So while Undertone will continue to run as its own unit, with no management changes (Ferengul will join Perion’s senior staff), Mandelbaum expects a more unified offering a year from now, focusing on optimizing engagement for brands and agencies and on delivering branded search and unique ad formats on the publisher side.
The first big step in reaching that goal will be merging each company’s data assets. “We’re sitting on a different perspective on the consumer and consumer behavior,” Ferengul said. “So how do we put that data together to give us an interesting advantage from a data standpoint? Then how do you make sure of that to bring that to market?”
Perion’s background in affiliate search gives it a lot of intent-based marketing data. Its recent mobile-related acquisitions give it engagement data in that space as well. “Where there’s mobile app engagement, we have more reach there than Undertone – as well as in social,” Mandelbaum said. “We’re Facebook, Twitter and Instagram partners and we can use that data within their rules and regulations."
Undertone has sought to differentiate by providing elaborate, engagement-driven ad units. Its data asset includes information about what causes a consumer to engage with ads, who watches video and who is most likely to click through on a direct-response unit. “If I can understand what sort of intent the consumer has, and I know what capabilities cause a consumer to engage with an ad, I have a very elaborate view of the consumer,” Ferengul said.
Both Perion and Undertone have been acquisitive lately (Undertone bought rich-media startup Sparkflow in June), and Mandelbaum says that will continue.
“We’ll do organic and inorganic investments to help build up [the vision],” he said. “We want to be synonymous with high-quality advertising solutions.”
While Mandelbaum wouldn’t specify which companies it has its eye on, if any, he said Perion will look to accelerate in tech and data, as well as in unique ad formats. “We’re not looking to play in standard display,” he said. “We’re looking to build upon what Undertone has done, which is standout creative experiences.”
Edit: Some of the financial aspects were initially misrepresented in the article. They've been corrected. AdExchanger regrets the error.