Remember the days when you could turn on Google Ads, and the customers would come flowing in the door? Those days are gone, and Lewis Rothkopf walks us through techniques and ways to spend smart and measure often.
Lewis has led global businesses and revenue lines at the world’s foremost marketing, ad tech, and media companies. Lewis has contributed to the demand-side global inventory supply chain, as well as mobile, video, and advanced TV, streaming audio, digital out-of-home (DOOH), social, and emerging channels businesses.
Brent Peterson and Lewis Rothkopf discuss the digital advertising industry from the lens of a veteran digital marketer. Rothkopf’s innate interest in this niche started at a very young age. He exerted all efforts to learn the processes and metrics on how marketers measure success in this field, including artificial intelligence (AI) and media buying. Enjoy this episode and gain insights into digital marketing and advertising that is not just from the book.
Stay tuned and enjoy this Talk Commerce episode.
A notable quote from this podcast:
“So there’s no machine to learn, and then take those learnings and turn them into better outcomes. So AI is becoming more and more entrenched in everything that we do. It’s just more often called machine learning. And, you know, we do it, I’d have to imagine that all of our competitors do it. But it’s the sort of thing that can make better decisions quicker than humans. So yeah, you got to get on board with that.”
Our guest today is Lewis Rothkopf, CEO of Martin.ai, a demand-side platform (DSP). It is a media buying platform for marketers.
Here, Lewis discusses the idea of digital advertising from its primitive days until today, when AI is already making noticeable progress in the industry.
Gain useful insights on how the advertising industry has changed over time, including how marketers measure campaign performance’s success in the past until now. Look at the optimization efforts that can be done these days to maximize the results of any digital advertising campaign.
[2:18] – How do marketers measure success? (Click Through Rate, Cost Per Action)
[6:06] – The Technicalities
[11:46] – The Budgeting Scheme
[14:05] – How does Google rule the digital advertising industry?
[16:44] – The Industry’s Changes: Explained
[26:48] – The Role of Martin.AI
[35:01] – Artificial Intelligence in Digital Advertising
Ideas/Quotes by Lewis Rothkopf
- In truth, I’ve been in the space, as Brent mentioned, for 23 years. I started at the beginning of digital advertising at a company called double click, which was subsequently bought by Google. I’ve seen it all I’ve seen what works, I’ve seen what doesn’t work. And it’s really been my mission for the last six or seven years to fix the industry. I began by trying to fix it during most of my career on the sell side of that is people who are selling advertising. And you know, not surprisingly, if you really want to fix things, you have to be on the buy side, which is the people who have budgets to spend money on advertising, because of course, those who have the budgets are those who can really help dictate a better and stronger and more accountable industry.
- So in the very beginning of digital marketing, marketers measured the success of their campaigns by click-through rate, right, so an ad is displayed, the user a consumer clicks on the ad, and a number of times, and that n number over the number of impressions is your click-through rate 23 years ago, that was really the best measure that was used, there’s only the only measure that was used. But that was a really long time ago. And so things haven’t changed, marketers are still measuring their success by things like click-through rate, they’re also measuring by things like views through so how many people sat and watched a video ad to completion. And if that video complete rate is high, then the marketer goes home happy, except maybe they sat there and watched the whole video, or maybe they were in a different browser tab, or maybe they were in the bathroom, or maybe they were in the kitchen getting a snack. And so that’s not a great measure, either, where you start to get a bit more excited is something called CPA cost per action.
- Look, we’re a small company martin.ai, we have a dedicated group of engineers and data scientists who are willing and excited to help you, I mentioned that we’re a small company because we help in many cases, midsize agencies and mid-sized marketers punch above their weight, right companies that don’t have an army of data scientists in the house to do all this measurement and all this optimization that we talked about, they can do it with us, and they are doing it with us.
Brent: Welcome to this episode of Talk Commerce. Today. I have Lewis Rothkopf. He is the precedent of Martin DSP. He is a digital media veteran with more than 23 years of experience in the space. And the funny part is Lewis was just telling me that he’s twenty-five years old. Lewis, why don’t you go ahead, introduce yourself, and do a better job than I did. Tell us what you do in your day-to-day life and maybe one of your patterns.
