Ted Dhanik Bio

Ted Dhanik is co-founder of engage:BDR. Ted serves as CEO, overseeing strategic marketing, sales and business development, client relationship management, and content acquisition.

Before his current post, Ted worked for five years at Myspace.com, where he collaborated with founders Chris Dewolfe and Tom Anderson to grow the brand from its early days through strategic campaigns both on and offline. Ted was also a key member of the team at LowerMyBills.com, where he helped grow the brand from infancy to acquisition, and at NexTag Corporation, where he helped launch the consumer lending program.

Ted Dhanik has worked for or been a partner at several other companies in business development, sales, and managerial positions, such as Xoriant Corporation, Atesto Technologies, Inc., Brigade Solutions, Beyond.com/Cybersource Corporation, and Merrill Corporation. Ted Dhanik has a degree in Business Administration and Marketing from California State University at Hayward. Ted Dhanik sits on the board or advises other tech startups such as Fighter, LottoGopher and Schizo Pictures, and is an active mentor at Los Angeles-based startup accelerator Start Engine.

#DFPocalypse: What Happened and How Advertisers Learned From It

For two hours, Google’s ad servers were suffering a software glitch. What happened next was celebrated on Twitter. People took screenshots of “what the Web looked like without ads,” haling it as something worth cheering for.

This experience, which became known as #DFPocalypse, echoes the use of tools like AdBlock, which deter some newbies from entering the digital advertising industry. Ads aren’t vanishing from the Web, but they must adapt to user concerns if advertisers hope to continue being profitable.


Consider the average user’s complaints about ads: that they follow us everywhere or that they demand too much of our time. Television shows run minutes of commercials on TV, billboards are placed all throughout major American cities, and radio and newspapers are full of ads. Those are not given the level of scrutiny that an ad on a prominent Web page would be.

Something about the immediacy of the Web drives this outlook.

Expectations fuel demand, however. The Web, its pages and the technology that drive the ads have gotten faster. Users now load fewer assets on a Web page, which speeds up ad and content delivery.

Free Content

The idea of “free content” is an illusion. YouTube, blogs, Twitch.tv and every other prominent website serves ads that require a user’s time. This time is exchanged readily because the benefits of content served far outweigh the time wasted watching a pre-roll video or seeing a banner ad.

Advertisers are instead treated like a nuisance, a gatekeeper to free content. This is a problem of perception. Advertisers are in fact sponsors of content around the Web. They allow content to exist, thrive and grow. Even a sporting event on basic cable, another phenomenon that’s becoming increasingly rare, is plastered with advertising to help cover the costs to put on such a spectacle.


Ads help support independence in journalism in the same way that marketing once stifled voices. In the past, losing sponsorship was detrimental and had long-lasting consequences, including closing the publisher’s outlet. Today’s bloggers have less to fear because they have a nearly endless pool of advertisers willing to pay for placements that convert. That lack of fear encourages debate, which is part of a healthy democracy.

Without ads there are no blogs. The Web would not be as interesting, as engaging or as utilized. This amazing tool we have for communication and commerce might have remained a tool for moving 1s and 0s around had it not been for advertisers taking a chance on a new form of media.

Bio: Ted Dhanik, the CEO of engage:BDR, is an advocate for digital advertising and the technology behind it. Ted Dhanik is passionate about the user experience, and engage:BDR develops technology that better serves non-intrusive ads to users who wish to see them. Ted Dhanik has also guest blogged for AdAge, Venture Beat, MediaPost and others.

Marketers Who Utilize This New Method of Geo-Location May See Improved Conversions

Digital marketing is adapting to hyper-targeted practices. Homing in on a specific segment of the audience has always been possible, but today’s geo-location goes much more granular. You are potentially leaving money on the table by not targeting based on coordinates. This new method isn’t as complex as it sounds at first, but there are some new use cases worth experimenting on.

The Basics

Location targeting usually allows targeting for a specific area with some limits. You can’t target a particular block, for instance, but you would be able to target a city or a section of the city. Since engage:BDR added lat/long targeting, this question of distance is nearly irrelevant.

One hypothetical example might be a new franchise owner looking to bring customers in from the neighborhood. He might target competitive brand-related keywords from other restaurants in his area or even in his city, but he can also choose specific locations on the map to target as well. This approach has a two-fold advantage:

  • Wasted spend is cut to a minimum. Even at a higher CPM, there would not be the volume of traffic necessary to drive overspending.
  • Precision targeting: He may want to target a nearby university, where students are likely looking for a quick, easy bite between classesThe customer at another restaurant might not buy from our hypothetical restaurant owner because of brand loyalty, but others looking for a quick bite just may.

