June 12, 2012, 12:06 PM

KegWorks.com tests do-it-yourself retargeting

The e-retailer of beer and bar equipment is placing ads via the Adblade ad network.

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KegWorks, a web retailer of at-home beer brewing and bar equipment, has implemented a number of display ad-based retargeting programs in the last several years, says Melissa Harris, KegWorks’ merchandising manager. Now it’s trying a different form on a self-service ad retargeting platform that places small, so-called “newsbullet” ads next to web content.

Retargeted ads are ads that appear to consumers based on their prior web behavior. For example, a consumer who visited KegWorks.com may then see a Kegworks ad on other sites as they browse the web.

Newsbullet ads appear at eye-level, usually to the right of web content on sites operated by such organizations as USA Today and MSNBC, and generally include the KegWorks logo and a line of text, Harris says. KegWorks also is customizing the ads according to location or previous browsing behavior, such as a picture of a home bar and a message noting how KegWorks can help in that consumer’s location.  For instance, an ad might reference the city from which a consumer is browsing.

KegWorks is managing the ad program through a new retargeting tool from Adiant, a digital media technology firm that operates the Adblade.com ad network. KegWorks ads appear only on sites that are part of the Adblade.com ad network, which includes more than 1,000 branded content sites.

Harris says she likes how KegWorks can reach its customers on top-tier content sites. “The branding value is great,” she says. “We are excited to have our brand seen on major news sites.”

Harris says the self-service platform means KegWorks gets to control how much it spends on a particular ad placement, and can adjust spending at any time. KegWorks, which has been selling online since 1998, pays Adblade.com according to impressions on a cost per thousand basis. There’s no long-term contract, which Harris says helped the e-commerce site make the decision to try it. “This model made sense to us,” she says. “Having no [spending] minimum and no long-term commitment helped with this decision.”

She says Adblade.com sent her one line of code that had to be added to the web site to enable KegWorks to use the retargeting service, which Harris says a KegWorks’ information technology employee was able to add to the site in minutes.

Harris says she’ll be monitoring how newsbullets on the Adblade network perform versus other retargeted ad types and placements. The e-retailer uses Adobe Omniture for its web analytics. “It’ll be easy to track with our analytics. We’ll know if it’s working or not and be able to make adjustments,” Harris says.

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