Mergers and acquisitions seem to be fundamental tactics in the online industry. From Google’s high-stakes, highly publicized purchase of YouTube to DoubleClick expanding its video division with the services of Klipmart, the need to consolidate and renovate business models can partly explain why Internet/interactive advertising is on a consistently steady climb.
On the second tier, though, below the dominant presence of “the big 3” and large-scale ad networks like Advertising.com and ValueClick, many smaller, yet respectable companies are in their own kind of dogfight to earn the most yield and share the biggest piece of the pie. One such company is Oridian US, the stateside subsidiary of Israeli firm Online Media Solutions, LTD. While Google remains the 10-ton elephant in the room, the ripple effects of the Palo Alto giant’s business decisions have caused networks like Oridian to readjust its game plan and be a viable outlet for advertisers and publishers.
In doing so, Oridian yesterday announced it is being acquired by lead generation outfit Active Response Group (ARG). In effect, Oridian will now add complementary, full-service advertising and display media capabilities to ARG’s online lead generation services and direct marketing expertise.
Just days prior to the announcement, ADOTAS sat down with Oridian President and frequent ADOTAS contributor Bob Regular to discuss the implications behind the deal, what the newly unified ARG unit hopes to prove, how ARG can measure up to the top-tier companies, and how this acquisition will spawn a new form of online advertising intelligence.
So, tell me about Active Response Group and how the deal came about.
Active Response Group is a lead generation/co-registration company primarily focused on building offers and products that encourage an audience to consider the products of various advertisers that may be of interest to them. ARG focuses on many different verticals, [including] education, automobiles, travel, [etc.]. Let’s say, for example, education. We drive people to visit these vertical based micro-sites where people would want to sign up and say, “I’m in the market for a degree” [or] “I’m thinking about going back to school. Tell me what I need to know about education and have someone contact me about this.” Say auto insurance, “tell me about different quotes and options for auto insurance”, so on and so forth.
So, ARG creates these verticals, or specialties, where they drive traffic using various advertising distribution means on the Internet–be it search, email, display, or what have you—to drive people to these destinations where they make a decision on what they’re interested in. Once people sign-up for these vertical based offers, Active Response Group is than able to sell those leads to top vertical companies interested in helping those consumers. For example, if someone has defined an interest in continuing education in New York, than it’s very likely that a top University in New York would like to buy that lead and reach out to share their offering.
So, driving traffic to those vertical micro sites becomes very important, because this controls the quantity and quality of audience and leads. If you can own one or more of these different traffic distribution methodologies, you remove and streamline the process and have more control. This is one of the primary reasons for the acquisition of Oridian USA’s display network.
Essentially, what Oridian has built over the years is a massive display network of several billion ad impressions connecting publishers and advertisers. We’re essentially connecting the two through our yield based optimization system to place the right advertiser on the right publisher to achieve the highest level of performance. Connecting the lead-generation skills of Active Response Group and its technology to the display networking skills of Oridian and it’s optimization technology will fuse product with distribution in a much smarter and more efficient way.