ADOTAS – Another challenger has appeared in the demand-side data management platform arena — advertising tech firm Turn, best known for its Turn Media Platform DSP, has flipped the switch on a new DMP: the Turn Audience Platform. Accuen and Experian are two of the launch partners for the new offering, which will allow marketers to arrange and augment their audience data for targeting advertising across the video, display and mobile channels. Philip Smolin, vice president of product and marketing, gave us the dirty details.
ADOTAS: How does the Audience Platform build off of Turn’s current technology? What’s new in this offering?
SMOLIN: The Turn Audience Platform is completely separate from Turn’s DSP product. It leverages the massive scalability, real-time data processing, and predictive algorithm technologies we’ve developed for the DSP, and dramatically expands them to provide true cross-channel audience management.
The Turn Audience Platform enables marketers to centralize their offline and online data, access leading audience data providers with a single click, and design audience segments that can be synchronized and used across display, video and mobile media providers. Integrated multi-channel attribution reporting then guides the marketer to understand both which channels are driving performance, along with how to allocate budgets across channels and media providers in order to drive advertising ROI.
How does the Turn Audience Platform differ from the countless other DMP offerings out there? Does scale set it apart?
Scale is absolutely a differentiator for Turn. Prior to our market launch Turn is already processing over 500 billion data events per month for clients like Experian, OMG’s Accuen, and Akamai, making it the largest DMP in the world. Turn also integrates marketers into the industry’s first open ecosystem for audience targeting.
This means having instant access to major audience data providers on a pay-per-use basis, while also being able to maintain direct vendor relationships for custom data solutions or pricing. Why does this matter? Because scale + ecosystem = maximum audience reach.
For clients with data analysts another huge differentiator is the platform’s data warehousing technology. Turn provides clients with direct query builder access into the warehouse, enabling them to generate sophisticated analyses and custom reports that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to generate on other platforms.
Why do you consider it “industry’s first open ecosystem for audience targeting”?
We say “ecosystem” because any data source or vendor can send data in to the Turn Audience Platform, and the platform can send audience segments out to any media provider or content management system. It’s worth noting that at launch over 10 of the industry’s top data providers are already integrated in to this new model.
What makes it “open,” though, are additional features that enable marketers to also maintain direct relationships with each data vendor, if they so choose. This is important to both our clients and data partners, and enables them to further customize their relationship in terms of the data access and pricing that is available to the marketer.
In what ways does the platform assist clients in optimizing ad spend? By channel?
When clients use the Turn Audience Platform to manage audience targeting, what they’re doing is defining an audience once and synchronizing it with every cross-channel media provider they want to utilize in a campaign. As part of the process the media providers send back to the Audience Platform all of the relevant ad impression and performance data. This gives the client a unified view of campaign performance. The platform then applies a sophisticated multi-channel attribution analysis to identify how much each channel and media provider is contributing to campaign performance, and recommends how to adjust budgets to improve performance accordingly.
But this process isn’t just limited to “web” spend, and can be used with any addressable media including video, mobile, email and digital TV.
How is the DMP integrated into the Turn Media Platform? Can clients use one and not the other?
Turn’s DMP and DSP are completely separate products. While many of our clients of course use them together and there are benefits of doing so, the real power of a DMP is when a marketer uses it to centralize all of their audience data, targeting and analysis. This is particularly important for agencies who may have to use multiple DSPs on behalf of different brands. The Turn Audience Platform is designed specifically for this use case, and is compatible with every other DSP in the industry.
Will Turn’s platforms be able to access inventory from private ad exchanges, like the one Admeld built for The Weather Channel?
Absolutely. The Turn Audience Platform can be integrated with any DSP, premium publisher or ad network. For auction-based inventory like in a private exchange a marketer should always use a DSP to access the private exchange. This ensures the marketer is getting the benefits or real-time bidding and bid price optimization.
In fact many of our clients do this today, where they design their target audience in the Turn Audience Platform, and then execute the private exchange and open market media buys through the Turn Media Platform. It’s easy, seamless, and works extremely well.
What’s going on with Turn’s international expansion?
We recently opened our European data center and are servicing clients in all of the major European country markets. Things are going very well and the rate of adoption for data-driven audience targeting and RTB-based auction markets for display, video and mobile inventory has been a very pleasant surprise. The European market is growing incredibly quickly.