Keary Phillips spearheaded the tech stack behind Allstate’s programmatic in-house strategy.
Now he’s at it again at Angie’s List – the digital reviews site for local service providers he joined as senior director of digital marketing last August.
Although Angie’s List was founded in the mid-’90s during the peak of web 1.0 portals, ironically it used TV for most of its brand building while digital marketing remained an afterthought.
So Phillips was brought in to help build a modern-day marketing organization and tech stack centered around digital.
Angie’s List already used Salesforce systems like its Email and Ad Studio, and Phillips’ oversaw the deployment of the Salesforce DMP (formerly Krux).
This installation is Phillips’ fourth DMP deployment – and a lot has changed for the tool’s capability and connection points.
“The first iteration of DMPs pretty much only ingested cookie-level, impression data predominantly for media and maybe a little bit of site activity,” he said. “When you start pulling in offline, first-party and CRM data, the robustness of the data set you have to work with becomes that much greater.”
Angie’s List has a large first-party database. Six million members use its service to access detailed reviews about service providers such as mechanics and plumbers across 720 categories.
Angie’s List also has three member tiers – free, silver and gold – so one purpose for its DMP is to create lookalikes based on the business’s known audiences, and to target higher-value members across channels like email, social and digital ads.
Based on what it observes from the flow of traffic to its site, as well as from member behavior, Angie’s List can start to create profiles of consumers based on their “tier” type and how they use its service.
“The DMP lets us be more precise and with how we create those lookalike groups,” Phillips said. “We then push those audiences [out to] demand-side platforms that can actually bid differentially based on the value of different audiences.”
For instance, in new member acquisition, it may bid higher on a segment that exhibits the audience attributes of Angie’s List’s highest-paid member tier.
“You might be willing to pay more to win more auctions to attract more of that profile of member,” Phillips added.
Angie’s List saw an average 5-12% lift in return on ad spend by enabling differential bidding based on how it values an audience, versus just bidding flatly.
Also, Angie’s List has started activating its email segments in other channels.
“How do we take this detailed segmentation we’ve done in email and get more traction from that in different channels?” Phillips said.
For instance, Angie’s List paces ad messages differently to people who never open Angie’s List emails, compared to those who open emails twice a week.
By incorporating email segments into cross-channel activation and lookalike modeling, Angie’s List increased its reach by 18% compared to when it relied on email exclusively.
The biggest evolution since early-stage DMP deployments until now is that the DMP use case probably would have been acquisition-focused in the past.
“Now, we kind of straddle the line between utilizing this additional data and intelligence we have to be more thoughtful about how we’re reaching existing customers for engagement purposes,” Phillips said. “And, unlike before, when you couldn’t really tell if you were hitting the same person 10 times on different screens, we want to really push on identity resolution cross-device.”