With NDA’s Summer ‘Trinity Lunch’ fast approaching, we caught up with the leaders of businesses sponsoring the event. Here, we meet Louisa Jones, UK Sales Director at Scibids…
NDA: What are the big priorities for Scibids this year?
Louisa Jones: Global growth! The past couple of years have been pivotal for Scibids and 2022 makes no exception. Internally we can feel this change of dimension through the number of new hires. In the past year we have grown from 30 to 65 individuals worldwide and within that, our data science team has nearly doubled from 13 to 22. The UK team itself has grown from 5 to 10 people. Scibids have also opened new offices in Sydney, Milan, Tokyo, Mumbai, and Toronto to name a few.
Externally, Scibids is now recognized and identified in the market as an independent, global leader in AI-based custom algorithms for ad-decisioning. We are entering product partnerships with several industry leaders such as Xandr and Google, and have received global recognition for our collaboration with beauty brand Charlotte Tilbury in the UK – as seen in AdExchanger (US pub) and MediaShotz (UK pub).
Another top priority is saving the open web! To that degree, Scibids is seeing the emergence of RFPs from big brands seeking to procure AI technology to enhance advertisers’ existing investments in adtech to make it more effective and amortize existing investments in programmatic. Scibids’ AI unifies the ad stack by making data from planning to measurement actionable in the media buying process. We’re helping ensure that spend on the open web is accountable, scalable, and privacy-friendly. Our customers want to ensure their media buying is efficient and optimised towards the unique outcomes they care about.
What are the biggest issues your clients are facing at the moment?
How to spend more effectively and efficiently with outcomes and KPIs that brands actually care about. Scibids has the ability to perform advanced optimization against custom and multi-KPI scenarios, and third-party sources of truth. Even if it’s just outcomes-based, our customers want to spend more and do so more effectively and efficiently.
Scibids prides itself on being an agnostic partner that helps agencies, brands, and ecosystem partners do more for their media budgets with AI. As a decisioning company, Scibids AI helps partners bring their differentiated assets to custom bidding creating differentiated results for long-term competitive advantages.
Are your customers/partners prepared for the ‘cookieless’ marketing era?
In short, no! Many of our customers want to better understand what adapting to Google’s Privacy Sandbox initiatives means for their business as we face the depreciation of third-party cookies. There is a lot to do here but preparing today is key. Getting off of PII as fuel for targeting is a must. Scibids’ AI requires no direct consumer interaction — we don’t need cross-site tracking or user profiling to base its decisions on. Instead, we use freely available metadata from bid requests, containing no user-level information, to create our advanced optimisation models. This is highly beneficial when decisioning for the privacy-first era and not having to rely on user-based signals for optimizations and will help our customers make the most of the ad stacks they have already invested in.
Are there any lingering after-effects of the pandemic still influencing your marketplace?
The pandemic created a rapid and dramatic change in consumer behavior, leaving marketers to rely on accountable and addressable marketing channels. Despite the overall slowdown in economic activity, we saw continued growth at Scibids — meaning the channels we’re focused on are measurable, the impact is understandable, and spend is accountable. Advertisers are done optimizing towards clicks or visits. We have seen a shift to optimize towards deduplicated conversions that are measurable in external ad servers or maximize return on ad spend (ROAS) taking into account the amount of the purchase. Fortunately, Scibids AI is able to ingest these external data sources and optimize towards these true KPIs. In that context, Scibids saw more pressure on digital marketing to be a significant engine of advertiser sales growth. We have also noticed that advertisers investing in paid display, video, and mobile media buying prioritize finding and fixing campaigns that underspend and underperform, and Scibids AI helps them do that. We’re seeing media spend increase and talking to partners in the retail media space to see how sophisticated media buying AI can help their efforts.
Are there any other noteworthy trends in your marketplace right now?
Optimizing towards third party sources of truth and measurement data such as attention metrics. Scibids AI creates the interoperability between proprietary first-party, CRM, and marketing cloud data, all the way to measurement and reporting data, such as attention metrics, to become actionable in the bidding process. Advertisers’ unique and differentiated data allows for differentiated business outcomes that grow as additional AI insights inform their learning datasets ingest additional insights.
From a personal perspective, is advertising getting better or worse?
If you’re doing right and respecting consumer privacy and utilising first-party data then it’s only getting better. Let’s look at it this way, screens and digital devices aren’t going away. So we have to take the best of what we have and move forward the right way. It’s about doing right by the consumer and if you do that as a media buyer and leverage privacy friendly AI to do so, you’ll be ahead of the curve.
Scibids is the independent global leader building Artificial Intelligence to make marketing more effective. Scibids AI supports strategic business outcomes for brands by building customizable algorithms for powerful ad decisioning that does not require user tracking and profiling.