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Martin on Adding Value Through Incrementality & Tackling the Future of Ad Tech

Magnite Team

January 26, 2022 | 5 min read

We recently sat down with Lewis Rothkopf, President of Martin, to get to know more about the DSP and why they place a big focus on incrementality in order to provide unmatched value for their clients. Lewis also shares some insights gained throughout his 23 years in ad tech and what he hopes for the industry in the coming years.

Can you tell us a little bit about Martin and what our readers should know about your platform?

Martin is a DSP that has been around for about 3 years now. We expanded our agency business a few years ago and work with a good mix of CPG, e-commerce, and retail clients. We recognized that in order to compete effectively in this crowded landscape, we needed to differentiate ourselves from our peers. 

As we took stock of some of the shortfalls within the industry, we realized that no one was really able to answer one of the most important questions clients often have, which is — is my advertising working? We find that metrics like CPA and CPM don’t really tell the full story.  While they might give you a number, they don’t give you the “who” behind these numbers. This is why we built our platform around incrementality and a philosophy that our clients have the right to understand whether their marketing is working and where it’s working, a key question we always seek to answer for our customers.

What’s your philosophy around the technology providers you work with? Can you give an example of an offering that’s added value for your clients? 

Our approach to this is simple. Rather than integrating with every SSP and every third party data provider, we determine the ones in each category who will best serve our needs. With the support of the vendors we work with, we focus on executing meaningful projects that are in our clients’ best interests and will benefit them. 

Magnite’s product offerings facilitate a faster, lower-cost connection between buyers and sellers, providing a huge benefit for smaller clients who may not be able to achieve the same advantages alone. By working with Magnite, Martin is able to deliver greater efficiency for these types of clients, which in turn benefits all parties.

How are you positioning yourselves to tackle the future of ad tech and what are some goals you’re working towards? 

The industry was thrown quite a few curveballs this year, particularly with respect to Google’s announcement about the upcoming deprecation of cookies. Martin actually doesn’t have a legacy cookie-based business that it has to defend and therefore, is well placed for a cookieless world. We believe consumer privacy and consumer-centric targeting and attribution are the key to the future, and we’re working with our tech partners to prepare and future-proof our business to best set our clients up for success. Our ultimate goal is to be the place where you can deliver a campaign without cookies, which allows you to reach incremental users, while at the same time providing insights into which areas of your marketing strategy are working and why.

What’s been your experience working with Magnite?

Quality and scale drove us initially to Rubicon Project and Telaria, and then to Magnite. Having had great experiences with both sets of companies, we were excited about the SpotX acquisition and the additional capabilities it brings us. In short, there’s nothing we can’t get from Magnite — we haven’t found anything that couldn’t be fulfilled either in terms of supply, supply quality or scale. 

It’s also worth mentioning the support, management and partnership that we get from the Magnite account team has been superb. This makes all the difference, and these points of connection matter tremendously to our clients. Our relationship has been a very collaborative one and they’re one of a small handful of vendors we’ve chosen to go deep with, a decision we’re glad we made.

Finally, can you share your perspective on the ad tech industry and where it’s headed?

The industry in many ways is still broken. Attribution is not where it needs to be. Supply and creative quality really need more love. I spent the first part of my career trying to solve these problems from the supply side and took that as far as I could. Several years ago, I made the shift to the buy side where I’m working to solve many of these challenges. 

Now, I’m entering my 23rd year in ad tech and I can say that the fundamentals of programmatic and digital marketing continue to be incredibly strong. The efficiency that marketers get from programmatic is unparalleled and yet, lots of campaigns are still executed via an insertion order. That’s a clear indication that programmatic is missing something – whether it’s lack of trust, or it still has this perception of being remnant in some buyers’ minds, or there’s just too little transparency and visibility. Until we make it simple, transparent and accountable in every case to buy via programmatic, we’ll still experience these difficulties to some degree, so I’m trying to help make that happen.

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