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Vizury Whitepaper: Industry-Driven Retargeting

Online consumer behavior is significantly different for every industry. The users’ demographics and browsing / buying behavior differs based on the industry / product / category of interest. Vizury research suggests significant differences in the way people convert from retargeting ads e.g. a typical airline ticket buyer who buys after clicking a retargeting ad has on an average made 8 page visits in 3 sessions whereas an average apparel customer scores as many as 34 page visits in 4 sessions.
Another significant such industry specific trend suggests that hotels experience 90% of their retargeting conversions within 9 days whereas it takes airlines 27 days and cosmetics retailers 62 days to do the same! Our infographic based on this research is available below.

Based on this research, Vizury’s whitepaper “Industry Driven Retargeting: the benefits of a domain-driven retargeting strategy” recommends several industry-specific features that advertisers should build into their retargeting campaigns. Do download and read it. And if you have comments or questions, please email me at parthsm AT vizury DOT com.

Click on the infographic below to see a full-sized version.

Vizury Infographic Industry driven retargeting

5 Big Data Costs You Simply Can’t Afford to Ignore!

 

Everybody thinks that big data is a magical pill that you gulp, and voila, everything falls into place. One of the most common traps is to think of cost only at the level of online or front end systems. A common discussion would read something like this – “A typical $500/month machine easily handles two thousand Queries Per Second (QPS) and so if I need 10 thousand QPS more, I would need 2500$/month as an infrastructure cost”.

What this argument misses out is a lot of downstream aspects which take up bulk of the cost. We can broadly classify the entire infrastructure into five components and then try and assess them for costs.

Entry-point frontend systems

Note that these are not ‘front-end’ as in UI/UX systems, but the main entry points of your platform for the external world. Typical examples would be ad servers, beacon listeners, RTB bidders, B2C websites etc. These would invariably be core business systems that need to run 24×7. Any downtime there not only affects your revenue, but importantly, has a negative brand effect.

Naturally you plan as much buffer and redundancy here as you can afford. Surprisingly, the cost-calculations here are not hard unless your traffic fluctuates unpredictably. Its simple math like – one machine handles X QPS, let us provision for Y QPS factoring in enough buffer. Also, with techniques like auto-scaling on the cloud, you can be as close to real traffic as you want, without over-provisioning in a big way.

Storage accessed by online systems

This could typically be in-memory caching systems like or persistent stores like RDBMS or NoSQL. Tmemcache, redis his depends a lot on how you architect your systems and how much caching makes sense. A typical low-latency system like an ad server or bid server would need a lot of cache since it cannot afford to hit disks at runtime. But memory is generally super-expensive and so the architecture has to be judicious in its usage.

From a cost perspective, this component costing can be quite tricky. The thumb rule is that RAM is 10X more expensive than SSD which is 10X more expensive than HDD and performance-wise RAM is 1000x of SSD which is around 100X of HDD. With such a wide variety at your disposal, you can architect the systems creatively to have the right latency and cost. Another typical mistake done is when the frontend system scales, this caching/persistent store may not scale and so it is important to have upper limits for this benchmarked and provisioned for proper redundancy. Auto-scaling this storage system is not as easy as the stateless frontend systems.

Analytics – the meat in the sandwich

Big data in raw form is just loud noise. If you have terabytes of raw data, it’s pretty useless for the business unless a user can make sense of it. Typically, analytics involves two aspects. One is the well-defined OLAP-like reports which can be easily and quickly consumed by clients and business-users alike. Second is the adhoc queries that analysts can fire when they are trying to make business decisions. This does however, complicate the infrastructure since adhoc queries can range from a simple “count(*)” on a small table to joining multiple terabytes tables. Having a good analytics platform is a long journey. While latest technologies like hadoop, hive, spark are enabling this, none of them will be drop-in solutions which will work out of box. You will need to invest in them, tune them to your needs and strive for a balance between costs and ease-of-data-access. There is never an easy answer there!

Geographic distribution of infrastructure

It‘s not uncommon for infrastructure to be spread out around the globe. While most dedicated hosting providers make it easy, you need to be clear on the maintenance and costs involved. The first part is the bandwidth cost which is an often-understated component. Similar to RAM, one needs to be judicious with bandwidth; since it is not only expensive, but the capacities can get inconsistent. So the more data you start propagating around the world, the more uncertainty you are adding to the systems, since the bandwidth speeds are not the most reliable.

