Rocket Fuel closed on its acquisition of [x+1] Friday, transforming itself from what was primarily an ad network company into a credible platform play focused on the software-as-a-service opportunity in programmatic marketing.
The new Rocket Fuel has far more of the attributes of a "programmatic marketing platform" than the old one, providing clients with the ability to centrally manage their data and use it to message across a range of paid and owned channels. [X+1] brings these capabilities via its data-management platform (DMP), demand-side platform (DSP) and site-side optimization capabilities. These will augment Rocket Fuel's "artificial intelligence" approach to exchange-traded media buying and optimization.
For more on the deal and its details, AdExchanger spoke with the men in charge of the two companies: Rocket Fuel CEO George John and John Nardone, the former chief at [x+1] whose title is now EVP and general manager at Rocket Fuel.
AdExchanger: Talk about the fate of [x+1]'s Origin Marketing Hub vs. the much younger Rocket Fuel DSP. Do you maintain separate platforms or migrate all your customers to one and shut down the other?
GEORGE JOHN: It's more of a blend than it is keep one, shut down the other.
[X+1]'s Origin platform is beloved by customers for the ability to put in the marketing rules that the teams would prescribe around what products to recommend in which situations, and how to make that consistent across channels. The value is around involving the people more in that process and then being able to integrate with multiple touch points, once that decisioning is prescribed.
Rocket Fuel's strength was, given a precise goal, letting the AI run with it and managing the petabytes of data that the AI works on top of. As we blend, you'll see a lot of the workflow, a lot of the user interface around decisioning and rule logic from the Origin platform. And we'll be able to leverage their existing technology for the channel integrations, the touch point integrations. You'll see that get augmented with Rocket Fuel's AI. Given the constraints that the marketing programs have, within those constraints there's just oceans of optimization to explore. We'll be able to set the AI free on that and deliver some added ROI.