Category Archives: media

Facebook Acquisition of Atlas: Sad Day for Digital Advertisers

                                                      The Funeral of Santa Fina”, Domenico Ghirlandaio, 1485

Facebook just announced the other day  that it would acquire Atlas Solutions, a long-time competitor to Google’s DFA in the agency ad server business. As an adverlytics practitioner, many are asking about this and still more discussing the implications. Though the trade press will gush, investors may cheer and Atlas employees may be breathing a sigh of relief, it is truly a sad day for digital advertisers. Why? The choices available for independent third party ad serving (3PAS) just got much thinner. 

The Rationale

To be sure this is a canny move for Baby Google, just as Google’s DoubleClick acquisition engorged the dataplex with rich user-level behavioral data that spanned both both buy-side (DFA) and sell-side (DFP) – it was brilliant. And after several years, the folks at Google decided to invest in the DFA reporting interface and we now have a Google Analytics like wrapper (except it is now green). Not much improvement on core functionality like reach and frequency reporting, but hey – it is better than ReportCentral.

The fact that DFA has maintained such a large market share since the Google acquisition suggests that client’s aren’t paying close attention to ad serving details. The very notion of pushback from advertisers and agencies is so unlikely that now, Google will also tell you how many of their ads were viewable, too. The Facebook deal is banking on it. For that matter, MediaPlex was absorbed into ValueClick way back in 2001 – they also own an ad network, an affiliate platform and Dotomi.

For Facebook, this is a very smart move although it relies on digital marketers being easily distracted and not looking too closely. In this deal, it is not really about “closing the loop” for advertisers. FB could ostensibly do this now with the much heralded unicorn called the Conversion Pixel or View-Tags. What they are “closing the loop” on is their understanding and ability to datamine what many other advertisers campaigns are doing, and the targets of those ad campaigns and those behaviors across client sites via the Atlas Universal Tracking Tag infrastructure. It probably won’t be long before Facebook offers their own Analytics platform or maybe a Tag Management System. Like its hero, FB is often times ethically challenged when it comes to who’s data is it any way. Just recently, it was revealed that Facebook has manipulated their advertisers’ campaign performance reporting.

That said, Atlas as a platform has faded over the years and needs investment to compete. It’s once advanced approach to attribution Engagement Mapping and stream of research from the Atlast Institute was a favorite among the analytics-minded. Yet, under Microsoft this pioneer of ad serving suffered from functional obsolescence as more site-centric and advanced algorithmic measurement has become more available. At the same time, Pointroll and MediaMind pivoted from rich media platforms to full-bodied ad servers. Many digital ad ops people that used Atlas regularly liked it, but later complained about lack of support. The upside is that Atlas won’t be shutting down anytime soon.

However, digital advertisers and agencies should be on notice now more than ever.

Recommendations

  1. Don’t Buy Technology and Media From the Same Vendor – In a world of digital marketing and an endless stream of bright shiny objects, it should give client-side marketers and savvy agencies pause that this is a serious conflict-of-interest that work against them. Since these ad serving tools are often counting ad impressions and clicks that they themselves sold – there is an incentive for self-serving manipulation.
    • For a better idea of how campaigns are performing leverage tools like Omniture, ComScore’s DigitalAnalytix. Coremetrics and WebTrends.
    • For more advanced attribution measurement look at independent tools like Adometry, Visual IQ or C3.
  2. Don’t Share your Behavioral Data – For the pleasure of sharing your valuable behavioral data, you are probably paying $0.04 oto $0.08 CPM to Google (through your agency and this may be marked-up). In this respect, far too many digital media agencies are dropping the ball on data stewardship and going with what is expedient. Ultimately reflects on them, but it also speaks to rampant client-side advertiser ambivalence or worse ignorance. 
    • For those that insist are intentionally looking to harness their user data, at least get something in return for example by joining a data co-op like Akamai ADS (now part of MediaMath). Privacy policy implications may vary.

