Article Archive by Ron Dinger

October 8 2008

Local Ads are important to Marketers, but challenges still exist

by Ron Dinger

Marketers are taking advantage of local targeting options, but certain issues remain with the channel that are confusing marketers and limiting the full growth of the space. In a recent survey from Marchex, conducted by Sterling Market Research, “national advertisers have a significant interest in doing more local online advertising, but are missing opportunities because they remain confused about the best tactics, traffic sources and measurement tools available.”

Some main points from the survey – 90% of marketers that are using local ads are not targeting below the state level (Zip, City, DMA). 45% of advertisers are not using unique messaging for each local market. 33% of advertisers cited cost as the main reason they aren’t more involved with local ads. Issues measuring campaign effectiveness was another common reply in the survey.

The good news is that most local ad networks are listening to advertisers and offering more flexibility with targeting and measurement of ads, which should help reduce any frustrations that advertisers are currently experiencing.

Some ways you can assure that your local ad campaigns are effective:

– Utilize a unique phone number or call tracking for each locally targeted campaign to properly measure call volume from each market.
– Use distinct local messaging/offers in ads for each market.
– Serve landing pages with a local flavor for each market.
– Track actions in each local market separately with analytics.
– Assign a separate budget to each locally targeted campaign.
– Diversify your traffic beyond paid search only.

If you are looking to target your demographic on a local level, MoreVisibility would be happy to help you formulate a strategy for successful locally targeted ads.

September 22 2008

Interactive Promotions – Something to Consider

by Ron Dinger

At some point, we have all engaged in some form of a contest, sweepstakes, or game. We may have registered for a free trip to Hawaii, or collected Monopoly game pieces at McDonalds. As consumers, we noticed some value in these promotions and there was an incentive to engage. In most cases we either provided personal information or made a purchase.

Interactive Promotions are the engagement of consumers with the right incentive/offer to motivate a specific action using sweepstakes, contests, and games. Interactive promotions have supplied positive results for marketers, as they are one of the most powerful ways to motivate interaction on the Internet. By putting the right incentive in front of the right audience you can encourage them to act, which is one of the most successful ways to gather their personal data. This then enables you to begin a dialog with the consumer, which can lead to more relevant information and additional offers.

Various ways to leverage interactive promotions:

– data acquisition/lead generation
– generating sales
– building brand
– driving traffic
– building loyalty
– educating consumers

Marketers are taking notice of the success of this emerging marketing channel and larger budgets are being allocated to this area. Some numbers to help support this claim:

– According to IMI International, 81% of consumers have made a purchase due to a promotion.
– eMarketer noted that 80% of consumers have entered an online sweepstakes.
– In a recent Promo Magazine survey, 43.6% of marketers will increase promotional marketing budgets for this year (another 37.4% keeping same budget).
– Borrell Associates published a report that projects online promotions will triple over the next 5 years, from $8 billion in 2007 to $22.8 billion in 2012 (surpassing all other online advertising categories during that time).
– Jupiter Research consumer survey showed that 82% of consumers are willing to provide various forms of personal info in exchange for a chance to win as little as $100 in prizes.

If your company isn’t currently using Interactive Promotions to expand your business, now may be the time to consider.

September 17 2008

Is Yahoo slowly losing its #2 position to MSN

by Ron Dinger

I posted an entry on June 18 that discussed the battle for #2 in the PPC world, and wanted to provide the latest on the search engine landscape.

There is no question that MSN has been more aggressive than Yahoo in terms of increasing their market share, and trying to become a serious rival to Google. In recent months MSN has made the following moves – Microsoft attempted to acquire Yahoo, their latest version of Internet Explorer attempts to direct searchers away from using Google search, and they recently launched a promotion to pay searchers a cash rebate for making purchases while using Live Search. All these attempts haven’t given MSN the lift they most likely were hoping for with the overall search engine market share, but MSN continues to stay aggressive with recent acquisitions of Powerset (search engine), and Greenfield Online (online shopping). In addition, MSN has a new Adcenter management tool in beta that is similar to the Google Editor, which helps to make daily account management for advertisers more user-friendly (Yahoo lags behind both Google & MSN with management tools for their PPC advertisers).

The numbers don’t lie when it comes to US search engine market share over the last 3 months. According to comScore’s 3 month numbers (May, June, July 2008), MSN is still struggling to gain traction:

May 2008 — 61.8%
June 2008 — 61.5%
July 2008 — 61.9%

May 2008 — 20.6%
June 2008 — 20.9%
July 2008 — 20.5%

May 2008 — 8.5%
June 2008 — 9.2%
July 2008 — 8.9%

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