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Agencies, Partners Parse Twitter’s Foray Into Retargeting


AgencyPartnerArtBoth agencies and ad partners draw comparisons between Twitter’s launch on Thursday of retargeting product Tailored Audiences and Facebook Exchange (FBX). Just how technically similar they are remains to be seen, but the industry is buzzing about the ad product’s cross-channel targeting potential.

We asked some Tailored Audience partners, media agencies and a beta tester to comment on the new product, how it compares with FBX and the mobile implications.

Click below or scroll down to read their responses:

The Agencies

Briana Campbell, senior strategist, Wunderman New York

“[Consumers] have gone to the website and the shopping cart and now they’re seeing the same information and interests show up in their Twitter stream in a seemingly casual way. That’s the most interesting thing for us as marketers: the ability to hypertarget the people we want to speak with, and that our clients want to speak with, and who might potentially want to speak with us. … Based on what I know of [Facebook and Twitter ad developments] they seem fairly similar. Probably the difference will be in mobile. Facebook is still figuring out how to really optimize … the mobile experience.

Alex Andreyev, director, omnichannel marketing, Neo@Ogilvy

“Twitter retargeting is following in the footsteps of Facebook’s audience-buying strategies. They’re taking user cookie behavior (first- and third-party) to power retargeting and audience profile opportunities within their native ad units, similar to what Facebook did with FBX. What’s unique is that Twitter provides the ability to connect the cookie to a Twitter ID, which they can leverage for targeting in mobile (and potentially other channels). This will allow for true omnichannel retargeting and would be even more compelling as they leverage the MoPub exchange to expand inventory beyond Twitter native units. The interesting part that comes to mind is how Twitter will mine and productize their own data in a way that numerous others (AddThis, LocalResponse, UberMedia) have been doing for some time now.”

Paul Steketee, head of social and emerging media, MerkleCRM

“What’s really interesting to me about the possibility of retargeting from our clients’ websites to social platforms like Twitter is the connection and linkage across devices. I might be browsing an ecommerce site on my desktop at work … and then get a relevant ‘tailored’ offer later that evening in the Twitter app on my mobile phone. That could be just the right push to get me to convert. [FBX] is a prominent and impactful format of digital advertising, so it’s great to see [something similar] become available on a newer platform like Twitter, especially given the significant reach Twitter provides in mobile. We currently use FBX for remarketing as a core component of our media strategies and I am sure we will begin to do the same with Twitter Tailored Audiences. Recency and relevancy are two of the most effective and compelling factors when it comes to driving good performance in digital and social media. Twitter is excellent at providing both of these elements, and I am excited to see them expand the ways advertisers can do just that with their messaging.”


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Amy Peterman, associate media director, 360i

“We anticipate that Twitter and Facebook will advance their retargeting offerings by keeping aligned competitively and ensuring their targeting options are as comparable as possible. Social platform usage is increasing dramatically on mobile devices, so effectively tracking, targeting, and measuring success in mobile will be particularly important, especially for direct-response marketers. The difference [between Tailored Audiences and Facebook FBX] is that Facebook FBX runs primarily through DSPs, which have variable rate cards, while Twitter Tailored Audiences incorporates a new layer of targeting within the Twitter Ads Manager UI. In addition, while Facebook retargeting is only available on a desktop, Twitter retargeting works across desktop and mobile devices. Facebook‘s partner categories have three options (Datalogix, Epsilon and Acxiom), while Twitter has enlisted 10 partners. The biggest opportunity – and challenge [for Twitter] – will be helping advertisers to seamlessly connect the value of Twitter retargeting with traditional and digital media channels to drive better engagement and increased sales.”


The Partners

Alex Hooshmand, chief strategy officer and SVP of operations, BlueKai

“From a marketer’s perspective, the two programs [FBX/partner categories and Twitter’s Tailored Audiences] signify the ability to bring an additional layer of data intelligence to the new world of native advertising. It allows advertisers to be smarter about how they target across these emerging channels and new ad formats in a way that is cohesive with their overall audience strategy. Success in six months would be seeing a lift in Twitter engagement, which is the main metric Twitter uses today to understand campaign performance. As Twitter begins to build out their ad products further, I expect we will begin to see native touch points being fed into more robust analytics use cases like attribution and cross-channel measurement to understand the success of social vs. other channels. For BlueKai, this is a validation that centralized audience targeting, driven by the power of big data, is becoming a cornerstone marketing strategy.”

Rob Macdonald, VP of business development, Dstillery

“We have been a longtime Facebook Exchange partner [as a programmatic player and buyer] and we’re seeing some great results there. Facebook’s been a fantastic platform over the past year and is driving some really great (programmatic) results. I think what Twitter’s doing today is the first step [in that direction.] Facebook launched the Exchange and they’re still evolving that, so I think Twitter’s saying, ‘Let’s start with Tailored Audiences and provide performance and scale for marketers,’ because that’s what’s going to help Twitter over time to differentiate themselves. We see the MoPub acquisition as really interesting. Does that become the programmatic channel for companies like us to do that efficiency buying on Twitter now in real time and get real-time feedback loops and analytics that allow us to optimize and increase that performance for marketers? I think the difference is, Facebook has the head start, but Twitter has the chance to catch up quickly. … We think it’s going to get big fast. I think MoPub has the potential to amplify all that if Twitter decides to use that as a programmatic exchange and provide programmatic efficiencies.”

Doug Pollack, director of corporate strategy and business development, Lotame

“We provide the advertisers and publishers the ability to create custom segments within Lotame’s DMP platform, then move that over to Twitter and target those audiences with Promoted Tweets. This is a way for marketers to reach specific users that they already created segments on, using their DMP to really channel messages to those users. [Twitter was] looking for a couple things, at least on the DMP side. They were looking for platforms that had a good client base and a good reputation in the industry. Also I think they were interested in [our client mix] – they had some marketers but they were interested in us because we not only have marketers but we also have the sell side as well: publishers and networks.”

David Skinner, SVP business and corporate development, [x+1]

“What’s in it for us? An integration with Twitter increases the value of the [x+1] DMP for our clients. [x+1]’s mission is to help the world’s best advertisers grow through the power of relevant communications. Tailored Audiences help advertisers be more relevant in Twitter by using their own customer and prospect data – piped in by [x+1] – to target appropriate ads. I expect this will bring more direct-response dollars to Twitter, now that advertisers can access their own audience in that channel. And since Twitter is a mobile-first channel with more than 65% of their users on mobile, this is a great step forward for remarketing on mobile more broadly.”


The Beta Tester

Kipp Bodnar, VP of marketing, HubSpot

“The interesting part of Twitter’s Tailored Audience is how they have integrated with third-party retargeting vendors to leverage retargeting pixels. For a B2B business like ours an email-based retargeting model like Facebook’s has been challenging because the data we have is around business email information as opposed to personal email address that most people use on Facebook. As a marketer, the pixel-based tracking model gives us greater targeting flexibility and the ability to run a broader range of campaigns. In six months, when more marketers are leveraging the platform it will be important to look as our data to see how increased competition has impacted our results. However, this type of retargeting advertising unit offers marketers the opportunity to do more advertising in the middle of the marketing funnel to better nurture buyers.”

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