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Branding Boosts Conversions

Before clicking on an advertisement and converting to a sale, Internet users first are influenced by the advertiser’s message displayed at other online publications, according to a recent study. But advertisers incorrectly attribute direct responses to the last ad viewed by the user.

Those were the findings of Next-Generation Direct Response – Effectively Managing Attribution from Jupiter Research. The report was written by analyst Emily Riley and Zia Daniell Wigder, a research director.

The authors hope to help advertisers identify all marketing that helped convince the user to respond so they can create more effective media buys.

“Several interactive agencies and ad servers are testing attribution management with their largest clients,” Jupiter said.

Nearly 85 percent of online advertisers desire a direct response of some kind, the report indicated, while 42 percent track registrations. Very few advertisers, however, are tracking correctly.

“In many cases, and especially for large advertisers, a user will be exposed to more than one ad over time, and may be influenced by an ad days before converting through another ad,” Jupiter said. “However, the vast majority of direct response advertisers and view-through advertisers assign 100 percent credit to the most recent ad impression, which ignores the influence of previous ad messages.”

Jupiter suggested measuring the effects of multiple ads on one user. This would include the testing and execution of the brand and direct response message sequence, the ideal ad frequency and the influence of banner ads on search behavior.

Nearly three-quarters of online users reacted to online ads in the past year, while 13 percent clicked on an ad for something they were already intending to buy, the report stated.

“It is likely that what they were planning to buy was introduced to them at some point earlier in their purchase cycle through a different advertisement,” the authors wrote. “Advertisers should measure the influence of all of the advertisements that the user was exposed to at different stages, rather than only the most recent impression.”

When asked, “Which of the following activities have you engaged in as a result of viewing advertising online during the past 12 months?”, 38 percent of the respondents said they entered a sweepstakes, 31 percent indicated they used a search engine to find out more information and a quarter signed up for an e-mail newsletter and another quarter purchased a product or service online, according to the analysis. Around 20 percent visited a Web site.


Ad Campaign Overlap Improves Conversions

Advertising campaigns are a success or a failure depending on the interaction, synergies and overlap of multiple online channels including banner advertising, paid search and sponsorships, according to a report from the Atlas Institute.

The analysis encompassed more than 300 million cookies, five billion ads served, and 1.7 million conversions, Atlas said.

Because advertisers attribute the buyer’s behavior to the last ad seen, they are blind to the implications of users who saw their ad over multiple publications and mediums, Analyst Jed Fowler wrote in the paper, Overlap’s Impact on Reach, Frequency and Conversions.

But leading marketers now analyze all consumer touch-points.

“While a minority of users are reached across multiple sites, they consume media at a much higher rate than the users exclusively reached on single sites,” the report said. “Moreover, this overlapped group is often responsible for the majority of conversions.”

Less than one-third of users saw ads from multiple publishers, while more than half saw ads from multiple placements, according to the study.

Atlas noted of consumers who converted, two-thirds viewed the ads across multiple publishers while 86 percent saw the ad somewhere else before converting.

“A user reached across multiple publishers is twice as likely to convert as one reached only on a single publisher,” the report said. “Not surprisingly, large buys show much greater overlap than small buys.”

The report suggested analyzing campaign results based on the overall mix. For branding, overlap should be maximized while audience duplication should be minimized.

“The ubiquity of overlap amongst converters highlights the shortcomings with current reporting standards that attributes 100 percent of the conversion to the last impression or click,” Atlas concluded. “Some buys are great at reaching your target audience but do not take credit for conversions because they are not the last ad seen. Understanding how your buys are reaching converters may provide important justification for more expensive media buys like rich media, web video and sponsorships.”


Online Ad Spending to Jump

Marketers will spend slightly more this year on all advertising — though online expenditures will show a more sizable gain.

Total ad spending will reach $152 billion during 2007, TNS Media

Intelligence announced Tuesday. The figure represents a 2 percent improvement over 2006.

TNS had previously forecast a slightly higher gain, but the advertising market has softened over the past six months, the company’s President and CEO Steven J. Fredericks said in the announcement. “We expect the overall pace of activity will pick up slightly in the second half of the year.”

While the first half of this year saw just a 1.2 percent increase from the same period in 2006, TNS said the second half of 2007 will show a 2.3 percent improvement.

But while overall ad spending will barely budge from all of 2006, spending on Internet advertising is projected to increase 16 percent, the press release indicated.


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