online advertising

The folks at have put together a very complete infographic on mobile advertising.
We like articles and infographics that support their findings with research and case studies.
One thing we’d like to put a fine point on is this:

Formula: Number of mobile site visitors divided by the number of actions taken, all multiplied by 100 to give the conversion rate.

Responsive vs. Dedicated Mobile Site

We are seeing in the literature more evidence that responsive designs suppress mobile conversion rates. The primary culprit is load times. We are currently recommending the Native Mobile Website approach for phone-sized screens.
Furthermore, many sites are displaying mobile sites on tablets and phablets that have the resolution to show more. This may be suppressing conversion rates as well.
Everything You Need to Know about Mobile Ads - Via Who Is Hosting This: The Blog

Your unique is a powerful tool, a tool that gives you over your marketplace. It is what makes making money, generating leads and growing your business look easy.
How can this be?
There are five big reasons that companies that understand their online equation win:

  1. They pay less for the exact same advertising as you.
  2. They hit your prospects several times to your one touch.
  3. Their content is about their prospects, not themselves.
  4. They don’t make mistakes more than once.
  5. They are waiting on search engines for your dissatisfied visitors.

There are two ways to learn more about these five advantages in my new Search Engine Land column 5 Ways Conversion Takes Market Share Like Candy From A Baby.
My upcoming book is only weeks away, and you can get at the .

Readers may be involved in your content, like the chicken is involved in breakfast. How do you find the readers that are committed to your content, like the pig who is providing the bacon?

An excerpt from 12 Ways to Get Readers to Take Action:

Press Button. Collect Bacon.
Looking for committed readers.

If you were to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to advertise on someone else’s Web site, you wouldn’t create a call to action that said “For more information on our company call….” You’d create an ad that:


  • Gets the reader’s attention visually

  • Offers something of value (“learn more about our company” is not a valuable offer)

  • Includes a clear action for them to take: Call or click

  • Shows up in the part of the page that contains Grade “A” Choice cuts, the best placement that you can afford.

Since you’re probably spending hundreds or thousands of dollars creating reports, white papers, webinars, seminars, articles and videos, you should be using this same approach to point the reader/viewer/attendee to the next exciting thing on your content menu.
Read the 12 ways to Get Readers to Take Action at the Content Marketing Institute.
Be bold. Be inline. Be shameless. Be frequent. Incentivize. Merchandize. Be mobile. Be creative. Be generous. Be miserly. Be a tease. Be exclusive.

You wouldn’t play tennis without a racquet, would you?

The machine hurtled fuzzy green balls at me with a “fwoom, fwoom” sound every 10 seconds or so. I dodged most of them, but  occasionally got pegged in the chest, stomach, or some place worse.
“Fwoom, fwoom.” I was on the court. I was dressed in snazzy tennis gear worthy of Wimbledon. I had top-of-the-line footwear. I kept my feet moving.
I just didn’t have a racquet.
The only ball I was able to return across the net bounced off my head. Not only was I missing every shot, but I was experiencing bodily injury.

RANT WARNING – If you are already using landing pages for your targeted banner advertising, you can proceed to my article about landing pages for dynamic display ads on ClickZ. Everyone else, pay attention.

You don’t have to be a tennis pro to know that this is insanity. Yet thousands of businesses across the Web are using targeted banner advertising to drive traffic to their home page. Smart marketers with effective email campaigns are sending clicks to pages that don’t call the visitor to take action; to buy, call or download.

Landing Page?

Landing pages are pages that are specially designed to catch visitors, taking them directly to information that they are interested in, and asking them to become a prospect or a customer.
We can use a landing page anytime we know why someone clicked through to our site. If we know what they expect, it makes sense that we would create a page to specifically address their needs.

How do we know what the landing page should say?

We know exactly what a visitor is looking for when they click on an ad or link that we created because we wrote it. If we wrote the ad, and it caused them to click, wouldn’t you assume that the page they come to should address the offer made by the ad copy?
This shouldn’t even be a question in your mind (and for most of my readers it isn’t).

