5 smart ad-tech companies you should know about

By Zoe Gross. Published at Oct 18, 2017, in Features

With the regular emergence of new, increasingly niche sub-sectors, the tech landscape is brimming with new hybrid words. These are increasingly buzzy, frequently ushered in by promising start-ups with hopes of market disruption.

You’re almost certainly aware of fintech (that’s finance + technology), and likely also biotech (biology + technology). Also relatively straightforward are the budding ag-tech (agriculture + technology) and edtech (education + technology) spaces.

But what about ad-tech?

Referring, as you may have guessed, to the place where advertising and technology converge, ad-tech is the umbrella term for the technologies that come into play in delivering, controlling and targeting digital advertising.

Ad-tech companies are effectively intermediaries between advertisers and publishers, adding value to the ad delivery process by offering precision targeting capabilities at scale as well as automating workflows.

Closely related (and often overlapping) is also mar-tech – marketing technology – whose ecosystem consists of the tools that manage marketing processes, workflows, digital content and customer analytics. Mar-tech covers all elements of the marketing process, from CRM platforms, SEO and SEM, down to creative work and design.

These two intertwined markets cover a diverse spectrum of companies that vary in size from heavyweight players like Google and Facebook, to still-obscure start-ups. But each makes up a part of an industry that’s heavily competitive and increasingly crowded.

With myriad companies vying for funding and visibility, establishing a niche or point of differentiation has never been more important for these companies.

Below are five ASX-listed ad-tech and mar-tech companies ­that should be on your radar.

However, investors considering these stocks should take their personal situations into account and seek professional financial advice before making an investment decision.

  1. TechMpire

Based in Perth and Toronto, TechMpire (ASX:TMP) provides performance-based online and mobile marketing solutions, with reach to consumers spanning over 180 countries.

TMP delivers cost-per-action (CPA) advertising for some of the world’s biggest brands, with promises to deliver new users regardless of where they are in the digital universe. TMP’s clients including Facebook, Samsung, McDonalds, Lyft and Alibaba.

A major point of difference for this company is its proprietary ad-tech platform, nxus®, which tracks the entire consumer journey — from the moment the user clicks on an ad, through to the achievement of the advertiser’s goal itself, as with a purchase or any kind of conversion.

Advertisers only pay when their pre-defined form of conversion is achieved, reducing the risk often associated with ad spend.

This platform launched in 2014 and has been generating steadily growing revenues, displaying a considerable edge in the CPA marketplace via automation, quality and scale.

  1. Crowd Mobile

Crowd Mobile (ASX:CM8 | FWB:CM3) is a global mobile entertainment and digital media company that monetises mobile products through its own proprietary technology platforms, which in turn leverage digital influencers and social media channels.

Central to CM8’s focus on mobile technology are its key Crowd Mobile divisions: a Q&A (‘question and answer’) platform and a mobile payments network, built by CM8 and its predecessors over a 15-year period.

Alongside these core business streams, CM8 has also launched a new division called Crowd Media, which taps into the burgeoning digital influencer advertising market.

While CM8 is still an early stage company, it’s cash flow positive and leverages a highly diversified revenue base, supported by 212 telco partners in 64 countries and 30 languages.

  1. Invigor

Invigor Group (ASX:IVO) is a big data solutions technology and digital solutions company, providing end-to-end business solutions with Wi-Fi analytics, consumer engagement, real-time pricing and market intelligence.

With technology that both measures and influences the consumer purchase experience, IVO is about ‘turning insights into revenue’. The user will get insights into market activity, such as competitor pricing and consumer behaviour, as well as enabling consumer engagement through content and digital real estate.

IVO links data to long-term business outcomes and sales uplift in a cost effective way, helping clients to identify growth opportunities and ultimately become more profitable.

And it clearly knows what it’s doing — across its products it boasts a range of major clients including Treasury Wine Estates, GNC Live Well, The Good Guys, Moet Hennessey, Manly Wharf, and Epson.

  1. iSentia

Isentia (ASX:ISD) is a cloud-based, software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions company which began as a small Australian business in the 1980s and now operates in 18 offices across Europe, the Asia Pacific and the US.

ISD provides companies, industry bodies and governments with media intelligence and monitoring services, in an effort to make more informed and timely business and communications decisions.

Its flagship communications platform is Mediaportal — three modules that work together for a ‘comprehensive media intelligence software solution’ that markets itself as being accessible anytime and anywhere.

  1. Adslot

Australian ad-tech firm, Adslot (ASX:ADJ), is focused on automated guaranteed media technology. The core idea? To bring supply and demand together at scale to efficiently automate the trading of premium digital media.

ADJ centres on three key technology platforms. Publisher is an integrated and automated self-serve sales platform that streamlines premium display ad sales; Media is an automated ‘guaranteed’ platform enabling advertisers to transact guaranteed premium ad sales directly with publishers of their choice; and Symphony is a trading and workflow platform for media agencies, bringing more automation to campaign operations.

ADJ has offices in New York, London, Shanghai, Munich, Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland, and its clients include some of the biggest brands in digital media such as News Corp, Fairfax, BBC, and The Economist.

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