Thursday, February 23, 2006

Performics Reveals Increase in PPC CLicks and Cost

"Performics, the search marketing division of online advertising company DoubleClick, reports that the number of search marketing clicks in Q4 2005 grew 107% over the previous year, and the average cost of keywords rose 114%. "Keyword and overall campaign growth remain very strong. Search portfolios are expanding as marketers seek to connect with consumers during all stages of the buying cycle, and therefore, results are being measured beyond immediate ROI alone," said Stuart Larkins, Performics vice president of search in a statement."


Local directory site is currently testing a new geographical targeting option for advertisers. The feature, dubbed "geo-destination targeting," combines IP-based targeting--a very common technique that allows advertisers to target ads based on the location of a user.

Bill - Wouldn't it be cool to do this during a major Tradeshow?
Consumers Report Drop In Spam
"FIFTY-EIGHT PERCENT OF CONSUMERS FEEL that the e-mail marketing they receive is usually targeted to their needs and interests--up from 53 percent in 2005, according to a study released Tuesday by e-mail services firm Epsilon Interactive.
The study, based on a January survey of 1005 respondents, also found that spam appears to be waning. Fifty-six percent of consumers reported receiving less spam now than last year. "
"Although spam is on the decline, the survey states, false positives on ISPs' spam filters remain relatively steady. Thirty-one percent of consumers report that e-mail they have opted-in to receive has ended up in their junk mail folder--down from 32 percent last year--and 55 percent of users regularly check their junk mail folders for legitimate marketing messages, up from 52 percent last year. "
The study also noted that Yahoo Mail this year has overtaken AOL as the most widely used e-mail service among those surveyed, with Yahoo claiming 23 percent of respondents, compared to AOL's 15 percent. Last year, 19 percent of respondents used Yahoo, while 20 percent used AOL. Microsoft's Hotmail remains in third place, with a 12 percent share--unchanged from a year ago--while Gmail went from 1 percent in 2005 to 5 percent in 2006. "

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Test Big, Test Often
"'Testing big' means testing something radically different. Many times when I have tested small, I ended up with results that were dead even, statistically insignificant or contradictory when retested. This happened both when we tried to arrive at the optimal number of products for an e-mail (Is 6 better than 8? Is 9 better than 7?), and when we tested different subheads for product categories. Every best-day-to-mail and color test I've done was 'too small' as well.
A big test yielded a big difference in results. We tested two versions of an e-mail, one leading with the advertising message and the other leading with the consumer benefit. Of course the consumer benefit approach won, but what was surprising was the magnitude of the win: it beat the advertising approach by 140 percent! "
Center for Media Research
Pick Influential Search Engine By Category, But Yahoo! Safe Bet
Findings from BIGresearch's latest Simultaneous Media Survey show that Yahoo! is the overall #1 search engine choice for most influential on purchase decisions and Google is number 4. Media influence and/or engagement are hot topics in today's ROI driven ad world concludes the report.
Joe Pilotta, VP of Research at BIGresearch. Says 'When you look at the impact of Internet Advertising on specific purchase decisions and not just click throughs, the impact of internet advertising is a different story,' For example, the influence on electronics purchases showed Google #1 followed by Yahoo!, MSN, AOL and Ask Jeeves.
Influence of Internet Advertising on Purchase Decisions (Ranked by Search Engine Preference)
Electronics - Apparel/Clothing- Car/Truck - Grocery
1. Google 1. Yahoo! 1. MSN 1. AOL
2. Yahoo! 2. AOL 2. Yahoo! 2. Yahoo!
3. MSN 3. MSN 3. Google 3. Ask Jeeves
4. AOL 4. Google 4. Ask Jeeves 4. MSN
5. Ask Jeeves 5. Ask Jeeves 5. AOL 5. Google
Source: BIGresearch, February 2006

'If we tally the ranking of search engines' influence on category purchase decisions...Yahoo! (is) number 1 with a score of 13, with 1st or 2nd place finishes in every category, MSN number 2 at 21, AOL number 3 at 23, Google number 4 at 26 and Ask Jeeves number 5 at 32...' said Pilotta.
As Pilotta points out, share, as measured by Nielsen//Netratings, may not be the precursor of the important influence on purchase. "
Display Ads Balloon 12%

"ONLINE MARKETERS SERVED MORE THAN 138 billion display ads last month, marking a 12 percent increase from December, according to new data from Nielsen//NetRatings AdRelevance.
Financial services advertisers accounted for the most impressions by far--22 percent last month, up slightly from 21 percent in January 2005. Telecoms purchased 19 percent of all online ads, more than double last year's 8 percent. Retail goods and services marketers accounted for 16 percent of impressions, compared to 15 percent last year.
Where did marketers spend their online ad dollars? E-mail sites were a favorite choice, garnering 35.1 percent of impressions--up from both last year's 20.2 percent and last month's 32.1 percent. The bulk of those ads were on Yahoo and MSN; Yahoo Mail drew 22.3 percent of all impressions, while MSN Hotmail garnered 9.6 percent. "

