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I am Officially a Googler

Published on April 6, 2012

After nearly five incredible years of working at Spreed, I have made the difficult decision to move on. As of this coming Monday, I am very excited to announce that I will be joining the Google team as their Media Solutions Lead.

As you can all imagine this was not an easy decision. I have lived and breathed the Spreed platform, representing a best-in-class product with a World Class team. I still remember the excitement of my first day, the rush of my first speaking engagement and the pride of closing my first major deal on behalf of the team. I could not have succeeded without the leadership and support of the co-founders Anthony Novac and Suhail Mirza, who have been instrumental to both my personal and professional success.

I consider myself very fortunate to have worked with the brightest minds in the newspaper industry, people whom I have grown to respect and admire. I won’t mention any names specifically, but you each know who you are and your passion for newspapers is contagious and inspiring. The industry is far from dead and, thanks to some of its change-driven thought leaders, has a very bright future ahead of it.

Alas, I have a long career ahead of me and a strong desire to continue learning. I believe that Google will be the perfect place to hone my skills and foster my growth. As many of you can imagine it has been a dream of mine to work for Google since I first saw their colourful logo and used their technology to access the web in 1998. They are known for their ground breaking innovations, exceptional industry leadership and powerful position in the market. I will continue to keep striving for excellence and sharing what I learn with those around me.

This has been a year of big changes – the new home, engagement to the love of my life – and Google is the next step to achieving the life goals I have set out for myself.

Thank you to everyone who has been there to support me; my family, my fiance, the team at Spreed,  the newspaper industry and the Toronto Technology/Startup Community. All of your encouragement, feedback and guidance have been invaluable and I promise to not let you down.

I hope to stay in touch with all of the fantastic people I have met, worked with and shared a passion with for Spreed. I cannot wait to begin this next chapter in my life.

Thank you!

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Mobile News is Here to Stay

Published on March 19, 2012

One in four American adults now has a smartphone, and one in five owns a tablet. And 27 percent of Americans are getting news on mobile devices — increasingly across different platforms. That’s according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, and its annual report on the State of the News Media in 2012, released today.

It is clear that mobile is here to stay and that consumers are increasingly looking to their mobile devices for their daily news intake. We highly recommend reading this poignant analysis of the recent Pew Research study from Nieman Labs.

News-to-go is here to stay

The annual State of the News Media study from the Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism officially rings in the “age of mobile.”

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Lessons for Newsmedia Companies from Around the Mobile Industry

Published on March 6, 2012

Mark Challinor, The Director of Mobile for the Telegraph Media Group in the UK wrote a simple and poignant post on the INMA Mobile and Tablets blog last month that inspired me. I had the pleasure of meeting Mark in New York last year at the INMA World Congress and can honestly say that he truly understands the mobile news space. One must only look as far as the Telegraph to see a company that believes in the true potential of mobile.

Probably one of the most important quotes in this article states that, “As an industry, we are generally poor at this (knowing your user and where they are digesting your content), offering basically the same content regardless of platform, age, time of day, and who the viewer is.” Mark is spot on here. Mobile is an extremely unique medium in that it is truly personal. It has the potential to know who we are and where we are, it’s connected and is on us at almost all times of the day. As an industry we need to take advantage of these unique qualities and not simply offer a one size fits all strategy when it comes to the mobile space in general and specifically mobile content.

Mark then goes on to lay out 4 strategies that we should all focus on. I will list them out here, but the full article (linked below) is definitely worth a read. They are:

  1. Know your readership and how they use mobile with you (think deep analytics and actually using the data in a meaningful way)
  2. Make your mobile ads as relevant as possible
  3. Create premium, multichannel experiences, befitting your perception.
  4. Make mobile a social affair
Points 3 and 4 are pretty simple strategies to work on and don’t really need new technology other than perhaps a paywall or in app purchase integration. The first two however require you to work with a vendor like Spreed who looks at apps, analytics and advertising all under the same umbrella.
For example your reporting platform may pinpoint a certain segment of users who care about sports, but then how are you going to target those users with specific sports content unless you are directly integrating your analytics package into your content delivery platform? Spreed has this capability as our analytics packages (MobileInsight) is directly integrated into ContentSync (our middleware content server). The same goes for advertising. You can understand all you want about a user, but unless your analytics package is directly integrated into your ad platform, you will not be able to target that user with ads based on their specific user profile.
I think Mark is onto something here and would love to see more newspapers working on these strategies. I have definitely heard of a few who are beginning to get wise to the concept of automated personalized news, based on location, context and behaviour, but would like to see this trend put into action. Read more from Mark below:
Readers on mobile devices are generally more time-poor, specific-reason focused, and armed with a different viewing method (a small screen) — and many are ready to go away if not instantly engaged or informed.
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Mobile is All About Location, Location, Location

Published on March 5, 2012

It is of no great surprise that the team at Spreed believes that location is an extremely large part of the mobile mix. Location targeting can be used for displaying more relevant content to users, but it can also be extremely effective as a form of targeting for advertisers.

