Carat Makes The Grade at 9DU

School was back in session at NinthDecimal University, this time at Carat’s Mobile Immersion Day in Santa Monica. Visiting “professors” Keith Kilpatrick and Kim Thom led the class in three interactive workshops highlighting the use of mobile location data and NinthDecimal’s capabilities and methodology.  Teacher Cat Davenport got the Carat team’s gears cranking on how to apply this new information to current and upcoming campaigns, grading their Pop Quizzes and Take Home Tests for extra credit prizes.

Carat visited NinthDecimal’s Science Fair to gather educational materials like 9D’s Programmatic and Measurement Playbooks and details about NinthDecimal’s leadership in location-derived data and insights.  They were encouraged to use their mobile devices to capture interactive QR codes in the Media Gallery to experience NinthDecimal’s custom rich media units in action. TA’s Angela Hsi, Jenny Wagner and Haris H walked attendees through different “courses” of action offered at NinthDecimal, like the LCITM dashboard to illustrate the “math behind the science,” amazing the folks from Carat with the amount of in-depth campaign information readily available to them. Stephanie V went to the head of the class, leading Team 9D in a location focused panel discussion with Verve and Carat outdoor division, Posterscope. A+ students were treated to some great 9DU branded notebooks and beach towels, making it just as much fun to hit the books as it is to hit the beach.

9Dialogues: Featuring Ryan Kanterman

Ryan Kanterman, VP of Measurement, NinthDecimal

9Dialogues Provides an Inside Look at the NinthDecimal Culture and the Amazing People Behind Its Success

In this installment of “9Dialogues”, we speak with Ryan Kanterman, VP of Measurement, about how he’s seen the company grow and why marketers are ready for more advanced forms of attribution.

What is your role at NinthDecimal?

I oversee NinthDecimal’s measurement division. My team and I help clients understand how their campaigns have impacted people to visit real-world locations, and whether those visits are directly caused by advertising. In addition, I spend a lot of time educating the market on the importance of foot traffic measurement and how it can help marketers measure and optimize their campaigns.

You’ve been here for almost nine years. How have you seen this company grow and change in that time?

It has definitely been a roller coaster since I joined in 2008! When I first started, we were a Wi-Fi advertising company that ran the advertising layer on top of Wi-Fi login portals, pretty much sticking to 300×250 ads, and, if you were lucky, 728x90s.

Once smartphones became more popular, we started expanding outside of the walls of Wi-Fi venues to gather and use smartphone location signals to understand audiences. Eventually, we shifted the entire business to this emerging technology, building our proprietary Location Graph which connected where people went in the real world to their smartphones and other devices, which we could tie to an individual person.

Fast-forward again on this journey of JiWire to NinthDecimal, and we realized that the data we were working with was so massive and so powerful that we could use it for more than just media, so we made the data portable, allowing marketers to buy audiences programmatically and through DSPs. It also allowed us to open our proprietary measurement solution (LCI™) to measure across the entire media ecosystem. We’ve now certified over 220 publishers and partners for attribution across the industry.

Most recently, we’ve been building our omnichannel capabilities and can measure media across mobile app, mobile web, desktop, and even more traditional media like TV and Out of Home. I see this as one of the really exciting opportunities for us as we establish ourselves as the industry standard for offline attribution.

What do you think is the biggest challenge for marketers in relation to attribution?

Because it’s a fairly new space, I think there’s a lack of education in the market. There are multiple players in this space and a lot of noise and clutter which makes it challenging for advertisers to differentiate between attribution options.

One of the things I like to focus on is the importance of statistical rigor in an attribution methodology. Every time we are vetted against other measurement solutions in the foot traffic space, we have emerged victorious because when you look under the hood, we are doing quite complex things that allow us to understand the actual impact of advertising, while others can’t really assign causality and can only provide observational metrics.

How can marketers identify statistical rigor in a measurement solution?

Start by looking at the reporting. There are vendors out there who don’t report on confidence interval or show confidence intervals that are lower than 95%; in a lot of cases it’s sub 70% which is literally meaningless.

