Deals 3D: Exchanges Emerge to Marry Supply and Demand

Group buying is growing up…and growing more complex in the process. It has long-outgrown the Groupon-and-the-seven-dwarfs phase and has added new layers reminiscent of other, more mature digital sectors, expanding into vertical niches, attracting media companies and necessitating aggregators. Now, as deal originators seek scale and publishers look for relevant offers to serve their audiences, an exchange layer is forming to marry supply and demand sides of the ecosystem.

At Deals 3D, Tippr CEO Martin Tobias, Analog Analytics CFO Oliver Gratry and HomeRun Founder Jared Kopf debated the drivers of sustainable exchanges that can operate as important connective tissue in this complicated network.

Tippr offers a white label for publishers, while also serving up its own deals across 17 markets. It has since developed software to combine both elements into a deals marketplace. Analog Analytics focuses singularly on white-label technology for hundreds of publishers, with an added syndication layer to increase scale. Kopf calls HomeRun’s Offer Engine an “integrated inventory management platform.”

Each, however, has different twists on the exchange model with different impetuses moving the flywheel. With 70 in-house Tippr sellers, Tobias ardently believes that “you must provide some level of unique inventory yourself.” Gratry counters that Analog’s pure technology platform is what allows publisher partners to optimize scale. Kopf seems to fall somewhere in-between, seeing value in using sales as an early pipeline filler, but not creating any preferential economic terms for HomeRun’s sellers.

Where all three come together is in the need for exchanges to leverage deep transactional data to establish correlations that can lead to smarter deal and audience targeting. Analog Analytics aggregates partner data to educate its customers in each market. Tippr inputs publisher audience and deal history into an algorithm that creates “deal rank.”

Increasingly, exchanges can also optimize deals for merchants by supporting publisher white and black lists and offer run periods (or “windows”).

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