Rocket Fuel launches holiday ad service

Faith Merino · November 3, 2010 · Short URL:

The Holiday Shopping Booster will enable marketers to target shoppers more efficiently

I don't know why the people in the picture above are smiling. A cheap Sound-X Kids will not make up for the utter obliteration of personal space.

The holiday shopping season is fast approaching and advertisers are getting their campaigns ready for the onslaught of consumers in search of deals.  One company, Rocket Fuel, is launching a new service called the Holiday Shopping Booster to help marketers target shoppers more effectively and market to consumers at scale based on purchasing trends.  According to Rocket Fuel (“the company bringing rocket science to display advertising), “The solution automatically tailors ad frequency to match spikes in holiday activity, in order to beat competitors to audiences and break through the holiday noise.”

Holiday shoppers are as fickle and unpredictable as the Incredible Hulk.  One minute you’re waving to the soccer mom of three who lives down the street from you and the next thing you know, said soccer mom is whacking you over the head with a folding chair to get to the limited supply of that ONE super hot new toy that everyone has to have for reasons no one quite understands (God rest all those lost to the “Tickle Me Elmo” craze of the ‘90s).

To address the sudden shift in buying behavior, Rocket Fuel’s Holiday Shopping Booster focuses on five primary routes to reach consumers: retargeting, in-market shopper targeting, geo-driven targeting, competitive brand conquesting, and “look-alike” targeting.

“The holidays represent a unique time for marketers where the rules of the game, and the actions that go with it, change,” said Rocket Fuel president Richard Frankel in the company’s press release. “Trends change every year and marketers need to figure out what works, before their competitors swoop in to steal potential customers. Companies cannot rely on typical everyday marketing initiatives to identify and monetize holiday audiences.”

Holiday Shopping Booster offers a number of features to optimize advertising, including:

  • Smart Burst: a feature that targets shoppers based on purchasing patterns to grab their attention at the right time and place. 
  • Audience Roadblocks: allows advertisers to maximize Share of Voice (SOV) by locking in an audience with each impression.
  • Boosted Retargeting: using data from rewards cards, coupons, emails, and other shopping communications, Boosted Retargeting figures out who is most likely to convert and scans for “look-alike” customers—or customers that are more likely to be receptive to an advertiser’s brand.
  • Insight and Measurement: technology that focuses on purchase intent in both online sales or in-store sales.  Rocket Fuel has also partnered with the Nielsen company to measure the impact of offline sales.

Rocket Fuel has been running campaigns and their tactics have finally been productized into the Holiday Shopping Booster.  The results?  "Our clients have seen a wide range of success leveraging our technology ranging from 20-30% sales lift, all the way up to a four-fold lift, across many different verticals including fashion, consumer electronics, consumer technology, autos, tires,vacation travel, cosmetics, cell phones and HDTVs," said Frankel via email.

Founded in 2008, the Redwood Shores, Calif.-based startup was created by veterans of NASA, Yahoo, and DoubleClick.  Rocket Fuel was recently named the Best Startup of 2010 by the San Francisco Business Times, and in September, the company closed a $10 million Series B round led by Nokia Growth Partners, with participation from Northgate Capital, Mohr Davidow Ventures, and Labrador Ventures.  To date, Rocket Fuel has raised $20 million and has grown ten-fold since the second quarter of 2009.

Rocket Fuel works with over 220 customers, including Virgin Mobile, Blackberry, Sprint, BMW, Bing, Coca Cola, The New York Times, ABC, and more.

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Rocket Fuel Inc. is the company bringing rocket science to digital advertising. With its advanced technology, the company is helping marketers reach their brand goals quickly and easily, anywhere in the purchase funnel.  Over 150 million people a month see ads from its Rocket Fuel Network, which combines behavioral, contextual, geographic, demographic, and many other techniques to yield results far more powerful than any method could on its own. Rocket Fuel automatically adapts advertisers’ campaigns in real-time to optimize towards their goals – whether brand-oriented or performance driven. If you can measure it, Rocket Fuel can optimize it. The Silicon Valley-based company was founded by veterans from NASA, Yahoo! and DoubleClick. Rocket Fuel was named Best Startup of 2010 by the San Francisco Business Times. For more information visit