We often speak with analytics teams who want to get under the hood to make sure we’re using things like AdStock decay, which reduces the value of a visit as time passes, historical visitation patterns in control/exposed matching, and the removal of outliers like employees. These are all things we account for in our methodology.

We believe all of this is really important when evaluating solutions. But our clients come to us with varying levels of knowledge about statistics and attribution, so we have to make sure we’re able to prove the value whether we’re talking to a media-buying team, analytics team, client team responsible for brand engagement, or even finance team. This can be a challenge, but as a company and team we’re well positioned to have these different conversations.

What is your favorite part about working at NinthDecimal?

I have continuously been excited about working for this company because as time goes on, we are consistently evolving. We’ve been ahead of the game in market innovation and, most importantly, we do things with integrity, which I’ve found is sometimes rare in our industry. We don’t release new products or solutions until they are fully baked and we comprehend their implications to both our clients and the market at large. Because of this, we have been held in high regard since the beginning of this company, which again is rare in the media landscape. I’m proud to be part of the NinthDecimal family and I look forward to the future!

NinthDecimal Infographic: DC Movers, The Data Behind the President’s First 100 Days in Office

Millennials, Healthcare Professionals and Household Income Rise Among New D.C. Residents Following the President’s First 100 Days in Office

Following the 100th day of a new administration in the United States, Americans typically take time to re-evaluate the latest inhabitant of the White House and consider what the events of the first few months could mean for the next four years. There are plenty of journalists and pundits that are far more qualified to analyze the political ramifications of these first 100 days, so we thought it would be interesting to look at people’s physical-world behavior to understand the changing dynamics in our nation’s capital when a new administration arrives. To uncover these insights, we compared the demographics, interests, and behavior of people that relocated to Washington, D.C., around the inauguration to those that moved out around the same timeframe.

Millennials On the Rise, But Gen-Xers Still Represent Core of Dynamic D.C. Residents

According to the study, Millennials (18-34 years old) represent a growing segment of the capital’s new population, accounting for more than one-fifth of residents (21.1%) that moved into the city compared to 19.3% of residents that moved out, the largest difference between incoming and outgoing residents. However, members of Generation X (35-54 years old) still account for nearly half of the people that relocated, and those who moved in (48%) increased slightly compared to those who moved out (47.5%).

The data also showed that the neighboring states of Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania led all others in both sending new residents to D.C. and taking in former residents, accounting for almost half of each group. Florida and New York were also in the top five for both categories, but a much larger portion of new residents came from New York (9.1%) than those that moved there (7.1%), while the reverse was true for Florida – 8.2% of former D.C. residents ended up in the Sunshine State, while just 6.2% arrived from there.

Household Incomes Above $250K On the Rise; Percentage of Government Employees Drop While Healthcare Professionals Grow

New residents were more likely to fall on both ends of the income spectrum, with a greater portion of annual household incomes (HHI) under $50K or above $250K compared to former residents. HHI over $500K increased by 60%, the largest comparative lift among any segment (going from 0.10% to 0.16%). All HHI segments between $50K and $249K decreased when comparing new to former residents.

The study also showed significant changes in professions between incoming and outgoing residents, with the largest relative change brought about by new residents who work as healthcare professionals (10.1% compared to 8.9% of former residents – a 14% lift). People working in government-related fields represented the largest raw percentage change between the two groups, falling from 16.6% to 14.5%. The portion of new residents with jobs in finance or education also decreased by about 1% compared to former residents.

Leisure Travelers and Health Enthusiasts Increase While Cost-Conscious Shoppers and Big Box Shoppers Decrease, But Subway Remains Top Visited Locations for New and Former Residents

The data showed major shifts between new and former residents’ interests and shopping habits. Leisure travelers, health enthusiasts, and luxury shoppers made up a significantly higher percentage of new residents compared to former residents while cost-conscious shoppers and big box shoppers were sharply down. Among former residents, 18.7% were cost-conscious shoppers and 17.1% shopped at big box stores, but those numbers fell sharply among new residents to 8.9% and 7%, respectively – a relative decrease of more than 50% across both categories.

