Home-- in the form of local news and content -- remains where most Web consumers spend much of their virtual time. But marketers have yet to fully leverage the possibilities of local content and behavior beyond keywords. according to Joe Sleeman, president of Websmart America.
Yahoo and Nielsen's four-year partnership on the Consumer Direct product combines online ad serving and user tracking with offline scanning of actual retail habits. The result is a remarkable view into the ways online advertising directly affects buying patterns. Phil Cara, director of Yahoo Consumer Direct, explains how the product has evolved from an accountability measure to a targeting tool.
As the scale of both online traffic and online advertising trying to connect with it expands, the challenge of transforming all that quantity of traffic into quality intensifies. Till now, however, the tools to focus on building quality traffic have been reserved for larger advertisers. Most smaller advertisers have had to be content with hunting for quantity of clicks. Scott Lynn, CEO of AdKnowledge, an ad network focused on SMB advertisers, outlines how an auction system for bidding on traffic based on behaviorally predictive analysis is beginning to help rectify that mismatch.
For the past four years, Yahoo and AC Nielsen have partnered on the unique cross-platform behavioral-tracking project Consumer Direct. The product combines Nielsen's Homescan panel of consumers, who record the products they bring into their home, with their online behavior within the Yahoo properties. But how has the technique evolved? Are consumers more sensitive about offline vs. online activity?
The "last mile" conundrum of how to deliver broadband connectivity from a communications provider to a customer's home is famously known in telecommunications circles. Less often acknowledged but equally vexing is the last-mile challenge faced by marketers in moving prospects from initial click-through to regular customers. Chad Little, founder of retargeting specialist Fetchback, outlines a new orientation to marketing's last mile, one he calls "post-visit marketing."
Matt Arkin, senior vice president of advertising sales at Tacoda, has a bone to pick with the way BT campaigns get measured and optimized by too many planners. Raw click-throughs are not enough without a better understanding of how specific target groups are interacting with your messaging. Without expensive and lengthy post-campaign study, it is difficult to understand the branding effects of a BT campaign, and so he suggests ways of leveraging the native intelligence of a BT network to optimize towards specific segments.
"Build it and they will come" is the classic fallacy of short-sighted marketers. The online world may have found its equivalent in the current widespread and spurious notion "drive traffic to your Web site and they will buy." Actually, as Brent Hieggelke, vice president of strategic marketing at Omniture, explains below, targeting prospects off-site through advanced behavioral methods in order to drive them on-site is only half the goal. The other half is using behavioral analysis to model what consumers do once they reach your site.
"Discovery" is the new buzzword in the digital lexicon, as everyone looks for more efficient ways to push relevant content and offers to users. Surprising people with the offers and articles that they didn't realize they wanted is the essence of discovery, according to Paul Martino, CEO of Aggregate Knowledge. The company, which recently closed a $20 million investment round, uses a super-fast recommendation engine of content, offers, and services across 25 sites, including WashingtonPost.com and Overstock.com. Currently in beta, the commercial network launches in Q4.
Leverage in behavioral targeting, or in any form of targeting, is widely assumed to be best pursued on the basis of closely guarded proprietary user data. Sometimes, though, as Scott Case, lead product manager of Atlas Publisher, explains, it pays for Macy's to tell Gimbel's. A key challenge of the next phase of targeting, he says, is to create the right architecture for data-sharing and cooperation.