AdExchanger.com: How do you see XA.net's integration of the Facebook API differentiating itself among others in the marketplace?
RL: Many of the companies who have solutions in the marketplace are approaching it from a search perspective, or are new companies and are providing a point solution. We come from an audience-centric mindset and think that increasingly, smart advertisers will be thinking about their audience holistically, across multiple marketing channels. Our focus will be on robust testing, workflow, and optimization, and then integration with other marketing initiatives and reporting/analytics systems. As is our usual approach, we build things first, release them to advertisers and then talk about them afterwards. We'll iterate on the product very quickly and incorporate client feedback.
Overall, how do you see Facebook impacting display advertising?
From a sheer audience scale perspective, Facebook is already huge -- we've summarized some data about it on our blog -- but the dynamics of how audience attention in the system is focused and distributed is different. Whereas various bodies like the IAB and OPA are figuring out how to make larger, more impactful or intrusive display ad units (which we believe is important too), there is a need to also focus on smaller real-estate ads like Facebook has and how those can work as well. Access to social/connection data may be on the horizon, but even before that we see this as a big learning opportunity for brands/advertisers.
Why build optim.al, your creative optimization solution? Isn't XA.net's solution more in the buying?
The underlying technology we have built we like to call "PlatformX" - and the systems that we operate branded CPMatic.com and optim.al sit on top of our base technology. We see buying audience-based media as our business, and our technology components help achieve that - we have creative partners in various areas that help us accomplish that (e.g. BoostCTR is doing some great stuff on the copy creation side), and you'll see us empowering other technology vendors and companies in various spheres to help get the right ad in front of the right user regardless of where and when that might be.
By John Ebbert