Demand-side platform DataXu has acquired Mexad, another DSP with offices in Europe and Latin America. The combo will let large brands run global programs at scale, the companies said.
DataXu's digital marketing management platform, DX3, includes analytics, audience and attribution management features.
Mexad provides technology and services that let agency clients use auction-based exchange technologies to buy Internet ad space. It has access to more than 15 billion real-time ad impressions per day, the companies said.
But the key to the purchase was Mexad's feet on the ground: offices in Europe and South America servicing more than 60 countries.
"It's great to have the best technology, but we learned that people want a global footprint. A salesperson over in London is not enough," said Julie Ginches, VP of marketing for DataXu. "Mexad is the leading service provider in Europe. They have smart data and analytics people who help you understand the insights that the platform will deliver for you."
DX3 is positioned as enterprise software-as-a-service, and it powers five of the six agency DSPs, according to Ginches. But with DataXu's new global reach, she sees big brands and marketers licensing the software for in-house use - rather than paying agencies a markup.
Where does that leave agencies?
While smart agencies are building their analytics benches, she suggests, "Brands can use DataXu’s services to run the platform, have an agency run it for them via agency trading desks, or manage it themselves and use an agency for strategy and creative." She points out that, with the trend toward data and analytics driving all digital advertising, agencies don't have enough analytics talent in-house.
DSPs have proven popular with agencies, and dollar volume was expected to more than double from 2010 to 2011, with Google's Invite Media demand-side platform growing 300 percent in the first six months post-acquisition.
Jim Payne, CEO of mobile advertising platform MoPub, says this kind of consolidation is good for the industry - especially for agencies and especially in mobile.
MoPub is focused on monetizing mobile apps. In October 2011, it announced the launch of MoPub Marketplace, a self-service, real-time bidding platform for mobile advertising that provides inventory to DataXu and other DSPs.
Payne says, "Agencies want to look at mobile as one portion of the media plan and spend across media without thinking too hard about it. The pain point right now is, in mobile, you do have to think about it and talk to different companies. But consumer adoption and usage is so high that agencies want these things to be solved now."
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Susan Kuchinskas has covered interactive advertising since its invention. The former staff writer for Adweek, Business 2.0, and M-Business covers technology, business and culture from Berkeley, CA.
March 19, 2014