Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Are Your Web Ads Powerful or Pitiful? Forbes Explores AdXpose

Today on Forbes.com, writers Evan Hessel and Taylor Buley zero-in on AdXpose, the campaign verification service from Mpire, that gives online advertisers insight that helps them eliminate wasted ad budget.

The article, titled, "How to Know Your Web Ad Is Working," also delves into issues involving third-party ad selling, as well as how AdXpose tracks ads across the Internet and measures consumer engagement through "heat mapping" (see image below).

On Monday, Mpire was also included in another Forbes.com piece that examined the automation of ad tracking.

Click here for an AdXpose demo.

- Dean

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Study: Campaign ROI Continues Eluding Online Advertisers

Coremetrics of San Mateo, Calif., just completed a study that shows brand marketers continue to struggle to understand their return on investment (ROI) with online ad campaigns.

The study underscores the need for ad technology companies to provide advertisers with clear, actionable data from which they (or their agencies) can optimize their campaigns, especially when it comes to ad placement at the domain, page and container levels. This is exactly the problem and industry issue AdXpose is aiming to solve. Find out more here and on YouTube.

Some highlights of the study, which polled 100 marketers from large to mid-sized online retail companies:

  • 52% of respondents said they were either not sure, somewhat skeptical or completely unconvinced display advertising and/or Web 2.0 initiatives justify their cost
  • 49% said it was somewhat difficult to impossible to justify display advertising and Web 2.0 budgets to their management team
  • Only 7% believe doing so is ‘very easy’ and 24% very or ‘somewhat easy’
When it comes to making sense of the data, 68% said it was somewhat to very difficult to make sense of multiple sources of data.

- Dean

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Forbes: New automated tech firms reshaping digital media

Forbes.com posted an insightful piece today on an emerging set of ad technology companies that are helping brands conduct their media buying more efficiently and effectively as people increasingly spend their lives online.

Mpire Corporation, maker of both WidgetBucks and AdXpose, was among the private companies cited in this lengthy article. The other technology companies in the piece include Mpire partners OpenX, Rubicon Project and Pubmatic, as well as Google and Yahoo! [full article here]

Matt Hulett, Mpire's CEO, (pictured) was quoted in the article -- "We've seen half a billion dollars of venture capital poured into building optimization and planning companies." -- and Mpire's new service -- AdXpose -- was highlighted as well:

This week, Hulett's firm unveiled an application to help advertisers track on which Web sites networks place ads, where on the actual screen the ad appears and if Web surfers pause their cursor over the ad. The tool is intended to help marketers better figure out how much of their ad spending is essentially worthless.

For more information and background on AdXpose, check out last week's press coverage, press release, and demo on YouTube.

- Dean

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

AdXpose: 4 in 10 Online Ads Never Appear

At AdSpace today in San Francisco, Mpire CEO Matt Hulett participated in a panel called "10 Proven Methods to Increase Your eCPM and Generate More Revenue." Along with talking about the benefits of WidgetBucks' YieldSense as a way to increase eCPM for publishers, Matt pointed out that in early tests of AdXpose -- its new campaign verification and optimization service -- show that up to 40 percent of ads never see the light of day. This really represents wasted ad budget for online advertisers. "Never seen" can mean that the ad was recorded as an impression, but the creative was below the fold and was never viewed by the site visitor.
Further, of the 300 million impressions run through early AdXpose tests, between 30% and 65% are "passed down" to the third parties vs. direct buys. This is a bit lower than the IAB/Bain Digital Pricing Research indicated in 2008 that indicated up to 80% of ads are passed down to third parties such as exchanges and ad networks.

As for sizes that appear to be the most popular as it relates to being viewed by visitors seem to be 160x600, 300x600, and 300x250 creative sizes. These yield the highest creative engagement, typically because these sizes seem to have better-than-average above-the-fold placement. Interestingly, 728x90 size placements with a higher than average above-the-fold placement rate have lower creative engagement that 300x250 and the 160/300x600 creative size.

We'll continue to report more findings as AdXpose campaign testing continues.

To participate in our private beta program, please contact AdXpose at beta [at] adxpose [dot] com.

