5 Reasons Why Your Display Advertising Is Not Working

Image Source: goldspotmedia.com

Image Source: goldspotmedia.com

Are you one of those advertiser, who is struggling to understand why your Display Advertising is not providing the desired results?  If answer is yes, then this post is for you. Below are 4 most common reasons why your display advertising might not be working.

  1. Ad Views: According to a study by Sticky,  77% of ads are never seen by people. Even when the ad is considered viewable, meaning it is within viewing area, only 55% ads are actually viewable. Which results in a very lower click through rate, the average banner CTR is about 0 .1% and declining.
  2. Spider and Bot Ad Clicks:  Spider and bots, instead of humans, make up a significant amount of clicks on the ads. All these spiders do is click on an ad, land on your site and then leave causing millions of dollars in fraudulent clicks.  As a result you will either see a very high bounce rate on your pages and/or mismatch in the clicks reported by ad network and visits reported by your Web Analytics solution.  In 2012, a start-up reported that about 80% of their clicks from Facebook ads were by spiders. Another study found that 20% -90% of clicks on some sites were via spiders. I also showed an example of a bot in my post, 4 Reason Why Your Bounce Rate Might Be Wrong
  3. Fat Finger: Over 35% of the ad clicks on Mobile are by accident, again causing high Bounce Rate.
  4. Mismatched Landing Experience:  Make it a seamless and consistent experience from your banner to conversion. Users don’t have time so make it right the moment they land on your site. For example, If a banner ad promotes “Free Trial” then make sure landing page make it easy for user to sign up for the free trial. Don’t expect the users to click through to your site to find where the “Free Trail” page is.  Mismatched landing page and ad experience leads to High Bounce Rate and Low Conversion Rate.
  5. Site Speed: Slow site speed breaks visitors flow from a display ad to your site. If it takes too long for the page to load then the visitor will be gone before she sees the full page. In this case you will see clicks but not visits and high bounce rate. Fractions of seconds can make a huge difference in the performance of your advertising.

21 Metrics to Measure Online Display Advertising

In this post I am listing the 21 metrics to measure the success of your display advertising.  Most of these are also applicable, with some variation, to other forms of advertising such as Paid Search, Social Media Ads, Print and email. I will cover these other channels and mediums in the future posts.

