Simpli.fi has focused on intent-based and search data for years. The company, founded in 2010 on search and site retargeting, slowly moved to support connected television (CTV) by using search data. In fact, it is one of the first to combine search data with CTV targeting.
In 2015, the industry moved stronger into geolocation and mobile. Now things have shifted into CTV, relying heavily on the same technical advantage.
Worldwide ecommerce sales will exceed $5 trillion for the first time in 2022, accounting for more than one-fifth of overall retail sales. Despite slowing growth, total spend will reach beyond $7 trillion by 2025, according to Insider Intelligence.
Much of that growth will rely on accurate ad targeting, as the advertising industry retires browser cookies, emerging Topics technology from Google, and changing consumer behavior, as well as worldwide privacy laws.
Ryan Horn, SVP of marketing at Simpli.fi, spent time with Search & Performance Marketing Daily (S&PMD) to discuss the link between search data and CTV, and how marketers can ensure they optimize campaigns to get the best results.
S&PMD: How do you define addressable programmatic ad targeting?
Horn: It probably changes with everyone you talk with, but we define it by the ability to target a household across any screen within that household. We use GPS and flatline mapping to ensure we’re precise in the targeting to reach any connected device in the house, such as the TV on the wall, laptops and cellphones.
S&PMD: How do you view the connection between search data and CTV?
Horn: We look at CTV like a display or mobile ad. Search data is then used to target those ads. We’ve been doing search retargeting since 2010, integrated into Simpli.fi technology when first founded. We use the same technology to target across CTV.
S&PMD: Why is the topic so hot now?
Horn: It’s running the wave. You get the impact of targeting and the attribution of digital. Now that CTV isn’t brand new, more are looking at how to drive performance and lift. They’re looking at return on investment and return on as spend. You want to layer on the targeting, so you’re not wasting an impression.
People are looking at the best way to target, and search falls into that category. They’re also looking at addressable as another way. ROI is key. So, advertisers are looking at going back to the targeting and making sure they only serve ads to those interested in your products.
It’s a little bit of a spilt between branding and performance campaigns, and we are seeing that as a general trend. People are leaning toward performance.
S&PMD: Do you see privacy legislation and elimination of cookies as reason for the increase in interest?
Horn: Not necessarily. There are solutions being built to handle that. It’s just a general trend in the industry.
S&PMD: What are the different ways to target in CTV?
Horn: There are a variety of ways to target. Your intent-based targeting can be search, contextual, demographics, geolocation, but there are many ways to target outside of just context. You have traditional linear buyers who are coming into the CTV world and they look at it with a little more of a contextual lens. They have been accustomed to buying specific content. You also need to add attributes based on the user and actions or behaviors they have exhibited.
With the erosion of liner over time, everything starting to go digital, TV advertising within content non-skippable advertising is something everyone has been after.
S&PMD: What is the best way to optimize campaigns toward performance-based goals?
Horn: The most impactful way to accomplish action goals is to blend tactics. We are seeing success with CTV targeting. You run a CTV campaign to capture an audience, and then follow up with recurring messaging through display and other types of advertising. You might not see the same creative, but you follow-up with something. Start with CTV and work through other creative types, which can drive higher conversions at a lower cost. We started doing this sometime last year.
S&PMD: What is Simpli.fi’s most important focus for 2022?
Horn: Attribution, for one. We need to ensure accurate reporting. ROI is important. People want to know where every dollar is going. Being able to advise attribution for their campaign is important. Automation also is important. In the past year we’ve acquired two agency management software companies to provide automated experiences. This is to make life easier for agencies.
S&PMD: I don’t watch TV much, but last year I saw a lot of Simpli.fi ads on Roku. How does your targeting work?
The proof of concept is for us to use CTV advertising. Thank you for coming to our website at some point. It could have been that you searched for a programmatic topic. There’s a chance you are in our addressable pool based on some criteria about your household. We wouldn’t know that it’s you specifically, so It’s not possible to really tell why.