Bing wins, and other comments this week.

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readers_small.jpgADOTAS — Bing won in our informal, unscientific poll this week, but it sounds more like wishful thinking than actual results. There were also some interesting insights from readers with other stories this week.

Why We want Microsoft’s Bing to Succeed

7OA:
“Sorry, not joining you.”

8OA:
“Yes, I am joining you.”

9OA:
“Bing is not good..unfortunately microsoft did not learn anything from their failure with Live search..so i’m not joining you.”

John:
“Joining you…just because I am so sick of the I hate microsoft people.”

Gary:
Joining you! In most instances Bing returns same results as Google, in few areas it’s actually better.”

Adam:
“Decision Engine? I have a doubt!!!”

Marco:
“There are lots of opinions as to whether Bing is number two or was number two or whatever. But regardless of its current rank, it is and will continue to be a major player and those who employ paid search as a strategy need to consider it. See here for more: New thoughts on Bing, Yahoo, and Google”

Open ad networks will trump black-boxed networks

R.J. Lewis:
“The lines of “roles” continue to blur. Agencies as ad networks? Publishers as agencies? For more see my blog:
http://e-healthcaresolutions.com/blog/?p=33”

Dana Todd:
“Secondary premium? Is that like Nordstrom Rack or TJ Maxx? Meaning, it’s quality stuff at ridiculous prices, but it’s buried in tons of other crap that is torn or unusable and takes a lot of effort to extract?
Just askin…”

Stephan Pretorius:
“I really don’t understand why Andy was so viciously attacked here. I don’t know him at all, but thinks he makes some very good points.
@Agencies becoming networks: Has anyone picked up what MediaBrands is doing with Cadreon (www.cadreon.com)?? Andy is spot on.
@Advertisers buying audience and not impressions: This has already started and will only accelerate as the tools for taking audience data (segmented cookie lists) and using that to target media buys improves. This process is currently quite manual and clunky, but it’s the killer application for exchange-based media buys. Again, Andy is spot-on.”

Rob Leathern:
“Stephan – good comments. Hopefully labels become less relevant here. BTW I didn’t watch the Andy video yet but it’s just as natural for people to want to smash people who give their opinions on the future of this industry, just as it is natural to wrap into your opinions some self-promotion of your current venture in the space. Speaking as a former analyst I can guarantee, there is no such thing as unbiased opinion.”

Local search advertising shakeup

Jon:
“This would suggest (at least to me) that there is a tremendous desire for local businesses to use search as an engine to drive consumer behavior WHILE there is such a poor lack of service that the churn rate is high.

In order to minimize the churn rate any business must focus on the consumer needs and deliver a product that not only performs but also is there when questions or concerns are raised.

The Local SEM industry is so new and has been focused primarily on developing business that it would appear (based on your article) that a stepped up service element for clients funding the process be developed, implemented and adhered to.

Jon”

Max Kalehoff:
“Hi Edward,
Thanks for your interest in the Borrell report. There is friction in the local search advertising marketplace, and there are opportunities to strengthen it.

It really is a massive opportunity — for the search engines, affiliates, technology enablers and local businesses. As the WSJ underscored, “as consumers continue to search for more local businesses information online, it is inevitable that local advertisers will follow.” Locally placed search advertising in the U.S. is projected to grow 30 percent over the next five years, from $4.1 billion in 2008 to $5.3 billion in 2013, according to Borrell Associates. We believe that’s significant growth, and it could eventually be more.

Importantly, there’s a huge opportunity to grow the entire local search advertising industry if it does three things in concert:

1. Delivers more ROI to local businesses by allocating a greater percent of their investment into search media spend, while optimizing and scaling with better technology platforms (i.e., a departure from selling Web site clicks and a push toward performance).
2. Does a better job of clearly delivering and communicating ROI to local businesses, including tracking results more simply and accurately.
3. Realigns sales efforts to better manage expectations.

Again, there is friction in the marketplace, but there also is huge opportunity, and solutions to capture it.

