Archive for Chris O'Hara

Managing Data in [Real] Real-Time

Posted by Chris O'Hara on January 7th, 2013 at 10:00 am

A Conversation with Srini Srinivasan, Founder and VP Operations of Aerospike
Even today, the notion that a consumer can go to a website, be identified, trigger a live auction involving as many as a dozen or more advertisers, and be served an ad in real-time, seems like a marvel of technology. It takes a tremendous amount of hardware and, even more than ever, a tremendous amount of lightning-fast software to accomplish. What has been driving the trend towards ever faster computing within ad technology are new no-SQL database technologies, specifically designed to read and write data in millisecond frameworks. We talked with one of the creators of this evolving type of database software, who has been quietly powering companies including BlueKai, AppNexus, and [x+1], and got his perspective on data science, what “real time” really means, and “the cloud.”
Data is growing exponentially, and becoming easier and cheaper to store and access. Does more data always equal more results for marketers?
Srini Srinivasan: Big Data is data that cannot be managed by traditional relational databases because it is unstructured or semi-structured and the most important big data is hot data, data you can act on it in real-time. It’s not so much the... Read more

Matching Offline Data for Online Targeting

Posted by Chris O'Hara on January 3rd, 2013 at 12:01 am

A Conversation with Live Ramp’s CEO Auren Hoffman
When all marketers have universal access to an entire world of third party online segmentation data, advertisers are increasingly turning offline for an edge. Leveraging established and deep CRM data, marketers are matching their customer databases to online cookies for targeting and retargeting, and going beyond basic demographic data by bringing multiple data sets into the digital marketing mix. I recently interviewed Live Ramp’s Auren Hoffman to learn more about how traditional databases are getting matched to online cookies, and made available for targeting.
Offline data versus online data. You hear first-party data talked about like it’s the gold standard. Just how much more valuable is a company’s first party data?
Auren Hoffman (AH): First, some clarification: Offline does not equal first-party data; nor is online equivalent to third party data.
The gold standard is not first-party data. It’s the rich knowledge (and capacity for segmentation) that lies in a company’s CRM database, typically tied to a name/address or an email address (including purchase history, direct mail, email campaigns, and loyalty). That knowledge, which is largely (but not exclusively) first-party data, exists almost exclusively offline.
Oftentimes, this specific customer knowledge – first-party data belonging to a brand... Read more

The Role of the Agency in Data Management

Posted by Chris O'Hara on December 12th, 2012 at 12:01 am

A Conversation with David Spitz
When it comes to the role of the agency in data-driven digital media, few holding companies have put their money where their mouth is to the extent that WPP Digital has. After setting the tone with a bold acquisition of 24/7 Real Media, the holding company has gone on to place strategic bets on a variety of sectors within the Kawaja map. The question for marketers is whether or not they should be relying upon their agencies when it comes to technology and data. Many argue that the agency model cannot support the type of deep domain expertise needed for the complicated integrations, data science, and modeling that has become an everyday issue in modern marketing. So, should data management be the sole province of the Adobes and IBMs of the world, or is there room for agencies to play? I recently reached out to EVP of Strategy and Corporate Development David Spitz to ask about how he sees agencies working with large brands to define their data strategy.
WPP is working with some of the world’s largest brands. I suspect that many have siloed pockets of valuable data across their enterprises. What are the data challenges... Read more

How to Choose a DMP

Posted by Chris O'Hara on December 11th, 2012 at 1:01 am

A Conversation with Bridget Bidlack of [x+1]

Today, data is like water: Free-flowing, highly available, and pervasive. As the cost of storing and collecting data decreases, more of it becomes available to marketers looking to optimize the way they acquire new customers and activate existing ones. In the right hands, data can be the key to understanding audiences, developing the right marketing messages, optimizing campaigns, and creating long-term customers. In the wrong hands, data can contribute to distraction, poor decision-making, and customer alienation. In order to combat that problem, there are now over a dozen data management platforms (DMPs) configured to help marketers and publishers leverage their first party data, and take advantage of the growing universe of 3rd party data. I recently sat down with a DMP veteran, Bridget Bidlack, to ask how one should approach choosing a platform.

To the unpracticed eye, it seems like many DMPs do exactly the same things. What are some of the subtleties and differences between the major platforms?
Bridget Bidlack (BB): It’s true that, to someone unfamiliar with the technology, the differences may seem subtle, but that’s often the case no matter what you are discussing. I recently came across a catalog that... Read more