Management team: Diederick Ubels, Co-founder and CEO; Tim Markestein, Co-founder and Head of Client Success; Edwin Metselaar, Co-founder and Tech Lead; Martine Hammink, Head of Brand, Marketing & Creative
Why was Sage+Archer founded?
Sage+Archer is a spin-off of Mobile Professionals (MobPro), which is a mobile advertising agency that we founded in 2011.
When we started MobPro, we wanted to figure out how to help advertisers get the most benefit from consumers shifting from desktop to mobile behaviour. Back then, that didn’t seem too logical, but the world has changed. We couldn’t find any platforms that could deal with mobile location data and mobile advertising IDs in a proper way, as we didn’t have anything like a cookie within the mobile app ecosystem. Also, there was no real creativity. The ads that were used didn’t really function, and you couldn’t do smart, rich media things in-app. So, we decided to look at building and developing a tool that could help out with these challenges. And that was a pretty big chunk of our business – having our managed DSP service, where we offer consultancy and creativity on top of the tech that we developed ourselves.
We connected that tool to all the big mobile inventory, and also the more standard SSP inventory and sites. And were pretty successful with it. But, at one point, we saw clients wanting more and more access to the platform, versus us managing their campaigns. They wanted to have more operational elements, more transparency, and really wanted to be in front of the actual platform. So, we decided to create a platform that would also be suitable for self-service. That also meant we had to redesign our platform.
Then we started thinking about how we really like programmatic, but hate all the mumbo jumbo and all the features that are only in there for winning a nice award case, but no one actually uses. So, we began to think about what you actually need to run proper campaigns, whether there was room for another DSP in the market, and what our strength could be.
What do we have huge experience in? Location-driven campaigns. Everything on mobile with location data, combining that with creativity, and showing relevant ads in relevant places at the right times. That was where we built up huge experience.
At the same time, the development of digital out-of-home connected nicely to this location play. So, these two elements were pivotal in our decision to create Sage+Archer with this function in 2019.
Why the name?
Sage is the wiseman that understands what is actually needed. It’s our academic side. It’s the side that understands the market, and is always looking to have the right information in the right place by embracing new technological opportunities and existing research on consumer behaviour. We make choices using our experience from running all these location-driven campaigns, and different dynamic ads, as well as the facts.
The Archer is the one that shoots with its bow and arrow, and has the skill to do that. It’s the technology, the programmatic part. It’s a bit more pragmatic, the part of us that wants to use the knowledge and wisdom we’ve acquired on the ‘Sage’ side to deliver practical solutions. It’s the more “cool” side of our business, which delivers solutions to benefit the market and our clients.
What does Sage+Archer do?
Sage+Archer is a DSP focused on location-driven campaigns around digital out-of-home and mobile. If you look at our proposition, we help clients create location relevant campaigns, answering when and where they should be present, and support that with creative work.
Who are Sage+Archer’s customers and partners?
We have the traditional media holding groups, like Omnicom, Publicis, Dentsu, and IPG Mediabrands. That’s one big group that we service mostly on the digital programmatic side, but sometimes on the specialist out-of-home side.
The second group is digital agencies – so, agencies that have a digital footprint. And the third group is clients that in-house their media buying. That’s clients that are already doing search, social etc., and this could be an additional channel they add to the mix. The platform has a role in making this world of digital out-of-home accessible to them as well.
What makes Sage+Archer so special?
We have a strong focus on accessibility. We call it ‘real programmatic’. We work really hard on creating an infrastructure that allows any buyer to instantly – in real-time – start buying digital out-of-home. So, it’s ‘real programmatic’ digital out-of-home. None of our competitors do that.
The other one is our creativity – creating fantastic, relevant ads is something that really sets us apart. We consider the location of the screen, and combine that with insights on how visual attention works. Taking into account all of the conditions surrounding an OOH ad – location, time, audience – we design ads that capture attention, and deliver the right message to consumers.
Due to our strong technical expertise, we’ve mastered the technology to develop these dynamic ads, and are able to provide the necessary support on these creative campaigns.
We also hear that our service levels are great. The platform is self-service, but when you need help with something, we pick up the phone and solve the issue.
How are you making the lives of your customers better?
We make it truly programmatic, which gets a lot of the issues out of the way, and really makes the buying data-driven. The goal that a lot of our customers have is to use the programmatic infrastructure to buy at the right time in the right place. Because of the infrastructure we’ve built and the accessibility we offer, you can use your datasets and start buying across all the various media owners whenever you want.
Our clients also want to be relevant, and have the highest impact when they run their campaigns. That number goes up in terms of effectiveness whenever you use data to be more exact about when and where you run, because you have more targeting and less waste.
On the creative side, when you show relevant elements in the right time and place, the impact of your campaign goes up tremendously as well.
How are you making the industry better?
What we spend a tonne of time on is helping clients that expect to have a real programmatic experience. That is how we make the industry better and more profitable. We provide them with that real programmatic experience, thus adding more revenue for the whole industry versus just shifting revenue from one channel to another. We’re doing that because we make that infrastructure as real-time as it should be, and accessible for anyone to use. You don’t need to be a big player that knows who to call to negotiate a deal and to get a campaign live.
We make sure that all media owners are constantly available, constantly ready to trade, and ready to participate in the programmatic landscape. We make the industry better by creating this always-on traffic flow in a real programmatic infrastructure, and that means we drive more revenue.
We also standardise rich media formats for out-of-home and mobile, which makes it easier for any buyer to start using them, and create more impactful campaigns.
Why should someone want to work for Sage+Archer?
We’re really product-focused, and very much open to initiative. The product focus means that we develop in-house. We don’t pay money to a development agency somewhere; we hire our developers ourselves. We have a really experienced team in this realm.
Our focus is always on creating great products. I think that product-led teams have a specific DNA versus sales-driven organisations that just go out to market with a product that someone else has made. Given that we are a product-led organisation, whoever works in the organisation – whether it’s on the operational side, the creative side, or the sales side – is always thinking about how to improve the product, and we can actually improve the product. That’s a tonne of fun, because everyone is part of the same journey. That brings about a culture that is really about being better at it. We are always looking for the strategy that works best for clients, and how we can get that into the product. That culture drives a lot of value to the market, and people tend to like the open, transparent, direct way of working for us.
Why should a business partner with Sage+Archer?
Because we have a truly great product, and pride ourselves on honesty and integrity.
Within this new channel of programmatic digital out-of-home, we’re ironing out any of the hiccups you might experience. In markets like the UK, there’s a lot of debugging still going on. If you don’t have the tech skills to solve that, you’re going to have a rough experience trying out programmatic digital out-of-home. So, businesses should work with us because we know how to solve problems, and we can not only tell you about the promise of programmatic digital out-of-home, but also make it happen.