Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to social media links Skip to footer navigation
Sign In

5 Questions with Jerry Ronaghan, SVP of Agency & Ad Tech at DataSift

Mike McMaster

Social media has revolutionized the way marketers interact with consumers, creating unlimited opportunities for advertisers to communicate with their audiences and generating a wealth of insights into how people think. DataSift is the Human Data Intelligence platform that transforms social interactions into actionable insights – an invaluable resource for marketers today. Fresh off the heels of our integration with DataSift to provide marketers with access to exclusive LinkedIn Engagement Insights, we spoke to Jerry Ronaghan, SVP of Agency & Ad Tech at DataSift about the value of LinkedIn data when applied with an additional layer of human intelligence.

Q: What’s the difference between DataSift data for LinkedIn Engagement Insights and LinkedIn Ads Data? Lots of agencies already use LinkedIn Ads data – what makes DataSift different?

That’s a question that we get a lot. LinkedIn Ads are an integral part of any campaign and provide the baseline for how your media is performing. Those are the kinds of campaign metrics you would expect from any platform, like impressions, clicks, conversions, spends, etc.

At DataSift we’re in the business of human data intelligence – our PYLON for LinkedIn Engagement Insights fundamentally re-invents marketers’ campaign planning and delivery by providing advanced insights into the activities and interests of more than 500 million professionals.

Our privacy-first analytics offering is fully customizable and adaptable for a variety of strategic use cases, allowing marketers to unlock exclusive audience insights to drive campaign planning through consumer behavior research, creative optimization, and competitive intel.

With PYLON, you can discover new audiences for brands and products by researching the behavior of high value audiences on LinkedIn and identifying those most likely to engage with the brand or product. PYLON also delivers content insights to better shape and inform content marketing strategies on LinkedIn. PYLON data provides a greater understanding of what topics, types of content and creative resonates most with key audiences so that you can further tailor your messages according to what content works best with your target audiences. Finally, PYLON allows you to benchmark your brand against the competition. You gain a greater understanding of how audiences engage with your brand, products or services on LinkedIn relative to industry competitors and peers.

Q: Can you talk a little bit about the difference between data and insights? What sort of extra value can DataSift create for agencies sorting through massive data sets?

As a partner to some of the world’s largest social networks, we’ve witnessed first hand the continued explosion in the volume, variety, and complexity of social data over the last few years. As volumes grow, we’ve also seen the ability for people to analyze, interpret, and identify signals from data become increasingly difficult. Yes, today’s agencies and marketers are data-driven, but they need answers and insights at their fingertips rather than just vast pools of information to sift through. LinkedIn Engagement Insights highlights a shift towards what we at DataSift call active intelligence – businesses now want answers, not beautified graphics showing vanity metrics.

The overwhelming data volumes involved means algorithms are key to analysis, doing the heavy lifting required to guide people to insights and answers. Machine Learning and Natural Language Analysis (NLP) have a huge role to play. With LinkedIn Engagement Insights, our PYLON technology applies compute-intensive, machine intelligence to answer marketers’ questions and drive business impact. Our goal is to surface answers, recommendations, and actions for marketers, not simply surface metrics for dashboards. With in-depth LinkedIn Engagement Insights, agencies can take action, drive decisions and make changes to their campaigns, content, and strategies in real-time.

Q: With GDPR on the horizon, everyone is rightly buzzing about privacy. How does DataSift’s technology protect individuals’ privacy?

Privacy is our priority and LinkedIn Engagement Insights was developed and built with the privacy of LinkedIn’s more than 500 million professionals top of mind. PYLON is the first social analytics platform that allows agencies to extract insights from social networks while respecting the privacy of people using the networks. All data is aggregated, giving audience-level insights, without providing any private data to marketers and agencies.

Our PYLON technology is installed behind LinkedIn’s firewall and processes the incoming stream of data generated by people posting and engaging with content. This ensures social actions and private data never leave LinkedIn. User names are removed and data is filtered to remove certain identifiable data before processing.The results provided are aggregated and only delivered by our technology if they contain data of 100 or more individuals. This privacy-first approach ensures user identity is protected and no PII is exposed.

Q: How does LinkedIn data differ from other data sets for business to business marketers?

As LinkedIn is a non-public network, our PYLON technology provides unrivalled access to otherwise inaccessible data for the first time. It also provides sophisticated data processing, categorization, and classification to derive insights from world’s largest and most active community of professionals. In short, LinkedIn Engagement Insights offers the most comprehensive, privacy-first dataset on professionals. Agencies can now discover what more than 500 million professionals are reading, sharing, and saying about products, industries, brands, and news on the platform so they can make data-driven content, creative, and targeting decisions on LinkedIn. All in a way that protects members’ privacy.

Q: With all of the other data that agencies use to inform their media strategies, how can DataSift data seamlessly integrate into a holistic strategy?

Thanks to our strategic partnership with Datorama, LinkedIn engagement data can be analyzed and integrated into a holistic campaign management solution. By combining planning data with measurement and performance data, a marketer can make clear, tactical decisions to improve their overall campaign performance. For example, by analyzing audience engagement with similar products, marketers can identify new audience targets. They can also analyze what topics people engage with most within their vertical and competitive set to optimize their content strategy on their earned media channels. These insights are layered, complex, and rich and they require alignment across multiple and sometimes dozens of data sets. Through our partnership with Datorama, we’re enabling those kinds of insights for our customers for the first time.

Make sure you stay up-to-date with all the latest AdTech, MarTech, Data and Datorama-related news by following us on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

Marketing Intelligence Report

Marketing Intelligence Report

Explore the first edition the Marketing Intelligence Report for an inside look into how the new growth imperative is affecting marketers across every industry.

Download Now