Episode 213: Arjun Dev Arora on Retargeting Banner Ads
One of the most effective online advertising strategies that is increasing my conversions now is Retargeting.
This is when you cookie a visitor to your landing page and then serve them ads when they are surfing other sites to remind them about your product or service.
Doubleclick came up with this as early at 1998 and called it Boomerang, so the concept is old, and finally gaining massive traction.
ReTargeter is a company founded by Arjun Dev Arora, an ex-Yahoo! guy who knows his way around scaling big banner campaigns.
Find out all about:
- retargeting best practices
- where Retargeter fits in the ecosystem
- creative ideas and retargeting innovation
- targeting retargeted ads (demo, psycho, etc)
- engagement strategies within retargeted campaigns
- the ad approval process
- how pixel tracking works on sites and in emails
- campaign cannibalization
- inventory costs and pricing models for retargeting
GET A FREE MONTH WITH RETARGETER
Post your desire on the DishyMix Facebook page and win!
Susan Bratton: Welcome to DishyMix. I’m your host, Susan Bratton. And on today’s show you’re going to get to meet Arjun Dev Arora. He’s the founder and CEO of a company called Retargeter. I met Arjun at the Underground Conference at which I spoke, oh gosh, I guess that was late last year probably or early this year. I don’t know when it was, but I met Arjun there at an industry event, and I was really impressed with him personally and professionally. And I was really particularly impressed with his company Retargeter. Arjun came from Yahoo. He was one of the heads of business development in the Yahoo Real Estate Group. And he saw the opportunity for retargeting back then and started a company now that works with big brands like Microsoft and ING and with small startup campaigns as well, like potentially Personal Life Media. I’m super high on retargeting. I think that it’s something that, you know, everyone will do in the future because you’d be crazy not to.
So why not start now, that’s essentially my thinking. I also want to let you know that I’m going to have Arjun on today, and he has a free month of retargeting services for one lucky DishyMix fan. And to get that you’ll enter your name on the DishyMix page in Facebook and tell us that you’d like to win and we’ll pick our favorite request. Another surprise that I have for you on today’s show is that I’ve invited on my husband, Tim Bratton. I know that I’ve talked about him a million times on the show, and he’s really the guy responsible for running our retargeting campaign. He’s much more analytical and technical than I, and I thought that he and Arjun and I could have a good conversation for you about retargeting. So I’m going to welcome the guys on the show, and the very first question that we’re going to talk about is what is retargeting so we get a level set on that. So first, say hi Tim. Say hi Arjun.
Tim Bratton: Hi everybody. Hi Arjun. It’s great to be on the show, and Susan thank you for having me on the show.
Susan Bratton: It’s my pleasure Tim Bratton. It’s nice to see you again. You’ve been really doing a great job staying in touch with us with your email campaigns too, your audio responder system is very good. You definitely keep top of mind with that. So lets talk about retargeting. I know it has a couple of different names, people use different names for it sometimes. Explain as a level set what it is for DishyMix listeners.
Arjun Dev Arora: Yeah, absolutely. So retargeting is also known as remarketing in certain circles. So what retargeting or remarketing is is the ability to tag users who visit your website and then show them better ads as they surf around the web across thousands of sites. So a typical example is let’s say someone visits nike.com. They’re poking around the site; they’re taking a look at a couple of different shoes. They decide at that point in time that it’s not the right time to purchase. They leave the site. Two days later they’re on Yahoo or YouTube or Facebook and all of the sudden they start to see ads for nike.com. Those ads are effectively following that user around, keeping the nike.com brand top of mind and actually encouraging that person to take action. Click back to the site and hopefully actually buy those pairs of shoes that they were looking at.
Susan Bratton: All right Arjun, you probably hate getting this question, and that is that I think the most common consumer experience to date with retargeting has been I go to saphora.com, I place an order, I buy what I want and then I get ads served to me for the product I just purchased. Is that changing? Is that still a problem? How do you solve it, etcetera?
Arjun Dev Arora: Yeah, no, that’s a great question. And a lot of that actually has to do with the way the campaign is set up. So interestingly enough a lot of clients or a lot of folks who run retargeting campaigns don’t place what’s known as the burn code on the confirmation page. And now that can be done on purpose because folks want to stay in front of people even after they purchase, but usually it’s best practice to actually place the burn code on the site, on the confirmation page so that once someone does buy something they no longer see ads.
