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How ERA and PODS use programmatic to reach the individual

NEW YORK ? Executives from moveable storage unit brand PODS, real estate agency ERA and its marketing agency, Beeby Clark+Meyler at the IAB Advertising Technology Marketplace Spotlight: Programmatic conference discussed how using programmatic buying helps them reach consumers at the right time during the purchasing process on the right channels with relevant content. 

During the "Programmatic in Action: Brand Driven Case Studies" session, the executives explained how they have used data to reach consumers effectively on well-aimed channels through mobile and digital. For ERA, using data from aggregate sites such as Zillow has been successful in driving consumers to local real estate agents with individualized advertisements, while PODs has focused on adjusting marketing content for separate local markets to reach the individual consumer looking to move.  

"Some of the publishers we worked with, for instance Zillow, said you have a much larger audience compared to people that come to our brands website," said Lijo Joseph, senior director of performance media at Beeby Clark+Meyler. "But we want to make sure that we deliver a message to them that is relevant, on point and right then and there on the site, not ten days later or six month later.

"The whole idea is we deliver them a message so they come back to the site," he said. 

The conference was organized by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and was held at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Times Square.

Individualized advertising content
ERA created over 10,000 personalized ad units for real estate Web site and mobile application Zillow based off of user search information the site shared with the brand. For instance, if a consumer looking for real estate options on Zillow searched for Madison, NJ, advertisements for real estate in that area from ERA would appear for that user on the site and app. 

Personalized text appearing in banner ads such as ?You searched for homes in Madison, NJ? lead the user to local ERA real estate agents. These dynamic ads are updated in real-time. 

This proved successful in referring consumers to local agents for ERA, showcasing a clear example of the importance of combining creative content with data and researched information. 

"The key is this is how we use data and creative together and executed a program that's not just a banner but creates a story and following the consumer through the journey as they come back to Zillow, as they came back to several other companies we work with that do the same thing," Mr. Joseph said.  "But this does not mean anything if we are not able to sell houses. 

"We have about five thousand leads that are filling out their names, their email addresses and in a lot of cases, their phone numbers saying 'I'm interested in buying a home from ERA have one of your local agents contact me,'" he said. "All in all, programs that use data from all the publishers we work with, lead to amazing results for our brand."

Also, the campaign conveyed how imperative it is to reach consumers with content that is relevant to them at the right time during the purchasing cycle. For instance, users on Zillow have moved past the general information stage and are looking at specific homes, making it beneficial for ERA to feature individual residences in ads on the site. 

Researching the markets
Meanwhile, it is important for the PODS brand to keep in mind that its consumer is not a specific person, but a specific event going on in a consumer?s life, typically related to moving. These consumers are searching for information and making an informed decision rather than deciding on a whim, so it is important to make this information readily available to them. 

Research and data is the best way to deliver these consumers the accurate information they are seeking. However, it is also important for PODS to advertise to local markets and pay attention to the local market data. 

Although the business is national, it is such a localized demand.

For instance, some areas are more prone for consumers moving out and other areas are more prone to people moving in. Additionally, some PODS areas are sold out, while other markets are not as strong.

It is important to develop differentiated mobile advertising for each market in response to the data received. 

"Our challenges are unique, we can't demographically target or psychographic target broad base," said Amanda Plewes, eCommerce Manager at PODS. "You are not our customer because of who you are, you are our customer because of what you are going through, which is a moving or storage life event. 

"So for us it is finding those people at that opportune moment where they are interested in moving and storage, because when you are not moving or storing even if you are a demographic and psychographic fit, you are blind to our ads because they are not relevant to you," she said. "So delivering relevant content right when you are thinking about moving or storing is our core challenge."