Sizmek To Roll Out AdTruth-Powered Feature

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kalus sizmekConnecting consumers across devices is on every advertiser's mind these days, and vendors are ramping up to accommodate.

Add Sizmek to that list. The ad tech company plans to release during the second week of May Device Intelligence, an analytics feature designed to enable targeting and measurement of mobile ads.

The analytics component is made possible through a new partnership with Experian Marketing Services division AdTruth.

“Unique identification targeting and tracking on mobile has always been a struggle,” said Sizmek’s associate VP of product management, Mark Kalus. Aside from the occasional mobile device that accepts third-party cookies, Sizmek (prior to the introduction of Device Intelligence) primarily performed contextual targeting, looking at information on the mobile webpage to pinpoint ads.

Device Intelligence allows Sizmek to connect users with devices probabilistically. This means Sizmek will use AdTruth’s technology to gather non-PII information from a mobile device – like the type of operating system that’s running, the language configuration, time zone, whether or not the mobile device runs Flash, among others – to link a user anonymously with a device.

The first step of the rollout involves identifying individual devices. This capability, Kalus said, is one of AdTruth’s core strengths. An AdTruth representative told AdExchanger its device-recognition technology centers around a linking capability that "enables cross-device targeting." When combined with first-party data, the representative said, AdTruth's technology allows marketers to conduct performance-based campaigns.

Going forward, Sizmek hopes enable those cross-device connections, and is looking to bolster Device Intelligence with technologies and data sources from more partners. Sizmek is currently evaluating other vendors that can assist with this initiative.

“Device Intelligence will add other data sources over the next two quarters,” Kalus said. “With cross-device, my hope is we address that in the next year.”

But identifying individual devices, Kalus added, is an important foundational step. “Once you understand unique individuals’ devices, you can build a layer on top of that and see the behavior associated with them, which might be indicative of a single user,” he explained.

Sizmek decided to work with AdTruth after evaluating a host of other vendors. AdTruth, Kalus said, performed best in Sizmek’s internal testing, which included ease of integration and its ability to function well with Sizmek’s existing stack.

“We didn’t want [a tech partner] to affect the performance of the ad delivery,” Kalus said. For instance, new technology added to an ad server could impact delivery. “If you layer on new types of JavaScript in the ad call, there’s a risk it can slow down the page.” The AdTruth solution didn’t interfere with this ability.

Another reason Sizmek chose AdTruth: Because Sizmek has a global footprint, it needed a vendor that had one as well. This was a qualification many other vendors didn’t meet, Kalus said.

Device Intelligence is designed to go beyond mobile devices as well. If someone is using a desktop or laptop computer that doesn’t accept cookies, for instance, Device Intelligence can probabilistically align a user with a computer, essentially treating the cookieless desktop environment as if it were a mobile device.

“We still respect consumer choice,” Kalus said. “If someone has DNT (Do Not Track) enabled, or if someone has opted out, we respect that. But if you deleted your cookie or have configured your device so it doesn’t accept cookies, we’ll run AdTruth and perform the identification.”

This partnership is also substantial for AdTruth, as it represents the first time the technology is being deployed across both mobile devices and desktops globally. An AdTruth representative noted that the company has more than 7o partnerships globally.

The AdTruth-Sizmek partnership follows a tumultuous six months for both companies. Sizmek began focusing on digital advertising after selling its linear TV business to Extreme Reach and rebranding from Digital Generation Inc. And AdTruth was included in the haul Experian Marketing Services inherited when it bought the former’s parent company, 41st Parameter.

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