    Advertisers and their agencies need to understand the very high proce they are paying. Time to look away from the Google, ValueClick and now the Facebook ad stack and consider other choices toute suite. In terms of ad servers left, the remaining major independent ad servers include MediaMind and Pointroll (though it is technically owned by Gannett, a newspaper company this is not as big a data play).

    Final Thought: Where is the FTC?

    Not sure where the FTC will come down on this but they essentially rubber-stamped the Google-DoubleClick acquisition back in 2007. Arguably this deal really does limit choice for digital advertisers but don’t count on the FTC doing much to scrutinize this. That digital advertisers and their agencies don’t value independent ad serving (and free of back-door data siphoning) is their problem and eventually it will sort itself out. To be sure the digital media ecosystem is complex and constantly-changing and federal bureacrtas are more focused on other more important matters. Plus, ad-serving just doesn’t make headlines like nefarious cookie tracking and consumer privacy.

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    How Crain’s Chicago Got Tech Worker Pay Wrong


    http://chicagorelocationblog.com/wp-content/uploads/Crains-Chicago1.jpg

    In “Chicago trails other cities in tech salaries and jobs“, the reader is presented with a very misleading article about tech worker pay. Between John Pletz, the woman doing the video interview and the people at Dice, I am not sure how they got this so wrong. Tech workers may look like a bargain but shhh…let’s hope the boss isn’t good at math.

    Pletz says:

    “Tech talent is in high demand in Chicago these days, and pay is going up. Unfortunately it still lags what techies make in many other big cities…”

     -
     
    As the resident tech writer for Crain’s Chicago, Pletz should be aware that he may be chasing tech workers away to Silicon Valley. The table shown, ranks Chicago lowest across what looks like average salaries for tech jobs by city. It looks like Silicon Valley workers are actually better off…with what looks like 19% better pay!
    Having lived in there for a few years, that didn’t pass the smell test… 
     

     
    While it is true those tech workers do make more money, the fact is that when you adjust for cost-of-living, the Chicago tech worker is actually better paid by about 11%. Here is one source of such information: http://www.infoplease.com/business/economy/cost-living-index-us-cities.html ; here is how tech worker pay really stacks up:


     
    Using normalized real dollars, looks like Dallas and Atlanta are the best with Silicon Valley and New York at the bottom. Of course these salaries are averages as are the indexes for cost-of-living – your mileage may vary.
     

    Perhaps they were factoring humidity and wind chill?

    Viewthrough & Incrementality Testing

    A common question in digital marketing measurement is “what was the lift?” or “what is the incremental benefit?” from a particular promotional campaign. Most of us would agree that the alternative of relying on display ad clicks alone for display response measurement is just wrong. When measuring display media, incrementality testing is absolutely essential to properly gauge the baseline viewthrough effect.

    How to Calculate Incremental Cost Borrowing thumbnail

    In order to answer this question, a test and control methodology (or control and exposed) should be used, i.e. basic experimental design where a control group is held out that otherwise are identical to the group that is being tested with the marketing message. This is even more important when marketing “up the funnel” where a last click or even last touch measurement from a site analytics platfom will mask impact.

    Email marketers have been doing this with their heritage in direct marketing technqiues. It is often pretty straight forward as the marketer knows the entire audience or segment population and holds back a statistically meaningful group; this will enable them to make a general assertion about what the campaign’s actual lift or incremental benefit is. Control and exposed can also be done with display media if the campaign is configured properly to split audiences, elimnate overlap and show the control group a placebo ad. Often PSAs (public service ads) are used, which can be found via the AdCouncil.

    This technique is routinely used for qualitative research, i.e. brand lift study services like Vizu, InsightExpress, Dynamic Logic and Dimestore. It is the best way to isolate the impact of the advertising; read more about the challenges of this kind of audience research in Prof. Paul Lavrakas study for the IAB.

