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Vertical Targeting Series: Building Your Retail Strategy

The retail vertical is one that is constantly and quickly changing. In 2013, online sales of CPG products only accounted for 1% of total web sales revenue. However, it’s estimated that by 2025 that number will grow to 20%. As consumers depend on technology more, and online shopping has increased, there has been a major shift in how purchases are made. This requires that brands in the retail vertical alter the way they approach marketing, by not only reaching consumers in-store and on shelves but leveraging the digital space as well.

Retail marketers are now faced with a unique challenge when creating a vertical strategy for online advertising. They need to prove sales lift from online tactics, which means they need a way to connect the digital world with offline behaviours.

The solution? Innovative vertical targeting and the right tools to measure your campaign’s performance.


The retail vertical has an array of targeting options for campaigns. Similar to a sales funnel, it’s easiest to demonstrate the targeting options has customers move from search or research to purchase.

Top Funnel

  • 3rd Party Segment: Segment based on your key demographic (gender, age, marital status, profession, etc.)

Middle Funnel

  • Geo-Radius Targeting: Capture users in real-time across mobile apps based on their physical location (state, zip code or latitude and longitude)
  • Custom Segment: Segment based on purchase intent through a user’s online actions (product reviews, articles read, traffic visiting competitors, etc.)
  • Lookalike Targeting: Tag specific users so you can target lookalikes. For example, tag anyone who landed on the landing page of a prior campaign, or any visitor to a specific page on your website

Bottom Funnel

  • CRM Customer Data: Upload your customer data from your CRM to target customers who have purchased a similar product in the past
  • Dynamic Retargeting: Take retargeting a step further and show users ads for specific products they’ve viewed on your website with personalized image, headline and copy based on their activity

This funnel presents a lot of targeting tactics and opportunities! You probably wouldn’t use all of these when running a campaign, but depending on your goals, you will likely employ a combination of them. Let’s take a look at how you could use some of these options for both a Pharmacy and Grocery campaign.

Pharmacy Campaign Considerations

When running a campaign for a pharmacy, demographic targeting is key. You need to make sure you are targeting age, gender and income properly, along with a certain geography. Consider uploading customer data from your CRM to target anyone who has purchased from the pharmacy previously. You can also implement lookalike targeting for anyone who has visited a particular page on your website.

Grocery Campaign Considerations

On the other hand, if you’re a running a campaign for grocery products, geotargeting will play a huge role in attracting users into your brick and mortar stores. First, with 3rd party data, target individuals who live in a defined zip code, are 30 to 40 years old, with children. Then, create a custom segment showing individuals with buying intent by targeting anyone who has searched for recipes. At the same time, target anyone who has visited your competitor’s location with geo-radius targeting. Finally, serve personalized ads to anyone who has visited your website with dynamic retargeting. When you combine all of these targeting tactics, you’re sure to get the most relevant audience for your campaign.


After developing the segmenting and targeting strategy for your campaign, the next step is to measure the results. A successful campaign in the retail vertical typically doesn’t measure results by CTR and CPE. Consumer action, such as foot-fall traffic, is the measure of success for this vertical strategy.

As consumer attention has shifted online, and more frequently to mobile, you’ll need means to connect the digital world with offline behaviours. There are multiple location intelligence vendors that can be leveraged through your DSP to measure foot traffic lift to your brick and mortar locations. If you’re a StackAdapt customer, you’ll be able to leverage one of our location intelligence partners, Cuebiq, to measure when a customer has visited your business after being served a digital ad.

Cuebiq digs deep to provide metrics for your foot-fall traffic, giving accurate attribution to your campaigns. By leveraging its proprietary SDK, which is integrated in over 220 apps, Cuebiq is able to collect high quality location data at scale, all within a privacy compliant framework. In fact, all Cuebiq data is anonymous and only collected if users opt-in to location data collection. Cuebiq is also GDPR compliant in the EU.

So why do we feel confident that Cuebiq works for your retail vertical strategy? Let’s take a look!

Is there a baseline or industry average of how well online campaigns drive offline visits?

