Since we announced our comprehensive revenue automation platform, SEVEN, at DMEXCO last month, we’ve gotten a lot of buzz about our new technology offerings. After all, this was the largest set of technology releases in the history of PubMatic. In addition to stimulating deep conversations with our customer base, we have also fielded a lot of questions about the platform’s name. Perhaps most commonly, we’re asked why the platform is called SEVEN and why the company chose to move away from the “One Platform” positioning we’ve had for nearly a decade.
So, what is “SEVEN”? Well, if you want to get “technical,” seven is one more than six, three less than ten, the number of days in a week… And that’s about how important the actual number is to our platform… Okay, we did spend a bit more time on it than counting on our fingers, and I’ll explain that more in a bit.
Ultimately, the idea is bigger than a number.
For years the ad tech industry has been guilty of overcomplicating how we discuss what are already complex technology and offerings. That’s perhaps in part why many of us have been so focused on creating and naming a single-stack solution capable of solving all of publishers’ and advertisers’ needs in one place. It’s a noble notion, just not one that is specific to what our constituents are asking for. The best of all worlds is having a single source solution AND having the ability to address specific customer needs through a modular approach. Let’s dive a little deeper into this.
There’s no doubt that the concept of “one” was a popular one (pun intended). In fact, during the eighteen-month period from April 2014 to August 2015, the ad tech industry saw an explosion of solutions highlighting this concept: Neustar launched a DSP called “PlatformOne”; AOL rolled out its programmatic platform, “ONE”; MediaMath announced its “Bloomberg Terminal for marketing,” called “Terminal One,” and at PubMatic we continued to promote our “One Platform” message (“Every ad. Every sales channel. Every screen. One Platform.”).
“One” speaks to the popular desire for simplicity in a complex industry. Ultimately, however, it also reflects the aspirations of technology providers rather than the actual needs of their customers. Tech vendors aspired to be the whole platform that customers could use without the need for any supplemental tools or solutions, and the concept of “one” that dominated our naming conventions for over a year highlighted that desire. (Interestingly, this concept can be traced as far back as 2011—and possibly even further—to the creation of the Japanese ad tech company Platform One, which then launched both a DSP called MarketOne and an SSP called YieldOne.)
Simplicity and the concept of one solution are not necessarily synonymous, however. The fact is that publisher and advertiser businesses are far too sophisticated, their needs too complex and varied, for any “one-size-fits-all” solution to succeed. Customers need the ability to pick and choose—to customize—the tools they need in order to address the specific challenges that they face, and the nature of our industry means that no two customers are facing the exact same set of challenges. Even a technology behemoth like Google isn’t able to supply everything to everyone and even if they could, there would be reluctance to be beholden to them.
Despite our industry-wide focus on “one,” many of us, and especially PubMatic, have spent years building the kind of solutions that our customers actually do need: namely, modular ones.
Why SEVEN, as opposed to Revenue Buster, YieldFixer—even SIX or TEN—or any other name for that matter? We decided on SEVEN as it represents the number of major inflection points in the evolution of technology in the media and advertising industry. Accordingly, our focus on innovation has meant that we have led many of those changes. From the first ad server to the advent of Real-Time Bidding for publishers, the automation of direct sold inventory to the ability to access analytics in real-time, we’ve seen myriad technological advancements that have accelerated the media industry. While some of them are of particular importance to us, we also recognize that they could number as few as three or as many as fifteen, depending on your perspective.
In short, SEVEN is the new name for the PubMatic platform that encompasses the wide array of technology offerings from PubMatic. There will be no EIGHT, there was no SIX, and the arsenal of products housed within our platform certainly numbers well over seven. Ultimately, it’s less important to fixate on our platform’s name than it is to continue to innovate technology solutions that help publishers and advertisers thrive in today’s rapidly evolving media landscape. Sometimes the best marketing is that which understands the power really lies in the ability to create a dialogue; if SEVEN has led you and your clients to have more conversations, then it has already been hugely successful. Keep having conversations about SEVEN, have a lot of fun with it, and continue being an important part of an organization that driving leadership in the industry.
And just remember, what you do at PubMatic matters.
Find out more about the PubMatic platform, SEVEN, or to learn about all of PubMatic’s solutions, visit www.pubmatic.com.