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Media buyers crave for brand safety and strong consumer connections. We talked with Augusto Romano, CEO Digo Hispanic Media, about the important role trustworthy media properties play for brands who want to substantially engage consumers in a brand safe environment. “During this time filled with all sorts of pandemics: health, racial, and fake news, we are more committed than ever to provide the information our readers need, in the language they understand, and on the platforms they prefer,” Romano tells Portada.

Augusto Romano, CEO, DIgo Hispanic Media
Augusto Romano, CEO, DIgo Hispanic Media

The crucial role of professional media properties for effective consumer engagement by brands can not be overstated, much less in the era of fake news. It’s all about brand safety, particularly when it comes to Multicultural Marketing. “Being a network owned and operated by the leading media companies in the Caribbean, we understand, and do not take lightly, the importance of being transparent and trustworthy to our Latino and Hispanic readers and to our clients,” Romano asserts. Digo currently is in the midst of an initiative of  advertiser outreach called Good Brands Support the Truth.

“At Digo, we’ve been loud and clear of our unique value proposition and have always offered brands and advertisers an environment free of fake news. Digo’s network is formed by the top Latam Publishers who are the first point of reference for Hispanics in the U.S. “We offer brands the opportunity to reach and connect, in brand-safe, culturally relevant & premium content sites, with a highly engaged and true premium Spanish dominant & bi-cultural U.S. Hispanic Audience.” 

Brand Safety: Media Sites Offer Higher Quality Engagement

Social Media has always been a platform in which users dive in to seek content relevant to them, but mostly related to what friends and family are doing and posting. Romano argues that “yes, users come across content from media and advertising from brands, but social media is an ecosystem that has so much going on that the engagement and awareness generated may not be classified or considered as high or the same quality as if a user is going directly / organically to a media or brand site. ” As an example Romano notes that  “if we compare time spent of a user that was browsing in social media and came across a news article in his or her feed vs the time spent of a user that came directly to the site to seek information we’ve seen how the average session of a direct or organic user is significantly higher than of a user that came from social media; 2 or even 3 times higher.’

The average session of a direct or organic user is 2 or even 3 times higher than of a user that came from social media.

Romano claims that Digo’s brand safe premium quality inventory has been successful with brands and media agencies. “Some agencies and brands understand the value of our audience and our inventory and whitelist our network within their DSP’s.  A good example of this is Group M’s new Multicultural Marketplace.”

Content Needs of Audiences during Covid in a Brand Safe Environment

Content needs and usage by audiences of Digo digital media properties has substantially  increased over the last few months.  According to Romano, “when you compare the time spent of our audience in Covid related content we’ve seen a 48% increase in time spent on page. We saw a significant spike of +200% increase in unique traffic in Covid related content during April vs. the  previous month. As you may recall in mid-March the topic was a known issue, but there was still some skepticism and some unfamiliarity with the subject. As time went by, the traffic was still significant and engaging with the content but the amount of users was not as high as when the pandemic had started in our markets. As a matter of fact a new spike of traffic has surged now in July due to the same spike of cases.”

A new spike of traffic has surged now in July due to the same spike of cases.

Portada LiveJOIN US AT PORTADA LIVE, OCT. 14, 2020
Brand marketers from corporations including: Cox Communications, Lyft, Nestle, K-12 , Wells Fargo and many more will discuss the below topics:
Collaborative Knowledge-Sharing Session: How Covid-19 is Accelerating Digital Transformation: A cross-industry perspective
A diverse group of brand decision makers will provide actionable insights about their digital transformation and readiness in these unprecedented times.

– Research Spotlight: Consumer Behavior Trends for 2021
Brand Marketer Challenge: Purpose Driven Marketing in the Age of a Pandemic, Recession and Racial and + Social Injustice
With the widespread outrage about racial inequality consumers are voting with their wallets about brands’ response to racism. A brands’ alignment with its core values and purpose should be the foundation of consumer support.

To find out about Portada’s new virtual networking solutions at PortadaLive 2020 involving a myriad of  brand decision makers , please contact Sales Director David Karp at David@portada-online.com.

