Oracle announced a global partnership with Eyeota a few months ago. What does Eyeota do and why is the partnership important for Oracle? We meet with one of the co-founders of Eyeota, Kevin Tan, CEO and co-founder of Eyeota to get a better understanding.
Google and Facebook have probably the richest online customer data sets in the world. If you want data that tracks online customer behaviour independently and is not contained to the Facebook or Google environment, you will have to look elsewhere. This is where Eyeota comes in. And for a change this is not just another data start up that originates solely from Silicon Valley.
Eyeota tracks data of online customers. The data is collected from hundreds of sources, like online publishers but also other sources owned by the likes of GFK, Experian, Kantar and Ipsos. The company was founded simultaneously in Singapore, Sydney and Berlin in 2010 by people who worked at Adify at the time, who had just sold off Adify. We asked Kevin Tan how it all started.
“We started because we noticed that in programmatic, audience data is key in serving up advertising the best way. We are the only player to collect audience data globally, where a lot of other players in the sector have data for mostly the US or Europe or Asia. In addition, we work with publishers and research companies to turn their offline data into a revenue generating product.”
“But what makes us truly unique is that we understand that audience data differs from a local perspective, yet we are a global company. We go very local when it comes to how we collect local data from consumers and publishers and we develop local algorithms. We develop e.g. specific algorithms that behave differently for when consumers buy a car. This is different from the data players have a very US focused view on data collection and use.”
What kind of data does Eyeota collect?
“We collect anonymised data, so we can’t trace it back to a specific customer. We collect demographical data, gender, income, age. In addition, we have interest data, purchase intent around e.g. travel or consumer products. We also track interests or preferences for brands. In total, we track 3.5B unique audience activities monthly, which we turn into signals for advertisers that they can serve targeted advertising on.”
How does Eyeota work?
“On the one hand, we have website owners and publishers. As indicated we help them monetise their data. On the other hand, we have advertisers and big brands that use our data for advertising purposes. We also have partnerships with platform companies like Oracle and Adobe as well.
“An advertiser would probably come through a media agency and their trading desk. They take in your brief regarding your targets and then target this segments through our data. This data can also be used to understand what the purchase intent is of someone coming to e.g. a telco site and serve up dynamic content, optimised for the purchase intent of that visitor. But our biggest customer base is still advertising campaigns.”
How does Eyeota position itself vis a vis Google and Facebook?
“I would say that everyone needs more data and we provide a different view that can be used to enrich your ad targeting both on Google and Facebook and in the advertising ecosystem outside that. In addition, I see our data going beyond advertising. As indicated before our data can be used for dynamic content delivery and we see publishers who start doing this, using platforms of our technical partners.”
What about the bad reputation of programmatic? The P&G CMO recently demanded complete transparency because of the suspected amount of fraud in the online advertising space.
“I think that with everything that grows quickly there is a big learning curve. It is both about learning how to sell your data and about buying data. There are certainly issues with ability and technical issues. Programmatic is well entrenched globally and I would call the pipes. How you use that makes all the difference. There is e.g. still a lot of ‘classic’ buying of media from private channels, say a newspaper. But the tracking of what happens in their pipes might not be as accurate and fraud resistant as that of another publisher. So, there is a lot to learn, yet you see a lot of advertisers demanding a better ROI. You should realise that programmatic is also efficient and theoretically easy to measure. This is a big incentive for players in the programmatic space to truly deliver on that ROI.”
What about privacy?
“Since we started in markets like the Netherlands and Germany, we are very aware of privacy issues. In Germany, you can e.g. not collect IP addresses. You must truncate the last octet. These limitations if you like have certainly helped us to collect data anonymously while still making it useful for both publishers and advertisers. The toughness of these markets allows us to be used in other markets that might be less strict. Over the years, we also obtained the necessary certificates to operate and handle data sets, which is important to a company like in the area of data.”
So, does that limit the usefulness of the data?
“You find ways of still interpreting data within the given rules and laws. Ultimately you may lose some of the detailed views in individual customers, but you can still get a good understanding of segment behaviour.”
Who are your competitors?
“There are a few, like for instance Exelate, recently acquired by Nielsen. Oracle bought a few companies in the US in our space. There are single country operators like nugg.ad in Germany but they often use a different technology. There are also players that use online surveys and then scale that across markets. We have seen several initiatives popping up and going away. We are probably the only ones doing the online and offline data on a global scale, which remains our USP.”
The global scale clarifies why the Eyeota partnership is important for Oracle. At the same time, Kevin clearly indicates that the partnership is one of many global partnerships with the likes of Adobe and Salesforce.
Editor: Matthieu Vermeulen