Don't Freak Out: How I Stopped a Fortune 500 Company From Stealing Our Intellectual Property

Don't Freak Out: How I Stopped a Fortune 500 Company From Stealing Our Intellectual Property

Back in 2012, my digital advertising company PK4 Media had several clients.  We were bootstrapping and had positive cash flow but I was ready to take it to the next level.

In the rapidly evolving digital advertising landscape, new ideas and cutting-edge technology are what separate those who succeed and those who fail.

There were two instances, where our technology was nearly stolen -- once by a Fortune 500 company and once from my own protégé.  Here is how it happened, how we prevented it from happening, and what we learned about how to protect our intellectual property.

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PK4 Media is Ranked #227 on the 2017 Entrepreneur 360 Best Entrepreneurial Companies of America List

PK4 Media is Ranked #227 on the 2017 Entrepreneur 360 Best Entrepreneurial Companies of America List

We have this crazy idea at Entrepreneur: We want to identify 360 small businesses each year that are mastering the art and science of growing a business. To do this, we invited companies to apply and evaluated them based on four metrics: impact, innovation, growth, and leadership. The result is our Entrepreneur 360 list.

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5 Reasons to Ditch Programmatic for Private Marketplaces

5 Reasons to Ditch Programmatic for Private Marketplaces

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said it best: “If humans are to survive, we must merge with machines.”

As a long-time CEO in the rapidly evolving digital advertising community, what I am about to say may be seen as sacrilegious by some of my contemporaries: Advertisers need to spend less budget on programmatic.

This is not a war on programmatic, it is a necessary and nuanced evolution to avoid certain pitfalls.

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Digital Video Ad Effectiveness: YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and More

Digital Video Ad Effectiveness: YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and More

“Digital is more effective because it’s trackable. We’re able to see in real time if users are engaging with the brand. We know exactly what that’s worth and we can make actual decisions on it, so there are many benefits to having that digital video component.” —Tom Alexander, PK4 Media

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Discovery Channel show urges viewers to build a shelter and skip its ad

Discovery Channel show urges viewers to build a shelter and skip its ad

Dive Brief:

  • Original Productions, the producer of "Deadliest Catch" and "Jay Leno’s Garage," is rolling out the new series "Bushcraft Build-Off" on Discovery Channel on Nov. 14. To build awareness, the company is partnering with PK4 Media on a digital advertising campaign, per a press release made available to Marketing Dive.
  • As part of the multichannel campaign, one format is an interactive branded “skip this ad” solution using PK4’s TruEngage technology. Browsers see a lean-to in the woods and have the option to drag branches over to it to make a roof and skip the rest of the ad. Once the branches have been moved, the ad skips to a screen telling viewers when and where the show airs and then disappears. 
  • The omni-channel campaign will target reality show viewers using PK4's audience segments.
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American Media, Inc. and PK4 Media Announce Exclusive Partnership To Deliver New Branded Content Products to Marketers

American Media, Inc. and PK4 Media Announce Exclusive Partnership To Deliver New Branded Content Products to Marketers

NEW YORK, Oct. 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- American Media, Inc. (AMI) today announced that it is partnering with PK4 Media (PK4) in an industry-first collaboration to create custom content solutions for marketers. The collaboration combines the talents of AMI's Branded Content Studio with PK4's proprietary omni-channel platform, to deliver new content solutions designed to engage consumers with clients' products, brands and services.

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How PMP can help prevent fraud and programmatic lawsuits

How PMP can help prevent fraud and programmatic lawsuits

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk summed it up best when he said, "If humans are to survive, we must merge with machines." What I am about to say may be seen by some of my contemporaries as sacrilegious. But advertisers need to spend less of their budget on programmatic as we know it. This is not a war on programmatic. It is a necessary and nuanced evolution to avoid certain pitfalls. 

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Omnichannel: The Secret to Digital Advertising Success [Infographic]

Omnichannel: The Secret to Digital Advertising Success [Infographic]

We often hear the terms "multichannel marketing" and "omnichannel marketing," and in the past we have explored the differences between those two strategies.

Today, we'll focus on the omnichannel approach, which—when done well—creates a multifaceted yet seamless customer experience across the different channels that a customer might use to engage with a brand.

