In Search of Location Data Transparency, Big Tech Needs to Work Together 

Facebook published a blog post revealing information about how their mobile app collects location data, in-app and in the background. Seemingly, this announcement intends to get ahead of iOS and Android software updates that will deliver push notifications to mobile users about how and when apps are using their data. It looks like these big tech companies are fighting to win the title of most compliant, transparent company regarding privacy, location data, and data sharing. 

 

It’s All About Trust

This is about trust. But the best path forward is not one where companies deploy “gotcha” tactics to oust one another as non-compliant. This type of fear-mongering will dilute consumer trust of big tech as a while. It will not build trust for one company over another, as these tech giants intend. Rather, the best path forward is one where big tech works together, along with smaller companies, the government, and crucially, the public, to outline universal guidelines and protocol for privacy and data protection. Whatever those universal guidelines come out to be, their intention should be to provide users with control and transparency.

Location data is certainly a sensitive topic, but if big tech works together, and involves the consumer in the development of guidelines, the industry will achieve equilibrium. What does that mean for location data sharing? Most likely it means that there will be a balance between consumers, advertisers, government organizations, and big tech. At the end of the day, getting rid of data sharing altogether is not the answer. Better transparency is part of the solution, but it is not the be all, end all. At this point, the best we can do, as an independent ad tech company, is offer our stance.

 

Teemo Takes on Location Data Policy

It may be obvious, but Teemo takes data protection very seriously. In fact, we were the first officially GDPR compliant company in all of Europe. Our CEO Benoit Grouchko has spoken on the subject many times, and we have become a location data thought leader. If you’re interested in how we use data in our product, check out our advertiser page, commitment to privacy, and privacy policy. Or, to talk with our team, submit to the form below.


Location-based Data Is Good, but Performance Is Better

What Is Location-based Data?

Good data makes a difference. But data isn’t everything. More important than good data is how you use that data.

What is location-based data? It’s data that can tell you where people are going, how long they stay there, and how frequently they visit. For retailers and brands with a physical footprint, knowing when people visit their stores helps bridge an attribution gap between digital marketing and real world sales.

We all know that good data can bolster sales. And in the same way, good location data can help boost in-store visits. But data alone does nothing. Data requires insights. And, insights require actions. At the end of the day, it’s data plus performance that makes all the difference. Knowing what to do with the data, from an insider’s perspective is a recipe for exceptional performance.

 

What about Programmatic Buying?

Lots of companies want to use programmatic buying methods to invest in advertising campaigns. While programmatic spending does present an exciting opportunity for scalable and intelligent ad campaigns, there’s still value in a qualitative plus quantitative approach.

In pursuit of the best performance, advertisers should evaluate all their options. Programmatic will likely be one of these options, but issues can arise. With programmatic spending, advertisers may gain scalability, but they may sacrifice transparency, viewability, creative control. Therefore, using any type of data to buy ads programmatically may not provide the best performance.

 

True Performance Marketing

Combining manual and automated levers is the best way, right now, to create the best performance with any digital campaign. The value of technology is that it makes things easier, faster, and more efficient. The value of the human brain is that it can think creatively, qualitatively, and laterally. Maybe one day we’ll reach the singularity and none of this will matter. But until then, the best approach it performance marketing is to make use of manual and automated assets.

If you still want to know how a performance approach can outperform data alone, request a demo.


The Software Developer Learning Curve – Teem Insights with Antoine Robillard

Teem Insights is a way for key stakeholders at Teemo to share their feedback and insights with the rest of the world. 


Becoming a Software Developer

Richard

For Teem Insights, I’m here with Antoine Robillard who is a software developer here at Teemo. Antoine, can you tell me a little bit about your career before Teemo?

 

Antoine

Hi Richard. So I actually just graduated a year ago. So this job here at Teemo is my first one. So before coming here I was an engineer student at Centrale Lille, which is an engineering school that is quite well known in France.

 

Richard

That’s very interesting. So this being your first job, can you tell me about some of the things you started doing when you first got here and about how your role has changed since then?

 

Antoine

Of course. When I first came to Teemo, I was quite an inexperienced. So I took quite a bit of time to get to know the projects and our components. I was working with my teammates to improve the quality of my work. So the biggest change between and then is that I’m starting to gain quite a bit of expertise in my role.

 

Fusing the Software Development Teams

Richard

That’s awesome. It’s great to hear that you’re gaining experience and growing your expertise. Can you tell me a little bit about the types of teams that you’re working with? I know we have a lot of developers here at Teemo. What kind of role do you play?

 

Antoine

Yes, of course. So actually that is a changing. There used to be two developer teams at Teemo. The one that I was on was the DSP team. That team is in charge of maintaining and creating new features in our bidding stack. So everything that goes from complaint management to the bidding, and everything in between. And the other developer team was the visit team, which was in charge of a recording visits and sending that feature to our clients. And nowadays the two teams are fused. So I can say, simply, I’m on the developer team.

 

Richard

That’s awesome. With those teams coming together, what sort of value does that create for us?

 

Antoine

Well, it allows every developer to be better acquainted with everything that’s in our technical stack. For example, I didn’t know about the projects the visit team was working on and vice-versa. So while it’s a bit of a challenge to manage so many projects, it is also more interesting and creates better communication and alignment.

 

Richard

Yeah, that makes sense. So you’re a software developer, you’re in the back end all day. Us sales, marketing, and account people are on the front lines. What would you want us to know?

 

Antoine

I think the thing that would be hard to understand when you’re not on the back end is the fact that we’re doing as much maintenance and building as we can. But sometimes we have to take a bit of time to do what we call technical features. These features don’t really bring any new functionality to the business. But they allow for code that stays clean and an architecture that is easily understandable. So while we may lose some time in the short term working on those features, they have a lot of long term benefits in increasing efficiency and eliminating legacy code. And it enables developers to continue to deliver fast down the road.

 

Clean Coding

Anytime we do work, we take the approach of leaving the place cleaner than we found it.

Richard

Okay. Gotcha. So you spoke a little bit about making technical changes that keep everything fresh and up to date and limiting legacy code. How do we keep our software bug free and up to date in general?

 

Antoine

Well having a software that is completely bug free is almost impossible. But we’re doing a lot of things to avoid issues. We do internal reviews. So anytime someone makes a change, the rest of the team checks it. And this allows for a first check. And after that, of course, there may be bugs that still happen. So we are using tools to monitor as many metrics as possible in our system. That way, we can react as fast as possible when we see something that is wrong.

Anytime we do work, we take the approach of leaving the place cleaner than we found it. So when we’re doing a feature we might see a bit of code that is weird. And if we think it’s a change we can easily make, we do it. And we do it even if it has nothing to do with what we are developing. And so the code is always evolving and we try to make it better every day.

 

Richard

That makes sense. I liked the way you put it up, leaving things cleaner than, than you found them. So what do you thinks next for Teemo and the software development team? Are there any exciting concepts that you’re working on or anything that you’d like to bring to reality?

 

Antoine

Right now we’re working on a, a few really interesting features. These will make the job of the operations guys a little easier and automate a good chunk of their work. Some of our components won’t have much noticeable impact for front end people, but it will be make our product a lot more performant and easy to use later.

 

Richard

So for the long term, it’s gonna make things easier for you guys, which will ultimately make things easier.

 

Antoine

Correct.

 

Richard

That’s great. Well, that’s when I really want to thank you for joining me today.

 

Antoine

Thank you for coming to talk to everyone and for making our job well known to everyone.


Antoine Robillard Software Developer

Antoine Robillard is a Software Developer at Teemo who recently graduated. You can connect with Antoine on LinkedIn.


The Strange Crossroads of DevOps – Teem Insights with Mikael

Teem Insights is a way for key stakeholders at Teemo to share their feedback and insights with the rest of the world. 


The Shifting Role of DevOps

Richard

For Teem Insights, I’m talking to DevOps Lead, Mikael Gibert. Mikael, I’d like to know about your experience so far at Teemo. How long have you been at Teemo and what were you doing before?

 

Mikael

I came to Teemo two years ago, around our second round of fundraising which aimed to open up our services to the US market. Before Teemo, I was been working at services company as a software architect and at a cloud technology company as a DevOps Developer.

My background revolves around software, data, and cloud engineering. I find working between business, development, and operations highly interesting. That’s because it helps guide everyone to work in the same direction. Of course, doing so requires a lot of patience.

 

Richard

How has your work in DevOps changed since first starting at Teemo?

 

Mikael

Teemo’s vision around DevOps has evolved a lot since I started at Teemo. In the beginning, my and I were siloed from the R&D and product teams. We were operating and securing platforms, taking care of internal support and managing relationships with external providers. We also used to deliver formations to developers to let them be the owner of their production workloads.

Today, we are completely included in the R&D team, focused on business value and continuous improvement. We work with the product team, data analysts, and the operations team to design features, react to incidents, and help them achieve their goals as efficiently as possible.

It has been a long road but I am super proud of what we have achieved!

 

Working Across Departments

It’s like changing the wheel on a car that is still driving.

Richard

What is the most difficult thing about working across multiple departments?

 

Mikael

Communication is hard and our road map moves a lot. Besides, there are many (many!) topics to handle and we are constantly helping on one thing or another. Because of that, it becomeshard to keep the focus on continuous improvement and fundamental issues.

Sometimes, we know we need to improve a process or a tool but it is hard to keep focus when we are facing our day to day tasks, which we need to achieve to run the business. It’s like changing the wheel on a car that is still driving.

 

Richard

What trends in location based advertising are you seeing?

 

Mikael

User consent has been a big topic last year and it will continue this year. To ensure “privacy by design,” you have to constantly challenge the feature set and ask yourself if it respects the user’s privacy. Standards have been emerging and more and more factors will play into this new market.

Today organizations are focused on publishers but tomorrow, SSPs and ad exchanges will provide insights to DSPs about consent on their inventory. Fraud and brand safety are two fast-evolving topics to follow!

 

Richard

What do you want the rest of the team to know about what you do at Teemo?

 

Mikael

I would like them to know that DevOps looks like something strange and technical, at the crossroads of all paths. But, it is essentially a mindset and not just helpful for technical people.

Despite my job title, DevOps is not a person. It is all about enterprise culture, communication, and organization. It is all about considering our value chain.

We have to think about our value chain as if we were a car manufacturing company, and how we have repeatable, reliable, and high-quality solutions. We have to work in small batches to constantly get feedback from our users, and adapt our company and our products in consequence, as a single person.


Mikael Gibert DevOps

Mikael Gibert is a DevOps Lead at Teemo. His background is in mathematics and technology. Connect with him on LinkedIn.


Working with Agencies & Brands – Teem Insights with Emile Goldstein

Teem Insights is a way for key stakeholders at Teemo to share their feedback and insights with the rest of the world. 


From Agencies to Publishing to Ad Tech

Richard

For this edition of Teem Insights, I’m here with Emile Goldstein, an account executive at Teemo USA. Can you tell me a little bit about your background? What brought you to where you are today?

 

Emile

Great Question Richard. So previously I was at Business Insider working in publishing for the past four years. Those were great experiences. I decided to make a transition into ad technology. I liked that ad tech had lots of positions and many fast-moving companies. Also, the idea of a startup was very appealing to me. Working at a startup with a smaller team made it seem a little cooler just because I’d be able to get my voice heard more rather than working for a larger company like BI.

 

Richard

What have you learned since you started at Teemo a couple months ago? What makes pitching the Teemo platform different?

 

Emile

That’s another great question. So, when I first started here, since that didn’t have a data background, there was a steep learning curve. I spent a while learning about data methodology, data collection, and how to pitch our product. In the past, I was selling on the publishing side. I was focusing primarily on content sponsorships. So, working on this side of the business, I realized that it’s much more technical.

You really know you need to know your product inside and out.

 

Richard

Makes a lot of sense. So, I want to ask you about your pitch process and some of the hurdles that you face during the process. Where do you find the most push-back from agencies or brands?

 

Emile

So, when I’m going in to speak to a new client or a new agency, it’s important to speak to both sides of the playing field. While it’s important to speak with both of them. I would say speaking to the client is always going to be a little more beneficial. The clients are the ones who create the objectives and goals for the agency to follow.

However, the agencies are the ones looking after day-to-day interactions. They’re the ones who are creating proposals. So, in order to get yourself noticed, and get a company such as Teemo on their radar, you must play on both sides.

 

Richard

Awesome. And where do you think they have difficulty understanding the value of what we do? Where do you find that those hurdles arise?

 

Emile

So, I worked at an agency for one year prior to my last position. And one thing that a lot of sellers notice about the agency world is that they are overworked, they’re underpaid, and they don’t really care about your company or your product unless you’re one of the big players. What it’s going to take for you to get noticed is offering incentives as well as working client side. That way, your client can help you get into the agency.

But a lot of times, some of the higher-level people within the agencies are too busy to meet with you. So, you end up meeting with some of the lower level people on the team who do have some influence. But sometimes these meetings are not always as good as they could be.

 

Richard

Interesting. So I’m sure it’s requires a lot of patience and persistence to really close the deal.

 

Emile

Exactly. A lot of patience and persistence.

 

The Future of Location-Based Ads

So, what I know about agencies and how they plan: the team works at a very high level. They think about their spend with an omnichannel point of view.

Richard

And I want to ask you about the location-based advertising space in particular. So probably over the last two decades, digital marketing, has been integral to a lot of agencies and their approach. And it’s where a lot of their ad dollars are going. But if we look under that umbrella of digital marketing, where does location-based display advertising fall? Is it a hard sale? Is it easy?

 

Emile

So, nothing’s going to be an easy sell. I would say specifically since we are in the same space as a Foursquare or Placed, they are eating up about 80% of the mobile ad dollars in the ecosystem. But that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to get a foot in the door. For example, with Facebook and Google, people spend about 92% of all advertising dollars and there’s still enough money to go around to the other publishers.

So, what I know about agencies and how they plan: the team works at a very high level. They think about their spend with an omnichannel point of view. So, they think about digital broadcast, television, etc. And then, when it comes to the digital part of the business, they will work with the publishers that are with their search engines. We are considered to have something of value to add to another part of the digital business. But I would say location is becoming more and more important. So, this is definitely a good place for us to be.

 

Richard

Awesome. So one final question. Here’s a chance to, for you to shout out whatever you want to say that you didn’t get a chance to discuss yet. What is one thing you’d want everyone else on the team of team to know about you and your role?

 

Emile

Firstly, I’m excited about this opportunity. I have a work hard, play hard mentality. So, a big part of my love for being in sales is the fact that I like to go entertain clients.

 

Richard

Awesome. So, we’ll look to you for the next big Teemo happy hour.

 

Emile

Yeah. That, or if you ever want to play ping pong, let me know.


Emile Goldstein knows about agencies

Emile is a part of Teemo’s growing sales team. He’s been at the company for almost two months, and will be helping the platform get attention on a national scale. He also plays professional table tennis. Hit him up on LinkedIn to learn more about Teemo or to develop your pong game.


Machine Learning & Data – Teem Insights with Mohamed Toure

Teem Insights is a way for key stakeholders at Teemo to share their feedback and insights with the rest of the world. 


The Learning Curve

Richard

I’m here with Mohamed, a data analyst intern at Teemo for Teemo insights. Muhammad, how are you doing?

 

Mohamed

I’m fine, thanks. How about you?

 

Richard

Doing very well. Thank you. So I’d love to know about your experience and your schooling and what things you’ve learned before coming to Teemo. Can you tell me a little bit about that?

 

Mohamed

Thank you for your question. I completed my diploma in Economics and Statistics prior to joining Teemo. And I recently started a Masters in Analytics and Corporate Finance. But I also have some previous experience as a research analyst and then some in the consulting world. But it was for a short time, just a few months.

 

Richard

Understood. Very cool. So when did you start working at Teemo?

 

Mohamed

Just four months ago, in April of this year.

 

Richard

Okay. And since you’ve been working at Teemo, what have you learned? What significant things have you learned so far?

 

Mohamed

When I joined, I didn’t know much about the industry. What I wanted to discover and research a lot about the company and the industry. I’ve since learned many things about the ad industry, the technology they use, and the metrics they use to evaluate and assess campaigns effectiveness. And I have improved my SQL skills. When I first started at Teemo, it had been a long time since I worked in SQL. So now, I’m working with Ariane and CAD to learn.

 

Richard

Very cool. So you’re using a lot of SQL. Are you using any other coding languages or software tools?

 

Mohamed

Yeah, of course. Apart from SQL, sometimes I perform some statistical analysis. 

 

AI & Machine Learning Are the Future

There is a growing digitization of our daily lives. So people are more connected to more devices. We have a lot of more data that allows us to test and improve our algorithms. But it also leaves room for machine learning and AI to get more involved.

Richard

So you’re, you’re a young guy learning a lot about the ad tech industry. What do you foresee for the future of advertising or location based advertising? 

Mohamed

From what I’ve learned here I think that in the coming years, things are gonna be more competitive. And we will see a lot of improvement in terms of analytics and machine learning algorithms. 

And we have also some constraints ahead. Okay. GDPR made things more challenging, for example. So it will force companies to invest more in analytics in order to cope with new guidelines.

 

Richard

Well, you mentioned machine learning. Do you think that artificial intelligence and machine learning will play an important role in the future of performance marketing?

 

Mohamed

Oh, of course. Both have started to impact other industries significantly. There is a growing digitization of our daily lives. So people are more connected to more devices. We have a lot of more data that allows us to test and improve our algorithms. But it also leaves room for machine learning and AI to get more involved.

 

Richard

So I know that you’re doing a lot of data analysis every day and with every process there might be hurdles or problems. Can you talk me through a few of the issues that you find commonly?

 

Mohamed

One of the most difficult areas is doing incrementality analysis. Because it holds so much weight in what we do, it’s important to get it exactly right every time. Imagine what would happen if a campaign was not logging incremental visits for any given device. There’s always the possibility of using machine learning to evaluate the situation. That does help.

Other times there isn’t enough data to run a complete analysis. And we have to rely on proxies to complete the process.

 

Richard

So what role does data play when selling the Teemo product? How important is data to making the deal?

 

Mohamed

In my opinion, data plays an essential role in every business, especially in the digital world. Our industry relies on data and proper measurement to prove the efficacy of any campaign. 

 

The Role of Data

Richard

Cool. I agree. So you said data plays a central role and I know that Teemo has a lot data analysts on the team. Can you tell me, what do you think, from a data standpoint, makes us different than other company?

 

Mohamed

I would first say that we have a lot of data, and it’s very granular data on a regular basis. We are continuously gathering data in real time, and we can get information about very specific events. 

 

Richard

Cool. And just one more question. Yeah. I know that you completed multiple sizing analysis. So looking at different verticals and different industries, what industry or vertical or type of company do you think could really benefit from the services that we offer?

 

Mohamed

I think that retail and restaurant could really benefit from what we’re doing. For many retail stores, people prefer to go into the shop to see what they’re getting. And for restaurants, dining in still makes up a huge portion of all customers.

 

Richard

Agreed. Well, I appreciate you taking the time to chat with me. Thanks,


Mohamed Tour Machine Learning

Mohamed Toure has earned an Engineering degree in Statistics and Economics. He is currently finishing a Masters in Economics and Corporate Finance. You can send him a message here.


Managing Analytics – Teem Insights with Charles-Antoine Dreyfus

Teem Insights is a way for key stakeholders at Teemo to share their feedback and insights with the rest of the world. 


