“It was fundamentally important for us to have the whole piece in house so the data stays with us and we’re able to…deliver the impression and optimize that back into the audience management and data management solution in the same place,” Glass explained.
Although Shopzilla once used an external, third-party data management platform (DMP), it ultimately decided owning the technical architecture was necessary to mitigate traffic and data flow.
Part of that bulking up in-house requires technical upgrades; Shopzilla has begun using Cloudera to construct an enterprise data hub in-house. The company cited its need for high-speed processing and analytics to accommodate more than 10 billion ad requests per day through Connexity.
“The trend has been that companies like ours have said, ‘My data is so valuable to the advertisers, I should take advantage of it directly.' One way to say that is to say, ‘I shouldn’t sell data. I should sell media against it,’” Glass said.
The prime example of this is Amazon. The commerce giant operates its own demand-side platform, Amazon Advertising Platform, and offers marketing and managed services via Amazon Media Group and A9. Other retail giants, including Alibaba and Walmart, have pursued similar strategies.
One of the challenges Shopzilla faces is securing enough consumer reach.
“There definitely is a trade off between reach and performance, especially as you move into a prospecting world as opposed to pure retargeting and making sure you have that reach is critical,” Glass acknowledged.
Delivering audiences to advertising partners – retailers, brands, and non-endemics – by offering services around search marketing and programmatic, will be the focus of the company moving forward, Glass said.