In line with the overall lift in financial status, activities associated with greater wealth, such as leisure travel and luxury shopping, were far more popular among new residents. Leisure travelers saw a whopping 336% comparative increase, rising from just 3.4% of former D.C. residents to 14.9% of people that moved into the capital. Luxury shoppers saw a 30% lift between the two groups, going from 4.4% to 5.7%. The portion of health enthusiasts also rose 33% in comparison to former residents, with 36.2% of new residents seen at gyms, day spas, athletic clubs, natural food stores and healthier grocery stores multiple times within the past three months.

But even with the shifts between new and former residents’ interests and behaviors, some patterns refused to change. In this case, it was the fact that the most-visited locations for both groups were Subway, the “healthy fast food chain,” with about 4% of each group stopping by for a quick bite on a regular basis.

To view the infographic illustrating the study’s findings, click here.

9Dialogues: Featuring Liam Beesley

Liam Beesley, Art Director, Creative at NinthDecimal

9Dialogues Provides an Inside Look at the NinthDecimal Culture and the Amazing People Behind Its Success

In this installment of “9Dialogues”, we speak with Liam Beesley, Art Director, Creative, and his insights into creative trends, the next steps for ad units, and favorite campaigns.

What is your role within NinthDecimal?

I lead the design and production of Rich Media Ad Unit campaigns & RFP mocks.

How did your creative background lead you here?

I started off my design career as a Flash animator for websites, then began building websites fully in Flash. I also have a print background. When Flash stopped being supported and replaced with HTML5 animation solutions, I jumped at the chance to get back to my animation roots. Designing Rich Media (RM) animated interactive ads gave me that opportunity.

Do you have any favorite campaigns that you’ve designed?

My favorite ad units have two major elements: 1) Design 2) User interactivity. I worked on a campaign last year for a company that featured a gyroscope animation sequence. Users could control the motion of a firefly in the unit by changing the axis of their phone, and the firefly would move accordingly, flying along a changing background. Recently I built a unit for Snowmass in Colorado where the user could self-animate changing scenes by ‘shaking’ their phones.

I like designing these types of ad units because they allow the user to feel like they are getting more than an advertisement to buy something; it actually gives them the opportunity to have a bit of fun while engaging with a brand.

What are some of the creative trends in mobile that you are most excited about?

There are two that I think are great:

  • Vertical Video: Standard film is shot in landscape mode for mediums like TV, Cinema & Desktop, but with the advent of smartphone video, the user must flip their phone from portrait to landscape for the video to fill the screen. Vertical Video takes advantage of the phone user’s natural tendency to hold their phone in portrait mode and not have to flip the phone to see the full video. One drawback is that the original film is cropped at the sides; however, in post-production I can switch the video’s focal point to the center of the action so as not to lose the integrity of the footage.
  • Dynamic Creative: This solution accommodates multiple variables (weather, day of week, audience, etc.), to ensure the correct creative is going to the right audience at the right time. A clothing company for example with a range of products can now customize an ad with beachwear creative for a user in California that is experiencing sunny, warm weather, and different creative to a user who is experiencing snow in Colorado. All the creative versions live in the same campaign and are delivered to the user when the conditions are met.

What type of ad units are underutilized?

Games. Many of the ‘out of the box’ games come with inflexible RM software that requires significant development by third party engineers to customize, which prolongs projects. Hopefully RM software vendors will soon offer a larger variety of in-built games that designers like myself can customize for clients.

What questions do you ask the client in order to recommend the right creative approach?

I have a ‘creative kick off call’ to understand the objectives of the client’s campaign. I listen to their ideas, offer my take, and, from there, direct them to a solution that I believe will work for them. I like to inform the client what I will produce before I start a project so as to get all teams on the same page in order to avoid any surprises when they receive the creative.

What do you think makes the most effective ad unit?

A simple, beautiful, easy user interface that delivers the right message visually.

Where do you see the future of ad creative headed?

I see it moving towards video. Having video with interchangeable, interactive elements is a growing trend in the “dev” world. There is a shift in presenting video in different formats with a focus on user engagement and interaction, in a shorter length of time. Clients recognize they need to grab users’ attention in a shorter time frame because they generally don’t stick around for a :30+ sec video. Offering more for the user in a 10-15 sec time frame is definitely a trend.