    Calculating Lift and Incrementality

    Dax Hamman from Chango and Chris Brinkworth from TagMan were recently kicking around some numbers to illustrate how viewthrough can be measured; some of that TOTSB covered a while back in Standardizing the Definition of Viewthrough For the purposes of this example, clickthrough-derived revenue will be analyzed separately and fractional attribution will not be addressed. In this example, both control and exposed groups are the same size though this can be expensive and is usually unnecessary using statistical sampling.

    • Lift is the percentage improvement = (Exposed – Control)/Control
    • Incrementality is the beneficial impact = (Exposed – Control)/Exposed

    In addition to understanding the lift in rates like viewthrough visit rate, conversion rate and yield per impression by articulating incrementality rate the baseline percentage is revealed – it is just the reciprocal of incrementality (100% = incrementality % + baseline %). Incrementality or incremental benefit, can be used to calibrate other similar campaigns viewthrough response – “similar” being the operative word.

    Executing an Incrementality Test

    PSA studies are simple in concept but often hard to run. Some out there advocate a virtual control, which is better than no control but not recommended. This method does provide a homegenous group from an offline standpoint so if all things being equal TV and circular are running then it is safe to assume both test and control should be exposed to the rest of the media mix equally. ComScore even came up with a clever zero-control predicted metholdology for their SmartControl service.

    Most digital media agencies have experience designing tests and setting up ad servers with the exact same audience targeting criteria across test and control. Better ad networks out there encourage incrementality testing and will embrace the opportunity to understand their impact beyond click tracking.

    Was this helpful? If so, let me know and I’ll share more.

    Digital Media Lesson II – Saying No to Free-riders


    In the last post, Shooting One’s Foot, the perfect storm of looming regulation, technology change and  growing acceptance of tech-savvy freeloading in the US was considered. We also saw how kowtowing to mindless traffic growth has all too often warped common sense business management.

    The focus of this post is on what leading digital media companies can do about it before it’s too late. Considering that browser cookies today are used for most measurement and targeting technologies, any drastic changes from the government could mean an effective collapse of today’s digital ad ecosystem as we now know it. For digital marketers, the cookiepocalypse would be the end of cookie-based ad targeting and site measurement as we know it today.


    Regulatory Threat Looms Large

    With 2012 elections rapidly approaching, new regulatory threats are appearing almost daily. It seems that
    US Web site users are essentially preparing to make a Coasean entitlement bargain similar to what Professor Steven A. Hetcher described in Norm Proselytizers Create a Privacy Entitlement in Cyberspace. Published by UC-Berkeley in 2001, it is a seminal but prescient study that provides remarkable clarity on digital media’s current predicament.

    In short, years of social entrepreneurs moralizing data collection have made self-regulation attempts by Chief Privacy Officers (although always good for PR) and industry trade groups (IAB, OPA, NAI, WAA) vulnerable against a paternalist federal administration, power-seeking bureaucrats and high-minded lawmakers in need of a quick win. Industry group strategies break down as follows:

    1.   Education. Teach consumers about the benefits of more relevant advertising while explaining just how cookie-based ad targeting works; ultimately to empower consumers with tangible options to manage their online data trail.

    Comment: Most people just don’t care all that much about it.

    2.   Choice. Require advertisers (interestingly, not site publishers though) insert the cute ad icon via an overlay within their ad units. Clicking on it brings users to a Web page that then allows them to opt-out from any or all of dozens of participating ad networks. Another albeit special, opt-out cookie is being placed in the user’s browser; it instructs the associated network/ad server to not target advertising to that particular browser.

          Comment: Aside from being a complex technical concept, the critical assumption is that consumers won’t later deliberately or inadvertently delete the NAI opt-out cookie itself thus defeating the purpose. Also this does not effect users with multiple computing devices. Also, cluttering advertisers’ very limited on-screen real estate while publishers have no skin in the game is very telling.

