My generation is not oriented to tech’: How ad tech executives’ fathers describe their kids’ jobs.

Digiday — June 16, 2017

By Yuyu Chen


Peter Krivkovich Sr., father of Peter Krivkovich Jr., AdRoll chief operating officer and chief financial officer
When I initially tell all those not in the communication business what Peter does, I would say, “Once you go looking on the internet, they find you and they follow you. They know your interests, and they stalk you until you surrender.” After their “Oh, my God” I tell them that it is about highly sophisticated and constantly optimized software, as well as algorithmic software systems that help companies better understand and deliver messages to their clients and prospects that result in higher sales probability. If I draw blanks, I go back to the stalking explanation.

Read what other ad tech executives’ fathers said about their kids’ at Digiday

The post My generation is not oriented to tech’: How ad tech executives’ fathers describe their kids’ jobs. appeared first on Cramer krasselt.

How independent digital agency Cramer-Krasselt built its trading desk.

Digiday – June 12, 2017

By Yuyu Chen

For independent shops like Cramer-Krasselt, the shift to programmatic presents challenges. They don’t have the resources to pour into proprietary tech like the big holding companies. For Cramer-Krasselt, that has meant stitching together ad-tech partners to form its own trading desk — and educating all of its employees on the ins and outs of programmatic.

“For a long time, media-holding companies maintained the agency trading desks as a centralized profit center, and the next trend is midsized independent shops started getting into programmatic by working with companies like Digilant and Choozle,” said Eric Bader, managing director and co-founder for digital consultancy Volando.

The system (named “DesCK”) was moved out of beta last year, and now, the agency has an ad-tech team of 10 to run programmatic campaigns for clients including Edward Jones Investments, Cedar Fair Entertainment and blender brand Vitamix. The agency uses the technology infrastructure developed by its data management and five demand-side platform partners including The Trade Desk, and then adds its own data and budget-control system on top of that.

“We would be locked in if we build our own tech from scratch because there’s a cost, and once you want to change things, you cannot adjust quickly,” said Chris Wexler, the agency’s director of media and consumer engagement. “By leveraging others’ tech infrastructure, we can be very nimble in terms of what we want to buy, how we want to buy and how to measure it.”

One big differentiator in Cramer-Krasselt’s trading desk is that the agency has built it as a multi-DSP tech stack, with one single DMP that is governed by a proprietary analytical, fraud and budget management system that “significantly” enhances the agency’s DSP and exchange partners, added Wexler.

“If we had built DesCK with just The Trade Desk, while the tech is good, we would be missing out on the best results for our clients,” he said.

Cramer-Krasselt built its DMP based on Salesforce-owned Krux and then uses that DMP as “the core source of truth” to get the cleanest view of data possible. This is because if a marketer buys programmatic inventory from a publisher, for instance, the publisher’s own analytics may show it has 100,000 impressions per month, while comScore may say that the impressions are 90,000. Then, Google shows that the actual number should be 80,000 monthly impressions, while Cramer-Krasselt’s own ad server reveals that it is 70,000 monthly impressions.

“The numbers are moving around, so we need our own DMP to assess those data discrepancies and evaluate one DSP over another,” said Wexler.

Another differentiator in Cramer-Krasselt’s tech stack, he added, is its budget-control system that ensures that ad spend is being executed in the most appropriate way possible. The agency hired programmers on its ad-tech team to write algorithms to help manage budget properly and turn data sets into different formats. “[The budget-control system] ensures that our traders execute the plans with significantly lower error rates than we have ever seen via managed service partners in the past,” said Wexler.

But from an industry perspective, Bader believes that agencies developing their own software is not a good idea. “I cannot comment on Cramer-Krasselt, but generally speaking, agencies are not designing algorithm or logic — they need great programmers and coders to do that right,” he said. “Let’s be realistic, agencies are not in the software business — they are service companies, so developing their own platform is folly.”

While the data, tech and client-service side of its programmatic business are all centralized at Cramer-Krasselt’s headquarters in Chicago, programmatic expertise is distributed across the agency’s offices in Chicago, Milwaukee and New York City. The agency’s head of digital strategy periodically travels to those offices to give Cramer-Krasselt’s 429 employees programmatic workshops.

“We have run programmatic training for every person — both media and creative — in the organization. It is a new currency, a new approach, a new way of thinking and a vital thing for everyone to understand,” said Wexler. “One of the things we are thinking right now is how we can improve creative in programmatic.”

Wexler thinks that one biggest hurdle in building a trading desk is ownership of ad-tech companies constantly changes, and there is much consolidation in the space. Meanwhile, recruiting the right talent and retaining it is another challenge as programmatic is a hot market right now.