 

We talked to Eric Tourtel, SVP of Teads Latam about the story behind the recently-announced strategic partnership with Precision, the programmatic division of Publicis Media.  We also discussed the key buzzwords and trends of the near future, and why Teads is ready to tackle them head-on with a revolutionary new tool. 

Last year, Teads closed a deal with Oracle Moat that allows buyers to select any custom billing point of viewability and transact on any viewability requirement. Portada also announced the new partnership with Precision, the programmatic area of Publicis Media, in Latam. Teads is the fast-growing platform that invented outsream video marketing. Now, they are changing the game again on their way lower into the funnel. To find out more, we caught up with Eric Tourtel, SVP of Teads Latam. Here’s all you need to know about the special nature of this partnership. Plus, learn how the company gets the ball rolling when it comes to data and AI.

 

The Importance of Having Allies: The Teads + Precision Partnership

Teads works with all the agencies. However, the partnership with Publicis’ programmatic area is unusual because it has a more significant qualitative component. “We’re going deeper, sharing more information. We have enormous amounts of first-party data and a very strong insights team,” said Eric Tourtel to introduce Portada to the story. As he explained, Teads started at the top of the funnel with good branding results after the launch of the innovative InRead video ad format. then moved to engagement and consideration, but the company has just recently started to focus more on performance.

Not only do we see who the users are, but we also see what they’re reading.

Now, Teads is able to fully audit the consumer journey. In Latam, the company has grown so much that it now reaches 90% of Mexican internet users, for example (source). “We find them within our network from 15 to 20 times per month. Imagine the gargantuan proportions of information we get,” shared Tourtel. “Not only do we see who the users are, but we also see what they’re reading. More than noting which URLs they’re visiting, we’re paying attention to the content they look for in those websites.” Consequently, sharing such information with Publicis will make for a very strategic partnership. According to Tourtel, most of the other partnerships are about price, volume, and discount.

 

Sharing the Teads Potential

“What makes this partnership special,” remarked Tourtel, “is the openness with which Teads will share its platform which most agencies aren’t aware of.” Thus, he had to organize intensive training in Miami with the directors of Precision offices all over Latin America. “We had to make sure they understood our platform’s potential,” told Eric. “We’ll have at least one training session per quarter in order to hear their feedback and adapt to their needs. This doesn’t happen at any other Demand-Side Platform.”

As Tourtel mentioned during our conversation, Teads might not be a very complex company but it is a very complete provider. It used to focus solely on video, but it has now evolved lower into the funnel to offer performance solutions. “Teads’ platform is different from DSPs in that it’s exclusively designed exclusively for Teads’ transactions,” informed Tourtel. “It’s all connected at a data level, as well as at a reach level. We are full-stack: an ad-server, SSP, exchange, buying interface…” In short, partnering up with Teads sounds like a very good idea.

We’ve grown together, that’s why collaboration flows more easily than with other players.

The other special aspect of the partnership was the story behind it. There’s a bond with Publicis that goes way back. “We have a lot of history together,” shared Eric. “I started Teads Latam six years ago and the first agency that took a leap of faith and talked big numbers with their clients for us was Starcom Miami. We’ve grown together, that’s why collaboration flows more easily than with other players,” added Tourtel.

 

Guaranteeing Viewability is no Longer Impossible

The main problem video marketers face is that nobody wants to watch video ads. They’re invasive, annoying, and get in the way between consumers and content. This is a real problem for Facebook and YouTube, but Teads got rid of the invasion factor. And so innovation played an important part in Teads’ process of coming up with a new format that was entirely different from a pre-roll.

The result was outstream video advertising, and it revolutionized video marketing. More consumers are now voluntarily watching ads. “We invented the InRead format,” said Tourtel. “It started with a video between two paragraphs. It’s not covering any content, so it’s not an intrusion, you can skip it if you don’t want to watch.”

