AdTech Spotlight: NLogic

This week we interviewed David Phillips, President and COO of NLogic – the data analytics company that connects the dots for media buyers looking for Numeris demographics data.
Q. You’ve been at the helm of NLogic since it was spun out of Numeris as a separate data analytics company. Where are you steering the ship and how far are you in the journey?

A. We believe our industry’s going through a real transformation right now, in terms of how it operates and how it defines itself. It’s incredibly interesting because everything’s being questioned. That doesn’t mean everything will change, but it does lead to interesting discussions along the way.

Part of what’s fascinating about the industry’s journey is that the destination isn’t entirely clear. We can see some contours of the new landscape, such as increased automation, increasingly varied trading metrics and an increased focus on impact of ads and content. But the exact destination is still being plotted. So a big part of my job is to make sure we’re a ship that can be responsive and agile enough to help our industry on this voyage. I’m really focused on making sure we know clearly what our clients need and having the ability to provide that quickly. In terms of our ‘journey to agility’, we’ve made enormous progress – we’re a different company than we were 18, 24 months ago. We’ve got an internal product and development team that never ceases to amaze me with what they can do, and a bunch of really smart people focused on helping our clients. But, to coin a cliché, it really is as much about the journey as the destination!
Q. Who is your primary client base and is that changing at all?

A. We primarily work with media agencies and broadcasters, and we’re lucky enough to work with pretty much all of them in Canada. They’ve changed in lots of ways, big and small, over the years, as they should. There’s a greater emphasis on the need to demonstrate ROI, and greater pressure to do more with less. As a result, there’s a stronger desire to innovate and seek out new ways of operating.

Q. Tell me about the API for Numeris data you recently launched?

A. It’s something we think is pretty exciting. It’s the first ever API for Numeris data, and has a huge amount of potential to help the industry by allowing them to concentrate resources on high-value work. What we saw in our client research was that clients wanted Numeris data in their dashboards and internal systems, but there was no way of doing it that didn’t involve lots of time and effort. So, frustration and wasted time all around. ConexAPI links directly into those dashboards and systems, which saves a tremendous amount of time. We only launched it in October last year and we’ve already got several major broadcasters and agencies signed up, which beat our best expectations. We’re making more and more datasets available via ConexAPI based on client demand, and we’re excited to see where it’s going. We’re also really intrigued by the potential of using ConexAPI to power transactional platforms, because we think that combination holds the promise of significant efficiency and effectiveness gains for our industry. Like I said, exciting times!

Q. The digital media industry is in constant change. Have you seen traditional media influenced by digital lately?

A. Yes indeed, and I think the influence has been a good thing. I believe digital media has irrevocably shifted marketer expectations around things like campaign tracking, ROI-based optimization and mid-flight control. Those are good things for them to be looking for! And I’m seeing more and more evidence in my conversations with broadcasters that they’re responding to this in really innovative and interesting ways. A great example is what Shaw Media has been doing in terms of using return path data, a project we’re proud to be a part of. At the same time, we’re beginning to see that the reality of digital media doesn’t necessarily match up with what digital folks have been claiming. Remember when digital was all about transparency, then we find out 50% of the traffic isn’t real?

So there’s a clear recipe for broadcast to take the best of digital and combine it with broadcast’s unique strengths. We’re seeing this happen in the UK, for example, where companies like Sky and Channel4 have bolted on greater addressability onto guaranteed viewability and quality content. As a result, UK TV revenue is forecasted to jump 6-10% next year.

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