- Dean Jutilla
Marketing Director
Mpire Corporation

Brand Advertisers Begin Campaign Verification Testing Through AdXpose

Let’s face it -- online ad industry remains incredibly complex and inefficient. Here are some facts:

  • Up to 80 percent of all interactive ads are sold and resold through third parties
  • Billions are wasted in untargeted ads each year
  • Nearly 1 in 3 ads is never even seen because they are below the fold
  • 82 percent of CMOs are less than satisfied with their ROI analysis
This all adds up to brand marketers being left with little campaign transparency and return on investment when it comes to their interactive ad campaigns. And we wonder why ad dollars aren’t coming online at a faster clip.

A solution for advertisers and their agencies was released today, called AdXpose. Launched in invite-only beta mode today, this patent-pending optimization technology is one of the first online ad technologies to give brand marketers and interactive agencies campaign verification anywhere their ads run across the Internet. AdXpose is a new sub-brand within Mpire Corporation, a market-leading ad optimization technology company, which also makes WidgetBucks.

Advertisers are encouraged to contact AdXpose directly to test campaigns and get insight into how they can better maximize their ad spend.



AdXpose is launching with significant publisher and advertisers support, including Jones Soda, Keen Shoes, Atom.com, OpenX, Wetpaint and more. In fact, OpenX CEO Tim Cadogan said this:

“AdXpose has the potential to significantly improve both the economic value and consumer relevance of advertising by increasing campaign accuracy and transparency. Since OpenX is focused on enabling all classes of businesses online to make more money from advertising through a fully open and extensible technology and monetization platform, we're excited to work with Mpire in bringing AdXpose to market.”

Whether ads appear through exchanges, ad networks, or direct buys, AdXpose provides real-time tracking of campaign placement, reach and consumer engagement:
  • More effective placement means less wasted budget: AdXpose makes every impression count by alerting advertisers and agencies to effective or ineffective placements, those appearing above/below the fold, percentage of ads actually seen and notices of non-compliance situations.
  • Ensures campaign targeting hits the right site and audience: Real-time domain-level transparency helps agencies make performance-based, on-the-fly campaign adjustments, as well as to determine if a campaign is delivering the right message to the right web site.
  • Measures, maximizes ad creative effectiveness: AdXpose provides actionable insights through heatmapping technology and capturing of consumer behavior around and within ads, including when a mouse curser enters, exits and hovers, as well as total time in the creative. Advertisers can then gauge campaign success from an engagement and performance perspective.
AdXpose can scale to any size campaign, monitors most ad formats, including display, text, video and Flash-based creative, tracks IAB-standard and non-standard sizes, and uses IAB and MRC compliant reporting metrics.

This may leave some asking, “What’s in it for publishers?” Well, AdXpose helps in a few ways. First, publishers and ad networks are now supplied with compliance information for advertisers around placement and media buying conformance. Most importantly, publishers benefit because they have powerful data to show advertisers around campaign effectiveness on their web sites and ad networks.

There hasn’t been a lot of innovation in display advertising over the last many years. With a renaissance in online advertising long overdue, now is the right time for a set of emerging companies to start providing deeper, more transparent insights to advertisers.

We are currently running an invite-only beta program with AdXpose; however, if you are an advertiser (or represent a brand marketer) wanting to test a campaign or two, contact us at beta [at] adxpose [dot] com or call 206-302-2155.

- Matt Hulett
CEO, Mpire Corporation
(makers of AdXpose and WidgetBucks)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Time to Vote for Seattle 2.0's Finest

This may be considered a very "local thing" but every vote counts, no matter its location. The Seattle 2.0 Awards recognizes accomplishments and exceptional people of the best of over 300 Seattle area technology startups. Voting ends April 28.

Mpire is honored to be a finalist in four categories:

  • Best Startup CEO: Matt Hulett
  • Best Startup Technologist: Greg Harrison
  • Best Blog from/about Startups: Startup Whisperer by Matt Hulett
  • Best Venture Capitalist: Bill Bryant, WidgetBucks board member and Venture Partner at Draper Fisher Jurvetson, which led Mpire's Series B funding in June 2008.
Those outside of the Seattle area may not realize the amount of innovation coming from the Puget Sound region from names like Picnik, Redfin, Wetpaint, iLike, and BuddyTV. Check out a full list here. We encourage to offer up your support and vote.

Here's a full list of categories -- Vote now!
  • Best Startup
  • Best Boot-strapped Startup
  • Best Startup CEO
  • Best Startup Technologist
  • Best Venture Capitalist
  • Best Angel Investor
  • Best Startup Product Designer
  • Best Service Provider to Startups
  • Best Blog from/about Startup
  • Best Social Event for Startups