In Europe, companies are more suspicious of tying too much of their business to massive digital marketing platforms, which benefits vendors like Adform. (Google, Facebook and Amazon have been fending off antitrust cases brought on by European companies and regulators.)
Baring is betting that American advertisers and media companies will become increasingly fractious with Google’s control over their data. But even if that happens, Google has lots of options to keep clients, such as its surprise reversal on a longstanding policy banning brands’ use of first-party CRM data.
Adform also pledges interoperability. It’s fine letting clients work with Sizmek or Flashtalking on rich media, for instance, or letting a client extract data from Adform’s platform and apply it elsewhere.
“Google and Facebook have other assets they’re monetizing,” Baring said. “The ad tech is there to monetize their primary business. Ultimately, we hope and believe (advertisers) will look for people who allow them to operate in the market with as much flexibility as they can.”
One built-in benefit for Adform is its expertise working across multiple European countries. Consequently, scale shouldn’t be an issue.
“The US seems vast,” said Baring, “but for a company that’s accustomed to the local irregularities of France, Germany, Norway, Spain and so on, advertising across Arizona, New York, Oklahoma, etc., is actually a much more homogenous market to approach.”