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PCH/Media Ranks Top 20 in AppsFlyer Performance Index

PCH/Media Ranks Top 20 in AppsFlyer Performance Index

With a focus on driving quality installs and engagement at scale, PCH/Media is proud to announce that we have once again earned top spots in AppsFlyer's latest Performance Index.

Using app installs and retention to evaluate over 1,000 media sources, the AppsFlyer report has become the industry standard for mobile app marketers looking to get the best return on their ad spend. The latest index sources numbers from H2 (July - December) 2016, breaking down top performers by region, category, and platform.

Here's how PCH/Media stacked up this time around for Gaming in North America:

  • Android: #18
  • iOS: #19

See the full report here.

Want to learn how to access PCH/Media's premium audience of loyal and engaged users? Get in touch!

LIQUID IS NOW PCH/MEDIA!

LIQUID IS NOW PCH/MEDIA!

 

Publishers Clearing House has long been known as a platform offering a chance to win, but over the last few years it has also gained recognition as a key player in the digital advertising space under the name “Liquid.” Now, in an effort to more closely align PCH’s B2B offering with the rest of the company, we are excited to announce that the Liquid arm of the business is rebranding to PCH/Media.

At a time when advertising technology is becoming increasingly complex and confusing, our goal is to make our B2B brand story and products as simple and straightforward as possible. Our story starts with our audience data, and it’s undeniable that that data comes from PCH’s customer registrations, engagement, and purchase activity. Changing our name to PCH/Media communicates upfront—clearly and simply—who we are and what we do: 

We are from PCH. We offer media solutions.

Finally, you’ll notice that the style and imagery of our new brand looks quite a bit different from before. We are moving away from stock photography and instead relying on photos of diverse groups of people who represent the real experiences of life in America and with our brand. Our data comes from real Americans consumers—PCH members—and our goal is to portray the tangible, human element of this data in contrast with the anonymous, cookie-based data that is so prevalent in market today.  

We are from PCH. We offer media solutions. And our data comes from real, American people.

So what does this mean for you? A cleaner, simpler experience—with the same innovative products, reliable data, and consultative service you’ve come to expect.

Contact us to learn how PCH/Media can help you run more effective campaigns.

Quality & Scale Earn Us a Top Spot in Appsflyer Index

Quality & Scale Earn Us a Top Spot in Appsflyer Index

AppsFlyer just released its most recent Performance Index, offering insights into the performance of mobile media sources for H1 (January to June) 2016. Ranking over 1,000 sources by region and platform, the Index is a highly regarded resource for data-driven marketers looking for the smartest ways to allocate their ad spend.

With a focus on driving quality installs at scale, Liquid (now PCH/Media) is proud to have earned top spots in AppsFlyer’s gaming and non-gaming Power Rankings for North America.

Using retention and scale to determine its rankings, this edition of the index highlights the industry’s shift from acquisition to engagement—and also explains the significant number of newcomers to the list. As market dynamics change, so does the efficacy of media sources. AppsFlyer’s report points out that marketers need to be ever-vigilant about monitoring performance of existing partners and remain open to testing new ones to ensure the best results.

Here’s a quick look at how Liquid stacks up:

  • Gaming in North America: Android: Top 15 / iOS: Top 25
  • Non-Gaming in North America: Android: Top 15 / iOS: Top 20

See the full report here.

Want to learn how to access Liquid’s exclusive inventory of loyal and engaged users? Get in touch!

PCH at Cannes Lions 2016

PCH at Cannes Lions 2016

Last week, Publishers Clearing House shipped off to Cannes Lions, the International Festival of Creativity that attracts more than 15,000 people each summer. While we’ve had our team in attendance over the last couple years and even co-hosted a yacht last year, this was the first time PCH sponsored its very own boat—we were sure to make a splash with a bunch of high-energy events throughout the week.

Here’s a peek at what went down!

Our Home Away from Home

Our boat, the Lady Jersey, was a 36 meter classic yacht. This is where all the fun happened!

La Tonnelle Wine Lunch

On Monday, we hosted an executive lunch at La Tonnelle on Saint Honorat Island for an exclusive group of partners and clients. Home to the Lérins Abbey monks and their eight-acre vineyard, the island produces some of the best wine in the world—which we all got to enjoy, along with the beautiful views!

Yoga on the Yacht

Tuesday through Thursday we hosted early morning yoga on the top deck of our boat. What an amazing way to wake up—and sweat out whatever happened the night before!

Rosé Soirée

Tuesday night was PCH’s Rosé Soirée party, where we served—you guessed it—lots of rosé as well as great tunes from one of the best DJs around. And, of course, some big PCH checks made an appearance!

