Thursday, February 28, 2013

Facebook Confirms It Will Acquire Atlas Advertiser Suite From Microsoft To Close The Ad Spend Loop

Facebook Atlas
After weeks of speculation and leaks, Facebooktoday announced it will buy the AtlasAdvertiser Suite away from Microsoft. The Seattle-based Atlas team will stay put, but Facebook plans to invest in back-end scaling and better measurement to help advertisers “close the loop” and understand how their spend earns them money.

Discussions between the tech giants were first reported by Business Insider in December. AdAge has been closely following the story and provided many leaked details, including that Microsoft had been aggressively searching for a buyer and that the price was to be less than $100 million, following previous bids in the $30 million to $50 million range. Microsoft originally acquired Atlas through a $6.2 billion purchase of its parent company aQuantive, which also owned Avenue A / Razorfish and DRIVE Performance Solutions.
Now the acquisition is official, though no price was announced.

Atlas allows advertisers to plan campaigns, buy ads, and measure their impact across the web, including on Facebook and other social properties. It can handle search, rich media and in-stream video, and display ads, and offers APIs for programmatic control of big campaigns.

Facebook will gain a huge slew of clients from the deal, but and many advertisers who already work with the social network will gain a more holistic view of their marketing campaigns. By combining Atlas data with that from Nielsen and DataLogix, Facebook hopes to give businesses a way to see exactly how their Facebook ads drive on and offline spend and brand lift.

You can read the full announcement here, and we’ll have more analysis soon.
We’re pleased to announce that we have agreed to acquire the Atlas Advertiser Suite from Microsoft. Atlas is a leader in campaign management and measurement for marketers and agencies. We believe this acquisition will benefit both marketers and users, and we’d like to explain why.
Today’s marketing environment is much more complex than it was just a few short years ago. Marketers and agencies struggle to understand how their efforts across different channels complement and strengthen each other. Consequently, they are forced to adopt siloed marketing strategies for each channel, leading to poor and inconsistent end-user experiences.
This challenge also provides an opportunity. If marketers and agencies can get a holistic view of campaign performance, they will be able to do a much better job of making sure the right messages get in front of the right people at the right time. Atlas has built capabilities that allow for this kind of measurement, and enhancing these systems will give marketers a deeper understanding of effectiveness and lead to better digital advertising experiences for consumers.
Many marketers that advertise on Facebook today use Atlas, and Atlas has been an approved partner for measurement since June. Today’s agreement brings us closer together in a way that benefits both Facebook and Atlas’ agency and marketer clients. Atlas clients should not see any change to the service they receive today, and we will continue to innovate and invest in the Atlas platform.
We plan to improve Atlas’ capabilities by investing in scaling its back-end measurement systems and enhancing its current suite of advertiser tools on desktop and mobile. We will also work to improve the user interface and functionality with the goal of making Atlas the most effective, intuitive, and powerful ad serving, management and measurement platform in the industry. Ultimately, Atlas’s powerful platform, combined with Nielsen and Datalogix, will help advertisers close the loop and compare their Facebook campaigns to the rest of their ad spend across the web on desktop and mobile.
Our belief is that measuring various touch points in the marketing funnel will help advertisers to see a more complete view of the effectiveness of their campaigns. Acquiring Atlas will be an important step towards achieving this goal.
Atlas is based in Seattle and the team will continue to operate from there. Our Seattle engineering office already drives important parts of our ad system, and we plan to substantially invest in and build out our Seattle engineering and product teams. We look forward to further building out the Atlas platform to help marketers better understand how well their campaigns perform, and to help them optimize their campaigns.
We look forward to welcoming the Atlas team.

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