What is your favorite part of working at NinthDecimal?

I love collaborating with the different teams that all play a key role in any campaign. The 9D team is very versatile, collaborative, and can improvise when needed. There is such a positive work atmosphere and the culture is fabulous.

NinthDecimal and Tru Optik Form An Over-The-Top Partnership

We’re excited to announce a new partnership with Tru Optik, the only audience measurement and data management platform built for over-the-top (OTT) television.  that will allow marketers to leverage consumers’ physical-world shopping, dining and lifestyle behaviors for OTT television ad targeting and campaign performance assessment.

Using Tru Optik’s recently launched OTT Marketing Cloud, marketers now have the unique ability to use NinthDecimal’s audience intelligence in conjunction with other CRM data to activate cross-device, programmatic and direct OTT television campaigns.

“Our partnership with Tru Optik delivers an entirely new level of reach and accuracy for marketers that want to take full advantage of OTT’s targeting and measurement capabilities,” said Brian Slitt, chief revenue officer at NinthDecimal. “With specific consumer profiles and preferences based on physical-world behavior, including their affinity to specific brands, marketers can more accurately reach OTT audiences that align with their media campaigns. We’re excited about what both companies can deliver to the market under this new partnership.”

Learn more here about our exciting new partnership.

Media Innovator Joins NinthDecimal’s Board of Directors

Manish Bhatia has joined NinthDecimal’s Board of Directors

We’re excited to officially announce that Manish Bhatia, former comScore executive and current CEO of the North American business of Kantar Media, has joined NinthDecimal’s Board of Directors. Manish brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our board which is made up of leaders spanning marketing and advertising technology industries. In addition to comScore, Manish has held leadership positions at Nielsen and Symphony Advanced Media.

“…The team’s innovation in leveraging location data to bridge digital channels with traditional media, especially TV, is creating a major shift in how brands reach and engage their target audiences. I’m looking forward to contributing to NinthDecimal’s ongoing growth….” Manish Bhatia

Read more here.

Samsung & Starcom Share Location Insights with MMA Audience

Marketers, agency partners, and technology experts all gathered a few weeks ago at MMA’s Location Leadership Forum to discuss the power of location data in today’s marketing programs. The attendees heard how notable brands like Wendy’s, PepsiCo, and Volvo use location data to inform audience targeting. They heard about cutting edge location technology from folks like Philips. And they even heard directly from consumers in a panel of Gen Z representatives.

One of these sessions featured Mike Desanti, Associate Director of Communication Planning at Starcom, and NinthDecimal client Whitney Jones, SVP of Data & Analytics at Publicis Groupe, who shared the recent work they’ve done with Samsung. As they noted, location data plays a large role in Samsung’s strategy, from experiential marketing to campaign and audience insights. Read on for session highlights.

Key takeaways from Samsung’s location-based marketing initiatives:

Whitney Jones, SVP of Data & Analytics at Publicis Groupe speaks at MMA Location Leadership Forum

  • Location snaps brand experiences into focus: Through location-based geofilters on Snapchat, Samsung developed unique branded experiences during events like the Tribeca Film Festival and Austin City Limits. While the events were local to NYC and Austin, respectively, Samsung brought the experiences to relevant audiences on a national scale.
  • Offline behavior drives human insights: Samsung utilized NinthDecimal’s physical world behavior data to determine which types of customers were most likely to visit their stores. They found that movie and entertainment lovers and DIY enthusiasts made up a big part of their customer base, supporting their ongoing messaging strategy of “Do what you can’t” aimed towards creative individuals.
  • Location informs media and targeting strategy: By measuring a recent campaign with NinthDecimal’s Location Conversion Index, Samsung could compare how different tactics and channels drove people to stores. They found that geotargeted ads drive a 6.7x higher lift in foot traffic than non-geotarged ads. They also compared performance across Digital and TV campaigns, finding that customers who saw ads across both mediums showed a 1.8x higher foot traffic lift than people who only saw Digital ads. These kinds of insights will help Samsung plan flighting, targeting, and media mix in future campaigns.

