Local Startup Spotlight #5: Adaptive Avenue


Adaptive Avenue Logo


Adaptive Avenue is a twice-patented online advertising technology that takes the concept of a display advertisement to the next level through a uniquely engaging experience. Such ‘smart’ ad technologies represent the forefront of online advertising — they strive to improve relevance, consumer engagement, click-through, and conversion rates. In the case of Adaptive Avenue, the format is achieving a 2-4X (multiplier, not percent) increase in click-through rates — with better qualified prospects for conversion — relative to increasingly ineffective static display ads.

Traditional display advertisements constantly seek the ultimate hook — designed to be catchy, relevant, and timely. Their sole objective is to capture the attention and imagination of a (publishing) website’s visitors long enough to prompt a click on the graphical ad that steers traffic to another, completely independent (advertising) website — which, ideally, is a targeted landing page. At this point, there are numerous desired outcomes depending on the objectives of the advertising campaign, not limited to:

  • conduct a transaction/purchase
  • provide personal data in the form of a “lead”
  • offer feedback or take a survey

However, the reality here is that, more often than not, display advertisements under-deliver. Why? Because they don’t authentically engage users or offer them any real value. If viewers aren’t simply ignoring ads, they’re blocking them or defrauding them — thus the believably low click-through/conversion rates (based on the standard measure of clicks per one thousand impressions). It’s no wonder that most web surfers report an increasing aversion to online ads or have conditioned their viewing habits to ignore them. True, there have been notable improvements to the display ad model over the years — specifically Cost-Per-Action (CPA) pricing, contextual ads, and niche networks — but there’s still a long way to go before display ads become as effective as they can (and should) be!

So — what’s the Adaptive Avenue advantage?

Adaptive Avenue yields measurably improved results while delivering an interactive ad format that coordinates seamlessly with the advertiser’s existing distribution system. Of course, interactive ads are not new — but here we’re talking about an embedded product catalog — or “mini storefront” — with broad and deep selection and user-defined control. For the visitor, this format simulates essential aspects of an actual shopping experience without leaving the publisher’s page — by providing category/product navigation search and discovery before redirecting them to the advertiser’s site/page. Users are directed to a specific page within the e-commerce site only after they have focused on / committed to a specific item that they choose to purchase or research further. Simply put, fewer steps = increased brand engagement.

Another compelling advantage of the Adaptive Avenue formula is the linkage of site-based product inventory, details, and specifications with the ad in real time. Want to change a price or run a promotion? Simply change it in one place, on your database, and the price(s) within the network will simultaneously reflect any adjustments to your site. Did you move the bulk of your inventory overnight or did you just sell out? Not to worry — again, your ads are communicating with your database autonomously. The technology is ideally suited for products with volatile and perishable inventory such as retail promotions.

In addition to the obvious time-saving benefit to the advertiser resulting from decreased complexity and cycle time, this approach provides a more positive interaction for the visitor/shopper. Even short of actual purchase, user interaction with the ad provides the advertiser with an unprecedented source of consumer insight — such as brand, category, or product interests.

Recognizing that advertisers have gained greater control and influence over their ad spend, Adaptive Avenue has adopted a performance-driven revenue model. Additionally, the technology has the operational agility, scalability, and light footprint that enables any advertiser, large or small, to build a data-driven ad in minutes — without creative or technical intervention.

Adaptive Avenue founder David Quimby, knows that traditional display advertising is a broken model — yet, he sees tremendous opportunity in techniques that can deliver noticeable improvements in ad ROI. Hence, the creation of his solution. David’s background includes user experience / user centric design. He worked at Stanford Research Institute, where he collaborated with Doug Engelbart — inventor of the computer mouse / GUI and developer of the first operational hypertext system. His education includes a BA in economics from UCLA and an MBA from UC-Berkeley.