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Andy Monfried on the Future of Data Management

September 8, 2016

Lotame’s founder and CEO, Andy Monfried, was recently interviewed by Thalamus, the largest research database of ad vendor data in the world. Click here to see the original interview, or read on for some of Andy’s thoughts on the future of Data Management.

Lotame is the leading independent Data Management Platform used by agencies, marketers, and publishers across the world. Can you share more on the original vision of the company, and how it has evolved today?

Lotame started in 2006 as an audience platform for companies to manage their social data. I knew that consumers generating content was going to be a major component of all marketing strategies, and I wanted to help bring that to life. From there, it evolved to include a very diverse set of data we could manage – social, online, offline, mobile, CRM – but it was all unstructured. And the unification of all these different kinds of data became important. Today, Lotame is  data management platform, helping our clients unify data from any source, then to analyze it, and activate it.

You were the first NYC based salesperson for Advertising.com, and joined 6 years before it sold for $560M to AOL. Can you tell us more about your experience from first joining Advertising.com, to it’s eventual acquisition in 2004?

Yes, I was the first salesperson for the NY Sales office of Advertising.com, and I built a team that was eventually generating over $100 million in revenue a year. Much of who I am today professionally was defined by my experience there. As a sales person, I was speaking to a variety of customers and prospects on a daily basis, so I got to hear directly from them what was happening, and where the market was going. I recently found a reference letter that Scott Ferber, advertising.com’s CEO and Co-Founder wrote for me in 2005. Here is a quote from that letter:

His strategic insight is uncanny. He bats 1.000 on all market, customer, and people ideas he has ever brought to my attention. No one I have ever worked with has been this accurate in their understanding of such complex and difficult issues. In addition, he is often the lone contrarian in a group when the issue gets to my attention, and he turns out to be right all of the time. I find this truly remarkable given my statistical education, training, practice, and the size of my data set [>1000 people].

You mentioned that there was a life changing event that gave you the courage and impetus to begin on your entrepreneurial journey. Could you share with the audience more on this event and how it impacted you?

I survived a suicide bombing in Jerusalem in 1997, and my wife and I were among the only survivors. And that experience has definitely personally help shaped me into the person I am today. It not only proved to me that I was lucky to even be alive, but has made me appreciative of the personal and valuable connections of employees, customers, and all those who I am lucky enough to interact with, and learn from.

How does the Lotame DMP solution differ for agencies, marketers, and publishers? Is there any way that pure-play mobile app can utilize your solution?

Lotame’s core platform is the same for all types of clients, but we have different a la carte options that are used in different ways, depending on the type of company we are working with. At its core, we help our clients to collect, organize, analyze, and activate their data — to make sense of it and allow them to put it to use in any activation channel.

In addition, we have a variety of solutions that change based on a particular company’s goal. For example, agencies and marketers often work with our audience optimization solution, Audience Optimizer, which is an in-house technology that looks at the behaviors of the people who are interacting with a particular campaign (clicking, converting, etc), and then automatically adjusts the target audience of that campaign to increase engagement.

Pure-play mobile app publishers can utilize the Lotame Data Exchange (LDX) to access mobile-first data from third-party data providers that are collecting behaviors purely from mobile. They can also leverage the Lotame cross device graph to link behaviors as mobile users move across different screens (desktop and tv) to get a complete 360 view of their audience. This allows them to cater to different user segments and increase the CPM on their inventory.

What is your process for gathering data on mobile, since it is a cookie-less environment? Do you leverage device fingerprinting technology, or other means in which to map devices to each other?

We have several solutions to gather data on mobile devices. For mobile apps, we utilize the mobile advertiser ID provided via the IDFA or Google Advertiser ID. With the advertiser ID, users can limit what advertisers can track and can be reset at any time. For mobile web on Android devices, we can drop a cookie, and for iOS Safari, we can drop 3rd party cookies. Lotame however, can help publishers track their 1st party cookies, but cannot be combined with 3rd party IDs.

All of this mobile data that is collected by our clients can then be connected to desktop data using our cross-device technology, which maps devices to each other for a complete 360 degree view of the consumer across screens.

When it comes to data, what are some of the biggest challenges advertisers, and publishers face today?

Advertisers & publishers are faced with a myriad of challenges based on the large variety of consumer data available, whether it be CRM, coupons, loyalty cards, location, purchase intent, registration, mobile or social. Each type of data collected represents a different event and signal that when combined helps to create a 360 degree view of the consumer.

