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FAQ last updated: June 18, 2015

Mblast - At A Glance

Mblast delivers highly customized target audiences for use in digital and social marketing.

 

Our ability to identify individuals declaring purchase intent through conversational targeting enables brands to reach specialized audiences with offers that drive engagement.

 

We enable efficient campaigns that increase conversions and simultaneously cut digital ad spend, leading to increased Marketing ROI.


Fortune 5000 firms – and their advertising agencies and consultants – with existing budget for programmatic advertising on social media channels using custom audiences.


We empower our clients to run campaigns that run fewer ads, have more conversions, and a higher ROI – enabled by our hyper targeted audience creation process.


Essentially, we provide a premium mailing list for use in direct and targeted custom audience-based ad campaigns.  Depending on the venue, this may be social handles, email addresses or other client identifying data.


We offer an additive, positive ROI on top of your existing approach that makes your ad campaigns more successful and more profitable.


Lots of firms use demographic and behavioral analysis to guess which audiences may have a greater likelihood of accepting the advertising offer. Mblast, however, performs massive real-time content and contextual analysis of what people are actually saying to precisely create custom audiences of high propensity targets who are saying exactly what they are interested in. To our knowledge, Mblast is the only one on the market today doing such real-time processing intense analysis of what people are actually talking about. Note: This is not a superficial key word or hashtag analysis, but rather an intensive, cross-channel, historical, assessment of content and context, to create a specific snapshot of what a person is interested in at any particular time.


Mblast charges to process a list for each campaign, and charges by the campaign, starting at $5,000 per campaign.


Yes – Mblast case studies are available here


Mblast and Ad Agencies

Mblast partners with some of the largest ad agencies in the world. While we can (and do) work directly with our clients, we often work in conjunction with their agencies too — the agencies handle the creative and place the ads, just like they do under their present business model. Our core competency is delivering great audiences in support of ad agencies and their customers, and boosting ROI in the process. This leaves more money for creative and other work with the agency!


Not at all. We are completely complementary to — not competitive with — all of the things that ad agencies bring to the table for their clients. We don’t get involved with the creative, with a client’s art or text, or with the ongoing, day-to-day administration of a campaign. We simply provide our clients and their agencies with targeted audiences who are more likely respond to the great work that the agency is doing.


Re-targeting is an advertising tactic where users who have previously engaged with a brand are targeted and re-served ads. Engagement may include exposure to ads, engagement with ads, or website visits.

 

Mblast specializes in the initial identification and creation of highly customized target audiences, but also supports re-targeting campaigns. We can track and retarget individuals who have interacted with ads that are part of a campaign that used Mblast custom audiences.


One-to-one marketing (1:1 marketing) is a customer relationship management (CRM) strategy emphasizing personalized interactions with customers.


Mblast and Audience Targeting

While Mblast can deliver aggregated audience characteristics — generally called “Personae” — Mblast specializes in delivering exact individual profiles that match a customer’s needs. Listings of those individuals’ email addresses, Twitter handles, Facebook handles, etc. If you need Personae, Mblast can deliver these, but wouldn’t you rather have exact names of people who exactly need your product or service?


Conversational ad-targeting is the delivery of highly relevant ads to potential customers when they either directly declare intent to purchase a product or service, or indirectly express intent by engaging in public conversations about life changes and events that may signify specific needs for products and services. Examples:
 

      – Direct Intent: “I am shopping for a new car. Who has a recommendation?”
          A Ford Taurus ad is delivered.
      – Indirect Intent: “It’s been a great two years, but it’s time to move to a new job”
          An ad for 401k rollover financial services is delivered.

     

    Mblast monitors online profiles and their conversations for relevant information specific to a client’s campaign. Then we build custom target audience lists that are used to deliver personalized content and optimize advertising campaigns.


Intent based ad-targeting is the delivery of tailored ads to highly relevant potential customers who explicitly indicate interest in a product or service. Relying on declared rather than predicted intent allows you to spend less and improve ROI by placing ads in front of fewer, but more precisely targeted individuals.

 

Intent based ad-targeting provides more accurate target audiences over Behavioral ad-targeting, which only attempts to make a correlation between online behaviors and habits and purchase intent. Observed behaviors may include web searches, browsing activities, past purchases, or previous engagement with ads. Because it relies on data taken from following the behavioral patterns of large groups, it does not provide insight into any particular individual.

 

Mblast monitors online profiles and their declared purchase intent in order build highly customized target audience lists. The lists are used to deliver personalized content and optimize advertising


Mblast works with all the major social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube (via partner), Instagram, Pinterest and others — although conversational targeting is more effective with the more text you have to work with. Additionally, because we always respect privacy settings, restricted content is not included in our Mblast queries. However, we do integrate “public” posts and include them in our audience building process.

 

Mblast also has the ability to target audiences across networks. Our systems analyze an individual’s entire social presence and makes correlations between user names and other information. For example, we may identify purchase intent based upon what a user publicly tweets, but then help our client serve an ad to that person via Facebook.

 

Mblast is also testing new image-based intent functionality with select partners, adding to our extension across social platforms, particularly image-intense sites like Instagram and Pinterest.


Mblast delivers custom target audiences that are made of individuals who publically – directly or indirectly – declare purchase intent. In comparison, social platforms build audiences based on group characteristics such as gender or geo data.

 

If desired, a social platform’s ad tools, such as Twitter’s geo segmenting option, can be used to further segment the Mblast audience. The bottom line is that Mblast delivers an audience more likely to be a customer, as they have already individually expressed an interest in what you’re selling.