    3.   Politicking. Unfortunately but realistically, playing obeisant to politicians and bureaucrats probably has the best chance of action. For many industries, the ROI on lobbying is better than R&D.

          Comment: Hiring a squad of well-connected Washington lawyers to wine and dine politicians is not cheap. Worse, lobbying will have the usual perverse and unintended consequences due to the requisite back-room horse-trading/crony capitalism side-effects. Any deals will be near impossible to later undo as the government tends to have a heavy hand that ignores the signals from an ever-changing economy. As Hizzoner Richard J. Daley, was known to say, “to the victors, go the spoils.”

    Altogether, the above strategies just might not be enough for privacy activists or digital advertisers. It’s too little, too late. Arguably, the biggest digital media industry fail is that the digital media industry trade groups have failed to properly frame the privacy battle. They have been mostly reactive and not proactive about this; nor have they put the honus on their digital media membership to change the way they do business in any meaningful way.

    Clearly, the prevailing ostrich technique has not worked out for digital media although the usual suspects are doing well. While fear may have boosted trade group membership, it has not helped advertisers at all. Quite the contrary, it seems like Web site publishers are ducking yet again, clearly passing the buck to ad networks and advertisers, e.g. ad icon. Yet, targeted ads are delivered to their users by their ad servers because of the tags on their sites generating them ad revenue. Let’s not forget: people visits Web sites not ad networks

    Although the time for digital media to take responsibility is long overdue, most digital media companies still appear to be hoping that somebody else fixes this mess for them. Pinning hopes on premium iPad content and/or labyrinthine pay walls are indirect solutions with limited potential. Unless something drastic changes, digital media are going to continue to be held-up by loud activists, populist politicians, opportunistic trial lawyers and government bureaucrats. 

    Meanwhile, digital marketers and their agencies expect digital media partners to aggregate and deliver audiences as billed. It is painfully clear to advertisers that they are left to fend for themselves – caveat emptor applies.

    Just Say No

    Ironically, it is the digital media themselves that are actually in the best position to fix this issue for once and for all. Professor Hetcher explained this as the “filling the privacy norm gap” – a job that apparently nobody wants except the government. To heal this self-inflicted wound, digital media must first learn to just say no to traffic at all costs and the rampant user free-riding that it requires.

    Such a strategy requires an analytical approach to audience measurement and ongoing inventory yield management. The fact is that users that block 3rd party ad server/targeting cookies or routinely delete their cookies effectively rob digital media companies. Content and services provided to the consumer by them are done so with the implicit expectation of a particular financial benefit (advertising revenue) to the digital media company.

    A Simple Plan
    While fair-minded consumers might not like being tracked, most will acknowledge that they personally and directly benefit from the vast free digital media that is subsidized by ad targeting. At the same time, digital media companies know full well that most users didn’t read their respective terms of service agreements that legally allow them to track for advertising purposes.

    As such, there are some simple steps that digital media can take in a matter of days or weeks to take active control of their businesses and tenuous audience relationships, i.e. fill the Hetcherian privacy norm gap. It is based on the simple premise of re-establishing the intrinsic quid-pro-quo about user data-sharing in exchange for free media. Some though-starters:

    1. Block free-riders. Yes, that’s right. This means severely limiting or altogether blocking the ad targeting cookie rejectors, likely cookie-deleters and those using ad-blockers. While this may anger the fringe activists and total traffic may even suffer, the real question digital media need to ask themselves is so what?
    2. Require registration or paid access. Surprisingly, this is still an anomaly today. Instead of hoping people read the TOS, greet users pleasantly and offer them a clear choice, to either:
      1. Share anonymous information about their interests and/or behavior with advertisers and get free unfettered access; provide a plain English explanation of what is tracked and how (use a colorful diagram) with clear acceptance of the Terms of Service. Thank them for their continued support and find ways to make it worth their while
      2. OR, ask for them to pay a nominal subscription instead and receive no/un-targeted ads
    3. Monitor the results and adjust
    Overall, this strategy has several major benefits to both digital media companies and consumers, including:

