Mobile attribution remains a critical challenge for advertisers. Through a partnership with Verizon (which has struck similar deals with BlueKai, BrightRoll and Turn) the demand-side platform (DSP) provider Run is tackling the challenge of deterministic measurement and mobile attribution via its solution Device Connect.
AdExchanger spoke with CEO Seth Hittman and product manager Kim Glaser.
AdExchanger: What does Run specialize in?
SETH HITTMAN: We're a mobile-focused ad-management platform centered around real-time analytics and data activation. We have a DMP [data-management platform] and DSP and we started with a real-time analytics engine.
That was our first product before we built a bidder. I think that's relevant because that led us to launching Device Connect, a deterministic attribution solution, which we're launching in a partnership with Verizon and their PrecisionID product.
How does Device Connect work? What type of data does it receive from Verizon's PrecisionID?
KIM GLASER: In mobile a lot of other solutions don't holistically apply. Cookies only work in some mobile environments like the Chrome browser and Android devices. And then you have the device ID, which you get from in-app inventory but doesn't carry through when a user who is served an in-app ad goes to a mobile Web landing page.
What we're excited about is the carrier level ID, a higher-level recognition point that lets us track with certainty when a user, who is connected to a given carrier, moves from an app to a mobile Web landing page through an ad request and when they ultimately convert. We have access to an anonymous ID that allows us to track without any statistical model the ROI and the direct response that is occurring as a result of mobile investment.
Can you give me an example of how an advertiser can use Device Connect to deliver targeted ads?
KG: We've been testing our product with Verizon in Q1 and Q2 of this year and found that we can attribute, using this carrier ID, about 50% more conversions that would otherwise go unrecorded.
There's no implementation from the brand's side because we've baked it in from our end and it's automatically part of the reports that our clients can pull from our system.
How many customers are using this capability?
SH: We only added it two weeks ago, but a lot of customers are already benefitting from it and we expect to have some case studies to share by Q4.
So how do you solve the mobile attribution challenge?
KG: The way it works is we are able to record the carrier ID on the impression and the click and any event that occurs thereafter. And then we use logic to tie the end event back to the ad that the person was served within a period of time, such as seven days, 14 days — whatever the advertiser thinks is appropriate.
Does your solution include in-store measurements?
SH: In-store measurements are something we're excited to test and work through. Also, many of the location-based targeting companies that offer geofencing are still dependent on Wi-Fi connections.
For us, at the carrier level, we no longer need to rely on a Wi-Fi connection. We're able to rely on the network or carrier level that provides more scale and is deterministic. Out of the gate we're able to solve the mobile Web and in-app challenge, but we believe that this will extend to smarter measurements in stores and across other channels as well.
When consumers opt out, is their data removed or do you just receive a signal that the user doesn't want to be followed?
KG: All records are erased if the user decides not to be targeted. We comply with the industry's rules and regulations and we're a member of the IAB and NAI to ensure our opt-out methods are acceptable.
How does your DMP work with Device Connect?
SH: The DMP comes into this in a lot of ways, besides us integrating into Verizon's data. It comes into play with how we're storing data, making it actionable and segmenting it. We work with brands that have built up first-party data that they can integrate into (Device Connect). The DMP is important for exposing additional revenue driving actions happening in mobile. Clients want richer insights of audiences that they can activate when it's appropriate.
What performance metrics do your clients look at?
KG: It varies depending on the vertical. For some retail clients, it's about post-click and tying that to dollar amounts. For others the action could be expressing an interest in a report or in-store measurements or customers looking for a store locator. It covers the gamut.
Will you offer a similar solution to publishers?
SH: We're very interested in bringing the conversation to publishers. Publishers have amazing amounts of rich data and nothing is more important to them than their audience.
As a company, we're focused on evolving Device Connect to a global reach and helping customers across the world. We're excited to have built a product that harnesses this type of (carrier-level) data and we're looking forward to conversations along those lines with international carriers and helping brands measure and justify what they're doing with clarity.
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