MediaMind CEO Trifon Discusses The New Opportunity With DG

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Gal Trifon, MediaMindToday, online ad technology firm MediaMind was acquired by DG (formerly DG Fastchannel) for $414 million. Read more coverage.

MediaMind CEO Gal Trifon discussed the implications of the transaction with AdExchanger.com.

AdExchanger.com: Why is MediaMind a good fit for DG in your estimation?

GT: I think why we became very excited about the fit is because we're big believers that digital media will converge with all these different devices and access points. We alone were in no position to impact TV as much as we are together.

What excites me is that nothing changes in terms of our ability to continue to build a cross-channel digital platform of the future and be the independent leader. And then, suddenly, we have this great access to the TV world, where we can immediately help TV advertisers do more online through our full platform –and digital video, specifically.

Over time, we can converge the number one and two advertising mediums. We stand a better chance than anyone else I'm familiar with right now.

The two main aspects that excited us and drove this [deal] was the ability to continue and innovate for the industry, for our clients and to create great opportunities for our employees.

The ability to do something that has never been done before and meets consumer demand. Consumers are really converging as many turn to digital video on TV and to TV content on their computer. For them, the two are becoming one.

It's very important that advertisers are prepared for it and consistently execute on these two platforms. That's what I feel we can create.

What do you see as the fit globally for MediaMind with DG?

MediaMind is global, and we've been doing very well in North America. Over the last few years, our growth has accelerated, and North America was our second largest fastest growing market in Q1. There’s certainly momentum in other parts of the world, too, which is important to DG's strategy. Advertisers want to do things on a global basis. DG looks at what we've done as a great way to expand.

MediaMind has done something very unique, which is to start in North America, but then - nimbly and successfully - expand its operations through partnerships and organic themes and build very strong local brands. The global network of local brands works very well for global advertisers.

That's something that worked online and is something that will work on TV, as we make it available on a global basis with DG.

Can you talk about plans for the MediaMind team specifically –including yourself?

It's actually very related to the point I mentioned regarding strategic opportunities. We are at the forefront of delivering the migration of DG's business to the digital world. I'll become Chief Digital Officer. My entire management team will maintain ownership of the digital business, including the addition of Unicast that will work with us very closely. I'm very excited about that. We will expand to handle online video more aggressively now that we have such great access to customers and assets. We'll expand to build the future of the platform to converge the two channels and help advertisers plan and execute campaigns simultaneously online and on TV and offer measurement wherever we can.

It’s nothing but opportunity for the team, which will be the hub of innovation for DG, the hub for technology development as we’ll lead the business strategy for everything digital. We wouldn't have done it otherwise.

So, generally speaking, what are you seeing with audience‑base buying as it relates to online video? Is that starting to happen?

You’re starting to see the signs of it in companies offering video exchanges. But as far as the buy side is considered, what you need to see is a great, liquid market with high quality inventory - especially when it comes to video. Video is really the bread and butter where you can bring in advertisers. They have a certain association of quality with it. It's not always the case with the general audience buys in exchanges, which is viewed differently and on a performance basis. Branding is not the killer app for exchanges, yet.

I think what needs to happen here is more inventory availability and a lot more fragmentation of supply. The buying process will become such that exchanges will really do a good job providing efficiency. MediaMind is building its own trading capacity in Smart Trading, and we've been helping our clients buy audiences simultaneously with their premium buys. That's very easy to extend into video [through exchanges]..

What do you think can be done on the creative side with this acquisition?

There's actually a triangle of opportunities here.

MediaMind’s legacy is in rich media, and in providing the formats and tools for creative agencies, media agencies so that they can innovate across a very broad network of sites that accept us. What we get with DG, in addition to this backbone infrastructure, is a company like Unicast that is very involved in service such that now MediaMind can participate enhancing innovation, ad formats, and work with publishers to help them create innovative opportunities.

With a company like DG that practically manages TV assets for their clients, MediaMind can help create value with these assets online through video assets that were produced for TV and immediately overlay them with interactivity, measurement in order to deliver them through online video content.

So the combination here is very strong, and will be focused on creating innovation. MediaMind, overall, had expanded and become very focused on the platform strategy, which many view as challenging to ongoing creative innovation.

But if you think about some of what MediaMind has done... We've won competitions for innovating formats, which contain many interactive features that have never before been for creative agencies to utilize in their ads.

MediaMind has always been committed to creating innovation and it was always a differentiating factor for us, compared to any company in the industry. It will only become better as a result of the assets

By John Ebbert

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