Go-Bennett, a great article in iMediaConnection on Thursday. Three Steps to Targeting Nirvana defines behavioral targeting today and outlines an open marketplace, an open technology platform and what he characterizes as ‘an open mind.’
Up front, Bennett makes the argument that the onus of responsibility for accurate and aggressive BT should not fall on publishers. Efforts results in wasted inventory, poor performance and lack of attention that should truly benefit the advertiser. Advertiser-directed BT is where it’s at. We have the technology and the science is far more impactful. In fact, Bennett does a great job of presenting an example of a car-buying scenario which illustrates how advertiser-driven BT better serves publishers.
In the section on open market place, Bennett tries to present a clean argument. Advertisers ideally should have the opportunity to cherry pick the inventory they buy, so as to promote the opportunity to select the inventory that will meet their BT needs. I know that Bennett has struggled with the “I don’t want to be a self-promoting author” and so kudos for giving us several examples in your story. Right Media is clearly the leading auction exchange model in the space. But AdBrite is a solid player and a good alternative for people to be looking at, especially if they want to have an alternative to Right Media or want to investigate options before jumping into bed with a specific vendor (if you can even call RM a vendor, more like a facilitator).
Anyway, Bennett is trying to paint the utopian picture for us here – advertisers cherry picking inventory. I know that in theory that is what the auction model enables you to do – bid on the inventory that you want and forego that which you don’t want. But most of the inventory on the Right Media Exchange is network inventory so you really can’t be so laser targeted. The RM Direct Exchange, however, may be something to look at in terms of publisher-specific inventory.
Bennett is honest to himself and us insomuch that he acknowledges that networks are inherently limited by the design of only being able to offer BT within their own network. So even if you could cherry pick the inventory you wanted, you could only deploy BT on that network. Using an ad server with BT would overcome that, if the ad server BT can be deployed across the networks. Bennett surprisingly does not go into this in his article.
Here is where I think the article could use a fourth and maybe even a fifth section.
Requirement 4 – Ad serving that Re-targets With BT Agnostically
Several ad server offer BT that can extend across multiple networks. Event-based BT like Boomerang by DoubleClick for example can enable and advertiser to track behavioral of people who have been on their site and then target them across the web – including across networks. If an advertiser were to deploy event-based BT in conjunction with selective inventory buys on an auction exchange, they could be deploying BT with far more refinement.
Deploying first party ad serving by TruEffect is a second alternative. With first party ad serving, the inventory acquired through the auction can be targeted using re-targeting methods of the first party cookie and any existing customer can be recognized and re-targeted in real-time. Treated like any other inventory, all inventory bought through the network could easily be re-targeted using a DirectServe™ implementation.
Requirement 5 – Ad Serving that Integrates
A final consideration today, and a growing requirement is a concept that I have heard advertisers call a ‘universal’ or ‘megapixel.’ In the days where sites are getting tagged by ad servers, publishers, networks, site-side analytics and pretty much any other tracking mechanisms, there is a need for a single pixel that can shoulder other tracking beacons.
Dynamic Logic’s Universal Tag is one example of this kind of technology. Shouldering multiple tags, this universal pixel enables an advertiser to tag the site one time. DoubleClick has an alliance with DL so that they can offer this solution to their clients. TruEffect has a similar technology called TruTags™ whereby they have one tag that is placed on the site and through it, multiple tags can be managed so that an advertiser only has to tag the site one time and any other tags can be added or removed through a single common interface. The piggy-backing enables the advertiser or agency to eliminate the need to go back and keep tagging the site eveytime a new netrok buy comes into play.
The great benefit of these megapixels is that with Bennett’s story, one could buy inventory at auction – which will almost always be network inventory – use an ad sever that deploys BT like event-based or First Party DirectServe™ and then use a universal tag or megapixel to reduce tagging requirements as each new network is bought. Snazzy. Good article Bennett.
Reactionary with Insight.
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