‘Educating clients about benefits of mobile data is a work in progress’

Submitted by admin on Sat, 06/17/2017 - 16:59

As the advertising sector becomes more programmatic-driven, advertisers are fast realising the importance of data. Zeotap’s Projjol Banerjea, CPO & Founder and Daniel Heer, CEO and Founder share the potential of telco-generated data and how it can help advertisers understand consumers better



Since starting operations in Berlin in 2014, Zeotap, a premium mobile data collective providing high-quality customer insights for digital marketers, has come a long way. With a team that has grown to about 65 people and expanded to Bengaluru and New York with additional presence in Madrid and Milan, Zeotap is reaching out to brands across domains, positioning itself as the next best alternative to Facebook and Google for tracking consumer behaviour across geographies, demographies, age and gender.

The organization makes use of extensive data drawn from telcos to provide ‘deterministic data’ to help clients build a robust mobile ecosystem by providing information about the content people are consuming, their movement patterns and a lot of other information that can be visible to the mobile network operator. All the data that the company owns, however, is anonymous and thereby protects the privacy of individuals. In fact, Zeotap has recently been awarded the ISO/ IEC 27001 certification after meeting the stringent requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining and continually improving an information security management system (ISMS) as put forward by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

What is interesting is that out of the total global count of 65 in the Zeotap team, about 45 are a part of its Bengaluru office. On why India is so important, Projjol Banerjea, Founder and CPO, Zeotap, says, “India happened because of my connections here and also because we felt that we could draw from a high quality talent pool and build a strong team that has had experience in a lot of the different businesses we operate in today.” The organization is taking a two-pronged approach in India. Their recent joint venture with Sandeep Goyal’s Mogae Media which led to the formation of a new entity, Mozeo, will take care of their sales side whereas the technology side will be looked at completely from Zeotap’s Bengaluru office. Currently, they are also involved in expanding Mozeo by bringing in a few telco companies.

But, are brands opening up to the potential of mobile advertising and data that Zeotap has to offer? Daniel Heer, Founder and CEO, Zeotap, says educating people about the importance of such data is a work in progress. “It does take some time to educate people. It’s not like they don’t realize the strengths of mobile, but it takes time to get them moving on it,” he says.

Following the India expansion, Zeotap plans to expand to Canada and the UK, Heer says. “We are currently present in three markets that are nascent in their programmatic development, India being one of those. It’s clear that between Indonesia and the UK, we would go for the latter, because it’s a much larger market if you look at the advertising spends or the budget that is put into the market. So the plan for this year is to go into Canada and the UK.” Moreover, based on how their data works out in advertising, they might even consider entering other domains. Banerjea says, “Since the mobile network is ubiquitous and everything you do has some footprint on the network, the reach and depth of the data is immense. When we started off, we entered advertising because both Daniel and I had some experience in the sector. It’s also one domain that is hungry for data. And as advertising changes and becomes more programmatic, the availability of data will be the only way to take certain decisions that distinguish between good opportunities and bad opportunities. We picked advertising as the first vertical where we could prove the value of telco data, and then expand to other domains as well. For example, a large retailer in Germany approached us because they wanted to set up shops in particular areas and wanted to track consumption behaviour. A large transportation company wanted to look at people’s movement patterns between two cities and optimize their roots and flying patterns based on that. We need to figure out which ones are the most compelling opportunities for us. For now, we are focused on advertising but there is potential of an additional foray into financial services later this year as companies and large hedge funds are looking at our data and trying to predict potential market movements based on them.”


samarpita banerjee@exchange4media.com

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