What It Means to Be an Analytics Manager

Richard

On this edition of Teem Insights, I’m here with Charles Antoine, otherwise known as CAD. CAD is an analytics manager at Teemo. Can you tell me a little bit about your career and academic experience before you got to Teemo and how long have you been with the company?

 

Charles-Antoine

Hi Richard. So I joined Teemo about two years ago. I head up the analytics team at Teemo. My background is in engineering and I received a masters in science and engineering. Prior to joining Teemo, I worked as a strategic manager at a consulting firm, specialized in the asset management business.

 

Richard

Very interesting. So what does it mean to be an analytics manager? What is your day to day like and what are your big picture goals?

 

Charles-Antoine

Thanks for asking. As the analytics managers I lead a team of four data analysts, across two geographies, France and the US. Basically I feed the sales team with meaningful and actionable insights. We also develop company dashboards so they can easily access common information.

My work as an analytics manager is much broader than just that though. I also work with the product department to define the road map for extending our analytics capabilities. I work with clients to make sure they have everything they need in terms of support. And, I make sure that the company and product is ready to face the upcoming changes in the industry.

 

Richard

Very interesting. So it sounds like you’re working both with front end and back end teams.

 

Charles-Antoine

Exactly. Yeah, you’re right.

 

Richard

I’m sure you face a lot of difficulties. Especially considering that we’re a startup. We move really quickly. What are some of the most difficult or challenging moments of your job?

 

Finding a Needle in the Haystack

And the thing is you, you need to dig deep to get a good overview of what’s going on. Your clients are not interested in knowing everything about everything. The they need to have the key takeaways. The idea is to, to tell the right stories with a good level of of data.

Charles-Antoine

As a data analyst, you have to handle a lot of data on a daily basis. And basically you want to try to understand everything because you have a very large volume of of data available. And the thing is you, you need to dig deep to get a good overview of what’s going on. Your clients are not interested in knowing everything about everything. The they need to have the key takeaways. The idea is to, to tell the right stories with a good level of of data.

 

Richard

Okay. That makes a lot of sense. So I can imagine that you’re using a lot of software and programs to help your job efficient. As well you’re using human-level processes and exchanging a lot of ideas, Could you tell me about the types of software you’re using and a little bit about the human level processes you’re executing to make sure you tell the right data story?

 

Charles-Antoine

Yeah, so there are a few software applications that we use for data analysis. The first one is a platform called Mode Analytics. It’s a very user-friendly platform. And it allows everyone within the company to export a very good level of data. The sales and marketing teams mainly use it, but my team, in the backend, develops it. So that’s the first the first software that we use.

And the second would be BigQuery, which is a Google service. It runs on Google Cloud Platform and is a more technical tool. BigQuery allows us to get a much more in-depth understanding of data. You need to have a very good technical background to use BigQuery. So we restrict access to the analytics team and the R&D team. The sales team does not have access to this kind of platform. That’s why we have a lot of meetings with the sales team: to understand their needs and prioritize what will help them be more efficient.

 

Data Makes the Difference

Richard

Thank you for sharing. So you are looking at our platform from the inside out. What do you think it is about our platform and our team that makes us different from any other company out there?

 

Charles-Antoine

I would say it’s two things. The first things is that we have access to very good quality data. So we have very granular data allowing us to target the right devices and make sure that we are able to meet our client expectations at the targeting level.

And the second thing is that we are able to optimize campaign performance. What does that mean? I mean during the course of a campaign we are running, we can make changes everyday to make sure we outperform the competition. We don’t just set it and forget. We are constantly working on campaigns to make sure we have the best results. At the end of the day, we are able to increase the number of visits or incremental visits, which positively influences the bottom line for our clients. And that is great for our long term partnerships with clients.

 

Richard

I think that’s really a key differentiator, and it positions us really positively in the market. So one final question. If you were to tell the rest of the team and the rest of the world, one thing about what you do, what would you tell them?

 

Charles-Antoine

Within the company, I would say: if you have any questions or concerns, please come to my team and we’ll try to give you a fair answer. We have a lot of data to work with, so we can likely offer you a meaningful and conclusive answer.

 

Richard

Thank you for that. I’ll probably take you up on it.


Charles Antoine Analytics

Charles-Antoine is an Analytics Manager with years of experience and an engineering background. He goes by CAD. Connect with CAD on LinkedIn.


Digital Ads and Real World Results – Teem Insights with Courtney Stuart

Teem Insights is a way for key stakeholders at Teemo to share their feedback and insights with the rest of the world. 


The Digital Marketing Trend Line

Richard

I’m here with Courtney Stuart for Teem insights. Courtney, you’ve been in the digital marketing space, essentially your whole career since its beginnings. There’ve been many changes since you first started. What does that trend line look like from then until now?

 

Courtney

A great question, Richard. Thanks for having me today. I think in my career in digital media started with surprise and delight in the early stages during the dot com boom. Then there was this sort of a reckoning of the rapidly expanding industry. There was a correction. And then, I think, since the correction, the ecosystem has gotten much more balanced. But one of the things that has always been consistent through the peaks and valleys has been the requirement for accountability.

