This installment of "Genome Decoded" looks at Genome's Shaq-sized media footprint and its focus on finding the most effective inventory for each campaign
Editor's Note: "Genome Decoded" is a series that tells the story of Genome, our data-driven audience-buying solution, from many angles, to bring you a little closer to Big Data.
Here's a Big Data brain teaser for you marketers. How many Internet pages are there? Times's up. Estimates range up to a cool trillion, enough room for LOTS of display advertising. But you have ads to run, audiences to reach, and campaign goals to meet, so where in that massive jumble of inventory should you run your ads? This is clearly a job for those Big-Data busters at Genome from Yahoo!.
In past posts, we showed how Genome helps marketers identify the best online consumers for a particular campaign with its data-driven audience-targeting approach and technology. Now that you've ID'd your consumers, how do you reach them? In this post, we talked to Dave Myers, VP, Genome Operations, about how Genome leverages Big Data and a premium media footprint to find the best inventory to reach those optimum audiences.
Yahoo! Ad Blog: When I hear "footprint," I think of Bigfoot. What is a media footprint, and what is Genome's like?
Dave Myers: Many buyers think of media footprint in terms of reach---the amount of unique users that they can address in a campaign. Seen that way, Genome has a huge footprint of media from comScore 1,000 publishers, our partnerships with Microsoft and AOL, and of course, Yahoo!'s own inventory. It's high-quality, broad-reach media that advertisers are very comfortable having their brand associated with.
YAB: That's a Shaq-sized footprint. How does it set us apart from other players in digital advertising?
DM: Its sheer scope and quality are big differentiators that certainly contribute to producing consistently exceptional performance at scale for our advertisers. But I think an even bigger differentiator is our overall approach to media and how we use it in our campaigns.
We take into account many other key factors to determine the best media buys for a given campaign---such as the quality score of the publisher and page, the contextual relevance of a page, the placement of an ad on a page, and the economics of the specific impression. We use data facts like these to predict if placing an ad on a certain page will lift campaign performance and help hit the marketer's goal when combined with the right creative and audience. If we do an exceptional job of aligning the creative, offer, inventory, and audience, then we'll produce exceptional results for marketers.
Another differentiator is how we work with publishers. We buy the majority of media by working directly with publishers, as opposed to exchange or indirect buying. Having these relationships gives us more control, broader unique user reach, and overall better quality which ultimately drive better results for advertisers.
These relationships also give us access to the full reach of most of our publisher partners---for example, unsold inventory that might be traded more often in an exchange that we believe will help a client reach its goals. Taking a balanced supply-chain-management approach that incorporates direct and indirect relationships, and programmatic and guaranteed access is fundamental to how we can best serve our clients.
YAB: Genome says it's "media-agnostic." What does that mean, and why should clients care?
DM: Being media agnostic simply means that we'll always use whatever inventory works best to achieve an advertiser's campaign goals, as long as it meets our quality standards
Meeting our clients' goals is our number-one objective, and we're always striving to come up with the best combination of media and data to do that. If running primarily on Yahoo! inventory will drive optimum performance and scale, we'll do that. If we have to bring in other inventory sources to reach the campaign's goals, then we'll do that. We are totally focused on providing solutions to marketers' goals, and as a result, we'll always optimize toward the best media mix for a given objective.
Genome is part of Yahoo!, and Yahoo! is one of our biggest publishers. Yahoo! has arguably the best-performing inventory at scale for display advertising, and I can say that without reservation, having worked with thousands of publishers. But not everyone goes to Yahoo! and not everything will always perform well on Yahoo! inventory. If we need a niche audience that's not showing up on Yahoo! enough to drive the campaign results we need, we'll find those users elsewhere.
As I said, we're relentlessly focused on meeting client goals, and our massive media footprint allows us to be media agnostic and find whatever inventory and data combinations works best for a given campaign.
YAB: Transparency is a big concern to advertisers. What level of transparency do we provide them?
DM: We're transparent to everybody---advertisers and publishers. That's just something we embrace as part of our value proposition.
For publishers, we provide a portal where they can review all the advertisers and creatives in our campaigns that are eligible to serve on their sites. We also provide tools to take actions like blocking a certain advertiser or creative, or do it for them.
For advertisers, we provide transparency into both data and inventory, through a portal or reports from us, depending upon the level of transparency and how they prefer to access that information. They can see impressions, clicks and conversions according to our ad server numbers, both by placement and by section.
We also provide transparency into the data we use to create a campaign and what data drove performance. Clients love our Audience Wave report, which provides total transparency into the data and media combinations that are driving lift for their campaigns (see graphic below).
YAB: How does that compare with what our competitors provide?
DM: When we're talking about companies that do what we do---create and run campaigns for clients on our system, like a managed service---our transparency is best in class. In fact, clients often tell us it's a best practice for transparency and how advertisers want to view the data behind their campaigns. We believe an educated customer is our best customer.
Genome's Audience Wave report (above) provides an interactive snapshot of expected performance across our data assets and helps advertisers match their brand with their most responsive audiences. The lift percentage shows the potential improvement in engagement (clicks) or conversions of a data fact over the run of network. (This screen shot is an example only).