Placeable Webinar With AAA: How Targeted Local Marketing Drives Success

10Placeable CEO and AAA Carolinas Head of Digital Marketing Discuss How National Brands Can Boost Marketing Success

Placeable and AAA Carolinas are joining together for a webinar about the impact of local marketing on the success of national brands. It will provide a firsthand look at how AAA Carolinas implemented a local digital marketing strategy that drove an 816% year-over-year increase in organic web visits—and a 2,344% increase in mobile traffic.

The webinar will feature Placeable CEO, Ari Kaufman, and Head of Digital Marketing at AAA Carolinas, Heather McBrien, who will look at how Placeable’s proven local digital strategies benefited the AAA club. The successfully executed program not only increased web traffic, but also improved the quality of those visits—translating into greater revenue for AAA’s insurance, travel and automotive business lines.

What: “Act Like a Local: How AAA Carolinas and Placeable Teamed Up For Local Success” Webinar

Who: Placeable and AAA Carolinas

When: Tuesday, August 26 at 1:00 p.m. EDT

Where: Register here

“Local marketing has a tremendous impact, but many brands are still struggling to create and implement an effective strategy,” said Ari Kaufman, CEO, Placeable. “We are excited to demonstrate how national brands can become locally competitive with the right partners, tools and strategy.”

For more information or to register, click here.

Act Like a Local – Enterprise Advertiser Wins

Your investments in branding and national advertising will only be impactful if customers can consistently find you online and at your doorstep.  Too often brand campaigns result in missed opportunities, frustrated customers and lost trust in the brand because of bad location data and missing information.  To compete successfully in local markets—and to avoid wasting marketing resources—national advertisers must adapt their digital marketing strategies to better align with consumer search behaviors, emerging geo-location technologies and competitive imperatives.

While consumers do seek opinions on brands from friends, family or reviews, when they want a specific product, page or brand web site they use natural search.  In fact, according to Forester Research, more than half of all consumers use natural search when they are looking for a product, service or brand.

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Accepting the BIAKelsey GOLOCAL Award

go-local-logo-agendaThis past week, at The BIAKelsey Leading in Local conference in Atlanta, Kelsey distributed its new GOLOCAL awards in three categories – Sales/ Revenue, Innovation and Strategic use of digital marketing.  Nearly forty entrants were considered for these three categories and three finalists in each category were brought to Atlanta for the announcement of the winners.

Placeable was a finalist in the Strategic use of digital marketing for the successful partnership with AAA CarolinasHeather Mcbrien of AAA Carolinas and I represented the team and I presented an overview of what we had accomplished together to the audience, which included empowering AAA Carolinas to emerge as a fierce competitor in their local markets across all three of their primary business units (car care, travel and insurance).  These results included:

  • Indexing some 1200 authoritative local landing pages for 230 locations
  • Generating 800% increase in organic traffic
  • Producing 35K new visitors per month
  • 25% conversion rate on all unique visits to phone calls, registrations and appointments

Included in Heather’s description of some of the softer benefits that have been generated by our campaigns together was that of the decrease in the number of tire kickers that have been generated.  Specifically, Heather described that the quality of leads generated are now far more qualified and in active transaction mode as opposed to window-shopping. Continue reading

Local Retailers Win When They Optimize for Local Search

modifiedA related article entitled “Local Search Marketing, Accuracy Trumps Distribution” may be viewed on CMO.com

Retail success has long been largely dependent on physical location. Selecting commercial space requires consideration of many factors including demographics, socio-economics, competitive proximity, traffic patterns and more.  Multi-location retailers apply a great deal of strategy when opening a store.  Mall retailers will swap locations when premium space becomes available so that they are more visible to consumers passing by.

Today, however, location means more than capturing the passer-by.  Location also means being found by the digital searcher.  70% of consumers research local products and services on a desktop and then use their mobile device to get where they want to go.  A consumer that has decided to visit your store is in buy-mode.  Will they find you?  Did you take steps to ensure that a consumer would know that you changed locations in the mall?  Will your store be located where the “X” marked the spot?  Is the premium location really premium if a consumer shows up at the doorstep of another business instead of yours?  How much revenue will you miss out on?

