Another Boost For Offline-Online Linking As Datalogix Scores $45M

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EricRozaDatalogix nabbed $45 million in Series C funding, led by Wellington Management Company. This latest round brings its total to $111.5 million, according to CrunchBase. The company intends to use the funds to build out its product and attract more clients.

The company’s main business is linking online consumer activity with offline shopping behavior. It is one of Facebook’s major partners, connecting ads on the social network to buying activity.

It also struck a deal with Salesforce.com in April to enable lookalike modeling; the deal lets Salesforce.com’s CRM clients find within Datalogix’s database consumers whose buying habits mirror the brand’s best customers.

Connecting shopper information with online activity has been an area of tremendous interest for advertisers. Tesco’s shopper insights arm, Dunnhumby, for instance, purchased retargeting demand-side platform (DSP) Sociomantic in April – a move that should allow the former to use point-of-sale (POS) data to influence online messaging. And Datalogix itself bought shopper marketing and loyalty data company Spire in February.

These moves reflect a shift in the way brands are allocating their marketing dollars. As Datalogix CEO Eric Roza told AdExchanger after the Spire purchase, CPG marketers are becoming more accountable to the sales process. This accountability increases as online targeting becomes a greater investment.

But Datalogix has also been under scrutiny in recent weeks.

The company was part of a two-year investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) into the so-called “data broker” industry. In a report released Tuesday, the FTC called for regulation of the data industry in part because of the growing link between offline and online consumer information. This is, of course, one of the services Datalogix is known for.

Additionally, The Wall Street Journal reported Datalogix is prepping for an IPO. The Journal’s sources said an IPO, which has no set date or value, could raise around $75 million. Roza declined to comment on capital market questions so as not to fuel speculation.

Update:

AdExchanger spoke with CEO Roza about the infusion of funds and his ideas for Datalogix's forward progress.

AdExchanger: What will this infusion let Datalogix do this year? 

ERIC ROZA: We were already well-capitalized, and this fundraise was really about ensuring we are set up to continue to build Datalogix's business in emergent areas including search, mobile and video as opportunities present themselves over the years to come.

What is the size of the data services opportunity for Datalogix this year? Three years? 

The market for advertising is in excess of $500 billion in the US alone. The combination of data, technology and analytics is transforming this market, and I think we are still in the first inning. We'll have to see what this means for Datalogix…

How much of that opportunity lies in measurement/attributing offline sales back to online ads? What other specific opportunities are you going after? 

We believe that a primary goal of marketing is to support sales. When you speak with CMOs, there is a general feeling that they want to better understand this link between advertising and sales, especially when the sales occur offline. Given that 93% of consumer spending occurs offline, this is not a small problem to address so this is where we are planning to stay focused.

What are the key vertical opportunities outside of CPG, retail & automotive?

CPG, retail and auto are our key areas of industry expertise, and will likely continue to be going forwards. We do a bit of work in many other verticals, including non-profit, travel, telecom and financial services, where our expertise in applying offline transactional data and analytics to digital marketing can add value.

Given your partnership with Salesforce.com and acquisition of Spire Marketing, what role does shopper marketing have in the future media mix?

Shopper and brand marketing are increasingly blurring in the digital sphere – the insights that can be gleaned from purchase-based targeting are applicable to brand advertisers and now economical to deploy on a national scale, something that was not possible in the offline world.

Do you see further consolidation in the whole loyalty/shopper marketing/CRM sphere? What role will you play in automating the targeting of purchase-based messaging? 

I do suspect there will be some further consolidation. At the heart of this question is the value proposition for brands and the retailers who sell those brands.  We see lots of win-wins for brands and retailers in collaborating more closely.  Brands typically have the largest ad budgets and retailers typically have the most valuable data, so with digital we now have a platform to bring all this together.

Zach Rodgers and Kelly Liyakasa contributed.

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