Visto CEO, Kerry Bianchi Wins 2018 Silver Stevie

Congratulations! Visto’s, CEO, Kerry Bianchi for receiving The 2018 Silver Stevie for Most Innovative Woman of the Year – Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations category. The Stevie Awards for Women in Business honor women executives, entrepreneurs, employees, and the companies they run– worldwide. The Stevie Awards have been hailed as the world’s premier business awards.

More than 1,500 entries were submitted this year for consideration in more than 90 categories, including Executive of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Company of the Year, Startup of the Year, Women Helping Women, and Women Run Workplace of the Year.

“In its 15th year, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business received a record number of nominations. With the new Women|Future Conference preceding the announcement of winners on November 16, it was a day to celebrate the achievements of working women around the world,” said Michael Gallagher, founder and president of the Stevie Awards. “We congratulate all of this year’s Grand, Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award winners for their achievements.”

Details about the Stevie Awards for Women in Business and the list of Finalists in all categories are available at www.StevieAwards.com/Women.

Eric Siu from Growth Everywhere Podcast shares the mic with Kerry Bianchi, CEO of Visto

GE 274: CEO Kerry Bianchi on How Visto’s Sales Team Became Key to Their Customer Acquisition Success (podcast)

Hey everyone! In today’s episode, I share the mic with Kerry Bianchi, President and CEO of Visto, a company dedicated to bringing transparency and accountability to digital advertising.

Tune in to hear about how Kerry started from the agency side which set her up for success, what spurred Visto’s desire to democratize the process of trading media and marketing, why marketers are freaking out about transparency, and how she helped enact a major change in the company by enhancing the internal communication.

Time-Stamped Show Notes:

  • [00:45] Before we jump into today’s interview, please rate, review, and subscribe to the Growth Everywhere Podcast!
  • [01:45] Kerry came up through the agency side of the business.
  • [02:25] Seeing it from the other side has set her up for success.
  • [02:40] Visto is a command center for management programmatic ad buying.
  • [03:10] Plug everything in, use all the partners you want, and track how your money is being spent in a very transparent way.
  • [03:45] She loves that there is a robust marketplace.
  • [03:59] It’s her job to bring great tools together into one place.
  • [04:20] Visto came from Collective, an ad network.
  • [04:50] Visto thought they could democratize the process of trading media and marketing.
  • [05:30] They split the Collective into two divisions: one for Visto, one for a legacy managed services business, which was later sold off.
  • [07:41] There are three core channels to which Visto is selling: ad agencies, media companies, and marketers/brands.
  • [09:25] Visto has a subscription fee that runs in the multiple thousands per month.
  • [09:56] Marketers are freaking out about transparency.
  • [11:05] Transparency in pricing, but also ad fraud and viewability.
  • [12:15] At the end of the day, whether you call it “performance” or not, there is a focus on having a KPI at the end of the day.
  • [12:45] There is a greater focus on measurable steps and proof that the advertising is working.
  • [13:30] The legacy business already had great relationships, which gave Visto access to clients.
  • [14:40] Referral streams are really helpful.
  • [15:15] The Visto business model is completely different from that of a SaaS company.
  • [16:10] Some people had to move into new roles, while they also had to bring on new people.
  • [17:15] Communication is key.
  • [17:30] Change is unsettling, so make sure people always understand what is going on (internally).
  • [18:30] They have a quarterly all-hands and share info from board meetings.
  • [18:50] They also have bi-weekly meetings where they update everyone on the sales cycle.
  • [19:06] The Visto teams also have a lot of one-on-one’s.
  • [20:00] When Collective was transitioning, Kerry was brought on to help implement the change.
  • [20:30] The company wanted to put their existing business on the Visto platform.
  • [21:05] By the time that they launched Visto, they were ahead of all the potential questions that could be asked.
  • [21:25] Visto was a complete product when they launched.
  • [21:38] The sales team has been key to customer acquisition.
  • [22:06] Content and thought leadership has also been great for marketing and outreach.
  • [22:55] Unlike a pure start-up, they had to make sure they didn’t drop the ball on the existing business.
  • [23:15] They had to make sure one side of the business didn’t suffer at the hand of the other.
  • [24:05] They had a lot of employees who were dual-focused for a long time.
  • [25:25] The older business became a client of the new business.
  • [26:33] Make sure you build in rest/recuperation time so you don’t burn out.
  • [27:15] If an email is not urgent, write it out and schedule it to send later, so you don’t interrupt people after work hours.
  • [28:40] Tools Kerry thinks has added value to her life are the connection tools (LinkedIn, etc.).
  • [29:20[ Kerry recommends the book Catch: A Fishmonger’s Guide to Greatness.

Originally broadcast September 24, 2018, on Growth Everywhere.

Amazon is Breaking New Ground in AdTech with ‘Video in Search’

Amazon, the e-commerce retail giant, is all set to test mobile video ad placements in product search pages – a bold step in taking its advertising business to new heights, in clear competition with Google and Facebook.

Amazon’s ‘video ads in search’ feature is currently being tested and the organization has invited various global brands to participate in the test process. Amazon has not yet confirmed or conveyed all the details about this new ad product, publicly.

