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Archive for April, 2009


There Is No Remnant, There Is Only Optimized And Not Optimized

Monday, April 27th, 2009

mediamath-digital-media-trading-experts-results_1240850002962AdExchanger is the hot new advertising blog.  Have no doubt.

I was reading their interview about MediaMath, and I noticed the part where they said, “we don’t view the spot market as remnant!”  This got me thinking, “that is true, but true because they take an advertiser perspective.”

Remnant is a publisher concept.  Advertisers do not buy “remnant”.  They buy cheap, they buy high-frequency, they buy run-of-x.

Furthermore, publishers would imply that advertisers are choosing between their “premium” and “remnant” inventory, but this is simply another publisher conceit.  Truly, advertisers are choosing between better impressions and worse impressions and those impressions are scattered in between the premium and remnant inventory.  The first several impressions of a unique tend to perform better.  Does buying premium get you that?  Nope.  Many publishers don’t sell frequency caps as part of their standard IOs.  Of course, frequency caps are a tiny part of the optimization equation.  Things like DFP should, theoretically, be optimizing for publisher value – of course, I think they frequently don’t really optimize for much of anything at all.

Does that mean there is room for aggregators who can algorithmically add value for advertisers?  Absolutely!  Long live the revolution!

Social Networking Is A Valuable Modality For Direct Response Advertisers

Monday, April 27th, 2009

facebook-ad-to-dangerous-site-a1Jeremy Liew writes a post about techniques for targeting that Google does not offer and how effective they are for performance advertisers in other situations.

Like any pathetic blogger, I must comment.  My reaction to this was not that these targeting mechanisms have demonstrated effectiveness at all.  Rather, we have discovered a key modality that has unique value to direct response advertisers: People who aren’t doing anything at the moment.

IQ Quiz is a great example of a hard core DR advertiser.  Generally, they need conversions that fit one of two profiles: Expensive clicks that convert fantastically or really, really cheap clicks that convert okay.  Search clicks typically perform poorly for these direct response advertisers because the expensive clicks don’t convert well enough.  Clicks on social networks are very, very inexpensive (Google typically turns off my bids when they get this low) and the conversion rates are relatively high due to a unique user modality: People on social networks aren’t typically doing anything important.

People on Facebook are just hanging out, far more so than people Googling things.  These people are uniquely susceptible to a “have fun, play casual games message, meet people, look attractive, check your credit score” that is used by so many direct response advertisers.  Does behavioral targeting or more accurate demographic targeting deliver great value for a DR marketer?  Certainly, but typically any sort of premium involved crushes the CPA objective of the DR advertiser.

Effective reporting by social networks could improve the targeting purchases by direct response marketers.  For example, here at Platform-A, we offer end of campaign reports to certain advertisers showing the kinds of behaviors that worked most effectively during their campaign.  This evidence-based post campaign diagnosis can drive more effective purchasing in the future.

Absent this detail, typically these kinds of advertisers are simply on the hunt for cheap clicks.  It will take more than just targeting, but great reporting and analytics to push advertisers in this direction.

Spreadtweet Is For The Office

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Has Seth Godin Redefined SEO? Probably Not.

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Seth does a nice contrarian take to get people’s minds thinking, but fails to caveat it sufficiently so let me do so.

As always: It depends.  Here is a Google Trends on books vs. Richard Halliburton (a popular author in the 1920’s and 30’s):


As you can see, ranking #1 for Richard Halliburton would manage to get you exactly nowhere.  Creating brands requires having a strategy to create brand awareness.  If Shoemoney registered the domain and did nothing, it would not drive traffic to him.  All things being equal, he might have done better if he ranked #40 for a big generic term.

I would rather be #40 for books than #1 for Richard Halliburton!

Follow Cogmap on Twitter!

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

twitter_icons_small@bhalliburton is the official twitterness of Cogmap!  All the cool kids are doing it.

What If: AOL Bought Twitter Instead of Bebo?

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

$750m for Bebo, AOL could have had Twitter for much less at the time, maybe the same price or less today.  If AOL scooped up Twitter today, it would probably be lauded as a coup.

graphNow, couple of points:

  1. AOL would have needed to immediately monetize Twitter because they are a public company that is struggling.  Would this have ruined everything?
  2. Obviously, if you maligned the purchase of Bebo back then for that price, Twitter would have been even more laughable.
  3. I have always been a believer that it is about the team, particularly for such early stage stuff.  If the Twitter team walks, it probably never gets to where it is.  AOL has historically, for tax reasons, structured deals designed to make it look more like a tech acquisition and less like a people acquisition and the result is the deals incent people to walk.

Today, I think most people would agree, just from looking at the graph above or reading almost any publication, that Twitter is probably more valuable than Bebo.  No disrespect to the Bebo people, I like them.  I just bet they wish they working at Twitter.