Programmatic is on every marketer’s minds these days – and if it’s not, it should be. MediaMath’s Marketing SVP Rachel Meranus tells us why.
What is the problem that MediaMath is solving and how does it go about doing so?
The number of technology solutions that have emerged recently has given marketers tremendous opportunity to create unique and relevant experiences for their consumers – experiences that deliver results – in a scalable and efficient manner. But the overwhelming number of these “point” solutions is extremely challenging and inefficient to manage and maintain.
Over the past 7+ years, MediaMath has built a central, open platform called the TerminalOne Marketing Operating System™. It’s designed to help marketers turn the chaos of having to choose between these multiple point solutions into a competitive advantage that enables them to:
- Take all of their data (first party data such as CRM, point-of-sale, social data, and more)
- Utilize it to identify their target audiences across all addressable media channels (display, social, mobile, video, connected TV, etc.)
- Automate the execution of targeting these audiences with 1:1 messages, and
- Optimize this execution in real time
Through TerminalOne, marketers have greater control over their marketing strategy, complete transparency into what is working and what isn’t, and the ability to drive goal-based outcomes all from one central platform. It also connects to hundreds of data, technology, and media partners throughout the ecosystem so marketers can effectively build their own marketing stack to drive their unique goals.
How does MediaMath position itself compared to other demand-side platforms [DSP]?
Well for starters, we do not categorize ourselves as a DSP. Yes, the demand-side buying platform is part and parcel of what we offer, but our platform is better categorized as a Marketing Operating System. Some key differentiators include how we approach marketing execution within our platform, which we categorize as a goal-based approach, rather than simple cookie/audience targeting, to deliver results against any marketing metric – from awareness to ROI.
We also offer full transparency through our platform – offering full visibility into the algorithm outputs, the media and audiences purchased, and the economics – giving marketers full accountability and control of their digital marketing efforts. We don’t subscribe to the arbitrage model and live by the glass box approach as opposed to the black box approach.
Furthermore, we have always been and continue to be a demand-side technology, focused primarily on optimizing and achieving buyer results, eliminating any inherent conflict of interest that companies can run into servicing both the demand and the supply side.
Finally, when it comes to product innovation, we believe in developing and partnering with enterprise-level technology solutions to offer our clients the most robust, most customizable, best-in-class operating system. We are ahead of the game and first to market with solutions including:
- ConnectedID, which enables cookieless, cross-device targeting and measurement
- Closed-Loop Attribution, which enables advertisers to realize the full benefits of advanced attribution in an RTB environment
- Automated Guaranteed, which gives marketers direct access to guaranteed, premium inventory, executed through programmatic pipes
- Ad Collision to minimize the instance of ads from the same advertiser appearing on the same page
- Full Audience View, which enables advertisers to capture user behavior for al visitors across all site pages without the need to deploy or maintain third-party pixels
Do you cater more to agencies or to brands?
Our TerminalOne technology is built as an open, modular platform so that the end user – whether it is the agency executing on behalf of brands or a brand marketer directly – can customize it or build their own stack, assembling the elements of their choice within the ecosystem. As such, we work very closely with both agencies and direct brands and count both as growing clients of MediaMath.
As more brands bring the technology in-house, we are working closely with the brands’ agencies to define new value-added offerings that can be provided through the platform to these clients. For example, our agency clients are taking advantage of the opportunity to build unique data co-ops, pool media buying, create proprietary modeling and optimization approaches, and provide trading best practices to their brand clients, all while the brand clients have direct access to the platform and transparency to the outcomes being driven through the platform. It’s really a win-win – the powerful triumvirate of technology, brands, and agencies.
Brands who take this technology in-house are benefitting from greater control over their data and insights from this data; the ability to quickly and easily adapt this aspect of their marketing to business challenges as they arise; a much better understanding of their customers’ journeys; transparency into how their budgets are driving outcomes, and much more.
What’s an example of something remarkable that MediaMath’s software has made possible for a client?
