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Want to Become a Great Boss?  Channel Your Inner Ski Guide.

Want to Become a Great Boss? Channel Your Inner Ski Guide.

Author: Susan Coelius Keplinger, President & Co-Founder

Note: This was first published on the Fortune Insider Network. Fortune Insider is one of several online communities where the biggest names in business answer timely career and leadership questions. This week they asked Susan Coelius Keplinger:

Q. What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?

A. To be a great leader, first strive to be an amazing guide.

Too often folks perceive leadership and promotions as the power to be bossy, or to micromanage their teams every moment. As a 24 year-old founder of an advertising technology company, in an industry and space completely dominated by older men, I learned quickly that by being my best guide, I was my best leader.

Let me explain. Some of the best guides in the world are big mountain ski guides – they literally hold the lives of their teams and clients in their hands. The guide’s role is not to ski the fastest or jump off the biggest cliff (though typically they are the best skiers in the group), but instead to empower their people to navigate extreme terrain safely, confidently and efficiently. To succeed, guides work tirelessly to understand the abilities of the group (skill levels, experience, etc.), develop achievable tour plans (considering snow conditions, timing, forecasts) and constantly monitor each member to optimize their experience. A great guide therefore not only inspires the confidence to take on big challenges and aggressive tours, but earns the trust of their team to get off the mountain safely, with smiles abound.

Translated into business, new leaders (young or old) will find quick success by sticking to these basic principles:

  • Understand the abilities of your team and the tools you have to work with.
  • Create an achievable “tour” plan that considers the expectations and risk tolerances of your team and company.
  • Optimize for maximum success by finding and suggesting techniques and routes, while avoiding micromanagement and fatigue.

There is little more fulfilling in business than achieving success. As a leader, I find my biggest smiles arrive when I can guide a team into completing a project that seemed intimidating and hard at the beginning, but obvious and achievable by the end. Don’t forget to listen to yourself and your gut, you’ve probably already been a guide for quite some time!

Turn Big Data into Big Business with Native Retargeting

Turn Big Data into Big Business with Native Retargeting

As 2014 concludes, it is clearer than ever before that native retargeting solutions like those on Facebook work. Presenting relevant, timely advertisements to interested customers in places they’ll actually see them greatly improves both click-through rates and subsequent conversions. But are you doing everything you can to ensure that you’re maximizing your retargeting investment? There are three simple but powerful rules to remember when developing your retargeting strategies for the New Year.

1. Focus on the critical success factors that matter most in achieving your business objectives.

First things first – identify and prioritize what matters most for your business. Understand which customers, products, and transactions result in the strongest bottom-line wins. How many dollars do you need to make for every dollar you spend in order to achieve a positive ROI? Without laser-sharp focus on what moves the needle for you, it won’t matter how well you follow steps 2 and 3. You may have very high-volume products that, because of tight margins, aren’t especially profitable. Better to focus on the factors that have the greatest impact on your business’s success.

2. Resist information overload and organize your data around what matters most.

Big data is, well, big. There is a lot of information out there that concerns your business, but much of it is noise that will not help you achieve your ROI goals. Ignore that noise and organize your data around what matters most.

Break down your data into smaller pieces, and be thoughtful about how it’s organized and structured. Which products have the highest conversion rates? Which regional audience segments make you the most margin? Are you separating cart abandoners from customers just browsing on your site?

As you feed your data into a native retargeting solution, the bidder’s only job is to translate your data and numbers into a set of simple instructions to buy the right impression, at the right moment, and serve the right ad. Understanding your data, and structuring and organizing your audience segments, product feeds, and budgets, will enable you to best leverage your data and maximize your ROI.

3. Analyze, optimize, scale and repeat for maximum success.

Now that you know what is important to your business, and you’ve organized your data around these priorities, it’s time to leverage technology to achieve scale and real ROI success. A retargeting partner can work with you to take advantage of predictive modeling and programmatic buying to maximize the value of users within your target audience segments (e.g. cart abandoners) that have the highest probability of conversion. At G4 Native, our post-click conversion algorithm, OTTO, constantly seeks to optimize against post-click conversions by predicting users who are most likely to convert, and bidding most aggressively for those users in price, frequency, recency and more. If you’re going after the end conversion, and the associated revenue, these are the users you want to spend money on. Programmatic, algorithmic, buying enables scale and maximum post-click conversion ROI.


