Study: Programmatic Works Best For Publishers On Multiplatforms

Advertising technology provider Visto released a study yesterday highlighting some of the ways advertisers can gain the most traction from their work with publishers.

As the study notes, on average, 80% of purchased digital ad placement is done using programmatic exchanges, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). The results of the study conducted by Visto shows advertisers that use a multi-format plan to execute across platforms and publishers increase their supply path optimization by 10 times.

The study used the Visto Enterprise Ad Hub’s Multi-Platform Optimization tool to compare campaigns running on 50 publisher properties in 10 metro areas through four industry-leading execution platforms built to access premium inventory.

The study found that using the highest cost platform might not yield the best results;  multi-pronged approach worked more effectively.

Video and display impressions were evaluated across desktop, mobile and video screens side-by-side in real time. Visto found that no single platform performed the best under any scenario and that conditions tended to influence the outcome, even for the same site.

When comparing differentials between the lowest and highest performers for various KPIs, Visto found the following: a 10 time improvement in cost per completed view on; a six time difference in viewable CPM for ads served on; a $250,000 higher CPM cost for 100 million ad impressions on; and a five times difference in cost per click for

Additionally, the study reported the average advertiser used 4.2 DSP partners for programmatic buying in April of 2018. This doesn’t include channels like Facebook and Google Adwords. Visto’s tool is meant to offer transparency and control across “the programmatic ecosystem,” while offering advertisers “the benefit of unified performance and pacing metrics.”

Kerry Bianchi, President-CEO of Visto, stated: “Those who elect to use just one DSP, SSP or exchange partner, will unfortunately find one size does not fit all.”

Originally published in MediaPost: Publisher Insider on June 22, 2018.

Can Omnichannel Marketing Exist in a World of Walled Gardens?

Adweek Opinion: Others in the industry are already working more cooperatively

The advertising and marketing industries are currently facing two seemingly contradictory problems. First, there’s the confusion of “too many,” the result of a vendor ecosystem that has grown at an unbelievable pace. Second, there’s a problem of “too few,” stemming from the overwhelming dominance that Facebook, Google and, now, Amazon have in the digital advertising ecosystem—dominance they’ve achieved through walled garden strategies.

The too many problem will, most likely, work itself out, whether through acquisitions or companies simply throwing in the towel in a too-competitive environment.

The too few problem, on the other hand, may be growing. And if you’re an omnichannel marketer, for whom the holy grail is centralized audience management, anything that closes access to the invaluable consumer data that powers your campaigns could be a potential disaster.

Add to this tempest the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, which institutes stricter requirements for consumer opt-in for data processing, and Facebook’s data use changes in response to recent furor over data misuse. With the announcement that Facebook is shutting down its service that enables third-party data providers like Acxiom to offer their targeting directly on Facebook, it seems like the walled garden has been encircled by a brand new moat.

So, what is an omnichannel marketer to do? If we’re not able to connect data sets, how can we properly execute, measure and evaluate cross-platform campaigns? If external data sets can’t be widely used on Facebook, will that platform essentially become a customer-relationship-management tool? And if GDPR limits the ability to do advanced granular targeting, will we end up with strategies that look more like the old, mass, blunt reach of traditional media?

Unfortunately, for those in digital advertising, this is not a new problem. In an ecosystem where the dominant platforms’ walls were already high to begin with, we are all too aware that unification is not the natural state of our industry. We’ve always needed multiple systems to manage and measure campaigns if we wanted to operate in a sophisticated manner, but that’s becoming unwieldy. The alternative—“settling” on a single partner for the sake of ease—comes with the knowledge that the lack of choice can result in missed opportunities for richer and more profitable performance.

So, how can you get the ease of operation that comes with having a single partner, along with reach, flexibility and visibility across multiple vendors? What we need is someone to normalize and unify the data, as well as the results, which would enable us to transact more freely and more effectively across the entire ecosystem.

