With the ad tech industry going through a phase of IPOs and M&As, it can be easy to overlook how companies are repositioning themselves by mixing up the cards already in their hands. Most companies looking to better their position in the market are doing so by offering multiple services.
That’s a natural progression for a business in any market — find a niche, excel in it, then branch out from there. But it feels as though everyone in ad tech is branching toward the same thing: omni-offerings.
We have demand-side platforms (DSPs) doubling as data management platforms (DMPs) and tripling as trading desks. We have agencies bringing the same technology in-house, allowing them to be a jack of all trades. We have publishers tapping private and open exchanges, all while exploring programmatic direct and retaining sales teams.
Most of all, though, we have buying and selling platforms that are capable of reaching consumers across multiple devices.
As a modifier, “cross-“ is heavily used. In the ad industry we most often hear of cross-platform, cross-screen, cross-device and cross-channel. Some of those overlap — and I’m sure I’m missing some — but the point is there are a myriad of ways to reach consumers.
As such, platforms are looking to be able to reach consumers wherever they go. The most recent example is AOL’s decision to mesh its ad tech stack into one platform, aptly named “One.”
Others are pressing for the same. In announcing its partnership with OpenX this morning, YP said it partnered with them in part because the OpenX platform allows YP to sell desktop and mobile display inventory from one platform. MediaMath on Tuesday announced partnerships with multiple video supply partners. That led Greg Williams, co-founder and SVP of OPEN partnerships at MediaMath, to tout the company's ability to give marketers a “single, omni-channel platform to communicate with consumers across multiple touchpoints.” The list goes on and on.
Part of the reason the omni- trend is so prevalent right now is because the ad industry is staring at the crossroads of desktop and mobile. Companies are prepping for the future without ignoring the present, leaving them capable of serving multiple purposes.