Susan Bratton: Wait, is this bird like tweet-tweet or burn like ouch?
Arjun Dev Arora: Burn like ouch.
Susan Bratton: Okay, so the burn code is I got the order…
Arjun Dev Arora: Right.
Susan Bratton: Okay. Why wouldn’t they have a…
Arjun Dev Arora: And you’re burning your cookie.
Susan Bratton: Burning your cookie, uh huh. Okay. So why wouldn’t a company have a different ad… Oh yeah, okay.
Arjun Dev Aroro: Yeah, I think you got right to where I was going with that. I think there’s a great opportunity there for folks to burn the initial, you know, cookie that was actually tagging that person for having been to the site, and then drop another cookie that is associated with a campaign that encourages people to share the latest deal with their friend or come back to purchase a different product. Or something that we’ve been doing more frequently is actually encouraging people to follow the brand on Twitter or fan the brand on Facebook, so really taking that positive customer experience and then allowing that person to become more strongly associated with the brand through social media channels. So there’s a lot of opportunity that’s based I still think, you know, we’re early in the retargeting game and there’s very, very creative things that can be done with some segmenting audiences.
Susan Bratton: You’re in a crowded and getting more crowded space. Name your competition and explain how you fit within the ecosystem, ‘cause one might consider you to be competitive to Google or Yahoo but in fact you’re not. So will you just kind of describe all that?
Arjun Dev Arora: Yeah, absolutely. So I think the way the ecosystem works is that there are several large ad networks and ad exchanges, each of whom actually offers their own retargeting solution. So Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Fox and others all have their own networks, and within that network you can retarget the users who have been to your site. Now the way, kind of the space in which we play is we’re actually a Meta network, so we’re a network of networks. So we’re partnered with all of those different folks, and we’re a one stop shop, especially as it relates to retargeting to be able to find users wherever they happen to be on the web, whether they’re on the Fox network, the Microsoft network or any of those others. So that’s kind of how we fit into that ecosystem.
Now in the recent past there have also been more retargeting focused companies as well. So there’s been companies like Cretaio, TelePart, Ad Role, ourselves, Fetch Back. So there’s, you know, lots of different players in this space. Cretaio and TelePart are really focused on the large e-commerce companies, so folks with, you know, a quarter million or more unique users a month. Ad Role generally tends to focus on the self-serve audience, so, you know, restaurants, plumbers and other kind of folks who are just getting started with retargeting, we’re probably somewhere in the middle. Fetch Back also played kind of in the same space that we did. They were recently acquired by [inaudible] and have actually seems to be, have gone a little bit more upstream recently. We’re running into them a little less. So that’s kind of a little mini breakdown of the ecosystem as it is right now.
Susan Bratton: I really want to hear more about if you think you want to do a retargeting campaign, someone comes to you, what’s the process for engagement? What, is it all self-serve? Do you have campaign managers? Do you help us with creative, you know? What do you provide?
Arjun Dev Arora: Yeah, absolutely. That’s a great question. So what our focus has been to really understand the clients needs. So get a sense to understand how the business works, how the business is monetized, whether the goal is direct conversions or brand awareness or in some cases increasing social presence. So we do spend a lot of time on the outset to better understand the actual company of the business and the marketing goals. From there, once we kind of have a sense and we can just use a simple example of someone who’s selling a widget on their site and their goal being “We want to get more sales of widgets,” what we’ll do is we’ll look to set up a campaign. And what that entails is getting the code up on the site, so getting the actual retargeting code to drop the cookie, the burn code, which we chatted about earlier on the confirmation page, and then the actual confirmation code on that page as well so that we can track the conversion events.
So we work to get all those pieces of code on the site with the client, and then on the creative side I’d say 50 percent of the time our clients will provide creative and then 50 percent of the time they’ll leverage our in-house creative team. So we’ve got an in-house creative team that’s got kind of, you know, years of experience creating banner ads, has expertise in retargeting specifically around, you know, some of the best practices for creatives, which I’d be happy to chat about. And also kind of once we get that done so the creative piece is done, we’ll then move forward with uploading the creatives on our side and the campaign usually starts within 36 hours. So it’s a pretty quick process. The reporting is available directly through a dashboard. And then we do have both our sales representatives as well as our account management team closely involved with the campaign. And then lastly we have a new creative service where our creative director will actually come in and every month take a look at how the creatives are performing, provide feedback, and then our creative team can even make minor tweaks to those ads as the campaign progresses. So a lot of different ways that we’re involved, both in starting the campaign and ensuring that the campaign is successful over time.