Again, when data starts scaling, a good engineering team should be able to architect a solution that will not be super-expensive and be as predictable as possible. Another angle one needs to pay heed to is how the geographical distance impacts the storage accessed by online systems. Not all systems around the world need access to data, so application and domain knowledge, backed by good architecture, will help optimize this spread.

Storage of raw data

This is generally different from storage directly accessed by online systems. Typically, this would be network storage, HDFS, S3 or the like. It’s a lot of unstructured data in raw form. While these costs are reducing by the day (S3 is hardly 0.03$/GB-month and they keep reducing it every now and then), note that the data collected is also exploding every day. Therefore, one needs to strike a balance between costs and utility of data. The next time you consider the cost of data, please factor in the entire ecosystem – one that can bring different disparate nodes into a unified umbrella, and yet justify the investments.

Originally posted on PCQuest

 

Vizury placed sixth on Deloitte Fast 500 Companies list for APAC

After being named the 2nd fastest growing technology company on the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 India 2013, Vizury has been named sixth on the APAC Fast 500 list as well. The Fast 500 list for APAC 2013 is organized by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL) Global Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) Industry Group, a ranking of the 500 fastest growing technology companies in the Asia Pacific region. Rankings are based on percentage revenue growth over three years.

The excitement on being the fastest growing ad tech company in APAC as well as in India was palpable as several employees shared the news about the recognition through social media. “We are the top ranked internet as well as ad tech company in the list for APAC. This is a considerable achievement and a testament to our leadership position in APAC when it comes to display advertising and retargeting,” says Vizury CEO, Chetan Kulkarni.

His co-founder and COO,Gourav Chindlur adds, “we have to thank our customers, partners, investors, and our employees for this spate of unabated growth. Our strong technical and data expertise in the ad tech industry has helped us gain considerable new business as well as customer loyalty. We will continue to grow rapidly in APAC as well as in other emerging geos like Middle East, North Africa and Latin America. We will be back on the top of next year’s list as well.”

About Vizury

We love the internet. Next to the wheel, it is considered one of the greatest human inventions that helps bring people closer. At Vizury, we help bring brands closer to online markets and capture not just eyeballs, but also their attention and imagination. Our display personalization solutions allow brands to optimize their targeting and retargeting campaigns and spend. Established in 2008, we work with some of the best known brands in 27 countries across industries such as travel & hospitality, ecommerce, healthcare, automobile, and classifieds. With presence in Bangalore, Beijing, Dubai, Jakarta, Sao Paolo, Singapore, Sydney, and Taiwan, we are one of the most widely networked Indian startups. Say hello to us at marketing@vizury.com.

About Deloitte

“Deloitte” is the brand under which tens of thousands of dedicated professionals in independent firms throughout the world collaborate to provide audit, consulting, financial advisory, risk management, and tax services to selected clients. These firms are members of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL), a UK private company limited by guarantee. Each member firm provides services in a particular geographic area and is subject to the laws and professional regulations of the particular country or countries in which it operates. DTTL does not itself provide services to clients. DTTL and each DTTL member firm are separate and distinct legal entities, which cannot obligate each other. DTTL and each DTTL member firm are liable only for their own acts or omissions and not those of each other. Each DTTL member firm is structured differently in accordance with national laws, regulations, customary practice, and other factors, and may secure the provision of professional services in its territory through subsidiaries, affiliates, and/or other entities.

Vizury to strengthen global business with USD 9 Million growth funding

Bengaluru, October 22, 2012: Vizury Interactive, a leading digital marketing technology company, today announced that it has raised close to USD 9 Million in its Series B round of funding. The funding was led by Nokia Growth Partners (NGP) with participation from existing investors Ojas Ventures and Inventus Capital Partners. Existing angel investors who led the seed round of funding also continue to remain invested. The funds will be used to strengthen the company’s presence across Asia, Australia and South America, step up R&D efforts and drive product innovations.

Vizury’s premium retargeting solution Visitor Relationship Management (VRM) enables eCommerce and online travel companies to harness the full value of their digital data in a structured, multi-phase manner and profit from it. VRM is already widely used by global industry leaders such as Webjet, Virgin Airlines, Expedia, Zuji, Netshoes, Viajanet, Zozo, Kokuken, Ctrip, Yintai, Jabong, Jet Airways
and MakeMyTrip.

“We see this funding as an endorsement of our approach to strategically partner with our customers and help them drive revenue using a combination of cutting edge technology and enterprise class service” said Chetan Kulkarni, co-founder and CEO of Vizury. “The capital infusion will allow us to accelerate our investments in R&D, bring new products to market and establish ourselves as clear leaders in the space. Having NGP, Inventus and Ojas in our corner will be invaluable as we make the next big leap”, he added.