Waterside Chats

Wednesday afternoon kicked off with our Waterside Chats panel event. Attendees enjoyed cocktails and sunshine on our top deck while agency and ad tech influencers from WPP, Rubicon, AOL, LiveIntent, and more discussed the latest in mobile, data, and programmatic media.

Teads Run DMC Party

On Wednesday night, we were excited to partner up with Teads to co-host a party featuring a performance by Run DMC! What a great way to cap off an amazing week.

The PCH Team

And last but not least, here’s the PCH crew that made it all happen. Looking forward to another awesome event next summer!

Becoming a Senior Engineer

Becoming a Senior Engineer

In the advertising technology world, a solid engineering team is core to staying ahead of the curve and exceeding customer expectations. At Liquid (now PCH/Media), we’re lucky to have a talented group of engineers who are committed to our products and their teams. 

Today we’re switching gears a bit to explore what it means to be a software engineer and what it takes to get there, from the POV of Josh Begleiter, one of Liquid’s Senior Engineers. Interested in pursuing a meaningful engineering career in an exciting, rapidly evolving industry? We’re hiring!

How it all began

When I first began programming almost 14 years ago (not counting the QBasic I first learned), it was a fun hobby, a class in my high school learning Java, which grew out of my interest in web design and computer graphics. A few years later I was in university taking a major in computer science, which transformed my hobby into the focal point of my studies, and just four years after that, in what now feels like the blink of an eye, I was doing it full time, and suddenly it was my career path. Looking back, it’s now easy to see how I was grinding the metal of my understanding in computer science into a hardened, sharpened edge, but in many moments I distinctly remember thinking, “I have no idea what I’m doing.”

I’m an avid Quora user as someone who answers a fair number of questions. Something I’ve noticed is that there are certain questions that seem to appear without fail almost every week: “What’s the difference between a Junior / Intermediate / Senior developer?” “How can I know if my knowledge level makes me a junior, middle or senior level developer?” “What is the main difference with a senior and a mid-level developer?” “What’s the difference between a mid-level and a senior developer?” “What is a Senior Software Engineer supposed to know?” “Software Engineering: How do I know what I don’t know?” and on and on and on. This is just a small sampling of many similar questions, and they all have different answers, some far more different than others.

Breaking it down

This week I set out to answer those questions, at least in part, which is motivated by a need for standardization and is the first step in a larger project to define career development plans for my team at Liquid. We’ll use the following rubrics for self-assessments, to help guide engineers towards work that they’ll find fulfilling, and in evaluating potential hires. I started by putting together many of these answers and using resources like fellow Bostonian Sijin’s programmer competency matrix, which you’ll see a lot of in my own developer rubric. At Liquid in particular, we are interested in people who want to excel in all parts of the stack, and as a result every item in the developer rubric is valuable to us.

Check out the rubrics here.

You’ll notice immediately that I combined some things, added context and specific examples to certain categories, removed others entirely, and, I think most importantly, added categories related to soft skills and personal development. This is because being an engineer is more than writing code, putting together components, and writing documentation. It’s the process of taking something complicated and making it simple for our consumers and partners.

From junior to mid-level to senior: steps to honing your skills

One of the wisest, most concise pieces of advice that I have ever received was that “simple is hard,” and as a result the more complex something is the better we must be to make it easy. It’s an exercise in constant technological evolution, one in which, as we grow, we become more actively involved for our respective organizations. It’s teaching, mentoring, and encouraging more junior engineers to want to be better. It’s the stuff that applies to any career that I so often see missing in these answers. Adding the soft and hard skills together I ended up with, well, a lot of requirements; four pages, to be exact. So how does one actually go about tackling all of these subjects, whether moving from junior to mid-level or mid-level to senior?

The answer won’t surprise you: take a kernel of knowledge, something in which you have achieved mastery, and grow your knowledge around it. Once you begin to nucleate knowledge around the core of your understanding you’ll find that, much like Newton’s first law of motion, it will become a part of your process and remain so. Start with something you understand deeply and then you’ll be able to move effectively to other areas of knowledge. The same holds true for the ops side of the house, for which I have also included a rubric.

But how long will it take? That depends on you. I don’t hold to the idea of ten-thousand hours, or some number of years’ experience, but rather the experiences from which an engineer has been able to learn. The trajectory of your understanding is entirely dependent on your attitude and the amount of time you will devote to improving your skills. By constantly challenging yourself to learn more and do more with that knowledge you’ll be able to tackle harder and harder problems.

Take your engineering career to the next level at Liquid. Check out our job openings!

We are One of Maine’s Best Places to Work!

We are One of Maine’s Best Places to Work!

We are proud to announce that Liquid (now PCH/Media) was voted one of the 2015 Best Places to Work in Maine!

