February LA Ad-MarTech Get Together

Hello 2019!

A few exciting updates from our side of things. First, we’re expanding the focus, and name of the group, to better encompass the range of topics we’ll be exploring in the year ahead.

As anyone in this industry knows, the lines of AdTech and MarTech are blurred so it made sense that this community and the content reflect that.

Our first event is  a casual get together on Thursday, February 21st from 5:30-8:00pm at The Wellesbourne Lounge in West LA. The venue is located at 10929 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064.


We’ll also share information about our upcoming March event (date TBC) that will focus on AR/VR in advertising and marketing, and a list of other topics we’ve got slated for the entire year.

Please RSVP on Eventbrite if you plan on attending as we’ll need to provide a headcount to the venue.

2017 OMMA Los Angeles Conference Coverage

On July 19, 2017, the annual OMMA Los Angeles conference organized by MediaPost, returned to LA with the topic “Human Learning Meets Machine Learning”, and we have the coverage (with video streams) below.

LA AdTech will be hosting the evening reception too with generous support from GumGum.


Panel: Can Robots Fix Programmatic Creative?

The technology behind programmatic advertising is improving all the time. Add bots to the stack and suddenly campaigns are learning how to target, test and optimize on the fly, at scale, and in real-time. While advancements automated marketing should be game-changers for brands, the fact remains that technology can’t do everything. Only humans can turn stacks of laser-targeted tech into a conduit for richer customer relationships by creating stories that appeal to real people. After all, humans still interpret context better than robots—at least for now.

Jim SterneCo-FounderDigital Analytics Association PANELISTS
Zach GlassVP of Digital Advertising & SocialRED Interactive Agency
Matthew NallyFounder & Managing PartnerLabmatik
Zachary SoreffPresidentSawyer Studios
Steven WongCo-founder and CMOReady State 

TechStyle has become one of the fastest growing fashion companies in history with their brands Fabletics, JustFab, ShoeDazzle and FabKids. Find out how they are using technology and data science to reimagine media and acquisition in both the fashion and ecommerce industries.
Sujay KarHead of Data ScienceTechStyle Fashion Group

Discussion: How to Evaluate Influencer Campaigns

If content really is king, then the future may belong to influencers, the 3 percent or so of social media users who move 90 percent of the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, et al. According to eMarketer, half of marketers will increase spending with influencers in 2017, but the question of how to evaluate these relationships still looms, as brands struggle to measure impact and ROI. What are these partnerships worth today, how are brands determining what success really means? What aspects of influencer data collection and analysis can be amplified by AI/machine learning to eventually solve the ROI puzzle?

Ross FadnerDirector, Event ProgrammingMediaPost
Steve AbrahamEVP, Managing DirectorMediaCom LA
Travis HawleyVP, Business DevelopmentViral Nation Inc
Maria SipkaCo-founder and Chief EvangelistLinqia
Jeff SuhyPresident and PartnerMod op

Discussion: Inverted Influence: Reach vs Accessibility

Some industry watchers think influencer marketing needs a dramatic rethink, away from social media stars that deliver massive reach towards smaller micro-influencers, claiming the Web’s biggest stars are now just as inaccessible to regular people as Hollywood celebrities, making them (ironically) less influential. Is there really an inverse relationship between reach and accessibility when it comes to celebrity in America, and is that something you can measure? Are there any new models out there that move beyond social data to hone in on what really drives influence? How does a brand figure out what the right mix of reach and accessibility is when choosing an influencer partner?

Jessica CliftonU.S. Managing Director, Strategic Growth and DevelopmentEdelman
Josh BeaneFounder and CEOIdea Farmer
Lily KuninFounderClean Food Dirty CIty
Brian SalzmanFounder and CEORQ 

Keynote: Cosabella’s Astonishing AI Transformation

When Cosabella hit a plateau with its sales growth in 2016, the global lingerie brand decided to partner with an artificial intelligence company capable of autonomously powering its marketing and media buying operations. Three months into its AI experiment, Cosabella achieved an astonishing 336 percent return on ad spend. Join CEO Guido Campello as he takes us through the company’s incredible marketing transformation.