    • Digital Media Benefits
      • Yield management. In the emerging audience-driven media buying model, free-riders are worth less revenue than users that are known or at least better defined. While free-riders consume digital media content as artificially “new” users (from the ad server standpoint) either through 3rd party cookie blockers or regular cookie deletion they are enjoying the same resources. At the same time, their value is much less and possibly negative. In the aggregate, this obscured but often effectively undifferentiated audience represents zero or very low CPM ad inventory. Common sense yield management suggests optimizing away this audience and perhaps creating some scarcity in the process.
      • Subscription revenue for those that prefer no advertising/targeting and opt-out of ad targeting or advertising altogether. According to the McKinsey study, digital media can potentially generate incremental revenue from subscriptions. Again, removing this inventory has the effect of making total ad impressions more scarce likely raising average CPM yield. 
      • Competitive advantage. With so few digital media doing this now, early-movers may have the potential to make this into a competitive advantage with advertisers.
    • Consumer Benefits
      • Sustainable transparency. With the implicit value exchange made more explicit and easier to understand than ever, most users probably wouldn’t like all the tracking involved but most probably won’t really care enough to pay for the content either. Consumers better understanding that supporting free-riders is financially unsustainable might also gain digital media some much-needed respect. Without the strong arm of the government, a rising tide could lift all ships.
      • Better privacy. With more buy-in from users, most privacy policies will probably be improved along the way; consumers will take more responsibility for what they are actively agreeing to share with a digital media business. Again, this could become a competitive advantage.
      • More relevant advertising. That is the ultimate purpose of targeted advertising which,  provides consumers with a better site experience. Think how Amazon’s recommendations can be trained or how some sites already let the user select ad preferences.
    Taking A Stand
    The good news is that some of the above are already being done – in places. Pulling it all together will require getting multiple stakeholders aligned and executing: legal, ad sales, engineering, marketing, technology, finance and certainly ad ops. The stakes are high and there is no guarantee of success. However, the days of traffic at all cost are coming to an end. All traffic is not created equal.

    Savvy marketers are watching closely and aren’t waiting around while Rome burns. Data-driven media buying trends and improvements in measurement technologies are arming astute digital marketers and media companies with more options than ever.

    Yet, until they muster the intestinal fortitude to just say no to free-riders, the vocal and technical activist minority will continue frame the debate and eventually prod the government into regulation and with it the end to digital advertising as we know it today.

    Digital Media Lesson in Shooting One’s Foot (Part I)

    Ah tax season…with the greedy hand reaching for more tax money around the country (especially in Illinois), digital media today is arguably one of the few areas of Internet commerce that is unmolested by government regulation. It is amazing that so many consumers have benefited from the abundance of free information and innovative services provided by private industry. Management consulting firm, McKinsey recently estimated that consumers enjoy about $145MM  per year worth of free content across the US and Europe alone.


    Like most major media today – this free content is subsidized by advertising. Going forward, McKinsey expects this to nearly double in just 4 years due to broadband adoption. An interesting implication of McKinsey’s study for digital media companies in particular, is that it suggests that consumers may be willing to tolerate both advertising and more pay services.

    Good news! For digital media companies they have a great opportunity if they can find the right balance for them and their audience – but are they up for it? With the hoopla about privacy, threats of “Do Not Track” regulation and developments in browser cookie blocking, it has become painfully apparent that individual digital media companies may not only have shot themselves in the foot but need to take action.

    Well, How Did We Get Here?
    It wasn’t always this way, during the 90s Internet boom, times were great for digital media – they were the darlings of Wall Street. Hockey stick ad revenues came with leveraging offline brands. Astronomical valuations thanks to investor’s fervor made it all seem so easy. Attempt to pay wall digital media continued to fail. Why charge for access when the advertising model realized growth from more users and from increased interest from advertisers?

