Create and Satisfy Demand: Two Tools to Complete the Marketing Loop Plus the Advertising Equation

Today Steve Mulder gave us “Create and Satisfy Demand: Two Tools to Complete the Marketing Loop,”, an academic piece in iMediaConnection that well-defines the fundamentals between demographic segmentation and behavioral targeting or what he referred to as “goal targeting.”

Steve talks about customer segmentation based on demographic and psychographic profiling.  Of course you can push this farther and consider buying habits, product preferences and other known store-interaction behaviors which can be categorized.  Anything you know about your customers can be grouped and segmented.  So while Steve talks about the anonymous segments, when we’re talking about customers we can dive deeper and look at the information that our eCRM systems can capture and that our site-side analytics can measure.  If I have a customer who purchases monthly, like electronics (i.e., and spends on average over $100 per transaction, I can drop that user in a bucket with other like-demographic customers.  The segmentation possibilities go much deeper.

This is not to suggest paralysis of analysis by creating too many segments, however if you are a, a BestBuy or other big box retailer, you have many, many customers and you have the ability to create 10-20-30 customer segment groups.  If you are an e-tailor like LLBean, or Amazon or, you can create these segments.

Steve talks about Personas, as a defined “who or what,” meaning “…Why does this product or service make sense to your target audience? Why do the people represented in this audience need it, and why will they use it? How should we structure and design it to satisfy how people will be using it? How do we make sure the site gives people the experience they need and the business results we need?” 

In Steve’s discussion, Personas are the other side of the equation, the behaviors that you target or goals.  This article focuses on web site content placement which is vital to the emarketing equation.  How you react to your customers when they are identified on your site will directly correlate to your recurring revenue potential.  I have discussed the integration of CMS and dynamic content many times before.

When someone logs-on an identifies themselves, you tap into eCRM and you can tap into the segment relationship and/or bucket that user belongs to.  They you can target them with content and messages to promote recurring revenue opportunities.

External marketing, such as email marketing can tap into these buckets as well with customer segment targeting as well.

But a topic we have talked about many times before is how you can recognize and target someone BEFORE they come to your site and identify themselves.  Well, what about when they come to your site and don’t login.  Using cookies enables you to recognize someone and still tap into your customer segment models right?  So you don’t have to wait until they login to identify them.

That takes care of returning customers.  What about someone who blows out their cookie?  Well, as soon as they login you can re-recognize them and re-cookie them right?  Cool.

What about someone new?  They click on an ad and come to your site, you grab the click-thru URL and interpret the source and put that into the cookie as a prospect and let CMS take over until they create an account.  Cool.  Once they become a customer, segment membership begins and more data can be written to the cookie for future recognition and content targeting – more CMS.  CMS is Content Management System btw.

Then there is the external recognition of your customers – what about the topic of choice with regard to advertising.  If you are spending time creating customer segments and you are spending time creating goals for CMS targeting.  Why wouldn’t you leverage that knowledge to benefit from being able to recognize your customers when you advertise online as well?  If you can recognize your customers while you advertise online, you can extend your goal-oriented messages, drive recurring revenue opportunities and motivate your customers to return.  When they do, your site-side BT efforts can take over as Steve discusses and your drive home those sales opportunities.

With both of these efforts in place.  Taking the time to create and analyze your customers to create segments and creating targeting goals that affect both internal, site-side and external, advertising-side efforts you will gain huge insight into what works.  The knowledge gained will improve your ability to make better decisions about your future marketing efforts, both site-side and external.

Reactionary with Insight

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3 Steps to Customized Landing Pages, and 3 More to Holistic Online Marketing Integration

3 Steps to Customized Landing Pages, and 3 More to Holistic Online Marketing Integration


So this was funny.  Very often I will go into iMediaConnection and read an article without paying attention to the author first.  I do this intentionally so that I don’t have a bias to the topic or position but rather allow myself to take the reactionary approach as objectively as possible.


