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Re: AM: Web advertising justification

To:     amorris@calltec.com
Subject:     Re: AM: Web advertising justification
From:     "Mark Dorf" <Dorf321@aol.com>
Date:     Tue, 9 Jun 1998 12:03:37 EDT
Cc:     ad-market@netpreneur.org

In a message dated 6/5/98 6:08:46 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
amorris@calltec.com writes:

<< What metrics have people used to point
 to and justify an on-line advertising program's success? 

Justifying any advertising program whether online or in traditional media is
subjective at best although the main reason that one is advertising is to
convey a message to a targeted audience.  As to the success, that will be
dependent on what your goal was.  Are you looking to;

1.  Develop marquee value and recognition into a certain marketplace
(branding)?
2.  Are you looking for an immediate response (selling a product, capturing
information, advocating an action, etc.)?

Success is viewed entirely differently through different objectives.  If you
can be more specific of what your goals are I could be more targeted in a
response.

Do any of you have on-going web advertising programs?  
The company that I consult for, Digital City, Inc/AOL Studios has many on-
going web advertising programs with a myriad of different client categories.
They range from content programs which are sponsored to retailers looking to
drive traffic to their stores.  We learn new ways and methods every week of
how our medium works for different kins of businesses.  It's very exciting
being involved with an evolving medium where everybody is learning together
how to maximize the effectiveness of our industry.

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? 

The answer to this question is totally dependent on what you are advertising.
If you are advertising on online store where the user can purchase something
right at their computer, your budget should be mainly spent on reaching these
people at their computers.  If you are trying to sell an item and you need a
quick response by the person visiting your showroom other media like radio
would probably be appropriate.  If you just launched a web-site, your budget
should be mainly on the web on sites that reach your target audience.  I have
seen so many advertisers advertising their web-site in traditional media.  I
think this is a big mistake.  If you're reading the newspaper, watching tv or
listening to the radio, you are not online (with the exception of radio
perhaps....which I think would make a good thread on the value of these two
mediums doing more cross promotion together....perhaps I'll start that one)
and can't see what you're advertising.  So, the answer is again very
subjective and dependent on the advertising objective.

How do you measure the value of web advertising? >>  The same way any
advertising is measured which goes back to the main question, "What is your
objective?"  You probably have read a plethora of articles on impressions and
click through rates, and CPM's or cost per click, etc, but it's all
meaningless if it's not acheiving your goal.  For instance, say you are trying
to sell something online and you're getting a great click through ratio, but
no sales, what's the point of boasting you got a good click through ratio.
Web advertising has great value like all advertising CAN have....it depends on
how you use it, when you use and why you use it.  It's purpose like any
advertising medium is to aggregate eyeballs to see/hear your message and evoke
a response.  The question I think you should ask is where should I advertise
on the web because the web offers you opportunities that no other medium
can.....it's interactivity, it's immediacy of change (both content and
banners), it's measurement and it's rapid growth within the consumer
marketplace.  

A last thought that I would like to share is that with any medium, I have
found it most effective to "own" the medium.  When you make the move to
advertise online, do it with consistency and make sure you have a strong voice
in the medium.  If you don't make a strong enough purchase, your message can
get lost like any medium.  You want to maximize your reach (cumulative
audience) with frequency (repetitive audience).  That metrix has always been
the success factor in any advertising campaign.

I will sum it up with what a client years ago (another lifetime, another
medium) said to me, "I've been advertising a long time and I've never figured
out why it works, but all I know is that when I do advertise I have more
customers than when I don't.

I hope these thoughts have some benefit to your question.  I would be more
than happy to further elaborate via the phone or e-mail directly if you'd
like.

Mark N. Dorf
Digital City Washington
dorf321@aol.com
(703) 918-1872

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