Marin Labs Rolls Out Automation Technology To Enhance Ad Position

Locking in the top three spots in search-engine query results fulfills a marketer's dream. That's how Marin Software hopes brands will view its PositionLock feature, scheduled for release Monday.

The technology senses shifts in ad position and automatically adjusts keyword bids throughout the day to preserve the advertiser's paid ad position using Google AdWords and Bing AdCenter.

Nearly two-thirds of paid-search clicks that occur on the first page of search engine query results occur on top-position advertisements. Some hundreds of millions of auctions occur hourly. With competitive keywords, it makes manually adjusting bids to meet aggressive position requirements nearly impossible.

PositionLock, which automates bidding either up or down, captures the position data from keywords hourly, analyzing the data based on user-defined goals. Historic performance and auction conditions are factored into bid calculations, which are quickly pushed to the advertising publisher. It also considers life-time value of a customer and seasonality.

Many people see ads, though they never click on them, but their future behavior still reflects more favorably to the brand than those who never saw the ad, said Matt Ackley, Marin CMO. He calls that "view through," a measurement more often used in display attribution modeling.

The platform is one of several research and development (R&D) projects that will come from an innovation lab Marin launched in early October, said Matt Ackley, Marin CMO. "We launched with a new technology we're using to do keyword analytics and reporting called SmartGrid, which lets you run analysis on massive amounts of keywords " he said.

Marin invested $9.9 million on research and development in the first six months of 2013, up from $6 million in the same time a year ago, according to the company's U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission 10Q filing.

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