News Room


Webinar: Programmatic Marketing in the Age of the Customer

jim-nail-forrester-ed-montes-dataxuThis Thursday, we’re excited to host “Programmatic Marketing in the Age of the Customer,” a webinar featuring  Ed Montes, Chief Revenue Officer at DataXu and  Jim Nail, principal analyst at Forrester Research.

Jim and Ed will discuss the findings of a new study that explores the factors influencing adoption of programmatic marketing. The study, conducted by Forrester Consulting and commissioned by DataXu, interviewed senior marketing leaders across the world, and offers exclusive insight into the current state of the industry, while debunking a few myths along the way.

We’ll cover:

  • Why leading brands are adopting a customer-centric approach to marketing
  • Leveraging the latest programmatic technologies to learn more about who their best customers are
  • How to better engage and influence them across multiple digital media channels – display, mobile, social and video.

Date: April 24th, 2014
Time: 1pm EDT/10AM PDT

Register now and join us on Thursday!

**We’re also hosting a European version of this webinar on Wednesday, 30th April with guest speaker Luca S. Paderni, VP and Research Director at Forrester Research, and Sacha Berlik, European General Manager at DataXu. Register here.**

Festival of Media 2014 Highlights: It was all about transparency

As presenters and delegates at last week’s annual Festival of Media were voicing concern about the issues surrounding transparency, and its growing importance in the digital advertising industry, the IAB UK announced that UK digital ad spend is up 15% year-on-year to £6.3bn and the IAB US revealed a new milestone; internet advertising is now bigger than TV advertising. Adding to these timely statistics, the IAB observed that “To scale the market and create value for all, the digital advertising industry must ensure increased transparency in the programmatic auction ecosystem – over fees, net CPMs and the bidding process itself.”

 ‘Getting with the brand programme’ panel session with Mike Baker, DataXu CEO & Co-Founder at Festival of Media Global

‘Getting with the brand programme’ panel session with Mike Baker, DataXu CEO & Co-Founder at Festival of Media Global

Furthermore, of the advertisers and marketers surveyed by the Association of National Advertisers recently, 42% said transparency worries had increased over the past year. Specifically, 35% are very concerned about an inability to know where their digital ads will run and 51% are very concerned that there is not enough transparency around agency rebates. These concerns are fuelled by a perceived lack of transparency in reports from some programmatic trading desks. Prices continue to drop as inventory across the web increases – but, marketers worry that not all savings are being passed back to them.

Clearly – and nowhere was this more apparent at the Festival of Media – this is a hot topic for marketers. The question remains: can media agencies and partners do more to transparently present costs, media spend and ROI back to their clients? The answer is yes, with the right technology partner. Brands who demand transparency from their vendors around price, tactics, management and media can deliver stronger returns on their media budgets and extract more accurate insight about their best customers. So how can you, as a marketer, ensure you’re getting the most important information from your technology partner? Below, we’ve outlined a three step strategy:

• Get a handle on your vendor’s actual pricing model
A model where you have a clear understanding of the price and quantity of what they buy (impressions, data, etc.) is preferable. This gives you a clear view into their media budget’s end-to-end economics, and it allows you to determine what percent of your budget becomes working media.
• Find out where your digital ads are actually being served and who is engaging with them
Ask your partner for full domain or site-level reporting that includes impression, click and action counts. This ensures that your ad networks and ad tech partner is not hiding cookie bombing and other margin-rich performance tactics.
• Decipher the real campaign tactics that your vendors are using
Have a clear understanding of which tactics, such as Retargeting or Prospecting, are spending, performing, and scaling. Marketers with tactic transparency not only know that their campaign is performing, but why it is performing. This level of transparency is critical for transferring insights and using your digital media as an extension of market research.

These recommendations provide a ‘transparency’ foundation to help assess whether your media budgets and campaigns are being managed to the agreed setup and targeting requirements. Ultimately, they will deliver a clearer view into your media spend and performance, and ensure optimal ROI across your campaigns. If you would like to do some further reading around this topic, then download our whitepaper “What we talk about when we talk about transparency.”

What happens when Programmatic meets Easy?

by Aaron Kechley, Senior Vice President, Products, DataXu

I often marvel at how prolific our industry is at coming up with new ways to invest and measure digital media; I’m not sure there is another out there that could rival it.  The only problem with our insatiable thirst for innovation is that the industry usually prioritizes “easy” as a second class requirement.  Something relegated to after the “minimum viable product” is shipped and making money.  And for a platform like DataXu, that connects and unifies the many parts of the ecosystem under one easy self-service console, “easy” is an especially tough challenge to meet.


That’s why we are hard at work at making our platform easier to use than ever, and I am thrilled to announce the New DataXu Console, the first of many major product upgrades we’ve planned for 2014.  Response from our beta users has been overwhelmingly positive, and I hope you like it as much as they do!  The new DataXu Console is…


  • New Campaign Dashboard enables one-stop management with near real-time data, in-line editing, interactive charting, and practitioner-designed pacing and trending data.
  • Over a dozen reporting enhancements including on-screen download, new metrics, new dimensions, and usability upgrades.
  • Billing improvements that make it easier to track and manage platform fees.
  • Platform-wide search to help you instantly find anything you’re looking for from creative to tags, to campaigns, flights, or users.
  • And another dozen usability improvements to make life easier for our users.