We’re already seeing demand for action from the brand side. In fact, in a recent report, Forrester Research marketing analyst Joanna O’Connell recommended that brands audit their existing tech partners based on what “omnichannel” means to them and to look for the vendors providing the “connective tissue” of the ecosystem that helps various marketing technology and advertising technology tools talk to and work with each other.

And while that omnichannel definition may vary from brand to brand, it’s unlikely to include current status quo of siloed metrics and transaction methods.

I’m hopeful that the impact of these recent developments will bring about positive change, increasing industry cooperation and development of tools that will support data unification and ease of execution across both walled and open systems.

And even as some are building up their walls, others in the industry are already working more cooperatively. For example, media giants Viacom, Fox and Turner worked together to create OpenAP, a cooperative, advanced advertising platform that has already signed on more than 800 media agencies.

Another step in the right direction is the IAB’s acquisition of DigiTrust, a neutral ad ID service that, with the support of the IAB, should see rapid, global adoption. Other industry darlings like blockchain and ads.txt also smack of greater cooperation and unification of measurement and shared data ownership.

Omnichannel is a wave that will not be denied. As marketers increasingly demand the ability to find their audiences across a growing number of screens and formats, it’s the partners who support unification and communication across the ecosystem that will have the strategic advantage.

Kerry Bianchi is president and CEO of programmatic technology company Visto.

Originally published in Adweek 6/8/18.

MarTech Interview With Kerry Bianchi on the World and Future of Programmatic Advertising

Episode 116: Kerry Bianchi Shares the World and Future of Programmatic Advertising

In this MarTech Interview, Douglas Karr interviews Kerry Bianchi, the CEO of Visto. Kerry is the leader in the programmatic industry, a board member of IAB, a Top 50 Women in Brand Marketing, and 2017 Silver Stevie Award winner for “Female Executive of the Year, Business Services – Computer Services and Software. Kerry is the CEO of Visto, an enterprise programmatic advertising platform.

Visto is at the center of programmatic media, bringing transparency, interoperability, and accountability to programmatic advertising. In this discussion, we speak to the opportunity for brands to leverage programmatic advertising, the challenges of ad fraud, the impact of GDPR, and the evolution of the industry – including artificial intelligence and blockchain.

Douglas Karr has worked in the marketing and technology space now for over two decades, preceded by a decade in the newspaper, direct marketing, and direct mail industries. He’s respected throughout the world as a passionate and relentless marketer who has helped hundreds of companies advance their digital marketing strategies.

Founder of MarTech Zone, a publication and podcast reaching over 1 million visitors and listeners each year. Keynote and Public Speaker who speaks on technology innovation, B2B and B2C buying behavior, and digital marketing. Podcast Co-host of Dell Luminaries, a leading podcast interviewing the greatest minds in technology. Published Author of Corporate Blogging for Dummies, the original Content Marketing guide for businesses.

The Visto Enterprise Advertising Hub is a vendor-agnostic platform that unites all of your programmatic media technologies in a single user-friendly interface. Gain ease of control over disparate systems and more transparency into performance analytics to optimize ad spend, drive efficiencies and increase ROI.

Originally Published on MarTech Interviews Internet Radio.

IAB Women Visionaries Panel Video

Bring Your Full Self to Work: Building an Inclusive Culture

Danielle Lee and Kerry Bianchi focus on the importance of fostering workplace environments where our cultural roots and our unique, multifaceted layers of attributes, skills, and experiences are acknowledged, understood, respected and allowed to flourish. Check out the IAB video of the conversation here.


Let’s Try To See Clearly On Blockchain For Advertising

The release of the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Blockchain for Video Advertising white paper has the digital ad industry abuzz. The emerging technology, best known for powering cryptocurrencies, is apparently coming to save us! Forget that much of the conversation last year revolved around AI as the solution to our transparency and fraud woes. Now, we see a raft of claims that it’s blockchain, with decentralized power and public ledgers, that will reinvent financial systems and disrupt every industry, including advertising.

