What actually is the Mediabrands Audience Platform? Is it one platform (ala a DMP) or assembled across multiple platforms?
IPG Mediabrands has evolved the specialist digital practices of Reprise Media, Cadreon, Ansible Mobile and Spring Creek Group into a constellation of data-driven services and enabling technologies called the Mediabrands Audience Platform (MAP). The focus is on all addressable platforms: search, display, mobile, social, video, applications and e-commerce. MAP improves insights and results for clients by helping agencies find, buy and engage their most valuable audiences in real time. MAP will enable synergy across all the digital activities that the IPG Mediabrands agencies are currently offering to their client.
Can you provide a top level overview of the Cadreon value proposition? Can you explain how some of the pieces fit together?
Cadreon is a specialised marketing services agency that integrates technology, data and inventory to manage audiences for our clients. Cadreon is part of the Mediabrands Audience Platform (MAP). Cadreon is technology agnostic, and as such has partnerships with multiple DSPs, integrating first and third party data, and buys only relevant impressions for clients in real time. Cadreon has a multi-platform offering with display banners, video, paid social and a mobile DSP coming soon.
In what European markets are you currently active?
In Europe, Cadreon has operational bases in the UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Cadreon has ambitious targets and plans to support the IPG Mediabrands agencies across all markets in Europe. Cadreon UK already manages Pan European campaigns on behalf of the IPG agencies and has already started to hub activity for local markets in Europe.
What differentiates Cadreon’s solution from other competitors? What are your thoughts on some of your competitors?
Cadreon’s offering is based on 4 pillars: Display, Video, Mobile and Paid Social. We have successfully managed Display, Video campaigns and will soon be active in the mobile and paid social RTB space. Bringing all these elements together makes us a very different and attractive partner, as we create synergy across all the digital activities for our clients. Cadreon is focused on finding the right audience for our clients, as such we only focus on RTB buying as we believe this is the most efficient and more relevant way to match the audience to our clients. We are currently working to integrate additional analytical tools and tagging solutions to provide deeper insights to our clients on how their audience engages with their site, and what are their behaviours.
We are all aware of the importance of data, but gathering data is meaningless without a good strategy and the right resources to make sense of it. Though Digital is what we focus on, we are also supporting clients with their above-the-line strategy by providing feedback on their online audience that could be transposed to offline. It is one of the reasons why we are working closely with the account/planning team so that we have an integrated approach and holistic view on each campaign. As such, attribution modelling is becoming increasingly important, highlighting the influence each channel has on the purchase funnel. We have internal resources within the group that we are engaging with to support us in that area.
I am also working on building strategic relationships with technology partners so that in the long term we can offer cross-platform capability to our clients by connecting all digital agencies within MAP.
Cadreon have been notably absent from industry/trade press. Is this a deliberate strategy?
Cadreon launched in the UK in Q4 2011 and I joined to head up the agency in March 2012. Since then, I have been focusing all my efforts on our clients and delivering successful campaigns for them, which has been pretty exciting. Defining the business and laying down strong foundations has been a priority for me. At this stage, Cadreon is mostly servicing IPG Mediabrands agencies, so it was important for me to engage with key stakeholders and PR Cadreon internally first.
IPG Mediabrands has a wide breadth of clients covering all industries, which provides us with a great opportunity to prove our model and scale our business. The majority of our clients are centrally managed in London, and Cadreon was only focusing on the UK market before I joined. I have since expanded the business with Pan European campaigns and have started to position Cadreon UK as a hub for some local markets within Europe. Expanding the business has, and still will, take a lot of my time, but I am looking forward to be present at the ATS conference in London this September.
How do you enable and facilitate more sophisticated applications of data and tech in real time buying?
I am currently looking to make strategic partnerships to build a Data Management Platform that will enable us to integrate first and third party data, while trading media in real time on an impression basis.
The ideal platform should enable us to make informed and effective decisions in a timely fashion. By integrating multiple data sources into one platform we will be in a position to monitor and manage more efficiently our campaigns while providing a deeper analysis in the audience stream. Though RTB enables us to buy an impression in real time, getting insights on what is the best impression to bid for prior to the bidding is what is key in achieving a successful and cost-effective campaign.
Cadreon will be onboarding an additional audience insights partner that will enable us to combine and aggregate multiple data sources to profile digital archetypes for our clients. The digital archetypes will paint a more detailed picture of the clients’ current user base, this would either confirm or re-evaluate their existing knowledge of their target audience. Beyond that, we would then create bespoke user profile segments, allowing us to broaden our reach by finding users with similar online behaviours – lookalikes.
What do you see as the current state of evolution with trading desks?
Whether mandated or not, trading desks are starting to outperform most traditional publishers and ad networks on the media plans. Publishers and ad networks will have to change their selling model in order to maintain the monetisation of their inventory.
As the demand for premium space increases, trading desks will strike direct deals with SSPs, requiring a higher level of transparency of the inventory sources.
Private marketplaces and data management platforms are the next big changes on how media is bought via RTB. Our strategic approach to these changes will be the main point of differentiation between trading desks. Furthermore, I would expect to see large investments done in either building an internal analytics offering or partnering with an analytical service provider.
Beyond this there are new technologies coming up that would enable us to bridge the gap between digital and offline. Paid social and IPTV are likely to be the next steps in the evolution of the trading desks offering. This space is still in its infancy stage and not yet completely RTB-enabled; however, it is likely to be part of the digital RTB offering within a year.
Where do you see Cadreon in the next year? Five years?
On a global level, Cadreon will expand its presence in Asia this year to support our existing IPG Mediabrands network in this region. In Europe, our main focus is to build on the strong performance we have achieved so far, share knowledge and insights across the Cadreon network and extend our service offering beyond the IPG Mediabrands agencies’ clients.
Prior to Cadreon, I worked on global paid social campaigns for UM International for our Tier 1 clients, and I am now looking forward to bringing these clients in the DSP social space now that Facebook has released some of its inventory on exchanges. This is an exciting addition that would nicely complement our PMP and DMP rollout.
It would be interesting to see the approach my peers will take in this space.
What’s your opinion on the direction of the ad tech space in general? Are we on track to have all media programmatically buying-enabled? Do you believe we should?
Though I am a supporter of RTB and media programmatic buying, there will still be some media buying that would require specific planning, ie seasonality, time-sensitive offers that would not easily be integrated on programmatic platforms. It would be highly difficult to plan a campaign with bespoke creatives for HPTO via programmatic buying.
As mentioned earlier, I am looking forward to seeing social media integrated on the DSP’s and managing audiences and brand equity for clients at a global level. This evolution will not happen overnight though. Technology is evolving rapidly, but as per my previous comment, we will need the right skill-set to adapt in conjunction with this evolution. The way trading desks and media agencies approached the media planning buying process will also have to evolve to take into consideration this trend. An analytical and technical background will become more valuable assets than just pure marketing and planning skills.
Contrary to ad networks, the synergy between agency and trading desks puts us in a better position to provide quick and efficient feedback and insights on campaign performance to clients. With MAP, we are taking a step further by creating a cross-sharing platform between RTB, search marketing, mobile and social PR that account team and planners can tap into.Global Desk Editor