No, It’s Not Programmatic – Pay-Per-Performance Marketing With Stephanie Ginsberg

Are you ready to unearth the intricacies of programmatic pay per performance marketing? Brace yourself as this episode promises to deliver an enlightening conversation that will redefine your understanding of recruitment marketing.

Join us on this fascinating journey with our insightful guest, Stephanie Ginsberg! She’ll help us navigate the digital advertising landscape of recruitment marketing. We’ll shed light on why recruitment marketing lags behind other industries, and expose the stark differences between first and second-price auctions. Together, we’ll explore the intriguing phenomenon of how winning an auction by a mere cent can have a profound impact on the outcome. Our conversation also tackles the crucial need for standardization, transparency, and reducing latency when sending feeds from platforms to publishers.

As we delve deeper, we’ll unpack the significance of knowing the source of your hire. Stephanie elucidates the pressing need for a universal definition of a click, and underscores the importance of education and transparency in the industry. We’ll also scrutinize Indeed’s model of pay per qualified applicant and its repercussions on hiring costs.

Finally, Stephanie underscores the urgency of monitoring source traffic to comprehend performance goals and evaluate the effectiveness of our media buying strategies. If you’re involved in recruitment marketing or intrigued by the future of programmatic advertising, this episode is a must-listen.

Listening Time: 28 minutes

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Stephanie Ginsberg
Performance Marketing | Advertising Insights

Stephanie is a technology-focused leader who has spent the past several years at the intersection of performance marketing and recruitment advertising. She has used her influence and buying power to evolve how employers buy advertising, understand marketplace dynamics and measure ROI. Stephanie has led diverse, data-driven teams to innovate and collaborate on joint product roadmaps with recruitment sites and platforms to solve for solutions.


No, It’s Not Programmatic – Pay-Per-Performance Marketing With Stephanie Ginsberg

William Tincup: [00:00:00] This is William Tincup and you’re listening to the RecruitingDaily Podcast. Today, we have Stephanie on and we have a wonderful topic. It’s no, it’s not programmatic. Pay per performance marketing. So we’re going to talk about all we’re going to geek out actually, because we’re both I’m a recovering marketer.

Stephanie’s actually a marketer. And so we’re going to geek out a little bit. Stephanie, would you do us a favor and introduce yourself?

Stephanie Ginsberg: Absolutely. Thanks, William. I’m Stephanie and [00:01:00] I have been in the performance or growth marketing space, buying digital advertising for the vast majority of my career.

And. Most recently I’ve spent the last five and a half years actually buying in the recruitment marketing space for very large gig brand. So thinking about how do we buy recruitment marketing advertising from a lens of a very data driven growth marketing mindset.

William Tincup: So when we talk about programming, we’re like HR and recruiting is like 10 to 15 years behind other industries.

I’m sure you probably. I’ve figured this out already, but like you look at the world of CRM or Salesforce automation or marketing automation or even digital advertising and the stuff that they did 10 years ago, it’s just just now coming to, to our theaters. So like programmatic, when we say programmatic in kind of in our world, in the [00:02:00] recruitment marketing world, where what do we get right about that?

And what’s, what do we get wrong about that?

Stephanie Ginsberg: So I think things are heading in a great direction. Life is a lot better than back in the days of a 30 day job slot.

William Tincup: Post to pray. Yes.

Stephanie Ginsberg: Yeah, a

long way to go before it is, truly programmatic by the definition of programmatic used by digital marketers today in other areas of digital marketing across. various paid channels. So when I think about where we’re at, pay per performance is how I would define where we’re at today, where in most cases, you can set your bid, and that bid is going to be based off of a click.

Or an apply in most cases sometimes you’ll, set a farther down funnel event like a higher, but that also requires pretty significant tracking and integrations with [00:03:00] platforms that your run of the mill advertiser in the recruitment marketing space may not have implemented.

William Tincup: And where do you see, where do you see this going?

If we were just basically have the podcast a year from now or maybe, maybe we need to go further out, where are, where’s the market going? I know where I would

Stephanie Ginsberg: love to see it go.

William Tincup: Oh, let’s do that. No, let’s

Stephanie Ginsberg: do that. Yeah, I think we’re heading there. I just don’t know how quickly it’s going to be based on however quickly we’re able to implement, some standardization in the space.

and, some transparency of traffic sources. But when I think about getting to a place where it is, a real time auction at a second price, which for anyone who’s not familiar the current recruitment marketing landscape runs on a first price auction. That means the bid that I set is the bid that I pay.

