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There can’t be many pros with media jobs in online adver­tis­ing who would dis­pute the fact that get­ting the tar­get­ing right, get­ting the track­ing accu­rate and opti­miz­ing for search are pret­ty essen­tial to the suc­cess or fail­ure of an ad cam­paign. But Ayal Ebert, CEO of the up-and-com­ing dis­play adver­tis­ing and retar­get­ing plat­form Dis­pop, believes this trio of essen­tials comes under the ‘nec­es­sary but insuf­fi­cient’ heading.

Style + Effectiveness

To be blunt, if a dis­play ad sucks in appear­ance, that trio won’t be enough to save it. As Ebert puts it, “Design is the most impor­tant fac­tor.” Most sea­soned busi­ness devel­op­ment man­agers and adver­tis­ing sales man­agers would prob­a­bly agree.

New York-based Dis­pop came out of beta in June this year, hav­ing raised $600,000 in seed fund­ing cour­tesy of Inim­i­ti Cap­i­tal Part­ners, and it’s built up a ver­i­ta­ble army of free­lance design­ers – about 5,000 of them — who are approached for their ban­ner ad design pro­pos­als when­ev­er a new cam­paign is afoot (the start­up usu­al­ly invites about a dozen pro­pos­als at a time). Adver­tis­ers sup­ply the ini­tial cre­ative brief and the design­ers come up with their ideas based on that, where­upon those same adver­tis­ers select the three approach­es they find most appealing.

This is when more detailed com­mu­ni­ca­tions between adver­tis­ers and design­ers take place, hon­ing the details of the ads until they pass muster. At this point, Dis­pop kicks into cam­paign action, send­ing the round­ed-off ban­ners straight to web­sites (includ­ing Face­book) around the planet.

Thor­ough testing

But that’s not all. The per­spi­ca­cious busi­ness devel­op­ment man­ag­er will undoubt­ed­ly be won­der­ing how one can tell if a clev­er­ly designed ban­ner ad is more effec­tive than a coy­ote ugly one. Well, Dis­pop can – by mea­sur­ing all impres­sions and clicks to work out which ad is per­form­ing the best. And it lets cus­tomers shut down the ads that are limp­ing or flatlin­ing and pay only for the ones that work.

Here’s Ebert again:

“There’s not nec­es­sar­i­ly a cor­re­la­tion between what looks good and what works. Test­ing is the only way to see what resonates.”

And a good many small busi­ness­es and bou­tique agen­cies think he’s on to some­thing. Between them, they mount­ed 300 cam­paigns through Dis­pop in its first six weeks after going live.

This lit­tle ven­ture is one to watch in 2014.

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