Marc Pritchard, CEO of P&G has recently declared that his company’s ads have an average exposure time of 1.6 seconds on Facebook, compared to 13 seconds on Teads,” pointed out Tourtel. ”That’s because we display ads exclusively in profesional articles. We’re not relying on people who scroll down their feed quickly to see if something grabs their interest.”

 

How Teads Does It

We’re not relying on people who scroll down their feed quickly to see if something grabs their interest.

If you have the right format and you display it in the right place, it has to work. However, if you add to that an artificial intelligence that gathers precise data and continually learns how to classify it, that’s a winning combo. “Five years ago we built a team that created our AI,” told Tourtel. “We gave it one single question. ‘Knowing what we know about this user, what are the chances that this impression will turn into a full view?’.

In fact, technology at this point is a must. “When we started we did all of this manually, but as we grew into the third biggest digital company in Latin America this became impossible, so we created our AI.” Every time there’s a full view, Teads’ AI team looked at their whole file and then looked for similar profiles. Then, the AI gets better after each completion and is able to predict conversions more accurately. 

 

Brand Safety Can Also Be Guaranteed

Teads is proud to say that, apart from offering very high viewability rates, the company has never faced any brand safety-related issues. Teads uses Grapeshot, a well-known software that scans pages to avoid placing ads next to unwanted content that could harm the brand. “But we know Grapeshot isn’t perfect, so we added our own technology on top of that,” told Tourtel. “Our AI helps us read and classify articles. We also avoid breaking news pages because that’s where they show the horrible stuff.” Furthermore, Teads’ ads only appear on reputable publishing media, where journalists submit articles to an editorial manager for approval before they’re released. “It’s not like we’re a social network with 400 hundred people posting every minute,” he added.

Facebook owns social. Google owns search. LinkedIn owns professional relations. We intend to own media and press.

Nonetheless, explained Tourtel, the tricky part is knowing where to stop, as the definition of brand safety is a very subjective matter. “Brand safety means something different to each brand,” he mentioned. “Sometimes a brand will choose not to appear near the word death, let’s say. So you block any instances where the Word death appears, even if it’s something positive that doesn’t harm the brand at all. Imagine a story about an airplane accident with zero deaths, that’s very good news, but you have blocked the word death and thus you have reduced your reach and increased the cost.”

 

What’s Next for Teads?

Where is the company going and how will it use this potential? “Last year, we decided to regroup a bit,” answered Tourtel. “We were diversifying too much, so we went back to our core: media and newspapers. “Facebook owns social. Google owns search. LinkedIn owns professional relations. We intend to own media and press.”

While Teads has relied on acquisitions in the past, it’s now focusing more on building a strong platform that places them closer to the bottom line. “We own all our inventory and all our data,” explained Tourtel. “This gives us enormous freedom and a great ability to adapt because we’re not depending on any other companies with other priorities that could slow us down.”

AI and Reach on Target

The buzzwords going around are AI and data. Analysts and researchers are preparing for how the future of the industry is resting on those two vast words. Therefore, Teads has a new deal in the works with Nielsen that will allow them to take their innovative offering a step further. “Right now, when you sell the segment of 18-42 year-old women, you’re charging for 30-50% of reach on target,” he explained. “Everybody strives for 100%, but that’s like the holy grail. But soon we’ll be able to charge only for those 18 to 42 year-old women Nielsen confirms we’ve impacted on.”

This product will solve most of the problems we’re facing in digital every day.

Just like the InRead format solved viewability issues, Teads’ will boost performance via look-alike modeling, machine learning and massive amounts of first-party data. “We noticed that CTRs of O.01% are normal in the market while our CTRs range from 1% to 3%. We said, ‘We should sell clicks!’ and we came up with this product that will solve most of the problems we’re facing in digital every day.”

 

See a Trend? Own It

The trends are clear: according to Eric Tourtel, clients want transparency, brand safety, and social responsibility. “Brands are pressuring social media to take responsibility for the content they show, to avoid fake news and hate speech,” he pointed out. “We already have these priorities under control. Now, data will help us offer a more precise product. You’ll no longer buy what you don’t need and you won’t lose anything.” This way, the company will offer a full-funnel view of users’ purchase journeys.