For the last 10 years, The Society for Human Resource Management’s Maine State Council has recognized Maine’s top employers with the Best Places to Work in Maine initiative. Dedicated to highlighting companies that have established and consistently provided outstanding workplace environments, the Best Places to Work in Maine program addresses all of the hard work employees put in to get their company to where it is today. It’s a tremendous accomplishment and true honor to make the list!

Liquid was ranked #7 best medium sized business to work for in Maine.

How does a company make the list? Employee satisfaction is the answer in a nutshell. Real and honest feedback is taken from actual employees, and the winners are chosen by the council, based in large part on those responses. The assessment process also evaluated each company’s employee policies and procedures.

Competition is fierce: out of all of the companies that apply, only about half end up getting ranked. Categorized based on number of employees, businesses are awarded within their size category to ensure a level playing field. With 42 other employers along with Liquid in the medium sized category—the largest group—it was that much more of a triumph for us to make the top 10!

Real Feedback

Here are just a few of the comments from our employees’ surveys:

“Incredibly supportive peer-to-peer environment. Lots of people that want to work hard and drive the positive culture here.”

“Liquid consistently works to maintain a fun, challenging work environment that encourages a healthy work-life balance. Unlike many employers, Liquid provides a flexible work environment and has a solid tuition reimbursement program that truly speaks to the organization’s commitment to personal growth.”

“The company has a long term vision and is dedicated to putting forth the resources and time needed to build towards that vision. Everyone is really excited to be here and we feel that we have a great opportunity ahead of us to build one of the coolest companies in Maine.”

“There are few places where I’ve worked that incorporate collaboration and an exciting day-to-day like Liquid does. I show up everyday looking to team with coworkers towards client and partner goals. Most days I leave feeling as if I’ve done so, which is a rewarding feeling in itself and a testament to the effective teamwork that occurs daily.”

We love where we work. Would you like it, too?

We’re hiring! Liquid is always on the lookout for smart, motivated, and fun people to join our team. Check out our current openings here!

The Biggest Data Challenges Facing Marketers Today

The Biggest Data Challenges Facing Marketers Today

As Ad Week 2015 drew to a close, one thing became abundantly clear: digital advertising has come a long way, but innovations in programmatic, video, and big data have brought their own set of challenges for marketers. Top AWXII themes centered around the usual suspects—creative, viewability, mobile, cross-device—and Liquid (now PCH/Media) was in town to add our own insights to the mix.

Data Demystified

We kicked off our first ever Liquid Lunch Series roadshow in NYC with casual lunch and drinks (including our signature cocktail, the Liquid Courage). The lunch/presentation combo centered on “demystifying data,” with Ash Dhupar, Chief Analytics Officer at PCH and Noah Jessop, Liquid’s own Head of Data, covering off on topics aimed to help marketers successfully navigate the intimidating yet essential task of picking data partners.

When it comes to data, Ash and Noah truly know their stuff. The presentation began with an overview of the importance of data in today’s marketing landscape. It’s indisputable that data is everything—Goldman Sachs  affirms that soon, “the value of ad tech companies will begin shifting from media buying, to ‘data enablement.'” When thought of this way, unique insights are one of the most valuable tools marketers have at their disposal, more pivotal even than the media that they’re being applied to. With that, it’s important that everyone gets on the same page about what constitutes quality data: what are the different types of data? Where do they come from?

Ash and Noah broke down the often misunderstood—and misrepresented—data types, proclaiming first-party data as king, second-party data as the new but influential kid on the block, and third-party data as an oftentimes necessary component for scaling seed audiences of first-party data. Since first-party data comes directly from the source, it’s the most reliable, but in the currently hyper-commoditized data market, it’s tough to decipher who’s offering true first-party data and who’s just giving it lip service. Worse yet are the DSPs that are listening in the exchanges and then packaging up stolen data and selling it as their own.

Data Challenges Defined

A blend of agency and DSP folks made for interesting discussion, and we were able to get a first-hand account of some of the challenges they face in today’s increasingly data-driven marketing environment. They described the ever-growing abundance of available data as both a blessing and a curse, with the proliferation of oftentimes unregulated and unreliable data resulting in commoditization and confusion about what constitutes quality targeting information.

Four trends emerged as the leading hurdles:

  • Too many data companies are unwilling to articulate where their data comes from and who makes up their audience segments. How are they collecting data? What qualifies a “nightlife enthusiast” or a “couponer”? How are these categories defined?
  • Most data sets are small. The vast majority of data out there—especially first-party data—lacks the scale necessary for impactful campaign reach. How can marketers get both the unique insights they crave and the scale to make them worthwhile?
  • It’s difficult to unify campaigns across devices, including TV. It’s well known that the most effective campaigns are multi-channel, with ads hitting consumers at various touch points along the path to conversion. Being able to match devices deterministically, including across television, is a must, but is currently only possible through a small number of large-scale providers.
  • Goals are unclear at the outset of a campaign. When proper goals aren’t assigned to data segments, marketers are unsure what to expect from reaching particular clients. What types of results should they get from targeting “pet lovers”? How are we defining success?