As brands experiment with the bot offerings of IBM, Facebook and Google, media agencies and marketing cloud providers are investing in AI-driven capabilities of their own to streamline clients’ marketing and advertising operations. While few brands have handed their buying operations over to these AI-powered platforms entirely, the early results are absolutely astounding. This is not a fad; so, what does the rapid evolution of AI herald for media agencies? Will it force them to compete more directly with big consultancies, marketing tech cloud providers and other third party vendors? What’s really at stake here, and who is best positioned to win the arms race?

Wayne FriedmanWest Coast EditorMediaPost
Russ CohnVP, Creative Marketing + InnovationQuigley-Simpson
Alastair GreenExecutive Creative DirectorTeam One
Thomas PrommerManaging Director, TechnologyHuge
Anne-Marie SchafferPresidentPHD

In this keynote presentation in two parts, Vince Lynch CEO of IV.AI and Harry Wu, VP, Creative Technology & Digital Production Design at FOX Broadcasting Company, will explore what AI really means for the enterprise today, and walk the audience through their collaborative project, which drove 5 million engagements and tripled time spent among users.
Vince LynchCEOIV.AI.
Harry WuVP, Creative Technology & Digital Production DesignFOX Broadcasting Company

Panel: Voice Computing and the Rise of Service

Though Apple’s virtual assistant Siri may be approaching its sixth birthday, innovation in voice computing in 2017 has been driven by Amazon’s two-year-old Echo, and its voice operating system Alexa, for which brands, agencies and other third parties can create “Skills” to engage this rapidly growing user base. And with the recent debuts of the Echo Look and Echo Show, Alexa’s scope now includes the camera, too, as well as the microphone. How are early adopters innovating on the Alexa platform? What have they learned from trials with Alexa Skills? How does camera functionality enhance what third parties can do? Further afield, does the rise of virtual assistants come at the expense of other media? Why search for products and services when virtual assistants can provide service based on preferences?

Pam ScheidelerChief Digital OfficerDeutsch Los Angeles
John CresonPrincipalDesignStudio
Kobie FullerPartnerUpfront Ventures
Tim LeakeSVP, Chief Marketing OfficerRPA 

AI is everywhere these days, and your brand doesn’t want to be left behind, but the options are also overwhelming. How do you go about getting involved? How do you know which AI company will make the best partner for your brand? What’s the difference between this and that offering or platform? Our panel of agencies and AI brands will help you navigate the morass of AI partner options.

John DeschnerChief Innovation Officer, Managing DirectorTBWA\CHIAT\DAY
Jeremy FainCo-founder and CEOCognitiv Labs
Ben KartzmanCo-Founder and CEOSpongecell Craig OsikaCognitive Product and Data Partnerships LeaderThe Weather Company, an IBM Business
Daniel SmithTechnical ArchitectCordial
Ophir TanzFounder and CEOGumGum 

2017 OMMA LA / LA AdTech Reception Sponsored By GumGum

Join OMMA conference attendees and MediaPost representatives and the LA AdTech community on Wednesday July 19th to unwind from the biggest advertising technology industry event in LA this year!

Please come and mingle with the best and brightest in the advertising industry over drinks and plenty of conversation. All you have to do is RSVP below or at https://laadtechomma2017.eventbrite.com/ and bring a good attitude.

Note: You don’t have to be an OMMA LA conference attendee to join us for this reception.

Thank you to GumGum for providing support to the annual OMMA LA / LA AdTech reception.

GumGum supports OMMA LA / LA AdTech reception

We are still looking for additional sponsors for this reception. If your firm is interested in co-sponsoring this reception, please send an email to kw@laadtech.com.