These are all things marketers can do without the assistance of engineering. And relax; nobody gets everything right the first time. By working with a retargeting partner who provides transparent insights into how your audience segments and targeting groups perform, you’ll be able to glean valuable insights into assumptions made. You’ll then be able to turn those insights into actions that will progressively improve your results.

Concentrate on your success factors, focus in on the information that provides the most insights, share these with your retargeting partner, and take advantage of programmatic modeling and bidding to accelerate results. Here’s hoping that 2015 sees your highest ROI, strongest growth, and greatest achievements to date.

Conversations with a Software Engineer: Q&A with Mike Hoitomt

Curious about software engineering at an advertising technology company? Here’s what Mike Hoitomt, one of G4 Native’s software engineers, has to say about programming, ad tech, why he loves working remotely.

What did you do before starting as an engineer at G4 Native? I started my career as a Mechanical Engineer for an Aerospace company. After doing that for a few years, I worked as a Project Manager for a Fortune 50 health insurance company. I really missed engineering though, so I was able to take on more technical roles while working there, while also going back to school. Eventually I became a Software Engineer for that same company, and then a Sr. Software Engineer for a large apartment rental site in Atlanta, and then of course found G4 Native.

What’s your favorite thing about working in the digital advertising industry? There are two things that are really fascinating to me: Auctions and Scale. It’s fascinating to me that ad publishers run auctions for every piece of ad real estate on their client sites. These auctions take place within 120ms. The publisher starts with an auction: “We have a 200 x 300 pixel space of prime real estate right here, who wants it?”. Then we throw bids at it to win the action and get our customer’s ad out there in the wild.

With regards to G4 Native’s place in the advertising industry, the scale of everything that we do is huge. Handling the volume of transactions is the first consideration in most of our engineering decisions. This impacts the programming language that we use for a given application, how we deploy the application so that it can be scaled up or down, and how our applications talk to each other.

How does your job at G4 Native differ from other engineering jobs you’ve had? G4 Native’s end product involves more “iceberg” programming than I’ve experienced at other places. What I mean is that a lot of the code we write is to support functionality that is hidden from view, almost like the main part of an iceberg that’s below the surface. Raw data goes in one end, we analyze it, process it, and deliver it, and most of this is invisible to the end user. Because of the auction process, sometimes the tip of the iceberg isn’t even visible.

In other engineering jobs I’ve had, there is more of a visual feedback loop. When you work on a typical web application, a larger portion of the changes and enhancements are reflected in a User Interface; you write ten lines of code and this check box shows up on the screen and gets saved to a database. At G4 Native, it’s much more about making sure that the internal systems have the correct data.

What are the top three things you recommend for aspiring engineers looking to crack into the digital advertising industry?

  1. Learn about Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and how software applications talk to one another (message queues, databases, API’s, etc.)
  2. Learn about different types of databases (NoSQL, Big Data, SQL, etc.)
  3. Learn more than one programming language, or at least be strongly interested in learning other languages. Modern languages have definite strengths and weaknesses and it’s important to be able to utilize the best language for the job. Java, Ruby, Javascript, and SQL have been the most useful for me as core languages. Knowing those makes it easier to pick newer languages such as Go.

What tech blogs/publications do you follow regularly? I follow Hacker Newsletter along with around 100 different individual bloggers from a range of topics. My favorites are John Gruber, Scott Adams, Jeff Atwood, Randall Munroe’s XKCD, Thoughtbot, Rands, and Mark Cuban.

If you weren’t an engineer, what would you be doing? I’d like to say I’d be mowing down hitters like Bumgarner, but my fastball never got above 50 on the gun. So I’d probably be analyzing or managing something, and I wouldn’t be nearly as happy doing it. I love designing and building things and engineering lets you do that.

Just for fun…

What do you love most about working remotely? I like the distraction-free work environment combined with the autonomy it provides. I’ve been working remotely for over five years now and it’s now strange when I have to work in an office. It’s louder, and there are so many more distractions in an office compared to my home office. It’s something I hadn’t noticed until I started working remotely.