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Direct Response is upon us. Live with it and ‘Fill a Need’

So how hard has the recession hit online advertising?  The growth of the industry has grinded to a crawl in comparison to almost every consecutive year going back to 1996.  Some say 3%, some say 6% and some even say 0%.  But not all sectors match this trend.  Search is projected to push a 15% growth in 2009.  In general, affiliate and lead-gen spending is also expected to continue to grow at a similar pace.  Yes, the recession is impacting spend levels this year, but it is how advertisers are spending their dollars that is really what has changed. Continue reading

Advertiser Control Over Ad Spend and The Swinging Pendulum

There is big pendulum swinging over who controls spend in Online Media.  The economy has taken a swinging nose-dive and everyone is looking for signs of fall-out.  One thing that is for certain, Advertisers are aggressively taking back control over their spend.  There will be budget cuts of 15% of more across the board in Q4.  The place where those cuts are starting is anyplace where an ROI can’t directly be derived.  If a publisher can’t prove a return they will lose the spend.  Response-based advertising is probably the most insulated area of the industry.  This means a push from CPM towards CPC and CPA, even for display.  Advertisers will be driving the pricing models and publishers will have to buckle in order to sell inventory.  With less money to spend, more pressure to perform, hundreds of publishers and networks competing for the reduced dollars at hand…advantage advertisers.

Here is the story…

My good friend, Jonathan Ewert says that every four years there is a great big pendulum that swings in our industry.  On the end of that ball is the influence factor over who controls the dollars in Online Media.


In the late 90s it was clearly the advertisers who had the control.  As they began to test the new medium and brought dollars to the internet in increasing amounts, advertisers tested all kinds of mechanisms that the publisher could come up with.  But it was the advertiser that dictated what measured performance, what the price they would pay and what services they expected in terms of campaign management and reporting.


Then the pendulum swung in the other direct – towards the publisher – as online media shifted from “new media” to internet advertising.  “Standards and policies” were written.  Publishers started driving pricing; and ad server utilization, campaign management provisions and acceptable reporting became organized and structured according to what Publishers were willing to provide.  Advertisers had to start working with what was available, throwing more resources and time at managing the diversity that clients were demanding which made the process of managing internet advertising increasingly more expensive.


Competition for inventory rose steadily once again following the recoil of the bust and price inflation followed.  The explosion of ad networks broadened advertisers’ options and the result was a drastic overload on resource requirements to manage just a single campaign.


While all of this was going on, Search outpaced display as advertisers began to recognize the value of response-based advertising and Google’s climb to the top of Everest was off to the races.


Fast-forward to the beginning of 2008 and you had topped-off CPMs, somewhere between 200 and 400 ad networks (depending on who is counting) and Google controlling 60+ % of the addressable Query stream on the Internet – 90% collectively controlled by Google, Yahoo and MSN. 


Throughout the first-half of 2008, prices hit all time highs in search as traffic growth online slowed and competition for popular keywords rose.  CPMs for targeted quality display inventory trumped the last four years and publishers began to push to reclaim inventory from the networks that had been previously aggregating and watering down their value.


Then the big ball started to swing.  With the advertiser no longer able to increase spend in search without compromising ROI and publishers reclaiming display inventory in order to elevate CPMs, something had to change.  Additional factors at play, aggravating the situation, was the continued consolidation of search (think Google’s increasing share of the Market – the Yahoo deal, Google running on ASK, etc.), the intense-resource demand on advertisers associated with managing disparate data sources, and publishers trying to push CPMs while a massive number of networks commoditize eyeballs. All of this equates to the advertisers almost hitting a breaking point.


Then the economy took a swinging nose-dive and everyone started to run around asking themselves what is the fall-out result for online advertising.  Is this the next bust?  Here come the layoffs.  How many VC-backed companies are going to go under which have promised huge returns with no revenues to prove it?  One thing that is for certain, Advertisers are aggressively taking back control over their spend.


You can figure there will be 15% cuts in budgets across the board in Q4.  At least that is what some of the larger advertisers are talking about and that is what some of the networks are already hearing.  The place where those cuts are starting is anyplace where an ROI can’t directly be derived.  Lookout publishers – if you can’t prove a return you’re going to lose spend. 


Response-based advertising is probably the most insulated area of the industry over the next 2 to 4 quarters given our economic environment.  Advertisers have to advertise to keep generating business, but branding online is going to suffer.  This means a push from CPM towards CPC and CPA, even for display.  Advertisers will be driving the pricing models and publishers will have to buckle in order to sell inventory. 


