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The Future of Ad Tech with JD Prater

I enjoy thinking about the future of Ad Tech… but it’s more fun as a group sport.

I was fortunate that AdStage’s JD Prater agreed to join me on a journey into the future. As head of Growth Marketing for AdStage he keeps focused on every trend and every bit of breaking PPC news…

We talked about:

  1. Digital Billboard ads that might target just a single person,
  2. Why limited inventory insures it’s in Facebook’s interest be a great “match maker” for advertisers and users
  3. How interactive voice based ads might work “Hey Google…,”
  4. Speculate about Amazon’s future, how well they play with other ad networks (and their billion dollar net income from advertising),
  5. What it means if we all literally owned all the data that was captured (and enhanced) while tracking us,
  6. My notion that the future of ad tech is more reward ads,
  7. How Facebook Analytics allows attribution of Reactions (like, love, etc.) right into eCom sales funnels
  8. How the lose of Net Neutrality might drive update of lightweight HTML like AMP & Facebook Instant Articles
  9. and much much more!
JD Prater, Head of Growth Marketing at AdStage.

If you don’t know JD, you probably should — even if you are not someone who is buying ads online —

“JD Prater is the Head of Customer Acquisition and Growth Marketing at AdStage. He’s a performance marketer and digital media strategist with a passion for organizing data into actionable stories. His expertise is in crafting marketing strategies and campaigns that drive acquisition, retention, and engagement across the customer lifecycle.

– 2017 Top 25 Most Influential PPC Experts
– 2016 Landy Awards Finalist for Best Mobile Search Marketing Initiative — SEM
– 2016 Hero Conf – Most Innovative Session

– Hero Conf London 2017
– eMetrics Chicago 2017
– Hero Conf 2016 London
– Salt Lake City Digital Marketing Conference
– Hero Conf 2016 Philly
– Adworld Experience (Italy)
– PPC Hero Live Summit”


JD Prater (Twitter)

Personal (Paul Dehaye‘s company)

Is Advertising Dead? Wired 1994

The PPC Show (podcast)

AdStage’s Blog






Harry Hawk:

Hello, this is Harry Hawk, and this is Talking About Everything, and today we’re talking about the future of Ad Tech with JD Prater. JD, welcome to the show.


(00:00:39.7) JD Prater:

Hey, thanks, Harry, for having me on.


(00:00:41.1) Harry Hawk:

We’re talking about Ad Tech. You’re with AdStage. What makes you sort of interested in the future of Ad Tech?


(00:00:50.2) JD Prater:

I’ll give you two-folds. For me, I’ve been in marketing now for quite a while. I’ve had a really fun time with a lot of the advertising side of marketing, more specifically. I don’t know. It’s one of those things where you can immediately get some kind of immediate result, so I launch something and I get a result, and that becomes really addictive, and that’s something that I really like about advertising, whenever you’re putting out different messages or different ads or you’re testing…that, for me, is kind of my personality as a kind of a performance type of marketer, and for AdStage, AdStage is really trying to help people like me, and that’s really trying to connect marketers to the data that they need to understand performance, to understand insights, and really draw them out in order to take action that they need.



We’ve got a reporting solution, we’ve got an automation solution, and then we also have our API solution, if you just want it shipped into your own database.


(00:01:45.3) Harry Hawk:

It really gets to something we were sharing in email about, you know, my own vision for the future of AdTech, at the time, in the ’90s, thinking more about TV, but this sort of master station where a marketer, a buyer, or a planner, somebody can just sort of be there and start spinning up ads and seeing results and checking marketing databases, and that seems like a lot of what you just described.


(00:02:11.5) JD Prater:

It seems like you had the vision a while ago, but I mean I think we’re slowly able to kind of piece all that together. I think that was one of the things, you know, as a younger company, at just over 5 and 1/2 years old, it took us a little bit to kind of figure out where the market was going, where it was headed to get the engineering resource that you need to build out this product. Now, I feel really good about where we’re headed, going into 2018.


(00:02:36.1) Harry Hawk:

Is there a weather report, so to speak, like Moz is famous for their SEO weather report, and actually they just did a…released a survey where you showed, you know, from Q1 to Q3, I think there’s about a 43 or 45 percent increase in CPM class, because I think that’s some real critical information.


(00:02:58.2) JD Prater:

You aren’t the only one. So, literally, we just had a hack-a-thon, and this is within AdStage internal teams, and 2 of the 6 teams actually tackled that exact same pain point that you just said. What they were…kind of the gist of it was how do we take this, these benchmark datas, these trends, and put them into maybe like a reporting tool and actually show you how you are performing next to advertisers similar to you, so you can kind of get the trends of where that data’s going. So, yeah, that’s kind of the weather report, if you will. I actually really like that idea of visualizing it that way. Who knows, maybe in the future there will be an advertiser weather report very similar to what Moz is doing.


(00:03:40.3) Harry Hawk:

I love talking about the future and I really want to dive into it. I hate talking about the specific future. I love talking about multiple futures, a technique called scenario planning. Are you familiar with that at all?


(00:03:53.2) JD Prater:
Not specifically. Go ahead and give me a primer.


(00:03:55.9) Harry Hawk:

Sort of like the multi-worlds theory in physics, where there’s multiple futures and there’s a few set things that have to be the same in all of them. So, if you’re watching Marvel or DC Comics, you know, it’s some of the characters, as you go from world to world, somehow look the same, but in our world it’s real certain things like the sun’s going to rise, uncertain, you may not see it. Each scenario plays off…it’s not just good and bad, but just different flavors. Each scenario has to have those same foundational elements.



Perhaps there’s going to be advertising, but one future might say, you know, there’s going to be less advertising, and some other future might say there’s going to be a ton more and so forth, and not that I have a set plan for us today…I want to think about the alternatives of…talk about the alternatives of 5, 10, 15 years in the future. We can go as far out as we want, because I took a look at your bio. You’ve bought ads, you’re a marketer, and so you understand, clearly, what’s at stake. I think…the thing I guess I want to talk about the most, isn’t this all just going away and AIs just, you know, lose our buying to an AI?


(00:05:11.0) JD Prater:

I don’t think that is too far off. So, essentially, that can still be 5 years away, but 10, 15, definitely possibilities. I mean let’s just break down even the last year, looking at Facebook specifically, and I want to use them as an example. So, they just kind of released this campaign optimization for your budget, to where you give the budget to a campaign, let’s say a hundred bucks. It doesn’t matter what ad sets you put underneath it. It’s going to prioritize that spend of all the ad sets underneath it to get you the best performance.



So, that’s almost optimizing your budget for you. You don’t have to worry about that, which also means you probably have your auto bid on, so you’re giving Facebook the power to then pick your bid. They also launched this ad creation and testing to where you can give it the inputs, which I really think is the key with us moving forward with AI is controlling the inputs, let them control the outputs. They can create 62 hundred ads for you in the snap of a finger, understand the testing, and they also own your audiences, pretty much, with these like lookalike audiences.


(00:06:11.5) Harry Hawk:



(00:06:11.5) JD Prater:

So, they own the budget, the bid, the creation, and the audience. The only thing you’re really giving it is the inputs of what you’re trying to do.


(00:06:20.1) Harry Hawk:

That creative planning tool, is that just in beta now, or is it…?


(00:06:24.1) JD Prater:
So, the ad creation aspect, it’s available on certain objectives. So it’s out, and what you’ll end up doing is giving it like 5 headlines, 5 descriptions, 5 like textboxes, and then I think 10 different images or 10 different videos.


(00:06:37.9) Harry Hawk:



(00:06:38.8) JD Prater:

So, I think those numbers equal 30, and then all the permutations that they can create equals like 62 hundred, and so you’ll see that rolling out.


(00:06:46.6) Harry Hawk:
Do you know what objectives?


(00:06:48.5) JD Prater:

I believe like trafficking conversion, for sure, on those two, but you know if you’re like maybe like boosting a post or trying to get engagement, it’s probably not going to be there yet.


(00:06:58.5) Harry Hawk:

Yeah, and they’re already, you know, for a long time, looking at lift and awareness, it’s pretty amazing, and then they’re being a lot more transparent. Before, there was always this sense the algorithm is learning, but now in the UI they’re popping that up and saying learning.


(00:07:15.0) JD Prater:



(00:07:15.5) Harry Hawk:

Which, you know, that signal to the human, relax, you know, it’s not going to get done in a minute, give us a few days…


(00:07:23.0) JD Prater:

I think, you know, whenever I look at some of the things that they’re doing, and obviously they’ve already got the big advertisers, like let’s be honest, I think what they’re really trying to get is some of the more SMB style of advertisers, you know, your mom and pop shops, maybe your local plumber, that kind of thing, to really have that ability to go in and create a campaign that’s very simple, very easy, and it’s hands-off, and they’re going to continue to get more of that ad spend.



