Hearst-owned digital agency iCrossing has acquired Red Aril, a data management and audience optimization platform, or DMP.
The Red Aril platform supports multiple data types and sources and lets marketers blend them to model and reach targeted audiences. Consumer profiles are constantly updated, the company said, from a client’s complete portfolio of data, as well as anonymous web traffic and third-party data.
Peter Randazzo, iCrossing’s chief technology officer, points out that Red Aril is one of the few pure-play DMPs.
“Red Aril was built from the ground up to be a real-time secure audience platform,” Randazzo says. “It takes all the data sources, correlates the data, applies statistical models and makes the information available in real time. It lets our clients segment their audiences into actionable information.”
He said an important differentiator of the platform is that clients stay in control of their data. For example, when the system makes a call to a third-party data source, audience behavioral data is masked from that source.
“They don’t get the information that you were on my property at this particular page. It allows you to leverage your audience without leaking audience,” he says.
Red Aril will also give iCrossing a trading desk application, which leverages insights from the data management platform to execute and inform media campaigns across networks and RTB exchanges. The trading desk lets publishers anonymously profile people who come to a site, understand who is most valuable, and then purchase lookalikes out on ad exchanges.
“And they do without making anyone else smarter in the process,” Randazzo says.
Red Aril competes with Demdex, the data management platform acquired by Adobe in January and rolled into Adobe Online Marketing Suite. At that time, Forrester analyst Michael Green predicted further strategic acquisitions of DMPs.
It’s been a busy year for iCrossing, owned by Hearst since 2010. In June, it launched iCrossing Live Media Studio, a branded content unit to generate brand media assets to be distributed whole or piecemeal across platforms. In September, it bought Wallaby Group, a Hispanic agency.
Programmatic is taking over the digital advertising world, and at an even faster rate than expected, according to eMarketer, which raised its forecast for programmatic ad spending in the U.S. on the back of growth in mobile and video programmatic buys.
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