Archive for the ‘media buying’ Category

Twitter hashtags for monitoring out-of-home

April 20, 2009

I had written in February about brands pushing the conversation to Twitter through “big seed” marketing and monitoring it through hashtags. Today I read an article about how Land Rover is doing just that. They are using out-of-home media to push people to Twitter and use hastags. The hashtag is #LRNY.

I am pleased to see this finally happen as it makes so much sense and hats off to Land Rover, Twittads and Wunderman for making this a reality. I’m sure we will see more of this kind of integration between digital and traditional as there is no incremental cost to using Twitter as the platform for conversation and hashtags make it easy to track/monitor.


Why online has the advantage with the mass of niches

April 14, 2009

Chris Anderson made a strong impression on me with his great book “The Long Tail”. As pretty much everyone knows, it’s about how the long tail to formed and we are no longer tied to the mega-hit. The sum of the tail can be just as big as a hit. That same concept applies to using media to target specific audiences. Traditional media used to be the way to get reach and frequency and online was never in the same sentence. 

That has all changed with the concept of mass individualism. Individuals who used to be seen as “outcasts” no longer have to rely on geographic location to find like-minded friends. The internet enables them to find people near and far with similar interests. We can thank MySpace really, for making that the norm. I may be be thousands of miles apart, a different race, 30 years younger and have a much lower income than “Phil” who also likes The Black Crowes. According to the premise of MySpace, we should be friends since we have a common interest. This concept quickly grew and Facebook went one step further and said you should be friends with people you actually know, but another post.

Now there are thousands or groups and interests that equate to a big audience.  These niches are based upon common interests expressed through the internet. From a marketing standpoint, the question is quickly becoming, how do you reach them. How do you reach the mass of niches? The answer is not traditional media. The media landscape has already fragmented and traditional media outlets mostly missed the chance to innovate. Digital media on the other hand is in a much better place to be able to aggregate the niches to hit the masses. Ad networks aggregate sites and forums aggregate individuals with similar interests to name a few ways digital can create a “mass of the niches”. 

Traditional media will not go away, it will change and still be effective for certain brands/products/campaigns. It just won’t be seen as the only way to reach the masses as we have seen, there is a new mass and a better way to speak with them.

MySpace follows Facebook

October 15, 2008

MySpace announced their new advertising platform MyAds on Monday. After looking at the basics of he platform, it’s awfully similar to Facebook’s flyer program in theory. Allow advertisers to buy placements within the site on a CPC. They can target based off demographic data that is provided by user. The user should win if the ads are targeted correctly, even though Facebook felt backlash for the “are you fat? lose weight” campaigns targeting middle aged women.

Overall, it’s an interesting move by MySpace to open this. Does this mean that the deal with Google is not working out? Will it generate more revenue since it allows the smaller boys to compete with the big boys? Who knows. If this works, maybe Fox will roll the idea out across all of their properties and it will be a big win for smaller budget advertisers. Only time will tell.

MSNBC offers self-serve with AdReady

October 2, 2008

MSNBC offers small local and regional advertisers the opportunity to get around there traditionally large minimums. MSNBC has partnered with AdReady to allow smaller budget marketers access to their inventory. The advertiser can build an ad through Adready and then select the targeting and run a campaign for as little as $50 per day.

This a big step in the local online space that search currently dominates with its targeting abilities. I admit the creative for the ad units is not the greatest, but it’s free which is nice compared to paying someone to design the ad unit. If more and more large publishers join this model, it’s likely that the creative will improve as well. This is a big win for online advertising in general. Give the power to the SMB that large companies have.

A lot fewer dancing mortgage ads

September 29, 2008

As the “Bailout” has been turned down, it made me think of the last time I saw a “dancing mortgage ad”, you know the ones that no one likes but work well for companies like Experian. It seems that the economy is taking its toll officially, as the dancing banners used to be everywhere. So you can have your personal thoughts on the bailout plan and whether it should have been passed or not, but at least we don’t have more misleading, crappy mortgage ads. Maybe I can blame them for the economy. People constantly saw lower than realistic rates, and got on the phone with a sales rep and talked into a house they could not afford. There, the reason we are in a rough patch, if not worse, is the dancing banners no one liked anyways. Now they are hated.

Google looking for new ways to increase revenue

September 16, 2008

Google is making more changes to help grow their online advertising revenue. One recent change that has been made is to remove the “inactive for search” which will allow all ads to be open to the possibility of being served.  This will likely lead to more “qualified” ads being served on the long tail of search queries. After all, Google sees about 20-25% of their daily search queries for the first time everyday. 

