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
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
Subra Krishnan is Senior Vice President – Products at Vizury. He heads Vizury’s business line focused on large enterprises across Financial Services & Travel industries.