ValueClick’s CMO Discusses Company’s Rebranding as Conversant


ADOTAS – As the competitive ad-tech landscape begins to look a little bit more crowded these days, companies are searching to find their niche. Programmatic ad company The Rubicon Project just filed for its $100 million IPO, signaling that the fast-moving ad tech space is heating up with similar recent moves made by Rocket Fuel and Criteo last year.  The personalized digital space is creating company differentiation with major players like AOL acquiring Gravity for $90.7 million in order to create more custom experiences for users across its web properties.

This week, in a move to leverage big ad data to reach consumers online, ValueClick announced it has rebranded as Conversant, and that it, too, is pivoting towards promoting its online marketing personalization platform.

“Personalization is the future of digital advertising,” said Scott Eagle (pictured), CMO of Conversant in an exclusive interview with Adotas. “Our research shows that nearly three quarters of marketers believe that personalized one-to-one marketing is the future. Personalization empowers marketers to connect with individuals with the right message, at the right time, on the right device. For decades, advertisers have sought better ways to satisfy the needs of individual consumers. Now, in consolidating our business units and assets as Conversant, personalized one-to-one engagement is possible – at scale.”

According to the new report Eagle cites called “What’s Driving Marketing in 2014,” 77 percent of marketers agreed individualized messages can be more effective than mass messages, and yet nearly half don’t think they have the expertise to implement personalized programs. Marketers need to fine-tune their programs to shift ad budgets towards ROI-positive channels, personalization and vendor consolidation.

Today it’s all about big data in advertising, and the formation of Conversant will help to unify several brands launched or acquired by ValueClick since 1998, including ValueClick Media, Commission Junction, Greystripe, Dotomi and Mediaplex. Conversant will combine these backbone technologies to provide video and mobile capabilities, real-time-bidding, CRM data and offline measurement for brands and agencies around the globe. Commission Junction, the industry’s largest affiliate marketing business, acquired by ValueClick in 2003, will function as CJ Affiliate, by Conversant.

“The launch of Conversant reflects how we’ve brought together the strengths of each of our businesses to create a unified personalization company,” said John Giuliani, president and CEO of Conversant. “Now with one new brand, everyone can see how our people and technology are working together to deliver the smartest personalization strategies and solutions for marketers. Our expertise in digital marketing is unparalleled, and as Conversant, we will lead the future of the industry through personalization.”

“Powered by billions of new data points each day, Conversant will provide marketers with the deepest insight into what motivates their customers to engage, connect, and buy,” the company proclaimed in a press release announcing its rebranding earlier this week. “Already, Conversant drives an average of more than five million sales each day for clients by presenting optimized messages at precisely the right time on any connected device.”

The company’s common stock, which has previously traded under the ticker symbol VCLK, officially began trading under the new NASDAQ ticker symbol CNVR, effective at the market open yesterday. The new name, Conversant, and logo were chosen to highlight the company’s ability to generate engagement around digital ads and learn from the resulting offline and online conversations between brands and individuals.

“Over the last year, we’ve worked on consolidating our businesses into a single tech stack that’s tied together by a personalized approach to advertising,” said Eagle. “Our data, technology and infrastructure are now integrated to create and action richer profiles that will help marketers understand and maintain their connections with consumers. Our new brand name, Conversant, embodies how we are leading the industry into this new era from clicks to personalized conversations.”



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