MyBuys Drives Email And Display Ad Personalization

BobCellMyBuys, a provider of personalized recommendations solutions for retailers, has rolled out a display ad offering called MyAds and rewired its product suite.

CEO Bob Cell said the changes let marketers more easily measure across the full consumer journey. And just as larger vendors like Adobe have moved toward “customer profile” pricing schemas, so too has MyBuys with its Active Shopper Database. Founded in 2006, the company serves such clients as GNC and Major League Baseball.

Cell spoke with AdExchanger.

AdExchanger: Bring us up to speed on MyBuys.

BOB CELL: In the past, we were leaders in personalizing on the website for offers and products. The second area we personalize is email; we connect the website activity and preferences captured and our analytics create individual emails for consumers, which we’ve called Alerts and MyMail.

Over the last three years we’ve developed technologies that have culminated in our display ad solution, MyAds.

MyBuys made an acquisition around conversion metrics in 2010. How have you integrated that in your offering?

We bought a company called Veruta – an early real-time bidding DSP. And we rewrote it so that it could take advantage of MyBuys and would have the ability to bid differently for consumers on their devices based on the consumer’s value, time of day, estimated probability. There are a lot of unique things we’ve built into our bidder.

You’re rebranding all your products. Why now?

We called things by the industry name like “retargeting” and “shopper alerts.” Those will now be using the MyBuys brand in a more holistic fashion to represent where we’re going, so MyMail will be more individualized email. MySite will be how we personalize websites for each consumer. And then MyAds is the combination of this unique life cycle of interactions, from driving consumers to a website for the first time … then retargeting them to make sure they … buy and reactivating them over time on a precise basis using similar technologies to our MyMail capability.

How does MyBuys fit into the broader ecosystem? Email is coming back in a big way.

We see a convergence where it’s not a series of communications in siloed channels. Companies like and Oracle are getting into the space. You’re going to have one database that houses all customer interactions, and MyBuys has created that, which we call the profile store. When we use the profile store (now our Active Shopper Database) to interact with consumers, we’re able to capture more than our clients can without us because of our network effect and our device IDs.

When you put all that data together in one database and then have the ability to change interactions in a coordinated fashion, it’s a unique offering. MyBuys has a display ad system which was built on our own one-to-one DSP that we had to build because we wanted to treat individual customers differently. We wanted to build the capability to individually interact with a company, which creates a much different ability to bid and number of impressions for each of us.

What are you doing for mobile?

You can imagine when I’m on my phone opening an email while I’m at work, I might accidentally click through to one of my clients’ sites, but I’m not going to buy. But if we know my computer is what I buy on and I’m on that at 8 p.m. at night and I’m in-market when I normally buy, and we see that device, MyBuys will know that device – my computer – is me and I’m more likely to convert on that computer than on my phone. The ability to combine device matching with the profile strengths and individual bidding of our own DSP has created this new MyAds offering, which allows the precision to target people individually based on their likelihood to respond.

Who are your competitors? Retargeting solutions like a Criteo and TellApart have also gotten into email.

Some companies sell clicks, and clicks don’t matter. We study consumers across touch points. Click rates are fractions of a percent. We wanted to focus on, how much did a consumer really buy? We’re charging on acquisition, cross-device. We want to figure out what percent uplift each ad creates for increased traction whether or not they came from Google or a click, so we think it’s a game and the only thing that matters is true lift of revenue on acquisition.

Large vendors like the Adobe Digital Marketing Cloud are segueing away from CPM-based price models. MyBuys has a similar mantra.

I think the world we’re moving to is really much different. The companies that have really hung themselves out there on a siloed database approach with an attribution mechanism that’s a piece of how the consumer buys are in trouble. You’ve got to understand the consumer and marketers will only pay for the real lift. Too many companies are getting paid on CPM only and those models aren’t going to work.

Where will this lead?

As the market gets hot, other people will come out with a message of a single database, but building the one-to-one capability is not easy. But I will say there are things we don’t do yet when it comes to interacting around video and social we’ll be building functionality for, but we will be using the same database, and those are just additional touch points and forms of content.

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