Tag Archives: advertising

Linkedin Ads API

LinkedIn APILinkedin has finally started to understand that scalability is a key element of the success of it's Advertising platform. Linkedin has been slow to launch it's Advertising API considering it's 3,000,000,000 monthly pageviews and it's 187 million members globally. But this move does put it ahead of Twitter that is still dragging the chain on opening up it's advertising platform until they work out that it's holding their revenue back.Their announcement last week highlighted the importance of using their API to generate and test hundreds of creatives across Linkedin, but also highlighted features such as reallocation of advertising budget in real-time.  Prior to the launch of Linkedin Ads API their tens of thousands of advertisers had to struggle to manage complex campaigns within their self-service interface.  The new API is still a closed invite-only platform and they require any advertisers wanting to use their Ad API to sign up to an agreement before using or implementing the API.There are a handful of launch platform partners such as Unified, Bizo and Adobe but expect more to come onboard as they are recruiting developers wishing to join their partner program here. Linkedin Ads API allows resellers to post ads on behalf of customers which makes their platform much more attractive to search agencies than before. These three partners have the advantage of having had used their platform for a few months but as to how quickly other partners are accepting into the Ads API program is not so clear.Facebook Ads API Missing Partners:
  • Acquisio
  • Marin Software
  • Kenshoo
  • ClickEquations
  • Syncapse (Clickable PRO)
  • Marchex
  • Mongoose Metrics
Linkedin Ads API Functions
  • Posting a campaign
  • Edit a campaign or a creative
  • Pulling campaign or creative statistics
  • End a campaign
Linkedin Ads API Reference documents provide details on:
  • Accounts
  • Campaigns
  • Creatives
  • Targeting
  • Autocomplete
  • Review Process
  • Error Codes
So it will be intersesting to see how many advertisings start shifting Ad spend away from Google AdWords & Facebook Ads once Linkedin Ads API becomes a more common feature in your bid management software.

Anti-Drugs Timeline

Israel Anti-Drug AuthorityToday I discovered what I think has potentially have to be one of the most ingenious social media campaigns I've seen in a while, but what makes it more interesting is how topically it is to Facebook users who are just starting to get their heads around Facebook's new Timeline.  The campaign concept is fairly basic and revolves around a fictional character "Adam Barak" who shows you a snapshot of his life with and without drugs over a year and how his life could be different.The campaign is produced by McCann Digital Israel and is simply a brilliant use of cutting edge social media features but also something that is simple enough anyone that sees the campaign can understand the concept.  The background on the campaign seems to be that it was slightly re-worked to ensure that it was not overcomplicated but made simple enough that the idea works internationally. It also works because the message while fairly clear does not get in your way of following the idea, it only works because the campaign message is almost subliminal and it really works!It's really great to see some creative thinking of social issues and making them relevant to society by using social media and hopefully this campaign is expanded and potentially improved and copied around the world. The concept of showing how differently your life could be in parallel universe has been done fairly well but I want to see more on Adam than just 1 month, so hopefully the campaign is extended. You can check out Adam's timeline here.What does Adam's timeline show?
  • You can see how it can impact his choice in accommodation
  • how he looks in the morning
  • what he does on a night out in town
  • how he enjoys going out
  • how it impacts on his relationships
  • what gets him through the work day
  • how he socialises with friends on the court
Anti-drugs timeline

Anti-drugs timeline

Good campaign concept for other issuesSo the question is how can Facebook's social reach via platforms such as timeline can be used to educate others about other social issues such as binge drinking, speeding and crime. There are plenty of other items that this campaign decided to drop such as checkins, video, friends updates and more there are plenty of options to emulate this campaign with slight changes to get your message across.

Facebook Ads Broadmatch

Facebook Ads LogoFacebook has today rolled out a new feature which allows advertisers to broaden the target age range automatically with its broad age match setting.  The move which will increase the clicks and impressions your campaign receives but will also benefit Facebook with an increase in ad space being sold outside the key demographics. The basis for the change is that Facebook claims if you are to target 24-35 then someone who is 36 might be just as interested in your advert and possibly be as valuable as someone who is 35. While this might in part true if someone has just had a birthday or lies about their age on their Facebook profile but it may also cloud your analysis of your campaigns if you focus on demographics.
Downside to broad age match
If you are a university and targeting school graduates who are under 18 or if you are a nightclub or concert promoter you requirements for what age brackets you want to attract.  The setting is also for all your campaigns across Facebook which seems to be a grab at revenue as it needs to be campaign specific not account based to be of any use to advertisers. How far will Facebook start to push the age demographics above or below what you campaign against your settings will likely continue to expand.
Benefits of broad age match
Facebook is currently discounting the extra impressions and clicks for the expanded target age range, but how much will they discount the broad age match and it will likely only be a short-term offering.  Once its enabled like most Facebook features its likely hard to disable once it has been activated, so should you enable it and how?
How to active Facebook Ads Broad Match
  • Login to your Facebook Ads account
  • Select Advert account Settings
  • Scroll down to Broad targeting opt-ins
  • Select Update button

