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Shopper Matchmaker

AcuityAds’ platform lets retailers better target their online spending
  • June 24 2012

Here’s a story about Joe and Jill.

He’s a tech-savvy guy in his late 20s who earns around $70,000 and spends his Saturdays on the basketball court with his friends. All that makes him Jill’s dream guy—not because she’s into weekend athletes but because she’s the CMO of a successful basketball-shoe retailer. Unfortunately, the fates of online advertising had kept the two of them apart—because the impressions Jill’s company was buying weren’t reaching Joe cost-effectively. This is the frustrating situation that AcuityAds is trying to fix with its real-time bidding platform.

“For retailers, the targeting potential we offer is tremendous,” says Tal Hayek, CEO of AcuityAds.

What distinguishes Acuity’s Consumer Connection Platform is its combination of machine learning—advanced proprietary algorithms that examine and weigh hundreds of variables to increase campaign performance in real time—and its exclusive database of half a billion consumers (the profiles are segmented based on interest, but can also be targeted by geographic and demographic data). Together, they create a powerful Consumer Connection Platform that retailers can use to achieve exceptional results on their online display campaigns.

“We allow retailers to target consumers based on their interests,” Hayek says. “Before placing a bid on display advertising for one of our campaigns, we analyze the consumer on the other side of the impression by processing hundreds of variables before the page even loads.”

According to Hayek, the amount of data the system processes helps ensure consumers get offers that are relevant. “The more data we have at the start of our campaigns, the more quickly we can target the right consumers for the advertiser,” Hayek says. “More data from the start reduces the learning curve of the campaign and generates results more efficiently for our clients.”

When Acuity’s platform is used to place bids on the value of individual customers, the result for retailers is not just conversion but brand lift as well. When advertising makes an impact on an individual consumer, engagement leads to brand awareness, brand awareness leads to sales, sales lead to brand loyalty and brand loyalty leads back to engagement, completing a perfect circle between companies and the consumers they work so hard to reach.

“The value of targeting individual consumers instead of groups is that even if you find a group of people with the same broad interest, each one will differ slightly in their subsequent interests,” Hayek explains. “Targeting consumers individually means that the advertiser is able to connect with the consumer on an intimate level, speaking directly to his or her unique interests and wants. Our real-time bidding solution has made this type of connection possible through online display, and our clients are reaping the rewards.”

Those clients include hundreds of multinational brands, including retail marketers seeing real-time results.

“Retail marketers use our system to reach the right consumers by taking advantage of our targeting and retargeting capabilities,” Hayek says. “Our targeting connects the campaign to the right consumers, increasing the probabilities of their  engaging with the ads. Retargeting means that when we see that a consumer visit the client’s website but that does not engage, we place more emphasis on this consumer moving forward.”

The application of this real-time bidding technology may sound complex, but the outcomes are easy to understand. As an analogy, Hayek compares retail brand marketers to ordinary consumers in the produce aisle of their local market. A bulk bag of apples might include some tasty ones as well as some bad ones, but picking apples individually lets consumers buy just those that appeal to them. Using real-time buying for display impressions is like buying apples individually, helping retailers pay for just those impressions that have value.

That’s how Jill can find Joe when he’s ready to shop at her store for a new pair of basketball shoes.