If you’re looking for a real life example, consider the recent campaign of LA Mayor Eric Garcetti. Garcetti’s campaign utilized data it had accumulated about voters offline to reach them online. With the help of engage:BDR, Garcetti was able to target voters where they lived and serve them ads that were relevant to issues they cared about.

Final Thoughts

Local businesses will gain ground, national businesses can test the interest for expansion and consumers see ads for products they are interested in if hyper local targeting catches on. With lat/long targeting, consumers on the go will find ads that may help them find the products they want at a lower price. Perhaps the biggest benefit is that ad spend will go to consumers who want to see those products.

Real Time Bidding in Display Advertising

Real time bidding is all the rage now in display advertising. It uses a demand and supply side platform to host an auction style bidding process. The winner of that auction gets the placement. The following is a more in-depth explanation of real time bidding.


The advertiser uses what is known as a “Demand Side Platform,” or “DSP” for short. You might call them traffic networks, but they are tools for purchasing ads online. The advertiser uses the DSP to check parameters for purchase, like cost per click or average rank based on your budget. That signals to the advertiser that a certain bid will achieve a certain rank.


After the bid is entered, the bidder takes over. This tool looks at available inventory and facilitates the purchase. Typically, platforms use an auction system to determine what banner advertising to show. This is where “real-time” comes into play. The bidding platform looks at all the bids for a placement, then ranks each bid according to several factors (cost being one of them). Then the ad is served if it achieves top rank.


The publisher is the blog or website that will provide the inventory. Publishers often use a supply side platform to help manage all of the potential ads that they can display. Supply side platforms manage the placement itself. With a supply side platform, the publisher can maximize profits and distribute page views evenly across advertisers.

Are Facebook Advertising Costs Killing Ad Spend?

There was a time when social ads represented brand new territory for advertisers. The opportunity to target users by interest, by social group or by commonalities promised higher engagement and better conversions. In a new article for “Adotas,” Ted Dhanik of engage:BDR argues that the cost of display advertising versus the cost of Facebook has a prohibitive gap.

Reliance on Traffic

For one, reliance on Facebook traffic has proven problematic. It’s difficult to tell the exact intentions of a user on Facebook. Is he online to check his notifications? Is she messaging a friend to schedule a meet up? These questions are difficult to answer on a case by case basis, so the messaging in your ad must be precisely tailored to fit the kind of user you want to reach. Even with demographic targeting, it can be difficult to compete with the noise of a social network as well. Reliance on this unreliable source of traffic is bad for a campaign that requires high ROI to succeed.

Better Methods

Facebook used to be the best method for advertising in multiple formats. It is conducive to viral video advertising as well as short form ads with or without creative. The rest of the Internet isn’t far behind. You can use on-demand banner advertising platforms to deliver rich-media ad formats that move and play sounds, banners that blink or flash, and text ads that blend seamlessly with content.

Now that ad formats have caught up, it’s hard to argue for more spend in social. Users can be unreliable, and the placements are no longer the premium of the Internet that they once were.

Why Marketers are Shifting Budgets Away from Facebook

A marketing budget is difficult to allocate appropriately. Do you risk opening a new account with a promising ad network, or try to refine your tried and true methods? For some marketers, that option is starting to disappear. Rising costs and other factors are pushing marketing money away from Facebook and shifting it to display advertising networks. If you’re concerned about the state of your campaign, read on for advice from Ted Dhanik, the CEO of engage:BDR.

Too Much Noise

Noise refers to the outside influences that potentially distract from your messaging. In the case of Facebook, a marketer must compete with photos, videos and intriguing links and user posts. There is the possibility of a disconnect occurring, where the user doesn’t fully receive your messaging and may opt out of the promotion. There is no way for you to verify why the user is logging into Facebook, or even if the user is authentic.

Real Estate isn’t Prime

The placements on Facebook used to bring a lot of value to advertisers seeking top positions on a budget. Facebook’s extensive system of metrics made it an even more attractive prospect, but they are no longer the only platform in the game. Independent banner advertising networks can offer the same quality placements on highly trafficked websites. Some networks have millions of unique page views spread between them, so you can divide by interest and target by demographic without your traffic suffering in the process.

Ted Dhanik Talks Microtargeted Political Campaigns

Fast Company has published an article on the latest techniques used by political campaigns to target ads. Titled, “YES, POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS FOLLOW YOUR BROWSER HISTORY,” the writer unveils the secrets behind these highly targeted political advertisements with the help of Ted Dhanik, president and CEO of engage: BDR.

According to the article, political campaigns can microtarget the individual voter by “marrying internet browser histories to census records and aggregate marketing data purchased from voters.” Dhanik provides a few examples of how his digital advertising firm provided similar services for Mayor Eric Garcetti’s campaign.

Read more: http://www.fastcompany.com/3021092/yes-political-campaigns-follow-your-browser-history

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