Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Please do not overuse rich media – it might not perform

Lately, there has been a lot of innovation in the rich media industry. It started with expandable banners, moved to dancing, jumping banners, then we got peel overs and now it seems like we have microsites built into the banners. Building microsites within the banners is an innovative concept to capture the user's attention in the banner, however, is that too much information in the banner?

Some of the banners have next buttons within them which move from one frame to the other, it is critical to evaluate the number of frames within the banner which is still keep the user engaged.

If the rich media technology is overused with the intention to capture user's attention, it should be tested within a focus group (usability testing) to understand the user's likes and dislikes.

It is the job of creative agency to ensure the banner load times and user likability to help achieve the purpose of advertising.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ever heard of <1 Pageview?

Yes, you read it correctly, have you ever heard of <1 pageview? Mr. Google Analytics reports that in their depth of visit report.

I really am looking for someone (Mr. Google Analytics) to provide me a definition of <1 pageview.

If someone knows about it, please let me know.

Power of Contextual Advertising

We all have heard about Vibrant, Kontera contextual ads. The ads that are based on the text in an article, the keywords are double underlined and once rolled over, the ad pops up.

I have been analyzing and measuring a lot of media plans globally with contextual advertising and it seems to pay off a lot. I have seen differences in response rates (CTR) and post-click engagement of upto 200%. Prior to being able to get post-click engagement data, I always used to question the viability of the high number of clicks on these ads. But with the post-click data, I feel that these ads really work in capturing the audience.

It is very interesting that they work for almost all lines of business – B2C, B2B and continue to provide increased response.

One more thing that I have noticed recently is that placing ads on a homepage vs. a targeted page with relevant creative also helps a lot. For example: placing a creative which connects with the audience on the publisher's website also drives higher engagement.

Thus, it is very critical to use contextual advertising for higher response rates and improved ROI.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Banner Expansions – What do they tell us?

With the evolution of the creatives – from standard to rich media expansion banners, there are issues in how to track metrics that make sense. Expansion is something that can have a lot of issues can the metrics can be a bit deceptive:

  • Accidental Expansions – A lot of times, consumers tend to expand ads accidentally. Thus, counting those numbers is not an accurate representation.
  • Auto Expansive Banners – Banners are built now a days that auto-expand i.e. consumer does not need to take any action and the banner expands. The ad-servers tend to count these expansions, which is also not the correct way to measure the expansions and the interactions within the banner.

Thus, it is important that the measurement teams should be cognizant of these factors while reporting results of the creatives.

If the banner objective is to drive expansions, then the creative format and functionality should be kept in mind to make sure accurate metrics are reported.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Evolution of Display Ads

I still remember seeing the jazzy flashy static ads and react as "Ouch! What was that?" I would tell my friends, why are there even ads on the internet, who really views them or clicks on them. Then, as time progressed, the ads got better and less jazzy and more interactive. Then few years later, when I started working in the Ad industry, my love for the online ads started growing. In a very short period of time, the ads became more attractive. I wanted to play with them or, rather play games within them. I remember playing the baseball game within the Orbitz ad. I loved it a lot!

One of the other cool ads I remember is an ad in which there was a live chat happening about a product. I was like Wow! This is Evolution. This industry R-O-C-K-S!

Today on March 10, 2009, I was sent a link to and watch the Apple itouch ad. I was like ok, let me check it out. It probably took 10 seconds to load, which was not good, but when it loaded. MAN! It was one of the coolest, sexiest ads I have ever seen. I have put a screenshot of the ad below, but it does not do any justice to the actual user experience. I wish there is permanent link where that ad will be stored and users could see/listen to it again.

Hats off to the creative agency and the ad serving company serving the ad (I clicked on the ad, and it looks like it is Pointroll).

I would really love to hear about the buzz and metrics about this ad tomorrow. I am really looking forward to seeing more and more of such great ads.

Go Online Advertising!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Measuring Local Advertising Efforts

A lot of advertisers do local advertising to increase the awareness of the product. Local media is also used to launch a product in some particular city. Various media forms can be used like print, newspapers, radio etc.

If the advertising is driving to a vanity URL or website, it is very easy to measure the lift from the advertising efforts. With the use of web analytics tools like Omniture, Webtrends, Google Analytics it is possible to measure the number of visitors to the site from a particular geo (country, city etc). So, if there is a lift in the number of consumers visiting the site from the city where the advertising is live, it is a clear indicator that the advertising is working and driving consumers to the website.

As mentioned in my previous post, a pre-post visitors/day would help evaluate the effect of the online advertising.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Measuring lift to website traffic from various advertising channels

Quite often, more than one channel is used to increase the awareness of your website. It is very easy to measure the effect of online banners but how to measure the effect of other channels like billboards, TV, Print, and coffee sleeves etc.

One of the easiest ways is to determine the lift in the visitors/day prior to the launch of advertising. The following steps would should be taken:

Step 1: Determine the baseline visitors/day prior to the advertising launch.
Step 2: Determine the visitors/day during the advertising.
Step 3: Determine the percentage lift or difference (visitors/day during advertising – baseline visitors/day) / baseline visitors/day

If there is good news, you would notice a POSITIVE lift.