Accordant Media, an advertising technology firm angling to become an independent alternative to big-agency trading desks, is upping its data game.
The New York-based startup has launched Audience Optics, its answer to a data management platform. Data management has become an increasingly hot sector. For the most part, DMPs
have emerged outside the agency world, as specialist companies like BlueKai and Demdex
have been touting rich data expertise. But Accordant is looking to use Audience Optics as a way to differentiate in the ultra-competitve ad tech world.
“Most people in this industry are buying the same third-party data from BlueKai,” said Accordant co-founder and COO Matt Greitzer. “That’s not unique. But the ability to combine that with client data and create custom ad targeting segments is.”
Accordant claims it can ingest advertiser data from a wealth of different sources — such as internal-sales data, email newsletters, site logs and even custom research — and turn it into something useful for online ad targeting. That’s an ability that not every agency or trading desk has, argues Accordant co-founder and CEO Art Muldoon.
“This is a big deal to be able to collect insights that are organized and really actionable,” Muldoon said. “We’ve closed the gap.”
The question is, can other trading desks easily close the same gap? Some of what Accordant has built with Audience Optics is proprietary. But the platform uses vendors like Targusinfo, which helps companies identify prospects online, and also handles data management.
Other companies could theoretically build systems that also plug into data specialist firms like Targus. Just a few months ago, WPP made a big splash with the launch of Xaxis, a data-centric business that will surely maintain close ties with the holding company’s own trading desk, Media Innovation Group. Turn rolled out a DMP of its own earlier this summer.
“Being able to use offline data online is a big deal, and it’s a smart move that Accordant is first,” said a source with deep knowledge of the data-driven ad targeting space. “It’s a very natural move for a trading desk. The question is, ‘Is this unique long term?’”
So far, at least one customer is impressed. The Canada-based agency Media Experts, which works with clients like BMW, has been buying ads via Accordant since last November. The company recently began utilizing Audeince Optics.
“Accordant’s technology has basically been plug and play,” said Karel Wegert, director of digital solutions for Media Experts. “Originally we were using them as a trading desk and for data acquisition, and more recently we’ve been using more of our clients’ data. They’ve been able to accept any data we can throw at them, including offline data.”