OTM a fully automated stack of buying and selling ad inventory
Please introduce yourself and the OTM platform to our readers!
I’m Vitaly Gerko, CPO and co-founder of OTM, a technological programmatic platform established in 2008. We provide a fully automated stack of buying and selling ad inventory, we work directly with publishers, aggregating the traffic and selling it to our own DSP platform, where we have a lot of direct clients and agencies and also to BigTech (Google, Yandex, VK) and third party DSP. We help businesses create 360 degrees advertising to reach their customers in the digital space. OTM was acquired in 2021 by VEON Ltd. global digital operator.
I have over 15 years of experience in AdTech and MarTech, leading development of tech products. My expertise spans across product management, unit economy, and paid marketing. I’m a limited partner at the True Global Ventures fund (Web3 technologies, crypto and blockchain projects) and a member of venture capital club Angels Deck, a mentor and an investor of startups Amma and Checkme.
Why did you decide to start a business?
I started my first business the same year as I graduated from the university in 2005, so, entrepreneurship has been my state of mind for a long time. My debut company was a web development and programming studio because I was interested in technologies and the growing power of the internet. When the first iPhone was released, I got highly enthusiastic about mobile apps and the AppStore. Eventually, in 2011 I joined the team of a mobile app that offered motivated traffic.
I saw the great potential of the internet advertisement because the spread of the World Wide Web was pretty fast and smartphones were becoming a common thing among all audiences. So, I shifted my focus as an entrepreneur to this sector.
What is the vision behind OTM?
OTM was founded at the dawn of the internet advertisement, and since then we have been striving to create a set of tools and services that could address all the needs of a business situated in any part of the world. Now we have a complete stack of programmatic products and a strong team of in-house experts. OTM lets its clients achieve all their advertising goals without the need to go to anybody else.
The AdTech market is constantly changing, and we strive to be flexible and offer the most up-to-date solutions. We understand that any business needs assistance in reaching its audience and it’s beneficial for both consumers and companies if they can find each other easily.
From the idea to its inception, what have been the biggest challenges so far and how did you finance yourself?
Prior to launching OTM, I ran advertising campaigns for my clients via various demand-side platforms, including Google’s DV360, Facebook and MyTarget. Through that experience I explored the approach to AdTech practiced by the global market leaders. It shaped my understanding of what features our platform should have to be an efficient advertising tool. When we started OTM, we looked for investors but, in fact, we didn’t really need them because we could invest our own money into the platform.
Who is the target group of OTM?
Our main clients are the largest brands in Russia: P&G, Unilever, Nestle, Coca-Cola, Sberbank, Aeroflot and many others. However, OTM’s clients can be situated in Asia Pacific or in the United States ― we are a global company.
How does the platform work? What are the advantages? What makes you different from other providers?
Unlike many other platforms on the market, since the very first day we’ve been building a full-stack platform that covers the full value chain by working with both publishers and advertisers. It lets us have the best control over the whole money chain between them and provide marginality on every step. Also it helps us to be flexible.
On the one hand, we can control pricing. On the other hand, for the exact same reasons we can grant discounts to our clients and provide high revenue for publishers. It makes partnering with us beneficial for both sides.
OTM has full-service and self-service DSP, DMP, several SSP, and ad exchanges, a lot of predictive and ML models which allows us to optimize traffic for KPIs and benchmarks of clients.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
We are on the verge of a new era in digital advertising. The attention economy created by tech giants, like Google, Meta and Tiktok, where users’ data, content and engagement are a product monetized by those companies is gradually coming to its end. Web3 will grant people the right and the opportunity to control their data and content and use it in their own interest, including monetization, without huge tech corporations getting involved.
It, of course, will impact advertising. I think that in five years we’ll be working with Web3 platforms within this new paradigm. It’s important for me to stay on the cutting edge of technology.
At the end: What are three trends you see in the AdTech and MarTech industries?
I agree with The Trade Desk co-founder and CEO Jeff Green when he says that the open internet is the future of AdTech and MarTech. Decentralized and transparent Web3 eliminates the issue of “walled gardens” when big tech companies create ecosystems within which they collect user data and sell it to advertisers. It’s beneficial neither for users, nor for advertisers because the former basically work for free giving away their data and content and the latter don’t know what content they support.
In Web3 people will be able to decide when they want to watch ads and learn through them about new products and services which will make advertising less intrusive. Users will decide on what data they want to share and with who. It’ll motivate brands to work with their audience more thoroughly and thoughtfully. I think that it’s crucially important to explore Web3 and what it’s bringing to the industry for everybody who works in MarTech and AdTech.
More information you will find here
Thank you Vitaly Gerko for the Interview
Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.