eXelate CEO Zagorski Discusses New DataLinX Platform And Company Strategy

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eXelateToday, data marketplace and management company eXelate announced its new DataLinX platform which the company says "enables publishers and data owners to not only manage access to their data through a system of configurable 'plugs', but also helps reduce the website impact of pixels by monitoring site latency and leveraging 'pixeless' integrations which create connections without cookies," according to the release. Read it on eXelate's website.

eXelate CEO Mark Zagorski discussed the new platform and his company's strategy.

AdExchanger.com: What has attracted eXelate to the data management platform model?

MZ: Unlike some of the companies out there that have changed business models with every new tech trends or buzzword, helping publishers and data owners manage, monitor and monetize data is nothing new for us. We launched our first “DMP” in October of 2009 – before we even knew there was an acronym! The DataLinX launch is an update of our core management platform and the culmination of 3 years of work with nearly 100 publishers and data owners. We have always powered many-to-many opaque connections between marketers and data owners; we are now also enabling secure, privacy compliant, one-to-many and one-to-one connections as well. eMarketer and Jordan Edmiston Group project that audience targeting ALONE will grow from $2.2 billion in 2010 to $5.2 billion in 2014- the investment in our platform upgrade helps to ensure that publishers continue to profit from their first party data in multiple ways.

How will you differentiate from other providers in the DMP space?

We have taken a unique approach to the challenges that face data owners, which we believe to be connectivity, security, privacy, and monetization. First, we enable them to easily “plug-in” to any connection, because you can “model and manage” data all day long, but if you can’t put it to work where you want it, it is worthless. That’s why our Plug and Play Partners feature allows data owners to easily set up relationships with multiple partners for audience extension, audience monetization and more. Because of eXelate’s work to create “connections without cookies”, the connections are often pixel-free, with the added benefit of zero site impact. And publishers can do this under their own business terms, controlling access, transparency, latency tolerance and more. Next, we feel that these connections are irrelevant if they are not secure, and you aren’t protecting your data from theft. We are the only DMP to feature an integrated data protection layer called DataShield. DataShield enables publishers to “track the trackers” by white-listing and black-listing third party pixels appearing on their site. Publishers are often astounded to see just how many 3rd parties are accessing their audiences, and DataShield gives them the power to do something about it. Closely associated with the risks of “rogue pixels” is privacy. DataLinX enables data owners to centralize privacy functions such as opt-out and preference management so they remain in compliance with industry standards and decrease consumer data risk. Finally, we believe that the “M” in DMP needs to stand for more than “manage”. That is why we also help publishers and data owners create unique monetization channels for their data including private, secure marketplaces and media extension programs. “Plug-in, protect, profit” is our mantra.

In that you will still be in the business of selling data, how do you prevent a conflict of interest in providing agnostic, DMP services?

On the contrary, we believe our experience connecting hundreds of partners and delivering massive volumes of data has given us an unmatched understanding of not only the mechanics of data management, but the business rules as well. From an operations perspective, the DataLinX business and the eXelate Marketplace are totally separate entities; clients of one solution are never required to participate in the other, and their data assets are never mixed. From a business perspective, the connections we have built over the last 3 years can be leveraged by any DataLinX client to help move their business ahead on their own terms. Whether it is to take advantage of a server to server integration or our huge audience modeling footprint, we don’t see any conflict at all. Companies that tout themselves as “pure play” will need to leverage the skills and footprint of other companies to provide the complete suite of services that DMP clients demand, and that our experience has fostered.

When will the new DMP - DataLinX - be available? Is there a rollout timetable?

The new platform is currently live with nearly a dozen partners and we are actively rolling it out with more. As this is DataLinX V1.0, we will be launching further enhancements throughout the year and announcing some big partnerships down the road.

Why the publisher focus? What's the target market (scale, vertical, etc.) within the publisher horizontal for DataLinX?

Publishers, and really all online data owners (e-tailers, retailers,etc.), have been the overlooked participant in the new “data ecosystem”, yet they control the fuel that drives the engine moving online advertising ahead. Their data has been co-opted, leveraged, and under-monetized by third parties, sometimes without their knowledge. We felt there was a void in providing tools for this sector to truly take back control of their data, create connections on their own terms and secure access to their audience. We approached many of our current marketplace partners with this idea. They validated the unmet need and encouraged a solution that empowered them to take a more active role in their data strategy. From a target market perspective, DataLinX isn’t really limited by vertical or scale per se, as long as the data owner is committed to building a strategy around their high value asset that is driven by leveraging the sophisticated nature of our toolset. We are really looking for partners that want to push the system to its limits, helping us make a better product and delivering real, bottom line results for publishers and data owners. DataLinX (and ultimately all DMPs) should be a positive ROI driver from day one.

By John Ebbert

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