  1. Impressions – It is the number of times your ad is displayed. The number by itself does not hold much value but it is a metric used to calculate other metrics and KPIs. Keep in mind that an impression does not mean that someone actually saw the ad, it just that the ad was shown on a web page/app.
  2. Reach –This is the number of unique people (generally identified by cookies) that were reached by your ad. This number is always lower than the impressions because your ad is generally shown to same person (cookie) multiple times.
  3. Cost – The total cost of running the ad campaigns.  This is calculated differently by different tools and organizations. Some use actual media cost while other use a fully load number that includes the agency cost, creative cost etc. Whichever number you use, be consistent in your approach. If you are going to do comparisons with CPC models such as Paid Search then I suggest using the actual media cost. Most of the publicly available benchmarks are based on actual media cost and are expressed in CPM (explained later in this list).
  4. Engagement Rate or Interaction Rate– This applies to the Rich Media Ads, where a user can interact with the ad without leaving the Ad unit/widget.  Engagement Rate is the percentage of interactions per impression of the ad unit and is calculated as (Number of Interactions/Total Impressions)*100%.
  5. CPM – This is the cost for 1000 Impressions of the ad unit. Display advertising is generally sold on CPM basis. (For more information on CPM, see  Cost of Advertising: CPM, CPC and eCPM Demystified).
  6. Clicks – Number of clicks on an ad unit that lead to a person leaving the ad unit.  Keep in mind that a click does not mean that a person landed on the intended destination of the banner ad click. There are multiple factors that could lead to a click but not a visit to the destination (I won’t cover those here but am happy to discuss over email or a call).
  7. CTR (Click though rate) – It is the number of Clicks generated per impression of a banner ad. This number is expressed as a percentage. CTR = (click/impressions)*100%
  8. CPC – Cost per Clicks is the cost that you pay for each click.  Generally, display advertising is sold by CMP (see above), you can easily convert the cost in to Cost Per Click to compare it against other channels such as paid search. Cost per click is the effective amount you paid to get a click.  It is calculated by dividing the cost with number of clicks.  CPC = Cost/Clicks. Sometime this number is also referred as eCPC (effective Cost per Click).
  9. Visits – As stated above in the definition of clicks, not every click turns into a person landing on your destination (generally your website). Visits measures the clicks that did end up on your site.  (For more definition of visits, please see Page Views, Visitors, Visits and Hits Demystified)
  10. Visitors – Visitors metric goes one step ahead of the visits and calculates the number of people (as identified by cookies) who ended up on your site as a results of the clicks on the banner ads.
  11. Bounce Rate – Is the percentage of visits that left without taking any actions on your site. It is calculated as Number of Visits with one page view /Total number of visits resulting from the display ads. (Bounce Rate Demystified for further explanation).
  12. Engaged Visit Rate – Generally this is opposite of bounce rate (though you can have your own definitions of engagement).  It measure the quality of the visits arriving from your display advertising. You can calculate Engaged Visits as  (100 – Bounce Rate expressed as percentage).
  13. Cost/Engaged Visit – This is effective cost of each engaged visits. It is calculated as total Cost divided by number of engaged visits.
  14. Page Views/Visit – Page views the number of pages on your site viewed by each visit. With a lot interactions happening on one single page, this metrics is losing its value. However, for now, it is still a valuable metric for ad supported sites.
  15. Cost/Page View – As above, this is valuable metrics for ad supported site to figure out the cost of generating on extra page view.
  16. Conversions – Conversion is defined as the count of action that you want the visitors to take when they arrive from you display ads. Some examples of conversions are – purchase, signup for newsletter, download a whitepaper, sign up for an event, Lead from completions etc.
  17. Conversion Rate  – This is the percentage of visits that resulted in the desired conversion actions.  Conversion Rate = Total conversions/visits*100. If you have more than one conversion actions then you should do this calculation for each one of the action as well for all the actions combined.  In case of Leads, you can take it one step further and calculate not only the “Leads Generation Rate” (Online Conversion Rate) but also Lead Conversion Rate, which is, Leads that convert to a customer divided by total leads generated.
  18. Cost per Conversion – This is the Total Cost divided by the number of conversions achieved from visits coming via display ads.
  19. Revenue – This is total revenue that is directly attributed to the visits coming from display advertising. It is pretty straightforward to calculate in eCommerce but gets a little tricky when you have offline conversions.
  20. Revenue per Visit   – Shows the direct revenue achieved per visit originating from the display advertising. It is calculated as Revenue Generated from Display Ads divided by the total Visits.
  21. Revenue per Page – This is useful for ad supported business models. This is sometimes expressed as RPM (Revenue per thousand impressions of ads) = (Total Ad Revenue/Number of page views) * 1000

Note: In addition to Clicks, you can also looks at View Through and calculate your other related metrics by view through.  View Through is sum of all the cookies that visited a page that showed your ad on it, and then landed on your site. The assumption, in this calculation, is that you landed on the brands site because of that ad exposure.

 Where can you get these metrics from?

  • Impressions, Reach, Cost, Engagement Rate, Clicks, CTR and CPC data is available from your agency or ad server tool.
  • Visits, Visitors, Page Views, Bounce Rate, Engaged Visit Rate, Conversion, and Conversion Rate are available in your Web Analytics tool.
  • Revenue is available in either your Web Analytics tool or other offline sales database.
  • Cost/Conversion, Cost/Engaged Visits, Cost/Page view and Revenue/page are calculated using data from multiple tools.


5 Tips to Improve Marketing Campaigns

Marketers spend millions of dollars on digital marketing campaigns every day. Analytics help marketers get the most of out of every dollar spent and drive great benefits for them and their organization. Data collected at each step of the way to conversion can help marketers and their agencies in optimizing each campaign’s performance. Below I’ve outlined five tips on how to use the data to optimize marketing campaigns.

1. Target the Right Customers

For a campaign to have any chance of succeeding it has to reach the right customers. Clearly defining customer segments is a critical component of any campaign. You can use historical data from previous campaigns to determine which customers are more likely to respond to your campaign.

For an in-house email list, you can use attributes that you have available in the database and create a segment of customers with those attributes that have responded in the past. For display advertising, you can use email attributes or on-site behavioral data and use a technology like BlueKai to target and reach segments that look like those who responded in the past. For search advertising, determine the key phrases (words) that clicked with those customers and then use them as your starting point to figure out which keywords/phrases to use.