 

What: Portada talked with Acuity Ads Chief Strategy Officer Seraj Bharwani about how machine learning is expanding brands’ reach to specific cultural audiences.
Why it matters: Machine learning is paving the way to a new, more effective approach for reaching specific cultural audiences and will be a featured topic at Portada Los Angeles on March 15. But digital platforms, like Google and YouTube need to do more to protect brands from inappropriate content, Bharwani says.

Seraj Bharwani has his eye on decision sciences, specifically: machine learning and computer algorithms which he says give brands powerful new tools for penetrating deeper into multi-cultural market segments than ever before.

It used to be that speaking the language of a specific ethnic market segment was all advertisers could do to put their messages before those audiences. But new technology has changed the rules of the game, Bharwani tells Portada.

“Computer algorithms that can process vast amounts of user data to assess user preferences and propensities by aggregating their social, search, shopping and viewing behavior in real-time are now being used to create what we call live personas of in-culture audience.”

Portada: Why are traditional in-language targeting tools insufficient to reach cultural audiences today?

Seraj Bharwani: There appears general consensus among sociologists, anthropologists, agency planners, and the like that defining the US Hispanic population by language is simply too limiting. This audience lives a rich life defined by their unique core family values, cuisine, music, festivals, celebrations and other characteristics more indicative of their preferences.

Another unique aspect of this audience is their rapid, scaled adoption and prolific use of digital and social media. These online behavior signals in aggregate provide robust cultural cues that allow us to reach the other two-thirds (40 million) of the US Hispanic population that is bi-cultural and bilingual with more relevant advertising.

Acuity Ads Chief Strategy Officer Seraj Bharwani will be a featured speaker atPortada Los Angeles on March 15 when he will provide insights in how machine learning tools are expanding brand marketers’ ability to reach multi-cultural audiences.

Portada: What role do decisioning technologies, i.e. Machine learning or Artificial Intelligence play in updated efforts to target specific cultural market segments in the US?

S.B.: Computer algorithms these days can process vast amounts of user data to assess user preferences by aggregating their social, search, shopping and viewing behavior in real-time, and are now being used to create what we call live-personas of in-culture audience.

By incorporating what keywords people type, who they follow, which videos and content they watch, which mobile apps they download and check into, etc., the “learning” algorithms can predict (in real-time) if a given PERSONA is sensitive to the cultural context and will respond to specific ads, products, or brands with a culturally relevant message.

Computer algorithms that can process vast amounts of user data to assess user preferences and propensities by aggregating their social, search, shopping and viewing behavior in real-time are now being used to create what we call live personas of in-culture audience.

Portada: Have the sources of consumer data changed as marketers have begun to use machine learning tools to reach specific cultural targets?

S.B.: Publishers like Facebook, Google and Amazon possess substantial consumer data individually within their respective lanes – social, search or shopping data respectively that could provide selected “In-culture” cues. What advertisers need are in-culture personas aggregated from a full spectrum of consumer behaviors across social, search, viewing, and shopping behaviors. 

Portada: Several major brands recently pulled their advertising from YouTube after it was revealed that viewers were exchanging child pornography links in the video comment sections. How can marketers better protect their brands?

 S.B.: This is not the first time we have heard of the brand safety scandal on YouTube. Advertisers need to be clear about why they are buying advertising on YouTube/Google. If an advertiser wants great audience REACH, then the environment within which the ads run may not always be brand appropriate or brand safe. As sophisticated as Google happens to be with its pattern recognition algorithms, it is unrealistic to expect the platform to police every video and comment posted on the platform. And Google isn’t about to shut down the commenting altogether like the PBS News Hour as it would severely curtail the engagement potential of the YouTube platform.

 If on the other hand advertisers want fully brand-safe and brand-appropriate environment for their ads, their best bet would be to buy access to the YouTube audience through premium publishers like Disney, Vevo, Buzzfeed, and others who have captive channels on YouTube to ensure control over the quality of the media environment. There is a good chance that advertisers would sacrifice media efficiency (premium environments command higher prices) and REACH.

