Participants in the INMA World Congress of News Media Study Tour traveled across New York Tuesday to hear about digital advertising strategies from Optimera, Quartile, and SpokenLayer.

Advertising-optimisation company Optimera was incubated at the New York Daily News as a response to the challenge to find viewable advertising inventory, said Grant Whitmore, chief digital operations officer at Tribune Publishing. After searching for companies that could offer a solution to this challenge, Whitmore said it was clear there was a need for a better system. With Optimera, the company can see more revenue and spend less time optimising campaigns.

Grant Whitmore told participants that Optimera helps publishers create a better bottom line when it comes to ad revenue.
Grant Whitmore told participants that Optimera helps publishers create a better bottom line when it comes to ad revenue.

“What Optimera allowed us to do was to target the inventory that was viable at that moment at the URL level,” Whitmore said.

Keith Candiotti, chief executive officer and founder of Optimera, said a lot of companies have smart people on staff that could benefit the organisation in meaningful ways: “I’m a product of when an organisation supports innovation from within.”

Candiotti was an ad tech manager who recognised the regular loss of significant potential revenue when potential clients requested viewability metrics and he could not meet these needs. Advertisers wanted his team to ensure ads they ran were seen.

Candiotti knew companies that could do this, but the information they delivered would be outdated and would need to be manually interpreted.

“The chain between the marketer, publisher, and person coming to the site was expanded far too much,” Candiotti said.

Optimera looks at each Web page, each article, and each ad placement individually to understand viewability, and aims to ask publishers what works best for them.

Viewability is actually the metric that can change things across a publisher’s entire business, Candiotti said. If a user cannot see it, they cannot click and they cannot buy: “Viewability is actually the mother of all metrics.”

When it comes to audio, the growing prevalence of smart audio devices makes thoughtful ad placement crucial to encouraging listening habits without annoying the listener.

“Everyone sees this as the next platform that they need to be on and need to own,” said Jeremy Mims, head of strategy at SpokenLayer.

Study Tour participants heard about current and future potential in audio news monetisation at SpokenLayer.
Study Tour participants heard about current and future potential in audio news monetisation at SpokenLayer.

With nearly 118 million smart speaker devices across the United States, Mims said there is an opportunity to help audiences develop new morning and afternoon news habits. Creating an ecosystem that pays content creators is also crucial, he added. Advertisements are the obvious solution now, but in the future smart speakers could invite listeners to subscribe or donate.

Ad placements are already a serious consideration for brands on every platform. For Quartile, AI helps best place programmatic ads on e-commerce platforms like Amazon to maximise campaigns through keywords to increase sales.

Companies like Quartile and Marketplace Pulse collect and monitor data on e-commerce Web site.
Companies like Quartile and Marketplace Pulse collect and monitor data on e-commerce Web site.

Daniel Knijnik, chief executive officer and founder of Quartile, said it is not about using as many keywords as possible because Amazon will always prioritise products that need fewer clicks to make a sale.

Surprising factors impact the likelihood of making a sale, such as days of the week. On Mondays, items that appear at the top of a search are likely to convert with fewer clicks. On Sundays, leisurely shoppers take their time to compare products and peruse a selection, Knijnik said.

“The advantage of appearing on the top of a search is not the same for each product.”