Jamie Roche’s piece in today’s iMediaConnection, 3 Steps to Customized Landing Pages was a great example.  Jamie describes: “…how to customize your website pages so that even when making a keyword buy of thousands, you still maximize conversions.”  He does this by presenting a three-step process:


Step 1: Look at keyword groups by intention

Step 2: Break out landing pages types and create templates

Step 3: Test templates for general effectiveness


Jamie does a great job of presenting how to leverage landing pages to increase conversion potential following search marketing campaigns.  As I was reading his article, I was thinking to myself, what technologies would help to accomplish these tasks?  What can people use to manage their dynamic content-serving on landing pages, what tokens could be placed on browsers at the time of the search-term click-thru to associate the keyword group with a landing page topic?  What site-side analytics software could track and report the metrics to evidence the performance.  What cookie-related perspective would promote the ability to integrate with other forms of e-marketing media?


As I was reading, I was thinking about Offermatica.  Figures that would be the case, Offermatica is perfect for dynamic landing-page creation, content testing and doing just what Jamie was talking about.  So after I read the article, and went to see who the author was I start to laugh out loud because of course I know that Jamie Roche is the President of Offermatica!


So let’s talk about how the picture can be put together.


Offermatica is a great solution for doing everything Jamie describes – it’s actually an eloquent pitch and not too bias if you want to read the article.  But it really represents a piece of the bigger puzzle that we try to explore today.  Holistic online marketing aims to couple the outside advertising with the site-side advertising.  Offermatica is the site-side solution.  Once someone arrives at your site, Offermatica will help you put the right offer in front of the right person based on how you go them there.  Perfect! 


So how do you provide a solution like Offermatica with the information that they require to make the best decisions that they can?


The out-of-the-box solution (sort of) is to provide Offermatica with the selection criteria for testing various landing pages so that they can be rapid testing on-the-fly as your campaigns are running.  On a performance basis, you can improve acquisition rates by leveraging landing page selections over time.  But how do you hook-in the information so that you are producing the landing pages?


Jamie uses search campaigns as his example.  What is unclear is how to determine the landing page content.  Presumably it’s not on the fly.  He suggests creating buckets of search term groups and then creating landing pages that correlate to those groups, probably multiple pages for each group for A/B testing. 


But how about banner advertising.  Also possible.  The topic or creative group association of an ad can be passed through in the click-thru URL the same way and all of this can be accomplished as well.


Okay, next step…how do we leverage advancing technologies and push site-side content rendering to the next level. 


But what about dynamic pages that are reacting to the search campaign?


Why can’t we leverage knowledge about previously viewed ads and the search campaign to better select landing pages?  If the search term is captured in the click-thru URL and passed through to the advertiser, and knowledge about banner campaigns can be captured by cookies leveraged during the ad serving process, they should each be able to be incorporated into the rendering of a landing page.  Product selection and content placement can be that much more targeted, and accurate.  Not only can you line up the product placement based on the search term that a person used to get to the advertiser’s site, but you can also leverage knowledge about ads and offers that individual has seen with respect to products and offers.  Ads they may have reacted to in the past as well as ads that they have not reacted to.


Offermatica can be leveraged to read the cookie in the browser as they arrive to the advertiser’s web page and react to the information stored in their browser.  More valuable than the click-thru URL of the landing page, the cookie can instruct Offermatica on how to create the landing page too.  Simultaneously the cookie can also share information with the advertiser’s eCRM system and site-side analytics system.  We’ve been through this before.


First party cookies are obviously the way to go here.  So if you talk to Jamie and his team and suggest that he accept a first party cookie – say the advertiser’s cookie, or the Offermatica cookie, then he can leverage information in that cookie to make even better decisions for you.  Of course you can get in touch with me through Trueffect if you want me to better explain how TruEffect and Offermatica do this.  Anyway, the first party cookie can pass through information about the banner campaign, search campaign – oooh – even an email marketing campaign.  That’s right, holistic integration of the advertiser’s online marketing effort.


