Search data is considered especially valuable in audience targeting. If a user is actively searching for keywords, their intent to find information on these topics can be considered very strong. I recently had lunch with Michael Benedek, CEO and President of Datonics, to learn more about this niche targeting and understand their expansion into mobile audiences and coverage in Canada. We had previously worked together when I was at Interclick and he was at AlmondNet to really grow that partnership, so it was great to catch up again a few years later and see the changes that have since happened in the industry.
- You offer search, behavioral purchase intent and life-stage data—what’s the importance of all of these data types to a marketer’s toolbox?
We want to be versatile in our offerings as there is often more than one method of reaching the same audience. For example, sometimes you want to target them by their behavioral or life stage profile, other times you may want to target them based on search behavior. Our segments come from the searches that a user conducts when they are online. We use search because it is a highly reliable indicator of user interest in a specific product.
- What has been your strategy in how you have introduced new segments to the market?
It’s crucial for us to maintain our identity as a provider of keyword-driven segments as well as adjust to the demands of our clients. When demand for B2B data accelerated, we saw a rise in usage of our business-related segments, so we added new business audiences to enhance this vertical. In addition to keeping up with recent trends (health foods, mixed martial arts, Pokemon Go, etc.), we also saw that demo data was a staple in most advertisers’ campaigns and decided it would benefit our partners to add this important targeting attribute so that they could receive one-stop-shop fulfillment of their data needs.
- You expanded your mobile data coverage in the spring. What are the still untapped opportunities with mobile data?
One of the bigger challenges for brands is understanding who is arriving on their mobile web pages. Since the Safari browser is cookie-less and more than 60 percent of US and Canadian mobile web traffic arrives through Safari, advertisers are essentially blind to these customers who have visited their digital storefront. We have a unique solution that helps reveal these visitors in a privacy-sensitive manner and we expect this to be a big shifter of industry dollars in 2017.
- You currently offer data on 180+ million US and Canadian consumers, the latter of which is a rarer market for this type of data. Why have you focused your efforts there?
The decision to focus on Canada was a result of our publisher relationships. It’s easy to start chasing a new butterfly every time an advertiser asks about a region in Europe, Asia or Latin America, but we understood that our strength was here in North America, so we honed in on working with the publishers here. It is also a funny coincidence that the CEO of MediaMath is Canadian and so is the CEO of Datonics. We’re looking forward to growing our partnership together in Canada.
- Can you tell us more about the Datonics Data Lab?
Our Datonics Data Lab is tasked with the mission of analyzing, classifying and optimizing the collection, categorization and distribution of incoming and outgoing non personally-identifiable information that is collected by Datonics from data provider partners and distributed onward to platform partners and their marketers. In addition to 500+ prepackaged segments, Datonics uniquely offers partners an unlimited number of custom segments powered by a keyword-driven taxonomy, allowing platform partners and their marketers to reach the exact audience of consumers they currently buy on search engines, wherever that audience goes online.