Quality and Efficiency are the Keys

Jennifer Morgan

Collective is a leading media and technology solutions provider for display advertising. Collective delivers targeted audiences to advertising agencies, brand advertisers and publishers, through a combination of premium inventory, data and technology.

What are the most important trends you see happening in the online advertising space?

I think that the trend toward audience-based targeting will continue. We’re at a point now where we can deliver online audiences to advertisers precisely and at scale. Individual Web publishers will continue to be important, but the networks deliver large amounts of cross-site data and the technology and insights necessary for more effective advertising online.

You’ll remember in the 90s that our industry promised to put the right d in front of the right person at the right time. But the technologies, analytics, strategies and experience weren’t there to deliver the insights that advertisers have always needed to be successful. But now that’s all changed, and online display advertising is poised to become the most important advertising medium in history. Collective can, for example, deliver a video advertisement, with all the sight, sound and motion of television, directly to a targeted audience, and then deliver very granular analytics back to the client about consumers’ interactions with the ad. No other media can combine this kind of scale, targeting and measurability, along with very flexible creative formats.

This is why I believe the other big trend will be the continued movement of dollars from offline media to online.


What kind of transparency and control should advertisers look for?

Brand advertisers should only work with a 100% transparent network that in turn works only with premium publishers. Collective was built on this principle, and we continue to be on the forefront of quality — both in terms of our publishers as well as our data partners. Data quality is key as it allows us to offer our clients the most sophisticated targeting available. We currently partner with more than 13 best-in-breed data providers to give clients instant access to anonymous targeting data on over 165 million Web users — 80 percent of the total U.S. Internet population.


How would you describe Collective to people who aren’t familiar with it? What makes it unique?

Collective is a leading media and technology solutions provider for display advertising. We deliver targeted audiences to advertising agencies, brand advertisers and publishers, through a combination of premium inventory, data and technology. Our years of experience and our proprietary technology enable us to provide deep insights to our clients, which they can then leverage to reach any audience that they may be seeking.

Our flagship solutions are the Collective Network®, the original transparent network for brands; Collective Video®, the world’s first audience-driven video network; Collective Direct™ , the high quality network for direct marketers; and AMP®, the leading ad network administration, audience targeting and reach extension platform.

We’re headquartered in New York with offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. For more information, visit www.collective.com

True Blue

Editor’s Letter

In digital marketing, the sky’s the limit and the sky is blue. Welcome to the creation and launch of ideas, concepts, and conversation all encompassed in the Online Advertising Bluebook – welcome to the future!


With 400-plus ad networks plugging along and digital agencies and display ad companies catching clients like they were dew off the heather, it certainly seems that the sky is the limit.  The online advertising network is the engine that could — and will continue to chug along. In this recovering economy, the online advertising universe has taken only the smallest of hits. You can all rest easy now, right? No way. The tough climb is yet to come. As agencies get their own in-house networks up, the real competition begins. As smaller, yet successful, networks get bought by larger networks, the race for business begins. As oversight creeps into the daily lives of networks, so goes the wild-west attitude.

What all this means to ad networks, large and small, depends on who you talk to. In this first issue of the Online Advertising Blue Book, we introduce you to some of the inspirational players and the trends to look out for. Video ad networks, for example, are up and coming, yet flying under the radar — until now. Networks that deal in managing your network relationships are beginning to form. And while there is talk of an ad network bubble, some predict there is enough market for thousands of ad networks and not just hundreds.

We also talked candidly to some of the leaders at networks — those who manage ads in video games, those who deal only in vertical Web properties, and those who have seen it all and are expecting an industry shakeout. Some industry watchers are posing the question, are ad networks dying? Yes, they say, some ad networks are dying, but the industry is hardly facing extinction. Some say that the need for acquisition is obvious, and that the power to make advertisers and publishers more successful lies in the control of ad servers and ad networks.

Whoever holds all the marbles is not necessarily the winner. Witness the emergence of ad exchanges that provide direct access to buyers, making some sales forces redundant. Ad exchanges, some say, will make it easy for firms to create an ad network and then quickly and inexpensively aggregate unsold inventory. Exchanges can find cheap inventory very quickly and are efficient at doing it. It is uncertain whether exchanges will threaten or enhance the life of ad networks.

Most ad networks know they have challenges ahead. As the economy grows more robust, the networks that don’t innovate, acquire or mature will see clouds on the horizon.

Technology will become ever more important, both as advertisers and agencies demand more control and greater transparency, and as advances are made with interoperability and exchange of data between the various parties. Prices are going to be set in real-time, inventories are going to be sliced and diced a million ways, and campaign analytics and management tools are going to become increasingly sophisticated.

We have tried in this launch edition to introduce ideas and concepts; to begin a conversation. The conversation continues at bluebook.mthink.com, where if you run your own network you can claim it and fill out a complete network profile to promote your organization’s capabilities to our readers. For agencies and advertisers the web site is an invaluable resource for finding new solutions partners and tracking changes in the industry. And for publishers seeking to optimize their advertising and maximize revenues, bluebook.mthink.com is the place to learn more.

For advertiser and agency, for publisher and affiliate, for network and exchange, the future is here. The future is exciting. The future is blue.

Welcome to the future. Welcome to the Online Advertising BLUE BOOK.