Digilant Awarded Best Use of Big Data for Their Consumer Persona Product at The 2017 MITX Awards

Celebrating Data Science, Marketing and Programmatic Innovation with a win at the 21st Annual MITX Awards

BOSTON, May 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Digilant has been selected as a winner in the category of Best Use of Big Data at the 2017 MITX Awards for their Consumer Persona Product.

The MITX Awards show is the largest and most prestigious annual awards competition in the country for technology and digital innovation. The categories in this year’s program showcase the disruptive marketing, creative, and emerging technologies happening in New England. Winners were announced in 24 categories at a sold-out event held on May 25th at Royale Boston.

MITX Award 2017 - Company Announcement EmailDigilant’s Consumer Persona is unique in the programmatic advertising industry in that it curates online data of consumers that are actually engaging and converting, uncovering REAL customers and creating unique data segments, based upon each advertiser’s individual data signals.

“At Digilant we’ve listened to our clients and appreciate that it is not enough to just develop complex programmatic algorithms,” said Adam Cahill, President of Digilant US. “In the digital advertising ecosystem, a large chunk of the value of the data being produced is lost because it is not translated into a format that clients can experience and use. We came up with a satisfying visual output that was a real representation of the intricate nature of our client’s data.  This output is focused on three of our advertisers’ main business objectives: Performance Lift, Reach (new customers), and the Discovery of New Audiences.  We are honored to have Consumer Persona recognized by the New England digital technology and marketing community.”

“This year’s entries exemplified the curious intellect that drives innovation in Boston,” said Amy Quigley, President of MITX.  “It was an exciting evening marking 21 years of creativity and industry leading ideas in technology. I was overwhelmed by the energy.”

For the complete list of winners and other information please visit the MITX Awards Website.

About Digilant

Unlock Data. Uncover Customers.
Digilant offers programmatic buying solutions and services designed for independent agencies and brands that are increasing their programmatic spending. Using data science to unlock ‘new’ automated buying strategies, Digilant enables brands to uncover proprietary and complex audience data that gives them the actionable intelligence they need to compete across every important media channel.
Digilant is an ispDigital Group Company. For more information, visit us at www.digilant.com or follow us on Twitter @Digilant_US.

About MITX

Inspire. Connect. Provoke.
For the restless companies that comprise the Massachusetts technology and innovation eco-system, MITX is the ultimate resource: inspiring members with progressive thinking, meaningful connections and provocative conversation. Celebrating 21 years of connecting tech and innovation professionals in New England, MITX is a dynamic community of more than 7,500 thought leaders and collaborators in search of insight, education and opportunity. MITX is headquartered in Boston, MA. For more information, visit mitx.org.

Google Ad Crisis: Consequences For The Digital Marketer

By Colin Brown, Chief Operating Officer, Digilant

‘The Times’ unearthed a massive scandal in digital marketing this March. The British newspaper broke the news on YouTube and Google’s placement of ads alongside content associated with political violence, extremist religious propaganda and other offensive content incongruent with the messages of brands and organizations advertising on the platforms.

Upon discovering this extreme lack of oversight, the United Kingdom suspended all advertising through the search engine until it received a complete guarantee that all necessary filters would be implemented to ensure that the incident wouldn’t repeat itself.

In the following days, the phones in the offices of top ranking executives at Google and YouTube didn’t stop ringing. Huge advertisers followed suit with the British government, halting their advertisements on the platforms. One of the most notable agencies to pull their ad spend from Google was the Havas Group. Havas is responsible for managing nearly 650 million dollars in digital ad spend, of which about 225 million dollars belonged to companies running campaigns in the United Kingdom, such as the BBC, Clarks, Dominos, and Hyundai, among others.

The Mountain View tech giant watched as its shares plummeted in the stock market as everyone from multinational corporations to small independently-owned businesses began withdrawing their advertising budgets from YouTube and other platforms. The list of nearly 300 companies that withdrew their investments included some of the biggest brands in the world, like AT&T, Verizon, and Johnson & Johnson.

The most pressing concern surrounding the search engine’s crisis was the enormous economic blow that resulted from it; according to calculations from global investment group, Nomura, Google could lose more than 7% of its revenue in 2017, which would translate to approximately 750 million dollars. Their earnings totaled 7.8 billion dollars in Great Britain alone in 2016 and that figure will likely be much lower this year.

However, Google rushed to address the concerns of its shareholders, informing their clients that they’re moving forward with the creation of tools to detect and eliminate content related to the defense of terrorism, incitation of violence, xenophobia, homophobia, and all forms of radicalism. Their response to the crisis has at the very least allowed for its stock to recover significantly after reaching rock bottom on March 24th.

Of course, it isn’t easy to control what content is uploaded to YouTube with 300 hours of video being shared every minute. According to the platform’s data, YouTube has around a billion users (a third of the world’s internet users) that watch videos for 3.25 billion hours with billions of plays in only a month’s time, largely attributed to subscriptions to the channels of recognized influencers and other less-famous, but nonetheless noteworthy YouTubers.

