Author: Jessica

BlockChain: The Next Digital Revolution

Blockchain MonaLisa AI
Blockchain MonaLisa

(Post written by: Gurbaksh Chahal. This blog first appeared on BeLimitless).

In the past few decades, a few major changes in technology have led the evolution of the digital world. First, in the 90s, the advent of the mainstream internet allowed digital advertising to be born. As the industry matured, in the late 2000s, the programmatic marketplaces revolutionized the landscape which created much needed automated efficiency. Today, this industry is $232 billion globally, and in some countries has already eclipsed Television Advertising.

While programmatic automation has streamlined the buying and selling process, the industry has been struggling to solve the reduction of eCPMs for publishers, increased intermediary costs and lack of transparency for advertisers. Adding to this list, this digital tech marketplace has so many middleman data vendors, making it difficult to figure out which partner actually brings value. Not to mention, the industry still does manual publisher payment processing, with several delays due to necessary audits and verification processes.

Our industry has a problem, and rather than adding another middleman or creating a new acronym, let’s acknowledge the problem and fix it.

If one was to take a blunt view of the current state of the industry, much of it has been plagued by fraud, costing billions of loss to brand marketers. In a recent ANA study, it described a “technology tax” that effectively accounts for more than 40% of advertisers’ programmatic spend.

Introducing now the ‘Era of Blockchain’. Although this technology was intended development was for developers to run bitcoin, the underlying separated infrastructure holds enormous implications to various sectors, leading to faster services for the consumers. A recent World Economic Forum report predicts that by 2025, 10% of the GDP will be stored on blockchains or blockchain related technology.

One such area that would positively be impacted is the digital marketing. Blockchain brings immense transparency and data security to the programmatic supply chain. It further ensures brand safety by validating the ad placement and transactions. Imagine not ever having to worry about ads appearing next to not-so-cool content and avoiding circumstances that caused YouTube/Google to experience a boycott. Those who understand the technology behind blockchains understand its biggest positives. It is a decentralized digital ledger that enables automatic verification of the transactions through peer-to-peer networks. This method immediately solves the multi-billion dollar ad fraud problem and lack of transparency. Each transaction is connected to the one before and the one after it, leading to a traceable history of every recorded event. No record can ever be deleted as it’s immutable and nothing can be altered.

Now with ‘smart contracts’ also means the removal of the many ‘middlemen’ from the supply chain, bringing much needed efficiency to the landscape. Smart contracts are conditionally programmed into the blockchains. These conditional triggers make the contracts self-enforcing; therefore, once the campaign has served the needed impressions with specified targeting or goal, publishers’ payment will be immediately released. Say goodbye to waiting for getting paid by the clients net 90.

Now I am sure if the full transparency and reduced cost brings sheer happiness to the brands, then the last line (of immediate payment) should get the publishers jumping up to dance with joy as their price of inventory will also rise without it being associated with fraud!

Jessica
Hi, I am Jessica. I support our Gravity4 EU for product marketing efforts. We have diverse set of media products, across 12 countries my team collaborates with. Follow us and learn more.

Gravity4 UK: Ad Blockers & AdTech Solutions

What you need to know about ad blockers and suggested solutions!

 

AdBlockers & AdTech
AdBlockers & AdTech

Post by: Nicholas Jerzembeck (Commercial Director, Gravity4 UK)

Preliminary projections suggest 2017 spending on digital is expected to soar to $82 billion in the U.S. alone. Further, this growth will trend $10-12 billion year over year. Ad blockers take a heavy toll on publishers and content producers who rely on advertising revenue. Consumers are increasingly frustrated with ads that disrupt their web surfing, interrupt content and lead to slow browsing experience.

Per Mary Meeker’s 2017 trend predictions, this issue will continue to linger globally. Pundits predict ad blocker usage will continue to rise and expect that by year-end, nearly 15 million Internet users will install some type of software. This represents 27% of an estimated 54.4 million UK web users. Among those who chose to utilize ad-blocking software, approximately 90% will install it on desktops and laptops, while roughly 28% will elect to block ads on their smartphones. Interestingly, in India, ad blocking’s on the mobile is at 28 per cent, while on the desktop, it’s only at 1 per cent.

