Big Data opens the door to cross-platform targeting

By May 16, 2012
hand with mobile and a personal computer

Ads could be much more effective if they can see a customer move from their laptop to a smartphone. Drawbridge is a startup that uses big data to build ad filters that could act as “cross-device cookies.”


Today, customers own many devices and are fluid in their device usage and behavior – they use whatever is convenient for the task at hand. As a result, marketers need to be able to target a user’s movement between a laptop and a phone, for example, and track users’ behavior across platforms. Drawbridge takes a cross-platform approach to advertising: its mobile marketing that is informed by behaviors on multiple screens. So far, it has seen warm reception with a $6.5 million funding round from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital – a sign that this might be the future of mobile marketing?  

Bridging desktop and mobile

The Silicon Valley startup uses retargeting to effectively span computers, tablets and smartphones. The platform focuses on purchase intent, as well as its standout featuring - cross-device retargeting, which identifies customers who visit a brand’s app or website on different devices.Creative content adapts to the customer with dynamic content that caters to specific needs, categories or products. Most ad platforms target audiences with basic filters - device types and operating systems, carriers, or locations. Drawbridge targets more narrowly with more specific location, demographics and behaviors - targeting by interest, identifying influencers and comparing prospectives to pre-existing customers.

Big Data driven marketing

However, Drawbridge does not actually track a sngle user’s movements from their desktop to their smartphone. Instead, the filters that could make the newly-launched Drawbridge stand out are derived from algorithms and cross-device data. Founder and CEO Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan is a former AdMob engineer, and her and her team have an information theory background and are working to leverage big data to access cross-device behaviors that have not previously been tapped into for advertising. Just out of stealth mode, Drawbridge showed success in private beta - some campaigns showed “3-10 times the engagement that traditional online ads not leveraging the platform have been able to provide.”

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