Built on a powerful digital advertising platform, VRM helps analyse massive volumes of digital data, draw meaningful insights and use it to deliver highly pertinent ads on the fly. Additionally, the fully managed VRM solution allows Vizury customers the flexibility to make the best product or service recommendations that match individual consumer needs by aligning VRM campaigns with their own programs. This has a dramatic, positive impact on conversions. With VRM, Vizury has witnessed a remarkable 450% growth over the past year. Vizury’s media partners include some of the world’s largest ad exchanges, ad networks, DSPs, SSPs and technology driven marketplaces. John Gardner, NGP managing partner in the US, said, “Vizury’s industry-leading behavioural ad targeting products and intense customer focus position the company well for expansion across a number of regions. With this investment, we reinforce NGP’s commitment to investing in the growth of the global advertising technology space”. Anupam Rastogi, principal at NGP Advisors India, who has joined Vizury’s Board, said, “We are pleased with the strong product, technology and analytic capabilities that Vizury has built. We believe Vizury’s technology has the potential to optimize customer acquisition and digital marketing for a range of clients. We look forward to working with Vizury and supporting the team in its global growth”.

About Vizury

We love the internet. Next to the wheel, it is considered one of the greatest human inventions that helps bring people closer. At Vizury, we help bring brands closer to online markets and capture not just eyeballs, but also their attention and imagination. Our display personalization solutions allow brands to optimize their targeting and retargeting campaigns and spend. Established in 2008, we work with some of the best known brands in 27 countries across industries such as travel & hospitality, ecommerce, healthcare, automobile, and classifieds. With presence in Bangalore, Beijing, Dubai, Jakarta, Sao Paolo, Singapore, Sydney, and Taiwan, we are one of the most widely networked Indian startups. Say hello to us at marketing@vizury.com.

Implementing Dynamic Thresholds Using Bischeck

When you work with a tens of publishers in this industry, there are multiple metrics to be tracked per ad-exchange such as QPS, bid rate, average bid value, hit rate, etc. and these need to be tracked across all of them. What makes this challenging is that these metrics are highly dynamic, varying based on the time of the day and the day of the week. So, how did we handle these widely dynamic metrics?

Here’s an implementation guide to help you out with that- Say Hello to Bischeck!

What is Bischeck?

Bischeck is a Nagios plugin that gives us the flexibility of using dynamic thresholds based on historical data for sending alerts. So, let us consider this with an example. One of the ad-exchange metrics that we constantly monitor is publisher QPS. This varies widely across publishers and also based on time of the day and day of the week. For example, Baidu QPS varies from 7000 during non-peak hours to 70000 during peak hours while FBX qps varies from 2000 during non-peak hours to 5000 during peak hours.

FBX_qps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baidu_qps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, for Baidu, while a QPS of 6000 would seem normal during non-peak hours, it would indicate a problem during peak hours. And this same 6000 could indicate an unexpected surge in FBX bid requests during non-peak hours but is something expected during peak hours. While we can use Nagios time based thresholds, scaling it across multiple publishers and multiple business metrics, involves a lot of maintenance overhead. And this is where Bischeck proved to be a boon. I will be walking through with an example on how to setup bischeck for monitoring metrics in a Ubuntu box.

Pre-requisites

1. Bischeck needs java and it uses redis as backend for storage.

$ apt-get install default-jdk redis-server

2. Currently, bischeck uses Nagios for alerting. Future versions make bischeck a standalone service. For the current version, though we will need to integrate with Nagios. Also, as it uses passive checks, we install nsca as well and configure nagios for checking external commands.

$ apt-get install nagios3 nsca
$ sed -i 's/check_external_commands=0/check_external_commands=1/' /etc/nagios3/nagios.cfg
$ service nagios3 restart
$ service nsca restart
$ dpkg-reconfigure nsca # See /usr/share/doc/nsca/README.Debian

Installation and Basic Setup

Installation of Bischeck is pretty straight forward. The latest version as of writing this article is 1.1.1. A newer version 2.0.0 with many more features [1] in the pipeline. You will have to be logged in as root.