An Adage article notes the smartest way to win a consumer is to engage them, not interrupt them. Yet, unskilled marketers have been interrupting the user’s online experience and hindering their prompt access to a website by serving non-relevant ads. Results being, despite the more credible advertisers wanting to serve engaging content, users have been barraged by saturated ad messaging. The cries from these users have been a resounding to publishers – to create uncluttered site content and free the page from irrelevant ads!

The Fear of Adblock Epidemic

The rise of ad-blocker users has risen to the stratosphere. Moreover, it’s been a painful lesson for the advertisers to re-evaluate the brand messaging, positioning and placement efforts.

According to Business Insider, a multitude of global users – hundreds of millions – utilize ad-block software, which has grown substantially in the past

AdTech
AdBlockers & AdTech

year. A study in June 2015 indicates that 45 million monthly average users (MAU) were joining the ad-blocking troops. PageFair, a service that measures the impact on ad blocking, estimated the a loss of revenue to $10.7 billion for US. In the U.K. during 2014-2015, the loss rose to $3.6 billion.

PageFair and Adobe suggests it is up a 50 percent spike from the prior year. With ad blockers denying access, digital media publishers have been scrambling for ways to circumvent this revenue-crushing tool.

Finding Opportunities

What ad blockers did, perhaps, was to challenge the adtech sector to focus more on the customer’s user experience. The revolt has been a good reminder for businesses to continuously be on the lookout for high consumer experience. If consumers are overwhelmed with the untargeted ads, they will resort to other means of blocking these messaging – thereby causing tremendous revenue loss to the publishers. The focus should always be to improve and innovate the digital marketing platform, either by using the emerging technology to serve targeted ads or provide native ad integration.

Other venues to consider are to educate the consumers and present them with opt-in methods, options to whitelist the site, and offer options to watching video content – all in exchange for an ad-free experience. Alternatively, publishers should consider creating a pay-for-play model to access their sites. According to eMarketer, an astounding 57% of ad blocking users prolonged their visit by permitting the presence of ads with an opt-in solution. Another encouraging sign was that 38% of users agreed to have sites added to their whitelist. Once the consumer had opt-ed in, advertisers noticed another favorable indicator, consumers maintained engagement with future ads. Research also noticed view-through rates soared to 75% among users who believed it was a reasonable request to view video in order to browse without being subjected to ads.

Non-Traditional Solutions

Publishers are amenable to the notion of ‘paying for using’ model and appear to agree that all parties should take an active role. In UK, IAB has taken proactive steps to educating the consumers. The organization has created awareness among the consumers that advertising and online platforms can coexist. Readers are now more aware & sensitive to the fact that they won’t be able to view content free of charge without expecting to see the ads that sponsor the content. The IAB in UK has devoted extensive time and resources to create value, and the investment is now reaping a reward. Furthermore, recent survey in UK suggests respondents who once downloaded ad blockers have had a change of heart; 21% of them admit they no longer used them. A predominant theme for this behavior modification was due to the ad blocker restricting their access to certain content. This percentage was 16% in February 2016 and one year later, it was 24%.

As recent as this week, Google has formed Coalition for Better Ads. The objective is to provide free content through advertising sponsorships. Regardless of the coalition’s collective effort, focus should be to utilize best practices in creating compelling and engaging content to combat ad block. Rather than having standardized leaderboards, publishers should experiment with native ad placements, ads within content marketing and use emerging AI technology platforms, such as Gravity4, to serve customized ad messaging.

 

 

Jessica
Hi, I am Jessica. I support our Gravity4 EU for product marketing efforts. We have diverse set of media products, across 12 countries my team collaborates with. Follow us and learn more.

Gravity4 Explains the European’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)

 

GDPR Compliance

 

On 25 May 2018, ad tech will be need to be prepared for a different set of guidelines when it comes to the handling of data for EU citizens.

