Home Agencies QUISMA CEO Paul Discusses His Performance Marketing Agency’s European Expansion

QUISMA CEO Paul Discusses His Performance Marketing Agency’s European Expansion


QUISMARonald Paul is CEO of QUISMA, a European performance marketing agency and a subsidiary of WPP Group’s GroupM.

AdExchanger: How do you define a performance marketing agency today?

RP: Whereas performance marketing was once a single online marketing channel, with brands only paying for leads or sales generated via advertising on third party publishers’ sites, today it has become a dynamic business discipline in its own right and is now broadly used across online channels such as search, display, affiliate, mobile and social media, as well as offline media.

Growing in line with the increasing economic focus on the bottom line, it is now viewed as a risk-free, robust and highly-effective marketing method which allows the whole delivery mechanism to be held to account.

In fact, the principles of this business model can be easily applied to any media and agencies specializing in performance marketing are therefore skilled in putting this pay for performance model into action, sharing the risk and ultimately delivering campaigns which are truly accountable and achieve maximum return on investment.

QUISMA was specifically launched to aid performance-focused advertisers to capitalize on this growing trend, by efficiently targeting and executing campaigns in real-time, at massive scale, to the right people, at the right time, yet allowing advertisers the ability to measure contribution and only pay for results achieved.

Why the move into the UK?

We strategically chose to expand our offices across the rest of Western Europe first and then enter the most advanced and competitive market in Europe – the UK, so that we could then provide two different approaches: the chance to leverage our pan-European offering to global clients based in the UK; and provide our tried and tested service on a local level via a strong client-facing team in London.

Any trends you can share from clients buying through QUISMA today?

More and more advertisers are focusing on sourcing audiences via data rather than via content as the best way to reach the users they want. With the economic challenges across Europe, advertisers are therefore looking for a reliable partner who has a pan-European scope, yet with high volumes at the best price.

However, looking at the audience segment rather than at the performance segment, the logical next step for (really sophisticated global) clients would be to bring exchange buying in-house to monetize their proprietary data and to more effectively communicate with these consumers via the Internet across the whole of Europe. After all, marketers have a wealth of first party data on their own users, whether gathered through visits to their own websites or gathered through their products, and it would make sense for them to utilize this more effectively now.

Does QUISMA believe it’s important to own ad technology?  Or do you license? Why?


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There has been a massive shift in how media is bought and sold in Europe already, and now growth is only going to continue. However, most agencies are still buying digital media from online publishers, hacking their way through Excel templates, managing never-ending email threads, and fax machine printouts via an army of trainees to get an online display campaign live.

Yet, planning and buying with our proprietary technology, QUISMA Media Platform (QMP), allows us to place our clients’ advertising professionally and to evaluate it at every level and channel from a single interface. This enables us to tailor our service more individually for each client, making it more efficient, flexible and stringent in terms of the quality and volume delivered (especially for pan-European campaigns). We strongly believe that no two clients are alike, either for the set-up or for the campaign refinement, so we provide a bespoke approach rather than ready-made solutions.

Our own technology ensures that there won’t be any knowledge or idea drain to competitors, and the build-up of proprietary algorithms, based on our 11 years experience, makes sure that we have 100% control of the entire roadmap and resources.

Do you work with Xaxis or The MIG? If so, how?

Being part of the WPP family, of course we do compare notes. However, whereas Xaxis focuses on pure audience buying in order to increase awareness within the target group, QUISMA concentrates on the performance segment.

Who are QUISMA’s target customers? 

Our target clients use us across all channels, looking for support in reaching new customers as well as increasing their turnover. It therefore doesn’t matter if they are small, large, local or international, as long as we can define common KPIs. In addition, although we have a number of classic vertical sector clients working in the eCommerce, Finance, Insurance and Travel areas, we are also seeing more and more FMCG clients booking their campaigns with QUISMA and defining individual targets such as time spent on website, ordering of information etc.

Among European countries in data-driven digital advertising, who’s ahead and who’s behind?

I believe the UK, Germany and France are out front. The other countries in Europe still need to adapt their approach slightly considering the general growth in the digital business.

Data protection is also an important topic in Europe at the moment. The EU e-privacy directive needs to be adopted by every single country and to be implemented in local law. There are some good initiatives by IAB Europe, for instance, and also by Europrise , the European Privacy Seal,  which aims at certifying IT products and IT-based services privacy compliance with European data protection regulations. These efforts are the right approach for a common solution, a standard that enables the protection of the end user’s data on one side and a functional digital business ecosystem on the other. Once established in the more mature markets, the other countries will quickly follow suit.

Follow QUISMA (@twisma) and AdExchanger (@adexchanger) on Twitter.

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