$ wget http://gforge.ingby.com/gf/download/frsrelease/132/505/bischeck-1.1.1.tar.gz
$ tar -xvzf bischeck-1.1.1.tar.gz
$ cd bischeck-1.1.1
$ chmod 755 install
$ ./install -u # Get usage
$ ./install -I /opt/bischeck

In bischeck init script, it does “su nagios” to retrieve certain configuration parameters as user nagios. However, if nagios shell is not configured to a real shell in /etc/passwd, su will not work. So, ensure that nagios shell is set to proper shell such as /bin/bash before starting bischeck. Alternatively, if modifying nagios user shell is seen as a security concern, you can pass the option “–shell /bin/bash” to su command wherever it is being used in /etc/init.d/bischeckd (haven’t tried this though)

$ usermod --shell /bin/bash nagios

Also, bischeck submits the results to nsca. The default installation of nsca does not have any password. So, we need to remove it in bischeck config file.

$ sed -i 's/password<\/value>/password<\/value>/' /opt/bischeck/etc/services.xml/etc/servers.xml

Double check /opt/bischeck/etc/servers.xml to ensure the password is indeed removed. Finally, restart bischeck.

$ service bischeckd start
$ tail -f /var/tmp/bischeck.log

More details can be found in the Official Installation and Administration Guide [2].

Nagios Configuration

Let us create a nagios host and service to monitor. Create a file /etc/nagios3/conf.d/publisher-metrices.cfg with the following content:

# Dummy command used to alert if passive checks are not recieving data
# for specific period of time
define command {
        command_name    check_bischeck
        command_line    /usr/lib/nagios/plugins/check_dummy 1 "Results were not reported"
}

# "FBX" is not a physical host but actually one of our publishers (ad-exchange).
# Business metrics may not actually be associated with a physical machine.
# But we would still want to group together different business metrices based
# on some criteria. In our case we have multiple publishers, and each publisher
# has certain metrices associated with it (qps, error_rate, etc.). So, we have
# made the publisher name as virtual host
define host {
        use                     generic-host
        host_name               FBX
        active_checks_enabled   0
        }

# Bischeck works with passive checks. We have also added freshness check (See
# http://nagios.sourceforge.net/docs/3_0/freshness.html for more info)
define service {
        host_name               FBX
        service_description     QPS
        use                     generic-service
        active_checks_enabled   0
        passive_checks_enabled  1
        check_freshness         1
        freshness_threshold     900
        check_command           check_bischeck
}

After configuring nagios, restart it for changes to take effect.

$ service nagios3 restart
$ tail -f /var/log/nagios3/nagios.log

You can visit http://<server_ip>/nagios3/ to check that “FBX” host and “QPS” service is added. The service state will turn to warning after a while as it has not yet received any metrics.

Configuring Bischeck

First, let us create a script /usr/local/bin/FBX_qps.sh which generates dummy QPS numbers based on time of day. This will be used by bischeck.

# Get current minute between 0 to 1399
current_minute=$(( ($(date +%s) % 86400)/60 ))

# multiplier starts at 720 during 00:00 UTC, reaches zero during noon and gradually increase to 720 during midnight
multiplier=$(test $current_minute -le 720 &amp;&amp; echo $((720 - $current_minute)) || echo $(($current_minute - 720)))

# qps varies between 5000 and 55000 depending on time of day
qps=$((5000 + (50000 * $multiplier / 720)))
echo "OK | qps=$qps;0.0;0.0;;"

Make it executable and test it.

$ chmod +x /usr/local/bin/FBX_qps.sh
$ /usr/local/bin/FBX_qps.sh
OK | qps=20972;0.0;0.0;;

Next, we need to configure bischeck services. Create the file /opt/bischeck/etc/bischeck.xml with the following content (backup the existing bischeck.xml before overwriting it):

&lt;?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?&gt;
&lt;bischeck&gt;

  &lt;host&gt;
    &lt;name&gt;FBX&lt;/name&gt;
    &lt;service&gt;&lt;template&gt;qpstemplate&lt;/template&gt;&lt;/service&gt;
  &lt;/host&gt;

  &lt;servicetemplate templatename="qpstemplate"&gt;
    &lt;name&gt;QPS&lt;/name&gt;
    &lt;schedule&gt;120S&lt;/schedule&gt;
    &lt;url&gt;shell://localhost&lt;/url&gt;

    &lt;serviceitem&gt;
      &lt;template&gt;publishermetrictemplate&lt;/template&gt;
      &lt;serviceitemoverride&gt;
        &lt;name&gt;qps&lt;/name&gt;
      &lt;/serviceitemoverride&gt;
    &lt;/serviceitem&gt;
  &lt;/servicetemplate&gt;