I think I saw…they only have like 8 percent of all businesses’ advertising. So, they still have like 92 percent of businesses to reach, and you think about how much money they’re raking in right now. It’s, wow, you guys are…still have so much potential.


(00:08:05.2) Harry Hawk:

Then this brings up a really interesting point. You hear that percentage. I think about conflict at auction and even, like in the stock market, what they call front running, where somebody is getting in front of you, knowing what you’re going to buy, buy it up, and obviously we know from multi-networks, there’s all kinds of tricks going on there, but even within Facebook, I think what they can do with the AI and figuring out the lookalike is really also trying to prevent a certain amount of overlap at the auction, which will essentially give them more inventory.



In other words, this is my future scenario that in the future there’s going to be less ads. The idea is simply that if you can get people the right ad, at the right time, perhaps a reward ad, even in the ’90s, there was over a thousand dollars per year, per home, spent on advertising. Today, it’s got to be a much larger number. You don’t have to show as many ads or also on the ad side that they can show a little less inventory. Certainly Facebook’s been leaning towards it, and all the people who complain about reach on Facebook, besides the fact that they’re bad marketers, in my opinion, it’s only going to get worse for them.


(00:09:17.5) Harry Hawk:

Yeah, I would agree with that, and I think that’s what we saw, even in 2017, within our report. We looked at Facebook specifically and we saw like 170 percent increase in CPMs. That’s huge. You know whenever you’re thinking about…January, that was just January to September. That’s nine months and you’re seeing that kind of increase. You’re either going to drive people out of the auction because of basically max ad capacity on Facebook’s networks and properties, or Facebook’s going to have to figure out a way to place ads in different locations.



They’re going to like sneak them in, in different places, so that’s what I think for 2018, they’re going to see ads in groups, you’re going to see ads in WhatsApp, you know, different places and ways. I think I saw, this week, they were…they just backtracked. They’re now going to do pre-roll ads, which they were like so against with pre-roll ads. They were doing in-stream ads, and now they’re like, well, actually, okay, we’ll do pre-roll.


(00:10:11.8) Harry Hawk:

Interesting. They’re doing ads in Messenger and all of that, and I think that’s part of finding space for it.


(00:10:15.6) JD Prater:

Messenger, yeah.


(00:10:17.5) Harry Hawk:

And I just heard my first ad on a Google Home.


(00:10:20.6) JD Prater:

Oh wow. That’s cool.



Harry Hawk:
Which I’m pretty sure…it seemed like it was inserted very different audio level and very different tone than the newscast that I was part of, but I think this conflict, I mean, it’s just been a long time building. In 2012, 2013, I bought a single zip code in Brooklyn, about 70 thousand people. I bought as much of it as I could for a year, and I was getting between 15 cents and 25 cents per thousand.


(00:10:51.2) JD Prater:



(00:10:51.8) Harry Hawk:

There’s a theory, in a sense, that if you’re not flighting your ads, if you’re a large buyer like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, or a small buyer like the neighborhood bakery or dry cleaner, you can be in the market all the time. There’s no urgency. What matters is just when no one else is going to buy, you can buy and get that, you know, my own analysis is it’s 60 times more expensive, and so that campaign that we did for 5 to 10 thousand, 5 thousand local and then 5 thousand outside the zip code, today would be hundreds of thousands of dollars. You don’t need…you know that was just hammering people, where today we’re a lot smarter. When they run out of inventory…on the other hand, and let’s think about this, I didn’t think they’d get much past 1.2 billion monthly active users, and they’re now up to 2 billion.


(00:11:44.9) JD Prater:

Yeah, they’ve…I think they’ve got some really good data scientists there. They know how to build a product that gets you coming back, and I think one of the things they keep doing is they keep adding on services, they keep adding on different things, right, so being able to call an Uber or order food, right, from Facebook. Like, that, to me, was unthinkable, but now it’s easy, right? You’re in a big city. You’re like, well, I’m already on Facebook, I’m using it for over an hour a day, okay, cool. So, I’m actually interested to see what they’re going to be adding next to basically hold my time on this app and to keep me coming back, and they’re really good at making it very addictive.


(00:12:24.6) Harry Hawk:
Right, and just getting more data for their data.


(00:12:28.0) JD Prater:



(00:12:28.4) Harry Hawk:
Sentiment analysis, I think, is something that’s critical to the future of any kind of digital marketing, Michael Jackson Bad, you know, is Bad, Bad, or Bad, good, and hey, shut up, and you know that’s friendly or not friendly, and I interviewed a guy named Paul Dehaye. He’s a researcher in Switzerland, big privacy expert. He’s one of the guys who blew open the Cambridge Analytica story, and it’s very clear from different accounts you run unique, polarizing ads, so just think three different accounts, you know whatever your political view is, three very polarizing, polarized views of that, and you start running memes and stuff, and people, you have that page engagement, and so people engage with one page and not the other and maybe the third, but obviously there’s nine permutations.



You know the Russians and other folks were running multiple, multiple accounts, and if you have access to these, right, you can do an ad, you know, custom audience that says people who like this page, engage with this page, but not this one and this one, and then engage with this one, and so could like triangulate and really start to hone in on massive cohorts, but what about…I think a lot of hacks and a lot of potential illegality of who owns a page and having to create and maintain all those pages, maybe not so hard, and having to be polarized, and I don’t think that marketers necessarily need to be polarized.



One thing that I’ve always wanted to do in the last year was put out meme-like ads and be able to…now, I can get the engagement on that from Facebook, people engaged with my ads or posts and in Facebook analytics, I can filter through the funnel tool, likes and loves versus sad and anger, but I can’t buy those reactions. I’d like to make a custom audience list based on engagement, but then include a reaction or two.


(00:14:27.7) JD Prater:

Yeah. I’d love to see that one as well. That’s been…I think that’s one that’s on my list for them to create, because Pinterest ads, you can do that. So, Pinterest has the ability for you to build custom audiences based off of someone viewing an ad or taking an action on a specific ad, right?


(00:14:48.7) Harry Hawk:


(00:14:48.7)  JD Prater:

And so I can sequence ads to you much better now, so, yeah, I’m completely onboard for that, and I think another thing, so, this is only a six-month future in Ad Tech, but it looks like in the US, probably about summertime, there will be a section on your Facebook page, and people can go in and see what ads you are currently running. So, again, no funnels, it’s just all ads, and it’s probably going to look really weird to someone if they’re not familiar with you, because that messaging doesn’t make sense a lot of times. Like, it’s like, no, I created this ad for you, you know, because you’re in this, this purchase phase or you’re here in the funnel or I’m trying to attract you, and so I think that’ll be really interesting to see.


(00:15:30.8) Harry Hawk:

The good news is no one looks at Facebook pages.


(00:15:33.7) JD Prater:

That’s also true. That’s right. I know. I think that’s another thing for Facebook. It has to figure out…it really is an echo chamber, and I would really love for them to kind of figure out how do you get stuff that you may not necessarily agree with? And I get it from the engagement aspect. When I open my phone, I know exactly what I’m going to see, and it’s stuff that I really like, but it’s also I need to see stuff that I’m not necessarily going to like. You know maybe it’s a friend from high school that we have different political views, and you know he’s posting something, and that’s okay, you know? Like, but being exposed to that at least gets me a different worldview.


(00:16:11.1) Harry Hawk:
To go into Ad Tech past, the idea of filtering, right, any kind of mailing list in the ’90s, early aughts, if you’re on a mailing list, right, they turn into firehoses, and then people leave the list. In fact, I think Facebook figured it out very early that if they showed everything to everybody, they’d love it for a half a second and split, and I learned on a high-volume mailing list, engineers and really high-tech, intelligent people, that they’d rather leave the list and not see any messages than miss a few, right? They didn’t want to be out of the loop, and I think Facebook today, it’s far from whatever Edgerank was. I think they’re doing some very smart things. So, you know, if there’s a disaster somewhere, right, all of a sudden they open up your friends, the people who might be there, and at New Year’s, right, people that you’re kind of tangentially acquainted with, all of a sudden you’re seeing their New Year’s greetings. Can you think of any, you know, if we were advising Facebook, how to bring about that discovery? That’s a really billion dollar question, right, of how to try to get discovery?


(00:17:15.8) JD Prater:
Yeah, I think that’s a really tough one, and I think it’s something that they’re definitely playing around with. I don’t know if you saw, but they…this is probably about a couple of weeks ago, a couple weeks right before Thanksgiving, where they came out with this…it was a whole different feed, and this feed was only from brands that you have not interacted with, and it was a bunch of videos. So, of course it’s going to be interactive, of course it’s going to be fun, and it was really curated for you. So, myself and a coworker, we looked at our own Facebook…like I think it would be called like discovery feed or something like that.



