Company’s platform for acquisition of locally targeted traffic now includes most major local
San Ramon, Calif. – August 8, 2012 – Reply!, the leading provider of locally-targeted consumer traffic, today announced the expansion of its Marketplace to include two major online categories – educationand insurance. The company’s advertisers can now purchase education and insurance prospects on a cost-per-Enhanced Click™ or cost-per-lead basis. The company’s Marketplace, which already serves many of the world’s largest companies and brands in the automotive, real estate and home improvement verticals, offers unparalleled targeting and pricing controls.
The company also announced today that it has hired two industry veterans to lead teams focusing on education and insurance. Rod Pasion, who has joined Reply! as the Director and GM of Education, most recently led the National Accounts Team at ClassesUSA. Hunter Ingram, who has joined Reply! as the Director and GM of Insurance, was previously CEO of HometownQuotes, a pioneer in the insurance vertical.
“We are excited to have Rod and Hunter on the team and leading our efforts for the education and insurance verticals. In the short time they have been with us, we have made great progress developing these categories within the Marketplace,” said Sean Fox, COO of Reply!, Inc. “Through this expansion, we’ve applied our patented technology platform to many diverse verticals and will continue to do so until all major local categories are available on the Marketplace.”
About Reply!, Inc.
Reply! Inc. operates the leading marketplace for the acquisition of locally-targeted online consumer traffic. Reply!’s platform provides advertisers of all sizes with a simple and scalable solution for locally-targeted marketing. Reply! owns and operates many destination sites including iMotors.com, Contractors.com and MerchantCircle.com, which is the largest online network of local business owners in the nation with over 1.3 million member merchants and 15 million monthly local consumer visits. To learn more about Reply!, please visit www.reply.com.
Sparkpr for Reply!
Google and Yahoo! have made great strides over the past few years improving their contextual networks. If you tested their content networks a few years ago with undesirable results, it may be time to test it out again. Keep in mind this time around you will want to have separate campaigns for advertising on content and search. This will allow you to set different bids more easily and write different ad copy.
When you write ads for the content network, you will want to remember that viewers did not come from search. Writing ads for the search network usually includes having the search term in the headline, description, and display URL. This will not be the case when writing contextual ads.
The ads in the content network differ, because a viewer has not specified what they were searching for. When writing an ad for contextual advertising, you will want to write copy compelling enough to draw a viewer’s attention away from the website they are engaged in, while still being relevant to your landing page. Try testing out different ideas. Remember, sometimes the unconventional ad works out the best.
According to Neilsen, these are the Top 10 Search Providers for April 2009 (US Only). Based on our internal online advertising experience, we have found that as we purchase ads from lower ranking sources, the quality decreases and bounce rate increases.
|RANK||Provider||Searches (000)||YOY Growth||%of all Searches|
|3||MSN/Windows Live Search||852,998||7.20%||9.90%|
|6||My Web Search Search||59,110||3.60%||0.70%|
|8||Yellow Pages Search||37,160||N/A*||0.40%|
Source: Nielsen MegaView Search
*A year-over-year comparison is not possible because of a definitional change to yellow Pages Search.
According to comScore’s April 2009 rankings, here is the list of top Ad Networks.
Niche Ad Networks Emerge for Audience-Specific Targeting
As ad networks have expanded reach, a new networks surface that are targeted to pyschographics or behavioral segements. The reach of these new ad networks are small by comparison to the above list but they are highly targeted which helps advertisers reduce wasted ad impressions.
- For example, Snap Shots Network, delivers ads to users of Snap.com’s Snap Shots. The network reached more than 18 million U.S. Internet users in March.
- Widgetbucks Network delivers contextually relevant ads through a widget, with a reach of 9.5 million.
- NeoEdge Game Network, delivers ads through games, had a reach of nearly 1 million.
