Mastering the closed web means more than supporting brands that want to buy media from many closed-loop platforms. It means having the ability to collect and use the data to the brand's advantage. Margo Kahnrose, CMO at Skai, which rebranded about a year ago from Kenshoo, believes the company has mastered the closed web, but the long-term goal is to connect marketers to any marketing channel from its platform.
“We began to make headway in areas like Amazon,” she says. “We started in Amazon Sponsored Ads and expanded to support Amazon’s DSP too.”
Kahnrose says companies should rebrand when in a strong position, not as any kind of “Hail Mary.”
When a company rebrands, it’s not just about changing the name, she says. The company must evolve the messaging and must educate the market as to why.
As Kenshoo, the company helped brands buy search media. It then transitioned to paid social.
Today, Skai helps marketers buy media and optimize campaigns across walled garden, from Amazon and Apple to Google and Facebook. Also, there are Walmart, Target, Instacart, Best Buy, Albertson’s, Kroger, Home Depot and others like Dollar General.
The company supports marketers in some platforms, but not yet others.
Kahnrose calls the actual rebrand “a surface gesture meant to reflect much biggest changes, the final bow to tie-up the company’s direction.” Prior to rebranding, the company’s “reputation was specific and niche,” focused more on social and search.
“We began to see budgets moving from the open web, programmatic, to the closed web, walled gardens. We also saw an interest in marketers moving from point solutions to multichannel platforms, using data," Kahnrose says.
The company now focuses on performance media across multiple channels in walled gardens, from Amazon and Apple to Google and Facebook. And now with Walmart, Target, Instacart, Best Buy, Albertson’s, Kroger, Home Depot and others like Dollar General, it creates an interesting space.
Skai continued to build out its platform to allow advertisers to buy media across many of these platforms. The company helps brands buy media, optimize campaigns, and experiment with different ad types and publishers and to connect and unify the intelligence across all channels, amidst the move to privacy compliance,
“For marketers, it’s become much less about the channel and more about the marketing objective,” Kahnrose says. “It’s a new positioning for the company. We have been able to follow the market. Marketing programs were very siloed, but that changed.”
At the end of 2021, Skai acquired Signal Analytics to help fill in data gaps and ensure data coming into the platform from external sources, not just based on marketing data.
When asked whether this complicates media buys by adding so many publishing channels, Kahnrose said the company never adds new options for the “sake of checking a box. We’re careful and deliberate. … There’s a formula to add each publisher. It has not felt messy or complicated.”