ADOTAS – Earlier this week, attitudinal targeting company Resonate Networks released its Insights Driven Media technology, which the company said delivered a 142 percent better click-through rate than Bluekai and 159 percent better than Exelate. (For some background on Resonate, see what Adotas wrote about them last fall, back when the company was heavily engaged in targeting political advertising.) Those are significant numbers, but Resonate recently called the third-party data-driven models of Bluekai and Exelate “antiquated,” saying its own values-centered methods are more reliable.
In a recent phone conversation, Resonate CEO Bryan Gernert explained Insights Driven Media derives, appropriately enough, “insights based on values.” The first goal, he said, is “to learn the values of what drives a person. They don’t define themselves as a demographic. They define themselves based on how they view the world.”
But, Gernert explained, his company couldn’t figure out what people value and what influences whose online behavior simply by looking at numbers. “Can you get to people’s values based on click-through data? We decided that’s not possible.” So, Resonate surveyed “tens of thousands of people” in sessions “20 to 25 minutes long” in order to learn what their priorities are and where they go on the web. That line of questioning positioned Resonate to be able to imagine what a potential customer might be thinking about during the process of buying a product. “When you look at a product for your family,” he said, by way of example, “what are the things you look for?” All of this ideally allows advertisers to connect with internet users who belong to their desired audience. And as the stats suggest, it seems to actually work, compared to the existing third-party methods. “Not only have we out-performed in affinity and awareness,” Gernert said, “but we outperformed in click-through.”
Looking to the new year, Gernert said Resonate would be getting back to its political-advertising roots with the 2012 election, but with Insights Driven Media, he sees “big opportunity in major brands.” They’ll be, he said, “working with agencies, but [also] working directly with clients.” Going forward, it’ll be interesting to see the broader ramifications of these methods.