Behavioral Insider: What's unique in your approach to how behavioral data can work in what you call a multi-modal environment?
Walczak: The challenge with behavioral targeting lies in reaching the same customer across different media. With MoPhap's mobile server-side cookie, we're able to target by creating a comprehensive profile based upon a user's browsing history over time. The technology derives contextual meaning from each page that the user visits. This combines to create a psychographic user profile. We're also able to identify the specific mobile device. We can then ensure that ads served to consumers are optimal in terms of both format and content. Until now, there's been no way to bridge mobile and online data because the mechanisms for gathering, organizing, and interpreting data were so different. Online tracking has been -- and largely remains -- cookie-based, and mobile has lacked a unified tracking platform for contextual or behavioral data. With mobile, each individual publisher or network has used its own proprietary software and server set-up. None have been compatible with or comparable to the online world.
BI: How are you applying the platform concretely?
Walczak: Our goal is to forge partnerships with online ad networks such as MeMedia. We're enabling them and their advertisers to sell into mobile for the first time. From the very beginning, we've attempted to build out a platform that brings online functionality to a mobile environment. With that in mind, we're been the first to configure third-party ad serving via various partnerships, including ContextWeb. The benefit is that we've been laying the groundwork for a seamless movement back and forth between online and mobile -- which is the same direction where consumers are now moving.
BI: Can you give some examples of how that can work?
Walczak: Here's a simple example of bringing digital mediums together: A consumer clicks on a mobile Web banner, opts in for an SMS auto response, and later receives a text message that includes a coupon code that must be redeemed online. With the mobile cookie, we're now able to tie the subscribers together online and in mobile.
BI: What are the attractions of multi-modal targeting of behavior to an agency?
Walczak: There are benefits to doing this. First, anyone trying to plan and buy mobile campaigns has been limited by lack of reach and frequency. By seamlessly aggregating data across mediums, there's a huge potential for increase in both. Also, for brands interested in targeting a younger demographic of heavy mobile users, they now have a wider scope of options.
Another benefit is that mobile advertisers can plug into the auditing, tracking, and reporting solutions they've used online to track consumer behavior. Agencies can use their interactive systems such as Atlas Media Console and Dart to manage online and mobile campaigns. They can also integrate data from online and mobile campaigns into their back-end systems, which allows media buyers to view results and make mobile buying decisions in the same way they'd been doing so for online buys.