Let’s talk programmatic: marketer spotlight – James Green

Let’s talk programmatic: marketer spotlight – James Green

In today’s “Let’s Talk Programmatic” James Green, CEO of digital ad technology company, Magnetic, shares advice, best practices and trends in retargeting.

PA.O: What skills do you need to be successful in today’s marketing world?

James Green: Marketing is a data-driven business. Today, knowing how to interpret and utilize data to reach your customers is essential.

PA.O: Can you explain how site and search retargeting work together to convert customers?

James Green: Site and search retargeting are just different stages of the same cycle. If you think of a sales funnel, search activity occurs in the middle, whereas action on a site occurs toward the bottom. Search retargeting aggregates information from online entities, such as e-commerce, review sites and comparison engines. The search intent captured from these places is then used to deliver advertising to in-market audiences, helping to bring new customers to your site. Site retargeting involves the behavior of people who have already been to your site and determines if they match a particular profile. Marketers need to utilize both retargeting methods. You should use search retargeting to find and reach new prospects (i.e. drive new audiences to your site) and site retargeting as a strategy for retention (i.e. to bring them back).

PA.O: How do you measure cross-device given user behavior varies between desktop, mobile and tablet?

James Green: The first key component to effective cross-device measurement is being able to determine that the various devices – phone, computer and tablet – all belong to the same user. One challenge has been that without true cross-device technology, each device can appear as a separate user. Once you have solved that part of the equation, you want to look at the behavioral signals from all of these devices so that as a marketer, you know what your audiences are interested in at a particular moment. Today, people buy items using multiple devices:  Who I am, where I am and what I am doing doesn’t necessarily have a strong correlation with how far along I am on the marketing funnel. We have to look at various behaviors to understand which stage of the buying cycle a consumer is in and message  accordingly.

PA.O: What are some significant trends and/or best practices you are noting in the retargeting space?

James Green: The biggest trend in the retargeting space is adding more data to what you already have. More broadly, when you get third-party and CRM data added to first-party data, the outcome can be extremely fruitful.

PA.O: Is dynamic creative right for every campaign?

James Green: While it may not be necessary for all campaigns, it can be very useful for companies with thousands of product varieties. The most common use of dynamic creative is optimizing the product shown within the ad based on audience behaviors, such as what they might be searching for and/or the products they have browsed through or shown intent to purchase within an advertiser’s site. Additionally, many advertisers are using dynamic creative to optimize location-based elements, such as promoting a specific hotel location based on previous online behavior or serving up a promotion within a specific geographic region. Companies that sell very few products might not need it.

PA.O: What are the biggest growth areas for retargeting?

James Green: I think data is a big growth area. At some point, more purchase intent data is going to be available for retargeting purposes. Combining these signals is going to really change how we do business – and we’re only at the beginning.


James Green is CEO of ad technology company, Magnetic, which specializes in search retargeting. Prior to joining Magnetic in 2011, James built and sold four technology companies including Sabela Media, GiantBear, PVI and Giant Realm. James started his career in the entertainment industry at the Walt Disney Company and Pixar.

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