Archive for Hooman Radfar

Snapchat – The Next Big Native Advertising Platform?

Posted by Hooman Radfar on September 26th, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Image Courtesy: Business Insider
Snapchat's all the rage.  Since raising a hefty $60M round from IVP valuing the company at a whopping $800M, the industry has been buzzing.   Is this the next Facebook, or MySpace?    Now that they're inches from joining the coveted $1B start-up club,  one of the big questions that remain is 'how will they make money?'   Twitter's Adam Bain has done a great job creating a native advertising program that has balanced advertiser goals with user experience.  Can Snapchat follow suit?
CEO Evan Spiegel recently discussed the chat app's plans to integrate monetization opportunities.  Initially it seems that they're prioritizing in-app purchases.  Other messaging applications such as IMVU, Tencent and Path have had success with these strategies - offering stickers and other messaging-enhancing virtual products, etc. This would not only be great for designers trying to make a buck, but could also present an interesting opt-in opportunity for big brands like Coke, Nike and more.   That got me thinking ... what other native opportunities are there that are endemic and authentic to the platform?
For those of you that use Snapchat, you know that - no matter what - you will open a message.  It's just... Read more

13 Ad Predictions for 2013

Posted by Hooman Radfar on December 28th, 2012 at 9:25 am

1. Cross-channel is the new Gangnam Style
Cross-channel is every marketers dream. Now we’re almost there. From mobile ad networks to RTB technology in display, the building blocks are there for companies to roll up and deliver truly great cross-platform (mobile, display, search, social, etc) marketing solutions. Mobile players will get into video, display players will buy mobile, IP video targeting tech will be used on TV and so on. The proverbial last-mile is TV. That final battle will set the stage for the war to win cross-channel advertising.
2. AdTech Rings the Bell
2013 will ring in with another big AdTech company going public - most likely Turn. The outcome of this IPO will influence the strategies of other leaders in display - companies like MediaMath, MediaOcean and Collective - on the follow-up. The battle for the ‘not-Google’ slot will heat up as traditional video and radio spend shifts online - fast.
3. Big Bucks for AdTech Leaders
RocketFuel started the wave of big funding at big valuations in the late stage AdTech market this year. While some prepare for the big show, others will be amassing war chests for the battle ahead. AppNexus will likely lead the pack on this front as they... Read more

3 Things Advertisers Should Dislike About ‘Likes’

Posted by Hooman Radfar on March 8th, 2011 at 6:00 am

Image courtesy:
Facebook Likes are all the rage.   From getting consumers to ‘like’ a brand to establish a regular communication channel to using ‘likes’ for targeting, the ad world has officially liked ‘likes.’
Although ‘likes’ are a powerful mechanism for connecting your brand to consumers using Facebook, they’re not the targeting panacea many would make them out to be.  The main problem with the ‘like’ system is that consumer interests are based on a user’s declared interest, versus inferred interests derived from their actual behavior.
There are three problems with using declared interests as a proxy for interest-based advertising: interests change over time, interests are not black and white, and finally our interests are not necessarily what we tell our friends.
1. Interests change over time. Just because I liked Jim Carrey in High School, it doesn’t mean that I want to see his movies as an adult (sorry Jim).  Moreover, the song I liked four months ago would drive me bonkers if I heard it on the radio today.  When we ‘like’ something on Facebook it is permanently stored in our profile.   Thus, when targeting based on a ‘like’ you may be hitting an audience that has already moved on.
2. Interests aren’t... Read more

11 Ad Predictions for 2011

Posted by Hooman Radfar on December 27th, 2010 at 7:00 am

1. Data is the New Black

2010 was the year of real-time bidding.  As spend shifted from networks to real-time bidding platforms, agencies and advertisers explored the use of data to improve audience-buying.  In 2011, this interest will give way to large scale investment.   This increased investment will fuel the shift to Data 2.0 predicted by Gil Beyda along with continued infrastructure innovation in the growing data management space.
2. Math Men vs. Mad Men Round II - Creative Goes Geek

Just as they’re quickly changing the face of media buying with their data-driven approach, the Math Men will also begin to rock the creative world.  Not only will agencies and advertisers leverage data to deliver more effective dynamic display programs, but they will also use data and analytics to drive the design, execution, and iterative design of creative across their web and mobile applications.
3. Trading Desks Take Flight

In 2010, holding company trading desks like MIG, Vivaki, Cadreon, and Accuen partnered with DSPs, Data Providers, Exchanges, and other vendors to create the capability to execute massive campaigns using real-time bidding platforms.  In 2011, this investment will pay off.  Budgets managed by trading desks will increase by 2-3X, as their total spend managed skyrockets... Read more