ADOTAS – AdReady, a company that uses “non-intuitive” strategies to help smaller-budget advertisers and marketers compete with more financially-endowed brands for successful online display ad campaigns, stepped out of the woodwork today after spending the past several months testing its technology with a select group of companies.
As AdReady senior vice president Randy Wootton put it in a phone conversation this afternoon, the company was “founded under the principle of democratizing display,” with the aim of helping small and mid-market companies go beyond search advertising and venture into display, which otherwise could be prohibitive because of the cost and the number of distribution channels to negotiate — and because to a lot of advertisers, low click-through rates around the web as a whole make display advertising appear less than desirable. With search, Wootton said, “You can go in and buy a few keywords,” he said, but display is “crazy hard” by comparison. “There’s a structural problem… that disadvantages the smaller advertisers,” Wootton said. “How do you take a massive amount of Big Data and find enough signals?” That’s not to mention the sheer cost of creative, which he called the “most prohibitive” element. AdReady chose to offer clients “template-based creative solutions,” and then to provide automated media planning to send the ads out onto the exchanges and to users in the markets and demographics those advertisers are trying to reach.
Because smaller businesses aren’t in a position to saturate the market the way the biggest brands can, AdReady’s software is designed to provide a more judicious focus instead. “Keywords are not all keywords,” Wootton said. “Words that work in search might not work in display. It sounds obvious, but no one else is talking about it.” One method of determining keywords, he mentioned as an example, involves finding trending topics on Twitter and incorporating them into display models.
One of AdReady’s early partners, digital network ZAAZ, reported a 120 percent increase in impressions and a 200 percent increase in clicks after using AdReady’s solutions, and Wootton said the company will be releasing new case studies in coming months. “We’re tuning the engine every day,” Wootton said. But he’s determined to be part of what appears to be a trend toward giving smaller businesses and marketers more hands-on control over their ad campaigns, and eliminating certain middlemen in a campaign. “Still, 10 percent of the advertisers control 90 percent of the advertising dollars,” Wootton observed. That will change. That’s why I left Microsoft for a startup! It’s going to take years, but it’ll crack open.”