Re: Overture effectiveness -- not

From: Jim Novo <>
Date: Mon 04 Mar 2002 10:14:53 -0600

Rob Frankel typed:

> My conclusion is that we get much better traffic (~+25% more
> qualified), much more of it (~+300%) and far better qualified
> with a strong brand strategy than with Overture, which I have

> always suspected of being over-rated.

Rob, I love ya, but you are off base on this one. Here are my

I have a client who makes $25 in profits for every $1 she
spends on Overture ads. Try telling her Overture is
"over-rated." She loves it, because when she has too many
sales, she cuts back on her bids until she catches up on
making product (handmade jewelry). She controls supply /
demand in real time with her bids.

It works for her because she has the right creative and the
right keyword phrases. Would you like to get $25 back for
every $1 you put in your bank account? What if you could
do it every day, like she does, 365 days a year? After all
costs, she's going to easily pass $35,000 in profits this
year, and she started out *immediately* at that run rate,
Day One, because she didn't have to fuss around with search
engine rankings and optimization.

In your test, you are essentially saying that the audience
created at your site when you were using Overture must have
been of lower quality, because your advertisers got less
click through. I see the gross numbers "with Overture" are
about 1/3 of that "without Overture", meaning your "natural
traffic" must have picked up quite a bit after the Overture
test. Forgive me, but when you are regenerating natural
traffic that is already targeted, you are going to get
higher click rates than when you are dragging traffic
in off the street. I think you're seeing a natural effect,
not the results of a test.

It may be your assumption is true, that the traffic
generated from Overture was of poor quality, but then we
have to go to the keywords and creative. Apparently, the
keywords you were using are too broad or the copy not
specific. For every site I have ever worked on, whatever
it is you want visitors to do, the visitors coming from
Overture do more of it. This does *not* include clicking
on ads, which I have never been involved with.

Assuming you had awesome keyword selection and killer
creative, your conclusion then is "Visitors from Overture
click on less ads at the landing site", not "Overture is
over-rated" I suggest what you are seeing is behavioral
and has nothing to do with Overture - after all, they just
clicked on an ad. Now you want them to click another?
Your natural recurring traffic is much more likely to do
this than traffic you drag in off the street.

Rob, I love ya, I really do. Everything you say about
branding makes sense to me. You know that world, and you
know how to make it work. But when you start dissing my
side of town, I gotta stand up for the people that live
there. Each approach, branding or direct, has value as
long as it is executed according to the parameters that
define best practices for the approach. And when we do
testing, we need to be very clear about exactly what is
being measured and how.



Jim Novo | Author: Turning Customer Data into Profits
Learn the techniques and models used in High ROI
Customer Marketing at:

Received on Mon Mar 04 2002 - 10:14:53 CST


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