Which is a very challenging situation to navigate when a [00:04:00] single competitor can come in and completely shift what the going price is to win that auction. A second price, on the other hand, is You are competing, but you only have to pay one cent more than the bid of the advertiser that you beat out to win that impression.

And so it really will make a material difference when thinking about looking at it from a real time auction, having transparent traffic sources and being able to implement automation beyond just, some rules based bidding that. Is it’s prevalent in a handful of the most tech forward advertisers toolbox right now implementing automation is absolutely where things do need to go to be able to operate at scale.

William Tincup: And so the way that’s been defined or, basically broken down to me is [00:05:00] we do it in batches and real time auction as you’ve already explained, it is okay. You go into a marketplace and the market is just like a stock market. It’s moving and you buy at that particular moment.

And it’s in real, it’s in real time. When you said standards actually. It triggered something for me. It’s because the folks that are in our space that either have built recruitment marketing plays or programmatic plays. So let’s say Jovio Pando Logic, Apkast, there’s a couple of others, I’m sure I’m forgetting a bunch of people.

Do they have, for the practitioners that are listening, do they have standards that are similar for them that they apply to their technology?

Stephanie Ginsberg: Yeah, when looking at implementing using a platform like the ones you mentioned, there are standards and definitions about what is a click, for example, how do they define [00:06:00] latency?

How do they define a bot click? Those are the kinds of things that do exist, but it’s not standard across the industry. And it’s definitely not standard across, at a publisher level, say if you were to be buying direct. And so I think those are the times. Those are the kinds of things that having agreement industry wide and having transparency is going to be incredibly important in getting us to a place where we could do real time bidding.

In addition to that, there also needs to be a significant reduction in latency. The most loving way

William Tincup: to find latency for the audience again.

Stephanie Ginsberg: Yeah. So most of these platforms and publishers, a feed sent from the platform to the publisher in that feed includes all of the information about the job, the title, the location, but also includes your bid and those changes that are made when [00:07:00] say, optimizing a campaign.

When sending those there’s a certain degree of latency and how soon a publisher can index your feed and take it to go live on site and replace whatever older version there is the challenge with that is sub syndication, and there are some publishers that will say syndicate your feed out to their network of publishers and that network syndication.

Has another degree of latency that is dependent on those publishers being able to your feet and it’s this horrible game of telephone, where, yeah, like if a change is made on one end, it can take anywhere from, One to 24 hours just for that one publisher initially who was intended to get that feed to be able to optimize and shift out whatever content or bid was in the original feed versus the new feed.

And so I can’t imagine a world where anything is real time if we still have these. [00:08:00] severe delays and latency.

William Tincup: I’d be, I’d say who’s to blame, but when programmac was first explained to me a hundred years ago, and I think this was more on the when recruitment marketing kind of started to take care off was.

Think of it as there’s multi posting, so at the time there’s a bunch of different sites, there’s a bunch of different technologies where you could go as a recruiter or HR professional and you could go to one site and then you could select a bunch of places where you want to put your job and like multi post, you could just post it.

Pay for it and in post to all those different places and programmatic. I came along and said, yeah, that’s okay for distribution. If you’re getting to soak in more of a spray and pray type of mentality, you’re just, you’ve been come more efficient at spraying. When they first explained it to me, it was more of a, the idea of.

Where to go. So in the thousands of job boards that are out there and outlets, is a better way of phrasing it because you’ve got LinkedIn, Indeed, all these different places. It’s where should that [00:09:00] job be placed and how much to drive so much traffic, how much budget should you use? So solving two different things for folks.

It’s okay, there’s Jobsinvermont. com. There’s accountingjobsinvermont. com. And then, there’s Indeed. And then there’s 10, 000 other options in between those. So it’s it would solve for, okay where do you, where are you most return the best return for the dollars that you’re spending?

Where should that go? Technology could help with the where, and also the how much, the idea that you’re going to buy traffic. To a job, which was actually, it wasn’t that hard. I remember practitioners when It was first explained to them, there wasn’t that much of a like I thought there was going to be more pushing a boulder uphill, but they’re, they understood that’s what they were doing with their 300 for a job post.

They were buying traffic in a way, a very rudimentary way, [00:10:00] but in a way they’re buying traffic to that job. Definitely. So take that where and how much, and then make that more realistic to what today.

