Boston-based DataXu is getting into the cross-device game with a management, targeting and measurement capability of its own. The demand-side platform's cross-device tool, dubbed OneView, exits beta next month.
DataXu’s take on cross-device simplification hinges on compliance management. The tool offers check-box controls for marketers to tailor which data sources are used for targeting and measurement, allowing them to tweak their data usage to comply with local privacy laws or corporate policies.
“Our customers tend to be larger enterprises, folks like MasterCard, SAP, Ford and Vodafone,” DataXu CEO Mike Baker told AdExchanger. “From this group of users, we’re getting a lot of demand for transparency and control in cross-device data.”
“Cross-device can put you at risk if you don’t have a good knowledge of what data you’re using, and if that data is not compliant with privacy policies for consumers,” he added. “OneView is a framework to put different kinds of cross-device data into one graph that is controlled by the agency or by the brand.”
The average household owns five devices, according to research from Ericsson, and 41% of consumers are starting a task on one device and completing it on another, explained Baker, driving demand from marketers to connect the dots.
“Rather than get at that through media buying, our customers are more interested in a tool-based approach to manage planning, targeting and attribution,” Baker said.
The technology supports cross-device frequency capping and cross-device message sequencing to tailor messages and influence the path to purchase.
Those controls are useful to a DataXu client like ad agency Mediahub/Mullen, which has customers in the financial and airline sectors.
“We like the fact that there are default policies in terms of making sure we’re in line with the right laws,” said Sean Corcoran, Mediahub/Mullen's SVP of digital media and social influence.
Mediahub/Mullen has not begun testing OneView, but Corcoran is excited about the tool’s potential to increase transparency.
“There are still a lot of black boxes,” Corcoran said. "If it’s possible for us to be able to see all the data we’re using in a transparent way, we’re excited."
It remains to be seen how effectively OneView – or any cross-device targeting solution – can help marketers connect digital and TV campaigns. The industry has made strides with connected TVs, where ad buying already resembles digital, but targeting households through traditional broadcast remains an infrastructure challenge.
“Everyone’s trying to connect TV campaigns to digital ones,” Corcoran said. “We buy a good amount of TV and we’re always looking for any kind of opportunity to connect to TV. We’ve been skeptical of some of those tools, but we’re also excited about the opportunity to try anything new.”
According to Baker, DataXu's platform will be able to support television use cases as inventory and addressable IDs start to come online.
“The system has an unlimited number of digital aliases it can use, and one of those is a privacy-safe household ID,” he said. “What you can do with that is learn and gather data from one channel about an audience and apply it in another.
“This is new chapter for ad tech. Cross-device is occasioning a re-architecture of many existing systems. They’re going from speaking one language to multilingual and being able to convert and translate, on the fly, what looks to be a proliferating number of ID types.”