Ad Tech Company Collective Beefing Up Its Software and Big Data

New York-based ad technology firm Collective recently moved into new offices and, in the fall, bulked up its management ranks as it competes in this increasingly noisy industry.

John Vandermay, the company’s new chief technology officer, joined Collective in what the company calls a move to increase its focus on technology and new software. Given the rampant, frothy competition in the New York ad tech scene, bringing in some new technical expertise can be a way for a company to try to stand out.

Collective developed a data engine that helps brands and marketers target their audience with ads across different devices, including television and smartphones. In addition to Vandermay, company also hired Eoin Townsend as its chief product officer this year and moved to a new, larger headquarters on West 43rd Street. The company also has offices in Boston, Detroit, San Francisco, Dallas, and overseas.

In an interview with Xconomy, Vandermay admitted he is not an ad tech veteran, but expects to put his background in software development, data insights, and Web analytics systems to work at Collective. Most recently, he was vice president of product development with Dassault Systemes. Prior to that, he was vice president for BlackBerry enterprise server software with Research In Motion. He developed a search optimization engine while working for Omniture, an online marketing company in Utah which Adobe Systems acquired in 2009. He previously developed technology at Cognos, a Canadian business intelligence company acquired in 2008 by IBM.

Vandermay says Collective wants to develop new software that offers its clients more insight on advertising across different screen formats, but without overwhelming the targeted audience. “It’s around balance,” he says. “The last thing you want to do is bombard someone with spurious, seemingly random advertisements or content.”

Collective’s backers include Greycroft Partners, Accel Partners, Samsung Venture Investment, Cox Media Group, and iNovia Capital.

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