DATE: July 19th, 2017 (Wednesday)
TIME: 5:15pm – 8:15pm
PLACE: Marriott Marina del Rey
4100 Admiralty Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292

See photos from 2016’s event at http://bit.ly/2tHKPzW

The LA AdTech community gets an exclusive additional $200 off the Early Bird Price of the OMMA LA conference registration. Register at https://www.mediapost.com/omma-la/ and use the code LA17TH

[Watch Video] Blockchain In AdTech Panel At MetaX Wrapup

Thank you everyone for attending the Blockchain in Adtech panel hosted at the MetaX  headquarters in Santa Monica last week. The panel was moderated by Hunter Gebron, Director of Strategic Initiatives at MetaX and featured panelists including Ken Brook, CEO of MetaX; Fred Askham, Associate Director of Analytics at Ideas Made Measurable from Boulder, CO; Shailin Dhar, Co-founder of Director of Research at Method Media Intelligence; and Emmett O’Keefe, Senior Vice President of Advocacy at Data & Marketing Association.

If you missed the panel, you can watch the entirety of it right below:


We also posted photos from the event on the LA AdTech Facebook Group. Join the active community for more discussions on ad tech issues.

Blockchain in Adtech Panel at MetaX

LA AdTech Panel: Blockchain in Adtech

Blockchain in Adtech Panel

LA AdTech Panel: Blockchain in AdtechLA AdTech is bringing insights into emerging platforms that impact the digital advertising industry. Many are familiar with bitcoin as a digital currency but the underpinning is a technology called blockchain.

Having first made waves in the finance industry several years ago, blockchain is poised to become the break-out technology for digital advertising as the industry searches for solutions to a broken and opaque supply chain.

Blockchain also has the potential to wipe out fraud – tackle bot traffic, domain spoofing or even a Methbot. Its potential is vast but first we have to understand what it is and how it works.

Join us for a panel discussion to learn:

  • What blockchain is and why you should know about it;
  • How it can work with existing standards approaches, such as ads.txt;
  • How blockchain technology can change the transparency game and clean up the supply chain;
  • How blockchain can be used to combat fraud;
  • And specific protocols and products in development.

6:00-6:30pm – Registration
6:30-7:15pm – Discussion
7:15-7:30pm – Q&A
7:30-9:00pm – LA AdTech Networking + MetaX House Warming Party

Hunter Gebron, MetaX


  • Fred Askham, Associate Director of Analytics, Ideas Made Measurable (Boulder, CO)
  • Shailin Dhar, Co-founder – Director of Research, Method Media Intelligence
  • Emmett O’Keefe, Senior Vice President of Advocacy, Data & Marketing Association
  • Ken Brook, CEO, MetaX

Thank you to MetaX for hosting the panel and for the party.

Photos From Investing In AdTech And MarTech LA AdTech Panel

Thank you everyone for attending the LA Adtech panel on Investing In AdTech And MarTech. The event was a success with many insights shared by the esteemed panelists Jim Andelman (Rincon Venture Partners), Dan Chen (CEC Capital/Siemer & Associates) and Fred Krueger (Troopwork).

All the attendees had time before and after the panel to meet and network with the panelists. Please join the LA AdTech Facebook community and tag yourself in the photos:

Photos From Investing In AdTech And MarTech LA AdTech Panel

Thank you again to Fred Krueger and Troopwork for hosting us and a special thanks to Tony Winders and Nicole Jordan for their help in organizing the event.

Photos From Investing In AdTech And MarTech LA AdTech Panel

AdTech and MarTech Investing 2017 Panel

It’s only a little over a week away until you can meet and network with investors from Rincon Venture Partners, CEC Capital Group (formerly Siemer & Associates) and Brilliant Ventures at the LA AdTech panel on AdTech and MarTech Investing

RSVP now before early bird pricing ends on April 19th!

