Jun 23, 2015

Customer Spotlight: Twelvefold targets online audiences with big data

Ansley Kilgore

TwelvefoldTwelvefold is an advertising technology company built on big data, helping marketers reach the right consumers, in the right places, at the right time. The company’s unique approach is driven by understanding content – what people are reading or watching – versus tracking users or devices, like most of the industry.

The company has built a search engine on top of a high-frequency trading system. It leverages the real-time nature of programmatic buying, uniquely allowing advertisers to say “I want to appear on articles like these.” Twelvefold’s SPECTRUM™ platform effectively surrounds trending stories or breaking news that a brand’s prospective customers are likely to read. The solution cherry-picks relevant content, rather than targeting a whole website or something broad like “the health section” of the local paper.

Twelvefold’s unique value proposition relies on ultra-low latency network connectivity. This is required to evaluate advertising opportunities in real time, and to determine which placements are most relevant to specific brand campaigns. Twelvefold buys its inventory through live auctions that require bids to be placed within 10 milliseconds.

How it works

Twelvefold has the potential to bid on 200 billion advertisements each day. It scores nearly 20 billion of those opportunities, as placements on brand-safe websites from which it scrapes the text of articles, much like a search engine. Proprietary algorithms and natural language processing are used to calculate relevancy at the page (URL) level, while most companies buy advertising at the site (domain) level.

The underlying analytics and big data that fuel Twelvefold’s real-time buying decisions require streaming enormous volumes of data, without the benefit of batch processing. Internap provides route optimization and BGP management to optimize this mission-critical logic.

The opportunities (called “impressions”) arrive at a peak rate of 300,000 per second. With such high transaction volume, speed is business-critical. Twelvefold has been fine-tuning its systems for years. The company works with Internap’s engineering group to optimize network connectivity at all levels, from the data center to the servers.

Establishing and implementing a comparable integrated solution, including routers, switches, fiber, etc., would cost millions of dollars that would be better spent on business-critical technologies. Internap’s aggregated network and colocation solutions allow Twelvefold to focus on their application and their business, instead of spending time and money managing their network and dealing with carriers directly to ensure consistent performance.

“Our partnership with Internap lets us focus on what makes our technology unique,” explains Twelvefold president, David Simon. “With colocation, route-optimized IP and Internap’s world-class team of NOC engineers, we can move mountains of data at rapid speeds, and still employ only one full-time technical operations resource.”

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Ansley Kilgore

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