One Tough Question: Analytics



Magnetic’s CEO, James Green, was featured in Direct Marketing News’ ebook, “One Tough Question: Analytics – The Most Important Customer Data Point.”

James explains that, “What’s most important is having the most complete and obtainable customer profile, and this involves Big Data. We live in an age where it’s possible to know every click that a customer has made within your website. When you combine that with myriad other data points—such as purchase history, search activity, Facebook and Twitter behavior, and more—it becomes challenging to determine that one of these, even last item purchased, is more important than another. In fact, any single data point taken in isolation can give you a warped view of the customer. Big Data takes into account a multitude of elements that can reveal purchase intent of what consumers are most likely to buy. If you have a holistic view of your customer, you can toss aside what’s not important and glean intent from what’s left.”

See the full ebook here. 

Digital Marketing In 2015: Mobile, Data And RTB Hype


by James Green
CEO, Magnetic



Featured on MediaPost’s RTB Insider, December 15, 2014

As digital marketers plan and prepare for next year, here are some predictions on what to watch out for in 2015.

RTB Will Be the Preferred Buying Method For All Media

As we head into 2015, more and more media buying will become automated and instantaneous. Though it will take time, it’s more than likely we’ll see 100% of direct-response advertising bought in real time. This will also aid in the ability of systems to seamlessly communicate with each other, reducing the duplication of work and improving accountability, measurability and efficiency. Another interesting trend is that television advertising will also eventually be bought in real time to provide an increased presence to an even larger and more diverse audience.

In addition, Research and Market reports increasing demand for RTB-based direct-ad sales. Factors such as publisher control of inventory and flexibility in pricing for advertisers are expected to help direct-ad sales gain a larger share of the market. Opportunities for personalized advertising will continue to grow thanks to increased use and creation of apps, location-based advertising and dynamic creative optimization (DCO). DCO enables marketers to go from traditional advertising to real-time, relevant marketing that will transcend multiple devices and locations.

Mobile’s Seamless Ad Delivery and Increase in Adoption

While some marketers in industries such as CPG have shown progress in adopting mobile (the CPG vertical overtook entertainment and media as the number-one category in mobile RTB spend last quarter), other industries have been extremely slow to do so. Some credit the slowed adoption pace to the lack of cross-device attribution models. Without a proper attribution model in place, marketers obtain an inaccurate picture of how mobile contributes to the path to purchase. Historically, most conversions take place on desktops because consumers have a higher comfort level entering payment information on a bigger screen. In this case, last-touch attribution models would discount the role that mobile played prior to the conversion. Therefore, an entire channel and device might be missing out on getting the credit that they deserve. Simply put, the mobile portion of your campaign might look as though it is broken when in fact it is helps influence consumers.

As we move into 2015, marketers will need to shift away from using the last-click model and adapt click-to-engage metrics such as calls, use of a store locator and downloads. And while many companies have specific budgets for mobile advertising spend, they’re still not incorporating mobile into one cohesive strategy. Omni-channel strategies will be big in 2015 with unified, cross-screen marketing efforts creating seamless experiences and helping marketers evaluate consumer touch points as they move across screens.

Big Data Is Becoming Bigger

Companies are going to rely on massive numbers of analytics related to sales, purchase history, search activity, site interactions and more. Linking data together and leveraging a historical trail of data points will provide a better gauge of what customers are looking for and where they are headed.

First- and third-party data sources – part of big data – will help marketers pinpoint exactly when their customers are in the market for a product so that, instead of just knowing what the customers want after they click on an item, marketers will know beforecustomers visit a website. Improving and optimizing retargeting strategies in real time will attract customers at multiple stages of the consumer funnel when it matters most.

Results Are In! Magnetic’s Second Annual Ski Competition @ SIS

Last week, Magnetic returned to Deer Valley for MediaPost’s Search Insider Summit and sponsored the second annual ski competition. Leading digital marketing execs gathered from across the country for panels, roundtable discussions and, of course, for action-packed skiing at one of the top ski resorts in the country.

Magnetic sponsored the second annual ski competition and welcomed skiers of all levels to fly down Deer Valley’s famed Nastar race hill, and to film their runs throughout the resort with GoPro cameras. Our video crew was onsite to capture the action, and put together an outstanding highlight video of the week’s festivities. We awarded 12 prizes at Friday night’s cocktail party across categories such as Biggest Rebel, Fastest Time, Best Wipeout, Dynamic Duo and more. Check out the videos below!

Aside from our exciting ski competition, we hope you were able to catch our CEO James Greens’ roundtable discussion, “Can I Really Track Consumers Across Channels and Devices?”  He’s certainly quite the expert on cross-device attribution, after leading countless Attribution Revolution panels across the country.