Stephanie Ginsberg: So I think that still holds true, and that’s part of the challenge with having such a fragmented marketplace right now when it comes to the volume of publishers that are out there.

You have obviously these large job boards, especially the ones that are multi country, where they have significant reach. A lot of users and job seekers are coming to these sites, and you have a chance of getting your job in front of the right user at the right time, which of course is the marketer’s idea of what is your mission.

You want to get that job in front of the right user at the right time. And so when we think about where we are today it is challenging to reach those smaller sites if you’re not. Aware of them or working within, say, a network that’s syndicating to them. The challenge where I think a lot of people [00:11:00] run into this idea where, like a one size fits all set it and forget it, wait, I just, I set my price, I send you my job and you just send it to all these places.

I don’t need to think about it. That is where we start getting in trouble.

As I’m in a performance marketer, my nature is. Any starting point is that it’s a starting point and we optimize and iterate and optimize and iterate and optimize and iterate until you’re blue in the face. Because there’s no ending to getting, As much volume if you need, say, to fill a high volume of roles, or if you are working on specifically narrowing in on one hard to fill position that might cost you a lot of money to be able to land the right person, get that job in front of the right user.

Those are the kinds of things that it actually does require a little bit more. [00:12:00] Data and a little bit more hands on optimization. I think part of what is really challenging with the syndication style is that it doesn’t particularly have the largest impact if you change your bid, if you change your location, and if you change your title or description, when.

The nature of sub syndication is forcing you to actually compete against yourself. And that’s where I think we run into a lot of trouble where the idea is, Great, I’m going to send my job to, three or four big sites. They have networks. They describe it like their secret sauce. And it’s going to be getting me that job in front of the right user.

And I don’t really care what comes in as long as I get my applications. And where I think that really goes wrong is. Not asking the questions about where are you actually sending these jobs is this being sent to the same place that another place I’m buying is sending it to right? And [00:13:00] in that case, if I’m intending to say bid, 1.

50 on a click on one site, but. Another site gives me great quality. I can bid 2 or 2. 50, but if both of those sites are syndicating my job to the same job board, that job board is going to serve the higher bid job because that’s where they’re going to make the most money. So I just want to challenge anyone who’s in the HR or recruitment marketing space to put on that advertiser’s cap from a marketing perspective and really ask yourself, what are you buying and what is this publisher getting paid on?

Because if you understand the billable event, you can understand what’s going to motivate a publisher. And from there, I think it’s a little bit easier to ask the right questions so that you’re setting up your strategy for success. And that makes it really challenging for someone Who isn’t a marketer in their day to day profession.

They’re juggling [00:14:00] a ton of other things that have nothing to do with media buying. And that’s a really hard concept, even for really great marketers to understand how to ask the right questions, not just of your publisher, not just of your platform to understand this whole situation from like a 30, 000 foot view, so you can really, what am I actually buying?

William Tincup: It’s interesting that you mentioned this because a lot of recruiters that got interested so recruitment marketing, the way I see it, at least was formed in kind of two ways some marketers came over from marketing into recruiting. So they brought some kind of best practices over, but by and large, it was recruiters that got battlefield promotions that.

Basically, they were great at recruiting, didn’t know much about marketing, but know, knew that they needed to do something on the front end of the employer brand to, to build it either a talent pool or build traffic, et cetera. And so they needed to learn these [00:15:00] things. And I don’t think anyone’s done a great job of building, not just standards, like you mentioned before, but building kind of literacy.

Around recruitment marketing, like if we go and ask, if you and I were to go and ask 100 recruitment marketers, some of the same questions, I think we’d get 100 different answers to show. So it’s young it’s a young. I say career path. It’s a young, younger career path, which is great, but I think bringing some literacy standards to your point earlier, but also bringing some literacy, they’re going to have more questions.

And a couple of things I wanted to ask you about specifically is, did you get more, I’d say more or less pressure to understand source of hire? Being where you sat in the organization and what you did people, were they trying to figure out the algebra of source of hire?

Stephanie Ginsberg: So it came less from my, leadership or my employer.

[00:16:00] I personally came from buying, display ads on. Networks. I came from buying PPC ads for search and social. I came from even planning, traditional media for clients in an agency prior to, coming in and buying media in the recruitment marketing space. And I think the idea of Not having a single definition for a click is it a click?

Is it a qualified click? Did I go backwards in time? Yes, it did feel like I was in a time machine. But in, in a really exciting way, it gave us a chance to ask some of these questions that weren’t being asked in the space. And right. To be honest, that was a really fun part of my job is getting to come in and question what’s happening here.

