Twitter Ad Exchange Excites Media Buyers

Twitter is working on an ad exchange that’ll allow advertisers to retarget users with promoted tweet ads. First reported by AdAge, the news was confirmed to Digiday by multiple industry sources the company has briefed about its plans.

Twitter has been experimenting with behavioral customization for months, using data collected from its buttons that are now ubiquitous around the Web. Its exchange will likely allow advertisers to target ads based on their own, proprietary data, too.

Here’s what agency executives had to say about the prospect of a Twitter exchange or retargeting product:

Ben Kunz, vp of strategic planning, Mediassociates
Twitter retargeting is a wet dream for advertisers. Retargeting is consistently the best performing line on any digital media plan, and marketers are hungry to find new ways to “expand the retargeting pool.” My understanding is Twitter retargeted ads would be based on a user’s browser history — not social behavior — and this would be much more likely to predict interest in a product than my social behavior. The irony of all this movement by Twitter and Facebook to match ads to emails or regular Web behavior is it shows the weakness of social behavior as an indicator of purchase. Chatting about something is nowhere near as powerful as searching for it, or giving a company your email address after you search. Retargeting based on real search intent and not social media frothy Likes or tweets is guaranteed to get a bigger response. Sign me up, man. I’m in.

Paul Longo, svp of digital performance, MediaVest
The addition of retargeting/exchange capabilities by Twitter is a natural evolution of its ad platform. What’s exciting about these new tools is that it exemplifies real time at its core. When you combine that with the ability to target using location-based technology then you have a wow factor — and now you’ve got yourself a powerful marketing platform.

Dane Hulquist, director of ad services, Universal McCann
It’s a big opportunity, but only if they can figure out how to comply with DAA regulations. That’s been the problem for me so far with Facebook’s exchange.

James Kiernan, managing director, ZenithOptimedia
I think it’s a smart move by Twitter to enhance their capabilities and be in a position to capitalize on the growing trend of programmatic buying. By making moves like investing in an exchange, opening up their API, and offering self serve options will enable Twitter to further scale their business and help advertisers apply data in real-time to inform both their buying and targeting decisions.

Barry Lowenthal, President, The Media Kitchen
Good for them. We love retargeting. It works for advertisers and it’s a great way to give users more relevant messages.

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