- HispanoClick by Batanga (Hispanics)
- Indieclick (young influencers or “tastemakers”)
- The Heavy Men’s Network (men).
|Selected Niche Ad Networks
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: comScore Media Metrix
Independent if you are buying PPC text-based advertising or display media via an Ad Network, targeting is critical. Reply! offers precise geo-targeted and category-specific Enhanced Clicks and also provides the added benefit of equalizing quality by running consumers through a two-click process. If you are actively enaged in purchasing advertising online, check out our solution, quality and conversion metrics. We would love to hear from you once you do.
Multiple reports are discussing the current slowdown in online advertising. One of the areas that appears to be the hardest hit is display ads (banners). From TechCrunch, AdBrite has starting selling banners based on cost-per-click (CPC).
“AdBrites’ CEO, Iggy Fanlo sees a “massive supply-demand imbalance” in the cost-per-impressions (CPM) world. There is just too much display advertising inventory sold on a CPM basis, and advertisers are fleeing to performance-based ads whose effectiveness are easier to measure. In fact, Fanlo expects: Within 6 months, we will be 50% performance-based on the banner side. I think there are a lot more bidders there.”
AdBrite is a mid-size publisher and serves 800 million ad impressions / day with a reach of 90 million people. TechCrunch reports that AdBrite’s CPMs range between $0.50 and $2.00 / impression. Traditionally CPM advertising (tier 1) has been reserved for large Brand marketers while performance-based marketing normally embraces CPC. If you read our ad:tech post, Banner advertising is on the decline, and is declining faster in media. Advertisers want to buy Google and know how it works, and are moving away CPM/banner ads. 51% of all local online spend is banners, and it is moving quickly into search and some into video. Also, companies are moving away from buying destination sites and are focusing on buying segments.
Moving banners from CPM to CPC makes them a lot more measurable and actionable. I look forward to testing the system.
- Robert Coolbrith, Research Associate, Internet and Online Media, ThinkPanmure
- Ramsey McGrory, VP, Yahoo! Corp Partnerships, Yahoo! / RightMedia
- Dan Ballister, Chief Operating Officer, TraffiQ
- John Donahue, Director of Biz Intelligence Analytics and Integration, Omnicom
- Jay Sears, EVP, Strategic Products and Biz Dev, ContextWeb / ADSDAQ
- Michael Rubenstein, VP and GM, DoubleClick
- DoubleClick/Google’s ad exchange—Helps publishers sell inventory, sometimes increasing CPM and selling inventory to big buyers. Hundreds of buyers representing thousands of companies.
- ADSDAQ—109 million unique visitors in U.S. and U.K. Addresses media and audience fragmentation. Bringing in long- and mid-range long tail inventory, aggregating audiences, and offering it to large advertising agencies. They have a self-service platform for small- to mid-size companies. For sellers, they set the exact CPM price and it clears for that amount, or they provide a backstop second option and traffic is directed to it.
- TraffiQ—Not remnant back-fill inventory. They are a premium display exchange. Goal is to serve buyers that want a greater level of control. Roughly $4 billion in inventory in the marketplace.
- Omnicom—Ad exchanges allow them to get better inventory for their clients
- Rightmedia/Yahoo—It scaled to 6-7 billion impressions/day. It is a global exchange with display and non-premium. Just announced the APT Platform—moving from display and non-premium into premium and search-integrated.
- Thoughts From The Panel
- The promise of an exchange is “fair market pricing,” aggregate the consumer and offer a fair price. The integration of buying and selling across a common platform across multiple sites, and allowing cherry-picking of the best inventory from all sites, while providing easy access to tremendous liquidity.
- Critical to success of an exchange is the ability to supply liquidity on both the buy and sell sides, so all parties find success.
- Content and display is very different than search. Buyers need more control vs. search, which gives all the control to the publishers/sellers. In the display space, there is a lot of excess inventory and there should be multiple controls for what is premium, what is remnant, and allowing an advertiser to pick and choose.
- In display, there is a very large disparity between inventory and demand. Advertisers/buyers need a lot more control regarding where their ads run, and transparency around associated value of those placements.
