Today demand-side platform XA.net, Inc., announced the release of optim.al (http://optim.al), a multivariate text and image advertising optimization platform which allows clients to quickly and efficiently test thousands of ad variations via a single interface. According to the release, XA.net is participating in the Facebook Advertising API Beta program and is making available its proprietary technology that allows for creative component testing and optimization. Read the release. CEO and founder, Rob Leathern feels the optim.al platform will provide partners a way to create Facebook ads more efficiently. We asked him a few questions about the new platform release.
Q: Who do you see as your target users for this new platform?
RL: For optim.al we are targeting companies looking to spend anywhere from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars a month on Facebook advertising, and are looking for robust testing methodologies and ways to integrate the data into a larger set of media buying initiatives.
Q: Why do you feel that people should create and run their Facebook campaigns through optim.al? What are the benefits?
RL: With the Facebook API integration we can help advertisers quickly and efficiently create scalable tests that can very quickly determine the appropriate creative that will work for them. Some benefits include:
- Facebook Ads API Beta partner. Full integration into Facebook ad system.
- Test more ads for less money. Multivariate ad creation and optimization gets answers quickly, while spending less money.
- Optimization automation. Get reporting on statistically significant best elements at any time.
- Store and reuse. Save campaigns and images (of any size) in your image library for later re-use
- More copy ideas. Get copy suggestions via BoostCTR integration.
- Integrate. Reporting interfaces with XA.net’s existing CPMatic system, which allows for self-service display ad campaign management, retargeting, adserving, engagement tracking and optimization.
Q: For those that aren’t familiar could you explain full factorial or fractional factorial multivariate testing?
RL: Full factorial is running every possible combination of ads – e.g. 4 headlines, 4 bodies, 4 images = 64 different versions. Fractional factorial takes that number of tests and by arranging the test elements appropriately, allows you to test more versions without running as many tests. So in our current implementation you can test 72 different versions in only 18 tests, which means you can get results far quicker.
Q: How does optim.al tie into your existing offering?
RL: We’ve kept it somewhat separate to start with from a UI perspective (apart from billing and some of the reporting aspects) but it’s built on the same PlatformX technology we’ve created and will be meaningfully integrated in the near future. We believe there are some great opportunities to tie together various (currently) disparate aspects of audience-centric advertising which is the business we are in.
Q: You’ve written about the Facebook user base being an important place for marketers to focus their efforts. Can you talk about why you feel Facebook is so valuable?
RL: Scale. Access to broad swathes of demographic and interest-based data which are fascinating but not yet well-understood and utilized by marketers. And demographic shifts (as we highlight on our http://xa.net/weblog blog) that now have 41% of Facebook users being 35 and above versus just 30% a little over a year ago. It has become a primary online media destination in a very short period of time.
Rob founded XA.net in early 2008. Recognized as an expert in the field of online advertising and e-commerce, Rob has built scalable technology-based media businesses and advised Fortune 500 companies and startup firms alike on their online revenue-generating strategies. Rob was previously chief operating officer for Consorte Media, an online advertising company focused on the Hispanic market. Before that, Rob was vice president of business development for Root Markets and general manager of advertising at LinkedIn. Before LinkedIn, Rob was at NexTag where he built up NexTag’s display advertising lead generation and media business, propelling the firm to a position as a top 5 US online advertiser according to Nielsen//NetRatings. Rob began his professional career as an investment banking analyst in New York with ING Barings/Furman Selz, and then in 1999 joined Jupiter Communications as an e-commerce research analyst. Rob holds an AB degree in computer science and economics from Dartmouth College, and received the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst®) designation in 2003.