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BizReport : Blogs & Content archives : January 17, 2011

Red Aril release puts websites in charge of audience data

A new release from Red Aril will place website owners in control of the audience data from their site, which may allay consumers' fears about what is done with data once it is collected. The release can be quickly deployed and automated so that audiences can be segmented quickly. Consumer data and adveristing targeting methods have been front-page news for months now, especially since the FTC announced plans to look into how data is collected, used and distributed.

by Kristina Knight

redaril.gif"First party data has been used for 40 years or more, so [the FTC stance] just legitimizes what companies [like ours] do," said Jim Soss, CEO of Red Aril. "It's unclear [how the third party data report] will play out. There are businesses different from mine who try to convince publishers to put pixels on their sites and then use the data collected in a broad sense. But for us, what we do is assess the data collected and score it so that we can tell publishers what data is helpful and what data doesn't work for them."

The release from Red Aril allows brands or website owners to control their own data, basically taking out the middle man so that the data collected is and remains privatized. The DMP collects both first- and third-party data; they emphasize that the solution is independent and pureplay - meaning the data is not sold or arbitraged.

"In this world the quality of the audience is becoming an important issue. Publishers like Rodale who go to market with audience insights need to know that the information is accurate and that it will perform to standare," said Soss. "The challenge is how [to help] the consumer understand the difference between Do Not Call, CanSPAM and Do Not Track. I've seen consumer studies where consumers are excited about personalized ads and studies where consumers don't want any type of tracking."

What is a publisher to do when the message is so mixed? Err on the side of caution - use only anonymized data, provide ways for consumers to opt-in to advertising - both email and display/rich media ads - and provide information on your site about what data is collected and how it is used.

"I personally get frustrated when my wife and I try to plan a trip. We may query a search [engine] but then buy tickets or book stays from alternate providers, and are then bombarded for months afterward with ads based on a search query that is no longer relevant. I believe consumers would benefit if they could better understand the difference between proper data collection and relevant online experiences and identity theft," said Soss. "I don't know how to educate the consumer base, but I do think they need to be educated."

Tags: ad targeting, ad targeting methods, advertising, FTC, online advertising, online content, online publishers, Red Aril, website content, websites

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