- Ad serving technology is owned by DFA and Atlas. When an agency does a buy, they are doing redirects. The publisher then gains control. If the agency had more control, they could make better decisions.
- For media buying agencies, there is a perception of commoditization and, therefore, compression of margins. Controls will improve as media buying moves from Madison Avenue to Silicon Valley.
- The sales force publishers are scared they will lose their job and it will be moved into McKinsey-style consulting.
- Video won’t enter exchanges for awhile, certainly not during 2009.
Even with the innovation and evolution of exchanges, there is a ton of inefficiency for both buyers and sellers. Ad networks and exchanges are trying to figure out if they can co-exist, are interdependent, or does one consume the other. It is highly likely that portals and large social networks will all offer exchanges to try to follow consumers, as audience fragmentation continues to accelerate into mobile. For independent exchanges to survive, they need to offer something truly unique, beyond aggregation—they can’t compete on liquidity and aggregation. There are over 300 ad networks today—consolidation must happen, and the economic downturn may accelerate that process. If a network has unique technologies, they have a place in the value change; if not, Darwinism will take over.
Bottom-line: Simplicity for both buyers and sellers is key to future growth. There is a long way to go to simplify the process of media buying, and innovation and evaluation is guaranteed.
ad:tech “So Many Ad Networks, So Little Time: Analyzing the Digital Network Landscape”
- David Joseph, Executive Director, Equity Research, Internet and Interactive Entertainment, Morgan Stanley
- Rajeev Goel, President and Co-Founder, PubMatic
- Scott Schiller, Executive VP, Global Marketing, Glam Media
- Brian Fitzgerald, Co-Founder and President, Gorilla Nation Media, LLC
- Andrea Kerr Redniss, Senior VP, Managing Director Newcast @ Optimedia, Optimedia US
- Bill Wise, Head of Business Development, Yahoo!
- David Joseph, Executive Director, Equity Research, Internet and Interactive Entertainment, Morgan Stanley
Notes From The Panel
- Yahoo and MSN rapidly losing eyeballs to Facebook and YouTube. The portals are giving up users to focused vertical communities.
- A smart point was raised–advertisers are not following all consumers around the web because all impressions are not equal. Broadcast TV is not the same as Cable. Cable is not the same quality as YouTube, etc.
- Portals are diversifying to bring more solutions and relevant, targeted content. There is always a need for “large, department store-like” destinations where you can access a large segment of buyers.
- Every day, there are new opportunities and ways to buy, measure, and segment.
- Over time, there will be pressure on the media-buying companies to make the process easier for local companies
- Pricing/purchasing vs. Consumer-facing sites
- Ultimately, we need to offer solutions that aggregate fragmented audiences
- What is the difference between a media exchange and an ad network?
- Many display exchanges are transparent and you can cherry-pick where your inventory goes
- There is an issue with display networks that won’t disclose their site list
- Media exchanges are there to help manage complexity in a world where everyone is a network
- Many networks don’t define/differentiate themselves well, and there are too many networks to sort through. There are seemingly limitless networks. Some have unique technology, or a unique skew.
- How do we syndicate to keep our competitive advantage and increase revenue?
- How do we increase margins and leverage insights?
- If this is not my target audience, how do we resell the traffic to offset my cost?
- Non-guaranteed campaigns need to be able to compete with guaranteed impressions
- Publishers all have unsold or undersold inventory. They are seeking to increase revenue per impression by providing highly-qualified traffic.
- Media buyers and agencies will continue to focus on premium placements, custom packages, and evaluation of the plethora of ad networks
No one discussed quality vs. quantity. Ultimately, transparency doesn’t matter–performance of marketing does. Additionally, Reply! agrees that the industry needs to dramatically simplify the controls for the advertiser so they can segment, start and stop campaigns, and improve their ROI. Also, the concept of eliminating advertising waste is a critical one, and Reply! will make an announcement soon regarding how we are addressing that issue.
