Bottom Line or Flat Line

February 12, 2009

Content, relevance and intent will definitively save the online medium. Justifying every dollar of your marketing budget, brand awareness that is held accountable to driving revenue and sales as well as driving brand is paramount.

Many of us are seeing shrinking advertising budgets. We’re seeing a shift to ROI in the online world which is great. But we still need to prove ourselves, create new forms of measurement and earn the respect we so desperately seek. Why do all of those media dollars still end up on TV? Why isn’t everything coming our way?

We need to have an engaging and relevant message for online users. Targeting, websites that add value, smarter search, user generated content and how to leverage that will crack open the vault.

Advertisers will welcome us as soon as we can prove we’re not wasting anyone’s money.

That’s our challenge for 2009. joy1


Performance trumps everything

February 10, 2009

As our economy worsens and belts continue to tighten online advertisers are even better off.  The reason? ROI – Return on Investment.  There is no other medium where the advertiser knows exactly where ads will run, and can track performance.  There is certainly value in brand advertising, but in order to fully see the power of online advertising, one must only offer a CPA, or CPC and watch the magic happen. Certainly there are risks involved as there are regarding any advertising.  You’ll be well suited to investigate the pitfalls – ie, chargebacks or deductions, click fraud but rest assured if you need to advertise -and you DO, then make it performance based.   teamworkThe worst feeling in the world is spending dollars and you cannot quantify where there went, or the purpose regarding your spend. When you have a paying customer that just paid you $30, and you paid an affiliate $15 to generate that sale, I can guarantee  you’ll migrate your spend to performance driven.


5 Secrets to Improve Your Relationship with your Network

October 24, 2008

Working with a performance based ad network can make you a superstar, or can get you in the hot seat quicker than you can say Vonage.

Here are a few tips that will help you as the advertiser get back into the control seat. Networks have a tendency to promise the moon, and deliver a hunk of cheese. Don’t let this happen to you. Work closely with the right partner and you’ll reap the rewards. Give up that control, and they will send you a bag full of useless leads that will kill your entire marketing budget. Be smart – understand your allowable acquisition and get in front of a few different networks. Ask lots of questions and insist on the following – and you’ll be fine.

1. Demand full disclosure and transparency – If your brand is large enough they will offer it. If not, find a partner that will. You need the control of knowing where your ads are running.
2. Request certain hand selected publishers receive a higher payout (at the networks expense – reduced margin) to drive more volume.
A. Make sure payouts are listed privately – so you don’t anger other publishers running the offer
3. Insist that the appropriate checks and balances are in place
A. List the number of leads you’re willing to pay for in a set time frame – ie, if a publisher generates 2000 leads over the weekend, but you’ve capped the offer at 1000 leads – you’re not held responsible – PUT THIS IN WRITING IN THE CONTRACT
4. Set weekly conference calls – If you think there’s nothing to discuss, think again – something ALWAYS comes up
5. Don’t be bullied into unfavorable payment terms – Networks are HIGHLY competitive, and they need your business.

Go get em!


4 Secrets to Success for Continuity Programs

October 23, 2008

Recently I’ve had conversations where I’ve touted the power of a good continuity program. From Ringtones, to Dating offers, continuity is the name of the game. After a small initial sign up fee the user is then obligated to pay on a (usually) monthly basis to the advertiser.

4 Secrets to success of a continuity program

1. Charge for the first months membership after the first 7 to 14 days as a member
2. Allow for incentivized traffic on these offers
3. Analyze – Measure and quantify your allowable acquisition rate
4. REPEAT


HEADACHES for NETWORKS

October 16, 2008

Ask any sales person at a network what year they were founded, and chances are the answer will be in or around 2000. Back then it was like the wild west for networks. Affiliates were making fast money, and most networks were not regulated. This was a fun time for sure. What most fail to tell you is the offers that made them the most money back then, are most likely causing them, or have at some time caused them the biggest headaches today.

Top Revenue Generating offers that cause the biggest headaches for Networks

1. Ringtones = WHY? FTC crack down
Some networks got themselves into trouble when (after seeing the massive revenue generating power of ringtones, formed white label solutions with the providers) – BIG MISTAKE. When the FTC investigated the call to action ie, “sign up for a FREE ringtone” the networks were being held accountable for the misleading communication in conjunction with the ringtone provider. Yikes.

2. Incentive Offers = WHY? Quality issues
Incentivized offers themselves are fine, and generate some phenomenal leads for the right advertiser (continuity programs with credit cards – like Blockbuster) is a great example, but when a rookie sales person tells you to allow affiliates to incentivize your offer and there’s no credit card transaction involved you’ll have 10,000 leads in one day that will be totally useless. Would you pay for them? I didn’t think so.

3. Email Offers = WHY? SPAM
Email converts very well for many advertisers. Back in 2000 with limited regulation publishers would spam consumers and collect handsomely from the networks. Many networks have since implemented solid stop- gaps, but man those SPAMMERS kill ya! Ask the network if you can provide an unsub lisk, or if they have a master unsub list. Also, have a from line, subject line, text and html version. To ensure some control – make sure you (the advertiser) can dictate when the publishers can drop the emails.

Each of these types of offers still generate an immense amount of revenue on networks, but take up a lot of time and effort to regulate. When investigating a partner for your next campaign, don’t be afraid to ask the network how they address each of these issues. It will save you the headaches in the long run.


Recession Proof?

March 20, 2008

Recently we’ve been seeing a lot of chatter in the media about a pending recession. Some may argue that the recession has already hit, and that it’s only going to get worse. Pending events like the US Presidential Election, coupled with the Bejing Olympics are top of mind as well.

I feel that performance based online marketing/affiliate marketing is recession proof.
Let’s think about this; if you’re currently spending money online for your company you certainly understand that there are numerous ways in which you can aggregate new users/viewers etc. You can purchase media on a CPM, CPC, or CPA. If you’re currently working in a CPM scenario and you have a budget that can handle that, great. But what happens if that budget is directly effected by a recession. You’d be forced to modify your offering to performance based only. This would entail your only paying for a paid conversion, or a user (depends on how you’d prefer to define an aquisition).

In this manner of advertising you’re still spending ad dollars, but only if you’re making money yourself. If you’ve done your homework, understand your allowable aquisition rate, and can back into the appropriate metrix….then you’re recession proof!


CPA, CPM, Search AOR

July 19, 2007

I cannot tell you how fired up I am about what’s happening internally here at Azoogle! Since 2000 Azoogle has been the premier performance based ad network. About a month ago we have expanded our product offering to CPM Media Planning, as well as Search AOR services. In less than a month we’ve already moved forward with million dollar media buys, and have signed Blockbuster, and Thumbplay as Search AOR clients!

Talk about wanting to get out of bed in the morning! There are so many great things going on here!