Triad brings a hard-won roster of retail clients and almost 700 employees, a notable expansion of Xaxis’ boots-on-the-ground sales and account teams. In return Triad is relieved of the heavy burden of tech-stack development.
“We spend more than $50 million a year on internal technology,” said Gleason. WPP also has relationships with untapped retail and ecommerce players who have yet to adopt ad tech monetization.
“Bundling up Triad’s service to apply to a wider, global customer set is really exciting,” said Gleason. “The largest potential benefit of the synergy is figuring out how do we work with a WPP division like Kantar to really get into the attribution loop.”
Triad’s current offering to retail companies focuses on direct and programmatic sales representation across retail partner apps and sites.
Retail media is having a big month. Triad’s acquisition comes a week after the ecommerce pure-play Criteo spent $250 million on HookLogic, a retail ad exchange that competes with Triad (and even shares some major clients, like Walmart and Kohl’s).
“Xaxis’ existing scale is worth reviewing to more fully appreciate the news,” wrote Brian Wieser, senior analyst at the equity research firm Pivotal, in a note to clients.
The acquisition keeps Xaxis squarely ahead of Criteo in terms of overall ecommerce advertising volume and revenue, said Wieser, and, “Xaxis will now represent an increasingly significant amount of digital ad inventory – still well behind the industry’s giants Alphabet’s Google, Facebook, Verizon and Twitter, but most likely still among the top ten sellers outside of China.”
In spite of apparent synergies with Xaxis, but Triad will continue operating as an independent brand and subsidiary, said Gleason. It’s a substantive distinction considering retailers are more open to working with an independent retail tech company than turning over ad inventory to an agency holding company that non-transparently buys media.
“In the end retailers want the same thing Xaxis and Triad want,” said Gleason. “Which is to get as close to brands as they can.”