Dentsu Aegis Network Taps Index Exchange To Power M1

Dentsu Aegis Network said Tuesday it has added Index Exchange as a tech partner for its people-based marketing initiative, M1.

M1 typically targets precise audiences. The Index Exchange wrapper will find more of those needles in the haystack.

Publishers already using the Index Exchange wrapper must sign a contract with Dentsu Aegis Network before tapping into growing budgets allocated by clients for M1, said AJ Kintner, VP of business development for M1.

“[Index Exchange] helped build some tech with us that spoke to the problems we were having,” Kintner said.

The agency said 160 of its clients have created M1 portals, and 1,100 audiences have been activated from those portals this year.

The advertisers and publishers control deal terms with each other but use Index Exchange’s programmatic pipes to find the right users at scale.

It took Index Exchange 10 months of tech development across eight teams to figure out how to match audiences at scale through programmatic pipes.

User matching beyond walled gardens is “fragmented and porous,” said Will Doherty, SVP of global marketplace development at Index Exchange. (This problem is also driving industry efforts to create an identity consortium.)

Even if the right consumer appears on a website, they often can’t be matched with an advertiser’s identifier, reducing reach for highly targeted campaigns.

Index Exchange improved its match rates with a number of tweaks to its tech, including frontrunning the bid request. Index’s wrapper receives user information from M1 in advance of the bid request, and then returns simultaneously to bid requests. Index can bring in bids from an M1 client’s preferred DSP.

Sending out information earlier makes it possible to match a user the first time they appear on a publisher’s website, which improves reach. “You don’t often get more than one bite of the apple,” Doherty said. And Index said sending out user information first doesn’t interfere with other wrapper activity.

“Making sure that the bidstream was as addressable as the walled gardens were was a mission in itself,” said Doherty. “Marketers historically struggle to scale their own data or CRM and apply it programmatically. By augmenting the bidstream with a marketer’s own version of people-based identifiers, that scale becomes more practical.”

Doherty said Index Exchange doesn’t take any extra cut of the inventory flowing through this integration.

Dentsu Aegis Network and Index Exchange expect to onboard 10 publishers to the platform by the end of Q3. Conde Nast is the launch partner.

“This is an investment in our publishers and their ability to monetize their inventory,” Doherty said. “This is about democratizing the bidstream and getting the distribution of marketing spend back into balance.”

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