Tim Bratton: So that sounds very compelling. So as an example I’ve recently set up a retargeting campaign on Google, and I dropped the cookies and I think a best practice for us is to cookie the landing pages, the home page, have a separate cookie for guys that have opted in, and then of course the final tracking on the conversion so that we can send different ads to those guys as they make their way through the purchase decision and through our funnel. One of the things though that I found particularly frustrating with Google is that you don’t get any help.
Arjun Dev Arora: Right.
Tim Bratton: So you have to figure out all that stuff out on your own and it’s very difficult to get ads approved. So it sounds very appealing that you have a similar approach and can also offer some advice on best practices. So for instance, if you were to advise us knowing that we want to have some campaign for guys that have hit the landing page, then the guys that have opted in, and then the final one for the people that have become customers…
Arjun Dev Arora: Right.
Tim Bratton: what kinds of things do you see would work for that? I imagine you do a lot more complicated ones, but that’s, for us I think is a good starting place.
Arjun Dev Arora: Right. Yeah, I think what you just mentioned was a great example of how to sub segment your audience, and I think that’s something during the initial phase that we’ll spend time looking at, and that’s understanding where the different audiences and what is your conversion funnel look like, and that’s a word that we use often is how do you move folks from step one to step two to the purchase, and then once you have them in the funnel how do you make sure that they’re engaged with your brand and also referring you out to other folks. So, you know, that model that we use sounds like, you know, even right now you’ve implemented that in through those different steps. And we’d look at that funnel and understand where those major steps and where does it make sense to sub segment the audience and where does it make sense to not segment the audience.
So, you know, if there’s step 1a and step 1b, it may not be necessary to create two separate campaigns there. It is most likely okay to just show the same set of ads and rotate a different set of ads to that audience, and then when they make it to step two then actually show them a different set of creatives to get them to the final confirmation page. So I think a lot of that needs to be done on a case by case basis, but the model of moving people through the funnel is one that we, you know, definitely live by and recommend to folks.
Susan Bratton: Arjun, is it possible when you have, lets just say you have those three different steps, the funnel, you’ve got a person whose come to your website and they have not opted in. You’ve got – you know, they bounced. You’ve got another person whose opted in but not purchased. And then you have a third person that you’re actively marketing a product in a timely way to, lets just put it that way. And then you’ve got your customers; that’s a, you know, separate piece. Can you optimize creative on the fly for those different scenarios as well? Like can you serve multiple pieces of creative ad and tell which, can you kind of like optimize that?
Arjun Dev Arora: Yeah, absolutely. That’s a great question. So what we usually do is for each segment or audience that we’re showing ads to, we usually take anywhere from three to five creatives per audience basically. And those creatives will be each developed in all of the different sizes that we support, and then what we can do is we can dynamically optimize against that. So our algorithm, is the campaign is large enough, needs to have significant data, will actually optimize the campaign programmatically and if it doesn’t our account management and creative teams will actually look at the ads and say, “Hey, this ad has a CTR of .25, whereas this other one has half a percent CTR.
And not only that, but it’s actually leading, this particular creative is actually leading to more conversions down the road. We think you should shut off the other creative and maybe create two more that mimic the winner, and lets see if we can optimize that again.” So there’s a couple of different ways to run that creative testing. There’s kind of the straight AB testing. There’s the multivariate testing, and then there’s the multi dynamic variant testing. Our algorithm leverages the last one there, so the dynamic multivariate testing, but, you know, when our account management team is looking at it we’re really looking at it holistically in the context of the entire campaign.
Susan Bratton: You mention scale, and when I hear the world dynamic multivariate testing I know that takes a lot of data. So if that’s what your algorithm leverages, what kind of spend do you recommend a customer have, or how many, you know, how many ads do they need to fled or how many click throughs do they need to get? What do the numbers need to look like for you to really leverage retargeting?
