Online Ad Company MediaMath Launches New Unit Focused On Customer Data

There’s a lot of talk about using data to power programmatic advertising, but according to MediaMath CEO Joe Zawadzki, the reality hasn’t lived up to “all the hopes and dreams.” That’s something he’s hoping to change, partly through today’s launch of MediaMath’s new Helix business unit.

Well, not entirely new. It’s built on top of MediaMath’s Adroit Shopper Co-op, which the company acquired from Akamai. In fact, the technology has changed hands a few times — as Helix President Jacob Ross put it, “Different owners have invested in it for a decade.”

However, Zawadzki said that in the three years since the acquisition, MediaMath has been “replatforming it in a couple of different dimensions” and integrating it with MediaMath’s ad-buying tools and data — now it’s unveiling the results of that work. The company says Helix allows marketers to use anonymized shopping data from hundreds of members, including one-third of the 100 largest retailers in the US, which marketers can then use to target their ads.

“MediaMath throws off a lot of data exhaust in the way that they generate marketing,” Ross said. “We’re combining that data asset that MediaMath has with the shopper co-op to create a holistic profile of a consumer.”

Ross emphasized that this will be a “very clean environment” with reliable data. He also said this approach should reduce the manual work in programmatic advertising and allow marketers to focus on targeting specific audiences.

MediaMath has already been testing the platform with some advertisers, including Pep Boys, which praised Helix for allowing it to reach “a much wider pool of shoppers.” Pep Boys said it’s already seeing improved campaign performance.

While Helix is only launching in the United States today, Ross said the plan is to make it available to “all global MediaMath clients.”