An incredible amount of research, planning, and resources go into every ad that we see. Teams of advertising professionals, assisted by immensely powerful computers equipped with Artificial Intelligence (AI) contribute to its creation, then decide on timing and delivery. This is a massive investment and every advertiser wants to see results that justify their outlay.
However, advertising management firms have traditionally been reluctant to share true insights into the ROI. Now, one company is revolutionizing the industry with its unique brand of service delivery which combines excellent advertising exposure with unparalleled transparency.
That company is Sizmek.
Sizmek is the world’s largest independent buy-side advertising platform. It caters to agencies and brands in more than 70 countries throughout the Americas, EMEA, and APAC, and connects more than 20,000 advertisers and 3,600 agencies to audiences around the world.
The company’s powerful integrated solutions enable data, creative, and media to work seamlessly together. Their AI-driven decision engine then identifies insights across the five key data dimensions – campaigns, consumers, context, creative, and cost.
The result is award-winning service that transcends industry, geographical location, target demographics, and medium of delivery. Sizmek’s incisive, targeted media plans are augmented by pricing and showcase a level of transparency unprecedented in the advertising industry.
Leading this trailblazing company through its slew of recent successes is CEO, Mark Grether. He has been with Sizmek since 2017. Mark is no stranger to the marketing arena; he has performed virtually every role in the industry in the many years that he has been a part of it.
His journey began in academia as a professor of marketing before the appeal of real-world marketing technology pulled him onto his current path. Immediately prior to joining Sizmek, Mark was the global Chief Operating Officer of WPP’s Xaxis, a platform that he co-founded.
Before Xaxis, Mark worked at GroupM, the world’s largest media investment group. As its Global Development Director, he helped set up their digital trading desk across 10 countries.
Mark’s tenure at Sizmek has been marked by transformative change. He revamped the firm’s structure to give regional GMs – who understand their local markets best – the power to make more decisions while armed with the confidence that comes from being part of a major global enterprise.
Another of his major initiatives has been to give actionable data the attention and priority it deserves. Many of Sizmek’s competitors are only just wading into these waters at a time when the company has already made it a prime focus, and includes its clients and partners in the implementation process.
Anticipating and Leveraging Change
When Mark joined Sizmek, he quickly determined that two industry-critical challenges needed to be overcome. The first was transparency and the second, the European Union’s upcoming GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) which has since been implemented.
The advertising industry is, unfortunately, a hotbed of players who intentionally conceal how dollars are spent and where investment has the largest or least impact. By contrast, Mark named 2018 the company’s ‘Year of Total Transparency’.
Under Mark’s leadership, Sizmek offers full transparency across its entire AI-enabled platform, including media, creative, data, technology, and service-related costs.
Agencies and advertisers get increased visibility and control over their media planning and buying; they can identify how every element works and then hone their strategies for the best results.
Meanwhile, the EU’s GDPR has shaken the advertising industry. Non-compliance can be devastating – the EU imposes fines of 4% of global revenue or 20 million Euros, whichever is higher.
Sizmek initiated preparations to counter its effects as soon as plans for the legislation were announced years ago, making sure their AI-powered fusion of creative, media, and data was ready.
The company allows its clients to deploy targeted campaigns without resorting to the use of personal data. This is achieved through their Peer39 contextual targeting solution that applies artificial intelligence to analyze words and phrases, and the relationship between them to fully understand the context and category of any page. They can also stay safe from fines with fully managed service, from account management to DCO to audience development to performance reporting and beyond.
Instead of suffering a GDPR-induced downturn, Sizmek’s clients are now better positioned than their competitors to navigate this changed marketing landscape.
Molding the Future
Because Sizmek employs AI extensively, it is fully aware of how the technology is constantly improving and becoming more accurate. It is already able to decide which person a specific ad should be delivered to out of millions of bid requests per second.
As AI continuously learns, and will only improve in the upcoming years, Sizmek is working to better place ads at scale in real-time, helping brands improve conversions and attract their most valuable consumers.
Sizmek is also investing in learning when individuals are most receptive to marketing messages. Factors like the period before and after a related purchase, time of the day, and day of the week all form a complex data relationship that holds enormous marketing potential if it can be unraveled—which Sizmek is already able to evaluate.
As it makes advances by leaps and bounds in terms of technology, Sizmek has maintained its emphasis on transparency.
Their industry-first consumer/business model update at the beginning of 2018 marks the company’s vision for how AdTech should be moving towards full data accessibility and pricing transparency. This leadership in technology adoption and self-regulation have placed Sizmek in the driving seat of the marketing world, a position in which it seems very comfortable.