Flite is introducing on Wednesday a new version of its cloud-based display advertising platform that allows media buyers and publishers to make real-time updates to campaigns and integrate web applications directly into online ad units.
Flite Platform 3 will enable advertisers to update their online campaigns as quickly as they can update a social fan page, said Will Price, CEO of Flite. That’s a big change for a display advertising ecosystem that typically requires days or weeks to make creative changes to an ongoing campaign.
“Why can you instantly update Facebook to millions of fans but it takes days to update in-market creative?” Price said in a phone interview. “We need to be more agile.”
Whether brands adapt their campaign strategies to a real-time mindset remains to be seen. The traditional cadence of brand advertising – fixed and seasonal – often results in static, outdated ads that don’t perform well, Price noted.
Changing that culture “is a big challenge,” Price admitted. “But the biggest customers are demanding it. The question is how quickly will those demands trickle through?”
Flite hopes its platform will speed up the transition by making it easier for marketers to update their campaigns in real time using Flite Ad Studio, a cloud-based environment that offers a component-based approach to building and updating display ads.
If a brand has a new asset that it wants to add to a campaign – a social media channel, for example, or a newly viral video – it can add the asset to the Flite Ad Studio, and the change will go live to every page where the ad is running.
Publishers can use the Flite platform to build their own ad products that feature unique functionality for advertisers, Price said. A publisher like CBS could leverage its extensive video content, while LinkedIn could add its Follow feature to display ads, Price said. Flite also allows publishers to create ad sizes or formats that are unique to their sites.
Other functionality is offered through Flite Hub, a similar concept to Salesforce.com’s AppExchange that Flite bills as “an app store for display advertising.” Currently featuring about 35 apps, ranging from social coupons to live chat, Flite Hub enables publishers and advertisers to integrate new apps into their display ads – and also to share the functionality they’ve developed. Flite offers a percentage of revenue for publishers that sell their apps on Flite Hub.
Price said Flite has about 30-40 large publishing customers, including Federated Media, IDG Enterprise, Forbes, Bloomberg and LinkedIn. “Our goal is to work with the 40 largest customers and 20 largest brands,” he said. “We’re not really interested in the long tail.”