New players in the Ads business are using Data Science to create smarter and better solutions every day
Big Data in Ads industry
Data Science is becoming more and more important everyday, almost in every business in the planet. It doesn’t matter if the industry is biotech, green technologies, finance, wealth management, security analysis, retail,
e-commerce; we are in the era of information, so; data is everywhere, and to keep running a business, is more frequent now to analyze statistics, trends, to build graphics to show clever results, to construct models based on data mining techniques like logistic regression and predictive analytics, and big data tools like Hadoop, Storm, R, and many others, are playing a key role on this issue.
But I don’t want to talk about a lot of industries; I will focus on one industry that I love to research and to study: “Digital Advertising”
If you know a little about the advertising industry, you should know that Google Adwords is the leader in this market by far, but there are many new players in these rush times that are redefining this industry forever, and you should be asking how they are changing the game, simple: they are adding Data Scientists to its payroll to find interesting patterns on its data, or using advanced techniques like Artificial intelligence based expert systems focused on Predictive Behavioral Targeting, or geo-targeted mobile ads systems. And I want to show you with examples, how Big Data tools are been used for all this.
Player # 1: RocketFuel
RocketFuel is a Redwood Shores, CA startup founded by on-line advertising veterans like Abhinav Gupta (VP, Engineering), who was a founding member of the behavioral targeting group at Yahoo! prior to cofound the company; Mark Torrance, (Chief Technology Officer), who left his PhD to found StockMaster.com, one of the largest customers of the DoubleClick ad network; and former rocket scientists like George John, who is the current Chief Executive Officer of the company. In 2011, the company was named # 22 on the Forbes Most Promising Companies in America list.
But, you should be wondering why I put this company like an example. Ok, let me explain you. RocketFuel is the leader provider of artificial-intelligence advertising solutions that tranforms digital media buys into self-optimizing engines that learn and adapt in real-time, all the time, to exceed advertising goals from awareness to sales, said the company’s site.
They have created a great ecosystem for advertisers to create more accurate campaigns based on wining solutions, almost for every enterprise customer in the world. For example, they released an impressive solution for Facebook Exchange(FBX) called Social Booster, enabling to marketers to serve more relevant ads on Facebook via real-time bidding based on individual impression characteristics instead of pre-defined audience segments. The RocketFuel’s team knows that Facebook is changing the advertising industry, because you have the potential to create successful ads for more than 1 billion of on-line users, so, many branchs want the access to this huge mass; but, think for a moment, What about if you have the chance to create successful campaigns for the right people at the real-time by focusing on both engagement and performance metrics. That’s the main objective behind RocketFuel’s Social Booster. You can read more about this here.
But fun doesn’t end here. Tiffany & Company, one of the best known jeweler in U.S, trusted in the geo-targeted mobile ads solutions delivered by the RocketFuel’s team, helping to the manufacter to drive more foot traffic for its new store in SoHo. You can see the whole story of this great partnership in the LuxuryDaily site. Like Tiffany, you can see all the success stories behind the RocketFuel’s technology in the company site: Buick, Johns Manville or Zumba Fitness, are great examples.
If you look in the Solutions’s page in the RocketFuel site, you can see that they have created an amazing platform for a great group of marketing problems; all based in powerful artificial intelligence techniques and in an incredible platform called Storm. This amazing piece of technology, created by Nathan Marz, a Software Engineer at Twitter in 2011 focused on Real-Time data processing. Storm have played a key role at Twitter, allowing to analyze the vast quantity of data behind the platform; and this is the approach that RocketFuel has followed for Real-Time Bidding processing. You can see all this in the Storm wiki at GitHub.
Player # 2: HubSpot
If you are a seasoned marketer, you should have listened the term “Inbound Marketing”, created by the Hubspot founders Brian Hallingan, current Chief Executive Officer of the company (He is a Senior Lecturer at MIT too, where he teaches Entrepreneurial Product Development and Marketing ), and Dharmesh Shah, Chief Technology Officer of the company (and founder of OnStartups portal). Even, they created a blog called “Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media and Blogs”, where they explained in a clean way what is this term and how to create a marketing campaign based on this approach, step by step.
But then, they saw that this was a real problem for many people and created a platform called Hubspot to help to every customer to create marketing campaigns based on Inbound Marketing. This platform is an All-in-One Marketing solution and CRM approach for businesses with more than 7500 customers, and growing everyday. You can see the success stories here.
But, How they are managing all this data, analyze it and help to its customers?
They are using Hadoop and HBase in AWS to manage their whole infrastructure. I know this, because, I have taked many advices from Bryan Beaudreault, Data Analytics Team Leader at Hubspot, in the HBase mailing list, where they have published some ideas about this: Cloudera Distribution for Hadoop version 3u2 on a 150 nodes cluster, where 50 are for HBase and 100 are for MapReduce; all hosted in AWS using a CentOS 6 based AMI for this, and Puppet manages all the configuration stuff.
So, you can see that Hadoop is a key part of the business at Hubspot, so, they are looking always for Data junkies to help them to create smart solutions for their customers; guys like Bryan, ready to tackle the hardest problems without fear. If you review its Careers section, you can see this particular position, focused on Hadoop/HBase development. If you don’t know, their HQ are in Cambridge, MA.
Player # 3: Tapad
This young startup founded by Are Traasdahl (CEO) and Dag Liodden (CTO), with its HQ in the beautiful New York, have created an amazing cross-device marketing platform called Tapad X-Platform, where you can run an ad campaign in smart TVs, smartphones and internet sites, all with the same platform. One of the best examples of this was the campaign that Tapad run for Dell, allowing to the company to achieved a full 68% lift in the time spent on the Dell site versus viewers who only received the ads on a single device . Mary Ellen Dugan, Dell’s Executive Director of Global Brand and Advertising said:
“This type of campaign allowed us, for the first time, to have an integrated,
cross-channel dialogue with our target demographic across their multiple
You can read about all this in the Mediapost site here.
But now, they are expanding the team, so, this is your opportunity to create something cool, new; this is your chance to work in an amazing team creating a remarkable mobile-focused DSP or a great ad exchange system. All this you can find it here.
So, tell me, Can you want to play this new game in the Advertising industry and to become in a rockstar in any of these companies? This is your chance to do it. Believe me, you won’t loose your time.