2. Target the Right Channels

The question marketers often struggle with is where to spend their budget. Which channel (e.g. direct mail, email, display, search, social, affiliate, etc.) or combination of channels is likely to be most effective for that particular campaign? Use historical data to figure the channels that your target segment is more likely to respond to.

Customers use various channels in their journey to becoming a customer. They use those channels differently. Use data (current and historical) to figure what a typical customer’s (your desired segment) journey is and then determine where you should focus your efforts.

3. Develop Creative and Messages that Resonate with Your Customers

If your creative and messages do not work you will notice it immediately in the form of clicks. Use historical data and industry benchmarks to determine the expected outcome in terms of Click Through Rate. If your CTR is way lower, change the content, if CTR is higher, continue doing what you are doing.

4. Developing Engaging Landing Pages

Getting people to click on your ads or emails is a good start but is of no value unless those users take actions on your landing pages. Use the data to determine if users are engaging with the landing page or are they bouncing off without going any further. If the bounce rate is more than expected, take appropriate corrective actions. You should always conduct testing (A/B or Multivariate) to figure out what resonates with your customer and make them go to the next step.

5. Optimize the Conversion Path

The conversion path is the last step in converting a visitor into a customer. The job of the conversion path is to lead the visitor to final conversion. Every step of the path is there to convince the customer and drive her to take the end action, the action that defines the success of the campaign. Use the data collected on the conversion path to determine which steps are losing visitors. Conduct A/B testing and take appropriate actions to improve the steps of the conversion path.

Note: This article was originally published on CMSWire on Sept 20th,  See 5 Tips to Improve Marketing Campaigns Using Data on CMSWire.com


Digital Marketing Jobs

Web Analytics For 404 Errors

404 errors are a fact of life on the internet. 404 error is a message returned by a server in response to a request for a page that does not exist on the server (http 404 error code).

Let me illustrate this with an example:

A visitor comes to a site, bookmarks a page and then leaves the site.
Next week the owner of the site decides to launch a new site completely replacing the old pages with the new pages (urls were different).
Next month the visitor comes back to the site via the bookmark but the page she bookmarked does not exist as it was removed during the site redesign.
She will get a 404 error message from the server.

Reasons for 404 Errors

404 errors can occur due to numerous reasons:

  1. Misspelled links – A misspelled URL in a hyperlink on the site can causing a broken link and hence a 404 error message.
  2. Bad Site Map – A site map is an xml file containing a list of all the pages on the site. It is usually meant for the search engines to index the pages on a site. A misspelling in a site map can cause the search engines to look for the pages that do exist on the server. Generally theses pages (broken links) won’t be visible to the visitors but they will show up in the search engines indexing report such as the Google webmaster tools. Some sites also show the site maps to the visitors as a form of site navigation; in those cases the visitors will see the 404 errors.
  3. Site Redesign – Site redesigns are a leading cause of the missing pages. Site owners redesign the sites, completely replacing the old pages without thoroughly thinking about the pages that might have been linked all over the web, indexed by the search engines, bookmarked by the visitors etc. Visitors who clicks on old links, bookmark etc. are greeted with the 404 error messages when they click on those links to arrive on the site.
  4. Sever Unavailable – 404 error messages can also occur when the server is unavailable.

Below is an example of a standard 404 error message

If standard 404 error page is the first page that a visitor sees when she arrive on a site, what will her reaction? As shown in the picture above, you can’t even tell which site this page belongs to. It is a dead end. Visitors don’t know where to go. What would a visitor do in this situation? She will most likely leave the site. She will go back to where she came from. The site has just failed to engage her.

Let’s imagine a similar situation in the offline world. Think about how you would feel if you enter a local supermarket looking for a toothbrush and are immediately taken to the location in the store where the toothbrushes aisle is suppose to be. When you arrive at that location, not only that you don’t find the aisle because the supermarket recently rearranged the store and move the aisle but also that the whole supermarket goes dark and all you see is the exit door. You will, for sure, run towards the exit door. That’s what a standard 404 error pages does, the site goes dark and the only thing a visitors sees is the back button or the close button on the browser.

