RSS FeedArchive for the ‘Data’ Category

Apple To Google: We’re Better Than You Because We Actually Care About Privacy

onemorethingWhen it comes to data collection, Apple is on the offensive... and, perhaps, the defensive.

There’s no need to read between the lines of Tim Cook’s attack on the data monetizers of the world. As the Apple CEO stated in an open letter posted on Apple’s website Wednesday night:

“We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don’t 'monetize' the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don’t read your email or your messages to get information to market to you.”

Although Cook’s communique ostensibly addresses consumers – Cook doesn’t actually mention Google, Facebook or any other of its other big rivals – it seems pretty clear who he has in mind.

“On the first level he’s addressing Google and on the second level he’s addressing folks like Facebook and Amazon,” said Rodger Desai, CEO and co-founder of remote processing payment service Payfone.

Cook also categorically states, once and for all, that advertising simply isn’t all that important to Apple, noting in his letter that only “one very small part of our business does serve advertisers, and that’s iAd.”

He went on to say that the only reason Apple even built iAd in the first place was “because some app developers depend on that business model and we want to support them, as well as a free iTunes Radio service.” (In a very Pandora-like move, Apple will reportedly add targeted local ads to iTunes radio.)


What Is Alliance Data Systems? A Backstage Data Puppet Master

AllianceDataData juggernaut Alliance Data Systems (ADS) might keep a relatively low profile, but the multibillion-dollar company has its fingers in quite a few data pies. What it needs now is to connect the dots.

And as ADS’ recently announced $2.3 billion acquisition of ad tech company Conversant (née ValueClick/Dotomi) for subsidiary Epsilon denotes, that’s exactly what it appears to be doing.

“You have these companies, and there are only a few now, that have an incredible amount of consumer data, but what they need to do is put all the pieces in place to be able to package and sell their broader marketing capabilities to that top tier of clients,” Nucleus Research VP Rebecca Wettemann told AdExchanger. “That means having the customer data piece, but it also means having the email marketing piece and the agency services skills that will ultimately complement and pull it all together.”

ADS, which was founded in 1996 in Plano, Texas, has its roots in loyalty services, specifically private label credit cards. In fact, the company, which went public in 2001, came to be as the result of a merger between The Limited’s private label credit card bank and the transaction processing arm of JCPenney. ADS bought Canada-based loyalty programs provider LoyaltyOne a couple of years later in 1998, followed by email, loyalty and marketing services firm Epsilon in 2004.


We Know Where Apple Stands On Health Data. What About Google?

health dataUsing health data for advertising purposes is a hot potato and Apple’s not touching it. The jury’s still out on Google.

Despite the upcoming release of the pulse-reading Apple Watch (available early 2015) and Apple pushing its HealthKit API with developers, advertisers won’t have any access to health data derived from related apps or devices. (Medical research and fitness management are on the table, however, as evidenced by Apple’s recently forged partnership with the Mayo Clinic.)

Google, on the other hand – it’s worth speculating.

Google released the API to Google Fit, its health-tracking platform, at the beginning of August after launching a preview of the SDK back in June at its annual developers conference. Fit gives developers the ability to store and access activity data from fitness apps and sensors on Android phones and related wearable devices.

OK, Google: What’s going to happen with the health data?

Clearly there are major FDA and FTC barriers standing in the way of monetizing health data, but of any player out there, Google would seem to be the most motivated.


What Apple’s Health Data Restrictions Mean For The Ad Industry

forbiddenApple is laying down the law for app developers through a set of new rules, which are slated to take effect in conjunction with its long-awaited iPhone release on Monday.

Apple's alterations restrict developers' access to data from HealthKit, its factory-installed fitness monitoring app, and third-party app extensions. The new stipulations will likely apply to the next-generation iPhone, in addition to the first-generation "iWatch," as the company's anticipated wearable device is being called by observers.

Updates to Apple’s app store guidelines state: “Apps may not use user data gathered from the HealthKit API for advertising or other use-based data mining purposes other than improving health, medical, and fitness management, or for the purpose of medical research.”

Gearing up for next week’s product release, AdExchanger asked executives from Wunderman, Hill Holiday,  ID Health and McCann Health to respond to Apple’s pivot and to posit on the implications for the advertising industry.

Click below to read their responses:


EXelate Steps Into Data-As-A-Service Business As LinkedIn Leaves

MarkZLinkedIn’s discontinuation of Bizo’s business data service is an opportunity for data-management platform (DMP) and data services company eXelate. The company revealed plans Thursday for B2BX, a data-as-a-service offering for B2B advertisers.

The company appointed Frannie Danzinger, Bizo’s former director of marketplace development, to spearhead the new development as VP of strategic solutions and plans to hire more employees for the division, said company CEO Mark Zagorski.

“DSPs (demand-side platforms) have always been great partners of ours, so we wanted to make sure they had a continuous stream of B2B data flowing to them, considering LinkedIn made the announcement they’ll pull out of the data business shortly,” he explained.

When Linkedin revealed plans to shut down Bizo’s data business, Erik Matlick, CEO of behavioral marketing database and lead-gen company Madison Logic, said DSPs, SSPs and agencies could get the short end of the stick in scaling their business audience reach.

Although LinkedIn could presumably roll Bizo’s data insights into its broader but burgeoning media offering, it could hinder B2B marketers who wanted the flexibility to apply that audience data on external platforms. This factor seemingly inspired eXelate’s move into the space.


All Aboard The LiveRamp Train. Next Stop Ensighten

LiveRampEnsightenNo rest for LiveRamp.

The Acxiom-owned data onboarding company announced a new partnership Thursday with enterprise tag-management provider Ensighten – the third such alliance in just a little over a week.