Cuebiq has measured and identified daily average visit rates across several verticals. Visit rate identifies the number of users who were exposed to your ad and had an in-store visit vs the total number of users reached by your ad.

I have a lot of foot traffic daily, how can I be sure that my campaign is working?

Cuebiq measures Uplift, which is the result of in-store visits driven from ad-exposure. Only those visitors who were served your ad are counted in the Uplift metric provided by Cuebiq, which gives you a clear understanding of your ad’s effectiveness. Cuebiq provides benchmarks for many verticals, which further help to define your campaign’s success.

How do I know if someone just walked by my location, or actually stayed and shopped?

Dwell Time – the amount of time spent at a specific point of interest – determines if a user’s actions resulted in a visit. The Dwell Time measurement ensures that anyone just passing by your location isn’t counted as a visit. Cuebiq has consolidated average dwell times per vertical so you are able to compare time spent in your store with the industry average.

How can location intelligence help me optimize my campaigns?

Aside from understanding if your campaigns are working based on attribution measurements, there are other metrics such as Time of Visit that can help you optimize. Time of Visit provides insight to the time that your ads are receiving traffic, as well as the most popular times people visit a place of interest in your vertical. With this information you can purchase media to reach consumers during those peak hours, optimizing your campaigns for success.

By comparing the metrics a location intelligence platform like Cuebiq provides with your on-location goals, you will have a full picture your campaign’s performance. If you have a high uplift but low sales, you may need to rethink your in-store experience. Conversely, if you have low uplift, you may need to adjust your campaign strategy – maybe your targeting is off.

In order to stay ahead of the retail advertising game, you’re going to need have a strong vertical strategy with well thought-out tactics. The combination of intelligent targeting and measurement will result in valuable insight giving you success with your retail campaigns.

Contact your StackAdapt representative to learn more.

Not a StackAdapt customer? You’ll definitely want to be now – see how we can help with your vertical needs (and so much more).

In case you missed it, this is just one part of our vertical targeting series. Check out our Intro to Vertical Targeting post here.

6 min read

StackAdapt Achieves Lower Fraud Rate than TAG’s Fraud Benchmark Study 2 Years in a Row.

StackAdapt has always recognized the importance of brand safety and fraud detection. We pride ourselves on our strong anti-fraud standpoint and take quality control very seriously. With partners such as Forensiq by Impact, StackAdapt provides quality assurance at all stages of campaign execution.

We are proud to announce that this strong emphasis on ad-fraud detection has resulted in StackAdapt achieving a lower overall fraud rate, beating both industry and TAG certified benchmarks two years in a row.

The Study

Annually, the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) reports on quantitative and qualitative research that measures the rates of invalid traffic in TAG Certified Channels, in comparison to the industry average.

The 2018 Study measured general invalid traffic (GIVT) and sophisticated invalid traffic (SIVT) over 75 billion impressions of display and video inventory on Desktop, Mobile and In App devices. GIVT and SIVT are different flavours with different dangers. According to IAS insider, GIVT is like the white noise of fraud because it’s always on in the background. On the other hand, SIVT is like a cat and mouse game where fraudsters try to develop new forms of fraud that blend with legitimate inventory without being detected.

The Results

The industry average for overall fraud rate is 10.43%, while the average for TAG Certified Channels is 1.68%. StackAdapt surpassed both benchmarks with a lower overall fraud rate, for the second consecutive year.

StackAdapt’s traffic is 91% cleaner than the industry average and 41% cleaner than other TAG Certified Channels, which is one of the reasons StackAdapt received verified by TAG earlier this year.

We are so proud to provide this level of sophisticated fraud detection, and are continuously improving our fraud prevention tactics to ensure that our publisher partners and marketers operate in a trusted environment.

Contact your StackAdapt representative to learn more.

Not a StackAdapt customer? You’ll definitely want to be now – see our ad fraud detection (and so much more) in action.

4 min read

Are you keeping up with Private Marketplace opportunities?

