Eyal Goldwerger, CEO of TargetSpot, an Internet radio advertising network.
AdExchanger.com: What momentum has TargetSpot seen in 2009 for itself as well as its clients?
2009 is going to be a year of accelerating growth at TargetSpot, driven by rising advertiser demand. This is a result of both an increase in our advertisers’ budgets, as well as a much wider mix in our advertiser base. Our customers now include a more complete spectrum, from the very largest national brands running national network campaigns, to national spot campaigns, and through to the small, locally-focused advertisers. Our customers are also using our network in an equally diverse manner: a recent outreach campaign enabled us to double the number of “self service” advertiser sign ups, which complements the growth in our large advertiser and agency-driven business that is predominantly “full-service” based.
Do you consider TargetSpot a technology or a services company?
TargetSpot is a service company which is enabled by great technology. As an advertising network, we enable the advertiser to tap into an immense amount of consolidated inventory and efficiently place ads across the network based on accurate targeting criteria. They benefit from scale, diversity, targeting, and automation. And we provide our integrated distribution partners access to advertiser demand that is consolidated and aggregate through our network. Ads are automatically placed within their streams, with similar benefits from their end.
What special opportunities or “challenges” does internet radio offer the marketer? What’s missing that still needs to be developed for internet radio advertising?
The key challenge the marketer faces today is in understanding the new advertising possibilities internet radio offers. Radio advertisers, for example, were accustomed to geographically targeting users using radio station “call letters” as a proxy. Further, they have been constricted to placing ads at radio stations located in physical broadcast proximity to their target audience. However, the location of online radio content providers is a virtual one. Any “station” may reach any user anywhere in the country, or in any country. Similarly, users’ locations can be determined much more accurate. In fact, TargetSpot can target users at the zip code level.
Internet radio presents many new opportunities, including the ability to accurately and automatically target the right users across a wide array of stations within a single campaign, the ability to monitor actual advertising delivery (impressions served), or the ability to complement the advertiser’s audio ads with display and video, to name a few. Complete and direct access to consumers and advertising inventory, and centralized trafficking and measurement of campaign placement and performance, are some of the further advantages of an online radio advertising network. Technology enables continued innovation free of physical constraints and driven by continued investments in growing this market opportunity to which TargetSpot is deeply committed.
With internet radio advertising, can you target audiences besides just using content as a proxy? If so, how? Any behavioral options?
Internet radio advertising audience targeting is much deeper than terrestrial radio and very granular. For example, an ad can be delivered through a radio station made for a specific person. Alternately, targeting by format profiling is very accurate and can reach a well-defined demographic audience.
Behavioral targeting is not yet fully developed since it requires continuous tracking of user responses per specific ads, which is harder to track in audio. However, we expect innovation in measurement to continue improving in this rapidly-developing online advertising market.
How do you see the media agency model evolving? With your product line it would seem that marketers could potentially go direct, no?
The model is evolving, but that evolution has more to do with performance and accountability than where the dollars come from. Whether an agency or direct client, the campaign must be targeted to the right geographic location, the most relevant user, and with the right mix. TargetSpot is well-positioned to ensure that marketing dollars are being spent efficiently and to the right audience. We do this for both agencies and direct advertisers, who we work with is the decision of the customer.
What is your view on the ad exchange model where buyers and sellers of media use transparency and control to eliminate waste and improve ROI/yield? Is it a good fit for addressable radio?
Anything that increases transparency and provides more value to the customer is always desirable. Until now, audio advertising has been accepted as a passive medium, making response difficult to measure. This is one of the areas in which we’ve been innovating – creating a framework in which advertisers benefit from better accountability of their marketing dollars.
What is the revenue model for TargetSpot?
TargetSpot is an advertising network. We sell to advertisers (both direct and to agencies) who buy audio advertising, as well as campaign-related video and display, and we share our revenue with our distribution partners, who are the publishers of online streaming audio.
Is cross-channel attribution (tv, online, radio, etc.) achievable? What is TargetSpot doing about attribution?
TargetSpot allows the advertiser to aggregate digital assets across multiple formats – audio, video and display – to provide a more complete marketing mix. We do believe that over time the ability to better integrate marketing across different media is important, not just for budgeting purposes but also to more effectively engage the consumer at different occasions. Online radio is becoming a critical medium in this mix.
What insights are you providing advertisers?
Marketers are increasingly focused on accountability. We address this need wherever possible. For example, we are careful to sell on actually delivered impressions (rather than based on estimates). And we let advertisers measure performance by making it possible for advertisers to know where their ads are running, what the click through is, and track the ongoing impact, such as direct visits to their site, hours and days after the ad is played.
What key learnings from your experience in online marketing are helping you today?
My previous roles have made me sensitive to the marketer’s perspective. Any portion of their spend needs to fit into the total mix of the campaign in a way that makes sense from brand management or performance perspectives. Advertisers look very closely at their budget and want assurance that the right message reaches the right audience.