exclusive interview with Bazaarvoice Media (part 1)

Exclusive Q&A sessions with ad tech leaders are part of our commitment to helping you understand the U.S. digital network and tech ecosystem. We recently spoke with Denise Zaraya, VP of Product Marketing at Bazaarvoice Media, a shopper media platform that connects brands to the authentic voices of consumers as they shop, to find out how Bazaarvoice Media differs from its competition.

Kantar Media SRDS: What does Bazaarvoice do?

Denise Zaraya, Bazaarvoice’s VP of Product Marketing: Bazaarvoice Media is an ad network that allows brands to reach and target active shoppers, specifically as they research, compare and ultimately make purchases. We help brands place relevant ads directly within the path to purchase, enabling them to reach shoppers online as well as in-aisle at the retail store through mobile.

Kantar Media SRDS: Can you tell us about Bazaarvoice Media’s origins?

Zaraya: Many brands are familiar with our established ratings and reviews business at Bazaarvoice, which launched in 2005. We power the technology behind product ratings and reviews online, specifically consumer conversations across thousands of brands and about 1,500 retailers. Bazaarvoice Media’s ability to place brand advertising messages in the retail environment, when consumers are most engaged, is a natural evolution of our ratings and reviews business.

Kantar Media SRDS: How is Bazaarvoice Media different from its competitors?

Zaraya: We are unique in three distinct ways.

  • We can reach and target 92 million consumers as they are actively shopping and can target shoppers by category, seasonal occasion, persona or demographic.
  • We have an in-aisle mobile product that allows brands to reach shoppers while they are comparison shopping and researching products while at the store.
  • We allow brands to harness the voice of the consumer to create ads that work in the retail environment.

Kantar Media SRDS: Can you tell me more about reaching active shoppers?

Zaraya: Bazaarvoice helps brands reach shoppers as they research, compare and ultimately make a purchase online and in-store. We have a bird’s eye view on the millions of people who view and share their opinions, questions and experiences about 20 million products in the Bazaarvoice network each month. We know how to reach the best shoppers for a brand, we can slice and dice shopper segments and we can deliver relevant ads right in the path to purchase.

Kantar Media SRDS: Can you tell me about your retail relationships?

Zaraya: We work directly and in most cases, exclusively with retailers, giving brands the ability to advertise on their sites, targeting consumers while in the path to purchase.  A few retailers we work with include Newegg, K-Mart, Overstock and OfficeMax.

Kantar Media SRDS: How do you create more relevant ads for brands?

Zaraya: At Bazaarvoice, we have a whole suite of ad units that are designed with the retail environment in mind. They truly help a brand tap into the voice of their consumers. With our “word of mouth” ad units, we take ratings and reviews snippets and place them directly in ads. For example, let’s say a diaper company wants to target women that are 25-35 years old and have kids. We can look through ratings and reviews about their products and funnel the most appropriate reviews in the ads. Essentially, this gives brands the ability to let their most powerful customers sell on their behalf.

We also offer a "Now Trending" ad unit, which sifts through a brand's product catalog to understand which products are most popular on social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. We can then dynamically pull those popular products right into the ad unit and place them on relevant retailer sites.

Kantar Media SRDS: How is your targeting different from other shopper ad networks?

Zaraya: Other companies target shoppers online solely through data, but they don't really know if a consumer is in the path to purchase at that moment. At Bazaarvoice, we use data along with retail, shopping and mobile environments to ensure that a brand’s ad is seen in the path to purchase. In other words, we reach shoppers when they’re shopping. Because we have found that active shoppers are much more open to marketing messages in the retail environment, we can help execute more effective advertising.

Kantar Media SRDS: Can you tell me about the research you’ve conducted on shopper media?

Zaraya: We recently released a survey, conducted by Wakefield, of 2,000 consumers and found that retail advertising on shopper media is actually more effective than ads on traditional content publishers' sites. The survey showed that, on average, consumers who saw ads on related retail sites were 18% more likely to find the ad relevant, 20% more likely to click and 21% more likely to purchase compared to when they saw ads on a content-provider site. In short, when consumers are actively shopping, they are much more open to what a brand has to say. You can download the full report here.

That’s it for Part 1 of this interview with Bazaarvoice Media’s Denise Zaraya. In Part 2, we’ll tell you why marketers and media buyers use Bazaarvoice, what’s next on the horizon for the company and more.

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