The panelists will be discussing investing in adtech and martech particularly since investing in the Southern California region has matured in recent years, ranging from funding rounds for Conversion Logic ($9M), Pathmatics ($3M), Vertebrae ($10M) and GumGum ($24M) to the acquisition of CitizenNet and IPOs for The Trade Desk and Snap.

The speakers at this panel includes:
– Jim Andelman (Rincon Venture Partners)
– Dan Chen (CEC Capital, formerly Siemer & Associates)
– Fred Krueger (Troopwork, Adconion, GradientX)
– Kara Weber (Brilliant Ventures, Rubicon Project, Adap.tv)

Meet AdTech and MarTech Investors

Our speakers will help answer:
– How are investors of varying types and sizes viewing the direction of the public markets?
– Will there be more acquisitions than IPOs, particularly from foreign investors?
– As some categories become commoditized, which segments can provide greater returns to investors?
– Are investors paying attention to nascent segments such as VR/AR and influencer marketing?
– With companies like Adobe turning into the martech behemoths through acquisition, will there be further consolidation in the space?
– Will other big corporations follow this path and will they invest in or acquire?

Thank you our venue host, Troopwork and promotional partner,  Santa Monica Tech Mixer 3.


Speaker Bios

Jim Andelman: Mr. Jim Andelman is a Co-Founder, General Partner, Managing Partner, and Managing Director at Rincon Venture Partners. Mr. Andelman co-founded Rincon Venture Partners and is responsible for driving the fund’s investment activities, as well as its operations. He led the firm’s efforts in software and services. Mr. Andelman led the assessment of over 300 investment opportunities, participated in the deployment of $78 million across five portfolio companies, and enjoyed four successful exits in a challenging macroeconomic environment.
Dan Chen: Dan Chen brings to CEC Capital over 18 years of investment banking, private equity and corporate development experience in the technology, media and telecom (TMT) industries, and has been involved in transactions totaling over $5 billion in value throughout his career. Dan currently leads and oversees execution of cross-border US – Asia M&A and capital raising mandates for clients in the media and entertainment, advertising, software, data, and Internet services space. He is also currently a Strategic Board Member of Lotus Innovations Fund, LP, a private equity firm focused on software investments in the Southern California market, and is part of the mentor team at MuckerLab, advising media and software entrepreneurs in the startup ecosystem in Southern California.
Fred Krueger: One of LA’s most successful technology entrepreneurs, Fred Krueger has had ten exits totaling more than $500 million. He is currently founder and CEO of Troopwork, a robust enterprise application for organizing information around team collaboration and company communication. Prior to starting Troopwork, Mr. Krueger was president of Top Level Domain Holdings (now Minds + Machines). Best known for his track record for growing and selling high growth advertising technology companies, he was the founder of iWin, Santa Monica Networks, TrafficMarketplace (acquired by Vivendi), TagWorld (acquired by Viacom), Adconion Media Group, (acquired by Amobee) and GradientX (acquired by SingTel). Mr. Krueger holds a PhD. in Operations Research and a Master’s degree in Applied Mathematics from Stanford University and a BA degree in Mathematics from Cornell University.
Kara Weber: Kara Weber, founding partner at Brilliant Ventures and founder of #CityofAngels, is a recovering serial tech/media entrepreneur and operator driven by a creative heart. A born marketer, she’s been lucky or smart enough to be a founder and/or leader of many breakthrough companies – Adap.tv (sold to $AOL), Rubicon Project ($RUBI), Mogopop, Talking Panda, Streetmail (now Everyday Health), and Tripod (sold to $LCOS) – and still finds nothing as compelling as working with brilliant entrepreneurs and amazing companies. Her interests – beyond art, reading and travel – lie in innovative technology, scalable global platforms and revolutionary ideas. Kara graduated from Williams College and lives in Venice, CA with her 1 husband, 2 sons and 3 dogs.

eMarketer Reports US Native Digital Ad Spend To Top $22 Billion

In their first forecast report on native advertising spending that was recently released, eMarketer projects the spend on native digital ads in the US will exceed $22 billion in 2017 and this will represent about 53% all display ad spend.