And how can we work together to bring this even just one step forward and do right for the advertisers in getting the transparency that They deserve as [00:17:00] media buyers, because that is what if you’re going to call it programmatic, right? Some requirements here that are necessary to, in my opinion, earn that title.

And I think part of what comes down to. Really closing the gap is the education because in lesson of advertisers are asking these platforms and publishers to put pressure on each other in this ecosystem to come to the table and figure out how are we going to solve this problem and get us from, the stone ages to, I guess we’re the middle ages.

Stone ages was like job slots. But get us closer to modern times. Because we’re not far. It’s just a couple really key things that need to get agreement and implementation and this education of a broader sense of what are we defining these standard metrics as and how can you understand them while you’re buying this media?

There’s just so many dollars flowing through this [00:18:00] industry and It is concerning to think of how few advertisers genuinely understand what they’re buying.

William Tincup: It’s one of the things I look at is Veritone’s purchase of Pandalogic. They’re a huge ad tech. Then they buy, Programmatic in our space and it’s I wonder how much of that, how much of what’s going to change for Panda Logic is going to be based on what Veritone knows about, again, the literacy question but I want to get your take on two things real quick.

One is, Indeed’s again, you can buy all kinds of different things from indeed in different ways. So they don’t box anybody in, but they released recently a model of pay per qualified applicant. So now they’re going further from the, more knockout questions and things like that.

And so you’re buying traffic check, got it. But. You’re, the traffic that you purchase, you’ve agreed that they fit the criteria. Correct. So what do you, first of [00:19:00] all, this model has been around, so it’s not, revolutionary or anything like this, but it is interesting to see the largest job board in the world have this as an option to buy.

What’s your take on that in general?

Stephanie Ginsberg: It is definitely interesting, and I think that having qualifying questions as part of the application process prior to, say, a CPA on application, so cost per action on a completed application, that is, that’s a great strategy, and that’s actually something that with any publisher that offers it.

I highly recommend implementing so that you can get a little bit closer to the people that you want to reach, the people that you want to have as applicants. Asking those knockout questions early is going to really help strengthen the quality of that candidate pool. It might reduce volume, but I don’t think recruiters have all the time in the world to be reaching out using one click apply, for example.

But to answer your question to

William Tincup: answer on Indeed,

Stephanie Ginsberg: I think that [00:20:00] it’s very interesting. To move from a model where they actually were several steps ahead. I think they were closer to what I envision in this world where they were operating on a second price auction and you had more flexibility to, set a bid, but it may have been too savvy for what advertisers were buying and they didn’t know how to utilize it.

However, now taking the step back, it, it puts a lot of. Control and responsibility on indeed to set an honest price because there is very little assurance that when you set that CPA target that’s actually what you’re buying, that’s what you’re paying for. Or if you’re using, some of the new services that they have where you’re saying, hey, this is what I want to hire for and they said, great, this is the price.

That’s a big amount of responsibility when you’re, you yourself are owning the marketplace.

William Tincup: It’s, that’s the feedback I’ve gotten from the employer [00:21:00] branding folks. So the folks that work either agency side or otherwise, but they’re saying this is actually going to drive up the cost of hiring.

Correct. And I’m like,

Stephanie Ginsberg: in some ways that’s good. That is because I will pay more for. I think you’re like a qualified applicant all and that’s a really big reason why coming in as a digital marketer I not only wanted to know source traffic. I wanted to know source traffic to My application to who completed a like a mid funnel application Benchmark like a background check who actually got hired.

And by using those mid and down funnel events and keeping that source traffic tracking. I had a ton of data to be able to understand, based on conversion rates, what is the price I should set for this source of traffic? What does this quality actually yield? And if To my [00:22:00] goal, my performance goal, my, my metrics that I have based on, efficiency or budget.

That’s a really simple way to be able to hold your media buying strategy accountable. What’s really challenging is if you set a CPA target, but you can’t get a guarantee that’s actually the price you’re paying. That’s pretty concerning when you’re actually saying, Hey, this is what value I am associating to the cost of what this media is based on what I can afford.

And if that means I can’t compete as strongly in your marketplace, that’s one thing, right? Allow me to set that price is another.

