Crowd Science is innovating audience targeting and segmentation with a powerful combination of demographic and psychographic insights and best-in-class technology to improve display advertising precision and increase revenue. The world’s largest online publishers use Crowd Science including Federated Media, Scripps, NHL, Meredith and Everyday Health. Learn more about the Crowd Science management team.
Fundamentals in Market Research
Crowd Science was founded on a foundation of online market research best practices. Team members, who hailed from research and technology powerhouses like comScore, Apple and Nielsen, were convinced the industry was deficient in providing deep online audience measurement tools and truly actionable insights in a massively-scalable way.
In response, Crowd Science began by introducing AUDIENCE & CAMPAIGN, solutions that made the process of implementing audience research quick, painless, highly accurate and, most importantly, actionable. Using standardized questionnaires and intelligent technology, Crowd Science research tools deliver statistically valid audience measurement without sacrificing user experience. Today, the solution delivers more than high level demographics like gender and income; it provides detailed psychographics and firmographics that can be analyzed, cross-tabulated and transformed into monetizable audience segments and innovative campaign-effectiveness solutions.
First Party Audience Data
The CITRUS platform specializes in measuring and generating fresh first party audience data collected from the publisher’s own visitors. Unlike external visitor measurement tools that provide topline comparative demographics that are shared publicly, Crowd Science measures publisher sites from top to bottom, enabling deep, tailored audience data — data owned and managed by the publisher.
Other third party vendors providing first party segmentation insights rely on dated or incomplete registration data to analyze and predict behaviors. And still others who facilitate segmentation or ad sales use questionable techniques and commoditized external data to target. These intermediaries often reserve the right to use the publisher’s data for their own use. Reliance on such solutions can leave gaps in the publisher’s ability to understand and take advantage of the potential their own data could offer.
CITRUS technology has been built in collaboration with engineers and machine-learning experts and is specifically tuned for segmentation and targeting. The measurement aspects of CITRUS are modeled after rate controller systems, ensuring data is statistically robust while minimizing user disruption. Within SEGMENT + TARGET, a proprietary machine learning system combines psychographic, behavioral and contextual data gathered to create a model with highly correlated patterns capable of predicting audience attributes. These attributes are then put together in unique combinations that are used to build monetizable audience segments.
Focus on Publisher Success
There are many tech companies out there offering solutions to help publishers improve advertising performance or make more money. However, many of these same vendors also represent (or are even owned by) the buy side, ultimately commoditizing or undervaluing the true worth of a publisher’s audience assets. Crowd Science is different. We work with publishers to provide fresh, unique insights that uncover what was previously hidden and provide them with the ability to differentiate and control their assets in the market. We have built a business model that ensures publisher’s success is paramount, and we are passionate about making sure our publishers see results.
CITRUS Audience Targeting Platform
CITRUS by Crowd Science is a unique audience platform for improving audience measurement, segmentation and targeting for publishers. CITRUS is a holistic first party solution, combining survey technology with machine learning and behavioral and contextual data. The result is deeper audience measurement, more premium inventory and improved ad revenue. Learn more about the CITRUS platform on our product page.
AUDIENCE is an audience measurement solution that provides publishers with actionable market research. AUDIENCE gathers granular demographic and psychographic visitor profiles to enhance ad sales, guide website content creation, and increase user satisfaction levels.
AUDIENCE provides online publishers with accurate and detailed information on the demographics and attitudes of their audience. It builds comprehensive audience profiles that provide a deeper understanding of website visitors and the research that publishers need to increase advertising sales. Designed to help publishers increase advertising revenue and decrease research costs, AUDIENCE leverages a proven and effective recruitment methodology (SmartSample) to deliver the audience data that advertisers demand. Learn more about audience measurement on our AUDIENCE product page.
AUDIENCE uses the proprietary Crowd Science SmartSample technology to deliver survey invitations to a small but statistically-valid random sample of visitors. The invitations are delivered via polite and non-intrusive HTML overlays (no pop-ups!). The questionnaires are short and feature standardized category-specific and custom questions. Data collection progress can be viewed via Crowd Science’s online interface or be exported for offline analysis.
A small, random sample of visitors are invited to take part in a survey. If the visitors accepts the invitation, the survey will be presented either in a new window or inline on the web page, depending on publisher preference. If the visitor declines or ignores the invitation, the invite will disappear after a few seconds.
At the core of AUDIENCE is SmartSample, the proprietary Crowd Science online sampling methodology. Modeled after rate-controller systems, it dynamically adjusts daily recruitment based on variability in traffic flow and research requirements. SmartSample randomly recruits only the number of visitors necessary to deliver statistically representative data, which makes it possible to obtain an even-keel sample for each day of the recruitment period while reducing survey fatigue. Learn more about SmartSample.
Small but statistically-valid random sample of visitors are chosen by proprietary SmartSample technology to participate in the survey, based on site traffic information and other research parameters. The selection process can either happen at any time, including on the first page where the visitor lands, or a few pages deep into their site experience.
Crowd Science provides several different types of invitations, which allows customers to decide how visitors are engaged on their sites. All invitations are polite and branded HTML overlays (no popups) and are designed to create a positive user experience. Below are two of our most commonly used survey invitations:
Yes, surveys are delivered continuously in order to provide customers with the most up-to-date audience data possible. However, the Crowd Science online sampling methodology, SmartSample, samples a small, statistically relevant sample of a website’s audience, minimizing fatigue and reducing the burden on your site visitors. Crowd Science can also collect data for a finite period; however, Crowd Science recommends continuous sampling whenever possible to ensure that audience data is always current.
Technically, Crowd Science is not in the business of norming. Rather, Crowd Science is a first party solution that helps websites understand their own audiences from top to bottom. Unlike other 3rd party solutions that simply compare top line generic data, Crowd Science gets into the nooks and crannies of a website’s audience.
Crowd Science response rates (invitation to completion) tend to be anywhere from 0.5% to 5%, which varies based on the level of visitor engagement, length of survey, site, and other factors.
Crowd Science is able to estimate nonresponse bias by performing correlation analysis between survey data and the behavioral and contextual data. Crowd Science can detect differences in distributions in correlated behavioral data between the surveyed population and the site-wide population. There has been no statistically-significant nonresponse bias found to date.
Crowd Science uses a robust proprietary online sampling methodology,SmartSample. SmartSample was created by the Crowd Science team of seasoned online market research specialists and uses scientifically rigorous and best-in-class survey research methodology. Modeled after rate-controller systems, it dynamically adjusts daily recruitment based on variability in traffic flow and research requirements. SmartSample randomly recruits only the number of visitors necessary to deliver statistically representative data, which makes it possible to obtain an even-keel sample for each day of the recruitment period while reducing survey fatigue.
SEGMENT + TARGET is an advanced audience segmentation and audience targeting technology that allows publishers to harness the power of their audience data to increase ad revenue. It transforms low CPM run-of-site inventory into high-value branded segments.
Audience measurement is first conducted on a publisher’s site or network to gather granular demographic and psychographic visitor information via polite, and scalable survey-based research. This rich data set, along with behavioral and contextual information is then fed into the Crowd Science segmentation and targeting system to create first-party, high-value segments. These segments can be used to:
- Build standard, branded, or custom segments based on first party data
- Reply to RFPs by building unique line items and defining a profitable plan that also meets your advertiser needs
- Target ads and integrate the newly created segments seamlessly into ad trafficking systems and third-party data management systems
Using first party data, Crowd Science works with customer to define and create their own custom, branded audience segments. Crowd Science also has approximately fifty standard segments across different verticals.