Acquisio Co-Founder Poirier On The Trade Desk Partnership, SEMs And Display Media

Acquisio and The Trade DeskMarc Poirier, co-founder and CMO, Acquisio, discussed his company’s new partnership with buy-side platform The Trade Desk which will integrate the company’s PPC platform into The Trade Desk’s platform (Read more in the release.). This is the first time I’ve heard of a search PPC platform from one company being integrated into a DSP of another company. Why does this make sense?

MP: Search marketers are going to play a major role in the success of Display – though these 2 channels seemed like polar opposites not so long ago, today they are clearly complementary. And as we progress in our understanding of how various online channels interact together to drive performance, the role of display will certainly change from pure branding and awareness to become much more accountable from a performance point of view.

The success of Display campaigns will be judged by its relative contribution to the success of online campaigns, as measured by tracking and attribution technology. Also, and perhaps more importantly, search marketers have been reluctant to engage in Display because of the way it has been priced until now.

With the arrival of Real-Time Bidding (RTB), where marketers can buy impressions “one at a time”, so to speak, display can now be purchased in terms the search marketer already understands and it can be optimized in very similary ways as search bids are optimized.

What do Acquisio and The Trade Desk’s future clients get out of this partnership?

The Trade Desk clients gain access to a leading SEM platform, with cross-engine campaign automation, bid management, campaign optimization algorithms, report automation, bulk editing, KPI and budget tracking, and much more.

But the truth is because we’ve been working so closely with The Trade Desk from their inception on building all the right bridges between our respective platforms, we’re very confident that our respective clients will gain access to an impressive performance media procurement and optimization platform, the first of its kind.

How will sales funnel data be translated? What might be some typical data points? Do you consider the tracking of view through conversions a critical part to the offering, for example?

Interesting you should ask. The sales funnel is actually at the center of the offering, and it’s closely tied to the attribution model being used (which is very flexible and can be entirely defined by the marketer). Further, because The Trade Desk actually built their own ad server, Display view throughs are indeed available for consideration as part of an attribution model. For years we’ve heard brand marketers say display views drive search, but there hasn’t been a whole lot of trustworthy data on this subject. Now everyone will be able to see for themselves how various channels influence each other.

When will the offering become available?

We will deploy ad serving, tracking and attribution within the next few weeks to a handful of Acquisio clients who volunteered to help with testing. There will be many incremental additions over the Summer and Fall, it’s early to say with absolute certainty, but we do expect to have completed our integration with The Trade Desk at some point in Q4 2010.

From your viewpoint, are search marketers finally capitulating and beginning to see the use for display? Or are you anticipating such a move?

We surveyed our agency clients last November on a few key questions. Here are some of the results which we think speak for themselves.

  • 79% of Acquisio agencies buy display advertising, and 12% more plan on starting soon. That’s 91% in total.
  • 87% say they need to find an integrated platform to buy, manage, optimize, and report on Paid Search, Display Advertising, and Social Media.
  • 90% of our clients say they use Display for direct response and branding. Only 7% use Display purely for branding.
  • 70% feel they need to build an agency trading desk to buy and optimize inventory and data across exchanges.

From these answers it seems to me they capitulated a while ago.

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