CEO Interview: Permuto's Shaukat Shamim on The Premature Death of Display Ads
With the demise of printed newspapers, advertisers who used the Sunday circulars to attract customers have gone in search of online technologies that can offer the same visual merchandising power. Many of these advertisers compete against the Top 100 search advertisers for paid placement. Online display advertising has had a mixed reputation since the 90’s as an effective tool for converting eyeballs to buyers. That started to change mid last year when Comscore and the Online Publishers Association published updated research. Their report revealed that 20% of consumers exposed to online display ads searched on the advertised brand and 25% visited the advertisers’ site.
As good as those results are, there is still room for improvement, believes Shaukat Shamim, CEO of Permuto, a Silicon Valley company that has developed an online display advertising network called ShopperConnect™. Super-segmentation can further improve performance, he says. That’s because Permuto’s advertising platform was created to enable display advertisers to design pages to respond “more like search, by calculating people’s intent.”
Permuto uses semantic modeling and invisible pixels on publishers’ sites to predict shopping behavior, and then dynamically generates visual ads that match products to shoppers. Shamim notes that over 180 values are analyzed by Permuto’s advertising servers, which enable super-targeted ads that can help merchants effectively convert browsers to buyers. Semantic modeling analyzes data about past behavior, relationships and attributes to create a dimensional picture of a concept or topic. In this case, Shamim maintains this insight enables Permuto to select a product to promote that may be interesting to a consumer browsing a web store or a comparison shopping site.
Google has used semantic modeling successfully with its search platform to supports its advertising product, AdSense, but to date that product has treated display advertising as a static visual unit. Shamim argues by dynamically generating a graphical ad that optimizes for the product category and the store or content publisher, Permuto’s technology is more effective than AdSense for display advertisers. He adds that the ability to customize the right combination of product and display unit layout, offers the most visually effective ad units for customers, publishers and advertisers.