Everyone’s Grading Their Own Homework

September 28, 2017 – Ad Age In a series of planned public appearances earlier this year, Procter & Gamble Co.’s Marc Pritchard delivered a pointed message to the media industry helmed by the digital duopoly of Facebook and Google. “Stop grading your own homework,” Pritchard said, by which he meant allowing no third-party oversight for the performance of ads on their platforms. In March, both Google and Facebook said they would subject their metrics to oversight by the Media Ratings Council. Spurred on by a resurgent buy-side, it seemed for a moment that third-party measurement was gaining an edge, and that the era of platforms grading their own homework was coming to an end.

Then things changed. Just a month later, Oracle bought MOAT, a third-party ad viewability measurement company, for $850 million. In June, Snapchat purchased Placed, a location-based measurement company, effectively ending its run as an independent measurement option for agencies and publishers. Doubleverify was recently acquired by Providence Equity Partners, en route to “a forever home with a player like Nielsen, Adobe or, more likely, one of the larger marketing clouds,” according to AdExchanger’s analysis. And finally, there is open speculation about who will swoop in to buy Integral Ad Science, the last of the major third-party measurement providers.

Just as major ad players vowed to stop grading their own homework, they starting buying the entities responsible for grading it.

To continue reading Michael Hayes’ article for Ad Age, please click here.

It’s called the ‘Pao effect’ — Asian women in tech are fighting deep-rooted discrimination

September 19, 2017 – USA Today Sysamone Phaphon felt lucky when, after quitting her job in health care to start a tech company, she was approached by an investor at a pitch competition.

It was only after the investor lured her on a business trip to New York that she realized the offer to help her raise money was a ruse to sleep with her.

Phaphon says it’s an all too common experience for Asian women to get sexually harassed in the tech industry, part of routine discrimination that hampers their careers.

“I wasn’t the only woman at the pitch competition,” says Phaphon, founder of FilmHero, a Web app for independent filmmakers. “I was the one he hit on because I was Asian.”

By most measures, Asians and Asian Americans are well represented in tech, with 41% of jobs in Silicon Valley’s top companies. Though Asian women hold fewer of those jobs than Asian men, they’re employed in far greater numbers than other women of color, leading some to assume they do not face the same levels of discrimination as African Americans and Latinas.

Yet research from Joan C. Williams, a professor at UC Hastings College of the Law, shows that Asian women report experiencing as much bias, and sometimes more, than other women do. And Asian women are the demographic group that is the least represented in the executive suite relative to their percentage in the workforce, according to a study of major San Francisco Bay Area tech companies by the nonprofit Ascend Foundation.

“Asian women face a double whammy of racial and gender discrimination,” says Bo Ren, who worked as a product manager at Facebook and Tumblr…

…Even with so many constraints, Asian women are making their mark in tech, from holding management jobs in major tech companies to running their own start-ups and venture funds. And that’s lighting the way for others.

Every time Gladys Kong attends a tech conference, someone walks up to her and asks her a marketing or sales question while her male colleagues fields technical questions.

“I either have to wear a sign that I am an engineer or I have to show them I know what I am talking about,” says Kong. “Yet I am the one behind building the product.”

To continue reading Gladys Kong’s comments for USA Today, please click here

Why Google, Walmart, Amazon and Whole Foods are pioneers in voice data

September 14, 2017 – CIO Online Each day it becomes more apparent that data is integral to every facet of our lives. Amazon’s recent acquisition of Whole Foods and the new partnership between Google and Walmart are further proof.

Each day it becomes more apparent to me that data is integral to every facet of our lives.

When Google and Walmart got together recently to allow consumers to purchase goods from the retail giant through their Google Home devices – Google’s answer to rival Amazon’s Echo technology – the potential for a fascinating new data set reflecting our everyday lives became even more clear. I’m talking about voice data, sourced from what one day could be a technology that’s as pervasive as our mobile phones and our televisions.

