Trending Now: Taykey on the Importance of Real-Time Audience & Trend Data

Taykey pioneered trend intelligence and advertising, empowering brands to leverage data on consumer conversations and sentiment to power their digital advertising campaigns. For those of us not already familiar with Taykey, can you share more on the company and your platform?

At it’s core, Taykey is a real-time audience data company. This data comes from our proprietary analysis of conversations across social platforms and popular websites to understand what’s trending for which audiences. We offer two products designed to help marketers take action from our data:

Our Trend Advertising platform, which has been in market since 2009, translates our real-time trend data into specific ad placements, making it possible for advertisers to automatically and continuously align their campaigns with the most relevant content for their target audience.

Our Trend Intelligence platform, which is currently available as part of a limited beta, allows marketers to understand which people, products, and events matter most to their target audience, right now and over time. We think there’s an exciting opportunity to offer an insights product that leverages real-time conversation data but is also focused on audience insights rather than brand monitoring.
You announced in June of this year the ability for marketers to now leverage your Trend Intelligence data in other programmatic platforms. Can you explain more on how this works, and in what platforms they are available?

We announced the availability of our Trend Advertising platform for programmatic buyers in June. Previously, our advertising solution was integrated with platforms like YouTube and Google Display Network and relied primarily on a managed service approach. We saw both the demand and the opportunity for programmatic buyers to leverage our data directly, within their DSP of choice, to target more relevant content across exchanges. Currently, we’re integrated with DoubleClick Bid Manager but we are working on releasing additional integrations by the end of the year.
Programmatic has really taken the industry by storm, giving marketers the efficiency, scale and targeting they need to reach their ideal audience. However, it is still plagued with issues like a lack of transparency, and fraudulent impressions in the open exchanges. What are your thoughts on programmatic, and do you think there will ever be a “One Platform to Rule Them All”?

Starting with some of the opportunities and challenges you alluded to, there are definitely some serious tradeoffs in the programmatic marketplace today. Buyers are typically forced to choose between the scale and efficiency of open exchanges or the increased control and inventory quality that comes with private exchange deals or direct buys. That’s a shame because reaching targeted audiences at scale in the right environment has been a key pillar of programmatic buying since its inception.

This is actually the reason we’re so excited to bring our real time trend data to the programmatic ecosystem. By aligning upper funnel campaigns with the most relevant content for a given audience segment there’s an opportunity to significantly boost inventory quality, campaign engagement, and in-target delivery.

Given the breadth of needs and sophistication in the programmatic buying landscape, I’m not sure that there will be a “One Platform to Rule Them All”… at least in the short term. Of course, some vendors will benefit competitively from their ability to offer a more seamless end to end workflow, data integration and / or a more unified view of the consumer.
How does the technology for your trend intelligence work? To the extent that you can reveal, can you share more on how you acquire this data on consumer conversations & sentiment?

We use natural language processing to analyze conversations across social platforms and thousands of popular websites. We’re continuously analyzing conversations and activity around hundreds of thousands of individual entities to understand what’s trending, why it’s trending, the sentiment of those conversations, and the demographics and interests of the people driving the conversation.

For example, let’s say we see a surge in conversations around Beyoncé. Our system will automatically analyze the context of what’s being shared and related articles to understand that Beyoncé is trending because of her recent performance at the VMA Awards, and recognize the overall sentiment for this trend as “positive”. We can look at publicly available profile and post data to infer that the primary audience for this trend is F18-34 and that the people talking about it were also likely to be talking about other music trends as well as professional soccer.

So, how do we put this into action?

On the advertising side, we might be running a campaign targeting millennial females who are passionate about music. In this case, our system would automatically begin targeting stories about Beyoncé at the VMAs as soon as we detected the trend as being relevant for that audience and identified it as positive.

On the intelligence side, historical data comes into play as well. A marketer might want to analyze the most talked about musical artists for millennial females over the past six months by either volume or affinity. In this case, our Beyoncé trend becomes one data point in a larger graph.
There has been a lot of talk lately about a Duopoly in digital advertising between Google and Facebook. According to one report, they control over 76% of all digital advertising spend in the world, leaving the rest of spend to be fought over by the other independent players. What is your take on this?