Did you know that Private Marketplace (PMP) volumes have grown YoY by 15% for desktop, 50% for mobile web and 85% for mobile apps in 2017? This growth, coupled with the ability to deliver precise target at scale, means Private Marketplaces can help you reach and target more of the audiences you value. You’ll also be able to solve many common campaign challenges because PMPs provide you with:

  • Access to higher-tier, premium inventory

  • Greater control over the placement and performance of ads

  • Access to inventory not available on open exchange

Introducing StackAdapt Deals

If you need to optimize your campaign strategy, Private Marketplaces may provide the best results, and now with the introduction of StackAdapt Deals, pre-packaged and custom deals created by the StackAdapt Partnerships team, accessing PMPs is simple.

StackAdapt Deals gives you the ability to choose and execute on a number of pre-packaged Deals across a variety of channels and supply sources. Some of the pre-packaged StackAdapt Deals include:

Our Partnership team has been hard at work consolidating and building these pre-packaged Deals to help you target specific inventory. However, if there is inventory you’re looking for that you can’t find in our pre-packaged Deals, the Partnership team can also help you facilitate custom deals.

Why use StackAdapt Deals?

As always, we’re with you every step of the way. Your StackAdapt representative will work with you to choose publishers that offer inventory most suited for your client, brand or campaign. And detailed reporting allows you to compare the performance of your private deals vs open market buys. This valuable insight will help you target your best audiences and determine where you could use StackAdapt Deals to augment your open market buys for future campaigns.Contact your StackAdapt representative to learn more.

Not a StackAdapt customer? You’ll definitely want to be now – see StackAdapt Deals (and so much more) in action.

4 min read

The Ultimate Holiday Stack

With the holiday season in full swing and the year coming to a close, we started to reflect on 2018 as we look forward to a successful 2019. What better way to recap the year than with our top 12 blog posts?

These posts all contain amazing tips and information on how you can optimize your native campaigns, making this the ultimate holiday, and 2018, stack of posts. Dive in and review anything you may have missed in the busy year so you’re armed and ready for success in 2019!

  1. 10 Digital Marketing Tips for 2018 from StackAdapt’s Campaign Experts

We rounded up tips from our Customer Success Team to help ensure your campaigns hit your KPIs. Our experts give you advice on the ideal number of creatives to use, targeting best practices, tools to best measure in-store foot traffic and so much more! Check out our digital marketing tips to get a jump start on 2019 (and come back in January for more tips for next year!).

  1. From the Founder’s Desk: Vitaly Pecherskiy on The Top 3 Tech Trends in Advertising

StackAdapt’s co-founder and COO, Vitaly Pecherskiy, shares his insight into the top 3 trends he sees in advertising. He also gives insight into what the future of native advertising has in store. Are you keeping up with these trends? Make sure you’re ahead of the game and prepared for the ever-evolving landscape.

  1. Managing your Campaign on the Go? Yes, it’s possible!

2018 was a busy year, and to help you optimize your time, StackAdapt released Mobile Campaign Management. That means that while you’re commuting on the train, waiting in line for your coffee or running in between client meetings, you can check in on your campaigns right on your phone. Learn more about how you can manage your campaigns on the go and make 2019 your most efficient year yet!

  1. 10 Research-Backed Reasons to Use Native Advertising

There can be hesitation when it comes to programmatic advertising and switching digital advertising budgets from display to native, and we understand. Native advertising is one of the more recent ways marketers are attempting to keep up with consumer behaviour. Still not convinced? We’ve compiled 10 research-backed reasons to use native for your next digital campaign. They just might change your mind.

  1. 5 Native Advertising Mistakes that Sabotage Campaigns

How do you know if you’re making common native advertising mistakes that are sabotaging your campaigns? Read about the top mistakes digital marketers are making, from not testing audiences to making assumptions about your customers, and hear our tips on how you can avoid them.

  1. Campaign Planning Anxiety? We Have the Cure!

We know that the lack of proactive campaign planning can cause a lot of anxiety, which is why this year we released the StackAdapt Planner. With this feature, you can get better insights, maximize budget, target more efficiently, and more, to help you reduce stress. Check out our post on the StackAdapt Planner and find out how it helps to cure your campaign planning anxiety.

