December 2009

Exclusive Music: Yolks – Drive Wise Volume 1

When it comes to Hip Hop, there are those artists that stack up on the top of my list. Guys like Nas, Jay-Z, Talib Kweli, Common, The Roots, Notorious B.I.G, but one of my favorite hip hop artists is someone that most people have never heard of. His name is Yolks. A guy from Madison, Wisconsin who could freestyle and write lyrics with the best of them.

Check out some of his tracks below. My favorites are I’m Yolks, Trappin, Chop It Up, and Dem Boyz

Yolks – Drive Wise Volume 1 by danreich

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The “Macrotization” of Ad Serving, Ad Exchanges, and Demand Side Platforms

The online advertising industry at large is sprinting towards maximizing efficiency. Overall, the working theory is that smart aggregation and assembly of various technology providers will create a unique solution for display advertising, and one that combines audience targeting, procurement, arbitrage and media trade. However, if, as Randall Rothenberg, CEO of IAB, states: “technology succeeds in driving the cost of reaching the perfect audience down to zero” in his latest post titled “Is Marketing a Strategic Resource or a Procured Commodity?” then the industry might be fumbling towards false ecstasy, with “the same low costs, the same perfect efficiency, for doing the same exact thing.”

Allow me to explain. With all of the aggregation and consolidation of publishers, networks, and exchanges, in many instances, an overlap occurs with publisher inventory. Think about a typical web publisher in today’s ecosystem. Think about how many ad networks that publisher works with. Now think about how many ad exchanges those ad networks work with. Then think about how many Demand Side Platforms those ad exchanges work with. The result? The tail wags the dog: when you bid on an impression, in all likely hood, you are bidding on yourself, for the same piece of inventory. This overlap and inconsistency in many cases results in decreased efficiency.

Here at Lotame we call this concept “Macrotization” wherein you try and optimize results at the macro level but have built algorithms and processes that can’t ultimately be supported by the disparate supporting systems and components. Many of the components in these new advertising platforms don’t necessarily complement each other, even though it may seem as if they do, and complementary buzzwords often connect ephemeral dots that don’t belong. In time, the foundation for macrotization will settle, but for now, tremors still abound.

The truth is, there are few companies out there that successfully manage all pieces of the “macrotization” process. Those that can will deliver true efficiencies for their clients because they can seamlessly connect and control all pieces in the value chain—from audience identification through media delivery and resulting insights—in a completely transparent manner.

(Disclosure: The post can also be found at Lotame Learnings. Lotame is my current employer)

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The $800k Hotdogs

A cooked hot dog garnished with mustard.
Image via Wikipedia

I heard a story recently that went something like this…

(This is a true story, although the actual conversation below is fake)

A guy calls a reputable consultant for advice. This consultant also happens to be an Ivy League Law School Alumni, successful investor, and successful entrepreneur. Let’s just say he knows a thing or two about business.

The call goes something like this:

Caller: Hey Mr. Consultant. I got a great business that I need help with.

Consultant: Ok, what kind of business?

Caller: I sell hot dogs. I have 2 hot dog carts.

Consultant: You sell hot dogs?? Why the Fu*# are you wasting my time?

Caller: Well, I grossed over $800k last year from just two hot dog stands.

Consultant: Wow, ok. Now you have my attention…

Now, you can only imagine what the next obvious question is…

Consultant: …where are your hot dog stands located?

Before I give you the answer, just think about this for a second or two. This guy, in a cash business, made over $800,000 gross profit from selling hot dogs. Yes, hot dogs!

So you might say the hot dog stands were located in a city. Maybe Times Square. You might say the hot dog stands were located in a mall or perhaps some football stadium. Maybe a baseball stadium.

If you guessed any of these you’d be wrong.

The reality is, the hot dog stands were located in front of…

Home Depot.

Crazy? Not really, and think about that for another second.

From the minute Home Depot opens to the minute it is closed (around 7am – 11pm depending on the local store) subcontractors and construction workers are in and out buying materials, tools, and other wonderful construction accessories for their jobs. Middle class, blue collar workers who are looking for a quick bite to eat, and what could be a better snack then a $2.00 hot dog with perhaps a $1.00 can of soda?

Moral of the story here?

If you are thinking about the next, new big idea, just remember this guy. He took a very old idea but gave it a new twist. A boring idea perhaps, but this guy will never go hungry.

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