A Sharper Picture of Video | Adweek
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A Sharper Picture of Video

LiveRail brings new metrics to the growing ad medium
  • October 28 2011

Managing an online video campaign takes technology decidedly different from traditional online display ads. That’s where San Francisco-based marketing technology firm LiveRail comes in. The company’s products and services specifically address the issues and complexities of online video. Mark Trefgarne, LiveRail’s co-founder and CEO, says LiveRail’s deep understanding of the video ad market and its multi-faceted platform offer competitive advantages, particularly for larger campaigns.

“The need for online ad¬vertisers to target appropriately, to demonstrate the performance of media buys is becoming increasingly important,” Trefgarne says. “Better technology becomes a crucial component.”

LiveRail’s platform allows its advertisers and agencies to pinpoint both video ad targeting and timing. “Every dollar that’s spent from the advertising side is tracked within our system,” says Jing Feng, LiveRail’s VP of sales. “There’s never going to be a case where the advertiser gets back the domain list, and says, ‘Wait, that went to a website that I did not want.’ For every dollar that’s spent there are zero wasted impressions.”

“There are a lot of metrics unique to video,” Trefgarne says. “The number of interaction points is huge—click-throughs, pauses, mutes, completion rates are all indicators that aren’t possible in traditional display.”

Moreover, users get real-time, comprehensive statistical feedback on viewer reaction. The thoroughness and timeliness of the reporting are invaluable given the range of information that online video ads generate. But analysis of this information may allow LiveRail clients to change the placement and content of ads, leading to better results and a roadmap for future campaigns.

Larger media buys can increase this complexity. “As advertisers spend more, they need to deliver more versions of creative video, they need to be able to change creative in the middle of a campaign or buy more from media companies. You end up with a large number of variables,” notes Trefgarne. For advertisers LiveRail allows for complete control and optimization of campaigns, either via self-service or with LiveRail acting as an extension of the client’s ad operations team.

Finally, while online video is exploding for consumers, advertisers face a painful process as they embrace the new medium. “Video advertising has been really hard for agencies to manage at scale,” says Trefgarne. “With so much friction, it’s unsurprising they’ve been reluctant to shift client budgets to online video faster. That’s where we come in.”

Agencies and advertisers need to be concerned about the different delivery formats used by different video sites. Live¬Rail’s platform ensures that ads meet publishers’ specifications. “Each publisher might have different requirements,” Feng says. “Keeping up with all of the formats can be challenging, and it can become very technical.”

Using LiveRail technology, a number of agencies and advertisers have already reduced costs and improved the effectiveness of their video campaigns, according to the company. One agency client, a CPG company, was able to streamline the set-up process of its video campaigns, slashing go-live time by 70 percent.

LiveRail technology also allowed the agency to lower its costs and increase the volume of information it provided. The richer array of data enabled the agency and client to see which parts of a campaign were achieving the best results and to predict the most effective future media buys. This insight gave the client confidence to double its spending on video ads.