Somo Partners with Drawbridge on Self-Service Cross-Device Platform

Today Drawbridge and Somo (the largest independent global mobile solutions company) announced a partnership wherein Somo will utilize the self-service Drawbridge Cross-Device Advertising Platform to run targeted ad campaigns across real-time and reserved inventory from premium publishers.

“We’ve worked closely with Drawbridge to add value to our clients’ mobile campaigns across many verticals, and the cross-device technology is the best we’ve seen for targeting and retargeting users on mobile devices,” said Thomas Schulz, Chief Commercial Officer at Somo. “Partnering with Drawbridge is the natural extension of our long relationship with the team, and being one of the first companies to use the full self-service cross-device platform is very exciting for us.”

Read the full press release here.

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Big Data in Mobile Advertising

Last month, one of our data scientists, Xiang Li, was invited to present at the Alibaba China Data Summit. The conference was for professionals in data-mining in their respective fields, and because of the massive amounts of data that Drawbridge processes (our Hadoop cluster is over 1PB!), Xiang had a great story to tell about how we’re use big data at Drawbridge to revolutionize mobile and cross-device advertising.

Xiang’s presentation covered an overview of mobile advertising, how Drawbridge uses data to make intelligent predictions, and a 30,000ft view of our cross-device algorithm. He discussed how we use logistic regression to predict the probability of winning an RTB auction, as well as the probability that a user will click an ad, truly answering the question of “How does big data apply to mobile advertising?”

Most interestingly – he shared some Drawbridge insights based on our data observations:

  • Ad request traffic is increasingly shifting from Mediation to RTB
  • Ad requests from Android devices have caught up to and surpassed the number of ad requests coming from iOS devices.
  • Top or bottom banner requests are about 6x more prevalent that interstitial requests, but interstitials see about 5x CTR.
  • Today we’re seeing more international ad requests than from the US, a major change from one year ago.

Here’s a shot of Xiang representing Drawbridge at the packed Data Summit:

Xiang Li at the Alibaba China Data Summit

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Announcing Targeted Video Ads on the Drawbridge Cross-Device Platform!

Today Drawbridge announced the addition of video ads to our cross-device solutions, allowing advertisers to reach over one billion devices worldwide. We’ll will host video ads directly, as well as partner with trusted third-party video ad platforms, such as MoPub. This allows agencies and advertisers to upload and manage video assets themselves through our self-service cross-device platform, or continue their existing video ad serving relationships.

“With eMarketer reporting video ad completion rates of roughly 47% overall, and key verticals such as automotive and consumer packaged goods seeing completion rates of up to 80%, we’re excited to offer cross-device digital video to our large base of brand advertisers to help those brands deliver relevant ads to engaged audiences,” said Drawbridge VP of Product, Rahul Bafna. “We’ve also expanded our reporting dimensions to provide full measurement of all common video metrics, including completion rate, viewability, and drop-off points, in addition to impressions, clicks and cross-device frequency.”

Read the full announcement here.

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New White Paper: Approaches & Tips for Effective Cross-Device Advertising

Marketers have been quick to react to the mobile revolution, and advertising within browsers and apps on smartphones and tablets is now a major part of most consumer marketing strategies. However, with recent trends indicating that consumers research and make purchase decisions across multiple devices, cross-device marketing is quickly overtaking the mobile-only mindset. The following is an excerpt from the latest Drawbridge white paper, Approaches and Tips for Effective Cross-Device Advertising.

Deterministic vs. Probabilistic Device Pairing

Deterministic device matching is person-based targeting that involves collecting private data, and using that data to connect users across devices through a login system. This method has 85-95% accuracy due to users’ login actions. For example, if a user has logged in to Facebook in both mobile and desktop environments, Facebook can serve targeted ads across devices with near-certainty that it is the same user.

However, the companies engaging in this device pairing use private data, and users have concerns about how this data is being used, stored, and shared or sold. Also, many of the deterministic approaches rely on “walled gardens” that have no visibility outside of the login system used (Google, Facebook, etc.). Scaling across browsers, apps, or devices is limited to the number of logged-in users.

Probabilistic modeling is used in many fields where large amounts of known data need to be analyzed to make assumptions about the unknown, such as in weather forecasting or stock market trend predictions. Because this method does not rely on login information, any private data is kept out of the hands of advertisers and publishers. The level of scale for probabilistic device pairing is incredibly large, because users can be paired across providers, applications and operating systems.

A drawback to probabilistic pairing is that the pairings cannot be 100% certain. However, as the algorithms get smarter and identify more data points and trends, the probability that the paired devices belong to the same user increases dramatically.

