Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mobile Advertising: A big step forward

Google has been talking about integrating the various acquisitions like DoubleClick, AdMob and YouTube etc. One of the news last week (source: AdWeek) was that mobile Rich Media ads (expandable, interactive banners) can now be served via DoubleClick (Google's ad server) on AdMob media (Google's mobile ad network).

I feel this is a big step forward as we will be able to get consistent metrics from online (desktop based) and mobile advertising from the same system – DoubleClick, assuming DoubleClick is being used as the ad server for Desktop campaign as well.

One of the next things I would hope from Google is utilizing DoubleClick for the video ad (in-stream) across all their properties worldwide including on YouTube.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Dear online advertising team,

I believe you really want to get users to sign-up on, but it would be great if you can advertise smartly, especially online advertising.

If you are not aware, there is something called behavioral or audience based targeting. Every day, you target me multiple times as it I am a single guy, but a lot of my internet behavioral clearly shows that I am not.

Either you are using a lot of data (multiple sources) and the combination of all of those sources is not working. Or using no data and just targeting blindly.

My suggestion would be to just use plain audience based targeting and you will hopefully have a better return on advertising spend. Good Luck!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Behavioral Targeting vs. (User Value + Behavioral) Based Targeting

Majority of the targeting on the internet is based on past behavior e.g. a user visited site A,B, did a search on terms C,D and thus he is a perfect target audience for a brand X. Wouldn't it be nice to target audience based on their traits (values, beliefs and attitudes).

Resonate Network claims to have the capability to target based on behavior and also based on audience traits. The network also has a panel, where the users are continuously surveyed and provide information on their traits. The responses to the questions along with past Internet behavior are used to create various audience segments.

I feel these niche ad networks are going to drive the future of advertising vs. plain behavioral targeting that we have been doing for over 4-5 years.

Please visit Resonate's website to learn more.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Optimizing media based on real time attitudinal scores

One of the things that fascinates me about this online advertising industry is innovation every other day. I get the opportunity to meet with a lot of media technology companies ranging from ad verification to video ad-networks to research vendors to ad serving companies.

Most recently the technology that amazed me was the ability to optimize media or generate look-a-like models based on attitudinal scores. Not only will you know the impact of the media, but you would also be able to reach similar audience which is interested in your brand and will show increase in attitudinal scores. If you can scale this, then, there is a lot that one can do from creative message sequencing to driving users to different landing pages based on their responses to …..

Some of the vendors that are able to do this are Vizu and Dimestore working with various ad networks like InterClick. I feel this is a next step in finding similar audience based on survey responses vs. the traditional way that Quantcast has been selling for the last few years.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Social Media: How many fans really view your post

As social media platforms like Facebook are being used by advertisers to reach millions of users, it is critical to accurately represent the impact of posts/comments on Facebook.

Yes, there are 750MM+ unique users on Facebook, but not all of them are active at any given time. Thus, when a comment or post is pushed on your company/brand's Facebook page, not all of your Fans see/interact with them or have the opportunity to see/view them.

According to sources at Facebook, only 5-15% of the fans view the post in their newsfeed. So, if you have 100K fans, only 5-15K of those fans will actually view your post.

The main reason for this dramatic drop off is the fast moving news feed. Typically, a post is active only for about 30-45 minutes.

Also, the EdgeRank algorithm that Facebook uses keeps into account the Affinity, Weight, and Time to pick the stories/post that appears in a user's news feed. So, the more a user or fan interacts with a brand's facebook page and the more fresh/updated the posts are, the more changes of the posts to show up in fan's newsfeed.

It is estimated that this percentage is even low for Twitter as it is even fast moving. Typically, 5-7% is considered as industry norm for Twitter posts or Tweets.

So, please be careful in representing the opportunity to see/view impressions.

If you have 100MM fans and your brand posts a story on Facebook – approximately 5-15MM users will view the post.

Accounting for in-stream video ads

As more and more media dollars are moving towards in-stream video ads, it is important to ensure that the advertisers are only paying for the ads that were actually served. In the past or even currently, a lot of video ad-publishers/networks prefer to serve the ad themselves vs. serving the ads via a 3rd party like Media Mind or DoubleClick. When the publishers serve the ads, they offer to implement a 1x1 pixel from a third party ad server. Most of the publishers tend to push back indicating that implementing 1x1 is their solution to 3rd party ad serving.

The issues causes by the publisher serving the ad and implementing a 1x1 pixel are as follows:

  1. This leads to reliance on media publishers to correctly implement the tracking pixels (1x1 to measure impressions and click-commands to measure clicks)
  2. The use of 1x1 tracking provides no insight on how the impressions are counted
  3. The 1x1 pixels are implemented by the publishers and they can implement the pixel to record an impression at their liberty e.g. at page load or pre-buffer or incorrectly

In order to accurately count the number of impressions, as per IAB, it is necessary that the impression is counted "post-buffer" and not "pre-buffer".

IAB recommends that the video ads are served using a VAST/VPAID standard. Not only does this allow the 3rd party ad servers to serve the ad but also provides more metrics like % video viewed, so advertisers can know what % of video was viewed by the end users.

Utilizing VAST/VPAID standards to serve video ads helps drive higher accountability for in-stream video advertising.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Utilizing mobile banners ads? Do you have a mobile ready destination?

As having a line item for mobile in the media plan is becoming more and more common/required by the management, it is very important to have an end to end mobile experience. It is a very bad user experience if the banners appearing on mobile phones are being used to drive users to a desktop website.

One thing that is for sure is that your site will experience a very high bounce rate (users will leave the site as soon as they land). OR if you still notice that the users are taking actions, be assured that if you update your destination website to a mobile based website, you will see a huge jump in performance.

Driving users to a desktop based application will also take a long time to load the website, which can be frustrating as well.

All the issues mentioned above, will not only lead to bad user experience but can also lead to a negative impact on your brand. Essentially, users click on banners to get more information about your brand but due the website not optimized for the mobile they will not be able to get any information that they are seeking.