DG COO Nguyen Discusses Acquisition Of MediaMind And Company Vision

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Neil Nguyen, DGYesterday, online ad technology firm MediaMind was acquired by DG (formerly DG Fastchannel) for $414 million. Read more coverage.

DG President & COO Neil Nguyen discussed the implications of the transaction with AdExchanger.com.

AdExchanger.com: Why is this the right time for DG to buy a company like MediaMind?

NN: First, let's backtrack a little bit in the company's history.

About three years ago, we entered the digital space by acquiring an asset called Enliven. And within that it had a business unit called Unicast. As we learned more about the business and the positioning inside the business, Unicast had built itself into the market‑leading publisher solution.

Along the way we also looked at the opportunity to expand the platform and after some research around the marketplace found that MediaMind was the best asset for that expansion.

Some of this is as much about technology as it is about the global footprint that Gal and his team has put together.

Our core business is in the offline ad serving business as the market‑leading platform to distribute TV ads and radio ads in the U.S. and Canada. We have a vision of building a ubiquitous network that will enable an advertiser to have one solution to deliver their TV assets on a global basis.

We felt that with the trends in progress regarding the distribution of content over connected TV and the rapid growth in online -which is the key part of our strategy - that the initial digital convergence touchpoints between our two companies will be around online video and online video advertising, specifically.

MediaMind has a complete platform, which will allow us to accelerate the strategy. It's something that we have been working on for a number of years with the “courtship” and dealmaking just concluding today.

What’s DG’s vision as it relates to marketing as a whole?

One of the things that we were really attracted by the MediaMind platform is their data‑driven approach and their ability to analyze and build a suite of products around the ability to optimize and deliver the right advertising ad to the right consumer.

Between the two companies, we think we're well-positioned to build a platform that will allow our clients to plan, buy, and optimize media across both mediums.

How does this acquisition affect DG’s target market?

We see a heavy interest from our offline business in online video as a lot of our clients are looking for an easier way to get their video ads delivered and distributed and served over the web much more fluidly. Within categories, we're seeing the CPG folks spending a lot more money on online video. But, there's a genuine interest when we talk across all of our clients - consistently they want to leverage their TV assets.

Any thoughts about what the implications are regarding the sell side online with this acquisition? What are you're thinking about with your publisher media partners online?

I think we haven't had... I'll call it technological capabilities to really develop a strategy around the sell-side. I think we have fantastic publisher relationships. They've expressed interest in us developing solutions for them. And I think with the MediaMind platform we're going to be able to build solutions that address them.

Are you thinking about a data strategy?

I know that the folks at MediaMind have a lot of data incorporated into it.  And, on the offline side, we've always had an interest in the BI side of our business. Within that there's an inherent challenge ‑‑ it's not as easy to collect data on the offline side of the business as it is on the digital side. We think there are opportunities to leverage the historical data that we have inside of DG from a BI standpoint to help clients better distribute and optimize media and there is a strategy within the company to provide more analytics to our clients and give them better visibility into how their content's distributed on a global basis.

One of the things that everybody's chasing is “the global GRP.”  We'll be well-positioned to try and drive towards that.

Any areas of interest that might make sense for acquisition in the future?

The company remains opportunistic in its corporate development strategy. We'll always look for the right fit and have demonstrated to the market that while we buy customer lists or tuck‑in acquisitions for our core business. Also, with thorough analysis, we'll make the right bet on the technology side. We'll continue to use the same approach.

With the team at MediaMind, frankly, they have a great R&D group. And with that they'll give us visibility into the trends and gaps in the digital side. And if there are opportunities, we'll act on them.

Last question… you’ve probably seen the acronyms DMP and DSP and the rest… Have you thought of a way to classify or describe DG now that you've brought MediaMind in house?

I think we're going to be unique. You have probably the largest offline ad server put together with one of the leading edge, third‑party ad servers on the digital side. There's really nothing like us out there.

By John Ebbert

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