Stuart Larkins Talks About DoubleClick Performics Data Feed Marketing



image We have recently added a new section to our comparison shopping guide dedicated to the top data feed companies that currently offer comparison shopping engine listing services including feed generation, submission, distribution, management and tracking. Some merchants find it difficult to setup, manage and track their individual CSE campaigns and sometimes they just don’t have the time to deal with all that’s involved. For this reason, several companies now offer different services designed to help ease or take-over these tasks for any merchant who may fit into either category.

One such company featured on our data feeds list, DoubleClick Performics, was gracious enough to spend some time with me in order to discuss their comparison shopping solution details more in depth. I hope to eventually take the time to talk with each company on our list so that our readers can pick and choose based on the individual needs or goals of any CSE campaign.
DoubleClick Performics is the search engine and affiliate marketing division of DoubleClick Inc. (recently acquired by Google) Performics is based out of Chicago while the international headquarters of DoubleClick are in New York. The company and subsidiaries feature a host of digital marketing and technology services ranging from affiliate marketing, SEM, data feed solutions and consulting to proprietary tracking or reporting technologies, account management and much more to add to their years of industry expertise.

DoubleClick currently services many of the world’s top marketing, publishing and agency brands including About.com, PriceGrabber, Vegas.com, Ford, Friendster and MTV. Performics also serves as a valued resource for top brands such as iRobot, Pottery Barn, United Airlines and many hundreds more to add to their years of expertise.

Here’s what Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO, had to say about the DoubleClick acquisition…

We are thrilled that our acquisition of DoubleClick has closed. With DoubleClick, Google now has the leading display ad platform, which will enable us to rapidly bring to market advances in technology and infrastructure that will dramatically improve the effectiveness, measurability and performance of digital media for publishers, advertisers and agencies, while improving the relevance of advertising for users.

(I’ll save comments on all that for another article and topic in the future)

DoubleClick Performics Comparison Shopping Solution Overview:

DoubleClick Performics uses a proprietary feed automation platform to build, optimize, and submit your product catalog. Rapid implementation places power back in the marketer’s hands to better control messaging, promote in-stock items and react to seasonal demands.

DoubleClick CSE Solution Allows Merchants To…

  • Upload product data via email or FTP site
  • Automatically validate and report errors
  • Exclude certain products from select partner feeds

In addition, DoubleClick Performics will distribute your feed across 18 of the top comparison shopping engines and much more.

Performics Blog:

  • Official Performics Blog

For updates, news and articles on Performics solutions be sure to visit the official DoubleClick Performics blog. While you’re there, make sure you subscribe to their feed, that way you never miss out on upcoming news or announcements. Performics blog categories include affiliate marketing, emerging opportunities, product features, search marketing and system maintenance.

DoubleClick Blog:

  • Official DoubleClick Blog

For more information and updated announcements be sure to check out the DoubleClick blog. They have categories covering all their individual products and solutions including topics on creativity and innovation, industry commentary, news and events, research and tips.

Stuart Larkins, VP of Search, Answers 10 Questions About Performics:

eCopt Interview Icon What made you decide to get into the feed generation or management business originally? How long have you been servicing merchants, vendors and Online sellers?

DoubleClick Performics Interview Icon DoubleClick Performics was founded as Dynamic Trade, an affiliate marketing company, in 1998 and launched comprehensive search engine marketing services in 2001.

DoubleClick Performics takes a thinking forward approach to performance marketing for 300 of the world’s top brands. With the right blend of insight, technological investment and response-oriented marketing plans we engage and deliver more consumers for our clients.

eCopt Interview Icon What are your specific service specialties? Do you currently provide feed generation, distribution, tracking, management or all of the above?

DoubleClick Performics Interview Icon DoubleClick Performics serves clients with three primary performance marketing solutions: affiliate, search and digital consulting. Its affiliate marketing solutions provide advertisers and publishers large and small with industry-leading technology, superior customer service and exceptional support. The firm’s comprehensive search offering pairs consumer engagement expertise with technical innovation to empower advertisers to think forward about search engine marketing; marketers utilize these industry leading services for a wide range of programs, including integrated search, paid search, natural search, local search, comparison shopping and paid inclusion.

Our comparison shopping solution distributes single feeds to multiple sites, facilitating quick and simultaneous updates across properties. DoubleClick Performics manages programs for more than 100 clients across 13 comparison shopping engines. Our experts utilize advanced technology to enhance program development through a proven methodology.

eCopt Interview Icon What comparison shopping engines are supported by your service? Which engines do you work with?

