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Review: MarketingSherpa’s 2008 Online Advertising Handbook & Benchmarks

How much do you spend on online advertising each year? $5,000? $50,000? $500,000? Or perhaps $5 million?

Let’s assume you spend $50,000 per year on ALL of your online advertising. What if you could spend just 1% of that budget and potentially increase the visibility, clickability, and conversions of all your online ads?

Enter MarketingSherpa’s 2008 Online Advertising Handbook & Benchmarks. (affiliate)

I’ve just finished reading this great guide from MarketingSherpa and it’s a valuable companion to The Landing Page Handbook we reviewed back in January.

The handbook’s 200+ pages are packed with a wide selection of industry stats, best practices, and tactical information to help increase the effectiveness of your online advertising. Here’s an outline of the handbook’s chapters:

  1. Online Advertising Business & Budgets.

What Do Yahoo’s Sponsored Search Tweaks Mean?

Apparently, “Things continue to be busy here at Yahoo!, and not just because of any on-again/off-again courtship by a company from a rainy land.” Yahoo announced yesterday a few minor adjustments in their Sponsored Search program. Among the changes:

  • Status for offline objects (campaign, ad group, keyword, etc.) displays in red. Objects that are online are displayed in blue or black letters.
  • The “Top Campaigns” and “Watched Campaigns” tables on the Dashboard page now include a “Status” column.
  • Minor updates to the “Campaigns” page, including adding a “Status” column.
  • Minor updates to the Ads table on an Ad Group page.
  • The ability to export (using the “Download” buttons) at the account-level Ad Group and Keyword pages, under the Campaigns tab.

News Corp Launches Vertical Ad Network

We now return to the Young and the Profitless Apparently Nick got tired of waiting around for Stacey to wise up and Brad to stop using their friendship, and he’s going his own route. That’s right, Nick News Corp is ready to take on Internet advertising on its own with the launch of its niche ad network this week.

The ad network, Worthnet.Fox, is designed to appeal to “a growing class of executives who spend time in myriad global regions, as economic borders dissolve amid international expansion,” as Reuters puts it. The network will focus on financial news and advice.

At launch, they announced that they had 30 partners including MarketWatch, Barron’s and the Dow Jones-owned Wall Street Journal. Since News Corp acquired Dow Jones in December, it seems that the ad network is designed to help Dow Jones.

Are Broadband Internet Providers Spying On You?

Have you ever thought about the enormous amount of data your broadband internet provider could collect from you? The sites you visit, your spending habits, even which products seem to catch you eye.

Well, with online advertising’s $45 billion yearly budget going mostly to the likes of Google, your broadband provider is getting tired of being left out of the party. What’s to stop Charter Communications from monitoring all of your web activity, then selling you targeted ads–or at least selling your browsing habits to the highest bidder?

Fortunately, as CNET explains, there are a whole host of laws in place that prevent broadband service providers from doing just that. But, that’s not stopping them from testing the limits of the law.

Banner Advertising Revenue Slows

Online advertising in general is fairing well in a slow economy. However, display advertising revenue, especially for bigger websites, is not doing as well. (Marketing Pilgrim runs display ads – Andy how are they doing – notice any downturn?).

Web sites, newspaper publishers, and news media companies like CBS make money by selling display ads. Remember all the new ad networks that have popped up in the last few years? Publishers are getting less for the ads they run through those networks.

PubMatic’s online pricing index showed that the price for ads purchased through an ad network dropped 23 percent from March to April. It’s worst for the largest sites – the prices for that segment dropped 52 percent. Ad networks are responding by more precise targeting of ads.

Watch and Be Watched: Online Advertisers Plan to Use Behavioral Targeting

By Michelle Greer

The idea of ads somehow understanding our lifestyles and behavioral patterns sounds kind of creepy at first thought. But according to a survey done by SEMPO, many search engine marketers are all about it.

The survey found that 57% of online advertisers polled were willing to spend more on demographic targeting, such as age and gender. Advertisers, on average, would pay 11% more for both behavioral and demographic targeting. While advertiser interest in behavioral targeting is very strong, actual investment is still low, according to the survey respondents.

How does behavioral targeting work? Ads will track past search behavior in order to deliver the most relevant ads possible. Charter Communications, one of the nation’s largest ISPs, has already planned for a pilot program to gather search behavior to share with ad networks. This program is set to be released next month.

Keep Your Eye on the Yahoo, WPP Ad Partnership; Ignore Carl Icahn

Do you know how illusionists make that cute bunny disappear? They distract your eyes with something else, so you don’t notice what’s going on.

Cue Yahoo “Copperfield” with its attempt to make Carl Icahn disappear by distracting you with the good news about a partnership it just formed with mega-ad agency WPP.

In a statement, the companies said that as part of the deal, WPP advertising agencies would, through its 24/7 Real Media arm, develop a proprietary advertising media trading platform that takes advantage of Yahoo’s Right Media exchange.

In addition, WPP will work with Yahoo to create a WPP marketplace giving its ad agencies a new place to spend their client’s ad budgets.