[first published on LinkedIn Pulse Marketing & Advertising]
Ad tech companies – whether startups or well-established – are not exactly known for their communication skills. In particular, they’re not always so good at explaining what they do to unsuspecting folks who might stumble across their business. And sometimes it feels as if even ad tech professionals themselves have a hard time making sense of all the buzzwords and the cryptic descriptions of which the ad tech scene is so fond.
It is, therefore, quite a treat to come across companies who are able to express clearly what they’re about, and who shy away from grandiloquent claims such as “world leader in direct premium programmatic RTB native mobile hyper-targeted advertising” – I’m sure you know just the type!
To celebrate those who, in my opinion, are doing a great job in communicating and educating within the ad tech industry, I thought I would give them a shout-out in what I plan to be a somewhat regular type of post here on Ad Ops Online. The assessment criteria include the company’s online presence (website, blog, other owned media), the quality and frequency of engagement through social media channels, and whether they provide further resources and/or run initiatives aimed at educating their audiences and the ad tech industry at large.
Here they are, in no particular order.
InMobi is building a mobile ecosystem that serves pretty much any type of stakeholder within the mobile advertising industry. They do so through a suite of products that complement each other: a native ads platform, an app-install platform, a SDK for ad monetization, and a rich media ad creation studio.
They’re doing a great job at explaining what InMobi is about regardless of where on their website you happen to land first – something that’s not an easy feat with such a rather complex website structure.
My favorite section is, by far, the impressive InMobi Insights on Demand thought leadership portal featuring infographics and whitepapers that are readily available; in fact, the 2015: Q1 research reports should be made available soon.
The InMobi blog (also called Insights) is a must-read for anyone with a modicum of interest in mobile advertising and it features great pieces such as Programmatic Buying Channels Demystified or InMobi Insights: The State of App Downloads and Monetization.
Rubicon Project (www.rubiconproject.com)
Rubicon Project has come a really, really long way since its early days of 2007. It might have been a project back then, but it evolved into an enterprise processing trillions of transactions each month.
Despite its huge reach and complex infrastructure, Rubicon Project can still effortlessly define what they are doing: they link media sellers and buyers within the Rubicon Project advertising automation cloud where real-time, data-driven automated auctions and direct orders are processed. The website is kept simple, speaks the language of its intended visitors without abusing the industry lingo, and is structured in a way that facilitates the understanding of the company’s operations: seller cloud -> advertising automation cloud <- buyers cloud.
My favorite content piece from Rubicon Project is the main presentation video at http://www.vimeo.com/100843285 – I believe it strikes just the right balance between justified bragging about the company’s capabilities and explaining how they serve sellers and buyers alike.
The blog at http://www.rubiconproject.com/blog/ works well to further clarify what the company does and, most importantly, how and why. Frank Addante’s (CEO, founder and chief product architect at Rubicon Project) no-platitudes updates on acquisitions and business milestones are textbook examples on how to communicate well with external audiences.
Sovrn is the former Federated Media Publishing. What they do is expressed so very simply (yet not simplistic!) and powerful: “We exist to foster an ecosystem where independent and influential publishers can thrive“. In a nutshell, sovrn helps publishers monetize their sites through programmatic advertising. They’re one of the largest publisher networks globally, focused on programmatic advertising and RTB technologies, having sold off the company’s content marketing division a year ago.
Sovrn is really good at making it clear what they do even if you don’t speak the ad tech lingo – huge bonus points for that! Their whole online presence appears to be built around explaining how the platform can serve publishers of all sizes and that’s precisely what you’d expect from a SSP (supply side platform).
However well-thought their main site is, the section you really want to go to is the PubHub, where there is an abundance of resources for web publishers. The sovrn blog at http://pubhub.sovrn.com/blog/ is updated frequently and some of the best articles include Bad Ads Range from Annoying to Dangerous and 4 Key Performance Metrics for the Profitable Publisher.
Forensiq, a play on words on “forensic” and “IQ”, leaves no room for interpretation as to what they are doing in the ad tech space: “we help you eliminate impression fraud, click fraud, affiliate fraud and cookie stuffing“.
Like others in this list (and in ad tech in general), what they do is very complex yet it can be summarized with a certain ease. The Forensiq website is one of those rare cases when companies are able to put themselves in the shoes of others and explain what they do, concisely and clearly, so that everyone gets it.
I particularly appreciate how the website content flows, from the simple and general (“Relentlessly fighting online ad fraud“) to the complex and particular (“Through […] sophisticated machine learning algorithms we can accurately identify traffic from botnets, hijacked devices, malicious script injection and other automated means“).
Forensiq does a great job on ad fraud awareness and education through their Twitter account, where their frequently used #fightadfraud hashtag has been adopted by many others. They’re also active on LinkedIn and Facebook.
Do you know of other ad tech companies that should be included in follow-up articles? If so, please tweet your recommendation @otiliaotlacan – the more, the merrier!
Note: none of the companies mentioned here have ever been sponsors of the publication I edit, or have ever been in a commercial relationship with my consulting practice. Should I ever write about companies in which I have a financial interest, an appropriate disclosure will be included.