By Evan DeSimone
In the world of online marketing, video advertising is increasingly the norm rather than the exception when it comes to reaching customers with compelling targeted messaging. Video ads are also no longer the exclusive domain of large corporations and outlets. Al Shermer and Trion Interactive are leading the way in making video advertising available to business clients of all sizes. Their new mScreen platform provides a simple self-service solution to purchasing video ad space for clients small and large. We spoke with Shermer about Trion, the video ad space, and how Trion is arming small and mid-sized businesses with an arsenal of video ad tools.
Trion Interactive is providing a self-service platform, mScreen, that makes video ad campaigns accessible even to small businesses owners. Have we reached the point where digital video ads should be considered the standard for businesses across the board?
Yes, now with hardware capable of delivering video to users in high resolution while consuming low bandwidth, global adoption of on-demand video services across all devices, and the low cost of entry into commercial video production, video ads should demand every marketer’s attention for a significant portion of budgets. There will always be demand for static ads, however, video now presents itself as the most dynamic standard for messaging to mobile audiences.
Describe the average client who would currently utilize your mScreen platform to stream line their ad creation process.
Trion Interactive’s clients fall into two categories: enterprise and small business. The enterprise customers are brands, agencies and trading desks that utilize our platform for large-scale programmatic delivery of video to audiences on HTML5 platforms such as mobile web and smartphone apps. The small business customers are generally retailers who use the mScreen’s self-service platform to deliver video advertising to regional audiences, driving them to a specific service. These are restaurants, shops, auto dealers and regional professionals such as plumbers, electricians and medical providers. This group of small business owners represents the fastest growing portion of Trion’s customer base, and what we believe will be the global driver of mobile advertising demand.
What made you believe now was the time to make video advertising easier and more widely accessible?
It is the natural progression as our industry matures and technology broadens. When building the mScreen, we wanted to make sure any demand source, agency brand, or independent entrepreneur had equal footing and opportunity to leverage powerful adtech solutions. The present is a phenomenal time to take advantage of adtech’s maturity and be the first in the market to provide this on the community level.
Your website boasts inview and touch-rate averages that are well above industry-wide averages. What do you think accounts for that?
Our entire infrastructure is built around ad viewability. By design, our delivery platform is built to display ads in a way that keeps it in the viewable screen for the entirety of a page view. In early 2013, we partnered with MOAT to track and further optimize our viewability rates, long before it became a standard in the industry. Additionally, all of our publishers are directly integrated with mScreen, as opposed to buying through exchanges. By doing this, we are able to optimize each and every publisher to whom we deliver advertising. These direct integrations, coupled with a delivery system built around viewability, show a near zero fraud rate that range anywhere from 0.08%-0.17%*. Our average touch rates are the natural result of this technology and these integrations.
Your platform allows users to create smaller targeted campaigns. How do smaller, highly localized campaigns compare to nation-wide or even international targeted campaigns in terms of performance?
We are seeing nearly all our demand switch to local focus — even the large-scale national campaigns are broken up by region and store. National brands are leveraging their regional data to deliver messaging specifically tailored for customers within geographic localities of their retail locations. Local businesses are getting better value for their advertising dollar by reaching only selected audiences within their service areas. The result is engagement rates up to 14x’s greater than our nationally targeted campaigns.
We’ve attributed the performance to two factors: localized engagement and dynamic creatives. By regionally targeting campaigns, we’re reaching the correct audience. Dynamic creatives are taking advantage of localized data to tailor the message for that audience. We are dynamically changing videos to match the products and specials of specific regions and stores within a national buy. We’re using weather, traffic and census data to deliver customized messages that appeal to localized end-users. This is fully interactive video on the local level.