    Then, the 2001 crash came and money got tight. Scarce capital and advertising sales forced a more prudent, often direct-response approach to digital advertising. Paid search with its manufactured precision boomed while display media floundered. At the same time, little-noticed improvements in display ad targeting technologies continued to get more powerful…and more complex. Ad networks blossomed to help make markets, bundle sites, audiences and do much of the heavy-lifting of ad targeting.

    Meanwhile, the recovering ad business models demanded more traffic: keep hitting the milestones, sales quotas and Internet rankings essentially at all costs. At the same time these promising new targeting technologies were being implemented, digital media legal teams dutifully but quietly continued to revise their Terms of Service agreements to reflect the changing methods. The trouble is that almost nobody read them (except class action lawyer Web bots). More importantly, risking the potential competitive hit in traffic would be a non-starter. The herd mentality that all traffic is sacrosanct created an atmosphere where burying the TOS became the norm.

    Fast forward to today and think Terrence Kawakja’s Display Ecosystem, with it’s dynamic players and shifting definitions. It is safe to say that the advances in behavioral, dynamic creative, site retargeting, data-sharing and use of purchased data represent a major part of the industry today. Many of these systems rely entirely, if not in part on their ability to target cookies and identify specific machines. Sure, there are differences between 1st and 3rd party cookies but this is a nuance likely to be lost in the heavy-hand of government regulators. Deleting all your cookies is not practical and can be annoyingly inconvenient for users. One promising alternative, machine fingerprinting methodology raises other privacy issues.

    Consumers: Something for Nothing?
    Not much is free in life – except it seemed online media it seemed. All-you-can-eat digital media business models made it easy for users to consume content with abandon – seemingly with no strings attached. And by effectively putting the honus on the average user to locate, read and understand the TOS, digital media companies routinely obscured the intrinsic trade-off. This was no accident, but turned out to be colossally short-sighted. Reading the fine print was certainly not encouraged.

     

    At the same time, users probably didn’t care because sites encouraged instant gratification offered by delivering consuming professionally produced branded content and innovative online services for free. With bragging rights added at stake, users became active participants in being there first.

    Unfortunately, the proliferation of the above strategy by created a wider phenomenon:

    •  It just about completely obscured the implicit (if not explicit) value exchange across many sites; this resulted in digital media individually and in the aggregate devaluing their own content
    • By not being more transparent about the tracking techniques that are used to subsidize user’s consumption. Despite TOS being there and detailing everything, the perception is that digital media and their corporate advertisers have something nefarious to hide.
    •  Together, both have allowed fringe elements to reframe a private business arrangement

    Who’s Content Is It Anyway?
    Over the last few years, loud online activists with collectivist agendas have hi-jacked the private relationship between consumers and digital media. The small but vocal and technically sophisticated minority rages on about privacy. Some even take it a step further to prevent ad targeting and ad delivery.
    Perhaps to equivocate their latent content theft, these activists routinely delude consumers to believe that information wants to be free are that all are entitled to consume from private hands without paying or giving up anything for it. In essence, the act of consuming commercial content is being positioned as about “privacy” when it is really about something for nothing.


    Like anything people have gotten for free for a long-time, its value is now perceived to be effectively zero; a variation on game theory’s tragedy of the commons. Not surprisingly, they have gotten very spoiled and a growing number now feel entitled to an inviolate surfing session.

    We’re From the Government, We’re Here to Help You
    More disturbing, is that these same fringe activist types are also clamoring for the federal government to step in and regulate tracking and data collection in a way that other media and businesses have never been. Big government now even purports to help citizens manage their data trail better than the private sector; their National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace program is right out of George Orwell. Some are calling this cookiepocalypse, i.e. the end of cookie-based ad targeting and site measurement.