Arjun Dev Arora: Right. So I think – well quickly before that, I think retargeting can be leveraged, you know, even with as little as a hundred unique users. So interestingly enough, each of our sales representatives has their own campaign that says, you know, contact Uri back today or contact Mike today. And so, you know, the campaign can run and be very effective with as little as a hundred folks or even less. But to your question, to run kind of the very advanced high level kind of optimizations and testing, you know, we’re usually looking to run anywhere from half a million to a million impressions in any given month against a pool of lets say five, run five different creatives. And that’s to, you know, really fine-tune the optimization. I think at a higher level it can be done by an account management or, you know, a creative person from our team pretty quickly, and there can be, you know, strong optimizations that can be discovered by just kind of taking a look into data, you know, in an Excel sheet for example. But if one really wants to get into the fine level of optimization, we are looking at, you know, half a million to a million impressions.
Susan Bratton: How do you charge for your service on top of the media, and are you buying all the media and making money on that too?
Arjun Dev Arora: Correct. That’s a great question. So our pricing model is very non-traditional. So the way we actually price is based off the number of unique users that are being targeted, and then that cost is all-inclusive. So for every 10,000 unique users that we’re targeting, we charge $500 a month, and we’ll show the optimal amount of creative, optimal amount of impressions to each unique user, usually around 15 to 20 per month, to each of those unique users to make sure that we’re staying in front of those users at a healthy clip. And the reason why we base it off of the number of unique users and not, lets say, on a flat CPM or on a CPC basis is because we want to make sure that we’re showing the optimal amount of impressions to each unique user.
So I’ll use an extreme example to kind of prove the point is that, you know, sometimes folks will come in and say, “We want to buy 100,000 impressions against an audience pool of two million people.” Now if you’re only buying 100,000 impressions against an audience pool of two million people, that means that, you know, only one in a few, a handful of folks is actually going to see even one impression in a month. What the real power of target is the ability to have that frequency with which you stay in front of users. So what we do is we kind of structure that into our pricing model so that we set up campaigns for success. Rather than, you know, having folks buy, you know, a certain set of impressions, we’re really pricing it off the unique users, making sure that those unique users see the right number of impressions over the course of the month to actually make the campaign successful.
Susan Bratton: You’re looking for 15 to 20 impressions per month per individual per consumer per prospect. What have you seen is the range – that’s a lot. That’s a lot of ads, but I think I’ve been served that in a single day by, you know, Giorgio Armani yesterday. I bet I saw 15 ads on the sites that I was on. So I think it can get chewed up pretty quickly. Do you space them out over a month? Like what have you found works? You say 15 to 20; is it, you know, you’ve got to serve at least 10 or you’re wasting your money, and then what’s the timeframe that you find, you know, spacing them out or getting them all up front in the first couple days? What works?
Arjun Dev Arora: Yeah, that’s a great question, and some of that is also, you know, we kind of determine that as we set up the campaign. 15 to 20 is what usually works for B2B, e-commerce, long decision making, something that takes a lot to make a decision. But there are cases, for example, with health insurance or car insurance where folks really do need to make a decision relatively quickly. It’s not something that they can necessarily wait too long on. So in that case, we may show those 15 to 20 impressions within the span of two weeks. And we can, we have the control to basically set a daily frequency cap, a weekly frequency cap. We can even stop showing ads after a certain amount of times, or start showing ads after a certain amount of time.
So there’s a lot of very interesting kind of things that we can play with there. We’ve had situations in which we’ve run campaigns where someone says; “We want to wait until someone hasn’t been back to the site for 14 days until we start showing them ads.” And we say, “Maybe they’ll come back organically or maybe we’ll find them in some other capacity or we’ve got an email marketing campaign, so lets hold off. But after 14 days if they still haven’t been back, then we want to start showing them ads.” So a lot of flexibility and that’s why that initial conversation with our campaign managers and with the folks who really understand your business is so important.
Susan Bratton: For products that we sell – and this could be the same for many companies – one of the things that we do is a person comes to our site and we try to get them to opt in for some free content, and then they’re in our database so we can auto responder bring them back, but we’d love to add the retargeting on top of it.
Arjun Dev Arora: Right.