Our industry moves incredibly quickly. There’s typically been a huge new trend or event that shifts the landscape every 6–9 months, creating a new set of opportunities and challenges.

There are still big opportunities to bring brand dollars online and into mobile. Companies like Snapchat seem poised to capture an increasing amount of short form video dollars directly from brands, and technology vendors are helping to meet the needs of this advertiser segment – from brand safety to new creative tools. Even on the more mature DR side of things, Criteo has built a billion dollar business that continues to grow through a relentless focus on the lower funnel.

The successful players typically have had a sustained and sincere focus on differentiation and delivering real value for their customers rather than jumping on the bandwagon de jour.
What do you think are some of the biggest challenges the ad industry faces today?
I’d start with attribution as an important, persistent challenge. In the absence of consistent and reliable measurement the industry still places too much weight on cost over value. This is especially true for the mid to upper funnel. If people are incentivized to simply deliver more, cheaper impressions there’s a trickle down effect that helps to perpetuate other industry challenges like fraud and ad blocking.

Speaking of fraud, challenges surrounding inventory quality and fraud are rightly getting a lot of attention now and that’s a good thing. It’s difficult to scale online investments with these types of fundamental questions looming about the integrity of campaign delivery.

From the consumer’s perspective, the extreme and growing fragmentation of attention we’re seeing really presents a challenge for marketers. Thanks to broad adoption of mobile and social, consumers live their lives in the feed, jumping from article to article and video to video. How do you build a brand in this environment – align with relevant content, reach the right audience for upper funnel campaign? This is one of the critical challenges we’re focused on solving with our data.
Legacy print publications and newspapers are really feeling the heat when it comes to retaining advertisers and growing revenues. How do you think these legacy news or print publications will adapt to stay alive? (subscription models, hyperlocal news, only selling to local advertisers, etc)
Forget print, people don’t even go to websites anymore. Again, consumers live their lives in the feed. 50% of publisher traffic is coming from Facebook alone. Many publishers are taking a bifurcated approach – a “channels” strategy to best leverage Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, Pinterest, etc… and a strategy to engage loyal users via apps, newsletters, etc.. Almost every newsroom is focused on producing more video content. For many legacy print publications reach is probably less of an issue than revenue. There doesn’t seem to be a silver bullet right now to replace lost print margins.

Again, this extreme fragmentation of audience attention also creates challenges for advertisers. As we discussed earlier, reaching and engaging new audiences at scale is becoming increasingly difficult.
There has been an explosion in the sheer number of publishers, ad networks, platforms, and adtech companies in the last few years a media buyer can work with. Do you think that this is sustainable, and how do you see the market evolving over time?
On a macro level I think it’s clearly unsustainable. That said, the question is probably better answered on the solution level: How many DSPs can the market sustain? Which vendor categories can more efficiently delivered as features rather than stand-alone solutions? One unfortunate consequence of the crowded landscape is that the baby often gets thrown out with bathwater. Due to attribution challenges, it’s still too difficult to understand which vendors are delivering real value, so it’s often difficult even for truly differentiated offerings to rise above the clutter.
Doubleclick announced the launch of “Marketplace”, which allows users of Doubleclick Bid Manager to now access programmatic guaranteed inventory from all the publishers directly integrated with AdX. This is a sure-fire sign of Google trying to take over the direct ad buying market. What are your thoughts on this?
As I understand it, the new functionality offered by Marketplace adds a basic level of transparency that’s really needed to drive some liquidity for direct deals. It wasn’t too long ago that the industry was deeply concerned that DoubleClick’s “Dynamic Allocation” between Ad Exchange and DFP created an unfair advantage. Now the emergence of Header Bidding has changed the equation. I think the most interesting implication for things like Marketplace is what it may mean for the future role of the ad server (DFP), which has historically been the center of the publisher’s ad stack.
Lastly, what is your take on the future for independent adtech players & publishers?
There’s still a bright future for companies that remain focused on addressing the industry’s most significant opportunities and challenges rather than building “me too” solutions. Despite the current fragmentation in the technology landscape I think there’s also a sense from marketers that they’ve still only begun to scratch surface on what’s possible with regard to engaging an increasingly connected consumer.
By: Jon Nevitt | VP Marketing at Taykey
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