Unacast Hires Programmatic Executive Marianna Zaslavsky To Run Proximity Platform Partnerships

The world is getting 'sensored up' with beacons and other indoor marketing tools. The former Hooklogic and Eyeview vet will be connecting proximity data to companies' wider digital ad targeting efforts.

As indoor marketing via beacons and other mobile device sensors become part of mainstream brands’ efforts to bridge online and offline engagement with consumers, proximity network Unacast is hiring across the board to meet the demand.

Among its most notable new hires is Marianna Zaslavsky, who is taking on the role of VP of Data Partnerships. Zaslavsky will manage Unacast’s 60-plus location business services allies. In addition to expanding ties with demand-side players serving brands and ad agencies, she is also charged with growing supply side — aka publishers and developers — of Unacast’s business.

Zaslavsky arrives at Unacast from her previous post as director of Product Management at video ad tech company Eyeview. Before that, she was director of Business Development at e-commerce marketing platform HookLogic, which was acquired by retargeting specialist Criteo for $250 million this week.

“The world is rapidly being ‘sensored up’ with beacons and other proximity technologies, totaling 8 million as of today,” said Unacast’s Chief Revenue Officer, Chris Cunningham, to whom Zaslavsky reports. “The unique and accurate data derived from customer’s interactions with such sensors are now being used by Fortune 100 brands for online retargeting and attribution.”

Building Out The Proximity Network

Unacast has grown quickly since co-founders Thomas Walle and Kjartan Slette, — the company’s CEO and COO, respectively — started the company in September 2014. Early on Unacast took a different approach to proximity than most companies in the location marketing space.

Whereas most platform providers in the proximity arena either provide beacon hardware and software (or use other types of sensor technologies, such as wi-fi, audio waves, or LED lighting to trigger notifications to smartphone apps), Unacast has positioned itself as an organizer and manager of a global network of “proximity solution providers.”

In other words, it works with beacon hardware and software companies in concert to retarget consumers who have previously opted-in to a branded app at a retailer, airport, entertainment venue, or any other place with sensors.

Unacast takes the opt-in, offline data from beacons and allows retailers and brands to send ads to consumers later, when the customer has left the store or venue, is at home, or other locations, based on the consumer’s interactions with beacons.

The company’s goal is to be “the backend, the one API, for all proximity,” so that all players in the ecosystem — on both the supply side (proximity and location services entities) and demand side (media and ad companies) — can use harmonized and aligned proximity data, tagging structures and privacy through the Unacast PROX network. The company also operates the proximity industry online directory and guide, Proxbook.

As it prepares for 2017, Unacast is embarking on something of a hiring spree. It recently launched #TheTwenty campaign to hire the company’s next twenty employees — 10 on the technical side and 10 on the commercial side, a company rep told GeoMarketing.

“I’ve followed Unacast from the sideline and have seen how they have become the market leader in its space in a very short time,” said Zaslavsky. “This accomplishment, the unique value proposition of the company and the team’s vision for the future are what attracted me to Unacast. I’m thrilled to be a part of the team and to develop partnerships to expand our database and deliver on our core mission of making proximity data accessible and actionable for advertisers and brand marketers.”


About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.