SearchIgnite has been quietly developing demand side platform (DSP) technology that lets brands get a clear view of multiple types of campaigns. On Tuesday the company plans to launch the platform that lets advertisers buy media on real-time bidding and auction-based networks like Google's and Yahoo Right Media's ad exchanges. The platform supports a variety of display ad formats such as segment targeting and retargeting.
About a dozen brands have been testing the platform, running full attribution services that encompass display and paid search. The platform allows brands to buy and optimize biddable display media on exchanges, and also buy, track and optimize other forms of display media on third-party ad network and direct-side buys.
SearchIgnite began laying the groundwork to build the platform in late 2008. Today, only between 20% and 30% of display media gets bought and sold on exchanges, explains Roger Barnette, SearchIgnite CEO.
The focus of traditional DSPs has been on buying and optimizing biddable display media, where ads are bought in real-time or in an auction-based format. If the advertiser only gets to see a fraction of the media buy, then it cannot possibly gain a complete picture of the success or failure of the campaign.
SearchIgnite's DSP technology broadens its focus from paid search into display, allowing the company to gain a complete view of how each piece performs for clients. The plan to soon add a channel that supports brands in social marketing will expand the focus even more.
Paid search doesn't live in a silo; it's part of a broader digital marketing strategy where consumers who buy products interact with multiple types of media as they make a purchase decision, Barnette says. "So measuring and optimizing paid search in a silo is outdated," he says. "This technology gives us an opportunity to measure, manage and optimize paid search and display on one platform and move the needle for marketers."
But some might wonder if the move dilutes the paid-search focus by companies choosing to also support brands in display advertising or social media. Companies like SearchIgnite want to help brands properly allocate budgets to achieve the highest return on investment (ROI) by buying and selling multiple types of ad space all in the name of attribution -- where not all conversions are attributed to the last click. But rather than partner with an expert in display advertising to buy across media channels, companies want to take on the responsibility and broaden their focus. But does this dilute the paid-search company's efforts?
Biddable display will increase in importance to make use of the growing amount of ad-space inventory, according to eMarketer Senior Analyst David Hallerman. "Brands see the need for finding the right mix of display and search, so it wouldn't necessarily 'dilute the search company's focus,' as much as expand it," he says.
If the platform provides a self-service offering, it would allow for a wider range of businesses to take advantage of buying display ads, and the industry will likely see an uptick in the space, similar to the way paid search took off years ago for small and medium-size businesses, Hallerman says.
SearchIgnite's platform supports media-buying optimization with predictive modeling, full campaign management and media trafficking, cross-channel attribution and analysis, and scoring for audience targeting and search optimization.