BuzzLogic CTO Donahue Notes The Migration Of Agency To The Principal Side; Company Raises $8 Million

BuzzlogicBuzzLogic announced recently that former OMG businessintelligence exec John Donahue was hired as CTO. Read the release. The company also announced yesterday that it has raised $8 million in Series B financing Adams Capital Management with participation from Ackerley Partners. Read the release.

Donahue discussed the ad industry and his new role. Looking at the digital advertising world in the past year, what surprises you most?

JD: Without sounding too assured, things played out the way that I anticipated. The digital advertising world is a high velocity sales-driven world that is always anxious to find the next great thing and, with that, comes rapid fire advancement. I think what I found the most interesting was the migration of executives like Marta Martinez of Havas, Alan Schanzer of MECi, Shiv Singh of Razorfish, Terence Boone of Y&R and people like myself to one of the principal sides of the advertising ecosystem. I think as the ecosystem gets more and more complicated, we will continue to see executives that want to create change move to the principle and not agent side of the equation.

What personal challenges does your new CTO role at Buzzlogic present that particularly intrigue you?

I prefer to consider the opportunities this role will afford me and BuzzLogic. I have spent the last few years working to make technology and data relevant to a services business from the agency perspective – helping advertisers reach goals and drive ROI through people-based solutions. And while I drove business intelligence and data-driven solutions in my previous
role, the technology and data always played second seat to the people. Being CTO of a digital media company that leverages its technology to drive advertising solutions is a big opportunity for me. I can apply what I learned from a services organization and working on hundreds of brands, and translate that to a platform that really works to benefit the agencies and brand partners BuzzLogic works with.

Broadly speaking, how do you anticipate your insight in the display advertising world relating to social media and Buzzlogic product development?

My intention is to work with BuzzLogic and the digital media eco-system to do the following:

  1. Deliver the most flexible and efficient activation platform to drive best-in-class media executions that maximize the power of social media
  2. Deliver a research and reporting platform that explains the ‘why’ a brand should be engaging in social media with BuzzLogic
  3. Give more weight to publishers that are often left off the ‘premium’ portions of media plans, by helping publishers to leverage and demonstrate
    the value of their own content for brands.

It would seem that conversation in social media is becoming targeting data for marketers. Given Buzzlogic’s ad platform, do you see any similarities to the demand-side platform buying trend? A social DSP perhaps?

We are already working with DSPs, and capitalizing on the data we have to drive brand execution. We are going to continue to mine and analyze our proprietary data, in order to provide better visibility into which conversations are most valuable for each individual advertiser.

Are you surprised at all by agencies partnering with Google on display? Why or why not?

No. Google is a great company with a huge amount of assets for brands. As service organizations are being forced to become increasingly technology-focused, it does make sense to me that they partner with some of the leaders in the online advertising space. That said, Google is not the only advertising platform/network with big agency partnerships.

By John Ebbert

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