We can’t wait to hit the slopes again next year, and hope to see you there!

Magnetic Ski Competition Highlight Video:

Magnetic Ski Competition Winner Reel:

Top Photos:



The State Of Digital Marketing In 2015


by James Green
CEO, Magnetic



Featured on Marketing Land, December 1, 2014


The digital marketing industry is experiencing a major transformation.

The current state of digital is directly tied to data. Data are everywhere, informing marketers about audience interests, consumer intent, and device activity.

As mobile use continues to increase and media is progressively being bought programmatically, consumers expect a seamless and entertaining online experience.

With marketers and their agencies well underway with planning for the year ahead, here are a few trends that likely will be top of mind in 2015.

1. Big Data Will Become Bigger

Companies are sitting on massive amounts of analytics related to sales, purchase history, search activity, site interactions and more.

While this data is valuable, any single data point taken in isolation can give you a very warped view of the customer.

Linking data together and leveraging a historical trail of data points allows you to obtain bigger insights into what your customers are looking for and where they are going next.

The world of big data gives marketers the most complete obtainable customer profile, which informs audience strategies, smarter media buying and creative decisions.

Big data will only become bigger and bigger as data sources are combined.


 2. First- And Third-Party Data Will Be A Hot Topic

Within the world of big data is the combination of first and third party data sources. Brands will be retargeting customers based on their buying patterns, combining their own customer data with intent data from around the web.

Marketers want to know when their customers are in market for a good or service so that they can sell to them before they visit a website.

Incorporating data from social, location, search and site will improve the ability to attract customers at multiple stages of the consumer funnel, improving and optimizing your retargeting strategy for both prospecting and retention.

3. Automation Will Continue To Increase

Eventually, all media buying will become automated.

The swapping of insertion orders will be replaced by systems that seamlessly communicate with each other to reduce the duplication of work and improve accountability, measurability and efficiency.

The more interesting trend to watch will be how much media will switch to RTB. Over time, it’s likely that 100% of direct response advertising will be bought in real time; but how far up the funnel this trend will go remains to be seen.

There will always be a place for Super Bowl ads and other high-impact units on high-impact sites. However, these ads will be bought where there’s a large audience and will not be based on individuals, so they won’t be bought through RTB.

That said, over time, more and more advertising is going to be bought in real time, even TV.

4. Ad Fraud Will Still Be A Concern

Ad fraud won’t be much more than a blip on the road to RTB dominance. There are many companies and organizations fighting it.

Fraud, or suspicious activity as it’s sometimes euphemistically called, is simply a duplication of what happened to search at the turn of the century.

Search was easier to control because there was really only one provider (Google), and they fought it directly.

Now, fraud is recognized to be 5-10% of all search clicks. Display fraud is more complicated because of the large number of players in the space: publishers, ad servers, Supply Side Providers (SSPs), Demand Side Providers (DSPs), ad exchanges and other intermediaries.

As of now, there are a myriad of providers that can help, and only the reckless few don’t use these tools to avoid fraudulent activity.

Unfortunately, there will never be a real “crackdown” on fraudsters because these players are based in countries where these activities are not necessarily illegal. So, chasing them down seems unlikely to happen.

5. The Need For Personalized Advertising Will Grow

The opportunities for personalized advertising will continue to grow as the adoption of apps, location based advertising and dynamic creative optimization (DCO) increases.

There are so many data elements available to advertisers, enabling them to transform generic advertising into relevant marketing in real time, regardless of their device and location.

We will see this trend continue into 2015, as purchase, product level and search activity are used to predict consumer intent and therefore, inform which ad to show, and when, as well as what creative elements should be optimized within the ad itself.

In 2014 we witnessed new platforms, channels and technologies that led to major shifts in the industry and positioned data as the main ingredient for finding, reaching and engaging customers.

The biggest theme of 2015 will be “big data” as we see data sources coming together to create meaningful 360-degree customer views and actionable analytics that inform and even transform your marketing strategy.

Attribution Revolution: The Mobile Series in Los Angeles


Last week, Magnetic hosted our Attribution Revolution: The Mobile Series at LA’s Mr. C Beverly Hills. Our panel of industry experts discussed the mobile challenges currently facing advertisers, best practices and how the industry can help to solve for cross-device attribution. The panel included:

James Green, CEO, Magnetic

Dwight Crow, Product Manager for Direct Response Advertising, Facebook
Ed Haslam, SVP of Marketing, PlaceIQ
Nick Jordan, SVP of Product, Tapad
Paul Pellman, Head of Adometry, Google

To kick off the conversation, James Green asked panelists why mobile is important and beneficial for marketers. Paul Pellman reminded the audience that most people have a mobile phone in their pocket, and are now using that phone to interact online. “As a marketer, it’s an incredibly powerful vehicle if used appropriately, to really reach customers,” said Pellman.

