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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Dana Gardner, Elizabeth White, Jnan Dash, Kevin Jackson, Peter Silva

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iCrossing Unveils New Audience-Based Search Targeting Offering

iCrossing SearchAi Marries Proprietary Technology and Hearst Audience Data With Google's RLSA to Increase Cost-Savings and Targeting Effectiveness for Clients

NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwired) -- 06/25/14 -- iCrossing, a unit of Hearst Corp., has introduced iCrossing Search Audience Intelligence (SearchAi), a new performance media offering that integrates iCrossing's proprietary Connected Marketing Platform (CMP) with Hearst's premium audience data to deliver the first agency solution that drives audience-based search targeting through Google Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA).

For the first time ever, a digital marketing agency will tap the global audience of a premier publishing company to offer audience-based search targeting through Google RLSA. iCrossing has preferred agency access to the vast pool of premium audience data in the Hearst audience platform, which aggregates users from Hearst's 100 magazine websites globally, 29 broadcast TV stations and 15 newspapers and encompasses 200 million unique visitors (UVs) monthly.

With iCrossing SearchAi, the agency's Connected Marketing Platform bridges a brand's first-party campaign data with unique audience profiles generated by Hearst's global network to create audience personas which can be extended through third-party data providers. This enables iCrossing to run Google search ads with superior targeting and messaging capabilities, which translate into higher engagement rates at lower cost-per-click (CPC).

iCrossing SearchAi creates a more complete picture of who is searching for a given keyword -- including elements like age, gender, life stage, purchase intent, and interests -- allowing advertisers to develop more intelligent bidding strategies to effectively target specific audiences. It also gives marketers the ability to customize the search experience with messaging to more effectively guide customers through their journeys.

Using iCrossing SearchAi, brands can realign budgets, and concentrate spend where it will have the biggest impact, for example:

  • Tailoring ad copy depending on which target audience persona is performing a search
  • Bidding higher on searchers who have expressed intent to purchase in the near-term
  • Broadening the keyword list to precisely reach target customers in other areas of daily life
  • Saving media spend by blocking ads from existing customers or spending more to drive repeat business from previous buyers

In addition to allowing advertisers to target more effectively, customize creative and optimize bidding by specific audiences for search campaigns, iCrossing SearchAi can also be applied to display / video media, analytics, native advertising and site optimization.

"By taking an audience-based approach, iCrossing Search Ai allows us to deliver the right content and experiences to the right audiences in just the right moments," said Brian Powley, global president of iCrossing. "With this new offering, we're able to increase revenue and customer lifetime value for our clients by giving them the power to identify and prioritize their spend on their most valuable customers."

With RLSA, Google introduced new functionality to their AdWords platform that enables marketers to customize the amount they bid and the copy they serve in their search ads to past visitors of the brand's website -- but audience-based targeting is not possible out-of-the-box. By combining RLSA capabilities with SearchAi, iCrossing is able to layer in real-time, audience-based insights and targeting. It looks up each site visitor's persona in milliseconds and adds them to a cookie pool if they match the predefined characteristics of a target customer.

"Until now, search marketing targeting has primarily been focused around the details of the search, and not the person making it," said Jonathan Adams, svp, media, North America at iCrossing. "iCrossing SearchAi takes our approach to the next level by allowing advertisers to custom-tailor their marketing not just based on behaviors, but also by audience persona, serving fully customized content and experiences -- including ad copy and landing pages -- to their key target segments."

iCrossing has already begun implementing SearchAi for clients. For more information on iCrossing SearchAi, visit: http://connect.icrossing.com/searchai.html.

About iCrossing
iCrossing, recently named a "Leader" in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for global digital marketing agencies, builds connected brands for some of the world's most recognized companies including Beam Inc., The Coca-Cola Company and LG Electronics. The agency combines its expertise in media, creative and analytics to create moments that build close relationships between brands and their customers in real time. iCrossing, a unit of Hearst Corporation, is headquartered in New York and has 900 employees in 17 offices globally. For more information, visit www.icrossing.com or its social spaces.

More information:
Katie Lamkin
Email Contact
(312) 277-4487
@ktlamkin

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