William Tincup: It’s really gonna, this is really what’s fascinating is I fell in love with, so when they showed me, they briefed me and showed me everything I’m like, first of all, that’s not the only way, what, one of the things I liked about it is if you don’t like that model, you don’t have to purchase from Indeed in that way, they still got other ways that you can buy from Indeed, so they didn’t force people into kind of some one model so I like that.

[00:23:00] The second Is I, again, recovery marketer, B2B marketer. So had the same take as you. It’s wait a minute. I can buy qualified leads and I get to set the knockout questions. And again, the more knockout questions in that traffic. Yeah. It might not be 10, 000 people. It might only be 104 people, but those 104 people have already been through all of this process.

Yeah. I’ll pay more for that. Cause I would pay more for a sales qualified lead SQL. So like I get that part. But I also, it’s going to, it’s going to, to your point, it’s going to play. Off the ethics and morality of a deep, like they’re going to be, they’re going to need to be a good corporate citizen here because they’re the ones that they’re the ones, they’re the only ones, that are really going to know what that costs.

Stephanie Ginsberg: Absolutely. And until. We do reach that point where among these publishers, we can agree on some standardization, some transparency of, source traffic attribution, [00:24:00] there is going to be these kind of growing pains where I think the idea of black box buying may actually sound really appealing to an advertiser who is An HR manager who does not have the time to be thinking through a marketing strategy like I’ve described.


William Tincup: Just easier. Hit the button. Got it. Swipe

Stephanie Ginsberg: card, hit the button. Trust that, the applications coming in are, coming in at the price that I’m told it’s coming in at, and that the sources are, what were described to me when I bought it. . That’s the part that I think is very, Challenging to unlearn because it’s convenient.


William Tincup: you started there, people still buy CareerBuilder or Monster 300 job ads. Yeah. That’s that, that’s been going on for 40 years now. So it’s and that’s true of a lot of job boards too that [00:25:00] again, there’s just a, I say ease of use. I think it’s really just not wanting to learn something new, maybe not having the time to learn something new and it’s easy.

And the market has already basically taught you. You put in 300 in the slot machine, you get X number of candidates back, some of them work out, some of them don’t, eh, and that’s it, that’s the bit.

Stephanie Ginsberg: Yeah, and instead of thinking of it like gambling, I think it’s important to treat it like, It is, which is a media buy, a digital media buy.

William Tincup: You want to be in front of the right

Stephanie Ginsberg: audience. That’s part of what’s so interesting. And looking outside the U. S. where, say, the market isn’t so fragmented, there aren’t all these small job boards that are popping up everywhere, especially on a regional level. They are able to get away with still having, predominantly a job slot model.

Or a static bid model. There’s a great few that are operating, actually, at the volume end. [00:26:00] Flexibility that we have of paper for paper performance here in the U. S. And so when thinking about the U. S. There’s so many sites. You can’t possibly be everywhere all at once unless you’re utilizing some of these networks.

But unless we’re and you

William Tincup: might not want to be everywhere again to your point about by Europe by competing with your own bid, you might

Stephanie Ginsberg: not want to. That’s part of where I think. Additional layers of accountability with source tracking is a really easy way to start, appending a part to the end of a conversion URL, just show where it came

William Tincup: from.

That’s all I want to know. I’m a simple person. I just want to know where it came from. And

Stephanie Ginsberg: guess what? If it’s not converting well. The publisher should be motivated to remove that source from the network that your jobs are being syndicated to because they’re also not getting paid. That’s

William Tincup: right. That’s right.

That’s right. Every, [00:27:00] everyone, again, done correctly, everyone should be motivated in the right direction. Stephanie, I could talk to you all day long cuz I love this stuff and you actually know it really well. Thank you so much for coming on the podcast.

Stephanie Ginsberg: Thank you for having me. This has been a lot of fun.

And I think having the ability to spread any of this knowledge to a base of people who should be treated like advertisers, because that’s what they are. They have a huge amount of buying power with the dollars that they have, even if it’s a small budget for your company. You are responsible for those dollars being spent.

And I think that the decency of treating you like the advertiser that you are includes education.

William Tincup: A hundred percent. Drops mic, walks off stage. Stephanie, thank you so much. I appreciate you. Thanks, William. And thanks for everyone listening until next time. [00:28:00]

The RecruitingDaily Podcast

William Tincup

William is the President & Editor-at-Large of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller & teacher. He's been writing about HR and Recruiting related issues for longer than he cares to disclose. William serves on the Board of Advisors / Board of Directors for 20+ HR technology startups. William is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a BA in Art History. He also earned an MA in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.


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