Posts Tagged ‘Oded Itzhak’

At CRS: a Q&A with Oded Itzhak of AdSide

October 31, 2009

Oded Itzhak AdsideAs part of the run-up to the Context Revenue Strategies conference this week (on Thursday, October 5th only and FKA AdSpace at last Spring’s adTech in San Francisco), we’ll be running some terrific Q&A with some of the panelists from the CRS kick-off panel “The State of Content Advertising: The Players, The Options, The Best Practices” at 9am on Thursday, November 5th.

Today, here is a Q&A between panelist Oded Itzhak, Founder and CEO of AdSide and moderator Jay Sears, EVP at ContextWeb, Inc and the ADSDAQ Exchange.

Your Name: Oded Itzhak

Your Job: Founder and CEO of DOCLIX – Operator of the AdSide advertising network for premium publishers and advertisers.

Your Company: AdSide is a premium pay-per-click ad network, serving tier-1 content publishers, advertisers and media agencies. The network delivers highly-targeted text ads within a controlled environment of pre-screened content sites.

AdSide’s Two-Step ClickTM model ensures advertisers pay only for twice-qualified clicks, and only from high-performing sites. Advertisers benefit from a powerful combination of qualified leads, premium sources of traffic, flexible targeting, and ad placement control – at optimal price points. Customers are top-50 and regional interactive agencies, performance advertisers and large brand publishers.

It used to be contextual advertising was the “step child” of search, living in its shadow. It finally seems to be coming into its own. Do you agree or disagree and what are the macro forces contributing to this shift?

Contextual Advertising started as an extension to SEM, allowing search engines to display paid listings on content pages using keyword-based relevancy algorithms. In recent years we’ve been seeing content-targeting evolving beyond the keyword and taking a separate path from search. Today marketers can place text-based CPC ads while also taking into account the demographics traits and interests of their target audience, making targeting a more accurate process.

Why does content and context matter?

Content and context are indicative of the users’ interests and state of mind when they click on an ad. This benefits both the advertisers and the publishers. Advertisers benefit from higher conversion rates and publishers from a higher CTR.

How does behavioral and demographic targeting tie in with content and context? Or does it? Mutually exclusive or best used together?

I believe that demographic and behavioral targeting make more sense with certain types of content where a pure keyword-based contextual algorithm might not work so well. For example, on content pages such as a news article about a car accident, where a pure algorithmic model could lead to ads like: “Get your degree in car accidents.”

The Long Tail and media fragmentation. More than 80% of Internet sessions start with search-the advertiser’s customer is now everywhere. Adsense has one million publishers carrying its ad tags. How do you compete in the Long Tail and against an installed based such as Adsense?

Long tail provides great reach but might not offer a good fit for some marketers. For example, marketers that look for a brand-safe environment should rethink long-tail. Other problems associate with long-tail include click fraud, accidental clicks, lack of transparency and the lack of ability to optimize on a per site basis, concerns that are less of an issue with premier, large sites .

Site targeting. When you move into the Long Tail (or even past the top 1,000 or 2,000 publishers), can site targeting deliver scalable solutions to advertisers? Is content a better answer because it is a common currency across all web pages?

I believe that it’s impractical to manage site- (or placement) targeting with a long list of long-tail sites. Beyond the premium or well-known mid-tier list of sites, content targeting is better accomplished on a category level, allowing advertisers to place ads across a large number of sites that cater to users with similar interests and demographic traits.

Keyword vs. category targeting. Keywords are the holy grail of search. But are keywords effective in content targeting? Are they a destructive vestige of search-too granular or sometimes out of context to be impactful for content targeting? Is category targeting the answer?

Category-based targeting is an effective subset of contextual targeting. It allows advertisers to reach audiences on their go-to websites, and deeper within the same demographics – beyond what is accessible through keyword targeting.

Pricing Models. CPM. CPC. CPA. Cost Per Whatever-engagement, order-Cost Per Flowbee. Is this the direction we are headed? Good or bad?

CPA is a no-brainer for DR advertisers. It ensures positive ROI; however it places all of the risk on the publisher, which many quality publishers will refuse. The CPC model shares the risk between advertisers and publishers, but doesn’t provide the branding benefits of display ads. CPM is the de-facto standard for branding campaigns, however it assumes that all impressions are created equal. It also incentivizes publishers to artificially create lesser inventory by adding more units per page, republishing 3rd party content, or creating photo galleries, etc. For pure branding campaigns, a new model should be developed to replace the CPM model.

Tell us about you.

What did you do last Saturday?

Sunday pumpkin picking with my kids.

Your LinkedIn profile:

Thanks, Oded!

Oded’s Bio:

Oded Itzhak is part of a leading group of performance advertising experts. Prior to founding AdSide, Oded was Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Quigo, a leading pay per click ad network which was acquired by AOL in 2007. Oded was responsible for developing Quigo’s PPC technologies and owns several search marketing and content targeting patents. Prior to launching Quigo, Oded held senior engineering and management positions at Electronic Arts, and was Chief Technology Officer at WorldImaging, Inc. Oded holds a BSc degree in Mathematics and Computer Science. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences.

About CRS

Produced by Marc Phillips and David Rodnitzky in conjunction with adTech, CRS is a “conference within a conference” is 100% focused on contextual advertising-an area that has needed its own conference for some time. Please join us for the CRS kick-off panel “The State of Content Advertising: The Players, The Options, The Best Practices” at 9am on Thursday, November 5th.

Our panel looks like:

The State of Content Advertising: The Players, The Options, The Best Practices

Where is contextual advertising going? What’s hot, what’s not? What can you do today to make your content buys massively profitable? This roundtable discussion features some of the top minds in contextual advertising sharing their insight on the state of the industry now, and in the future.

Jay Sears, Executive VP, Strategic Products and Business Development, ContextWeb, Inc./ADSDAQ Exchange

James Colborn, Director, Microsoft Advertising, Microsoft

Oded Itzhak, Founder and CEO, AdSide

Brett Brewer, President, AdKnowledge

Geri Guillermo, Director of Sales, BidPlace Pro, Sponsored Listings and AOL Search, AOL Advertising

Jeff Arena, Senior Product Manager, Yahoo!

Rajas Moonka, Group Business Product Manager, Google, Inc.

Special offer: Register today and receive $100 discount (Promo Code: CRSNY91) for the upcoming Content Revenue Strategies @ ad:tech NY