Once you device to run a cross-device campaign, use these five best practices to develop your plan:

1. Use past insights to drive the new strategy. Utilize any data you have from past campaigns, including information about revenue from mobile, your user base, etc.

2. Know your audience. Go beyond just gender, age and basic demographic segments. Target audience segments based on behaviors and pinpoint high-value and high-engagement audiences.

3. Input drives output. What you give is what you get. Set key performance indicators (KPIs) and keep an eye on the campaigns to maximize the return on ad spends.

4. Optimize. Set the creative to be specific for each device, and continually use data to tweak strategy.

5. Be consistent. Each platform, operating system and device should have its own creative, but messaging must stay constant to fuel a good brand experience.

For more approaches and tips for effective cross-device advertising, download the full white paper.

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Drawbridge Expands Sales Footprint with Mobile Advertising Star Polly Lieberman

Drawbridge is so excited to welcome Polly Lieberman!

Polly brings over 15 years of experience in sales leadership and revenue strategy. Most recently, she led agency sales for Celtra in North America, where she was instrumental in driving the company to profitability in Q3 2012 with revenue growth over 300%. Polly has a strong track record in the industry, having previously been a sales leader for GOGII, Local Response, and KikuCall.

Polly becomes the second Drawbridge executive to be included on Business Insider’s “Most Powerful Women in Mobile Advertising” list, having been included on this list in 2012 as well as in 2013 alongside Drawbridge CEO, Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan. In 2011, Polly was recognized as one of Mobile Marketer’s “Women to Watch.”

 Click Here to read the full press release

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Drawbridge Welcomes Kate Burns VP, EMEA Sales and Business Development

Drawbridge is excited to welcome Kate Burns as the newest member of our executive team. Kate has joined Drawbridge as the VP, EMEA Sales and Business Development. As digital advertising dollars increase worldwide, cross-device advertising becomes progressively more important. With our expansion into the global market, Drawbridge is positioned to continue as an industry leader. We couldn’t imagine a more experience leader to help lead our international growth than Kate.

Three fun facts about Kate Burns:

  • Prior to Drawbridge, Kate was ex-Director of Google UK and ex-CEO of AOL EU – this isn’t her first rodeo!
  • Kate was named one of the “Most 50 Influential Britons in Technology” by Telegraph News
  • Kate is a serious horsewoman, she competes at a national level.

We at Drawbridge have created a perfect recipe for cross-device success at a global scale. By adding Kate to our executive team, we are thrilled to expand our business internationally and watch the company grow as 2014 approaches.

Read Kate’s official Press Release here.

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Drawbridge Named Finalist for 10th Annual Meffys: The Global Awards for Mobile Content & Commerce

October 15, 2013: MEF, the global community for mobile content and commerce, has revealed the finalists for the 10th Annual Meffys Awards, and Drawbridge is honored and excited to be among the finalists.

Drawbridge is shortlisted for the Consumer Trust category, with an emphasis on their “Universal Opt Out” feature. Other impressive companies that placed as finalists in this category include Ensygnia, Kaspersky Labs, NQ Mobile, and TRUSTe.

The judging panel is made of more than 40 journalists, academics, analysts, and VCs, all with international experience and knowledge. The Meffy’s have come to be acknowledged as the global benchmark for measuring success and rewarding innovation in mobile content and commerce.

For more information on MEF Global Forum 2013 please visit www.mefglobalforum.org.

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Drawbridge Joins OnMobile for Mobile Powerfest 2013

Drawbridge is excited to announce the company’s inclusion in OnMobile’s shortlist of 100 best private mobile companies, as well as CEO Kamakshi’s speaking role at OnMobile 2013 Mobile Powerfest.

Kamakshi joins some of the brightest minds in mobile to discuss a number of 2013 and 2014’s top trends and opportunities. The exclusive event is attended by CEOs, venture capitalists, analysts, and key media members.

The speakers will explore such categories as mobile entertainment, education, advertising, social commerce, venture capital, and mobile enterprise. Top trends and topics for this year’s event also include:

      • The best venture capital bets in mobile
    • Closing the $20 billion mobile ad gap
    • Hottest opportunities in mobile content and services
    • Hits in mobile commerce and payments
    • Challenges and opportunities in mobile enterprise

Kamakshi’s panel begins at 2 pm PT, and she joins prominent CEOs from Kargo, Gumiyo, Fiksu, Retailigence, wywy, Vserv.mobi and LifeStreet Media to discuss closing the $20B advertising gap. Currently mobile advertising only represents three percent of the market, even though 12 percent of content is consumed on mobile. Kamakshi and fellow panelists will dive into what type of innovations will be necessary to seize this $20B opportunity.

