More Devices, Less Divisive: Supply Chain Taps Into Tapad


At a time when Madison Avenue is shifting toward a device-centric view of consumers, some key parts of the ad industry's supply chain are unifying around a single source to measure and analyze the so-called device graph. The deals include agreements with major DMPs (including BlueKai, eXelate, Lotame), attribution (Adometry, Visual IQ) and publishers to begin licensing Tapad's device graph data and analytics so that they can more effectively help brands determine which ads to serve on what devices to reach consumers at the right time.

The move follows deals that three-year-old Tapad has struck with major brands and agencies to help them better understand the way consumers are being exposed to their content across screens and to enable them to develop better methods for optimizing creative, targeting and even frequency capping.

“I don't think anybody has the 100% total solution,” acknowledges Are Traasdahl, founder and CEO of Tapad, adding: “This is not the complete Holy Grail, but if you go back five years, or even three years ago, there was almost nothing around that could tie all the devices together.”

Over the past three years, Tapad focused on doing just that -- working directly with first-party sources of device data to organize it and unify it in a way to paint the best, most current picture of how consumers use various devices to access their content. In fact, Tapad calls its social graph platform Unify, and Traasdahl says the Holy Grail quest is to get as close as possible to developing a unified view of consumer behavior across devices.

To date, Tapad has helped execute nearly 1,200 cross-device campaigns for more than 200 consumer brands, and its next goal is to embed its technology, data and analytics into the rest of the supply chain to ensure that everyone is looking at the same unified perspective of the consumer.

This could help publishers, Traasdahl says as an example, in several ways. One is the obvious one of improving the effectiveness of campaign results for advertisers running ads across a publisher's various screen versions, but perhaps even more importantly, to enable publishers to improve the experience of consumers themselves, by ensuring they are receiving the best, most optimized version of their content at the right time, in the right place and with the right consumer mindset in mind.

For ad tech purveyors, including DMPs and attribution firms, Traasdahl says the benefit is enabling them to filter out extraneous noise in their signals, allowing them to get a better fix on how audiences are being reached over time across the entire screen ecosystem -- not just online, or even mobile -- but increasingly across smart TV screens and, ultimately, smart devices of all kinds.

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