Lewis: Thanks for having me. Your note that I’m twenty-five years old is absolutely accurate. I began working in digital advertising when I was a fetus, and that’s why it all sort of worked out so well. I also want to compliment you on getting the name right on the first try. Rothkopf means redhead in German. And if this were a video podcast, you would see that I do not have any red hair. So I’ve begun with my name being a lie. In truth, I’ve been in this space, as Brent mentioned, for 23 years, and I started all the way. Back in the very beginning of digital advertising at a company called DoubleClick, which was subsequently bought by Google.I’ve seen it all. I’ve seen what works. I’ve seen what doesn’t work. And it’s really been my mission for the last six or seven years to fix the industry. I began by trying to fix it during most of my career on the sell-side,
Brent: I think the idea of marketing has been out for a long time. And then the idea of measuring what your marketing has been out, you should always try to measure it. And I think the reality is that most people doing marketing aren’t measuring at all what they’re doing. I know that we talked a little bit in the green room about your approach to measuring the marketing and what that means to the person that is spending the money on marketing and how that really helps them, and maybe go into some of what we were talking about where it hasn’t, you know, things are changing in the digital market.
Lewis: Yeah. Great point. So in the very beginning of digital marketing, marketers measured the success of their campaigns by click-through rate, right? So an ad has displayed a user, a consumer clicks on the ad and number of times, and that N number over the number of impressions is your click-through rate. Twenty-three years ago, that was really the best measure that was used. There was only the only measure that was used. But that was a really long time ago. And so things haven’t changed. Marketers are still measuring their success by things like click-through rate. They also measure by things like view-through, so how many people sat and watched a video ad to completion? And if that video complete rate is high, then the marketer goes home happy except. Maybe they sat there and watched the whole video, or maybe they were in a different browser tab, or maybe they were in the bathroom, or maybe they were in the kitchen getting a snack. And so that’s not a great measure either. Where you start to get a bit more excited is something called CPA cost per action. And that is the cost that is imputed from the number of times that a consumer sees an ad. And then it takes the action that action can be buying a product or signing up for a lead gen form on a website or really anything. And while that is eons better than click-through rate, it’s still problematic. And the reason for that is a cost per action fails to separate users who saw an ad, comma, and took the action, so I know I’m going to go out and buy a pair of Nike sneakers.For instance, I see a bunch of Nike ads, and then I go and buy the Nike sneakers, but I was going to go buy those sneakers regardless of whether or not I saw the ad versus somebody who knew they were going to buy sneakers, saw the ad for Nike’s. These are super awesome. And they went out and bought the Nike’s because they saw the ad. And so that relationship between people who saw the ad and then people who bought the product because of the ad is called incremental lift. As opposed to CPA, which only tells you how many people saw the ad, comma, and how many people bought the product. So you’re giving credit to wherever you’re running that advertising as a marketer for people who would have been your customers anyhow. And so I think that’s crazy. We believe I believe that in order for measurement and optimization to be accurate, it has to be. Otherwise,
Brent: That’s a great point. And taking on a real-life example, Nike has a, and I’m a runner. So Nike has a type of running shoe called vapor fly that every single one of the major marathon winners are wearing. However, I guess there is a whole community of people that talk about those and then use them. I think at some point somebody’s going to buy them, but you write it. How do you determine, was it me who saw the ad for vapor fly, or was it me that I saw the race where I see every single runner wearing them or the winners wearing them? Like, how do you make that connection? That’s where you’re getting to?