Replacing the “inactive for search” will be an estimate for first page. This will likely increase the costs of keywords as advertisers can now see the benchmark that they need to hit to be served on the first page. This will most likely impact the competitive industries the most. Advertisers that are consistently just off the first page, can now see what terms convert best as well what the bidding range is for first page placement.

I think advertisers will like the new change being made and Google is hoping to see an increase in their revenue. Even if only generates a 1% increase, that results in $100 million increase.

Live Search adds another ad in results

September 14, 2008

Microsoft announced that they are going to add a fourth result in the ad results increasing the total from 8 to 9. They claim this benefits the advertisers as they want more clicks, but really it’s for Microsoft. The more clicks they can generate, the more revenue. The vast majority of people I have talked to about Live Search agree that they don’t see the conversions that Google and Yahoo! can generate.

They almost have the attitude that they just have Live Search ads because they have to as it will generate a sale or lead here or there. Microsoft knows it’s search product is not where it should be and therefore does not see the revenue that Google and Yahoo! enjoys. So why not add a fourth placement above the organic results and hope that more clicks are generated.

Google and NBCU enter strategic partnership

September 9, 2008

Google announced that they are entering a strategic partnership with NBC Universal. This will give the search giant access to a large amount of inventory on different NBC cable channels. This is a large win for Google, as the TV ads program has struggled so far. Recently, they only had access to Dish Network. This new partnership will allow media planners to diversify their plans through Google’s AdWords platform.

The ultimate goal is to get more non-traditional advertisers to use Google’s platform they are familiar with to buy traditional media such as print and TV.  Google has a large pipeline of small advertisers that advertise locally online, but do not use TV due to several factors. Google’s program is trying to get them access to inventory by removing the middleman and making it more reasonably priced.

Google is starting to impede on large media agencies turf with their new platform and the partnership with NBCU will definitely stir the pot a little more as a large provider has entered a partnership. This is not the first idea of trying a new method of media buying however. eBay tried a media auction platform where Oxygen! participated, but the idea was ultimately scrapped.

The two will also collaborate on marketing and research projects.

The channels that will initially be offered are:

  • Sci-Fi
  • Oxygen
  • CNBC
  • Sleuth
  • Chiller

Google is coolest 10 year old in world

September 8, 2008

Google is now in double digits. Google had it’s 10th anniversary recently and what a journey they have been on. The term “Google” and  is now a verb, you can buy radio and TV through their AdWords platform, free web tools include Google Analytics and Site Optimizer. The list could go on and on which is awfully impressive for a 10 year old company. The big question is, where will it go?

There is talk that they will be more aggressive in the TV advertising space since it still holds the largest ad $$. Will it use the acquisition of DoubleClick and offer a free ad serving solution to capture more details and data about the display advertising space? The answer resides in Mountain View CA.

Google just launched their own web browser and so far so good. Most comments are positive and people are happy with Chrome. One set back that Google might face is Android, their mobile operating system. Several analysts are predicting that the launch of the platform will not have nearly the buzz or success of the iPhone. 

So as Google heads to the tweens and teens, it will be interesting to see where the web giant heads. Overall, it has been an impressive 10 years and I look forward to seeing what comes in the next decade from Mountain View.

Olympics reveal internet’s limitations?

August 26, 2008

A recent AdAge article discusses how the Beijing games revealed the internet’s limitations. I disagree with the article. One of the biggest reasons why is that NBC did not stream enough live events online as they were protective around the offline ad revenue. CBS streamed March Madness this last year and the latest figure I had heard was around $23 million in online ad revenue. The latest I heard for NBC was just north of $6 million for the Olympics. If media buyers knew that they weren’t going to stream live video from the events, it makes perfect sense.

This might be an apples to oranges comparison as March Madness is during the day and I know of several people who had games streaming on their desktops while going through email and the Olympics were off in another land and the time zone thing was just chaos for TV “prime time”. The last thing I wanted to see was a “Phelps ticker” on ESPN saying he won gold in world record time when Bob Costas is saying he swims in 44 minutes. The tape delayed “live coverage” just irked me.

The internet allowed me to watch the events (at least most of them) I wanted to at my set time. I don’t think the Olympics displayed limitations, it was more the coverage was limited because the ad dollars were not there to support as much live video as many had hoped. Oh well, Microsoft must be happy with the adoption rate of Silverlight since the Olympics, doubt I’ll ever use again.

Don’t forget Lennovo’s great “Voics of the games” site. They had athletes blog about their experiences and stories, which I though was much better than the poor NBC coverage. There are a lot more athletes than just Americans, let them have their story told as well. I guess only the web can allow this to happen, limitations or not.