When it first started I remember out in California and Yahoo’s headquarters, we were all talking about how we’ve shot ourselves in the foot because this medium is too accountable, right? And we were holding ourselves to exact page views and exact click through rates, whether it was good or bad. And now I think the level of optics an advertiser or an agency or brand has is probably on parallel across any advertising medium, which I think is a good thing.

 

Richard

Yeah. It sounds like that trend is moving in the same direction nowadays, but if you were to look forward to the future, what do you see happening in this industry in five or ten years?

 

Courtney

I think there are going to be a lot more challenger brands establishing themselves in the direct-to-consumer space. Whether it’s a mattress company, or a toothbrush company, or a personal hygiene company, a lot of these people are manufacturing and distributing on their own. They’re not going through a large company or a third party distributor. So I expect that trend to continue.
I also think the consumer is getting a lot savvier. They have a lot more tools at their disposal to help them make a decision, whether they’re buying a car or a home, or a book, or vacation. So I think that’s going to help both ends, whether you’re a consumer buying something or a vendor selling something.

I think the level of transparency in the market is going to become an equalizer within the ecosystem. For better or worse, I think the agency model will have to change. Relationships might be a bit strained now.

And then I think brands themselves are becoming much more savvy. And their ability to control their own destiny in digital media has increased. Not that they don’t need an agency to help them make decisions. But I think their ability to do that on their own has gotten much more sophisticated.

 

Breaking in with the Big 4

Richard

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. You mentioned direct to consumer brands that aren’t necessarily using big companies or third party vendors to run their business. But at the same time we’ve seen companies like Google and Facebook go and buy up any competitors that impede on their space. How do you feel about the consolidation of power at the top.

 

Courtney

Within the digital ecosystem you’re seeing some very big players running the board. You’ve got Amazon. You’ve got Google. You’ve got Facebook. They are able to see into the ecosystem and see pockets of opportunity. They can stifle any development because they’re able to buy their competition or mimic them. You can see the example with Facebook, which owns Instagram. Zuckerberg saw Snapchat come along and applied all of the company’s resources to make sure that Instagram would suffocate or remove all the air out of the room preventing Snapchat from growing. When Snapchat first came on the scene, Zuckerberg applied all this pressure to make sure that competitors would not be able to compete on a level playing field.

Of course there’s healthier competition. But whenever you’re dealing with the big 4 tech companies, there’s always a huge barrier to entry for companies trying to break into the industry in a significant way.

 

Richard

What does that mean for a company like ours, a small company that really specializes?

 

Courtney

It’s a good question. I think that we’re a little small to be on those companies’ radars right now. I think in order to differentiate yourself, you need to specialize. And, you need to have a deep expertise in one discipline, in order to either set yourself apart or compete. These big guys do everything. Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon may specialize and make their money from social, search, or consumer products. But they also have these shared budgets which allow them to explore any topic they want.

So if they want to do something, they either build it in-house, partner with a company that will do it from them, or buy up the next best competitor. So what does that mean for a company like us? I think it is exciting to go toe-to-toe with those guys. But it is also pretty nerve-wracking. If we fill a void or we compliment a large solution like a Facebook or a Google then that is mutually beneficial.

 

A Global Perspective

Richard

So you’re tasked with leading all of US business for Teemo. But, Teemo has its roots in France. So, how much does the international background of our company play into our sales pitches?

 

Courtney

I think that’s a great question. Having an inherent global perspective gives you and your employees a much broader view of business. And in today’s world that’s absolutely a positive, because you’re US-centric.

The downside is that US business is distinct from French business. If you bring a case study from French McDonald’s to the US, they don’t really care because they are concerned with what’s going on here.

That being said, the French engineering talent is excellent. I would put that toe-to-toe with an engineer from MIT or Stanford any day of the week. In particular I appreciate the directness of the French culture. And obviously having a different mindset but the same goal has its benefits. It tends to broaden our scope and broaden our receptivity to other ideas, which I think is really good.

 

Explain it to Your Dad

Whether I was explaining what Yahoo was or I’m explaining what Teemo is, I pretend that I am trying to explain something to my dad or my mom.

Richard

I want to talk to you about what Teemo does in terms of merging old world KPIs with new world mindsets. So we measure visits, which is the original performance indicator, but we use digital media. And, as a salesperson you must be dealing with both industry veterans and young guns. So how do you bridge the gap there? How do you explain that same thing to anyone, despite their experience or technological events yet?

 

Courtney

That’s a great question. I use a pretty simple discipline. And this applies now more than ever because the landscape has gotten so bifurcated. But even back in 1997 when I jumped into the industry and people didn’t know what the Internet was, what digital media was, I used the same principle. Whether I was explaining what Yahoo was or I’m explaining what Teemo is, I pretend that I am trying to explain something to my dad or my mom.

