The hunt just became personal

Struq’s personalised banner ads tackle the problem of ’banner blindness’ and match job seekers with their perfect vacancy.

Imagine that you’re looking for a job. You’ve applied for a whole range of roles in the past week, including PR executive at a fashion start-up, a similar role at an online advertising agency and an intriguing writing proposition for a new media company in Manchester.

Now, sitting in a café with your laptop, catching up with friends on Facebook, shopping on Asos.com, flirting with a guy on Match.com, your eye is caught by a banner ad from Jobsite.

This is no ordinary ad; it appears to be serving up vacancies related to your last visit to the site. Suggesting a PR executive job for a TV station, it is as if the advert has been specially generated just for you and your interests.

This is exactly what Gary Robinson, marketing manager at Jobsite, wants people to feel about his ads. Rather than use traditional online spots, he turned to agency Struq last year to provide something more tailored to individuals and their job-seeking needs.

“We were trying to build our brand awareness and I was skeptical of display advertising because it doesn’t tend to have great clickthrough rates,” says Robinson. “But with Struq banners, you are essentially running a personalised display ad.”

Jobsite was keen to increase the number of conversions for its business in terms of people registering with the site, applying for jobs anduploading CVs. Jobsite aims to reach jobseekers from every sector so it can come up with the goods for every position its recruiter clients are looking to fill.

Struq personalises the content of display ads in real-time to increase the relevance of ads to users and lower the costs for advertisers to acquire customers. The campaign was implemented by putting Struq Site Logic Tags on the jobs website. These are fed into Struq’s data engine, which creates logic about users and a dynamic feed of all the jobs on Jobsite.

Struq then creates ad templates within client brand guidelines which can seamlessly deliver an unlimited number of personalised, relevant and informative ads to users.

Struq shows users what they want to see within an ad, explains Sam Barnett, chief executive of Struq. “We have developed personalised ads that are relevant to users, and relevant advertising content results in users being ten times more likely to engage, click and convert on a display ad.”

Job seekers were engaged by the personalised ads because the campaign used the media that match a specific consumer’s interest, then paired it with the right job, location, wage and offer, in real-time.

“The success behind Struq banners is that a potential candidate will have taken a look at Jobsite then gone off around the internet looking at other stuff they are interested in,” explains Robinson. “They are then presented, via the banners, with jobs they have been looking at and similar ones.”

Jobsite has always been a forward-looking brand, claims Robinson, who has spent 11 years with the company. At the beginning of his career, the employment agency was taking jobs by fax machine and sending out job information to candidates on disc. Tapping into current trends, Jobsite has just launched an iPhone app and will soon be trying other types of mobile technology.

“You have to try these new aspects of technology because there might be a gem in there that is good for your business,” says Robinson. “You can play it safe but you have to take risks to win out.”

Tailored advertising is a natural route for the Jobsite brand, which is very much about making job hunting more personalised. Candidates are given their own criteria for searching and for ways of receiving information on potential jobs including email and Twitter.

“I can get more for my money with this click-through and we noticed that the level of CVs and job applications rocketed through this,” says Robinson. “You are attracting your own audience back and converting them.”

Struq’s Personalised Banners maximised users’ interaction with and response to the Jobsite ads, improving the advertiser’s brand perception through its audience and users’ online experience. In commercial terms, this level of relevance means you are 12 times more likely to click on a banner.

The impact of the personalised ads and the significant increase in relevancy for Jobsite was a substantial improvement in performance. Compared to other types of tools – Run of Network, Standard Retargeting and Behavioural Targeting – the dynamic display adverts delivered 71% of conversions.

Jobsite considers that Struq’s innovative technology helped it attract customers at a lower cost than even search marketing, traditionally seen as the most effective means of acquiring customers for Jobsite. The ad has seen a huge improvement in clickthrough rates, making Jobsite’s advertising costs more efficient. Job well done.

INNOVATOR

VIEWPOINT

SAM BARNETT
CEO AND FOUNDER
STRUQ

When explaining that I worked in the banner advertising industry to my mum, she couldn’t understand why I was working in a declining industry as she never saw banner ads anymore.

She said she ignored these ads as they annoyed her and were irrelevant to her, something commonly described as banner blindness. That’s when I realised something had to change: we had to make ads more relevant and informative to significantly improve the user’s online experience.

We began working on Personalised Banner Ads – to make ads truly relevant to users online. When we test-marketed the first ads, the significant increase in relevancy for users resulted in a substantial decrease in the advertiser’s costs to acquire customers.

We effectively delivered Personalised Banner Ads for Jobsite, matching users looking for jobs with roles from Jobsite.co.uk, as they surfed the internet.

 The way we did this was by using a combination of artificial intelligence and psychology to personalise and optimise personalised banner ads.

We create a “DNA” of the user based on what they have been searching for on the Jobsite site. So, if you are female, looking for a certain type of role and salary in a particular area, when you go to browse jobs on the internet, we use a cookie to make ads personal to you.

Highlighted innovators: Sam Barnett, chief executive of Struq, and Gary Robinson, marketing manager at Jobsite

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