How to reduce the scourge of poorly targeted online ads

Publisher Discovery, a provider of services for online advertisers, has received an investment of £800k from a consortium of investors led by specialist technology investor Par Equity.

Top image – Tom Bourne (CEO) and Matthew Byrne (Chairman) of Publisher Discovery at the Performance Marketing Awards Ceremony

Publisher Discovery supports the growing performance or “affiliate” marketing space by helping companies that advertise online target potential customers more accurately.

It uses AI technology to monitor millions of websites, ranking them by relevance and traffic to increase efficiency for advertisers and reduce frustration for browsers. Publisher Discovery holds two patents for its AI technology and is currently applying for a third.

Affiliate marketing is used by 80% of online advertisers, and the industry is estimated to be worth $15bn globally.

The approach is increasingly popular because, unlike with traditional magazine and newspaper ads, advertisers only pay when a customer makes a purchase.

For sellers the challenge is finding the best places to advertise. Traditionally, this has been a manual process within the affiliate marketing space. The automation offered by the Publisher Discovery online (SaaS) service is estimated to save advertisers five hours a week and also tells them the affiliate websites their competition are using.

The new investment will be used to further develop the technology, for instance to hold more data (such as the country code) on the affiliates it recommends. The cash will also support partnership deals, an important part of Publisher Discovery’s expansion strategy. The company recently signed an agreement with TUNE, the industry’s most flexible SaaS platform for building, managing, and growing partner programs for Advertisers and Networks.

The deal means that TUNE clients now have access to Publisher Discovery’s database of more than 2m active affiliates, the largest in the world.

Publisher Discovery CEO Tom Bourne said:

“Par Equity is renowned for spotting the best new technology investment opportunities and is unquestionably one of the most respected funders of early-stage businesses. It was a rigorous due-diligence process, which shows the level of detail the Par team go into when making an investment decision. The team of advisers  they made available to us means Publisher Discovery will be able to exploit a technological advantage and grow more quickly.”

Brian Marcus, Vice President of Global Marketing at TUNE, said:

“Publisher Discovery enables TUNE customers to have access to and directly connect with the largest source of relevant, high-quality affiliate publishers across the global partner tech landscape.

The combination of Publisher Discovery’s tools to find and recruit new partners and TUNE’s Partner Marketing Platform to on-board, measure and optimise the partners, will greatly improve the Advertiser’s ‘operating rhythm’ for growing and scaling programs.”

Par Equity Managing Partner, Paul Munn, said:

“Publisher Discovery solves one of the oldest and biggest challenges in the affiliate marketing industry – finding the right affiliates to recruit. Its unique approach means there is no direct competition and enables the company to work in partnership with other affiliate networks and tracking platforms.

A business that has a patented technology to support the whole online marketing ecosystem is an exciting investment opportunity for us, especially when Covid-19 means consumers are being pushed online and advertisers are demanding a quantifiable return on their campaigns.”