Turn GM Philip Smolin Discusses Exchange Trading Desk And Turn Network

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Turn GM SmolinPhilip Smolin, General Manager, Platform Solutions at Turn discusses yesterday's announcement regarding their new, white-label buying platform solutions.

AdExchanger.com: How do you differentiate with other solutions in the marketplace such as MediaMath and Invite Media?

PS: Turn is best-in-class for custom audience targeting, optimization and analytics. A number of vendors are providing basic exchange management solutions, and certainly Turn's platform provides all of the core features you would expect: a unified dashboard for managing all ad exchanges and yield managers, centralized retargeting and behavioral buys, universal frequency caps, transparent reporting, etc. But where Turn really excels is in the ability to help media buyers go beyond traditional retargeting and behavioral targeting to actually discover and convert entirely NEW audience segments they haven't previously reached.

Some of the differentiated technologies driving Turn's platform include real-time behavioral data assimilation and modeling; predictive bid optimization that blends user, site and page context information; and direct, real-time bidded (RTB) exchange integration. The end result is an extremely powerful audience targeting and optimization platform that is still surprisingly easy for the media buyer to use. The final component is an advanced analytics system that goes beyond basic performance reporting to include deep demographic and behavioral insights.

For media buyers who want to drive the system themselves, the platform is available on a self-service basis. For others who want all the benefits of exchange management but without the overhead, Turn also provides a full service solution. Our highly experienced professional services organization provides full lifecycle campaign management and consulting, ensuring the agency a seamless and successful deployment.

Please discuss how you will manage the appearance of a conflict of interest between the ongoing management of your own network while offering a white label version of your network's buying platform?

Actually, full transparency ensures there's no conflict of interest and in fact the two services are extremely complementary. When an agency uses the Exchange Trading Desk, Turn Network is an optional ad inventory source just like any other RTB-based inventory source. If the agency chooses to deploy the campaign to Turn Network along with all of the other sources, the platform automatically optimizes budget allocation based on performance. This means that if Turn Network is performing better on an eCPA basis, additional budget will be allocated to it. But if Turn Network is performing worse, then budget will be taken away and re-allocated to the better performing sources. Because performance data and budget optimization is fully transparent, the media buyer can see and manage what is going on at all times.

What makes the Turn Network so complementary to the Exchange Trading Desk is the incremental reach it provides. The simple fact is that not all publishers use exchanges, and many publishers place only a portion of their inventory on exchanges. Frequently, Turn Network is able to provide access to inventory that would otherwise be unavailable via an exchange. The end result is access to increased reach and frequency, which ultimately can have a huge impact on campaign success.

When will the Private Network and the Exchange Trading Desk model be available?

Both products have been in closed beta for some time with major agencies and are now available in market.

It would seem the Private Network option will appeal to agencies in that they'll want to source their own inventory beyond Turn's options. Agree? Or do you think you have scalable audience available through inventory that Turn can currently access?

The Exchange Trading Desk is designed to centralize and optimize buying across all auction-based inventory sources. Turn Network is just one of the many optional RTB inventory sources the Trading Desk platform optimizes across. Larger agencies with multiple advertisers and campaigns will absolutely continue to source their own inventory, and they can use the Private Network to expand optimization beyond the exchanges to include their direct publisher and ad network buys. It really is a great strategy, because the more campaigns the agency can consolidate, the greater their buying power. This enables agencies to make bulk inventory purchases and have the Private Network platform optimize the use of the impressions across all of the available campaigns. We've already seen this model in use and its driving amazing performance results.

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