Ross Caveille ContextWeb’s New UK General Manager Interview Dan Horton SEO
Inline with ContextWeb’s expansion ADSDAQ Ad Exchange to the UK, Ross Caveille has just been announced as the new UK general manager. I welcomed the opportunity to interview him:
1) What are your immediate thoughts about the newly created position ?
My thoughts are it’s great, it’s an opportunity for ContextWeb’s ADSDAQ Exchange to launch into a new market and hopefully use this as a stepping stone into additional European markets in the future. I am excited about being a part of this and hope to replicate the success over here that ContextWeb has enjoyed in the US.
2) With a mission of reaching the exchange’s audiences of UK visitors, what is your main strategy for achieving this?
As in the US we will work with large and small UK publishers alike and promote the use of the ADSDAQ Exchange’s self-serve portal. With over 5,000 publishers already in the exchange to date, we look forward to continued momentum in the UK. Also, strategic partnerships will be formed with key publishers in the UK market in order to generate sufficient reach across content rich web pages.
3) What do you hope to bring to the new role ?
Having been involved with the UK digital market for over six years I hope to be able to bring experience and knowledge of this environment plus and instant introduction to ContextWeb and the ADSDAQ Exchange with key industry figures. I am also extremely excited about establishing the Company within the UK and will be channeling this energy into growing the business.
4) With such a global audience how will you focus in your mission ?
Initially, we will be establishing the ADSDAQ Exchange in the UK and campaigns will be UK-focused so we will be working closely with advertisers targeting UK IPs. The UK marketplace is predominantly London oriented but does have a strong presence in Manchester and Leeds so these three areas will be key.
5) Your experience at Microsoft must have some influence in the business decisions that you make. What are your thoughts about their current plans to acquire Yahoo and indeed develop their market within search ?
There is a lot of consolidation happening in the market right now and this is not just specific to Microsoft or Google. However, as these two big players size one another up it is imperative that Microsoft make some inroads into Google’s dominance of search as it is clear that Google will be aggressively expanding into display. There are probably additional attractions to the acquisition for Microsoft, with mobile being a likely consideration, but I am happy for this power struggle to continue and let us focus on providing our clients with cutting edge technology and superior service levels.
6) How do you foresee the technology market evolving within the next five years ?
The UK market is a little behind the US, however, not as much as it used to be. Exchanges are a relatively new addition to the online marketing mix and I foresee that this will eventually be the platform of choice for the majority of advertisers and publishers alike. Previously and – to a great extent – currently, technology platforms are quite stand-alone and tend to not work well or at all with other technologies of a similar offering e.g. adserving tends to be Atlas or DoubleClick but rarely an amalgamation of the two. I wish I could predict the future but I would hope new technologies will be about control and mutual benefit, for all sides of the equation rather than the proprietor.
7) Currently, advertisers and publishers have complete control. Is this an area you feel will change in the near future ?
I would actually suggest that currently, advertisers and publishers do not have complete control. Often an advertiser will not have control over which page they appear on, the format that appears or the frequency in which this happens. Similarly, a publisher can stipulate which advertisers they would like or exclude certain brands but will rarely be in full control of volumes to advertiser. In both instances I am talking about advertisers and publishers that have enough scale to be represented by a third party, whether this be an advertising agency or sales house. The shift to an exchange platform does increase the control that an advertiser and publisher has in particularly if this is at the page-level which is what is so appealing about ADSDAQ by ContextWeb. I hope this trend increases in the future and control is given to both publishers and advertisers alike. Technology has a key role to play in this.
8) With such success of the business within the US market. How do you think this will compare to the UK market ?
Seeing as though we are three days old in the UK I will be in a better position to answer this further down the line. But, the minds that made ContextWeb a success in the US are fully supportive of the UK launch and I hope to be able to work as closely as possible with these people to replicate this.
9) Who do you see as the main competition in reaching the exchange’s audiences of UK visitors ?
You could argue that any vendor wishing to acquire advertising budget or publisher inventory is a competitor and indeed at some point they all probably will be. There are exchanges and contextual targeting tools available for advertisers in the UK now however each has its own platform, degree of targeting that it can achieve and USP. The general lack of understanding of what an exchange is and how to best make use of it is also something that will take time to overcome so as much as it is about gaining a foothold in the marketplace it is also important that vendors of all walks take the care and attention to educate as they grow.
Thanks very much for your time Ross.
Dan Horton SEO