Online ads. Whether you like it or not, they are major source of income for both web publishers and ad agencies. And whether you like it or not, businesses often need to use ads in order to reach out to their target market – and grow their sales.
Unfortunately, there are too many unrelated ads being served on various medium today. Too unrelated, in such a way that site visitors are annoyed by them and advertisers waste too much money promoting their products and services to people who don’t want to check them out, let alone buy them.
I remember visiting a free image search site looking for images for my blog posts. It is ad-supported, as expected. I look for “chef” images for my blog post about restaurateurs. Big question marks popped above my head as I see there are ads about online dating on the site. I never visited any site related to it.
If the ads are impression-based, then the advertisers would lose money. How am I possible to visit that site when what I really want is some chef pictures?
The bottom line, online ads need to be targeted – or else, advertisers will lose money and publishers won’t generate an optimal amount of income from the ‘real estate’ they rent out to.
Conversion is king
When running online ads, conversion rate is king. What’s uber-important is the number of people actually taking action (buying a product, sign up with a service, …) from all the impressions you buy and per-click costs you incur.
Ad copies, banner design, etc. are important in improving the conversion rate, but you can definitely benefit from highly-targeted ads: Ads which are served to the right audience, with the right interest, at the right time. Ad network like AdSense is doing a good job targeting ads, but there sky’s the limit when it comes to ad targeting.
Enter big data.
Chances are, you have heard about big data. But what is it anyway?
Well, simply put, big data is collection of data which is too big and too complex to analyze using conventional data processing or database management tools. Tools which can mine data from the big set of data can reveal to you trends, tendencies, or any other meaningful analysis.
For example, big data analysis tool can take a huge retailer customer database in for analysis and give you some crucial information as an output, such as customers’ shopping behaviour.
Analyzing big data, you can now discover what a customer is buying, what she is interesting on, and what time of the day she usually shops. That kind of information can help the retailer to, for example, send the right deal or recommendations at the right time to their members.
Some smart startups are capitalizing on the huge opportunity by building tools helping users to laser-target their ads via big data analysis, targeted buzz marketing and so on.
Check out this video to learn how three startups “marry” big data with advertising:
Very impressive indeed.
I am particularly keen on what Vivek Sharma is doing with his Movable Ink. Email marketing is still effective in delivering messages to potential prospects and Movable Ink’s ad platform allows advertisers to have their campaigns automatically customized by the system based on consumers behavour, such as when they open the email or where they are shopping. Very powerful, in my opinion.
Big data continues to grow in importance in the business world. As we are now pitching our products and services at personal level, knowing consumers’ when, what, which, where, why and how is detrimental in making the most of your marketing budget.
Indeed, targeted and personalized advertising is the way to go – are you ready to ride on the trend?