Pardon my exasperation

I don’t like to be rude, but can you imagine what my tennis instructor would have said if they’d seen me getting pummeled by a ball machine because I forgot my tennis racquet?
If you want to score points, you need to have all of the basic equipment. In the game of online advertising landing pages are basic equipment.

Your Home Page Won’t Do

The primary job of the home page is not to convert visitors into leads or sales. It’s job is to funnel buyers to pages that either provide information or call the visitor to take some action… or both.
Your home page has a lot of work to do, and as a result, it will probably contain the most links of any page on your site.
Paying for an ad that promises “Software that will improve your business,” and then asking them to sift through a page full of links (About Us, Contact, Our Products, Home, News, etc.) is conversion suicide.
Why not bring them to a page that says “Our software will improve your business, and here’s how.” Then explain why it is good for them and how it works. Then tell them how to get more information, or invite them to purchase.

Why Landing Pages are Important

1. Landing Pages will make you more successful by generating more leads, sales and business.
2. Landing Pages will make your visitors love you more. There is no better brand experience that finding what you’re looking for.
3. Landing Pages will cut the cost of your advertising by increasing your conversion rates. As the cost of generating new clients, you can put more into your advertising.
4. Landing Pages will keep me from ranting about landing pages

Technique and Practice Are Important

In tennis, how you swing your racquet will determine how many times you score. It is the same with landing pages.
How would you like to learn almost everything you need to know about landing pages in just two days?
The first ever Conversion Conference is happening May 4 and 5, and I can get you $100 off of the price of admission.
I know of no other opportunity to learn from the best conversion experts and Web site optimizers in the industry.
The Keynote is being given by Jakob Nielsen, the champion of fast and cheap ways of improving user interfaces.
Use the promo code CCW510 when you register for Conversion Conference 2010 to get your $100 discount. Early bird rates end April 10.
This is one of those shows that should pay for itself quickly. Think of it as tennis lessons with a profit.

Why would I pay to advertise free information? Does it make sense?

The answer is, “Yes.” On December 10, I’m going to show you the techniques marketers use to make it pay, and I’m going to do it with your content.
Why, you might ask, does it make sense to use your scarce marketing dollars to advertise free information? The answer is this:

At any given time, more people are considering a product or service like yours than are ready to buy a product or service like yours.

Many more.
Thus, if you can get the attention of someone while they’re still thinking about how to solve a problem, you can expect more of them to visit you when they ARE ready to buy.
The key is content that converts, the kind of educational, helpful, informative content that your business generates all of the time. You may say, “My business doesn’t generate any online information.” Oh, but it does.
It’s hiding in plain site. It’s in the product specifications you write. It’s in the sales presentations you’ve created. It’s in the blog posts that you’ve written. It’s in the emails that your most grateful customers have written you.

It’s not actually free if you’re generating leads

If you are doing lead generation, your information isn’t free. The consumer of this helpful and informative knowledge pays with their attention, with a little information about themselves and by extending you some permission – on credit – to continue conversing with them.

The results may well be better than your benefit-oriented ad copy

If I have decided to solve my problem with a product or service like yours, a benefit- or discount-oriented ad will do the trick. However, if I am part of the much larger audience that is still “in the question,” I won’t even know how to process your offer.
Content can help me decide. It can help me make cost tradeoffs. It can help me sell a solution to my boss. It can help me understand the real cost of not solving the problem. It can help me rationalize a purchase.

Which desk drawer is your gold hiding in?

You’re invited to spend a day with me and a panel of smart marketers as we transform plain, everyday information into content that sells.
Join us on December 10 in Austin, Texas for BYOContent: The Extreme Conversion Makeover Workshop.
By the time you leave, you will know:

  • How to identify ordinary content that your visitors will find extraordinary
  • How to present it in ads and on your Web site so that visitors can’t miss it
  • How to use it to generate leads with it
  • How to use it to entice prospects to buy
  • Where to find the free and inexpensive tools needed to transform and deliver your content

Join me, Apogee Search’s Alissa Ruehl, online marketing expert Jane Dueease and a room full of smart people like you as we turn ordinary information into online content that will grow our businesses.
Act before Thanksgiving, and we’ll knock $50 off the price. Breakfast, lunch, and a snack are on us.
If the Web is important to your business, this will be one of the most eye-opening events of the year.
Of course, I’d appreciate you sharing this email with other businesses, but don’t send it on until you’ve secured your own seat. I like to keep my workshops somewhat intimate.
Get the details and reserve your place in the room. This is going to be a fun one.
Best regards,
Brian Massey

This article The Language of Behavioral Marketing, Part 1 by Brian Massey originally appeared on ClickZ.

