Now You Really Can Target That Same Person Across Devices, says Startup

Drawbridge's cross-device ad products exit beta

Mobile ad startup Drawbridge came out of hiding in May with a plan to help brands retarget users on mobile the way they can on desktop and to link the two platforms, as well as tablets. And on Thursday the company’s is officially launching two products to back up its plan.

Both products—Drawbridge for Cross-Screen Marketing and Drawbridge for App Marketing—utilize the company's proprietary technology, which purports matches users across their desktop, mobile and tablet devices. Essentially, Drawbridge drops cookies on users’ desktop or mobile browsers (when possible) or accesses their anonymized device identifier through an app and correlates information such time, location and behavior to make a probabilistic match. In other words, Drawbridge claims it can find the same Web user on lots of different devices, using a variety of different means.

“All we’re trying to do is create statistical correlations and try to triangulate [a user profile],” said Drawbridge CEO and founder Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan, who previously worked at mobile ad network AdMob and left to start Drawbridge after Google acquired her former company in 2010. So far the 24-person startup backed by $6.5 million in venture funding has matched more than 200 million users, adding 4 million every day and cycling through 2 billion ad requests a day.

With those probabilistic profiles in hand, Drawbridge for Cross-Screen Marketing lets brands that target a user online, and then lets them follow up with a second ad when that user is on his or her smartphone. For instance, a retailer could promote a jewelry sale online. Drawbridge’s technology could find a user who visited the sale online but didn't buy, and then retarget her with an in-store coupon when she’s on the go with her smartphone in hand.

Drawbridge for App Marketing is “foundationally the same” as the aforementioned product but geared toward acquiring users for app developers, Sivaramakrishnan said. That product aims to find high-value users, the ones more likely to use an app or make in-app purchases, and does so by examining an app’s existing high-value users.

Drawbridge has been testing the two ad products over the last year and has more than 60 campaigns live on its platform, with advertisers seeing over 300 percent ROI, Sivaramakrishnan said, adding that the company’s primary advertiser verticals are travel, retail and entertainment/games.

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