We’re only a few days away from the 4th Annual Real Time Trading Update from the Buyside at Advertising Week (RSVP here) . On Friday, October 5th, our own Jay Sears, SVP of Demand at the Rubicon Project, will be moderating a panel with executives from Xaxis, Annalect, Mediabrands & Vivaki. In preparation for Friday’s event, Jay sat down with Scott Hagedorn, CEO of Annalect to discuss business and life outside the office.
Sears: Tell us the about Annalect.
Hagedorn: Annalect is the global marketing technology division within Omnicom Media Group. We are responsible for all the data driven solutions including our trading platform, Accuen. Also included is our global search network, Resolution.
Sears: How many countries is Annalect active in and what countries are you entering in the next six months?
Hagedorn: We are currently in 44 markets and plan to expand into Portugal, Russia, India & Taiwan.
Sears: What are Annalect’s three biggest initiatives for 2013?
Hagedorn: Annalect launching a suite of marketing applications for our clients that leverage first and third party data. We are broadening Accuen’s capabilities to include CRM informed trading under with our new product that we developed with sister agency Rapp, called Dynamo. We are deepening Resolution’s service offering with its new social practice, Content Continuum.
Sears: Without making any reference or inference or muttering to or about Facebook, what is your “social” strategy and how does it manifest at scale outside the “F Word”?
Hagedorn: Speaking from an Annalect perspective, we have two strategies in place. The first is an application that links brand health and social data together that is called “Collect”. This will be a tool and a managed service for clients that are interested. We centralized social activation at Resolution in the Content Continuum. They handle all social marketplace trading as well.
Sears: On average, is mobile and or video more than ten percent (each) of a typical budget allocation? More or less? And how will this change in 2013?
Hagedorn: Video definitely is at a critical mass now and will continue to scale provided that we continue to improve on visibility of the inventory. Mobile search is scaling rapidly. Singling out mobile display is difficult to do from a share perspective as the inventory may not be bought from an endemic provider, but we have seen rapid investment with mobile only providers as well.
Sears: Many DSPs are spending an increasing amount of time selling client direct. Are DSPs becoming a “frenemy”?
Hagedorn: Annalect and Accuen believe that a multiple DSP approach is the right one for a client. After doing quite a bit of research, I believe that they inventory footprints are very different with each DSP. It’s all about the reach.
Sears: The RTB market has been – to date – a spot market and this has significantly limited its size. We believe 2013 is the Year of Programmatic Guarantee—where SSPs and DSPs will allow trading desks to deliver guaranteed budgets. Is your trading desk capturing guaranteed budgets today or do you plan to in 2013?
Hagedorn: Yes, private marketplaces are one of our 2013 strategies.
Sears: What technical and supply components are needed in the market today to deliver guaranteed budgets that are not widely available?
Hagedorn: A universal tag management strategy and DMP that is inclusive of the endemic or direct buys.
Sears: What assurance can you give publisher CROs that programmatic guarantee is in fact an enhancement to their direct selling effort and not an end run around their selling channel?
Hagedorn: I think that the benefit of large, pre-negotiated investments moving the marketplace will outweigh concerns about dis-intermediating their sales forces.
Sears: Does programmatic guaranteed have to be delivered via RTB?
Hagedorn: It could be a block of targeted inventory that is dynamically decisioned off the rules engine in the trading platform.
Sears: IE10, the impending “do not track” Armageddon. What would you like to say to the IE10 team at Microsoft? User tracking disappears—do our jobs disappear too? More broadly, what is the future of the cookie?
Hagedorn: There’s lots of surrogates for cookies, what we need to be solving for is what is the integrated data layer that will live under the vertical stacks from Amazon, Google, Apple and Microsoft. Our jobs will all be very different once that is in place.
Sears: Viewability. The IAB is working on 3MS and a viewability standard expected to be in market early next year. How are you thinking about viewability—for measurement? For billing? Is the industry ready?
Hagedorn: Annalect is very serious about it. I’m not sure if we are ready to tie compensation to it in the short term as there will be a lot of learning to do when the lights are switched on. It could become the financial KPI that agencies and publishers are held to.
Sears: How are you working with the operating agencies in your holding company? If successful in the long term, do trading desks essential become a fully integrated, back office function?
Hagedorn: That’s a hot debate in the agency. Are the trading desks “desks” or are they part of the workflow as an application. To be determined.
Sears: Tell us more about you. What’s your favorite question when interviewing a prospective employee?
Hagedorn: What’s your favorite song of all time? I’ve kicked someone out for saying “Sundown” by Gordon Lightfoot and hired someone on the spot for saying “that’s an impossible questions to answer, there are so many genres…”
Sears: If your co-workers picked a single word to describe you, what would it be?
Sears: What’s your favorite baseball team?
Hagedorn: I much more of a college football guy, we didn’t have professional baseball in Florida when I was growing up. Go Gators.