Furthermore, diversification of spend across less expensive, higher-returning publishers and networks will also draw attention.  This means that advertisers who have hit the asymptote of their returns on Google or the major display ad networks – when spending a dollar no longer returns $1.50 but now returns $1.25 – will start to look elsewhere to maintain their margins.  With smaller budgets to spend, ROI pressure will become intense.  We may even begin to see performance-based commissions between advertisers and agencies as competition for control over the spend increases between agencies.  Certainly this will be a likely case in the SEM arena.


So the pendulum, which started to swing in the beginning of Q2, went full tilt when the market dove.  Advertisers now hold the cards and publishers and networks that recognize the truth will step up and work with them to maximize the value of their relationships given the pressures present in the economy. 


With less money to spend, more pressure to perform, hundreds of publishers and networks competing for the reduced dollars at hand…advantage advertisers.

Right Media Offers the Private Label Publisher Auction Tool I Am Looking For


I always promise to seek out and find solutions that make a difference and I encourage us all to demand technology to push us to improve how we manage our online advertising initiatives.  Sometimes I find them and sometimes they find me!


 


This past week I touched on Right Media and the concept of online auctions as a mediated exchange between buyer and seller.  I also presented the argument that there are too many hands in the pot with this model.  Right Media’s new “Direct” product elevates the inventory quality potential by only bringing in publishers as opposed to it’s traditional exchange which is largely comprised of networks and non-premium inventory.


 


I had the delightful opportunity to speak with Bennett Zucker from Right Media yesterday.  He called me the “mad man in the mountains.”  LOL.  We actually had a great conversation and spent a lot of time sharing ideas.  But one thing that Bennett shared with me I am bringing back to you.  Right Media will private label their exchange technology.  My challenge has been met.


 


In my Disintermediating Ad Exchanges, Publisher Ad Auctions (http://arikaufman.com/2007/02/07/disintermediating-ad-exchanges-publisher-ad-auctions.aspx) I asked you to find a technology or develop a technology that would empower publishers to cut out the middle men so that they could run their own inventory auctions.  Right Media is doing just that.  I did not ask how much penetration they have or how many clients they have, but I was really pleased to learn that this exists.


 


Let’s look at the publisher technologies. 


 


Ad servers are pretty well covered, however meekly.  None of them are that great, as we all know, since every trade show floor is full of publishers wandering around looking for “that” platform, which can actually forecast inventory with a degree of accuracy and to save them lost monthly revenue. 

Publishers have whittled together DFP and Omniture and perhaps some additional Business Intelligence tools to create some insight into what is available to sell.  That’s the closest I have seen.  But the inventory insight is never more than a week or two out.  Yahoo has a room full of people calculating forecast models and they only get about a month out before their accuracy rates drop sharply. 

Basically you just sell an approximation of what you think is safe to sell, and make-good on what you over-sell the following month.  Publishers frankly have to rely heavily on networks to backfill the inventory that develops last minute, because they have no way of predicting what will be there in advance.



So we rely on networks to take on the excess inventory and they sell it cheap.  We have no way of knowing monthly over month exactly how much inventory we will give to them, and we tend to turn the dials up towards the end of the month as our direct-sell customer’s campaign commitments are being properly met. 


Enter the auction.  The Right Media Direct auction is a legitimate alternative to a network and, it seems, may be offering higher returns for publishers than networks (in some cases). 

Direct offers publishers the opportunity to push higher value inventory into an auction than they might otherwise have done with the exchange service.  They can do this last minute, with what they haven’t sold.  The result is that less inventory will flow into the networks, which offer low returns, and whatever the network doesn’t sell will probably end up back at auction again in the traditional exchange anyway!  That’s a nice model.  But not what I was hoping for.


 


What I like is that Right Media will enable a publisher to run their own auctions in-house.  They will private label the technology.  So a publisher can sell their own advertising directly and then run excess inventory through their own auctions.  Quality inventory that doesn’t sell can go to the private auction rather than a network who returns less for it.  This is not the top-level inventory that they sell directly, but it’s better than that which should be getting farmed out to networks or to Right Media’s exchange auction. 


 


Publishers will retain a higher yield for their inventory while simultaneously moving more of their inventory directly.  This I like.