So, it was even something similar to what we’re talking about, and you know I got a bunch of like cycling and sports videos, and they were actually very entertaining, and they actually did a really good job. They know exactly what I want to see and curate for me, and it was great because it also gave brands that I wouldn’t’ve known and been exposed to an opportunity to show me stuff, and so I think that was a really good one and something brands should probably keep on their radar. I don’t know if it’s going to fully roll out, of course, with Facebook, but it was out as of a couple weeks ago. It was kind of buried and hidden, but…


(00:18:21.1) Harry Hawk:
Interesting, I mean I think Marc Maron coined the term sheeple, right, but we know from just any kind of engagement that people mostly want to consume. You can be on a mailing list or a group. Most people are lurking. They’re not going to engage.


(00:18:37.4) JD Prater:



(00:18:38.8) Harry Hawk:

And so it’s a wonderful myth that we should all be content creators and so forth, but you know not everybody really wants to do that or can do that broadly.


(00:18:48.0) JD Prater:
It’s true.


(00:18:49.1) Harry Hawk:

Do you work at all with marketing automation?


(00:18:51.9) JD Prater:

Yeah, I do. We use Pardot for our marketing automation, here at AdStage.


(00:18:56.9) Harry Hawk:
So, part of the Marketo and that family? Am I right?


(00:19:01.2) JD Prater:

Competitive to Marketo.


(00:19:02.2) Harry Hawk:
That’s…it’s Microsoft?




Harry Hawk:

I thought Salesforce owned Marketo. Let me check. Okay, Google, who owns Marketo?


(00:19:10.9) Google Home:

‘On the website, they say the announcement, made by Chief Executive Phil Fernandez, marks a return to private ownership for Marketo after being publicly traded since 2013.”


(00:19:23.6) Harry Hawk:



(00:19:24.1) JD Prater:

Wow. No, that was really cool though. That was a really cool use of Google Home.


(00:19:30.8) Harry Hawk:

Yeah. In fact, that was one of the topics I wanted to get to.


(00:19:32.6) JD Prater:



(00:19:33.0) Harry Hawk:

In the early days of search, one of the reasons you wanted to put a search button field, whatever, on your website, was to learn what terms your customer was searching for. If you’d never done search before that would be a very quick way of getting some insight and refine that, and I think one of the reasons that companies need to move to voice and to prepare their content for voice is if you create, you know, the tool, either for Alexa or for Google or any of the others, I guess Bixby, building your own little app on voice, you’re going to learn something about how people think about your product, because you’re going to get all the kind of…the null responses, and I think that could help inform. How do you think Ad Tech works in the vocal internet?


(00:20:23.6) JD Prater:

Oh man. I mean we…I can give you, I mean, a few things. So, there’s a few on the wish list, but I think there’s a few things that you were kind of saying that I think we definitely need to address, right? So, I think Microsoft has come out, and you know they’re like, look, what is it, like 20 percent of all searches now are pretty much voice?


(00:20:42.7) Harry Hawk:



(00:20:42.2) JD Prater:

And I think Google backs it up well with like Android.


(00:20:45.8) Harry Hawk:


(00:20:31.9) JD Prater:

So, it’s already happening, like 1 in 5, right, are, like of all searches, are made like talking to a home device or our phones.


(00:20:54.4) Harry Hawk:


(00:20:55.4) JD Prater:

And so that, to me, was staggering. I mean I think that’s something to really think about, and then I think when we move forward, it’s also how do we use voice and an ad together? So, I’ll give you…I was kind of thinking through like the future of Ad Tech.


(00:21:05.8) Harry Hawk:



(00:21:07.6) JD Prater:

So, I think this isn’t too far off, either, so maybe even 3 to 5 years, and you think about IBM and the Watson Ads that are interactive and being able to interact with voice, right? So, now I can be out somewhere and have an interactive conversation with an ad, and I think there’s a couple different use cases that we can maybe talk through, but I think that’s definitely on the horizon.


(00:21:30.7) Harry Hawk:

All right, this is the rabbit hole that we need to go down, because I have a lot of thinking on this, and again, back in the early days, the future, one of the futures that never happened was interactive television, meaning ads that were interactive as well as, you know, football games where you and everybody else in the country could indicate what you think the next play is going to be, and then you find out in 20 seconds if they passed or punted or whatever. That kind of interactivity, from a computer science standpoint, because of the synchronicity, say, of literally millions of people watching the same game, it’s not people sort of hitting the server, sort of at the same time, but it’s literally millions at the exact same time.



You know there’s no room for the network to hide statistically, and maybe today we have that kind of content delivery networks to absorb that, but I think there’s such a lower threshold for audio that the audio ad definitely needs to be interactive, it definitely gives you, also, the opportunity through the reward ad. I’m a huge believer, ultimately, in the reward ad, if we can get to the world where there’s less ads. In other words, I’d rather give an advertiser 2 or 3, 4 minutes of my time and kind of be done with ads for that whole show or whatever it is that I’m doing for an hour on Facebook. As we just talked about, Facebook may not like that from an inventory standpoint, but they could really charge a lot of money, and then the attribution goes out the window.



Someone’s actually interacted with it. It’s, you know, you can attribute that, but you know that it wasn’t a chat bot, although, again, for Ad Tech fraud, it leaves a big juicy target there. What kind of features do you think would make a great interactive ad?


(00:23:22.3) JD Prater:

Yeah, that’s a really good one.


(00:23:22.9) Harry Hawk:

Both from the buying side and on the consumer side.


(00:23:26.2) JD Prater:

I’ll work backwards. So, that’s how I like to do most of my marketing is how would I want to be marketed to, and so I think, for me, when I think about interactive ads, like let’s do TV and then maybe we could talk about radio. I think that would be a fun one.


(00:23:42.4) Harry Hawk:



(00:23:43.1) JD Prater:

And then maybe we could even talk about…


(00:23:45.1) Harry Hawk:

But think audio, just through Google Home or like that…


(00:23:46.9) JD Prater:

Okay, so audio.


(00:23:47.4) Harry Hawk:

But any of those.


(00:23:48.7) JD Prater:



(00:23:49.0) Harry Hawk:

I just think TV is too much of an edge case for now.


(00:23:54.2) JD Prater:

Okay. We could do…


(00:23:54.5) Harry Hawk:

But let’s talk about it a little bit.


(00:23:56.6) JD Prater:

Yeah. Let’s do TV, radio, and Google Home, and so I’ll give you some examples.


(00:24:00.4) Harry Hawk:



(00:24:02.2) JD Prater:
So, I think for TV, some of the things, I think they’re somewhat there, right? So, I think you’re correct on the server load. That would be something they’d have to kind of work through and figure out, and so maybe it’s not exactly real time, but I think there are some ways that we could figure this, but they always have these interactive trivia games. You know I was watching some college football on Saturday, and they always ask these like random questions, and they want you to tweet the answer, which is almost like the same thing.


(00:24:28.4) Harry Hawk:

Yeah. Yeah.


(00:24:28.9) JD Prater:

It’s just like we all have Smart TVs, right, so if you’re buying a new TV now, it’s probably connected to the internet, right, and there needs to be some way to maybe I push A, B, C, and I can interact, and I think that is possible as maybe like a case, you know, a user. I think within the ads itself, they’re going to have to be the edutainment, right, and this is what Facebook’s always been saying.


(00:24:50.0) Harry Hawk:



(00:24:50.6) JD Prater:
Edutainment, and so it’s going to have to give me some value out of it in order for me to interact with it. So, I think that would be something, as a buyer, I’d want to really kind of figure out is what value am I giving, outside of trivia, you know?


(00:25:03.4) Harry Hawk:



(00:25:03.7) JD Prater:

So is it a recipe, you know? Is it a coupon?


(00:25:07.3) Harry Hawk:

That was literally a big chunk of my thesis back in the day was that you have a couple of advertisers, and they’d say, hey, JD, which of these rewards do you want, and let you pick the ad. Today with ad fraud, you know, it scares me a little, because the solution is a lot of intrusion, you know iris scanning and all this, but there’s no reason that the NFL or Major League Baseball or The Arrow or The Flash can’t run inside of essentially an app…I don’t know enough about Docsis 3.whatever the current version of cable set top boxes are, but I would think that they could program so the video is taking up 99 percent of the screen, but leaving an edge somewhere there for an app. We already have Google Cast, where you can control volume, and if we’re all at a party, we can each pick music videos and stuff on our phones and send it to the cast, and it just stacks it up in a queue and plays them. So, I think the models for interactivity are there. I just wonder if the rewards will ever be meaningful enough.


(00:26:15.5) JD Prater:
That’s a hundred percent correct. I think that’s something that we’ll have to crack as advertisers in order to really, you know, kind of get to kind of what you’re getting at, and I would agree with you. I think what we’re seeing is really…it’s a…yeah, I would say it’s a competition for your attention. I mean that’s really where we are. It is I want your attention, and so I think why we see Facebook getting so much advertising dollars is we already know they have your attention, and so I just need to put something on there to get your attention again, right?


