The Power of Truly Global Data: Interview with the COO of Eyeota

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The success of your campaign greatly depends on the accuracy of your data—and these days, success for many brands is determined by their ability to access local audiences consistently at global scale.

Eyeota is a leading provider of audience data. The business is headquartered in Singapore, but has a distributed team, operating as a truly global organization, meaning they it respond to and deliver global, regional and local audiences to marketers every day.

We sat down with Jill Orr, COO of Eyeota, to discuss what is relevant for advertisers today when considering third-party data solutions, and how they can best incorporate new information into their marketing strategies.

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Can you tell me a little bit about yourself, and how you came to be COO at Eyeota?

“My background is in media and publishing. After university, I moved to the US where I got my first job in digital at IDG based in San Francisco. Overall, I spent about 18 years in technology publishing; moving home to London in 2000 where I worked at Ziff Davis, CNET, and then CBSi.

I have been lucky in that my career has afforded me a great range of opportunity and experience and importantly the platform to work with great people and within experienced teams.  I enjoy learning, leading and solving business problems and have worked in business development, marketing, and product development. At CBSi I launched CNET and Gamespot in the UK and was Managing Director of the UK business for 5 years.

After I left publishing, I worked at retail media in a more international and commercial role, but I was keen to come back into general management and to a company where technology was a core component of the customer solution.  I had known Eyeota for some time before joining 9 months ago; the distributed and global nature of the company was attractive in terms of the operational challenge in making that work for employees and customers but it was the people who won me over.  I also fundamentally believe that Eyeota’s technology platform transforms audience data so that organizations can make smarter business decisions, understand customers better, and improve marketing strategies.”

Why is Eyeota relevant to today’s advertiser?

“More than ever, advertisers need confidence in the data they use to reach customers.  They need to know that the data they are using targets the right audience and that it is privacy-compliant. There are a number of ways that we are able to provide this level of data confidence to advertisers.

Firstly, we take data assets from the best online and offline sources and transform them into audiences that advertisers want to buy. While we are known for being global, our business is very focused on enabling advertisers to access market-specific audiences.  We onboard and ingest data in a consistent fashion in all markets – this allows advertisers to support marketing strategies locally, regionally or globally with Eyeota. We are unique in the data marketplace in that regard.

Secondly, an important part of what we offer to marketers is a privacy-first approach to data. We don’t match our data based on PII – we match against common geolocation attributes  and enrich with sociodemographic and behavior signals. This means our audience solutions are well-aligned with the more privacy-sensitive markets in which we operate – and we can focus on expanding control and transparency tools for sellers and buyers of data.

Finally, we get great feedback from our customers in terms of how we support them, making audience conversations less intimidating and providing them with information so they have confidence in our data. We work really hard to help advertisers make data make sense.  We have also built a number of tools that help advertisers and agencies plan and connect with the audiences that we can activate for them. These custom tools are a key part of our customer proposition.”

How should advertisers consider Eyeota in their day-to-day?

“Additional to our unique ability to support global campaigns, Eyeota has a rich resource of audiences built from a variety of data partners.

An important source is our premium publisher partnerships and we also work with data owners that might be sitting on a unique set of data without the scale to stand alone, but when combined with other data in our marketplace, we can find a way for them to amplify the value.  We are proud of our relationships with global research companies who access our proprietary onboarding methodology to translate offline panel and survey data into digitally relevant audiences.

This combination of sources are organized to support key audience buying tactics targeting demographic, interest, purchase and intent signals which allows us to comment on behavior on over four billion audience profiles within our marketplace. On the distribution side, we can activate the data for all the major agencies, trading desks, ad exchanges and data management platforms (DMPs) for advertisers who want access at their own point of purchase.

Finally, to make it easy for advertisers to find the right audience, we have two services that can they can access on a daily basis. You can use our free self-service Audience Discovery Tool, which helps marketers discover optimal audiences for campaigns in seconds or you can use our Data Desk and directly connect with an Eyeota Audience Specialist who will work with you find and explore all data options and build a bespoke audience strategy. Increasingly, we’re starting to build tools which allow private data marketplaces (PDMPs), fully transparent data alliances and the ability for advertisers to build out custom  audiences at scale. We’re seeing a huge move towards this area across the industry.”

You’re known as a leading global audience technology company. How would you simply define it?

“Eyeota was launched in 2010 in Singapore, Berlin and Sydney, so global was part of our DNA from the beginning. Our proprietary methodology enables us to transform and active data consistently across all global markets. No one else can do that. In addition we operate in Europe, APAC, the Americas and Australia.”

How do think an advertiser should fit third-party data into their digital marketing strategy?

“First you need an understanding of your core audience and who you want to reach. Once you have established this, you can begin to build your audience data strategy.

First-party data can be limited as advertisers are only able to view their audience within their own [properties/platforms]. If you are seeking to expand audiences that look like current customers, you always want to base your data strategy on the most accurate level of data you have and look for commonalities around that. To help you with this, we can take your seed data and help you expand this audience base using our mass of data and our technological capabilities. This can give advertisers accurate and relevant data at a scale that they need to achieve their marketing goals.

We encourage continuous testing and learning and have a rigorous approach in terms of reviewing the results and qualifying your audiences further.

One of the benefits marketers have in a digital environment is the return of real results regarding the audience and how they respond to different messages. Assumptions based on offline signals may not be supported as you apply them in an online environment.

Review the results and improve and iterate across the campaign. As you start to see who’s responding to your campaign, you’ll get a fuller and deeper understanding of your audience and their particular desires and behaviors.”

Do you have any predictions for user data in 2018?

“There are several things that we’re seeing in terms of trends that I expect to see continue.

The industry is placing further emphasis on transparency as both marketers and data providers require more control over how and where data is captured and activated.

I expect that GDPR and other privacy conversations will further extend into other markets. This will play very well for both marketers and publishers as marketers are demanding more custom audience solutions and publishers are looking to give more control, compliance and transparency to marketers so that there is an increased level of confidence in the exchange of data.

Secondly, I think we’ll see a change in the way that partnerships are evolving. Deeper and more strategic partnerships will focus on depth rather than just scale. We’ll see alliances or co-ops that provide an opportunity for publishers to be a real competitor to Google, Amazon and Facebook.

Finally, we’ll see a move towards bespoke audiences and a consumer-first strategy. Historically, audiences have been defined by the seller, but now we’ll see audiences created and informed by buyers’ customer specifics. We’ll see more direct connections between marketers and data providers in an enclosed and transparent environment so that there is more ability for the buyer to influence the audiences they want to reach, rather than being confined to off the shelf audience segments.”

Eyeota has been a data partner of Taboola’s since 2017.