Simpli.fi recently announced it was launching its DSP solution in China. Here Frost Prioleau, CEO at Simpli.fi, discusses the new Chinese offering, the exchange marketplace in the region and how local buyers will use the platform for automated buys.
For those not familiar with Simpl.fi, can you give an overview of your offering in more detail?
FP: Simpli.fi is a full-service, Demand-Side Platform or “DSP.” Practically this means that we help Advertisers, Networks, and Agencies to purchase display (e.g. banners) inventory on an impression-by-impression basis from thousands of publishers across all Supply-Side Platforms (e.g. AdEx, etc.) in a bid-based, real-time environment.
It’s important to note that Simpli.fi doesn’t sell anything or price anything. Simpli.fi is a platform that allows its clients to purchase whatever inventory they want at whatever price they want. We say we’re “Demand-Side” because we’re fully disclosed: Clients know the cleared media cost, the cost of data, and the exacty URLs of every cleared impression.
Clients typically run multiple types of campaigns: site re-targeting, search re-targeting, contextual, audience, and behaviorally-based campaigns. All campaigns are enriched with client and 3rd-party data. All campaigns have independent self-optimizing algorithms to increase performance over time.
Can you give some detail on the launch of Simpl.fi in the Chinese market?
FP: Large global Advertisers and their Agencies are always picking best-in-class solutions in one country and rolling them out across multiple counties. Simpli.fi’s clients are no different. We’re opened North America in October ‘10, Asia in Feb ‘11, and will open Europe in July 11. We want to be able to provide our solutions to global brands. For most , the US is the largest market and China is the largest potential market. It made sense to enter China as soon as possible.
How will Chinese agencies use Simpl.fi to trade across automated platforms?
FP: Advertisers and Agencies will find Simpli.fi’s platform very simple to manage and intuitive to use. Simpli.fi will set-up Agencies on the platform and the Agencies can use the platform to build their own trading desks. They can customize the platform with their own logos, colors, etc. They can invite co-workers to use the platform. They can add their clients to the platform. They can create their campaigns across a number of targeting criteria. They can report and optimize on each campaign. And, they can integrate our data into their internal systems by utilizing our APIs. It’s very flexible.
Will this be a fully managed service? Are you offering a self-service option as well?
FP: We offer three service options: self-serve, full-serve and enterprise. Most of our clients are self-serve clients meaning they manage and optimize their campaigns. Most of our larger clients are full-service meaning we manage and optimize their campaigns at their direction. Enterprise clients have complete access to the platform meaning they can on-board clients, set margins and build a business on top of Simpli.fi’s platform.
Are there any exchanges in China? What platforms are the biggest inventory sources in the market?
FP: All of the Supply-Side platform have both China-based publishers and China-based browsers. We’re seeing 30-40 billion impressions available for bid each month in China, and we expect to see that grow significantly as we add more inventory sources and geographies. Today, there are no large, established Supply-Side platforms (that we know of!) in China. But, yes, we hope hope to partner with those that do form - and they will soon. And, we hope to partner with individual publishers as well.
I’ve heard that some Chinese publishers are working on a Cost Per Day metric? How evolved is the exchange eco-system in China?
FP: Yes, I remember many years ago, the home pages of Chinese sites where VERY long because people would only buy if they saw their ads! The Chinese market has and is maturing. Simpli.fi only works with real-time, bidded inventory so we don’t have to worry too much about any Cost Per Day metrics.
Are there plans to move into other markets like Australia, Japan and South-East Asia?
FP: Yes, we’re adding countries over time. For example today, with this article, we’re announcing that we now have access to inventory in India! So today, we have China and India. Over time, we’ll add others in S.E. Asia and Australia. Japan will be a little further out.
How do you see the APAC exchange market developing over the coming twelve months?
FP: China, along with every other country in our digital world, is being pushed and pulled into the future. Pushed by large Advertiser and Agencies who want use the best of what the US has to offer but in China. Pulled by the large Publishers, Ad Networks, Exchanges and Supply-Side Platform that want to grow their businesses in China. It’s a wonderfully exciting time to be in Asia!