Answers Served: Collective Delivers Knockout With Upgraded AMP Platform and Exchange

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punch_small.jpgADOTAS – Collective dropped a one-two combination on the display advertising arena recently — first there was the enhanced version 4.0 of the AMP display management, audience targeting and analytics platform aimed at publishers, followed by the Collective Exchange, which offered trading desks access to the firm’s inventory and audience data.

While we’re a still a bit woozy from getting hit with all that advertising technology muscle, but Jason Bigler, SVP for Product Management and Strategy, has helped us up, squirted some water in our mouths and gives us the nitty gritty on AMP 4.0 and the Collective Exchange.

ADOTAS: What sets AMP apart from other display tech platforms?

BIGLER: In terms of Collective’s sell-side products, the AMP Platform brings together the key elements required to power a media business in one holistic solution: revenue/profitability management, audience creation/targeting, audience analytics, on-demand audience extension, and yield optimization, all specifically focused on the needs of premium publishers and networks.

Sitting on top of leading ad servers such as DART for Publishers, AMP marries the where (ad serving) and the who (audiences) for both targeting and analytics — and then layers on the tools to ensure visibility into profitability on cost-of-inventory as well as rich media and data costs.

Providing the opportunity to extend audiences on-demand, as well, the AMP platform currently powers 15 billion impressions each month and the media businesses of over 25 premium publishers and networks such as IDG TechNetwork, quadrantONE, Batanga, Sojern, Bizo, AARP, SixApart and Internet Broadcasting.

In terms of our buy-side products, AMP brings a pixel-free tag-free analytics methodology to agencies and marketers to help them truly understand who is seeing their ads – without the ad operations pain points that this sort of analytics previously required.

Do you feel Collective leans toward the supply or demand side? Do you think you split the difference?

Collective is like a holding company. Among our divisions, we have products for the buy-side, such as our Collective Display, Collective Video, and Collective Exchange inventory sources. We also have products for the sell-side, such as our AMP Network inventory exchange and our AMP platform suite. The key is strict separation of church and state so that each of our groups is able to deliver in the best way possible for our clients, whether they are on the buy side or sell side.

It seems like many of AMP recent upgrades were aimed at publishers — why is that?

The recent upgrades were to our AMP Platform on the sell-side, and provide a platform for premium publishers and networks to best control and manage a media business in the complex ecosystem that exists today. We’ve empowered our clients to take advantage of different inventory types, data sources, and media types – yet do it all with complete control and transparency into their profitability. We are also innovating on the buy-side, as recent announcements about our Collective Exchange and pixel free analytics show.

What features in AMP 4.0 were publisher clients most clamoring for?

AMP clients wanted better control over data. With the proliferation of Data Management Platforms (DMP), it was time to create a full DMP suite within AMP. This includes the ability to decide what data is used, allow for the import of custom data, and give control over how data is displayed.

The key difference is that most DMP suites cannot give insight into audience availability at more than a macro cookie count level but as AMP is integrated with the ad server, we can also show availability forecasts and detailed analytics on already-delivered campaigns down to the ad/creative/site/placement levels. Once these audiences are identified and set, our clients need an integrated method of finding more of them.

By integrating our brand safe, on-demand inventory solution into AMP, clients can see what is available both on and off network and better answer the needs of their advertisers. Overlaying data on top of inventory, using rich or static media, our clients have additional insight into the value of their inventory. Bundled with new metrics which take measurement beyond the click, our clients are now able to put a powerful offering into the marketplace.

Could you explain in lay terms how the Cost of Goods management works? What are the benefits on the supply and demand sides?

Cost of Goods management is a sell-side management tool. It allows our sell-side clients to see how the costs of inventory, rich media fees, data fees, survey/study costs, ad serving fees, and other costs are affecting their business.

The AMP system then allows for gross margin reporting at all levels, from an overall site/network view down to the ad/campaign/site/placement level. It enables publishers to be more efficient, yet still maintain profitability.

How does this benefit the demand side? Our clients are now empowered with the knowledge of what works and what doesn’t and can create richer, more streamlined offerings for its clients.

What additions to AMP are important, but may not get as much attention as COGS Management and DMP?

AMP 4.0 also includes an in-depth update to forecasting, giving a much better view into future availabilities of inventory. Combined with the DMP, our clients can now get a forecast on any audience they create. Additional features included updates to the publisher management interface, a more robust set of widgets for the dashboard, speed upgrades for audience analytics reports, and a significant update on our core targeting servers that allow significantly higher data pools combined with increased speed across the board.

How do you feel the Exchange builds on your current offerings?

The Collective Exchange is an offering of our media solutions group for agencies. Our buy-side offerings are branded “Collective” and are separate from the sell-side offerings that exist under the AMP brand.

Providing high quality inventory is a critical next step in the evolution of the RTB/ad exchange model and the Collective Display Network’s entry into the space will promote the entire business by opening up a portion of our premium, brand safe inventory to top tier advertisers using RTB.

What features will prove the most valuable to agencies?

Agencies have been excited about the exchange model but for many of them, the lack of reliable quality inventory has been a problem. Advertisers who once relied on content to identify audiences are now able to reach custom audiences at scale, and gain the highest possible value of a single ad impression by delivering reach.

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