EngageBDR, the #1 international display network, has historically had a SUPER-HIGH barrier to entry. With no visibility into your placements, and a $25k min. buy-in, it was either feast or famine. I personally know advertisers that lost their asses at EngageBDR. I also know many advertisers/affiliates that have made millions of dollars at Engage simply arbitraging traffic.
The greatest challenge with Engage is that sheer volume of traffic that pours in when a media buy starts. You literally have to be glued to your stats 24/7 during an initial launch. It’s an unforgiving platform for the smaller advertiser that can’t afford to spend $300k optimizing. If your server goes down, site doesn’t convert, ads don’t garnish clicks, or the initial calculations of profitability are off…well, you’re pretty much phucked. Why? Once placements are lit up your offer gets barraged with traffic.
Traffic at Engage reminds me of the hurricane Forest Gump weathered on The Jenny. Forest was 100% prepared to ride out (optimize) the storm, while his competitors were not. The storm destroyed all of Forest’s competitors, and left him as the last man standing. Thereafter we all know that The Jenny yielded all the shrimp and dominated the industry.
To level the playing field, Engage lowered the barrier-to-entry with their self-serve RTB platform – AKA “First Impression”. With a min. spend of $500, and the ability to pause with the click-of-a-button, advertisers can access the best-of-the-best inventory without betting the farm.
I convinced Nick Lynch, one of the lead developers of First Impression, to provide us with a guest post. Nick is border-line genius and is a really great person to work with. Here’s his guest post:
“It’s been a little over a week now since we have announced the launch of our self serve platform First Impression. The excitement and demand for access has been amazing and I just wanted to let everyone know that we really appreciate all of the support and feedback we received while we were at Ad:Tech for the launch. We also appreciate the patience of over 3,000 people that have already signed up. We apologize for the delay in letting all of you on, but we want to make sure that the system can handle all of you. The amount of interest was a pleasant surprise. But while we are putting the finishing touches on First Impression, I wanted to share some more insight into what the platform will let you do.
Let’s first talk about mobile. Everyone seems to be looking for a mobile platform that gives them total control and transparency. Inside First Impression, you will find that we are completely transparent. We give you the ability target sites, carriers, devices, in-app or browser inventory, geos (continent down to lat/lon), demographics and content. Once your campaign is running, optimization and reporting is just as transparent and granular. This level of targeting and optimization comes with access to over 50 billion monthly impressions, globally. The goal of First Impression is to give you the tools to be successful and to give you access to large amounts of inventory, and I think we have delivered on that for mobile.
Performance is in our DNA and it’s what we have built our business on. The way we have organized online media buying through First Impression reflects this. Since we understand what goes into planning, building, executing and optimizing a campaign, we made sure to load our platform with lots of tools to help you easily build a successful campaign.
In planning a campaign, it’s important to know what sites to run your campaign on. We integrated several partners that allow us to give insight into where other like-advertisers are running their campaigns. We also have partners like Quantcast, who will be piping in data about the demographic makeup of a site so that you can better select sites that fit your target audience.
When optimizing a performance campaign, we wanted to make sure that you had the ability to be as granular as possible. In First Impression, we allow you to optimize the creative down to the placement. No other platform allows this level of granular control. This way, you no longer have to create a new campaign; just optimize each creative’s placements within a campaign.
Lastly, let’s discuss the inventory and how inventory is used based on the life cycle of a campaign. There are several different phases of a performance campaign. First phase tends to be where a performance advertiser is looking for data on their campaign. Advertisers are looking for the fastest and most inexpensive way to collect this data. Second phase is usually when an advertiser has their data, they look to test it at scale. The third phase is the complete scaling of a performing campaign. Each phase requires a different set of inventory in order to perform at expectations. What we have done is aggregated inventory that complements each phase.
We have made inventory partnerships with the exchanges and yield management SSP’s to deliver what we call tier 3 inventory. Tier 3 inventory will allow a performance marketer to test their campaigns on lower priced, remnant and exchange traffic, which will allow them to acquire data fast and economically. Our tier 2 inventory consists of premium inventory partnerships that supply above the fold, 1-3rd impression inventory that will allow an advertiser to test their campaigns at scale. Engage:BDR will be providing the tier 1 inventory which is our direct from the publisher, above the fold, first impression inventory. This layer of inventory will allow an advertiser to select from our large collection of international and domestic sites. Since these are direct relationships, we have complete control over scalability.
In building First Impression, we consistently put ourselves in the performance advertisers’ seat to make sure that we were building a platform that would make achieving positive ROI easier. There are many great platforms out there but what we feel makes us different is our roots. We are not a technology company building direct response tools, we are a direct response company that has consistently built technology to help us and our clients achieve success. That is the difference that will make First Impression stand alone in the self serve space.
Plus what other platform gives you direct access to the boss? Please email me with any comments, questions, feedback, anything. I am eager and excited to hear what you have to say. Since my early days with MyAds, I learned quickly that a platform cannot progress without constant communication and feedback from its users. Let’s make sure we continue the conversation as First Impression grows.
Need a feature? Need something to change? Let me know.
Thanks again for your patience. We will be opening up the platform very soon to the public.”
172 mm Monthly Uniques per Quantcast!
Check out pics from our events this year at Ad:Tech SF, ASE East, LeadsCon East, Ad:Tech London and Ad:Tech NYC here!
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