SAS acquisition brings advanced analytics to digital advertising industry

Digital ad server technology company aiMatch rounds out SAS' integrated marketing management platform

21 February 2012 - SAS, a leader in business analytics and integrated marketing management, has acquired aiMatch, a company that provides cloud-based ad server technology to help publishers sell and manage online ad inventory. SAS' advanced analytics combined with aiMatch's technology will provide publishers with an end-to-end solution to help manage, forecast, optimise and measure ad inventory to maximise ad revenue. Current aiMatch customers include APN Digital, Photobucket, Pinger and Popcornflix.

The digital advertising market is growing rapidly. Last year $32 billion was spent on online advertising in the United States and the market is projected to reach $50 billion by 2015 1 . Despite its size the digital ad market is fragmented and lacks purpose-built analytical applications, making it difficult for publishers to effectively manage ad inventory and optimise profitability. "Digital advertising has huge potential to benefit from the application of advanced analytics," said Jim Davis, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at SAS. "Publishers lack a solution to help them efficiently manage ad inventory. Advanced analytics will help determine optimal ad pricing, audience and inventory to yield maximum ad revenue."

As the digital ad market continues to shift toward real-time bidding, SAS' ability to process and reallocate ad inventory in real-time, whether via video, mobile, display or other digital media, will be critical for publishers. Having the technology to help publishers automate sales through a variety of business models (display advertising, ad exchanges, and ad networks) and provide better audience targeting through behavioural segmentation analysis positions SAS to help meet changing market needs.

"Due to an explosion of data the online advertising industry is in desperate need of better solutions to analyse and make use of all of the new information available to them," said Jeff Wood, former CEO of aiMatch. "Publishers are actively seeking a technology partner that does not compete with them in the media space. Combining aiMatch's intelligent decision and delivery engine with SAS' analytics and optimisation capabilities provides a highly desirable solution to both of these problems."

SAS also plans to extend its capabilities to advertisers and agencies to help them make more informed decisions on where to advertise and how to optimise budgets for maximum impact.

The aiMatch acquisition makes SAS, recently named a leader in Gartner Inc.'s Magic Quadrant for Integrated Marketing Management and The Forrester Wave™:Cross-Channel Campaign Management Platforms, Q1 2012, unique in now having a fully-integrated multi-channel marketing platform with ad intelligence and management capabilities. These newly acquired capabilities will complement existing solutions in the SAS Customer Intelligence suite that focus on solving critical challenges across marketing.