For Ed Haslam of PlaceIQ, mobile is all about the data. “Mobile is emitting a constant stream of data that helps us to understand consumers.” According to Haslam, by analyzing behavior on mobile when consumers are in the ‘real world,’ marketers can start to see consumers as real people, thus allowing marketers to cultivate a much more intimate relationship.

Green then probed panelists about the difference between having a cross-device strategy and a mobile strategy. All panelists seemed to be in agreement that mobile is most effective when part of a larger strategy, and not a standalone element. “You have to think about it as part of a greater, integrated campaign,” said Haslam. To expand on this point, Jordan reminded the audience, “You’re not just marketing to devices anymore, you’re marketing to people.” And while the individual message may be different across devices, all messages need to work together to ultimately drive a consumer action.

Facebook’s Dwight Crow approached the question differently, defending the strategy of “mobile-only”. “If you’re doing brand advertising, and you have a good offline measurement system…you can do just mobile.” That being said, Crow made sure to note that if you want to implement a brand-evolving narrative tailored to an individual, you need a cross-device strategy. DR advertisers also need to be aware that consumers often start their path to purchase on one device, and end it on another. Without a cross-device strategy, marketers will miss a large number of conversions.

Panelists went on to discuss further issues and challenges, including in-app vs. mobile web targeting, how mobile has changed attribution, and the future of mobile. Watch the full panel video to learn more!

Check out the full panel video and event pictures below:


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The Holiday Advantage: Maturation Of Mobile Real-Time Bidding


by Soo Jin Oh
SVP, Data Business and Ad Operations, Magnetic



Featured on Marketing Land, November 6, 2014


The holiday season is a time when the symbiotic relationship between consumers and retailers is at its peak. Not only are consumers looking for the best deals and most efficient ways to apply their holiday gift budget, but retailers are also hoping to meet – and exceed – their holiday projections.

This year more than ever, retailers will be taking advantage of mobile and real-time bidding (RTB) strategies to reach consumers when and where they are shopping.

Digital devices have created environments where store hours are non-existent. The internet is open for business 24 hours a day, and Google Shopping Search Data from July to September 2014 shows that one third of shopping searches happened between 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m.

Real-Time Bidding

The maturation of mobile has been a key contributor in allowing consumers to adapt their buying behaviors to this nonstop retail lifecycle. When you combine mobile with the ability to reach your audience instantly through real-time bidding (RTB), you land at the intersection of two of the fastest growing areas of digital marketing.

Last year, serving ads on mobile devices or tapping into app environments could be considered emerging trends. According to mobile ad exchange Nexage, mobile RTB spend increased 153% during the holiday season and accounted for 70% of total spend on the exchange at one point.

Now, mobile is considered a marketing must-have, and when combined with RTB and data-driven advertising, it opens new marketing opportunities as it relates to time and location for the 2014 holiday shopping season.

The significant growth that mobile RTB has experienced during this past year means that the amount of inventory available on ad exchanges has also increased, so marketers have plenty of opportunities to reach shoppers while they’re actively making buying decisions.

Also, earlier this year, Smaato released a Global Mobile RTB Insights report, which showed that the CPG, food and retail categories overtook entertainment and media as the number one spenders for mobile RTB in Q1.

Since mobile RTB helps marketers take advantage of the times when consumers are on the go (many times, shopping), there is a tremendous focus on how the industry can further improve RTB’s growth and make it a more vital part of every marketing strategy.

Mobile Attribution

To start, location-specific targeting is the main difference (and advantage) for mobile RTB compared to desktop RTB.

The opportunity to layer shopping behaviors and physical location with real-time activity creates a more holistic view of your customer and their path to purchase, which may ultimately lead to more sales.

Mobile enables brands to target potential customers by device type, demographics, search data, site activity and location. Hyper local targeting takes location-based advertising one step further with its potential to drive consumers to an actual store location.

In this scenario, mobile quickly becomes a strong tool for driving in-store traffic vs. actual online purchases. Other aspects related to creative and audience targeting allow marketers to engage that same user across their screens through rich experiences.

So, how can retailers ensure their mobile RTB strategies are making an impact on their bottom line?

Multi-channel attribution is important to measure efficacy of mobile against other digital and offline marketing strategies. With the last touch model, mobile will be underestimated and, in effect, devalued for its impact to drive sales, as a higher percentage of conversions happen on desktops.