Lewis: Yeah, it is. And another great point you just made. So I’ll dive ever so slightly into the technical aspect of it, but I promise I won’t go too far. We use a technology at our company called ghost beads. We didn’t invent it. It’s been used by many marketers. But it avoids much of the noise and much of the false positives that are associated with the older forms of measurement like CPA. And so you use these anonymous unique identifiers to create a statistically significant and accurate model of people who were shown the ad and took action because of it. But then critically, you use a statistical model to not show the ad to a holdout group. So think about it like the random control trials that pharmaceutical companies used to understand placebo versus effect and safety of medication. Now, to be clear, we are not saving lives here. This is digital advertising. Everybody goes home alive. And so let me stop the patting ourselves on our back too much. But the difference there is you now understand the Delta between those who saw it and those who took action because they saw it. How do we do it in the case of online sales or being driven to a website where that’s the marketer’s KPIs. It’s always on. It’s built into our platform. We do it by default, and we highly recommend to our customers that they measure that way. If your KPI is brand lift or brand sentiment, if you’re a brand advertiser running a branding campaign, Then we work with a survey vendor that similarly has a control group and a holdout group. If your measure is real-world traffic, so football, we work with a partner that does football analysis and understands test group hold out-group, et cetera. So long answer to your short question is it’s not enough to say, Hey, I think we should be figuring out causation it’s. I think we should be figured out causation. And now, what’s the best way to measure that to the KPI that I want to achieve.
Brent: Okay. That’s very interesting. At the top level, you’re sir, you’re doing some broad surveys to determine what is the group doing, and then you have, do you have it different levels that you’ll break down those statistics as it go through. How does that work? So in a break it down a little bit,
Lewis: We work with a great company called lucid which is our default partner for serving they’re built into our platform. They’re really good at what they do. And then they have the statistical models to run against their panel of consumers who’ve seen the ad versus not seen the ad and then they derive statistical significance of Whether it had enough responders, whether there were enough impressions that were delivered in order to achieve stat SIG. And then based upon all those inputs were able to understand causation, unlike in some of the older models you do have that delineation between actions taken because of versus noise. And let me explain a bit what I mean by that? A way of AB testing, the effectiveness of a campaign that is still in use by marketers is DMA based. So I’m going to show this ad to people in these designated market areas. And I’m going to show the same ad to people in these designated market areas and I’m going to work really hard to ensure that the DMA audience population. Is similar. So roughly same number of people, roughly same demographic makeup, roughly similar DMA size. The problem is it doesn’t work. Because there are all these exogenous factors that come into play when you’re using geographic differentiation, what did the consumer in one DMA here on the radio that made them take an action. What stores are located in these DMAs? What TV commercials did they see what’s with road traffic in the area that will lead people to either go to a store or say, you know, what to hell with it? You know, this was my first choice of product, but I’m not going to sit on the 4 0 5 for an hour. So I’m just going to go buy this other thing. And so while it’s a sound idea it’s really imperfect because a lot of the noise that’s injected in. We look to figure out and to be clear, like with any model there’s going to be noise. So the objective here is not no noise. You know, this vaccine is safe and effective 99% of the time. Again, it’s digital advertising. We’re not saving lives here. We don’t necessarily strive for 99 and, you know, five nines statistical accuracy, but we try to get really close. And noise is definitely a thing, but it is much less of a thing than with some of the older models, even models that are better than doing silly things like measuring a click-through rate. They still do have some noise and we are on a mission as an industry. To get the noise out and really help marketers understand cause what’s worse. So you measure a campaign and imperfect way you get your report. That’s bad enough because now you don’t know if or where or why your marketing is working. But you double down on those results and you optimize towards stuff that is irrelevant. And so you create this vicious cycle of garbage data in garbage outputs, and you may feel good about the clicks you see on a thing, but is it really moving your shampoo off the shelf? I dunno, it’s not knowable unless you measure this stuff correctly.
Brent: You’ve talked about some larger things here is this apply to just big brands or can this filter down to medium size and even the mom and pop shops?
Lewis: Absolutely. I think, look, I think it’s more important for smaller marketers, because their budgets tend to be limited. Like you don’t want the pizza place. We stick their money. Like you just don’t. It works at all stages of the. So whether it’s a brand advertiser and looking to generate awareness, or it’s a direct response advertisers looking to create, I don’t know lead gen or an online purchase it works at all levels and it’s important at all levels, right? Like again, think about the pizza place example. Did someone come in and buy a slice because they’re like, oh man, Pizza sounds really good. This ad was shown to me at exactly the right time and the cheese is bubbling and it’s awesome. Or did they see that ad as they were already on their way out the door to go to Brent’s pizza place? Brent’s pizza place does not have a lot of money to waste. And so it’s really important for them to understand what’s working and double down on it, as opposed to we call it spray and pray where. Sure. Close your eyes and cast a really big net and hope to, you know, DD of your choice that it’s going to work.