What: GroupM’s Susan Schiekofer and Undertone’s Michael Pallad will discuss inventory quality and brand safety during the Portada New York keynote interview.
Why it matters: Needless to say, inventory quality and brand safety are hot topics in the era of fake news and ad fraud.

Everyone has heard the phrase “Safety first” in more than one context. In marketing, the fragmentation of the digital ecosystem has increasingly demanded improved safety measures. Ad fraud and poor inventory quality compromise ad dollars and performance. Serious issues around this topic clearly demand that the industry comes up with serious solutions.

As Steve Wing, managing director UK & Nordics at Rubicon Project explains, poor ad placement is one of the fears pertaining to every brand: “no one wants to appear next to inappropriate content or fake news,” he writes. “In a programmatic world where advertising transactions occur in milliseconds, protecting brand safety requires vigilance across the media supply chain.” And just as he concludes, the only solution is to create our own online protection systems.

Getting An Expert’s Opinion Tends to Help

In the morning of September 25, Portada New York attendees will get the opportunity to listen to Susan Schiekofer, Chief Digital Investment Officer at GroupM. Her experience spans several decades, and now she is responsible for digital trading and implementation at one of the largest media agencies in the world, where her focus is purely on the brands.

She will share her knowledge about trading best practices and possible solutions to brand safety problems across all media formats in a keynote interview conducted by Michael Pallad, president of Undertone. Michael, who formerly filled the director of sales role at Apple Music, joined Undertone as the company’s chief revenue officer in 2015. The now president of the company said he joinedUndertone because its beliefs about what high-impact advertising means were aligned with his own. Today, he is responsible for all aspects of Undertone’s revenue efforts, including sales and service, operations and marketing.

Questions about inventory quality and brand safety will revolve around how digital advertising and policies need to change in the fake-news-proliferation era. Pallad and Schiekofer will discuss how to improve transparency and fight ad fraud. Trust us, you don’t want to miss it.

 

For an opportunity to be a part of their conversation and hear valuable insights that will help you tackle the future, click on the banner below and get tickets before prices go up on September 7.

What: Adsmovil, in conjunction with the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) LATAM, has published the e-book “Brand Safety and Mobile”.
Why it matters: The playbook provides a complete guide to verification, viewability, best practices, and case studies on brand management in the digital environment.

Advertisers could lose approximately US$ 6.5 billion in bot-driven advertising fraud in 2017, according to projections developed by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA). This is only one of the reasons why Brand Safety has been pegged as one of the top concerns for brand managers and company CMOs, thus making viewability crucial to ensuring greater transparency in the media audit process. In an effort to nurture discussion on this topic, Adsmovil, a company specialized in technology, data and advertising solutions for mobile devices, has published the e-book “Brand Safety and Mobile” in conjunction with the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) LATAM.

Advertisers could lose approximately US$ 6.5 billion in bot-driven advertising fraud in 2017.

The playbook can be downloaded for free and offers a complete guide on viewability metrics in the mobile environment, and how that measurement can guarantee a return on investment in digital media. In addition, it provides information on viewability and verification, best practices, case studies, and a glossary of terms related to brand safety and viewability.

The book also features  testimonias of executives who are pacesetters in the digital ecosystem, including: Maria Fernanda Paba, Media Leader for Foods Category, Unilever; Pedro Travesedo, VP, Latin America at Sizmek; Leo Scullin, VP, Industry Programs at MMA; Carlos Pitchu, CEO, Salve Tribal Worldwide; and Alberto Pardo, CEO and Founder of Adsmovil; among other experts.

For Pardo, despite the fact that many agencies and brands are very serious about brand safety and viewability, there is still the challenge of ensuring that the entire digital ecosystem understands the importance of these issues. “Adsmovil was the first company in the region to seriously incorporate brand safety and viewability. We decided to implement a strategic plan 18 months ago to combat advertising fraud, and to that end, we signed alliances with technology platforms such as Moat and Sizmek. The goal was very clear: to help our advertisers perform in safe environments,” said the Adsmovil CEO.

