How Social, Not Search, Can Retarget Ads


Nuances in announcements, rather than the news itself, should make marketers sit up and take notice. For example, when IBM announced acquisitions related to marketing and advertising signaled that Big Blue would step heavily into online marketing and advertising services. Then on Tuesday came the news that SAP Ventures led a $20 million venture capital investment round in the ad network OpenX, which includes AOL -- and that the startup called Meteor had developed a suite of products to retarget ads based on social behavior and sharing, rather than search.

It turns out that conversions rose more than four times for advertisers testing Meteor Advertise, according to Meteor Solutions CEO Ben Straley, a cofounder along with folks from Bungie Studios, the developer of the Halo video game series. The idea to pull in social data to retarget ads came from the early online scavenger hunt companies such as Microsoft and others.

Straley, who touts AT&T, MTV, Microsoft and other large brands as clients for the company's handful of products, said the "tag-and-trace" Advertise platform tracks content passed along and shared online from user to user and site to site. It enables advertisers to identify consumers who spread the word and their content among multiple generations. Microsoft used Meteor to see the content that TechEd attendees discovered and shared. The platform also measured the impact of traffic and conversions on the conference Web site.

Meteor Advertise captures data from activity on sharing tools, but also when consumers copy and paste the link from navigation bars of browsers. Straley said that copy-and-paste activity accounts for half of all the content shared. Advertisers tag their Web sites with a Java script tag. A cookie gets dropped in the browser for each consumer who comes to the site, along with an ID that is appended to the end of the URL, which makes the URL address unique to the user. Straley insists the information in not personally identifiable. It helps to build a "multi-generational" graph that demonstrates to advertisers in real-time the role social plays in marketing. Action and conversion tracking tools are also available.

The graphs show how consumers can influence each other across generations, Web sites and platforms. The platform aims to answer questions such as whether sharing content makes a difference in campaigns. Apparently it does when it comes to electronic coupons. Research firm eMarketer points to stats that demonstrate sharing has become a major component for success at daily deal sites Groupon and LivingSocial. eMarketer points to JiWire research released in Q1 2011 that reveals the "pass-along value" of coupons is high, with more than six in 10 mobile users who responded to a Wi-Fi study admitting to sharing local deals with friends.

Consumers who share content demonstrate their interest in the topic similar to the way searches on Google, Bing or Yahoo engines signal intent.

Meteor Advertise is part of the Meteor Social Media Audience Suite. It also includes Meteor Activate, which identifies key influencers and encourages them to share in return for special rewards; and Meteor Analytics, which provides reports on social audiences and sharing patterns.


Next story loading loading..