More to come…
As reported by Techcrunch, AdBrite has laid off 40% of its staff including two executives. This Sequoia-backed startup must have taken the “Sequoia warning” seriously – cut, cut now, get profitable or die. According to the AdBrite CEO, Iggy Fanlo, the company is now cash-flow positive and profitable. According to Comscore, AdBrite is a top-five ad network and the mantra ”the Internet’s Ad Marketplace”.
While fundamentally different from Reply!’s Lead Marketplace, AdBrite is a marketplace for the exchange of text ads, banners and full page ads. They represent inventory from some interesting sites like Car and Driver, Road and Track and in real estate Hotpads.com.
To me, this an evidence that display media has and will continue to experience downward pressures until someone can figure out how to remove advertising waste from the system or enable the controls offered by search marketing (SEM).
On Monday, Google announced changes to their AdWords quality score algorithm, the technology used to determine sponsored search engine rankings for each keyword. Google’s goal is to improve the quality of AdWords, but the enhancements they’ve introduced may come at a cost to advertisers.
The three main changes announced on Monday are as follows:
- The AdWords quality score for a keyword is now evaluated at the time of each search query. Google notes that landing page quality is “evaluated less frequently.”
- Google has abandoned the minimum cost-per-click (CPC). Because all keywords are evaluated at the time of each search query, they are all considered active.
- In lieu of the minimum CPC, AdWords now displays the cost for an ad to be placed on the first page of search results.
Why do advertisers think costs may rise?
Most advertisers are happy to see the first two changes above. By allowing all keywords to remain active and more frequently measuring a keyword’s quality score, an advertiser may be able to gain incremental traffic from keywords that were previously banned from search results. More search engine impressions will always be welcomed by advertisers.
The third change has received a different response from AdWords clients. Many advertisers fear the transparency of costs introduced by the “first-page bid estimate” could lead to price wars on the AdWords battlegrounds. If advertisers frequently increase bids to reach first-page placement, the cost for top rankings will rise as advertisers outbid each other. The amount of the potential price increase will depend on the degree of value advertisers place on first-page rankings.
Being on the first page of search results drastically increases search volume for our top keywords, causing us to place a high value on top placement. First-page rankings are also important to us because better position results in higher click-through rates, which factors into the AdWords quality score for each keyword.
Certain situations will tempt us to increase keyword bids based on the first-page bid estimate, and if other advertisers are thinking the same thing, AdWords click prices may quickly increase. As we reported earlier, Yahoo will begin serving Google AdWords ads in their search results, which could cause a spike in costs across both search engines. It looks like paid search will soon become more expensive for advertisers, and we’re estimating a 4-7% spike in our costs.
We’ll keep you posted on our reaction to these changes.
The Washington Post is reporting that Cox has purchased Adify (the white-label online ad network) for about $300 million and an earnout. Coverage was also picked up by TechCrunch. Russ, Adify CEO, described Adify as “a platform and services company built for entrepreneurs, startups, and media companies looking to build and run their own online advertising networks. 100+ ad networks run on Adify’s technology platform and use Adify’s back-office services today. As a platform, we have no reason to show up in comScore’s ad network ranking report—our customers would look to be rated by comScore.”
Always good to see ad platforms/networks gaining traction and transacting. Reply! certainly believes it is time for platforms and exchanges to go mainstream.
comScore recently released their Top 50 list for March ’08. There is an overview of the top 50 ad-focused networks that I find interesting. “Top 50 Ad Focus Ranking The top 10 Ad Focus properties also maintained their February rankings with Platform-A, the ad network combining Advertising.com, Tacoda, AOL, and Quigo, leading the ranking in March, reaching 91 percent of Americans online. interCLICK gained 9 spots in the ranking to position 14, reaching 58 percent of the 188 million Americans online. Real Cities Network and YuMe Video Network both entered this month’s rankings in positions 38 and 43, respectively.”
For More—please read their release: http://www.comscore.com/press/release.asp