When I was presented with the opportunity to speak with Adam Singolda, Founder and CEO of Taboola, I obviously jumped at the chance. Taboola is widely recognised as being the world’s leading content discovery and distribution platform, and Adam is responsible for the creation of this.
I went into the meeting with plenty of questions, and the amount of ideas and information that Adam shared with me meant we went off on a few tangents. But, every single thing we discussed is incredibly valuable, especially for you, those who care about performance marketing.
The cookie conversation
As Adam pointed out, the cookie deprecation conversation has been going on for as long as we remember, and time is the key here. When it comes to this conversation, something we need to focus on is ‘who is going to stand the test of time?’ Apple definitely seems to be honing focus in on solutions a lot more, and we can expect Microsoft, Google and Meta to follow suit.
From a consumer perspective, increased privacy is obviously a great thing. According to Adam, the creepiness needs to be stopped – consumers want their privacy to be respected. In order to win this battle, more focus needs to be placed on context. This means focusing not on who your customers are, but instead what are they reading about? What are they clicking on? Try to determine what they’re curious about based on what they’re doing!
“In ten years, our children will be shocked that we used to be tracked without giving our permission.”
The beginning of something huge
Adam told me a great story proving the value of trust, especially now that many of us now prefer to shop online as opposed to in store. He wanted to buy a trampoline for his kids, yet when he searched Amazon, thousands of products popped up. So instead, Adam spent time searching through various reviews on review.com. Here, a team of experts had reviewed various trampolines, putting in an incredible amount of time and effort. Then, when Adam came across the right one for him, he purchased it directly from the company.
“I appreciated the effort – I liked and connected with the reviews and then bought from the brand, DTC. I think this is something that is going to become a lot more common, especially with a younger audience that likes to connect to the story and personality behind a brand.”
So, publishers should definitely consider this – it’s a great opportunity to achieve success through content.
Take the New York Times’ Wirecutter and Future; publishers are becoming not only a source of trust for news and entertainment, but also for product reviews. This is a continuation of the context conversation that is taking place. This should matter to you, as an individual working in performance marketing, as it’s a great way that brands can attach themselves to an article in which a relevant conversation is being had about their brand.
The open web
It was really obvious throughout our whole conversation how passionate Adam is about the open web. He said that, if you rely on third party tracking of any kind, it’s important to spend time on the open web to see your other options.
“I support anything that encourages the open web and journalism. If it relates to advertiser and publisher success, I love it. We need to all commit to making the free open web strong and help ensure advertisers are successful outside the big walled gardens.”
Content moderation through AI
Adam told me that with certain things it is critical to combine machines and humans. An example he used to paint the picture of what can happen when content fails to be moderated is that of Facebook. Facebook missed out on being a great feed for users, simply because there weren’t enough humans involved in the process of moderating the feed. This, according to Adam, is mission critical. Any company with distribution to a lot of people needs some kind of moderation, and this is where AI needs to work alongside humans.
“Humans have guts, machines don’t have guts, but they can do other things faster and better.”
Performance advertisers specifically need a lot of tech and AI because, simply put, without them, you wouldn’t be able to do everything.
What is Taboola working on that you should be aware of?
Number one on the list for Taboola is making sure performance advertisers on the platform are successful. Where there are now around 15,000 on Taboola, they want to increase that number. The platform reaches about 500 million people every day, so Adam is keen to see how they can provide them access to great businesses and services they will like, and make this beneficial for advertisers at the same time.
Taboola news is also a new development, and the company’s fastest growing business at present. The aggregate publisher, for android devices, is good for advertisers too, showing relevant ads to customers.
It was Adam’s opinion that a lot of brands do not invest enough in performance marketing. He said the number one priority for Taboola is asking:
“Are you a great performance advertiser, yes or no? Are you dedicated to it, yes or no? If you answered any of those questions with a no, then you need to check your company, culture, processes, team, etc. Now more than ever.
“None of us know how long anything is going to last, but the one resilient piece of business is ALWAYS performance marketing.”