Agency Trading Desk Xaxis Buys Audiences Rather Than Media

By on 02/14/2013 6:48 AM @

Xaxis, GroupM’s “agency trading desk,” is focused on transforming data into audience portraits.  Christina Beaumier, VP of Global Client Development at Xaxis, says, “We aggregate all of GroupM’s demand for audiences and then reach out into the marketplace to find the right inventory for those audiences.”  In this session from the recent Beet.TV executive retreat, Beaumier speaks with moderator Joanna O’Connell, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, about what makes Xaxis different from traditional media buying shops.

Beaumier explains that Xaxis’ philosophy is about gathering as much data as possible about advertisers’ audiences.  They gather data from advertisers’ websites, third-party data and other sources to create a complete audience portrait and then match that audience research to as much inventory as possible across, video, display, social, mobile (and recently radio) advertising exchanges.

Xaxis differs from traditional media buying shops in that, according to Beaumier, “your typical media buyer is buying media…What we’re doing is putting together audience plans and we’re doing audience buying.”  “Historically,” Beaumier says, “we’ve used content as a proxy for audience.”  However, she explains that today we can go directly to the audience, rather than doing guess-work about audiences based on content.

In the session, Beaumier also speaks to the readiness of advertisers to get on board with multi-screen, multi-channel and multi-format advertising.  It’s taken time for brand marketers to get on board and understand how this form of advertising can work for them, she says, but “over time we’ve found a lot of ways for brand marketers to drive value from this sort of platform.”

Megan O’Neill

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