More Effective

  • IP Targeting and Blacklisting supports use cases such as B2B and B2C conquesting, local takeovers, and unique audience building and retargeting.
  • One-ad per page increases media efficiency by optionally limiting the platform from placing multiple ads on a single web page, a common challenge faced by buyers of real-time exchange media.


  • 2x faster page loads
  • 4x faster reporting
  • 5x better data availability

And Better Looking!

  • A clean, updated look & feel with improved navigation and a blazing-fast login.

For more…

We issued a press release this morning with a couple of quotes from happy customers. You can check that out here

And we put together a short video here

DataXu previews results of unreleased independent Research Paper on programmatic marketing at Festival of Media Global

Programmatic has evolved far beyond real time bidding. Today’s marketers are using it to support broader marketing transformation efforts, such as customer intelligence, content personalisation, CRM, and automation to drive efficiencies. And this appears to be just the beginning. According to Global Magna projections, investment in programmatic advertising will top $32 billion globally by 2017.

With this growth, we are also witnessing an industry-wide shift. In the quest to become more customer-centric, brands are starting to adopt a more hands-on approach. A study by the Association of National Advertisers found that 60 percent of Fortune 500 brands are considering bringing programmatic capabilities in-house. But building a brand trading desk is easier said than done.

On the 7th of April 2014, Ben Jankowski, Group Head of Global Media at MasterCard and Mike Baker, Co-Founder & CEO at DataXu are hosting a workshop at the Festival of Media Global in Rome to discuss how brands are using programmatic technology directly to increase efficiency and effectiveness. The interactive session titled, ‘Marketing in the Age of the Customer: The Brand Trading Desk’ will also preview initial results from a soon-to-be-released study conducted by Forrester Consulting and commissioned by DataXu, which interviewed senior marketing leaders from large brands across the world. The global study confirms that marketers are growing more comfortable in a data-driven world, finding that this new approach not only reveals inventive new ways to market their brands but also puts marketing in a more central role in driving their firm’s overall success.

What brands should consider when taking programmatic in-house

As programmatic marketing generates and thrives on big data, it presents marketers with a huge opportunity to learn more about who their best customers are and how they make purchase decisions. Brands can better map the customer journey across digital media channels – display, mobile, social and video — to better engage, influence and acquire the most valuable customers. The IBM Global C-suite Study revealed that 55 percent of 4,183 C-suite executives believe consumers have the most influence on business strategy; so the brands that become more customer-centric will win in a programmatic world.

Using findings from the new Forrester Consulting paper, the Festival of Media workshop will explore all these issues, along with others that are critical for programmatic success – from the importance of transparency and control of data through to staffing considerations.

OpenRTB takes on private exchange and bot traffic

by Bill Simmons, CTO and Co-Founder, DataXu

When OpenRTB was first announced in November 2010, programmatic advertising had captured just 4% of the display market. Fast-forward to today and the industry is projected to hit 22% by the end of the year.  I believe that a large percentage of this growth is due to the reduced friction that OpenRTB protocol standardization has enabled. OpenRTB is an IAB sponsored project that provides standards for communication between buyers of advertising and sellers of publisher inventory. OpenRTB I’m excited to announce that the final draft of OpenRTB Version 2.2 is now out for public comment.  In thirty days this new version will be certified by the IAB.   Version 2.2 is a major leap forward for OpenRTB.  The new features include:

  • Comprehensive support for private marketplace (aka private exchange or Deal ID)
  • Improved support for new types of video and mobile inventory
  • Support for signals from publishers to buyers to abide by COPPA regulations
  • Support for differentiating secure (https) and non-secure inventory
  • Support for buyers to send flags to sellers in real-time about suspected non-human traffic (aka bot traffic)

That last item is especially important in light of growing concerns about so-called bot traffic – computer generated impressions controlled by illegal networks of hacked computers.

Version 2.2 will help reduce the amount of bot traffic that ends up in the RTB ecosystem by enabling buyers to signal to a seller in real-time if they suspect fraud or bot traffic on a site.  As soon as a buyer identifies some inventory as fishy, the OpenRTB 2.2 protocol enables them to return a “no bid reason” indicating why they are refusing the buy this inventory.  The exchange can then shut off the traffic or investigate.    The hope is to eliminate the current process of communicating via emails and phone calls so that buyers and sellers can work collaboratively and programmatically to cut down the time to identify and kick out the bad actors of the ecosystem.

The OpenRTB committee worked on this version for nearly a year with over 20 companies actively participating in 9 revisions. A big shout out goes to Neal Richter, Chief Scientist at Rubicon who led the charge on this version as well as Jim Butler at Nexage and the many other contributors who provided feedback from their companies and customers.  The active debate on the openrtb-dev mailing list about OpenRTB 2.2 make this one of the best and most reviewed versions yet.

OpenRTB 2.2 is fully backwards compatible with versions 2.1 and 2.0, so upgrading should be easy for both buyers and sellers.

As one of the founders of OpenRTB, I’m excited about how far we’ve come, and what this new version represents.  We look forward to hearing feedback from the community in the meantime.  To leave feedback, please post issues on our github issues page.  If you are a technical leader or product manager please check out our mailing list.

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