Interview with Co-Founder and CEO, Eyeota – Kristina Prokop


“Focus on the problem, you’re solving for your customers. Don’t build products that you think they need; know their pain points and the exact issues you’re solving for them “

1. Tell us about your role in Eyeota?
In my role as CEO, I am focused on ensuring that Eyeota continues to develop leading audience technology solutions and stays focused on delivering unique products and the highest level of service to our customers. I have the privilege of leading an amazing team of talented individuals who are the true drivers behind the business.

2. Can you tell us about your journey into this market?
After graduating with a degree in biology, the only thing I knew was that I didn’t want to spend 3 more years in a lab getting my master’s to fulfill my dream of being a marine biologist. So I packed my bags in 1998 and moved out west to San Francisco with my best friend. I landed in the industry by chance. I was temping my way through the first weeks in the city and landed a short stint as the receptionist at a company called Flycast, one of the first online ad networks. The pace, technology, people and energy was incredible. I ended up getting hired full-time and learning the ropes of ad tech there. I spent those years working on sales support, account management and operations.

In 2000, I moved with Flycast (which was now Engage Media) to Germany to help support the international account management team in Europe. Since then, I’ve been based in Germany, working internationally. I had the opportunity to open up international markets for a UK-based company and a US-based company which laid the groundwork for my interest in founding my own company.

While working at Adify (purchased by media conglomerate Cox), I met the other co-founders of Eyeota. We recognized the need for high-quality audience data to power campaigns. Eyeota was established in 2010 and set up simultaneously in Singapore, Berlin and Sydney. At the time, programmatic was still in its infancy in those markets and many in advertising were unaware of its benefits.

As the market rapidly grew, Eyeota took the data world by storm. Today, Eyeota is one of the leading audience technology platforms across Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas, and works with some of the largest research companies, data owners, marketers, media agencies and brands around the world.

3. How do you think technology is upgrading the marketing sector?
Technology is driving amazing amounts of innovation for marketing. The tools available today are extremely powerful and allow marketers to be very creative in how they build customer groups and audiences in real time to deliver effective messages. As always, the challenge with the pace of innovation is making sure clients understand the value of technology and how to implement it correctly. In our space, I truly believe that there is an element of education and support that needs to happen to make sure that solutions are deployed most effectively, and customers are able to realize the full value.

4. Can you explain how data-driven approach has empowered marketing organizations?
The data-driven approach empowers marketing organizations to build powerful and quickly-executed strategies for reaching new customers, building customer relationships and learning more about their existing customers. What I find so compelling about the data space is that marketers can now use audience data to create a cross-channel marketing strategy with a standardized classification for insights and targeting. At Eyeota, we also work with offline data companies like Experian, Kantar and Equifax to activate their profiles and customer segmentation in digital channels. This allows marketers to use the same targeting they use in offline channels for their advertising, marketing, site personalization and online analytics. Marketers can create a unified understanding of and communication with customers and prospects, independent of channel.

5. Can you explain how Eyeota Insights has helped marketing professionals?
Eyeota’s Audience Insights helps marketing professionals in a few key ways. First, through our massive, global Eyeota Audience Marketplace where we can observe and identify broad audience buying trends by global geographic region, time of year (i.e., month, quarter, season), advertiser vertical (e.g., Finance, Auto, Travel, etc.), audience segment type (e.g., Demographic, B2B/Employment, Lifestyle, etc.), buying platform and many other factors. This information can be used by marketing professionals to understand how their broader competitive set targets audiences, benchmarks around audience spending and much more.

Second, Eyeota’s audience technology platform allows for user-level analysis to understand how audiences are similar and different from one another. For example, Eyeota’s technology can identify what percentage of “Parent” audiences overlap with “Car Owner” audiences for an Auto brand that wants to target parents who are also car owners. This helps advertisers learn more about core target audiences by analyzing their digital footprint.

Third, Eyeota’s audience technology is also used to identify similar, adjacent segments for “look-alike” audience targeting. For example, if a “Business Decision Maker” segment performs well for an advertiser, Eyeota can see what other audiences overlap with that segment to recommend adjacent segments to activate to increase scale.

6. How has GDPR started playing a key role in data protection as well as effective data application?
GDPR moved the industry toward privacy by design solutions which helped spotlight the need for transparency, data protection and data provenance. Brands and agencies are more educated about the source of data and cognizant of the responsibility to protect the rights of the consumer while still delivering impactful advertising.

