In this Q&A, FastGrowthBrands talks to Or Lenchner (pictured below), CEO of data collection platform Luminati. Lenchner explains why it is so vital that challenger brands are tracking their ad content, and how they can use publicly available data to drive their business and stand out from larger competition.
Can you explain what Luminati does, and how it stands out from companies offering similar services?
Luminati Networks is the world’s largest online data collection platform. We help businesses of all sizes to view the internet just like their consumers and potential customers, by gathering publicly available online data. Luminati indirectly impacts almost every consumer worldwide. For example, if you book a flight, it’s likely that the airline conducted market research using Luminati’s data collection automation (DCA) platform. When you click an advertisement, it’s likely the marketing agency used Luminati’s platform to ensure that the advertisement reached their target audience.
We enable organisations to collect data at scale and gain an accurate perspective of how their customers are interacting with their brand or competitors – without being blocked or served misleading information. Organisations can now make better, faster and more informed business decisions based on real-time competitive data. In our fast-paced online marketplace having this ability is key to any businesses’ strategy and success. Without this real and dynamic view of the market, global brands are putting their business at risk.
I firmly believe that in today’s data collection ecosystem you must focus on adhering to a strict ethical code of conduct, while looking for the best performing solutions. Technology moves extremely fast – faster than government regulation, which is why we should embrace well-defined guidelines that promote web-integrity, respect and transparency. Data is a powerful tool – we are very aware of this and treat it with utmost respect, by implementing an ethical by design approach and culture in our business.
It is this focus on ethics, and our drive for technological innovation that separates us. We have a customer driven culture where we listen to our customers and help them to address the market’s rapidly evolving demands. Luminati has more than 560 granted patent claims to date and we are committed to protecting them and our technology.
Why is tracking ad content so important to fast growth brands?
In theory, modern targeted ad technology lets brands reach their chosen audience with precision. However, a thriving ecosystem of sophisticated fraudsters often results in ads being shown to completely different and irrelevant audiences, with advertisers charged for worthless impressions or clicks. Advertising fraud is a huge problem for brands, and a billion-dollar industry for cybercriminals. A programmatic ad fraud report provided by Fraudlogix claims that 14.7% of all ad traffic was fraudulent in Q1 of 2019, an 11% increase from Q4 in 2018.
Advertising fraud comes in many different forms, including the faking of impressions, clicks, installs, and placements to name just a few. And unfortunately, the techniques powering advertising fraud have become increasingly sophisticated in recent years.
The only truly viable way of preventing this is for brands to go “under the radar” to be able to view and verify their ads in the same way as real consumers, like an iPhone user in London, or an Android user in Boston. This is where residential proxies and networks come in.
How can Luminati’s platform help innovative fast-moving, and digitally-native challenger brands compete with larger more established players?
Every challenger brand needs to base their decisions on the most accurate, real-time and dynamic market research if they want to attract the maximum number of consumers, and offer the right products, with the right presentation. To reach that goal every company or organisation needs to be able to openly view the internet, to get a real and honest snapshot of their market that will allow them to address and anticipate their consumers’ needs. But unfortunately, that’s often not the case.
If a brand wishes to view a website of a competitor brand and collect publicly available data at scale, they will most likely get blocked. In order to compete at the highest level brands require direct and open access to the data that is essential for their market research. Luminati’s platform allows smaller, nimbler brands without the benefit of large, expensive IT teams to bypass these restrictions, and to access the data they rely on to be competitive freely.
How does Luminati help access pricing information, and how can this data prove useful to brands?
When an e-commerce company, travel business, or any other online retailer sets their pricing strategy, they need to conduct research online to ensure their price is comparable to the competition. Consumers like you and I can view any site at any time without any restrictions. But businesses that wish to do so do not enjoy the same kind of openness and availability, as their IP addresses can be identified.
Whether it was purchasing a product online, making reservations for a future trip or clicking on an advertisement that attracted your attention – data collection automation likely played a key role in terms of impacting your decision as a consumer. Therefore, DCA (Data Collection Automation) directly impacts most consumers around the world.
In today’s overly crowded digital environment, where personalisation and hyper-identification take centre-stage, it is more vital than ever to be able to openly view the internet if you want to glean the necessary public data to benefit both your business and your consumers. Online data has become too critical to ignore. To thrive in this digital-native market you must be able to access and analyse it to derive the essential business insights from it. I personally believe that data is like water. It should be transparent and available to all.
What does the future hold for Luminati? How will you continue to support fast growth brands?
Our foremost goal is to continue to service the rapidly evolving needs of our customer base, with solutions that are perfectly tailored to their present and future needs. This is why we are devoted to staying at the cutting edge of technology, and we release over 40 version updates a day, an unparalleled rate for any organisation.
Luminati will continue to prioritise the ethical use of data gathering. We want to ensure that when brands select a data collection platform or vendor, they look not only at the performance they are getting but the ethical side of the equation, always. This is critical to the safety and security of all businesses.
We will also continue to push for increased regulation in our domain by initiating more partnerships, campaigns, events and workshops to promote and educate the market in every way we can. And finally, we will drive for improved data collection automation to make the entire collection process faster, more efficient and provide businesses with better, more precise real-time results.