“Having the ability to be transparent is also hard,” he said. “It is one thing to say, but it is another thing to do it right.”


The post How independent digital agency Cramer-Krasselt built its trading desk. appeared first on Cramer krasselt.

The School of Snapchat

On Friday the clever people over at Snapchat invited us to attend their immersive School of Snapchat day. We were cleverly transported back to the 90s and a world where PJ and Duncan were still cool, and indeed Donna Air was more Geordie, less royalty.

The Snapchat Lollipop lady greeted us on arrival at the secret location, we were promptly put in houses and given lockers, ahead of the headmaster leading us into an outburst of the school anthem, all before 9.30 am.

Think secret cinema does media partnerships; this day was an A+ event at getting brands and agencies to love and champion your brand for you. Complete with some serious styling attention to detail, lots of kitsch merch and a school party complete with sugar-laden bottles of Hooch.

That aside, the day was broken down into 4 lessons all designed to help us master the functionality and benefits of the app. Each lesson came with it’s own teacher, learning materials and what felt like a practical exam. We went through Maths, Science, Art and Media Studies, touching on different areas from creative to audience insights.

Here’s just four things we learnt, one from each lesson:

The Snapchat audience aren’t kids. 61% of Snapchat users are between the age of 18-34, de-bunking the rumor that only teenagers are using the app. 

Four ways to engage with ads. When running ads across Snapchat, users can be encouraged to swipe up to read an article, install an app, watch a longer piece of content or be directed to a web page. 

Filters and lenses get huge engagement. Every day over 60% of snaps sent include one of the apps creative tools, whether that is a dog-face lens or a colour filter.

Discovering new content. Over 10 billion videos are watched every single day. Bitesized content from Snapchat’s media partners like Sky, offer a new way to enjoy both long and short form content. 

Whilst this was far from your average day at school, it was most certainly a lesson in good brand communications and sales.

Hats off to Snapchat – we’re confident many of the graduates will buy very much into the programme and you’ll see many more filters and lenses to come this summer.

The 4th Industrial Revolution and what it means for employers

In the last month or so I’ve spoken at both an Association of Graduate Recruiters interest group and The Recruitment Leaders Summit. My topic? The 4th Industrial Revolution and the choice it presents us as employers. Whether recruiting or retaining. Hiring or holding. Diversifying or including. We have a pretty stark choice:

Automate the hell out of how we run a process – or to put people first and empower them. Win or lose.

So, what is the 4th Industrial Revolution and what does it mean to you and I?

Here’s how Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum sets it out:

“The First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanise production. The Second used electric power to create mass production. The Third used electronics and information technology to automate production. Now a Fourth Industrial Revolution is building on the Third, the digital revolution that has been occurring since the middle of the last century. It is characterised by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.”

He’s quite concerned about this – and so should you and I be. He’s not thinking as an employer, but it’s easy enough to draw the parallels. Easy to see what attraction, development and retention will become if we’re not careful.

Klaus Schwab’s basic point is that the rapid technological changes we see around us have the potential to “‘robotise ‘ humanity, depriving us of our heart and soul. On the flip-side, he goes on, technology can be harnessed to ‘complement to the best parts of human nature – creativity, empathy and stewardship’.

The parallel is that if we robotise, automate or dehumanise the way we deal with people – because we can, or because a new technology is developed – we’re doing ourselves a disservice. We won’t become attractive potential employers (or increase our attractiveness if we’re well regarded already). We won’t develop our people as well as we could – and we won’t hang on to the people we need to do business best.

If we take the decision to pay more attention to human nature; nurturing and supporting talented folk both because we should, and because it grows our reputation as a great place to work, then we will gain competitive advantage. The most creative, most enthusiastic and most able people will want to start, grow and develop their careers with us. They’ll join us rather than a competitor. They’ll do so because they know we care about them and their wellbeing from the outset.

I can’t imagine many of the people reading this will purposefully set out to take the ‘robot path’. But, here’s the problem: Almost every recruitment technology or recruiting technique is designed or used in a way that does just that.

Next time you go to a conference and you find yourself watching either employer case studies or supplier presentations, listen to how many times the presenter talks about actual people. I bet it’s not that frequently. I bet that the focus is on process. I bet that the process holds people at arms length and limits real human interaction. I bet that the short-term numbers look amazing (they have to be great for the deck, right?). But I bet that the way that the people in the process feel about their (potential), employer is sub-optimal. Especially if they don’t get the job, promotion or training they’re looking for. I bet the long-term isn’t half as rosy. I bet retention is a problem.

