Mark Grether has held just about every marketing job you can imagine. He was an agency guy at WPP (where he cofounded Xaxis), a publisher exec in Germany, a client-side marketer in the retail industry and even a professor of marketing.
Today he is CEO of Sizmek, which was acquired by PE firm Vector Capital one year ago and just acquired Rocket Fuel for about $144 million. Sizmek contains the remnants of more than 10 companies, including EyeWonder, MediaMind, Eyeblaster, Peer39 and X+1.
"Vector and I shared the vision that there is a big [need] for an independent globally scaled platform on the demand side that serves advertisers and agencies," Grether says in the latest episode of AdExchanger Talks.
He goes on to explain that while Sizmek is well known for ad serving and creative optimization, its real secret sauce is its access to data.
"As an ad server, you sit on top of the media plan, and therefore you see everything programmatic and nonprogrammatic," he says. "You have deep insights into campaign performance."
Sizmek's data horde consists of campaign performance information, consumer insights, contextual data, creative performance data and cost data. The idea in acquiring Rocket Fuel was to bring together Sizmek's data with Rocket Fuel's AI and media execution capabilities.
"Rocket Fuel had a fantastic stack," he says. "Of course, there was a little problem in terms of perception in the marketplace. But the underlying technology, especially the AI, is not only state of the art but, I would argue, ahead of the curve."
Also in this episode: Marketing growth in 2018, German business values and the coming reckoning on privacy.