 


This self-directed publisher auction model will enable a site to increase sales without having to increase their team or the costs associated with growing the operation.  In fact, they may even find that they can move more inventory with less people!  From my publisher days, there was always that juggling act.  How much inventory can a sales person sell.  A top-performer vs. and average performer.  What is the ramp-time of a new hire.  A direct-selling auction tool offers a publisher the opportunity to have their own clearing house with a much higher return value than their current network clearing house options.  I really like this.


 


Right Media has a solid set of models here.  They are a destination for remnant inventory that a network can’t sell or for publishers that would prefer to work with the auctions directly as a clearing house for non premium inventory.  Advertiser’s like it because it is an easy way to buy advertising and is increasingly familiar due to the commonality of search advertising auction-style buy models.  With regard to publishers who participate directly, advertisers know exactly where their ads will run, which they prefer to networks.  And the private label model offers publishers the opportunity to auction-off more premium inventory to advertisers directly.  This will help them retain a greater share of their own advertising revenue and will offer advertisers the opportunity to get access to more premium inventory at a lower rate because the auction model will offer access to better rates.


 


So in the end, I really appreciate the call Bennett.  We found something that we were looking for.  Now I know that there are solutions for publishers to manage auctions both for Search and Banner advertising directly.  Superb.  Great talking to you.

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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 Advertising.com 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 Advertising.com 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 Advertising.com 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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Search and Networks: Better Together – I Think So!

 


Mollie Spilman, Advertising.com’s Chief Sales and Marketing Officer interestingly suggested a holistic media approach in her iMediaConnect article, Search and Networks: Better Together.  She urges an advertiser to combine search and network advertising together to create a more powerful, cohesive campaign.  Her position is that with the rising costs of search (see my post Banners vs. Search), banner advertising can be a good offset to balance the investment.  But her really convincing argument was found in the following statement:


 


“…while search is limited to generic text listings, behavioral targeting enables you to follow up with a more compelling sales message, using ads that are tailored to the user’s online activity. Rather than simply hoping that the consumer will return to your site after researching or comparing prices across the net, you can take action– serving up your most powerful message or promotion all across the network.”


 


So if you combine BT with search you can tag someone the first time they come through from search and then target them in the future based on that search.  Provided that you are strategic enough to couple both the cost of the search and the cost of the BT back to the eventual sale, measuring the CPA accordingly, you may find the approach to be more effective than just one or the other on their own. 


 


Now, Mollie’s shameful plug of a network as the Chief Sales and Marketing Office of Advertising.com is totally acceptable.  But I would love to see some data behind this idea as it is compelling.  It would be hard for most advertisers – let alone many agencies – to track and calculate the CPA under this method, but if someone is tagged from the initial landing page based on the search term, recognized later through the BT recognition process, retagged, and then tracked through a conversion process you could have a pretty solid argument.  Would it be a cost effective acquisition?  It would certainly be an accurate measurement of the acquisition.  It would be a more accurate depiction of the holistic investment then just looking at search or just banner advertising with or w/o BT.


 


You see I have always said that the technology is here.  My blog is committed to finding the technologies and then proposing other ways to using them to do more.  So here goes….  First party ad serving can do this too, but we may be able to eliminate a step or two in the process. 


 


Let’s assume that when someone lands on the site from the search term they are cookied with a first party cookie rather than a third party cookie – like the Advertising.com cookie.  Then let’s use first party ad serving, like DirectServe to do behavioral targeting, using the first party cookie instead of the third party cookie.  What will happen is that when the browser is recognized the next time they are encountered, the cookie recognition will be based on the advertiser’s own first party cookie and the ad served will still be event-based.  So far things are pretty much the same.  But when the individual clicks on the ad and is driven to the site, the advertiser can read their own cookie and will know the search term that generated the lead, the banner that generated the click and the site that generated the lead.  So when it comes to calculating the CPA, all of the data will be aggregated into one place and will be readily available.


 


If we build off of Mollie’s model – which I originally proposed, not Mollie, so don’t shoot her – you would have to calculate the ROI from the search campaign, calculate the ROI from the network banner campaigns and then synchronize the two with some kind of algorithm.


 


I am liking this idea a lot.  I think that Mollie is right here.  I think that a great way to bring down the rising cost of search is in fact to combine it with BT banner advertising.  And maybe using a network would be an affective medium since the inventory will be vast and the CPMs are lower.  Premium networks also do get some good inventory as I have mentioned in the past.  But we definitely need to be able to have a way to calculate the combined CPA of the lead which comes first through search and subsequently through BT and the banner.  I’ve got one easy way to do it.

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