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article imageTed Dhanik — Engage:BDR’s CEO on media buying vs. Facebook Special

By Johnnie Guerrio     Oct 28, 2013 in Technology
Facebook upped the ante with its incorporation of hashtags, but another company isn't taking it lying down. Engage:BDR is a pretty well known company and has a lot to say about Facebook and how engage:BDR plans to keep ahead of the game.
Since Facebook’s implementation of hashtags, the social network has brought a lot of change to the Internet marketing industry, most notably within the CPC and media buying spaces. The reason that hashtags have encouraged such evolution within this space is because it is now much easier, cheaper, and more effective for advertisers to place their ads in front of very targeted and highly engaged users. And, where Internet marketers and companies used to make their living by providing that same solution to brands, now Facebook’s hashtags have rendered many of those services obsolete. But despite all of the change that the hashtags have brought along, there are still a handful of companies that are able to offer competitive solutions to Facebook advertising, one of which is engage:BDR. To learn more about the company, its services, and how they’ve managed to compete with the latest additions to Facebook, we sat down with engage:BDR CEO Ted Dhanik for an exclusive interview.
First off, can you tell us a little bit about engage:BDR?
Sure. engage:BDR was founded back in 2007 and was one of the first companies to provide performance-based marketing solutions. Now we provide a wide range of advanced technologies and cutting-edge solutions to our clients in display, mobile, video, and other channels. We have premium inventory, proprietary technology, customized reporting, and advanced targeting solutions that allow us to reach sizable, highly targeted audiences worldwide.
With Facebook’s addition of hashtags and Graph Search, why would brands opt to use a company like engage:BDR rather than Facebook when it comes to CPC, display, or any other media buying?
Facebook has definitely put a dent in display demand, and we saw that not too long ago when companies began migrating their ad spends from traditional display ads to Facebook. But, as is the case when anything new comes out, we noticed that these diversions of funds were really only temporary and that advertisers were finding more success by using Facebook in parallel with other channels. So the reason why people shouldn’t put all their eggs into one basket (Facebook) is because by doing that, you are missing out on other potential traffic sources and customers. Our technologies are far more specialized than Facebook and built around individual brands and campaigns, so we are able to offer a more customized media buying solution for our clients.
A lot of people are buying ads on Facebook because they know the traffic is safe. How is engage:BDR able to offer the same type of safe traffic?
It depends on the types of campaigns; we want to run the campaigns very appropriately, we use lots of tools to find the media plan for every client. So, we buy campaigns specifically for every individual client and we leverage tools that are vital to those types of campaigns—What Runs Where, Comscore, AdClarity, etc.—and we use those to find the core audience that the campaign deserves, which is largely based on competitive analysis. At the end of the day, we only make money if our clients are making money, because a majority of them are performance-based advertisers so there is a really incentive for us to do a great job all around. I don’t think that same type of incentive is present at Facebook.
There’s no doubt that Facebook’s new advertising features have affected the ways in which Internet marketers approach and execute their business; however, companies like engage:BDR don’t seem to be going anywhere, anytime soon. Yes, Facebook’s massive and engaged user base is an attractive selling point for many advertisers looking for impressions and clicks, but what Facebook’s advertising lacks is the technology and the desire to construct customized campaigns for their clients. It’s these types of campaigns where companies with proprietary technology and premium inventory, such as engage:BDR, succeed. Not only do they have the tools to craft a successful, one of a kind ad campaign for their clients, but they also have an incentive to make sure their clients are successful—that’s why they are able to compete with the giant that is Facebook.
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