By Ed Kats | President
While not ideal, DNT legislation could foster improved media integration
Proposed do-not-track (DNT) legislation will create numerous barriers for advertisers, brands and agencies. The ability to track consumers’ online purchasing habits and deliver targeted ads based on data collected is a cornerstone of e-commerce.
DNT legislation will make online ads less relevant, forcing potentially unforeseeable changes — not to mention increased costs — into the digital ecosystem. This will adversely affect consumers’ online experiences in a manner few proponents are willing to admit.
Despite these issues, the enactment of DNT legislation will not destroy online advertising.
While we do not wish to see this legislation passed we believe it would force marketers to be more creative in their campaigns. It may foster the development of closer connections and opt-ins between brands and consumers. This, in turn, will deliver more detailed customer data and more successful purchase paths.
Numerous products and services exist that help agencies and advertisers target consumers and collect publicly available data. If advertisers are compelled to collect that information offline (as would be the case if DNT legislation is passed), those capabilities will still remain.
The two behemoths of online advertising — Google and Facebook — offer examples of how DNT legislation could imperil future growth and innovation of online advertising but won’t dampen the industry’s prospects. (more…)
By Ed Kats | President
Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt of an op-ed that was originally published at AdExchanger.com.
Some marketers love to bash Facebook ads. We saw it in the immediate aftermath of General Motors pulling its $10 million cache of ad buys just days before Facebook’s IPO. We continue to see it as the company’s stock price stumbles.
The truth is, Facebook is finally developing new, exciting ways to deliver real value to online advertisers. It’s time for marketers to recognize that value and get serious about Facebook ads.
In recent weeks, the company has announced a number of prominent changes to its ad platform, including a real-time bidding exchange, mobile-only ads, and a rumored ”want” button that would “only work with content identified as relating to a purchasable product.”
Facebook also has increased its outreach to the advertising industry. Through various public and private campaigns, it is working to educate marketers about its multitude of ad options and addressing their concerns about the need for more precise data and analytics. At the Cannes Lions festival last month, Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s vice president of global marketing solutions, made the rounds touting the social network’s various ad options.
The key to the success of all of Facebook’s new ad options is segmentation. Segmentation gives marketers the ability to analyze and make real-time media buying decisions based on data available through Facebook’s interface. For agencies, segmentation marks another opportunity to optimize, target deeper and increase conversion rates. The segmentation and retargeting opportunities now exist that will enable Facebook ads to be profitable for brands.
Read the full post at AdExchanger.com.
By Keith Trivitt | @KeithTrivitt | Director, Marketing and Communications
We’re big fans of the semi-annual industry confab known as LeadsCon. For this summer’s event, LeadsCon East, we’re hosting a special workshop aimed at helping marketers garner better value and more leads from their digital marketing campaigns.
On Wednesday, July 25, our workshop, titled, “Guaranteeing ROI and Accountability: The Benefits of Online Channel Integration,” will help marketers understand how they can effectively utilize online channel integration to generate results in an accountable and measurable fashion. It’s about more than just placing an ad across various online channels. Our panel of experts will discuss how they utilize multichannel integration to keep the leads coming in while ensuring real ROI for their brands.
We’re excited to host this workshop and invite all who will be attending LeadsCon East to attend. Session details are below.
For more information or to schedule a private meeting with our sales team while at LeadsCon East, please contact Keith Trivitt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 646.264.0144
Be sure to check out the MediaWhiz booth at LeadsCon. Visit booth #111 for cool giveaways and to chat with our friendly sales team.
MediaWhiz LeadsCon Session Details
Session: Guaranteeing ROI and Accountability: The Benefits of Online Channel Integration
Date: Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Time: 9–9:45 a.m.
Room: Rendezvous Trianon, Hilton New York (more…)
Advertisers and marketers need to keep singing it. Why? Because online users continue to view display advertising campaigns as intrusive and essentially tone deaf to relevancy. According to research conducted by AdKeeper and 24/7 Real Media, 58% of users don’t click on display ads because they’re deemed irrelevant to their needs. Performance channels, display advertising included, are meant to drive efficient growth. But such compiled data makes that a tough sell. So what’s the solution? How about some common sense targeting!
