Category Archives: Advertising

Use a Shared Technology Platform to Reorganize your Digital Media Activities

Digital marketing” is now a familiar term across age groups spending time on online and mobile interfaces. The digital media space can no longer be ignored and companies in varying fields, from pharmaceutical to telecom have started to take it seriously, and invest in it for the long term.

Large companies would need a strong presence in the digital arena. This means that many stakeholders would be involved in handling different kinds of digital media. For example, one agency might be in charge of the website creation and social media content, while another might handle email campaigns and banner ads. Add the technology service provider to this mix, and you could be headed for confusion. It is prudent to address this situation before it gets out of hand.

To implement a collaborative platform for one of its clients in business information services, HCL Tech used the following main 7 components:

Shared Technology Platform

The platform that was implemented had to be common across all the digital agencies and the technology service provider. It would form the foundation of the solution, and had to be capable enough to handle all the common assets, activities and reporting mechanisms.

Common Understanding of Objectives

The big picture is very important in such a collaborative scenario, and each digital agency and technology provider should have an idea of the objective to be achieved. This would help them understand the importance of their individual responsibilities clearly.

Definition of Roles

When multiple stakeholders are involved, the interfaces between them play an important role. This means that a single point of contact should be defined in each digital agency, as well as at the technology service provider and at the client’s end. The team structure within each team should also be uniformly and clearly defined, including special role definitions such as BIS digitization services.

Clear Definition of Responsibilities

In most situations, the final accountability might lie with the client’s business team, but it is important to define a responsibility matrix for all the stakeholders involved. This would help to identify the points of success, as well as to pinpoint any issues at an early stage.

Training Requirements

It is essential that the service provider provides the required training about the platform to the digital agencies, and also is available for guidance after the participants have started using it. Some of the aspects to be covered by the training include features of the platform, storage and access of digital assets, managing information, workflows and reporting mechanisms.

What are Workflows?

A common platform is effective only if used in a collaborative and uniform manner by all the stakeholders. The creation and review of workflows need to be performed by the end users of the platform from the client’s team, but in close discussion with the digital agencies.

Why are Reporting Mechanisms Important?

Reporting is an important step for tracking progress, and requires a common template to be established for use by all agencies.

Why are Reporting Mechanisms Important?

Reporting is an important step for tracking progress, and requires a common template to be established for use by all agencies.

Opting for a shared technology platform at an early stage of digital marketing would improve efficiency and brand image. It would also ensure that your digital marketing campaigns reach the required audience within an optimal period of time.

To know more about the topic please refer to the whitepaper written by HCL Technologies

How an Adwords Campaign Accidentally Exposed Dropbox and Box User’s Confidential Files

We previously reported on a Dropbox Security Snafu (and their correction for it). Now we’re learning more about how it came about, and how it was discovered.

There are several ways users can inadvertently leak confidential files, but the one that is the real head-scratcher is a combination of a user entering the URL of a Dropbox or Box file-sharing link in their browser’s “search box” rather than the “URL box”, combined with Google AdWords campaigns by competitors who want their ads to appear with people “search” for Dropbox or Box (pretty standard stuff).

The sites running such a campaign then — completely innocently — see what users are searching for, and what they are “searching for” turns out to be fully-clickable URLs to files that often contain sensitive personal or company data.

If you think that’s too rare a scenario to worry about, think again:

In one short and entirely innocently designed ad campaign alone, we found that about 5 per cent of hits represented full links to shared files, half of which required no password to download. This amounted to over 300 documents from a small campaign, including several tax returns, a mortgage application, bank information and personal photos. In one case, corporate information including a business plan was uncovered.

That’s from Richard Anstey of Intralink, the people who stumbled on the issue.

Look at this to see (redacted) images of one person’s tax return, and another’s mortgage application. Identity theft, anyone?

Read more about how Intralink discovered all this, along with some good advice on protecting yourself.

TL;DR: sensitive file? Use a sharing application that offers a password or PIN option.

Keynote Announces New 24/7 Web Privacy Tracking, Compliance Monitoring

Image representing Keynote Systems as depicted...

Keynote Systems today announced a new on-demand service for addressing growing Web privacy issues stemming from online behavioral targeting. The new service, called Keynote Web Privacy Tracking, goes beyond traditional monitoring and identifies third party tracking in violation of a site’s own stated privacy policy.