  1. How to Choose the Right KPI for Your Next Digital Campaign

As a digital marketer, you have hundreds of data points from which you can choose for your campaign’s KPIs. Taking all these data points and choosing the right one or two indicators of a successful programmatic campaign is the challenge. We generated a chart to help you understand how to choose the right KPI for your next digital campaign. This is a post you won’t want to overlook as you start planning for 2019.

  1. State of Conversions: How to Measure Across DSPs

According to research, the digital buyer is expected to use 4 different DSPs, which leads to difficulty gathering results and understanding which platform drove which conversions. So, to help reduce confusion, we’ve provided strategies to help you refine your data and gain a better understanding of where your conversions are coming from.

  1. The StackAdapt Creative Studio: Design Expertise + Technology = Peak Performance

The creative elements of your campaigns have the potential to make or break its performance. That’s why StackAdapt launched Creative Studio, a team of experts who will help you achieve peak performance by creating or improving campaign creatives. Check out some tips on creating high-performing ad creatives and learn how Creative Studio can help your programmatic campaign performance – a great tool for success in 2019.

  1. Performance Marketers Are Increasingly Relying on Intent-Based Targeting

StackAdapt offers Custom Segment; audience segments made up of users who have actively shown intent to purchase, to help you reach interested audiences in a timely manner. This targeting technique is growing in popularity, and we have compiled data and tips on how you can take advantage of intent-based targeting to increase campaign engagement and conversions.

  1. Mapping Out Your Geotargeting Strategy

Timing and location is key when you’re running digital advertising campaigns. Geotargeting, the practice of delivering content to a consumer using the geographic location of the recipient, can help you achieve your overall campaign goals. Learn more about geotargeting and check out our tips on how to best implement geotargeting in your campaigns, and start using this strategy in 2019.

  1. Seeing is Believing: StackAdapt’s Enhanced Native Ad Previewer

Creating the perfect ads for your paid marketing campaigns is much easier when you can visualize how everything will look before it goes live. See how StackAdapt’s Enhanced Native Ad Previewer allows you to see what your native ad will look like in a live environment, without accumulating additional impressions or clicks.

We hope you enjoyed our Ultimate Holiday Stack. There’s plenty more where that came from, and we will continue to provide you with amazing tips, tricks and industry knowledge. Reach out to info@stackadapt.com if there is a specific topic you would like us to cover! Happy holidays!

6 min read

Does your ad spend actually result in new customers?

Historically, native advertising has been viewed as a mid-funnel strategy. This is because when measuring if your ads are driving bottom-funnel activity, marketers have to account for an element of human behaviour, it’s not as simple as looking at click-through rates.

The impact your native ads have on bottom-funnel metrics is a measurement all marketers want, and with an innovative concept known as “incrementality”, you’ll be able to deliver those metrics.

What is incrementality?

Incrementality gives you insight into whether your ads impact signups or purchases by using a test vs. control format to compare results from a group of people who were shown an ad, and a comparable control group that did not see the ad. Incrementality testing will give you insight to how your customers were acquired; either as a result of the ad, or independent of the ad.

Why should I use Creative Incrementality?

Incrementality testing can lead to better decisions by marketers when it comes to their media investments. The results of Creative Incrementality help to identify which tactics were most effective. When you can tie business results to your native ads, you’re able to optimize your budget by allocating ad spend to have the most impact.

With native advertising playing a large role in driving users to blogs and other content experiences, measuring ROI of your campaigns through bottom-funnel metrics is an effective way to validate both your content marketing strategy and native advertising efforts.

How can I get started with Creative Incrementality?

With StackAdapt, you can start incrementality testing in 3 simple steps:

  1. Upload your creatives
  2. Set one as a control
  3. Determine the percentage of the audience you want to serve each ad to

Once your Creative Incrementality campaigns are live, dashboard reports provide the performance metrics for each ad creative!

With all the insights you’ll gain from using Creative Incrementality, you’ll be able to answer the question that all marketers are asking “Does your ad spend actually result in new customers?”.

Contact your StackAdapt representative to learn more.

Not a StackAdapt customer? You’ll definitely want to be now – see StackAdapt Creative Incrementality (and so much more) in action.

4 min read