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Online Media Maven » Tips » Website visitors hate Media Buyers, not Advertising

Website visitors hate Media Buyers, not Advertising

A lot of user-experience, product managers and even marketers are under the impression that website visitors hate advertising. They find it intrusive or distracting. This is not the case. I do not hate ads, in fact I appreciate them; when they are relevant I am happy to take a glance at them as in those rare cases I may actually find out about a product or service that I want to purchase. Unfortunately, despite all of the highly touted targeting options out there, it seems like this happens less and less often.

Before we start focusing too heavily on techniques like remarketing to abandoning users, interests or site affinity or any of the other factors that can be incredible in really identifying a target audience, we need to take a step back and get the basics down. These are some examples taken from top 20 websites (according to Alexa) that are making simple mistakes. Not only are they throwing their money away but they give all advertisers a bad name.

Frequency capping
New York Times homepageNot implementing a frequency cap (the number of times an advertisement is shown to a single user within a given time period) is definitely a JV error. While sometimes a media buyer does purchase road block, taking all impressions for a specific placement or page, this is best used for a limited time offer or special deal, not a way for an agency to make use of that remaining budget before the quarter ends.

This particular ad for Adobe showed 15+ times on refreshing the New York Times homepage, which does not have a cheap CPM rate. They definitely lost some cash on this buy as it’s not the kind of message that is going to catch my attention on the eight view and I am going realize, oh, yes, I really need to click on this and learn more! Add a frequency cap and quit wasting your money while also ceasing to annoy website visitors.

Companion targeting
MSN travel advertisementThe example shown here is the complete opposite of how to effectively use companion targeting. Showing the same exact advertisement right next to each other on the same page is a 50% waste of your media buying budget. This is not going to increase your exposure to users or clicks through to your website.

This is a highly effective tool for your media buying arsenal if you have a variety of creatives and messages to use on a website that you know is effective. For instance, running a leaderboard at the top of the page and a 300×250 in the sidebar lower down the page, each containing a slightly different call-to-action can increase your chances of these users clicking through. As noted, this is ideally only to be used on a page where you know the audience is your ideal target, as you are paying double the CPM in many cases.

While this can be the trickiest aspect of creating a media plan, it is clearly the most important if you are hoping to see positive results from your budget. The examples shown here are great examples of terrible ad placement and poor media buying. The Comcast ad shown above is shown targeting a Comcast user. This is the type of information that you can easily learn from an analytics report, including Google Analytics. The ING ad is simply placed in a completely non-relevant area of CNN’s travel section. It would be quite surprising if this placement could not be sold for a higher rate to a travel company; in addition, as a visitor I am interested in deals and information related to travel, not savings accounts.

Creating a strong media plan
When you are putting together a media plan keep in mind how to maximize your budget but also be sure to think about what you would be interested in. Put yourself in the shoes of your audience and try to figure out not only what websites they visit but what websites have content that will have them in the right frame of mind to be interested, at that moment, in your message.

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