Once a go-to analyst for the digital marketing industry, Emily Riley embarked on her latest role as chief operating officer of Evidon yesterday. Evidon parlayed the data generated from the large panel of web users that downloaded its early privacy software offering, Ghostery, into a set of modern services for site publishers.
Today, Evidon has branched out to helping site publishers and operators monitor where data gathered through their digital properties flows and assist them to stop unintended leakage. Publishers are becoming increasingly concerned that data disseminated to third parties through a clutter of tags added to their sites over the years prevents them from garnering the full benefits of that information when used to target ads to audiences who have visited their sites. The Evidon Labs product compiles and reports on anonymous information on the tracking tags its Ghostery software encounters as Ghostery users visit millions of sites across the web.
That Labs offering will be a primary focus for Ms. Riley, who is charged with handling operational strategy for Evidon. "My purview spans a little bit outside the traditional marketing realm," said Ms. Riley, who played a more-public role as oft-quoted analyst covering the digital ad industry for Jupiter Research and Forrester Research between 2005 and 2012.
In her new position, also an entirely new role at Evidon, she said she plans to apply her "analyst background as an objective third party."
Most recently, Ms. Riley was VP-marketing, product and platform at behavioral targeting firm Audience Science, where she started in August 2012. Audience Science is based in Seattle, a trek from Ms. Riley's Westchester home where she resides with her husband, Ben Riley, director of data partnerships at data management firm Exelate, along with their two children.
Ms. Riley started her new gig Monday and will work from Evidon's Manhattan office.
"I don't necessarily want to travel to Seattle every three weeks anymore," she said.
Like Audience Science, she said, Evidon is transitioning into more of an enterprise-facing company, one that more often sells directly to brand marketers than to their agencies.
Evidon is looking ahead to morphing the conversation around digital data from one focused on privacy to one focused on data transparency. "We want to help people understand what's being tracked so they can see the quid pro quo going on," she said, explaining the future Ghostery user might be less of a hardcore hacker and more of an everyday web user who's generally interested in preserving privacy while recognizing free digital content is facilitated by tracking technologies and ad targeting.
"It's going mainstream," she said, noting Ghostery has around 15 million unique users monthly.