Adnologies announced this week that Damian Blackden will be joining the company as international CEO, as the European buy-side tech provider aims to roll-out its buy-side “stack” solution across Europe. Blackden worked as President, International at Annalect: Omnicom Media Group’s digital, data and analytics business across EMEA, APAC and LATAM – as well as leading digital development at Zenith and co-managing UM’s London office. Here Blackden, alongside Adnologies CEO, Andreas Schwibbe, explains the move, and how the product is going to differentiate itself in a crowded and fiercely competitive European buy-side market.
For those unaware of the Adnologies solution, can you some overview of the solution and the thinking behind your move to the company?
Damian Blackden: They have methodically and intelligently built out the complete ad technology stack at a time when the industry is learning how essential it is to have components work together seamlessly in order to maximise campaign effectiveness, and to remove data leakage. Plus the individual components themselves are very sophisticated. The number of business rules that can be usefully applied meant that they could show me some very interesting case studies. So – it was a very compelling proposition to me, as was the scope to build on their successes in Germany. I’m used to scaling technology and businesses across territories so I can feel the potential.
How does Adnologies work with marketers and agencies?
Andreas Schwibbe: Adnologies is a pure technology provider. We support all parties in the digital ecosystem with technical solutions to deliver their marketing objectives. Whether you want to buy or sell media, harvest data to monetise it or effectively retarget or target tightly defined 3rd party audiences Adnologies is the platform that can accelerate your data driven advertising effectiveness.
Adnologies seems to be building an impressive stack, but is facing fierce competition from a host of US startups and an incumbent, namely Google, that seems to be getting even powerrful in the market. How are you differentiating the solution from other players in the European market?
Andreas Schwibbe: Adnologies’ complete end to end stack has been running for some time. When we refer to the full stack, we don’t just mean the buy side stack or the sell side infrastructure. We offer a DSP, DMP and SSP fully integrated in a state of the art ad-serving framework, with dynamic creative and video to connect demand and supply with just one technology.
This means we can help our clients avoid the problems of the current ‘Frankenstein-like’ approach through the provision of a range of technologies which are all fully integrated, and controlled via a single interface.
In fact we built all the single products after continued discussion with our clients and focusing on how we can support their business. That is why we decided to develop an open platform that interconnects with 3rd party technologies when there are performance advantages for our clients.
Is it possible to scale a solution like Adnologies, across Europe?
Damian Blackden:Most definitely. It’s already built to be able to scale quickly. It’s fully localised with Sterling, Euro and Dollar currencies, European time-zones, and its algorithms are effective even with relatively modest impression and spend levels. In fact the business is already naturally scaling. I’m just going to accelerate the process!
Are you trying to build the complete stack for the buy-side? Is there any plans to move into social and mobile?
Andreas Schwibbe: I must emphasise that the Adnologies data driven advertising platform is not focused on one side of the landscape. It’s been developed to be a bridge for agencies and publishers to navigate the highly complex, dynamic and fragmented ecosystem in order to focus on the business of getting the best results, instead of having to manage different technologies and technical incompatibilities.
Social and mobile takes already a reasonable part of the recent internet usage and is getting more important every day. In order to get the most valuable insights out of your data you need to combine several data sources and find the link between these sources. We sucessfully do this for display, video, affiliate and search, very soon mobile and later for social, too.
For the DSP to work at scale, how do you access premium inventory? There does not seem to be much premium liquidity?
Andreas Schwibbe: Adnologies was founded in 2006 as an ad-technology provider. Today we power many sales houses and publishers with our technology. Our SSP is deeply integrated into the ad-server and because of this it’s the only SSP in the market to see every single ad impression (not only remnant) on the sell side. And it’s seamlessly integrated into our DSP technology, which means our DSP clients see more and exclusive inventory – and publishers monetise their inventory with measurably better results.
What do you have that will make you unique?
Andreas Schwibbe: The stack itself. No European company has that. However the individual components are effective on their own merits, and in different combinations. We can provide agencies the means to elevate their re-targeting capabilities by being able to recognise consumers by device instead of browser, by ingesting raw data in order to make it more actionable, and by linking re-targeting with highly flexible and immediate dynamic creative.
What markets will you be attacking next?
Damian Blackden: The Netherlands is a particularly advanced market so we are heading there, plus France and the Nordics soon after. There are the fast growing markets. We will be in Russia by the end of the year, and are also looking at hiring in Asia.