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iMedia Podcast: Outsourcing Ad Ops

iMedia Podcast: Outsourcing Ad Ops Joe McWilliams

Joe McWilliams, vice president of ad sales for High Beam Research, will detail the reasons why many publishers are turning to third parties to manage not only their ad trafficking, but all their operations. This includes insertion orders and yield management, the repetitive process of our business. Publishers are discovering that this new strategy leaves them to do what they do best: innovate and sell.

Special Note: This presentation included a PowerPoint slideshow that is available at the La Quinta Summit presentation archive.

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Joe McWilliams, VP of ad sales, High Beam Research

21:27, 11.9 MB, MP3

In 2006, mobile commerce first made a meaningful appearance on the scene. A lot of it was targeted to the youth audience, as they had the greatest familiarity with the medium and could overcome the usability hurdles associated.

Tools such as chat clients are standard fare on many phone platforms, or basic tools such as a small WAP browser. Mobile sites with content for the younger market, such as Twitter's social networking platform, have proliferated because they provide content and information tailored to the lifestyles of the audience. It is extremely important to remember that kids and adults want different things from their devices. Adults tend to use their phones like tools -- a sort of digital jackknife to perform tasks -- while most kids think of the phone as a device for social contact.  

The growth to provide relevant information for adults has been slower, but successful web destinations are popping up. Travel sites, such as Conde Nast's Concierge, financial resources like Yahoo (wap.oa.yahoo.com), as well as food reviews from Zagat-to-go, will all appeal to those with a higher earning potential.

Adult marketing, however, does not mean stodgy marketing -- The New Yorker is offering hysterical videos for people to watch, with advertising tacked on to them.

As the mobile internet in the U.S. becomes increasingly mature, online ad spend is expected to grow rapidly. Strategy Analytics predicts that advertisers will spend $1.4 billion on mobile media in 2007, and by 2011, that number will be closer to $14.4 billion. Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, said that the behemoth is actively targeting mobile ads, as "they are twice as profitable or more than the non-mobile phone ads because they're more personal." The trick is to use mobile to your advantage.

When creating a personalized campaign, remember who the key users are and adapt the experience to them. Land Rover recently ran a campaign targeting 25- to 54-year-olds, which was very successful, funneling a highly qualified 3 percent of users to click to call. By leveraging the tools that are already on board the phone, in this case Google maps, the ad drives traffic.

Perhaps the greatest challenge to developing a successful mobile campaign is not being invasive. Simply put: people don't like telemarketers, and they see their phones as very personal.

Seventy-nine percent of consumers surveyed by Forrester Research did not like the idea of mobile marketing, as they found it interrupting and invasive. It is crucial that experiences never seem prying, and that smart brand managers figure out a way to drive opt-in interactions. One great approach is to provide a service for users, which takes advantage of the mobile environment.

For example, DHL is providing a service for San Francisco Bay Area consumers where they can access weather information on their mobile phones, as well as download a Tetris-like game for their handheld devices.

"The basic objective is to use breakthrough media tactics, such as eye-catching out-of-home units requesting engagement. It's all about providing utility for the consumer," Mandel said in a June ClickZ article. "With mobile marketing, the keys to the kingdom are how you can provide something for the consumer."

As the mobile market grows, the core demographic is shifting from teens to adults. Brands are faced with exciting new opportunities to reach their consumers, in many different ways. Static WAP sites, online video, SMS, MMS and other means of reaching the consumer represent a new territory in marketing. It's crucial, however, that brand managers understand how to embrace a market that is growing and changing, while offering content that provides value to the consumer on the go. Leveraging phone features and functionality is a solid first move in that direction, and providing a service that users will want is key to succeeding.

