Featured Startup Pitch: Perfect Audience’s self-service ad retargeting platform helps small-and medium-sized web businesses recapture ‘lost’ visitors

By Editor July 17, 2013
Brad Flora, PerfectAudience

Perfect Audience logoCompany: Perfect Audience

Website: www.perfectaudience.com

Founders: Brad Flora, Jordan Buller

Headquarters: San Francisco

Year Founded: 2011

Investors: Y Combinator, SV Angel, WGI Group, New World Ventures, Start Fund, Knight Foundation, individual investors

Employees: 9

Twitter: @perfectaudience

Facebook: facebook.com/perfectaudience

Brief Company Description: Perfect Audience helps advertisers boost sales through self-service retargeting of ads to their website visitors across Facebook Exchange and other ad networks.

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Brad Flora, PerfectAudienceBy Brad Flora, co-founder

Product Overview

If your business is looking for new customers (and most are!), you know that people who have already visited your website are prime candidates. You may have tried to reach them through ‘retargeting’—showing them your ads while they’re on other websites. But what about when these prospective customers are doing what so many people do so many times a day—use Facebook?

Until recently, unless your company was a large brand working with an agency, positioning your ads before Facebook’s nearly one billion users through third-party retargeting was nearly impossible. Then, in September 2012, Facebook Exchange officially launched, heralding the arrival of a powerful marketing platform. Facebook Exchange represented a potent opportunity for advertisers, but not a democratic one, as only large ad exchanges were able to access it. It wasn’t until Perfect Audience launched a self-service platform in October 2012 that small businesses and other advertisers were able to retarget their website visitors on Facebook and also across more than 100,000 other websites, including all sites in the Google, Microsoft, OpenX, Pubmatic, and Rubicon Project ad networks.

The new Perfect Audience self-service platform has opened retargeting to practically everyone, allowing long-tail advertisers with virtually any sized budget to reap the benefits of advertising on Facebook and across other popular networks.

Perfect Audience’s self-service dashboard lets advertisers easily measure campaigns, including click-through rates, actual sales, ad spend, and other metrics. Upon signing up, advertisers can immediately install a site-tracking tag, create retargeting lists, and set up conversion goals.

In addition to Facebook Exchange and other ad networks, companies can easily buy ads on popular and influential online destinations, including international news outlets such as The Guardian, mega blogs like Bleacher Report, and a wide range of niche ‘mommy’ and entertainment blogs. Advertisers can also use Perfect Audience to retarget customers who read marketing emails but don’t click through and convert.

In short, Perfect Audience enables advertisers to easily manage far-reaching, targeted online campaigns on modest budgets.

Founder’s Story

My grandfather was an entrepreneur. He started a company outside of Detroit called Industrial Burner Systems that sold heating implements to big factories around the Midwest. As I was finishing journalism school at Northwestern in 2008, I fielded job offers in the news industry, but caught the entrepreneurial bug, starting both a news site in Chicago—The Windy Citizen—and an advertising company—NowSpots. Both ventures were initially funded, in part, by the Knight Foundation. NowSpots enabled me to develop web sites and advertising tools that eventually became Perfect Audience.

My company is very different from my grandfather’s. For one, as a digital ad company, Perfect Audience’s products exist only on the Internet and don’t require a factory to assemble. But I face many of the same challenges my grandfather dealt with 40 years ago: hiring, finding customers, executing on a strategy, etc.

Marketing/Promotion Strategy

As an ad company, we know first-hand how effective well-targeted advertising can be. We spend a lot on ads every month through our own platform, and they generate a great deal of new business for us. We’ve also rolled out a referral program that gives referrers a share of revenue from companies they direct to us, and gives those new sign-ups a larger free trial spend credit. By offering a two-sided referral program, we’ve been able to put our customers to work growing our business.

Having successfully started our customer and revenue base-building efforts, we then turned to thought leadership, which involves the initiation of a strategic public relations campaign focused on influencers who cover business, advertising technology, and a range of vertical industries.

Differentiation from Competition

Google the term ‘retargeting,’ and you’ll see others who apparently do the same thing as Perfect Audience. But there are key differences:

  • Perfect Audience users are not required to sign up for a costly managed service, commit to a minimum campaign spend or sign a contract. There are also no setup or maintenance fees.
  • Our customers can gain immediate access to the Perfect Audience retargeting platform and easily self-manage their own campaigns.
  • Our pricing is lower than that of our competitors, with CPM (cost-per-thousand people) rates typically falling between 25 and 75 cents for Facebook Retargeting, and $1.50 to $2.50 for web retargeting.

Business Model

Perfect Audience has no fees or setup costs. We only charge for results. When we’re able to serve an advertiser’s ad to one of their lost customers, we keep a small percentage. In this way, customers never pay for things that don’t provide actual value to them. Aligning incentives is very important in finding customer-market fit.

Current Needs

We are currently in the midst of doubling-to-tripling our staff, which was four employees at the start of the year. We’re looking for top-notch candidates in engineering, product development, and sales, as we have an ambitious agenda for expanding our portfolio of services for small, medium, and large businesses, as well as digital agencies.

Perfect Audience – www.perfectaudience.com