So I think if you distill your offering down into something that’s very easily digestible, and you lay out what you do and you have a couple of good use cases say, you can captivate your audience. If you know your audience, I think it gets really simple. If you’re trying to be too many different things to too many different people what you’re offering gets watered down. And it’s very hard for someone to understand how to use you, let alone how to buy you. So I think to answer your question directly keep it simple: know your audience and understand your limits.

 

Richard

Thank you so much for joining today. I have one last question before we sign off. What’s the one thing that you want the team and the rest of the world to know about you and what you do?

 

Courtney

Well, I hope that people that I work with understand my work ethic. And I hope they know we also like to have some fun while we’re all working together. You know, we’re all pushing this rock up the hill together.


Courtney is a digital sales expert

Courtney is an expert digital sales leader with two decades of experience. He likes to alpine ski in the winter and body surf in the summer. Find him on LinkedIn.


The Life of a Developer in Performance Marketing – Teem Insights with Arnaud Boivin

Teem Insights is a way for key stakeholders at Teemo to share their feedback and insights with the rest of the world. 


The Developer’s Butterfly Effect

Richard

I’m here for Teem Insights with Arnaud, a developer at Teemo. Can you tell me a little bit about your day-to-day job here at Teemo? I’d love to know what you’re doing, and what your big picture goals are.

 

Arnaud

A single bug might generate millions of errors in a few seconds and may cause cascading failures in other parts of the system

Yes, I’m a full stack developer. The role is versatile, I’m working on the back end part especially in bidding, ad serving and campaign management. I’m working as well in the front end, we have to create interfaces and tools for the operations team to manage campaigns efficiently.

I’m doing a lot of data analysis on huge volume of data, in subjects such as impression count discrepancies and ad viewability. In real time bidding we have latency constraints in a high throughput environment. So I sometimes have to investigate in performance issues. A single bug might generate millions of errors in a few seconds and may cause cascading failures in other parts of the system. At some point I also have to deal with security and infrastructure operations.

 

Richard

Awesome. Thank you. So how long have you been at Teemo, and what was your experience before you got here? Were you always a developer? Tell me about your previous work and academic experience.

 

Arnaud

So I came here eight months ago. I went to a software engineering school in France. I’ve been working for eight years now. I worked in the financial industry for a while, and at a small company doing VOIP.

 

Problem Solving

Richard

Okay. And can you tell me about a few roadblocks or difficulties in your work flow as a developer at Teemo?

 

Arnaud

We have a backlog that we have to go through, build new features. But at the same time we have to keep the business running, help operation teams and deals with daily campaign incident. And so we have to switch between the two. Sometimes it can be challenging to stay focused on one task.

 

Richard

Great. So can you tell me a little bit about the technical side of things? What coding languages are you using? What sort of applications and software are you plugging into?

Arnaud

It’s mainly Java and Javascript, and a bit of Python and Shell scripting. I love Java because it’s highly testable and reliable language. You can get safety at the price of a bit of verbosity.
Javascript is essential to develop modern front end and python tends to be less used in favor of Java.

 

Richard

Understood. Thank you. So you’ve been at Teemo eight months. So that’s not a super long time, but I’m sure the team has changed a little bit since you’ve been here. What things have you noticed that have changed since you started working at Teemo?

 

Arnaud

Business orientation has changed drastically and we have a new backlog with a new roadmap. So we have big plans and new directions.

 

What Makes Teemo Different?

Richard

Thank you. And this is a two part question. So first, how is working at Teemo in the mobile location and performance marketing space different than your other jobs? And then second, what do you think differentiates our platform and our technology from other companies in this space?

 

Arnaud

For the second point, you mean in drive-to-store or more generally?

 

Richard

I think we can speak specifically about drive to store and what’s different about our technology. But even more broadly in the grander performance marketing space.

 

Arnaud

So for the first question, Teemo is a small company, things are changing at a fast pace. There are less procedures. So if I want to say something, challenge a business rule, or bring new ideas, it’s very easy to do it. It’s agile. We have a lot of technical challenges but also a lot of responsibility. We own the whole stack and we have to keep the platform running. That means monitoring at night and at all hours. That’s the sense of ownership and responsibility you can’t get at bigger companies.

As for the second part of the question, I think we are more data oriented than the competition. And we are more prepared for the future because of this. Our technical stack is solid, we strive to keep it polished with a high level of quality.

 

Richard

Well that’s all I have from my side. Thank you so much for your time. I appreciate you taking a few minutes out of your day to chat with me.


Arnaud, Teemo developer

Arnaud Boivin is a backend developer at Teemo. He has a degree in Software Engineering and a Masters of Engineering in Computer Science. Arnaud is on LinkedIn here.


The Marketing Behind Performance Marketing – Teem Insights with Clémence German

Teem Insights is a way for key stakeholders at Teemo to share their feedback and insights with the rest of the world. 


Communication the Value of Performance Marketing

Richard

For Teem Insights, I’m here with Clémence German. Clémence is the marketing manager for France at Teemo. Can you tell me a little bit about what it’s like working in an international company?