Much like the talk of AI, today’s conversation around blockchain includes a good amount of hyperbole. Still, today’s wishful thinking is driving tomorrow’s solutions, so it’s worth toning down the enthusiasm to see where the real potential of blockchain for advertising lies.

A need for speed

The most ambitious vision for blockchain in advertising is that, just like it does for cryptocurrencies, the technology could be used to process digital ad transactions in real time. Unfortunately, the truth is blockchain is simply too slow to work for the real-time aspects of our programmatic trading world.

To say that exchanges move at breakneck speed is an understatement. And speed matters. Every second, demand-side platforms process hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of transactions because ads must be sold and served near-instantaneously. In real-time auctions, responses have to be returned in fewer than 100 milliseconds under IAB guidelines, and most occur in under 75 milliseconds.

Blockchain simply isn’t built for the demands of ad-tech needs when it comes to speed. In fact, Bitcoin, which is the most famous of all blockchain applications, can only process 4 to 7 transactions per second. While its open-source rival, the blockchain-based Ethereum, can do a bit better at 15 transactions per second, and running a blockchain privately could also speed things up, even the engineers behind the technology will admit: “Blockchains don’t scale.”

Having said that, there are multiple approaches being considered to improve speed, such as using proof-of-stake instead of proof-of-work. The Lightning Network is attacking the problem differently by building a highly-scalable payment system built on top of blockchain that supports instant transactions between participating parties. This could be an approach for “micro digital advertising transactions.”

There are still aspects of the technology that do have valuable applications in the programmatic paradigm. One of these is the distributed immutable ledger.

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth

Today, when a campaign wraps up, a platform may claim to have delivered 20,000 impressions while the publisher reports that it was 22,000 and the advertiser says it was only 19,000. In a situation like this, the parties need to come to an agreement before anyone can get paid, and without any universal source of truth, the advertiser is stuck negotiating which of the metrics will be the basis of billing among the partners.

Blockchain would definitely be of help here, as it could be used to reconcile an agreed-upon number of impressions and subsequently process the billing. For this to work, a public ledger would have to be populated with every system’s impression data. The ledger becomes a truthful and accurate record that represents each of their perspectives about which no one can argue.

Since this kind of summation does not require real-time processing, this is an area of digital advertising for which blockchain as we know it today, should work just fine. However, since the current speed of updates only supports aggregated reporting, we still remain a step removed from transparenc—lacking the detailed transaction-by-transaction data from each partner.

Get smart: A glimpse to the future

But this can certainly serve as a stepping stone for what’s next. Blockchain technology is still developing, and the most exciting, transformative potential lays in the next generation, with developments such as Ethereum’s “smart contracts.”

Smart contracts are pieces of code or distributed apps (dapps), written by developers, that set up a binding agreement that is triggered based on some specific external event. For example, the contract may only be activated if a specific expiration date or strike price is hit. And, because there’s the public ledger, it can’t be gamed or changed. Instead, everyone from the partners to market regulators has the ability to scrutinize the transaction. In the future, a smart contract could be updated every day with the latest delivery, impression or click data, and even initiate payment when the campaign concludes.

We also expect to see even more new applications of blockchain as a result of development by companies like IBM, Amino Payments, MetaX or NYIAX, which are all investing heavily in advertising-focused blockchain. So there’s reason to be optimistic. Yet, like the notion of blockchain itself, many of these methods will need to be ruthlessly tested from all corners of the industry to ensure their worthiness as a reliable lens through which programmatic ad processing can be transacted.

By Published in AdAge on .

Podcast: Kerry Bianchi On The Shift From Service To Software

Welcome to AdExchanger Talks, a podcast focused on data-driven marketing. Subscribe here.

Our guest this week is Kerry Bianchi, president and CEO of Visto, formerly Collective. Bianchi has overseen a major transition of the company since taking the helm from founder Joe Apprendi one year ago.