Questions

With so much confusion in the market, it’s important that marketers know the right questions to ask when figuring out which data companies to work with, so Ash and Noah also covered off on best practices for evaluating data partners.

Key questions for marketers to ask include:

  • First-party data: Does this data align with your target audience? Does it have the scale to reach your audience? Is it comprised online or offline data?
  • Second-party data: What is the size of the data? What is the proportion of first and second-party data?
  • Third-party data: How was the data collected? What is the proportion of probabilistic vs. real data? How is this data going to drive performance?

Onboarding is On Point

Finally, Ash and Noah walked us through how exactly data can be leveraged to complete an audience buy across platforms. They explained that once a segment of user data is compiled, it’s synced with an onboarding partner like LiveRamp, who has licensed mappings from partner publishers. Mapping that user data to cookies allows targeting to those users across different devices and platforms so you can be sure you’re actually reaching the people you think you are.

Noah also explained why using first-party data as a seed audience is one of the best ways to ensure a high-quality segment while increasing reach from a smaller pool of data. By identifying your key customers and distilling the common intent signals from those VIPs, you can use that insight to identify new, similar prospects in the larger data pool. You then execute a media buy targeting a significantly increased group of people who you know will respond, based on past actions.

Next Stop is…

All in all, it was an eye opening day on all fronts. We’re looking forward to more inspiring data discussions at our next Liquid Lunch in San Francisco!

Keep your eye out for the Liquid Lunch Roadshow, coming soon to a town near you!

Liquid’s Digiday Debut

Liquid’s Digiday Debut

Liquid’s very own Jessica Speweik and Darin Leach had the pleasure of attending the 2015 Digiday Agency Innovation Camp in Vail, Colorado last month. With over 200 peer-nominated agency representatives in attendance and a tight-knit, team-based format, Jess and Darin both agreed that the Innovation Camp is one of the best (if not THE best) digital events here in the US for media agencies and ad tech companies. The passion and enthusiasm of this group was palpable, making the camp a phenomenal place to share insight and exchange ideas.

Our Digi-Debut

As a sponsor of the Innovation Camp, Liquid took the stage to talk about how we can partner with agencies to help them reach their clients’ target audiences. Check out our pitch below:

The camp included a number of other presentations by agency leaders on ways to get ahead in the agency world as well as a Shark Tank style competition based on two separate creative briefs.

In addition to the terrific content and words of advice from industry professionals, each team was encouraged to bond with each other. There was a series of team building exercises such as a scavenger hunt, photo contest and (personal favorite) the Digiday Agency Camp Olympics. These team-building events broke the ice and really helped identify each team member’s strengths and contributions. The innovation and creative thinking that went into each competition was not only hysterical, but also truly useful! When it came time to work on the briefs, I think we all felt a bit more prepared to be creative and innovate.

The Main Event: We came, we saw, we conquered!

On the last day of camp, each team presented their briefs. The panel of judges included representatives from Dell, SoulCycle, Travelocity, and MeUndies. Luckily, Liquid was representing both the “Candy Brief” and the “Tequila Brief.” We happened to be the only teams that included vendor-specific products: Jessica with RealBucks TV and Darin with Liquid’s audience profiles. The competition was stiff and all the presentations were fantastic. After some tequila shots for the judges and the personal sacrifice of a team member’s Twitter account….TEAM LIQUID WON!!! We are happy to report that each of the camp’s winning teams had a Liquid representative.

Overall, there were great relationships made, a lot was learned (especially a first-hand look at how agencies work on client proposals), and Liquid received a few shout-outs from clients at the conference.

We also got some pretty sweet trophies!

Welcome to Our Blog

Welcome to Our Blog

Hi there and welcome! We’re so happy you’re here.

In case we haven’t met before, we’re the advertising technology arm of Publishers Clearing House—yes, that Publishers Clearing House—and we’re on a mission to make ad targeting better.

Because ad tech is exciting and because we have lots of cool things going on, we thought it’s about time we have a place to chronical the Liquid Life (now known as the PCH/Media Life) and everything that goes along with it. You’ll find lots of helpful posts on data—what it is, where to get it, and how best to use it—and other industry hot topics (viewability, anyone?!) from our insanely knowledgeable team. You’ll also get a behind-the-scenes look at what it really means to be Liquid.

It’s not all teal and tight t-shirts over here (although there’s a lot of that). We’ve brought on some of the best in the business to build the best advertising products you’ll ever use, and we want you to come along for the ride. So put your feet up, grab a drink, and enjoy.