Frost’s thoughts from MediaPost’s Search Insider Summit


I just returned from #MPSIS in Deer Valley- It was great to meet so many fantastic folks and to share funicular rides, ski turns, 16 year old whiskey, bunderfleisch (look it up), butler service, and…of course…great interaction about search, Facebook, mobile, and retargeting!

There was lots of discussion about getting search and display to work more closely together, which is a topic very near and dear to our hearts here at The good news is this is happening today and that others are seeing the same great results that we are. In particular, Dave Zinman of Yahoo! had some strong slides on this. I’m not sure if he’s posted them yet but will keep an eye out and post a link when he does.

I’m also more convinced than ever that search marketers have a great future in Keyword Targeted Display (a.k.a. search retargeting). Search marketers’ expertise in their clients’ keyword sets, in keyword level bidding, in keyword research and optimization, and in the use of different types of terms (head vs. long tail vs. competitive vs. branded etc.) will make them quick studies in Keyword Targeted Display.

Thanks to all of you who expressed interest in and Search Retargeting. Several of you asked for a summary of my comments on the panel, so here goes:

What is Search Retargeting?

  • Search Retargeting is targeting display ads based on a browser’s search history.
  • We prefer to call it “Keyword Targeted Display”, or  “Search Extension”, as it is more about extending search campaigns and acquiring new customers than about retargeting to an advertiser’s existing traffic.

How does it work?

  • Process is very similar to setting up and optimizing a search marketing campaign.
  • Upload Keywords.
    • Just like search, you upload or paste in your keyword list, along with individual CPM or CPC bids for each keyword if desired.
  • Select Targeting Parameters
    • Recency- Target browsers that have searched on your terms in the last day, week, 2 weeks, or month.
    • Other- DayPart, geography, demographics, page contexts, site whitelists/blacklists, frequency caps, browser types, device types, etc.
  • Start campaign
    • Banners will be served to browsers which have searched on the list of targeted terms within the specified recency, and also meet the other targeting and bidding parameters.
    • As all data is stored server side, campaigns are turned on instantly, with no need to build cookie pools or rebuild cookie pools when any keyword is added or deleted.
  • Report
    • Just like search, reports show the number of impressions, clicks, and associated costs for each keyword, along with CPM, CTR, CPC, and coming soon…CPA basis.
    • Full transparency also shows number of impressions, costs, and clicks for each domain, each exchange, each context, and each hour of the day.
  • Optimize
    • Based on results, raise bids for high performing keywords, reduce bids or delete low performing keywords, add keywords in best-performing categories.
    • Add/delete domains, exchanges, page contexts, etc.
    • Changes take place instantly, with no need to rebuild cookie pools when a new keyword is added or deleted.
  • Users can do all of the above in’s self service interface, or work with our client services team to execute their campaigns.

What are the benefits to Search Marketers?

  • Reach more searchers.
    • Reach the 90% of users who have searched on an advertiser’s targeted terms, but never got to the advertiser’s site.
  • Reach searchers more often.
    • Instead of just messaging searchers once on a SERP page when they search, reach them up to 200 times per month as they show up on sites served by SSPs and/or Exchanges.
    • monitors approximately 80 Billion impressions per month (30K+ per second), so there is plenty of scale for most categories.
  • Reach searchers more effectively.
    • Deliver your message to searchers using flash or static banners, instead of simple text ads.
  • Target competitive and branded terms.
    • Target searchers who searched on competitive brands and terms in a way that many search campaigns cannot.
  • Generate more branded and lower funnel search volume.
    • Keyword Targeted Display allows search marketers to economically reach large numbers of searchers on broad, upper funnel search terms (eg, “car insurance”).
    • These types of terms, which are typically expensive in search campaigns, are critical as they drive lower traffic to lower funnel, lower cost, more specific terms later in the purchase cycle.
  • Achieve lower CPCs.
    • In many segments, CPCs achieved in Keyword Targeted Display are significantly below search CPCs.
  • Access more budget.
    • Keyword Targeted Display is a great entry point for search marketers to expand their relationships (and budgets!) with their clients.

I’m sure I missed something, but that’s about it for now. Holler if you have questions!

Frost Prioleau, CEO