Custom 404 Error Pages

Now imagine that instead of the store going dark, the customer sees a friendly associate who politely says “Sorry, we recently rearranged our store and the aisle you are looking for have been moved. May I show you the new location of the aisle” (or some flavor of it). Friendly associate on the web in this situation is called “Custom 404 error page (message)”, which will say “Sorry the page you are looking for does not exists anymore or has been moved, here are few links that might help you” (or some flavor of it).
A custom 404 error page allows the site to provide a message other than a generic server error message (Figure 1). A custom 404 is an opportunity for the sites to engage the visitors whom they might have lost otherwise.

How do you create a custom 404 error page?

Create a page with a message that you want your visitors to see when they encounter 404 error messages and save it as 404.html (you can use other names and the page extensions as well). Web servers have a setting which allows you to set the page that you want the visitors to see when they encounter the 404 errors. In this case you might set it to 404.html. (Contact your IT department or hosting companies to get further details).

Here is an example of a custom 404 error page

There are several ways to customize your 404 error page. Be creative when designing the 404 page, this is your last chance to reengage a visitors. (I will show you some more examples in a future post)

Web Analytics and 404 error page

Another benefit of creating a custom 404 page is that you can put your web analytics tag on the page to report and analyze the 404 pages. Web Analytics reports can show you the pages (links) that are causing 404 error messages on your site. You can also find out which pages have the bad links, what keywords, external links etc. are driving users to those non-existent pages.

Tracking 404 pages in Web Analytics

Here is an example of Google Analytics Code to track the 404 pages

This code appends “404:” in front of the page name that triggers the 404 error so that it is easy for me to filter the Google Analytics reports for the 404 error pages.

The same concept can be used in the other web analytics tools such as Omniture, Webtrends, Unica, Coremetrics etc.

There are two reports that I frequently use to analyze the 404 pages

  1. Top Content

    Since I prefixed my 404 pages with “404:”, I can easily filter out the 404 pages in this report. This report gives me all the pages that are triggering 404 error messages. This report also shows me how big the problem is and if I am losing visitors on these pages or not.
    If your custom 404 page is unable to engage the visitors (high exit rate or bounce rate) then you should consider changing the content/design etc. of the page. (I am looking into how you can conduct A/B testing on a 404 page).

    You can also drill down into each of the page and do further navigational analysis to see the pages that the visitors saw before they got the 404 error page.

    This leads you to the pages that have old/misspelled links. To track down the external links and sources, that have bad links to your site, you will need to look at the top landing pages report.

  2. Top Landing Pages

    A filter on “404:” in this report will show you the landing pages that result in the 404 errors. Use this report to drill down to the external sources of errors e.g. the external links, keywords etc. Below is an example of a report that shows that most of the 404 for a page on this site occurred from links in the emails.

    Further analysis of the emails led me to the malfunction links.

Do you have 404 error messages stories, examples to share? Send them to me.

Questions? Comments?


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How intelligent are your Toll Free Numbers, Landing Pages and Promotional Codes?

Sending a toll free number (800, 866, 877 etc.), links to special landing pages, micros sites or promotion codes in the print material or email is a common practice. However before you send that promotion to your customers, make sure it can be tied back to campaign and the offer that you sent. Make sure your site, automated phone system and customer service reps. know what those special promo codes or toll free numbers mean. Do not waste your customer and your own time.

The point of that promotion is to grab customer’s attention and get share you their wallet. When a customer takes action on the offer that she just received, the customer expects that the web page/site or the human answering that call is intelligent enough to provide information on that offer and help her convert. I am however amazed how often this minor detail is totally missed due to lack of communication between marketing, sales and customer support.

I recently received a direct mail from Comcast “Free DVR for 1 tear and 1 year installation”. I called the 866 number listed on the mailer. To my disappointment, I was greeted with a standard recorded message that had nothing to do with the mailer I received. The system asked me some standard information to identify me but I did not hear an option that was even remotely related to what was mentioned on the letter.

So what was I suppose to do, which option should I have selected? I did nothing. The message repeated itself and then finally it (automated system) transferred me to a human representative.

Human representative made the same mistake as did the recorded message. She asked me how she can help me. I told her about the mailer I received and was calling about it. She goes “Great ! I can get that to you for free and there will be $14.99 charge for installation”. I reminded her that my offer also said that I will get free installation. She asked me to be on hold for few minutes while she checked the offer I might have received.

She came back and gave me free installation because apparently the mailer I received had the code for free installation. I was not able to locate any code on my mailing but it seemed like there was some database she could go back check about my offer.
As a consumer, I was a little disappointed with this experience. I am enjoying my free DVR service though.

