21.09.2019

Parse.ly, Notablist make internal data public to help marketers see beyond walled gardens

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The tech stack and IP address history for Beadfest.com, per Notablist

The tech stack and IP address history for Beadfest.com, per Notablist

Two New York City-based companies are — separately — making available their internal marketing data: Parse.ly is unveiling its “attention map” of Net topics, and Notablist is detailing the tech stacks behind brands’ emails.

About the Currents platform. Parse.ly’s new Currents attention platform is out in a free version and two premium levels. The company claims it is the first to provide an aggregated depiction of actual browser and app sessions of content and audience attention, without employing info from social media and search engines.

The data is aggregated from the company’s Analytics core platform, which measures internet topics for individual brands. It assesses the interests of a billion people reading 8 million articles monthly across the 3,000 websites and several dozen apps owned by 400 media companies that are Parse.ly’s clients, with such groupings as story clusters, topics, categories, traffic sources and geography.

The Wall Street Journal, for instance, uses Parse.ly Analytics to determine what its paid subscribers are reading, compared to its anonymous visitors. Here’s a sample screen, showing the geographical differences in movie discussions:

Parse.ly, Notablist make internal data public to help marketers see beyond walled gardens

Why marketers might use this. The Currents attention platform, Parse.ly CTO and co-founder Andrew Montalenti said, provides a view of how audiences are spending their time, without relying on search engine data, social media or the walled gardens of Facebook, Twitter, Google and the like.

This kind of topic attention is more predictive of audience behavior, he said, than demographics, social media or search queries. A Parse.ly study earlier this year found that, for instance, Net attention data can more accurately predict a movie’s box office success (or not) before actual revenue figures are released, compared to other techniques.

Alternatively, a marketer might determine the most active topics surrounding certain subjects, such as smartphones, and decide to buy search ads based on related keywords.

Notablist’s email tech stacks. Email intelligence provider Notablist is similarly making available to its clients the full tech stack behind a brand’s emails — info that it previously detected internally but did not release.

Founder Michael Johnston told me that he wasn’t aware of anyone else who provides this kind of tech stack info for emails “to the extent we do.” Services like Datanyze, he said, “can tell you what a company’s web stack looks like, but because they derive their data from scanning web pages, they have no insights into email tech stacks.”

Every week, the company tracks the complete tech stack and IP address history of the past several years for the 550,000 emailers it tracks. This info is derived from the code and other signals behind a given email.

Johnson said his client’s email stacks can include as many as 400 different components — ad networks, dynamic content providers, content relationship managers, ad agencies, content delivery networks and more.

These services, he noted, are sometimes provided by the ESP and sometimes by the brand working with its ESP.

The big picture. Johnston pointed out that this intelligence can be useful to sales efforts. An ESP, for instance, might want to know the services and the providers offered by a competitor, or an ad network might want to pitch itself as better than an emailing brand’s existing ad network.

Both Parse.ly and Notablist are making available data that their platforms were already acquiring but that had not yet been released to customers and the public. In doing so, both marketing intelligence providers have put themselves into what they see as unique competitive positions, providing info that is not otherwise available.

In Parse.ly’s case, that move could position it as a key analytics provider for marketers wishing for some leverage outside of the Facebook/Amazon/Google dominance, obviously a key driver behind the release of a free version. Notablist is now positioned as a key piece in a new kind of sales strategy: see what email-related services are being used by a targeted brand.

Both moves are part of the trend these days to employ unique information the way armies employ a good vantage spot: to dominate a position. But, while Notablist’s email stack intelligence could be replicated by another vendor willing to do the analysis and having access to some number of brand emails, Parse.ly is in the unique position of aggregating its publishers’ readers to create a non-search/non-social bird’s-eye view of what people find interesting on the Net.

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