Tell us something interesting about yourself! I’m a big Wisconsin sports fan, and I live in the Midwest, which both seem to be rare among software engineers. I have two degrees (BS, Mechanical Engineering and an MBA) and have credits towards a third (Computer Science).

Contact us to learn more about G4 Native’s dynamic retargeting technology.

The Do’s & Don’ts of Facebook Retargeting

Today’s post is cross-posted with FBPPC.

By Alison Morris, Director of Marketing

Retargeting has become a necessary ingredient in the digital advertiser’s marketing mix. 96% of advertisers say retargeting is already a part of their marketing mix, and 50% plan to increase retargeting budgets in the next six months. With retargeting on the rise, especially on Facebook, what can advertisers do to get the most bang for their buck this holiday season? We polled G4 Native’s team of superhero Account Managers, and here’s what they had to say:


What are your top recommendations for advertisers looking to increase retargeting campaign performance?

  • Power a strong dynamic product retargeting campaign with an excellent product feed.  A high performing dynamic retargeting campaign has an excellent product feed at its core. Advertisers need to prepare their feeds with the end result (the ad) in mind. Product feeds should include engaging images and relevant elements in the feed that will appear within the ad unit, ideally going beyond merely product name and price, to product ratings, reviews, and any other details you have access to that will help create a truly personalized ad experience.
  • Increase your reach with complete pixel coverage across the entire site. From the home page to the cart page, and everything in between, ensure complete pixel coverage so you can target users during all steps of the purchase funnel. Did you know that by pixeling your internal site search pages, you can target searchers with relevant product ads? The more pages you pixel, the greater the opportunity, so don’t limit yourself to pixeling just the standard product and cart pages.
  • Be open to segmentation, and go beyond the audience. Not all audiences act the same, and your campaigns can really take off with different optimization strategies and ad copy tailored for different audience segments. The standard segment is for abandoned cart users, but we can segment your campaigns in any way – by web page, by recency, even by product price, product margin, and more.
  • Communicate openly and regularly with your Accounts team. With advance notice of promotional periods and sales, your Accounts team can create the best strategy to drive increased volume and ROI during promotional periods. Additionally, if goals change, be sure to communicate this right away so your team can make the appropriate optimizations to meet the new goals. Keep in mind that it takes time to see the impact of these changes, making it even more important to communicate any changing goals right away.


What should advertisers not be doing?

  • Don’t show ads for users who have already converted. This is a no-brainer – continuing to retarget users for the same products for which they’ve already purchased leads to a bad user experience, not to mention wasted media spend. It is very easy to exclude these users once they’ve converted, so be sure your retargeting partner has this capability.
  • Don’t waste money on static retargeting ads. You probably know that dynamic retargeting performs better than static, driving up to 5X higher CTR and 2X higher ROI. Users demand a relevant, personalized ad experience and dynamic retargeting delivers just that, versus static retargeting that is generally so, well, general, that they miss the mark on relevancy (and therefore performance).
  • Don’t place too much emphasis on daily performance, but rather trends over time. Performance is best reviewed when looking at week-over-week and monthly trends, not individual days. Sure, you might notice that your CPA spiked on a given day, but that doesn’t mean you should change your campaign strategy based on just one day. Additionally, it takes more than one day to measure the impact of prior optimizations that may have already been put in place to address this.
  • Don’t expect Facebook retargeting to behave like other online channels. Paid search, display, and even Facebook Marketplace ads perform differently compared to Facebook retargeting. It’s important to set different goals, budgets and expectations for each channel individually in order to maximize both volume and performance.


What can advertisers do now to really move the needle this holiday season?

  • Run promotional ad copy that mirrors holiday season promotions, sales, and special days (ex. up to 70% off on Black Friday). This adds an increased level of relevancy for your holiday shoppers, plus a sense of urgency around any time-sensitive promotions.
  • Relax KPI goals and increase budgets to drive more volume during promotional periods. During the holidays, volume increases, and conversion rates typically increase as well. As a result, many of our clients choose to relax their KPI goals in order to optimize more aggressively and capture the increased holiday traffic and shopping volume.
  • Be open to new retargeting channels. There’s more to retargeting than FBX.   Additional channels can drive more volume and contribute to a strong ROI, such as Facebook’s Custom Audiences and G4 Native’s native retargeting on news feeds beyond Facebook. An excellent retargeting campaign is one that targets your users wherever they are, at that exact moment of intent, with a personalized ad.


