Match Media Group, a leader in online dating services, reaches 62 million users globally across a portfolio of 40+ sites and apps, including Match.com, Tinder, and OKCupid. We chatted with Andy Everson, Global Director of Programmatic Advertising on how Match Media Group approaches programmatic and what buyers can expect next.

1. What does Match do as a great content leader?
Although Match Media Group’s portfolio of sites are not content destinations per se, millions of people visit our properties daily with a discovery mindset, searching for something new – a new match, a new social connection or a new experience. As our users are introduced to new brands in their daily interactions, brands benefit from the direct connection with a highly engaged audience, ultimately driving viewership of their message further downstream.

2. How does Match think about programmatic?
Our goal is to ensure we have technology in place to allow clients to seamlessly and effectively reach their target audience, through their preferred buying channel. Programmatic is a core component of our business strategy. We have found tremendous organizational efficiencies in implementing programmatic solutions and are focused on maintaining the inventory quality buyers rightfully expect from traditional direct buys with the speed of activation associated with programmatic. As such, we’ve invested in building out a strong programmatic sales and operations team. We’ve also implemented technology to deliver a compelling offer for our partners.

3. What are some unique offerings you’ve built, in terms of PMP, 1st party data, or other opportunities?
Match Media Group sits on what we believe is the highest quality user data available in the industry. Our core competency is understanding people; whether it’s demographic (e.g. age, gender, etc.) or behavioral (e.g. interests, activities, etc.) data to help fuel our algorithms and recommend the best possible match based on their input.

Similarly, marketers work closely with our team by sharing their target audiences. We then segment these users leveraging our first party data to showcase relevant products to the best match. Whether it’s an adult beverage client looking to reach adults who enjoy alcohol, an athletic apparel brand looking for people who regularly exercise or a leading CPG client targeting parents; the depth of our data is uniquely positioned for any client request.

Programmatic is a core component of our business strategy.

4. How important is the partnership with your exchange partners?
Imperative. This industry is constantly evolving; which, as a result, makes identifying key decision-makers across the buy-side ecosystem more difficult for publishers not staffed with an army of sellers. We are constantly communicating with our exchange partners to share learnings, best practices, contacts and industry trends across the ecosystem. In doing so, we’ve seen a healthy spike in our knowledge of the buyer lumascape that has helped us to better prioritize certain feature requests in our product roadmap.

OpenX’s buyer development team has helped us facilitate meaningful relationships with agencies and advertisers. Through OpenX Private Marketplaces, we’ve seen a significant revenue boost over a short period of time.

5. What’s next for Match, and what can buyers expect in 2018?
In 2017, we invested in infrastructure like holistic reporting tools, restructuring our UI to add high-viewable ad slots to centralizing our 20+ years of data into a singular DMP. Furthermore, we’ve made significant investments with seller education to raise the level of data-driven discussions we have with marketers. In 2018, we’ll continue this investment and work more closely with marketers with interest in understanding who their customers are on a 1:1 basis. Whether it’s site-level activation, overlaying CRM data, post-campaign analytics or even licensing, we want to be the partner clients think of first when they are taking a people-based marketing approach.