Microsoft Continues Push to Defend Value of Display

25 September, 2008

MSA - new logo

It may appear at times that the AdViking crew are a bit all over the map in terms what we blog about and what we champion – direct response, conversational marketing, ppc, branding, display, search, etc. All I can say is this is healthy – debate and dialog is a good thing, I don’t need to defend it.

This past week Microsoft continued its solid defense of the value of display advertising with a renewed push. How? Well Microsoft’s Young-Bean Song (a guru of online advertising analytics) began a speech at the MIXX conference in New York earlier in the week with a beer analogy (more here at wp)… We like beer analogies. Anyway, he talks about Corona, but we can substitute this for Guinness or Stella or Heineken, saying if they could measure that last interaction a consumer has with that brand before they buy beer well then they might “put all its marketing budget into neon signs at pubs.” Or t-shirts. We all know that this would be stupid. We know advertising works in a more holistic and less black & white way.

old school - last click wins

For example on your way to a pub you may see a sign for Guiness on the bus and you may remeber a great Guiness TV ad. And then you’ll think ahh I am going to an Irish pub so why don’t I order Guiness. You get the idea.

Well a lot of online advertising (especially paid search or CPC based models) works by just giving credit to the ‘last click’ and thus we (advertisers and marketers) are ignoring all the other touch points when calculating the overall ROI (return on investment) of our online marketing mix.

Instead, in  a nutshell, what Microsoft Advertising is saying is that advertisers should be smarter than that and look all the data they can when analysing online ad spend. Based on some studies that Microsoft has done using real data  – advertisers can be ignoring as much at 94% of the online data points and only looking at 6% of the data when calculating ROI. That sounds like a step backwards to me!

new school - engagement based ROI

Microsoft Advertising have developed an entire reporting standard to help advertisers called Engagement Mapping. Check it out.


Facebook Trials ‘Engagement Ads’

22 August, 2008

After the disaster that was Beacon, Facebook  have announced they are continuing to pioneer the pathway to understanding how to monetise social media with testing of ‘Engagement Ads’.

Basically, it’s a new ad format that allows users to comment, become a fan and give gifts.

Forrester Analyst Jeremiah Owyang, has a thoughtful look at  what ‘Engagement Advertising’ Means to Brands.

AdViking likes this because even though it will probably fail at least they are trying to innovate and take advantage of being the #1 social network in the world.

Though AdViking has to say this is all great and exciting the real news of late from Facebook and what’s going to deliver a heap of money to the coffers is that the alcoholic beverage industry can now advertise on Facebook!  This will be one sure way to increase the problem of the lack of beer money in digital.


Hands up for a downturn?

14 July, 2008

Hands up who remembers the last recession?

Are we there again? If the press is to be believed (OK, OK, bear with me!) then we’re already there. Officially we entered a ‘bear market’ in the UK earlier this month (i.e. 20% lower FTSE than the peak, which was last June). No-one wants to lend money to anyone who actually needs it.

Oh, and marketing budgets are being cut left, right and centre… check out this story on Brand Republic about the latest Bellwether Report.

The one mild positive for AdViking is that digital spend continue to grow, albeit modestly.

So is it real or are we talking ourselves into it? Confidence is such a fragile thing – and confidence determines likelihood of purchase across the board, be it FMCG or big ticket items.

<aside> There’s a potentially interesting study from Datamonitor about retail trends that raises that old chestnut the ‘sacrifical consumer’… but at a little short of £3000 you’ll have to make a lot of brand trade-downs to afford this particular treat. The Sacrificial Consumer is the shopper who will, for example, buy own brand cornflakes and toilet paper so that (s)he can afford a nice bottle of win. </aside>

Digital marketing is still growing because it is quick, measurable, adaptable, effective and relatively transparent. But the smart money is going to go on engagement marketing (digital can be really good at this).

This means doing everything you can to get customers you’ve found to make that first purchase and then keen coming back for more… better still, having them tell their friends and families about it while they’re at it.

In other words, conversion, cross-sell, upsell, retention.

So that’s back to marketing as a conversation, not a one-way shouting match.

That means using established tools like email marketing. (Not that horrible spam stuff, but messages your customers actually want to read – and buy from).

Or using RSS feeds.

Or even, gasp, social media… if only we can figure out how!