MediaMath CEO Zawadzki Discusses Adroit Interactive Acquisition

MediaMath Acquires AdroitMediaMath announced its acquisition of Adroit Interactive, an advertising technology company specializing in multi-variate creative, also known as dynamic ads.  Read the release.

MediaMath CEO Joe Zawadzki discussed the acquisition and Adroit’s technology. For the creatives – such as those at creative agencies-, how do you make the case for Adroit’s technology being additive to their creative process rather than trying to replace them?

JZ: Dynamic creative doesn’t replace the creative process itself. All of the “neck up” work done by creative agencies remains – design of all the base templates and each of the elements within it – offer, call-to-action, layout, etc. What dynamic creative does is automate the re-assembly of those elements to unlock the maximum value.  Like any algorithm, it’s only as good as the inputs delivered by the creative agencies.

In practice, marketers typically don’t fund thousands of creatives developed by hand, so it’s not replacing a current profit center. This is really about using technology to do the (otherwise prohibitive) heavy lifting of multivariate testing to extract the most value from a given set of assets. In fact, we believe that creating a feedback loop back to the agency will actually increase their value add, by delivering actionable insights about opportunities and white space to inform the next round of strategic, “big idea” thinking.

Among DSPs at this time, is MediaMath the only Adroit client? Will Adroit services be offered (or continue to be offered) to other demand-side platforms?

Absolutely. Adroit is operating as a separate business unit, and Greg (Smith, CEO of Adroit) would certainly like to see other DSPs using the technology.

Similarly, MediaMath’s account teams don’t get incentivized to sell or recommend Adroit.

MediaMath the parent is absolutely committed to using other dynamic creative solutions – our mission is to deliver the best enterprise-class platform, which means interoperability with everyone in the ecosystem given a wide range of client needs.

Was this an all-stock deal or were there cash considerations?


What other synergies exist between the two companies that you may not have had a chance to mention in the release?

The real jewel in the technology that Adroit built is the flexibility of its rules engine. It allows for complex “expression building.” Users can basically program as intricate a set of rules as they like, e.g., “users from New York should see creative A during the day and creative B after-work, unless they have seen either one more than twice, in which case they should see creative C.” Moreover, we’re able to drive Adroit’s decisioning with MediaMath’s Brain (our proprietary optimization engine) without refactoring either code base, so the algorithms could learn exactly which version to assemble in order to deliver response based on both “creative and “media/audience” data in parallel.

It’s a cool enough capability that we could plug this export into other dynamic creative solutions. For example, use PointRoll’s creative management and presentation layer based on the output of MediaMath’s Brain plus Adroit dynamic creative rules engine. Or perhaps use it drive a basic bid-management-type DSP.

By John Ebbert

Enjoying this content?

Sign up to be an AdExchanger Member today and get unlimited access to articles like this, plus proprietary data and research, conference discounts, on-demand access to event content, and more!

Join Today!


  1. Robert Smith

    This makes sense. Most DSPs are enablers – they allow companies to purchase and bid across exchanges. Incorporating a dynamic creative tool positions a company like MediaMath to be more of a media buying platform, not just an enabler. Another logical step towards the path of performance – that is what really matters to agencies and advertisers.

  2. This changes the landscape a bit. The first step in the evolution of DSP going from being a means to access disparate inventory sources to becoming a true media buying and optimization platform. Smart play by MediaMath. Be interesting to see how it pans out.