[eBook] Programmatic Creative Buyer’s Guide

Thunder Programmatic Creative Buyer's Guide

Getting going with programmatic creative isn’t difficult if you have a roadmap to follow.

That’s why we published our proven three-step buying process to help you navigate getting started. Answer questions like:

  • Is programmatic creative a good fit for my organization?
  • What questions are critical to ask when selecting a provider?
  • How can I set myself up for success before launching my first campaign?

This is both a guide and a mini-workbook, purpose-built to help you find success with programmatic creative.

Download your free resource today.

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5 Minute Webinar: Programmatic Creative Explained

This year, $6.1 billion will be spent on DSPs and DMPs. But over 90% of the resulting targeted ads won’t have matching creative.

That means that despite the all the money spent on data and targeting, generic or generalized creatives are being used in the vast majority of programmatic campaigns. Programmatic creative solves the problem—adapting brand storytelling to become tailored to the viewer. It’s an exciting moment. Through technology, creativity and data can finally dance.

This is the subject of the eBook The Essential Guide to Programmatic Creative Technologies. This webinar summarizes the 35-page eBook in just 5 minutes.

Want the full eBook? Download it here: The Essential Guide to Programmatic Creative Technologies

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PaperG October Press & News Roundup

Thunder (formerly PaperG) Creative Management Platform Ad Industry Press Roundup

October has been an exciting month in the news at PaperG.

PaperG CEO Victor Wong was featured on MediaPost to answer the question: What’s Stopping Advertisers from Matching the Creative to the Programmatic Targeting?

Victor Wong was also published on AdAge.com with tips for getting past the gatekeepers: How Ad Design Affects Ad Blocking.

News of our $5 million Series B round of funding hit the pages of AdExchanger. Ad tech veteran Joe Zahtila was announced as PaperG’s new CRO. Read the press release here.

In keeping with the Halloween spirit, we also weighed in on CMO.com Wants to Know: What Do Marketers Fear the Most?

And on top of all that, we published our most recent eBook, The Essential Guide to Programmatic Creative Technologies, which you can download for free.

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Activating $6 Billion in Wasted Programmatic Data

Cost of wasted DSP and DMP investments without programmatic creative

Having already overtaken the majority of digital ad spend, programmatic buying continues its rapid rise.

In the US, programmatic already accounts for over two-thirds of all display media. Magna Global forecasts programmatic-driven ad spend in 2015 to hit $20.5 Bn worldwide. Growth for years ahead is projected to remain steady.

To deliver the right message to the right audience, advertisers and agencies have put about 30% of their programmatic spend, $6 Bn, into targeting technologies like DSPs and DMPs.

And yet despite spending billions, the promise of delivering the right message still hasn’t been realized.

Research by AppNexus shows that 97% of programmatic campaigns lack a targeted creative for each audience segment. That means the vast majority of programmatic campaigns use generalized or generic creatives, a factor that has lead to heavy concerns from marketers about driving ROI from big data.

It’s not all wasted data, however. Many companies have figured out how to make creative work in the programmatic era, and they are reaping the rewards:

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[eBook] The Essential Guide to Programmatic Creative Technologies

Thunder Essential Guide to Programmatic Creative Technologies

This year, $6.1 billion will be spent on DSPs and DMPs. But over 90% of the resulting targeted ads won’t have matching creative. Programmatic creative solves the problem—adapting brand storytelling to become tailored to the viewer.

It’s an exciting moment. Through technology, creativity and data can finally dance.

To help you capture this moment, we’re excited to release a free, comprehensive, 35-page eBook. The information on these pages will help you understand the quickly-evolving world of programmatic creative by covering:

  • The two main technologies used for programmatic creative
  • Example programmatic creative ad units
  • A detailed workflow comparison
  • Answers to the questions you need to know before undertaking programmatic creative
  • A programmatic creative case study: How an agency boosted sales by 565% for their client

If you are ready to explore the technologies that will transform programmatic marketing at your organization, this is the ultimate eBook to kickstart your journey.

