Projjol Banerjea – Founder & CPO at Zeotap

Zeotap helps brand marketers achieve their marketing objectives with the power of deterministic targeting and identity data at scale. The company only works with ‘Deterministic Data’ or ID-verified data that’s 6 times more accurate than any other third-party data providers. This data helps zeotap’s clients onboard their offline first-party data, get further insights into their customers (both, existing and prospect), and finally, target them with the highest precision. Zeotap was launched in September 2014 in Berlin, Germany.

About the founders
Zeotap was founded by two young minds who met in Berlin while both working for advertising-related startups: Mr. Projjol Banerjea and Mr. Daniel Heer.

Projjol is the CPO & Founder at zeotap and an experienced product and technology executive, serial entrepreneur and a keynote speaker.

Projjol leads a team of +50 Bangalore-based engineers and data-scientists, who work on developing zeotap’s bulletproof technology to serve the world’s largest brands. He managed to create a global cross-operator data platform from scratch – which got a US patent in 2018.

Before zeotap, Projjol was Chief Product Officer at moboqo and VP Marketing & BD at Fyber both of which were acquired by Applovin and RNTS Media ($190 million) respectively. Projjol holds an MBA from Oxford’s Saïd Business School, an MS in Informatics (HCI) from Indiana University and a BA in Computer Science (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from DePauw University.

Daniel is the CEO & Founder of zeotap and a driven and visionary entrepreneur who is on a mission to build the largest people graph, powered by the highest fidelity data sources.

Daniel spends most of the year traveling across the world helping brands achieve better marketing ROI. He advocates for better consumer understanding so that brands can identify the right trigger moments to acquire new users, cross and upsell, as well as prevent churn.

Before zeotap, Daniel headed Strategic Partnerships at AppLift and worked for the Executive Board of Vodafone in Germany, where he learned to value the potential of combining great 1st and 3rd party data at scale.

What is the problem you are trying to solve?
Brands have been investing heavily in their CRM and DMP systems, and gathering as much data as they could on their consumers. However, they are having a hard time leveraging their own data in a unified way to identify the right trigger moments to market to their customers – across channels and devices.

Firstly, as data is siloed by channel or device, brands are having a hard time accurately connecting the different customers identifiers (offline, mobile cookies, mobile AdIDs, desktop cookies etc.) for a 360 marketing strategy without losing any scale. They also realize they need to better understand their customers by working with high-quality 3rd party data that can give accurate audience insights and can further enrich their customer data profiles. Finally, brands also need to train their AI and ML models with 3rd party data, as their own data is not enough to smarten-up their own models.

The market needs a player that can offer and end-to-end integrated data solution (from identity resolution to enrichment to activation) that can help brands better understand their customers to prevent churn, up-sell or cross-sell and acquire new customers. And that is what zeotap is trying to solve.

Can you share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
There are so many statistics out there that quantify how much of a problem this is. According to a recent study by BCG conducted in February 2019 by interviewing over 200 top brands, some of the main challenges that CMOs and advertising brands face today are:

  • Not having connections made across consumer touchpoints and devices (83%)
  • Having inadequate cross-functional coordination (80%)
  • Not having data integrated and activated across channels (50% of interviewed brands)

Data plays a central role here: the more brands know about their customers the better they can market to them, but identity linkages and data attributes are needed for people-based marketing. As a result, the amount brands are spending on data keeps growing at a 24% CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate), expecting to go from $21.1 Bn in 2019 to $37.9 in 2022.

Tell us about the Product / Solution.
Zeotap is the only global data & identity platform that offers a deterministic end2end solution to onboard, understand, enrich and activate 1st party customer data across Europe, North America, LATAM and India. Thanks to its patented tech platform and a privacy and security by design approach resulting in 9 certifications including GDPR & ISO 27001, zeotap today is helping over half of the top 100 brand advertisers in the world such as Unilever, Red Bull & Mercedes-Benz.