Despite the power and influence still held by YouTube, what happened will contribute to a rebalancing of the distribution of global advertising investments. An eMarketer study conducted prior to the scandal estimated that YouTube and Google would receive 60% of the 203 billion dollars in revenue generated from digital ad buying, but actual revenue will very likely fall short of that estimate after news of the crisis was made public by ‘The Times.’  While there is still uncertainty for the future, it’s undeniable that brands that want to relate as fully as possible with their audiences can’t simply remove their ads from YouTube.

Reliable Partners

As is customary, every crisis provides an opportunity to make improvements and the solution lies in technology. There are already formulas, algorithms, and data-driven tools available to prevent ads from ever appearing alongside undesirable content. The players that participate in the intelligence and data-driven digital marketing ecosystem provide sufficient guarantee that an advertiser will almost never see their ads placed with compromising or low-quality content.

In fact, this problem is one that even the most experienced companies have overcome, those that strengthen their services by acquiring secure data and placing ads on guaranteed inventories. Ultimately, it’s the programmatic partners who are the first to be concerned with improving the user experience, ensuring that only relevant and novel advertising is delivered to each user, that brands have the peace of mind that their media budget will be used to place their ads on the sites of reliable publishers. It’s all about generating qualified traffic, which takes brand safety and reputation into consideration so that the brand’s online presence strengthened and values are maintained.

Constantly improving upon existing technologies is a crucial process for programmatic media providers. When well developed and responsibly managed, those technologies allow for advertising in a safe and controlled environment.

At Digilant, we have data solutions that enable clients to control brand safety. Advertisers are becoming increasingly demanding with how and where they advertise and we want to meet their needs. In order to achieve this, we always try to stay a step ahead with transparent processes from the moment we begin working with a client until their campaign is complete. It is crucial that upholding brand reputation remains a key priority for any media buying partner, so that programmatic continues to be the best solution for a business seeking to grow their digital advertising spend.

And the Winner is… Digilant!

MITX Award 2017 - Company Announcement Email

Last night was an exciting evening, Digilant won its first award for Consumer Persona in the ‘Best Use of Big Data’ marketing category at the annual MITX awards.

The MITX Awards are the largest and most prestigious annual awards competition in the country for digital marketing and technology innovation, bringing together the best and brightest minds in the digital media, marketing and technology industry. Bigger, bolder, and more interactive than ever, this event celebrates and awards New England’s thriving digital innovation ecosystem in more than 20 categories.


Our category: Best Use of Big Data

Whether analyzing behavior, stock price fluctuations, data anomalies, or advertising effectiveness, companies gather incredible amounts of information. This award recognizes an organization that has used data to inform and create an impactful experience or technology for your audience/customer.

We were honored to be part of the innovation community in New England and we are excited to win t

his award as it represents the fruit of many hours of team work for Digilant product and data science.

We plan to do big things with Big Data this year in programmatic advertising, so expect to see more from us soon.

What to know about Facebook’s war on clickbait

The marketers’ view:
Wesley Farris, director of partnerships at Digilant:

“In theory, the individual-post level should give [Facebook] more accuracy [in detecting clickbait]. If they were previously blocking at the page level, they’d succeed with the publishers whose majority of content is clickbait, but they might miss the reputable publication that publishes the occasional nefarious headline. … Clickbait headlines typically follow the same formats, so if Facebook can build that truth set, they should be able to roll out a fairly accurate, automated process to remove these types of articles from News Feeds without the involvement of manual eyeballs.”

The Train Will Come: The Power of Anticipation in Digital Media

By Stephanie Lozito, SVP Client Solutions, Digilant

Coloring Within the Lines

Programmatic media buys via DSPs usually materialize as a checklist of targeting tactics and bidding parameters pushed through a platform using an algorithm.  When heralded as the power of machines over people, DSP-based programmatic buying can appear to be sterile and isolated from other channels of media delivery, such as search and social.  The “human element” of programmatic buying usually refers to optimizations and analysis, when in reality, it is how a campaign is serviced that also makes the process human.

Too often, marketing goals dictate media plans that rely on dated programmatic tools, tech, and thinking.  While there is a time and place for coloring within the lines and relying on those plans and approaches that have worked in the past, we need to sharpen our focus on creativity and experimentation and apply new data strategies within marketing plans.

The pre-planning process is not the only proper place for creativity!  Programmatic media professionals are also creative thinkers and explorers on the front lines of innovation.  How can we inject a new creative sensibility into programmatic?  By prioritizing the human element of media buying.  In short, we need to anticipate.

