This post is inspired by and repurposed
from my recent comments on the great blog of Jim Novo.
From my experience profile creation by cookie, also known as
chasing people around the web, is not an effective practice for performance
minded advertisers (and isn’t that everyone now?). It is a bad strategy to guess where I am headed by looking at the
tracks I have left behind.
This is because one of
the key components of using targeting for persuasion is timing. We have to be
intelligent enough to know when the user is in a context for the ad to generate
attention from them. To me this issue is best solved by content matching – ad
content to site content.
Previous browsing “behavior” is a bad indicator of real-time
relevance and the web is real-time media. There are so many flaws with BT
(cookie deletion, shared computers, work/home) but the basic fact is the behavior of people is simply
Behavioral segments always run the risk of becoming sliced
too thin to scale but the more you slice the segments the more predictable
behavior becomes. Conversely, the larger your profile base the more variance
you find in behavior. Ironically, BT has been sold as a panacea for Brand
advertising. Makes no sense. If anything, it would work well for DR except for
the fact that economically it makes no sense there either.
One new way BT is looking to improve is by inputting search
keyword history into profiles. Google & Yahoo are doing this now.
However, until people fundamental change how they search (generically) success
will be limited and certainly not solve the issues of scale and demand-gen.
Another giant problem I would like to amplify is the role of
creative. BT or no BT traditional forms of display creative are just never
going to perform well. What’s the performance of a billboard? Publicis and WPP
have set up offshore production facilities to create thousands of banners for campaigns so
they could be optimized. Throwing (away) money at this problem is not going to work either.
Let us move on to new ways of targeting people with display ads. While we are at it why don't we eliminate the fat cats. There is huge value creation potential for businesses,
advertisers, publishers and the audience if we disintermediate the low
performance/high cost Planning>Creative>BT systems. Businesses
and marketers need to stop putting up billboards and start paving roads!
kicking BT in the ass:
While I am opening my
cans of whoop ass, previous posts on Agencies: