ValueClick Media Enters Platform Game; GM Todd Says Company To Simplify Fragmented Display Ad Market

ValueClick Media Last week, ValueClick announced its new Platform Services offering with its first implementation being the Retail Performance Platform which was launched at eTail last week. Read the release.

ValueClick Media GM Bill Todd discussed the new platform and its positioning. Why introduce this platform services group now?

BT: A combination of factors were involved in the timing, led by the fact that the largest advertisers in the industry want to work with fewer partners and so many of the services they need have resided within ValueClick, Inc. for years. There were only a couple of things we needed to add to what we already have to provide them with the whole package in one stop, without all the extra intermediaries. The main example of this is real-time bidding – we had the inventory, both on- and off-network. We had the delivery, tracking and optimization technology. We had the data. All we needed was to add the real-time component for bidding on the impressions themselves. Given the level of fragmentation in the display advertising market, the timing could not be better to simplify the equation by bringing several services and solutions to advertisers in one unified package.

How is Platform Services different than what ValueClick Media has always offered?  For example, is the company making any special, additional investments? If so, where?

Unlike our core media network, which is only one part of a marketer’s program, Platform Services takes a holistic approach to managing a client’s entire performance advertising program. This includes a full-service suite of solutions from strategy and planning, to real-time bidding technology to access inventory outside of ValueClick Media to complement what we can provide within our network, the ability to leverage our proprietary, enterprise-wide data plus the client’s own data. In addition to significant improvements to our underlying database and reporting infrastructure, we will be using the best technologies from across ValueClick, Inc., especially the audience targeting and analytics capabilities of ValueClick Media and Mediaplex, to serve the evolving needs of our Platform Services advertisers.

Regarding your proprietary data, can you see offering that data to third-parties such as ad networks, DSPs and even data exchanges?

Generally, we find our internal data performs at higher levels than data acquired through third-party sources, something we think is due in large part to its scarcity. Data sold on the open market is not adjusted based on real-time performance feedback and is open to being over utilized by multiple sources, thus decreasing its relative effectiveness. Because we are committed to providing our clients with solid performance, we purposely do not make our data available to third parties.

Where do you pull the proprietary datasets from? Do they come from your e-commerce and affiliate marketing clients, for example?

Yes, our proprietary data is cultivated from anonymous web browsing, ad interaction, shopping, searching and buying behaviors from across many of ValueClick, Inc.’s properties worldwide. In addition to the 28 billion impressions we serve across 8,000 sites on the ValueClick Media network, at any given time our systems are managing around 750 million anonymous consumer profiles. Within this large audience targeting pool we have access to 122MM entertainment enthusiasts, 31MM travelers, 27MM automotive intenders and 23MM retail shoppers, just to name a few.

What will be the target market for the Platform Services business?

Platform Services is being targeted to marketers and agencies who want to fully leverage a turn-key digital marketing solution that includes near total audience reach, unique and predictive data sets, proven performance focus, dynamic messaging and creative, continual campaign optimization and back-end profiling, analysis and attribution modeling.

By John Ebbert

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