Even though this is an example of the toll free number, the same principal applies to web. If you do send out that special landing page or promo code make sure it provides the customers with relevant information and take them into easy conversion path. Do not waste their time. If you do provide a toll free number on that landing page, make sure you customer service/sales reps know the offer that those toll free numbers belong to. Customer is ready to be converted, don’t waste their time, just do it (convert them).

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Twitter Analytics

There is a lot of discussion recently about how to measure authority, influence etc. on Twitter. There are a lot of tools popping up which claim to give some kind of score to help you measure you (or anyone else) against everybody else. This post is not about those tools and which ones I like (more on that later). This post is about things that we can track for sure.

There are millions of Twitter users who are tweeting every day, hoping and assuming that there tweets are being read by their followers. We can’t track all tweets and find out if they are being read but if you are one of those who post a link in your tweets then you are in luck. This post will show you how to track URLs posted in your tweets so that you can determine for sure if anybody is reading those tweets and also what kind of tweets from you are getting the most attention.

There are two types of URLs you post in Twitter

  1. URL to your site
  2. URLs to third party sites

  1. URLs to you site – When you post a link to your site on twitter, you can treat it as a campaign just like a banner or search campaign. Add the campaign tracking codes compliant with your web analytics tool so that you can see the visits, page views, conversions and other web analytics data when a visitors clicks on your tweeted link and arrives on your site.


    I use Google Analytics (GA) and you wanted to post a link to http://AnilBatra.com/, instead of just posting http://AnilBatra.com/ in my tweets, I add GA campaign parameters to the URL being posted.
    utm_campaign, utm_medium and utm_source are three query parameters that GA uses for campaign tracking.

    Link to Be Tweeted: http://AnilBatra.com

    Adding GA Parameters: http://AnilBatra.com/?utm_campaign=watweets&tum_medium=twitter&utm_source=011909tweet

    Now when I use WebTrends for Web Analytics then I use something like

    Adding WebTrends Paramater: http://AnilBatra.com/?wt.mc_id=011909tweet. Where WT.mc_id is the Webtrends campaign tracking paramter.
    You can use which ever web analytics tool you like, the key is adding the campaign tracking parameters the URL to be tweeted. It is that simple.

  2. URLs to third party sites– Quite often tweeters post links to sites for which they don’t have access to the web analytics reports. For example, you posting a link to my blog http://webanalysis.blogspot.com/, you don’t have access to my Web Analytics Reports. As a results you have no idea how many people click though to the link that you tweeted.
    For such tracking I like a utility called CLIGS http://cli.gs (Note: I have no affiliate with this tool). This tool creates a short URL for any URL that you want to tweet. It than also provides you the clicks on that links as well as other stats such as
    • Geo Locations of visitors
    • Social media monitoring Cligs keeps track in real time of who tweets your link, who shares it on Friendfeed, who links to it, who blogs about it, who writes a blog comment about it, and more. Not just that, Cligs does that for the destination URL too!

For the sites that I have access to the web analytics data, I create a tracking url as I showed above (1) and then use CLIGS to shorten the URL (2), this provides me both CLIGS and Web Analytics data for analysis.

Apart from tracking on links the other ways to determine if your tweets are getting attention is to see the number of Retweets you get, direct messages and @replies you get. I will cover those in my future blog post.


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    5 Best Practices for any Campaign

    Burger King recently launched a TV ad that directed visitors to WhopperVirgins.com. I learned about this on AdAge.com which wote:

    “What if you don’t remember the exact Web address and Google it? You still better remember the domain name. While WhopperVirgins.com ranks first in Google for “whopper virgins,” it’s invisible when you omit the plural. “

    AdAge writes further:

    ”This is a major missed opportunity. Google Trends shows that recently, the volume of searches for the singular and plural versions have been nearly equal. “Whopper virgin” searchers must either go to an intermediary site or refine their search. Why can’t consumers ‘have it their way’ and get to Burger King’s site even if they’re off by a letter? This multimillion-dollar branding campaign could have covered all its bases with a $10,000 search marketing investment. As it stands now, Burger King risks frustrating consumers instead of serving up one whopper of a video.”

