Idea of Taboola is to bring right content to right user at right time: Ran Buck

Buck, SVP, Global Revenue, talks about the aim of launching Taboola, its advertisers and the ROI the brands have received

e4m by Noel Dsouza
Updated: May 15, 2019 9:20 AM

Discovery platform Taboola has partnered with around 20,000 publishers. It has been integrated into the publishers’ content plan to provide end consumers with effective ads. 

They have an in-house algorithm and AI propriety that generates data from the consumers so that the brand creates personalised content. Taboola also has a website called ‘Taboola Trends’ wherein an advertiser can test out what content will be effective as per CTR (Click Through Rate).

Today, brands have understood that it’s not just about reach but about content in order to cater to the right audience. Sony has been selling its latest PlayStation through Taboola by using video and sponsored content. Even top journalistic platforms like NDTV and Times Now have partnered with them. 

In a tête-à-tête with exchange4media, Ran Buck, SVP, Global Revenue, Taboola spoke about the trends and opportunities that native advertising has to offer. 

Edited excerpts: 

The aim of launching Taboola. 
The idea of Taboola was to bring the right content to the right user at the right time. Whether you are in the car going somewhere or at home, you will receive content that interests you. Taboola has started off with content - articles and galleries - and has now got into the video business. Very soon we are going to be on autonomous cars and hi-tech refrigerators. The vision for this company is all about consumer discovering branded content.

How many advertisers have partnered with Taboola? 
As of today, we have about 20,000 promoters active in Taboola. The idea is to allow any specific person who would like to tell the world their story through the Taboola network with the help of our self-service platform. The concept, if I need to give a title will be, ‘Moments of Next’. Some consumers in the US came to know about brands only through this discovery platform. Like the brand Blue Apron was able to tell their story to the world using the discovery platform. 

How does a brand find the right publisher to market their product? 
You need to find the right user and not the right publisher because as a user I can be on Mint and in 10 minutes I can be on NDTV and a minute after that on because I have a lot of interests. The idea is to bring the right content to the right user at the right time. 

What is the ROI the brands have received by using Taboola?
It depends on what the brand sets out to achieve. Since we are measuring the content the brand can achieve anything, whether it is reach or activity on mobile, email or tapping into a specific target audience, we can get them the KPI they desire. We have the ability to measure any KPI the brand wants. We have data from one-and-a-half billion people around the world. We show them how to target a specific audience and know what they are looking for. For instance, if a brand wants to address people about coffee, Taboola can give you some information about those people with the help of our algorithm and AI system that understands user behaviour. We know what they would like to click on and what they are interested in, data that we can share with brands and performance marketers. 

Trends and opportunities in native advertising going forward.
I think that a discovery platform like us saves 60 per cent of an advertiser’s time. Whether it is integrating content in autonomous cars or scrolling through content on your phone, we are giving you a recommendation or a video with specific content that interests you. It will increase by 60 per cent or higher in the nearest future. 

How much investment is done on Native Advertising? 
The statistics all over say that money is going into Facebook and 40 per cent goes into other discovery platforms. So, I assume it’s something between 50 to 20 per cent. Taboola is trying to increase that to 20 to become 30 or 40 per cent. We see a very good trend in the discovery platform market. 

Plans for the Indian market 
We have opened up an office here in Gurugram and a sales office in Mumbai. Taboola doesn’t sign up for anything less than a three-year exclusive agreement. We launched Taboola news a year and a half ago and have signed deals with VIVO, Sony, Oppo and ZTE. This was a full commitment to partner with the market not just through the mobile market but with digital as well.

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