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Targeted: How Technology Is Revolutionizing Advertising and the Way Companies Reach Consumers Hardcover – November 19, 2014

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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Far from the catchy television spots and sleek magazine spreads are the comparatively modest ads that pop up on websites and in Internet searches. But don’t be fooled—online advertising is exploding. Growing at a compound annual rate near 20%, it is now the second-largest advertising channel in the United States.

Part history, part guidebook, part prediction for the future, Targeted tells the story of the companies, individuals, and innovations driving this revolution. It takes readers behind the scenes—examining the growth of digital advertising, its enormous potential, and the technologies that are changing the game forever. Leading the way is real-time bidding, which offers advertisers unprecedented precision in targeting ads and measuring their effectiveness.

From keyword micro-markets and ad serving systems to aggregated virtual audiences and new business models, Targeted is sweeping in scope and stripped of technical complexity. It is an essential resource for anyone interested in finding and connecting with customers in the vast and shifting Internet universe.

From the Inside Flap

Digital advertising has reached critical mass, and there are no signs of slowing. With growth far outpacing other channels, more advertising dollars are spent on it than on either broadcast or cable TV! And advertising on mobile devices is more than doubling each year!

But in this vast, congested cyberenvironment, the complex challenge of choosing and reaching good customers before they click elsewhere--or put away their mobile phones--can eclipse the promise of attracting new customers. Few people truly understand how to target ultrafragmented users of digital media with short attention spans. Others struggle to keep up with innovations such as real-time bidding or online ad exchanges. Too much guesswork still underlies many digital campaigns.

Like no other resource, Targeted clarifies issues, eliminates confusion, and corrects common misperceptions. Sweeping in scope and eminently readable, it brings you up to date on technology breakthroughs, key players, industry developments, marketing strategies, terminology, historical background, and predictions for the future. You'll find information that will make or break your efforts--on using real-time auctions, developing optimal bidding strategies, using real-time analytics and social media to collect customer data, and handling tracking difficulties and click fraud. This fast-paced, highly informative narrative explains it all:

* How the stepchild of ad media emerged as a dominant force

* What actually takes place in the seconds between entering a web address and having the page rendered

* How real-time bidding (RTB) is transforming online advertising with its capacity to target an optimal audience

* How technology is bringing fairness and transparency to the question of an ad's true worth

* Why Google's reliance on paid-search advertising could spell trouble

* Which tech geniuses and business strategists continue to drive change

* Who among the tangle of intermediaries has survived, and who has not

* How social media, tablets, and smartphones create both complexity and opportunity

* Plus much more!

No one can afford a murky understanding of interactive advertising. Targeted's expansive yet detailed overview of this breakout phenomenon gives you the knowledge to harness its power for reaching your most promising customers, and standing out amid the cyberclutter.

Mike Smith is a Vice President at Hearst Magazines Digital Media, responsible for the platforms that support the creation and delivery of online advertising. Previously President of, he is a recognized thought leader in digital publishing.

Twitter @msmith


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: AMACOM (November 19, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814434991
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814434994
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,100 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Targeted's author Mike Smith is Vice President of Revenue Platforms and Operations at Hearst Magazines Digital Media and General Manager of Core Audience at Hearst Corporation. The former President of and former Chief Digital Officer of Forbes Media, Smith is an authority on how using real-time bidding systems with finesse can dramatically promote online advertising and branding. Before joining Forbes, Smith was Vice President and Chief Information Officer at He also worked at HBO in a variety of positions, including director of information technology. Smith is a graduate of the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nathaniel Emodi on October 23, 2014
Format: Hardcover
My job recently started focusing more on digital advertising, so I began looking for resources to understand the entire ecosystem, end-to-end. Given the number of companies in the space, and ad dollars at stake, I was shocked to discover there are few books out there that do this. And when I asked friends who've worked in ad-tech for years to recommend resources, there wasn't anything authoritative or comprehensive to point me to. Thankfully, Mike Smith has filled the gap. Targeted is the missing primer on the complex world of digital advertising technology. Smith exposes the whole ecosystem in easy but professional terms, and explains the fascinating backstory of the people, companies and technology that helped spark its growth. I've walked away from Targeted with a clear sense of the dynamics of the market, a desk reference for future use, and an expert's view of where things are heading. If digital advertising and technology is a topic that interests you, or if you're a seasoned pro looking for a more complete picture of your space, Targeted is a book you shouldn't miss.
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By I. Darren on October 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Marketing to your target customers was perhaps a lot easier in the past, things were a little more defined, the pace slower, the territory more precise and the reach… Today with the Internet and always-on mobile technology, the world has became a little smaller, the potential market much larger and the range of marketing channels can be confusing.

A concise book such as this can be a digital lifesaver, giving you a mix of a historical overview about the “new” world of digital advertising, an overview of current offerings and an attempt to look into the future. The author has managed to cram a lot of great information into a little package, drawing on his own experiences as well as the thoughts of over four hundred interview subjects. There is no shortage of books that look at the “digital advertising” space yet this author has managed to produce something different that is neither one thing or another, yet it succeeds as a combination of everything. Whether you are an experienced digital marketer or someone who is about to dip their toe in the shark-invested waters, there will be something to take away from this very reasonably priced book.

Throughout the book are quite profound, blindingly obvious points that NEED to be reinforced as we are likely to overlook them. Such as: “The audience for digital content is enormous and global… it can be composed of the tiniest slivers of audience groups. Never has an audience of this aggregate size been this disaggregated. This is an audience that can consist, at times, of cohorts of one. Today, if a wealthy shopper somewhere on the Internet is in the market for an expensive luxury car right now, targeting that one shopper at that moment may be more valuable than advertising to millions of unmotivated consumers.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm still in the middle of finishing Targeted but everything I've read so far has been spot on and incredibly detailed. It is hard to find detailed and accurate information about the fast changing and ever complex digital media and advertising technology landscape. 'Targeted' does a great job of going into exacting detail on complex topics, like the adtech lumiscape, and makes sense of all the noise. This is a must read of anyone just entering the programmatic world of advertising. The book is a great survey of the common issues and has really interesting first hand accounts from practitioners.
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