Yann Le Roux is the co-founder of the newly launched French exchange trading specialist, Matiro. Matiro is the first exchange specialist in France, and it’s launching at a time when the display market there is experiencing a similar evolution being seen in other European markets like the UK and Germany.
Can you provide an overview of the new Matiro offering?
YLR: We are the first and only ad exchange specialist in France that is focused on servicing the advertisers, i.e. the buy-side. We are entirely focused on allowing advertisers and their agencies to benefit from media trading: real-time bidding, impression-based optimisation, advanced targeting, combined creative and media optimization, access to market price, etc.
Importantly, we operate transparently, i.e. when working with us not only does the advertiser pay the media “at cost”, but our fee is billed separately, which means they know how much revenue we are making. We believe this is critical: we are 100% aligned with the advertiser’s own interest, and our clients can verify it.
What kind of exchange-trading knowledge and agency experience is Matiro bringing to the market?
YLR: Both of us have worked for advertisers from within digital and cross-media agencies, for 14 and 11 years respectively. We have had the opportunity to work for several high-profile direct response advertisers like Expedia, ING Direct, the French lottery, etc. In addition, I have been involved with the trading project at Havas Digital, across many markets.
How evolved is the exchange eco-system in France?
YLR: It is very early stage. Most people we are meeting have barely heard of ad exchanges, let alone understand precisely the opportunity they represent. It is both good and bad obviously. Good because we can lead this from the start, and create/define the market. This is bad because we have to shoulder all the education effort. Having said that, it’s very exciting to be at the forefront of what we think is a revolution! It is because we have lived the frustrations of media planning (i.e. traditional display) than we got so excited about Media Trading.
What platforms can you currently buy from? And where will Matiro buy inventory from?
YLR: Our trading platform allows us to buy from all major inventory sources in the exchange space, including the ones that matter most for the French market: Right Media, AdX, Improve Digital, Rubicon, OpenX/Orange Ad Market and AdMeld.
What is your view on DSPs? Are you likely to use a DSP to buy inventory from multiple inventory sources?
YLR: We are licensing the real-time trading platform that we use, and we are developing custom applications on top of it: we are adding a client interface to start with, and will continue to invest in proprietary technology.
Will Matiro look to partner existing agencies or will it try to work directly with advertisers?
YLR: In France the majority of e-commerce or online direct response advertisers do not work with multi-media or digital agencies: either they have internal teams or they work with specialised companies, say for Paid Search, or Affiliate Marketing. It is a general trend in the market place, and we have seen grow in the last few years. It is the time of the specialists, and that is fine with us!
Because of that market situation we are mostly talking to advertisers. However, we are happy to partner with agencies. Being a specialist and being the only ad exchange expert company here we are compatible with all of them!
As a “first mover” in the French market, how would Matiro sell the benefits of exchange trading to sceptical CMO’s?
YLR: Flexibility, ROI, control, top-notch ROI-driven optimisation, media and creative targeting, pay the market price and never more than the value, transparency
The Orange Ad Market is officially launching in June, promising premium inventory for exchange traders Europe-wide? Do you think it will it have significant effect on how display advertising is traded in France?
YLR: Orange’s approach is quite interesting, in that they are pushing for transparency. In the long run transparency will be very good for the market as we see it, alleviating the concerns of Brand advertisers. However, we are looking forward to seeing publishers sell inventory through Orange Ad Market. It may be too early for transparency to be “acceptable” for publishers, but hopefully Orange will prove this is wrong.
In any case, Orange is a key player, so their involvement with exchange-based trading is great news.
How do you see the display market changing over the coming months? Do you think publishers will make more impressions available through the different platforms?
YLR: We have seen great traction for yield optimisation tools on the publisher side, and we are getting great traction ourselves from advertisers, who are looking for a way to acquire new customers beyond Paid Search and Affiliate Marketing, which are maxed out for many players now. We believe ad exchange trading will become the hottest topic in the market place this year.