(00:26:45.0) Harry Hawk:



(00:26:45.4) JD Prater:

To kind of keep it going, and so I think with these different types of voice ads, you know, I even think about like Amazon, right? I mean you’re talking into your Fire Stick or whatever that thing is called and then going into let’s say like Spotify, you know? I think Spotify definitely has an opportunity, so, if I’m listening to music and an ad comes on, and maybe it’s…I mean I’m going to use McDonald’s…this isn’t great…for all the listeners that hate McDonald’s, I apologize, but you know like your local McDonald’s comes on, and it’s like, hey, JD, because you have my information, I see that you’re actually close to a local McDonald’s because I have your GPS information, and you’re driving along, hey, Exit 250 and I’ll give you a free Big Mac, you know, something like that.



So, and I think that’s a completely possible…or maybe even like a loyalty card. Somehow it’s all tied into your car and your phone, and they’re going to start synching this data around.


(00:27:41.6) Harry Hawk:

So imagine you’re at home, you’ve got your Google Home or Alexa and you know the ad comes on, and think about what we said earlier about lookalike audiences and Facebook really trying to shape traffic or when inventory is available to try to, you know, it’s in their interest to find the best matches because then that gives them more inventory, because you’re going to get the 5 buys a day that you want, and think of co-marketing, so, you know, the idea of 2 or more brands working together. So, you’re at home, JD, and it says, hey, I’m an interactive ad from Spotify, brought to you by Uber and McDonald’s. Right now, we will give you a 2 dollar coupon on any order of 2 dollars or more, so even free food, just tell me right now if you want a Big Mac, and we’ll send it right over.


(00:28:30.8) JD Prater:

I mean a hundred percent agree with that. I don’t think that’s too far off, actually, the way that you said it and the way that you pitched it. It’s like can I invest in that company. Yeah, but I don’t think we’re too far off from there.


(00:28:44.7) Harry Hawk:

And that solves the…they’re already working together, but that solves part of the inventory problem. If Uber gets the ad, it could go further and say, great, you know, it could force you, like gate it, you need to install…this is free, but you need to install the Uber app on your phone, and if you’ve got an Android or whatever, it could say, okay, I’m going to install it now, is that okay? All right, and please pick up your phone and click okay, and now we’ve got a download for Uber Eats, and maybe you didn’t know about it, and McDonald’s is giving you that Big Mac when you’ve got…


(00:29:17.2) JD Prater:

Yeah. I like that. I think that’s a perfect use case of…I think with the co-marketing, a hundred percent agree with that. I think that’s going to be a really good one.


(00:29:25.8) Harry Hawk:

It’s all local.


(00:29:26.6) JD Prater:

You know I even…it’s all local, and I think that’s going to be part of the key, as well. Like, think about, like, so your Google Home and it’s reading your calendar, and it says, you know, JD’s birthday is tomorrow, and we know that JD likes doughnuts, and it’s able to figure out that JD likes doughnuts, and it can figure out a way to get them to you. So, I think it’s convenient…


(00:29:47.7) Harry Hawk:

Shout out the top, Top Pot Doughnuts in Seattle?


(00:29:49.3) JD Prater:
There you go.


(00:29:50.6) Harry Hawk:

Maybe you like them. I know the guys over there.


JD Prater:

Yeah, they’re good.


(00:29:53.0) Harry Hawk:

So, you know, maybe it’s like, hey, JD, it’s Harry’s birthday tomorrow, and you know he loves Hot Pot Doughnuts, and the new Amazon shipping service is offering a doughnut six pack. Shouldn’t you buy that for him?



JD Prater:

Yeah. I think that’s going to happen real quick. I think that’s going to be the future of how they’re going to think about it. I think Amazon will solve it first. For some reason, man, I’ve got my money on them when I think about Ad Tech in the next couple years and how much they’ve grown, how they’re integrating all of their services, and who they’re acquiring, like the acquisition of Whole Foods, I think is a really interesting one, especially when you compare it to like Google+ Walmart and what’s going to happen there. So, I’m really excited for the future of Ad Tech, honestly.



Harry Hawk:




JD Prater:

I’m okay with less ads, but I think we’re going to get better ads.



Harry Hawk:

Yeah. This is the Holy Grail since the early days of cable, the first really super interactive system was in Ohio, maybe late ’60s, early ’70s, Prodigy and all these things. People are playing with ads. The idea of just picking the ad, you’ve seen for several years on Hulu. So, you know, so it’s definitely out there, but let’s talk about Amazon. I’ve yet to buy on Amazon, but I am going to in the next couple of weeks, but right now one of my clients is having me drive sales into Amazon, which has put me back to the future, back to 2012 or 2013. There’s no feedback. I’m looking at…I’m in a big run of offline conversion, but they don’t even give you the email, right? They give you the Amazon email. It just seems like a big black hole. I’m used to all these nice AI tools that I know are back there, working, helping shape my buys.



I’m sending people in, and I’m looking right now. I’ve got two campaigns, both on iPhones. One is a canvas and one is just a regular mobile ad. Canvas ads are about a dollar more a click, but I also know if they’ve seen the canvas ads, they’re engaging with it, and I’ve got video and stuff in there, and so if I had something on the other end, my gut is that the canvas folks are more likely to buy. Amazon, they’re so competitive on everything else. They just open up everything, but they don’t seem to be opening up attribution.



JD Prater:

I think it’s coming. Digiday had put out an article a couple of weeks back that they’re looking to hire like 2 thousand people in New York, just for their Ad Tech platform. I think we’re going to see like more types of ads. Right now they have, what is it, like three. They have like product ads, sponsored ads, and I think like headline ads, like their three main types. So, I think as long as you’re running their ads and doing on their platform, you’re going to get a little bit more attribution because they really are trying to solve…they’ve announced lookalike audiences. Like, if you’re using their platform on their platform, you can get it, right, but if you’re running traffic to Amazon, it’s going to be a little bit different. It’s, that’s the part they have to solve.



Harry Hawk:

I don’t get it because I’m sending people to them. You know you’d think that’s something that they’d want. A slight detour and then back to this, I did some work for HubSpot Labs in 2015, 2016, and one of the neat things, we were talking about marketing automation before we went down this rabbit hole, for anyone who’s not paying attention, marketing automation is all of that tracking and analytics on your website, on your email, in other parts of your business, obviously apps and so forth. You put people into buckets, people who’ve seen this page and not that page, people who’ve been in the last couple of days, but one of the things that they have is the ability to take any of those lists, so, you’ve got the 20 thousand people who’ve been to two parts of your site but haven’t been back in the last 2 weeks, and you’ve scored them, you know, beginning stage of the journey, and maybe you have some persona segmentation as well.



But just imagine whatever it is, there’s 20 thousand people, you can say to HubSpot build that as an audience as Facebook, and they just do that. You can just run that, try to bring them back, put a video. Obviously it would be very affordable, but there’s no reason that Amazon can’t say build a list on Facebook of everybody who’s looked at your product, if they wanted to.



JD Prater:

If they wanted to, that’s right, if they wanted to. Yeah. I don’t know if they’re going to be…I think Amazon wants to keep their audience, and I think they’re going to keep it there and keep you on their platform rather than pushing to another network. That’s my guess.



Harry Hawk:

Yeah. They want to sell you the ads.



JD Prater:




Harry Hawk:

Do they have any third-party networks at all, or is it strictly within the…I guess they want it within Alexa and so forth?



JD Prater:

Basically the article was saying they just hit a billion dollars in ad revenue and they’re about to hire 2 thousand more people, if you’re not watching them in 2018, you should be, and I think that was kind of the gist of the article. So, I’m not sure about the third-party integrations.



Harry Hawk:

I don’t know if you heard Google is blocking some stuff on Fire Stick right now.



JD Prater:

I wouldn’t be surprised.



Harry Hawk:

Because they’re not playing very well, and so this is really a fight over the ads. The whole premise of Amazon, of AWS, that everything that they do, you can buy, right? You could be a competitor of theirs and use their tools. It seems like I go on Amazon 5 times a month, maybe, maybe on a good month 20 times, but I’m on Facebook for hours. I don’t get why they wouldn’t want me to visit more often, and maybe they’ve figured out that if I visit, it’s going to be a waste and I’m not going to buy, but I think the opposite, right? They have to have figured out what to sell me, and I get they want the money.



JD Prater:

It’s interesting because like I see, I actually see Amazon ads on Facebook, trying to pull me back into Amazon. So, I’m a Prime member. I’m like, I’m probably their guy. I’m this younger guy who has the Amazon app, who’s just like, oh, I need something, I go to Amazon first, right? It’s like almost without a doubt, I go to Amazon first, I look at it, and then I might do a Google search, right, depending on the product and everything. They will actually like send me ads, like product of the day, you know, and it’s some kind of electronic that I’m sure I want, but you know trying to entice me.



