Posts Tagged ‘Online media’

Ad-Tech Attribution Case Study

April 25th, 2012

In April 2012 I presented a case study on Full-Funnel Attribution at the granddaddy of all industry conferences: Ad-Tech in San Francisco.

I was honored to share the stage with Young-Bean Song, a pre-eminent thought leaders in digital media measurement and analytics (and a very nice guy).  After years of applying to speak at Ad-Tech, I was finally selected; not because I’m the world’s most pre-eminent speaker but because the case study we developed is so effective at presenting how advanced analytics and full-funnel, cross-channel Attribution can be utilized to maximize performance and boost Return On Spend.

Among the highlights of the case study, we demonstrated:

  • How converters who were exposed to display ads followed a range of conversion paths before taking the desired action(s).
  • How attributing fractional credit for assist impressions and clicks (beyond just the last click) yielded much deeper insights into the performance of each channel, vendor, placement and keyword.
  • How recency, or the time lag between the first impression, last impression, visit and conversion) impacted performance.
  • How frequency is still a big issue that needs to be addressed – especially when buying exchange-traded media.

For those who didn’t make the show, I’m happy to share the case study in two formats (both are hosted on slideshare):

If you’d like to learn more about Attribution or discuss the case study, please drop me a line (see Contact link below).  Also please feel free to comment, tweet, like, post, share, etc. as you see fit.  Thanks for your time and interest!

– @stevelatham

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Online Media and Markets (Interactive Musings 1.1)

June 22nd, 2009

Like many, I receive numerous industry email newsletters every day.  I tend to skim each edition and see if there’s anything worth noting or acting upon.  I thought others might like to read the cliff’s notes and take a look at what I think are the most interesting / relevant notes for my business.  So… here goes!

Internet Accounts for 33% of Daily Media Consumption (Pew Research)
According to Pew Research, U.S. adults have nearly doubled their daily use of the Internet. The average U.S. adult now spends 3.8 hours per day on the Internet, compared to 2.1 hours per day in 2006 (81% increase). The Internet now represents 32.5% of the typical “media day” for all U.S. adults when compared to daily exposure to newspaper, radio, TV and outdoor advertising. Even those who are considered heavy newspaper readers spend about as much time online today as the typical U.S. adult. According to the report, heavy newspaper readers, those who spend more than one hour per day reading, spend 3.7 hours online.  Yet, most marketers allocate only 8-10% of their ad budgets to the Web.  This is a big disconnect and a significant opportunity for marketers who care about maximizing return on ad spend. It’s pretty simple – spend your money where you will get the best ROI.  I wish more understood this.

Internet Ad Spending Stands Alone in 2009 Forecast (Mediapost)
In short, online is the only medium that will see more revenue in 2009.  And Search is main reason, growing 9% (display will shrink 1.2% – a buyers market, see my recent note on this). Notable quote: “The internet is the only medium expected to actually attract higher ad expenditure in 2009, thanks to its accountability and innovation in ad formats”.  I’m glad to be on this side of the media wave.

CMOs Not Happy with Digital (Businessweek)
“Although digital is the best use of scarce ad dollars in the downturn, the segment needs better tools to demonstrate ROI” – Hallelujiah!!! If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.  By the way this is where we excel.  If you need help measuring or optimizing ROI from online media, give us a shout.

Brand Mentions Preferred Over Ads (eMarketer)
Not surprisingly, consumers assign more weight to a brand being mentioned in an article vs. an advertisement. Not sure how this constitutes as breaking news – I thought everyone knew that.  What WAS interesting was the “Email Offer” was a close #2 to Brand Mentions, and above #3 Search Engine listing.  While somewhat surprising, we continue to have successin promoting client offers through email (for the record, not all email marketers are spammers. Like anything, there’s a right and a wrong way to do it).

Why Marketers Want You to Click, Not Call (AdAge – requires registration)
Pizza giants sell 20-30% of deliveries online. They want to increase this to 50% – here’s how they are doing it (includes “5 tips to get more people to purchase your product online”). Useful for B2B (re-orders) as well as B2C.

Display Ads Lift Search (Mediapost)
If you want more ROI from your search campaign, display ads can help you get there and here’s why: display advertising creates demand and awareness of your brand.  When consumers are ready to buy they will likely use a search engine to find a provider. If they recognize your brand, you’ll benefit from higher click-through and conversion rates.  Yet most marketers manage these interdependent channels separately and they often cut display ads that create valuable awareness but not direct leads.  This is why you need expert tracking and analysis. If you’d like to learn more, I know a great agency that would love to help you.

Why Email Marketing Deserves More Respect (iMedia)
I often say that email marketing is the most profitable way to drive repeat business, yet is the most underutilized tool in most marketer’s kits.  Here’s a good article from Simms Jenkins (howdy ATL!) on why you can’t afford to overlook your email marketing program.

Five Things Agencies Want from Clients (iMedia)
This is a MUST READ if you are an in-house or client side marketer. Forget the agency implications – these are basic principles every brand / client side marketer needs to grasp.

Venture Investments drop 50% in First Quarter (Wall St. Journal)
It’s a tough time to start a new business – especially if it requires millions in funding to get off the ground. On the other hand, it’s a great time to be an angel investor!

