In theory, retargeting can and should be very, very effective–if done properly. Retargeting, search or otherwise, has become a very blunt instrument in developing KPI’s for any campaign. In a last click attribution world, it created some very bad, brand unsafe habits in terms of where ads run in order to grab the attribution. With that world ending soon, the questions are: what place does retargeting have going forward and how should it be deployed?
One very simple thing to do is to follow a brands attribution window. If a site uses a 14 day attribution window, for instance, then stop retargeting the person when that window closes. The window must be there for some reason, and if that reason is good enough for attribution then it should be good enough for retargeting.
Then there’s the general topic of cleaning segments as providers go along and transparency. Transparency hawks provide tools that are 100% transparent to the impression level. Whichever companies are providing retargeting services should be transparent and make sure the segments are cleaned regularly. Scale becomes more difficult when people are removed at regular intervals, but keeping things stale to preserve scale isn’t the way to go. It’s simply not effective.
At Twelvefold, we focus all of our time and effort on the moment of consumption and understanding the mindset the content creates with its audience while it’s being consumed. Spectrum was built under the assumption that if we understand what you’re thinking, by simply understanding the content, at the moment you’re consuming it, our chances of serving a relevant ad goes up substantially. Our customers agree.
We’re in a real time, impression based world that demands transparency. It’s a new day and a new war. We shouldn’t fight it with the last war’s weapons, strategies or tactics.
I’m very excited to announce the launch of Spectrum 3.0 today. It’s the culmination of years of work by about 50 of the most talented people in the industry who work with me at Twelvefold.
We’re a Big Data company that has figured out how to derive mindset from content at the page level and in real time, which allowed us to walk away from cookies. We do it with full transparency to the brand and agency and as of today, we’re 93% programmatic, which everyone knows is an incredibly high percentage given the nascent state of programmatic.
We built Spectrum to deliver very precise audiences at scale on both web and mobile web pages, using algorithms that process literally millions of page level auctions a minute.
Version 3.0 takes all of this a step further. We now have first to market programmatic forecasting, combining our ability to watch content be created and consumed so we can show brands and agencies how they can actually increase budgets dramatically. We’ve been using the tools ourselves for the past few weeks and the results are very reinforcing.
We’ve improved our ability to show trending topics and quickly act on them for brands. Simply find the URL’s you want to run on, drop them into Spectrum and our algorithms do the rest. Spectrum will find other pages that match that mindset and topic and produce reports that show how big that topic is versus other topics that are important. This increases both scale and precision.
We’ve got more improvements for Spectrum coming in the next several months too. They’re already under development and they’ll further our ability to work with brand and agencies on spot buys, always on business and as a self serve platform. Brand needs vary and we’re able to serve them however it makes sense.
Twelvefold is happy to lead the industry in many ways and we look forward to increasing our rate of innovation in product, science, technology and business with our customers.
At Twelvefold, we focus a lot on creative and our customers do, too. We thought this article from Digiday got close to the heart of a critical point in online ad targeting and optimization.
The internet-connected world is swimming in data. There’s enough to bring us to our knees as we pore over spreadsheets and UI windows, sifting through a numbing amount of data and trying to find that kernel of knowledge that causes us to say “Eureka!” For us, that moment is when we find the intersection of the right ad, at the right time and in the right place.
Everyone has their own theory and practice on how to find that intersection. At Twelvefold, we have our own theory that we practice everyday.
We focus solely on understanding the mindset content creates with its audience. We do that by applying big data–huge data, actually. We look at millions of pages per minute in exchanges to derive the mindset from that content, or really that impression.
That has a big impact on creative. If you can tell what someone’s mindset is in the moment and respond with creative that matches that page environment (rather than the whole site), then we believe you’ve solved all three legs of the right ad, in the right place and at the right time conundrum.
We have customers that track topic trends and shape all of their online creative from it. Not just the creative that runs on us. Why? It’s simple. We’re able to show the brands which topics are trending, they decide which are most important, and then it’s our job to sift through millions of pages to fix the creative we’ve informed to the page we’ve found for them.
We love the coming concept of dynamic creative based on data. We just focus on the one moment that is most relevant. That is this moment. Right now.