  &lt;serviceitemtemplate templatename="publishermetrictemplate"&gt;
    &lt;name&gt;$$SERVICEITEMNAME$$&lt;/name&gt;
    &lt;execstatement&gt;{"check":"/usr/local/bin/$$HOSTNAME$$_$$SERVICEITEMNAME$$.sh","label":"$$SERVICEITEMNAME$$"}&lt;/execstatement&gt;
    &lt;thresholdclass&gt;Twenty4HourThreshold&lt;/thresholdclass&gt;
    &lt;serviceitemclass&gt;CheckCommandServiceItem&lt;/serviceitemclass&gt;

    &lt;cache&gt;
      &lt;aggregate&gt;
        &lt;method&gt;avg&lt;/method&gt;
        &lt;useweekend&gt;true&lt;/useweekend&gt;
        &lt;retention&gt;
          &lt;period&gt;H&lt;/period&gt;
          &lt;offset&gt;720&lt;/offset&gt;
        &lt;/retention&gt;
        &lt;retention&gt;
          &lt;period&gt;D&lt;/period&gt;
          &lt;offset&gt;30&lt;/offset&gt;
        &lt;/retention&gt;
      &lt;/aggregate&gt;

      &lt;purge&gt;
        &lt;offset&gt;30&lt;/offset&gt;
        &lt;period&gt;D&lt;/period&gt;
      &lt;/purge&gt;
      &lt;!-- Max count = 30 days * 24 hours per day * 30 items per hour --&gt;
      &lt;!--
      &lt;purge&gt;
        &lt;maxcount&gt;21600&lt;/maxcount&gt;
      &lt;/purge&gt;
      --&gt;
    &lt;/cache&gt;
  &lt;/serviceitemtemplate&gt;

&lt;/bischeck&gt;

Set the appropriate thresholds by configuring /opt/bischeck/etc/24thresholds.xml. Here is a sample configuration (be sure to backup 24thresholds.xml before overwriting it):

&lt;?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?&gt;
&lt;twenty4threshold&gt;
    &lt;!-- QPS --&gt;
    &lt;servicedefgroup&gt;
        &lt;member&gt;
            &lt;hostname&gt;FBX&lt;/hostname&gt;
            &lt;servicename&gt;QPS&lt;/servicename&gt;
            &lt;serviceitemname&gt;qps&lt;/serviceitemname&gt;
        &lt;/member&gt;

        &lt;template&gt;response-qps&lt;/template&gt;
    &lt;/servicedefgroup&gt;

    &lt;servicedeftemplate templatename="response-qps"&gt;
         &lt;period&gt;
             &lt;calcmethod&gt;&amp;gt;&lt;/calcmethod&gt;
             &lt;warning&gt;20&lt;/warning&gt;
             &lt;critical&gt;40&lt;/critical&gt;
             &lt;hoursIDREF&gt;10&lt;/hoursIDREF&gt;
         &lt;/period&gt;
    &lt;/servicedeftemplate&gt;

    &lt;hours hoursID="10"&gt;
        &lt;hourinterval&gt;
            &lt;from&gt;00:00&lt;/from&gt;
            &lt;to&gt;23:00&lt;/to&gt;
            &lt;!-- See http://www.bischeck.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Bischeck_configuration_guide.html#toc-Chapter-4 --&gt;
            &lt;threshold&gt;avg($$HOSTNAME$$-$$SERVICENAME$$-$$SERVICEITEMNAME$$[-24H],$$HOSTNAME$$-$$SERVICENAME$$-$$SERVICEITEMNAME$$[-96H],$$HOSTNAME$$-$$SERVICENAME$$-$$SERVICEITEMNAME$$[-168H],$$HOSTNAME$$-$$SERVICENAME$$-$$SERVICEITEMNAME$$[-336H],$$HOSTNAME$$-$$SERVICENAME$$-$$SERVICEITEMNAME$$[-504H],$$HOSTNAME$$-$$SERVICENAME$$-$$SERVICEITEMNAME$$[-672H])&lt;/threshold&gt;
        &lt;/hourinterval&gt;
    &lt;/hours&gt;
&lt;/twenty4threshold&gt;

Finally, restart bischeck.

$ service bischeckd restart
$ tail -f /var/tmp/bischeck.log

If everything is fine, you should start seeing the QPS values in Nagios web console.

Bischeck also provides integration with pnp4nagios [5]. Configuring this is beyond the scope of this article though.

Bischeck Command Line Utilites

Bischeck provides a couple of very useful command line tools for debugging [6].

