"Most people today resort to building their own tech stack, which takes way more headcount, and way more money," said LiquidM CEO Christof Wittig. "Technology is often underfunded, because it's funded by the cash flow of a media business."
LiquidM provides and maintains ad infrastructure to its mobile ad network customers for the cost of hiring one to three developers. The approach is somewhere between IPONWEB's dev shop model and AppNexus's platform strategy, Wittig said.
"For us, the combination of RTB as a general procurement mechanism, plus the ability to position native ads within SDKs in close collaboration with publishers, that's the future," he said. "Our full stack brings together the efficiency of RTB-level procurement at scale."
But how can LiquidM – with its 50 employees – hope to compete with players like AppNexus, in light of their long experience, market penetration, and mobile investment?
The simple answer is mobile channel specialization.
"The classic marketing mix is a multi-channel expense," Wittig said. "But when it comes to running a campaign, under the hood pretty much everything is different."
He continued, "If you just talk about display-online versus display-mobile, every line of code is different -- and that includes rich media and video."
As for Orange Advertising, Stiglitz said the mobile ad net's trading desk is on a run rate to contribute 25 to 30% of the total business this year. This is a powerful achievement, he added, "considering that we were 99% direct sales, doing exclusive inventory deals just one-and-a-half years ago."
Through the transition it will embrace the use of multiple trading platforms as a unique selling point. "We're not going to narrow it down to two to three like most people do," he said.