That transition includes a sale of the legacy managed services business. In January, Zeta Interactive, a marketing cloud company, acquired that business, unencumbering Visto as it pursues a new market position as a buy-side systems integrator and marketing hub.

When Bianchi was named Collective CEO in February 2017, the managed service business made up about 80% of revenue, but the pendulum was swinging toward the new software-as-a-service (SaaS) Visto product.

That media business, which was profitable at the time of the sale to Zeta, acted “as an incubator” to fund engineering and development for Visto, Bianchi tells AdExchanger.

The Collective managed service group was also Visto’s biggest client, and that relationship remains in place even as the team moves to Zeta. At the same time that Zeta took on the Collective services business, including about 30 employees, the cloud company also led an investment round for Visto and signed a multiyear licensing deal for the SaaS tech.

The terms of the sale and of Zeta’s investment in Visto were not disclosed.

Some in the mar tech and programmatic ecosystem recoil at the word “pivot,” Bianchi said, but that shouldn’t dissuade an executive from making strategic changes if he or she thinks it’s the necessary move.

Visto’s bet is that evolving marketer priorities will necessitate a role for a systems integrator that sits atop a brand’s or agency’s tech stack. There may be fewer DSPs now, but marketers still prefer to work with more than one, and high-growth channels like programmatic TV will sustain that.

After more than a decade where the Collective pitch was built around exclusive inventory deals and the value of its media services, “the sales case is very different,” Bianchi said, as the company now trades on agnosticism.

“The conversation is no longer about what inventory you have or publisher relationships you have,” she said.

Transparency in Advertising: 4 Things to Consider

In this episode, James Carbary is the founder of Sweet Fish Media talks to Kerry Bianchi, President & CEO at Visto about the keys to transparency in the programmatic ecosystem.

James Carbary is the founder the podcast agency for B2B brands. He’s a contributor for the Huffington Post & Business Insider, and he also co-hosts a top-ranked podcast according to Forbes: B2B Growth. When James isn’t interviewing the smartest minds in B2B marketing, he’s drinking Cherry Coke Zero, eating Swedish Fish, and hanging out with the most incredible woman on the planet (who he somehow talked into marrying him).

You can find this interview, and many more, by subscribing to the B2B Growth Show on iTunes. If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to every episode by clicking here.

Visto Announced As A Winner Of 2017 Drexel LeBow Analytics 50

Visto was awarded as the winner in the category of SaaS/Advertising/Marketing Technology. Drexel LeBow Analytics 50 is a national recognition of industry analytics innovators – an annual initiative honoring 50 companies using analytics to solve business challenges.

The Analytics 50 provides a platform to share best practices in the field and an opportunity for 50 organizations to receive media recognition for their achievements. Honorees are invited to Drexel LeBow’s annual awards ceremony at the university’s Philadelphia campus.

See all Analytics 50 honorees of the 2017 Analytics 50 Awards.


Women You Need to Know in Martech

Here’s what Kerry had to say!

What advice would you offer someone getting into marketing in this landscape?

Be flexible and open in your expectations.

Big, small, start-up, mature, centralized or geographically diffused organizations all have something different to offer, and they all can provide valuable experiences. A leaner start-up may provide an organizational structure that’s more flat, which brings the chance to interact more often with senior executives as well as the opportunity to wear different hats.

On the flipside, a larger organization may offer more robust training programs and support tools as well as the ability to take on management roles or have geographic flexibility.

Be educated on the industry.

Understanding the key issues impacting the industry as a whole, the company in question and the vertical space they play in makes you an engaging candidate.

Expressing interest, which could involve reflecting that you’re well-read on the latest martech news, showing you’ve taken classes or that you simply are involved in relevant organizations, demonstrates a level of commitment and indicates you don’t just want a “job,” — You want that specific organization and career path. Hiring managers love seeing candidates whose passion goes beyond just checking basic skillset boxes.

Build a network.

(And I don’t mean sending invites to every third-degree connection on your Linkedin profile.)

