AdverNET '99 COVERAGE: Defining Campaign Objectives
Here's the second installment of the AdverNET '99 Conference
Coverage. We hope that these articles are helpful.
Beginning a campaign without first taking time to define the
objectives that you wish to accomplish is a lot like running
a race alone and with no time clocks. You may reach the end
and have a general feel for how you did, but there would not
be any way to measure your success or to know how well you
had to do in order to win. Jeff Lehman, Executive Vice
President and Chief Revenue Officer of Flycast, moderated
the first session on the media-buying track at AdverNET,
which covered the critical issue of "Defining Campaign
Lehman started the session by attacking the issue from the
standpoint of an ad network, specifically Flycast. He
observed that "when it comes to defining campaign
objectives, it's one of the reasons why a lot of traditional
advertisers did not spend more money in the last year.
Because when they looked at the results in the end, they
didn't have a sense of what the return on investment was,
they didn't have good measurement of what the results were.
"When starting a relationship with a client the ad network
first asks, "What are the metrics that will best determine
the success of this campaign?" He stated that Flycast
usually focuses their campaigns to generate the highest
possible ROI for their clients. There are two ways that
they help their clients accomplish this objective. First,
because of the size of their particular network, Flycast is
able to maintain lower CPM's than their clients would be
able to negotiate on their own. More importantly, they
engage in an optimization process, which insures that each
client's ads will appear on the sites that will deliver the
highest possible results. These two features work together
to produce a higher ROI for the client.
Beth Ann Eason, Regional Vice President of Sales for the
DoubleClick network had another perspective from the same
side of the industry. She stated that large ad networks
could help companies reach almost any objective from
increasing brand awareness to ultimately generating sales.
According to Eason, the most important thing about these
objectives in the online space is that the medium itself is
accountable and the marketer can effectively measure the
success of the campaign. If branding is your top priority,
Eason suggests that sponsorships can be a great way to gain
credibility and associate your brand with premium content.
On the other side of the industry, we have the site
publishers themselves. Larry Kruguer, Vice President of
Marketing for SportsLine.com gave us his philosophy on
defining campaign objectives from this perspective. In
terms of online advertising dollars spent, SportsLine.com is
currently one of the top 10 companies globally. Their
objectives for their overall marketing campaign include:
becoming a global leader in the sports industry, increasing
brand awareness, building site traffic levels, providing
customers unique experiences to encourage repeat traffic,
and to grow their e-commerce functionality. Kruguer went
into detail about the strategies they use to reach these
objectives. The strategies include integrating online
advertising with their offline branding campaign, building
strategic partnerships, and seeking out acquisitions when
appropriate. They have also implemented a unique affiliate
program, which enables sites to place a sports box on their
site. The sports statistics in the box receive continuous
updates and when a visitor clicks, it takes them to
SportsLine.com for more details. Kruguer definitely had
some great ideas on how to generate results, but he did not
give much background on how SportsLine.com actually went
through the process of defining their campaign objectives.
On the other hand, Tom Hespos, Senior Vice President of
SpendCash.com provided very interesting information
regarding the difference between planning campaign
objectives in traditional media versus online. He stated
that "online the objectives tend to be more tightly tied to
your overall business objectives." Online media campaign
objectives tend to be based on the number of sales or leads
generated or the number of hits the site receives. These
types of goals directly translate into the goals of the
entire company. He contrasted this to offline objectives,
which he said tend to be more branding, or communications
focused. In this respect, it is much easier to determine
the success of an online campaign because you can ask simple
questions such as how many people came to the site or how
much did we sell to those visitors. Traditional media pose
a much more difficult evaluation process.
The question of how to track traditional media as opposed to
online media came up toward the end of the presentation.
Larry Kruguer had insight into this based on the experiences
of SportsLine.com. In the case of television, the marketer
has to gather data over time and look for spikes or jumps in
activity at times when the ads ran. Similarly, during a
radio campaign, the marketer must wait until the end of the
campaign and see how the markets with advertising compare to
those without. Kruguer emphasized the ability to track
results throughout the online campaign. This allows
marketers to optimize the campaign before its completion and
thereby reduce the overall costs per sale or acquisition.
So, what is the most important starting point in a new
campaign? Answer: understand your client's expectations!
Tom Hespos said to make sure that you completely understand
why they want to be online and what they expect to get out
of the campaign. According to Beth Ann Eason, a good way to
begin is to look at their advertising in traditional media.
This will give you a better feel for their image and the
focus of the past campaigns that they ran. She also
mentioned that you must determine their final objectives.
Initially they may say that they want 100,000 page views but
once you look beyond that, the true objective may be to
realize 400 sales during that period. By understanding what
the final motivator is, you can use the optimization process
throughout the campaign to reach those objectives that the
client values. Jeff Lehman emphasized the importance of
making sure that you place the right type of ad in the right
place. The way that his company accomplishes this is to
place a very fast buy over a broad variety of sites and weed
out the slow performers quickly. Of course, what
constitutes a slow performer depends entirely on the
objectives set forth at the start of the campaign. The key
is to know what you want. After that, you must design a
strategy to go get it.
We hope you are enjoying the coverage of AdverNET '99.
Don't worry, there's still more to come. Watch out for more
articles next week.
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Received on Mon Oct 18 1999 - 14:28:08 CDT
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