The first is for threshold testing.

$ /opt/bischeck/bin/bischeck threshold.Twenty4HourThreshold -h FBX -s QPS -i qps -d 20150513 -H 08 -M 30 -m 10000

Bischeck provides a command line tool to check if values are getting populated properly and also for evaluating expressions:

$ /opt/bischeck/bin/bischeck cli.CacheCli
cacehcli&gt; avg(FBX-QPS-qps[0:4])
[1/1/2 ms] avg(10972,11111,11250,11388,11527) = 11249.6

Closing Comments

As it can be seen, bischeck is a pretty powerful plugin and provides a lot of functionalities beyond just dynamic thresholds. Moreover, they provide excellent support and the developers have been very responsive in incorporating feedback as well as fixing bugs. For any organization with highly dynamic business metrics, bischeck is definitely a must have!

References

[1] http://www.bischeck.org/?p=946
[2] http://www.bischeck.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Bischeck_installation_and_administration_guide.html
[3] http://www.bischeck.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Bischeck_configuration_guide.html
[4] http://www.bischeck.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Bischeck_installation_and_administration_guide.html#toc-Section-4.4
[5] http://www.bischeck.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Bischeck_installation_and_administration_guide.html#toc-Section-3.3
[6] http://www.bischeck.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Bischeck_installation_and_administration_guide.html#toc-Section-4.3

Infographic: Promoting Bestsellers to HomeShop18’s customers!

Retargeting comprises 30 percent of HomeShop18’s web traffic today. Vizury has been a proud partner in HomeShop18’s immensely successful retargeting campaign.

 

“Retargeting helps us get back the customer that we might potentially lose as this person has already been to our site before.”, says Piyush Bhargav, Vice President for product and marketing at HomeShop18. – HomeShop18 Taps Vizury for Retargeting Efforts , Clickz

 

Here’s an interesting infographic which shows how we promoted bestsellers to the customers of Homeshop18. Tell us what you think!

 

IND Homeshop18Post

 

If you want to reuse this infographic, please write to marketing@vizury.com for the terms of use.

Introducing Vizury MobiConvert

Mobile re-targeting with Vizury MobiConvert

We at Vizury are happy to announce the latest addition to our product offerings – Vizury MobiConvert, our mobile retargeting solution. MobiConvert helps online advertisers re-target users who have dropped off from their mobile website.

Emergence of Mobile Commerce

Mobile devices are more than mere communication tools today. A wide array of activities like browsing, e-mails, gaming, shopping that were possible using a computer can now be performed using a mobile device. Globally, smartphones and tablets are now contributing to roughly 25% of the user traffic on ecommerce and travel websites. Sales through smartphones and tablets contribute to around 15% of the total online sales. With the rapid adoption of smart phones and tablets across the globe, these numbers can only go north.

Online sales through mobile devices as a percentage of the total online sales in U.S.

Mobi Graph

Challenges in Mobile Web Marketing

Mobile marketing is relatively new and advertisers face several challenges to run an effective mobile marketing campaign. Some of them are:

  • Advertiser’s and Publisher’s mobile presence is fragmented between mobile web and mobile apps.
  • Identification of a user across mobile web and mobile app and messaging across these two channels.
  • Identification of users across multiple devices (such as mobile, desktop) and messaging across channels.
  • Patchy support to cookie and other tracking mechanisms on mobile browsers and apps.

Vizury MobiConvert is the first step towards solving these challenges on mobile devices. Advertisers can enjoy the benefits of Vizury’s fully-managed, industry specific, dynamic retargeting services for their mobile websites with Vizury MobiConvert.

Vizury MobiConvert enables advertisers to:

  1. Record anonymous user behaviour (without collecting PII data) on the advertiser’s mobile website such as products viewed, duration of visit, drop off page etc.
  2. Use this user behaviour data to create and display customised ads for an individual mobile user and hence drive revenue and conversions.
  3. Customised banners for mobile display banner sizes using HTML5, a technology that will work across mobile devices.
  4. Have an excellent reach on mobile devices due to the mobile and tablet specific inventory partners that Vizury has on-boarded via RTB & Non-RTB connections.
  5. Maximize mobile marketing returns and overall ad-spend efficiency by identifying users across mobile websites and apps.

Launching Vizury MobiConvert

After the initial design and development, MobiConvert has been in a limited beta stage for the last three months. During the beta launch, we could run a few campaigns for the mobile website of a leading e-commerce shoe retailer and observed the following results:

  1. CTR of our mobile banners were more than twice the CTR of the advertiser’s desktop retargeting campaigns.
  2. A 10% increase in the conversions on their mobile website.