Susan Bratton: After four days of being in our auto responder system we make them an offer. Well we tell them, “We’re going to make them an offer in two days. Tomorrow we’re going to make you a special offer. Today the offer opens, it runs for four days.” They get a warning, the offer closes, and then we go on and give them some more content and hope that they’ll ultimately convert or they fall off the list. For a lot of companies, what we’ve found is get them a good offer once they’ve been a hand raiser and you’ll close some more people. What I’d love to be able to do is ultimately run ads that have that specific day of the offers – like if our window is open for four days for an introductory offer at a special rate, when they’re online and they see that it matches what they’re getting in their email from, it’s day one, two, three, four of that special offer, and that goes away. Is there any reasons why I couldn’t do that and what kind of scale would a brand need to make that worthwhile?
Arjun Dev Arora: Yeah, that’s a great question, and that actually parlays into another one of our products, which is called RT Mail, and that’s the ability to actually drop a cookie within an email. So as opposed to dropping cookies on a website, if someone is on a web based email platform, and even other platforms, we can actually drop a cookie within the HTML email itself. Now dropping that cookie will allow that user to, you know, start seeing ads for a particular product, and the cool think there is that you can set – and this ties in perfectly to the last question – is that you can set a window of four days or seven days after that person has opened that email and gotten that cookie. And you can then set it up such that when that email goes out the cookie is dropped, they’ll see an ad for that offer itself for the next four days, and then it’ll shut off. So I think that’s kind of exactly what you were talking about, and that’s possible.
Susan Bratton: That’s great. That’s super cool. Did you think of that honey? Did you already plan to do that?
Tim Bratton: I was trying to figure out how to do it. I didn’t know. So for instance whether it would be a separate campaign so that only people that had opened that cookie would see the special offer, and those people would be part of that special campaign. Or is that part of the overall campaign, people that have been to the website? Or do you keep those separate somehow and just track them by each individual cookie or set it up as a whole separate bucket?
Arjun Dev Arora: Right, yeah. That’s a great question, and I think that really depends on kind of what your goal is. So if your goal is that you want to create a separate segment that is targeting that audience in just the time window for that offer, then it would need to be a separate campaign. If for whatever reason you wanted to just stay in front of those users and hopefully get them back, maybe just for another offer that’s not necessarily as awesome as the short window offer, you know, then you could use the same code that you’re using on the actual site, you know, slightly tweaked, and then be able to target those folks with the same ads that you’re showing to somebody who’s actually just been to the site.
So, you know, there are additional costs with setting up an additional campaign, but that might be the right play in this particular example. But it really depends on, you know, whether the cost associated with setting up that additional campaign is worth it to really push people hard on that particular offer that expires within, you know, four days or seven days or, you know, whatever the window is. So I think there is kind of nuance to that. In my personal experience I would probably recommend just running the same ads that you’re running on the site itself and that way, you know, keeping the brand top of mind, and those ads could be more generic. If they know the offer is sitting in their email anyways, that way you don’t have to set up two and manage two different campaigns. You really just have one campaign. The brand in itself is powerful enough to remind people to go back to their email and start to see those ads. And we find that happen quite often. It’s something we call the billboard effect where people will start to see those ads, they’ll either return to the site through search, through an email, through a lot of different channels, and there’s some great tools out there, including ones that we have, that allow you to track that. So that’s really, really powerful and doesn’t require kind of all the extra effort so to speak.
Susan Bratton: Another thing that I think a lot of brands would like to do is support and send their distribution channel, you know. Whether you’re Procter and Gamble and you’re channel is Target and Walmart, or you’re Ford and your target is a Ford dealer in this town versus this town, or you’re an online provider and you’ve got JV partners who are, you know, mailing out an offer for you.
Arjun Dev Arora: Right.
Susan Bratton: Is there anything that you can do to increase your partners sell through, like maybe during a product launch or something like that? Do you have any ideas for that?
Arjun Dev Arora: Yeah, there’s, I think there’s a couple great stories around what I call non-traditional uses of retargeting. So it’s, you know, we have a lot of clients that are lets say ad networks or publishers that have actually placed a code on their Advertise With Us section. So they’re actually staying in front of the people that would advertise on a particular website. So just as an example, they’re not necessarily a client, but The Huffington Post. So The Huffington Post has a, you know, large direct sales team that’s selling their ads, so instead of putting the ads just on the main site and showing ads for The Huffington Post to come and read an article, they’re only placing the ad on the Advertise With Us section of their site. So they’re targeting those folks who are actually buying ad space.
