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June 13, 2012, Article

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MediaMath General Manager, EMEA Erich Wasserman in ExchangeWire

Industry Reaction To Google's Buy-Side Stack Play: The DoubleClick Digital Marketing Suite

Published: June 13, 2012

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Last week at Google’s client advisory board session hosted in LA, we saw the announcement of the update that has been on the cards since the acquisition of Invite Media: the assembly of the Doubleclick Digital Marketing suite.

It is the first, real operational (not just aspirational) buyside end-to-end stack. What’s more it also comes with many new integrations and product features (being revealed in more detail in an upcoming interview with Jason Bigler, Director Product Management, Google).

We asked some European-based industry leaders for their reaction on how this is likely to impact the wider marketplace and whether they view this as a big win for the buy side.

Danny Hopwood, Director of Product, AOD UK

“The integration of the Google Stack is an innovation that couldn’t come soon enough. Management and optimisation of campaigns across a client’s entire portfolio is extremely valuable. Right now the benefits are in terms of opening up greater contextual targeting, search retargeting and also seamless introduction of dynamic creative possibilities across our trading desk Audience on Demand.

Advertisers using multiple platforms across different channels for one client lose data veracity and reliability. The Google stack ensures one consumer journey with no degradation in veracity or reliability.

The VNC builds its own IP by building tech to join up different systems. Optimising, planning and reporting across different channels with our purpose built reporting interface called Campaigns On Demand. Google integrating the stack means our inhouse proprietary software can take data from all channels and ingest it even easier which our competitors can’t claim to do.

Mobile, video, display are all products of AOD and allows us to target users at different stages of their journey across many screens. Historically the communication between these channels has been dependent upon the level of integration. Full integration means we have visibility at every step and finally the ability take the data and learn how channels work and benefit each other.

“Frictionless” for the Vivaki Nerve Center is the idea of one platform to access all channels. Simple and easy activation of campaigns to make advertisers money work harder, more efficiently and most importantly reaching the right audience.”

Gavin Deadman, Digital Marketing, PKR

“I don’t think this alone will contribute towards incremental ad revenue for Google because the reason why most people choose different bid/media platforms is for their unique features, which gives them an edge over competitors. This could be reach, exclusive publishers, optimisation algorithms, UI tools etc.

Merging them together will not fix current product issues overnight. There will always be demand and pressure for clients/agencies to ensure they are using the most advanced and best performing buying technology around whether it’s Google owned or not. If Google’s products do perform better than competitors then there would be no hesitation of migrating over.

Google still needs to cover and understand how to improve the basics, particularly around DoubleClick’s multi-channel funnels by channel. They still aggregate data by creative type, such as affiliates, social and site sponsorships which are all classed as digital channel ‘click tracker’. This leaves a whole function of DoubleClick’s, which would be very valuable to advertisers and marketers, void.”

Erich Wasserman, Co-Founder & GM, EMEA, MediaMath

“Google has the best of intentions: build an end-to-end stack that makes marketing better. Kudos to Google for being a light unto the industry.

That said, their approach is good enough. Good enough – Google Analytics, for example, is good enough, but when it comes to serious reporting and tracking, at a certain point enterprise-class marketers upgrade to solutions like Adobe/Omniture. We look at the Google vs. Independent Buying Platform as a version of this: we’ve built a more sophisticated platform, built exclusively for the demand side of the market, that can span across media types and channels, and is free of conflict. Yes, there are conveniences the combined Google stack brings you, but at a certain point those conveniences are outweighed by compromises in results. The Fortune 500 advertisers and agencies that use our platform simply can’t accept those compromises.

And yes, there’s conflict. Google controls pricing dynamics on both sides- so if you’re a marketer, whose side is Google on? If you’re a publisher, who’s side is Google on? I don’t know either. I do know that controlling both demand and supply influences how media is distributed optimally for a marketer; reciprocally, it influences a publisher’s volume and yield.

We at MediaMath are firmly on the side of the marketer, and we’ll always build tools that make their lives easier and more profitable. Beyond this: there are very few instances where one vendor is anointed with more than 50% market share. And with what happened back in the days of Search, I don’t think giving away the store to Google is in the cards. They’ll always be a prominent player, and they’ll do us all a great service in showing the world the great things technology can do for marketing. But we at MediaMath will always strive to build better, faster, and deeper for the enterprise class.”

The DDM will inevitably stir controversy and cause debate. Questions will linger around: is there conflict? Should an agency put all buying operations into an entity that has also has close direct ties to advertisers? Regardless of which side of the fence one sits, this should be viewed as a positive. It will help consolidate the marketplace and make it easier for advertisers to scale spend in programmatic, data driven advertising. Look out for the upcoming interview with Jason Bigler where ExchangeWire scrutinises in closer detail what the DDM is and what it will become.

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