Bringing The Elegance of Simplicity to the Chaos of Media Planning: Infillion Media President Christa Carone on InfillionX’s Launch
A few months ago, with Infillion’s first-year anniversary as a brand approaching, our team tested the waters of the industry by hosting focus groups with agency leaders. One thing was very clear: as the ad industry advances, it’s getting more and more complicated. Incorporating a new platform into a media strategy – or even using the same platform to reach multiple audiences – often involves separate buys, often with a completely different company. Measurement capabilities are inconsistent across platforms. Creative asset management is messier. And client demands for conflicting KPIs can cause internal whiplash.
The takeaway from our focus group: media buying continues to be stressful and inefficient. Here are a few things they told us:
- “It really is a full-time job keeping up with the capabilities of what’s up and coming.”
- “Whenever you add a layer of an agency, or a tool, or a provider, or anything else outside of the bubble, then you’re adding time to market. You’re also adding the extra cost of managing that tool, or managing the contract. Because there is no paid tool that is really plug and play. You can’t unwrap it, plug it in and have it work perfectly as you want it to.”
- “[There are] too many middlemen. So it makes the advertisers feel like between me and the seller, there’s a lot of middlemen. So I’m paying a seller, I’m paying $10, but actually, for example, the New York Times will receive only $2 because the rest of $8 is being split between too many layers of technology.”
- “[One] problem that advertisers have is the disparate nature of all of the screens, and trying to kind of bring those together. So anybody that can help make that a single ecosystem, where we can extract information and utilize that for retargeting purposes, is going to be a huge win.”
We saw an opportunity to meet what the market needed. Christa Carone, President of Infillion Media, explains some of these market signals to us and how our clients’ needs influenced the creation of InfillionX, a single cross-platform media solution for full-funnel, multi-KPI campaigns.
What was the void in the market that spurred the creation of InfillionX? Was there an “aha” moment?
It was really the antithesis of a void – it was sheer chaos in the market. We heard from clients over and over about the difficulty for buyers to manage multiple plans, across multiple platforms, to optimize for multiple KPIs. We identified our strengths across the core quadrants of advertising – targeting, creative, inventory and measurement – and knew that we were sitting on a solution that would bring the elegance of simplicity to the chaos of media planning.
How was the offering further shaped by some of the brands that were piloting InfillionX?
Our clients saw the potential for InfillionX even before we did. They’d wanted the attention guarantee of our interactive engagement product, TrueX, while expanding that audience into more performative promotions that led to online purchases and store visits. And they were asking for it. Through the precision of our first-party location data along with our extensive privacy-compliant behavioral and contextual data, we were able to create audience mapping up and down the funnel, leading to conversions and loyalty.
How can InfillionX offer a solution for smaller, independent agencies in particular?
Although innovative technology has emerged to automate the advertising buying process, we’ve actually created 100X the complexity over the last 20 years due to the proliferation of data sources, content platforms, attribution measurements, creative formats and so much more. It’s messy, time consuming, operationally expensive and always evolving.
Smaller agencies bring a white-glove service to their clients, over-indexing on delivering a stellar client experience and nuanced expertise in the client’s unique business offerings. While agencies lean in to their strengths, they increasingly count on partners like Infillion as an extension of their teams – teeing us up to do the leg work in setting up, operationalizing, and measuring all aspects of a full-funnel campaign. The greatest compliment for us is when Infillion is white labeled in an agency’s list of offerings…that means that we have become a valuable asset to their team.
Your career has given you a front-line role in many different aspects of the media buying equation, from brands of a variety of sizes to publishers and more. How did this diversity of experience offer you insights into the development of InfillionX that you might not have had otherwise?
Often, innovative companies are actively pursuing the shiny new toy – finding that next great technological advancement that will radically change the way advertising operates, as TrueX did in interactive advertising, as programmatic did, and as AI may be shaped to do. However, we can have a tendency to overlook the most glaring of needs. In this case, it was clients asking us to simplify their approach to meeting multiple KPIs in a singular campaign. It was removing friction from a very frothy process.
This didn’t require massive engineering development work. It required us to look at our individual products, plus our core strengths in creative and measurement, and see that the connective tissue of our TrueTargeting capabilities could solve for multiple needs. While “solution” is an overused term in business today, InfillionX really is a problem solver. No bells and whistles required.
We Love It When Our Clients Speak Up.
Too many ad tech companies are in the business of “should” – they’re constantly telling their brand and agency clients what they ought to be doing, sometimes with little regard to those clients’ individual needs. At Infillion, a company formed from a merger during a global pandemic, our roots in total uncertainty (and we mean total uncertainty) have taught us that we never really have all the answers when we build something new. So we ask, and we listen.
And if you’re curious about what a lot of listening can get you, the result is loud and clear in InfillionX.
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