Programmatic Company MainAd Expands From Italy To U.S. During COVID-19 Pandemic

Italy-based MainAd has expanded into the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic to support programmatic advertising and performance-based services. The company supports clients in Europe and APAC regions and has appointed Ben Segal to U.S. VP of Americas.

The goal is to carve out a new space that does not exist today, Segal said. He has plenty of experience to do it, having previously served as VP of sales and programmatic partnerships at advertising-technology company Iponweb and holding roles at DataXu and Salesforce.

“We would love to launch into the United States when it’s not during a pandemic, but that’s not the hand we were dealt,” Segal said.

The idea came about after testing MainAd’s platform in the United States with Swarovski, and Farfetch, among others. Positive results from tests encouraged the company to expand.  

“We felt the ability to optimize the outcomes and take on one-hundred percent performance campaigns during this time of uncertainty would be valuable,” he said. “Especially during a time when brands want to move to a different mode of buying, get away from media and align with performance goals.”  

MainAd also has the ability to work through some of the affiliate channels. Most programmatic platforms don’t operate that way, he said, which makes the company different. They don’t operate on a performance basis because they’re algorithms are not set up that way.

“We’ll ingest first-party data, optimize and do it on a CPA basis, and then serve dynamic creatives connected to the path to purchase,” Segal said.

The company, founded in 2007, also plans to hire ad operations, business analysts, sales, and account managers by the end of 2020 to support the market expansion.

The company is basing its growth projections on data from advertiser activity in APAC and the EU, where COVID-19 economic recovery efforts have been underway.

Only 19% of the company’s clients that were active in January decided to pause efforts for March and April, based on MainAd’s data. Some 40.2% of the company’s active clients increased sales between the first week of February and first week of April.

The company expects a similar recovery in U.S. media budgets in the coming months.

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