Many of our clients are seeing success with programmatic tactics, leveraging geo-targeting, look-alike modeling, and even building proprietary models to identify new prospects through TerminalOne. We have a client for whom we’re driving a $40 return on every $1 spent through our platform! This client has chosen to take all of their media execution programmatic through our platform and is thus able to apply all of their data and optimization to both their automated, real-time buys AND their direct buys. We call this ProgrammaticFirst™.
Have you had any aha-moments or discovered anything particularly amazing about the industry during your time with the company?
I think it is the immense potential of marketing technology and how this technology has fundamentally changed the way in which marketers work. The industry evolves at a pace that is seen in few other industries and it is so exciting to be working for a company that is at the forefront of this revolution in marketing.
What’s going on at MediaMath in terms of content marketing? Tell us a bit about the thinking behind your blog and initiatives like your partnership with The CMO Club.
Content is at the core of our marketing strategy. When I first joined MediaMath about 18 months ago, one of the first things I implemented was a content marketing strategy; I’m a true believe that content is the currency and critical to the exchange of information between a brand and its consumer. We utilize content of all forms and formats to engage our customers and prospects through their entire journey, as well as to educate marketers that are looking to navigate a complex industry.
Our blog is just one of those educational tools. It’s an excellent forum to showcase expertise and thought leadership and address a range of topics that are of interest to today’s marketers. We talk to marketers with all levels of understanding of the programmatic marketing landscape from the true novice to those who are really leading the industry.
We also partner with others in the industry for research initiatives and to broaden our reach among marketers. Our partnership with The CMO Club is hugely valuable because not only do we have the opportunity to learn from CMOs around the world about their biggest challenges and opportunities, but also gives us invaluable exposure to such an engaged audience that is committed to advancing their marketing. We actually just released a Solution Guide for CMOs with the CMO Club, which was a content collaboration that is equal parts lead generation, education, and brand awareness.
Would you say the New Marketing Institute falls under your content marketing umbrella as well?
The New Marketing Institute straddles content marketing and our educational initiatives. Through NMI, marketers can take multi-level courses, gain certifications, and stay on top of the latest tools and industry developments. We have an aggressive course schedule, while also training our clients through custom classes. But simultaneously, with NMI, we create valuable content in the form of videos, guides, and more, which is equal parts content marketing, education, and thought leadership.
How do you see the role of programmatic evolving alongside content marketing and native advertising?
The role of programmatic is inextricably linked with content marketing and native advertising, as marketers seek new and innovative ways to connect with consumers.
These methods of brand storytelling create greater levels of engagement with consumers, which allow brands to effectively convey their key messages and create closer relationships with their customers. New technology gives marketers the power to integrate programmatic advertising with content and native advertising, enabling them to manage their campaigns more effectively, transparently, and at scale, while utilizing an automated marketing platform to ensure that data is a driver of creativity.
What are your predictions as to some of the biggest upcoming trends in programmatic?
A key trend in programmatic will definitely be an increase in the use of a single platform approach to online advertising. In an increasingly fragmented marketplace where consumers switch seamlessly between devices, marketers are seeking solutions to enable them to present their brand in a seamless way. To do this efficiently they require transparency into the performance of their data, along with tools to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns. The single platform approach enables them to do all this, simplifying workflow, increasing efficiencies, and maximizing ROI.
Also, new initiatives such as wearables and the Internet of Everything will open enormous possibilities to advertise at scale to millions of consumers. The most effective way to undertake programmatic advertising in this future world will be via a single platform approach.
Can you share a piece of advice for marketers to keep in mind as programmatic becomes more and more routine?
My biggest piece of advice to marketers would be to stay educated – and ensure their teams stay educated – about the latest initiatives in the space. If your company is ready to take on programmatic, there are a few things you should consider as part of this endeavor. These can be found in the guide we produced with the CMO Club, but here are some quick tips:
- Align the organization around programmatic
- Establish a customer-centric, data-driven approach
- Set measurable goals
- Adopt a culture of testing
Anastasia Dyakovskaya is a writer, editor and creative consultant from New York City. When she’s not writing for NewsCred, she’s developing copy and editorial for brands and tech startups. When she’s not working, she’s likely behind the camera or planning her next adventure. Follow her @worldinquestion