Brent: Yeah. And I can guarantee that nobody’s going to go to Brent Peterson’s pizza place and look for a Swedish meatball pizza. You know, I think it’s one of the interesting things here. If you look back like 20 years ago, I can remember that at the time you could spend money on Google ad words, and it was like a faucet. You just started doing Google ad words, and suddenly you’re getting a ton of leads right now, 20 years later. It’s not the case anymore. And I think you make a really good point about wasting your money and the novice person who’s logging into Google ad-words thinks still. Hey, if I’m going to throw $5,000 or $10,000 at this, I’ll get that in return, but double or triple fold. And in lead quality, even maybe talk about the. The flaws in just throwing that money at Google ad-words for the your pizza place and your Lewisredhead pizza place. And that how maybe thinking more about how that works for that consumer and for the for the person doing the marketing helps them.
Lewis: So look, I mean, Google’s a great business. You’re absolutely right. Like you turn it on and you see search is great. Nobody can debate that. But search is really good for lower funnel, right? Like you’re searching for sneakers. Just, you already know you’re going to buy sneakers. It’s what happens when you don’t already know that you’re going to buy sneakers? You know, you see an ad for for Brooks running, for instance, or you see an ad for Nike or seen an ad for Reebok. Mainly those are pretty fly shoes. Like I could really use a new pair of sneakers, like hell yeah. And then you see the ad the second time and you’re like, oh man, my sneakers suck. I could really use some new sneakers. And then you see the ad the third time and you’re like, oh, F it like, not only do I want sneakers, I want Nike sneakers. I want Brookes sneakers. I want Reeboks Adidas, sneakers. And now. Okay, cool. Let me search for Nike sneakers and then, you know what the search people do a good job. They click on the link and all as well, or they just go to nike.com or they just go to Brooks or reebok.com. And they buy the sneakers now, should search get the credit when the consumer already knew they were going to buy the sneakers by virtue of having seen the ad for a sneaker brand. You know, another example is brand sentiment. So let’s say your brand doesn’t have the greatest reputation, or not even something so extreme. You’re known as a brand for Swedish meatball pizza place, but you’re like, That’s not all we do. Like we also have Turkey. And so you want to change, these examples are terrible. I’m so sorry. You want to change the public’s perception that we’re not just a Swedish meatball pizza place. We’re actually a Turkey place. And so getting at Turkey tacos exactly. And tacos. So get it the really early in the funnel. And then get a survey that says, Hey, did you, the Brent sells pizza? Yes, of course. That’s sort of your you know, baseline question, but did you also know that Brent sells Swedish meatballs? Oh man I didn’t before, but I do now. And that’s how you measure lift really high in the funnel.
Brent: You know, another thing as a conception for a smaller, medium sized business too, is they have this pool of budget money they want to spend. And they devote all that money to Google ad words. They don’t think about this bigger brand and where they should be putting some of that money. Maybe talk a little bit about how some of that should be spaced out for your ad spend and what type spends you’re going to go after it’s
Lewis: such an easy oversight,. Right because to your point 20 years ago, you turn on the spigot and boom it’s money and it’s not that it’s not boom it’s money today. It’s that consumers have way more choices than ever. And you have this notion of DTC direct to consumer, which really was way less of a thing 20 years ago. And so at that point in time, it was just about I am searching for sneakers. And you know, here’s the only place I’m really going to see it relevant sneaker ad because. Real relevance only comes from the search signal. So Lewis search for sake first for sneakers. And so I’m going to put them in a bucket of people that like sneakers and I’m gonna show them a bunch of sneaker ads. But I like other things too. And I do other things too, and I have my own preconceived notions about which brands are better or even which you know which model is better within a brand. And so when you buttress your lower funnel campaigns with upper funnel brand awareness brand sentiment, as we talked about a moment ago and then understand the brands lift will now you’ve come much closer to solving that classic Wanamaker problem of, I know half of my advertising works, but I don’t know which half, like you can keep targeting that unknown 50% by using only a lower funnel tactics, which is fine, or you can make the pie bigger and get a bit more precise on how much of your target audience you’re reaching effectively by way of your advertising and then optimize like quickly do this stuff in real time. If you sit around, run a campaign and then get a lift report a month after the campaign what do you do? Like that money is spent, you’re not going to get it back. And so all you could hope to do is get it right the next time. Versus if you’re measuring this stuff in flight, you could make the changes right away and double down on what works and pull back on what doesn’t.