There is a great deal of information, but you have to decipher the code.

There appears to be some amazing solutions in the behavioral marketing industry. In this article, I parse the language of the behavioral marketing world and find out once and for all what it all really means.
I use the websites of a number of behavioral advertising vendors in an attempt to clear the fog that surrounds this marketplace.
I can already hear the groans.
Yes, the behavioral marketers’ children have no shoes, to borrow from a famous euphemism. The websites of the behavioral marketing world aren’t necessarily the best examples of advanced marketing techniques. But I am not interested in casting stones at individual sites. I’m on a search for meaning and truth.
Here are some general observations about why it is so difficult for marketers to narrow the list of behavioral marketing vendors based on their websites.

Everyone’s a Leader

As ClickZ author Tessa Wegert points out in her survey of ad networks, there are a lot of “leaders” in the market. In fact, most of them call themselves the “leading provider” of something. We’ll see if we can find clues to what each vendor is a leader in.

Shooting at the “Other Guys”

Behavioral vendors spend a lot of time describing what they are not. They’re dealing with an industry that has exploded over the past several years, a market with few barriers to entry. As a result, aggressive vendors have entered the market creating privacy issues and abusing their customers’ brands in an effort to get “reach” at any price.
More reputable vendors go out of their way to differentiate themselves from these “pray and spray” approaches, writing about “premium ad networks” and “comprehensive technologies.” For those of us who don’t know the history, this language sounds like bravado and manipulation.

Everyone Does Everything

From their websites, it’s very difficult to tell what these vendors do and don’t do. In general, the claims to fall into these categories:

  • We have a network of online publishers — websites — that let us place ads on their sites.
  • We collect data from the people who have been to the sites of our ad network.
  • We collect data from publishers that help us target ads at visitors across an ad network.
  • We have a special technology that makes us better at targeting ads at visitors across an ad network.
  • We develop the strategies and/or creative that will make you better at behavioral marketing.

All of the vendors provide some combination of these services, but they all do them differently. Most are also courting publishers, which I am ignoring for this series. Their websites have a complex message to deliver, making it difficult for any vendor to differentiate themselves. They should try harder.

Valueless Value Propositions

Anyone who subscribes to the “eight-second rule,” a rule that says you have only eight seconds to engage a Web visitor, is in for a communication challenge. Behavioral marketing vendors adhere to this rule, trying to fit everything they do into a sentence or short paragraph. The result is that their value propositions sound remarkably similar.

  • “patent pending, dynamic ad optimization technology”
  • “comprehensive suite of targeting technologies to reach target audiences across a Premium Network
  • “The technologies we use to deliver, target, and optimize your campaigns go far beyond established norms and standards for performance”
  • “the leading targeting platform and advertising marketplace that connect people to engaging advertising.”
  • “increases the productivity of each customer interaction through our industry-leading predictive marketing solutions

In contrast, the “self-serve” sites get to the meat quickly. “Hundreds of millions of impressions a day on hundreds of thousands of sites. Click here to get started.” Now, that’s works in eight seconds.

Playing It Safe

The majority of the sites I’m reviewing would be called “brochure sites.” The main goal of a brochure site is to look professional and successful. However, this encourages a vendor to be very careful with the content it places on the site. This is certainly the case for the behavioral marketing industry.
Roy H. Williams of the Wizard Academy says, [pullquote]“You’re not communicating effectively if you’re not pissing someone off.”[/pullquote] I’d like to acknowledge those vendors who take a chance in the interest of communicating more clearly.