Interested in hearing more from G4 Native’s superhero Account Managers? Contact us to learn more.

Brazil Spotlight: Interview with Gabriel Alves, Triggit Brazil

Curious about digital advertising in Brazil? Gabriel Alves, G4 Native Brazil’s Accounts Operations Manager, recently paid us a visit from our São Paulo office, and here’s what he had to say about digital advertising, his expert retargeting advice, and why he loves this industry.

Gabriel Alves, G4 Native Brazil

What did you do before starting at G4 Native?

My first “business” experience in the digital space happened when I was just 15. I bought some shoes from China and resold them online in Brazil. Many years have passed since then, and seven years ago I first joined the technology industry when I began selling B2B integration solutions. Later, I switched to work with marketing technology, providing the market with software solutions that enable large enterprises to communicate cross-channel with millions of people, on a 1:1 basis. Through this experience with web analytics, behavioral targeting and product recommendation technology, I discovered my passion for behavioral targeting media and the programmatic advertising space.

What do you love about working in the digital advertising industry?

I see tremendous growth potential for this industry in the next 10+ years. We’re still at an early growth stage in Brazil, and I want to be part of this innovation process, creating solutions to help the market deliver better, personalized experiences to connect brands and users. I love being part of the industry’s disruptive change in the way we buy media and present relevant, personalized advertising at massive scale.

How does digital advertising differ in Brazil compared to the rest of the world?

Brazil makes up the fifth largest Internet audience in the world and represents 40% of the entire Latin American audience (comScore). While close to 50% of the population uses the Internet in Brazil, compared to 80% in the U.S., Japan and Germany, most people are still in the early stages of knowing what this channel can provide to them. Given these facts, I believe Brazil has huge opportunity for growth in this area, and companies have been investing in people and technology to minimize this gap. It’s exciting to see the changes as users are getting more comfortable using the Internet to communicate and engage with their favorite brands in the digital space.

Another difference comes from the cultural aspect of Brazilians. We are people who love to socialize, and we like to be active in groups and discussions.  This element of socialization is what makes Facebook and other social networks really huge here. Social networks have become a great channel for brands to engage with potential and existing consumers.

What advice do you have for your clients to drive successful retargeting campaigns?

  • Segment your audience! Users who put a product in their shopping cart but do not convert should be treated differently than someone who merely looked at a product, or someone who looked at a product and clicked to chat with an online attendant. A good segmentation strategy can have a huge impact on conversion rates.

  • Segment by products as well. Not all products have the same performance, or drive the same margin. Segmenting your products by best performers, for example, allows you to test different optimization strategies to drive even better performance for these products.

  • Tell a consistent message both online and offline. Users need consistent messaging even though they interact with your brand differently across various online and offline channels. Make sure you are telling the same brand message, and then adjust as necessary for each channel.

  • Leverage your retargeting partner’s expertise. G4 Native provides full service account management, and our team provides significant value to our clients as our #1 goal is to drive better performance while increasing volume.

What digital marketing blogs/publications do you follow regularly?

I follow relevant groups on LinkedIn, including Ad Exchanges Masters and Digital Marketing, as well as publishers in Brazil, including Proxxima / Meio Menssagem.

If you weren’t in digital marketing, what would you be doing?

I would probably be in technology sales, or following one of my hobbies as a photographer or chef.

Just for fun…

What do you love most about living in Brazil?

Here is where I have all my family and close friends. People are friendly and very communicative. Our tropical weather and beaches are lovely. Food is great, and we like to party :)

Tell us something interesting about yourself!

I’m passionate about good food. I love creating new dishes in the kitchen – but do not put a recipe in front of me — I can’t even read through all the steps! I prefer creations from scratch. I also love extreme board sports such as wakeboarding and surfing, and different from what you might expect from a Brazilian, soccer and Carnaval are not my favorite things.

Contact us to learn more about G4 Native’s international retargeting solutions.

