March 11, 2015   view past issues

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Programmatic Ad Buying or Why Does My Head Hurt?

Programmatic Ad Buying or Why Does My Head Hurt?

A recent article in AdWeek started out as follows:

“You know that it’s really important, and that it uses computers. That young, ad tech-obsessed guy at your office talks about it incessantly, throwing around acronyms and speaking of the dire need to plug into multiple platforms. You’re pretty sure that robots might be involved, and you’re kind of hoping it doesn’t become mainstream before you retire. ” The fact is, programmatic is a fast-growing part of the buying and selling of media. How fast? This year, eMarketer predicts that advertisers in the U.S. will spend $3.36 billion on a thing called ‘real-time bidding,’ up from just shy of $2 billion in 2012.”

So, what in the heck is programmatic ad buying and how might it impact the buying and selling of job postings in the online employment services industry?

One wag called programmatic – as the cognoscenti call it – “selling dog food to dog owners.” Although there is no consensus as of yet, the general idea is to mashup data, technology and software to deliver a higher return for every ad dollar spent. It can include what’s called RTB or “real time bidding,” but there’s even disagreement about that.

Here are a few of the alternative definitions from the AdWeek article:

  • “It’s where ads are bought like products are bought on Amazon.”
  • “It’s the method by which all advertising will come to be bought and sold like search ads on Google-auction based, with the buyer paying whatever price an ad is worth at a given moment.”
  • “It’s buying specific audiences using lots of data to figure out the right ad, the right person, the right time.”
  • “It’s the idea that machines will simply handle all of the process involved in buying media-the insertion orders, the paperwork, the trafficking, the spreadsheets. A few mouse clicks, and you can go home.”

Got it? Probably sorta’.

But what could programmatic ad buying potentially mean for our industry?

Well, if you can sell an inventory of dog food with ads that are bought and sold auction style to ensure they are targeted at just the right demographic at just the right time and in just the right place, you can probably do the same with an inventory of jobs. It’ll take a lot of data, some pretty impressive software and a significant change between the ears of our customers, but conceptually it can be done. And in today’s hyper-competitive talent marketplace, anything that can conceptually provide a set of customers with a competitive recruiting advantage is likely to become reality pretty quickly.

Get the Recognition You Deserve!

The Recruiting Service Innovation Awards area all new and all about you!

That’s right, the ReSIs have expanded the competition to recognize:

  • Talent acquisition providers (e.g., job boards, social media sites, mobile apps, cloud-based solutions)
  • and

  • Talent acquisition partners (e.g., platform providers, content developers, ad distributors)

as well as

  • the individuals who work for those organizations (your CEO, product development czar, star customer service rep)
  • and

  • the products and services they provide to their customers (e.g., Best Enterprise Solution, Best SMB solution, Best Niche Employment Site).

In short, we’ll now be celebrating both the Innovators and the Innovations in the online employment services industry.

The ReSIs competition is open to all employment-related organizations worldwide. For more information on the ReSIs themselves and the nominating process, please click here.

Industry Books You Shouldn’t Miss

WEDDLE’s Bookstoreis the best source of books and other tools developed expressly for the digital talent acquisition industry. Here are some of the titles your peers have recently purchased:

The New Golden Rules of Job Board Success: Four Principles for Optimizing Operational & Bottom Line Performance in the 21st Century. The title says it all.

The Accidental Houseguest, a novel written by a job board owner who launches his tale at, “where second best is just too good.”

The Talent Sourcing & Recruitment Handbook, a Cybersleuth’s secrets to finding those with the rarest and most in-demand skills in the workforce.

Next Practices: Being Better Than Best in Online Recruitment, outside-the-box techniques for job postings, social recruiting and more.

Tom Ricca-McCarthy to Keynote IAEWS Spring Congress

The IAEWS Spring Congress is barely two months away. It will be held on April 25-26, 2015 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego, California USA. It is collocated with and immediately precedes the SHRM Talent Management Conference & Expo.

The theme of the Congress is optimizing the recruiter’s experience, and who better to kick it off with the Industry Keynote than Tom Ricca-McCarthy, the CEO of Madgex. He’ll discuss what’s being done to help recruiters perform at their peak in both the European Union and North American markets. The Keynote is sponsored by Webscribble.

Tom’s presentation will be followed by two panels looking at the recruiter’s challenge at both the enterprise and SMB levels in the market. There will also be special interest group discussion tracks for:

  • Niche employment sites
  • General employment sites
  • Association career centers
  • Job board partners
  • Mobile apps & other solutions

And, as always, our unconference format ensures that there’s plenty of time for networking, forming alliances and partnerships, and doing deals.

The IAEWS Spring Congress is open to all digital talent acquisition organizations worldwide. The Non-Procrastinator’s Discount ends on March 25th, so register today. Here’s the link to the registration portal.

Private Research Bulletin

It’s tough to keep track of what’s happening in the online employment services industry. Companies are being bought and sold, new technology and services are being introduced, partnerships and alliances are being formed, and alternative business models and strategies are being tested and promoted. All of the time.

Staying on top of it all is critical to bottom line success. But who has the time to collect and read what’s published at the multiple channels that report on such matters? And equally as important, who wants to read everything when only a subset of the information is likely to impact your business?

WEDDLE’s Research Bulletin – a private, monthly e-report – solves these problems. It uses a wide range of sources – both inside and outside the industry – to capture the latest news relevant to online employment and then curates that information to deliver what’s most important with commentary about why and what it could mean.

The WEDDLE’s Research Bulletin is a for-fee publication that gives you your own in-house research and analysis arm. It focuses exclusively on the online employment services industry and delivers exactly what you need to know in just four easy-to-digest pages.

For more information about the Bulletin and its cost, please contact Peter Weddle at