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Can eXelate’s magic touch extend to audience creation?

Fol­low­ing a $12 mil­lion cash injec­tion, dig­i­tal tech­nol­o­gy firm eXe­late look set to move online adver­tis­ing up a gear by using big data to ‘cre­ate’ audi­ences for savvy online mar­keters. This lat­est Series C fund­ing will allow glob­al expan­sion and allow eXe­late to devel­op the con­cept of ‘big data’, look­ing into how it can be used to gen­er­ate and repli­cate tar­get audi­ences and speed up cus­tomer buy-in.  eXe­late has also admit­ted the cash may also be used to acquire ‘com­ple­men­tary’ busi­ness­es too.

This lat­est round brings the total raised by the New York firm to $32 mil­lion, fol­low­ing a $15 mil­lion B round in 2010. The 2012 round of fund­ing is head­ed up by NewSpring Cap­i­tal, whose part­ner Glenn T. Reiger will join the eXe­late board, as well as Men­lo Ven­tures, Tri­dent Cap­i­tal and Carmel Ventures.

Unprece­dent­ed growth

The com­pa­ny, which announced +300% rev­enue growth in both 2010 and 2011, pro­vide dig­i­tal adver­tis­ers with data on pur­chase intent, behav­iour­al habits and house­hold demo­graph­ics that enable them to make effec­tive mar­ket­ing decisions.

The data itself comes from estab­lished offline play­ers such as Nielsen and Nielsen Catali­na, Bizo and Mas­ter­card Advi­sors among oth­ers, and includes data from over 400 mil­lion unique con­sumers, as well as eXelate’s own online behav­ior analy­sis, and this lat­est round of invest­ment will allow eXe­late to look into a num­ber of emerg­ing mar­ket trends – notably cus­tom mod­el­ling and more flex­i­ble audi­ence intelligence.

Cus­tom mod­el­ling involves the use of exist­ing cus­tomer infor­ma­tion as a ‘seed’ to devel­op fur­ther rel­e­vant audi­ences and speed up the pur­chase process. By employ­ing this tech­nique, eXe­late can use exist­ing cus­tomer data to iden­ti­fy groups who dis­play sim­i­lar behav­iors and who are there­fore poten­tial cus­tomers. This audi­ence cre­ation would sure­ly make any online mar­keter get a lit­tle excit­ed and keep eXe­late up there as a hot ticket?

Flex­i­ble intelligence

By using adap­tive audi­ence intel­li­gence, mar­keters can see how con­sumers are inter­re­lat­ing with brands and mod­i­fy tar­get mod­els quick­ly so they can adapt to cus­tomer per­cep­tion. By using both of these tools togeth­er online adver­tis­ers have an oppor­tu­ni­ty to become more respon­sive to con­sumer needs.

CEO Mark Zagors­ki believes this lat­est devel­op­ment rep­re­sents a giant leap for­ward for online mar­keters, who can now begin to move away from the ‘cook­ie cut­ter seg­men­ta­tion’ approach to audi­ence tar­get­ing, to more flu­id style that meets the client’s needs and not vice versa.

Zagors­ki said:  “I think we are just scratch­ing the sur­face with regard to how big data can be applied to mak­ing mes­sag­ing smarter for adver­tis­ers and consumers.

“Today, com­pa­nies look for obvi­ous demo­graph­ic and behav­ior pat­terns that lead to high­er rel­e­van­cy and ad per­for­mance, but they remain in the ear­ly stages of dig­ging up trends from seem­ing­ly unas­so­ci­at­ed events.

“This takes a seri­ous invest­ment in data sci­en­tists and infra­struc­tures that are specif­i­cal­ly focused on ad tar­get­ing. That invest­ment is hold­ing back com­pa­nies, but there are signs that the sit­u­a­tion is changing.

“Going beyond ‘the plat­form’ and actu­al­ly pro­vid­ing solu­tions will be crit­i­cal in sup­port­ing mar­keters and help­ing them get the val­ue of big data,” Zagors­ki con­tin­ues. “The inno­va­tions will come through solu­tions part­ner­ships, not just by sell­ing technology.”

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