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Programmatic marketing maze? Here are 10 tips

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Programmatic buying is sometimes a complicated topic, but DR THOMAS OOSTHUIZEN, Global Consulting Director at Acceleration UK, breaks it down into ten easy to follow steps.

The most important issue when dealing with programmatic buying is to be aware of algorithm bias. As data sources and points grow, this problem will decrease. But in most statistical techniques, the most salient data points often dominate and will continue to do so. We have to design to avoid this.

Pure common sense will tell us that as long as some marketers have more resources than others, “average” algorithms will benefit the large and jeopardise the small. This means that, even in algorithms, creative thinking is important. One size will not fit all.

Here are some tips to ensure maximum benefit from data-based algorithmically driven buying:

1.      Know your product or service category
We need to understand whether our category is growing fast, maturing or declining? Different conditions and requirements come into being once a category develops from a fast-growing initial phase into a mature condition.

2.      Is the market saturated?
In a saturated market we need to look for niche segments that will enable wider expansion? To do so, we need to find out who these consumers are. Once we have done so, we need to understand how to expand the algorithm to enable us to identify and target them.

3.      If growing, differentiation is less important.
However, if the segment or category is not growing differentiation is key. We need to discover what are the signals that will enable the algorithm to detect these variations. Without this, our brand will simply fall into the trap of algorithm “same-ness”, where less is, in fact, less.

4.      Is our brand a leader or a challenger?
Leading brands can leverage all the economies they can access. However, smaller brands need to work far harder at being different.

5.      Is our brand properly differentiated?
If so, how? This may include features, benefits, emotions, personality types, symbols, words, statements, slogans, colours, iconography and communities. It’s clear that a small brand will have a vastly different profile than a smaller one. Hence, using the same algorithms a large brand uses is simply a waste of money. We then need to build in bias our differentiation “bias” so that it becomes a focused tool.

6.      Are results declining over time?
If so, why? Can a changed algorithm assist or does the problem lie outside of that? It’s always tempting to constantly adjust algorithms, but we need to be aware that the problem may be something completely unrelated. Keeping an open mind is crucial when working at a granular level.

7.      Can we segment algorithm groups?
If so, can we learn more about what separates algorithms that are greater or lesser predictors of sales results? Understanding how they explain a category is very useful, particularly when this is a significant factor in planning exposure.

8.      Can we build in “bias”?
Our algorithms need to contain enough granularity that we are able to fine-tune them to match whatever it is that differentiates us. By following trendsetters or up-weighting data from groups that demonstrate differences we can build this necessary “bias” into our algorithms.

9.      Can we test different options and assess results?
This is usually resource-dependent. The fewer resources we have, the more we will have to rely on testing to provide the data we need.

10.  Can we expand diversity?
If so, will the incrementally deeper and more creative messaging give us an above average return on investment?

This is by no means an exhaustive checklist, but by applying these tips we will be able to apply our programmatic buying algorithms more effectively.

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Samsung unfolds the future

At the #Unpacked launch, Samsung delivered the world’s first foldable phone from a major brand. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK tried it out.

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Everything that could be known about the new Samsung Galaxy S10 range, launched on Wednesday in San Francisco, seems to have been known before the event.

Most predictions were spot-on, including those in Gadget (see our preview here), thanks to a series of leaks so large, they competed with the hole an iceberg made in the Titanic.

The big surprise was that there was a big surprise. While it was widely expected that Samsung would announce a foldable phone, few predicted what would emerge from that announcement. About the only thing that was guessed right was the name: Galaxy Fold.

The real surprise was the versatility of the foldable phone, and the fact that units were available at the launch. During the Johannesburg event, at which the San Francisco launch was streamed live, small groups of media took turns to enter a private Fold viewing area where photos were banned, personal phones had to be handed in, and the Fold could be tried out under close supervision.

The first impression is of a compact smartphone with a relatively small screen on the front – it measures 4.6-inches – and a second layer of phone at the back. With a click of a button, the phone folds out to reveal a 7.3-inch inside screen – the equivalent of a mini tablet.

The fold itself is based on a sophisticated hinge design that probably took more engineering than the foldable display. The result is a large screen with no visible seam.

The device introduces the concept of “app continuity”, which means an app can be opened on the front and, in mid-use, if the handset is folded open, continue on the inside from where the user left off on the front. The difference is that the app will the have far more space for viewing or other activity.

Click here to read about the app experience on the inside of the Fold.

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Password managers don’t protect you from hackers

Using a password manager to protect yourself online? Research reveals serious weaknesses…

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Top password manager products have fundamental flaws that expose the data they are designed to protect, rendering them no more secure than saving passwords in a text file, according to a new study by researchers at Independent Security Evaluators (ISE).

“100 percent of the products that ISE analyzed failed to provide the security to safeguard a user’s passwords as advertised,” says ISE CEO Stephen Bono. “Although password managers provide some utility for storing login/passwords and limit password reuse, these applications are a vulnerable target for the mass collection of this data through malicious hacking campaigns.”

In the new report titled “Under the Hood of Secrets Management,” ISE researchers revealed serious weaknesses with top password managers: 1Password, Dashlane, KeePass and LastPass.  ISE examined the underlying functionality of these products on Windows 10 to understand how users’ secrets are stored even when the password manager is locked. More than 60 million individuals 93,000 businesses worldwide rely on password managers. Click here for a copy of the report.

Password managers are marketed as a solution to eliminate the security risks of storing passwords or secrets for applications and browsers in plain text documents. Having previously examined these and other password managers, ISE researchers expected an improved level of security standards preventing malicious credential extraction. Instead ISE found just the opposite. 

Click here to read the findings from the report.

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