I sat down today with Lotame’s Founder and CEO Andy Monfried to discuss the recent integration between the partners and how they are uncovering audience data to make publishers’ business much more transparent.
Rich Sobel (RS): We’re really excited about this partnership, and what it means to put two premium businesses together. When we first started conversations about this, some time ago, what clicked for you?
Andy Monfried (AM): The tremendous footprint that PubMatic has, and the unbelievable supply opportunity that you guys are tasked with and responsible for. I saw it not only as an asset but also as a unique challenge.
RS: You have been very publisher-focused since the beginning, in terms of helping them manage their data. In our world, we have a number of clients who could be considered marketers as well, who require the same support for their data management.
AM: Our visions are aligned in that respect. Many of our products allow the sharing of data from a publisher point-of-view to a marketer point-of-view, all from the click of a mouse. So if you choose to share your first party data on a permission basis with a marketer, we enable that function. The movement of data, quickly, easily and seamlessly is what I believe makes the plumbing of our DMP a key differentiator.
As far as what’s trending, whether its mobile, CRM, RTB, or transactions, we’re seeing an explosion of data sharing across our ecosystem.
RS: The programmatic experience is about finding the user you’re looking for.
AM: I totally agree—I think that marketers will learn to bring a small portion of their CRM data to large publishers who can then model it out across their first party inventory. And that’s a benefit for everyone. PubMatic sits at the center of a lot of those transactions, and can enable that type of transaction.
RS: When you think about all the things that are necessary to make it all work, there’s the user component of it, and then the transaction part. So, there are a lot of complements across our platforms.
AM: Yes, there’s a natural symbiotic connection between what PubMatic excels at and what Lotame focuses on. We collect first party data in a unique way—Lotame allows you to write rules and capture events behind the scenes so the publisher doesn’t do any heavy lifting. A-synchronous data collection across user experiences is huge.
RS: The combination of multiple components in a single stream.
AM: Exactly. And that’s a key differentiator for us, how we do first party data collection. First party data is one of a publisher’s greatest assets—that’s why we put such an emphasis on getting the most from it. It’s not all equal.
RS: And you’re getting the smarter publishers. Not all SSPs are the same; different elements need to be taken into consideration. Both PubMatic and Lotame go the extra mile in terms of how we create unique technical solutions for our customers. PubMatic runs a truly unified auction across all buying methods – including guaranteed, direct sold campaigns – and the most advanced Private Marketplace solution, while Lotame has the most advanced and granular ways to collect and manage audience data. This brings us back to this partnership, which will impact the ecosystem in a major way. There’s so much competition out there, but there hasn’t been much collaboration.
AM: The ease of integration mitigates the amount of work and increases the results. The hard work comes from PubMatic and Lotame, rather than the publishers. Whether it’s data collection, categorization, targeting, optimization, and construction, these are all executed by Lotame and PubMatic service and support teams. One of the key goals of this partnership for me was to reduce the workload on publishers, and I believe our mutual clients already see the opportunity and value we bring together to them.
RS: We take a consultative approach to how we serve our clients, and you guys do something similar. There’s a lot of data crunching required — we act as a guide to help publishers by taking the work off their plate. For publishers who want to take the next step, and have seen the shifting sands to manage their share of wallet, there’s no other option than to engage in the programmatic, RTB-enabled world of media buying.
AM: It’s true. Publishers don’t have the extended resources to sit around and wait for the tasks they have to perform. So this partnership is the next step in making a publisher’s life easier and making assets more valued.
RS: As advertisers start to dictate terms more formally, using programmatic tools, publishers can face these changes by defining and leading a consortium. Scale matters, and publishers who are looking to compete for larger share of wallet have to find ways to expand their footprint. Data is one way to find more audience, and creating partnerships establishes premium pools of inventory to activate that data.
AM: Absolutely. We allow publishers to share data on a permission basis with each other to find their users across their partners. Data must be extensible, but publishers need the controls that we (Lotame and PubMatic) provide to make it brand safe.
RS: Integrity is important to us, and it’s important for us to work with premium businesses that feel the same way. Our customer relationships are more important than anything else. And we value this partnership, because we know that Lotame shares these values. On that note—what was the initial idea behind the partnership?
AM: We wanted to focus on ways we can increase value for publishers, by leveraging data, knowing that most major marketers and publishers are in the hunt for the right DMP for business. People work with DMPs and SSPs out of necessity—Lotame and PubMatic together come to the table with a more cohesive offering: this partnership.
We have similar visions for our companies, and at the end of the day, we both always hold the client at the highest regard for whatever their goals are.
In addition, PubMatic has a global footprint from which Lotame is very excited to benefit from. Data is important everywhere, and PubMatic’s experience and expertise in key local markets make this partnership very exciting.