Drawbridge exits closed beta, unveils cross-screen mobile marketing solutions

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By Kathleen De Vere

Drawbridge, the mobile ad startup founded and lead by former Google and AdMob scientist Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan is out of closed beta and has taken the wraps of its first two products, Drawbridge for App Marketers and Drawbridge for Cross Device Marketing.

According to Drawbridge, the problem with mobile marketing solutions is that they lack the targeting tools its desktop cousins have — the concept of a user as a cookie doesn’t exist on mobile.

This makes retargeting users (showing ads to a user after they have left the associated website) on mobile extremely difficult, and marketing to the same user as they switch between desktop and mobile nearly impossible. Drawbridge has solved this problem by developing a a methodology for associating mobile devices with desktop devices.

“In the desktop world there are a lot of Cookies available. There are third party companies that have Cookies along interest segments, demographic segments, etc, etc. On mobile we look at ad requests,” explains  Drawbridge’s VP of product Eric Rosenblum.

“When you go to any website on your mobile phone, your phone sends an ad request to a real-time bid exchange, and the request has a lot of information in it. It has a hashed user ID, the time you sent the request, and the approximate location from where you sent the request. It also has the property that you’re on, the size of the ad, the device… Basically we sit on these exchanges and we view all these requests that come in. Over time we can correlate these requests against a desktop cookie that is doing similar things. Then we can take the information from the desktop cookie and say ‘this is probably the same person, and these desktop cookies are also probably applicable to these devices.’ It’s a very large statistical inference model.”

This, he explains, increases the chances advertisers will find the right users, since it targets the characteristics of the user, not just their device or the browser.

Drawbridge for App Marketers is a product for for developers that want to find high value users — the companies behind e-commerce, travel and media apps that are looking to establish a long term relationship, since their business models frequently include subscription based monetization. Drawbridge for Cross Device Marketing is designed for brand marketers looking to drive specific goals like getting users to watch video, fill out survey, or click a link. Both products are built from Drawbridge’s core technology and use the company’s large database of matched devices.

Although the company has just come out of its closed beta, it still has impressive results to report.  The company now has a database of 200 million devices that have been paired with their users, and is adding another 4 million every day. The infrastructure behind Drawbridge’s technology is now fielding almost two billion ad requests per day.

Drawbridge also has real client examples to back up its claims. An e-commerce company running an audience targeting campaign was able to increase the lifetime value of its users by more than 200 percent by using Drawbridge’s technology to target users with household incomes of more than $100,000 a year.  A financial service company running a retargeting campaign with Drawbridge saw 338 percent better ROI than any other campaign they had run. Drawbridge’s cost per user was the same as its competitors, but the value delivered was much higher.

“Everyone knows that retargeting works, the biggest problem is that doesn’t work if you don’t know who the user is on mobile. Once you can make that bridge, its not surprising that it works.”

Developer and advertisers interested in Drawbridge’s cross device advertising solutions can find out more by visiting the company’s website.