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TechBullion Talks Sustainable Advertising with James Leaver, CEO of Multilocal

Sustainable advertising aims to combine marketing objectives with eco-friendly strategies. In an era where sustainability has become more than just a buzzword, it has now transformed into an essential business practice. In this Interview with TechBullion, James Leaver, CEO of Multilocal talks about sustainable advertising and how Multilocal is leading the race for more sustainable advertising practices.

Please tell us more about yourself.

I’m James Leaver and I’m the CEO of Multilocal, responsible for the overall management of the business, developing strategy and executing on it. I have more than 20 years’ digital media experience. Before founding multilocal in 2019, I held senior executive positions with eScribers, MailOnline and Microsoft Advertising, operating across Europe, North America, Latin America, the Middle East, China and Greater Asia-Pac. I’m passionate about my mission to simplify digital marketing for advertisers and agencies. 

What is Multilocal and what unique solutions are you offering?

We founded Multilocal to simplify the purchasing of programmatic advertising, delivering audiences at scale, across quality inventory globally. Thanks to the proprietary Active Curation process, Multilocal creates and operates PMPs that continuously adjusts and refines targeting in flight, granting campaigns the best conditions to achieve its goals.

These dynamic PMPs are also key for Multilocal’s CarbonSmart solution, that significantly reduces the carbon footprint of digital advertising. When an advertiser plugs in multiple PMPs to a campaign, even if most of them are not used, it creates thousands of unnecessary bid requests and responses, generating a significant carbon footprint. Multilocal’s curated PMP technology applies a win-rate match to every bid transaction in a PMP, eliminating the unnecessary ones. This translates into a carbon emission reduction of up to 80% for each campaign, without compromising on impressions or performance.

Could you give us an overview of the digital advertising industry and the use of technology in reducing carbon emissions in the advertising industry?

The original promise of programmatic was that it would streamline and clean up digital advertising, delivering the right audience for advertisers, irrespective of where they were to be found – it hasn’t quite worked out that way. The promise of efficiency, speed, scale and simplification, has been replaced over time with a confused, complex and opaque reality that is bad for advertisers and their budgets, bad for publishers, and bad for the planet.

Current programmatic buying strategies are responsible for millions of unnecessary bids every day, with an enormous carbon impact. Delivering just 1,000 digital impressions uses as much energy as one load of washing, and research suggests that a typical online ad campaign emits around 5.4 tons of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to 1.09 grams of CO2 for each impression. 

Our solution eliminates up to 80% of unnecessary bids (third party validated) and responses, as well as the CO2 they generate, and we offer it as part of our standard offering, in order to drive the uptake of more sustainable digital advertising tools and technologies. 

Please give us a walkthrough of your platform and how Multilocal leverages unique sell-side integrations and expertise with premium publishers to provide a best-in-class targeting solution?

The driving concept behind CarbonSmart is curation – it’s about finding the right audience for an advertiser’s campaign, amalgamating multiple data and supply sources, overlaying audience data, and targeting parameters to curate purpose-built, personalised publisher PMP deals, at scale, that can be activated in any DSP. At the same time, CarbonSmart significantly reduces the campaign’s carbon footprint.

Rather than adding to the industry’s complexity, curation does the opposite – disintermediating over-extended supply chains, and replacing them with a simplified targeting solution. Curation restores trust in the process, bringing buyers and sellers closer together, reinforcing the critical element of control, and ensuring ads only run in the environments they’re supposed to.

The other important element to CarbonSmart is continual optimisation. Most curation is built on a ‘set and forget’ approach, meaning that, once the campaign audience has been built, it remains static while the campaign is live. No campaign exists in a vacuum, it is influenced by a wealth of factors: competitive activity, global events, even the weather on any given day. So we ensure that our curated audiences are built on a dynamic PMP, so that regular data adjustments and targeting refinements can take place in flight, giving the campaign the best opportunity to deliver – usually over-deliver – on its goals. It’s what we call Active Curation.

What is the role of Cedara, the leading carbon intelligence platform, in validating your low-emission ad campaigns, and what other methods does Multilocal use to identify and reach target audiences across various platforms and locations?

We have engaged Cedara to verify and validate our results, to provide the necessary independent endorsement of our belief that curation is a vital tool for delivering sustainable advertising. Through our partnership with Cedara, we can measure the level of carbon reduction that campaigns achieve when they have implemented CarbonSmart, by calculating the kilobyte value of data transfers eliminated from the transactions, as well as their associated carbon emissions.

How does Multilocal ensure that its curation service delivers high-performing results for advertisers, and how can publishers benefit from using Multilocal’s CarbonSmart solution in their advertising efforts?

CarbonSmart delivers better results for advertisers by curating audiences, which means more effective targeting, and in turn, reduced carbon emissions, which we achieve by reducing the number of unnecessary bid requests and responses. For publishers, it enables SSPs to make considerable cost savings through the reduction of bid transactions, while delivering a more sustainable marketplace to direct clients.

Tell us your success stories, the steps you have taken to become the world’s leading curation service in the industry and how Multilocal measures the success and effectiveness of its targeting solutions for advertisers?

We have spent the last four, nearly five years developing our platform, which cuts to the heart of the issues with programmatic to both improve campaign performance, solve the challenge of scaling PMPs, whilst reducing carbon emissions. Our myriad of targeting solution are deployed in a custom fashion subject to the campaigns needs to deliver on the goals.

As for success stories, we can share one testimonial from Chris Childs, MD of the omnichannel advertising specialist and DSP, Hawk, who told us: “Multilocal Media’s uniquely-curated supply-side marketplaces enable us to drive performance across a number of different audiences. Their tech optimises data, media, and formats across a number of SSPs, giving us the most effective path to purchase. This unique solution has so far proven to deliver a high level of results for our clients.”

What are you currently working on at Multilocal, do you have any available opportunities for investors and partnerships?

We are currently working hard to exceed last years record year of significant double digital growth and will be continuing to expand into more markets, to deliver best in class curation.

Where do we see the future of Carbon-conscious advertising solutions? Does Multilocal offer any additional services or support to help companies align their advertising strategies with sustainable practices?

Sustainability is making its way on to every corporate agenda, marketing as a whole, and digital advertising in particular, is a big part of that. While our solution is aimed primarily at brands, advertisers and agencies with a sustainability agenda, it will also enable DSPs and SSPs to make considerable cost savings through the reduction of bid transactions, while delivering a more sustainable marketplace to direct clients. For too long, it’s been too easy for the industry to ignore the environmental impact of advertising because it was all a bit nebulous. But now that we can accurately measure its impact, the industry needs to start doing so, and acting on the results. That’s where CarbonSmart can lead the market. 

We are here to support our partners in their journey to be more environmentally responsible and build solutions to hit their CSR goals.

About Multilocal

Multilocal simplifies the purchasing of programmatic advertising. In the ever-growing complexity of the digital landscape, we deliver audiences at scale, across quality inventory globally.

Our integrations with eight major SSPs gives our team a full view of all inventory, which we curate along with an array of targeting solutions. This comprises publisher 1st party data, search intent, SSP, client data, and our proprietary Contextual+ solution, which is set up for the cookieless era.

Multilocal’s proprietary Active CurationTM technology refines your audience to exceed your campaign KPIs, and minimises carbon emissions created by the bidding process. Active Curation is key to efficient supply path optimisation and sustainability. CarbonSmart is a Multilocal solution that deliver low carbon programmatic to advertisers – saving 80%+ carbon on campaigns.

Founded by a team of former Microsoft executives, Multilocal has teams in 22 markets on hand to help advertisers and agencies worldwide. For more: www.multilocal.media

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