photo of Neustar CEO Lisa Hook speaking

A Look Ahead With Lisa Hook, CEO, Neustar at AdExchanger’s 2014 Industry Preview

I’m willing to bet that you have a smartphone in your pocket or your bag.  You probably upgraded it in the last 12 months.  When you did, you likely walked into – and out of – a retail store with a new device but the same phone number.

I’m pretty sure it was a seamless process.

And you probably never thought what a miracle it is that within seconds after you set up your new phone. Maybe even with a different wireless provider… people calling your phone number could find you on a completely different device than the one you were using just five minutes ago.

Neustar made that happen.  But that describes just a portion of what we do.

Neustar was created in the late 1990s out of a mandate for a neutral party to manage telecom identity.

We built and operate the system to manage what’s called Local Number Portability in the United States: the ability to take your phone number with you when you move across town or get an iPhone upgrade.  You may not have heard of us because it works so well.

Today, Neustar will enable 4 billion phone calls and 6 billion text messages to reach the right address flawlessly.

Highly accurate customer identity data and analytics have been at the core of our business since its inception.

What This Means For the Marketing Industry

The single biggest challenge the marketing industry faces is how to make sure that your brand’s marketing messages reach their target flawlessly, each and every time.

And since it’s the biggest challenge, it stands to reason that solving it is the Holy Grail.

Real-time management of identifiers, such as phone numbers and addresses (offline and online) – lie at the heart of modern marketing.

Neustar doesn’t just manage the nation’s essential database of telephone numbers.

We manage over 7 billion physical and virtual addresses.

We resolve over 19 billion daily DNS queries and manage 6.3 million Domain Names.

On a daily basis, we geo-locate 4.6 billion IP addresses, enable 2.5 billion daily Internet location searches, and answer 2.1 billion daily customer client queries.

We now power between 10 to 20 percent of ALL Internet traffic…

And we process 5 billion daily ad impressions.

These are big numbers. I offer them as a credential, because in business, if someone doesn’t really know who you are, you have to present your credentials.

But I also cite these numbers as a simple way to geo-locate our coordinates so it’s clear to you where we stand.

Because of our initial responsibilities managing one of the world’s most complex and essential databases —a service that underpins essential global telecommunications infrastructure — Neustar developed real-time, cloud-based data management and data analytics capabilities.

And honestly, we did it before “Big Data” was cool.

We got good at real-time, cloud-based data management and data analytics capabilities for a pretty prosaic reason: we had to in order to successfully run our business.

As it turns out, the skills we were building to manage our existing businesses provided us with some interesting capabilities for an evolving Digital Technology Marketing Industry.

Early on, we realized the value of linking identity to analytics, in a secure manner, with consumer privacy built in by design.

We’ve taken what we’ve learned and applied our capabilities in new and relevant spaces.

We also made some smart acquisitions, including Quova in 2010, which enabled us to become a leader in identifying the geographical location of website visitors  based on their IP address.

In 2011, we acquired TARGUSinfo, which now does business as Neustar Information Services, leader in data insights and predictive analytics  to fuse offline accuracy with online relevancy.

Most recently, we acquired Aggregate Knowledge, which now does business as Neustar Aggregate Knowledge, and provides clients with media planning and buying optimization in real-time across the entire marketing lifecycle.

So as we scan the horizon at the beginning of 2014, we see some big challenges for marketers, some really great opportunities, and some ways we can help.

Come read Part Two of our series where outline we three technology challenges marketers will face in 2014 and why it’s important to stop relying on stale data to inform marketing strategy.

This post was adapted from Lisa Hook’s presentation at last week’s 2014 AdExchanger Industry Preview Conference.