Twelvefold takes transparency seriously, which is why we’ve been following the Adweek series on fraud. We highly recommend reading the pieces they’ve written so far this year. It gives a very good sense of how prevalent fraud is in today’s ad stack as well as the level of sophistication involved.
This article made its way around the sales floor here this morning and our Director of East Coast Sales Kaitlin Keaveney reminded us that fraud is one thing we need to guard against. She also detailed a series of elements that create an environment of brand safety, which is critical to keeping great brands coming back to 12Fold. In fact, they already do and that is in large measure due to the environment of trust we’ve built through both platform and business practices.
Brand safety is only accomplished if it is a stated goal of the company. That goal has to be executed through a combination of providing a proprietary platform, using other technology tools available and–most importantly–adhering to business practices that makes brands and their agencies want to be associated with your company. Here’s our view of the formula for success.
We also use syndicated tools and software to augment what we do for things like viewability and other critical hygiene measures. We like tools that offer third party validation of our approach or add to our optimization and analytic capabilities. For one, they give our customers an outsider’s view of our effectiveness. Plus, these tools augment what Spectrum already does, allowing us to focus on developing new and exciting features for the platform. We’re perfectly happy when a really innovative company comes up with software we don’t have to develop and maintain. It just means more time for us to spend on understanding the mindset content creates with its audience!
And of course there are business practices. That foundation comes from people, and we hire and retain talent that is both high-performing and highly-ethical. Our main business focus is our “buyable index”. That’s the list of sites we’ve vetted to have real content and a very good brand advertising experience. It’s not simple or cheap to vet tens of thousands of sites but it’s worth it in the name of brand safety.
The Ad Week fraud series reminds us that it’s important to be ever-vigilant, because gaming this industry to make money through fraudulent practices is essentially a nuclear arms race. We as an industry beat it back and then the unethical players make improvements. It has happened since I entered the industry in 1994.
The good news is that the entire ad stack moving toward our view of the world and our way of doing business. We see the new entrants into the ecosystem fostering greater transparency and controls around brand safety, and we welcome them to the neighborhood.
We’re very encouraged with all the big data tools that are being developed, released and leveraged. This reminds us that with the promise of big data comes the commitment to it being very accurate as well.
Big data is seductive, but it’s also difficult. Seductive in that it provides the opportunity to take many inputs and synthesize them into a cogent model that can be easily leveraged. It’s tough not to be seduced by that. But big data is difficult too, since taking many inputs about us and trying to paint a picture of what we really want leaves an important element out. That element is what we’re doing right at this moment. Not five minutes ago and not five minutes from now.
Big data based on me and my past habits likely doesn’t tell anyone what’s on my mind right now. We created Spectrum to focus solely on what a person is interested in at the current moment by understanding content at such a deep and big level, and this allows us to derive the mindset of a person in the present time. We love big data. We just chose to focus on the moment of consumption, which ensures accurate results.
We’re not surprised at 12Fold at all. When we conceived of our platform, Spectrum, at the end of 2010, we decided that we’d create a scale platform that targets audiences through content. No cookies, no beacons, no pixels, no nothin’.
We didn’t think of ourselves as the privacy police, nor are we privacy hawks. Though I like my privacy as an individual.
We simply realized that no one had created the ability to understand the mindset that content creates with its audience in real time. Mindset is simple in Spectrum, though the proprietary science is very sophisticated, and elegant.
By understanding a page of content, web or mobile web, at a very, very deep level, we answered the critical question of WHY someone is reading that content. Not just what they’re reading. Combining what they’re reading with why they’d be there at that particular moment, we understand the mindset that content created with that person. And we’re reaching them at the moment of consumption. It’s no wonder that hundreds of national brands use Spectrum.
I’ve learned in about 20 years in this industry that what consumers want is relevancy more than anything. Find the content they want and marry the right commercial message to it and you’ve got a winner.
We think the privacy concerns would moderate some if we all focused on delivering the right message to the right person at the right time. Do that and they’re happy. Fail at that and they’ll take steps to keep us all at bay, like clearing cookies.
We think the mission of Spectrum lines up well with both the consumer and brand needs. After all we’re in the business of serving them both. Spectrum simply took a different approach.