Vizury MobiConvert is now ready to take on the world stage, keep watching this space for more updates on MobiConvert.

 

Useful Resources

  1. About Vizury MobiConvert
  2. Contact the MobiConvert team
  3. MobiConvert Brochure
  4. MobiConvert Tags
  5. MobiConvert Feeds

References

Data source: www.emarketer.com

Cross-Channel Advice for Airline Marketers

 

Customer experience and continued engagement have always been a pre-requisite in the airline industry worldwide. While in the past, airlines have accomplished customer delight through loyalty programs, the digitally connected world today presents manifold opportunities to maximize Customer Lifetime Value. With a maze of online – offline touch points and personalized experiences that customers have grown to expect, customer delight has taken on a whole new meaning and hence the need for a renewed cross-channel marketing strategy with data at the crux.

Here’s an example. Ben looks for flights to Amsterdam on an airlines desktop website and then drops off. Later, as he browses a news website on his phone he notices an ad offering great discounts for flights to Amsterdam. He clicks on the ad to complete his bookings. Ben has used two devices from search till purchase. He may have interacted with the airlines through other touch points like a kiosk at the airport, loyalty program, past bookings etc. Which means that Ben could be scattered all across the airlines customer data base. In the absence of a cross-channel marketing strategy, the airlines will know Ben as MOB123 on mobile, USER001 on the desktop and TBXYZ on the Tablet. The airlines also knows Ben’s email id as ben@hisid.com submitted by Ben during one of his flights. The challenge for most airlines today is joining these dots and connect MOB123 – USER001 – TBXYZ – ben@hisid.com to understand Ben better and offer him a continued brand experience across devices and channels.

The need for a cross- channel marketing strategy?

  1. Creating personalized experiences spanning across channels tops every marketer’s wish list and rightly so. Pertinent cross-channel messaging is essential to establish a connect with customers in a crowded digital space.
  2. Happy customers = loyal customers. A satisfying end-to-end experience guarantees repeat bookings and airlines will know this better than anybody else? While loyalty programs and coupons are designed to promote repeat purchases, personalized attention to customers can do wonders in terms of boosting loyalty.
  3. Understanding your users better will help you understand your business better. For example, once the user behavior data across channels has been aggregated the airlines might realize that the most searched route has very few flight options while a less popular route offers too many flight options!

Here are 5 things to remember about cross-channel marketing for airlines

  1. Multiple transaction points result in silo-ed user data amassed with the airlines. In addition, internal data like loyalty programs, CRM will typically have a vast user-pool. While this repository of data can be extremely valuable, in most cases it is unused. Converging all of this data onto a single data management platform helps airlines unify user identification. The success of a cross-channel marketing campaign heavily depends on how well data from different sources are integrated together.
  2. Now that you know your customers better, it should be simpler to reach the right user with the right message on the right channel. A customer-centric approach is quintessential as it allows airlines to build a unique experience for every customer.
  3. Social networking channels like Facebook have the most engaged audience. Also, with customers frequently switching between desktop and mobile devices, social media is perhaps the most effective cross-channel marketing tool. Targeting users on their most frequented cross-channel touch points helps airlines with greater reach.
  4. Let’s say Ben who had searched for tickets to Amsterdam on his desktop, has later booked the flight using his mobile. Wouldn’t it be annoying if Amsterdam flight ads continued to greet Ben everywhere on the internet? Campaign tracking, performance measurement and attribution must go cross-channel as well.
  5. Starting with desktop and social media to the fragmented mobile sphere with web and apps, every channel is powered by a unique technology. Therefore, your ad tech partner must support ads across all formats and technologies.

As the digital world churns out new channels it is evident that airline companies must evolve a marketing strategy that is flexible and can accommodate new channels. With an integrated cross-channel marketing approach airlines could go beyond the device, channel boundaries and stay with their customers at every step of the journey to purchase.

Originally posted on Campaign Asia

Infographic: China eCommerce User Behavior Trends

With more than 200 million users buying goods online, the Chinese eCommerce market has the world’s largest number of online buyers. In 2012, users bought goods worth $200 billion through Chinese eCommerce sites. Almost, 1 billion more people are expected to make online purchases this year and hence the market still has big potential for growth. In next few years, China is expected to become the world’s largest eCommerce market, overtaking America. According to local government report of CNNIC, clothes and shoes are the most frequently bought products. Almost 82% of online shoppers bought shoes or clothes in 2012.

