Earlier today I went to Yahoo’s unveiling of it’s APT platform. Brian Morrissey, digital editor at AdWeek, was in attendance and his write-up is here. I was quoted:
Eric Porres, chief operating officer at Underscore Marketing, said Apt could help make finding targeted audiences easier for agencies, but the advances will mostly be felt on the publisher side, which should get higher rates for remnant inventory. It remains to be seen if Apt will really address agency needs, he said.
“This sounds very publisher driven,” he said, “but it’s the agencies and advertisers that are the money machines.”
What I meant by this (we had a longer conversation…only so much space for quotes) is that for something to be called so revolutionary by Yahoo, I expected a more sauce around how this integrated system solves agency and advertiser operational friction points within the buy-sell arrangement. The agencies and the advertisers hold the purse strings, and the agencies in particular (and any in-house planning team at the advertiser level) live day-to-day with all of the operation friction generated when developing an online media plan. Certainly from a product road-map perspective Yahoo needed to pick a path of development and clearly the opportunity as they saw it was to help the newspaper consortium increase RPM (and therefore contribute to Yahoo’s street-driven bottom line). But for those of us who have to deal with RFPs, negotiations, IOs, and trafficking, APT doesn’t immediately solve any of the systemic problems for agencies and advertisers. To that end, I’m really excited by what the folks at Centro are up to with their Transis solution. From what I have seen thus far they are the first company (although there are others…DoubleClick, Atlas, etc.) to correctly design technology (beautiful UI as well) that solves operational media planning problems.
So, we’ll see if Yahoo’s APT system ultimately becomes another option to what Google & DoubleClick are up to and/or Atlas and Microsoft with respect to planning, buying, serving, and optimizing online campaigns.