How REA Group uses adtech to deepen customer reach, engagement

Digital advertising company explains how it's activating audience data and improving customer experience


Delivering results

Asked to highlight some of the tangible results, Clarke said one of the big benefits is around efficiency in terms of a reduction in man hours.

“Initially, we were saving the equivalent of around 10 hours a day of manual campaign set-up time and optimisation. As the scale has increased, that is up to around 15 hours a day that we’re saving in terms of the manual effort that used to go into the campaigns,” he said. 

In addition, there's been a significant increase in scale in terms of the amount of users the company can reach, and the amount of impressions it is able to deliver, while still driving direct response outcomes as well.

“We have maintained and in some cases increased the clickthrough rates, the amount of traffic that’s coming through for each listing," Clarke said.

Deploying the technology has been an “iterative process”. “It is certainly not just a set-and-forget type of application," he said. 

"We are constantly changing the way that integration works in terms of what data we feed in, how we create the segments, and how the templates are set up for the campaign. It is definitely an ongoing iterative process and we’re seeing continual uplift as we continue to evolve that product as well.”  

Hindsight and moving forward 

During the deployment process, Clarke found it fascinating to observe technical people talking to other techies, and trying to collaborate with multiple stakeholders.

“There are a lot of moving pieces and involving multiple vendors as well, so it can be challenging to get the right people in the room, whether it’s various product management folk from the different stakeholders or whether it’s getting the engineers and the technical folks who speak the same language onto the call,” he said. 

Asked his next steps, Clarke said REA wants to continue exploring how it can best harness customer insights to be able to provide more value in a personalised experience.

“We’ve already seen the benefits of personalisation, so using those audience insights to deliver a more relevant experience - the right properties at the right time to the right people," he said. "For us, it is about continuing the journey - how do we use the insight that we have from the 6.6 million users we have across our websites and just be able to provide a better property experience to consumers.

“More and more, that property experience can live outside of our website. It might be users we’re reaching across other websites, using the likes of MediaMath, or across social media.” 

REA is arguably in a unique position with programmatic, given it is both a buyer and a seller of programmatic inventory and focused on audience.

“We are continuing to see more and more dollars shift to programmatic trading. Traditionally, it has been a predominantly direct response dominated channel, whereas more and more brand dollars are flowing through those channels now," Clarke commented.

“Marketers, brands and publishers are all realising the importance of that real-time activation and real-time audiences to derive outcomes, and the immediacy and the accuracy of the targeting and the access to inventory really just opens up the door and broadens what you can achieve and the type of scale you can deliver.”

Read more about how REA Group is maximising technology for audience engagement

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