Mario Diez is currently the CEO at PointRoll, the leading multi-screen digital advertising technology and services company that advertisers, agencies and publishers turn to when they want great creative, robust ad delivery, exceptional results and a consultative partner to help them build once, publish everywhere, and measure everything. Diez has previous experience at New York Times, Centro, and Datran Media, after which he launched Aperture. The Makegood recently spoke with Diez about the re-launch of PointRoll.
The Makegood: As part of the PointRoll re-launch, the company is reminding people that “creativity is not a commodity.” Could you elaborate on this, and the company’s ability to achieve a unique level of Dynamic Creative Optimization?
There have been a number of amazing innovations in ad tech in the last few years. The most notable has been in programmatic media buying and the expanding use of data, which has reshaped that side of the industry. One unfortunate side effect has been the marginalization of creativity. People are so enamored with the efficiencies they can generate through better targeting that they can forget how crucial the right message — the right creative execution — still is.
Our clients are digital creative pioneers, and our relaunch serves to remind people that creativity in advertising is at least as important to the success of any campaign as the media on which it is served. Creativity is not an interchangeable black box of bits.
It’s no secret that our world has gone from targeting Men 18-35 who make $75+ with a few messages, to a more fragmented and targeted approach — using a variety of data points that may add up to that holistic target. The conversation now is around what’s different about the message, offer, and even the imagery of your communication. How can you best reach each of the different targeting options?
Just look at the numbers of a typical media plan of 10 partners, including a mix of site direct, programmatic and networks. Ten partners x 15 placements is 150 creative options. Now layer on a client’s own data, and that same target of “insert intender here” could be further broken down by current customer, recent customer, geolocation, life stage, etc. Consumers are expecting it now, as more and more of the communication receptivity and reaction potential are tied directly to the message’s personalization.
Executing this type of message architecture at scale can only be done through technology, which is why we’re so excited about our future with the advertising community.
The Makegood: Included in PointRoll’s new product line is the Social Engager. What does this entail, and how is this a useful tool for advertisers?
What we are learning with our clients in social environments are two simple things. First, consumers expect relevance, and they are willing to give companies their time if the message and offer are right, or if the consumer gets something of value in return, such as new information. Second, while all ‘advertising’ is an interruption, the smaller the interruption, and the more the advertising format looks and feels like the rest of the consumer’s environment, the better.
Ultimately, our social suite of tools aims to help advertisers understand what the next stage of communication can and should look like on these platforms.
Of course we can talk about the incredible data that is available for targeting in social channels, combined with the vast scale of those audiences. But I’ve yet to see social be a plan’s only line item. Ultimately, we believe these tools will help answer some tough questions — for example, is social engagement driving performance in other channels, or is it the other way around?
The engagement numbers we’ve seen in social channels have been remarkable. Our clients have been exceptional partners as we have taken this to the next level.
The Makegood: Could you discuss the three key ways in which PointRoll’s current digital ad innovation manifests itself?
Everything we hear from our clients comes down to three key areas:
(1) Data: There’s a lot of it, and it comes in many flavors. Using that data to inform real-time creative delivery, optimization and relevance is our top goal.
(2) True Responsive Delivery: Communication needs to respond not only to data, but also to the device and the environment. And we’re not just talking about responsible html5 ads. Are you in a different mindset when you hold your phone vertically vs horizontally?
(3) Strategic Services: It’s been a honor to work with our client base. They push us, we push them and there’s so much more ahead. There will always be a need to help clients, agencies and publishers operate faster and innovate together. Self-serve tools are important, of course, but they’re not for everyone. Between our walls we see a range from the simplest creative to work that has never been done before. Using a combination of technology and strategic services, we will continue to support these advances.
The Makegood: To uphold to its commitment to creativity, PointRoll created a new logo, a new primary positioning and message, website, and new examples of sales materials. What do you believe this will add to the success of the company? Why were all of these changes necessary?
PointRoll is now fourteen years old. The world has changed since we launched. The industry has changed. The technology has changed. We have an all-new, energized executive team, and a broader range of solutions and services than ever. People know PointRoll, but — while our A-list client roster continues to grow — not everyone knows THIS PointRoll.
The relaunch gives us a chance to recharge the brand and to make our outward appearance match the incredible advancements we have made to our technology and team.
The Makegood: What do you see in the future of PointRoll? What do you want to accomplish for the company?
A relevant ad for every consumer. We’re on a mission to build technology and services around that goal. If, as you read this, you feel as passionate about that as we do, let’s talk.
The Makegood: Thank you, Mario.