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GDN, RTB, NFA... the display debate

| 04 Nov, 2014

UK MD Matt Owen discusses the benefits of display in performance marketing by looking at the advantages of the Google Display Network and Real Time Bidding.

Matt Owen discusses the benefits of display in performance marketing, looking at the Google Display Network and Real Time Bidding

Video transcript

In performance marketing, we're almost kind of victims of our own success because we've spent years optimising to various specific CPA goals and yet what would be a fantastic success in a TV ad context for us would be like a catastrophic failure. So it's quite interesting to think about performance marketing and where display fits into that. At one end of the spectrum, perhaps the most efficient CPA is email. At the other end, maybe the least efficient CPA is probably, I don't know, mobile in advertising. So display definitely plays a role.

I think there are two things to bear in mind very strongly here. The first thing is that if you're in a situation where you need to kind of find an audience, then display is really the only thing you can do. So take an example of a product where there is no such demand, a new category, something like a fitness activity smart watch. I mean no one was looking for that stuff two or three years ago. So you have to use something like display to go out and find that audience.

The other key thing to bear in mind is that display is very good if you really believe that digital can play a role in the branding process. There's lots of research out at the moment which categorically says that search results are a stimulant to brand awareness, and clearly that is logically the case. So actually we should be making a case for display as being a performance tool but equally as being something that is part of the branding mix. If you can justify it that way, then there's a very strong case for display as a really good part of the overall mix of activity.

The next sort of big question with display is how you go about it. I think again as performance marketing people, we have a bit of an attitudinal problem here, which is we're very used to biddable media, to stuff that's based on the cost per click. A lot of display has been historically based on a CPM basis, and to us that's felt really kind of random. But I think what we see now is that with the advent of programmatic and the rise of RTB that actually what we feel comfortable delivering which is a much more performance-based mindset, that's coming much closer to display and search coming together so we can now think about optimisation in a much more structured manner. So that's the attitudinal piece around it.

The second thing is really that when you think about inventory and quality, the GDN definitely plays its role. But if we think outside of GDN and think about the way that we at Jellyfish can deliver RTB, we can get much bigger reach. So in the UK, we can reach about 97% of UK audience. Generally on perhaps more popular, more highly engaged websites, then it's possible via the Google Display Network. That's just a choice that we can provide brands where there's which way to go, but I think certainly that from that point of view, RTB could be considered a superior offering.

I think the third thing that's really important there is that GDN offers some useful but kind of fairly basic profiling options. So topic-based interest, for example. The RTB paradigm gives us much, much more complicated and more precise means of looking at audiences and behavioural characteristics to really target display in a much more profound and effective manner.

Last but definitely not least, measurements. I think that's really evolved from a display point of view. So back in the day, I worked on campaigns where we worked with three or four different publishers in display. Each network would come into the meeting and claim 100 sales or 200 sales, and if you added all those sales together, there would be more sales just from display than we'd sold across the entire piece. So the double counting effect there was always a massive problem.

I think that now, with the integration of technology, and at Jellyfish we're working with DoubleClick and we use the whole DoubleClick DCM and DBM kind of stack. We're seeing a much, much more targeted and precise ability to actually take out duplication to really understand where the sales are coming from so that the measurement around display is now, I think, much more accurate.

So actually I think we're now able to deliver campaigns where the measurement, whether that is to a CPA or a cost per lead or a cost per engagement model, is now much, much, much more reliable, and hence an advertiser can feel that their budget is being spent much more effectively.

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