Eyeota has always been committed to operating in a privacy compliant manner, being transparent about its processes and the data it interacts with and ensuring that the legal rights of individuals are respected and protected.

We have a focus on high-quality data grounded on privacy and user consent. Responsible data collection is critical to maintaining high-quality audience data assets. In the short term, we believe that building an infrastructure that supports data transparency, consent and privacy will increase advertiser confidence in third-party data.

7. What are your views about the future of marketing data and audience technology?
Data and audience technology have already reached the status of being a cornerstone of marketing and advertising. However, I think that we are just now entering a stage of maturity in data and audience strategies. Marketers are getting much more creative and holistic in their approaches. The future for data and audience technology will continue to be providing privacy-compliant, user-friendly solutions that can be deployed agnostic to channel.

8. What advice would you like to give to the technology startups?

Focus on the problem you’re solving for your customers. Don’t build products that you think they need; know their pain points and the exact issues you’re solving for them.

9. What digital innovation in the martech scape you think will make its mark in 2020?
It’s clear that everyone will be looking closely for the advancements developing around identity and cookie-less environments. It will be a year of innovative solutions that are focused on ensuring a privacy-conscious interaction with users. For example, at Eyeota, we will be focusing on a larger rollout of our onboarding product which allows offline data to be brought online in a more privacy-friendly and scalable manner than deterministic onboarding.

10. What major developments are you planning in terms of enhancing your capabilities?
Our team is currently developing new methods of user identity collection in cookie-less environments. In response to evolving web environments, our goal is to rethink how the common “cookie” is collected and how audiences are built. The result is a more exact portrait of a user while maintaining the scale necessary for global advertising campaigns.

We also plan on enhancing audience data for non-advertising purposes. The shift toward higher-quality, more exact audience profiles enables new applications beyond advertising related to customer data profiles, product development and much more. As we make our data available on more platforms, we are empowering organizations of all types to use our data to better understand their customers and businesses.

11. Can you tell us about your team and how they support you?
At Eyeota, we have an extremely diverse team in all aspects, providing us with insight and understanding of client challenges and market nuances. It’s key to being able to provide the best service possible for our customers in local markets.

Since we operate globally, the team supports each other to ensure we can support clients around the clock and in all markets.

I also lean on my team as subject-matter experts to help guide strategy and decisions in the company. Eyeotians have a diverse set of skill sets that help give the management team a rounded view.

12. We would love to catch some glimpses of your much talked about chic and fabulous work culture.
One of the best and most unique qualities of Eyeota is our truly global culture. With key offices in New York, London, Berlin, Sydney and Singapore, we are very proud of our diversity and global business culture which drives us to think progressively and approach business (and problem-solving) uniquely. Most of our leadership team has a global remit which allows us to think holistically about the business strategy and create unity among the teams regardless of location. We also enjoy celebrating global holidays and learning about each other’s cultures.

13. Can you give us a glance of the applications you use on your phone?
Day-to-day, I mostly use the typical business apps – email, Slack and LinkedIn. I’ve also got a slew of apps that allow me to communicate across the globe for a bargain – FaceTime, WhatsApp, Google Hangouts and Facebook. I use Google Maps nonstop to help me navigate, whether walking, driving or commuting on the train. As a mother to two boys, I, of course, use Minecraft, Brawl Stars, FIFA and “Spieler Plus” to coordinate all the club sports. For my own relaxation, I turn to Spotify and Prime Video.

Kristina Prokop is Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at Eyeota, the global leader in audience data. For nearly 20 years, Kristina has been at the forefront of digital marketing and online advertising in Europe, bringing new advertising technologies and business models to market.
At Eyeota, she has pioneered quality audience data as a cornerstone of the European advertising and marketing ecosystem and drove programmatic innovation. Kristina is a global thought leader and a frequent speaker at advertising and marketing events, including dmexco, the premier conference and expo for the global digital economy, and d3con, Germany’s largest event on the future of digital advertising.
Previously, Kristina was VP at Adify (sold to Cox Enterprises), where she was instrumental in helping European publishers build and launch their vertical ad network businesses.

Eyeota is an audience technology platform that enables the intelligent use of data.
We work with marketers, data owners and research companies to provide distinct, comprehensive and qualified audience data. Our technology platform transforms audience data so that organizations can make smarter business decisions, understand customers and enrich marketing strategies. Eyeota was founded in 2010 and operates in Europe, Asia, Australia and America.

For more information please visit our Website.

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