SES NY 2011: Crossing the Digital Divide

SES NY 2011: Crossing the Digital Divide

23rd March 2011

So after much drama (all of my own making) and of course lots of fun and socializing over the last couple of days, I’m finally blogging a SES session (Bas can breath easy now).

Crossing the digital divide covered an area that I have never really delved into before, crossing the divide from search to display, so was a very exciting session for me, looking at how display advertising can be optimised.

Michael Benedek started out with an introduction to the different types of display targeting. He covered a lot of deep information very quickly, so I hope I managed to get it all down

  • At Level one we can look at behavioral data from a number of data points including searches, browsed content & clicked ads, however in order to do effective targeting we need to be able to scale.
  • Advertiser targeting is level two, an onsite type of targetting, delivering personalized offers to site visitors, including complimentary products and services, retargetting is a second level of targeting, offering ads to one of the 95% of people who leave a site without converting.
  • Level 3 is post search retargeting, using a 3rd party information, from sites that make their data available for purchase, allowing you to target people who may not be familiar with your brand (there are enablers who allow you to do this)
  • Level 4 would be Network level targeting, networks allow marketers to offer targetted ads across multiple sites within the network
  • And finally he talked briefly about demand side platforms, ie ad agencies who seek to maximise ROI, aggregate data from clients & 3rd parties to deliver targeted ad’s within network inventory

Next up was Jamie Smith. Jamie was a search marketer before he got into display, he (similarto my experience) had come across of lot of display campaigns that had very poor ROI or were badly excecuted.  The first thing he recommended was determining the website priority for moving into display, is it reach, branding exposure etc, then setting the appropriate KPI’s which are going to be different to those from search. Where he feels there is a downfalls is in the tactical planning, and using the learnings from search to inform the planning for display.

He then moved on to remarketing, talking about ensuring that the remarketing tags are all properly in place, which allows a cookie to be set for future retargetting ads. I was ready to jump out of my seat to start getting these tags in place at this point. I think these tags should be in place even if you’re not currently doing display, because it’s going to be nice to cookie those people who visit this week, in case you want to start doing display next week.

In terms of tracking he then went on to talk about looking at various metrics, including visibility, quality of creative (measured by CTR) continuty (measured by CTR, bounce rate  and Conversion rate) and I missed the last metric but I assume it was conversion.

So moving swiftly on ( there was so much info in this session, my note keeping could barely keep up) Hollis Thomas was up next talking about using search insights to influence display. This is the part that I found probably most useful from this session, as it was really tailored for search marketers rather than people who were already doing display in some capacity.

She started out talking about the basic components of display, and the types of media that you can use in display campaigns, as well as an over view of tracking, Hollis should have really gone first as much of what she said started to make the other presentations a lot clearer. She then went on to make some great points that I think will really help with crossing the search display divide, even if the same person ins’t necessarily responsible for both.

  • Using your top performimng messages from search, can help you determine messaging for display
  • Take day parting or regional bidding strategies to your display campaign.
  • Also landing pages can be used for both search and display as long as you are using the same sort of landing page strategies and making sure the pages are relevant.

This was a hugely useful presentation and got me thinking about a lot of ways to optimise future display campaigns in ways I might not have done  otherwise.

Finally Onil from AT&T interactive, they create ad products for mobile, online & TV, primarily focussed on local advertising, earlier there were some mentions of view through as a display metric, Onil re-iterated that this metric is pretty well hated in display. He then went on to talk about how AT&T look at advertising, they talk about presance (know you), directional (find you), awareness (see you) & promotional (you find them), to help them think about it in a broader way than just display.

He also mentioned that search is only 5% of the time you spend online, then looks at what he terms DiSe (display+search), and again, he is showing how, despite the different targetting types (behavioural, contextual & demographic v’s keywords) the refinements (geo, creative, landing page etc) are the same across both platforms and the messaging should be consistant and learnings can be shared. He also points out that reporting should be combines, I’m not sure I agree with this, unless you have very robust cross campaign tracking, and he used a basketball, March madness analogy which I couldn’t understand at all, but that’s because I am very challenged when it comes to sports

There was so much data in this session that it might take me a week to process it all, but I think I’m going to have to arrange some meetings with the display team in the next week to see how we can cross apply some learnings.


Written By
Sarah Carling is a guest author for State of Search. She covers events like SES New York 2011 for State of Search. Sarah has been creating & implementing integrated SEO & PPC strategies for some of the most competitive industries, including finance, travel & gaming, for over 7 years.
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