Case Study: Parsec


Executive summary

In 2016, New York-based adtech firm Parsec approached Atlantic Leap looking for help to develop their presence in the UK. Having already gained significant traction in the States with their time-based approach to mobile advertising, the natural next step for growth was internationalization.

The aim of the project was to build Parsec’s network of publishers willing to accept demand for campaigns sold by Parsec in the UK market. Parsec’s requirement was to be able to offer the ideal targeting opportunities to advertisers across a range of publishers and audience types in the UK market.

The challenge

Publishers and advertisers have struggled with the issue of attention since the inception of digital advertising: put simply, how do we know that people are watching and interacting with the ads served by brands? Counting impressions has generally been the default metric, but increasingly this is seen as insufficient, as merely serving an impression doesn’t confirm that the ad was noticed or even fully in view.

Parsec’s answer is a time-based approach. Brands only pay for the number of seconds a consumer chooses to spend with an ad - a much more accurate measurement of attention and engagement than impressions. Time-based advertising also provides a better indication of intent -- if a consumer spends more time viewing an ad, it suggests they may be interested in the offering; then the advertiser can serve the next ad in the sales funnel as they guide the consumer toward the desired outcome.

Based in New York, Parsec began to notice that several UK publishers had already begun experimenting with their own time-based approaches to advertising. This encouraged Parsec to prioritise UK expansion. With a ready-made solution, Parsec concluded that Britain was a fertile market and a great opportunity to get one foot into Europe.

The fact that UK publishers were already investigating similar time-based approaches was both a positive and a negative, however: while it showed a need and demand, there was the risk of missing out if Parsec didn’t land and expand quickly. Speed was of the essence.

Trying to internationalise from the US to Europe is not easy for even the biggest businesses. Senior managers and partners must guide international activities, but at the same time must maintain focus on the most immediately profitable area of the business: the home market. Every second on UK soil had to count, so Parsec needed a partner they could trust to make the right connections, organise the most productive meetings and build the right networks. That’s where Atlantic Leap came in.

How Atlantic Leap helped

Initial discussions with Parsec’s team helped to establish where Atlantic Leap could add the most value, and we focused on leveraging our extensive network of publishers to introduce Parsec and persuade the publishers to accept demand.

Utilising our black book of contacts from our team’s decades of experience in media on both sides of the Atlantic, we were able to get Parsec in front of the right decision makers at the right publishers. It was an ideal situation -- we helped get Parsec to the right people faster, and had the opportunity to present Parsec as a unique new offering that could add real value for our publisher contacts.

The results

During our time working with Parsec, we helped them engage with some of the leading UK publishers and gain access to sufficient supply necessary to support Parsec’s sales momentum and revenue ambitions here. Our core targets have been the UK’s top 20 UK mobile web brands as measured by audience size, and we’ve signed the majority.

Even when an approach was declined, we’ve been able to share with Parsec the reasons for the decision. If there’s no immediate deal, there are always good learnings and market insights.

"Atlantic Leap served as a trusted and versatile resource to accelerate our international expansion,” said Diane deCordova, chief operating officer of Parsec. “They handled everything professionally from the details of UK corporate set up to the partnership strategy and access to key accounts.”

Parsec’s mission to “End CPM” is clear. Atlantic Leap’s involvement contributed to the growth momentum and speed that Parsec needed to gain faster traction in the UK, without detracting or distracting from existing US operations.