After the presentation, an audience member asked if the insights discovered through location data changed any of Samsung’s strategy moving forward. Jones replied, “these insights absolutely influenced the way we think about audiences, and how we map messaging to them.”

“Data Portability” and “Device Agnostic” Surface as Central Themes During Tru Optik’s INFronts Conference

Last week, NinthDecimal had the pleasure of attending Tru Optik’s s INFronts conference, hosted at the Crosby Street Hotel in downtown Manhattan.  INFronts is a “content, network and device agnostic forum” held for agencies, brand marketers and media buyers alike to discover and deliberate notable advancements in the world of data-driven Marketing & Advertising.

Tru Optik’s INFronts Conference panel discussing “people-based marketing” & “device/channel agnosticism”

In a short amount of time, attendees mingled with peers, then dove head first into a series of moderated chats and panels set on the stage of the hotel’s trendy underground theater. In the end, the audience walked away feeling stimulated and inspired by the intriguing subject matter and talking points on the critical issues surrounding the future of the industry, particularly: Data/Targeting, Digital Video, and Connected TV.

The agenda kicked off with a spirited fireside chat between Tru Optik CEO, Andre Swanston, and Executive Vice Chairman and President of comScore, Bill Livek, focusing on the pursuit of data integration and seamless measurement/attribution across consumer screens. The spotlight then moved onto an impressively stacked expert panel set out to reconcile and explore the complimentary nature of data vs. creative in the digital realm.

To close, Tru Optik CRO, Michael Scott, invited the next panel of experts to the stage to tackle the abstract and rather complicated question hanging on everyone’s mind:

What does TV even mean anymore, anyway?

All in all – despite TV being the focal point – the central and essential themes of “people-based marketing” and “device/channel agnosticism” rang through the entire conference, leaving us at NinthDecimal nodding our heads and excited to further explore our partnership with Tru Optik and the many other forward-thinking companies represented at INFronts.

Until next year!

(PS. Look out for a follow-up post on “the screen agnostic consumer” coming soon!)

9Dialogues: Featuring Nick Salinas

9Dialogues Provides an Inside Look at the NinthDecimal Culture and the Amazing People Behind Its Success

In this installment of “9Dialogues”, we speak with Nick Salinas, Executive Director of Client Success, and hear his thoughts on customer service and building a team at a “lean and mean” startup.

Nick Salinas – Executive Director of Client Success

What is your role within NinthDecimal?

As Executive Director of Client Success, my primary responsibility is to lead, support and mentor a world-class customer service team, who I consider the heart of our company. I believe in empowering my team members to make decisions that result in outstanding service for our clients and internal partners. Another objective that is always top of mind is fostering our Client Success Managers’ career growth, allowing them to follow their passion and elevate their position, whether that be on the Client Success team or even if that means joining another team within NinthDecimal.

I am also responsible for ensuring our clients receive solutions that align with their campaign goals and that relationships are retained and continue to grow. Collaborating cross-functionally and building/maintaining strong partnerships with other NinthDecimal teams, as well as recommending and implementing various processes and strategies to improve team efficiency and overall client experience are also top priorities.

Leading a large, bi-coastal Client Success team must require constant communication across all NinthDecimal offices to stay on the same page.  What are your tips for teamwork and communication to ensure offices share processes, key learnings, and information at the same rate?

In Client Success, we have the advantage of getting to work closely with just about every team in the company, which is one of my favorite aspects of being part of this group. As a result, there is a tremendous amount of collaboration and cross-functional education that happens. With that said, it is still important that we are constantly challenging ourselves and proactively seeking ways to learn from others. We are fortunate to have amazing leaders across all the support teams and we make it a priority to meet regularly to ensure we’re working together towards the same goal.

As a “lean and mean” start-up, we are always looking for ways we can find creative solutions to make things happen. The veterans on the team can attest that we’ve come a long way and have accomplished a lot in terms of increasing our level of efficiency. We’re big on knowledge sharing and every Client Success Manager on the team has been assigned as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in one or more areas of expertise (from Product to Process to Data Partners and more). Each SME is responsible for working with other Team Leads and Partners to compile information and disseminate to the team. Additionally, we kicked off a Client Success & Ad Operations Exchange program last year where we join each other’s team meeting every month and share information about the day-to-day of our respective roles. These are also supplemented by a quarterly event/happy hour, which encourages team bonding. The program has been a great success!

