Adtech firm RTB House launched its AI Marketing Lab in May as part of its plans to expand its research and development across broader marketing areas.
Explaining to The Drum why RTB House is launching Lab this year, Daniel Surmacz, chief operating officer of RTB House says the lab represents larger investments for the company and an opportunity to develop game-changing solutions for the industry, as the adtech industry for the combined UK and US markets is estimated at US$34.3bn and still growing, while brands are also spending 16% of their budget on marketing and advertising technology.
While he notes there are many companies joining that race, Surmacz argues only a few can make a real difference and wants RTB House to be included in that narrow circle, based on its previous work for clients.
“Last year we implemented deep learning based algorithms in 100% of our campaigns, becoming the first retargeter worldwide to use this technology that extensively. Working for the biggest brands, on the most demanding markets, necessitates constant development and progress,” says Surmacz. “AI Marketing Lab is our next step to mark our presence in the world of martech solutions and yet another occasion to challenge the reality.
"We are currently at the stage of developing the structure of the unit and team building. The first-year budget for the AI Marketing Lab is planned at US$5 million.”
RTB House will separate the Lab from the main research and department division, to allow it to focus on creating an environment for inventing and developing new adtech solutions.
At the initial stage of its Lab operations, it will look for improvements on the sides of both publishers and advertisers. In addition, it wants to create an environment for inventing and testing innovative ideas.
One improvement RTB House wants to make, is the effectiveness of acquiring new traffic by advertisers, says Surmacz. For example, he points out a couple of years ago, it was all about mobile as a new traffic source. Now its relevance is measured by constantly growing advertising budgets and in 2018, with almost 34% share of total US ad spend, mobile will surpass TV as the leading advertising medium.
“Obviously, everyone wants to jump in this money river, but we want to bring in something more: an answer to how that money can be spent in a more efficient way. This is the kind of groundbreaking solutions we want to pursue in our Lab,” explains Surmacz.
The Lab will also focus on researching and developing new marketing solutions, non-related to retargeting to ensure they are compliant to GDPR standards, leveraging on RTB House’s Privacy by Design product development process.
“This means that each new marketing tool will be designed in a manner compatible with principles forming part of this concept, in particular, data minimisation principle. If the use of such marketing tool entail processing of personal data, such processing will be carried out based on appropriate legal basis and in accordance with applicable data protection regulations and market standards,” explains Surmacz.
What the new AI Marketing Lab at RTB House will not do however, is find ways to combat adfraud in the industry, as Surmacz notes ‘a lot’ has been done to eliminate or at least reduce the amount of fraudulent activities in the programmatic ecosystem.
“Third-party ad monitoring solutions designed to track ad campaigns and pursue consistent fraud prevention, or initiatives like ads.txt for publishers, do promote transparency, so we can benefit from it as well and focus on other areas of digital advertising,” he says.
The Drum also spoke to RTB House's India country manager Kshitiz Randhir Shori in 2017 about its plans in Asia Pacific, shortly after it expanded into the country.