Chief technology catalyst

It’s the kind of job title that feels like honey on the ears. It’s got class, respect, and ends with a fun snap. It’s almost the sweet and sour chicken of job titles. This position is responsible for providing technology insights to brands and helping them utilize it as a creative tool. It's a relevant marching order in today's world and makes marketers swoon with excitement. If you're looking for some 21st century street cred mixed with a creative flare, you may just find what you’re looking for as a chief technology catalyst.

One marketer who once held this title is Lori Schwartz, managing partner at StoryTech. Here’s why this position encompasses so many important marketing aspects and strives to align technology with creativity to impact positive brand change.

Change agent/transformation coach

Anytime you can incorporate "change" or "transformation" into your job title, it's an exciting prospect. No one walks around with more Nostradamus swagger than a change agent or transformation coach. These people your guiding light to future trends and how you should adapt to an evolving landscape. They are regal creatures prancing gracefully through the agency world causing wide eyes and flushed faces. Much like the Elves in Lord of the Rings, they are to be awed -- not feared. Plus they love Lembas bread.

Aimee Reker, managing partner at FRWD speaks about why change agents are so critical in helping marketers navigate industry trends.

Marketing technologist

Well slap my face and call me Shirley. If that isnt an attractive job title then you've buttered the wrong side of your bread. This elegant position is tasked with understanding the analytics side, as well as the engagement and human aspects of marketing. It's a rare breed seldom encountered in the wild. However, there is no doubt that to be a marketing technologist is to tickle the fancy of every industry player you come across.

Dorothea Bozicolona-Volpe, principal at Social Espionage explains why this position represents such a rare kind of marketer and why young professionals should aspire to achieve this title.


Boom, there it is. Why exist in our mundane universe when you can transcend to a higher dimension of esteem and respect by becoming a futurist? Futurists are like Tibetan Monks occasionally gracing us special glimpses of wisdom and knowledge. These enigmatic players are responsible for looking ahead and analyzing how trends are converging and defining the industry. Being a futurist comes with heavy responsibility and theres no room for teasing. Well, maybe a little.

Chip Gross, director of client services for AKQA talks about why he admires the "futurist" job title not only for its cosmetic appeal, but for the vital analysis that these industry players take on.

Chief enabling officer

I'll give you a moment to put your socks back on because I know they were just knocked off.

When the acronym CEO is thrown around, it's rare that people associate it with chief enabling officer. These playful chameleons are responsible for enabling a whole corporation, group, or enterprise to accomplish the innovation that will create great customer experiences. Nothing makes this position more fun that having an exciting array of people by your side. They enjoy making magic -- together.

Morely Winograd, partner at Mike and Morely, LLC explains why this job title actually represents a very fundamental but often forgotten theme of marketing: enabling is as important as executing.

Chief innovation executive

It's the kind of job title that drips off your chin like biting into a ripe mango. With this position, you are bestowed the allure of being perceived as innovative as well as a serious executive. Plus you also get to be a chief. That's cool. This job requires you to look at the landscape of new media platforms and minimalize the risk of early adoption. Everyone wants to be a trend setter, and chief innovation executives allow you to do it.

Reed Berglund, CEO at FullBottle speaks to iMedia about why this position is extremely important in this world of new media and fast evolving distribution platforms.

Brand ambassador

Slow down there, Mr. President. With all that exciting political lingo in your job title, you'll be heading to the top in no time. A brand ambassador is responsible for being an extension of the brand. If a brand is your arm, a brand ambassador is your fork, and the public is your delicious meal. Eat up and enjoy.

Shelby White, senior marketing manager for Waffle House speaks to iMedia about why she finds this title so appealing and important.

Chief/digital prophet

David Shing. Ya'll know what I'm talking about.

Chris Carlin, Sr. marketing and social media manager for Upper Deck explains his opinion on digital prophets.

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"Macro close up of woman's mouth eating strawberry" image via Shutterstock.


Joe McWilliams has been in the interactive media business since the early beginnings of the industry. As the first sales leader for Hoover’s Online in 1996, he was responsible for establishing the advertising business, and over the next 8...

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