Regards,
Max Kalehoff
VP- Marketing, Clickable
Clickable”

Hunter Gatherer:
“Growth of local search as a successful advertising medium will demand greater marketing sophistication from local advertisers. This is the rub.
Local advertisers will need greater skills at deploying web sites, offers, email, feeds, social media as well as CRM staffing and systems to maximize the value of any search based response.
This is a big challenge for local companies desperately doing everything to stay afloat in challenging times. The training curve is much too steep for most.
I foresee turnkey service providers willing to come into this skill set void…at a price. Part of the sophistication needed will be a thorough understanding of the actual costs of generating both prospects and customers of existing marketing methods. You tell me…
How do you get local advertisers to pay for full, turnkey web prospect generation and delivery to point of sale?

Debunking the Myths of Social Media Advertising

Anu Shukla:
“Hi Scott,

Thanks for your kind words. I agree that the incredible CTR sounds almost implausible, but you have to keep in mind that we’re not comparing apples to apples here.

The CTR I’m referring to isn’t about users clicking on a banner ad alongside some irrelevant content. It’s the CTR for users that visit our offers page inside of social applications and online games. When users visit our page, they are already highly engaged with the application/gaming experience, and they are there specifically to search for ads they find interesting and relevant, of which there are many. Thanks to our targeting and optimization engine, those users typically find at least one, and oftentimes multiple, offers they’re interested in, so they end up clicking through to learn more.

The difference is that CTR traditionally measures how effective an ad is at getting a user’s attention. In our case, we already have their attention, so our CTR is a measure of how compelling and relevant the offer is.

Thanks,
Anu”

Ad Whore:
‘“Social media has revolutionized advertising in countless ways”
Name one.:

Advertising scarcity in a digital future

Bob Gordon:
“For over 13 years we have been fighting the ad community’s dimunitization of the real value of online advertising…the traditional CPM is the tool the “beat the crap” out of the publishers have used and continue to use…we here at The Auto Channel have never been able to understand why a potential car buyer who looks at specs, videos and then clicks over to an advertisers web site is not worth expotentially more than the pitiful cost per click they are paying? When an auto maker’s direct mail packet cost $8-$10 dollars to produce and distribute and then garners a 2-5% result why is that viewers session and resultant actions not worth at least $10 bucks…what am I unable to understand?”

Fake blogs evolve

JoAnne Alter:
“The fake blog and fake news junk makes it that much harder for Web publishers–those of us who actually try to give site visitors useful information–to remain credible, much less, viable.
I recently saw a Twitter post, complete with bit.ly link, for a gushing, get-rich-quick scheme fake article. Fake author byline and photo, all on a fake newspaper template.
Somehow, I didn’t think of it as “evil genius.” The only word that came to mind was, and still is, “repulsive.”’

Fox in the Henhouse: Should You Trust Your Agency with Analytics?

Alex Fortney:
“I don’t agree for a couple of reasons.

1. Your agency is supposed to be a trusted partner to your business. If you can’t trust them to be straight with you, then you should fire them.

2. The analytics data exists, it’s out there in the form of real numbers and you, as a brand, should request it if you have any questions. If the agency can’t or won’t share the data with you then see #1.

The convergence between creatives and crunchers is already happening and the idea that they should somehow remain separate is, in my opinion, a false dichotomy.

Alex Fortney
@alexfortney”

Melissa Kavanagh:
“I have to agree with Alex on this. If you are paying your agency for analytics services, they should be able to give you objective insights into your analytics data. As Alex said, if you can’t trust them for this information, you haven’t hired the right agency.”

What’s next for Twitter?

Joshua Smith:
“Many of these failings have already been addressed by third party developers, who offer tools based on Twitter’s APIs. There are apps that handle friend recommendation well, others that make it very easy to track @replies and to manage DMs and others that make it simple for teams to manage multiple Twitter accounts from a single interface so that it can function like a helpdesk of sorts.

That said, you’re quite right in that Twitter can’t depend on the savviness of third-party app developers. It needs to build some of this functionality into the core system in order to broaden its appeal.”

MySpace layoffs could near 500

MaryEllen:
“This is why it is important for Social Media Managers to be sure to work on multiple networks. You just never know what the next big thing is , or the next one to tank.”

Jason Feffer:
“MySpace over hired and some went in the wrong direction because of internal struggles, as we’ve seen by the departures of many of its top brass.