Mblast increases the efficiency, effectiveness and ROI of digital ad campaigns.

 

Mblast provides an advertiser with highly customized target audiences – made of individuals who explicitly and publicly indicated purchase intent. These tightly focused groups are primed to engage with tailored messages and ads. An advertiser can reach a potential customer in the social channel used to express purchase intent.

 

Example: A person tweets about her desire to visit a theme park. She is then served a Twitter ad that includes a special offer to that theme park.

 

Using Mblast custom audiences allows an advertiser to deliver fewer, but more effective ads.


After the initial delivery of a custom audience, an essential part of our process is to continually evaluate the campaign. On an ongoing basis, we assess the audience and compare advertising results to a baseline, non-targeted campaign. We can examine our audience’s social content for new keywords and themes, then further segment the target and optimize the campaign.

 

This process allows us to refine the queries, identify additional segments and increase the accuracy of our targeting.


We incorporate geo data into our audience profiles when it is available. The depth and breadth of that geo data varies according to the privacy settings of the individuals.

 

In cases where geo data is integral to a campaign, we rely on using geo data that the social platform internally maintains about their users. Here, our clients would upload our custom audience lists and then use the ad console’s geo filtering options to ensure ad delivery.


The Mblast Process

Mblast’s process begins with our data providers. We leverage multiple social data aggregators (including access to the full Twitter firehose), API access to social networks and our own web crawlers to provide a broad-spectrum view into the public social web (as well as across the blogosphere, forums and publications). This expansive data access provides the baseline data against which Mblast queries can be built.

 

When a customer engagement begins, we work with our clients to fully understand the target profiles of the customers our client wishes to engage via targeted advertising. We then build complex queries of our data providers using the actual terminology a good potential customer would use when carrying on a conversation about purchasing the good or service offered by our client.  Our query engine matches these queries against our data sources and finds matches.

 

We then perform textual analysis of these public posts, extracting content and themes, scoring propensity using our proprietary algorithms. Additionally, we create biographical profiles and enrich them with additional social, geo and other data using our own algorithms, a dedicated data processing team and, optionally, third party enrichment services


All Mblast campaigns are based upon natural language queries of our extensive, multi-network social database. As part of our implementation process, our team works with clients to optimize these queries, develop segmentation and deliver custom audiences.

 

Details:

Mblast maintains and constantly updates an exclusive internal database of social profiles that serves as the foundation for all campaigns. We collect and refine data with a patent-pending process that leverages social data aggregators, access to social network APIs such as Twitter, and our own web crawlers that pick up information on blogs, forums and publications. Doing this provides a broad-spectrum view into the public social web and generates the baseline data against which Mblast queries are built.

 

To create custom audiences specific to new campaigns, we use our database and build on information from there. Using the process described above, we extract new relevant data and social profiles from across the web. We then bring all the information together in a cohesive format of the client’s choosing, ready for campaign use.

 

Mblast takes the following steps to ensure campaign success:

        1. Work closely with our client to fully understand the customers needs and profiles of the target audience they wish to engage.
        2. Define the campaign’s key words and phrases, and identify the specific terminology a potential customer would use when expressing interest or intent for the client’s product or service.
        3. Build complex queries, focused on this specific language to identify highly-relevant potential customers. We use natural language processing to extract keywords, phrases and themes from the content in our database and then discover matching content that indicates purchase intent when we query that database.
        4. Perform textual analysis of public social posts, extracting content and themes, and scoring purchase propensity using custom algorithms.
        5. We create biographical profiles and enrich them with social and geo data using custom algorithms, a dedicated data processing team and, optionally, third party services to deliver additional geo or demographic information.
        6. Deliver highly-relevant and customized target audiences for use in digital and social marketing.

 


Mblast’s database feeds are continuously updated. Social posts enter our system within seconds after they go “live” on social networks.

 

The speed at which this data is delivered to our customers depends on two factors:

 

        1. How the delivery is done: Is it a continuous API feed or are audience lists delivered in batches at recurring intervals?
        2. What scoring and enrichments, such as additional geo or demographic profile data from third party partners, are added to the data: Enrichments may cause a slight delay (a few hours) in the delivery of audience data.


Depending upon your specific engagement, data may be delivered in the form of a simple CSV list or for more complex scenarios, be connected to a backend API for display in the visualization tool of your choice.

The CSV list may include the names and social handles of individuals who have indicated purchase intent for the product or service you sell. This list is designed for easy upload to advertising consoles.

More complex data can include a richer set of social profiles and analysis about your audience.

Profile information may contain social posts, social handles and profile names, biographical information, profile pictures, geo data and more.


You do not need any tools, such as a CRM or social listening platform, to use Mblast’s services. We create custom audiences based on your business needs and deliver them ready for use on the social advertising platform of your choice.

 

That said, Mblast is fully compatible with and complimentary to CRM and social monitoring platforms. You may use Mblast’s data and analytics to examine and build on a known audience, such as your existing customers or prospects.

 

Mblast also works with social monitoring services in a complementary way. We can use the individuals, keywords and trends identified by your social monitoring solution and provide additional data, such as more social profiles and recent public posts.


Mblast data can be easily integrated into many data visualization platforms like Tableau or Business Objects. For customers who want a pre-built solution, Mblast has teamed up with leading Business Intelligence vendor, Information Builders, to develop a console that provides visualized data about your campaign.