Chris Sukornyk is CEO of Chango, an search and display demand-side platform.
AdExchanger.com: What problem is Chango solving?
CS: Search Marketers know how to make money from the Internet searchers they reach. They’ve got financial models, optimized keyword lists, optimized bid prices, and text ads tuned to get attention. If they can reach more searchers at the right price, they can make more money. Unfortunately, SEM platforms like AdWords have lots of other search marketers competing for the same impressions, and they only get one chance to get the searcher’s attention, on the search results page. What they need is more reach at the right price, and a way to get more chances to engage each searcher. Chango enables search marketers to effortlessly extend their campaigns to the vast reach of display by enabling them to import their existing SEM campaigns (eg. AdWords) including keyword lists, CPC bid prices, text ads, budgets, and CPA targets to start reaching new searchers in minutes.
If you're a DSP, how would you define the term?
To me, a DSP is simply a media-buying platform that enables advertisers to reach their target audience, across multiple exchanges, one impression at a time. The advertiser should be able to define their pricing and targeting criteria for every impression they buy. And of course it has to all be automated, scale like crazy, and ideally, be self-service. At Chango, our “Demand Side” is Search Marketers, so our platform is optimized to the operating conventions and campaign goals of Search Marketers.
How do you differentiate Chango's offering among the competitive set? What's the target market in terms of verticals?
At Chango, we’re unique in that our “Demand Side” is exclusively Search Marketers. Our goal is to make the extension of existing SEM campaigns to real-time display exchanges and effortless experience. Our platform is optimized to the operating conventions and campaign goals of Search Marketers. Like existing search-marketing platforms, we enable CPC bidding, we target with raw search keywords, we dynamically generate display creative from text ads, we optimize to CPA goals, and its all self-service. We partner with publishers and other 3rd party data exchanges that are capable of providing search history data on users. We’re currently focused on ecommerce search marketers but are starting to expand to other verticals.
What are some of the key challenges for search marketers moving into display today?
Real-time display exchanges present Search Marketers with an opportunity to effectively reach vast new audiences. Unfortunately, working with them is hard for a Search Marketer. They have to:
- Develop a new targeting methodology and establish 3rd party behavioral or intent based data relationships to simulate the targeting they have already optimized in their SEM keyword lists
- Remodel CPA goal-based budgets on unfamiliar CPM bid prices and data costs
- Have new ad creative developed by an outside agency or designer
In short, they have to abandon their optimized financial models, keyword lists, bid prices, and text ads. For most search marketers, this presents too much complexity and risk.
Can you provide a use case of a typical campaign using Chango?
An SEM looking to extend their reach beyond search result pages simply imports their existing keywords, bid prices, text ads, daily budgets and CPA targets from AdWords and presses go. It’s really that easy.
How will search marketers cope with creative challenges in display? How does Chango help?
This is a common problem, as most search marketers don’t have display creative. But they do have highly optimized text ads that are proven performers. And often, these text ads work because they dynamically adapt to the search query entered. Chango provides dynamic creative services that automatically convert text ads into engaging display creative, even when the text has to adapt to the search query.
Is your product "live" today? Can you share your product roll-out plans?
Our Search Marketing Demand Side Platform is currently in limited production, running campaigns for a number of close customers. We anticipate opening the platform more broadly in Q3. We also have a search targeted Publisher Network that has been live for 5 months and is open to all publishers that want to specially target search traffic to increase revenue. We also have a Data Network through which publishers and tool providers can monetize their audience after they leave their site. As you would likely guess, we collect raw search data to be targeted on the exchanges.
Do you see real-time bidding feature of exchanges having an impact on your business and search marketing as a whole? If so, how?
It is absolutely crucial to our business. It allows us to target a specific user based on their past search history without being forced to buy bulk impressions that would leave us with significant remnant inventory. Search Marketers have been dabbling in display for years with little success. Real-time bidding is finally making it possible to extend search campaigns to display. Its complex, but that’s where Chango comes in.
How does your revenue model work?
Advertisers that leverage our self-serve system pay a CPC. In managed campaigns, on a case-by-case basis, we will also optimize on CPA and take a revenue share on lift.
Do you think retargeting is a commodity offering now? Especially now that Google has made it so easy and self-service?
Site-retargeting is becoming common. Site-retargeting uses a client’s own data collected from their site to remarket to users they already know. While we can leverage this data, we predominantly focus on 3rd party search data for retargeting. Think of it as targeting a user based on an action they took on a 3rd party website. Both forms of retargeting require visibility across vast inventory to effectively 'find' target users again. Therefore, you need a retargeting platform that sits across multiple sources of inventory - a DSP is ideal for this. This form of Search-Retargeting across multiple exchanges is not commoditized at all.
Please discuss your current funding and size of the company (employees). Any plans to seek another round?
We’re a growing team of 10 financed by iNovia, Metamorphic, ExtremeVP and angels.