The other day I wrote about Exelate and what it’s up to around behavioral targeting. Well they have company. [Note: Several details are updated below]
Blue Kai is another new company focusing on making online advertising more relevant to consumers. They, too, buy cookie information but they have a more targeted in their approach. Even more interesting, they’re exploring models that actually give something back to consumers for using their data. I can’t wait to see how far they will go with this.
Blue Kai focuses on intent:
- Have you searched for something?
- Have you shopped for something (e-commerce)?
For now they only focus on three verticals: Retail, Auto and Travel. According to Rowena Toguchi, Marketing Strategist at Blue Kai, Blue Kai wants to make sure they have the cleanest data possible. They want to separate people who are reading a blog about Hawaii, for example, from people who are actually pricing out airfares to Honolulu.
Blue Kai does this by only using data from the top five sites in each vertical. One big difference is that data providers only get compensated once and advertiser purchases the data. Once they auction the data off to Ad Networks or Advertisers, they compensate the sellers and the better the data works, the more they receive. This way Blue Kai makes sure that if advertisers think it's good data, they'll buy it again, and put more money back into the system.
They’re big on taxonomies and breaking the cookies into multiple data stamps. You can purchase segments based on departure or destination cities, or length of stays.
It sounds pretty interesting, as long as you’re in one of those verticals. And it seems to work the same way that working with any online ad third party does, like with rich media or multivariate service providers.
I’m very intrigued by being able to target someone with a specific ad who I know is shopping for my destination. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of specific case studies on the Blue Kai site.
One of Blue Kai's big promises is transparency. While Blue Kai also offers controls to consumers to manage preferences or even opt out, what separates Blue Kai from others is that they donate a small percentage of the money they make to the charity of your choice. Right now you can choose between four, March of Dimes, Action Hunger, Reading is Fundamental, or Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
It’s the first step in putting some skin in the game for the people on the other end of those ads: you. Ultimately they’d like to create some type of point system where the more you participate, the more points you get for travel credits, for example.
I for one, hope they do this sooner rather than later. If the customer is in control, then maybe the customer should get a cut in selling their cookies. This is, by far, the best attempt I’ve seen yet.
Blue Kai seems to have a lot of promise. They seem to be growing fast as well. If I end up using them, I’ll let you know what happened.