So the, you know, the media planners and the media buyers, and showing them ads to get them to come back and, you know, buy ad space on The Huffington Post. So that’s a really creative example of leveraging retargeting. Now that same concept can be applied in the JV case where if you’ve got a Come Partner With Us page or you’re sending out an email blast to potential different partners you can, you know, place the code there and use that as a way to retarget people. Now the idea is finding a section on your site that is targeted just to partners or just to advertisers or if you’re sending out an email to, you know, 50 different potential JV partners, you can actually, you know, target that email individually so that the ads instead of saying Personal Life Media may say Come Partner With us, and then would encourage people to say, “Hey, these guys, oh yeah, I’d love to send out an email on their behalf” or something like that. The best example that I have of a non-traditional retargeting campaign was we’ve actually helped a couple of companies get acquired. This is a fun story we like to tell.
So there’s a company called Milo and their CEO often tells a story they were recently acquired by eBay. And they basically ran retargeting campaigns on their PR section and on their About Us section. So when executives from, you know, the acquiring company or potential acquirers were looking at the site, they’d start to see ads for Milo everywhere, and this was a great way to stay top of mind during a very, you know, aggressive kind of acquisition process where they had multiple bidders coming in and other folks kind of in that process. It was a great way to keep that top of mind and make sure that the deal got done. So we’re fortunate to have Jack tell that story often at conferences, and so it’s a lot of fun. But, you know, other companies, we like to joke internally that, you know, use retargeting as a startup and get acquired. So, you know, Jest and Tunnel and Milo and a few others have been acquired after leveraging our platform. So, you know, those are all creative ways of using retargeting.
Susan Bratton: What is it that takes a long time for your customers to accomplish so that you can actually run the campaign and send them a bill?
Arjun Dev Arora: Mm hmm, great question. So I’d say that the two biggest gating items are getting the code up on the site and sending us a set of banner ads. So those are kind of the two most difficult steps, and you know, they can be accomplished relatively quickly. You know, it’s a quick copy and paste into the footer of the site and, you know, if our creative team does it we can turn it around in 48 hours or less. But generally, you know, there are situations in which because folks have a strict development or deployment cycle it’ll be two weeks before, you know, any code can be placed on the site or, you know, people want to do a couple of iterations and really get the creative right, that can take, frankly we’ve seen as long as six months. So, you know, a lot of different use cases are. But the idea of being that those are really the two only factors that need to be that can take time.
Tim Bratton: So assuming we can get the code up quickly and we have our banner ads ready, we could start a campaign tomorrow?
Arjun Dev Arora: Correct.
Tim Bratton: Awesome!
Arjun Dev Arora: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, and I think that’s the fun piece is that we’re able to get campaigns up and running relatively quickly. You know, people will start seeing their own ads within 36 hours. There is an important caveat to that is that there is the approval process for the ads. So we chatted about this briefly, but there is with certain ad networks and certain ad exchanges, they are more strict than others with regards to what ads are appropriate and what ads aren’t. So the approval process can take anywhere from 24 to 36 hours and if, you know, certain ads are not approved then that adds another cycle, you know, to make some edits and then get the ads approved again.
Tim Bratton: And so with our current campaigns on Yahoo and Google, if we were to set one up with you we would only want to go with one so that we could disable the others so they wouldn’t be competing against each other, is that correct? So we could leave the tracking codes up there if we wanted to, but then just enable yours and switch the others off, so we’re not at a bidding situation with ourselves to run that new campaign?
Arjun Dev Arora: Exactly. Yeah, that’s a great question because often what will happen is, you know, folks will set up a retargeting campaign with a particular ad network and we actually have access to all of that inventory. So we’ve got access to about 17 or 18 now ad networks and ad exchanges that we plug into, and if you’re running a campaign concurrently with one of the ad networks that we have access to, what happens is it basically creates a real time bidding war. So, you know, if we’re bidding, you know, $5 for that impression and you’re also running that campaign independently and you’re willing to bid $6 for that impression, you’re effectively running the price up, and other folks may be bidding for that impression as well and that causes the price to go up. So, you know, what we generally recommend is that if we’re running a retargeting campaign that it’s just either our campaign or just another party’s campaign. And that allows for the effectiveness of the campaign to increase.
