It’s the 21st of September and the Microsoft Advertising Team is making its way to the London Olympia! A long queue of visitors is waiting in the Autumn sun for ad:tech 2010 to open. It is an indicator to how popular this digital advertising event is, with some international visitors coming from as far away as Brazil. Some of my colleagues will be manning our stand (number 241!) to answer any questions about search or network targeting. Others (like me) have turned up to give you a feeling of the day’s events.
Visitors waiting for ad:tech 2010 to open & our Microsoft Advertising stand.
At ad:tech there are many interesting free seminars to attend, roughly themed by subject into different ‘theaters’. As the main theme of our stand is search & targeting I have settled myself in the ‘Reach & Targeting’ corner.
Behavioural Targeting & Creativity
First up is a session on behavioural targeting and creativity. Stuart Colman from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) leads a conversation with Alex Tait from the Post Office, Tom Potts from the agency Profero and Steve Filler from Collective Media. The overriding theme from this discussion is that for behavioural targeting to be successful there should be a value exchange. The customer/visitor should not be overly aggressively targeted in an almost ‘creepy’ way but should experience that the visit to the site in question is a relevant experience. Behavioural targeting, says Filler, runs the risk of being used as a slot machine. An understanding and respect for the audience is essential for it to be successful.
From left to right: Alex Tait, Tom Potts and Steve Filler.
The Future of Display
Richard Strange from Differencis also reminds his audience to be helpful and urges it to ‘unleash the killer API’. He demonstrates rich banner ads which connect to live data feeds, enabling users to book hotels, search for cars or buy something within the banner itself. This is the polar opposite to applications which connect to set data, which run the risk of returning no results and empty, unbranded pages. It is a rather elegant idea with seemingly endless connectivity opportunities as the banners can link to video, Facebook pages and any kind of business feed.
Could this be the future of display?
The Top Search Marketing Secrets
Landing page optimisation, the use of search on mobile and sensible use of match types were the three search marketing strategies covered by representatives of three agencies. Harvest Digital, Latitude and Efficient Frontier.
Harvest Digital hosted a rather fun session with the audience having to guess the effectiveness of various landing pages. This demonstrated that landing page testing should be part of your routine as minimal differences on the pages make quite a difference you return.
Mike Kirwan from Latitude talked about the growth of the smart phone market and the opportunities this offers to search. He believes that by next year 10% of searches could be generated by the mobile space. Search ads for mobile should be optimised for this purpose for example by mentioning call to actions relevant to mobile users to get the highest click through rate.
Finally, Charli Rogers emphasised the importance of being strategic when using your match types. ‘Don’t overuse broad match, don’t just set everything to all three match types and use negative keywords’ was her message as ignoring this could create an unbalance between cost and return. She also warned not to have a false sense of safety by the amount of keywords in your campaign. It is keywords that work for you that matter. Being selective on which keywords you add and ruthless about which ones you let go is the key to preventing an unwieldy search campaign.
There will be more posts and tweets from today’s ad:tech event in London until our colleagues in Singapore take over with coverage of SPIKES.
For those who can't make their way to London, or want to learn about what is happening at Spikes in Singapore, make sure you're following all the live blogging action on Twitter @MSAdvertising and become fan of our Microsoft Advertising Facebook Page. We'll provide on-the ground coverage from both London and Singapore!