Q&A: Philippe Lang, product director of Ad Feedback, Kampyle

Advertisements are simply a part of the online experience these days, but how ads are served and how your clicks are tracked has become a part of a growing debate. One company, though, is hoping to leverage the ubiquitous nature of online ads for the better by asking for viewer feedback.

Earlier this month, Kampyle, a web services firm, rolled out its latest product, Ad Feedback. Marketers place the Kampyle thumbs up icon into a portion of the their ads. Then web users can click on it to provide feedback on anything about the ad by either using simple smiley face and frown emoticons or by writing in specific comments on the creative and placement of the ad. 

Philippe Lange, product director of Ad Feedback, discusses the new product with Direct Marketing News.

Direct Marketing News (DMN): Tell me a little bit about your firm Kampyle, its history and clients.

Philippe Lang (Kampyle):  We’re about three years old. The company started in the field of feedback. The idea was to enable people to provide feedback at any touchpoint in their Web experience. The first solution was feedback for the website, which is probably what we’re best known for. Anytime you’re on a website, Kamplye provides a channel to respond.

Another solution was feedback for software. For example, for Firefox, probably one of our larger customers, whenever you are downloading or installing it, if you have an error or an issue, you are presented with a feedback form.

DMN: Recently Kampyle rolled out a new “ad feedback service” that essentially allows website visitors to do what when they see an ad?

Lang: It is simply a little icon that appears in the corner of the ad with a symbol of the hand. When the consumer clicks on the icon, a feedback window comes up. The categories typically you will find here are comments on the relevancy or intrusiveness of the ads. Some are positive, too.

DMN: What’s the benefit to the marketer, and how are your clients using this feedback?

Lang: The feedback is integrated with the ad campaigns. The more the ad is rich with media, you get more feedback. We look at the data in terms of click-throughs, and 1 out of every 20,000 impressions received feedback. Out of these, there are about half of them that will provide feedback in just the pre-selected categories and about half are giving written feedback.

It’s 50/50 that the feedback that comes in is around the ad creative –  the ad is too noisy, I can’t find the close button, or the ad makes no sense. The other ones around placement might say, “Why are you showing me this ad?” People commenting on placement are shocked as to why they are getting irrelevant ads.

So for marketers, it helps them with their ad placement. If they’re getting negative feedback on the placement, they can correct it right away, or if it’s on the creative they might incorporate that into the next round of the campaign.

DMN: What type of analysis/metrics do you give back to marketers using the ad feedback product?

Lang: The feedback is merged with Web analytic data. We capture all the Web session data—which campaign, which creative, which page, what was the size and OS of the user’s computer. This is sent together with the ad data from the customers. This is all merged into our reporting center, so you can see for example, maybe you’re getting a lot of negative feedback on this specific ad or for a certain campaign or a specific geographic or customers with a smaller customer screen.

For example, a customer was running a campaign and they were getting very bad feedback from those using netbooks.

DMN: What was the impetus for launching the product now? Was it influenced by the ongoing debate about behavioral tracking online?

Lang: Yeah, today the ability for the consumer to give their opinion is everywhere online but somehow ads are still one of the last places where visitors can’t really do anything about it. The only place has been Facebook, which has given some capabilities for their users to give feedback.

This is such an important part of the web experience today, the ads, so it makes sense to allow them to provide feedback in that environment.

DMN: How easy or not easy is it to add this feedback component to an existing ad?

Lang:  The way it works is either it can be part of the ad if it’s a Flash ad, or if you’ve already designed your ad, we have another solution that offers a button overlay that displays over the ad. That’s what most of our customers are doing. It’s implemented at the ad server level, so it’s pretty much plug-and-play with a single line of code.

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