Harry Hawk:

I’ll definitely search on Amazon first if it’s something I’ve bought before or similar that I know I’m going to get a good price, but very interestingly, so, if I’ll get some underwear, I’ll get a good price on Hanes Underwear. Obviously they don’t have a good deal with Hanes, so it’s all like third party people. and got a much better deal, but I think that’s less the rule today.



JD Prater:

Yeah, I would say that there’s probably, on some of those, like a convenience fee, right? You’re going to have to kind of figure out.



Harry Hawk:




JD Prater:

And I think you’re also correct on the brands that they do play nicer with some brands over others, and so figuring those out, and you kind of, you know, figuring out what you’re going to purchase on Amazon is also a task in itself.



Harry Hawk:
Not to turn this into a product pitch of AdStage, right, but one of the things that AdStage lets you do, as a buyer of ads, is to work with multiple networks, right?



JD Prater:




Harry Hawk:

One of the things I’ve really loved in the last couple years is that all these targeting pixels pretty much make it really easy. I can run an ad towards consumers and have the LinkedIn pixel, and I know, because of my targeting, I’m going to pick up some professionals within that industry that I want to target, potentially, as partners. I can then go onto LinkedIn. I’ve got, say, maybe a couple thousand of them, and then I don’t know how many of those are, right, professionals, but then I can filter that. As long as I’ve got 3 hundred, now I can send them a message to partner with me. In fact, I know that they’re already warmed up to me. So, bring it back to Amazon, do you really think it’s in their long-term interest not to integrate with the rest of the world?



JD Prater:
That’s a really good point. That’s actually a really good one, so, like an Amazon pixel that would like go on your website, right? Yeah, and vice versa. I think that’s an interesting one. So, I think, though, this is where at an advertising agency I had clients that were E-commerce. Some were like I’m okay with Amazon getting some sales, and then we had others that were like I’m selling on Amazon, but I want as many as I can get on my website, and I was like…that’s an uphill battle, man. Like, I get it that you want to build a brand and you want that affinity to your website, but if you’re selling on Amazon, they have my loyalty, they have Prime free shipping.



So, like, literally, I’ll give you one example of an advertiser was they offered free 2-day shipping through Amazon, but on their website you had to pay 10 dollars in shipping. So, it’s like I can’t get you more sales because that’s 10 dollars, 1, that’s a lot on like a 25-dollar product, and then 2, I can get it in 2 days for free, your exact same product, from you, just on a different website. So, why would I do that? And so I think what we’ll have to figure out with Amazon is will the E-commerce websites want to play nice? I, ultimately, I think they want that data, and they’ll love having that audience data, which is another future Ad Tech prediction we should get into around privacy, but that’ll be interesting to see. I don’t know the answer. You posed a good one.



Harry Hawk:

Well, let’s talk about privacy because that’s always a concern in all of this, especially if we’re playing in Europe.



JD Prater:
Exactly. That’s kind of what I was thinking. So, you talked about different scenarios. I think we see one scenario where privacy gets like a crack the whip, right, and I see us moving more towards like Europe and that type of like GDPR, trying to figure out how we protect users, but then I look at the other half of Americans, and we just blindly accept all terms and conditions. We blindly don’t care about a lot of things, as long as it’s free. I think those two things are at odds with each other, where I think, for me, it’s like I know how much data I’m collecting, and it scares me as the person that’s going to the website, you know?



Harry Hawk:




JD Prater:

And you’re like, oh, but I think, in the end, most marketers probably aren’t sophisticated enough to actually take action at scale with the amount of information they have. They really need AI and machine learning, that kind of stuff, to really make sense and connect all the dots for them, because there really is too much data, and then I think the other side, other world, other scenario is we’re going to see a lockdown and cracked whip, you know, this is starting in May 2018, so even AdStage, we’re prepping for May 2018 because we have customers and we do have clients that are in Europe, and so we have to abide by those rules.



Harry Hawk:

A couple of rabbit holes here that we can dig in, Paul Dehaye, which has…shout out to you, Paul, if you’re listening. Paul Dehaye, it’s really interesting. He’s an academic researcher in Switzerland. His website is PersonalData.IO, and his theory in Europe, where it’s all locked down, is let’s just buy into the premise that you, JD, go to a website, say razors or glasses or beer or whatever it is that you buy. Your information on their website is yours, and they can’t commingle it, and they can’t do anything with it other than use it themselves. Paul wants to come in and with all kinds of proper credentialing, say, to…well, throw out one of your favorite brands. We might as well plug something else here.



JD Prater:

Oh man, favorite brand, let’s do Adidas.



Harry Hawk:

So, you’ve been shopping on the Adidas site for a couple years, it knows your favorite colors, your shoe size and whatnot, so essentially PersonalData.IO, Paul’s company, would go to Adidas, and this is, again, a European, but Paul thinks ultimately a worldwide thing, and says you’ve got JD’s data, and you know you can’t use it, but JD is willing to sell you the right to use his data, as long as you give him a cut. So, it’s almost like Apple taking 30 percent of everything, right? It’s saying, yeah, you know I’m willing to let you use my data, as long as we have an agreement here. That’s one kind of a rabbit hole, and they have really good data, and with your permission and really putting that together right, it could be even more meaningful, a little bit cumbersome, but I think it’s conceivably possible, for sure.



JD Prater:
That’s actually really interesting. I like the premise of it, I guess I should say.



Harry Hawk:



JD Prater:
Where, I mean, we could get into, I guess, see, this really goes into like who owns the internet. This goes into what is the internet for.



Harry Hawk:




JD Prater:

You know that’s, that’s really where Ad Tech is kind of playing, and we could get into net neutrality, but let’s go down that one, I guess, with what Paul is kind of saying there, and so I actually like the idea of it. You know me personally, I like that it’s my data. I like that I own it. I understand that I’m visiting your properties, and therefore you’re now collecting my data, and you know what, like you have a little thing that pops up, you know, and it says do you agree to these terms and conditions? Like, we are tracking you, right?



Harry Hawk:




JD Prater:
We always push yes, okay, cool, and I think that’s why we’re also seeing a lot of ad blockers pop up, and we’re seeing a lot of trackers pop up. I use like Ghostery, for an example, or you know using Adblock, and I try to, try to limit as much as I can, but I understand that I’m being tracked, and I think what Paul is trying to do is say, hey, you know what, you can get rid of all of that, and we’ll just go in, we’ll talk to…you know you can put your name on this list, and we’ll go and do that for you, which again, I’m okay with because I don’t have to do it, and I don’t have to opt out of anything. So, I think it’s actually a really good space. I think the adoption is where you may have some trouble, so.



Harry Hawk:

Yeah. Well, the other thing is he’s suing everybody, all the time, to get…because you have the rights to that data. So, it’s also in their interest, now, in Europe, to maintain that data in a way that you can find it, which Facebook will tell you about what brands watch you is limited in some ways. For example, they really don’t tell you what pixels have been tracking you and then what audiences within those pixels.



JD Prater:



Harry Hawk:

And what scares me about the last election cycle is let’s say I am a secret agent spy guy from another continent, and I get a couple of Facebook pixels. I hand one to my friend JD, who maybe doesn’t know that I’m a spy guy or whatever. Hey, you know, that thing we’re working on, can you put this pixel here, there? I put these pixels all over those sites. It’s coming back to me. I’m building those audiences. You know I’m sure, for Facebook, it has a way to track that back, but to a consumer, you look at a pixel, even if you’re working with a brand, you can’t tell, unless you’re authorized, you can’t tell, which I mean, you know, is good. They’ve got it locked down. A concern about this, I think, would solve that a little bit.



JD Prater:




Harry Hawk:

I had one of my earliest thoughts about this at the ad agency where I worked in ’89, ’90, ’92. I ran a computer department that managed all the ad buying, TV ad buying, not making the ads. We managed the software that did that, and so every night we’d print out contracts, hundreds and hundreds of contracts. So, for every TV ad that’s ever been bought, there’s a contract that says when it will run and terms and conditions and all that. You can wonder, well, how can you negotiate all those contracts? And the answer is that the advertising agency, the 4 As, the advertising agency…3 As, 4 As or…?



JD Prater:

Four As sounds right, but I can’t remember what the other A is.



Harry Hawk:
Yeah. Yeah. American Association of Advertising Agencies has a standard contract, and that’s what they use. They’ve all agreed to use this contract. So, one of my earliest thoughts was what if consumers got together through AARP or through American Express or through Consumer Reports and we all agreed this is the contract that we’re going to use, and you know there was an idea once that consumer data might be available in the browser, and we bomb that data to that contract, and we…it’s like, you know, like a honeypot, almost, in a security system. They say here’s my phone number, my social security number, whatever, here’s all my data, whatever you decide what you want to make available, and advertiser, you can access this, but here’s the contract that binds you to how you can use it, and then we’ll all sue you if mis-abuse it because you’ll have the biggest class…now, a lot of reasons why that will never work, but what Paul was suggesting with PersonalData.IO is a more plausible way of freeing up the data.