Brent: I did an interview a couple of weeks ago with the guy from the Netherlands. Who’s really big into conversion optimization. And he gave the example of booking.com and how booking.com has been a big proponent of AB testing and conversion testing and all that fun stuff. And he gave the statistic of, they have 10% win rates on their hypothesis or their tests. Which leads to say that then they continue to do it. And booking.com is a pretty big company. The idea of the merchant and what they should expect in some of these metrics and then how do they see success after that? Especially if you hire a company to do conversion optimization. And they say, well, 10% of our tests are good. How do you as a marketer, how do you translate that to the merchant? No, this is really successful.
Lewis: Yeah, exactly. So which channel. That’s awesome that you’ve got 10%, like that’s more than awesome, that’s incredible. But how much of that was caused by the advertising versus coincidental to the advertising? Like you got to know what the, and 10% is and who they are so that you can reach more of them or, similar to a drug trial where it’s just not working and you’re running the risk of hurting people just to stop. Just stop And regroup. And there’s a whole bunch of factors that go into conversion and going to ad effectiveness. One that is very overlooked so much of the time, and it’s pretty surprising is. Like at the end of the day, like you, you’ve got to have creative that resonates with the consumer. And so almost all the time when a campaign is not doing well on a particular publisher or a group of publishers, the marketer, or the agency will pull that publisher off. Cause they’ll say, you know what? Your audience sucks. They don’t click on anything. They don’t convert. It’s probably the wrong people. And so they pull the ads away from that audience. Then they do the same thing with other sites and you know, this is how much optimization runs today. However, Your creative is terrible. Like it’s ugly. No, one’s going to click on it. Nobody wants to see more or it’s obnoxious, you know, you load the page and then you get this like sound on auto start video and it pisses the consumer off. Like you got to remember that all the marketing science-y stuff, that’s smarter people than I love to talk about is so important. But creative is really important too. So if you’re getting 10% resonance on a campaign, you know, sort of statistically, that’s great, but how much more resonance would you get if you tested multiple varying variables within the creative, right? If you dynamically optimize creative based upon what you know about the context and the anonymous attributes of that user. Will you just by so doing, you’re already speaking in much clearer and more appropriate language to your target customer.
Brent: I think oftentimes, especially as your budget gets smaller, creative gets almost non-existent right. They think that tech stack is going to be, what’s going to sell them. And you’re exactly right. How important creativity can be and how I can think of a brand called the Geek Squad. I, the Geek Squad started in Minneapolis. And the owner drove around Simcas and had all kinds of old-fashioned cars that he drove around and did repairs. And then all of a sudden Best Buy bought them. They’ve kept some of that creative but he started that business on this little creative notion of getting better service and more innovative support for your computer needs. And now suddenly it’s doing everything everywhere in the country. You know, I think a lot of, again, going back to creative, a lot of smaller merchants look at creative, even medium-sized merchants, they don’t, they forget about creative. They just think. I like your idea of the hitting the shotgun, trying to hit everything at once, and then hopefully something sticks.
Lewis: You’re a small advertiser, you’ve got a small target audience. You got to reach them and you don’t really have a budget to hire a, you know, top 50 creative shops. You can go on to Fiverr, right? You can go on to, you know, any talent marketplace and find somebody fantastic and tell them here’s what I’m trying to communicate. I don’t know the first thing about, you know, creative or brand marketing, but just do something that is going to result in the consumer being inspired, to take any action based upon it. Do at least that and do it in a way that the ad is not like repulsive or offensive by being so obnoxious to the user. And I can almost guarantee you that with better creativity comes better outcomes.
