Beyond the Cloud: Fyllo’s Hardware-Driven Approach to Adtech

Fyllo’s SVP of Product shares the story of how the company navigated the aggressive moves of industry giants to create its cutting-edge product, Contextual Audience Extension, that revolutionizes digital advertising.

Written by Brigid Hogan
Published on Dec. 22, 2023
Beyond the Cloud: Fyllo’s Hardware-Driven Approach to Adtech
Brand Studio Logo

The team at Fyllo knew it was time. They recognized that their company’s offerings were overly reliant on browser cookie technology and needed a more future-proof solution. 

The journey to developing Contextual Audience Extension began.

According to Senior Vice President of Product, Pierre-Marc Diennet, “We knew we had to build something that could stand on the shoulders of our existing cookie-based product. Our answer was to leverage our knowledge about cookies and project that onto the content of web pages, creating the technology we now call Contextual Audience Extension.”

One distinctive aspect of Fyllo's technology is its reliance on hardware rather than the cloud, a rarity in 2023. This decision not only eliminates virtualization but also allows the company to communicate directly with adtech powerhouses at unparalleled speeds and at a fraction of the cost compared to competitors.

Diennet explained, “We have parallelized our modeling capabilities and closely control compute allocation, running thousands of models inexpensively. Our server boxes communicate directly with demand-side platforms, providing our advertisers with a targeting product that predicts user behavior on web pages.”

“Our answer was to leverage our knowledge about cookies and project that onto the content of web pages … providing our advertisers with a targeting product that predicts user behavior on web pages.” 


On the journey to bringing the product to fruition, teams ranging from data science and engineering to managed media and marketing worked in close collaboration. Monthly progress presentations ensured transparency and alignment and allowed each department to understand the progress of others and contribute effectively.

In comparison to industry peers, Fyllo stands out for its agility in deploying solutions. However, the challenge lies in aligning the fast-paced product development with the marketing strategy — a challenge that the cross-functional team faced throughout the development process.

Diennet said, “We often move faster than our marketing machine can accommodate. We are actively working to improve this aspect, ensuring that our innovative products receive the attention they deserve in the market.”

Built In heard more from Diennet about how Fyllo is carving a path of innovation and collaboration in the dynamic world of digital marketing and advertising.


Why did the company need to build Contextual Audience Extension?

Pierre-Marc Diennet
Senior Vice President of Product • Semasio

The technical environment in which our product suite operates is very dependent on two main players, Google and Apple. Between the two of them, they control about 90 percent of the web browser market and about 90 percent of the mobile OS environment. This was not a satisfactory position to be in because they are making aggressive moves to solidify market share and snuff out competition. 

Our capabilities depended on browser cookie technology. They worked very well for our customers but the maneuvers of Google and Apple were clear. They were coming after us.   


What obstacles did you encounter along the way? How did you successfully overcome them?

One of the thorniest issues we ran into was measurement. Most of our advertisers use browser cookies to do their measurement. When a customer exhibits some kind of conversion online, the advertiser will track that activity with a browser cookie. They will then compare the various advertising strategies and calculate their relative success. 

When trying to convince our customers to use our technology, we would be required to measure our effectiveness using browser cookies. Of course this didn’t work because, by design, we did not utilize browser cookies. The analogy might be that we were picking apples but we were being judged by the number of oranges that resulted. 

We solved this problem by introducing our advertisers to cookie-less measurement solution partners. These solutions utilized campaign log files, conversion data and other readily available adtech data to produce effectiveness metrics across strategies. These solutions showed clearly that our Contextual Audience Extension models were far more cost effective than the other strategies they were using.


“We were picking apples but we were being judged by the number of oranges that resulted. We solved the problem by introducing advertisers to cookie-less measurement solution partners.”


When you think of other companies in your industry, how does Fyllo compare when it comes to how you build and launch new products? 

In comparison to other companies, I would say that our company is able to deploy solutions faster than average. On one hand, this is great because we can deliver value for our existing customers quickly. On the other hand, we have plenty of products and capabilities that only a few of our customers and prospects know about because we did not market their release well when they first came out. Luckily, this is something our team is actively working to improve.



Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images provided by Fyllo.

Hiring Now
Cloud • Information Technology • Security • Social Impact • Software