Efficient Frontier Announces Its Demand-Side Platform; Adds Display Media Buying Capabilities To Its Search Platform

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Efficient FrontierEfficient Frontier announced that it was getting in the demand-side platform game by adding a display media buying component to its paid search buying platform. According to the release, "The new display offering includes real-time bidding capabilities, which is dynamic bidding at the impression level, as well as a proven portfolio approach to optimization." Read more.

Justin Merickel is the VP of Marketing and New Product Development at Efficient Frontier and discussed the company's new search and display initiatives.

AdExchanger.com: Initially, where do you see the sweet spot for offering cross-platform (display and search) targeting?  Any verticals in particular?

JM: Our focus is on performance marketers who are using search and display to garner a measurable ROI.  Since launch we have been focused on working with our client base where we have significant concentrations in finance, education, autos, travel, and retail.  We are now working with a few companies that are not existing search clients who today only leverage the display aspects of our platform.  These clients still align with our performance orientation.

How big is the display ad education challenge for EF in relation to its seach marketing clientele?  Any methodology you can share for educating the search masses?

There is some education on the exchanges and the unique characteristics of display optimization.  Impression characteristics like frequency and ad-size are not really part of the optimization equation in search marketing.  That being said, search clients are very comfortable with auction marketplaces and optimizing to ROI.  In fact, there is a trend at many clients where the search team is absorbing ownership for the performance side of display.

Of existing display and search clients, how does monthly spend breakout between display and search on average per client?  How do you expect this to evolve? 50/50 someday?

The break-out between search and display is variable depending on the type of client, target audience, and scope of campaign.  That being said, today the monthly break-out in spend in our platform for clients using us for both search and display is around 90% search, 10% display.  We do see this spend ratio scaling rapidly in favor of display as the exchange market matures.

Can you talk about the attribution capabilities of the EF display/search platform?  For example, how do you handle viewthroughs in both display -and even search?

In managing and optimizing both search and display we capture a very robust set of ad interaction data.  Additionally, our clients use our tags to capture and deliver to us the post-click and post-view data that is critical to optimization.  As a result of this extensive data capture, we have incredibly detailed information about campaign performance that is seamlessly connected for analysis in our platform.

Today, our default attribution setting is last click.  We give clients the flexibility to define a view through credit in the absence of a last click. And, of course, we provide the ability to apply a unique look-back window for click and view conversions.  On the roadmap is a more flexible, multi-stage attribution credit that can assign credit to multiple ad interactions that precede a conversion.

One interesting trend is that our clients find so much value in the unified campaign analysis that we are beginning to leverage our ad-serving for premium display buys outside of the exchange.  In serving premium campaigns, our attribution spans 100% of their display and search buys.  While the Efficient Frontier technology will only optimize biddable display, our clients are leveraging the analysis to inform premium buying with a deeper understanding of how search and display interact.

By John Ebbert

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