DoubleClick Performics Interview Icon DoubleClick Performics manages client data feeds with comparison shopping engines, Web publishers and participants in the company’s affiliate network, some of which include:

Google, Yahoo!, MSN, BizRate, NexTag, Shopping.com, PriceGrabber, Smarter.com, Gifts.com, Findgift.com, Become.com, Pronto, and PriceRunner.

eCopt Interview Icon Who are some of the merchants that currently use you as a feed generation or management firm?

DoubleClick Performics Interview Icon DoubleClick Performics’ data feed management technology helps power more than 100 current DoubleClick Performics data feed clients and offers online advertisers an opportunity to leverage online distribution, improve reach and ranking, and drive sales through search, shopping comparison and affiliate Web sites.

eCopt Interview Icon What factors should merchants consider when shopping for a feed generation or management firm?

DoubleClick Performics Interview Icon When selecting a feed management firm, it is important to align with an agency that understands the merchant’s business goals and encompasses the following features:

  • Proven expertise in the feed management space
  • Scalable technology
  • Dedicated account team
  • Proprietary optimization methodology
  • Strong partnerships with CSEs
  • Understand and practice a holistic approach to digital marketing

eCopt Interview Icon In your opinion, what is the biggest mistake merchants make when venturing into the comparison shopping world?

DoubleClick Performics Interview Icon Choosing the wrong partner is the biggest mistake merchants can make when venturing into the complex world of data feed marketing.

  • Over-automation: Strong technology is only one element of data feeds; experienced practitioners are crucial to successful programs
  • Underestimating the value of new-to-file customers; feeds provide the highest NTF rates
  • Under-utilization of search, affiliate and other online marketing data to strengthen data feed program
  • Too broad an ROI focus; merchants should closely manage ROI at the product level

eCopt Interview Icon In your opinion, what is the most commonly overlooked feed aspect, that makes the biggest difference with CSE’s?

DoubleClick Performics Interview Icon Robust tracking and analysis drives more efficient programs. Using analytics to the fullest potential grants deep insight into why some products sold more effectively than others and creates opportunity for correction. DoubleClick Performics analyzes data down to the SKU level, and leverages search and affiliate data to optimize feeds. Knowing what you didn’t sell and why allows you to optimize and correct problems.

eCopt Interview Icon In your opinion, what will the comparison shopping-scape look like in the future? Replaced by traditional SE’s? Better than ever? Hardly used? More social? Anything?

DoubleClick Performics Interview Icon As consumers become more sophisticated online and increase their use of comparison shopping engines, advertisers will allocate more resources and budget towards feeds. DoubleClick Performics has superior relationships with the top comparison shopping engines, enabling advertisers to expand reach, improve relevancy and cost effectively connect with more consumers. Through audits of current client initiatives, DoubleClick Performics also provides an understanding of the market landscape and potential opportunities within emerging media and offers strategy based on clients’ capabilities.

eCopt Interview Icon What goals do you hope to accomplish and where do you see your firm heading in the next 1-3 years?

DoubleClick Performics Interview Icon DoubleClick Performics continues to strengthen and invest in its teams, technology, proprietary methodologies and strategic partnerships to deliver qualified consumers for clients. Emerging media, mobile, etc.

eCopt Interview Icon What is the single best performing comparison shopping engine you currently support? Who earns the most revenue on average for your merchants?

DoubleClick Performics Interview Icon As a leader in the feeds, search and affiliate space, DoubleClick Performics works successfully with thousands of publishers and engines to earn optimal revenue for our advertisers.

Conclusion & Final Thoughts:

To Stuart: Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer a few QandA questions about DoubleClick Performics for our readers. I especially like your stand on empowering the merchant, keeping control in their hands (that is important to the point that they know everything that’s going on with their campaigns in order to properly track ROI). I am really relieved to see that you continue to reach out and inform potential clients about your services and that the recent acquisition hasn’t seemed to put any cramps in the way things are done at your company. I personally can’t wait to see some of the newer innovations a company like DoubleClick is capable of creating, it should certainly be a fun and exciting year in the comparison shopping space. Once again, thanks for taking the time to spread the word about your comparison shopping engine and data feed management solution. Please don’t hesitiate to send us any developments or news about feature releases or company happenings, I would love to work with you again in the future.

To our readers: I really hope all the readers out there have enjoyed this interview with VP of Search at DoubleClick Performics about their services. Keep in mind that we hope to eventually conduct more QandA type interviews like this with other data feed management and service companies. If you liked this interview be sure to check out the others in our interviews section and if you don’t want to miss out on any in the future, you can always subscribe to our articles feed or email updates, that way we can send the next one to you!

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