Carbon DMP | Carbon's 2019 and what to expect in 2020

As we move out of the teens of this century into our mature 20s, Carbon DMP is maturing too – both as a company and a platform. We’ve been trading for nearly 2 years now, but 2019 really was a breakout year for us with much more to come in 2020. From continued innovation and development of the platform, continued collaboration with other companies and academia to nurture talent, and more ambitious clients looking to master data management. Here’s some highlights from 2019, and what to expect of us in the coming year.

Audiences – Intelligent Insights & Segmentation

Publishers are faced with multiple challenges that primarily boil down to how they can generate revenue and the ability to find & activate the audiences to fuel that revenue. These 2 areas are where Carbon spends much of its focus, and has guided our continued development – from developing new ways of creating & segmenting audiences (using a combination of scored intent data & machine learning) to adding new activation tools. Here are a selection of key feature developments in 2019:

– Taxonomy Navigator

Showcasing just how rich and deep our taxonomy is has opened up a number of opportunities – from giving users deeper insights into their audiences, to enabling more niche/broad audiences depending on their requirements.

– Intent & Brand Affinity Scoring

Driven by our talented data science team and the development of a host of machine learning algorithms, scoring intent and brand affinity data has been a unique proposition for Carbon. On the front end, this has been translated into an aesthetic and easy to use slider to enable users to create, filter and activate audiences based on the level of intent for taxonomy nodes or brand affinities.

Understand customer intent

– Audience Cohorts

The Audience Cohort feature provides a comprehensive summary of each audience. The Audience Cohort page provides full demographic breakdowns; ranked areas of intent, brand affiliation, location, and devices for each audience to give even more granular insights.

Revenue – Improved Activation

Making our audiences more intelligent is backed up by ensuring they can be activated in the right places for maximum effect. From the introduction of our Audience From Anywhere feature – which enables users to activate audiences from the insights dashboard quick & seamlessly – to new extension options (e.g. household extension) and new integrations with the likes of AppNexus, Snap and Facebook allow the activation of more valuable, intent-driven audiences in new places.

Carbon also offers a range of monetisation tools from programmatic display & native and direct deals through to driving subscriptions, audience development and data sales. Subscriptions, for instance, was an ‘important revenue focus’ for nearly 80% of publishers (according to Reuters), and will continue to be so in 2020 as part of the exploration of post-cookie strategies. In 2019 Carbon ran a number of campaigns aimed at increasing subscribers for a large publisher client, which in some instances, drove 80% more clicks vs their baseline as well as 80% higher CTRs vs their baseline.

Further commercialisation of our own monetisation suite – IntentMatch – has also been key. As the name suggests, IntentMatch uses our uniquely scored intent signals – combined with other quality 1st party data & access to Tier 1 advertisers – to fuel search and display monetisation for publishers.

The Company – Talent & a new home

Award-winning Talent

Maintaining our growth and innovation is reliant on attracting and keeping the best talent. Every year we take on 2nd year software development students for one year placements from Teesside University to give them valuable industry experience, whilst we’ve also taken on a number of graduates from Teesside. Working with Middlesbrough College we’ve also taken on a number of Business & IT and Software Development students as part of the T-Levels initiative.

Our collaboration with Durham University also continued through 2019 with a second KTP launched with Durham University – to further push the boundaries of adtech, following a successful KTP in 2018. Furthering our partnership with Durham, we’ve also sponsored a PhD student exploring a number of areas of AI in adtech. These initiatives contribute to our dedicated data science team which we believe is a unique proposition within our space, one that has been recognised with a number of awards and nominations.

As well as being shortlisted for the ML & AI Awards as a company, our own Ryan Jessop won Data Scientist of the year – a reflection of both Carbon and our collaboration with Durham University. That award was Ryan’s 2nd of the year, having also clinched the Best Future Innovator Award as part of his work on our first KTP project.

Our New Home – Albert North

In Mid-2019 Carbon moved into a new office space in the Sixteen26 building, part of the AlbertNorth project in Teesside’s growing digital hub. The move further reflects our ambitions to innovate & grow, being surrounded by more like-minded tech companies.

What to expect in 2020

2020 will be another breakthrough year for marketers with further media development (CTV & streaming, eSports & gaming), continued collapse of 3rd party cookies & focus on 1st party, and new monetisation strategies. Ultimately ‘the why’ of Carbon won’t change: using our expertise and experience in machine learning & publishing, we enable marketers and publishers to find & segment the right audiences to drive their business models (& revenue) whilst protecting the user experience.

We’ll continue to invest in audience innovation with more opportunities arising from the focus upon 1st party cookie data to increase addressable audiences. Whilst on the activation side we’re continuing to invest in areas such as real-time activation; contextual advertising; and prebid – all aimed at making our high quality audiences available to activate where marketers and publishers need them.


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