The European GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), agreed in April of last year after four years of planning, to aim to bring new accountability obligations to both ‘handlers’ and ‘controllers’ of data. In the EU’s own words, it will “reshape” the way organizations across the world approach data and privacy via a set of up-to-date guidelines for entire industries to follow.

Some of the biggest conversations regarding GDPR and its implications have centered on ad tech: a space populated by an ever-growing list of companies, most of whom rely on data to go about their work. The new rules for areas like consent and definitions of data are as huge as the penalties for failing to abide by them. Alarmingly, 96% of companies across the UK, France and Germany claimed not to understand the new regulations when quizzed by Symantec in October 2016, while 91% of IT decision makers were skeptical about their chances of being prepared on time.

Ad tech itself is building a strong head of steam, making it all the more important that its members get things right come May of next year. Let’s take a look at what they’re up against.

Summary of changes

Heading up the list of changes are the new rules for collecting data, where there is far more emphasis on users opting in to having their data stored. Although opting out isn’t prohibited, the banning of pre-ticked boxes essentially brings an end to how a lot of groups collect information.

EU citizens will also be allowed to request access to their data. Companies are required to provide this free of charge and may even be forced to delete the subject’s information as part of laws withholding ‘the right to be forgotten’.

Other rules require data breaches to be reported within 72 hours of such an incident taking place, while any organization with “regular and systematic monitoring” of data will need a data protection officer (DPO) on their books. For a bit of further reading, the full list of changes can be found on the GDPR website.

Gravity4 GDPR

What is applicable? 

The GDPR applies to ‘controllers and handlers’ of personal data. Any data that is ‘personally identifiable’ falls under this category, which now includes ‘online identifiers’ such as cookies, IP addresses and other information used for tracking purposes.

From a geographical perspective, the GDPR will apply to any party found to be processing or controlling the information of EU citizens.

The Union has admitted ambiguity with the old guidelines, which referred to data processed ‘in context of an establishment’. From May, the rules will apply to anyone handling data from subjects positioned in the EU, regardless of their own location.

While this carries fresh implications for companies around the world, it also means that any UK groups hopeful of playing the Brexit card will not see any kind of exemption, so long as they’re handling the data of EU citizens.

Gravity4 GDPR

Action to take

Getting prepared for the new rules will take time. Groups like the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have advised ‘information audits’ to determine the rules for data sitting within the organization, while immediately designating a DPO could be invaluable when it comes to forming strategy.

Perhaps the biggest challenge lies within the requirement for controllers and processors to help EU citizens understand why their information is on file. That means to use their data, ad tech players like networks, analytics services, targeting platforms and others will have to review their policies on consent before going back out to users to gain it again.

Those failing to play by the rules will be subject to “the highest tier of administrative fines”, which works out as 4% of a company’s annual turnover or £16.7 million (€20 million), whichever is higher. This represents a steep hike on the cap of £500,000 imposed today.

The Internet is packed with information for companies wishing to equip themselves for the GDPR. For ad tech, the time to prepare is now.

  • Contribution: Grant Allaway, MD Director of EU
  • Grant has spent the last 14 years developing a unique set of skills and relationships in digital media. Since spear-heading the initial management buyout in 2002 from global media corporation – Vivendi Universal – Grant has lead the expansion of ad2one thought the UK, into mainland Europe and Asia Pac.
Jessica
Hi, I am Jessica. I support our Gravity4 EU for product marketing efforts. We have diverse set of media products, across 12 countries my team collaborates with. Follow us and learn more.

“Access people, not devices”

One Audience ID across all devices

Universal ID
Gravity4 Cross-Platform targeting

In a recent study by Yahoo and Ender Analysis, UK online ad spends will utilize Audience IDs in more than 2/3 of their campaign budgets by 2020. This budget increase is more than 28% than 2016. Furthermore, this projection comes despite the anticipated data regulation coming into full force next year by the GDPR.

Brands have expressed loss in trust by the recent concerns over Facebook’s measurability issues as well as YouTube’s brand safety concerns. The report highlights the benefits of cross-device audience buying as mechanism to authenticate the ad views and measure ad effectiveness.

Audience IDs are the online user profiles created from anonymous identifiers in order to recognize and match the same user across different channels, devices or both.

