Bianchi said the managed service media business is profitable and still represents about 80% of company revenue, but that she expects “the pendulum to swing to the other side within a year or two.”
Now Bianchi must navigate between Collective’s managed media business, which is large but declining, and the potential of its tech shop, which brings less capital but requires steep investments.
“As part of becoming the agnostic solution marketers needed from an advertising hub, we got rid of our proprietary DMP and our proprietary bidder,” Bianchi said.
Collective, which sold its UK ad network business to Time Inc. last year, is shunting client budgets and resources to its SaaS platform even as it relies on its US-based ad network. For instance, even though Collective’s two divisions “are set up as absolutely distinct business units,” with no formally overlapping employees aside from Bianchi, there is a productized path between its media and self-service groups.
“We do have clients on a journey,” Bianchi said. “Some may want more transparency but still prefer managed media buys, while others are on that glide path to bringing the tech in-house, where we want to facilitate that in a consultative way before handing off to a self-service relationship.”