    Even within the industry ranks, there are some paradoxically misguided and/or very frustrated people that have been bullied into submission. They actually think regulation by the federal government is a good idea to end the uncertainty of it all. Think Stanford prison experiment.

    Have we not seen this movie before? Junk mail, Do Not Call List, Terrorist database, pedophiles registries, FEMA and the list goes on. Rest assured that with high-minded politicians looking for a populist cause to latch onto the likelihood of unintended consequences for the digital media industry is alarmingly high. Trusting the federal government to be the potential monitor and arbiter online activity should be chilling to any liberty-minded citizen.

    And yet user’s expectation of total privacy and entitlement remains in the wake of digital media’s self-mortgaged future. Armed with new Web browsers (thanks to Microsoft and Mozilla) and nascent black lists, recently emboldened users demand to have their cake and can eat it too. Certainly, over time these targeted ad defeating technologies will become easier to use and more widespread

    And that limits the efficacy of a digital media industry that as we’ve seen is largely based on cookies today. If digital media has a plan, advertisers would like to know about it…any day now.

    Next Post, Digital Media Lesson Part II – Saying No to Freeloaders

    Well, How did they Get Here?

    For those who know me, the notion of online media measurement and Internet ad performance has been an interest since the Web 1.0 days. With the 1995 launch of Lilypad by my old firm, Streams Online Media Development, we set out to offer the industry and our clients tracking software that could tell just how people were finding their Web site. Heck, I wrote what we found in the Lilypad White Paper.
    Good News
    I recently saw a demo of a very promising service that tracks latent branding (viewthrough) from online publicity sources. The methodology makes sense and that means it is now possible to see, how they got there. It is also patent-pending.
    Using this novel approach, accountability and quantifiable results is no longer then domain of paid online media. Earned and social media can be monitored and probably in your existing site metrics tool, too. Yes, you read correctly: view-through from unpaid mentions – regardless of source and sans le click. Whether from news stories, Facebook, Twitter, long-tail blogs or YouTube video AND without the user clicking on a parameter-embedded hyperlink (old 80% reliable). The same methodology could also validate paid media placement in some situations.
    End-to-End Attribution?
    With this novel and unprecedented solution, the most measurable and accountable medium will better allow apples-apples comparison’s of media effectiveness spanning paid marketing channels: affiliates, search, display email and of course offline measure engagement, conversion events, etc…It then becomes potentially possible to view the various touchpoints and even optimal sequence that bring consumers to make purchase or other tangible decisions.
    Predictions
    The Winners will be savvy public relations/media relations firms with an online bent and corporate PR departments and even the cottage industry of social media experts…assuming they are delivering results. The Losers will be ineffective providers and probably search gurus.
    Why? The real rainmakers will finally have definitive quantitative proof of the value of their efforts…those living off the last click…not so much.
    Analytics teams should brace themselves for having more on their plate.

    Twitter Measurement…and More


    Michael Tchong of Ubercool does a nice job of looking at the measurement of social media/micro-blogging phenom Twitter for a recent issue of the OldTimers Newsletter.

    Actual tracking of specific post is not covered but you can check out TwitClicks, one of the better URL shortener services that offer some of the basics you’d find and some hooks into Twitter’s API. More…

    On another subject…Twitterer’s Narcissists?

    I suspect Marshall McLuhan would agree.

    Why the Click Is the Wrong Metric for Online Ads

    Story in AdAge by Abbey Klassen. Amazing that in 2009 this is still being written about….the comments even more telling. Here’s mine:

    Wow. It’s great that this issue is being raised. However, this is nothing new. Same story since the Web 1.0 days as this could have been written over 10 years ago…actually, I did in the Lilypad white paper!

    The twist today is that too many so-called online “marketers” either protesth too much (like the effect of branding but want to pay like performance) AND/OR opt for the easy way out and fallback on search – a FUD mentality. The former is solved by better media-side negotiating and the latter by training and education.

    It is called branding and it’s about way more than measuring clicks.