SearchIgnite Boldly Re-Launch As IgnitionOne

SItwitterlogo_bigger.jpgSearchIgnite, an online marketing platform technology company, has rebranded itself as IgnitionOne to coincide with the launch of it’s new “digital marketing suite”. Previously known for having a demand side platform (DSP) and a paid search automated bid management platform (ABM) that were tightly integrated to make display ad buying more like paid search, their latest technology adds “the missing piece of the online marketing puzzle”, which is automating content delivery around search and social media lead scoring.

ignitionone.pngThe new brand logo for IgnitionOne has three overlapping circles which simultaneously indicate a progression for the company itself and is also intended to symbolize a progression for marketing technology platforms in the industry. IgnitionOne have dubbed their new system a DMS (Digital Marketing Suite) and believe this is a new category of online marketing platform, which unites a fragmented marketing technology landscape into a single solution.

Anecdotally the circles represent search, display and social, but they could also be said to represent the final entity of a merger of two companies, SearchIgnite and Netmining. The third circle, the IgnitionOne platform, is the complete integration of SearchIgnite’s paid search, DSP, lead scoring and attribution platform with Netmining’s real-time onsite optimization platform into a single user interface.

Playing Insights From Search, Display & Social Off Each Other
The exciting part of this announcement is the integration of the Netmining onsite optimization platform into the original SearchIgnite proprietary lead scoring algorithm (previously used to holistically manage paid and display spending).

The net effect is that website landing pages can be optimized (for better conversion rates) in real-time, according to the individual user.

A single analytics tag manages the ability to qualify a single lead against how many times the user has visited the site and via what channels and estimate the likelihood of conversion based on how many pages the user reads and how long they spend on each one. Essentially this means that different users can be benchmarked against a sliding scale of their own intent, rather than the average metrics of the site.

For example, a user who visits a single page via search and leaves shortly afterwards may not display as much intent as a user who exhibits the same behavior but also happens to ‘Like’ a product via Facebook on their way out. Similarly, a user who arrives with the stated intention of finding a specific product (knowable via search keywords) but then spends a significant proportion of their visits looking at other similar products, and one in particular, could be retargeted via display ads for their interest in this new product over and above their original intent. Alternatively, if a customer does not leave the site and displays strong interest in another product then, in real-time, an offer can be displayed to them.

Here is a hypothetical scenario, that works with high value sales:

  1. A user visits a car manufacturer’s site with the specific intention of looking at a mid-range priced vehicle.
  2. They look at two vehicles within the same price bracket, one at the higher end of the bracket and one at the lower.
  3. They leave the site and return at a later point and browse the same two products again.
  4. According to repeat visits, recency and length of stay metrics their overall lead score suggests that they are more attracted to the more expensive vehicle.
  5. At that point, the IgnitionOne platform could present an in-store test drive offer for that vehicle. If the user accepts that offer and goes to the store, they are qualified from being an online browser to being a potential customer who can speak directly to an agent and fully experience the product for themselves.

Search Industry, Take Note
I chatted to Will Margiloff, Global CEO of IgnitionOne, and prodded him about why they dropped the term ‘Search’ from their new name – was it losing some of it’s sex appeal in the agency world?

Margiloff was adamant that they had not ‘dropped the term’ in the name change, but countered with the point that, nevertheless, online marketing disciplines should not necessarily be siloed anymore. When marketers are investing in different platforms, they are often buying features rather than solutions and the different components do not lend insight to each other. In his view marketers do not not simply want to know about display, search or social for their own sakes but rather want to invest in services that help them understand the interplay across the overall mix.

This rang true for me from discussions with other industry experts. Analytics’ inherent ability to generate leads and conversions from users is too often overlooked and seen to be the poor man of search – which, by contrast, can drive so much traffic that some of it has to stick. So, with real-time landing page optimization tied to real-time bidding, paid search and social ads, the budget allocation may change from a game of where the most volume is to what sites send the most engaged user. This could lead to a significant power shift.

IgnitionOne plan to hire 75 new employees to increase their headcount to 200. Most of the positions are in client services and software engineering and will be based in Brussels or Atlanta. According to ClickZ, “Of IgnitionOne’s revenue today, about 40 percent comes from its search ad management tool, about 40 percent comes from its display ad management tool, and 20 percent from its onsite optimization tool, according to Margiloff. In contrast, more than 50 percent of the company’s revenues came from its search ad management tool two years ago.”

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