AdRoll CEO Bell Discusses Self-Service Retargeting

AdRoll announced a new, self-service retargeting solution which it says has resulted in up to a 30% performance improvement when buying cross-platform. Read the release.

AdRollAdRoll CEO Aaron Bell spoke with about the new product called Roundtrip and retargeting, in general. You identify “cross-platform retargeting” (i.e. retargeting across multiple ad networks and exchanges) in the release as the reason for a 30% lift for AdRoll advertiser clients retargeting   campaigns.   How do you manage the client’s cookie pool?  Do you prevent duplication across the supply sources? And what about frequency capping?

On the surface, retargeting is advertising to past visitors as they surf the web at large. However, besides merely targeting a specific user, there are additional factors that need to be layered in, such as context (ads perform 36% better in context*), location of ad on the page, and bid price. The broader the inventory set you can see, the more experiments you can run to exploit these factors, and the better you can optimize. Cross-platform retargeting affords RoundTrip this flexibility, and we see greatly improved lift when we blend campaigns versus buying on a sole platform.

This is the (now being realized) power of real-time bidding. We are rolling out RTB buying with partners that have mature APIs, while mixing in pixel piggybacking with the systems that haven’t reached that point yet. Alongside, we’ve developed a cookie store that lets us recognize users across inventory pools and apply appropriate frequency caps. Our partner integrations are at various stages, but we’re excited to see very strong retargeting campaign lift today purely as a result of cross-platform buying.

* Source: Enquiro Research, “Display Advertising – Does Contextual Relevancy Make a Difference”, August 2008. What would you say the key differences are between the retargeting needs of the small advertiser and large advertisers  such  as eCommerce players and agencies?

AB: Our overall approach to SMBs is easy DIY tools coupled with support (a live person that can help), and highly-automated optimization technology that reduce the overhead of running a successful campaign. These attributes, in addition to our focus on performance and reach, have also made us attractive to the larger e-commerce advertisers and agencies. If one of the exchanges or networks, such as DoubleClick Ad   Exchange, was able to scale and capture a significant amount of  your  clients’ audiences, would they need multiple supply sources anymore for retargeting?

AB: Based on the data we’ve seen, a cross-platform solution provides better performance. (Incidentally, the DoubleClick Ad Exchange is one of the platforms that we already make available to our advertisers.) There will always be more optimization opportunities from being able to sample more inventory.

By John Ebbert

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