  • Confirm to update all existing adverts to enable broad age targeting

Facebook ads confirmation

Facebook ads confirmation request

Does Broad Match offers move value?
It might be suitable for a number of advertisers but if you are not effectively monitoring and tracking your campaign you will just be spending more money and hoping you get increased value from the campaign unless you are measuring your social media ROI. The shotgun approach to demographics might cause chaos in some campaigns and dramatically uplift impressions and quality of traffic in others, you need to make sure you understand the possible impact before you enable Facebook Ads broadmatch.

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Display gets new AOL Ad Desk Platform

Yesterday AOL rolled out the heavy guns in display platforms with its new AD Desk system designed for Advertising.com and allows for direct access to AOL's premium audiences.  Being a new platform it contains a number of new technologies and data insights unique to AOL properties and its Advertising.com display network. The new advertising platform advises that you can now have the keys to the most powerful advertising platform, but is the Advertising.com & AOL Network enough?According to Google's Ad Planner the 48 primary placement websites have around 99,000,000 unique visitors with a reach of around 39.6% of the US market with around 8,600,000,000 page views which does seem to show that AOL's Ad network does have a significant scale.  Some of the many Advertising.com sites you can target with AD Desk include a number of well know sites including those run by competitors such as Microsoft:
  • AOL.com
  • ParentDish.com
  • Mapquest.com
  • AIM
  • Cooking.com
  • SI.com
  • TMZ.com
  • Essence.com
  • USATODAY.com
  • Classmates.com
  • Allrecipes.com
  • Shape.com
  • AutoTrader.com
  • Music.com
  • Expedia.com
  • LemonDrop.com
  • BackStage.com
  • PopEater.com
  • Games.com
  • Joystiq.com
  • MSNBC.com
  • Moviefone.com
  • WeatherBug.com
  • Terra.com
  • Realtor.com
  • RollingStone.com
  • Rhapsody.com
  • iWon.com
  • Blackvoice.com
  • Asylum.com
  • USNews.com
  • WashingtonTimes.com
  • CafeMom.com
  • Apartments.com
  • FoxNews.com
  • Realtor.com
  • Technorati.com
  • Geek.com
  • Maps.com
  • YellowPages.com
  • eHarmony.com
  • Alexa.com
  • Cooks.com
  • MensFitness.com
  • VegSource.com
  • Golf.com
  • HowStuffWorks.com
  • Fandango.com
  • Film.com
So who is AdDesk built for?It is being pitched as built by advertisers for advertisers and AOL has been actively prospecting for new clients over the past few months to join the alpha test that helped form the product and what features it would include once it was released to a broader market.  The AOL AdDesk seeks to follow Google's lead in providing more transparency for advertisers and more control over their display ads as it is rumored to provide a vast amount of proprietary AOL data to better self-manage your campaigns.The solution appears to try and solve both agencies and advertisers issues within a bid management style interface, so the question that needs to be asked will the other rumors hold true and will it support multiple platforms such as Bing & Google in the next version?What are the AOL AdDesk features?
  • Media planning tools similar to Google Ad Planner
  • Analytics?
  • Audience Segmentation based on interests, audience and geography
  • Complements current AOL sales team
What are the AOL AdDesk sales pitches?
  • Manage your campaigns - plan and launch campaign within minutes, new & improved impression volume estimation, select level of support needed
  • Lots of targeting options - state, city, types of sites, visitor demographics, visitor interests, re-marketing
  • Reporting - 24/7 access to reports, creative & campaign level reporting, audit trail feature
So where does AdDesk Fail?The point around such a make or break product, you would assume that AOL would have secured any similar domains such as "TheAdDesk.com", but it failed and this site currently flagged as having Malware is likely getting a large spike in visitors.  The other issue is that there are 2 other established websites already offering a product called AdDesk which currently outranks the new AOL AdDesk product, along with a number of blog articles about its product.Naples News Media Group - AdDeskCNI Corporation - AdDeskThe important part is that it seems a wonderful product but some of the steps could make the rollout easier and is likely to less confuse agencies and advertisers who go looking for the product but find two competitors products which appear to do a similar task.  With so much money on the line in making this product a success AOL should be more proactive securing domains and also examine the financials behind buying the Trademarks/licence of the competitors and close down their product or have it renamed. You can always create an account with Advertising.com AdDesk and test the software for yourself, but since its a beta test their might be a delay in approval...