Landing pages can be rendered on the fly based on how someone became a lead as well as how they did not become a lead – what ads and search terms generated a response (whether they came through a banner or a search click) as well as what ads did not generate a response.


Now, when that person becomes a customer, registrant or other “known” member of your database, DirectServe™ can kick in.  Now that person can be segmented for future re-targeting through all of the same channels using that initial first party cookie. 


If the individual conducts a subsequent search, they will be identified upon the click-thru and the knowledge about that user will be passed through to Offermatic, who can render an appropriate landing page that is customer-specific.  Offermatica can further test landing pages that are designed for returning customers.  The eCRM system will capture recurring sales information about returning customers.  And the site-side analytics software – say WebSideStory – will capture the entire cycle as it goes around and around: from search term to sale and from banner ad to sale, over and over, in it’s reports.


Reactionary with Insight. 

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Improve Your Stats, Don’t Over Analyze, Make Decisions and Execute

WOW!  Range Online Media’s President, Misty Locke’s article in iMedia Connection today is fantastic.  Think Like a Coach to Improve Your Stats – Bravo!  It’s a must read.  Rarely do you find someone who can lay it all out there in a way that an advertiser might actually understand.  I would say the only thing wrong is that Dawn Anafuso didn’t put it at the top of the home page on iMedia Connection or run it for two days so that it gets higher readership!


Misty talks about the integration of campaign mediums but she talks about the use of data and the cross channel analysis of a campaign to figure out how the impact of one channel may be affecting the response rate of another.  


Last year David Smith ( challenged the industry to create a digital dashboard of all of his advertising channels so that he could easily see the performance of all of his campaigns.  I remember this article, not just because iMediaConnection ran it again in there string of reruns during the holidays, but because I called David and talked with him about his challenge and needs.


TruEffect built an ad server, TruAdvertiser.xls™ that functions entirely within Microsoft Excel.  A user manages planning, proposals, creative, scheduling, trafficking, optimization and reporting all from within Microsoft Excel.  <IMG src="/images/44768-40810/CreativeDialog.jpg”>  <IMG src="/images/44768-40810/CampaignReportView2___02.jpg”>
It is a thin-client application that connects over the web to the ad server infrastructure at TruEffect and allows an agency or advertiser complete access to all of the expected advanced features of an ad server right from their desktop.  As a Microsoft Office-integrated solution, all of the reporting data streams in XML right into pivot tables and graphs and charts that a user formats one time.  They build their reports and then simply refresh whenever they want the updated data, never having to reformat a report again.


What’s the point of this plug?


David and I talked about how we could use TruAdvertiser.xls as a platform for his multi-channel dashboard.  It is desktop-based and is highly flexible when it comes to reporting capabilities.  Our product roadmap at the time already included integration with search engines like Google, MSN and Yahoo so not only would he have the ad server reports but the Google and Overture reports too for cross-analysis.  Additionally we were working with accounting integration so that he would be able to have that benefit too.  Email marketing data could easily be ported in as could other XML-driven feeds.  But in the end it represented a lot of custom work and David was going down the path of building something on his own. 


Back to Misty’s fabulous article (I really liked it).  Misty inspires one to dive in with both feet and, well if not careful, eyes closed.  Cross-channel reporting comes in many different forms.  There is realistically no platform for seeing every channel in a consolidated format and no perfect way to measure the impact of print on email or walk-ins or direct mail on view-thrus (now there is two hops, a skip and a jump).  You can try but at some point you have to allow things to fall into separate buckets and make assumptions.


But what is possible is great consolidation of online data.  I have been talking about acquisition marketing data – banners, search and email – with site analytics and will talk about it more.  Behavioral targeting’s next generation of customer re-targeting with DirectServe or first party ad serving can fully integrate data that could never be captured before, like measuring the composition of an advertising audience.  Now you can know what % of your audience represents existing customers!