As employers we’re being spoon-fed ways to unwittingly undermine our recruitment, retention and development efforts, at the expense of crowd-control techniques or impersonal recruitment models.

That’s likely contradictory to your EVP and the service that you’re setting out to deliver to candidates, employees or, as a business person, to your own employer.

Now, in the real world (I hear you say), processes must exist. Time is short. Resource is limited. And yes, you’re correct. You may get tons of applications (like Google does), each month. You may only have a small, function-led talent acquisition approach, like we do at Tonic. You may be the world’s most sizable employer – but unless those processes and technologies you have truly support your people, future, current or past, you’re missing a trick.

I don’t have all the answers for you. How could I? I most likely don’t know you and your exact circumstance. But if you do want to be more like a human and less like a robot, here are some things to consider:

  1. How can you make the way your organisation communicates more personal, more individual?
  2. How could you adapt your recruitment model to humanise rather than automate?
  3. What can you do to adapt the tools you have in place to build a better experience?
  4. Does your app, ATS, RPO etc move you closer to your people – or push them further away?
  5. How could you spend more time listening to what people need rather than telling them what you think they want to hear?
  6. How can you play more of an active role in helping people get, or further, the career they want?
  7. How can you interest people in the purpose of your organisation?
  8. How can you better include people in achieving that purpose?
  9. How can you give people the opportunity to experience your business before they join?
  10. There has to be ten doesn’t there – so, over to you…

This list is not exhaustive – and just some of the considerations we have taken into building our team. I’d love to hear what you’d add.


Tom Chesterton is co-Founder of Tonic, a brand, activation and innovation business that works to bring employers and their people closer together. Find out more about what we do here


The post The 4th Industrial Revolution and what it means for employers appeared first on Tonic Agency.

Friday Reading #98

So here we are. Election results day. Not quite sure what to make of it mind you, so let’s just carry on as normal eh? No politicised infighting seems to have occurred yet, and we’re coming together over smoothies in aid of Goodcause. Speaking of making drinks, know of a brilliant young person who’s looking for a first job which involves more than making the tea? We’re taking applications now, entries here. See that

segue? Seamless.


Kids are no strangers to a few bumps and bruises,
particularly if they’re interested in sports. Grazed knees from skateboarding,
broken bones from rugby – they’re all a rite-of-passage for young athletes, and
we’re usually told to stand up, dust ourselves down and power through. Parents
in China, however, seem to be slightly more concerned than most about the risk
of injury. In a bid to ease their worries, Nike have produced a series of
colourful bandages that aim to shift the focus away from injury and danger, and
towards perseverance and courage
. It’s a great message that applies to all
sports enthusiasts (and also gives them some nice, creative branding around
budding athletes).


Summer is fast approaching and along with seasonal change comes the overwhelming excitement/dread of booking a family/friends/couples holiday. You’ll be inundated with all the latest summer deals except none of them appeal to you because 1. They’re expensive and 2. They’re just not your thing. Well for all you wanderlusts, to celebrate the very cool and the very nomadic Swedish principle of ‘Allemansrätten’, Sweden recently listed itself (yes the entire country) on AirBnb. Encouraging people to wander freely through forests, to get lost in the ethereal woods and to pitch a tent by the beautiful lakes, all in support of Sweden’s motto ‘Allemansrätten’ – “the freedom to roam”.


Lucozade is helping it’s drinkers “find their flow” through London with limited edition contactless enabled bottles. The bottles will be given away across the tube network, and the lucky commuters who get one of these special bottles can use them to take a free ride on the tube, made possible by swiping the contactless bottle. This joint venture between Lucozade, TFL and Exterion is a great example of how advertisers can make more of traditional brand to hand sampling, whilst giving Londoners a valuable experience.


Years of playing Championship Manager and trying to break Cambridge United into the Champions League proved to me that while football can’t be spreadsheeted into submission, a key eye for stats can take you pretty far. I didn’t have millions of pounds, dozen of tracking systems or my own data centre to measure my teams though.

Benfica’s record for buying promising young players and selling for a packet to the Premier League (see David Luiz, Nemanja Matic) and La Liga (Jan Oblak) is down in part to their obsessive relationship with data. Every player is measured and quantified by an array of sensors, with personalised training, fitness and nutrition plans created for them in order to squeeze every amount of efficiency and minimise injuries. Sounds like Arsenal could take a leaf…

Working through this years Goodstarter programme, we’ve been thinking a lot about how to get young people off to the best possible start in their careers. It’s bloody tough to know how to get where you want to in life, especially in the mad world of the creative industries. Handily, It’s Nice That have spoken to a range of successful creative people to shed some light on how they progressed through their careers. There are a series of articles here, just scroll down to “from there to here”.