Tim Bratton: Well I wanted to talk about social media. So we’re doing some thing with Facebook which are pretty interesting, and I’d also like to see if we can take those people that are in Facebook and then show them ads when they leave Facebook because they’ve already had some experience with us there. We do some things where we’ll have people perhaps opt in and then they’re getting the emails from us, so with your new email technology where we can drop a cookie when they open an email that would be interesting. But I’m wondering if there’s some other ways of things that we can do for people, maybe if they don’t subscribe to the email or didn’t opt in to our list to get the free thing, how else can we target them outside of Facebook?
Arjun Dev Arora: Right. All right, that’s a great question. So within Facebook itself it’s difficult to drop the code, so Facebook has some rules and regulations against that. But what can be done is any traffic that’s sent out from Facebook can be retargeted. So what can be done is either using an automatic redirect – so if you’re sending traffic out, even, it doesn’t necessarily have to go back to your own site, but as long as its through an interstitial page we can actually drop the code in that interstitial page and then send it off to an article on tech crunch or, you know, some other YouTube video for example. So that’s one way to capture those users if they’re engaging with you on the social media platform. The other way is as you mentioned through email, so capturing the email and then sending them a note, or just sending them directly to your site where the code would be placed. So there’s a couple of different ways to do it. Unfortunately it’s not as easy as dropping the code onto the Facebook page, although that would be nice.
Susan Bratton: Okay, so last question for you. Creative ideas, innovation – what are some of the things that you’re testing right now or things that you’d like to have a client to practice on or things that you know are money being left on the table that you don’t understand why customers aren’t buying from you already? Any of those kinds of things, the kind of forward-looking ideas that you have are interesting to us?
Arjun Dev Arora: Great. Yeah, I think we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about, you know, kind of deeply about social media as it relates to advertising, as well as different targeting methodologies. So I’ll start with some of the things that we’ve been looking at from an innovative kind of forward looking perspective with regards to just targeting people interesting ways. So one of the recent partnerships that we formed is with a company called Meteor Solutions, and what that allows us to do is to target just to people who are actually sharing content from your site. So if you’ve got folks that are coming to the site, maybe purchasing and then leaving we wouldn’t necessarily want to target those folks. In this case what we can do using this technology is target just those folks who have actually either copied/pasted a link or hit the Facebook share button or the Twitter share button, and you know that those are your influencers. Those are the people that are sharing your content and your products with other people, and maybe you want to offer them something special. Maybe you just want to stay in front of them at a higher frequency so you want to stay top of mind with them more often.
So there’s definitely been some interesting moves in that arena around being able to target people more, in a more refined manner. So that’s kind of onsite. Offsite we’re working with a company called SocMetrics and what we’re able to do there is find folks in the Twitter sphere who maybe fit the demographic and vertical that you’re looking to target. So we can come up with a list of 10,000 lets say fitness experts or people who are talking often about fitness, and then we can either send them an email through their publicly available email addresses or send them all an At Message asking them to click on a link from where we can target those folks. So it’s a way to actually do some outreach initially and then be able to target those folks on the backend and then stay top of line with that. So those are some of the interesting things we’re doing with regards to targeting people specifically. Also on Facebook itself, you know, since we have access to Facebook inventory directly you can capture a socially engaged audience in very creative ways. So those are some of the things we’re doing on the targeting piece. Now the other piece is on the creative piece, and that’s where we’ve both internally and through partnerships have developed some really cool innovative different approaches to banner ad, a traditional banner ad. So instead of just storing a static, you know, Jpeg image we’re putting a live Twitter feed in an ad unit. We’re putting a series of videos in an ad unit. We’ve got polls. You know, we’ve got countdown timers. You know, all kinds of interesting things that really allow someone to gage with that ad unit and have them really remember the brand. They don’t even have to click through; they’re just kind of engaging with the ad unit, maybe watching a video, listening to something, looking at the latest blog posts through the ad unit.
