RSS FeedArchive for the ‘Data’ Category

Are Tag Managers Turning Their Backs On The Tag?

MakeCloudTealium became the latest tag management system (TMS) provider to pivot away from pure play TMS on Wednesday when it released a tool designed to help companies link their various standalone marketing technologies.

This puts Tealium on the same path as other TMS providers (like BrightTag, which renamed itself Signal and rolled out an Open Data Platform on Tuesday) positioning their technology as a neutral data layer that connects marketing tools from different vendors, making them operable together.

“TMS as a category belies the value of these tools,” said Andrew Jones, industry analyst at Altimeter Group. “Yes, it speaks to their original value proposition of making it easier to manage and implement tags and that’s not going away. But the ability to sense customer behaviors in real time, and to act on them…is why we’re seeing a shift in emphasis.”

Qubit, another company that could be classified as a tag manager, rolled out recently a suite of “digital intelligence” apps and now positions its technology as a Digital Experience Management (DXM) platform. In an interview with AdExchanger, the company said it has “built a technology stack that’s focused on driving incremental revenue by improving metrics,” combining Web and mobile analytics, A/B testing and personalization.


BrightTag Signals A New Data-Driven Direction

BrightTagTag management technology company BrightTag changed its name to Signal on Tuesday and rolled out an “Open Data Platform” for marketers to link disparate data collection sources such as CRM, email, DSPs and DMPs. This comes on the heels of a small acquisition the company made just days ago of Signal, an email and SMS marketing platform.

But get one thing clear: “We’re not a marketing stack,” said Marc Kiven, founder and CRO of Signal. “We’re the data foundation that helps make their stacks better.” Joe Stanhope, who joined BrightTag as SVP of marketing from Forrester Research in March, said the company’s marketer clients maintain an average of 17 systems.

“That’s a lot of technology and when you spread it out across different channels and touch points, it’s even more complex,” he said. “What we’re trying to do with the Open Data Platform is sit between all this data and technology to make them work better together.”

It’s become increasingly challenging to differentiate between the capabilities of a data management platform (DMP), attribution technology and the tag management system (TMS), particularly when all systems, in one way or another, codify and track data signals cross-channel.

“My view is that tag management will become part of a larger play around digital marketing tech and data management, but will certainly not be going away anytime soon from a user perspective,” said James McCormick, senior analyst at Forrester Research. That said, “I have yet to see a vendor which has grown with a single focus on tag management really make a leap away from the space.”


Forrester Report: Customers And Brands Have Different Definitions Of Value, Transparency

fatemehCompanies face a paradox.

Consumers want to be rewarded for their loyalty to a company or brand, but recoil when asked to share their personal data. At the same time, companies risk losing their competitive edge by not personalizing their offerings and acknowledging loyal customers.

Marketers toss around terms like “value” and “transparency” when explaining how to win a customer’s trust, but a company’s understanding of these terms may differ from consumer expectations.

When Forrester Research surveyed approximately 5,000 US adults on why they’d share personal information with companies and how companies can win their trust, it found tangible rewards like cash are more desirable than convenience.

Forty-one percent of respondents said they’d share personal information with companies for cash rewards. Nearly 30% would share their data in exchange for loyalty program points and only 11% chose faster customer service.


Is Bitly Breaking Its Links To The URL?

JenniferHanserIs Bitly quietly becoming a platform company? The link cruncher rolled out Tuesday the Bitly Certified Partner Program with inaugural partners Percolate, Spredfast, Buffer, Sprinklr, IFTTT, Dynamic Signal and EveryoneSocial.

“We’re focused on platform integrations to support owned, earned and paid campaigns with Bitly’s tools and audience data,” said Jennifer Hanser, the company’s newly-hired senior director of strategy and partnerships.

Bitly used to be a barometer for how audiences share and react to content. It began as Twitter’s default link shortener in 2008. When Twitter launched its own URL wrapper in 2011, it impacted Bitly, though CEO Mark Josephson claimed in a recent interview that its marketshare on Twitter “hasn’t dropped in years.”

Since then, the company has developed content reporting and analytics tools for both brands and publishers. It recently rolled out Bitly Brand Tools, which manage brand and short domains for brands like QVC and ESPN (for instance, ESPN’s shortened URL is


Dynamic Yield Builds An Ad Server For Website Content

dynamicyieldSoftware-as-a-Service yield optimization platform Dynamic Yield has taken a top-down approach to yield optimization, landing big-name retail and publishing clients in the midst of a move from Tel Aviv to New York this year.

After landing $2 million in funding in 2013 from investors such as The New York Times and Eric Schmidt’s investment firm, Innovation Endeavors, co-founder and CEO Liad Agmon established Dynamic Yield’s New York office at the newspaper’s headquarters.

Although the company initially focused on enterprise clients, Dynamic Yield is rolling out what Agmon called a “self-service” offering in six weeks, targeting companies with less than $1 million in revenues.

Dynamic Yield’s growth represents an increased demand for content management systems (CMS) that, in Agmon’s view, act more like ad servers and “deploy ad serving-like algorithms.”

AdExchanger sat down with Agmon to discuss his company, its work with Google and expectations for the future.

What problem do you solve?

We are basically the ad server for content for our customers. (Marketers) are paying more and more money for the traffic coming into their site, but there is no optimization of what happens after the user clicks on the ad and arrives to their site. And this is where we excel. We are like an ad server but for the on-site content. (more…)

Experian On The FTC, Addressable TV And Why 'More Isn’t Better, It’s Just More Junk'

rick erwin experianA few weeks ago, Experian Marketing Services formally merged its Consumer Insights division with its Targeting division. The former, built from Simmons Market Research (providing brand and media outlet profiles) and Hitwise (providing competitive online analytics), is the intelligence arm; the latter is the execution arm.