Make sure that your technology allows you to get three dimensional views into the performance of your campaigns.  Misty is encouraging you to get aggressive and be proactive.  Data builds knowledge and that knowledge will make your decision-making powerful.  Since my conversations with David, we have proven integration capabilities with a number of unique platforms and data sources.  Other companies are doing it too.  Find a way to pull together at least your interactive channels so that you can see how they come together. 


If you acquire someone through search and they land on a web page and register, make sure that your advertiser cookies that individual so that when you encounter them again you can re-target them as an existing customer through first party ad serving and message to them with relevance to their previous search behavior and customer preferences to maximize future response rates.  You can do this stuff! 


Behavioral targeting will get you better prospects.  Pull that data into a consolidated interface – use XML feeds and build a data repository if you have to or call me and I will point you in the right direction.


Your email marketing will spew out ton’s of response rate data that can be easily ported into a consolidated interface.


I already covered search.


And ad serving data is clear.


Get a consolidated view as to how you acquire people, and then make sure that you are tagging them – or that your clients are tagging them – so that you can continue to target them as customers on an ongoing basis.  The worst thing you can do is to waste money re-prospecting and not getting credit for someone who you drove in twice.  If an existing customer clicks on a banner and comes to a site, you will not be getting credit for that customer’s return.  You could if you were re-targeting.  And if they click on a search term and land on the customer’s web page, you could be site-based targeting using first-party ad serving to re-target and product-promote based on preference and known behavior.


Get the data, consolidate it and then make decisions.  But most of all, deploy technologies that will enable you to effectively use the data to become strategic in your decision making and execution.  The end-game purpose is campaign improvement.  My focus is to show that the technology is there to do it.

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Are CPMs Rising? Will We Hit $19.5B in ’07? How to Spend and Get the Biggest Bang for the Buck. It’s in the Technology You Use.

Are CPMs on the rise?  Is it getting more expensive to advertise online?  Are more advertisers coming online, competing for exposure and driving up the rates?  Will the online spend projections for 2007 be reached or even exceeded as a result of more online advertisers or as a result of publishers driving up rates in response to the demand?  How do you take advantage of available technologies to become more effective with the media you buy to keep your ROI in check, your CPA down and your hair on your head!?!


Did you read the NY Times eCommerce Report today?  Ad Costs on the Web Are Rising, but Perhaps a Bit Irrationally.  Are they?  Haven’t they been for a while now?  But wait a minute.  Are we talking about rate card here or are we talking about actual deals.  Maybe both.  The deals are getting more complex.  The media plans, more comprehensive – web sites, networks, search, email.  How an advertiser leverages the technologies that each medium within the online space makes available can dictate how effective those dollars are spent.  But watch out!  Differentiating technologies that improve performance can cost and the incremental cost can blow your return.  So let’s look for what works.


The NYT does a good job of presenting a few different sides to the picture, because the reality is that rising rates is happening where the pressure is strong and the reverse is happening where it is not.  Where traffic is growing at a pace that is out-stepping demand (like with video) the price is falling.  But the premium pages where everyone wants to be, which continue to have increased traffic, is experiencing rising rates.  Search definitely has rising costs (see my previous post, Banners vs. Search) like on Google.  As more and more advertisers include online in their budgets, the rate pressure increases.  So yeah, rates are getting squeezed from that angle too.  Read the article if you want more examples.


So first let’s look at what you are aiming to accomplish.  Are you branding or going for direct response?  Promoting a message or generating leads, customers and sales?  If you’re direct response, keep it simple.  Email advertising drives actions but with low response rates so test, test and re-test.  Either do it in-house or enlist someone like Exact Target to do it for you.  Keep the budget in check and don’t have expectations that are too high.  Best thing you can do is reserve most of your email advertising as direct marketing to existing customers and then test-market prospecting to reputable lists.


