5Qs on Video DSPs with Vindico GM Matt Timothy

Vindico is a demand-side video ad server platform and web analytics firm which has managed billions of video impressions for blue chip clients. The company was the first video ad serving platform in the industry, founded in 2006 as a division of content group BBE. Vindico president Matt Timothy spoke with DIGIDAY: DATA about the evolution of video DSPs and the components of a successful data-driven campaign.


Q: What are a few of the top trends you’re seeing in the use of data in video advertising?

The most profound trend is the transition from estimated measurement to the real-time measurement of actuals, from viewership and engagement to brand lift. Video advertising has been a powerful brand and business builder for 50 years, and yet its primary currency has always been estimated. With actual, real-time data, the creative possibilities compound enormously. This is a huge shift and its happening , albeit quietly, right now. The other trend that we are seeing is a much tighter coordination between the digital and broadcast departments inside agencies. Agencies and marketers are realizing that the very best laboratory for the future of video is online.


Q: What are the most important criterion to judge whether a data-driven campaign is effective?

Traditionally, video has been a “top of the funnel” awareness engine. I think the more forward-looking agencies are exploring how far down in that funnel video can play. I can tell you, with significant relief, that click-through is not the first metric our clients are using to determine success. View-through, engagement and interactive metrics are all more illuminating than a simple click-through. 


Q: How do you see video advertising evolving over the next few years?

We’re just at the beginning stages of using data to better inform campaigns. A big priority for Vindico is using our cross-client data to uncover new insights that brands and agencies can use to boost performance. In particular, we’re looking for data that turns conventional wisdom on its head and highlights the differences between traditional TV advertising and new delivery channels. We’re looking at results by time of day, week, or season, and analyzing how these results differ between mediums—online and TV, mobile and TV, and even online and mobile. We’re also doing a deep dive around frequency – there are huge opportunities for advertisers to get creative when it comes to online or mobile, and really start to improve on the repetitive, blunt-instrument approach of TV. I also see a tremendous shift happening in the space from a model where the media vendor owns delivery, to a model where the advertiser owns delivery. This is essential for new forms of video messaging to emerge and for video to reach the kind of scale that advertisers need. This is a big shift, and it will be painful for many — especially as this relatively simple medium evolves and becomes more complex.


Q: Which industries or ad categories do you think are at the forefront?

Consumer package goods companies and the automotive industry have really led the way. Both are heavily dependent on building brand and have leveraged the TV landscape brilliantly for years, so they’ve been fast to innovate. Most recently, we’ve been seeing the telcos move aggressively as well.


Q: The last word on video?

Video is the most powerful ad platform on the planet to tell a story and engage an audience. The lines between TV, mobile and online are blurring and I expect we’ll see a “video is video is video” mindset before long. We are growing aggressively and are quite bullish on the future of video advertising.


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