Banner Optimization From Mediaplex
"We use it to ad serve our interactive campaigns," says Joe Giannantonio, analysis director at Exile on 7th, an interactive agency. The company's clients include Ebay, America West Vacations and Wells Fargo.
Giannantonio says there are two benefits to the optimization program. It allows Exile on 7th to centralize information. "We collect information across all sites and publishers and it allows us to centralize the trafficking functions and the distribution of ad units," Giannantonio says.
The other key benefit of the program is auto optimization, according to Glenn Mar, Mediaplex's senior director of product management. Auto optimization is the function that weights the success of banners in a campaign, enabling advertisers to determine which banners work best. Every ad system has a way of rotating banners and determining the likelihood of which banners will be played, but the auto optimizer "automatically balances weights based on the success rate, click-throughs or conversions," Mar says.
"It goes through over time to find which banners gets the best results and automatically changes the rate so the better ones get seen more often."
Companies often perform this task manually, but the Mediaplex software does it automatically and can make changes every hour.
Giannantonio says Exile on 7th works with Mediaplex this way: "We buy a certain amount of impressions from a publisher and run a variety of creative units. They traffic through Mediaplex to the site and the site traditionally rotates banners in whatever rotation we designate. We would look at the performance on a weekly or monthly basis and determine which is best. But the auto optimization program looks at it every day and makes changes." According to Giannantonio, Exile on 7th "doesn't wait until the end of a campaign to evaluate creative, we do it regularly," he says. But auto optimization "goes beyond what we do. It adds 10 to 50 percent on performance click rates or order volumes."
A recent Exile on 7th campaign, for a client Giannantonio declined to name, started with 18 creatives, including gender skus and messaging formats. Within two months, auto optimizer had reduced the campaign to the three best banners, he says.
While auto optimizer offers this key benefit, it's not for every campaign. "If you're trying to sell wine, it may not be worth it because the conversion rates are so low," Giannantonio says. "You might sell 11 bottles instead of 10. It doesn't make a big difference. But with cars it would be a big difference."
He also says the optimizer works for CPM but not CPC deals. "When you do a CPM deal, it's worth it for the marketer to optimize the impressions. You don't want to leave it to the site to optimize. But with CPC deals, you pay for the response, so it's in the publisher's best interest to optimize, so it's cost prohibitive to ad serve CPC deals.
"You use it when there's a predominance of CPM-based media," Giannantonio says. "It does a good job in optimizing but marketers have to determine if it's worth the extra cost."