X+1 and the Synergy of Digital Advertising

by Adam on February 7, 2013

I had the opportunity to attend the Reed & Desilva Dealmakers Summit today, held at the rather austere New World Stage in NYC. There were about 100 people in attendance, and the conference itself covered a variety of topics on the business development, acquisitions and investment spectrum. Overall, it was an interesting event, and one presentation/sales pitch in particular caught my attention.

There’s a company out there called X+1 and it is enabled brands everywhere to know a lot about you. For years, we’ve all known that Facebook, Google and others have been tracking our online behavior and tailoring ads and other offers based on that (ever notice how your Gmail account always includes ads for flights to Puerto Rico when you’re writing to a friend about an upcoming trip?). But, I think that X+1 actually takes this notion to a whole new level, in a rather cool/creepy sort of way. You can watch this rather unfortunately cheesy marketing video to see how it actually works, which will probably do better justice than I can describe:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9AGJCLJ8y0

Basically, the platform allows advertisers and other content providers to track your behavior across the web, mobile and tablet environments to craft a better consumer profile and tailor sponsored offers to meet your needs. I won’t go into all the details, but suffice it to say that the company is creating a unified experience across devices so that marketeers can reach consumers on every level and know more about who they are and what they are looking for.

All of this brings up a really thorny question about the role of consumer data in terms of profiling audience segments. How far is too far? And how much do consumers want to be known? With a younger generation, I think the line between privacy and convenience is being pushed more towards the latter end of the spectrum, as they give up more information about themselves in return for better and more targeted content experiences.

And this is not only limited to advertising. Think of how many sites are offering personalized experiences in terms of the content you receive. All of that data is being aggregated, and if it can be stitched together across sites to form a complete picture of who you are as a consumer, think of how powerful that data can be. Advertisers will know your allergies (from a recipe website), your spending habits (from Mint), your favorite travel destinations and restaurants (from TripAdvisor and Yelp respectively), who your friends are (from Facebook), and more. I think the biggest issue is not going to be collecting the data, it’s actually going to be crunching it and making sense of it all.

It’s a powerful tool and one that could hold a lot of potential for advertisers, brands and consumers. The buzz words for 2013 and beyond is going to be data, and it especially relates to personalized data.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

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