Archive for Jeff Hirsch

It’s the Community That Counts

Posted by Jeff Hirsch on January 29th, 2013 at 9:58 am

While in NYC last week, I attended a digital conference at which there was tremendous buzz about Facebook—it’s rampant growth, the value of the Facebook ad exchange, and about their mobile and attribution products.  No one can argue the transformation that has occurred globally, in terms of both a cultural shift and an enormous user base.
I also spent some time with my two daughters and their friends while in town. One daughter is 24, a young professional living in Manhattan. The other is 19, a sophomore at NYU.  They each have extensive groups of friends, both in their immediate vicinity and around the country.  What is their take on Facebook? Meh. Especially since their parents and grandparents are on it.
The juxtaposition of these two groups—media professionals vs. young adults—as it pertains to Facebook led me to look deeper at organic trends.  Facebook started as a private means by which groups of people could communicate.  This originated with school groups, then expanded to like-age groups, and now covers almost any group that can be imagined.  The uniqueness and closed-community notion have disappeared.
My kids and their friends are moving quickly to other platforms.  Instagram is a prevalent instrument (with no thought to... Read more

Transactional vs. Relational

Posted by Jeff Hirsch on August 9th, 2012 at 9:23 am

Can we talk?  I mean, really talk?  We spend so much time in this industry talking about ad technology, point solutions, programmatic this and that—we have forgotten that business gets done via relationships.  Technology may enable the fulfillment of a plan, but people actually communicate to make the plan.
We recently engaged in a meaningful in-person dialogue with a financial services company, specifically working in the mortgage industry.  Having worked with advertisers in the financial sector before, the comparison of this new relationship against those previous experiences compelled me to write this piece.
In the past, as a “vendor,” I received very limited information from the client and, as such, was unable to truly illuminate the value our technology and services could provide.  We were pitted against other companies and were not given the means to truly succeed.  The notion was that we had to prove ourselves before moving to the next level.  Then walls were intentionally erected to make sure that couldn’t happen.  It doesn’t make any sense.
In this recent case, we are working as partners.  Through the development of a deep relationship with the client, we are able to glean information that will truly make a difference.  We are uniquely... Read more

No More Boohoo for Yahoo?

Posted by Jeff Hirsch on June 19th, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Appointing Michael Barrett as Yahoo’s head of revenue has been touted as a great move by the beleaguered company. While it absolutely is, why is this so important?
First off, interim CEO Ross Levinsohn is in the process of rolling out a strategy that allows the company to take advantage of its position as one of the most important media properties in the world.  Regardless of its stumbles in terms of position, revenue, and executive management, consumers have never stopped flocking to the site.
A smart publisher with this kind of clout can truly leverage opportunities in the marketplace.  First, they have a chance to truly claim the position as the premier guaranteed inventory property on the web.  With an effective sales force, Yahoo can leverage sponsorships, large formats, creative executions, video, etc. at premium CPMs like no other.  The quality AND the scale are there.
Second, they can take advantage of the “programmatic” opportunities in the marketplace.  With a knowledgeable approach, and the right leadership to make fuel the company, they can create private marketplaces for their best clients. Yahoo can leverage secondary demand from qualified sources and they can maximize revenue efficiency across the board.
Yahoo now has sales leadership to monetize... Read more

Will Social Media Replace All Digital Advertising?

Posted by Jeff Hirsch on May 15th, 2012 at 10:07 am

There is a lot of talk out there about how Facebook and other social media advertising outlets will make all other forms of digital advertising moot. There is no doubt that there is a lot of value in social media. The ability to create a conversation with your constituents is something that cannot be found at scale anywhere else. It is a marketing channel that has spawned an entire industry, and rightfully so.
That said, the demise of all other digital-based advertising at the emergence of this social channel is poppycock. I have often noticed that the digital experts in our space lack a historical view of advertising. The digital VC community—which has zero media and advertising expertise, but that invests heavily in digital companies—exacerbates this.
Dynamic new media and emerging communication channels often see meteoric growth. A leveling off always follows growth, as the channel finds its rightful place within the media mix of any advertisers’ plans. All you have to do is look back at the emergence of search marketing and you can see the parallel. It was not so long ago that it was proclaimed that display, at the hands of search, was dead. That proclamation was nullified, of... Read more

The Ever-Changing Landscape of Ads

Posted by Jeff Hirsch on March 13th, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Continuing the conversation around optimization and the need for combining both art and science, today’s blog focuses on the effects of content (environment) on your campaign’s results.
Instead of discussing well-worn topics, such as the value of contextual placements and contextual targeting, I’d like to touch briefly on another effect of content dynamics.  You see, the content of a website changes.  It changes all the time.
Dynamic content implies that the environment in which your ad displays is constantly shifting. In turn, that means that the level of distraction around your ad is constantly in flux. Does this detract from the delivery of your message? What about a poorly written article? What is the affect on your advertising of a highly engaging writer?  Does this lead the consumer to be more likely wooed by your message?
I am not touting the presence of unique technology to solve for this problem. I am speaking to the fact that algorithmic optimization, “silicon”-based optimization, so to speak, is a far-off notion. There are just too many variables. Once you think you have the answer, something in the environment changes, and all your calculations for content go awry.
Making a display campaign work in today’s environment is still... Read more