    AdAge listed following three areas of neglect:

    • The domain: WhopperVirgin.com is a parked domain filled with ads for Burger King store listings, Virgin Mobile gifts, Virgin Atlantic flights, Virgin Islands vacations and Virgin Mary checks.
    • Search engine optimization: The microsite doesn’t appear on the first three pages of Google results for “whopper virgin” searches.
    • Paid search: While reviewing Google’s listings over several days, there hasn’t been a search ad running on “whopper virgin” queries.

    In addition to above another area which was partially neglected by Burger King was Web Analytics. I found two main issues with the web analytics

    1. Web Analytics Tool Implementation – This site did not have any web analytics code implemented on the landing page. However the video does start as soon as user lands on the site which then fires WebTrends code. With this implementation I am not sure if they are getting an referring site or search engine information.
    2. Data Analysis – Clearly Burger King is using web analytics tool. I am sure they were passing the web analytics reports around but I am assume that they were not doing any meaningful analysis. If they were doing any analysis at all they would have uncovered the SEO/SEM issues listed by AdAge.
    3. Simple keyword analysis using their web analytics tool would have helped them uncover these issues. (Lesson: If you are spending millions of dollars on the campaign you should also keep aside few thousands for deeper analysis. Just passing the reports around is not enough).
      It is very common to report on top 10 -20 keywords but these keywords alone don’t tell the whole story. Yes they can be good ego boosters but you have to look beyond top keywords and analyze the keyword that are either in the long tail or are not driving any traffic at all. Doing some basic analysis on search engine keywords would have shown them that they were not getting any traffic (or are getting very little traffic) from “Whopper Virgin” or “Burger King Virgin” keywords (I am sure there are more variations).

    I hope Burger King learned its lesson and will be smarter next time they run campaign. (Note: All campaigns, offline or online end up having an impact on the site, search engines and online media)

    Below are the 5 lessons that all marketers can learn from Burger King Campaign and apply to their own campaigns in the future:

    1. Search Engine Optimization – Make SEO an Integral Part of your any micro-sites and campaigns (offline or online).
    2. Paid Search – Plan to spend few thousand dollars from your campaign budget to SEM to augment or fill any gaps in SEO.
    3. Web Analytics Tool Implementation – Plan to spend few thousand dollars from your campaign on Web analytics tools (which they did). Make sure the tool is properly configured to capture the accurate data. As I mentioned above, it appeared that the site did not have any code on the landing page, which means they were missing a lot of data and hence not getting the whole picture. Conduct an accuracy audit of the tool implementation; it can potentially save you millions of dollars by providing you data beyond click-throughs.
    4. Data AnalysisAnalysis is different from reporting. Web Analytics tools and SEM reports just provide you a view into the data. You have to conduct a full analysis to understand what the data means and what actions to take to generate a higher ROI from your campaigns. Plan to conduct an analysis on all the data you collect from various tools. Learn from this analysis, it will tell you where you are wasting your money and what’s working for you. Use the insights gained from the analysis and take appropriate actions to improve your campaigns.
    5. Online Reputation Monitoring – Monitor news sites, Social Media (conversations/actions that happen away from your site) etc., look at what people are talking about your campaign and your brand. Learn from it and take appropriate actions. A simple tool like Google Alert can provide this to you this for free. I believe Burger King did pay attention to what was being talked about and as a result now you can see Burger King’s Paid Search campaign for “Whopper Virgin” and “Burger King Virgin” keywords.

    Comments? Questions?

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    Social Networking Sites and Advertising

    Social Networking sites are used by millions of people around the work and thousands of new users are jumping on social networking sites every day. Almost all of these social networking sites and new entrants are dependent on the advertising to generate the revenue to keep them going. However, a study by BurstMedia shows that consumers have a very low tolerance for online ads.

    52.6% of those surveyed accepted that advertising will appear on a web page but they had very low tolerance for more than 2 advertising units per web page. 29.9% of survey respondents said that they will leave the site immediately if they perceived it cluttered. Women are more likely than men to abandon the site. (Have lots of ads on the site and can’t figure out why people are abandoning, this might be a reason, time to do some testing)

    It is not only the publishers who are negatively affected by the ad clutter but also are the advertiser’s products and services. 52.4% respondents has a less favorable opinion of an advertiser when their advertising appears on a web page they perceive as cluttered.