I mean taking the time to nurture and cultivate meaningful relationships.

Look for mentors and coaches who will give you objective advice and alternate perspectives, those who can be great sounding boards and advocates throughout your career.

Don’t be afraid to set up informational and informal meet-ups with colleagues in your space, during which you can gain valuable perspectives from different parts of the martech ecosystem.

Then, as your career progresses, be the one who shines the light on your team’s rock stars. Matchmake people within your network who you think would be valuable resources to each other. Provide the same support and opportunities for growth that helped you to grow.

Did you have a mentor? Who was it and how did they help you succeed?

I had the wonderful fortune of having a number of excellent and supportive managers throughout my career who often stretched me to try new things or took a chance on me when I wanted to do more.

I aim to give promising talent the same kind of opportunities for development and growth when I recognize the same passion.

Looking back, there are several key milestones that had similar characteristics:

  • being offered the chance to do something I hadn’t done before and
  • having the trust and support of my manager that I had the aptitude to do it.

These were core themes for me — whether that was being a people manager for the first time, taking on sales responsibilities after being a marketer, running a global team after running a domestic team or taking my first C-level role.

What keeps you motivated in your day-to-day role?

There’s always something new to learn. It’s a very dynamic industry, so there is always a forward-looking aspect to our business that assures you never get complacent.

Having great colleagues who are dynamic, smart and hard-working is inspiring and creates an energy of its own within the organization that’s extremely exciting and motivating.

What 3 things do you wish someone would have told you at the onset of your career?

I have had the good fortune of receiving some great advice throughout my career, so a couple that I seek to live by/share with others are:

“It’s never as good, or as bad, as it seems.”

This was from a very pragmatic manager who I admired for always seeming unruffled in any situation. While it’s great to celebrate, it’s a reminder not to get too cozy or complacent, and when it’s rough, it’s a reminder that there really is a light at the end of the tunnel.


My first job was on a Japanese automotive client, and there I learned the concept of Kaizen, which promotes the notion of continual improvement rather than drastic and sweeping change.

This is something I’ve adopted in my management style. I encourage a mindset of always looking forward,asking, “How can we continually improve what we’re doing?” and remembering that even small steps add up over time.

“In three years will you remember this?”

We can spend a lot of unnecessary time fretting over difficult situations or decisions. This is a reminder that often what seems monumental in the moment is a mere molehill in the rearview mirror. It often diffuses the perceived stress and puts it in proper perspective.

What changes do you hope to see in the martech workplace over the next 3-5 years?

In the next three to five years, I hope to see talk of bringing transparency throughout the ecosystem come to fruition. I also hope to see an increase in competition throughout the industry, which will catalyze innovation.

And on that note, I hope to see the continued evolution of technology as well as increasing automation, which will give the people in martech better tools and insights to manage their marketing dollars more effectively.

What technologies are the most helpful to modern marketers?

As martech trends continue toward data, automation, and transparency, the marketer’s technology tool chest will need to mirror these capabilities.

Systems that allow for better real-time insights about what is working and not working in a campaign, with the ability to take action quickly and nimbly, will be in high demand.

And, as the marketer’s arsenal crowds with these disparate pieces of technology, they will need orchestration and integration tools to help these systems talk to each other and work seamlessly together.

This has been the focus for my company, Visto, in building our enterprise ad hub, which is a completely agnostic SaaS technology focused on helping marketers connect essential pieces of martech to make it easier to plan, execute, analyze, reallocate and optimize their marketing spend for the best result.

What are the most important skills to learn when starting a career in martech?

Data science and analytics are becoming two of the most important disciplines in the marketing and advertising technology ecosystems, and the demand for skilled talent in these areas is going to increase exponentially in the next few years.

Even if you’re not a data scientist, being comfortable and facile with the numbers will be paramount to anyone who is part of martech.

