AudienceScience CEO Hirsch On Guaranteeing Data And Audience Validation Reporting

AudiencesScienceKnown as the “Quality Data Guarantee program,” AudienceScience has announced that it will start verifying its own data as well as those of other vendors in order to guarantee for clients that they’re really getting the audience they wanted. New audience verification reports will also be offered. Read the release.

AudienceScience CEO Jeff Hirsch discussed the new program and reporting as well as its implications. What has pushed AudienceScience to offer the Quality Data Guarantee?

JH: There are several reasons. First, we are strong believers in the notion that the creator of data has the right to determine how that data gets used. The industry needs standards to support this. AudienceScience has spent years developing relationships with thousands of data sources that specifically and contractually, spell out our right to utilize data to power campaigns for our advertiser and publisher partners. We think it is important for marketers to know, with absolute certainty, that they have the right to utilize the data powering their campaigns. Secondly, we are concerned that data collection does not always adhere to privacy guidelines. It is absolutely essential that we get this right as an industry. We have invested in a significant way to protect consumer rights and we want marketers to ask the tough questions of any company utilizing data – are consumer rights protected? Lastly, we want our partners to know that their own data is protected and that they have complete control over its collection and utilization.

The ad verification space has looked at page data. Now you’re looking at cookie data – potentially adding another layer to a complex business. Does it all come together at some point or does the marketing dollar keep getting split?

It is almost impossible to read a cookie and understand the components of the data utilized to make that cookie of value. Our guarantee is more around the transparency in the process of collection, the rights for data usage, and the focus on consumer protection. The separation of data from inventory costs has already taken place, and the company that provides the means to integrate them in a meaningful way will provide tremendous value.

Regarding pricing, what does your new Audience Verification Report cost the marketer? Any cost to have the Quality Data Guarantee?

There are no costs for this type of quality offering. It is part and parcel of everything that we do.

How will you define “quality data”?

The quality of data will be defined by the ability to leverage data, and organize it, in a way that assures the marketer reaches their target audience. The proof is in the pudding in terms of efficiency against marketing spend.

What recourse does an advertiser have if the data isn’t of the quality suggested when they bought it?

That won’t happen with us. That’s the guarantee. We are absolute in our processes. Other vendors I cannot speak about.

How do you overcome the perception of a conflict of interest where you are verifying the data’s audience and guaranteeing its quality – and at the same time, AudienceScience is selling its own data?

We don’t sell data. We aggregate data through our platform that sees 200 billion audience events a day to power the organization of that data into meaningful audience segments. We then make those segments available to our advertiser, agency, and publisher partners via controlled distribution channels.

By John Ebbert

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