Recent news from the CeBIT 2012 front have firmly put ADmantX (www.admantx.com) on the map of online advertising technologies. ADmantX allows companies to reach their online advertising targets more effectively by providing precise, real-time information about the content of a web page as well as blogs and social networks. Using semantic technology, ADmantX offers an increased visibility of web content and conveys the feelings they transmit to readers.
Luca Scagliarini, the company’s CEO, spoke to us about the current challenges in display advertising and about the ADmantX ad targeting solution works.
Otilia Otlacan: First of all, congratulations for the great news from CeBIT! ADmantX has received the European Seal of e-Excellence – what weighed the most in bringing you this award?
Luca Scagliarini: Thanks, we are proud that our solution for contextual advertising has been recognized. Our win confirms the importance of innovative technology products for advertising. The market has started to value deep content based targeting and I think that our semantic based web service offers the richest and most accurate data to drive effective online ad campaigns.
Otilia Otlacan: What do you see as the biggest challenges in today’s display advertising?
Luca Scagliarini: Brands today are too often exposed to a less than optimal or even unsafe experience in being matched with online content. Comscore reports that $12.4 billion in online advertising is wasted each year when 31% of ads are never seen because consumers scroll past them, 4% of ads delivered to geography where the product is not available, and 72% of campaigns on sites are “not brand safe.” The risk is that brands will start thinking about whether the investment really provides a return.
Otilia Otlacan: Where does ADmantX fit into the display advertising landscape, what are your strengths and where would you like to improve?
Luca Scagliarini: We focus on the content of the page without using any cookies or behavioral tracking. We analyze the content and return the richest set of data that forms the basis for accurate targeting. Our web service returns 4 channels of data including topics (based on an IAB compliant taxonomy), feelings, intentions, and entities (e.g. people, places and things). The granularity of our taxonomy together with our unique capability to identify the feelings and intentions expressed on a page are very valuable for brands. In addition, we offer the possibility to mix and merge these elements to create new matching algorithms (we call them “admants”) that are specifically designed for the brand who is running the campaign. For example, a new smartphone might want to target content related to feelings such as “modern” and “success”. ADmantX can return the content related to “success” independently whether the keyword is present or not because the semantic understanding of the content helps to really identify the mood of the page.
Today we work only on text but we are developing procedures to analyze all page elements including picture and video.
Otilia Otlacan: I’ve played a bit with the tool on ADmantX home page (www.admantx.com), that shows a real-time contextual analysis of URLs and found it eerily accurate. How do you do it, can you share with us some of what drives your semantic intelligence technology?
Luca Scagliarini: ADmantX leverages deep linguistic analysis and the vast knowledge embedded in its semantic network to analyze and arrive at the context. We perform the most accurate disambiguation of the meaning of words having more than one meaning (e.g. is jaguar an animal or car? Is Apple a fruit or a company?). The technology uses all the information in a sentence, paragraph or page to answer which of the alternatives is correct. What is interesting in the work is to recognize that words themselves do not contain context but the words around them determine or point to the context. As we like to say “You will know a word by the company it keeps”.
Otilia Otlacan: Could the ADmantX technology be used in conjunction with standard contextual advertising solutions, such as Google AdSense?
Luca Scagliarini: Yes, absolutely. The tags extracted by ADmantX can be passed to Google Adsense to increase accuracy and therefore CTR. We are now testing this feature with real publishers and the results are very encouraging. Soon we will be able to publish official metrics about it and I am sure that (publishers and Google will like them.)
Otilia Otlacan: What metrics does ADmantX use in determining the success of a campaign; do you think that the CTR is slowly but surely becoming obsolete?
Luca Scagliarini: I think that CTR will remain a metric that is valid for a certain set of campaigns. However, using CTR to measure a brand campaign is, in my opinion, wrong as it measures only one dimension of the impact of the campaign on the user.
Otilia Otlacan: Can you tell us what does your typical publisher look like? Are you open to the long tail or will you remain premium only?
Luca Scagliarini: We target all publishers. This is why we have invested in an open public interface (http://webservice.admantx.com) and from the interface publishers can easily sign up for the service.
Otilia Otlacan: Is there anything else that you would like to share with us?
Luca Scagliarini: I ask all the readers a favor; access www.admantx.com and start playing with the product and then please send us an email to let us know what you think.