Ancestry.com invested on data infrastructure to make its customer data as consistent and accessible as possible. For instance, using Tealium’s audience discovery and digital distribution platform AudienceStream, Ancestry.com was able to unify data across its DSP, search and email tools. The company also needed to understand publisher overlap, the incremental value display partners drive and gain access and insight into its own data.
From a channel perspective, the company wanted to get more proactive with their performance marketing. In the past, Ancestry.com undervalued display.
“Before, we used to approach display as an acquisition vehicle, but with a deep integration of [first-party ad server] Trueffect to our DSP, we were able to start looking at display as more of a retention vehicle to serve timely reengagement messaging to someone in their Facebook newsfeed, for instance, and then measure it,” Fiske said.
Using Trueffect, Ancestry.com’s targeting focused less on cookies and more on first-party consumer data – points “that make all the difference when you’re talking about a few percentage points in lift.”
The company coupled its first-party database with audience-level data to become more proactive in its prospecting and retargeting mix. A high frequency in prospecting buys wasn’t correlated to increases in conversion. As a result of optimizing its media mix (and increasing its lookback window from four to nine days), Ancestry.com was able to reduce eCPAs by 26%.
“We were able to revisit a lot of assumptions and in other cases, change the way we thought about and approached our media buying and the lift associated with certain publishers going forward” as a result of trafficking display and bringing marketing models in-house.
“I think we have our own way of looking at attribution across multiple media vehicles," Fiske said. "With display, it’s refreshing to use a smaller independent company that has their own performance-oriented way of looking at things.”