Features and Aspects of ‘Video in Search’

As per company sources, ‘video in search’ will aim to engage Amazon customers with rich audio-visual content in the form of video ads, which are to be shown below the search results. Users can view them when searching for products using selected and relevant keywords (chosen by advertisers). These video ads will support two types of campaigns: a) product detail page campaigns and b) custom landing page campaigns.

MTA spoke to the following industry experts regarding this news:

Kerry Bianchi, President and CEO, Visto

“As Amazon builds its advertising empire, it makes sense to put its energies into one of the fastest-growing ad segments: video. And I expect advertisers to be quick to test it out. Amazon is already an attractive ad platform for the unique insights into buying intent it can derive from search and browsing behavior. I would expect advertisers will welcome the addition of video, with its power to connect on an emotional level while delivering deeper brand messages. That said, Amazon will still need to prove strong ROI before there’s widespread adoption, as advertisers will need proof that the premium pricing and minimums required to get started are worth it.”

Krish Sailam, VP, DWA

“These ads will help set the stage for brands to use video for direct response, similar to what YouTube is doing with YouTube for Actions. The difference with the Amazon use case is that these videos should be used to explain key product use cases or highlight reviews rather than traditional brand messaging. The storyboard for the videos has to be different – it has to be more customized to the mindset of an Amazon customer who is in the app actively searching for a “solution.”  These videos can be a great vehicle for building trust with the user, rather than just awareness. This trust is more powerful than consideration in my opinion.” He further added, “I think it presents a great opportunity for brands to crowd source video reviews and use those as the video ads in search.  So in summary, the new offering is relevant, but I think Amazon has to work with Advertisers to find the sweet spot in terms of what video in search means for the consumer. You can’t assume a regular 15s or 30s spot will make sense in a search result, especially in a commerce flow like the Amazon app.”

Craig Benner, Founder and CEO, Accretive Media

“Amazon’s in-search video ads should be highly successful as long as they don’t overdo it.  Video has already proven to be the most emotive, response-inducing format in online.  So now you couple sight, sound, and motion with a consumer that has already shown explicit interest in a specific product segment by searching for it.  That’s as powerful a combination you can hope for.  It’s like showing someone a TV commercial for your restaurant the minute they say they are hungry!”

Ryan Lester, Director of Customer Engagement, LogMeIn

“Video is a great way to engage with a potential customer assuming it’s the right customer.   Blanketing video ads can feel invasive or annoying to customers that aren’t serious buyers.  On the flip side, seeing a product in action or hearing positive reviews can certainly help convert a sale.   In order for video ads to be truly effective and deliver strong ROI, they need to be reaching the right audience and be a seamless part of the customer journey.  Meaning that if a customer takes the time to watch the video, it’s imperative that customers are able to ask questions or buy the item right from that experience otherwise it can feel disjointed and you run the risk of losing them.   In a world where consumers expect companies to be able to almost predict what they want, retailers need to have a better understanding of their audiences, their demands and expectations. This is where AI can play a key role in helping brands identify consumer intent, know how and when to market to them, and provide a better overall experience.”

Fernando Saiz, CMO, Tappx

“Amazon’s recent announcement confirms a trend that we have seen at Tappx, which is that mobile in-app advertising is significantly growing in video formats and complexity. There is no doubt that video is an information superconductor i.e. highly effective, engaging and fun. Video ‘superconductivity’ is priceless in the mobile app environment, as moving images and sounds can convey a huge amount of information in a very short space of time. Whereas with static ad formats e.g. banner ads, buyer immediacy and intent can be diminished when consumers access relevant information i.e. friction is created, and micro-moments are lost. So, if video ads improve the buyer experience, should one expect an expansion into organic product listings? At present, Amazon customers have to experience premium advertisements within the Amazon mobile app. In the mid-term, we are likely to witness a highly visible increase in video advertising across the entire e-commerce ecosystem, and it probably will be extended to search results, specifically in industries where visual appeal is most important in the buying decision process e.g. travel or real estate.”

This article was originally published in MarTech Advisor 8/27/18.

The Tech Blog Writers Podcast – The Company Bringing Transparency and Control to the Advertising Industry

By Neil C. Hughes. Tech Podcast – Discussing Tech Trends Such As Blockchain, Crypto, AI & Startup Stories..Discovered by Player FM and our community.

With ad fraud, click fraud and bringing programmatic in-house becoming a hot topic in the news, I invited Visto, CEO, Kerry Bianchi onto my daily tech podcast to learn more about Visto and insights from the advertising industry.

Visto is a technology company dedicated to bringing transparency, interoperability and accountability to programmatic advertising. Most recently, Visto released its white paper on multi-platform optimization, which discovered that the best programmatic ROI requires a multi-platform strategy.

The goal was to help marketers, agencies and media companies find the best path to performance, and through this test, they were able to see without a doubt that the ability to evaluate and transact centrally across multiple platforms will drive better return on advertising spend.

Kerry Bianchi discusses what Visto is doing to help the digital advertising swamp as well as upcoming partnerships and product announcements.

Copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio streamed directly from their servers.

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 Weather.com; a six time difference in viewable CPM for ads served on TheGuardian.com; a $250,000 higher CPM cost for 100 million ad impressions on AOL.com; and a five times difference in cost per click for Zillow.com.

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.