ClearPier CEO on Data and Innovation in Canadian Digital Advertising

ClearPier has been making waves in the news recently after a string of new partnership announcements with big name publishers including, American Media Inc., Demand Media, and SheKnows Media.

Four years since its founding in 2012, ClearPier has become one of Canada’s leading premium marketplaces and boasts an impressive 2.3 billion exclusive monthly impressions. In the past two years, it’s doubled in size, incorporated Blyk Media into its core in-app and mobile sales division, and opened a new office in the heart of Toronto earlier this year.

As Q4 draws near, we sat down with one of the driving forces behind ClearPier, CEO, Sunil Abraham, to talk about the company’s raison d’être and the impact ClearPier will have on the future of the Canadian advertising landscape.

Q: HOW DID CLEARPIER COME TO BE?

clearpier-ceoSunil Abraham: ClearPier was founded by Jignesh Shah, our CTO, Steve Melles, who is also the Director of the Globe Alliance and Business Development at the Globe and Mail, and me in 2012. But like many great ideas, the concept behind ClearPier was originally just a casual thought born out of frustration.

After more than a decade of buying media in the performance marketing space, we were still struggling to overcome the issue of ad fraud. As billions of dollars were being poured into digital in the 2000s, rampant fraud also ballooned.

In addition to fraud, we also took issue with the lack of transparency that existed in digital with regards to pricing, performance, and placement. What was the point for advertisers who were overpaying for placements that delivered poor results? Meanwhile, publishers saw their margins shrink as more layers in the traditional ad stack were being added into the media buying process.

Something needed to be done. So ClearPier went from being just a concept into a company with a radical mission: to completely solve the problem of ad fraud that plagues digital media buyers, everywhere.

Q: THERE SEEMS TO BE A MISCONCEPTION THAT CLEARPIER IS JUST A PROGRAMMATIC PLAY. CAN YOU CLARIFY?

Sunil Abraham: From standard offerings including rich media, interstitials, video and native, to performance and programmatic solutions, and finally branded custom executions – ClearPier does it all, with exclusive audiences.

The advantage with ClearPier is that our clients get higher performing campaign results with simple solutions. What many brand advertisers don’t know is that we do branded offerings with precision and at scale. Since we have strong one-to-one relationships with our publishers, we’re able to work with our publishers directly to create branded executions that are tailored to the right audience for our clients. The benefit in that is we can offer clients more demand, more control, more efficiency, and more insight without sacrificing creativity. We’re not just a trading desk, we are a comprehensive premium media buying solution.

Q: HOW HAS CLEARPIER GROWN SINCE ITS FOUNDING AND WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM YOU BY THE END OF 2016?

Sunil Abraham: We have some ambitious objectives. In our pre-market phase we purchased the assets of Admobix, a Canadian DSP, to help round out our technological solution. We also acquired Blyk Media, a mobile-first company, to help shape the foundations of our in-app and mobile sales. In Q3, our focus has been video and we’re working on expanding our DMP.

We’re a technology first company which means technological innovation is something we’re constantly undergoing. For us, technology is a means to a make our client’s lives easier and we’re constantly striving to deliver a holistic media buying solution. That means making integrations simple and efficient, while offering reliable and accurate data.

Q: WHAT MAKES CLEARPIER DIFFERENT FROM ANY OTHER PMP?

Sunil Abraham: In the digital space, it’s always data that decides the winning campaigns from the rest. Quality, accurate data determines who, where, what, when and how we target our audiences and to what degree of preciseness.

And so this is the big difference with ClearPier, we offer site-level first-party audience data. Combine that with a brand-safe premium environment, and the ability to achieve the best user experience with custom executions at scale and across screens and you have a winning formula for results.

About Jenny Duong

Jenny is the head of Marketing at ClearPier, an advertising technology company and rep firm transforming the future of digital advertising. She holds a Master of Arts in History from the University of Guelph, and got her start in the advertising industry in Toronto's thriving startup scene. Jenny is an ardent story teller and an ambitious entrepreneur who also runs her own women’s lifestyle blog, OhSoLadyLike. Keep up with this passionate marketer and social media enthusiast on all upcoming adtech and martech events by visiting the ClearPier blog or follow along on Twitter @ClearPier.

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