Business-Focused Ad Startup Bizo Launches Self-Serve Retargeting

Startup Bizo tries to help advertisers reach a business audience using methods like retargeting. Now it’s making those retargeting capabilities available in a self-serve product.

For anyone who needs a refresher on the nomenclature, if you visit a website but failed to sign up or buy anything, then see ads for that company following you around the Web — well, you can thank retargeting. (As someone who has to visit startup websites as part of his job, this has become a constant annoyance.) However, Bizo says it uses retargeting in virtually all of its display advertising campaigns, because it works — it’s going after people who have already expressed interest in a product or service, and it helps businesses stay at the top-of-mind for those consumers.

As for the self-serve product, VP of Product Management Chris Mann says that for the most part, it should help Bizo reach a new customer base, including marketers for smaller businesses with more limited budgets, “who are just now getting their arms around how to add online display to their marketing mix.” Mann says the new product includes the same retargeting capabilities that Bizo uses in its own campaigns, except that it can’t target people who visited specific pages on a website. (Bizo plans to add that capability in Q3.)

When asked about the annoying factor, Mann says ads can become more effective and less annoying based on both the specific ad creative and the frequency with which it’s displayed.

For one thing, Bizo divides the cookies used to track website visits into three segments: one to seven days, greater than one week, and greater than two weeks. So as time goes on, consumers should start see fewer and fewer ads targeted based on a specific website visit. On the creative front, Mann says you need “to incorporate messaging that takes into account that your customer has already visited your website” and so “already knows a little bit about you.” In other words, don’t write an ad that treats people like they’ve never heard of you before.

Bizo spun off from ZoomInfo and has raised a total of $20 million in funding.