Interview with OPS Europe Keynote Dr Mark Grether, COO, Xaxis

What's your new direction? Discover your path at OPS.

Sept 20, 2011, Köln

in Partnership with dmexco 2011

AdMonsters OPS Europe event on Sept 20 in Cologne has an incredible lineup of speakers on the agenda, including keynote Dr. Mark Grether, Chief Operating Officer, Xaxis. AdMonsters caught up with Dr. Mark Grether to discuss his keynote address ‘A New Direction Forward’, what Xaxis can offer premium publishers and the future of the digital advertising industry.

How does audience buying differ from the more familiar practice of buying space based on content?

Audience buying provides the ability to accurately target specific audiences across the full range of addressable media over traditional buy practices, fundamentally changing how brands engage with consumers. This new process focuses on taking into account both the audience and content, not just content alone, recognizing the importance and value of the customer.


How does Xaxis improve the ability of advertisers to connect with consumers?

Xaxis helps advertisers connect with their target consumers through it’s proprietary database that houses the world’s largest pool of audience data, reaching more touch points across the universe of addressable media (including display advertising, mobile devices, addressable video, digital out-of-home, paid social media, etc.) than any other in the industry. Not only does Xaxis help advertisers connect with consumers, they help connect them, more importantly, with the right consumers.


For the typical consumer, what is the benefit of clients buying audiences instead of content?

Audience buying allows the ads consumers see to be much more relevant to their likes and interests. This practice decreases the volume of irrelevant ads that they see, thus improving their overall digital experience.


What impact will an increase in audience buying have on publishers and media owners?

Xaxis frees media buyers from having to navigate the complex and highly specialized digital marketing environment of DSPs, ad exchanges, ad networks, optimization tools, data suppliers, etc., allowing them to manage all of these moving parts through a single coordinated approach. This delivers them highly targeted audiences with greatly reduced waste.


What was the impetus for launching Xaxis? How are advertisers benefiting from working with Xaxis? Through the intelligent application of data and technology, Xaxis allows advertisers to reach their key audiences precisely and effectively, without the need for individual audience members to all congregate in the same online or offline spaces. Furthermore, Xaxis eliminates the expense of wasted ads delivered to the wrong audiences. All of this leads to more cost effective media spend and significantly improved campaign performance.


AdMonsters was fortunate to have our OPS Markets conference a week after Xaxis was announced and Jakob Nielsen introduced us to the concept. What has been the reaction of the industry over the past 2 months?

With the direction that digital advertising and marketing is heading, the creation of Xaxis was a natural evolution in this quickly changing industry. As leaders in this space, Xaxis has set the bar for the future of this market and people are watching closely and with curiosity to see what kind of strides we will be making in the future.


Can you share some of the numbers of Xaxis? What is the volume of impressions or ad spend that Xaxis is responsible for? How do you see this growing over the coming months/year?

In 2010, while operating under GroupM and the Media Innovation Group (MIG), we ran more than 4,000 campaigns for 400 clients around the world. This year, we have more than 100 people in 13 markets running a successful $250 million business. We are continuing to expand as the company grows and will be opening more offices in the coming months.


Most impressions bought through automated buying platforms are direct response/performance driven.. Will creating Xaxis allow GroupM to move more branding dollars online efficiently today or in the near future?

GroupM has already begun moving its branding dollars online thanks to Xaxis. We already have branding and performance campaigns with a 50/50 split. This is possible because we are not only running on exchanges but on premium publishers as well. In Germany, we are already seeing the split between display and video at this ratio. We see this trending in other countries as well and expect it to pick up quickly.


For premium publishers, what does Xaxis offer?

Xaxis offers a private marketplace of sorts for premium publishers where we buy inventory from them at a higher price than any other exchange could offer. These purchases come as a result of our use of data and technology to increase the value of ad space more efficiently than anyone else in the industry.


What’s next for Xaxis?

Over time Xaxis will continue to expand its capabilities within the digital industry by beginning to work in the mobile and social spaces. Eventually we will further our reach even more by focusing on making TV campaigns more efficient.

Dr. Mark Grether, Chief Operating Officer will give the keynote address: ‘A New Direction Forward’ at OPS Europe,  Sept 20 in Cologne. Register for the last remaining places – hurry before its too late!