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AM: RE: Web advertising justification

To:     "Angela Morris" <>, <>
Subject:     AM: RE: Web advertising justification
From:     "Patrick Fitzgerald" <>
Date:     Sun, 7 Jun 1998 22:11:19 -0400
Importance:     Normal

As an "online ad agency," our company spends a good deal of time figuring
out what metrics to apply to online campaigns. While each campaign varies,
we typically set goals at the outset for a) awareness and b) direct

Although most people focus on the direct response component, one shouldn't
overlook the Web's ability for awareness building for both brand and product
(see last year's  IAB/MB Interactive study on online advertising). For a
young company this awareness building can be hugely important. Pointcast ads
are one of the better vehicles for awareness building because of their
TV-like nature, which due to their passive nature do not encourage high
click-thrus, but do serve to build frequency of message. Unfortunately,
actually measuring "awareness levels" of online ads or the ads' contribution
to awareness is a costly undertaking (but I'm sure many a marketing research
company would be glad to undertake it).

More easily measured are direct response objectives. These objectives go
beyond click-thru to:

--Form completion (lead generation)
--Requests for information
--Product trial

Using these objectives, you can use metrics such as cost per lead, cost per
sale, completion rates, and number of leads generated. To determine their
effectiveness, these metrics should be compared to off-line programs like
cost for direct mail or cost to hold a seminar. While online channels can
offer a more cost effective means of acquiring leads you must also examine
the *quality* of those leads. Because a customer has to be more engaged to
mail-in a form or attend a seminar you may get a higher close rate on for
these channels.

In developing these metrics, you should also consider the creative content
and placement of the online ads. The "call to action" and "offer" greatly
influence click-thru's and ultimately conversion for online ads. The viewer
needs to derive or perceive some value from clicking on the banner and then
completing a form. In addition, the user should have a clear path and
understandable instructions once they've clicked on a banner. Simply
delivering a user to the homepage and then leaving it up to him to figure it
out will result in a much higher "bail out rate."

Placement of the ad also affects click-thru. While placement obviously helps
target the ad to the appropriate person, it must also be placed in context.
Is the customer in the frame of mind to take action on my banner/call to
action? This is why banners placed within categories on search engines
usually yield higher click-thru rates than those placed in general rotation
(although a banner in general rotation will reach more eyeballs).

Hope this helps.

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf Of Angela Morris
> Sent: Friday, June 05, 1998 4:25 PM
> To:
> 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
> advertising.
> 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
> mine.
> I have a few questions for the group. What metrics have people
> used to point
> 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!
> Angela Morris
> Call Technologies, Inc.
> 11490 Commerce Park Drive
> Reston, VA 20191
> Corporate Phone:  703-995-2000
> Direct Dial Phone:  703-995-3255
> FAX:  703-995-2002
> email:

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