Some of us are old enough to remember the kitsch that was online advertising in the 1990s. Flaming gifs. Sock puppets. Idiotic banner ads that, when you clicked them, launched a fleet of annoying child windows advertising everything from Depends to Viagra to the latest foreign request for your bank information.
Well, ad tech has come a long way. The umbrella term for the many analytical, creative and delivery platforms in the online space, the labor-intensive, need to hire a design agency past is over. Now, busy entrepreneurs like restaurant owners, bakers, brewers, and other proprietors can launch cutting-edge ad campaigns with a couple of swipes of a smartphone app in the most cost-effective, digitally intelligence customer generation engine every created.
The Vanguard of a Digital Revolution Today, the vast majority of advertising (over 80% in 2018) is “programmatic,” meaning someone went online, provided a modicum of information about target markets and ideal customers, clicked “create ad” and sent it into cyberspace.
At the bleeding edge of this trend are firms employing Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO). If Amazon’s recommendation algorithm is the ultimate virtual marketing director, DCO is your virtual ad agency, applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to the process of producing, distributing and leveraging ads.
Targetable is DCO on steroids. The innovative San Diego-based startup providing AI/ML-driven creative and marketing services to the restaurant industry. Targetable not only uses automation to tailor ads to its customer’s marketing goals but also employs AI to produce the creative. In effect, such solutions put control of ad campaigns, creative and marketing decisions firmly in the hands of business owners, handling the difficult technical issues that used to require customization and expertise, and vastly lowering the cost per lead. That means smaller and smaller businesses can now avail themselves of the booming digital and social media advertising marketplace.
Targetable, on the other hand, makes it a point to leverage Facebook and Instagram’s unparalleled datasets.
The company’s CEO, Vladimir Edelman, says“why in God’s name would we try to recreate Facebook? That’s like buying a home and saying, ‘I don’t like to color of the pipes under the floorboards,’ and then ripping the house apart to replace them. Whatever Facebook’s problems in the media or Washington, it is a juggernaut in terms of data, and data is the life’s blood of ad tech.”
Making It Simple As a result, Edelman’s firm focused on making the often confusing and complicated interface that is Facebook’s ad building machine easier to use.
“We designed an interface that works a bit like Uber,” he says. “Instead of asking what color car do you want? How many cylinders? Electric or combustion engine? Uber just lets you say, ‘I need a ride now. Send a car.’ Then Uber handles the complexity of which driver is closest, which car matches your behavioral profile, and how much that all is going to cost. That’s what we do for advertising restaurants. Targetable’s AI and machine learning looks at your restaurant’s social media and website profile, then creates ads for you for approval, rejection or editing. Simple as that.”