Download your free copy today.


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PaperG Secures Another $5M from Top U.S. and Asian Investors to Accelerate the $53 Billion Global Programmatic Opportunity

Series B Investors Include AppNexus CEO, KLP Enterprise (Pritzker family), Wavemaker Partners, WI Harper Group

San Francisco, CA–(DATE, 2015) Today, PaperG, a creative management platform that makes it possible for publishers, agencies and advertisers to match creative executions to the increasing variety of targeting segments and ad formats, announced it has secured an additional $5M USD in funding from a roster of well known U.S. and Asian investors, including KLP Enterprise (Pritzker family), Wavemaker Partners and WI Harper Group, along with Brian O’Kelley (CEO of AppNexus). The investment supports what all believe is the market’s best platform for global brands, agencies and publishers seeking to meet the exponential demand for ad creative, as the power of ad targeting and the number of ad formats have risen dramatically over the years.

Uniquely, the technology behind PaperG offers new capabilities that enable users to generate multiple versions and sizes of an ad creative. It also streamlines an extremely labor intensive and costly process by automating the ability for brands to build and adapt creative to match highly individualized audiences in the format most appealing to each.

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PaperG September Press & News Roundup

Thunder (formerly PaperG) Creative Management Platform Press Roundup

The industry news cycle in September focused heavily on concerns about the death of Flash in display advertising. PaperG CEO Victor Wong looked at the market forces behind the event that was ten years in the making in his AdExchanger contribution Flash In the Pan: Historical Lessons of Adobe’s Macromedia Acquisition.

That aside, we dove in to help organizations transition their advertising from Flash to HTML5. The pages of The Makegood featured Melody Yan, our senior account manager who provided Four Ways to Prepare for the Post Flash World. You may have seen Melody’s related resource on this blog: Transitioning Display Ads from Flash to HTML5 – A Comprehensive FAQ.

To round things out, AdWeek’s Chris Heine profiled PaperG in his exploration of Why Creative Programmatic Ads Are Attracting Brand Marketers and Tech Investors, and our research into maternity and paternity leave at startups brought the attention of RecruitingBlogs.com in the article Retaining Top Talent: 3 Startup Perks That Work.

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The Final Nail in Flash’s Coffin

Death of flash transition to HTML Thunder adsFlash as an advertising medium has suffered a killing blow from Google and Mozilla, one that has left digital marketers scrambling toward building ads in HTML5 or with HTML5-friendly ad tech. For advertisers, it’s now not only inevitable but also immediate that HTML5 adoption is a must.

The news that rocked the advertising world came in June 2015: In order to extend laptop battery life, Google Chrome will “intelligently pause” Flash animations that aren’t central to the webpage. That’s a nice way of saying that Chrome is going to pause Flash advertisements.

Then on July 13, Mozilla one-upped Google, announcing that Firefox would immediately begin blocking all versions of Flash due to the discovery of three different ways to exploit the plug-in over a five day period.

A few days following Firefox’s action, Adobe quietly released patches to Flash’s vulnerabilities, restoring the plugin’s status in the Firefox browser.

UPDATE: Amazon has joined in on the anti-Flash momentum, saying it will no longer accept Flash ads on Amazon.com or Amazon Advertising Platform.

How bad is the impact of the Chrome and Firefox  updates on Flash ads?

Google Chrome is the world’s most popular web browser, with a substantial lead in usage over other options like Safari and Internet Explorer. The change to penalize Flash ads is already live in the beta version of Chrome, and Google has stated it will roll out the update to the masses soon.

Once the update goes live, Chrome users will find their ads are grayed out, with little play buttons positioned in the center, as shown below.

Above: Once the Google Chrome update reaches the masses, Flash-based ads will appear grayed out with play icons, as pictured above.

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[Infographic] Digital Agency Game of Thrones

Digital Agency Game of Thrones Infographic

Sometimes working at a digital agency can feel like a game of thrones. Teams become siloed. Communication breaks down. In these uncertain times of a shifting digital landscape, clashes between departments result in organizational dysfunction.

