multilocal talks ad curation, contextual’s great comeback and what it all means for mobile

Founded in 2019, multilocal has quickly established itself as a leading light in ad curation and the streamlining of the programmatic ad buying process. Here, Mobile Marketing talks to mulitlocal CCO Dan Owens about the company’s offering and the exciting new category of curation.

Mobile Marketing: So Dan, tell us about multilocal and your role within it please

Dan Owens: We are an ad curation specialist that acts as a single point of contact for our clients’ marketing efforts. We remove geographic barriers and streamline the placement of programmatic ads, increasing our clients’ effectiveness and efficiency. I am the Chief Commercial Officer and I look after a number of the business’s various strands. One element of my role is working with brands and advertisers to help simplify programmatic buys –  something that’s core to multilocal’s offering. Another element involves partnering with publishers around the world to help them leverage our unique demand brought in through our global sales efforts.

MM: Where does multilocal fit into the overall marketing mix?

DO: We’re getting to the point where everything is going to be traded programmatically, even more ‘traditional’ media like outdoor advertising. I believe multilocal slots into the ecosystem at the point of digital activation. It’s very heavy on the workload of traders to set up and optimise programmatic deals, and that’s where we come in. We realise its complicated and we realise programmatic should be simplified, so it’s at this stage that we step in to help buyers and sellers.

MM: Programmatic on mobile is still in its infancy in terms of perfect execution, but how important is mobile to multilocal’s strategy?

DO: Desktop used to have the lion’s share of the captive audience when, in the not-so-distant past, everyone had a PC or workstation. But when you look at the way audiences have migrated, and how publishers are monetising their inventory, you’d be hard pushed to find a publisher that has less than 50 per cent of their audience on mobile. The result is that mobile is fundamental to multilocal’s strategy, simply because that’s where the eyeballs are. Regardless of the platform – whether on an app or a browser – that’s where people spend their time, and that’s the medium through which marketers need to work hard to communicate effectively.

MM: multilocal is known for being a curation specialist. What are the differences marketers need to consider when curating audiences for mobile, rather than desktop?

DO: It’s important that people understand that in general we don’t see a difference between these channels. Curation is about finding the right place for brands to get their message across, be it on mobile, desktop or any other channel.

MM: How do the death of the third-party cookie and the rise of contextual play into all of this?

DO: With the death of the third party cookie, we’re seeing less reliance on some of the measurement tactics that marketers have become accustomed to using in recent years, and I think we’re seeing a seismic shift, as context becomes increasingly important for brands, advertisers and publishers. The rise of ad exchanges allowed a scattergun approach when targeting audiences with programmatic buying techniques, relying heavily on data. The challenge is that, thanks to privacy and consent laws, these techniques now have an ever-shortening window to work in, and the result is, marketers are returning to contextual targeting.

Contextual targeting is nothing new in advertising. Print advertising, for example, has always been about context. But the value of association has been overlooked with digital, largely because it’s so measurable. Now, however, we’re seeing a big swing back towards the language of context because people are starting to think, ‘where does my ad sit, how is that going to impact how people consider my brand, and what does it mean for where I should be advertising?’ That’s where multilocal steps in, because we create the environment that is ideally suited to those brands, and deliver against the campaign KPIs. 

MM: How does multilocal help brands tap into contextual, search and first-party data on a global scale?

DO: Our insight is a key area that allows brands to scale around the world. We have a deep understanding of the right context and publisher mix, regardless of market or geography. That has allowed us to do some really interesting things both with brands in-market – so within their country of operation – and also within the outbound sales side of things, where brands are looking to advertise in markets in which they don’t have so much experience and expertise.