SocialWire rebrands itself Manifest

August 19, 2015 11:53 AM

Marketing automation vendor SocialWire is rebranding itself Manifest and rolling out a new ad buying platform.

The name change aims to help the company convey to retailers like Gilt Groupe Inc., an existing client, that it can buy Google Product Listing Ads in addition to ads on Facebook and Twitter. The vendor also plans to let merchants place ads on Pinterest in the near future. Retailers could previously only use SocialWire’s platform to buy Facebook ads.

Manifest calls itself a product ad platform. That means it places ads featuring products on Facebook, Twitter, as well as in Google Product Listing Ads, similar to retargeting vendors. But unlike retargeting ads that aim to encourage shoppers to buy items they’ve previously looked at online, Manifest’s ads aim to introduce consumers to new products.

For now, the vendor offers a self-service product to run Facebook ad campaigns but retailers must work with Manifest staff to run Google and Twitter campaigns. However, it plans to roll out a self-service product for those platforms in “coming months.”

The vendor works with online retailers that have large or frequently changing product catalogs to help determine items that consumers will most likely be interested in buying. Its automated technology selects products from a retailer’s product feed and then runs a steady stream of small-scale tests of a “few hundred consumers” to find the products that best resonate. When consumers respond to the tests, the vendor scales up the ad buys to as many as 5-10 million shoppers.

“We’re helping shoppers discover products that they didn’t know existed,” says Bob Buch, Manifest’s CEO. “The system enables us to discover that a pair of jeans is a top performer in Gilt’s catalog and lets us expose that product to broader and broader audiences until we go after the biggest audience.”

Members-only retailer Gilt, No. 68 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide,  uses Manifest’s technology to attract new customers and drive sales. The technology fits well within Gilt’s overall marketing mix because it helps the retailer sort through more than 100,000 SKUs to identify the products most likely to drive a shopper to click and buy, says Jessica Mann, a Gilt senior marketing manager.

“We can create ads for all of our products and figure out what works best and scale up from there,” she says. “Given our business model, the element of discovery is really important to us. And without this type of automation it would be too difficult for us to handle this on our own.”

While Mann declined to share specific metrics related to Gilt’s campaigns with Manifest, Buch says the average conversion rate across the platforms where it places ads is more than 8% within a 24-hour window and 12% over a seven-day period.

Manifest charges retailers a percentage of ad spend. It declined to share the specific percentage. 




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