Brent: Sometimes it’s noxious to the user. It works, but not very often. So really quick, a B to B, I know you’ve mentioned, I think a lot of these things apply directly to D to C, but B2B is such a huge market. And I think a lot of those, a lot of the people that are on B2B are what’s called legacy. Pre sometimes pre-internet users, even a B2B marketing is kinda hitting its stride now. Does a lot of the supply to B2B?
Lewis: Yeah. So we have one B2B client. We’re hoping to bring another one in soon. It’s re you’ve dealt it, right? It’s very important that you reach the right consumer and in the world of B2B, the Target’s just smaller, right? Unless you happen to be a massive solutions provider or you sell products to, you know, every store owner, every business owner in the world, which let’s face it is not many. Then you’ve got to make sure that you’re reaching the right people. So examples of that would-be doctors in hospitals lawyers in law practices, maybe not even while they’re at home, maybe only when they’re in the practice or they’re in the hospital because they’re in the mode of. I don’t know, boy, these syringes are really terrible. I would love to find a place to buy new and better syringes. So what does that mean in terms of nuts and bolts? Budgets, probably going to be much smaller because there are just fewer doctors in hospitals to reach than there are sneaker aficionados. And so you have less to screw up with, right? Like getting it wrong from a targeting and creative perspective or a measurement perspective when your audience is, you know, 20 million consumers are like, you got a little runway here, you’ve got sort of statistic probability of some of it working somewhere just by virtue of the large numbers. But if you’re trying to reach 500,000 doctors in hospitals who want to buy those new syringes. You can’t screw up from the get-go. Like you have to make sure that you’re getting it right. And if you’re not getting it right again, have those results available to you in real-time so that you can titrate up or down based upon how the campaign is performing tweak, tweak the creative, but absolutely this certainly applies to B2B marketers. You’re just targeting a different mindset. And so the demographics, the psychographics, the geography, right? So remember. You’re able through the use of, you know, a handful of partners to draw these squares or around a map. And, you know, maybe the one square you want to draw is this hospital and that hospital. And just by virtue of doing that, we’ll now you’re able to understand what the footfall is based upon the advertising that you’re running. And a pretty, pretty good sense that you’re targeting the right individual.
Brent: So if maybe just walk us through, if somebody has some interest in free-thinking how do they talk to you about this and how do you start that conversation? So you can reach out to us and let’s not make it an advertisement, but I think this is super interesting.
Lewis: Yes. We like to help people you go to martin.ai and you see. You know, Lewis sounded really interesting or he sounded like a moron, but what he was talking about was interesting. And the first question we asked, both prospective customers and existing customers, when they want to launch a new campaign is like, what do you want to do? Like do you want to get people to come to a physical location? Do you want people to buy things online? You know, like what’s your objective here? And then we say, who’s your audience. Then we say, how much are you looking to spend? Because that absolutely dictates how much of it you’re doing, but what it should not dictate is quality. So if you come to me or any of our competitors with a $5,000 budget you should get as high-quality properties that you advertise on. And as. Quality results as those that come to us with a $50 million budget. However, what you might struggle with a little bit is achieving statistical significance in measurement studies. So for things like visits to a website or, you know, online dr type metrics or sales online, it’s pretty easy. If you’re looking to do brand sentiment, measurement, footfall measurement, you’re probably gonna have to spend a bit more than 5,000 bucks in order. To achieve stat SIG and take some real learnings from the situation. But again, like we’re happy to help folks succeed. They have to have a good understanding of what good looks like to them. And then we can help them take it from there. And whether that goal is sales, you know, foot fall sentiment we can help tune.
