TechBytes with Preethy Vaidyanathan, Chief Product Officer at Tapad
We recently covered the partnership between Tapad and Sojern, which helps the travel industry understand traveler decisions across multiple devices. Sojern’s 350 million global traveler profiles and billions of predictive purchase intent signals, when coupled with the Tapad Device Graph™, enable travel industry clients to derive precise and actionable insights.
We caught up with Preethy Vaidyanathan, Chief Product Officer at Tapad, to tell us more about the Tapad Device Graph™ and their analytics for traditional and connected TV.
MTS: How does Tapad analyze linear TV streams and match users across digital devices to gauge if they saw an ad on their mobile that influenced them to watch a show on their TV without an analytic device attached to their TV sets?
Preethy Vaidyanathan: Like any other consumer device or platform, TVs are bridged into the Tapad Device GraphTM. This means we receive TV viewing behaviors such as commercial exposure, program and network consumption, so we know which TVs were tuned in to which programs. When a digital campaign is executed, Tapad is able to measure cross-device digital ad exposure against who tuned in to a given program. The same can be done in reverse: for example, if we evaluate a user who was exposed to a TV commercial and then uncover what they did online to understand the measurement impact from TV advertising.
Fundamentally, Tapad is about understanding consumer identity and behavior in a privacy-compliant manner. This allows us to have a holistic consumer view on content consumption and brand engagements across screens and platforms. With this as our foundation, we can drive a wealth of insights for our clients as they can see the impact of TV to digital, and vice versa, among many other use cases.
MTS: Viewable Exposure Time™ (VET) seems to fill in the gaps that traditional metrics like CTR, VCR and CPA miss. Would you share a customer story (brand names not required) where VET helped identify the optimal response rate and media mix for TV and digital campaigns?
Preethy Vaidyanathan: VET fills in those gaps, as it’s a powerful metric that reveals — across every device — whether time spent with your brand’s content delivers ROI and how to optimize based on that information.
For a campaign with a large auto manufacturer, we leveraged VET to look past reach and frequency as the cornerstone of measuring marketing spend success. Instead, we gained a deeper understanding about the quality of each exposure as measured by the time of viewable exposures and how that affects the consumer’s behavior as it relates to conversion. We used VET to determine the optimal amount of time a user should spend with the ad in order to convert and then pushed people toward that amount of time across devices. As a result of our VET optimizations for this campaign, we saw a lift in conversion rate of more than 125 percent. In addition, we found that users exposed on two screens drove a 220 percent increase in conversion rate over users exposed on one screen and users exposed on three screens drove a 400 percent increase.
MTS: Tell us a bit about the Tapad’s data business ecosystem.
Preethy Vaidyanathan: Tapad’s data business licenses access The Tapad Device Graph™, our core product. This proprietary technology aggregates device IDs from wide-ranging sources such as exchanges, app download data and ID syncs with our many partners. This provides a wide array of coverage and the corresponding ‘network effect’ that provides exponential scale for every new partner contributing to the graph.
Every day, the Tapad Device Graph™ sees more than seven billion signals per day — a volume of data that ensures the graph is never over-leveraged on any one data source or partner. In fact, no partner represents more than five percent of the graph. As opposed to vendors who rely on black boxes or walled gardens, Tapad believes in an open ecosystem and portable data to drive client success.
DSPs, brands and a tech and martech vendors are licensing the Tapad Device Graph for use cases including targeting, measurement, attribution, site personalization and customer journey optimization. A good example would be our recently announced partnership with Sojern, which leverages data from the Tapad Device GraphTM to better understand travel audiences. As a result, Sojern has already achieved an amplification rate of more than 600 percent.
MTS: Tapad bills itself as a Scala-based company, what influenced your engineering team toward this choice of language?
Preethy Vaidyanathan: When Tapad started in 2010, languages like Scala were in their very early stages and many engineers weren’t looking beyond Java. However, Tapad’s CTO and co-founder Dag Liodden saw potential in the language due to its ability to deliver high quality code at high velocity. He knew that if the company was going to scale at the rate they anticipated, they needed a tech stack that could support big data growth beyond the company’s initial years. After considering the options, Scala was the clear choice of language to meet both the current and future needs of Tapad’s technology.
MTS: Ghostery and the NAI’s Online Behavioral Advertising program help provide persistent opt-out and privacy. What is your team currently working on to improve privacy and reduce PII leaks across Tapad’s platforms?
Preethy Vaidyanathan: Privacy is always on the forefront of our minds at Tapad. We are committed to not only being compliant with privacy standards wherever we operate, but also to providing consumers with transparency about which data we use, how we use it and the option to opt out. The Tapad Device GraphTM is built independent of what is considered PII data sets here in the US, and it is our mission to be an open and independent leader in cross-device technology.
In addition, Tapad is compliant with current privacy laws across Europe and Asia and we are working with our parent company, Telenor Group, to achieve GDPR compliance in the EU by the 2018 deadline, borrowing from their decades of experience as a European-based global corporation. We are at the front lines of conversation across the marketplace, through our trade associations and the legal community, on how ad tech companies will ensure compliance with the GDPR and the pending ePrivacy Regulation.
Regarding security, Tapad is compliant with the requirements of ISO standard ISO/IEC 27001:2013 to appropriately preserve privacy and the confidentiality of Tapad’s systems and information.
MTS: Thanks for chatting with us, Preethy.
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