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Why Different Video Ad Channels Require Different Success Metrics

Why Different Video Ad Channels Require Different Success Metrics

Completion rate is often considered the reigning king of success metrics for video content, but it’s not always the only—or best—way to measure campaign effectiveness. Tom Alexander, founder and CEO of video advertising platform PK4 Media, spoke with eMarketer’s Sean Creamer about why the best metric for measuring success depends on the channel.

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PK4 Media: Omnichannel Platform Digitally Tracks Consumers at Home & at the Mall

PK4 Media: Omnichannel Platform Digitally Tracks Consumers at Home & at the Mall

Digital marketing has been a game-changer with marketing attribution and judging success rates. Now PK4 Media is working to bridge that digital verification with tangible results from marketing in the physical world.

PK4’s founder and CEO, Tom Alexander, discussed the company’s progress, process, and prospects with Open Mobile Media’s Robert Gray.

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Automatic Ads: An Invitation For Fraud?

Automatic Ads: An Invitation For Fraud?

Advertisers are spending billions of dollars on ad campaigns that human eyes never see, and understandably, they’re not too happy about it. Google is issuing platform fee refunds after discovering that the advertising tool DoubleClick Bid Manager had placed campaigns by hundreds of its marketers and ad agency partners on websites with fake traffic.

It’s called ad fraud, and according to PK4 Media CEO and Co-Founder Tom Alexander, it’s a way bigger problem than people realize. PK4 Media is an omni-channel private marketplace (PMP) company serving ads across desktop, mobile, in-mall, in-theater, and VOD channels, among others.

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Bots Don’t Buy: 5 Tips to Avoid Advertising Fraud

Bots Don’t Buy: 5 Tips to Avoid Advertising Fraud

President Ronald Reagan once famously said about the Soviet Union, “Trust but verify.” While digital advertising is not as much of an existential threat as the Cold War was, the principle of verification very much applies.

Since bots don’t buy products or services, brands looking to increase revenue through digital advertising campaigns must demand transparency and understand how campaigns are measured.

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PK4 Media Launches First Omni-Channel Weather Targeting Solution

For the first-time, brands can target consumers locally with digital advertising campaigns based on 12 weather conditions in real-time, it was announced today by 15-time award-winning PK4 Media. 
This marks the first-ever omni-channel weather targeting solution and it adds to PK4 Media’s robust ability to serve display and video ads across eight channels: Desktop, Mobile, Tablet, CTV, VOD, In-Mall, In-Theater and Digital-Out-Of-Home.

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4 Reasons Business Leaders Should Support the Paris Climate Accord

4 Reasons Business Leaders Should Support the Paris Climate Accord

Whether you live an environmentally-conscious green lifestyle or just like green in your pocket, there are myriad of reasons why business leaders must act swiftly in support of the Paris Climate Accord.

Recently, the U.S. Conference of Mayors became the latest political group to pledge support for the Accord independent of the federal government. American big businesses have also come out in full force. Apple, Google, HP, JP Morgan and many other large companies took out full page ads in the New York times and Wall Street Journal urging the president to reconsider withdrawal from the Accord for business reasons that included strengthening competitiveness, creating job growth and reducing risks that come with an unstable and erratic climate.

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4 Reasons Self-Funding Can Make You Jordan and not LeBron

4 Reasons Self-Funding Can Make You Jordan and not LeBron

Fresh off his fifth NBA Finals loss, LeBron James is still by far the best player in the NBA today, but Michael Jordan is widely considered the best player of all-time. This distinction is not only because Jordan has more titles, it is the way in which he won them and it correlates to an entrepreneur’s decision on whether to self-fund or seek outside investment.   

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5 Times I Said, ‘Thank God I Self-Funded Yesterday’

5 Times I Said, ‘Thank God I Self-Funded Yesterday’

It has become a bit cliché, but back when The Social Network came out in 2010, Justin Timberlake delivered my favorite movie line of all-time, “A million dollars isn’t coolyou know what’s cool…A billion dollars.”

That line hit home because one year earlier, in 2009, I quit my job and launched a start-up called PK4 Media. I saw flaws in the digital advertising industry and saw a big opportunity.

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A True Omnichannel Experience Reaps the Biggest Rewards

A True Omnichannel Experience Reaps the Biggest Rewards

Having founded advertising’s first omnichannel media company, I’ve seen how the industry has changed — and influenced change. Long gone are the days when marketing meant purchasing a few television spots and magazine ads. As new forms of media emerged over the years, brands created departments around them: print, radio, TV, social media, and so on. But these media silos are now woefully out of date.

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