audience data sessions, audience targeting, omnichannel campaigns, omnichannel targeting, social campaigns, amobee, luke hathaway

Audience Data Sessions: Eyeota chats to Amobee

By: Eyeota

Eyeota Amobee Omnichannel Campaigns

In this installment of the Audience Data Sessions Kristina Prokop, CEO of Eyeota and Luke Hathaway VP, Social from Amobee discuss why you should include outside audience profiles in your social media advertising campaigns. You can watch the discussion here.


The Eyeota and Amobee partnership means that Eyeota data can be activated for social channels through Amobee’s platform on a global basis. Social media plays an important role in Amobee’s overall platform and business strategy, which has evolved over the years to include CTV, online, video and now social.

“The mission that we have is to really help advertisers develop strategies that span all of those big pillars. And so social, as a massive piece of advertisers’ overall investment, plays a critical role in making sure we’re able to build these omni-channel strategies that advertisers can use to drive the bottom lines of their business,” says Amobee’s Luke Hathaway.

Social media is the cross-channel audience data glue

Amobee has been doing social on its platform for many years, initially as a managed service provider and then as a technology provider offering self-service tools for advertisers to manage their own social campaigns. In 2018 Facebook began depreciating its partner categories and the third-party datasets that were available natively for advertisers to target Facebook users were removed from the platform. This meant that brands wanting to use outside data to inform their targeting strategies had to find a way to get this data back into the social media giant as a customer audience. Fortunately, Amobee already had a lot of pre-existing relationships with data partners and were able to activate outside data on Facebook.

Hathaway says that this gave Amobee an advantage before the rest of the market began following suit. Advertisers were able to think about the right kind of data to drive business forward and invest in a strategy that was broader than just the channel they were advertising on.

“This has become a cornerstone of the way that we engage with advertisers,” he continues. “Because it helps them build a strategy that is portable and can potentially run across all channels from linear TV, to digital, to social.”

“Do advertisers really need external data sources in social channels?” asks Kristina Prokop. “And if so, can you give us some insight into what Amobee and its clients regard as to what’s driving the use of external data and those platforms?”

Omnichannel marketing strategy is the objective of data investment

For Hathaway, the answer is simple. Advertisers are making an investment in their data and so it must make business sense for them. He says that building a marketing strategy that is omni-channel requires that you define audiences in a way that is channel-agnostic so you can span all the different media that it runs. In addition, he says, advertisers need to understand the effectiveness of each individual channel at driving their desired business outcomes, so they know which data to invest in. Social data ties things together in a meaningful way across multiple channels that historically were treated as silos and walled gardens,” concludes Hathaway.

Certain types of brands and brand portfolios have quickly moved into using social data to develop their omni-channel strategies, particularly those that advertise big on TV, according to Hathaway. These brands are very forward-thinking because the TV world is starting to change and some of the data around what is happening on TV is becoming increasingly accessible to digital channels. Advertisers, especially in the CPG and auto sectors, who are traditionally big TV ad spenders, will quickly be able to tie all consumer channels, including the ones previously behind walled gardens and executed in silos, together using social data. This will help them to build more cohesive strategies across multiple channels.

That’s certainly happening in North America now but what about across wider international markets, asks Prokop? After all, she says the partnership Eyeota and Amobee have is a global one.

The US is certainly more developed in terms of social data offering from Amobee and that’s because the data ecosystem is more developed than in other markets, says Hathaway. But he adds: “In APAC and EMEA we’re hearing from clients that they want access to this kind of service too and I work very closely with our teams in those markets. A lot of the stuff we’ve just talked about, like omni-channel planning and understanding the impact of social in the context of a broader media buy, these markets are really hungry for this and our teams are ready to help deploy solutions like the one Eyeota and Amobee are bringing to the table.”

The next phase of growth is coming from working with those partners who see the value of tying all audience data together, both inside and outside social media. The pace of growth of media spend in those markets and the demand from clients to have access to social data are triggering Amobee’s move into Asia-Pacific and Europe.

“I think when you look at the role Amobee plays as a tech partner to a lot of these brands and agencies, you can see that native publisher tools have improved so much that many brands and their agencies can manage their own ads without relying on a third-party social technology provider,” says Hathaway.

“They are looking for more sophistication in terms of the kinds of campaigns they can run, and the media plans they can build across multiple channels. They are demanding access to more and more types of audience data so now it’s about how Amobee crafts something together with companies like Eyeota to unlock real value for these advertisers,” he adds.

That doesn’t mean a brand or agency must be an existing customer of Amobee though. Hathaway says they have instinctively decoupled the social data and ad management products. “We’re really focused on enabling those sophisticated data strategies whether or not the advertiser chooses to use the Amobee social platform, Facebook and Twitter’s native tools, or a third-party tech platform.”

Amobee has opted to use an extremely focused list of ‘best in class’ data providers, like Eyeota, to give its clients the best possible support in the regions it operates within. For example, on the DSP side of its business, where there is a broad number of digital data sources, it works with many providers. However, on the social side, the list is much more focused in a handful of providers that are driven by the needs of its clients in any region.

“I think that advertisers are not asking for a fully blown data marketplace where there are say, 70-80 providers,” says Hathaway. “They’re asking for specific data provider that they want to be able to run on social, and that’s the way we’ve responded.”

Social choices

“So, what are the channels right now where data is handled through your platform?” asks Prokop.

“Right now, it's Facebook and Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat,” responds Hathaway.

Which is great when you consider how much time everyone spends on these channels, says Prokop. “Because when you look at any report it’s social that is growing in leaps and bounds!”

“Eyeota is a great believer in an omnichannel focus,” she continues. “Because, just from our perspective, we can see there is so much inherent value in having one common currency and one set of data with consistency that you can use across all channels. And working with you is great because it plays well into our message that we’re sending out to the market.”

Looking ahead, says Prokop. “What does Amobee see that is coming on the front of data and social? And what kind of things are you planning for 2021 and beyond in your social product?”

Hathaway says Amobee is always looking to continue investment in the social platform side of its business because it’s the thread that ties together what advertisers are doing outside the social sphere.

“As you know Kristina, not a lot of data comes out of social now, but the fact that you can develop a strategy where you can deploy these segments into social, is really meaningful to advertisers. When I look forward, I see continued growth, particularly in the use of data on channels like Snapchat and Pinterest. And I think that the advertisers on Facebook and Twitter have really understood the data investment process for a while now. So, they are really starting to think more holistically across the rest of social,” Hathaway says.

You can watch the discussion here.

Originally published on The Drum, Open Mic.