going to brick-and-mortar stores became a life-or-death exercise, delivery, which had already grown under the rise of e-commerce, became an even more essential part of how local commerce functions.

Khaled Naim, co-founder and CEO of delivery software company Onfleet, touched on how delivery has changed in the past months, how long those changes will persist, and what technologies are fueling the widespread increase in deliveries.

Third-Party Data May Help Brands Fill Gaps Opened by Covid

The Covid-19 pandemic altered fundamental daily behaviors in most consumers’ lives almost overnight. For some, it had even more drastic effects for better and worse, shifting jobs and spending habits as well as where people go and how they spend their time.

For businesses, the drastic changes of 2020 mean existing data may be unreliable. Ruby Brenden, head of data products at data management platform Lotame, described the stakes of the current situation to Street Fight and gestured toward opportunities to meet the moment.

A More Granular Look at What Kinds of Data Consumers Are Happy to Disclose

Despite all the understandably scary headlines about the risks of data collection, plenty of consumers are still willing to provide personal information to brands. The catch? They need something in return, and the type of advertising as well as the type of data on which it’s based are crucial to securing consumer trust.

Consumers’ Number-One Holiday Shopping Incentive

Don’t think about the price tag. Think about how you’re going to deliver the merchandise.

That is what is on consumers’ minds as they think about upcoming holiday shopping, according to a survey of 17,000 US consumers by shopping rewards app company Shopkick. Last year, consumers’ number-one incentive was low prices. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, 54% said their number-one priority is free shipping.

How Advertisers Can Pursue Brand Safety without Avoiding Sensitive News Content

Advertisers blocking all potentially sensitive content is a raw deal for advertisers and publishers, says Rachel Tuffney, EVP of US operations at Dianomi. Publishers need advertiser support for serious stories. Advertisers need to be able to tell their own stories without avoiding 50% of serious news platform content and without blocking stories that may actually resonate with the brands they want to build.

Tuffney spoke to Street Fight to elucidate the trade-offs on this issue and explain how brands can be safe without blocking all sensitive content. 

Mediaocean Acquires 4C Insights. What’s Next for Ad Tech?

The coronavirus pandemic and ensuing recession have forced tech vendors to step up their games and make a stronger case to advertisers as to why their products and services are essential amid tightening budgets. The year of Covid-19 is also fostering a favorable environment for mergers and acquisitions, as solo players team up to emerge stronger on the other side of a stormy season.

Last week, ad tech got a fresh acquisition, as Mediaocean acquired 4C Insights. I checked in with Aaron Goldman, CMO of 4C Insights, to find out what the acquisition portends for the two companies and how it matches up with broader trends in ad tech.

Retail Prepares for a Covid-Inflected Holiday Season

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the shift from brick-and-mortar commerce to digital transactions. It has also forced brick-and-mortars resisting the hybridization of their own businesses to adopt digital methods, turning restaurants and apparel stores alike into both brick-and-mortar establishments and online sellers.

Against that backdrop, retail’s biggest quarter will present novel challenges this year. Retailers will need to optimize for online transactions and contend with fragmented national and global landscapes where it may be safe to go to stores in New York but not in Los Angeles.

Coronavirus Boosts OTT Viewership and Opens New TV Ad Opportunities

To be sure, kids are not the only ones spending more time staring at the TV screen. The coronavirus has catalyzed a golden age for TV viewership and non-traditional formats such as over-the-top viewing in particular, said Sean Buckley, COO of global video advertising platform SpotX.

SpotX announced a strategic investment in CTV and OTT-focused ad serving platform SpringServe Monday. I checked in with Buckley to find out how the partnership will benefit both companies and how the coronavirus year has affected TV viewership as well as video advertising.

Local Businesses Face Negative Reviews Due to Coronavirus Safety Requirements

Google has taken several important measures to assist businesses during the pandemic, but none so far can prevent customers angry about coronavirus-related restrictions from lashing out at businesses attempting to follow public health best practices or the letter of the local law. “The review space has never been harder than right now,” wrote GatherUp co-founder and reputation management expert Mike Blumenthal.

But there are also possible strategies for survival.

Pay to Get Rid of Ads on Social Media? Consumers Say Maybe, Maybe Not

Nearly 60% of respondents overall said they’d be at least somewhat willing to pay for social media, and that figure could likely climb if a small monthly subscription fee were added. Twingate contends that Facebook/Instagram would only need to charge users $2.07/month, and Twitter $1.61/month, to earn via subscription fees what they earn via ad revenue. Respondents said they would pay $5.24 and $4.75/month, respectively.

But inertia and apathy are strong, money is even tighter outside the US market, and surveillance advertising, and the size of its audience, are the X-factors that catapulted Facebook to the top of the global corporate order. I’d bet Google, Facebook, and, increasingly, Amazon, will be slow to give up the surveillance revenues and walled-garden ecosystems that have made them this century’s most powerful corporate actors.

Influencer Marketing Stands Out during Pandemic

Covid-19 is capable of producing a special kind of advertising fatigue in which consumers tire of receiving a maelstrom of indistinguishable messages from brands: This is an especially uncertain time. Here are the precautions we’re taking. This is what we’re doing to help out.

It’s not that these messages aren’t necessary, especially as they relate to safety precautions. The fatigue comes from the unrelenting sameness and impersonal character of the content. That’s where influencer marketers can prove to be a brand’s special weapon, and a new report by influencer marketing platform Linqia suggests marketers are capitalizing on the channel.

The Video Ad Market’s Challenges and Future

Short-form video platform Quibi drew a slew of mainstream headlines beyond advertising trade publications for far underperforming expectations. The platform’s execs blamed its relative failure on coronavirus. 

While coronavirus alone may not explain the fate of Quibi, the virus and related drops in economic and social activity have left the video ad market in a paradoxical state. Viewership is up; ad demand is down. To explain the state of the market and where it’s headed, Tal Chalozin, CTO and co-founder of video ad platform Innovid, spoke to Street Fight.

GDPR is Two Years Old. Here’s How It’s Working and What the US Can Learn from It

This week marked the two-year anniversary of the General Data Protection Regulation, Europe’s major privacy law. GDPR was the first major European effort to put some legal and regulatory power behind demands for less free-wheeling data collection and selling.

To gauge just how GDPR is working out and what regulators might do to move the ball forward on privacy, Street Fight got in touch with Russell Sutton, SVP of data, EMEA, at MightyHive.

Mobile is Our “Cure for Boredom.” What Does That Mean for Marketers?

A recent survey by mobile app ad firm Digital Turbine found that more than a quarter of consumers open their phones more than 75% of the time without a specific app in mind. Digital Turbine Matt Tubergen checked in with Street Fight to share how mobile app marketers can reach mobile users and the discovery tools those people are seeking.

Location-Based Search Disrupts Brand-Centric Theory of Marketing

Building a brand will never stop being essential for companies with brick-and-mortar locations hoping to secure the dollars of nearby consumers. But a new report from location marketing firm Uberall suggests the rise of location-based or “near me” search is undermining the power of branding alone, increasing the importance of optimizing for searches in which consumers are simply looking for the closest, most convenient option while on the go.

How Brick-and-Mortars Move Forward

The coronavirus pandemic has transformed brick-and-mortar business, possibly forever. Peter Paine, former eBay and Walmart executive and now head of retail partnerships in the Americas for Cover Genius, checked in with Street Fight to share the strategies physical businesses large and small should prioritize to prepare for the near- and long-term future.