Through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) technology, the platform collects multiple search queries across a wide portfolio of direct publisher relationships, allowing advertisers to target users based on the keyword search terms they make online.

However, with ongoing issues around transparency and the impact of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on user data, PerformanceIN caught up with Nano Interactive’s co-founder Carl White to discuss how the data targeting platform is coping with the challenges and the sudden evolution of cookieless targeting.

You recently launched your data targeting platform INSIST. How has this shaped intent-based marketing and helping advertisers in targeting online users based on keyword searches etc?

Carl White: We know that consumers are tired of being bombarded with ads that are irrelevant to them, and this is where intent-based targeting comes into its own because it allows us to target customers most likely to respond positively to an advertisers’ message.

Advertisers have long seen the value in search as a key indicator of consumer intent and there is no better signal of intent than keyword data. The advantage of INSIST is that we are giving advertisers the powerful blend of intent data with strong contextual environments to give advertisers optimal results.

AI and machine learning have been the buzzwords in the industry for some time. How can advertisers leverage this technology to process data and develop more focused ad campaigns, such as smart bidding strategies?

CW: AI is doing huge things for the advertising industry, particularly when it comes to relevant consumers in the most appropriate environments and enriching advertiser insights to inform their strategies.

With INSIST, for example, we use AI to enhance advertiser keyword strategies and look for relevant semantic connections. This enables us to build out more relevant audiences and makes for much more precise targeting.

Additionally, AI also plays a role in optimising the performance of campaigns, for ‘’always on’’ advertisers.

100% transparency and more control over campaigns are just a number of requests from advertisers today. What advice can you share to the industry in delivering brand safety and transparency when it comes to intent-based marketing?

CW: My biggest piece of advice would be not to buy blind. You should know the origins of where the data you are using comes from and you should know exactly where your ads are appearing.

Some providers are able to pull the wool over advertisers’ eyes, by being strategic with their marketing and reporting, but blind is blind. Don’t be fooled.

With GDPR just around the corner, we are seeing the evolution of cookieless targeting, where advertisers are moving from retrospective analysis to intent. Why do you think that is?

CW: The industry will continue to look for more robust brand safe options. Ultimately, cookieless targeting is just part of a trend we are seeing towards a simpler and more transparent approach.

There is however, a great deal of uncertainty around the next big roadblock for advertisers, the e-Privacy Directive. As it stands, the current draft would put control in the hands of the browsers and we’ve already seen with Apple and Safari that this will pose a threat to parts of the cookie ecosystem

Lastly, what else is in the pipeline for Nano Interactive for the rest of 2018?

CW: In 2018, our core aim is to continue raising awareness about the effectiveness of ‘’context plus intent’’ – i.e. responding to specific signals of purchase intent with relevant ads within premium contextually relevant environments.

But we’re also exploring how intent-based targeting can be used across multiple media platforms. We’ve currently got campaign tests live in audio, for example. Our ‘’context plus intent’’ approach can apply to a broad spectrum of media, and will be exploring those possibilities in more depth over the year.