Retargeting Continues The Conversation for Brand Marketers Says FetchBack CEO Chad Little

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FetchBackChad Little is CEO of FetchBack, a retargeting company.

AdExchanger.com: From your blog, I see that you've delivered $64.5 million in revenue for your clients - is that in the past two years? Care to elaborate in terms of net revenues to FetchBack, average deal size, type of clients, etc.?

No – that’s ($64.5 million) a partial record of the total value we’ve provided over the time period. When we first started the company we didn’t implement the tracking of this figure.

We’ll charge on a CPM but we prefer to work with all of our clients on a CPA or Revenue Share basis. The averages depend on the product offering or lead being generated. It’s safe to say that it ranges from the low side of 5% to as high as 20% per sale/lead.

What trends are you seeing in the marketplace?

A continual push to performance marketing. As those in the industry are aware, this is the dominant form of marketing on the net but given the current conditions it makes sense. Given that, the trend (or should I say issue) that all marketers are dealing with is the need for a more robust solution for attribution issues. Something that’s independent of the ad networks and server solutions.

How do you differentiate yourself from companies like Platform-A's Leadback and any ad network that offers retargeting?

You wouldn’t fly a plane without the proper instruments. You shouldn’t run a retargeting campaign with a simple click and impression report as your only method of gauging success. Our platform was built from the ground up to provide advanced ‘actionable’ analytics specific to Retargeting. Excellent stuff – let us know if you would like a peek under the hood.

Regarding our business model: The best way to explain FetchBack is to use an example of an existing product in the marketplace. Omniture, Clickable and Atlas all provide a service that makes it easier to manage your paid search campaign along with improving performance. These solutions are not directly providing the media provider/publisher; they work on top of it. That’s what FetchBack does. We make Retargeting easier to manage and more effective for our advertisers. We work across many networks and publishers to increase reach and our technology delivers the most targeted ad available. At the end of the day it’s the data given to our advertisers via our analytics found in FIDO that makes the real difference.

Our vision is simple; To be the second most important innovation in online advertising.

Does placement and context matter anymore or is it all about audience?

Regarding our product offering, it has little to no impact. In fact, when the placement of the ad is completely out of context it only makes the ad stand out more.

Is retargeting a must-have in all digital media campaigns these days? What trends are you seeing in retargeting's necessity?

It’s a self-serving question. The answer is yes, retargeting is must have for any marketer to some degree or another. I also say this after having been in the online marketplace since the mid 90’s. I’ve had a lot of experience in seeing what works and what doesn’t. This is the only form of online marketing that can work for any size advertiser other than affiliate and paid search. Marketers spend a lot of money and time driving traffic to their site; it only makes sense to extend your reach. If offline marketers had the capability to show ads based on a visit to a store or not – do you think they would do it? Without a doubt.

Any experience with Yahoo!'s search retargeting capabilities? Is search retargeting a big opportunity potentially? How will FetchBack participate?

No direct experience there yet. Search Retargeting is an excellent tool for driving additional impressions to in-market consumers. Our mission is purely about driving lost-prospects back to an advertiser’s site, so for the time being we don’t see participating in activities that are focused on bring people to the site in the first place.

FetchBack calls itself a retargeting company. In that retargeting can be construed as a form of behavioral targeting, is robust behavioral targeting capabilities a logical next step in FetchBack's product road map?

No, it’s not. I refer back to our mission statement of converting our clients lost prospects into customers. A good mission statement is much more that just saying what you do. It’s also about what you won’t do. While it’s very easy in this industry to get excited about additional opportunities; the hard thing is saying no. We don’t see ourselves competing with the Audience Sciences of the world. It would be very hard to differentiate our self and provide a unique offering. The other side of that is that it’s very hard for a company that doesn’t specialize in Retargeting to provide the ROI FetchBack does. If you need heart surgery you wouldn’t go to the family doctor. If you have a choice of a specialist over a generalist, the majority of the time you’ll choose a specialist and for good reason.

Beyond DR, how is retargeting useful for brand awareness marketers?

Great question. Back to the question of offline marketers having this type of capability. Even if they couldn’t track specific conversions, I’m sure they would find tremendous value in simply continuing the conversation. Let me give you an example of how we use it for FetchBack. Individuals might visit our site for multiple reasons. We’re not always looking for an advertiser to fill out a contact form during that first visit. As they leave our site and see Retargeted ads, they’ll notice that our ads that include messages about our latest PR and technology releases. Do I care if they directly drive an advertiser lead? No. It’s much more about having that top of mind awareness in someone who has visited our site before and they don’t have to return. That’s invaluable!

An additional example is how one of our advertisers has used a portion of their campaigns to allow channel marketers to communicate with each other and spur on friendly competition. The channel participants all visit a specific section of their site, so only the participants receive the Retargeted ads. A top performer in a given time period can have control over sending messages to other partners via the ads. What a fun way to build a brand if you think about it.

Why did you stepdown from AdOn Network?

The short answer is I’m a startup junky and always will be. I love creating something from nothing. The long answer is we started the process of selling AdOn in late 2006 start of 2007. We concluded the sale in 2007. I was already working on FetchBack at the time and had built out a successful management team that stepped in to lead the company.

What key learnings from AdOn are you bringing to FetchBack?

They’re too numerous to mention them all. I would say that has been the case for every company I’ve started. The most important learning is the importance of culture. Our company culture at AdOn was one of the things I was most proud of. We’ve continued that at FetchBack where we have a ‘home’ for the employees. I can honestly say that I believe everyone truly loves working here.

The second most important learning would be what was mentioned before about the need to continually focus on something you can be the best in the world at and saying no to everything else!

Will ad networks disintermediate agencies?

I don’t believe so, but agencies will continue to search for differentiation and some will purchase networks much like we’ve already seen happen. While I don’t think networks will disintermediate agencies, I do believe that companies that can do a better job of managing and producing data have an opportunity to take a leadership position.

How do publishers participate in FetchBack's retargeting offering?

We only work directly with publishers that have a very large reach, IE Facebook, myspace, etc.

How do they earn revenue?

We manage campaigns directly through them.

What recommendations would you make to young entrepreneurs in light of your own experiences?

Focus.

Corporate messaging such as vision, mission, values are not just exercises to be done at an off-site meeting over 2 days and then placed on a wall. They should really mean something and if they do you’ll know it because you’ll use them every day.

Culture is a very real competitive advantage. Ask Tony from Zappos.

Follow FetchBack (@FetchBack) and AdExchanger.com (@adexchanger) on Twitter.

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