Spreed has been on the forefront of location based advertising since the inception of the iPhone and it’s ubiquitous GPS technology. Not only have we developed a content platform that can detect someone’s location and actually re-skin the application based on where that users is (i.e. Metro News in English speaking Canada versus French spreaking Canada), but we have also included to-the-meter targeting of advertising in our CleverAds Ad platform.

We have seen a number of our publishers sell smart location based campaigns to their advertisers partners. Some of the most notorious examples being the targeting of large sports stadiums during professional games with deals for bars and restaurants right outside of the stadium. However, in most part we haven’t seen a large number of these campaigns run.

Mobile Marketer published a good article last week entitled, Have Marketers Forgotten About Geotargeted Mobile Advertising. We do not believe they have forgotten about it, we believe they haven’t even really tried it out yet. We are hoping that 2012 will bring a change in the trial and testing of location based campaigns.

The article by Mobile Marketer references Wilson Kerr, vice president of business development and sales at Unbound Commerce, Boston, who says  that location based campaigns haven’t been sold yet because, “ there is far more mobile ad inventory than ad campaigns booked. Mobile ad networks likely want to broaden the net they cast, rather than narrow it, to maximize impressions rendered.”

Essentially he is implying that mobile ad networks are just trying to fill as much inventory as possible, as we are still in the infancy of mobile advertising, without thinking about the conversions. This is a problem as generalized, untargeted campaigns are not going to translate into high CTR’s and in the infancy of mobile we need to prove campaign can really provide significant benefits over other mediums in order make mobile a permanent and potential dominant part of the advertising mix.

The above reason could be the issue for the lack of location based campaigns. But we would also like to throw in the possibility that the technology in not generally available in order to sell premium location based campaigns. The achilles heal of location based marketing has always been it’s inability to accurately predict a number of available impressions within a specific location.

Most ad platforms give publishers or advertisers the ability to target campaigns to the city or meter level. But very few can actually tell a sales representative how many available impressions they have to sell within any given location. Without understanding what you are selling it is hard to have confidence in your product and even harder for a potential advertising partner to understand what they are buying.

Spreed is proud to be one of the few, if not the only ad platform with the ability to report on trending available inventory within any given location. Because our ad platform is directly integrated into our analytics platform and the application or mobile site, we have significantly more information about a user and can actually use that information when targeting them with advertising. Location is just one example of information that we collect and can then utilize from an advertising perspective.

If location based advertising is going to become popular (and it should be as the conversions could be massive) more technology providers are going to have to provide detailed reporting on available inventory within a location. In the mean time our platform is ready to provide publishers and advertisers with that information.

If you have any questions about location based mobile advertising or location based reporting, to not hesitate to reach out to us via email/phone or leave a comment on this post. In the mean time we highly recommend reading the Mobile Marketer article linked to below.

Have Marketers Forgotten About Geotargeted Mobile Advertising 

Geotargeted mobile advertising is a hot commodity and a great way for marketers to not only drive in-store traffic, but make ads relevant to consumers. Although companies such as Best Buy and Ace Hardware are using location to their advantage, others are not.


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Trends, Opportunities and Best Practices in Mobile Creative

Published on February 17, 2012

Here’s a great deck provided by the IAB on mobile creative. I am sure a number of these slides have useful data and content that can be used when pitching advertising clients.


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Infographic: The Seven Deadly Sins of Mobile Marketing

Published on February 16, 2012

Okay, we are clearly in an infographic mood today. The graphic below  was developed by the folks over at Text Marketer and explains how to run a successful SMS campaign by avoiding the so-called “7 deadly sins of mobile marketing.”

Although Spreed doesn’t do SMS marketing a lot of the sins here are applicable to mobile display advertising. When selling a campaign to a potential advertiser make sure you are coaching them what to do and what not to do. At the end of the day you will see a higher CTR and therefore a happier and longer term advertising partner.

If your client doesn’t have a mobile site or landing page setup then speak to us about building one through our good partners at MoFuse.