If you read my blog, you know how I feel about Search.  It performs really well in the near term but can quickly grow to be less and less effective over time.  The most successful campaign will quickly become the most expensive if you don’t know what you’re doing or if you leave it on auto-pilot.  So you have to stay on top if it and know that you can’t stay with the terms that work for you now, long-term.  The rates will climb as they perform so set your thresholds and when you hit them, dump the terms and move on. 


Using a SEO provider will be helpful if you are buying in volume.  Ad servers that provide SEO integrated with their tools are a nicety since the reports are integrated with the banner campaigns, but remember you are getting a service that is outside of the wheelhouse of what ad servers do.  It’s always best going to people who are working at their core competency.    SEO is a technical science that is still rapidly evolving (believe it or not).  Google has changed the Adwords pricing model so now it costs more to keep checking the bids, so technically-advancing SEO companies will be gaining ground faster than ad servers for whom SEO is peripheral to their business. 


Banner advertising is a foundation of a campaign.  Now we can look at both Direct Response and Branding campaigns.  If you’re running direct response, it’s CPA all the way or remnant network inventory at remnant-priced CPMs.  Remnant inventory should not be getting more expensive.  More people going online every day and spending more time online every day means more inventory so buy aggressively. 


If you use an ad server with DR, you will gain the ability to A/B test creative and messages and optimize your campaign.  In turn, you will generate more leads from the networks and sites.  Obviously you’re not going to go with an ad server if you’re buying on CPA alone.  The ad serving costs will be astronomical.  But if you have CPM buys you should run them through the ad server and then run the same creative through your CPA buys. 


Try to always have at least some CPM portion buy even if you are a Direct Response advertiser so that you can be testing and improving your creative.  The reason for doing this is that networks who are delivering to you on a CPA are optimizing their inventory.  As your performance drops, your ad play drops.  You won’t even know when or why it is happening or which of your banners are producing the decrease in performance of plays vs. click-thrus but your lead flow will diminish.  So have a place to be testing creative so you can float optimized creative through your CPA buys.


With branding campaigns you are obviously more apt to be buying on a CPM basis.  Even if you are looking to generate some level of response, but not a typical Direct Response campaign (e.g., lead generating) you may be buying more premium inventory.  In this circumstance, you really need to be looking at the available technologies because you are entering the realm of rising CPMS.  You are going to be the most concerns with diminishing ROI.


So let’s look at ad networks.  Let’s look at behavioral targeting.  Let’s look at customer re-targeting.  Let’s look at campaign optimization and other forms of targeting.  Let’s look at storyboarding.  And let’s look at other ways you can leverage the ad server cookie file.


Before we jump into all of that, when you buy on premium sites, if you are not paying close attention to your campaigns, reporting frequently, rotating creative and optimizing campaign performance with a competitively priced ad server you are simply wasting your clients’ (or your own) money.  Ad servers are designed to optimize campaign performance so if you are buying in an environment wherein CPMS are rising, negotiate solid, competitive ad serving fees that decrease as your volume increases (no fixed CPMs people) and use the hell out of the ad server to maximize your campaign performance.


Ad servers provide a host of targeting and optimization capabilities like day-part, geo, storyboarding, limits and cookie-targeting.  Know what your ad server can do and leverage these technologies because they don’t (or shouldn’t) cost any extra.  Turn to your ad serving partner (not vendor) and express your issue with rising costs and get them to help you maximize how you use their product.  Don’t let them charge you for the training you need to become a more proficient user of their tools.  Optimize your campaigns so that you are maximizing your return.  Storyboarding can limit the frequency of an ad –play to an individual.  Great.  What about other ways to leverage the cookie file?  Can you define data in your ad server’s cookie for additional targeting?  We do it all the time. 


Ad networks should allow you the opportunity to see site performance data.  They may not give you performance on all sites, but you should be able to dive into the top-X performing sites.  When you buy on a CPM, get access to the data and maximize your exposure by managing your campaign. 


