Naren Nachiappan, MD India of Jivox, talks about how important personalised ads are for a marketer and how impactful they are on the audiences targeted by brands. In a chat with exchange4media, he says that the personalised way of advertising is three times more impactful than other ads.
Jivox is an adtech platform which connects brands with their audiences in a personalised way by using big data and machine learning to serve relevant messages in their purchase-intent micro moments across all channels. Their flagship, Jivox IQ, is purpose-built to assemble and deliver 1:1 messages on-the-fly through advertisements, email and social media. The company’s clientele includes companies like Toyota, Cars.com, Sony, REI, Bayer and Priceline.com.
Tell us more about what Jivox is doing.
We’re in the business of helping people deliver personalised ads. The positioning of ads has changed in the past few years. We target the people who are applicable or are the right people for your product or service and we ensure that the advertisement they see is tailored for them. For example, if you come to one of our ads then we know something about you. If you happen to visit ESPN, then we know you’re somewhat interested in sports. So, we have a variation of the ad that will appear to a sports lover. It can be very specific, to the point where we have about a millions variations of the ad being changed on-the-fly for the impression that we see. That’s the technology we are in and most marketers are interested in it as the responses are compelling. A personalised ad generates about three times the engagement you see with a non-personalised ad.
How do you know that a customer has visited your client’s website as a result of your placement of the ad?
We know if you see one of our ads and you click on it. For example, let’s talk about IAT hotel group. We’re running a very big campaign for them. If you click on one of these ads, regardless of what site it is on, we record you in our cloud infrastructure and when you go the IAT website and make your booking, we know you have seen a particular ad of ours. Now, we can tell our customer that a $100,000 or $50,000 worth of revenue has been generated directly by people who saw the ad, clicked on it, went and booked. We see a piece of code that runs on their website, which helps us track those who book by seeing our ad.
What path-breaking trends have you seen in your space?
The adoption of machine learning in today’s technology is particularly interesting. For example, the IAT group have a bunch of hotels such as Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza. While some of them are pretty expensive, some like Holiday Inn are meant for quick visits. What we will learn over time, since the campaign has been running for some time, is what kind of ads appeal to what kind of visitors. We’ll be gathering a lot of data about people who are seeing the ad and that data mostly comes from third parties like Oracle, as they tell us something about browsing habits. They have ways of finding out different characteristics about you. We take those and match them with properties that you’ve clicked on, confirmed and booked on. Over time, a picture begins to emerge about what type of ad we should show for the next person who comes and what will generate most engagement and maximum purchase from that person. That’s driven by machine learning. We have an infrastructure in the backend that collects all the data, learns from it and optimises the algorithm that helps generate the ad. That’s something new. We’re probably among the first few companies that have started using this in our business. This is probably one of the first few applications of machine learning in personalisation of technologies.
We do about 3.3% of click-through rates of non-personalised ads. Your dwell-time, i.e. the amount of time people engage on your site, also goes up by about 30%. The interaction goes up by about 84%. All this happens by using machine learning in doing what we do.
Is there a way to apply all this technology to other platforms as well?
The great thing about online is when you interact with our ad, we know it. We know what you’re doing after that which could be booking or buying. It’s much harder to do that with print because there, we’ll have to do a survey or a sort of fulfilment at the retail end or something at the store where you’ll ask if the customer has come to you as a result of the ad. The data gathering is much harder in print. The analytics, I think, can be applied. But it will be tough to get the quality of the data that we get for online interactions.
Going ahead, what sort of marketing plan or strategy is Jivox looking at?
I think we look at display ads as one form of digital creators. Email and social media are some of the other ones. We believe that we will address all these platforms. We’re already on social media. We’ll help you send personalised ads to your audiences.
But there is ad blocking now. How do you plan to tackle that?
Yes, of course. That’s in the case of content-rich ads. If you have to download a large image, you’ll be blocked. Images and hyperlinks get blocked but text will always be there. Also, you’ll be typically sending email to your customer list, so hopefully they’ll white-list you so that your ad will still be seen. The other thing to keep in mind is that if you’re receiving ads that are relevant to you, then you probably won’t be reporting them as spam.