Teavaro: Providing control for data controllers

Teavaro, a customer data platform and marketing identity solution provider based in London and Cologne, is one of the founding members of our Digital Experts Council, as well as an Advanced Technology Partner of the Amazon Partner Network and the CDP Institute. We caught up with them to understand a little of what they are doing in the industry…

TeavaroMuch of your content on Mobile Marketing Magazine has focussed on data regulation and compliance. Why are these matters important to Teavaro?
Teavaro was formed in 2014 to help advertisers and media owners take back control of their first-party digital data assets (i.e. digital customer identifiers and data), for example to develop cross-channel digital marketing strategies and services.  Our tagline is ‘Truly Connect’ and by this, we are referring to the first-party connection between the customer (and device) and the advertiser or publisher. With the regulatory onus on data consent and usage, customer identity and permissions management become a facet of the same relationship with the data subject. Brands in particular are interested in the relationship to their digital audiences, and this can be best achieved by developing a first-party data strategy, which gives them greater control over both identification and compliance, and also provides the means to operate within third- party ID restricted environment (for example Safari browser).

This is something that the new regulations – GDPR, ePrivacy and other incoming legislation – are promoting too – through consents and permissions – with a heavy focus on the responsibilities of data controllers versus data processors. The digital marketing ecosystem has been very effective at corralling the value of advertiser and publisher data by controlling the connecting landscape, handing the power to these processors. However, with new regulations and developments signalling the end of their most powerful method of control, the third-party cookie, brands and media owners have a great opportunity to regain this control and improve their digital marketing efforts.

How do you see data controllers being able to do this?
GDPR has given data controllers agency to make the changes that perhaps their digital marketing partners would have been reluctant to agree to otherwise. But this means a change of mindset, wherein data controllers now take the lead for all developments, where traditionally they have outsourced to partners who can fulfil their needs. This scenario itself mirrors the wider need to switch from third-party to first-party identifier and data strategy; to effectively take control of the data assets already in the possession of brands and media owners, to upgrade their internal capabilities, and to forge better relationships across the ecosystem to get more from the value they are sitting on, and which needs to evolve for brands to take their fair share in this fast growing digital world.

How does a first-party strategy achieve that?
Most of what’s wrong with digital marketing – data leakage, lack of customer identification, transparency, and so on – is linked to the third-party identification methods used. Teavaro provide its clients with a first-party identifier that replaces the unsecure melee of identification calls currently used for, say, RTB with a compliant method of data activation and attribution in the full control of the data controller. We are aware that this is only the beginning of this journey and a lot needs to happen across the industry to make this a success, but all trends are pointing in this direction, and therefore being prepared for it will provide competitive advance, which will be measurable very soon.

Yes, that’s quite a change. Won’t businesses be put off by the complexity?
It’s not as disruptive as it first sounds. Regulatory changes and technological developments are already compelling a fresh approach, and much of that needed to allow data controllers to actually control their data is already in place, if dormant or underused. That’s not to underplay the task of connecting the dots and filling the functionality gaps that we seek to do, but it is by no means as much of a change from the status quo as the concept itself suggests.

The primary catalyst is to move away from a reliance on third-party identifiers, the bedrock of current digital marketing, and move to a first-party strategy that uses collaboration between advertisers and media owners to create the marketing connections that third-party cookies no longer can. At the same time, an effective first-party strategy requires the effective use of first-party data, where previous attempts of unifying siloed data have failed. Whereas traditionally both would have been viewed as an IT infrastructure project, the successes come from a business-led approach, placing control directly with the digital services development and marketing teams.

So, what is Teavaro offering?
Having previously positioned ourselves as a Marketing Middleware provider – acting as an essential connector for data management and identification – our offering has developed into a more powerful and standalone cloud solution based on Amazon Web Services. With the approach and implementation of GDPR, our solution became an expanded Customer Data Platform (CDP+) that incorporates not only the data management and connectivity aspects of a traditional CDP, but extends that offering with compliance, privacy, integration and digital identification functionality.

We have a core solution, FunnelConnect, that incorporates our DataAction (real-time and batch data activation), FunnelID (first-party marketing identifier) and IDConnect (ID graph) solutions, as well as peripheral solutions such as FunnelAnalyst (analytics and attribution), FunnelManager (profile management UI), FunnelExporter, FunnelImporter, and FunnelTransformer to handle extended ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) jobs via fully automated workflows.

We can offer our clients CDP and DMP functionality, identity solutions, compliance and data privacy solutions, and analytics, attribution and modelling capabilities. This flexibility provides, of course, multiple use cases across our client markets, from our original focus of telcos to the retail, insurance, and finance sectors, that can be adapted to provide a bespoke solution based on specific requirements without lengthy development cycles.

So, you are a one-stop shop?
Not at all. Is anyone?

While the bigger players in the martech ecosystem may be trying to construct extensive marketing cloud solutions, we prefer a more agile, collaborative approach. No two companies are the same, and neither are their marketing stacks. While our solution can do many things, why should clients pay for functionality they already have, or will never use? Most customer relationship management and marketing stacks have been in place for years; data is often siloed, sometimes not everything works together. We believe that our solution should augment and improve our clients’ current setups and so we focus on seamless integration while filling functionality gaps that may exist; for example, if a client does not have a DMP, there really is no need to implement one alongside our solution, yet we work with many DMPs in existing clients as well. Our top-level solution is clear, but we have an expansive menu of capabilities that clients can benefit from if they so choose, from permissions management and tracking solution. We have seen this accelerate digital transformation projects, and even build inhouse digital capabilities.

What are the immediate benefits for your clients?
That depends upon the organisation, their current setup and the changes they wish to implement. Simple use cases, such as connecting disparate data sources in real-time have seen improvements in channel conversions for customer prolongation, for example, of 50 per cent or more. Likewise, cross-device and cross-channel capabilities have improved conversion and reduced cost per order. Our core benefits bloom from the identification and data activation spine of our product, which provides real-time integrations, future-proofed agility and the removal of the dormant silos currently within the martech stack.

Bringing customer data into digital service and marketing channels while complying with data privacy and protection regulation, from online (web and app), to Voice Assistants (like for example Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant and other), there is no limit how we can enable connections to any digitally-connected device. We are also acutely aware of the constant changes that new devices, operating systems, customer having apps and browsers will bring. As a brand with strong digital goals, we can see no alternative than to become a fast moving agile player in this new digital world.