So for several months now I have been closely watching the industry, reading articles, PR releases, product releases, financial releases and generally paying attention. I have been taking bits and pieces of what I care about and have been making comments and providing what I believe has been an insightful perspective on how technology can be better leveraged to improve how we advertise online.
I have looked at the ad servers, the networks, the lead generation tools. I have examined the search engines, the publisher tools and the creative formats and provided you with feedback on what other reliable people have had to say.
And I have discussed ad agencies, their workflow, the media buying process and the tools that people use to do their jobs, however inefficiently I may believe that to be.
Here is my position.
The agencies have engaged the interactive medium completely. Estimates for 2007 are that between 12 ½ and 20% of advertising budgets will go towards new media. This is no longer the edgy side-project. Engagement with technology is here. But it is about refinement.
Search is essential but everyone is coming to recognize that there is something wrong with the model. It is extremely time-intensive and expensive to manage. Furthermore the ROI metrics seem to slip the longer you run campaigns. As I have said in the past, a tipping point is coming.
Networks have been doing their thing the same way with some minor tweaks for a while now and people are demanding more disclosure. Tolerance for media showing up on inappropriate sites is very low, accountability is high and additional capabilities like behavioral targeting has become an expectation.
That brings me to behavioral targeting – a very common topic on this blog. I have ripped this topic up and down. My intent has been to redefine this concept as event-based targeting and to justify that there is little about behaviors actually associated with it at all. Just because someone took a navigation path, or saw a page means little about their behavior, the predictability of their behavior or their preferences. All we know is something that happened. Historical targeting is a better description but I have used event-based targeting over the last couple of months.
I have never tried to minimize the value of BT, only put it into it rightful place as a solid prospecting and direct response advertising mechanism. BT does not represent the best means to capturing known individuals, in fact, it does not have the capacity to associate with knowledge about people at all. Only with events. But I believe that BT should be part of a comprehensive campaign.
People have approached me both on and off this blog about my position towards BT and some of the networks, but I think its because they have been defensive and protective of their positions as representatives of these companies. Others have engaged me – usually advertisers, agency representatives or others who see that the evolution of practice is inevitable and being on the adaptive edge of the curve is better than the laggards edge.
I have also spent a lot of time plugging a concept called first party ad serving. Forgive me for the plugs. Obviously as a member of TruEffect I have a lot of passion for what we do here. But I also spend a lot of time looking for other technologies that can rival or at least coexist, companion or compliment what we are doing here.
The patent-pending DirectServe™ Technology that TruEffect has brought to the market represents the next generation of ad serving. It leverages the knowledge that an advertiser holds about its customers, registrants or users to re-target through ad campaigns. This is not a replacement for other technologies out there – I have said that before as well – but a great new way of doing it. An addition to a comprehensive advertising strategy.
First party ad serving is about customer re-targeting. BT is about event-based targeting, best applied when trying to capture unknown individuals. One is for bringing in new business; one is about farming and growing existing business. There is no point is re-prospecting existing customers while advertising online. DirectServe™ takes care of that. BT leverages previous events so that you can increase the likelihood of putting the right message in front of the right person at the right time based on historical events. DirectServe™ puts the right message in front of the right person based on known customer segmentation models, knowledge already held about customers. This a potential marriage.
Now BT is largely touted by networks, so there is a limitation as to how you can use it. I talk about TACODA a lot – which I think Dave Morgan has not be thrilled about – but its because they have been the leader in the space. I have also talked about Advertising.com and Blue Streak and Tribal and others as well. But ad servers offer BT too. DoubleClick’s Boomerang does it. TruEffect does it. And that extends beyond networks.
I also talk about integration. Agencies are not on this trail so much as advertisers. Well, some agencies are but they are the minority. I have strong opinions about this because I feel that they pieces of the puzzle are all here now for us to put together a great picture of our online marketing so that we can make better informed decisions about our web site compositions, product placements, online advertising and budget allocations. But nobody has fully engaged yet. There are leaders that are putting the pieces together, but I am advocating the full-monty and that is what you read about on this blog.
Tying it all together will enable an advertiser to make the best possible decisions regarding allocation of online media spend. It will promote the best utilization of technology, improve product placement on web sites, increase the value of existing customers, the initial value of new customers and enhance the likelihood of increasing the utilization of interactive media as a channel for marketing.
See my ten-step recipe for full-integration of all the technology pieces of an online advertising campaign.
First let me redefine that a third party cookie is a vendor’s cookie and a first party cookie is an advertiser’s cookie. Here is the recipe.
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