By Craig Golaszewski in Addressability|February 13, 2024

Spotlight Series: Andrew Furst at Digiseg

Andrew Digiseg

As a part of OpenX’s recent launch of its Cookieless Deal Library, Craig Golaszewski, Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships, spoke with Andrew Furst, Chief Commercial Officer at Digiseg. They covered industry topics from how IP segmenting works to the biggest misconceptions about cookie deprecation. Thanks for joining us, Andrew!

To kick things off, what did you want to be when you grew up? 

When I was in high school I was into graffiti, street art and collecting sneakers. I really liked the idea that you could imbue value on something ordinary if you created a brand, and applied it in creative ways. It could be a pair of sneakers, a concrete wall, or a soda can. That’s what drew me to advertising. My career in programmatic came about because I love learning and teaching, and there’s ALWAYS something to learn and to teach on this side of things.

If you could see one movie again for the first time, what would you choose? 

I cry every time I watch Coco. That movie’s the best.

What are the advantages of using household identifiers?

Household identifiers help advertisers cut away all of the audiences that wouldn’t qualify for their product. If you instead use niche intent signals for your prospecting, you risk paying too much to target too narrowly. Even with the intent signals, there’s still a chance the audience isn’t qualified to buy the product in the first place.

Prospecting should be broad enough to bring new audiences into your funnel, but they need to be qualified for your product. For example, you wouldn’t buy car insurance if you don’t have a car. You wouldn’t buy gardening supplies if you don’t have a garden. That’s the approach we take at Digiseg.

Walk us through the process of calculating, locating, and segmenting IP addresses.

To start, the most important thing is the word “calculate.” Digiseg data is all math. We don’t use personal data anywhere in our process.

It starts by calculating every possible IP address for a given country. We generate a list based on what we know from places like ARIN in the US or RIPE in the EU. The list of IPs even includes unused IP addresses. 

After making the list, we locate each IP address using a variety of probabilistic geo vendors. Finally, we match those IP locations with household characteristics from government statistics offices like the US Census or the ONS in the UK.

How is this approach different from using other identifiers?

Digiseg’s approach is different because it contains zero personal data. We’re not scraping, tracking, or storing IPs. We only know what segments are associated with a specific IP address. So we use a very stable identifier 100% probabilistically.

How does the Digiseg and OpenX partnership unlock unique value for buyers?

In a word, scale. Buyers need privacy-friendly audience data that works across all programmatic channels they’re buying, including CTV, audio, in-app, in-game, digital display, and video. For it to work in all of these environments, there needs to be lots of scale. Digiseg’s data gives buyers a powerful audience targeting tool to combine with premium cross-channel inventory from OpenX.

What’s the biggest misconception around the deprecation of the third-party cookie?

I think the biggest misconception is that cookies were one-to-one, super-precise trackers of consumer behavior.

How does measurement need to evolve in a post-cookie environment?

Part of the reason cookies are deprecating and regulators continue to have a close eye on adtech is because of consumer privacy concerns. Finding more persistent, deterministic identifiers to track individuals’ behavior seems to miss the point. Advertisers will need to become better at profiling their consented first-party audiences, identifying their core attributes, and reaching more people that match those attributes.

When it comes to attribution, it’s especially tempting right now to overinvest in retail media, social, or search because advertisers can get more last-touch attribution in their own respective platforms. I hope more of them focus on media mixed modeling and other more advanced attribution strategies. There’s nothing objectively wrong with those channels. They just account for fewer incremental conversions because they sit at the bottom of the funnel. But that’s nothing new, right? Look at the vast remarketing budgets of the 2010s. Same thing.

What are the advantages in working with an SSP with strong direct publisher relationships?

Getting closer to the publisher means a more efficient supply path. That gives you more scale and price efficiency, and a smaller carbon footprint. When it comes to your audience targeting, it gives you a better match-rate, meaning even more targeting precision and scale. The dream has always been premium inventory matched with the right audience. That’s what you can achieve with OpenX and Digiseg.

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