The DMP is evolving into a People Platform, where cookies are but a small part of rounding out the profile. Data in some cases are highly nuanced, highly unstructured, and most of all harder to value, until you have a complete profile of the consumer, which is the strategic challenge the DMP is going to help with.

It’s been said many times that ‘Not all Data is Created Equal’. In your opinion, what is the hierarchy in types of data that is most effective for a marketer? (Facebook Registration Data, First-Part Purchase Data, First Party Placed in Shopping Cart Data, 3rd Party Data, etc)

Most important is first-party, owned and operated data. Any way you can append that first-party data with known attributes about that person from a trusted source is second. The challenge is figuring out what’s third – is it social, is it intent, is it search?

How does your open Data Exchange work? Can you share more on the direction integrations you have with 20 of the world’s largest 3rd party data providers and how your customers can leverage these other data sources?

We are integrated with over 30 of the world’s largest 3rd party data providers, including our own proprietary data set, to enhance the understanding, knowledge, and profile of our customers’ own 1st Party Data, while also supplying additional reach of users they may not directly see in their own data sets.

The most pressing use case is for a client to learn more about their own data set, and what behaviors or interests their customers share that they might not already know about. For example, a client focusing on health & lifestyle content may not have any idea of their clients’ propensity to purchase automobiles or interest in new automobiles, but would love to marry their highly valuable content with a targeted auto-interest user base.

Leveraging 3rd party data from a trusted data provider can be used to enhance this customer’s own data set by providing knowledge they’ve acquired about a user, which helps that customer better understand their data set outside of their core health & lifestyle focus. Now the customer could use the auto information on their users, supplied by the data provider, to approach an automotive brand and show they could reach automobile-interest users on their property.

Another use case of 3rd party data is extending the overall reach and footprint of a client. If a client’s own data set gives them a limited reach, they can use the extensive set of open exchange data providers to enhance and buy additional users that can help them increase their ability to target a certain demographic or type of customer.

What are the ways in which a customer of Lotame could leverage their own 1st party data in different platforms, such as a CRM, DSP, or Trading Desk?

Lotame allows our customers to collect and unify their 1st party data into a single, central and media agnostic platform, producing a central system of record for clients to view their 1st party data ecosystem.

Once 1st party data is collected in the DMP it can be combined with 2nd and 3rd party data sources in order to enrich audience information and build sophisticated retargeting and prospecting audience targets.

Lotame is media- and technology-agnostic, and as an independent business supports 100% data portability and audience activation in whichever platform our clients require. Activation is typically classified into one of four types: Proactive Targeting, Suppression Targeting, Dynamic Decisioning, or Audience Modeling. This data can be used in a DSP in the following ways:

1. Proactive Targeting – A 1st party audience created to proactively target media messaging, based on website engagement, products viewed, etc.

2. Suppression Targeting – A 1st party audience which is actively excluded from targeting. Clients can choose to suppress users that have been exposed to advertising 3 times (i.e. frequency capping using 1st party data)

3. Dynamic Decisioning – Dynamically update creative message based on age, gender, interests, and past products viewed/content engagement

4. Audience Modelling – Using 1st party audience data and machine learning to profile existing customers and build look-a-like models to target high propensity audiences

Lotame also has a Private Data Marketplace that allows marketers, publishers, and others to exchange their 1st party data. It sounds similar to the data co-op that Acerno / Akamai ADS before they were acquired by MediaMath. Can you share more on this?

Yes, this product is called Lotame Syndicate, which powers the seamless, transparent exchange of second-party data between two parties. This solution connects premium publishers with brands, agencies, and other data buyers participating in a private marketplace. The benefit for the data seller  is that they are able to monetize first-party data  with complete transparency and control over pricing and commercial terms. Data buyers are able to access high-quality second-party data directly from the seller, without a middleman. Our goal is to enable our clients to build relationships with each other and access data that is not available in the open marketplace.

How do your Smart TV Audiences work? To the extent that you can share, what types of offline data partnerships enabled you to get access to this data?

Smart TV Audiences built from are IP-connected televisions, which allow any client to look at the programs that their customers (first party data) are watching, and reach the same audiences digitally. So they can now look at TV as another activation channel.

Lastly, what is your take on the future of data management, by both the buy and sell-side?

Data management will become the central hub for all businesses. It may not be called “data management” in the future; it may be called a people store, a profile manager, or it may become an audience platform. No matter the size of the company, a central platform is needed to collect, unify, analyze and activate all the different ways a customer/consumer buys and interacts with each brand. Tomorrow’s DMP will be the central hub to make that all happen.