Q&A: Weborama Breaks Down Display Advertising’s Data Boom

‘Data’ has become a huge talking point in display advertising in the UK and Europe. Weborama’s move to acquire Datvantage speaks to the growing importance of data in an increasingly automated world. AdMonsters caught up with Alain Levy, CEO of Weborama, and Mathieu Roche, MD of Weborama UK, to discuss the importance and implications of the acquisition. We’ll be talking more about data at the upcoming AdMonsters Publisher Forum in Vienna, featuring a session by Rob Brett on how publishers can drive data value!

Why has Weborama picked up Datvantage – what benefits will the industry see from this?

Alain Levy, CEO Weborama: The value proposition of Weborama and Datvantage are very complementary. Datvantage is a data exchange, it aggregates audience segments from publishers and offers them to data buyers (advertisers, agencies and networks) to help them target and optimise their campaigns. Weborama has been operating in the data space for a long time, but concentrating on our own profiling capabilities –the Datvantage acquisition is a way to broaden our offering and to provide data buyers and sellers with more scale and a better service level.

What is a ‘Data Exchange’ and why is ‘data’ the buzz word of the moment?

Mathieu Roche, MD Weborama UK: Data is at the heart of the current transformation of display advertising that we’re experiencing in the UK and across Europe. Display advertising is becoming more automatic, more streamlined, more efficient –and better targeted. This is all driven by Data, by the promise that, thanks to Data, advertisers are able to address the right audience with the right message at the right time. A Data Exchange is a platform that enables buyers and sellers to find the right Data, the right audiences. It give buyers access to large audience segments by aggregating and categorising various data sources, and it offers publishers a way to monetise their audiences outside of their own scope. So it is really the platform than enables this data-driven marketplace to work.

The usage of data for all in the digital ad ecosystem is becoming more and more necessary and data is now beingbanded about as a digital ‘currency’ – would you tend to agree? What value would you place on user data and why?

Alain: Data is indeed becoming one of the currencies of online advertising, along with inventory; online ad investments are now determined by these two variables : what audiences do you want to reach, and where do you want to reach them. When a buyer places a bid on an ad impression in an ad exchange, it is usually made of a data CPM + a media CPM. Their respective values depends on the context: an “in-market luxury auto intender” profile might be worth more than the ad placement on which the ad will be served, while the ability to serve an ad next to a very high value context like the home page of a renowned media owner could be worth more than whatever profile information is available on this buy. And both elements might have different values for different buyers. That’s the purpose of this new data-driven ecosystem, it brings true value to buyers and sellers.

There are fears around Europe (ePrivacy) and globally about the use and misuse of user data – what are your thoughts on this and how can we be transparent as an industry and allay these fears?

Alain: The industry as a whole must do a much better job at educating the public and offering transparency and control around the collection and use of profile data. The IAB’s OBA framework is a step in the right direction and we are strongly supporting it. We as an industry need to prove that we can self-regulate, or someone else will take care of it and it might be detrimental to the growth of the market.

What should we be looking out for from the Weborama/Datvantage merger – what’s next?

Mathieu: We are going to deploy the Datvantage platform across Europe, starting with the UK where we already have strong demand from publishers to monetise audience data as well as established relationships with leading trading desks and networks. We will also work on the interconnection of the Datvantage platform with the other building blocks of the Weborama offering, namely our agency adserving platform and our media network business. Our clients are looking for more solutions to address their audiences, whether through automated channels like trading desks, or through traditional campaign planning processes, and to get this intelligence back to them through campaign reporting platforms. This is what we are aiming for, this integrated stack of solutions to help advertisers leverage technology and data to optimise their online investments.