Prior to the Ensighten deal, LiveRamp joined up with video firm Eyeview and location-focused mobile ad company xAd, both examples, said LiveRamp CEO Auren Hoffman, of his company’s efforts to remain the Switzerland of data.

“The rationale for the acquisition by Acxiom is that LiveRamp would serve everyone equally,” Hoffman said. “The goal is to build the pipes, but then to give everyone access to them.”

Here’s how this partnership works: Ensighten collects first-party data for its clients across channels, and LiveRamp syndicates those segments across roughly 100 exchanges, networks and publishers with the aim of more personalized communications.

Ensighten founder and CEO Josh Manion analogized this partnership to plumbing: If Ensighten controls the plumbing to the people (sites, apps, etc.) inside a particular house, then LiveRamp can connect that house to the city’s water main.


How Much Cross-Device Clout Do Facebook And Google Actually Have?

crossdevicenumberbattleIf cross-device tracking is a room, then Facebook and Google are the elephants – except Google is the only elephant that isn’t talking.

Facebook hasn’t been shy about its cross-device intentions. At the time of the Atlas acquisition in 2013, its ads product director, Gokul Rajaram, noted that Facebook’s goal is to “be able to measure cross-device insights” and “to be the best ad-serving platform on the Internet.”

Lately, the race to make this happen has accelerated. Facebook, it has been widely rumored but not yet publicly confirmed, will bake logged-in user ID into its rebuilt Atlas ad server. Some industry experts think this replaces the increasingly irrelevant cookie, allowing Facebook to track ads along the path to purchase, deduplicate impressions and perform other functions that allow for more consistent and reliable ad serving, campaign measurement and attribution of conversion.

The impact on media-buying practices could be large. Megan Pagliuca, VP and GM for digital media at Merkle Inc., wrote in a recent AdExchanger column. "To date, neither [Atlas nor DoubleClick Campaign Manager] has been strong in either mobile or cross-device capabilities but, as they integrate identity, they have the potential to provide long-awaited salvation from inaccurate measurement that has prevented budgets from moving to mobile and digital overall."

But a cross-platform measurement system is only as good as its reach, and sizing up the two rivals in terms of multidevice logins is a challenge.


Will The Ad Industry Share Its Data? AdFin Hopes So

altersohn adfinA Bloomberg Terminal for online media.”

We’ve heard that description from companies like Metamarkets and AdFin, but what exactly does that entail?

At the highest level, it’s a dashboard presenting a single view of inventory prices across numerous sources – a tool to enable media buyers to make better buying decisions, analogous to the famous contraption used by Wall Street traders.

While the concept seems easy, however, the execution isn’t. Beyond the technological hurdles collecting, normalizing and aggregating data from disparate sources (unlike Wall Street, there isn't a standard data format in the ad tech world), there’s also the logistical issue enlisting partners to release enough data such that the terminal can provide a broader market view.

Andrew Altersohn, who assumed the CEO position at AdFin roughly three weeks ago after Jeanne Houweling left, is facing down that latter challenge.

AdFin’s technology – which crunches and combines log files from various sources and displays the results on a dashboard – is largely ready to go, Altersohn said. It's not quite 100% yet – the company is still tinkering with its user interface and rolling out some additional features, like on-screen tips and tactics to assist the fresh-out-of-college media planners who will likely use the terminal.

Linking Data to Taste Buds: How Goya Breaks Down the Hispanic Segment

goyaThe Hispanic community is the fastest growing cohort of consumers in the United States and are prominent purchasers of CPGs.

Yet many companies view this community as a single demographic when it can be segmented into multiple smaller groups, each with distinct characteristics. But brands like the family-run Goya Foods knew this wasn’t good enough.

“We can actually segment [the Hispanic market] and give them a profile of the product mix that would be best suited for a particular store or particular geographic area,” said company SVP Joseph Perez, adding that not all Hispanics have the same lifestyle, and thus segmentation is critical for delivering relevant advertisements, coupons and products.

The company began using analytics tools from Geoscape to break down the Hispanic market with more granularity than it had in the past.

Goya had used US Census data to predict buying behavior, which quickly became outdated. The company also collected data through conducting surveys in various neighborhoods, which Perez described as “very exhausting.”

LinkedIn’s Powered-Up Media Platform Spells End To Bizo’s Standalone Data Business

DataFortressLinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner confirmed the social network wants to enable customers to prospect and nurture leads well beyond its own walled garden during the company’s Q2 call Thursday, though he stopped short of calling it an ad network.

“As big a network as LinkedIn is – and they’re adding exponential numbers of people everyday – it’s still one environment,” said Kevin Flint, associate media director at Just Media, a media and marketing services agency that works with a number of B2B tech clients. “Whereas…there are so many places they can potentially reach their audience or distribute content…beyond LinkedIn. That’s where the growth will be the greatest.”

LinkedIn’s acquisition of B2B marketing services and data company Bizo is intended to ensure long-term monetization via media revenue. As part of this initiative, LinkedIn will end Bizo’s à la carte data business.

The Off-Linked In Opportunity

LinkedIn’s specialty, industry insiders say, is its premium business audience of 300-plus million members. Bizo brings real-time bidding and display chops, as well as a business demographic data on some 120 million professionals.

“I like the analogy of Yahoo and Right Media because LinkedIn was more focused on the supply side and inventory, whereas Bizo was good at the B2B marketing part and programmatic advertising,” said Mattijs Keij, CEO of Dutch data-management platform provider FlxOne. “There is a limit to the reach you can get on their platform and that’s where Bizo comes in. [Bizo] can open up that reach powered by all the data on LinkedIn. I think there is actually a lot of value in the long-tail if they can reach the right audience with it through their B2B network.”