Monday, February 20, 2006

E-Commerce Sales Increase 25%

"E-COMMERCE SALES ACCOUNTED FOR 2.4 percent of all sales in the fourth quarter, up from 2.3 percent the previous quarter, according to new figures released Friday by the Department of Commerce. Total fourth quarter e-commerce revenues came to a seasonally adjusted $22.94 billion. For all of 2005, e-commerce sales rose by 24.6 percent. "

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Auto Industry Revs Up Online Advertising
Automotive advertisers are following the trends and making the switch to online advertising at the expense of other media, according to a new eMarketer report on automotive online marketing. According to the study, the top ten automotive advertisers spent only 2.5% of their total ad spending from January to November 2005 online. The eMarketer report estimates that auto companies will spend $2.7 billion on online advertising in 2007 compared to the $1.4 billion spent in 2005. Furthermore, the auto industry will capture 15 percent of U.S. online advertising spending by 2007 compared with 11 percent in 2005.

In today's press release, Lisa E. Phillips, eMarketer Senior Analyst and author of the new Automotive Online: Gearing Up for Greater Spending report said, "The industry's foot is definitely coming off the brakes and onto the accelerator this year Automotive advertisers are gearing up for an online advertising surge, and it's going to come at the expense of other media. Phillips also commented, The automotive industry is the largest advertiser in the world. In the US alone, the industry spent more than $17 billion in the first 11 months of 2005. But, despite the fact that almost 70% of consumers use the Web at some point in their automotive purchases, the industry has been slow to commit to online advertising and promotion.

Tactics mentioned in the report include: Audi and Volvo sponsoring National Public Radio podcasts; Cadillac's five-second film contest bumping site traffic 35%, according to Promo magazine; Chrysler targeting "Road Trip" advergames to moms interested in its Town & Country minivan; ..."
Taking a Bite Out of Google's Third Party Cookies

In addition to testing Click-To-Call ads for AdWords, Google is quietly testing an addition to AdSense: 3rd party cookies for tracking image ads. Last week, some AdWords publishers received an email from the AdSense team advising them of the test.
Part of the letter reads:
"To track the performance of a campaign, 3rd parties ad-servers may place a cookie on users' computers to capture standard web traffic information such as time, date, IP address and browser information."
It's something that has been lacking from Google's roundup of AdSense services, and it will allow advertisers to run more individualized and targeted campaigns, opening the door to displaying ads on an individual site by keyword or subject. (Incidentally this may also result in increased AdSense checks for publishers.)"

Friday, February 10, 2006

SEO Accounts for Only 11% of SEM Spending

"SEMPO recently published a study which shows that a only 11% of all search engine marketing advertising is spent on search engine optimization, with the vast majority, a full 83%, is spent on pay-per-click advertising. "

"While four out of five respondents to the study said they are engaging in organic SEO, the big money still goes to PPC. This means that either organic SEO is considerably less expensive than it should be, or advertisers are more comfortable with sponsored advertising which they can often manage themselves with little outside help and ROI can be tracked more easily and instantly. "
Online Advertising Reaches New Heights in China

"The Shanghai Daily reports today that spending in online advertising has surpassed the magazine market in China over the past year. The online market yielded 3.19 billion yuan (about $396 million), far surpassing the 1.8 billion yuan from magazines, and closing in on broadcast advertising, which yielded 3.4 billion yuan. The Shanghai Daily points to recent studies conducted by iResearch, which predict that online advertising will surpass broadcasting in 2006 to become China"s most dominant media advertising outlet.
China's online advertising market is led by real estate, information technology products and Internet service industries, and its top advertisers for 2005 were Samsung, China Mobile, and Eachnet (eBay China). Much like current trends in the U.S., search engine revenue from sites like Google and Baidu is encroaching upon the territory of web portals such as Sina and Sohu.
In total, online ad revenue in China has grown from 0.5% of all media spending in 2001 to 2.3% in 2005. By comparison, online advertising in the West accounts for 5% of all media spending. "
Nielsen//NetRatings: Searches Up 55% - 02/10/2006

"THE TOTAL NUMBER OF SEARCHES in the U.S. conducted across approximately 60 search engines grew 55 percent year-over-year to nearly 5.1 billion searches in December 2005, according to numbers released by Nielsen//NetRatings on Thursday. There were 3.3 billion searches conducted via search engines in December 2004. Notably, while the number of searches conducted online swelled, the number of people connecting to the Internet rose a mere three percent to 207 million people in the United States. Google accounted for 49 percent of all searches in December, up from 43 percent the year prior. Yahoo Search and MSN Search experienced slight declines in their search share points."

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Super Bowl Search Marketing Scorecard

By Chris Sherman, Associate Editor
February 8, 2006

While much attention was focused on the television ads aired during the super bowl, the real winners were those firms who combined traditional media with savvy search marketing campaigns.

Yahoo reports that searches on the phrase 'Super Bowl XL Commercials' increased by roughly 800% in the day after the game was played. The phrase was one of the top 10 most searched upon terms on Yahoo, and the company said that advertisers including Cadillac, Honda and Dove all bid on the phrase and took advantage of the resulting increased search traffic.

