Skimlinks Makes Its User-Intent Data Available To DMP Lotame
The first-party publisher data from affiliate network Skimlinks means that Lotame can add massive info about what users are now interested in buying to its own behavioral and demographic layers.
Skimlinks provides a network of affiliate links to publishers, and then shares all that B2C intent data — such as, these users have clicked on links to HD TVs — with those publishers.
Lotame is a data management platform (DMP) that provides all sorts of behavioral, demographic and other targeting data for advertisements and various kinds of marketing, but it has only occasionally offered user intent data.
Today, the two companies are announcing a partnership, where Skimlinks provides its intent data-based segments of users interested in particular kinds of products and Lotame makes that data part of a co-branded offering.
This is the first time that Skimlinks has provided its intent data outside of its publisher co-op, and it’s the first time Lotame has made available a massive layer of info about what users are in the market to buy right now.
Skimlinks’ network includes such heavyweights as Time Inc., Conde Nast, The Huffington Post, Hearst, Gawker Media and Daily Mail, plus another 1.5 million or so publishers. It captures the click on an affiliate link that appears when a product or related topic is mentioned in those publishers’ editorial content, as well as the conversion data when the click results in a sale on more than 20,000 e-commerce sites.
This first-party customer data from the publishers — which had been shared anonymously inside the co-op — is now being made available through Lotame to exchanges, trading desks, publishers outside the coop and advertisers’ demand side platforms (DSPs).
Previously, for instance, a site focused on cameras in the Skimlinks publishers co-op might have utilized shared data from, say, a parenting site also in the co-op.
When someone on the parenting site clicked on a link for diapers, the camera site might have targeted them for ads and other marketing, since new parents are big buyers of camera equipment.
Lower In The Funnel
Now, through Lotame, that same camera site — or other camera-oriented publishers not in Skimlinks’ co-op, as well as advertisers — can now combine Lotame’s data about that user’s demographics or other online behavior to its targeting, made available through the DMP’s capabilities. The new partners noted that many Skimlinks publishers are also Lotame customers.
Matching all this data to the same user is the black box of targeting. Skimlinks says it makes deterministic — that is, highly accurate — matches between many of the desktop users who are identified by cookies, with mobile users identified by device IDs, because some of each publisher’s visitors are logged in and therefore identifiable on both desktops and mobile devices.
Skimlinks’ head of audience, Ed Thomas, told me that his company has about 1.4 billion cookie and device IDs in its data store, but “only” about 400 million IDs are considered reliable enough to turn into segments. Segments are groups of users interested in buying certain products, because they’ve recently clicked on an affiliate link and possibly made a purchase as a result.
The Skimlinks intent-based profiles are delivered as anonymized product segments to Lotame, which then matches its own data to the profiles through its user matching techniques, like user 123 checking the same sports site from the same geographical location on a smartphone in the morning and on a tablet at night.
Ryan Rolf, Lotame’s director of data sales, noted that his company had previously been focused on “a higher level of targeting,” mostly mid-funnel to top of funnel — that is, when someone is just beginning to think about and take some steps toward buying a camera.
Intent data, which indicates there’s now a window when the user is actively shopping for this thing, moves Lotame’s focus much further down the funnel. It can now offer a more complete suite of massive data in its ongoing competition with such DMPs as eXelate and Oracle’s BlueKai.
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