“Imagine seeing not just where traffic comes from and what it does on that site and where it goes when it leaves, now you can see what brand of blue jeans the customer typically wears,” said Rick Erwin, previously president of Experian Marketing Services Targeting Division and currently president of Consumer Insights and Targeting. “And how is that different than the brand of blue jeans the Yahoo sports visitor tends to wear? I want to target that audience. I want to run a campaign against that audience.”

The impetus for bringing together its insights and targeting divisions is the need to connect information around brand and media consumption with online behavior. “This presents a really rich picture for all sorts of advertisers and media plans,” Erwin said.

He spoke with AdExchanger.


Data Regulation: What Could Go Wrong?

PortalProbsQuestions lingered after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) presented to the data marketing space a 100-plus-page push for greater transparency Tuesday.

The FTC’s manifesto, “Data Brokers: A Call for Transparency and Accountability,” sparked debate about what a data broker is and the potential pitfalls for a proposed centralized portal through which consumers can control the dissemination of their personal data.

According to the FTC, a data broker is a company whose primary business is the collection and sharing of consumer information from a variety of sources for the purpose of marketing, identity verification or fraud detection. Data brokers do not have direct relationships with consumers.

But even the parameters of a “direct relationship” can be rife with loopholes. Facebook, for instance, has a direct relationship with a consumer (who signs up willingly for a social account, providing information like birthdate, place of residence and marital status) but partners closely with one of the FTC’s nine identified “data brokers,” offline-online linking company Datalogix.

“I think if they’re trying to talk about the gathering of data and then the reselling of that data as a data brokering business, it’s a very broad definition that unfortunately can be overreached from a regulatory perspective,” said Ray Wang, chairman and principal analyst of Constellation Research. “From a consumer perception perspective, it probably is the broadest sense of the definition."


Attribution Vendors Still Flying Off Shelves, As Rakuten Buys DC Storm

attribution-rakutenThere's a run on multitouch attribution vendors, and UK-based DC Storm – acquired by Rakuten, the companies announced Thursday– is the latest to get swept up in the excitement.

Merger mania kicked off some months ago, when top-three attribution vendor Visual IQ was rumored to have hired a banker to shop itself around. The company put together a pitch deck (a "book" in investment parlance) and embarked on a roadshow with prospective buyers. Since then, its two top rivals have been acquired – Convertro by AOL and Adometry by Google – but Visual IQ has not.

And the bake-offs continue.

The latest to be snatched up is DC Storm, a company focused on cross-channel attribution paired with consulting services. Its buyer, Rakuten Marketing, has been on something of a shopping spree for technologies to supplement its cornerstone affiliate marketing acquisition, Linkshare. In 2013 it bought retargeter MediaForge, PopShops and video site Viki.

It seems DC Storm relies on a high-touch approach – more human than algorithmic  – to assign incremental value to media touch points along the customer path to purchase. Its CEO Seth Richardson said in a statement today, "Instead of relying on black box algorithms or machine learning, we combined deep analytics and expertise to present data in meaningful ways that clients can easily understand." (more…)

FTC To Congress: Regulate Marketing Data Providers

dbThe Federal Trade Commission (FTC) welcomed direct marketers and data companies back from the holiday weekend with a 100-plus page report (called "Data Brokers: A Call for Transparency and Accountability") and a recommendation that Congress enact legislation to ensure industry transparency and customer control over how their data is used.

The report singled out nine companies, each part of the FTC report interview process that began in 2012: Acxiom, Corelogic, Datalogix, eBureau, ID Analytics, Intelius, PeekYou, Rapleaf and Recorded Future

The FTC’s call to action comes just three months after Senators John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, D-WV, and Edward Markey, D-Mass., introduced legislation designed to do exactly that. Nothing notable has happened to the bill since its February introduction.

However, the FTC’s report might change that. It’s an attempt “to build on what Sen. Rockefeller has been talking about – a means of greater transparency,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez during a press conference. “We do hope to work with anyone in Congress who is interested in moving (this) forward. We’ll also work closely with the data broker industry in that they’re in the position to implement the best practices we’ve recommended.”

The data industry’s growing size and interconnectedness, as well as its attempts to merge offline and online data, seem to have catalyzed the FTC’s call for legislation.

“When you look at how complex this industry is, the sheer magnitude is astonishing,” Ramirez said. “We learned to what degree data brokers are blurring the lines between online and offline behavior. … Now we see it in much more concrete manner. … They are using our offline behavior in a way to target us online.”


AOL Summit: You Don't Need Real Time All The Time

real time cheetahReaching the holy grail of real-time, one-to-one interaction may sound like a marketer’s utopia, but a number of execs gathered Thursday at a Thought Leadership Summit hosted by AOL felt this importance was overstated. In some instances, real-time processes aren’t the be-all and end-all.

“I think real-time (marketing) is only a part of a bigger process of relationship management,” said Rob Leon, VP of business development at Gravity, a content personalization startup AOL acquired in January. “Sometimes you want to wait, process that data … and do something more meaningful” with it in the long run.

For a company like 1-800-Flowers, real time matters most during high-traffic times like Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day, when the company accesses data hourly to quickly alter creative and messaging.

But in other verticals such as consumer packaged goods or finance, customer life-cycle management takes priority over time-sensitive transactions. “You will have a very different framework where it’s not ‘get as much data as you can quickly’ as it is testing and learning against (solving key business problems),” said Chris Scoggins, SVP and GM of Datalogix’s DLX Platform.

Offline purchases often have longer intent cycles with longer-term signals to measure. Bob Rupczynski, VP of media, data and CRM for Kraft Foods, called this phenomenon “media with memory.”