Ogilvy Looks to Asia for Growth (Wall St. Journal)
I think about Asia as a vacation destination.  Apparently China and India are growth markets for advertising as well.  Hmmm… makes me wonder…

All for now – please feel free to comment, share and subscribe via RSS.  Thanks for reading!

Steve Latham
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Digital Marketing: Not Recession Proof.

June 3rd, 2009

Since the economy took a nose dive (with the biggest drop starting in October 2008) pundits have debated how it will impact advertising / marketing and the digital marketing sector in particular.  Some in my industry were brazen enough to proclaim we (digital marketers) would not be adversely affected by the recession as media dollars would shift to where to those channels where results and ROI were most apparent. I was hopeful this would play out.  In theory it sounded good! But reality is a different matter.

First, it’s very apparent that digital is not immune to economic downturns. While there are instances where some brands are following through and spending more online (at expense of traditional media), most have scaled back on display and other “advertising” channels, focusing on media that rings the register (e.g. search) and social media.  Generally speaking, when the pie shrinks, everyone’s piece gets smaller. And while some small shifts did take place, they were overshadowed by the rapid deterioration in results from online campaigns. Q4’08 and Q1’09 were tough times for DR-centric online marketers – when consumers stop buying it’s hard to keep your clients happy (even if you are outperforming other media).

We also learned Digital is often at a disadvantage because big advertisers can’t just cancel their contractual media commitments to traditional vendors. The downside to having an on/off button with your media is that when budgets have to be cut, it often represents one of the few areas where spend can immediately be paused. It’s not a good business practice, but by now we know that marketers don’t always do what is best for their brand (job preservation will always prevail over doing what’s right for the company).

However, I’ve always felt this recession would offer a silver lining for interactive and it’s starting to come true. Budget shifts are taking place, and even though it may take 6-12 months for the mix to change, we’ll see a higher allocation to digital in 2-3 years than we would have if not for the downturn. It’s hard to make big changes when things are status quo. One of the benefits of a recession is it forces brands to take drastic action, that is often required to make meaningful change.

This is the thesis behind my article “Silver Lining for Interactive“.  I believe my predictions will hold true and that the near term setbacks are going to be a blessing in the long term.

As always, I would love to hear what other marketers (traditional and digital) think, and how they view the changes that have taken place since 10/08. I hope to hear back from a few of you!

Steve Latham

Ad Pricing Revolution… or Evolution?

April 27th, 2009

Let’s get ready to rumble!!!

There’s a big debate raging in the interactive world about whether advertisers should purchase online ads from Premium Content Providers or their customers / competitors, the Ad Networks. Here’s a quick breakdown:

Premium Content Sites (aka Publishers) include,,,,, and countless others who have literally spent billions to provide great content.  The premium content, combined with the rigid advertising guidelines offers highly valued placement and brand-enhancing context for advertisers to reach and engage audiences.  But the premium content sites are relatively expensive and the reach beyond the site or small group of sites is limited.

Ad networks, which include, google, valueclick, tremor media, specific media, audience science and 24/7 real media, to name a few, aggregate media across thousands of sites and apply targeting techniques to reach your audiences. Through an ad network you can serve ads to the same person (or group of persons) across multiple sites.  The ability to target and re-serve ads is very valuable, especially now that we know that impressions create awareness which improves online conversion rates. Because ad networks buy remnant inventory from premium content sites for a fraction of what advertisers pay, they generally offer much lower cpm rates, allowing advertisers to get more reach for their limited dollars.

Both ad networks and premium content sites have strong arguments as to why you should buy their media over others.  In recent days, a flurry of articles and points of view have emerged.  Here’s a summary:

The case for ad networks is made in “A Pricing Revolution Looms in Online Advertising” ( “Demographic profiling and behavioral targeting by such companies as Google, Quantcast, and ValueClick is slashing ad costs and threatening Web publishers” To read the article visit

The case for premium content sites is made in today’s rebuttal “A Pricing Revolution May Loom, But Context And Content Still Rule” (MediaPost). Lower-costs seem appealing in the post-recession world, but short-term savings are short-sighted. For advertisers who care about brands”. The article then lists several considerations that must be addressed when you get in bed with the devil (aka ad networks).

So which is right for your brand or your client?  Like most things in life… it depends.  My take is that the “right” medium depends on your brand, audience, objectives and budget. Each medium has its pros and cons.  While context and content are very important, so is cost and the ability to target.  If brand protection is paramount, go with the content sites. If you are seeking to maximize lead generation at the lowest possible cost per lead, start with the ad networks (in conjunction with paid search, of course).  Over time, their offerings will look more and more alike.

As AdAge reported in the 4/20/09 digital issue, “large publishers are looking more like ad networks” and ad networks are starting to look more like publishers by picking up premium content inventory and focusing on targeting and brand safety.  Over time I expect we’ll see these frenemies become more and more alike.  And who’s to say an ad network won’t become an attractive extension for a traditional publishing company seeking to expand its digital footprint (e.g. would Valueclick make sense as a subsidiary of News Corp?).

Media will continue to evolve and the mix of players will continue to shift.  But that’s what makes this such a fun industry and an exciting time to be in the digital marketing arena… even in this crummy recessionary market.

Comments are welcome!!!

p.s. – my apologies to those ad networks and content sites I omitted in this update.  I just wrote what came to mind.. if you were excluded you may want to invest in some online advertising.  I know a great boutique interactive shop that would love to help 🙂