Programmatic Ad Buying Industry Snapshot

Real-time bidding (RTB), retargeting and programmatic buying are concepts that truly highlight the convergence of technology and marketing, which is a reoccurring theme on my blog. eMarketer, along with OpenX, just released an interesting summary of the concept in their Programmatic Buying Roundup whitepaper.

A few quotes worth noting are:

eMarketer estimates that 13% of total digital display ad spending went toward real-time bidding last year… This includes all display formats served to all devices.

29% of all digital display ad dollars will go to RTB this year

Last year’s opening of Facebook Exchange (FBX) helped push more dollars toward programmatic buying

Over half of media buyers … planned to increase their investments in site, search and Facebook Exchange retargeting

[Retargeting] is not about building up the brand or finding new prospects. It is a direct attempt to get the consumer through the final phases of the purchase funnel.

RTB for video and in-app mobile display ads are both growing extremely fast

Suffice to say, RTB for display ads is a hot area and as targeting and measurement capabilities improve, I expect it will continue to attract more and more advertisers. It will be interesting to watch how the industry, and specifically for me, Microsoft’s own ad exchange grow and improve over time.

If you’re interested in more details, I suggest you download the whitepaper.


Value Propositions – a guide for startups

To quote Albert Einstein, “If you can’t explain it simply, you [simply] don’t understand it well enough”. I always insert that 2nd “simply” because it helps me remember it.

That’s how I approach explaining any new concept to someone and it is how I want startups to explain their solution to me. However, I have recently met a variety of people from small startups that need help creating and articulating their value proposition. (some have been great though). This blog post is meant to help those that struggle with their value proposition.

So with that, I present Brian Groth’s guide to creating a great value proposition for startups:

My desk after 19 Years at Microsoft

In the past, I have blogged on my 10-year, 15-year, and 17-year anniversaries at Microsoft. I just recently passed the 19-year mark and decided to share a picture of some of the stuff I’ve kept over the years that now clutter my desk. I’ve tossed much more than I have kept during my office moves around Redmond and Seattle, then to/from London and now in San Francisco. But, here’s what I’ve still got on my desk in terms of awards, anniversary items, patents, and so on: 

MSFT desk after 19 years

My First Windows 8 App with Ads

To keep up on some of the latest technology, such as Windows 8 application development,  I am teaching myself how to create a Windows 8 application that will include ads. Aka, the freemium business model. I prefer C#, so I am starting with the following samples to get me started:

  1. How to include advertising in a Windows 8 app written with a XAML front end and .NET code-behind
  2. Display orientation sample that uses the DisplayProperties class for setting the display orientation in an app

The very basic result so far looks like this:


Now a Certified Administrator

As part of my education to better understand how technology can automate business processes, specifically sales and marketing, I went ahead and became a Certified Administrator. I already do quite a bit of work with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, but I wanted to branch out a bit. Related, I am now also looking into how to leverage Marketing Pilot with Dynamics CRM for some marketing automation ideas I’m working on.


Self-Selecting Personality Types for

Last month I had fun learning about so I wrote a blog entry with a variety of ideas to Programmatically Leverage Personality Types with Now I have another idea to add to the list, which was sparked by Vizify’s visicards.

First, I setup my own vizicard with the color to represent the dominant color from my Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI) profile (quadrant A, the Rational Self, which is blue). Then, I set my Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which is ISTJ. The result for me is this:

Brian Groth ISTJNow what if allowed me to enter my own personality type into their system? The benefit to me is that I could (through partners) see content and advertising that is related to my personality type. Also, could improve their own engine by comparing what I say online to my personality type. Maybe even flag outliers for me and ask me “you said this, which doesn’t match your personality type – is that normal for you?

However, I took these personality tests a couple of years before I started being active in social media, so I wonder if the old results match my online self?