Forbes FMX Looks To Create Trusted, Display Ad Environment For Marketers Says VP Barash

Forbes FMXForbes Media announced last week Forbes FMX – “a ‘Brand Side Platform’ that provides marketers a premium digital environment across the Web for reaching affluent consumers and business decision-makers at scale.” Read the release.

Matt Barash, VP & Advertising Director of Forbes FMX, spoke to about the launch of his company’s new platform. Would you say Forbes Media Extension (FMX) is a play for brand dollars?

MB: We created the term “Brand Side Platform” to address that specific question.  FMX provides Forbes advertisers with a trusted environment for developing and executing against a well designed campaign strategy for both brand and performance marketers to engage their target audience.  We believe that the demand exists today for audience targeted advertising to high end consumers and business decision makers across a brand safe, transparent media environment.  The strength of the Forbes brand and its long history of publishing and readership make it synonymous with an affluent high end audience of leaders and influencers.  The Forbes Media Extension represents an opportunity for marketers who partner with Forbes to amplify the method of their exposure to these users on, and also extend their efforts offsite within a premium network environment of publishers.

Will you use first-party data such as registration data in creating the FAST datasets?

FAST is our  technology and attribution model which combines Forbes proprietary non-personally identifiable user data with third party appended data to create highly defined audience segments for retargeting across and the Forbes Media Network.  At launch there will be six FAST categories (business and finance; small business; technology professionals; in-market users; wealth and personal finance; and wealth and lifestyle) available to the marketplace making up a total of 30+ audience segments.  We chose categories based on our internal audience analytics combined with the endemic nature of their appeal to our advertiser base in an effort to satisfy increasing demand in the marketplace for advertisers to target individual users in multiple capacities outside the realm of traditional sponsorships or content buys.

Beyond your network of approved publishers, can you see buying Forbes audience across exchanges and ad networks on behalf of advertisers?

Again, I stress that the Forbes Media Network is a hand-selected, premium, trusted media properties all of whom reach an affluent audience of engaged consumers and business decision makers. Additionally, we have had the publisher partner list vetted by the Forbes Editorial staff for their approval.   Forbes Media Network sites and channels must match a certain standard for audience and content selection, and the overall list of partners has been developed through a combination of 3rd party measurement tools focused on content, demographic and psychographic attributes which are tightly aligned with the Forbes brand and audience.  To find this audience we will be working directly with a a defined publisher portfolio, as well as real time buying audience through exchanges and supply side sources.

Do you anticipate working directly with agency trading desks with FMX? Will the inventory be real-time biddable?

We have been working with the agency trading desks for a number of months now to test our data methodology, our technology, our inventory and our co-branded creative units (the MediaVoice) and to gauge and gather feedback on ways to maximize the effectiveness of an FMX campaign.  To date the data we’ve been able to analyze has been truly insightful.  As an example, on a recent campaign run with an agency trading desk advertiser, we learned that 65% of the impressions we served when retargeting Forbes users across the Forbes Media Network were to zip codes with an estimated net worth of $250K or more.   94% of the impressions served were to zip codes with an estimated net worth of $100K or more.  The data serves as affirmation of the quality of the audience and they’re corresponding segments.  While we are making FMX products available to select advertisers to incorporate in their real time bidding strategies, we are not providing access to FAST data via a public data exchange but rather on an per advertiser requested basis.

By John Ebbert

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1 Comment

  1. These publisher “exchange fight back” efforts are an interesting experiment. However, I think they miss the key business driver: advertisers want evidence of ad success, not just a cool new “audience” story to sustain faith-based buying another year. Publishers should focus on new ROI metrics.