Yahoo linking online to offline with Nectar

As the search engines continue to work on improving their user experiences but at the same time need to examine to how increase the amount of money advertisers are spending online.  To accomplish the switch for traditional offline advertising dollars to move online, there needs to be a better link between online activity and tracking of advertising effectiveness and offline purchases. Yahoo has long been one of the leaders in developing technology such as behavioural targeting of users on its Yahoo content networks and this test allows advertisers to match their ads to peoples offline shopping habits.  The concept seems easy enough as Nectar's database will link in with Yahoo's behavioural advertising system powering its content network, giving advertisers a whole new mass of data to target and profile.
To reduce privacy issues the system is currently opt-in with consumers have to elect to have their Nectar data used in this way, but incentive points had drawn around 20,000 consumers when the sign up started earlier in February. The platform seems very similar to Facebook's Beacon which was shut down due to privacy complaints, but does this platform go further by using consumers past shopping habits to decide what ads to show in the future? While user tracking and re-targeting are beginning to be more common they don't draw offline data. The former head of DoubleClick today launched MAGNETIC which is a rebranded search re-targeting platform that gathers its data from search engines and website partners to offer more targeted self-learning ads.
While it seems that advertisers can better target their advertisements to users online, can it led to eventual harm of consumers as is there too much loyalty programs like Nectar know about your life habits.  The opt-in feature will satisfy most privacy laws but as this is expanded as more companies seek to sell business insights into their consumer data do you actually have any rights? Late in 2009 AMEX started its consumer data analytics and consulting division and was followed in January by MasterCard who offer Merchants Solutions that package its consumer data and sell it back to marketers and retailers.
The concern is that merchants such as MasterCard can potentially track your purchases online to offline products such as movie tickets and using basic items such as cookies start to build a profile on your behaviour.  Each time you visit partner sites MasterCard and its affiliates can begin to learn more and more about how your online behaviours match to offline behaviours. Credit card companies know more than loyalty card and retailers about your purchase behaviours, frequency and even preferences so when you purchase flights at your local travel agent don't be surprised to see matching hotel ads for the same destination or recommendations for travel insurance. So next time you visit a website that seems to match your offline purchases or shopping behaviour remember this article predicted it.

StumbleUpon new AD System launches

StumbleUpon has surprised the market with fresh and new relaunch of their less well know paid platform "StumbleUpon Advertising", which mixes in paid suggestions with its automated suggestions to users as to pages that might interest them.  The new platform seems to solve the key issue which is easier account management of your StumbleUpon Advertising campaigns, which previously had proved fairly time intensive to set up and understand campaign results. The advertising model is built around matching websites and webpages to their users predefined expressed topics of interest, which is fine tuned across millions of users stumbling millions of new items each month.
  • New Advertiser Dashboard - StumbleUpon now makes it easier to manage and optimise multiple client campaigns
  • More payment options - You can now fund your Ad campaigns with Credit Cards
  • Greater control over spend - StumbleUpon offer the ability to control spend at the individual campaign level
  • New Topic Recommendation Engine - StumbleUpon can now automatically suggests new topics to target more audiences
  • Improved Reporting - StumbleUpon offers increased visibility into your viral traffic sources and content of interest
The new StumbleUpon Ad platform offers advertisers the ability to see the full picture on your campaign reach, combining both Paid & Free views for each of your StumbleUpon campaigns.  To better match other Ad platforms, you can now track campaign history to get a better view of your campaign performance over time.  The next feature to be added allows you to download your StumbleUpon campaign results as a downloadable CSV report, which can be imported into third-party software such as Bid Management Systems or Excel spreadsheets. The StumbleUpon Advertising process is quick and easy to create a new campaign and start driving targeted traffic to your web page, the targeting for audience size also allows for large or small campaigns to be quickly setup.  The ability to target users by their interests by the 500 categories...
How your StumbleUpon Ads work:
  • You can target the audience you want by category, demographic and/or geography
  • Visitor traffic comes direct to your site, no click-through required
  • The more users like it "stumble it", the more traffic you will get
The new reporting platform also allows for some more advanced targeting but also offers a simplified dashboard for campaign reporting.  The daily budget can be specified in dollars, and further refine campaign targeting by demographic and geographic settings.
The new dashboard brings the ad platform closer to an advertising solution as it now provides more transparency around paid versus free traffic for your particular campaign.  This allows marketers to better calculate the viral campaigns true traffic uplift from the paid campaign and how it influenced the free stumbles. The Free stumbles are shown below and above in green with the paid stumbles clearly shown as blue on the charts.
StumbleUpon ads seek to resolve some of the common problems by not using Pop-ups, Interstitials or Click-Throughs to display their advertisers web page.  The CPV is also influenced by free traffic which allows for successful campaigns to have a lower overall cost-per-visit.  The better the targeting and the quality of content the more likely the content will benefit from some viral traffic and have a much lower campaign cost.  If you want to get a better idea about the new StumbleUpon Advertising platform we suggest that you give their feature tour a try.

