Commentary

Google's Wojcicki On Paid Search And Display Ads

Susan Wojcicki

About 80% of the advertisers tapping into Google's Display Ad Builder these days are new to display advertising, according to Susan Wojcicki, vice president of product management at Google. Most have a history running paid search ads, she tells me.

So I ask her if advertisers benefit from running both display and paid search ads simultaneously. While Wojcicki called the question "complicated," because it requires data and analysis, she did tell me Google knows that these advertisers invest more money in display ads without borrowing budgets from paid search campaigns.

The benefits of running both search and display ads simultaneously shouldn't seem like rocket science. It gives marketers an opportunity to reach different consumer audiences. Since results may vary by advertiser, Wojcicki declined to speak definitively without data to back up the claim. But a recent study could do the explaining for her.

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The Eyeblaster study, released Tuesday, points to data showing that display advertising increases a search campaign's reach and compensates for any keyword-bidding limitations. It also suggests display ads stimulate search by increasing the speed at which people enter the consumer purchasing funnel.

The study examined 207 advertisers in 21 verticals across channel search and display campaigns between June 2008 and August 2009. Nearly one of five people who converted after using search viewed at least one display ad prior to typing the keyword. The research, which considered more than 1,300 integrated search and display campaigns, shows 72% of conversions resulted from the display channel, while 28% come from search.

Sitting down with Wojcicki Monday, at the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting 2010 in Carlsbad, Calif., we also spoke about consolidating ad buying tasks to reduce administrative costs, which will help advertisers gain more ROI. "The processes for buying media can involve up to 30 different steps," she says. So if you run a campaign on 50 sites you have to do your 30 steps 50 times, Wojcicki tells me. The trick will become moving online and automating traditional steps, such as FAXing, phone calls, and emails.

Automating the buying and the workflow processes will make it much easier and cost-effective for advertisers, confirms Wojcicki. This includes tools to help generate creative pieces to run as display ads, something Google's Display Ad Builder provides. It includes templates and fonts, so that advertisers can create display ads themselves as easily as they create search ads.

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