 

Vizury works with some of the largest apparel (clothing, shoes, accessories) eCommerce clients in China. In last 2 years, we have analyzed user data for 100+ Chinese eCommerce customers and the analysis of user behavior threw up trends that were unique to this country. These trends are presented below in the form of an infographic. Do tell us what you think!

Infographic on user behavior on Chinese eCommerce websites

 

Contributors:

  • Campaign data integration and analysis: Abhishek Verma
  • Infographic design: Viju K Balan and Sarath MS

If you want to reuse this infographic, please write to marketing@vizury.com for the terms of use.

Verticalization: The Need For Industry-Driven Retargeting

At Vizury, we pride ourselves in our ability to treat the needs of advertisers from different industries differently. Consider WebConvert, our flagship product for e-commerce and travel advertisers. At its core, it enables advertisers to retarget their website drop-offs through highly personalized dynamic banner advertisements. However, the product manifests itself in unique ways for different industries through features that are weaved into the core algorithms and are derived from a deep understanding of the industry. We call this “verticalization” and in this post, I’ll explain how we do this with examples.

 

Before we go ahead: why verticalize at all? Two reasons, both of which are pretty obvious.

 

Firstly, users of different verticals exhibit fundamentally different buying behavior. Nearly half the conversions on baby product websites happen within half an hour into the session. We call this the “busy parent syndrome”! Log in, order the diapers you are rapidly running out of and get back to the kid who has wandered dangerously close to the stairs (been there)! Apparel shoppers, on the other hand, look at nearly two dozen products before making up their mind and quite often delay purchase if they don’t get a size/color of their choice. Understanding and factoring these behavioral traits is critical to drive performance.

 

Secondly, marketers have a nuanced and innate understanding of the connection between the products they are selling and buying behavior. A fashion retailer’s understanding of seasonality is different from that of an online travel agency (OTA). The nature of discounts and how it influences purchase is also different across industries. A one size fits all approach would fail to factor these rich insights

 

Now, back to the original question, how do we verticalize across various components of WebConvert? We do it at three levels explained below with examples from different industries

 

Targeting/bidding algorithms

  • Airlines always see certain routes converting better and faster. New Delhi to Mumbai is one such route in India. In Brazil, an example would be Sao Paulo to Rio. We are able to differentially target users who searched for these “busy” routes
  • For an OTA, a user searching for a four night stay is inherently more valuable than one searching for an overnight stay. We use number of nights as a crucial indicator of value and bid higher on exchange requests for such users.
  • For real estate/classifieds, city and area combinations often indicate value/likelihood of conversion. In Japan, for instance, real estate searches revolve around the nearest metro station. Again, we are able to target such users more aggressively.

Messaging algorithms

  • Airline buyers base their decision on route/airline/date and time/price. Vizury’s banner templates can show multiple airline options in and two days on either side of the date of intended travel
  • Fashion and many other e-commerce buyers find it useful to understand what other users similar to them found interesting/valuable – which Vizury leverages through collaborative filtering algorithms

Special features/processes

  • Airlines advertisers offer destination based discounts. And these are pretty complex combinations of source and destination. E.g. discounts to a specific city, to a continent, discounts for flights originating from a country etc. Mapping a single source-destination search to such available discounts and picking the right combination is immensely valuable to both the advertiser and the end user
  • For our daily deals advertisers, communicating the urgency of a relevant deal by pointing out the time left is crucial. We are able to replicate the reducing time counter seen in these sites on our banner advertisements giving the user a seamless experience closely reflecting the website experience
  • Most marketers work on a very specific calendar. Online fashion retailers have seasonal arrivals and end of season sales. With close strategic engagements, we support these offers. Travel advertisers often have festival based marketing activities. A great example is the carnival in Rio. For nearly two months before and leading up to the event, interest and conversions on international routes into Rio see a significant spike.

How is verticalization possible from a product perspective? Right from day one, WebConvert’s platform was built to be able to collect and abstract user behavior variables across different industries. And then feed them in meaningful ways to our algorithms. At the same time, the backend is flexible enough to accommodate different types of data/discounts that advertisers provide over and above their product catalog.

 

Verticalization creates customer and user delight and for this reason, it has always been and will continue to be at the heart of every decision we make.

 

Later this month, Vizury will be publishing a white paper on “Industry-driven retargeting”. So if you are interested in this topic, do keep watching this space.