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An Interview with Jason Young

CEO at Crisp Media

A 20-year media industry veteran, Jason Young applies his expertise in emerging digital advertising trends at Crisp Media, a provider of device-optimized display advertising and services to brand marketers in the technology, automotive, entertainment and consumer packaged goods sectors. Crisp’s mobile ad solutions include functions such as click to calendar, click to map and click to video, as well as geotargeting.

How does Crisp Media help marketers solve their business challenges?

Jason Young: We are a brand activation platform for mobile and other connected device ecosystems. In essence, we’re helping brands take their messages to smartphones, tablets and other connected devices with the promise of better ads, delivered in better environments, generating better engagements.

We do that through a proprietary ad technology platform called Crisp Engage. The technology enables us to build, deliver and measure high-engagement rich-media display advertising within connected device platforms. We also run a premium ad network called Crisp Premium Media, which allows us to take ads that are built on our platform and deliver them at scale in rich, targeted content in premium environments. We work with brands and their agency partners or publishers to create ads through our technology platform.

You were with Ziff Davis Inc. for 20 years and spent 10 of those years running the digital business. How would you characterize publishers’ biggest business challenges with respect to mobile advertising?

Young: There’s a seismic shift going on in terms of where audiences are going to get information. Having been a part of the media landscape in the 1990s when the web came onto the scene very quickly and became a significant touchpoint for content distribution, everything that we’ve seen in the mobile world has happened at an exponentially faster pace than that. Mobile is completely disruptive. If you’re a publisher thinking about how to optimize content, audience acquisition and monetization, it’s a significant challenge.

The three biggest challenges for publishers are: One, do I have the right human capital with the knowledge, expertise and dedicated time to take my business effectively into these new places? Two, do I have the right strategy that maps out exactly how I’m going to be doing this across the key areas of my business from content creation to distribution? And three, how do I monetize that with advertising?

What are the key challenges facing brand marketers with respect to mobile?

Young: We’re hitting the inflection point where top-tier brand marketers are addressing the critical need to figure out mobile. They need to understand how mobile can and should be used in an integrated suite of marketing activities. They must also understand the proliferation of specific use cases for mobile and how they intersect within the advertising ecosystem.

We love to talk about mobile as a homogeneous market, but it’s the culmination of a lot of different things. For example, what does it mean that magazines are being consumed on tablets, and what does it mean for the print ad world to extend into new digital advertising environments? What does it mean in terms of connected TV? Device-optimized ads can be delivered wherever consumers are engaging with content.

How does Crisp use eMarketer intelligence?

Young: At the highest level, we use eMarketer to understand the key trends in device adoption and the rate of device adoption. In other words, how fast is device adoption happening and how fast are marketers in different segments like auto or technology taking advantage of that? And how does device adoption look in different geographic regions—the US, Asia-Pacific and Europe? Those datapoints are really important for us in how we develop our technology platform and deploy resources in terms of activating customers.

As eMarketer goes deeper into its analysis and reporting with case studies, we better understand challenges, roadblocks and successes. It’s a barometer that we use to shape and help guide our product, as well as inform our go-to-market strategy.

Why should small or medium-sized businesses invest in eMarketer?

Young: In some ways, eMarketer is more critical for a small company because resources are more limited. You have the benefit of data that helps shape product plans and the markets you want to try to pursue. Those decisions can make or break small businesses. Having access to good data is a predictive measure for success that’s critical.

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