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Q&A with David Dowhan, CEO and Founder of TruSignal, Inc., a TransUnion Company

Blog Post09/03/2019
Banner image for Q&A with David Dowhan, CEO and Founder of TruSignal, Inc., a TransUnion Company

TruSignal is a people-based marketing technology company and an innovative leader in the martech landscape. By combining the power of first-party data with third-party data and AI technology, TruSignal delivers scalable audience targeting, powerful consumer insights, data monetization and bid price optimization. TruSignal was recently acquired by TransUnion. Now TruSignal CEO and Founder David Dowhan joins us on the blog to discuss the data-driven marketing landscape and how TruSignal and TransUnion fit into this picture.

Q. One of the commonalities between TruSignal and TransUnion is the investment in building solutions from powerful offline data. How is offline data relevant in a digital-first era?

A. Offline data is really key to achieve a people-based strategy in digital. That means targeting based on a foundation of known, verified identities, rather than targeting anonymous segments, cookies or bots.

TruSignal’s licensed offline data includes roughly 2,700 data points per profile covering 247 million U.S. adults—that’s 99% of the US adult population. We’ve found that this massive depth and breadth of stable profile data drives powerful analytics and marketing decisions that improve ROI.

Q. You have a background in analytics with positions at eBureau, Adteractive and NextCard—how did that inspire you to make the jump to digital marketing?

A. I like to refer to that past life as my experiences with Internet 1.0. People were just starting to understand how to activate data to drive analytics and decisions that could make major impacts on ROI. As the technology became more sophisticated and computing power was becoming more affordable, I saw the opportunity to apply these principles in the digital world with TruSignal.

At the time of TruSignal’s inception in the early 2010s, demand-side platforms (DSPs) had just started to revolutionize audience onboarding, inking the beginnings of people-based marketing. We were there to help leverage offline data and predictive technology to power audience solutions for what was just starting to become the addressable world that we know today.

Q. And TruSignal built out the technology to make that possible?

A. Yes—we’ve worked hard to develop technology that can combine first-, second- and third-party data assets as fuel for people-based marketing, with advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and omnichannel activation.

Centralizing data, AI and people-based identity makes it possible for marketers, and really any data owner, to unify, enhance and activate on the right data in meaningful ways. This type of technology is vital to the industry because it simultaneously powers key data-driven marketing tactics like targeting, monetization and optimization while delivering speed, transparency, ease and scale.

Q. TransUnion recently acquired TruSignal. Was there a shared vision as part of that deal?

A. It was certainly consequential that TruSignal’s core principals and technological capabilities were so aligned to TransUnion’s existing digital marketing solutions and vision. TransUnion is at the heart of the data and technology ecosystem, leveraging data and driving analytical decision making that power relevant experiences for marketers and consumers.

Between our teams and technologies, we can elevate this vision with speed, ease, accuracy and flexibility that the digital landscape is craving. Together, we’re building a vision of what the data-driven digital landscape should be, a world of meaningful interactions between consumers and brands with appropriate protections for consumer privacy and data governance.

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