As part of the latest push to boost ad tech capability, Reach also announced the creation of a dedicated in-house Ad Tech Workshop, which will sit in the Commercial division and focus entirely on commercial product development - both for in-house use, and to license to other publishers.
Reporting into Reach Group Digital Director Terry Hornsby, the Ad Tech Workshop will be made up of developers, testers and product managers, and will expand to enhance and grow Reach’s innovation of digital products and publishing tools.
According to Reach, the move is the latest in a series of early ad tech successes for Reach, beginning in late 2019 with Mantis - an AI-powered brand safety and contextual tool spearheaded by Terry and developed in partnership with IBM Watson. Terry later established a small team to develop Reach’s Plus products that offer a unique approach to customer matching, and developed Ocean, Reach's first party data platform.
Both Neptune and the Ad Tech Workshop come as part of Reach’s wider Customer Value Strategy announced in 2020, which has fast-tracked the company’s efforts in bolstering their data and technical capabilities, with a target of reaching 10 million registered customers by the end of 2022.
Terry Hornsby, Reach Group Digital Director, commented: “At Reach, we were among the first in developing our own digital tools to solve problems facing both advertisers and publishers.
“Being ahead of the curve on first party data has given us a great opportunity to continue to experiment and innovate.
“This latest investment in our in-house workshop and the Neptune platform underpins our approach - trying new things, finding new opportunities for growth, and taking our destiny into our own hands. When we need a tech solution, we roll up our sleeves and create it.”
Piers North, Reach Chief Revenue Officer, added: “Reach’s unique position as a publisher of this scale gives us a fantastic window into consumer behaviour and interests, together with the ability to apply this knowledge in real terms to the products we develop.
“Continuing to boost our ad tech capabilities will set us in great stead as we look to the future. The ad tech landscape is at a pivotal point this year, and I’m thrilled for this team to play a big part in shaping it.”
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