German software start-up Cliqz, a joint investment of Hubert Burda Media and Mozilla presented MyOffrz, an ad tech innovation that combines addressing individual consumers with concrete purchasing interests and the greatest possible protection of privacy.
The manufacturer of browser, search engine and data protection technologies will use this innovative advertising model to monetize its free offerings – the quick search engine, data protection browser and anti-tracking technologies of the Cliqz and Ghostery brands.
The ad business of Cliqz is operated by its fully-owned subsidiary Cliqz MyOffrz.
Paradigm shift: from server-side to client-side
This is essentially how performance marketing works today: Ad tech providers such as Criteo, Google and Facebook collect as much user data as possible and store it in profiles – on servers in a data centre.
The profiles gained from the mass data collection of search, surfing and social media activities not only contain highly sensitive information about what we want to buy or where we want to travel to. The websites we visit and the web searches we do reveal our sexual preferences, our political and religious attitudes, whether we are over-indebted, suffering from a serious illness or looking for a new job or an affair.
All these data are stored on the servers of the ad tech providers and come into their possession.
MyOffrz innovation of browser-based performance marketing works entirely differently: The data remain in the possession and under the complete control of the users.
The principle is that no company – not even MyOffrz itself – ever has access to user data. This is because the storage and processing of data is shifted from the server side to the client side. The personal data never leave the user’s computer.
The MyOffrz software recognizes purchase intentions locally, i.e. on the user’s device itself. The browser knows everything, its operator knows nothing.
What data does MyOffrz use to identify interests? MyOffrz technology is an integral part of Cliqz browser and browser extensions for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS. It has access only locally on the device to the visited websites and web searches and, if the user expressly permits this, to the approximate location.
This is data that accumulates in any browser anyway and is stored in the history. If the user clears the browser history or delete’s the browser, all data disappears. Since no personally identifiable data is stored or processed on the server side, MyOffrz is GDPR-compliant and also absolutely future-proof with regard to the upcoming ePrivacy regulation.
MyOffrz offers always come with a value for the user, be it discounts or additional services. With the support of the MyOffrz team, advertisers define trigger rules for the offers, which are made up of a variety of characteristics and actions.
An algorithm combines data about search terms entered within the browser (e.g. in Google, Amazon or Youtube) with data about the surfing behavior (regular visits to certain social communities, brand and content websites) to detect specific interest or immediate buying intentions. If the offers stored by the MyOffrz software in the browser match a defined interest, they are displayed in a variety of ad formats and placements, e.g. in the Cliqz quick search engine, on the browser page or above a visited website.
“Shifting the targeting logic from the server side to the client side is a real paradigm shift. The data remains in the possession and under the control of users, yet targeting-based business models are still possible. With our innovation, we have proven that addressing consumers individually and respecting their privacy work together,” said Jean-Paul Schmetz, founder and CEO of Cliqz. “MyOffrz as a proof-of-concept is a clear signal to politicians not to be deceived by those who claim that without the possession of data about users, business on the Internet would not function. Google could, for example, easily offer browser-based performance marketing with Chrome or refrain from storing search entries if they only wanted to.
Pilot phase with well-known brands successfully completed
Cliqz bundles its ad business in the Cliqz MyOffrz GmbH, which was founded in August 2017.
The aim was to be able to offer a market-ready model in time for the entry into force of the GDPR, with which agencies and brands can conduct legally secure hyper-granular marketing and address consumer groups with very precisely defined interests and even purchase intentions with high-quality offers in real time.
“We are pleased to officially announce the launch of MyOffrz today. Browser-based performance marketing is the future-oriented way to reach users at exactly the right time in their customer journey – regardless of which website they are currently on. The completely risk-free billing model is particularly attractive for performance-oriented marketers and we are very happy about the very positive feedback from our previous pilot customers, who have worked closely with us in recent months to bring this innovation to market”, said Lukas Jakobs, Managing Director of Cliqz MyOffrz.
Alternative to the duopoly
“MyOffrz pilot campaigns showed that this new form of marketing is absolutely competitive in terms of performance with conventional offers. As the GDPR strengthens the duopoly between Google and Facebook even more, it is even more important to be able to contribute to more competition with our alternative offer.”
Among the pilot customers were well-known brands such as MyToys, Toyota, Cyberport, HUK24, Flaconi and Telekom, as well as numerous agencies and agency groups, including GroupM, Mediacom, Wavemaker, OMD, Omnicom, PHD, DentsuAegis, Performics, Tradeers, Metapeople, and Sunnysales.