Facebook Atlas: Marketing Baseado Em Pessoas

Por Zach Coelius, Co-Fundador e CEO

O lançamento do Atlas do Facebook foi sem dúvida nenhuma o ponto alto do 11o. ano  do evento da Advertising Week. Como o próprio Facebook explica em seu site:

Facebook Atlas

O Atlas proporciona um marketing baseado em pessoas, ajudando os profissionais de marketing a atingir pessoas reais independente dos dispositivos, plataformas e veículos de mídia. Servindo anúncios segmentados e mensurando isto através de todos os dispositivos, os profissionais de marketing podem facilmente resolver o problema do “cross-device”.

A promessa do uso de login como a principal fonte de identificação (para conectar as pessoas através dos dispositivos, plataformas e veículos de mídia) é entusiasmante e todos do nosso mercado passaram a semana especulando o que isto significará.

É evidente que o mais poderoso uso do login como fonte primária de identificação para servir anúncios é o fato de ser possível com isto  obter um entendimento do usuários através de todos os dispositivos. Anteriormente nós veríamos um usuário de um computador como uma pessoa totalmente diferente desta mesma pessoa navegando através de um telefone ou um tablet. Ao ser capaz de juntar esses dispositivos, e os anúncios veiculados neles, Atlas promete não apenas gerenciar a frequência de anúncios e unificar o público, mas também medir o impacto muito importante da atribuição “cross-device” dos anúncios.

Onde antes nunca teríamos o conhecimento se um usuário que viu um anúncio converteu em um dispositivo diferente, Atlas está agora prometendo unificar os dados dessas impressões para finalmente nos permitir compreender seu verdadeiro impacto.

Este é um grande negócio para o futuro da publicidade digital, e não há dúvida que a indústria está entusiasmada para experimentar o novo produto e ver seus resultados.

Facebook Atlas: People-based Marketing

By Zach Coelius, Co-Founder & CEO

The 11th year of Advertising Week has come and gone, and the launch of Facebook’s Atlas ad server was without a doubt the highlight of the event. As Facebook explains on it’s own website:

Atlas delivers people-based marketing, helping marketers reach real people across devices, platforms and publishers. By doing this, marketers can easily solve the cross-device problem through targeting, serving and measuring across devices.

The promise of using the login as the primary source of identity (to connect people across devices, platforms and publishers) is incredibly exciting and everyone in the industry spent the week speculating about what it will mean.

Clearly the most powerful use of the login as the ad server’s primary source of identity is in unlocking a cross-device understanding of a user. Previously we would see a user on the desktop as a totally different user than that same person browsing on a phone or a tablet.  By being able to join these devices, and the ads served on them, Atlas has the promise of not only managing ad frequency and unifying targeting, but measuring the all-important cross-device attribution impact of ads.

Where before we would never have known if a user who saw an ad converted on a different device, Atlas is now promising to join the reporting of those impressions to finally enable us to understand the true impact.

This is a huge deal for the future of digital advertising, and there is no question the industry is excited to try the new product and watch the results unfold.

Triggit To Offer Performance Retargeting Across TripleLift’s Native Advertising Exchange

G4 Native, the global leader in performance retargeting, today announced a strategic partnership with TripleLift, a leader in native advertising. The business partnership will drive scalable performance for direct-response advertisers across the globe, offering a powerful combination of G4 Native’s performance retargeting solutions and premium inventory on TripleLift’s native advertising exchange.

Native advertising is the future of digital advertising, with spend expected to increase 1.6X in the next three years, outpacing display growth each year. Dynamic retargeting is the highest performing digital advertising with over 2X higher ROI than static ads. Combining forces, native retargeting drives over 15X higher CTR than banner ads.

With this partnership, advertisers will drive significant ROI at scale by leveraging G4 Native’s dynamic retargeting technology to access billions of impressions per month across TripleLift’s cross-channel, cross-device native advertising exchange.

 “When you deliver personalized ads directly in front of users at the time of intent, they click, and convert. Advertisers are realizing unprecedented performance, and now with access to the TripleLift’s native inventory, G4 Native’s native retargeting solution is even more compelling for advertisers,” says Zach Coelius, CEO and Co-Founder at G4 Native.

 “G4 Native is a very forward-thinking company and understands the potential of native advertising.  We are excited to help them deliver personalized ads as they scale the native retargeting opportunity.  Advertisers and publishers alike need an alternative to banners while maintaining the performance of programmatic, and this partnership is a great start, “ says TripleLift CEO and Co-Founder, Eric Berry.

