Inuvo launches AI programmatic solution in Canada

The company's SSP predicts the "why" behind purchase-path behaviour, rather than the people making the purchase.

Little Rock, Arkansas-based Inuvo is launching in Canada, bringing its AI-driven programmatic ad solution Intentkey to brands and agencies here, further solving for signal loss as the cookie continues to be phased out.

Being from Canada has always made the market a next-step-opportunity for Rich Howe, CEO of Inuvo, but the adtech company had to build out the offering and its client base to justify expansion to another market before that became a reality. That, and the company is growing, Howe tells MiC.

From a signal loss perspective, Howe says “identity-based targeting is going the way of the dodo bird,” and Canadian companies are experiencing the same challenges as American ones.

As far as how Inuvo’s Intentkey is different than other programmatic media platforms, Howe says it’s about just that: measuring intent. Advertising and marketing has been built around the targeting of audiences, he adds. Targeting people, groups of people, and the categories they are interested in isn’t a viable approach going forward. Howe calls it “who”-based marketing, where Intentkey was built around “why.”

The audiences that end up on a website or media platform is less important than why they were going there in the first place, Howe says, so Intentkey’s AI algorithm was designed to predict why people are buying a particular product, not who is buying it. In turn, the software identifies destinations – websites – instead of audiences.

Howe couldn’t speak to specific clients, but did provide an example featuring a product that helps people sleep better. Traditional targeting would dictate advertisers should latch on to audiences with sleeping problems. But Intentkey analyzes the why behind like-minded purchases.

“Like a lot of products, that ‘why’ changes all the time,” but in this instance, Howe says Intentkey was able to hone in on a particular sub group: owners of short-nosed dogs (like pugs and bulldogs) that have trouble breathing. They snore a lot. They keep their owners up at night. That was their “why,” Howe explains, and Intentkey is able to action that data, in turn placing ads on OTT, CTV and digital locations that speak to that, or a like-minded group.

Inuvo’s Canadian launch is official as of today, and its first hires include two senior programmatic sales directors: Harminder Hayer and Victor Genova.

Hayer has over two decades of sales and advertising experience that includes Active International, IPG Media Brands, Orion Worldwide, IBM, Bell Canada and Metroland Media. Genova has over fifteen years of experience including Blue Ant Media, Connected Interactive, Rogers Media, Astral Digital and CBC.

Inuvo has also joined the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) of Canada and the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA).