aiMatch Ad Serving Platform Selected By Photobucket; CEO Wood Discusses Product Line, Industry Trends

aiMatchToday, aiMatch announced that photo-sharing site Photobucket has selected aiMatch’s ad serving platform to deliver ads to its more than 45 million monthly unique visitors. According to a press release, aiMatch will help “Photobucket manage sales performance, analyze the data that impacts revenue and take ‘intelligent’ action based on that data.” Read the release.

aiMatch CEO Jeff Wood discussed his company’s products and industry trends. Where would you say a site like PhotoBucket fits in aiMatch’s target market?

JW: Photobucket fits nicely into the aiMatch target market because we serve publishers that want to sell more directly and optimize yield across all inventory. Photobucket has a very deep targeting data set and is one of the largest volume sites on the Internet. They need a solution that will allow them to analyze large amounts of data and make it actionable.

If you were a customer, aiMatch’s solution aside, what are the key points of evaluation when considering an ad server?

First, I would look for more than an ad server. I would ask “Is the ad server still forcing me to use other systems to answer key business questions?” Most publishers have to manage multiple vendors providing various point solutions. I would look for a comprehensive solution that delivers efficiency across my business and provides better management and use of my data.

Second, after checking off the obvious feature questions, I would concentrate on how the system provides the insights that can make the biggest impact on revenue and on growing the business. Here are a few key areas and questions to consider:

  • Business Intelligence (Data Management). Does the ad server collect, and make available, the information needed to manage the business? Does the ad server incorporate all relevant data (order, delivery, financial, audience) and make it actionable?
  • Inventory Forecasting. Does the forecasting system take into account all the different ways that the ad platform can deliver inventory? For example, does the system utilize all types of frequency caps, companion banners and all audience targeting? Can it identify which bookings can be reallocated when you are over sold?
  • Platform Flexibility. Digital advertising is evolving rapidly, so I would want a platform that allows me to shape the solution according to my business needs. Will the ways in which I can sell or manage inventory be constrained by the technology?

What are your thoughts about the data management platform trend? How does aiMatch fit in?

It isn’t a secret that data is key to making the best use of inventory. Publishers are taking the next steps to manage their data and we recognize this is very smart and strategic for them — especially since other players are gaining from utilizing the publisher’s data. Our view is that publishers should have a strategy for whom they will allow access to their data, as well as a mechanism for sharing and receiving data. This is still an emerging area for our industry and the needs around data management will continue to evolve. We’re excited because we’ve built a solution that allows for programmatic access to receive and/or distribute data when necessary.

When we started aiMatch, we understood that a publisher’s data is a valuable asset. We took the opportunity to architect a comprehensive advertising platform with data as its core. By building our solution in this fashion, the publisher has the opportunity to utilize not only their own data but also third party data, enabling them to better manage their business.

Our focus is to help the publisher identify and categorize both the data and the audience, and make it easily actionable. Once a publisher actually has the tools to understand and manage their data, they can make intelligent decisions as to when and how to use it for maximum value. At the end of the day, the ad platform a publisher utilizes should be the foundation of its data management strategy.

Ultimately, do you see aiMatch’s solution focused on unlocking guaranteed inventory opportunities only -or does it serve non-guaranteed too? If so, how?

The aiMatch platform is focused on actionable insights for publishers to manage all of its inventory, whether guaranteed or non-guaranteed. Most publishers wish they could sell their entire inventory directly, but that is not how it usually works. Our goal is to provide accurate and complete visibility into their inventory and its value across all sales channels.

Once they have found the best method for driving the value of their direct sold inventory, the publisher then needs the best tools possible to optimize how they distribute their inventory to third parties. There are a lot of options for monetizing non-guaranteed inventory. We provide publishers with granular tools to control how inventory is allocated in real time. Whether this is done using our platform or through another partner, this process should be as efficient as possible to ensure that the publisher maintains control

By John Ebbert

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