You have two choices with networks.  You can let them serve your creative or you can use an ad server.  If you use an ad server, you maintain control over creative optimization and you leave site optimization to the network.  If you let the network serve creative you are entrusting both to the network.  Do you have an ad server in place?  If you do, than you should be using it to optimize your creative on the network because the networks are (whether they admit it or not) ultimately optimizing the creative-site play combinations in a way that optimizes their inventory usage.  You can improve performance overall by managing your creative rotations yourself.  Then you can apply pressure on the network to optimize site placements.  Look at the reports you get from them on site performances and start culling sites that don’t work or negotiate a variable CPM for tiers of sites based on performance if you start to recognize a pattern.


Behavioral Targeting.  We talk a lot about BT.  Network BT is different than ad server BT.  TACODA or charge an incremental fee for BT but it is not super significant and it does improve your performance on their networks.  It is a technology that is worth taking advantage of for prospecting new people on the internet.  Test it and measure a campaign with it and without and you will be able to determine if it is right for you. 


You shouldn’t be seeing too much price pressure on the networks, at least not in 2007.  I say this because there is such a surge in the number of new networks that competition will be putting pressure on their prices.


Ad server behavioral targeting like DoubleClick’s Boomerang is an entirely different story.  The difference is that DC BT is looking for the DC cookie anywhere on the internet it can find it based on the same cookie/pixel combination that a TACODA or deploys.  They pixel the advertiser’s site, wait for events on the advertiser’s site such as certain actions like page views of products or purchase/thank you pages and then cookie the user.  If/when they encounter that user on the internet, they recognize the cookie, associate it back to the event(s) and allow for targeting of an ad based on the anonymous event.  Great conceptual technology but expensive.  DC is already a premium-rate ad server so when you tack on Boomerang you are looking at high fees.  Couple that with rising CPMs on publishers and you are quickly looking at the potential of a negative ROI.  You need to look at this very closely.  Many big-block advertisers with exclusive contracts with DC, or agencies with exclusive DC contracts, don’t use Boomerang because it has proven to not be cost effective.  Ask for their client list and you will get their biggest names.  Then ask which ones are using Boomerang and you will see what I mean.  Do your own analysis before you even bother testing it.  Atlas and Mediaplex too it’s the same story.


Customer Re-targeting is similar to BT, only it involves the reading of an advertiser’s first party cookie rather than the ad server’s cookie.  TruEffect, for example looks for an advertiser’s customers who are tagged with the advertiser’s cookies, which indicate a customer segment (such as shopping frequency or buying habits or preferences, etc.) and then allow for the ability of that advertiser to target that user accordingly with an ad through a campaign anywhere on the internet at any time.  This technology has no incremental cost in terms of the ad serving so it is a benefit of working with TruEffect over other ad servers.  Direct Response advertisers can use it to drive recurring revenue opportunities from existing customers.  They can up-sell, cross-promote or highlight products or services to individuals based on known shopping preferences rather than re-prospecting an existing customer through an advertising campaign.  Customer re-targeting is a great campaign addition to be used in combination with something like TACODA or prospecting BT.  This is an example of a technology that will drastically improve performance without increasing your costs, effectively increasing ROI.  DirectServe, as it is called, can also be integrated with Search campaigns as discussed in Search and Networks: Better Together – I Think So


So there you go.  CPMs may be rising.  We can see that the pressure to drive up CPMs represents an increase in the number of buyers (demand) and publishers seeking higher rates for their products will push the 2007 ad spend up and probably over the projected $19B mark.  We need to be well aware of how we allocate our budgets and that we are taking advantage of the technological benefits out there that will help us maximize campaign efficiencies so that we can keep our overall costs in check to maximize the ROI.  Costs are rising, ad serving rates are steady or even dropping if you are buying more inventory as an agency overall.  Don’t get sucked-in to value-added services that chip away at your ROI without some complimentary tests that will prove their value.  Vendors do want to demonstrate their value to you and the pressure you will be under to maintain ROI will mean you will have to get more aggressive in your negotiation with vendors.  Good luck. 

