In September 2009, Httpool Romania introduced in Romania the Httpool Behavioral service, a system aimed at providing internet users with ads from the fields they are interested in, while enabling advertisers to deliver messages only to the relevant target audience. This way, advertisers will improve the effectiveness of their online ad campaigns. The technology has been developed by Nugg.add that became world leader in predictive behavioral targeting solutions. The PBT system has been introduced in the online advertising markets across the globe, the agency winning an impressive number of awards in technology innovation and private data security.
The Romanian network of Httpool Behavioral has 6 million users now, divided into different demographic and consumer behavior categories. For example, in Httpool Behavioral’s portfolio there are 2.5 million men aged between 20 and 39, and niche categories: 800,000 women (20-49 years of age) interested in the acquisition of beauty products, or 500,000 persons interested in travel deals and airplane tickets.
Stephan Noller (40), one of the Nugg.add founders and CEO of the PBT agency, speaks in an interview to Wall-Street about the early days of PBT in Germany and the impact of this service on the activities of companies across European countries.
Wall-Street: When have you launched Predictive Behavioural Targeting?
Stephan Noller: We launched our PBT platform in 2007 and have been the first company to offer Predictive Behavioral Targeting.
Wall-Street: How did you come up with this idea?
Stephan Noller: We knew that classical Behavioral Targeting was too limited and didn’t scale. And we had our background in market research. So we established a BT 2.0 engine that combines BT with market research using machine learning and real-time statistics.
Wall-Street: What was the impact of PBT in Germany?
Stephan Noller: The first installation of PBT was at United Internet, with web.de and gmx.de one of the biggest sales houses in Germany (in fact during our cooperation they became nr. 1). This was a demonstration that PBT can drive revenues and monetize inventory more intelligent, even in cases where the classical BT-approach would have failed. Later on we started our own ASP-like platform with a new generation of PBT, more powerful, more networking built in, focus on privacy. This service saw a constant growth after the launch in 2007 and is now one of the biggest targeting platforms across Europe.
Wall-Street: What problems of the online advertising industry in Germany has this project solved? What are the advantages of using PBT?
Stephan Noller: Well, we solved a lot of problems of online advertising. With Predictive Behavioral Targeting it is now possible to reach a new level of effectiveness especially for advertisers from the FMCG market or products, which do not have special online-channels. By addressing the right target group for the right campaign, advertisers can reduce media loss of their online-campaigns. This increases campaign efficiency and lowers the target-group CPM. Right now, our PBT offers solutions for different purposes and customers from publishers to adnetworks to agencies. We can improve branding awareness for advertisers as well as raise click- and conversion rates. Also, we can control the dosage of ads per user.
Wall-Street: How many clients use PBT in Germany?
Stephan Noller: In Germany, more than 30 publishers and ad-networks.
Wall-Street: What kind of companies, from what fields of activity, has embraced this project?
Stephan Noller: Our solution is used by many advertisers from all kinds of fields like automotive, cosmetics, travel-agencies, various media, and marketers for whatever product you can imagine.
Wall-Street: In what other countries have you launched PBT?
Stephan Noller: We operate in 12 different European countries such as the UK, France, and Germany. As a targeting-platform we are the market leaders in Germany, Scandinavia, and Central Eastern Europe.
Wall-Street: What countries are on the list this year for the PBT project?
Stephan Noller: We will look to strengthen its general market position in Europe and offer our product to advertisers and agencies in the UK, as well as CEE
Wall-Street: What was the impact of PBT in the Romanian market?
Stephan Noller: It is still very early for a prognosis but we can already say that the interest in PBT is very strong on the Romanian market and that we are very optimistic.
Wall-Street: How many clients do you have here?
Stephan Noller: At the moment we have two Romanian clients. We chose Httpool as a local partner to introduce and develop PBT solutions based on modern technologies, of an international network and solid background on the online environment.
Wall-Street: What problems is the online advertising market in Romania facing regarding behavioral targeting? Is the Romanian online market mature enough for PBT?
Stephan Noller: The advertisers often still rely on more traditional methods of online marketing and need some time to open up to new forms like PBT. We are sure, that this will happen very soon as targeting gets more and more attention as a method for effectiveness.
Wall-Street: How can this product influence the planning of online media?
Stephan Noller: Drastically, because it offers agencies and advertisers completely new ways of reaching the intended audience. This is especially important for advertisers that used to spend their entire budget on Television and now face the fact that their audience is disappearing to online. With PBT publishers can offer targeting capabilities that go way beyond TV and utilize online at its best.
Wall-Street: How does the future of targeting look?
Stephan Noller: Targeting is growing much faster than the online-market and will be one of the core technologies to drive online-campaigns in the future. It simply adds value to all players in the chain – advertisers and their agencies reach audiences more efficiently, publishers monetize their inventory at higher prices over the entire portfolio.
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