    A study by IDC shows that the users are less tolerant of Social Networking Services (SNS) advertising than other forms of online advertising. Ads on SNS have lower click-through rates than traditional online ads (on the Web at large, 79% of all users clicked on at least one ad in the past year, whereas only 57% of SNS users did), and they also lead to fewer purchases (Web: 23%; SNS 11%).

    Lack of ad effectiveness and slowing economy is making marketers cut their spending on Social Networking sites.

    Market research firm eMarketer has cut Social Network ad spending estimate for 2009 to $1.3 billion down from $1.8 billion it projected earlier. It has also lowered 2008 estimated from $1.2 billion from $1.4 billion.

    “As consumer usage of social networking sites continues to flourish, advertising has not kept pace,” a release from eMarketer explained. “In 2008 and 2009, the recession will affect all forms of online ad spending, but experimental formats, such as the ones available on social networks, which cannot always demonstrate a proven return on investment, will be hit particularly hard.”

    So what should Social Networking sites do? Charge customers for the using the site? Nope, that is not going to work either. A recent AdAge study showed that no matter how much consumers hate advertising but they are not even going to pay for their favorite sites.

    According to IDC Lower-than-average ad effectiveness on SNS will continue to contribute to slow ad sales unless publishers get users to do something beyond just communicating with others. If the major services succeed in doing so, they will become more like portals, such as Yahoo! or MSN, and they will come closer to the audience reach of the top services. If that happened, publishers would be better able to monetize their SNS.

    Side Note:

    eMarketer has also cut its overall online ad spending estimates

    It reduced 2008 to $23.6 billion from its August estimate of $24.9 billion. The online ad growth is still increasing and is expected to be 11.3 percent higher than 2007. In 2009 this increase will be 8.9 percent over 2008.
    Hardest hit is the display advertising, for which the growth rate estimate was cut from 16.9 percent to 3.9 percent. Search ads are expected to grow at 21.4 percent in 2008, its lowest level so far. Next year the search-ad growth rate should be at 14.9 percent, the company predicted, dropping to 10.4 percent in 2013.


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    Facebook lost my Email Notification settings

    I got an email this morning from Facebook that they have lost my email notification settings. I did not believe that email, I thought it was a phishing email. I checked the url in the email and it seemed valid but for some reason I still could not believe it. “How can Facebook lose my email notifications? Not possible” I thought.

    I logged into Facebook and found the same message on the home page. So, the email was legit and Facebook had indeed lost my email preferences.

    It is very concerning to me. How can a company like Facebook lose data? Millions of people put a lot of data on Facebook and how can Facebook not keep proper safeguard to make sure data does not get lost and proper backups to restore the data. It is not clear if a programming error or human error cleared all the data or did somebody break into the database/file system and cleared it out. I am not sure if it was just me or others got affected as well?

    Did you receive similar message from Facebook?

    Site: AnilBatra.com
    Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/anilbatra
    Looking to fill your Web Analytics or Online Marketing position? Post your open jobs on http://www.web-analytics-jobs.com/

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    Technical Consultant for Internet Marketing and Web Analytics at Unica (Waltham, MA)

    Motrin Ad Controversy – Who Gained from it?

    Last week there was a lot of uproar in the social media space about a Motrin Ad that caused Motrin to pull the ad within 2 days of launching it and post an apology on their site. Judging by this and the negative press it got, it seemed like a failure. However, in my last post I outlined few key measures to see if the ad was a success or a failure.

    As I expected, Motrin site saw a huge increase in traffic on its site. According to Compete Pro Motrin’s site saw a 10X increase in its Daily Reach on the Web, jumping from .002% to .02% in one day. That is a huge. An ad without a controversy would have not generated that kind of traffic. Motrin should send a big thank you and some motrins to #motrinmoms , a twitter group that started this whole controversy.

    Source: Compete Pro

    Note: 15th evening is when the ad went live and by 17th evening they pulled the ad and posted an apology.

    #motrinmoms, you were successful too because you got the ad pulled out and got an apology. Now go take some motrin to ease the pain caused by this ad, don’t forget to print a coupon at Motrin.

    Comments? Questions?

    Site: AnilBatra.com
    Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/anilbatra
    Looking to fill your Web Analytics or Online Marketing position? Post your open jobs on http://www.web-analytics-jobs.com/

    Latest Postion
    Technical Consultant for Internet Marketing and Web Analytics at Unica (Waltham, MA)