Not at your agency I’m sure, but sometimes under the pressure to excel, power struggles ensue.

In the infographic below, we take a look at four of the great houses in a typical digital agency, the sources of their rivalries, their great battles—game of thrones style.

Don’t worry though. Order, and ultimately victory is attainable. But also make no mistake. Programmatic is coming. Is your agency ready?

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How to Develop Creative Concepts for Programmatic Campaigns

Data Driven Campaigns - Thunder CMP

The new frontier in programmatic advertising is a creative one.

Message relevancy allows advertisers to combine the sophisticated targeting in their digital media buys with creative concepts that speak precisely to each targeted group. And through creative optimization, advertisers can test, learn from and optimize campaigns for performance gains of 30-50%.

Customizing creatives for programmatic media sounds great but, by and large, these customizations are all too often, well, not very creative.

To claim right person, right message, many advertisers draw from the same well of basic tactics—strategies like those that modify creatives based on simple geographic or weather data.

If using weather data and city names in ads is what data-driven advertising means to you, you’re taking the statement way too literally. Just because an ad knows it’s hot outside doesn’t mean that the conveyed message is any more compelling to a consumer. We can use ad tech to streamline and automate a lot of our work but we’re still marketers. Our ads ultimately require human finesse to change the feelings, opinions and behavior of human beings.

Effective creative relevancy helps advertisers connect with consumers by providing a positive influence on a consumer’s perception. This effect helps advertisers shape a consumer’s thoughts, feelings, and opinions.

So let’s talk about a creative process for people, not robots. Let’s talk about a process for data-driven campaigns that are full of heart, soul and, most importantly, humanity.

We will dig into creative tactics for programmatic soon enough but first we must build a strong creative strategy to serve as our foundation.

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Programmatic Creativity: Q&A with Adam Cahill on Launching Anagram

Adam Cahill Anagram quote on programmatic creative

It’s a new era for programmatic advertising. Just as the industry is realizing that having optimal creatives is just as important as optimal audiences, new services and companies have emerged to make programmatic creativity a reality.

We saw evidence of this last week as Digiday covered efforts across the industry to close the gap with programmatic creative. On the same day, AdExchanger profiled the launch of Anagram, an agency founded by Adam Cahill, who was formerly chief digital officer at Hill Holliday.

Anagram is one of this new breed—a company built with the specific purpose of helping brands win with programmatic. And we’re not just talking programmatic buying. Anagram does programmatic everything: media, creative, even in-flight optimization.

PaperG is lucky enough to be among the technologies Anagram uses, so we asked Adam if he would dig deeper into what it means to be a programmatic marketing agency.

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What Display Advertisers Can Learn About Creative Optimization From Search and Social

creative optimization thunder ads

In years past, display advertisers have not been able to benefit from creative optimization because budgets couldn’t support the amount of creative work involved.

But today, emerging productivity solutions such as creative management platforms (CMPs), programmatic creative tools, and dynamic creative optimization platforms (DCOs) significantly reduce these barriers to high-volume ad production to a very manageable level.

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Can Optimized Ad Creative Make Programmatic Perform 30-50% Better? These 5 Studies Say ‘Yes’

Performance lift from Thunder ad creative

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about the burgeoning relationship between programmatic media and ad creative. Most of the discourse has been about how optimal creative can significantly impact the performance of the media in theory. The purpose of this article is to look at the data behind what those gains might be in practice.

Creative optimization is the act of customizing and testing advertisement artwork and messaging to be more resonant with audiences. Since programmatic allows advertisers to precisely target specific audiences, these technologies have inspired advertisers to leverage creative variations for greater media effectiveness.

The dominant tactics include:

  1. Customizing ad creative to what matters to specific audience groups
  2. A/B testing messaging
  3. Sequencing or updating messaging over time

The expectation of gains from these tactics comes from an already established success in creative relevancy and testing in email, social, search and website content. Armed with programmatic buying, big data and algorithmic optimization, advertisers hope to translate similar gains into display ads, native ads and video.

