Chris O'Hara

About Chris O'Hara

Why most of today’s DMPs are broken

The world’s largest marketers and media companies have strongly embraced data management technology to provide personalization for customers that demand Amazon-like experiences.

As a single, smart hub for all of their owned data (CRM, email, etc)—and acquired data, such as 3rd party demographic data —DMPs go a long way towards building a sustainable, modern marketing strategy that accounts for massively fragmented digital audiences.

A recipe for the MarTech Layer Cake

Today’s “marketing stack” really consists of three individual layers.

Data management contains all of the “pipes” used to connect people and identity together; orchestration ties all the execution systems together to reach customers at the right time and channel; and AI is the brains behind the stack. 

How CRM and a DMP can combine to give a 360-degree view of the customer

For years, marketers have been talking about building a bridge between their existing customers, and the potential or yet-to-be-known customer.

Until recently, the two have rarely been connected. Agencies have separate marketing technology, data and analytics groups. Marketers themselves are often separated organizationally between “CRM” and “media” teams – sometimes even by a separate P&L.

Big brands capture reactions to ads with new video technology

A few years ago, I had coffee with Nick Langeveld, who left Nielsen to run business development for an interesting company called Affectiva. He was telling me how the company, an MIT labs spin-off, was going to make measurement in a new direction by measuring people’s facial expressions.

Like Intel, who is going to start shipping set top boxes that know who is watching television, Affectiva is using the ability to watch consumers through their webcams as they consume video, and measure the emotions in real-time.

Now, marketers could see the exact moment when they captured surprise, delight, or revulsion in a consumer—and scale that effort to anyone with a webcam, who opted into their panel. This sounded great, but I wondered if and when large marketers would adopt such technology.

Programmatic premium is not about bidding

When it comes to digital publishing sales, it seems like many publishers are questioning whether the product they have — the standard banner ad — is what they should be selling.

Last month I wrote that 2013 would be the year of “premium programmatic,” where LUMA map companies who make their living in real time bidding turn towards the guaranteed space, where 80% of digital marketing dollars are being spent.

My recent experience at Digiday Exchange Summit convinced me that this meme continues — with an important distinction: “Premium programmatic” is not about bidding on quality inventory through exchanges. Rather, it’s about using technology to enable premium guaranteed buys at scale.

Death of the digital agency: Redux

Last year, I wrote that the digital agency was dead. I was mostly talking about how platform technology was going to knock a lot of digital media agencies out of business. In a world where over five trillion banner impressions are available every month, I argued it was simply too much for humans to navigate through the choices and wring branding effect and performance out of campaigns.

Well, digital media agencies are still around—but they continue to lose share to platforms as the amount of programmatically bought media increases. With RTB-based spending estimated to rise at an annualized rate of nearly 60% a year, according to market intelligence firm IDC, we could see as much as $14 billion in spending by 2016, or 27% of total display spending. Looks like the machines are slowly taking over.

Best practices in data management: report

Data is everywhere. As the cost of storing and collecting data decreases, more of it becomes available to marketers looking to optimize the way they acquire new customers and activate existing ones.

In the right hands, data can be the key to understanding audiences, developing the right marketing messages, optimizing campaigns, and creating long-term customers. In the wrong hands, data can contribute to distraction, poor decision-making, and customer alienation.

Over the past several weeks, I asked over thirty of the world’s leading digital data practitioners what marketers should be thinking about when it comes to developing a data management strategy.

The result is the newly available Best Practices in Data Management report. A few big themes emerged from my research, which I thought I would share.

I fought Facebook, and Facebook won

How can you make the most of the power of platform economics to drive success? Learn what to look for in a platform. 

Last month, I wrote about my unfortunate experience with Facebook, which took it upon itself to broadcast my entire Spotify listening experience to the world, seemingly without my knowledge or permission.

This aggravated me to the point of proclaiming, quite publicly, that I was going to “commit Facebook suicide” and end my relationship with the social media behemoth. It turns out that is easier said than done.

The RFP is dead: new concepts in audience discovery

Real-time bidding,
data segmentation, and new buying methodologies have made a dinosaur out of the
traditional agency request-for-proposal.

A programmatic approach to budget
allocation and audience discovery is coming soon that will forever transform
the RFP from a static document to an effective attribute matching engine that
can effectively connect the demand and supply sides in media.