I also expect we’ll see marketers’ continued investment in technology as they select DMPs, workflow tools, multi-touch attribution, BI tools, media mix modeling, etc., which will require everyone up through the C-suite to be digitally and technologically savvy.

Describe the biggest challenge that will need to be overcome in the next 5 years in marketing.

The biggest issues in digital marketing, the ones that absolutely must be resolved in the next five years, are all tied to one central theme: transparency.

While marketers embrace more audience-driven marketing, they fear the lack of visibility and control over brand safety and quality. And, as they are pressed to better quantify a return on their marketing investments, they will seek better tools and analytics to understand how much of their budget is actually going to working media versus lost in the labyrinth of the supply chain “tech tax.”

This current lack of visibility will continue to manifest itself as potential mistrust of those providing services on their behalf, forcing more transparent pricing models as well as easier access to audits and analytics tools that offer the demonstrable truth that timely and smart decisions are being made with their spend.

This value and performance-driven mindset will cause marketers to pull apart every part of the ad-buying process to understand true costs of execution and gain better analysis of attributed performance. Together, these will provide the transparency and trust required to operate confidently in the future data-driven marketing ecosystem.

What can we do to encourage more women to pursue a career in martech?

At different points along a professional path, there are a variety of things we can do to encourage more women to pursue a career in tech. Early on, internship, scholarship and entry-level opportunities that are gender-blind create interesting first steps into what can be a lifetime career.

We should definitely be encouraging women who show an interest in marketing, analytics, math and strategy as well as a general curiosity about human behavior — all passions that are well-parlayed into roles in the martech ecosystem.

Helping women navigate non-traditional paths, moving horizontally or diagonally in an organization to leverage skills from advertising, web, ad operations, product or allowing them to dabble in cross-departmental projects may help identify or spark an interest across the martech stack.

Actively mentoring other women in the organization and/or creating formal and informal networking provides safe pathways for new interests to be explored — and natural role models to emulate.

Other challenges

Many of the core issues facing marketers have remained the same over the past few years: staying on top of industry trends impacting digital advertising, understanding how much of their spend goes to working media vs “tech tax”, gaining control over ad fraud and quality, eliminating operational inefficiencies and understanding and attributing performance in order to drive better ROI.

Outside of the technology and vendor front, there will continue to be a need for well-trained digital people across the ecosystem.

CMOs will need to be digitally and technologically savvy, data scientists will be in demand across marketing and ad tech companies and advertising and technology will continue to converge as marketers knit together their tech stacks: DMPs, workflow tools, multi-touch attribution, BI tools, media mix modeling and more.

Be sure to read 50 Women You Need to Know in Martech – 2018 and sign up to receive the Women in Martech series.

Collective Becomes Visto, Sharpens Programmatic, Data Focus

Data Focus by Laurie Sullivan @lauriesullivan, November 3, 2017

Collective has rebranded and taken the first name of its flagship product called Visto Enterprise Advertising Hub. After 11 years, the new name of Visto and accompanying logo, tagline and brand design reflect the company’s passion for transparency to support brands through programmatic and data.

More than a rebrand, the name reflects on a series of new services in the works. In 2018, Visto will work toward building out the company’s partner network in mobile, display, native, and programmatic TV, with the ability to manage all from one license. The company also will build out its analytics offerings.

The rebrand is more closely related to a maturing tech industry, said Visto CEO Kerry Bianchi. “When we started as Collective it was more mobile, and video and display,” she said.

In Italian, Visto means “to see,” as in seeing with your eyes, Bianchi said. “To see what’s happening underneath the hood, transparency into the decisions being made, transparency into viewabliity and ad fraud, and see everything from one place or dashboard,” she said.

The company now has two business units: Visto Services and Visto Software. The service business unit is responsible for training and onboarding for self-service clients, education and though leadership seminars on topics like programmatic, or facilitating the integration into the brand’s DMP partner or other technology partners.

The software business unit offers workflow and execution, as well as analytics and reporting technology and licenses.

Originally Published in MediaPost – DigitalNews Daily