SEMpdx SearchFest 2013 Mini-Interview: Adam Berke

Todd Mintz

Adam Berke will be speaking at the “Facebook Advertising” session at SearchFest 2013 which will be taking place on February 22, 2013 at the Governor Hotel in Portland, Oregon. For more information or to purchase tickets, please click the following link.

1) Please give us your background and let us know what you do for a living.
As President of AdRoll, I lead the Business Development, Marketing, and Customer Delight teams, as well as evangelize performance display advertising, specifically retargeting, at conferences, expos and panels across the nation. In these functions, I work directly with many of our advertisers, ensuring that our product keeps up with their ever evolving needs while delivering the highest possible return on investment.

Before AdRoll, I helped launch the CPL network with Aptimus, a publicly-traded ad network acquired by the Apollo Group. During my four years there, I took leadership roles in almost every department: Business Development, Advertiser Operations, and Product Manager. In addition to my experience in the online advertising space, I have a background in statistics and was part of the Six Sigma program at Philips Electronics.

I received my B.A. in Economics from John Hopkins University and studied econometrics at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

2) Why should a company choose a non-Google Retargeting Solution?
I could write a small novel on the subject, but will keep it short and sweet: reach, performance, and customer service. Using AdRoll, advertisers can serve their ads on over 60 ad exchanges and networks, ensuring their ads get the best coverage by the most qualified audience. For example, we were one of the first tech companies invited to the Facebook Exchange (FBX) alpha and beta programs, the hottest development in the online advertising space in 2012 – something an advertiser is not going to get by going through Google.

This reach gives us the ability to cherry-pick the best performing sites across the web, instead of just taking the good and the bad from one exchange, allowing us to maximize campaign performance. Retargeting is our bread and butter, not just another tangential business foray, and we aim to get the most for our customers.

Lastly, in our line of work, high-quality customer service is key. We have seasoned, vertical-specific account managers ready to build and optimize campaigns, and an amazing Customer Delight team available to answer any general questions. It is with our focus on our customers that we’ve developed an extremely easy-to-use and feature-rich dashboard and products for nearly any want (ie. personalized dynamic creative ads, LiquidAds, across regular and FBX retargeting campaigns).

3) There are many companies in the Retargeting space. How should a business evaluate which is best for their needs?

The following considerations/questions are a great start when evaluating which retargeting platform is best for an advertiser’s business. Contact a few and try them out – see how they actually stack up!

Technology: Does the company own and innovate it’s own technology (ie. real-time bidders, cookie warehouse, etc) and have their own seat on an the ad exchanges? Or, does it license its DSP technology from another company?
Reputation: What kinds of companies does it usually work with (ie. is my business size/model well represented)? Does it have a long-standing history of success?
Pricing Model: Is the pricing model transparent, or are there additional fees and performance arbitrage? Will I be able to see the actual CPM clearing prices and know the actual media spend? Are there minimum spend requirements?
Transparency: What metrics/reporting do I get to see (ie. on what sites are my ads showing and what am I paying for each)?
Flexibility: Are there contracts needed to set up my account/retargeting campaigns? Do I have the ability to start/stop campaigns (ie. create short-lived/flight campaigns for special initiatives like holidays)? Can I run my own creative, or influence the creative designed for me?
Optimization: Is there a custom optimization strategy (ie. with what levers can I optimize my account: lowest-priced clicks, incremental lift, new customers v. old, etc.)?
Customer Service: Is your company’s platform self-service or is there an account management team to help if I get stuck? Is the latter tied to a specific level of spend?

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