Friday, July 18, 2008

Finding a REAListic Price Tag for Fresh Leads

crystal-ball.jpgADOTAS EXCLUSIVE — Don’t you wish someone could put a realistic price tag on finding new leads or customers via online advertising?

And while we’re preparing a wish list … Wouldn’t you like to stop shooting in the dark with banner ad campaigns that, when over, you only know approximately how many random clicks it generated? How about getting a better handle on ROI, or knowing how much revenue in certain market segments can be attributed to the campaign? Or even better yet, how would you like to be able to analyze price sensitivity in different market segments based on online information while the campaign is going on?

If you can answer the first question, I believe the rest of your wish list can come true. There’s an exciting new paradigm in the world of digital marketing: integrated results-based online advertising that is based on answering one fundamental question: how much are you willing to pay for the desired result, whatever it may be –- a new lead, customer, sale, click or registration? The definition of this “acquisition cost target,” which is derived from an overall “customer value,” is the foundation of intelligent online advertising campaigns that consistently “learn” throughout the entire conversion cycle. Integrated results-based online advertising is also flexible enough to allow the fundamental definitions themselves to change along the way, based on different customer-value data from different market segments, media types and conversion processes.

Optimize every step of the way

While the results-based information is valuable in and of itself, it really only gets us part of the way there. The trick is to be able to optimize the data and apply it intelligently based on real-time feedback that is gleaned from the conversion process itself. This kind of optimized campaign allows advertisers to measure and analyze each and every component of the conversion process on-the-fly and apply sensitivity analysis to fine-tune the matrix as they go along. This is what makes the integrated results-based approach so much more powerful than conventional online advertising models. For instance, we can alter keywords, shift ads to better-performing sites, perfect e-mail and landing page texts, and enhance banner designs as we go along – based on the measurable results received from the different advertising platforms. This is the way to effectively squeeze every possible benefit from every dollar our clients spend.

Integration: backwards and forwards

It’s important to remember that despite this robust information-gathering, results-based online advertising is only as good as the breadth of the online tools available, and how they are leveraged together. Results need to be integrated, as well as optimized, across the entire range of online advertising platforms and tools at our disposal, such as Ad networks, search engine marketing and email campaigns.
Knowledge gained in any one of these platforms must immediately be made available to current ongoing campaigns in other platforms and rapidly optimized to guarantee continuously improved results.

Integrating all your marketing assets

The next step is full integration with existing CRM system, turning the campaign into a sophisticated marketing tool that allows you to target market segments, such as discounts to first-time buyers –opening a plethora of cross-sell opportunities. Having this range of tools at your disposal gives you total control of the sales cycle -– from the very first impression all the way to the desired conversion. Control that is always focused on positive ROI.

With this dynamic monitoring, analysis and optimization, advertisers and publishers gain new insight into all their online advertising activities. Knowledge gained from any one platform is immediately made available to ongoing campaigns on the other platforms and rapidly optimized to guarantee continuously improved results.

So when you choose enter the world of online marketing, or want to test new methods in existing online campaign, think beyond siloed banner ads, SEM and e-mail campaigns. Put them all together in an integrated, result-based approach. The sum is far greater than the parts. And you will see measurable results that translate into bottom-line benefits.

So in the end, you know exactly how much it costs to sell the doggie in the window … for exactly what it’s worth. That’s simply better business.

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