Friday, March 31, 2006

Google local search shows image ads on maps

"Google has now launched a widely expected feature for local businesses who want to target consumers by their geographic location, by letting them place photos and logos inside balloons that pop up on Google Maps exactly where their business is located. The new Local Business Ad system lets advertisers buy keyword phrases that include zip codes or other location information. Bookseller Barnes & Noble and retailer Ralph Lauren have been testing the product over the last several weeks. Users will also notice that certain searches on Google Local will display icons representing different types of businesses, such as a coffee cup for a café, a shopping bag for an apparel store, or a grocery cart for a supermarket. When the user clicks on the icon, a bubble pops up containing more information about the merchant, including a logo or a store photo and a link to their Web site. Local Business Ads operates in concert with AdWords, so advertisers still bid on keywords which they pay for on a per click basis. The terms they bid for place them on Google Local and Maps as well as in search and contextual results. Analysts like the new local feature and say the next step will be enhanced interactivity, via chat and video. For now, this is a good move forward for Google. The search giant definitely needed something real local businesses could sink their teeth into, and with more improvement in the local listings department, usage will continue to increase, drawing more advertisers from a deeper pool. "
comScore Study Confirms the Importance of Search in Influencing Offline Buying

"New Study from comScore Networks Sponsored by Google Reveals 63 Percent of Search-Related Purchases Occur in Offline Retail Stores

RESTON, VA, March 21, 2006 - comScore Networks today released results from a new research study that confirms the importance of search in influencing offline buying. The results show that 25 percent of searchers purchased an item directly related to their query, and that of those buyers, 37 percent completed their purchase online. An even greater 63 percent completed a purchase offline following their search activity."
The Cost of Organic Search
By Wayne Lieb

The search marketing director at Acceleration dispels the myth that natural search is free and explains how to measure its value.

The biggest misconception that surrounds organic (or natural) search engine marketing (SEM) is that it is free. Although you don't pay per click, there is a real cost associated with building organic traffic, and you need to know what this cost is to measure the effect your SEM efforts are having on your marketing return on investment (ROI).

How much is this cost? According to SEMPO, search engine marketers spent $5.75 billion on SEM in 2005. Of this, 11 percent went to organic search, 83 percent to paid search, and six percent to paid inclusion and search engine marketing technologies."

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Google and Verizon Super Page Deal
"ClickZ reports that Google has landed a dead with Verizon to provide some backfill sponsored results for Google will be using its AdWords PPC engine to help Verizon better monetize their online Yellow Pages engines, The deal will allow Verizon to increase their inventory of ads. SuperPages will be managing the accounts and they will buy the Google advertising on their behalf."

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

2006 Online Marketing Plans

"eMarketer reports that many marketers plan to update their websites, as well as increase the amount of sponsored links and online ads.

It looks like Internet users will be surfing much-improved websites in 2006. According to data gathered by MarketingSherpa at ad:tech, in late 2005, 39 percent of U.S. marketers plan substantial increases in their spending on 'website revamps or tweaks.' Also likely, according the MarketingSherpa data, are more sponsored links alongside search results and a significant increase in online ads."

Bill: Nice Chart.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Adotas Report: Clicks Twice as Likely with Contextual Ads

"According to a report by marketing research company Synovate for Vendare Media's ad network Traffic Marketplace, consumers are more than twice as likely to click on an ad if it's contextual. Three out of five participants responded to contextual ads as opposed to ads targeted by demographic, geography, or behavior. When asked what sort of ad they were likely to respond to, 62% cited ads that were - a subject of particular interest to you.

Just 28% said they would respond to demographically targeted ads, 24% said they would respond to geographic ads, and only 18% said they would respond to ads based on their web activity (behavioral). While findings for non-contextual ad targeting methods were low, the study also notes that 1/3 of respondents said they either weren't sure about what they would respond to, or had no opinion on the subject."

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

2006 Best Day to Send: 2005 Response Rate Study
2005 Response Rate Study

In its study of some 4,000 organizations, 230,000 email campaigns, and 2.7 billion (!) email messages last year, ExactTarget found an inverse relationship between list size and email responsiveness: Open and click-through rates both tend to decrease as list size increases.Morgan Stewart, who authored the study for the Indianapolis-based company, sees good reason for companies to segment their audiences: "The smaller the targeted audience, the better organizations can aim their message directly to their subscribers in their email communications."
Also according to the study ...
-B2B emails had higher open and click-through rates than B2C
-Lists with 100,000 or more names had an average open rate of 18.2% and click-though of 3.6%
-Lists with 101-1,000 names had an open rate of 42.1% and click-through rate of 6.8%
-For lists of 1,001-10,000, the rates were 33.2% and 5.1%; for lists of 10,001-100,000, the rates were 25.8% and 4.5%.

The downward trend in open rates by list size stabilizes at between 15-20% average at 400,000 to 500,000 subscribers. At that point, adding incremental names does not have an increased negative affect on open rates.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Searchers Still Like to Buy Offline

"A new study says that though a majority of shoppers use the internet to research products, nearly half still prefer to make their purchases through bricks and mortar retailers.
The Post-Holiday Online Shopping Study, sponsored by iProspect and conducted by Jupiter Research, found that 47% of Internet users who reported researching products online during the 2005 holiday season bought those products offline at a physical store, by phone or through some other offline channel.

It's not that shoppers are uncomfortable using the internet. Fully 63% of survey respondents said that they researched products at online merchant sites, and 62% of Internet shoppers used general search engines (such as Google and Yahoo!) when researching products online. "