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Mobile Data - Connecting the Dots

Tim Maytom

AdSquare-Tom_Laband_ProfileData, it’s often said, is the new gold, and on a device as personal as the mobile phone that’s probably more true than in any other medium. The problem for advertisers on mobile is that there are plenty of different data types (mobile, online, offline) and various data providers who have different views into the consumer based on where they sit in the journey. It’s a problem mobile data firm Adsquare aims to solve with the launch of its Audience Management Platform.

“Most of the data out there is based on cookies but cookies simply don’t work on mobile,” says Adsquare CEO and co-founder, Tom Laband. “Our platform was created based on mobile advertising identifiers from day one, complying with strict European privacy laws. The data offering for the mobile market is very fragmented, from point of interest data providers to app analytics companies to first party data. Adsquare has built an Audience Management Platform that aggregates all relevant data sources, giving advertisers control and transparency.”

Self-service platform
The Adsquare offering is based on a data CPM model. It’s a self-service platform on which customers can transparently select and combine individual data points from a number of different data sources, directly estimating reach and costs. The pricing varies depending on the kind of data and the complexity of audiences customers model.

The data concerned includes both data specific to the device, but also offline data that is not directly connected to a cookie or mobile ID. “Our data scientists have developed sophisticated algorithms and matching technologies to activate data such as household information, points of interests, sales, weather, events, and customer data,” says Laband. “The real value of mobile programmatic lies in the huge amounts of untapped offline data.”

While this data is not in short supply, the problem, as Laband sees it, is that it has not had the same sort of attention devoted to it as media. “There are a lot of platforms in the market that manage the process of buying media programmatically, but there are hardly any platforms that focus on mobile data and how it is best applied in a programmatic environment,” he says.

“As advertisers want to target ads on people and not on channels, data is key for programmatic advertising, and from our point of view, it will be as important in the future as media itself. Mobile data will be flooding our industry in the next few years. It has way more opportunities than online data, which drives the need for one platform to centrally manage all these data assets and give back full control to advertisers and agencies.”

Personal device
And key to all this, of course, is the mobile phone. “The smartphone is the most personal device, connecting consumers,” Laband continues. “Device usage and sensors create high amounts of data points for each mobile moment that can be used to target advertising. The key USP of mobile data is location. This is where mobile is significantly different to online. Analysing people’s real world behaviour over time can create a holistic view of consumers, their preferences and intentions.

“Compared to cookies, mobile identifiers such as Google Advertising ID or Apple IDFA have a much longer lifetime, while at the same time being compliant with data privacy laws. When you add offline data in to this mix, you create a very powerful platform for targeting consumers with relevant, in-the-moment messages that they are going to want to receive.”

The good news for advertisers is that Adsquare is scaling up its offering to make the Audience Management Platform more widely available. “Adsquare was founded in 2012 to find a privacy-friendly solution to the problem of a lack of mobile audience data in Germany,” says Laband. “In the last three years, we established Adsquare as a standard for mobile audience data in Europe. Due to the demand from our partners who operate on a global level, we will internationalise even further and open an office in New York in the very near future.”