PHOENIX – Just as someone clicking on an ad doesn’t necessarily lead to a sale, someone visiting a web page doesn’t necessarily lead to a new customer. Such metrics must yield to better indicators of potential business outcomes, according to Xaxis North America CEO Matt Sweeney.
“The reality is even in 2019, we still have big-brand marketers and people spending lots and lots of money measuring click-through rates or landing page visits. That kind of stuff,” Sweeney says in this interview with Beet.TV at the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting.
About four years ago, Xaxis invested in its own artificial intelligence platform called Copilot. Even though demand-side platforms typically offer great data and technology, “to provide advantages for our clients we had to go even further.”
Copilot was designed to augment DSP’s so that marketers and agencies can “find the metrics that matter most to their business,” Sweeney says.
“What we’re looking at is huge data sets that you can lift from a DSP, log-level files where with machine learning you can look at all this data and look for those multiple touch points. The multiple variables that lead to a better engagement for a client.”
Thus informed, buyers can be smarter about “how do you bid in a very, very competitive marketplace and find more people like those people that engaged with a customer and led to a successful engagement.”
Across all verticals, Xaxis uses what it calls “a custom outcome indictor” to find the best proxies for digital media success. “Stop looking at things like click-through rates and landing pages and start looking at things that drive to a better business outcome,” says Sweeney.
While Xaxis services mostly GroupM clients working with MediaCom, Mindshare and Wavemaker, it also has a direct team whose clients include so-called direct-to-consumer brands. Those tend to seek to combine brand marketing and performance.
“That’s what’s most exciting is very often you have sort of a brand KPI or performance KPI. But a lot of these DTC guys, they want both. We’re learning a lot and we’re driving great results for our partners in that space,” Sweeney says.