Keynote Web Privacy Tracking provides comprehensive insight into third parties that violate a company’s privacy policies across a website. Using a real browser, Keynote’s service monitors websites and records all of the tracking activity present, for example, cookies being placed on the browser. Keynote then matches that activity against a database of over 600 tracking companies and over 1,000 tracking domains, providing details on what privacy policies are being violated. Additionally, the Keynote Referrer Chain feature provides a detailed record for how the third-party violator came to be on the site, and an audit trail of each handoff in the ad request.

While there are already website privacy testing solutions on the market, Keynote Web Privacy Tracking is the first to apply a proven 24/7 monitoring technology to address the growing concerns over the impact of third party trackers on Internet privacy.

By monitoring websites around the clock from up to 70 geographic locations and covering 28 countries in the United States and Europe, Keynote Web Privacy Tracking provides an unmatched breadth of coverage for understanding the precise location and size of potential privacy issues, including risks arising from variations in how ad networks deliver geo-targeted content. Once privacy violations are found, Keynote goes one step further by providing detailed and actionable records that enable a site owner to manage policy violations with the ad network directly responsible for bringing a violator to the website. Keynote’s solution also features one-click analysis and reporting – once a site operator finds someone violating a company’s own stated privacy policy, with the click of a button a site operator can drill-down for further information.

Keynote Web Privacy Tracking has a comprehensive tracking database that provides site operators with detailed information for each third party tracker on their site. Site owners can then export the Keynote Web Privacy Tracking Report and share with co-workers and ad network partners to take immediate corrective action that reduces their exposure to privacy violations.

“Keynote Web Privacy Tracking is an ideal solution that site operators can begin leveraging immediately to address their lack of visibility into which third parties are violating the site’s own stated privacy policies,” said Vik Chaudhary, vice president of product management and corporate development at Keynote. “Our data will allow them to take very fast remedial action. Also, we believe our cutting edge 24/7 privacy compliance monitoring service will help address the increasing concerns of the many U.S. government agencies examining the issue. This includes the FTC, as well as government agencies in Europe, which may soon hold site operators legally accountable for ensuring consumer privacy on their website.”

“Online websites know that they need to publicize and enforce a strong privacy policy in order to comply with regulations, maintain goodwill with users, and ensure repeat traffic,” said Ian Glazer, research vice president at Gartner, Inc. “However those tasked with managing privacy within the organization often lack visibility into their potential privacy risk. Privacy professionals are engaging a new breed of tools to help them identify the continued risk that comes with third party cookies.”

Scott Crawford, research director with Enterprise Management Associates said, “With regulators and individuals alike becoming increasingly vocal about the responsible handling of sensitive personal data, organizations that develop and deploy Web applications must take those concerns more seriously than ever before.” Crawford continued, “Keynote’s new product provides organizations with more granular and precise insight into how sensitive information is used and privacy requirements met, not only by a business’s own applications, but also by those who provide services such as advertising placement, which could jeopardize the business’s relationships with its customers if private data is not handled properly.”

The results of an in-depth and comprehensive analysis of the online behavioral tracking on 269 Websites, to be publicly released by Keynote in the near future, found that 86 percent of the sites analyzed included third-party tracking of site visitors and, as a consequence of these third parties, over 60 percent of those sites violated one or more of the industry’s most common tracking-related privacy standards.

“The number of websites that allow visitors to be tracked by third parties may be surprising to some, but as consumers begin to understand that their online behavior can be recorded, website publishers will have to work even harder to ensure consumers’ privacy expectations are met,” said Ray Everett, Keynote’s director of privacy services.

Keynote Web Privacy Tracking detects the third parties collecting user information on each company’s site across all pages monitored by Keynote. Keynote then cross-checks each tracker against a database of over 600 ad networks and 1,000 tracking domains. Tracking companies that do not commit to an industry best practice for Web privacy are then flagged as a violator of the selected policy.

Policies checked by Keynote Web Privacy Tracking include:

  • Provide customers an Opt-out
  • Promise to Anonymize Data
  • Subject to Industry Overview from Recognized Organizations

“Ultimately, the burden of policing third-party trackers falls on the shoulders of website publishers,” Keynote’s Everett concluded. “A publisher is responsible for the content of their website, including the practices of the advertisers appearing on it. Monitoring the constantly changing advertising ecosystem is a daunting task, but the consequence of failure is the placing of your brand’s reputation at tremendous risk.”