Magnetic CEO Shatkin-Margolis On New Search Retargeting Partnerships Through Ad Networks

MagneticMagnetic has announced partnerships with a number of ad networks that it says will result in giving “advertisers and agencies search re-targeting capabilities for every campaign, using search data as the key indicator of intent to find customers in purchase mode…” Read the release.

Josh Shatkin-Margolis, CEO of search data exchange Magnetic, discussed the announcement and its implications. Is there any difference in the way traditional ad networks are using Magnetic’s data versus that of a demand-side platform?

The demand-side platforms are using Magnetic’s search data as a key indicator of intent in order to determine which inventory to buy on the exchanges and serve high-performing ads targeted at users in purchase-mode. Ad networks are using it to re-target users across the inventory that they represent, which may not overlap with inventory they access through exchanges. Various ad networks focus on aggregating certain types of inventory like comScore top 250 sites, or perhaps specific inventory for travelers. Ad networks are using Magnetic’s search data as an indicator of intent to help their advertisers build a premium brand with the right users at the right time.

Have you seen any traction with search engine marketers who want to use your data for display advertising whether through your partners or directly? What are your expectations for traction here?

There has been growing interest from search engine marketers because they want to leverage search data in display due to SEM’s familiarity and efficacy. We expected this because search engine marketers are now able to advertise in display with the same targeting ability as within a search engine. Also, search engine marketers now have more targeting and creative options in search re-targeting than what they would have in search engine marketing. Here are some scenarios of how to use search re-targeting for reaching the top-of-the-funnel and conquesting respectively: an advertiser would target credit report campaigns at “credit card” or “mortgage” searchers, or target “iPhone” searchers with a Blackberry ad, and reach their targeted customers in purchase-mode while on premium inventory of top rated websites found in the ad networks of Collective Media, interCLICK and Undertone Networks. If users spend 98% of their Internet time away from search engines, there has to be a more effective way of taking what you know in SEM and applying it to the display side.

Can you elaborate on how Magnetic’s bottom of the funnel search data is appropriate for top-of-the-funnel demand generation and branding? For example, if it’s bottom-of-the-funnel data, aren’t you driving demand fulfillment in display – which is less about branding?

Depending on the advertiser, a keyword may be considered top-of-the-funnel or bottom-of-the-funnel. If you sell computer graphics cards, a search for “3D graphics card” may be considered toward the bottom-of-the-funnel. However, if you sell video games that require a high-end graphics card, that “graphics cards” search would be considered top-of-the-funnel. Magnetic collects searches at all stages within the funnel and allows our customers to reach their customers on any form of media. Search has predominantly been considered bottom-of-the-funnel because it is well targeted at any topic, and because text ads are limited in their ability to create brand awareness. Now that display ads can be just as targeted (i.e., showing a graphical ad for a specific brand and model of television that you previously researched), we believe search re-targeting will change the way people think about display advertising. Magnetic helps target at any point in the funnel, and the top quality publisher inventory and varied ad formats of our partner ad networks will allow marketers to build their brand with target audiences the various cycles in the purchase-mode, thus satisfying both branding and demand fulfillment.

By John Ebbert

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