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From: Adam Boettiger <ab_at_eyescream.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Aug 1999 21:55:57 -0500 (CDT)

TIM SEIMS WROTE:
>sites. I also don't see where one would get detailed
>information on what internet sites certain segments,
>foreign business people in my case, actually visit. Is
>that that kind of information available?

It is and you can purchase commercial directories and
reports based by category/industry and sites that will reach
that industry. SRDS http://www.srds.com/ is one such
resource. Generally you're going to find that if you don't
have the budget to purchase online intelligence reports from
companies like Media Metrix http://www.mediametrix.com/ or
other services, you're going to have to do the leg work
yourself to identify the best locations to place your
campaign. This generally means buying based on site
content (which is how you should be making most of your buys
anyhow...).

One thing you might try is to review your server logs for
the Referring URL section. This will tell you which sites
visitors came from before they found your site. Often some
good buys can be had by buying on those sites or by making a
keyword buy using words or phrases that users are currently
entering to find your site.

TIM SEIMS CONCLUDED:
>I need to test market my site. What I think I
>need is an ad
>agency/network that would offer a small number of
>impressions, lets say 20k, but over a reasonably diverse,
>range of relevant sites, or that could target by browser
>location. I'm looking for such an agency/network now.

You might try Flycast http://www.flycast.com/ or Valueclick
http://www.valueclick.com/ . Both have fairly low minimum
buy stipulations and would be excellent places to test. As
far as agencies go, no agency will work with you on a test
buy of 20K impressions. It's just not profitable for them
and they would end up paying you to run your own test or
campaign.

20K impressions at $10 cpm = $200.

Most agencies small to medium sized agencies won't be
interested in working with you until you have an online
media budget of at least $10K/month. Larger agencies draw
the minimum line at $100K/month or $1 million annually in
gross media budget. Before you start looking for an agency,
you should take some time to understand just what is
involved with an online ad campaign and how much time is
involved, not just in developing the media plan, but in
developing an overall Web strategy, creative development,
placing the buys, making sure that nothing is broken,
tracking the performance and optimizing the campaign on the
fly as it delivers so that the advertiser gets the best
return on their investment.

It is *not* simply a matter of paying a site $200 and giving
them a banner to see if it works, watching the impressions
fly by and calling it a success or failure. Online
advertising is very similar to direct mail in that it is
very much a direct response medium. But it differs in that
we don't test the same way. In online media campaigns we
don't do a small test and then analyze it before doing a
larger "drop". We don't buy a few impressions, let the test
terminate, wait for results, analyze the results and then do
it again with a larger amount.

Due to the nature of this medium we are able to get results
and optimize the campaign as it is delivering impressions,
adding fresh creative to the rotation on the fly to replace
poorly performing ads. Doing a $200 test is fine to get
initial metrics of what your site will do when a handful of
visitors enter it and to get a baseline conversion of
visitors to sales. But it will be far from an accurate
representation of what cost per visitor and cost per sale
you can actually achieve and certainly won't be a large
enough representation of whether or not your business model
works or this medium is cost effective in promoting your
business.

Generally campaigns start out with fairly high cost per
visitor and cost per sale numbers the first week and, if
managed and optimized properly, will see a gradual ramp up
in traffic and a reduction in cost per visitor and cost per
action over time and through many optimizations. It's not
hit or miss. It's not instant gratification or instant
sales. It takes time and lots of evaluation and
adjustments to keep a campaign running effectively and to
make it profitable for the advertiser. But like Rick
Brunner mentioned - online advertising may not be the best
solution for those who are selling $15 products and buying
by CPM. Then again, it could be *very* lucrative if the
product is downloadable and you structure an affiliate
program that pays $1 per download, provided that your sales
conversion is good. There are just too many factors
involved, too many variables in every instance to make a
broad claim that an industry as a whole is not cost
effective. Every situation, every product, every business
is going to be different with different objectives and
different budgets to work with.

The only way that you are going to learn is by doing. That
way when you do have a larger budget and would like to bring
on an agency to work as your strategic marketing partner,
you will have some idea of just how much work goes into a
successful online ad campaign and how many people are
involved on a daily basis to make it a success for the
client. Until you have a budget of at least $10K/month,
you should learn how to manage the campaign and do your buys
yourself. You'll learn a lot about the industry that way.
I'd also suggest that you take an online class from ZDU
http://www.zdu.com/ . Robbin Zeff of the Zeff Group
teaches both Beginning and Advanced Online Advertising
Courses every two months or so and that will give you a good
base of knowledge to work from. The Laredo Group
http://www.laredogroup.com/ also puts on Buying and Selling
Seminars on both coasts every few months for those who wish
to learn more about ad sales or media buying.

Hope this helps.

AB
-----------e/y/e/s/c/r/e/a/m interactive, inc.--------------
adam boettiger, vp biz development 503/292-6987 x220 tel
mailto:ab_at_eyescream.com 503/296-0945 facsimile
traffic building | strategic partnering
| new media planning | e-commerce | online branding |
| interactive direct marketing | killer creative and
design that will make you s c r e a m
                   portland, oregon usa
-----------< http://www.eyescream.com >--------------

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Received on Wed Aug 25 1999 - 02:44:35 CDT


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