According to Maria Fernanda Paba, Media Leader for Unilever’s Foods Category in Brazil, viewability is one of the two most relevant topics in digital marketing, both globally and in the different markets in which the company operates. “A few years ago, we understood that paying attention to viewability meant taking care of our investments, and paying for what consumers actually see, in a clear and transparent way,” she noted.

For Paba, the biggest challenges in Latin America are the difficulty with transparency and open data, the monitoring of these metrics in mobile, and working with certified partners to ensure getting the necessary measurements in a more fluid and integrated way from within the companies and the advertising market. “Tracking, tracking, tracking: this is the best practice. We cannot leave this issue exclusively in the hands of agencies. Verification means investment and efficiency, and is essential for digital to grow within advertising,” she added.

Despite the fact that many agencies and brands are very serious about brand safety and viewability, there is still the challenge of ensuring that the entire digital ecosystem understands the importance of these issues.

The e-book has a chapter dedicated to best practices, which addresses different cases of brand management success in the digital environment, in industries such as mass consumption, food and tourism, among other sectors.

Among some of the playbook’s highlights:

  • Discussions about viewability began approximately four years ago, with large advertisers questioning the true impact of impressions on real consumers.
  • Viewability and efficiency are two different concepts. The first constitutes a metric that allows validating the exposure to an impression.
  • Only 18% of video impressions met GroupM standards in 2014; by the middle of last year, the percentage had risen to 55%.
  • comScore studies show that the global viewability rate is close to 50%, with small variations depending on the market.
  • Verification and standards compliance are gaining more importance now in emerging regions. In terms of viewability, ads that are not seen by people and do not meet operational standards are being combated.
  • Sophisticated invalid traffic represented 86% of total invalid traffic detected in the 4th quarter of 2016.

 

A summary of the most exciting recent research in brand marketing in the U.S., U.S.-Hispanic and Latin American markets. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

US/US-HISPANIC MARKET

According to a study from Advertiser Perceptions, 78 percent of marketers said that a recent digital or mobile campaign included ads that ran on more than 50 sites.

According to Interbrand‘s new2017 Best Global Brands Report, Apple, Google, and Microsoft are the top brands in the world.

According to a study by 9Honey and Dentsu Aegis Network’s Amplifi, single women gave brands a score of 6/10 when it comes to understanding their needs.

A new report from the CMO Council and Dow Jones reveals that 78 percent of marketers say that the brand safety scandal has hurt their brand’s reputation, and 50 percent that it has impacted brand affinity.

A study by CBD Marketing of more than 12.5 million social media posts and online commentary by millennials over 2016 revealed that millennials prefer healthy and natural foods, to cook and prepare meals, and are in favor of alternative food distribution vehicles like meal delivery and meal services.

Adidas and Jordan brand are the most popular sneakers in the U.S., according to market research firm NPD Group.

According to research from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs, 80 percent of B2B content marketers agree their organization is focused on building audiences for their brand.

According to YouGov BrandIndex’s July release of favorite brands, Facebook and Netflix top the list of favorite brands for the past 12 months, with Facebook receiving a score of 83.5 percent and Netflix receiving 75.8 percent.

LATAM MARKET:

According to a new study from market research firm Euromonitor, mass beauty brands grew by 4.4 percent in 2016 in Brazil whereas luxury products rose 9.1 percent.

McCann Worldgroup was named Network of the Year at the 2ndedition of the Latin American Effie Awards during an awards ceremony at the Cartagena Inspira Festival in Colombia. The agency was the most-awarded network at the Latin American Effie Awards, after winning 21 metals.

J Walter Thompson‘s ‘Brand America’ report revealed that more than 40% of Mexicans have negative attitudes toward the United States.

Oath, the umbrella brand for all of AOL and Yahoo’s media and tech properties, is launching its first South American ad campaign, “#BuildYourBrand,” in Brazil, (as well as the United States, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Taiwan, Singapore & Hong Kong). The campaign includes broadcast, digital, print, social and out-of-home components