As revolutionary as it has been to access mobile data breadcrumbs representing our physical locations, voice data reflects everyday interactions consumers have with brands in an even more intimate setting – their homes. This is the type of data consumer-packaged goods giants and product developers of all kinds have clamored for, investing in in-home ethnographic consumer research, focus groups and other traditional methods of understanding how people interact with brands and products in real life.

Marketers have already begun experimenting with voice data derived from Amazon’s voice-activated home IoT platform, Alexa, for instance. Within the past year or so, Amazon has opened up macro-level information generated from consumer interactions with brands on Alexa. Developers and brands can track the number of unique customers accessing the content they develop for Amazon’s Echo or other devices, and even gauge the number of times people mention their brand names when using them.

To continue reading, please visit Gladys Kong’s article for CIO Online

Amazon Slashes Whole Foods’ Prices

August 25, 2017 – Cheddar TV – Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods is expected to close on Monday. The organic grocer will immediately cut prices on a selection of products. The discounts are part of the vision to make Whole Foods’ high-quality offerings more affordable. Gladys Kong, CEO of UberMedia, says consumers should expect Whole Foods to be impacted by Amazon’s data operation.

To watch Gladys Kong’s interview on Cheddar TV, please click here

What Motivates the World’s Most Powerful Women to Mentor

August 25, 2017 – Fortune Magazine – This spring 21 women from around the globe traveled to the U.S. to participate in the Fortune/U.S. State Department Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership.

In its 12th year, the three-week program matches women from countries ranging from Argentina to Zimbabwe with some of the top female executives in the U.S. This year’s mentors hailed from companies including FidelityMastercard (MA, +0.34%)IBM (IBM, +0.12%)AccentureS’well, and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ, -0.89%).

Non-profit Vital Voices helps runs the orientation and debriefing piece of the programming and stays connected to alumnae when they return to their home countries.

To continue reading and to watch the video featuring UberMedia CEO Gladys Kong, please click here

This Fall, College Towns and Businesses Can Get Smart with Location Data

August 18, 2018 – CIO Back to school isn’t just about yellow buses, backpacks and pencils. For colleges as well as the cities and businesses that surround campuses, it means an influx of students and dollars. The fact that just about all of those people will be carrying mobile devices means there’s far more data available than ever before that can help local businesses get a better handle on who’s in town and uncover potential opportunities.

When my firm UberMedia evaluated Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood, home to schools including Georgetown University and George Washington University, earlier this year, we used data showing the pathways to well-known shops there such as Anthropologie and Banana Republic. Anonymized mobile location data can tell us a lot – where people come from, how long they spend in each location and where they travel afterwards. Even in that simple form without additional data layered on, it’s powerful information for these large international retailers.

But it got me thinking that mobile location data could be quite useful for lots of other types of businesses and organizations around other colleges and universities. What if mom-and-pop restaurants used this sort of data to market in smarter ways? Or what if towns and cities analyzed mobile location information to learn more about where their new part-time residents come from?

To continue reading, please visit Gladys Kong’s article for CIO.

From Kosovo to California, Technology and STEM Education Remain Universal

By: Gladys Kong, CEO of UberMedia, for Innovate Pasadena

I was honored to participate in this year’s Fortune / State Department Global Women’s Mentorship Program for the first time. As a strong believer in supporting female entrepreneurism and exchanging ideas across borders, the annual mentorship program was a perfect fit. I’m also well aware strong mentors and leaders — including the legendary Bill Gross — have shaped me into the leader and businesswoman I am today.

When asked if I had a preference of who I wanted to be paired with to mentor, I emphasized the “where” did not matter as much as the “what.” I wanted a technical CEO, like me. We’re moving into the next age of globalization where technology is the only truly global language. While cultural nuances exist, technology remains universal.

