TRANSFORMATION IN FINANCIAL AUDIENCE DATA-TARGETING

InvestingChannel, PubMatic and Discovery Data Partner to Launch InvestorMatch 

 

Gramercy Institute recently enjoyed a discussion with three collaborative firms that have joined together to form a brand new partnership that offers notable (and needed) value to our industry. There’s no doubt that the ultimate beneficiary of this new product will be financial brands as they seek to target their distinct audiences with an extremely high degree of “certainty” and granularity. As Max Rybakov, Vice President, Product and Development at InvestingChannel (one of the three partner firms) explained, “Financial marketers finally have the advantage of reaching clearly-defined and pinpointed investors with scale on digital platforms.” This new product is called InvestorMatch. 

 

InvestorMatch is an audience targeting product that enables marketers to accurately reach users from distinct investor categories. This precise solution is designed to deliver a data-supported and ultra-granular degree of targeting capabilities to financial firms as they seek to connect with specific audiences. InvestorMatch was born out of synergy among three seasoned, well-known financial marketing and media companies: InvestingChannel, PubMatic, and Discovery Data. Each enterprise brings unique value to the partnership:  

 

  • InvestingChannel is a leading publisher group in the financial services industry connecting financial brands to relevant audiences.

  • Discovery Data tracks and supplies extensive financial professional profile data to the financial services and insurance industries (including 40,000+ firms and over 2 million professionals).  

  • PubMatic is a leading digital technology platform that delivers revenue to digital publishers as a sell-side platform for agencies and advertisers. 

 

Bill Wreaks, Chief Analyst of the Gramercy Institute recently sat down with Max Rybakov, VP Product and Development at InvestingChannel, along with Craig Katz, EVP at Discovery Data and Alex DeSanctis, VP of Audience Solutions at PubMatic to discuss how this partnership is providing value to the financial marketing industry.

 

 

WREAKS: Craig, let’s start with you. Please tell me a little bit about what it's like to be a marketer at a financial brand today. What are some of the specific challenges that financial marketers are facing? Are these new challenges? 

 

KATZ: Financial marketers face daily changes and challenges. Marketers are finding it increasingly difficult to engage advisors. Advisors, make decisions much differently than they did in the past. The financial marketers succeeding today are acting strategically and thoughtfully about their target audiences, messaging and outreach plans. We have moved so far away from a one-size-fits-all model–every customer has access to an overwhelming amount of options and information available to them. It is essential for brands today to have a deep understanding of their target audience, and to tailor products, refine marketing messaging and implement a consistent & effective marketing plan to be most impactful.  

 

WREAKS: OK. I get it. So, if financial brands need to understand audiences on a much more granular level to compete, tell me how your new product, InvestorMatch, answers this need for these financial brands. Max, in other words, why is InvestorMatch so valuable to financial brands? 

 

RYBAKOV: That’s easy. The key word here is certainty. The value of InvestorMatch is that it provides certainty that financial marketers are reaching the exact financial audience that they are intending to reach. So many data products currently out there are essentially black boxes that rely on third-party providers making self-serving assumptions. For example, if you were to go to some other registries to see which third-party segments that you as an internet user fall into, you would almost certainly find yourself classified under multiple (if not all) ages, genders, income brackets, and interest categories because of the inadequate standards that most data providers employ. 

 

The beauty of InvestorMatch is that it derives its data from first party sources. For example, through our close partnership with Discovery Data, the advisor user-data emanates from official records like federal and state regulators, industry associations and a series of vendor partners to ensure accuracy. Our data is cleansed on a consistent basis to create what we like to think of as the “gold standard” for user-targeting. You see, it is not based on an assumption, but rather on dependable verification. Our “digitally-engaged financial advisor” target, for example, taps individual records that are sourced directly from government-mandated registration and license numbers issued by the FINRA. Data doesn’t get much more pure than that.

 

WREAKS: Max, you mention that you believe your new product is the new "gold standard" in financial marketing. That's a big promise. Tell me why InvestorMatch is such a big idea? 

 

RYBAKOV: It’s strange to think that getting exactly what you think you should would be a revolutionary idea, but when it comes to purchasable data, it seems like it actually is. We contend that InvestorMatch is going to be the “new standard” because it will induce transformative discussions between data providers and marketers about substantiating the true value that buyers are receiving when they pay for audience targeting.

 

WREAKS: Like all good ideas, a successful new product answers a specific need. Alex, talk to me about the specific need InvestorMatch fills. 

 

DESANCTIS: I am glad you asked—because this is important. Today, the increase of consumer privacy regulations from tech companies, along with the changes of automation across an increasingly fragmented media landscape, create both challenges and opportunities for marketers. With viewership moving to multiple devices, and new formats emerging and evolving at an accelerated pace (like mobile in-app and CTV) marketing-alignment complexities are greater than ever before. Generic off-the-shelf data can add additional cost without delivering much value at all. Buyers are often forced to sacrifice quality for scale, eroding campaign performance and return on ad spend. InvestingChannel’s InvestorMatch delivers an end-to-end solution for audience addressability, automation and efficiency at scale with data privacy at the core.

