New Publishing Tech
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Q&A: Lotame’s Cartographer solves people-based ID with the graph of all graphs

Founded in 2006 by CEO Andy Monfried, Lotame is the leading independent provider of unstacked data solutions, helping publishers, media companies, brands, and agencies address diverse business challenges with data. The company has recently launched Cartographer, its new people-based ID solution that aims to address a number of pressing challenges facing digital advertisers. WNIP caught up with Chris Hogg, Lotame’s Managing Director EMEA to find out more…

What business problem is your company addressing?

We fully engage with the wider business of our clients to understand what they’re doing and what they’re trying to achieve. Lotame solves business problems that involve data and we do this by developing a strategic blueprint in relation to the client’s individual goals.

For publishers and media companies, those business challenges include advertising effectiveness and messaging, audience development, consumer marketing and new revenue stream generation such as data licensing. In the current climate with strict privacy laws and complex market dynamics, sustainability is top-of-mind for publishers, meaning innovative strategies around data and monetization are key. For brands and agencies, we’re assisting clients with customer acquisition, engagement and retention.

In a fragmented media ecosystem dominated by a multitude of devices, capturing audience attention in a meaningful way is becoming increasingly difficult. For brands and marketers, it’s critical to have the right tools that unlock the potential of their data sets to expand reach and better connect with consumers.

What is your core product addressing this problem?

Data use cases are becoming more complex, similarly the potential applications for audience data are diversifying. We developed Cartographer, our new people-based ID graph solution, to tackle the three most pressing challenges in digital advertising today: disparate and disconnected data sources, cookie panic and the marketing spin around the misleading notion of “cookieless,” and privacy compliance.

The aim of this new product is to give publishers and brands superior audience insight and the ability to use a tool tailored to their specific needs. Cartographer maps, clusters and shares diverse data connections across 90+ platform partners to find more audiences, enabling true scalability – while always respecting consumer privacy and empowering choice. Built for open collaboration, this tool helps brands and publishers declare their data independence from the tech stack and that makes it a real game-changer.

Can you give some examples of publishers successfully using your solution?

We work with a large and varied group of publisher clients:

  • One of our major publisher clients was on a drive to increase sales. They partnered with Lotame to collect its many data sources into one place, and then used that data to build audiences. They also used Lotame’s Natural Language Processing engine to capture user interests at a far more granular scale based on page content. These target audiences were validated against a major UK online panel to verify age and gender, and to show likelihood of reaching each audience. With this new wealth of information the publisher could offer advertisers highly targeted and accurate audiences to engage with their campaigns. The results showed the validated audience segments were 5x more likely to reach advertisers target audiences. Additionally the client saw increased engagement – time spent on site, pages-per-session, returning visitors and increased sales.
  • A UK publishing group was tasked by one of the main advertisers with a campaign to increase online ticket sales while decreasing cost per acquisition (CPA) by 50%. Our client decided to use Lotame’s data management technologies to target the right audience to maximise campaign performance. Lotame helped the publisher collect a rich amount of first-party data which was then used to build audiences at higher eCPMs. Using Lotame’s platform to only send their campaign messaging to a highly targeted audience, they would be able to pay a higher eCPM for a more engaged audience, without increasing their overall spend. The results saw a 15% increase in eCPMs for Lotame’s client meaning an increase in revenue for ads sold. Additionally there was a 72% decrease in CPA surpassing the client’s initial goal of decreasing CPA by 50%.
  • One of our publisher clients had an objective to increase bookings and conversions, and therefore to reach higher-performing audiences. They needed to understand which audience segments/behaviors were performing well to help their airline clients target the right audience, on the right device, at the right time. Using manual optimization the publisher was able to leverage Lotame’s campaign insight tools to understand audience overlap, and then layer on additional 1st and 3rd party segments based on affinity or remove underperforming segments. Lotame’s audience optimizer allowed the publisher to use advanced machine learning algorithms to find look-a-like profiles for the best possible campaign performance. Through our campaign optimization, we helped the client expand targeting to travel segments originally outside their scope, resulting in a 161% increase in click-through rate. Lotame’s machine learning technology created medium-scale look-a-likes and resulted in a 65% increase in impressions while maintaining CTR.

Pricing?

Our pricing is customised to the client’s requirements but typically forms an annual licence fee which includes end-to-end support and strong customer service. Our clients choose exactly — and only — what they need, which means our platform is geared up to save money so publishers can focus their efforts and budgets on running successful campaigns.

What are other people doing in the space and why?

We can’t speak for our competitors but our observation is that clients have very specific problems and require specific solutions that they can work with and handle themselves.

Entrenched offerings that are all about big stacks lack agility and customization, and are not focused enough on the specific challenges and individual goals businesses face. Another component they lack is a much-needed degree of human interaction – if you have any problems you will likely be met with an automated email responder.

On the other end of the spectrum, less established players and start-up platforms work solely with publishers, due to their platform configuration and technology, and are too narrowly focused on solving one or two use cases, offering assumptions based on myopic strategies.

Lotame’s unstacked data solutions cater for a wide range of data use cases for both sell and buy-side, by enabling greater connectivity and independence with an omnichannel media-agnostic approach. We provide actionable insight for both parties to manage audience data beyond the standard suite of analytics tools, and in the process guarantee high data quality and portability to ensure their marketing strategies are truly data-driven. 

How do you view the future?

We have seen a lot of industry headwinds for publishers during the past 18 months – data legislation with GDPR and ePrivacy coming into effect, CCPA due in January next year in the US, paired with the aggressive treatment of third-party cookies by browsers. Despite this, we have seen publishers investing more into their data assets for commercial advantage.

Smart publishers have embraced challenges around digital data, understanding the market’s appetite and need for transparent fully consented data sets. Second-party data powered by publishers is also on the rise with revenues growing fast as a result of increasing collaboration with trusted partners. Publishers are utilizing their data in more creative ways than we have seen in the past and we will certainly see this creativity continue moving forward.              

Anything else we should know?

In an ever-changing and fragmented digital landscape influenced by volatile consumer behaviors and privacy concerns, industry players should focus their efforts on finding innovative and robust ways to connect, enrich, and activate consumer data for publishers and brands in a manner that respects consumer privacy and choices. Collaboration, transparency, continuous education on cookies, identity and tracking mechanisms are the pillars to create a more sustainable ecosystem, solve common problems and raise industry standards.

Thank you.

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