Bayer consolidates marketing with Omnicom Group and WPP

AdAge finally broke the story regarding the consolidation news that Omnicom Group and WPP were now in complete control of Bayer's $1 billion marketing account. Bayer had been looking for a full review of its online and offline advertising agencies since the total number had grown to over 400 around the world, not including outsourced partners and collaborations between local agencies.
MarketingWeek pointed out last year that within the UK a number of incumbent agencies were due to be affected by the review such as JWT, BBDO and Initiative.  Now that the review is over it appears the Interpublic's Initiative lost the Bayer Consumer Healthcare media planning and buying duties. The interesting point was the sheer scale of the review as according to Forbes it is one of the biggest account consolidations and reviews in ad history. But is less than the General Motors $2.6 billion account review offered 2000.
But it appears that the original aim to consolidate all its account into one agency holding company didn't succeed and WPP & Omnicom both emerge as big winners. Within the US, Bayer spends around $442 million across internet, print and traditional offline channels, but has rapidly increased its spending in magazines and online. The other two big consumer packaged goods companies to launch their marketing reviews are Unilever and Reckitt Benckiser who both have marketing budgets over $1 billion annually.
According to AdAge sources the process which has already started will take around 1.5 to 2 years to complete, and impacts on atleast 50 Bayer brands. Local Marketing Magazines estimate within Australia the Bayer account review is worth around $10 million annually.  The multiple brands within Australia that will be effected by the review include:
There is a number US Bayer companies due to be affected by the review are likely to be more noticeable as it accounts for at least 40% of Bayer's annual marketing budget include:
One of the fastest growing segments is Bayer Health which was expanded in the 2007 with the take over to Schering Healthcare, and includes dozens of household products split between Bayer Schering Pharma and Consumer Care which are also included in the review. Some of the more controversial brands include Bayer Birth Control Products - YazYasmin.
Bayer defines its consumer care business unit as those products that are classed as non-presecription drug products and dietary supplements that seek to relieve pain, treat infections, correct definciency states, and care for health. Some of the more popular Bayer consumer brands include:
  • Berocca
  • Canesten
  • Amolin
  • Aspirin
  • Alka-Seltzer
Watching US law changes and regulators cracking down on Bayer and similar companies in the past, the review includes one of the more difficult areas for advertisers is the pharmaceutical business that offers women's healthcare, speciality medicine, diagnostic imaging and general medicine, and will likely be the one that will be the most closely watched and liable for more legal action. One of the easier areas for the marketing is around Bayer Animal Health as Bayer makes some of the leading providers of parasite control and prescription pharmaceutical solutions for cattle, dogs, cats and horses and don't have to deal with regulators.  Some of the many Bayer Animal health brands include:
  • Advantix
  • Profender
  • Drontal
  • Advantage
  • Advocate
  • Prolong
  • Racumin
  • QuickBayt
  • K-O Tab
  • Solfac Pro
  • Zapp
  • Rametin
  • Tiguvon
  • Baymec
  • Kiltix
The ever expanding Bayer Crop Sciences has grown steadily since the aquistion of Aventis in 2002, and now leads the world's crop science companies in the following areas: crop protection, pest control, plant biotechnology, seeds and genetic engineering of food. Some of the more well known consumer products include Bayer Advanced and Backyard by Bayer but also include joint projects with ADM.
So what about online?
The task is massive as even from just the online perspective of the number of agencies who currently handle search optimisation, social media, web analytics, link building, domains and web hosting is more than a mammoth effort to be centralised and even get reviewed.  Within Australia Bayer owns at least 19 domains and most with their own website for each popular product but its global office around 1735 domains supporting hundreds of websites as each of their countries has a local website for a majority of their products. With Bayer operating in around 50 countries and having up to 50 products marketed locally there could be as much as 2,500 websites worldwide.
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