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Media iQ bridges the buying and strategy gap

The global analytics technology company is helping brands dig deeper into what they want most: rich consumer insights.

Media iQ believes advertisers are sitting on a huge bank of untapped potential.

The global programmatic buying platform isn’t just talking about the inherent power in great creative, the strength in a strategy-focused media plan or the reach of real-time bidding. For Media iQ, there’s a huge opportunity for mining data on the back-end of the programmatic buy.

With offices in 12 cities around the globe, including New York, Toronto, London and Sydney, and working with clients across the advertising spectrum, the analytics technology company that specializes in actioning insights into media planning and buying has a wealth of data at its fingertips, says Alfie Atkinson, managing director for Canada.

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Media iQ’s Toronto office of 21 works with brands to test new innovative buying technologies.

“Brands are paying millions of dollars to run programmatic advertising campaigns,” he says. “And they might be successful in terms of ROI and click-through rates, but they’re also getting incredible insight into their own business that they didn’t have access to before.”

Through its nature, programmatic buying amasses plenty of audience information. And while that’s useful for planning an immediate campaign, Media iQ believes it’s also valuable in planning for the future. The company offers its data and insight services as part of its base package, Atkinson says – a differentiating factor in the increasingly crowded programmatic space.

“Everyone in the market is running ad campaigns programmatically, one way or another,” says Chris Aleppo, Canadian operating manager. “Good results are table stakes. If you don’t drive the results your clients want, you’re not going to build a business. But brands are working with both media agencies, like Carat and Mediacom, and insight firms like Deloitte and Accenture, splitting their budgets across the different expertise. We fit in the middle.”

Atkinson points to Media iQ’s recent work with Avis. Like most car rental firms, Avis struggled with high breakage rates – people who reserve a vehicle but do not pick it up. The brand charged Media iQ with mining its programmatic data to help decrease breakage by 1%.

Media iQ married information from the brand’s most recent campaign with geographically-led audience car preference information – what cars people were searching for more generally and where – as well as Avis fleet info, and discovered a nugget of insight: the cars available in different Avis locations simply didn’t match what people wanted to drive in those cities. Media iQ suggested tweaking the brand’s fleet management system to marry the cars with the actual online preferences. Media iQ also identified that bad weather negatively affected pick up. Based on the custom audience targeting built around these two insights, the company was able to increase airport average order value by 33%, bring down the cost per acquisition by a third and up the usage of “pay now” options on bad weather days by 56%. Overall, ROI increased 15 to one – five times the initial target.

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To help provide sales lift during bad-weather periods, Media iQ worked with the car rental co to identify search patterns in its customer base.

The programmatic buyer is constantly iterating on that insight technology, Atkinson says. Its Bengaluru office in India is its largest, with more than 250 data scientists and engineers tasked with mining data and perfecting the software. Its Canadian office, while smaller with a team of 21 staffers, has become a hotbed for innovating and testing new product launches.

For example, one of its most popular products tested in Canada is the digital video ad product, which allows brands to run digital ads in real time alongside TV spots. This gives clients the opportunity to run additional complementary material or even reactionary content – such as a response to a competitor’s campaign – to the linear commercials.

More recently, Media iQ unveiled its sport-sync feature. The technology ingests live play info – like homeruns, goals and strikeouts – allowing advertisers to geo-target relevant ads to mobile devices directly following a major play across tennis, baseball, basketball, soccer, football, hockey, Nascar and golf.

It’s all part of the company’s focus on “macro” products – real-world factors that influence buying patterns, such as weather, location and time of day – says Atkinson. “We’re able to show the right message, geo-targeted at the right moment to the right audience.”

Next up, with a planned launch for early 2018, is the introduction of the company’s global AiQx platform – insight software that looks at global and local trends in the programmatic buying space. “It allows planners and marketers to tap into all the programmatic data [from around the world], with the idea that if they can tap into that data, then they can make smarter marketing decisions,” he says.

The AI-powered platform is meant to be very simple to use, he says: users search a brand name, and receive pertinent information for buying and selling media, including the closest competitors. The real-time software pulls in info from 60 million consumers worldwide, and displays data like real-time search patterns related to a brand (such as cars, luxury cars, etc. for BMWs), social media chatter and other proprietary consumer insights. For example, in Canada, a recent analysis found that 22% of people who searched Lasik MD also searched for information on Diabetes, while Tim Horton’s Googlers were also active “Trump,” “Movies” and “Kylie Jenner” hunters.

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Media iQ’s media-powered software was able to determine that Tim Horton lovers were more likely to Google Trump than other Canadians.

“Everything our company does comes back to the fact that we’re working hard to ingest huge amounts of disparate data and analyzing it,” Atkinson says. “We want to make sense of it so brands can action on it.”

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