Direct Display: An Overview

Bryce MarshallOne of the great successes for Knotice in 2012 has been the rollout of our Direct Display capability. Since our first campaigns nearly a year ago, Direct Display has proven extremely successful in improving online display ad performance for our customers, while also providing leading-edge capabilities for profile data enhancement and advanced cross-channel analytics and attribution. It is truly a unique capability. Here are some of the details.

What is Direct Display?

Direct Display is what the name promises: the benefits of addressability of content (down to the individual) in digital display advertising.

Knotice’s Direct Display lets our customers create simple to sophisticated audience segments based on business rules – like they would for any other type of addressable/direct marketing campaign through direct mail or email. Marketers can then leverage their brand’s first-party cookie values to inform the ad targeting to specific users across a wide range of sites and networks. Whereas with traditional addressable marketing the postal or email address is the addressable value, in Direct Display the first-party cookie is the addressable value. So the ability to link that first-party cookie value to the right user in real time is a critical component and a huge aspect of Direct Display’s success.

Direct Display goes far beyond ad re-targeting. In fact we prefer to drop the “re” and call it simply: targeting. With Direct Display, we don’t have to wait for an online event like a site visit to drop a pixel which then triggers the re-targeting reflective of that original event. Instead, we use a first-party cookie to represent an individual user profile, unlocking the brand’s proprietary customer data (data they gather and own with permission and within the first-party) to target ads to those profiles based on things like customer lifecycle stage, offline activities, or shopping preferences, all based on a multitude of cross-channel data points. The targeting is based on a potentially limitless range of profile attributes; it’s not based on a limited range of anonymous online events.

Addressability has a second benefit beyond ad targeting: measurement. Direct Display provides sophisticated campaign reports that any interactive marketer would expect. But we also tie the impression and response data (ads served, clicked) back to the user profile. This means we know exactly which users were served ads, what viewers clicked on which ads, and we can trace their activities through any resulting actions and touch points – not to mention marrying that impression and response activity to the other online (a site visit two weeks ago) and offline (made in-store purchase yesterday) attributes. This provides a comprehensive view of how display campaigns contribute to customer activities well beyond the direct-click or view-through conversion metrics.

Best of all, Direct Display complies with today’s increasingly strict privacy and compliance framework for online targeting. Even though it can be used to inform ad targeting, the brand’s proprietary customer data and personally identifiable information (PII) is never shared with ad networks or other third parties. And the brand can support a rigid privacy rights framework by providing and supporting its own opt-out mechanism for its customers.

Check back later in the week to learn exactly how Direct Display works.

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