Other popular search terms that had traffic spikes included 'Mick Jagger' and 'Tim Hasselbeck,' quarterback of the New York Giants and brother of Seattle quarterback Matthew Hasselbeck. The Yahoo Buzz Log had two posts analyzing Super Bowl related searches�one prior to the game on Saturday February 4th, and another post-game on Monday February 6.

Other game-related search phrases that saw increases included 'Appetizer Recipes' (+336%), 'Chicken Wings' (+97%) and 'Salsa Recipes' (+76%).

Searches on Yahoo for 'Cadillac Escalade' jumped over 75% after the Super Bowl. Cadillac ran a TV ad during the game and also made sure its bids for the search terms were high enough to get its paid listing to appear at the top of Yahoo's sponsored search results. "

Bill: Amasing how TV trnsfers to search! I wounder if we can track hits to our siemens website from TV ads?
IAB, ABCE Announce Global Spiders & Bots Filtering List

"To help ensure accurate online advertising impression counts during audit processes, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and ABC Electronic (ABCE) today announced the launch of an expanded global Spiders & Bots List. The new list, for the first time, combines IAB's advertising-related spiders and bots Ad List with ABCE's Content Traffic List related to robotic site traffic, to help determine the impact that non-human activity may have on ad serving."

Bill: The IAB list costs $3500 but here's a great bot list as receint as Feburary 2006.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Visits Soar At Online News Sites

"ONLINE NEWSPAPERS DREW AN AVERAGE 53.6 million visitors a month during the fourth quarter--up 30 percent from the previous year's 41.1 million, according to a new report released Thursday by the Newspaper Association of America.

Visitors to newspapers' Web sites also remain longer now than in the past. In the fourth quarter, users visited an average of 42 minutes a month--up 16 percent from 37 minutes in the fourth quarter of 2004. Nielsen//NetRatings compiled the data for the NAA. "

"As online readership increased, ad expenditures also trended up last year. By the third quarter, online newspapers ads reached almost $519 million, marking a 27 percent increase from the third quarter of 2004. Overall ad expenditures totaled $11.96 billion, representing just a 2.4 percent increase from 2004. "

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Owning the Desktop: The Most Expensive Real Estate Online

"The Holy Grail of branding is to become so important to your customer that they want to have immediate access to your site and services right from their desktop. What could possibly be better for a marketer than to have a direct access icon sitting right in front of the family photo background with little Billy and the ever-so-slightly inebriated Uncle Bob? But motivating that consumer to install any kind of direct connection is extremely difficult."

" – the Easy red button; this is an excellent example of a B2C application that is relevant, useful and actually does what it says, making office supply purchases quick and easy. It’s beautifully designed and very well executed. EASY BUTTON

• – Southwest Airlines Ding! brings instant updates on user-generated inquiries to the desktop. While they have not done a particularly aggressive job of marketing it, Ding! is another strong example of useful functionality that consumers appreciate.
New Study Reports that Search Sites Provides Twice the Conversion Rate When Compared With Other Acquisition Sources

"The Dow Jones story: Search Sites Better At Getting Shoppers To Buy: Study, reports on new research from WebSideStory that shows search engines (both paid and organic listings) provide more than twice the conversion rates than other forms of Internet advertising and marketing.

However, direct navigation offered the highest conversion rate. The sites used in the study cover five product categories.

From the article:

The study defines conversion rate as the percentage of visitors to a site who view an ad or clicking on a search result and purchase a product or service.


Search Sites had a conversion rate of 2.3%, meaning that for every 100 consumers clicking on a search result or advertisement, 2.3 people made a purchase.

Other Forms of Internet Marketing

Banner ads, affiliate marketing links, comparison shopping search sites* and other online marketing efforts had a conversion rate of 0.96%.

* Note, that shopping engines are not considered in the main search category.

Search Bypass: Direct Navigation/Bookmarks
Direct to a company's web site (including via a bookmark) offered a conversion"
Lack of Search Marketing During Christmas Season Hurt FTD's Bottom Line, Head of Marketing Replaced

"From the statement (full text here): The consumer business's order growth for the 2005 Christmas season was below expectations [because of] our decision not to pursue high-cost order volume associated with online search,' FTD president/CEO Michael J. Soenen said in a statement. 'In anticipation of continued competitiveness in the online search environment and to better manage the consumer segment business going forward, we have made management changes within this segment including the replacement of our head of marketing.'"

Bill: Ouch!
Marketers Find Google Ads Slightly More Effective Than Yahoo & Well Above MSN

"Advertisers Say Search Ads On Google Better Than Yahoo, MSN from MediaPost reports on an Outsell survey of 1,200 advertisers last November that found 71 percent found search ads on Google were effective, compared to 62 percent on Yahoo and 49 percent on MSN. But those most likely to find Google as 'extremely' effective had slightly smaller average budgets than Yahoo and MSN spenders."

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