Krux Link – A Data and Media Activation Platform Enabling Direct Marketer-to-Publisher Transactions

General Jul 28, 2016

Krux's Jon Suarez-Davis offers an analysis of how Krux Link delivers value to both marketers and publishers.

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By Jon Suarez-Davis, Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer at Krux

Transparency remains the topic of the day in the media buying space. The ANA report and the subsequent chatter it has sparked – both public and private – continues to be front and center. As such, many marketers are hastily developing new rules of engagement and enhanced commercial processes and contracts to ensure transparency between buyer and seller, and all points in between.

Following my recent post about the need for increased transparency in the programmatic advertising ecosystem, multiple marketers reached out to me to discuss the following topics: the definition of programmatic (yes, as an industry we are still struggling to align on a common definition) and more detail on how Krux Link works.

First, I believe most marketing and media colleagues subscribe to the following definition of programmatic: the process of using technology to automate the buying and selling of media and data, together or separately. Programmatic is not an objective, nor is it a strategy; however, it is a process and set of tactics that can enable more effective targeting and deliver more relevant brand experiences across the consumer journey, both common marketing objectives.

Second, while there’s universal support for increased transparency, there’s concern the technical complexity and extreme fragmentation within the digital media ecosystem make transparency difficult to achieve. As noted in my previous post, Krux Link is designed to streamline the transaction of media and data between buyer (marketer) and seller (media company) by reducing middlemen fees such as data brokers, media exchanges, SSPs, etc., along the process. The benefit is more buying power or ‘working media’ investment for marketers, and more opportunity for media companies to realize the value of their inventory and drive revenue.

So how does Krux Link work?

The short answer is Krux Link works within the following industry standard modalities: open exchange and private marketplace.

Open Exchange

In programmatic’s open real-time bidding environment (i.e., OpenRTB), Krux Link is a premium, data-driven supply source within the major buying systems, or demand side platforms (DSP), such as Google DoubleClick Bid Manager, MediaMath, DataXu, RocketFuel and more. This solution enables marketers to reach desired audiences at scale programmatically. Marketers can do this by leveraging their own data (i.e., first-party data), publisher’s data (i.e., second-party data) from partners via the Link Data Marketplace, as well as various third-party data sources to inform and buy media via Krux Link. The transaction cost is a simple and transparent $0.25 CPM charged to both the buyer and seller.

Private Marketplace

Krux Link works similarly in a private marketplace (i.e., PMP) environment. It enables data from publishers, marketers, or a combination of the two, to be used to target the right audience in predefined media environments. As with the open exchange, Link removes the platforms that sit between marketers and publishers therefore removing the costs associated with those platforms. When marketers activate Link in a PMP, they most often do it using their DSP. One of Link’s major differentiators is that it enables the transaction of premium, transparent data from the world’s leading marketers and publishers in a secure and policy-controlled environment. When data and media are combined in a single transaction directly – both sides win. This is especially true in a private market place deal where marketers bring their own data. Once again, a $0.25 CPM is charged to the buyer and seller.

Header Bidding

While not a transaction modality per se, in today’s digital media ecosystem, a programmatic solution wouldn’t be complete without header bidding. While Krux Link can facilitate a tag based, ad serving waterfall approach, we’ve extended our SuperTag tag management platform to now deploy header bidding/yield partners from our existing infrastructure. Krux Link offers a header bidding solution that includes both a data-driven header bidder and header bidder wrapper. When publishers deploy the Link header bidding solution, they get access to rich and valuable audience insights through analytics tied directly to bid-stream data from the programmatic channels which includes executing on both OpenRTB and PMP deals. Since this data is mapped to a publisher’s audience segments, it provides publishers with unprecedented intelligence that can be used to create pricing strategies based on actual demand. Since Link is open and flexible, it will work with a publisher’s existing and future vendors.  Finally, for those publishers already working with Krux, it’s a turnkey deployment of the data-driven Link header bidding solution. Our solution also supports marketer “Bring You Own Data” (BYOD) deals.

Krux Link was developed to reduce the friction in the programmatic transaction process and return value to both the buyer and seller. It’s based on a transparent model that unlocks the value of first, second, and third-party data to inform consumer insights; increase targeting effectiveness; and enhance brand experiences across the consumer journey – with an end goal to drive revenue.

While the digital media landscape is complex, marketers must continue to push for efficient and transparent models and platforms that maximize working-media investment.