A star member of this year’s OnMobile panel, with history at AdMob and Google, Kamakshi’s technology is completely her own formula, and uses ZERO personally identifiable information – no login names, no social handles – just data. To date, Drawbridge has paired 750M devices, and the number grows every day (hoping to surpass one billion by the New Year!).

To learn more about OnMobile’s Mobile Powerfest 2013, visit https://events.aonetwork.com/ehome/onmobile.

To learn more about Drawbridge, visit www.drawbrid.ge, and follow the team on Twitter @Drawbridge.

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Eric Rosenblum, COO of Drawbridge, Joins TRUSTe at the 2013 “Powering Trust” Roadshow to Encourage Privacy Commitments Across Devices

In today’s mobile-focused world, a user’s privacy is not only the most important, but also the hardest thing for companies to promise. Many ad exchanges, big-name brands, and app developers aren’t yet sure how to effectively target users on mobile without accessing personally identifiable information (PII). However, for some companies, the pledge to protect consumer privacy comes first and foremost when introducing cross-device technology – and Drawbridge is one of those companies.

Mobile and online privacy is extremely important to consumers – almost more important than their next status update. A recent uproar around Facebook’s new privacy policies has the social network on edge, as they fear billions of users will stop using Facebook altogether if these not-so-privacy-friendly policies are put into place. During the upcoming Powering Trust Roadshow in New York, Drawbridge’s COO Eric Rosenblum, will discuss the measures he and the team have taken in cross-device advertising to eliminate privacy concerns, similar to those that Facebook is currently up against.

Drawbridge is one of the first and leading cross-device digital marketing companies to create a proprietary technology based on scientific machine learning algorithms that pairs a user to his/her device. Drawbridge is making huge strides with TRUSTe to empower user privacy with a partnership featuring a “Universal Opt-Out” function.

With this privacy-focused partnership, TRUSTe and Drawbridge bring users a level of security previously unseen with cross-device targeting. TRUSTe has integrated their TRUSTed Ads privacy service for mobile with the Drawbridge platform, giving both customers and advertisers a safe, meaningful outlet for mobile ad delivery. The platform includes full cross-platform compatibilities, letting advertisers run the program on iOS, Android, mobile web, and application, as well as being aware of compliant companies and mobile targeting processes. Advertisers can deploy this service on the buying or selling side within the mobile application or ad, itself. For customers, TRUSTe and Drawbridge now offer flexibility for customers to set their own privacy controls when it comes to mobile ad services. Read more about how this works in our case study.

So, this begs the question: How much privacy – as a consumer or as a business – is enough privacy? And what can hugely influential online companies do to better service their users from a privacy standpoint? Share your opinions in the comment section of our blog, or if you can make it out to the New York Roadshow, visit the “Cross Device Advertising, Tracking, and Privacy Management” panel to share your thoughts.

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Crossing the Drawbridge: The Life and Times of Dale “Intern” Jr.

At risk of this becoming a paean to Startup-dom, let me begin by first thanking the various ping-pong maestros that this company employs for elevating my game. I thought I was the best ping-pong player this side of the Mississippi until I met these guys, and they put me in my place.

Now, to shine a little light on the work I did while at Drawbridge, let me tell you that not once did I fetch coffee. When I was assigned to do “menial” work, it was to help Len, the front-end king, port all our docs into static html/css. This turned out to be a great exercise because Len got me to start using vi, a command line text editor (for those having trouble switching, macvim helps tremendously with the transition- mixes vi with normal mac gui controls).

I worked directly with Paul, who at the time was Drawbridge’s “entire global sales force”, to assemble target lists. Last week I spotted some of the prospects I’d dredged up on a slide deck presented to the board of directors- it’s not like this was my magnum opus being featured in NYC’s best gallery or anything, but my heart definitely swelled with pride a little.

Although these are but a small sampling of the varied projects I worked on, the common theme should be clear- I was no excel monkey. While many of my Dartmouth compatriots were busy formatting power points at Bank X and selling their soul to the Investment Bank Gods, I was dropped into the heart of a vibrant startup where I worked on meaningful projects and was able to observe some of the smartest people in Silicon Valley tackle problems and carry a vision to fruition, one painstaking model release or sales call at a time.

Xiang and Heedong- it may be true that nobody will remember the day we stood basking in the glory of victory on that podium after go-cart racing, but I, for one, will never forget the raw passion with which we raced and won. Fight on, gentlemen!

Thanks Drawbridge!

final haiku:

Fellow Drawbridgers

Thanks for putting up with me

It was the bees knees

actually here’s the last haiku:

Drawbridge poker nights

John will take all your money

but no one knows how

(especially him)

this has been Brian Joseff the Intern, over and out.

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