 

Clémence

So, it’s really interesting – I wasn’t born in the US, but I moved there when I was pretty young. I lived there for a few years and then I studied abroad a lot and I worked abroad as well. My whole career, I have always been really interested in working at an international company. What I love the most I think is actually being able to speak English, which isn’t always something that we do here in France at 100% French companies. It’s great to have contact with people abroad. They have different perspectives on the market, and on the product. I think what’s great in the US is that, in terms of location-based marketing, it’s a much more advanced market with huge competitors. That helps me figure out what’s going on there and how we can apply it to the French market, which is a little bit less mature.

 

Richard

Okay. That’s awesome. It sounds like you’re using both markets and the advantages of each to help influence your decisions. That is very interesting. I want to talk a little bit about communication and as we both know, the role of marketing at its core is communicating an idea or getting across some sort of message. Performance marketing, display, digital marketing, location-based marketing can be confusing at times. What do you find is really difficult to communicate about our industry or our company?

 

Clémence

For me there are several aspects to it. First of all, everything that goes with location based marketing or any type of targeted marketing is very under known. Consumers don’t really understand how it works and what’s going on. A lot of people see it as they’re being tracked. People are looking at what they do and it has a very negative impact. And so, I think that’s the most difficult thing for us, especially working with location data.

We need to show that what we’re doing is not a bad thing, how people sometimes picture it. We’re working a lot with the privacy issues, GDPR in France, and the CCPA in the US. It’s something that’s important for us. I think the core of our communication informing consumers how things work and what we do for them to be less afraid. People are afraid of things they don’t know and don’t understand.

 

Richard

That makes a lot of sense. So a lot of times we are doing some damage control on people’s negative sentiments around location based advertising.

 

Clémence

Exactly. And around preconceived ideas of what we do and how we collect our data. It’s our job to inform them and to show them that we do collect our data properly and we respect all the laws. And we do our best to be consumer friendly and to be sure that everything is ethical.

 

Richard

Yeah, makes total sense. Transparency is so important.

 

Clémence

Yes.

 

The Competitive Landscape

Richard

So, I want to ask about the competitive landscape. Having worked in performance marketing and location-based marketing at Teemo, are there any companies out there that are doing cool things?

 

Clémence

Yes, I think it’s a very big question because there are so many companies out there doing amazing things. If you at Google, they’re constantly innovating in this area. Especially now with the growth of local data, Amazon, Google and the other big players are starting to take hold. It’s really interesting to see everything that we can do with the data and how we can use it for marketing good.

 

Richard

I totally agree. Some of the biggest players in the industry are those companies that have already established a presence in digital marketing like you mentioned.

 

Clémence

Yup.

 

Richard

Yeah, so they’re taking advantage of this segment. But what’s exciting is that we’re a company that really specializes in this particular thing. So I think that that differentiates us.

 

Clémence

Exactly. And there are a lot of others, smaller startups that innovating incredibly and working on so many new things.

 

Adapting in a High-Growth Environment

Especially with the all the privacy concerns and all the new laws, we’ve had to adapt. I think the most important thing is to be informed of everything and to understand all the evolutions of the industry.

Richard

For sure. So Teemo is a startup. We move fast. We adapt. How has your role had to adapt as Teemo’s go-to-market strategy has changed?

 

Clémence

I’m always adapting. Indeed, we change a lot here at Teemo, in terms of product, in terms of processes, like any other startup. Especially with the all the privacy concerns and all the new laws, we’ve had to adapt. I think the most important thing is to be informed of everything and to understand all the evolutions of the industry. Which then changes how we talk or pitch our value to adapt to all these changes. I think it’s key to stay informed on everything and make sure that we’re not missing anything.

 

Richard

Yeah, I agree. I want to talk to you about marketing trends and the future of performance or location-based marketing. Can you talk me through some exciting trends that you’re seeing in the industry?

 

Clémence

I think there’s a huge trend now around greater privacy. It’s not even exclusive to performance marketing. I think in every industry, there’s a growing concern among consumers for ethical, respectful privacy practices. And I think that’s really interesting. It’s great for everyone to see all these companies working together and figuring out ways to offer products and services that will really benefit the consumer. And that’s what we’re doing at Teemo. That’s what a lot of other companies are doing as well, is working on having a product that is good for consumers and also good for the industry as a whole.

 

Richard

Yeah, I agree. It’s a really interesting trend. So, one final question: what’s one thing that you want people to know about you or about what you do at Teemo?

 

Clémence

So, something really funny that happens with the teams often is that we’ll be working on something or someone will be asking a question. They’ll say, “oh how can we do this? How can do that? We should ask the person that we’ve externalized for the website for any types of graphics.” And then I’m always like, “we don’t externalize it. I’m the one who does it.” So, whether it’s working on WordPress, fixing copy issues, or designing things in Photoshop, I’m handling it all. People don’t always understand everything that I do because my scope is so large.


Clemence German, performance marketing manager

Clémence is Teemo’s Marketing and Communication manager. She’s been working at Teemo for a year and a half, with the goal of developing the company’s brand and notoriety in the French market. Connect with her on LinkedIn.