JD Prater:

Yeah, I really do think, well, I think a couple of things with that. There needs to be a better education, and I’m specifically picking on Americans, is we aren’t really that educated around trackers and what’s available, what type of information we’re correcting, and it’s crazy, I mean, what’s out there and what’s available, as far as tools. I can sit there and create videos of users on my website. So, I can watch people interact with the website. I can get heat maps, you know?



Harry Hawk:
Well, not their faces.



JD Prater:

Yeah. Yeah.



Harry Hawk:

Not their faces.



JD Prater:

Yeah. Yeah. Sorry. Sorry. Yeah. Not, sorry, not your face, like how you interact. Like, I can see like your mouse moving or you typing, you know, on the screen.



Harry Hawk:




JD Prater:

So, yeah, yeah, sorry, you know and getting heat maps, getting scroll maps, like and this is all available, and now granted, I don’t know who is doing it, but then you tie that into like Facebook information, you can tie this into Google Analytics, you can tie this into purchasing, and there’s really a lot of data…I’ll go back to I don’t think we know how to best use it, but I do like the idea of there should be a contract of whenever I am browsing the internet…I do want to feel safe, and I want to be safe, and I want to know how you’re collecting it and how you’re using it, and I get upset whenever businesses collect my email and then sell it. That makes me upset. It’s like, wait, no, I gave that to you, not for you to go make money off of, you know, like sell, you know?



Harry Hawk:



JD Prater:
So, I think those are all valid points. Then the last point is we can also talk about how Apple is going to be blocking some of these cookies, so yeah.



Harry Hawk:

Yeah. Let’s dive in there because that’s exactly where I was going to go that…



JD Prater:

Oh, perfect.



Harry Hawk:

Got Amazon blocking some stuff and then Apple blocking the other, we could end up in this world where we can’t really sell stuff, or Apple wants a 30 percent cut.



JD Prater:

I think that’s the key. I think Apple’s like, look, I’m not getting that ad revenue data like you are, Google, and so I’m going to try to, you know, cut you where it hurts, and so I think the blocking is good. So, they’re going to wrap it up, and they’re going to sell it to me as privacy, and I think Apple, Apple, out of all companies, I do think they value my privacy more than others. Whether that’s true or not, I don’t know, but I think, based off their marketing and their messaging, it feels like they do and based off some of their actions. I’ll give you a quick update in case the listeners didn’t quite hear.



So Apple, within their new…if you have an iPhone or you’re using Safari on maybe like a MacBook or something with the latest OS update that you did, High Sierra or the like OS, I think, 11, they implemented what’s called an intelligent tracking prevention, and what it’s basically doing is it is imposing a 24-hour time limit on tracking tools, and so what this is doing is saying we know that your cookie, for example, is mostly supposed to expire after 30 days. Well, Apple says, no, we’re only going to give you 24 hours, and we’re not going to let you understand the tracking it from website to website.



And so I think that’s another great thing when we think about data and how it’s collected is that it really…you’re not going to be able to see cross…I go to your website then to AdStage. I wouldn’t be able to see that information, and it’s only 24 hours, it’s going to expire, and so I actually like the expiration as well.



Harry Hawk:
Will that also prevent login via cookie?



JD Prater:

I think if you come back regularly, it will. It will keep, but you are correct. I think if you came back like 7 days later, you’d have to log in again. So, as a user, you’re probably going to be frustrated if you have to keep logging into things on the mobile web.



Harry Hawk:

They’ll solve that by saving the password for you.



JD Prater:
Correct. Yeah, it’s a really interesting use case. I see it hurting programmatic advertisers the most. Probably we won’t feel it too much on Facebook. We might feel it a little bit in like Google display remarketing. I really think it’s going to hurt the programmatic people the most.



Harry Hawk:

I’m sure everybody listening has heard of Facebook Instant Articles, the competition between that and AMP, and that’s another area of kind of portable lightweight content, especially, you know, maybe in 30 or 40 years when the internet…I mean it already reaches Mars, but you know reaches Mars in a more sustainable way, lightweight content may be more important when our content-delivery network is using a rocket to physically move data. The big news, related exactly to this, was that Facebook Instant Articles have been upgraded so that you can gate content and sell it, right, and that’s one of the things that Apple’s blocking, and I think that’s a little bit scary to me, because it gets a little bit to net neutrality in a sense, but if I bought a thousand-dollar phone, and I’m using Facebook, and I read an article from The Washington Post, Amazon almost owned, at least Jeff owned, you know, so somewhere in there it says, hey, you want to keep on reading, 25 cents, and Apple’s blocking that, and I’m not sure…what do you think? Do they have the sort of the right to block that?



JD Prater:

I think in that case there should be a way for you, the user, to maybe give access. So, I think you block it until you assign it. So, maybe, maybe there’s a pop up that says are you okay with this, in the future, remember this, you know something like that, and I think that’ll be okay, but I do think you’re right. That does get into a little bit of net neutrality and some issues around that. One thing I do want to mention, I do think you’re onto something, like lightweight content and portable content. I really do see that as kind of a future of marketing and where we’re going, as we look at attention spans and we look at how people are consuming content and how much content is being produced. I think that’s something to also…we can further table for down the road.



Harry Hawk:
You want to go down into kind of a darker future?



JD Prater:

Let’s do it.



Harry Hawk:

All right. So, let me set the stage. It’s 5, 6 years from now, and net neutrality or you know the idea that internet providers are common carriers has gone away, and it’s also, this is very hard to understand, but basically in every town there’s only one company that has the right of way to deliver cable TV and generally one other company that has the right of way to deliver telephony, telephone service, and so those are sometimes competing with each other, sometimes not. Basically, you can get an internet connection from your phone company or from your cable company. In this brave new world, one, I’m sure they can own each other, because why get in the way of competition, and it’s the local municipality, by the way, that has the right to give people the right of way to come into homes, and they’ll generally sell it, but they make 5 percent, under Federal law, they get 5 percent of the income from the cable company. Why give that up? Why have more than 1 competitor?



In this world, they’ve turned what was a single-sided market into a double-sided market, meaning you pay them for the internet and they handle both sides of the transaction, but basically you’re paying them to maintain the service. It should be open, whatever website you go to, they deliver. In this braver new world, you go to Amazon, and they’re saying, in that case, to Amazon, we’re going to block that, unless you want to pay us to get to this person, we’re going to block you, and we’ve been talking about a lot of blocking here, right? And this is ultimately, you know, a whole economic topic of rent-seeking using government regulations or not to kind of control things, in this case, the lack of regulation.



And to get even darker, if you’re a smaller business, they may say, you know, we already have a deal with Amazon and your products on Amazon, so we really don’t want to let you in. I mean you can pay to come in. I believe somewhere in Eastern Europe, when you buy a cell phone, they bundle which websites you can access. Like, if you’re on an airline they say, you know, for this plan you can get email, and for this plan on the plane, you can get everything, but you can’t stream video, and if you want to reach these sites, you buy this plan, and that’s what they’d like to sell, in a sense, make it like cable television.



You pick what websites. Why should you be able to go to any website you want? We want to build this network. We want to profit from that. So, in that world, then, which brings us back to portable content, maybe there’s a loophole, you know, for portable content, because it’s lighter weight, meaning if either you’re paying by the bit, they’ll let you get in, because at the end of the day, if you’re running a Facebook Instant Article, it’s coming from their content-delivery network, which means guaranteed, whatever the bill is, they’re paying for it, Facebook.



JD Prater:

Right. Right.



Harry Hawk:
So, so that’s kind of that dark future of…in the future, we’re all using AMPs and Instant Articles because Google and Facebook is paying for the delivery, Google off the search engines, not off your server, and Facebook all the time. What do you think? I mean is that…?



JD Prater:

Yeah, I mean I have some strong feelings about net neutrality. I’m with you. I think it should be open, right? I’m already paying you to deliver it to me.



Harry Hawk:




JD Prater:

I’m not going to pay you to then throttle it and then charge me, you know, if I want to watch Netflix and Hulu, that’s my choice, and I’m already paying you for access to that. They’re probably going to turn around and then charge Netflix and Hulu, say hey, do you want a fast lane, you know?



Harry Hawk:




JD Prater:

And so, and I think we’re already starting to see this. So, we already see this coming in with the news, right, with the FCC wanting to reverse this, and then I think we’re also starting to see this…if you pay attention, I was watching, again, some football game this weekend, and I saw an Xfinity commercial, and this is a current one, and it said, like, don’t you think, you know, you should be buying your TV services from like an internet company, or something like that. It was like your phone from like an internet company or something like that.



So, they’re trying to tie in TV, phone, and internet, and they’re already trying to blur those lines, you know, like look, we are your one-stop solution and we’re doing all these things for you, which you are correct. I get it. Verizon, you own Comcast, which I use for internet. I might use Verizon for my phone. I might use Xfinity for my TV. I get it. I really do. However, you don’t get to necessarily control what I watch, what I view.



