Evidon wants to better monetize the data waterfall pouring from its network of 20 million Ghostery users, and will look to new Chief Operating Officer Emily Riley to help it pull that off.
Riley, a longtime Forrester analyst who spent the last year driving Audience Science's pivot from an ad network into a data intelligence business, will help Evidon package and sell data from its popular browser plug-in (acquired in 2010) for use by large enterprise clients.
These customers will use the reports for a range of potential purposes, including to analyze website performance, warn of potential data leakage and gather competitive intelligence. (The pitch is not unlike that of Krux, which indeed also has its own tag monitoring plug-in, called Inspector.)
"By far the most compelling use of the Ghostery data is for large advertisers who have substantial online presences," Riley said.
New York-based Evidon is in need of a new business that can scale. The 75-person company has previously leveraged its plug-in data for reporting to publishers and agencies, and has partnerships with a bunch of data-management platform companies to integrate that reporting for their clients. But those efforts have seemingly not yielded large returns.
Through a separate business -- not connected to Ghostery -- the company also enables and certifies compliance with the industry's AdChoices self-regulatory program (i.e. the blue triangle). This offering is viewed internally as a mature revenue stream without much room to grow.
Evidon's great hope right now lies in marketing to the enterprise customer, something Riley has recent experience doing. At Audience Science, she helped engineer a shift away from ad network-based selling through agencies to an enterprise model for programmatic buying. The company has flown under the radar since that transition but it has a major enterprise client in Procter & Gamble, which has centralized much of its digital display ad buying with the company (away from agencies). Audience Science claims 15 enterprise customers in all – including in telco, pharma, and ecommerce -- but P&G is certainly its largest customer, by a wide margin.
Riley will stay on as an adviser to Audience Science. In taking the Evidon job, she says she was personally motivated by a belief that the privacy debate will ultimately be resolved only through transparent collection and reporting.
"By being both in privacy business and in the data business, Evidon is right in the center of that future," she said. "We're very transparent with our Ghostery people. That will never change, that can never change. What that forces in the industry is that same level of transparency."