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Datalogix feeds offline purchase metrics to online social networks and raises $45 million to expand its product

There’s a lit­tle prob­lem with ana­log adver­tis­ing on social media: busi­ness­es are get­ting sick of spend­ing mon­ey on it when they have no idea whether it’s actu­al­ly dri­ving sales, and social media sites need to prove ROI if they’re to stand a chance of per­suad­ing adver­tis­ers to buy big­ger cam­paigns. Which is where New York-head­quar­tered Dat­a­logix comes in: its plat­form deft­ly con­nects online adver­tis­ing with offline con­sumer behav­ior, and most tech-savvy prod­uct man­agers would agree that that means it’s tak­ing the guess­work out of mar­ket­ing and replac­ing it with science.

Link­ing meat­space with cyber­space 

Begin­ning life in 2002, Dat­a­logix has risen to become a crit­i­cal com­po­nent in Twitter’s and Facebook’s mon­e­ti­za­tion machines — and its part­ner list con­tains the kind of names to make the aver­age prod­uct manager’s jaw drop. It’s pop­u­lat­ed by jug­ger­nauts like Yahoo, Google, eBay and many oth­ers, includ­ing firms fea­tured on these pages like YuMe, Draw­bridge and Tremor Video. And as a sign of the con­fi­dence it’s inspir­ing in the busi­ness com­mu­ni­ty, it recent­ly raised a thun­der­ing $45 mil­lion in Series C fund­ing led by Welling­ton Man­age­ment Company.

So, intrigued prod­uct man­agers, this is how Dat­a­logix works. Let’s take Face­book: if you use a gro­cery store loy­al­ty card to get a dis­count on, say, Lis­ter­ine Ultr­a­clean, that infor­ma­tion gets con­veyed anony­mous­ly to Face­book by Dat­a­logix (it hash­es your per­son­al­ly iden­ti­fi­able data). Face­book can then give this infor­ma­tion to a com­peti­tor brand like Crest 3D White, which in turn can tar­get ads for its prod­uct because it now knows you use mouth­wash. If Crest buys $2 worth of ads neat­ly tar­get­ed to mouth­wash users (includ­ing you), and between you, you mouth­wash­ers raise your month­ly spend on Crest 3D White to $10, the math is sim­ple: Face­book lets Crest know it can give them $8 in ROI for a spend of $2. Result: Crest decides to buy more Face­book ads, and Face­book makes more money.

Prod­uct development

The recent Series C fund­ing will be ploughed into devel­op­ing a broad­er suite of audi­ence and mea­sure­ment prod­ucts, and it seems pret­ty like­ly that most peo­ple won’t object to its track­ing meth­ods if they end up with rel­e­vant ads – it’s the irrel­e­vant and obtru­sive ones that tend to rub folk up the wrong way. For those with pri­va­cy con­cerns, though, there’s an opt out tool available.

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