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How Funda unlocks its advertising revenue with Twilio Segment Personas

Funda transitioned from a legacy solution to Twilio Segment to empower teams to develop high-value audiences and increase its advertising revenue.

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“With Twilio Segment Personas, we’ve witnessed a direct positive impact to our advertising revenue. Our data science team can now pass probability scores to Twilio Segment Personas for teams to create audience segments based on the buyer journey. These targeting audiences perform better and drive higher value on Google Ad Manager and direct deals with advertisers.”

Ruben Scholten, Data Analytics, Funda

Challenge

With anonymous users accounting for over 90% of visitors, Funda needed a solution that could enable its team to analyze engagement across the buyer journey. Moreover, Funda’s iOS and Android mobile applications account for 25% of all user traffic. Due to limitations in its existing CDP, Funda was unable to create advertising audiences of unauthenticated users on its mobile apps.

Solution

With Twilio Segment, Funda is able to capture data from all customer touchpoints, including anonymous and mobile users. With the influx of user data coming in through Twilio Segment, the data team is now empowered to perform advanced modeling to identify the “serious” buyers from the “just for fun” visitors.


Funda is the leading online property platform based in the Netherlands. Since 2001, the company has changed the way that people find, buy, and sell their dream home through its website and mobile apps. As the number one site for property seekers, Funda is an effective ad publisher for any business involved in the property sales and rental ecosystem, such as mortgage lenders, insurance providers, and moving companies.

Funda’s advertising business is driven by direct deals and inventory sold on platforms such as Google Ad Manager, Magnite, Pubmatic, and Facebook. Its advertising audiences can range from casual “window” shoppers to serious homebuyers, as buyers and renters visit Funda with varying levels of intent. To better service its advertising business, Funda’s data team wanted to leverage its first-party behavioral data to construct high-quality targeting audiences.

Ruben Scholten, data analytics engineer at Funda, needed to implement a solution that would enable accurate, robust audience segments to offer on its publisher platforms. After identifying a better fit and improved usability compared to a legacy solution, Ruben’s team turned to Twilio Segment to enable audience creation and, ultimately, increase its advertising revenue from programmatic and direct deals.

Maximizing value from a broad and anonymous user base across the buyer journey

Funda’s growth and popularity is in large part due to users just looking to browse, with no intention to buy or rent property. However, for advertisers looking for conversions, impressions on these “just for fun” users diminish their advertising efficiency and return on ad spend.

With anonymous users accounting for over 90% of visitors, Funda needed a solution that could enable its team to analyze engagement across the buyer journey. By identifying high-intent users early in the journey, Funda could then construct valuable targeting audiences for their advertising customers in Google Ad Manager.

Moreover, Funda’s iOS and Android mobile applications account for 25% of all user traffic, but the company knew it was missing out on advertising revenue from its mobile apps. Due to limitations in its existing CDP, Funda was unable to create advertising audiences of unauthenticated users on its mobile apps. This limitation blocked the business from optimizing advertising value from nearly one quarter of its user base.

With Twilio Segment, Funda is able to capture data from all customer touchpoints, including anonymous and mobile users. With the influx of user data coming in through Twilio Segment, the data team is now empowered to perform advanced modeling to identify the “serious” buyers from the “just for fun” visitors. 

From there, the team can pass this valuable segmentation from its data warehouse to Personas via SQL Traits. As the data team continues to refine its models, SQL Traits enables them to deliver insights seamlessly to Twilio Segment for easy audience creation.

As Scholten describes, “Our approach is to capture audiences based on the phases of the user journey, starting with dreaming, and then visiting, bidding, and negotiations. We use journey modeling to identify the buying phase of any given user, which we then send through Twilio Segment’s SQL Traits to create those audiences in Twilio Segment Personas for our advertisers.”

Equipped with high-intent targeting audiences of web and mobile users, Funda sends its audiences from Personas to Twilio Segment’s Google Display & Video 360 (DV360) destination. A capability previously lacking in other solutions, Twilio Segment’s direct integration with DV360 includes the ability to send mobile advertising identifiers to execute mobile app retargeting. 

Enabling both engineering and marketing teams with high-value audiences

To improve its first-party customer data strategy, Funda decided to introduce a new data team at the company, in addition to its CDP evaluation. Consisting of data analysts, data engineers, and data scientists, the new team’s mission is to analyze user engagement and develop proprietary models to power user journey mapping and probability scores.

With the introduction of a new team and focus on customer data at the company, Funda wanted to re-evaluate its existing CDP and identify a better solution that would empower both technical and non-technical teams to benefit from Funda’s first-party customer data to drive growth.

While the in-house data team manages data preparation and advanced modeling, the team delivers these insights and user traits through Twilio Segment for use by all other teams. Soon, Funda hopes to enable its advertising team to create self-service audiences using Twilio Segment Personas’ intuitive Audience Builder.

For example, using the data team’s SQL Traits and other user traits available in Twilio Segment, the advertising team can build their own audiences within Twilio Segment’s Audience Builder. That way, the advertising team can support specific, ad-hoc requests for their customers without having to rely on engineering teams. Plus, the advertising team can move faster to show value to their clients, and the data team has more time to focus on their analytics initiatives.

What’s Next?

By using Twilio Segment, Funda can now create targeting audiences faster than their previous solution and increase their advertising revenue from programmatic and direct deals. By empowering teams to leverage customer data to drive growth, Funda has been able to witness more value from their advertising offering and increase cross-functional team collaboration. 

In addition to advertising, Funda leverages its unified customer data in Twilio Segment for other marketing initiatives, such as A/B testing, personalized on-site surveys, and even a data-driven brand campaign called the Funda Index, where users can view property trends in the Netherlands.

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