I learned this firsthand when I emigrated to the United States from Hong Kong as a teenager. Uncomfortable speaking a language I had only learned in classrooms and studied in books, I gravitated to STEM studies that were like my schooling in Hong Kong. It led me to Caltech, where I earned a BS in Engineering and Applied Science, and UCLA, where I earned my MS in Computer Science. Ultimately, it led me to UberMedia, where I served as CTO for three years before being named CEO in 2015.

Fortune and the State Department paired me with Hana Qerimi, co-founder and CEO of Shkolla Digjitale (Digital School) in Kosovo, the only private education institute in Kosovo offering computer science, programming and robotics after-school lessons for school-aged children. We formed an instant bond over coding and STEM education. Her students were using the same coding curriculum in Kosovo as my children in California.

Our instant connection over coding led to larger conversations about leadership. As two CEOs with technical backgrounds, we found we both apply an “engineer’s mindset” to management. Neither of us are — or will ever be — loud, powerhouse CEOs that relish in the spotlight and use the stage to convey ideas; rather, we shine by applying rational and logic thinking, observing before concluding and valuing a team-first approached. I’m just as comfortable meeting with my engineering team as my sales team, which is critical given technology is the backbone of our company.

To continue reading, please visit Gladys Kong’s article for Innovate Pasadena. 

The death of traditional retail and how data will lead its evolution

July 24, 2017 – CIO With headlines setting off alarms forewarning the death of retail, it is easy to get sucked into the overwhelming stream of information and data. Luckily, there is more than one side to every story, and that data can actually support a more promising position on the future of the retail industry.

recent article from the WSJ calls 2017 “the year of bankruptcies,” with eight bankruptcies since the beginning of the year. The most bankruptcies in one year happened in 2008 when 20 companies declared bankruptcy. Over 3,500 stores are expected to close this year. There has been a decrease in foot traffic equaling 6 percent per year. Visits to shopping malls went down 50 percent from 2010 to 2013. Online and e-commerce was the main driver of this large drop, but changing demographics and needs were also contributing factors.

To continue reading Gladys Kong’s article for CIO, please click here. 

I’m a Great CEO and I’m Not a Loud Powerhouse

July 18, 2017 – Fortune – My STEM education gave me a different approach.

As a self-described “technical CEO” of a data and technology company, I understand the importance of a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. My STEM education shaped me into the leader and businesswoman I am today.

We’re moving into the next age of globalization, where technology is the only truly global language. While cultural nuances exist, technology remains universal. I learned this firsthand when I immigrated to the U.S. from Hong Kong as a teenager. Uncomfortable speaking a language I had only learned in classrooms and studied in books, I gravitated to STEM studies that were like my schooling in Hong Kong. My confidence increased, and I began to excel in the math and science curricula.

This led me to Caltech, followed by UCLA. At both schools, I continued to lean on STEM—the one place where my language skills mattered less and the rational side of my brain could flourish. Armed with degrees in engineering and computer science, I knew I would pursue a career in the technical arena. But what my STEM education led me to was far beyond what I could ever imagine.

To continue reading Gladys Kong’s article, please visit Fortune.

Being upfront about the future of television monetization

May 12, 2017 – CIO Forget what you’ve heard about digital being the death of television. Digital and data is only strengthening the power of television.

How many times have you heard that television is dead? Gone are the days of MASH, when television shows were an event. It’s all about going digital, they say.

While many are cutting the cord, it’s not time to give up on the power of TV. TV advertising remains a highly effective advertising medium — one that digital complements well. In fact, according to ARF, out of 3,200 advertising campaigns, TV advertising was “the most effective vehicle for driving ROI, and adding digital to a TV campaign yields a 60 percent kicker effect.” This is not something brands can ignore.

Television advertising and measurement largely rely on ratings – known as the Gross Rating Points – for buying and selling. This is often referred to as the “currency” – one which has been in place for over 60 years. However, this is changing, albeit slowly, due to the availability of digital and data.

To continue reading UberMedia CEO Gladys Kong’s article for CIO, please click here