 

WREAKS: Great. Thanks, Alex. So the effectiveness of InvestorMatch is pretty clear. But what about its efficiency? Given the abundance of data products available on the market, did you develop this product to be cost-efficient to the financial marketer? Meaning, at the end of the day, does this product make sense from an ultimate ROI standpoint? Max, what’s your thought?

 

RYBAKOV: Absolutely. This was designed with efficiency in mind. Due to the wealth of verified data that we have on financial professionals and other investors, which includes a high level of demographic segmentation, we have configured InvestorMatch to be an affordable entry level segment to purchasing financial audiences at scale and with certainty. What’s more, we have seen that now that advertisers are delivering their messaging to the actual audience they intended to reach, there is significantly better performance.

 

WREAKS: When I think of this partnership, the word "synergy" comes to mind. Meaning, this partnership seems greater than the sum of its parts. From what I know of your backgrounds, and the companies you each respectively represent, it seems to me that each partner brings a specific level of expertise to the table. Can you tell me about who brings what to the party? Craig, you go first. 

 

KATZ: Sure. Discovery Data is relied upon by so many firms across the financial services industry to drive their sales, marketing, data management and strategic planning efforts. This reliance is based first and foremost on Discovery’s ability to deliver the most accurate and robust contact and demographic data in the entire U.S. financial intermediary marketplace - every registered firm and professional. Our role in this partnership with InvestorMatch is to essentially certify for buyers that they are using the most substantiated data to inform their targeting strategy for advisors and agents. That’s us.

 

WREAKS: Alex? What exactly does PubMatic bring to this party?

 

DESANCTIS: Thanks, Bill. Programmatic has become a central part of financial marketers’ strategy as it creates workflow efficiencies and improves on targeting for performance. Advertisers also want to be assured that their campaigns are viewed by humans in a brand-safe environment. When you use clean, verified audiences from Discovery and InvestingChannel, we can identify who and when to reach those investors within the open programmatic market when they are most likely to be receptive to advertising. Why we are important to this partnership is that PubMatic delivers the highest quality omni-channel inventory to agencies and advertisers, allowing buyers to use their preferred DSP. This brings buyer flexibility, quality and scale to the party. Together we believe that a unified approach will deliver the most efficiency and value across the entire ecosystem for financial marketers.

 

WREAKS: How about InvestingChannel, Max? What’s your specific role in this partnership?

 

RYBAKOV: InvestingChannel works on a regular basis with both Discovery and PubMatic on a variety of business endeavors, so when we identified this market opportunity - it made sense for us to leverage our existing relationships to get this product off the ground. One of IC’s biggest objectives moving forward will be to reach out to the advertisers who could best benefit from this product to demonstrate the effectiveness of this data offering to them.

 

WREAKS: Would you call InvestorMatch a game-changer for our industry—or am I being too dramatic? Five years from now how prolific do you anticipate this product will be?

 

RYBAKOV: I suspect that in five years this will be the only way that marketers will be targeting financial professionals and retail investors through programmatic pipes. With the upcoming browser changes and “death of the cookie,”  the addressable population of users on the internet will be substantially reduced and the price for reaching a user who you can identify will go up dramatically. Given that kind of environment, I believe that marketers will no longer be able to justify throwing away money on users who they cannot confirm fit their target profile.

 

WREAKS: Gentlemen, I look forward to continuing to monitor the success of this important product and of this highly-synergistic partnership. Thank you for this meeting.

Alex DeSanctis, Vice President, Audience Solutions, PubMatic

Alex is responsible for leading PubMatic’s global audience solution’s business. In this role, he provides leadership across multiple dimensions – strategy, sales, customer success, marketing, and team development. By holding media and technology leadership roles for nearly 15 years, Alex has built audience based solutions for some of the world’s largest direct-to-consumer brands. Prior to PubMatic, Alex was Senior Vice President at addressable media platform, Medicx, and Vice President of Sales at Time Inc, helping their largest global advertisers execute cross-channel marketing strategies.

Craig Katz, Executive Vice President, Discovery Data

As Executive Vice President, Craig assists with developing the company's overall strategy, oversees the company's Partner Program and is responsible for key client relationships. Craig has 20 years of financial services industry experience in business development and management. 

Max Rybakov, Vice President, Product and Development, InvestingChannel

Max is responsible for leading both the Product Team and the Development Team at InvestingChannel. In over six years with the company he has spearheaded initiatives across a wide variety of product lines. These include projects related to Audience Data, Ad Tech Infrastructure, Subscription Marketing, Video, CTV, and many others.

Bill Wreaks, Chief Analyst, Gramercy Institute

Bill is Chief Analyst of The Gramercy Institute. Based in New York City, GI is an industry think-tank focused on the intellectual needs of senior marketers from major financial firms. The Gramercy Institute is the largest global network of senior financial marketers in the world. GI produces approximately 20 thought leadership forums and conferences in the financial services marketing space each year in Boston, Chicago, London, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco & Toronto.

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