Fall '12 Agency

December 2-5, 2012 | Scottsdale, AZ

How partnerships drive marketing innovation


The advertising world is growing more complex, and as a result many publishers now reach out for marketing help. Here are two companies that found success by working together.

The complexities of today's advertising world -- enormous data sets, placement options, technologies, etc. -- have made it difficult for publishers to execute a comprehensive marketing strategy on their own. That's why publishers are now partnering up with technology companies to fulfill their marketing needs. AutoTrader.com and PointRoll are two such companies, and they found enormous success in partnering up.

AutoTrader.com, an automotive marketplace and consumer information website, paired with PointRoll, which specializes in digital ad serving and creative development, to create a deeply integrated premium execution that spans from the homepage to the search results page, and includes tablets and mobile devices.

"AutoTrader.com wanted to do something unique in the space that was meaningful, fun, cool, and deeply integrated on our homepage. We needed a partner to do it," said Josh Searcy, senior manager of display advertising and products for AutoTrader.com, during his Spotlight Presentation at the iMedia Agency Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona.

This isn't the first time the two companies have worked together -- PointRoll has worked with AutoTrader.com for a number of years. "We have a very specific process and we're very familiar with each other's teams," said Jen Schreiber, director of publisher sales for PointRoll.

This intimate relationship allowed both companies to dive into the "Overdrive" campaign with a distinct and solid game plan.  An important component of this plan is starting early and having a dedicated team.

"These things take time and they take commitment," Schreiber said.

In order to maintain process and product consistency, PointRoll dedicated one technical specialist to manage all the "Overdrive" campaigns. The company also put together a Flash and HTML5 development and programming team, which is responsible for the testing, tracking, QA, and post-campaign analysis.

Success also takes courage. "We're always trying to push boundaries," Searcy said. "[We] try to extend it wherever our advertiser wants it to be."

Indeed, the results to date are very encouraging. The time consumers spend actively engaging with homepage units exceeds two minutes. Additionally, the campaign resulted in a notable lift in brand activity on AutoTrader.com with volume increases across searches and shoppers.

Key takeaways:

  • Be willing to talk about brand strategy
  • Define objectives
  • Plan ahead and start early
  • Assign project owners
  • Understand the moving pieces on both sides
  • Good things take time