NinthDecimal has a ton of third party data partners – from measurement to programmatic.  That’s a lot to keep track of, especially when the Client Success team is expected to be experts on all of them so they can manage and recommend the best strategies for clients.  How do you and your team handle that?

What we do is complex and in many ways our Client Success Managers also act as Technical Account Managers. As a result, ongoing education is imperative. We are fortunate to work with fantastic support teams who have been a great resource in ensuring we get the proper training when a new partnership or product is rolled out or updated. We also have great relationships with our Data Partners who we meet with on a regular basis for refreshes and an opportunity to walk through real-life examples to brainstorm the best strategies and client solutions. Ultimately, the Sales and Client Success partnership and brainstorming our approach to each individual campaign are the two important and effective ways to ensure our client is getting the best solution possible.

What is the most important trait you look for in a Client Success team member?

During our 2016 Sales Conference in San Francisco, one of the highlights was a guest speaker that presented on our final day, Vanessa Van Edwards. Although NinthDecimal Leaders all do a great job at considering when assessing candidates, she articulated it very well; the most effective team members strike a perfect balance of two traits: warmth and competence. This could not be more accurate when it comes to a Client Success Manager. These are the two overarching traits I look for when assessing candidates for an open spot on our team. Under the warmth and competence umbrella, we look for teammates who have a passion and commitment to world-class customer service, are thoughtful, responsive and are able anticipate our clients’ needs. The Client Success Manager acts as a trusted advisor to not only our external customers but our internal ones as well. They should also have an analytical mindset, always identifying ways to help our clients succeed while working to build trusting, collaborative relationships with partners of all levels. Additionally, a strong sense of ownership and the ability to remain calm and focused in a fast paced, deadline-driven environment are crucial traits. Ultimately, we want people on the team that our clients will love and the team will love working with.

NinthDecimal is well-known for its exceptional white glove customer service and campaign management.  What do you attribute this success to?

We pride ourselves in delivering world-class customer service and our ultimate goal is our clients’ success. We strive to deliver solutions in an engaging and informed way with highly responsive communication. Our team members all take pride in having integrity and going the extra mile to ensure our clients have a great experience working with NinthDecimal. Hiring team members that exhibit the warmth and competence I referenced earlier is key, but ultimately it is a team effort. We rely heavily on our partners in Sales, AdOps, Marketing and many others to work in conjunction with us to achieve this. Our Client Success Managers are extremely dedicated to our clients and it shows. I couldn’t be prouder of our team!

What is your favorite part of working at NinthDecimal?

I get this question frequently when candidates are interviewing for a position at NinthDecimal and my answer has always been the same. It comes down to three things; the people, the culture, and the product. We have some of the smartest, most talented people in the industry and I am very fortunate to work alongside these folks and learn from them everyday. I am also grateful for a culture that encourages creativity, collaboration and grants us the ability to ask questions and make a difference. The transparency and lack of politics is refreshing and appreciated. Because we have such a talented group of people at NinthDecimal, team members are trusted to get their jobs done with minimal interference and generous flexibility. Finally, I love our product and what sets us apart in the marketplace. I have tremendous confidence in our offering and am really proud of how far we’ve come and cannot wait to continue to be a part of all of the great things ahead!

Bottoms Up to a High Video Completion Rate

It’s time to grab the salt shakers and limes to salute an award-winning tequila brand that successfully ran a retargeting campaign, resulting in a 73% video completion rate (VCR). The Brand launched an outdoor billboard campaign across major cities in the U.S., and using NinthDecimal’s audience intelligence data, was able to retarget individuals who passed by the billboards within a given radius at a later date.

Once the campaign was underway, through sophisticated in-flight optimization, a cross-channel strategy was employed that ended up doubling consumer engagement. Using NinthDecimal’s physical-world data, the Brand was able to execute a cross-screen strategy that enhanced their message.

Now that’s something to cheers about!