Harry Hawk:

And they certainly want you to have a data cap, because…



JD Prater:

Right, also true.



Harry Hawk:

Why should you have unlimited, right? Some group has been talking about setting up a VPN.



JD Prater:



Harry Hawk:
You get your content through the VPN. This is going to work perfectly because they can’t see into the VPN, and my answer is, sure, so they’ll just give you a hundred megabits a month VPN cap, enough to telecommute but not enough to watch Netflix.



JD Prater:

Yeah, I mean, because it’s ultimately about the data, right? It’s not so much where you’re accessing, right? So, the VPN makes it look like you might be in the UK, for example, but you’re still getting the internet from your actual physical address, you know, like where you’re actually…your router is, right, your modem, masking your IP for that website, but not necessarily the provider, and so I think there’s some things around it I agree with.



Harry Hawk:

Which it is…you get this third party who provides it. They give you essentially an encrypted tunnel, something like a wormhole between you and this provider.



JD Prater:

Oh, okay.



Harry Hawk:

So Comcast can’t see inside of it without decrypting it, but they could certainly put a cap on it.



JD Prater:

Got you. Yeah. I can see that.



Harry Hawk:

But then that also limits, potentially, you know Ad Tech and how, again, how we contract and manage. We’ve got to bring this conversation to a halt at some point here. I want to see if we can jump…see if I can get the JD Prater…go far out into the future, just anything that you think, as long as it’s plausible, through the course of this conversation, anything really come up in your mind?



JD Prater:

Oh man. All right. I’ll go…let’s see if I can really stretch myself. So, we never talked about AR and VR. That would be another thing with Ad Tech.



Harry Hawk:

Okay, go.



JD Prater:

But you know, I think, I can’t figure out if VR is all hype. As of right now, everyone’s like oh, yeah, VR’s going to be the future, and I’m like, no, we’re just not there yet. I don’t think we’re there as a market. I think they’re ahead of market. I mean when I think about Google Glass, where it was, it was so ahead of the market that everyone was like what is this, you’re an idiot, right?



Harry Hawk:

And that was more augmented, right?



JD Prater:



Harry Hawk:

But it’s still ahead of the market?



JD Prater:
Still ahead of the market, yeah. That’s where I was going with that one, and then I think the augmented reality has a better use case, as I’ve kind of seen how it plays out. When I think about those interactive ads, I do think augmented reality could be really cool, especially when you’re out and about maybe at a billboard or if you’re looking at a mall. I’ve seen some really cool ones that are like using facial recognition and putting you on an ad and customizing the ad to you, and that’s like right now. So, moving forward, I think that’s going to become more popular. I think we have to say VR will happen, as much resources and time is being put into it. I don’t know when. The Oculus still comes down in price. I think now it’s like 2 hundred dollars or something, and I think Google Cardboard is like free, and so…



Harry Hawk:

I think the limiting factor of VR is its isolation. Part of that isolation is data processing and part of it is just the physicality of being isolated in the device, and I mean it’s kind of like television. If you’re watching television, generally hard to drive. You can listen to a podcast and drive, and if you’re literally wearing this device…yes, you can bring in a thousand people to join you, including even in a window into the real world to see where you are, to orient yourself if you’re walking around. It just seems so isolating to be…one thing to be in your living room watching TV, and you can see cars driving by or their headlights or whatever, you hear sounds from the house, but imagine you’re in this thing, you’ve got earbuds in, and you’re wearing this thing. You’re in a cocoon.



JD Prater:

Also true.



Harry Hawk:

But we’re talking about that real-time rendering, and so in Wired Magazine, in ’94, there was an article a whole bunch of people wrote. I shared some of it with you. It was based in part on my master’s thesis. I worked with John Batal and ultimately like five other people wrote it. So, I do have a credit in the table of contents, but not in the actual article itself. In there, the idea, just what we’re talking about, the person has selected a reward ad on their television, and they pick a Wonder Beer ad. They’ll get a Wonder Beer case for half off, and they get a printed coupon.



This is from the article. At Wonder Beer Headquarters in Milwaukee, a computer receives Jack’s signal, and referencing the satellite map of his town, instantly creates an animated commercial in which two dragons from another galaxy battle in the streets of Jack’s neighborhood over a giant bottle of Wonder Beer, and just as the evil dragon is about to smash Jack’s house, the good one drives the neighbor’s chimney through his heart and saving Jack’s home and winning the beer, as Jack’s converter box spits out a bar-coded coupon for the case, turns to the audience and say Mr. and Mrs. Public, this beer is for you. Well, we know today that the coupon’s going to come to your phone, not to your printer attached to your television, which will never exist. What do you think? That’s almost plausible today.



JD Prater:

Yeah, I think that one’s definitely plausible. I see like kind of this programmatic TV ad buying, where we’re going to be a lot more specific to who we’re targeting. You know you and I could be next-door neighbors and be watching the exact same TV show and not see the same ads. So, I think that’s definitely getting closer. If you want to go 10 years out, 15 years out, I think biometrics is something that’s really interesting, so like thinking about how you’re walking through and it’s like reading, you know, my heartbeat, and it’s looking at my diagnostics of my body kind of thing, and maybe it’s, you know, you need to go see the chiropractor, you know, something like that?



Harry Hawk:

So, I mean, or if you have a…



JD Prater:

A Fitbit, yeah.



Harry Hawk:
A Fitbit, that kind of thing.



JD Prater:

Oh, sorry. Yeah, that’s what I was thinking.



Harry Hawk:

Your car, your insurance, all that, and another kind of thing I think could be done with privacy maintained, but you have a fingerprint reader on your phone. If the ad says, hey, you won a coupon or whatever, we’ll put it on your fingertip, and it could get the rights for a moment to read the fingerprint reader and hash it, and it’s not actually sending the actual fingerprint, but enough to know how to identify it, and you just walk into McDonald’s or Adidas or wherever you are and you just…I don’t know that there’s a real need for that, but certainly the biometrics of, again, putting a pixel on your Fitbit, we’re buying…I want people who’ve done a thousand steps today or I want people who’ve done a hundred thousand steps today.



JD Prater:

Yeah, I think that one’s, that one’s pretty interesting, as well, and I mean, actually, you know what? I’m going to go down…sorry, I’ve got one more rabbit hole because I think it’s really interesting, because, because we were talking about Fitbits, and like really our phone is really attracting us, and that’s really where all of this data’s coming from is really how…if you have your location settings on, and like I can guarantee you’re going to see a lot of local ads, and that’s really where they’re picking up a lot of this stuff, and so if you don’t want those kind of things, turn off those location settings.



Harry Hawk:




JD Prater:

But if you are seeing a lot of those, I do think location-based advertising, which has been around for a really long time, and really I think it’s…we’re going to see a lot more ____ (01:03:56) next year, a lot more online and offline connections, points, I think that’s really going to be the key. I know that’s something for AdStage that we’re really trying to solve.



Harry Hawk:

And what about beacons? Have we heard about them for a while, and they’ve kind of rescinded, receded into the background? Are they coming back?



JD Prater:

That’s a really good question. I’ve seen like crazy-cool stories with beacons and how they can heat-map you and how they’re tracking you and how like they can have, like, store specific coupons based off where you are. If I’m in the men’s section, looking at socks or Hanes Underwear, boom, you know, show me this.



Harry Hawk:




JD Prater:

I don’t know why we don’t see more of them. I think they’re cool. There must be some kind of limitation there, or maybe they’re just more…and I’m not recognizing it because, again, I’m younger and not going in-store anymore. I’m shopping online.



Harry Hawk:

I’ll give you one more crazy, plausible, but really unlikely example. If you drive, you’ve probably seen a digital billboard.



JD Prater:




Harry Hawk:

Giant, giant screen television. They certainly could have a sensor in there that’s reading cell phones that go by, and so they can obviously have a count of the people going by, and they can certainly adjust the speed of the ad change to the speed of traffic. So, when the traffic is slower, they can change the ad faster, but go back to when we were talking about Facebook and artificial intelligence and really trying to find the right person at the right time. When the traffic is slow, inventory’s increasing, as we’ve talked about, because they can switch more often. They could identify, for the right customer, for the right brand, people who are driving by that billboard, and it’s doing its general billboard-y thing, but all of a sudden here comes JD, and when it knows that you’re nearby and maybe flashing or doing something to hopefully get your attention or at a particular curve in the road where looking straight ahead more or less puts you there, there’s an Adidas ad.



It’s okay for everybody, but you’re the one they’ve decided to buy that ad for, and again that’s slow-moving traffic time. They could give you 2 or 3 impressions, and I think it’s farfetched, but if you think about luxury cars, investment pension fund, other really big-ticket items, think, plausible?



JD Prater:

Yeah, I’d say plausible on that one. You know we went out…we were looking at some new cars this last weekend. The amount of Wi-Fi connectivity and Bluetooth connectivity, like the amount of information in my phone that I am giving to the car, they know everything, you know? So, like I can log into Facebook, because there’s an app in the car. I give it access to my contacts, so that way it knows that my wife is texting me.



