New Kid on the Behavioral Targeting Block

  |  August 27, 2008   |  Comments

A look at a platform that incorporates different targeting techniques -- behavioral, contextual, geographic, demographic, and more -- into the mix.

Tumri is a new player in the behavioral targeting space that promises seamless integration of highly targeted content with heightened consumer relevancy, lower cost, and time-to-market. I had the opportunity to speak with Calvin Lui, president and CEO of Tumri, to learn more about Tumri's revolutionary technology and gain some insight to the targeting arena.

Vicky Chen: Before we dive into a conversation on behavioral targeting, let's get some background on Tumri.

Calvin Lui: At Tumri, we provide integrated brand and performance marketing solutions through our proprietary technology platform. Tumri does not sell anything directly to consumers -- we aim to serve consumers by working with advertisers and publishers to deliver better content and more compelling messaging that consumers will find valuable.

The AdPod, for instance, is our ad-targeting platform that combines branding power, which can be delivered by the dynamic imagery of display ads, with targeted, specific messaging traditionally associated only with text-based ads through search or contextual solutions. Within the AdPod platform, ad units can be customized for target audiences to show a specific product message, a call to action, or a branding message.

VC: What differentiates Tumri from other targeting technologies currently available?

CL: First of all, Tumri is media and targeting agnostic. We incorporate different targeting techniques: behavioral, contextual, geographic, demographic, and more into consideration. None of the techniques stand as a trump card alone. Combining different targeting disciplines is key for getting a message across to consumers in the most effective, timely, and cost-efficient manner.

Another differentiating aspect of Tumri is that it empowers advertisers to maintain control and test creative messaging. The AdPod platform will deconstruct an ad into its main creative components: brand, background image, product, price, marketing message, etc. Then, it allows advertisers to adjust each sub-component according to targeting/performance parameters. For instance, in order to better reach a sports enthusiast demographic, an auto marketer can change the ad image to a sports car and alter the message to become relevant to that demographic. If the goal is to have the target audience take action rather than simply generating awareness, the message can be changed from passive messaging to promotional messaging to inspire immediate action.

Moreover, we can do multivariate testing on each creative sub-component and provide real-time feedback. We can gauge different audience segments and their affinity to different messaging and also affinity to advertiser products, services, and offers. Our metrics enable us to gain insights on campaign performance based upon time, geography, and media channels. Traditional solutions have focused on media optimization -- putting the right advertiser campaign on the right impression. Tumri helps you take the next step, delivering the exact right message and imagery to the right person after you have found them. Ultimately, it helps bring accountability to creative messaging in the digital space.

VC: What are some challenges in the behavioral targeting (BT) space right now, and how do you think BT will evolve over the next couple of years?

CL: Match-rate will continue to remain a challenge, and so is the reliance on cookies. Suppose that I went to six different Web sites today, and cleared all my cookies at end of month. Whichever company is tracking me will then have to start all over again next month. As an industry, we really need evolve our approach to behavior tracking beyond the current cookie methodologies.

In terms of BT evolution, I think there will be more exploration and involvement in social networks. Social network monitoring and targeting is good way to observe content and gain insight and information on consumers. People on these networks are proactively choosing to display their interests and share their personal information. Marketers just have to find a way to engage them and provide value to them.

VC: What are your thoughts with regard to the privacy debate surrounding BT right now?

CL: I think if you elicit the cringe factor from your consumer audience, it probably means you've gone a bit too far. The ongoing ISP debate is extremely interesting and, personally, I don't have a solid opinion on whether targeting on the ISP level is good or bad. Again, it's all about value proposition.

If consumers can ultimately find value in the ads you serve them, targeting will be allowed. After all, targeting has been around for years: radio, TV, billboard, and direct mail ad placements have been determined by using demographic and psychographic information to identify specific consumer preferences and help determine the best ad placement -- some of these approaches are more advanced than others. Behavioral targeting is simply an evolution of the same principle to accommodate the consumer's demand for a more tailored experience.

VC: Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with the ClickZ Network. Any last words of wisdom?

CL: It's amazing to see how far we have come as an industry in only about 10 years of commercializing the Internet. We have created amazing consumer experiences and a new media channel that is dominating the consumer's attention and time spent. Can you imagine a world without e-mail, news, sports scores, Evite, search, maps, stock quotes, personal profile pages, instant messaging -- all through the Internet? And yet, we are still only at the surface of the possibilities.

If you think about what has been accomplished in the first 10 to 15 years, imagine what the next 10 to 15 years will bring now that it is part of the basic fabric of our everyday lives. Tumri and so many other innovative companies will continue to develop greater and more powerful solutions that will impact people's everyday lives.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Vicky Chen

Vicky Chen is a strategist at Sid Lee. Based in Amsterdam, she works with global clients such as Heineken, Red Bull, Swarovski, and Adidas to create and communicate desired brand experiences.

Vicky was previously a strategist at Naked New York, and started her career as a psychologist, focusing on socio-cultural dynamics and its influence on people's realities and behaviors.

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