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Infographic: The Growth of Mobile Advertising in 2011

Published on February 16, 2012

The good folks at Inneractive have published their latest infographic dubbed “From Barcelona to Barcelona: the Growth of Mobile Advertising in 2011.”

Although this still may no be the year of mobile advertising, this graphic certainly paints the picture for hockey stick growth in the industry.

It is very important that publishers think about their mobile advertising strategy and not just their mobile development strategy. The two components need to be very closely tied together and must be acted on now if you want to be a part of this exciting new wave of advertisers.

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Local Mobile Advertising Set for Hockey Stick Growth Over Next 5 Years

Published on February 14, 2012

Over the past three years we have heard a lot about the decline of newspaper advertising revenue and falling subscriptions. Although some analysts may be predicting doom and gloom for the industry others believe there is still a lot of opportunity for newspapers, especially in the local advertising space. Newspapers have something special, especially in local markets, that other online publishers don’t have and that’s brand.

I have seen example after example of digital sales representatives pitching local businesses and failing terribly as the business owner had no idea where his ad was being shown. On the other hand most small businesses know their local paper very well and have been advertising with them for decades. This is an opportunity that newspapers are seizing today and need to continue to harness in the future and mobile could be the driving force to increased ad dollars from local advertisers.

Mobile and local advertising have been touted as the next big thing for newspapers. Smartphones are in peoples pockets/hands at all times and are increasingly becoming a driving force behind peoples purchasing decisions. Matched with to the meter location based targeting, local advertisers are moving to mobile in droves.

Gordon Borrell of Borrell Associates recently predicted at MediaPost’s Mobile Summit that local mobile advertising was going to shoot up from $2Billion this year to $24billion in 2016. We highly recommend reading the below article from MediaPost on Borrell’s predictions and how it may effect your digital strategy moving forward. The important thing to note is that if you are a local newspaper, now is the time to get into mobile so that you can start building advertiser intelligence within your communities. Read more below:

Local Mobile Advertising To Reach $24 Billion In 2016

Local mobile ad revenue to shoot up from about $2 billion this year to about $24 billion by 2016.

By then, Borell estimates that 88% of all local online advertising will be delivered on a mobile device. That growth will come directly at the expense of the desktop Web, where spending will decline 76% in the next five years.


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Print Ad Dollars Moving to Digital: What This Means for Digital

Published on January 24, 2012

eMarketer Thursday released an updated ad forecast predicting that online would surpass print ad spending this year.

“U.S. online advertising spending, which grew 23% to $32.03 billion in 2011, is expected to grow an additional 23.3% to $39.50 billion this year, pushing it ahead of total spending on print newspapers and magazines,” the research aggregator and analyst projects in its updated forecast, which projects that ad spending is expected to fall to $33.80 billion in 2012, from $36.00 billion in 2011.

The big question in everyone’s mind is what does this mean for print and digital departments at newspapers and how should they be addressing this change. iMediaConnection, put out a great post that sums up the situation perfectly. We recommend everyone give this article a good read and post your comments below:

What the decline of print means for digital

Publishers and marketers alike are compelled to start considering, now, how to add more visual and multimedia material to written pieces to make them stand out, to encourage opt-in and tune-in from target audiences, to deliver appropriate content to mobile platforms, and to make complex information easily and visually digestible — in a hurry. (Infographics are becoming very, very popular with marketers, as are charticles with publishers.)


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Contextually Relevant Mobile Ads See Impressive Clickthrough Rates

Published on January 17, 2012

Hot off the heels of our last post about Facebook and their impressive CPM and Clickthrough rates is a new article from EMarketer. According to their research, they are finding that contextually relevant ads are seeing significantly higher clickthrough rates in mobile.

This statement seems logical and obvious, however the point needs to be made. Ad sales teams need to think about relevancy in the mobile space. Mobile devices are connected and with you at all times. Context can mean location, but it can also be based on what you are or have read in the past.

It is important to choose advertising technology that will allow you to target users based on the data that you are collecting about them. Mobile has the potential to provide significant returns on your advertising clients investment, but you need to manage them effectively. The only way to do this is to have the capability to offer deep location based, demographic, behavioural and contextual targeting.

To learn more from Emarketer about this study, click below

Contextually Relevant Mobile Ads See Impressive Clickthrough Rates

Contextual advertising has long been a staple of many media plans for brand marketers looking to approximate their target audience through aligning their ads with relevant site content.

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© Dave Coleman 2012