AM: Re: Web advertising justification
You are asking the questions that lots of people are wondering about but not
admitting it. Measuring the effectiveness of any form of advertising first
depends on whether you're seeking branding or direct marketing effects.
Most of the advertisers consider Web advertising to be useful for direct
marketing only (while Web sites, of course, see it differently). Branding
success is very difficult to measure for any specific media. Direct
marketing is also hard to measure, unless you do it at the click-through
level. Then it's trivial.
As you probably know, banners are currently pulling in the range of $20 to
$40 CPM. That's for the time being. Lots of advertisers are wondering if
they're getting a decent return, and lots of folks speculate that these
rates will come down (but no one is saying how far). What this means is
that it is going to probably get harder in the future to generate a specific
ad-based revenue stream.
You indicated that you're running a normal promo campaign augmented with an
online (Web-based) effort. When you put an ad on a Web site, the 'call to
action' is usually a click on a URL, but it doesn't have to be. However,
let's assume that it's reasonable to use traffic coming into your Web site
as a good measure of the Web-based ad's effectiveness. (This can be
sharpened a bit by having the ad's URL come into a slightly different entry
point to your site.)
How do you goose up the incoming traffic? Web-based ads are, of course, a
major factor (whether 'pushed' or not). Another is search results - making
sure your Web site comes out when searches with certain keywords are used in
the query. Another is reference links - where you either pay a site to list
your links (something like an ad) or you exchange the favor. Of course,
with the standard promo methods (like direct mail, mag ads, etc.) you will
include a prominent mention of your URL, so this is another source of
I realize I'm beating around the bush a bit, but things are still a bit
mushy in this area, as far as I can see.
From: Angela Morris <email@example.com>
To: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
Date: Friday, June 05, 1998 5:27 PM
Subject: AM: Web advertising justification
>My company develops software for the telecommunications market and we are
>currently trying to plan a marketing budget for the next twelve months.
>Recently, I gave a presentation to upper level management to justify the
>line item for an on-line campaign.
>We are young and growing rapidly and have a little money to spend on
>promotion. We're in the process of formulating an integrated marketing
>communications plan that includes traditional promotional vehicles, but
>we're also trying to get a handle on the potential value of web
>We recently had a brief run on a specialized Pointcast channel (Telecom
>Insider) that's targeted to our industry, and we know that our hit and
>click-thru rates have increased. We feel the increase is due to a
>combination of Pointcast and just the fact that we are publicizing the site
>more. Pointcast has sent us some charts and statistics on our ad hits, but
>they are not overly impressive and I have nothing to compare them to.
>Upper level management asked us to justify the money spent for the on-line
>portion of the campaign. Numbers were supplied were by the vendor. Although
>the numbers supported the vendor's case, they did not necessarily support
>I have a few questions for the group. What metrics have people used to
>to and justify an on-line advertising program's success? Do any of you have
>on-going web advertising programs? How do you balance the rest of your
>marketing mix with web advertising i.e. what percentage of your marketing
>budget might be allocated for web advertising? How do you measure the value
>of web advertising?
>Generally speaking, how do you measure the value of web advertising and
>what you would do differently if you could? Do you have a short experience
>(good, bad or indifferent) with web advertising?
>Thank you. I look forward to your responses!
>Call Technologies, Inc.
>11490 Commerce Park Drive
>Reston, VA 20191
>Corporate Phone: 703-995-2000
>Direct Dial Phone: 703-995-3255