We simply focus on the mindset that content creates with its audience, at the page level and in real time. Combining understanding why someone would be reading content at THE moment in time they’re consuming it improves any KPI a brand is after. With Spectrum it’s about finding the most relevant page and matching the most relevant ad to it, in real time.
The other thing we know is that transparency is of critical importance in today’s brand advertising world.
The point we drew from this is if brands are able to know where they’re going to run in advance of actually running there, as they do with Spectrum, they gain control that limits any inaccuracies. We love giving our customers control.
It’s true in targeting audiences in content, as Spectrum does, and we bet it would limit inaccuracies in user data too. We look forward to the day that all companies embrace transparency in all data.
Brands will be better served and so will consumers.
Are you planning on attending Semantic Tech & Business Conference here in San Francisco? If you are in town, or if you are already headed to the conference, I am excited to invite you to a great pannel discussion with myself, Tom Reamy (KAPS Group) and Mike Lazarus (Atiego, LLC), discussing how brands can leverage emotional semantics to capture their target consumers.
Emotional Semantics: Beyond Sentiment
Tuesday June 5, 2012
10:30 - 11:15 am
Plaza A (Hilton Hotel, San Francisco)
Consumers have an array of emotions when talking about brands online, and we need a better way to understand and leverage these varying emotions when connecting with consumers online. This discussion will cover ways that brands can use emotion to better connect with their target consumers, as well as how page-level analysis can help brands discover nuanced understandings of their customers. A few key take-aways include:
- How to use emotion and/or appraisal taxonomies
- How to use context analysis to get a nuanced understanding of the sentiment of words and the words that surround them
- Emotion as expressed in Voice Signals
- Neural network approaches
I look forward to bringing Twelvefold’s unique perspective to the table and discussing how brands can gain an in-depth understanding of the emotion and motivations of their target consumers, without the use of categories or fixed taxonomies.
Hope to see you there!
Today, I’m pleased to announce that Twelvefold has launched Spectrum for Video™, in beta. This new offering expands the reach of Spectrum from within online and mobile content, to now include audiences consuming video content.
While traditional video advertising is purchased via category or channel, Spectrum for Video™ finds and ranks the most relevant, influential individual videos through analysis of its MRSS data. The platform focuses on pre-roll and display ad opportunities across precisely matched video content, enabling brands and advertisers to increase engagement and and improve ad experiences.
With video advertising projected to grow 40% in 2012, we are excited expand our ability to help clients engage audiences across the most important formats and devices—video, mobile and online. If you are interested in learning about the growing video landscape, or discovering how video level targeting increases engagement for your target audiences, we invite you to learn along side of us.
For more information contact us at email@example.com.
I’m pleased to announce that I will be joining Tim Jenkins (4INFO) and Tim Waddell (Adobe) as a panelist at ad:tech San Francisco, for an interesting discussion lead by New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg on behavioral targeting.
As marketers continue to struggle to find the best way to reach their target consumer, behavioral targeting has proved to be a mixed bag: while privacy concerns and cookie-related issues still remain a pervasive reality, behavioral targeting still remains one of the common methods brands utilize to emotionally engage with their target consumers.
If you’re planning to be at ad:tech, this should be a great panel about the state of behavior targeting. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can use this code – SPKRGUESTMY25 to take 25% off a conference pass.
Behavioral Targeting: Still Here … And Here’s Why
Wednesday, April 4, 10:15am – 11:15am
For all the backlash against behavioral targeting, marketers are still reportedly spending upwards of $xxx billion annually on campaigns that target users based on cookies, IP addresses and past online behaviors. That’s because behavioral targeting helps eliminate media waste and cut through the digital clutter. But can behaviorally-targeted campaigns be less “creepy,” more user-friendly … and perhaps, even highly creative? In this session, you’ll see examples of brands that are using a winning blend of behavioral targeting tactics and thought-provoking creative to find, reach and convert their chosen audience segments. Expect to come away with some strategies and tactics that incorporate social, mobile and even offline data to leverage the full potential of behavioral targeting.
- Learn how to create a custom audience segment from the standard “buckets” that most behavioral targeting companies offer
- Discover how to couple behavioral targeting with mobile and social data to increase campaign performance
- Be inspired by behavioral campaigns that are driven by compelling creative