Folks aren’t interesting in anything that makes life harder. Life is hard enough. When users are online searching for products and services, they want to get in and out fast. They don’t want ads of dance-challenged men sporting beer guts promoting muscle building products to impede their search for an apartment. When checking on travel delays, they don’t want to have to squint to find the X to close out an ad for a breakthrough diet supplement. These are just a few examples of banner ads gone terribly awry. They leave a bad taste in the mouths of users and do great harm to the industry as a whole.
The good news that can be inferred from that AdKeeper and 24/7 Real Media statistic is that 42% of users are clicking on display ads or can be persuaded to click. Proper targeting and user-friendly advertising are giving them a reason.
Display ad spending rose above $10 billion for the first time in 2010 and is poised to produce even more growth by the end of in 2011. 20% of growth was based on impressions while 26% was related to spend. One of the strategies driving both impression and spend growth are homepage takeovers. According to a report by Macquarie, homepage takeovers accounted for 26% of all homepage ads via Yahoo, AOL and MSN in Q4 2010, up from 18% in Q3 2010. And unless you were living under a rock on July 15th, you saw they were a big part of Warner Brothers push to promote the final Harry Potter. As appealing as the growth potential surrounding homepage takeovers is, it’s wise to determine whether or not your campaign really needs to take that step.
Takeovers aren’t cheap. They can swallow up hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign spend. They are certainly not appropriate for Mom and Pop businesses. But for some campaigns, the benefits – exclusivity and 100% share of prime online real estate – outweigh the costs.
Understanding advertiser goals is important but so is keeping them in line with publisher revenue objectives. For example, if an advertiser is looking to stage a homepage takeover promoting the MLB Game of the Week but your publisher network is mainly education-based, where is the ROI incentive for the pub? With regard to the advertiser, what good is securing a top homepage placement if you can’t guarantee the right audience is exposed to it?
Whether you are launching a standard display campaign or planning a homepage takeover, precise audience targeting is crucial to maximizing user reach and increasing ROI. The strategic targeting and tracking of prospective customers ensures that the right ad will get to the right user at the right time. Geographical, contextual and behavioral targeting drastically improves your chances of relevant engagement. And with social media becoming more of a force in the display marketplace, any sized campaign should leverage Facebook and YouTube.
Staging a homepage takeover requires a cautious approach and a deep analysis of the pros and cons for advertisers, publishers and consumers. Make sure you have a diverse, strong ad network at your disposal, one with 3rd party and proprietary technologies to meet your tracking and targeting needs. Also, set attainable ROI expectations for publishers. Homepage takeovers can drive serious growth for some campaigns but they can financially cripple others. Leveraging display advertising expertise could help make your homepage takeover quite a campaign coup.
They say, whoever they are, that opposites attract. Usually this cliche is used when referring to romantic relationships. And there is a lot of truth to that. But what works to strengthen personal bonds could also be applied to empowering business strategies. Take Search and Display Advertising for instance.
In Search, consumers have the control. They are looking for a product or service. They want what you have and they usually want it yesterday. In contrast, display ads try to pull consumers in when they are doing other things like checking email or watching a talking dog on YouTube. Until recently, display wasn’t an overwhelmingly desired performance channel because its premise involved engaging the disengaged. But with the emergence of robust ad networks and the advent of real-time bidding technology that puts price predictability on par with paid search, display is witnessing a dramatic rise. In fact, according to eMarketer, display will eclipse search as the largest online spending category by 2015.
So that’s great for display but why should search care? As display becomes an increasingly efficient and effective channel to leverage, brands currently lacking an online presence will test the waters and join the digital ad revolution. Success in display ultimately means that your brand has an audience that’s eager to be tapped. Search will help them find you. Think about it. Would Google and Facebook be so heavily invested in display if its future and its future impact on search didn’t seem so rosy?
Social media and display advertising are strengthening an already robust revenue driving relationship. Facebook’s ad network eclipsed the billion dollar mark in 2010 and according to some industry experts it is poised to generate over six billion in profits. Facebook’s profile and user-based targeting practices are primarily responsible for its high level of performance. If a user “likes” Kim Kardashian, that user is likely to have ads for her E! Televisions Shows or clothing line displayed on the Facebook page. This is one example of effective targeting. Online advertising networks adhere to similar guidelines to drive positive results for their campaigns. It seems to be a successful model, right? Senator Alan Lowenthal of the California State Senate seems to think otherwise.
