Being a large company in the direct marketing ecosystem is more a blessing than a curse, but it still takes careful strategy to work with advertisers with specific performance needs. In an interview with Beet.TV, Steve Bagdasarian, vice president and general manager of media and monetization at Publishers Clearing House, explains how the organization views performance.
Bagdasarian describes performance as the “lifeblood” of the organization. He credits the products that the company has built internally for their own needs for the scale and growth of their brand.
“What we look at from a performance standpoint is the ability to drive a high value performance outcome for a third party marketer,” says Bagdasarian. “Whether that be lead generation, registration, or app download, now we’re beginning to tease into some new product areas like very down-funnel customer acquisition needs.”
Two areas of focus internally to maximize performance have been programmatic and e-commerce.
Programmatic has become a large part of PCH’s digital revenue. Over the past five years, they’ve focused on a strong programmatic setup that complements a user engagement that often exceeds several minutes per visit. This has meant heavy video consumption and smart programmatic advertising that fits the long session rates of their users.
“When I think about our position of being a very large publisher, a publisher that has an incredible data footprint,” says Bagdasarian. “An incredible amount of data scale that can be provided as an asset in the targeted advertising process is something that I think is unique to us.”
For PCH, this has meant reconsidering what “premium” looks like. Bagdasarian says they’re making a lot of investments towards transparency and aligning themselves with the data needs that are available in market so that they can target their advertisements with more relevance. This has led them to continue leaning into e-commerce.
His advice for companies trying to reshape their e-commerce strategy all starts with acquiring users that are going to be engaged. As more emerge, it’s forcing publishers to reconsider their acquisition strategies.
“It used to be all about reaching scale and now it’s about scaled performance,” says Bagdasarian. “I think that starting point is basically the starting point for everybody’s strategy, and if you’re not there you need to quickly get there because the market is moving in that direction.”