Big Data Can Save Your Brand

by francine Hardaway on February 8, 2013

Most global brands want data to take into non-data rich markets like Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, because they

Image representing Proximic as depicted in Cru... Image via CrunchBase

already know those  will be the fastest developing markets for any brand that can service the needs of the billion people who are still to come online. However, as any brand manager knows, bringing a trusted brand to a new market about which you personally know little (including the language), can have its consequences.

Those consequences can be hilarious, like Chevy’s oft-cited data-free decision to bring its Nova brand to Spanish-speaking countries, where “no va” means “no go.” But in the days of programmatic real time media buying they can be downright dangerous– as when brand ads are placed on sites that are downright inimical to the brand by ad servers and exchanges.

According to Proximic, a Palo Alto-based data analysis company whose ability to parse data for more than its linguistic attributes makes it popular with global brands, there’s been a sharp uptick in demand for its data translation services in Asian markets.

Proximic’s customer can be a brand that wants assurances its ads will only appear in brand-safe, appropriate environments, even if they are unfamiliar with the site in advance. Or it can be a publisher that wants to guarantee its environment for a trusted brand.  Or an exchange wanting to prove itself. All this becomes more important as agencies and advertisers take programmatic buying with them into emerging markets.

As the New Year opened up, Proximic saw a sudden demand for its language capabilities in Japan. But China was already on the move, as the large online Chinese-language shopping site Taobao held a conference for agency executives  in 2012 to introduce them to the function of big data in RTB platforms.
Taobao will be starting its “TanX” exchange in 2013.  Proximic CEO Philipp Pieper delivered the keynote at the conference, and Proximic will be integrated into TanX at launch.

If your Chinese language ability is good, or you don’t mind using Google Chrome’s translations, you can view the Chinese site here:
The main point seems to be that real time bidding is coming to China, and there will be a plethora of exchanges, DSPs and SSPs — the same confusing ecosystem that already took over North America and Europe.

Only in Chinese. So where do you go for good data about what to buy? This will be a larger and larger concern for executives using unfamiliar platforms to place advertising on unfamiliar sites in unfamiliar countries.

The most difficult part about this for brands and agency execs is that online advertising in the Asia Pacific region seems to be developing more quickly than most people had expected.  And to compound the heartburn, one of the largest markets for mobile is coming on line at exactly the same time. That’s those same people in APAC.  Industry predictions all say that mobile will become real by mid-2013, with most of the billion new people coming online accessing the internet ONLY through mobile devices.
The trends above are significant as well as real, because by 2013 European privacy laws may scare brands away from the EU as a place where it is too difficult to operate. Look for them to take their knowledge to APAC then, where they will be most welcome.

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