The strategies here seem sound, but what data is there to back it up?

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Going Mad with Universal McCann

Photo by @ookimikoo
Photo by @ookimikoo

We recently joined Mad Valley, the tech residency program at the Universal McCann office in San Francisco.

Mad Valley is all about the intersection of Madison Avenue and Silicon Valley.

UM put together Mad Valley because things are evolving so fast in the digital advertising space, agencies, startups and publishers need to come together to work and network under the same roof. We can’t wait around for information to trickle around. We need to embed ourselves with each other to exchange knowledge and experiences.

We’re loving the new friends and perspectives.

Mad Valley is located in the iconic Levi’s Plaza, affectionately referred to as San Francisco’s “ad ghetto.” If you’re in the area and want to get a coffee, let’s do it.

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Revising the Display Creative Process: Democratizing Design and Connecting Teams

Thunder creative management platform - display advertising

When it comes to design, $51.8 billion buys surprisingly little love.

What I mean is that despite display being a $51.8 billion market annually, the creative part of display advertising takes a far back seat to media planning and buying.

At the core of it, this lack of love stems from the high costs of creative production, particularly because marketers and media folks aren’t able to produce enough creatives to match the scope of what could be done.

In my experience, there’s no shortage of copy or concepts to run epic display ad campaigns. Marketers would like to use a test and learn mentality with display, but due to the costs and time involved in creative production, only a single or a few campaign concepts can actually get created. It’s online advertising in 2014 and we’re stuck in a plan and execute mode.

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PaperG Selected as One of the Bay Area’s Healthiest Employers

Thunder Healthiest Employers in Bay Area

We are thrilled to have been selected this year as one of the 2014 Bay Area’s Healthiest Employers by the San Francisco Business Times and the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

How did we win such a prestigious distinction? We made it a focus of our perks to be just a little bit better than most Bay Area startups. Here’s a breakdown of the healthy ones:

We cover 100% of health, dental and vision insurance.

We don’t want our team to have to worry about their health, so we offer one of the best PPO health plans we could find to all staff members, completely paid for by the company. Included in the health plan is a wellness program that allows you to subscribe and receive wellness information and tips. Our health plan also covers preventative care.

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What SMB Owners Want From Their Sales Process

Email me oonce a month

I’ve been writing a lot about selling advertising to SMB owners recently, sharing tips about using solution selling, booking in-person meetings, and the persuasive power of the spec ad.

Today instead of looking at tactics, I’d like to share some data from Selling to SMBs in 2014, a new report by Bredin Inc, which is a research firm that helps Fortune 500 companies reach and retain SMB business.

The report details insights from a May 2014 survey of 532 principals at companies with less than 500 employees.

The good news is that even in the information age, salespeople, not just the internet, continue to be a huge positive influence on the path to purchase for SMBs.

Let’s take a look.

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The $1.7 Billion Digital Co-Op Advertising Opportunity

Digital co-op for local advertisers - Thunder creative management platform

With more than 4500 co-op programs available the US, digital co-op advertising presents a huge opportunity for local retailers that carry national brands.

The way co-op works is that manufacturers (e.g. Chrysler) are willing to reimburse retailers (e.g. a Chrysler dealership) for a portion of their advertising costs.

Co-op programs stipulate certain requirements for ads, such as having the right fonts, colors, and imagery, in order for them to qualify. But the ads can also have elements unique to the advertiser, such as a dealership location and testimonial quote.

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Selling Display Ads: How to Overcome Objections to the Sale

Selling Display Ads - Thunder creative management platform

While being pitched advertising services, some prospects will have a knee jerk reaction like “‘I’m too busy to talk now,” or “I don’t believe advertising works.” These are objections to the sale.

As a salesperson, objections are an opportunity for you to educate a customer. Display ads aren’t very well understood, so consider this a big opportunity to educate.

If you can become a master at handling objections, you will close more deals.

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