Brent: People have to wake up and realize as well, is that because the market is so small. I’ll talk about hosting companies. Hosting companies tend to have a small market, but they tend to spend a lot of money to acquire a customer. So whether they’re using a LinkedIn ad or they’re using a Google ad or whatever they’re using that specific ad rate is going to be a lot higher than another industry, especially if you’re talking B2B like this, and a lot of times. I hear from inexperienced b2B owners that don’t understand some of this digital and looking back at some of the legacy B2B, where they’ve always relied on a call center to take their sales. And it goes right in another ERP and they’ve skipped the website completely. Suddenly. It was. W let’s look at their website, and let’s try to acquire some customers. They don’t necessarily equate how much it costs to acquire that customer for that voice. There’s a person that’s making outbound calls. There’s a whole cycle to that. I think one thing that we were saying, or you’re saying here is that there’s this bigger picture that most owners have to see entrepreneurs, whoever it is that’s spending the ultimate check has to see that the cost to acquire this customer is going to be. Somewhat similar if you’re going strictly digital as if you’re going analog over the phone.
Lewis: Yeah. And targeting it’s just so much more precise and it’s so much more efficient to execute via programmatic pipes and right. Digital pipes than it is via, you know, the old, like sending an IO back and forth, you know, using your fax machine, some of the, getting it right stuff for B2B. Is super unintuitive, right? So you know, you spend enough time in this stuff and you start to draw some really interesting correlations things. Like people I’m only making it up. People who are in market for a luxury auto are substantially more likely they over-index on people who like chocolate chip cookies, okay. You’ll never know that before you run a campaign. And the other thing is it doesn’t matter. Just because you can know something doesn’t mean that it makes sense for you to exercise, right? However some targeting is super intuitive. You are a hosting company and you want to reach IT professionals. You want to reach only CTOs. And so we run a digital campaign that runs on a streaming audio channel. You can buy. You know, radio programmatically that is of particular interest to CTOs or buy a podcast spot on, you know, the CTOs who drive to work in San Francisco podcast, right? Podcasts are the new magazines they allow for super precision targeting. It is a misconception that you can only do that by picking up the phone and calling the podcast. It’s just not the case. There are multiple avenues today to be able to run programmatically in audio and the holy grail of all of this is reaching consumers and businesses. In the case of B2B cross-channel. I’m a doctor in a hospital and, you know, I’m looking up new syringes on my hospital computer. And so I see the app, Benny, get into my car and I’m listening to the, you know, doctors who need syringes podcast. And all of a sudden I hear whoa, that’s the same ad. I just heard. That I saw back when I was in the hospital and then they get home and they’re watching, you know, connected TV. They’re watching a program on-demand and they see that ad for that syringe company. And it’s oh my God. They know exactly what I care about. Isn’t that awesome. And you know, you do have to be a little careful not to be creepy about it. You do have to be careful to make sure that you’re not targeting. Individuals because that’s gross and contrary in most cases to industry rules and best practices. But if you’re targeting a group of anonymous consumers, anonymous business owners, and you’re surrounding them with high-quality advertising, well, now you just replicated in, in many senses, the most effective historical analog campaigns. And you’ve done so in a way that it’s pretty efficient.
Brent: If so, looking ahead into 2022 now what is the thing that a merchant who’s going to spend some money on advertising should be looking at? Is there a trend that you see coming testing?
Lewis: Test and learn like experiments only work when you experiment with them. Don’t go in with preconceived notions, right? Like you’re a very smart person. I promise you, you don’t know everything about how your campaigns are going to resonate. So again, some of these things are really intuitive. Most of them are not. And so don’t be afraid to experiment with creative, with targeting with, you know, all the different apps with. With the kinds of sites or apps or radio shows that you want to get on or connected TV channels. Don’t be afraid to give all this stuff a try and don’t be afraid to give it a try with a modest budget like you may not reach stats SIG on a $5,000 budget, but you may start to get some inklings that would lead you to move budget away from something else in, into this. And for the love of God, like don’t optimized to stupid old things like just don’t optimize to CTR. Don’t optimize to, well, I have $5,000. I want to spend $5,000. So let me just let the supply source run this thing for $5,000 worth and like sure enough, that’s going to lead to success, right? No, don’t do that. Be scientific about that and work with companies that are willing and ready to help you by making data scientists available and saying, this is your campaign, these are your results. But did you know that if you just tweaked the creative like this, or if you just increased your bid amount by 10 cents, you’d be able to win over this whole additional audience that is square within your strike zone? You gotta work with people that are willing to tell you that.