Harry Hawk:




JD Prater:

And so the billboard just reading from the car or reading from me, like, I’m now one thing, right?



Harry Hawk:




JD Prater:

And I see that.



Harry Hawk:

Well, yes. Well, but if it’s like a beacon, it knows who you are, anyway, just from…it doesn’t need the car Wi-Fi, but yes, it could find your car, but the other thing is then actually having the conversation. So, now you…top-of-funnel, you’ve seen that Adidas ad for a couple of days, because they’ve been targeting you, and you know let’s imagine, you know, we’ll put this into real marketing terms.



I’m in New York. There’s, let’s say, a hundred thousand people or 2 hundred thousand people on a particular road. I’ve decided I’m going to target 10 to 20 thousand of them to convert top-of-funnel, picking cars that have an affinity for Adidas, just at that slow time of the day when I have all those extra time slices. Unbounce, Oli Gardner, I’ve talked to him a few times, their idea of delaying the conversion request until someone’s warmed up and has a relationship. Okay, so you’ve seen the Adidas now all morning, and it’s weird because the guy behind you is seeing McDonald’s or whatever random thing, and some cars behind that are seeing, you know, an investment company, but JD’s seeing Adidas ads. Then, all of a sudden, at the right moment, because it’s the right moment either because it knows empirically or just it’s tested to find out what the best possible right moment is, we talked about the audio ads.



Now you’re in your car and you’re listening to Spotify because you’re a Spotify guy, and hey, this is Adidas here, we wanted to know have you seen our new line of soccer shirts or whatever it is, the ad, that unit can say we’ll wait for your reply, if you don’t reply, your music will continue in 20 seconds. So, you’ve got…maybe that’s tested down a little bit. They don’t want to get you to turn the channel, right? So, hell, I’ll respond. Yeah, I’ve seen them, and now you’ve converted. I mean that’s the next step in the funnel, and now…but I bet we could get that 10 or 20 thousand people, if we’ve decided they are influencers or whatever, to invite you to an event at the Adidas warehouse or invite you to shop, if you’re more of an online shopper, at the virtual Adidas store, because you have the Oculus device or whatever, but anyway.



JD Prater:

Yeah. I like it. I think there’s a couple of things, so, for me, the media buyer that gets excited is the sequential-ness of it, right, and then the omni-channel-ness of it, and I think that’s really cool when I can think about placing ads in different locations and then sequencing them based off how you’ve interacted with them, until, you know, what you’re saying like with Oli’s, like, this is the right time, here it is, 20 percent off at your local Foot Locker, whatever it is, right?



Harry Hawk:



JD Prater:

And I’m totally in. I think that would be a really interesting way to be marketed to.



Harry Hawk:

It could be really fun. Again, if it’s personalized, we’re going to love it. You talked about omni-channel. I’m a huge, huge, huge believer in Facebook analytics, the tool, in part because I can attribute Facebook likes and loves to my shopping cart. Have you…but I think that’s something that AdStage plays in, as well, a lot, is cross-network kind of attribution, and do you have any thoughts about that kind of multi-omni-channel attribution?



JD Prater:
It’s tough. I will say that. It’s not easy. I don’t think we’re quite there yet. I don’t think we’ve quite solved multi-device. It’s being worked on. You know I think Facebook does the best job because they can tie all your devices to one user login, which is me, and they know exactly who I am in my car, on my phone.



Harry Hawk:

And your gender.



JD Prater:

And your gender.



Harry Hawk:

And that you’re married, and that you like Adidas.



JD Prater:
Everything, right? I think they have the best and most accurate data. Let’s say I tied my credit card information in with my Messenger, because I wanted to give my buddy some money, right?



Harry Hawk:



JD Prater:

They now have credit card information that they can go buy from Oracle, you know, Datalogic, whatever it is, and they’re tying it. They know everything, so with analytics, I mean, the multi-channel stuff, it’s tough, and I think there are some things that advertisers can do to better understand a lot of this information. We just had a really good podcast that I did, so, on the AdStage podcast.



Harry Hawk:

Yeah, please plug it. Yeah.



JD Prater:

Oh, yeah, so we have the PPC show, and we did a podcast with the Director of SEER Interactive, and he is their Director of Analytics, sorry, at SEER Interactive, and he was talking about how he does user scoring based off of what actions you took on a website. He’s actually…it’s like lead scoring in marketing automation, but this is in analytics, and then based off of that, he’s able to help with attribution. He’s…it also helps him refine his audiences to serve better ads, and I think that’s ultimately the best we can do for now, but with attribution, I know it’s like the next billion-dollar idea, if you can tie it all together and show me what’s working. The problem is it’s a lot of different devices and a lot of different locations, and so you’re constantly interacting with a lot of different channels, networks, to really piece it all together.



Harry Hawk:
Well, I’ll give you this. I have a client, it’s a small client, but they have maybe a thousand customers, maybe a little bit more than that, but they only sell to licensed folks. So, they’re in a few states, smaller audience, but I show, through Facebook analytics, over a 90-day period, 759 people liking or loving or any kind of reaction to a post, and I can show 25 hundred dollars being added to the cart. It’s only 7 or 8 people, but I can show…or 13 people, but I can show a thousand dollars being purposed, and there’s no causation here.



They may have been buying anywhere, but I’m also looking at the time, and from the like or the love or whatever to the purchase, and the 75 percent cohort is 1.8 weeks. So, these are people who are discovering and converting, and there may be some future point where the data gets a little bit fuzzy, and they’ll need some other segment in there, but one of my questions was is that data available as an API from Facebook and are they keeping that…is that another thing that’s being blocked?



JD Prater:

It is available. That is available through their API, one of their…it might be under the marketing API. They just blocked another API, I think it was yesterday or around like this kind of audience insights API, because, as we know what happened, so they’re blocking some of that. You’ll still have access to Facebook auction insights, which is another good one, but I do want to hit on one thing. I think you said it, and I think it’s spot-on as we move into 2018, is engagement is going to be key when we think about how we’re interacting with our audiences and where we’re putting that spin, because I do view engagement as super important. That may not drive the last click conversion, but I know that you’re interacting with my content, and I know that I’m seeing an uptick in sales when that happens.



Harry Hawk:

Well, I’ve got to plug Dennis Yu at Blitz…



JD Prater:

Oh, Dennis is good. Yeah.



Harry Hawk:

BlitzMetrics, and he’s all about engagement, and I tell my clients, you know, engagement on Facebook as is intent to AdWords. If you don’t have engagement, and you have an empty page, the lights are off, it’s just going to make your advertising more expensive. Well, I know we could do this for hours and hours and hours.



JD Prater:




Harry Hawk:

And I’ve got a million things we could bring up. Maybe in 6 months, 12 months, we could have other people join us and talk about the future, the year to come, and Ad Tech and all of that, but this has been a tremendous amount of fun for me.



JD Prater:

Oh, same here. Thank you, so much, Harry, for having me on. Like you said, I could do this for hours. So, like, let’s definitely connect again in 12 months and see how accurate we were.



Harry Hawk:

Please AdStage plug podcast.



JD Prater:

Cool, and I just wanted, if you guys are interested in learning more about AdStage, head over to AdStage.IO. We have a free 14-day trial, and you can give it a quick test run and see what you think, and then if you’re interested in learning more about me, you can connect with me on Twitter. Yes, I’m still one of the few that still uses Twitter, at JDPrater. Yeah, and so we do the PPC show, where we interview some of the best and brightest minds in PPC, and then we also have a this week in headlines, and so where we discuss the latest trends in Ad Tech, usually on like Thursday afternoons or Friday mornings. So, look for those two different episodes.



Harry Hawk:

This week in Ad Tech is really great because if you’re busy buying ads, there’s really a limit to how many magazines and newspapers and articles you can read, or you catch the headline and you don’t catch the details, and even if you don’t get the show the week it comes out, I think your content is good even for a couple months because I find myself having missed a story, and then all of a sudden you guys have covered it really well, so, big endorsement from me.



This is Harry Hawk, and you have been listening to Talking About Everything. We’ve been talking with JD Prater from AdStage. JD, thank you, so much, for being here. I hope you have a great week. Bye-bye.



JD Prater:

See you later, Harry.



Male Speaker:

My name is Chuck Fresh, and I am being paid to thank you for listening to Talking About Everything, with Harry Hawk. Harry wants to hear from you on Twitter at HHawk or, and now a word from our sponsor, Life Extension Coach and Favorite Chef. Hawk Digital Marketing is focused on bringing brands and people together. We build communities of interest based on trust and transparency, where consumers and brands can converse, learn, discuss, or solve problems together, while creating a long-term connection, entanglement between you and your customers. Once connected, we help you engage, communicate, sell, present, educate, and inform. Evolve your communications with us,

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