We, at Gravity4 UK, are happy to be part of this discussion as we have advocated the use of audience IDs for the past two years, to ensure accurate attribution value across the complex the cross-device marketplace. The use of the universal audience ID ensures relevant and custom targeted ad messaging, enabling platforms to connect the consumers with their brands across any device or media platform. In addition, Gravity4 has been taking active an advocacy role to ensure our brands and campaign measures are compliant with the proposed regulation of GDPR. As we continue to help our brands adapt to the ‘single view’ of their customer across platforms, our machine learning assistant #MonaLisa will garner clearer perspective of the correlation between ads seen & engaged as well as attribute the conversion to the correct media channel.

Follow us to learn more about #MonaLisa, our Machine Learning AI assistant, and our global media initiatives across 20 countries.

Jessica
Hi, I am Jessica. I support our Gravity4 EU for product marketing efforts. We have diverse set of media products, across 12 countries my team collaborates with. Follow us and learn more.

Gurbaksh Singh Chahal: Changing Digital Marketing – Gravity4

Gurbaksh Singh Chahal is by no means new to the world of digital marketing. Despite his young age, Gurbaksh’s career spans over two decades of experience filled with innovation and a proven track record of success. His latest company, Gravity4, is set to yet again revolutionize the industry bringing a unique solution to the market.

Gravity4: New Approach to Digital Marketing

 Launched in 2014, Gravity4 is the world’s first high-frequency marketing cloud. Today company boasts of presence in 20 countries across the globe and employs over 400 professionals. It is the most recent endeavor of Gurbaksh Singh Chahal, and established entrepreneur known as the golden boy of digital marketing with a stellar track record.

The key point of the digital marketing solution by Gravity4 is offering a full suite of applications for work with all sorts of online data in real time based on cloud technology. It helps marketers save millions of dollars on automation across web, mobile, video, and social channels. It provides unprecedented boost of ROI across these channels, helping companies succeed in a highly competitive market.

The online advertising technology developed by Gravity4 allows to optimize programmatic and real-time bid advertising across channels and analyze data. The software helps automate the purchase of online advertising, making it more profitable and reliable than ever.

Not surprisingly, the man behind Gravity4, its founder and CEO, is an established entrepreneur and visionary, well known for his talent in the digital marketing industry.

A Life of Achievement: Gurbaksh Singh Chahal

Gravity4 has all it takes to succeed: a promising idea, a great team of professionals and deep understanding of the industry. But there’s more – a truly unique talent at the helm of the company; a man whose insightfulness and sagacity has shaped the modern digital marketing.

Gurbaksh Singh Chahal, the son of immigrants from India, built his career from scratch, and became a millionaire before he reached the age of 20.

His first company, ClickAgents, was launched when Gurbaksh was merely 16. A school dropout, he created a successful business that revolutionized online advertisement and was acquired by ValueClick only 18 months later.

He went on to create another startup, BlueLithium, one of the first companies to explore and use behavioral targeting in advertising that has since become the industry standard. In 2006 BlueLithium was called Top Innovator of the Year, an achievement it shares with such companies as Skype and Google. Next year, BlueLithium was sold to Yahoo! for the mind-blowing $300 million, making Gurbaksh one of the most successful young entrepreneurs in the world.

Over the years he has received numerous awards and accolades acknowledging his achievement. In the meantime, he also launched his third company, RadiumOne, and wrote an autobiography that details his journey to the top and serves as a source of inspiration for young entrepreneurs.

But he is not driven only by ambition: Gurbaksh aims at making the world a better place, and his modest background has equipped him with the knowledge how to do it. He established The Chahal Foundation to promote education, fight child illiteracy and child sex exploitation, and strive to provide equal opportunities to the underprivileged youth in Asia and Africa.

His vision and ability to see opportunity where others hit the wall allows him to carry out the most ambitious plans, both in business and philanthropy, bringing about change and a better future for everyone.

Jessica
Hi, I am Jessica. I support our Gravity4 EU for product marketing efforts. We have diverse set of media products, across 12 countries my team collaborates with. Follow us and learn more.