MaxPoint Incorporates CRM Data Into Location Targeting

maxpointMaxPoint helps marketers in the CPG, retail, finance, insurance and auto sectors deliver messages to customers near local stores that need a marketing boost. Now those marketers are itching to use all the first-party data they’ve collected.

To activate advertisers’ CRM data, MaxPoint developed Customer Catalyst, a product that matches brands’ CRM with data showing where customers live and shop.

Customer Catalyst “brings static CRM lists to life,” said MaxPoint Solutions SVP Tom Dolan. Once a marketer matches its CRM data with MaxPoint’s profiles, that matched set can do two things.

MaxPoint can use the “enriched” data to help the advertiser better understand what its customers look like, where they shop and what they like to buy. The advertiser now can also buy ads to show to the group.

Historically, MaxPoint bought media for brands and charged a percentage of the ad budget. As of August, marketers can more easily buy on their own through their preferred DSP, thanks to MaxPoint hooking up with Adobe Audience Manager DMP and LiveRamp to facilitate data transportation between marketers, MaxPoint, and buying platforms.

But many still prefer to buy media through MaxPoint while signing up for other services, such as analytics, via a software-as-a-service model.

“We are seeing a great increase in self-service around measurement, insights, analytics,” Dolan said. “Media has been entrenched as a managed service.”

Sixty percent of MaxPoint’s customers use the platform for measurement and media, reflecting growth in the company’s services business, according to its second-quarter earnings call.

And while marketers using MaxPoint have other options to deploy customer data – such as Facebook’s walled garden and its CRM-matching custom audience product – MaxPoint considers its openness to be a key difference.

“There are companies that do some level of matching or enrichment, but it’s contingent on using their services,” Dolan said. “We are willing to share across the entire marketing cloud.”

As MaxPoint tries to take advantage of marketers’ desire for stronger control of their data and programmatic buying, the way its product is built – it leans on IP, not cookies – has helped it transition to mobile.

Mobile accounted for half of its billable impressions last quarter, putting its mobile percentages ahead of companies like Rocket Fuel but behind app-focused Facebook.

Mobile poses a challenge for many companies that rely on cookies to track customers. Although it occasionally deploys cookies, MaxPoint chose the IP address and device ID approach from the start because it enables better coverage of tightly defined geos. In contrast, geotargeted campaigns using cookies often underdeliver because small areas don’t have enough cookied users who see the ads.

“Our core ability is based on scale, and cookies would not give us enough scale,” Dolan said.

Its IP approach also helps Customer Catalyst achieve high match rates.

Because match rates vary depending on a client’s CRM data, MaxPoint declined to get specific, but Dolan said MaxPoint’s matching can be two to three times what its clients have seen from other matching companies.

As CRM-driven targeting grows, Dolan predicts programmatic will become a tool used less for efficiency and more for agility.

“How do you get the most important real-time signals out of the marketplace?” Dolan said. “The industry has made great strides reaching people in real time … to make a meaningful impact on a client’s business.”

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