Laying the Tracks:  The Semmering Railway

The case study of the Semmering Railway offers us a roadmap for what I’ll call Anticipation-Driven Creativity.  Between 1848 and 1854, about 20,000 workers laid 41 kilometers of train tracks across the Semmering Pass in the Austrian Alps.a  This was not an easy feat, as the mountains held especially steep grades with challenging turns, making them uniquely difficult to traverse. Neither surveying tools nor locomotive design available at that time could accommodate travel on the newly-laid tracks.  In short, the Semmering Railway Project was laying tracks for a train that didn’t yet exist.  They built the tracks knowing that one day, the train would come.

A competition asked entrants to design trains that would achieve what had been previously impossible.  While none of the original four entrants were successful, “
trials for a suitable locomotive led to a number of developments in this field of engineering, and in the end resulted in the invention of the Engerth locomotive.”b  In this case, the “thing” that was anticipated (a train that could make this unprecedented trip) forced the process to create the very thing they were anticipating when they laid the tracks.

Solutions-Based Partnerships

Solutions-based partnerships ultimately fail without anticipation and human creativity.  In fact, creativity needs to take its place at the very center of programmatic buying – to anticipate where tech could potentially go, and help us get there.  To be better at what we do, we need to lay the metaphorical tracks, which will help us design the train fit to travel on them

First, we need to build a level of trust that offers us the freedom to not only present new ideas, but more importantly, present new ideas for which there is no currently established proof that the idea will work.  We need some leeway to be risk takers. Many will say, “What?  That sounds like you want to allocate client spending to a leap of faith!”  To which I would respond, “brands take risks in their creative processes all the time.”

Innovation is based on risk, but calculated, rooted in experience, information, and intelligence (should sound familiar to those working in the programmatic media buying space).  The proliferation of think tanks within brands, like Nike’s Innovation Kitchen, helps break through the innovation clutter.c  Additionally, the title “Chief Innovation Officer” within agencies and brands also indicates the value placed on calculated risk and innovation within the “creators” of media strategies and plans.  Let’s inject this same approach into the practice of programmatic!

To do that, we need to transform programmatic’s “test and learn” mentality into an incubation mentality.  Programmatic incubation fosters freer conversations about new capabilities and allows for greater risk in leading the technology where our clients’ marketing objectives need it to go.

Programmatic Think Tanks

If we were to generate programmatic “think tanks,” similar to our brand and agency colleagues and partners, we’d see a dramatic increase in programmatic innovation and creative thinking at the DSP-level.  Not all of our ideas will work as originally designed (much like the 4 locomotive entrants in the Semmering Trials), but having designed them will allow us to push our programmatic thinking forward.

Let’s avoid making programmatic a rote exercise.  We need to own programmatic creativity. We, as an industry, need to experiment more.   Digilant has made the shift toward a more custom offering that is unique to the buyer, uncovering new data and audiences they wouldn’t have know about.  The beauty of programmatic is its ability to make quick pivots; let’s use this to our advantage.

The Train Will Come

We, as an industry, should make anticipation a part of our daily approach to media buying.  To that end, we should activate programmatic think tanks to innovate as the “human layer” on top of the programmatic tech layer.  And with enough focused anticipation and experimental fearlessness, in every case, the train will come.

Sources: Unesco, and New World Encylopedia, Great Rail, and Fast Company 

The Future Of Media Buying Is Not Programmatic But Customatic

From Off-The-Shelf to Personalization

Personalization is the challenge that the majority of marketers face in the marketplace today.  But the many providers out there competing for your marketing dollars are still only offering a selection of off-the-shelf solutions, as they attempt to keep their own costs down.

Everyone has access to the same data and the ad-tech ecosystem is overgrown with platforms that offer no great distinctions.  The savviest of advertisers have advanced and are demanding control and customization from their programmatic advertising campaigns and they expect their suppliers to make the same leap.

Until now, the focus has been on developing advertising technology in silos in order to sell media services. But, as the technology efficiencies are maximized and commoditized, the focus shifted to unlocking value by leveraging assets that go beyond core capabilities. The best ingredient that is often left unexplored is the advertiser’s own data.

1st and 2nd Party Data

data driven programmaticThe most import and recent evolution in programmatic is the ability to use 1st party data (connecting CRM data to an advertiser’s media buy). To do this, independent data on-boarding service providers like LiveRamp and DataLogix are used to translate offline data signals to a digital user ID, so that programmatic companies like Digilant can now use off-line data in online media campaigns.

2nd party data, acquired through exclusive relationships with data providers, who do not sell their data in the open market, have also opened new opportunities for marketers who don’t want to buy the same 3rd party segments as their competitors. Programmatic providers can enrich an advertiser’s 1st party data or directly activate 2nd party data. Companies like Digilant are in a unique position to provide data intelligence to help advertisers make that data actionable.

Every Aspect of Programmatic is Custom

With all the effort, platforms, people and cost involved in executing data driven programmatic advertising, the recipe for success is not pre-packaged.  Marketers now expect that every aspect of programmatic can be customized — from funnels and segmentation to AI models, creative, and cross-channel messaging strategies. Instead of pushing products, platforms and data – the future for programmatic companies is personalization, resulting in a solution for marketers that is Customatic.

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