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The Best Online DM Strategy – Somebody Out There Get’s It!

Michael Mayer get’s it!  He posted an article in iMediaConnection recently where he initially sets up the concept of transactional advertising as the next step in direct response advertising online.  His article, The Best Online DM Strategy, opens the door, but requires you to walk through with your thinking cap on.


Transactional Advertising conceptionally infers the idea of leveraging known information about a recent transaction for future advertising.  So, basically if someone – a customer – makes a transaction you can leverage that knowledge for targeted advertising.  Hmm.  I think we may have come back to customer re-targeting.  Well, maybe Michael would like us to go and extend this capability further. 


While it may be ironic to be doing this on the heels of the FTC filing, at some point we need to get back to the more realistic future of our space.  And maybe we can even find some current technologies that do this today!


If an advertiser deploys customer re-targeting such as TruEffect’s DirectServe Technology, than they have the ability to recognize their existing customers, distinguish them from non-customers and message to them differently than they do to prospects while advertising online.  So that means there will be two strategic acquisition online initiatives going on at the same time: prospect acquisitions and customer re-acquisitions.  No longer re-prospecting existing customers, re-targeting promotes transactional advertising at the ad banner level.  Wherever you advertise, you can target customers who recently transacted and promote up-sell opportunities, cross-promote products or otherwise message to a customer based on recent transactional history while advertising anywhere on the internet in real-time.


Back to Michael’s Transactional Advertising concept.  If John Smith transacts on, then we know something about him.  A record is created in the CRM system such as a customer profile and maybe even a customer segment (i.e., customer type = buyer frequency / value / product preference).  The information known about John can subsequently be leveraged for advertising.


What kind of advertising?


First there is email.  John’s email address will likely have been acquired during the transaction so now we can target John with relevant messages.  We can embed HTML images in the emails to jazz them up and make them more appealing while tracking receipts, open rates, click-thru’s and so on.  But this campaign can be integrated with banner and offline as well.


Online advertising, re-targeting such as DirectServe from TruEffect is the next step.  Re-targeting can drive recurring opportunities by as much as an additional 15-20%, potentially even surpassing the effectiveness of search.


Then of course there is dynamic content serving.  Recognizing someone when they land on – using first party cookies (like DirectServe) – allows a site to better position messages and products in the most favorable light to maximize responses and trigger additional transactions.


What else might Transactional Advertising mean?


How about merging transactional advertising knowledge with offline knowledge to create a better picture of the customer.  Now there is an idea – not necessarily a new one but something to touch on. 


Cataloguers maintain vast databases on people, demographics, personal identifiable information, buying habits, customer segments, etc.  If we merge the offline information with online transactional information we know that much more about a person.  Then we can leverage offline buying behaviors to promote products and services that we might not otherwise know would appeal to someone in an online environment.  We can also do the same thing in an offline environment.  WOW! 


Enter the final stage.  With first party ad serving such as DirectServe, you can collect the click-stream data in anonymous format and create a new class of customer segment and merge that information with your customer records.  So now you can define how a transaction was acquired online as well.  Not just what banner generated a specific click but which banners were seen on which sites at which times.  All of the acquisition marketing history that not only were clicked on, but what was not clicked on as well can be streamed into an anonymous grouping and created a new customer segment model so that you can further characterize customers.


What does this mean?  It means that you can combine transactional information, offline information, acquisition knowledge from online and offline and create holistic profiles for targeting.  Then you can target both online and offline through a variety of media with relevant messages.  Transactional advertising?  Relevant advertising. 


So would the CCD and US PIRG consider all of this a violation of personal privacy?  Probably.  Would they understand it?  Probably not.  So what do we do from here?  We have a responsibility to start educating the industry and the rest of the world who wants to monitor our industry as we develop and execute these capabilities so that people see the benefits.  Relevance beats SPAM and inundation any day of the week.

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