Independence Matters.

A Manifesto For Independence

There is an alphabet of reasons to love Google. For many years, the company defined openness and innovation. But in advertising, Google has made a conscious decision to wall itself off from the rest of the industry. While that is Google’s decision to make, it means that an advertiser centralizing buys within their walls risks losing access to some of the most exciting advertising opportunities out there. And that’s not all they risk losing.

At TubeMogul, we believe independence best serves brand advertisers and breaks down barriers.
TubeMogul was born at the University of California at Berkeley. You might know of Berkeley as the home of antiwar protests in the ’60s, or the Free Speech Movement. But you likely don’t know that the university is where plutonium was discovered. Or that it is the birthplace of UNIX, the basic architecture of most modern operating systems.

With these roots, it makes sense that TubeMogul is known for independence. TubeMogul is a company where values guide our strategy and help us always stand for something and be brave at critical moments. Now is one of those moments.

Since such a big part of our company culture is about doing what we say, we want to make a public commitment to advertisers that we will abide by and stand up for specific principles. These principles are simple and seemingly self-evident (though not uncontroversial):

Shared Incentives

At TubeMogul, one of our key values is focus and not trying to be everything to everyone. Early on, we decided to be a buy-side platform, maintaining a singular focus on advertisers. That means we do not own media or make money from publishers in any way; our only incentive is to do what is best for marketers. More broadly, we believe that this balance between the buy and sell-side is crucial to maintaining trust in advertising.

Data Ownership

Most brands have decades (even over a century) of built-in, hard-won trust from their customers. That trust is sacrosanct, and is a big part of why brands exist in the first place. Data about customers should be stored where it isn’t shared with publishers, competitors or anyone else — in a platform of an advertiser’s choosing that only succeeds by building on that trust.

Freedom of Movement

This is a right that people take for granted every day in real life, and one that is under attack in advertising. It’s a simple concept: brand advertisers should choose where ads run, not their media partners. Marketers should be able to plan, target, buy and optimize seamlessly no matter where they are running an ad. They should not have to navigate the equivalent of an import or export ban just to ensure that their customers don’t see the same ad 20 times, or reconcile reporting.

Earned Trust

Advertisers deserve to know how every dollar gets spent and should be able to easily measure their goals. Our economic model is 100% transparent to advertisers, both in terms of fees and performance by nearly any dimension at a site-level. As important, we will always work with leading third-parties for verification, brand safety and more.

Breaking Down Google’s ‘Walled Garden’

TubeMogul's perspective paper discussing Google's Walled Garden
Google’s walled garden first piqued marketers’ attention beginning in 2014, because it represented a fundamental pivot in the collective direction of the advertising industry. Download our perspective paper now for answers to the following questions:
  • Why is Google trending toward consolidation?

  • What does Google’s walled garden mean for cross-channel advertising?

  • How does the architecture of Google’s walled garden compare to an open ecosystem? Get our handy diagram.

Get the Paper Here.

TubeMogul CEO Brett Wilson On Independence

TubeMogul CEO Brett Wilson kicked off our annual TubeMogul University event with an overview of how brands and agencies are using software to transform their digital advertising strategy and execution on a global scale.

He also discussed in depth the importance that independence plays in building a true cross-channel ecosystem.

5 Questions To Ask Google Before Choosing DBM


Can I use an independent data platform to control and analyze exactly where and how my data gets used?

Your data should belong to you, and you should be able to leverage it however you please.

In addition to the software fees I pay you, do you have a financial stake in the media/publishers?

Making money on both sides of a transaction is a natural conflict of interest.

Can I pick my exact sites, formats, devices, and audiences?

You should be able to handpick the exact targeting strategies for the exact media sources you want to buy.

Can I bring in new inventory sources or private inventory deals?

You should have complete freedom to integrate any inventory source into your strategy, no matter how it was bought.

Can I define my own metrics for success?

You should be able to decide exactly what success looks like for your brand, not compromise on performance-based metrics like cost per view.

We can’t predict the future. Or can we?

Watch the video below to find out what just might happen to Google if they continue down their current path of isolation.
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