Lowenthal is leading the charge for a Do Not Track bill in the state, legislation that would require CA online companies to provide an opt-out privacy option for potential customers. Haven’t we been here before? The quick answer is yes. In 2010, many politicians carried the torch for more stringent privacy regulation. Ultimately nearly every proposed bill flopped or lost steam. Why? Here are two big reasons touched on earlier – social media and massive revenues. People on social networks are all about sharing information. They “like” musicians, retail stores, moves and even commercials. They tweet about fashion, entertainment and anything they deem important. They are willingly giving up their privacy to drive the conversation. And in driving the conversation, they are supplying digital advertisers with data to use not for vague, underhanded purposes but to deliver highly relevant, cost-efficient ads to them.
And then there are the billion dollar revenues generated through display advertising and social media. These are not potential profits. These are real deal figures. California is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. Wouldn’t it behoove Lowenthal to start backing the money maker and cease and desist with the politicking?
Every week it seems a new wrinkle in the privacy debate makes the news wire. Late last week, the Federal Trade Commission announced preliminary plans for the creation of a Do-Not-Track list. The goal of Do-Not-Track would be to levy stricter regulations on behavioral online ad targeting. Is that a collective gasp I hear along digital advertising channels? Grab a paper bag and take some deep breaths. Upon further examination, there’s not much cause for alarm.
Online advertisers are not telemarketers. They are not hamstrung by the telephone. And their processes for the consumer, notably opt-in and opt-out functionalities, are already user-friendly making Do-Not-Track more of a political tool than an advertising detriment. Do-Not-Track will not reduce the number of ads consumers see. It would prevent ads from being targeted to sites a user has visited. But if a user likes receiving targeted ads, he or she simply wouldn’t subscribe to the list.
Given the attention privacy issues have received this year, it is understandable and somewhat commendable that the government wants to act. But by drafting up weightless and needless legislation, continuing to focus on platforms like Do-Not-Track does not make sense.
It has finally happened – privacy now transcends Facebook. Potential congressional legislation spearheaded by Virginia Democrat, Representative Rick Boucher, would require ad networks to obtain user consent to track their third party activity by way of an opt-in option. Ad agencies are understandably miffed by Boucher’s proposal fearing it will stifle their ability to market brands and services in what has always been a free-flowing Internet.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is also up in arms over the proposed legislation, especially the section that calls for consumer consent when agencies collect information via cookies, IP addresses or unique user names. On the flipside, consumer groups fear the legislation does not go far enough instituting protections. In this curious game of privacy ‘He said, she said’, one must ask why this is a relevant political hot potato.
Rick Boucher uses Twitter. He is on Facebook. How can someone clearly trying to benefit from social media, so-called privacy infringing social media, be so hell bent on passing this type of bill? Welcome to campaign season. Representative Boucher is facing a serious challenge to his seat. Positioning himself as a champion of the people could serve him well in his campaign. Considering Facebook came out of its privacy battle relatively unscathed, Boucher’s fight could help him without adversely impacting the digital landscape.
Interactive should take a collective deep breath. In a world where people routinely divulge their location via mass tweet or subscribe to mobile applications trading personal info for a great deal on designer shoes, Boucher’s bill – pass or no pass – will go a long way toward eventually killing itself.
Online advertising has taken a direct hit to the solar plexus with the current privacy debate sweeping digital marketing. Facebook is the obvious place to lay blame but the reasoning behind the decline in online behavioral advertising goes beyond whether or not you “Like” Mark Zuckerberg. The Ponemon Institute, a privacy research group, finds that marketers are 75% less likely to track a web user’s browsing habits for campaign targeting. Privacy and transparency have display advertisers running scared. This trend needs to change. It’s time to get proactive.
It’s not good enough to wish the privacy hysteria away. While it’s true that mass panics tend to quell over time, especially those involving Facebook, a passive approach shouldn’t be the first option. It’s like waiting for the three run homer in baseball. Sometimes you get one but it still means you had to get a few runners on base to make things happen. How should display advertisers go about their rally?
Don’t shy away from transparency, embrace it. Mapping out precise, explicit data detailing buyer intent ensures accuracy and establishes client trust. And though privacy advocates will continue making waves, technologically advanced user-metrics designed to target the right audience will alleviate any fears the general public may have. After all, they will be shown ads that interest them, which should ease the notion of privacy invasion.
The onus is on display advertisers to make clients and consumers understand the benefits of online behavioral tracking. There’s revenue to be made and customers to generate.