Content Marketing Meets Retargeting

By Alison Morris, Director of Marketing

Content marketing has become increasingly important as brands aim to build trust and engage with new and existing consumers. 90% of B2C marketers leverage content marketing, and 60% of B2C marketers expect their content marketing budget to increase this year, according to the Content Marketing Institute.

What are marketers doing with all of this content? Most of us are distributing it on social media platforms and publisher sites across the Internet. Not surprisingly, Facebook is at the top of the list — 89% of all B2C marketers use Facebook to distribute content. While content distribution on these channels has been steadily rising, marketers’ confidence about its effectiveness hasn’t. And with good reason – what good is your content if it’s not getting in front of the right (interested!) audience?

What if you could show your content to people who have already raised their hands? By pairing your content marketing strategies with dynamic retargeting, you can do just that. Deliver highly relevant content to people who have already shown interest in your company, and drive continued conversations (and revenue!) with a highly engaged audience.

For example, let’s say you’re thinking about taking a trip to Hawaii. You’re dreaming of lying in a hammock at a beachfront hotel, and while you’ve browsed through a few hotel listings, you aren’t exactly ready to book anything just yet. You would, however, be interested in a Hawaii travel guide that informs you of the various beaches where you might stay, top sights and attractions, and hotel reviews.

Rather than hoping your users stumble across the perfect travel guide on your website, make your content work harder with highly relevant ads that drive them directly back to this content, at which point they can continue planning their trip.


How does content retargeting work?
If you’re currently working with a retargeting partner, they already have tons of consumer data from your retargeting campaigns, enabling you to retarget customers in two ways:

  1. Increase consideration with potential customers. Leverage your existing content to move potential customers through the purchase funnel until they’re ready to book.
  2. Drive engagement with existing customers. Continue the conversation after they’ve booked! Retarget existing customers with relevant content so they continue booking their dream vacation.

Where can you retarget?
Content ads can be shown anywhere you’re currently doing retargeting – on the Facebook News Feed and news feeds across the Internet.

Content retargeting drives consumer engagement, leading to more than a one-time click, but to brand loyalty and repeat conversions (read: more revenue!). Make your content marketing work harder and unlock more revenue with content retargeting.

Interested in learning more? Contact us for more details.

It’s Back-to-School Time!

By Sajna Ramchandran, Director of Client Services & Strategy

Did you know that Back-to-School time is the second biggest shopping season of the entire year, second only to the holiday season? eCommerce sales for the Back-to-School season are forecasted to increase 16% in 2014, with online spending higher than offline. eCommerce marketers have a huge opportunity to take advantage of these trends:


Back-to-School (BTS) promotions start as early as July, so we’re in the thick of it! Entire blogs are dedicated to tracking the coolest water bottles, the “most swagger” backpacks &  wicked smart “looks” for the season! With parents doing the shopping and kids doing the influencing, there’s plenty of opportunity to reach  this massive audience.

If you haven’t already started your BTS promotions, it’s time to get moving! We’ve listed our top recommendations below for US retailers to reach, re-engage and retarget users on news feeds across the Internet:

  • Re-engage your current audiences, and reward past customers, with relevant Back-to-School (BTS) offers, deals & steals.

  • Retarget users with ads for the top trending items of the season. If you’re already working with G4 Native, just tell us the top-performing products and categories within your product feed, and we’ll design a BTS program around your goals.

  • Use Facebook News Feed ads (bigger images, CTA buttons, more opportunities to like & share) to engage audiences around limited-time sales and promotions.

  • Use Facebook Custom Audiences to target fans, customers, email subscribers and offline customers based on user likes, interests, demographics and/or social behaviors.

  • Extend your reach with dynamic native retargeting – bringing the performance of Facebook News Feed ads to the rest of the Internet.

Whatever your goal this season,  G4 Native is here to help with dynamic native retargeting on Facebook and beyond – on news feeds across the entire Internet. We’ll put the performance back in your advertising initiatives so you can reduce media waste and drive a targeted Back-to-School campaign!  Ask your Account Manager for details, or contact us for more information.