Our solutions extend to the following:
-Connect: we are the only global deterministic identity solution that allows brands to reach their customers – currently typically only mail and phone identifiers – across digital & social channels by matching their CRM data with our patented telco-driven identity graph to identify users’ AdIDs, cookies and digital TV devices.
-Insights: customer, audience & conversion discovery that allow brands to better understand their customers on the basis of in total over 2 billion ID-verified user data profiles globally across the customer journey – including their socio-demo, interest & purchase intent.

  • Data Enrichment: we can append our own data intelligence on top of brand’s 1st party data and enrich their DMPs for powerful deterministic modelling – be it for prospecting, increase customer loyalty or successful churn prevention
  • Targeting: our high-performing and fully customisable data segments can reach up to 500% better results targeting audiences with the highest precision – combining ID-verified socio-demographic data, raw app usage and purchase intent data.

What is your USP?
Integrated Solution: we offer an end-to-end data solution that can match offline to online identifiers, can enrich them further, extend them, to ultimately activate them across channels and devices.

Powered by Best-In-Class Data: we source and offer measurably better data than what’s currently available in each of the markets we operate in, which has proven to deliver between 3-6x better results to advertisers. We only work with deterministic or ID-verified data that pass our stringent data quality tests: from socio-demographic to raw app usage data to purchase intent data.

Global: we offer our services and have scale in India, the US, Europe and LATAM.

Security and Privacy First: we have earned stringent global certifications that prove our commitment to security and privacy, and we are GDPR-compliant across the globe, including the US. Our certifications include the enterprise-grade security ISO/IEC 27001 and CSA (Cloud Security Alliance) STAR Silver, the GDPR-ready seal, the CIPT (Certified Information Privacy Technologist) and the CCISO (Certified Chief Information Security Officer) certification amongst others.

What were your assumptions when you entered the market, learning that you have? Who in your mind is your ideal customer? Do you have at least one of them signed up?

Brands have been working with various solution providers to solve different areas of their digital marketing needs. One one side, they work with pure identity resolution providers to link their fragmented consumer identifiers – which have, until now, been poorly linked affecting accuracy and scale. On the other side, they engage with targeting data providers to reach their own and similar audiences across channels. However, these providers have offered nothing less than probabilistic and inaccurate targeting data, resulting in poor marketing results. These validated assumptions helped us shape our value proposition and our solution offering by the time we entered the market in 2016.

Currently, we already work with the main large agency groups in India such as GroupM, Dentsu or IPG, as well as over 60 of the top global brand advertisers like Unilever, Mercedes-Benz, Samsung and Red Bull.

What has been your biggest failure as an entrepreneur and what did you learn from it??
Trying to do too much. As a startup, resources are limited and time and execution speed are extremely valuable. The best results can only be delivered if there is one single mission across teams and geographies, one single goal that defines priorities. Startups set themselves up for failure when they try to do too much at once. Having the ability as a founder and entrepreneur to focus and to make sure your team is also focused is one of the biggest learnings worth sharing with others starting their entrepreneurship journey.

How are you pricing the Product? What is the model you are following – Free / Freemium / Premium etc. ?
We are pricing the product as either CPM buy or subscription. We customize our offering and subscription pricing model to every customer, depending on their specific needs – from data volumes and number of identity matches to activation channels.

Please tell us about the investors (if any)
Zeotap has received $30 million from some of the world’s most renowned VCs and corporate venture capital arms such as NYC-based New Science Ventures, Innov8 (owned by Asian telecom operator Singtel), Capnamic Ventures, Iris Capital (owned by Orange Telecom and Publicis), HERE (owned by BMW, Audi and Mercedes) and many prominent business angels from the telecom, advertising and big data industries. The company is currently raising its Series C round.

Is there any interesting success story? If yes, please write about it.?
Over the course of the last two years, we have had a significant number of success stories. The most recent one that I want to highlight is our partnership with Amnet, the programmatic expert from the house of Dentsu Aegis Network, which was publicly announced this month.

We jointly worked on a campaign for a shared co-working office space client. In this case, Amnet conducted A/B testing with various audience buckets from zeotap and other audience sets to identify the potential users. Thanks to our data, Amnet was able to reduce the client’s campaign cost per click (CPC) by 46%, with an uplift of 75% on viewability and +162% in CTR – compared to other non-zeotap audiences.

Thanks Projjol. Best wishes!