By looking beyond the last touch model, retailers will gain the ability to measure the multiple touch points driving sales. They can use these data to better understand the effects of top-funnel influencers, optimize different channel strategies, and fine tune ad frequency across their entire marketing spend.

Final Thoughts

As the holidays approach, brands that take advantage of mobile RTB will be able to reach more of their customer segments.

Brands will be able to get in front of their prospects as they consume content on mobile devices, allowing brands to reach target audiences when prospects are most likely in shopping mode or in close proximity to a physical store location.

Magnetic’s Launch Party @ The Ham Yard Hotel

Last week, Magnetic held our London launch party at the newly opened Ham Yard Hotel. Everyone gathered at the Croc Bowling Alley & Lounge for a fantastic evening of pins, pints and partying. In addition to an open bar and savory dishes, Magnetic hosted a bowling contest and winners went home with festive champagne bottles!

Below are some pictures from the great night:

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Magnetic’s Retail Therapy – October 30, 2014



1. Target Aims To Attract With Free Shipping

Target plans to challenge their competitors and win over consumers with free shipping this holiday season.

“The free shipping “raises pressure on Target’s rivals to match the offer, increasingly a requirement for shoppers to make purchases online,” observes Paul Ziobro in the Wall Street Journal. “A study by advisory firm Deloitte found that up to 60% of online shoppers abandon their shopping carts due to unexpected costs, including shipping.” View the full article on MarketingLand


2. In Our Digital World, The Shopping Never Stops

What are you doing from 10:00pm – 4:00am? New data from Google shows that one third of you are online shopping.

 “Shoppers are also spending more time consulting more sources before making a decision. In 2010, shoppers used an average of five sources of information before purchasing, but that has more than doubled, with shoppers consulting at least 12 sources last year. This means that October through November has become a crucial period for retailers to reach shoppers online, being present with offers, information, how-tos and content.” Learn more from Google


3. E-Commerce Shopping At a Record High

With 56% of consumers shopping online, marketers must incorporate digital.

“That 56 percent figure is up from 51.5 percent last year, and also represents a record high for the 13 years that the NRF has been doing this survey. Another record: The NRF says the average shopper will do 44.4 percent of his/her shopping online this holiday season.” View the full article on MarketingLand


4. It’s Not Just a Shopping Frenzy…

Magnetic CEO, James Green, offers some tips on how to approach the bidding frenzy this holiday season.

“What tends to happen during a high volume-shopping period like Black Friday and Cyber Monday is, the number of advertisers bidding on audiences increases significantly, which drives up the bid price. As bid prices go up, so does the cost per acquisition, making it much more costly to acquire a customer.”  Real the full article on MediaPost


How Small Businesses Can Capitalize on Online Marketing with Retargeting


Magnetic’s CEO, James Green, contributed to the AMEX Open Forum article “How to Build a Bridge Between Your Online and Offline Traffic,” which focused on how marketers can bridge their marketing efforts for Small Business Saturday. James suggested to “be prepared” by identifying what you want to promote, and to begin nurturing your prospects right away. “Timing means everything when it comes to getting in front of your customers,” he said in the piece.

“Aiming locally” is another technique James offered, and suggested using hyper-local advertising techniques, such as geo-fencing. “Research shows a large majority of consumers searching online for information about purchases want ads customized to their local surroundings,” he said in the article.

View the entire article here.


Attribution Revolution: The Mobile Series in Boston


Last week, Magnetic hosted Attribution Revolution: The Mobile Series at Boston’s GEM Kitchen & Lounge. Attribution Revolution is an engaging series of panel events addressing key topics and challenges that currently affect the digital media landscape. Our panel’s discussions centered around mobile challenges and opportunities for marketers, including cross-device targeting, tailoring the user experience for mobile, and the importance of incorporating all devices into your attribution model.

The panel included:

James Green, CEO, Magnetic

Paul Pellmen, Head of Adometry, Google
Dwight Crow, Product Manager for Direct Response Advertising, Facebook
Vivian Chang, General Manager/Vice President of Technology Business, Tapad
Ed Haslam, SVP of Marketing, PlaceIQ

Twitter was alive with activity from the night. Here are some of the posts quoting the panelists:

  • “Cross-device strategy vs. mobile strategy: mobile isn’t a strategy, it’s a tactic…”
  • “79% of people are on a second screen while watching TV…”
  • “It’s no longer a linear path…you have to think about where the user is on their devices…”
  • “With cross-device, mobile drives the same amount of revenue as standard display – the conversion is just happening elsewhere…”
  • “Using last event attribution is no longer accurate…”

See the full panel video and pictures below:

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