5 Tools for Cross-Device Ad Targeting

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multiplatform-desktop-mobile-phoneAd targeting was relatively straightforward back when consumers relied exclusively on their desktops to consume online content. But as the number of gadgets owned by consumers has increased over time — the average U.S. household now has 5.7 connected devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones — ad targeting has become considerably more complicated.

Advertisers are racing to track consumers as they switch from device to device, and as a result, multiscreen advertising has become the norm. Companies that offer cross-device tracking are in high demand, using hundreds of datapoints to track users all across thousands of apps and the mobile web.

Here are five companies that offer cross-device tracking for advertisers.

1. Tapad: Personalize content across multiple screens.
Tapad is looking to do away with what it calls the “scattershot approach to content delivery” by giving advertisers a better way to target users across multiple screens. The company’s Device Graph Technology uses first-party and third-party data to anonymously identify individual consumers regardless of their locations or devices. The Device Graph is available through a real-time biddable exchange. Tapad also offers advertisers a way to send location-based messaging to consumers across multiple devices.

2. BlueCava: Reach high-value targets on any screen.
BlueCava is a device ID technology firm. The company’s Audience Association Platform enables cross-screen audience management and measurement for brands and agencies. In doing this, BlueCava identifies, syncs, and scores incoming device data. Rather than relying on cookies, BlueCava produces its own “common identifiers,” combined with the user IDs assigned by ad exchanges. It establishes connections between various screens, consumers, and households using a proprietary process. Once these connections are combined with audience segments and activities, BlueCava is able to provide marketers with the information necessary for cross-screen targeting.

3. Adelphic: Target people, not devices.
A “poly-dimensional targeting technology” platform, Adelphic Mobile combines demographic data with behavioral segments to help advertisers engage mobile audiences at scale. Adelphic is best known for its AudienceCube product, which segments consumers by looking at patterns, such as a device’s operating system, carrier, location, time of day, and demographic information. Using this information, Adelphic is able to match consumer groups and targets ads to the audiences that advertisers are looking to reach. Adelphic is able to achieve this without identifying individual users, which is how the company avoids consumer privacy issues.

4. Tactads/MediaMath: Send the right message, to the right people, on the right devices.
Acquired by MediaMath earlier this year, Tactads offers cookie-less and cross-device targeting technology that advertisers can use to reach the right people, on the right devices, at the right times. Tactads uses algorithms to identify and associate specific devices with specific users by looking at clues coming from the various devices, such as the location, operating system, and tablet configuration. Now that Tactads has been acquired by MediaMath, this technology will be integrated into MediaMath’s ConnectedID platform, which allows advertisers to engage with customers across multiple channels and devices.

5. Drawbridge: Accurately scale desktop retargeting campaigns to mobile.
For companies that are currently running desktop-based retargeting campaigns, Drawbridge has developed a way to scale those campaigns into mobile. The company offers “self-learning ad technology” that uses insights from cross-device behavior to allow advertisers to reach audiences on all screens, apps, and devices. In addition to looking at DMAs and demographics, Drawbridge also uses interest modeling, niche audience targeting, influencer targeting, and lookalike modeling. Drawbridge says it currently has the ability to target more than one billion mobile devices, with integrated third-party data providers.

Know of other tools that advertisers can use for cross-device targeting? Leave a description in the comments.

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.