Brent: I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there. So one last question while we close out here, where do you think AI is going to bring us into this next realm? And how much of a play do you think it has? Certainly, it’s making a play in the smaller portions of marketing, but do you think some of these bigger things are going to be controlled by algorithms rather than just by people?
Lewis: Great question. The exciting and challenging thing about that question is everyone defines AI differently, right? Like the buzzword of AI. Is probably a bit better replaced with algorithmic machine learning. You know, at our company, we have algorithms that can be customized based upon things we know from the advertiser and things we know about the user. And that helps inform how much we bid on a particular impression opportunity. I think if you’re not doing something like that in 2022. Where can’t you do that? You can’t do that in analog at all. Like you just can’t you’re buying a page or you’re buying time or you’re buying like, you know, a column of a newspaper. But there’s no impact from who’s reading that newspaper or, you know, who is my target within that newspaper readership. There’s no feedback loop there. And so there’s no machine to learn and then take those learnings and turn them into better outcomes. So AI is becoming more and more entrenched in everything that we do. It’s just more often called machine learning and, you know, We do it. I’d have to imagine that all of our competitors do it. But it’s the sort of thing that is able to make better decisions quicker than human. So yeah, you got to get on board with that.
Brent: And the important part there is machine learning because you know, part of this, everybody does have something they’re calling AI. And if it doesn’t learn from your mistakes, it’s not really AI. It’s just automation. And I’ll just give my last little clothes out. I been trying some of these Jarvis style services and it wasn’t Jarvis that I tried, but it writes, you know, an article for you or whatever that thing is. And as many times as you put it in, it’s going to give you the same thing back out and there’s no way to tell it. It did it wrong. And I remember I tried to do it just to summarize a podcast and it made up all this stuff about a guy that he did, this stuff wasn’t even real, but it gave me a, you know, five, five paragraphs of content. That was completely wrong. I couldn’t use any of it. It gave me some bullet points that were good. The content within that bullet point was completely wrong. And the point of this is that it was automating it, but there’s no way to tell it. No, this was completely wrong. And here’s why in order to make machine learning work, it has, you have to have, you have to tell the machine. When it’s done something wrong so it can learn that’s my little soapbox complaint. So apologize for throwing that in. As we close out, every episode I give you a chance to do a shameless plug about anything you’d like to plug today.
Lewis: Yeah. So Lewis, what would you write to him? Always full of shame in my life. So I will try to be shameless. Look, we’re a small company. Martin.ai. We have dedicated groups of engineers and data scientists who are willing and excited to help you. I mentioned that we’re a small company because we help in many cases mid-size agencies and midsize marketers punch above their weight. Right companies that don’t have an army of data scientists in-house to do all this measurement and all this optimization that we talk about, they can do it with us and they are doing it with us. And, you know, as a smaller company ourselves, we’re super, super proud of being able to help marketers again at all stages of the funnel and all up and down in terms of size and scope. And I guess the shameless part of this is. We’re really the only platform that we’re aware of that has a built-in incrementality measurement, always on. So in real-time is your thing working. And if it is to go back to your immediately proceeding point, like feed that knowledge back into the algorithm, and pretty quickly you’ll start to learn.
Okay. People who come from making this up Chrome web browsers are more likely to resonate with this particular type of campaign. And so bid more for consumers that are in Chrome web browsers and, you know, to close it out if you’re not measuring the right thing, you’re telling the algorithm the wrong thing, and it’s just going to be an amplification of bad decisions.
Brent: And I think those bids for the IE6 users are pretty low Lewis Rothkopf. Thank you so much for being here. As Lewis is the president of Martin DSP, martin.ai is the place where you can find him. I will post a show notes. Thank you so much. It’s been
Lewis: I really enjoyed this. Thanks for having me on.