Q&A with Aaron Goldman of 4C

Aaron Goldman has deep background in the area of digital advertising. But he first started in traditional print – at a local newspaper - while he was still in college. Timing being what it is, Goldman saw the potential of the internet after his college graduation. After working in the early digital advertising sector selling via banners, pop ups and email lists, he helped start Resolution Media, which was then sold to Omnicom, followed by Connectual and then Kenshoo. He is currently Chief Marketing Officer at 4C.

In this interview Goldman talks about 4C, cross platform measurement and metrics, challenges in the measurement space and predictions as to how the media landscape will look in the near future.

CW: What is 4C?

AG: 4C is a data science company focused on TV and social media. Our technology helps with analytics and activation for the buy-side and sell-side. The company was founded in 2011 by Dr. Alok Choudhary who was analyzing data at Northwestern University to help understand things like disease outbreaks and weather patterns. He realized that social media data provides excellent indicators and predictions of what was happening in the world. So he started to ingest Facebook and Twitter data and found the rich power of social media data can be used for advertising purposes. Today, we build customized audience segments to help marketers identify who they should target and place ads across all the major social networks. In July we bought Teletrax which monitors TV programming across 2,200 channels in 76 countries. We are able to sync television to mobile within a few seconds to pair up live moments. For example, just after a football score we can push a beer ad on the second screen that says “Time to celebrate! Pop a cold one.”

CW: Do you have any partnerships? 

AG: Yes, we currently partner with networks such as Turner, publishers such as Pinterest, agencies such as Starcom MediaVest, distributors like Reuters and data providers such as Fourthwall. 

CW: What are your products?

AG: We have five. One is a Social Ads product which allows marketers to buy ads across Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest and Instagram in one place on one platform. Two is TV Synced Ads where we can identify what’s on TV and show a targeted ad on mobile and desktops, across Social, Google and Display. Three is Measurement and Planning where you can log in and get insights for TV planning and measurement. Four is TV Verify which is an attribution platform to be sure that your ads ran in the right place with the right audience, deliverable in the next day. Five is TV Analytics which taps the Teletrax technology. It is for content owners and advertisers who want to know where their assets are running. We have our own proprietary watermark which we use to track content and see where it ran across the world. We can also do fingerprinting recognition.

CW: What are some of the industry challenges to your business?

AG: It makes life more difficult without everyone agreeing on industry standards. We are trying to change that but it takes time. And while we are doing this, the industry continues to fragment – if I am a brand I would want to know how connect the dots across channels and devices. So it is standardization and fragmentation that are the biggest challenges.

CW: Is there a standardize-able metric that you can use to help overcome some of the challenges in the market?

AG: We do a lot off reach and frequency so that is becoming a standard currency. Facebook now has reach and frequency and they just launched Total Ratings Points so we can align ourselves with these metrics. We also have metrics that focus on engagement but these are not broadly accepted in the TV world.

CW: Give me some predictions of how the media landscape will look in the next three to five years.

AG: 1. TV ad buyers and sellers will embrace automation. We will start to see more inventory avails in the addressable format. 2. More ad buying will be done in combined TV Digital groups rather than from separate departments. 3. We will see more fluidity across data sets – it won’t be as silo’ed as it is today. There will be APIs connected to each other and everyone will have access but the key will be what you do with the data – how you activate it. 4. We will still be debating measurement standards.


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