So there is a lot of creative stuff being done in that universe. And of course sharing that content through their social platform, so that’s all happening. And then lastly is some stuff we’re working on and the ability to drive that initial traffic. So retargeting is great at once you’ve captured someone through some channel or the other, staying top of line, getting them to convert, building that social relationship with them over time, you know, that retargeting does very well, but one thing retargeting can’t do is bring you new followers or new interested users to your site. And so because we’ve spent so much time building a massive network across, you know, all of these publishers and all these sites, we woke up one day and realized, “Hey, we can actually buy ads directly on these sites.” So, you know, lets, if someone wants to buy ads against lets say all of the folks in the city of San Francisco who are males who are reading articles about finance, you know, we can actually make that happen because we’ve got all these partnerships. So we’ve started to do a lot more of that, and that is targeting and direct audience buying based off of a couple of different metrics. So either based on the context of the article that person is reading, based on the demographic information, based on the geographic information, or even down to the site level specifically so we can, you know, buy ads directly on YouTube, you know, and then combine all of those. So this is kind of what’s happening in the real time bidded audience buying kind of universe going forward. So we’re going to see a lot more of that and we’re really excited about that as well. So that’s a handful of the stuff we’re working on on the innovation side, but really excited about all of that.
Susan Bratton: And when you are buying media, are you buying it like a Meta ad exchange? Is that kind of what it would be?
Arjun Dev Arora: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. So it’s really cool. It’s kind of almost in a weird way like a stock exchange. You know, we’re able to place bids on certain key characteristics that we’re looking for and then place those bids across our entire network of ads. So one example that I love to use – and we can actually get this specific – is we can show ads to females in Manhattan who are on an iPad between the age of 25 and 35 who are reading an article that’s related to finance. So we can kind of get down to that level of specificity because we’re actually buying against that audience and bidding. Now that will probably cost you a pretty hefty amount on a CPM basis, but, you know, we can make that happen.
Susan Bratton: What are the lowest CPM rates that you can get on your exchanges if they’re, you know, if you’re just doing some simple targeting and what would that simple targeting be?
Arjun Dev Arora: Right. So…
Susan Bratton: We want to buy mass…
Arjun Dev Arora: Right.
Susan Bratton: media from you.
Arjun Dev Arora: Mm hmm. What’s it look like right now?
Arjun Dev Arora: So the simplest targeting if we were to just say we just want to buy all the inventory that’s available in the Unites States – you know, that’s probably the simplest targeting. I think those sort of CPM’s can get down to the $.50, $.60 range, if not the, you know, less. And you know, we’re talking about, you know, premium quality inventory and there’s, you can buy that inventory for $.10 but it’s not going to be great. So, you know, across our network, across the networks that we’ve, you know, chosen to partner with there, it’s going to cost about $.50 to $.60 and that is absolutely no targeting whatsoever.
Susan Bratton: Then what’s the next level of targeting up from there?
Arjun Dev Arora: So the next level up would be to get more specific with geography, so you could say one city and another level would be to advertise on a contextual basis and that will definitely add a couple of dollars. You know, we could get specific with demographic data, so you know, gender and age. That also, you know, increases the CPM significantly. And then devices specifically – so to target an iPad or an iPhone or an Android device specifically. You know, again is another possibility. So each of those are going to add, you know, a handful of dollars to each kind of, depending on how specific you get.
Susan Bratton: Well I feel like we have gotten a lot of great conversation here. Is there anything else that you have Tim or did you get your questions answered?
Tim Bratton: All my questions have been answered.
Susan Bratton: Say goodbye and thank you.
Tim Bratton: Thanks Arjun.
Susan Bratton: Arjun Dev Arora, from Retargeter, thank you so much for coming on DishyMix today.
Arjun Dev Arora: Thank you so much. Really appreciate the opportunity.
Susan Bratton: Our pleasure. And I just really think you have a good business going. And I just want to remind you as a DishyMix listener, if you’d like to win that free campaign from Retargeter for one month you have to go to Facebook, to the DishyMix fan page, post your reason why you should be the winner, and Arjun and I will pick a winner and you will get a free Retargeter campaign. I’m your host, Susan Bratton. Thanks for listening to this week’s show, and I’ll looking forward to connecting with you next week. Have a great day. Bye.