US total display spending grew from $33 billion last year to $41.7 billion in 2017. Native digital ad spend will continue grow to over $28 billion in 2018.

Within the ~$22 billion spent on native digital ads in 2017, most of it were on social media platforms particularly on Facebook, but the non-social components are growing fast going from $3.5 billion this year to $5 billion in 2018.

eMarketer’s principal analyst, Lauren Fisher, explained to Mediapost’ Native Insider that social media channels had helped trained advertisers to adopt in-feed native ads leading to the social channels’ 84% share of native ads spending. Learning from that, publishers are starting to adopt a similar in-feed style for native ads instead of relying on only standard banner ads. This, coupled with recent partnerships between native ads platforms and DSPs (ie Nativo and The Trade Desk), should explain the forecasted fast growth in the non-social components.

In-feed native ads will be crucial to publishers as audiences shift towards smaller mobile screens to consume content by scrolling and where publishers will lose the rightrail real estate commonly reserved for banner ads. Moreover, publishers can then command a higher price as advertising clients ask for more custom sponsored content including videos that are not available on big social platforms.

Since native advertising is largely purchased on social platforms, it’s also almost entirely mobile. Native mobile display ad spending will reach $19.5 billion this year, representing a 88.3% share of total native ads, and it is still growing. However, it will only be 64.5% of all US mobile display ad spending in 2017.

eMarketer estimates 84% of all native display ad spending ($18.55 billion) will be transacted programmatically in 2017 because of social media ads, which are mostly transacted via APIs.

Interesting Reading: 4 Key Takeaways From EMarketer’s US Native Digital Display Advertising Forecast

eMarketer Reports US Native Digital Ad Spend To Top $22 Billion


Snapchat Releases New Audience Targeting Feature

With Snap, Inc. ($SNAP) currently trading about 30% below its all time high price (of $29.44 right after its IPO), it will have to show earnings and progress to shareholders in its upcoming first quarterly report as a public company. The release of Snapchat’s new ad targeting option called Snap Engagement Audiences that command higher CPMs than standard targeting is a good start.

This new ad offering will allow brands to set up new ad campaigns to target Snapchat users who already had interacted with their ads on the app previously. These users have already shown an interest in the brand with the previous interaction and are likely considered to be in a “consideration stage” or “mid-funnel”.

Snap considers this to be engagement targeting instead of standard re-targeting because everything takes within within the app instead of involving external websites and data. In addition, engagement targeting will not include audiences that had only watched the previous Snap ad without interacting with it. By narrowing the funnel and serving up more higher potential audiences to the brands, Snapchat can then encourage higher bids for these impressions (since brands are still paying by and bidding for impressions) that would be cost efficient to the brands.

MarketingLand posted a very detailed description of this new Engagement Audiences process along with this example: a mobile game advertiser could run a Snap Ad that features a long video documenting how the game is played to seed people’s interest. Then it could follow up with a Snap Ad to install the app but only show it to the people who not only watched the longer game trailer but also are considered likely to actually install the game.

Interesting readings:

Snap Inc IPO

Forrester Reports Poor Quality Ads Wasted $7.4 Billions In 2016

Forrester released a new report recently which concluded poor-quality ads cost U.S. marketers $7.4 billion last year and this cost may continue to growth to $10.9 billion by 2021 if the issue of waste is not addressed properly.

While Forrester’s actual report is only available for a fee, MediaPost posted an informative summary of the report. Some of the highlights include:

  • Programmatic media and video are the primary cause of ad fraud spending waste
  • Lack of transparency in the ad tech supply tech greatly contributed
  • Marketers are pushing for standards like for print and television but until then, such waste will remain
  • Without standards, even measuring viewability won’t be useful