I hope they don’t fire the wrong people since MySpace will need its top talent to make a comeback.”

K. Skye:
“Let’s hope that Jeff Berman and his set of ‘militant’ inexperienced honchos will be first in line to leave. They have undoubtedly turned the Sales team into a three ring circus, unable to ‘jump thru hoops’ and being significantly behind in numbers and slashing people’s ideas!”

Meeting Wars: The CMO’s Pain

James:
“Demand stronger creative from Mass, and give them the freedom to do so- and good things will happen. Spend less money on ‘branding’ stuff.”

Display advertising still battling

Matt Lillig:
“I’d recommend Yahoo’s Search Marketing Full Analytics product. It allows you to track all of you online campaigns under one roof. But even better, it provides the ‘Assist’ metric which shows how one ad cotributed to the conversion of another ad. For example, it will show you the total number of times that your display ads assisted in driving conversions for your other ads (such as search).

This is great data if you’re a display advertiser trying to understand the full value of your display ads to help guide your ad budget.”

Jan Zlotnick:
“They say display advertising is a bad investment. But, not so fast, theysayers. First, we know that Web sites proliferate and continue to create new content and extra pages. And the supply of display ads has become nearly limitless. Which means it could be the perfect time to rethink and re-invest in the under-valued Display Ad — IF:

If:
1. You buck the trend and get your Display’s creative mojo back (which I believe you bucking can).

2. You rethink your creative, tech, and production options BEFORE you spend a media nickel.

You re-read Emily Steel’s around-the-corner WSJ piece (5.6.09, Marketplace) on display advertising about to have their bandages unwrapped for their extreme makeover.

“Some Web Companies are trying to breathe new life into the format,” Steel writes, “Businesses from ad-technology start-ups to Web publishers are increasing the size and beefing up the quality of display ads, which border Web pages and can include pictures or video.”

Steel goes on to report, “They are also changing payment models and measurement systems…and commissioning research…to document their impact.” Eyeblaster, for one, will allow advertisers to track how their display ads perform in comparison with TV. PointRoll, another one with six-pack tech abs, will allow advertisers to change featured products based on what they have in stock.

Her article shows how this is working for New Balance ZIP athletic shoes. VideoEgg’s “engagement” ad replaces the usual slot for the display ad at a “cost per engagement” pricing model, in which marketers pay for an ad only when a consumer reacts to it (expands across the page) vs. the typical model of payment based on “ad impressions” delivered – or the times an ad is shown on a Web page.

Naturally, in a recession, marketing execs are seeking such innovative models. But, as you would guess, there are those marketers who are quick to offer reasons why They Think this may not work. So, naturally, it’s your job to rethink each one:

#1: It’s hard to fit the new pricing models into existing budgets.

ReThink: So, it’s hard! That’s a reason for not making it work? Last I checked, things that came a little hard paid off.

#2: Major Web publishers have yet to adopt the new model, so it’s limited to a network of sites on which VideoEgg sells ads unless and until marketers create new ads to run on other sites.

ReThink: So, we get it: another hard one — “create” something new again. Think we can handle that? I rethink so.

“The onus is on the creative to be interesting, engaging. If your creative isn’t good, then you aren’t going to create engagement,” says Jeff Marshall, the managing director at Pixel, a digital creative agency owned by Publicis Groupe.

Jeff is absolutely right of course, but, excuuuuse me, did he say, “if your creative isn’t good”?!! Hell, while we’re at it, just because we’re talking real money here, let’s go crazy and go for flat out Remarkable, Freaking Fantastically Great. Of course, that may be a hard one, too.

But that’s why we all have cell phones. To call someone who’s up to it. At a great price, to boot.”

Sue:
“Certain areas of online advertising are still seeing growth. For example, CPA is growing as advertisers are looking for ways to ensure ROI. Since with CPA you only pay for the ads that achieve a specific action, you are truly getting what you paid for. If you can show ROI, advertisers will come.”

AOL buys Tim Armstrong’s Patch

Dufus:
“AOL bureaucracy will screw it up….its way to early for Tim to be focusing on new companies and not the cards already dealt to him! Classic first time CEO.”

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