Joe Pych is a Makegood columnist and CEO of Bionic, a new division of NextMark, a company that provides tools for the media planning and buying industry. He also serves as Founder and President of NextMark. Joe recently spoke with The Makegood about his new system launch.
The Makegood: Bionic Advertising Systems launched a few weeks ago. Can you give us some insight as to how the idea came about and what went in to the development?
NextMark has been delivering media planning systems in various traditional media since 2000. We started building tools specific to digital media in 2010 and launched our first product, Digital Media Planner, almost a year ago. This has grown really quickly and has become effectively a whole new business and market for us. It was creating some confusion: old customers confused by new products and new customers confused by old products. We created the new Bionic brand to eliminate the confusion and to make it easier to understand the new products.
The Makegood: Bionic Advertising Systems reportedly combines the “strengths of humans and machines.” How so?
If you look at the LUMAscape, you see billions of dollars in innovation happening in programmatic RTB, which is really about algorithmic approaches to inventory procurement. We are fans of RTB, but we feel that the future of digital marketing goes well beyond robots and algorithms. We see a future in which machines can automate the manual processes involved in media discovery, selection, and procurement—where human creativity is unleashed with the help of machines. Instead of “man versus machine,” we believe the future is “man and machine.” Think about all of the hours wasted creating media plans and what today’s smart young digital workers could do for clients if they weren’t cutting and pasting ad tags into an ad server. That’s what we are trying to unleash.
The Makegood: This new system is integrated with a few others, can you explain the roles of the various co-contributors?
Integration is the key to delivering a complete digital advertising system. No one player can be great at everything. Even if someone had a perfect end-to-end system, they’d have an inherent conflict of interest because they’d be serving many masters with conflicting goals. As such, besides delivering the best possible media planning workflow system, Bionic is designed from the ground up for integration with partners. For example, Bionic creates a “bridge” between comScore and ad serving with DFA and MediaMind to streamline the process from research to planning to implementation. Our integrations with sell-side technologies like AdSlot, iSocket, Operative, and Yieldex will also help smooth workflow processes and deliver a complete programmatic direct solution – a seamless experience between planning and ad delivery.
The Makegood: You currently have “more than 40” ad agencies using your system. How has this product helped them most? What feature do your customers like the most?
We get a lot of praise for eliminating the worst parts of a media planners day. For example, helping media planners keep track of their sales contacts, preferred vendors, and custom deals. Instead of having to manually track down information, they get direct access to placement-level details on more than 10,000 advertising programs. Instead of using email, spreadsheets, and sticky notes, they love how easy it is to send and manage RFPs and how the proposals arrive online in their planning tool. Instead of copying and pasting into the ad server, they press a button to do all the trafficking. By eliminating all these tedious tasks, media planners get to focus on fun things like strategy and getting the best results for the advertiser.
The Makegood: How do you see this system developing further? Is it open to changes and further integration?
Absolutely! Our clients have given us tons of great ideas. Our big challenge is prioritization. Whenever possible, we’ll integrate with a best of breed partner. If nobody has a solution and it’s core to Bionic, we’ll build it. This area of ad technology is very dynamic and moving quickly and we’re running fast to stay on the leading edge.
The Makegood: Thank you, Joe