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Brand Marketers Weigh in on Ad Networks

Dawn Anfuso
Brand Marketers Weigh in on Ad Networks Dawn Anfuso

We asked some iMedia Brand Summit attendees:


Are you pro or against working with ad networks? Why?


Responses:


Erica Schultz, Online Advertising Manager, The Home Depot | Home Depot Direct:
I have found great success with them. From the reach to the targeting, they work on an ROI basis and are the only way we've had "proven" success. They work with you to make the campaign a success, and not just blow through the impressions.


David W. Collins, First Vice President, New Customer Acquisition, Countrywide, Inc.:
Everything that is successful has a relevant position in the marketplace. Ad networks have found a good reception in certain pockets of the online space and my perspective on them is simply related to how well they work for what I am trying to accomplish. If they provide me the results within the boundaries I need, I'm happy to use them. If they do not provide the results, I look for opportunities that will provide the results elsewhere.


Seth Greenberg, Group Manager, Web Marketing, Intuit:
Cautious, because we lose control of sites hosting our brand and how they position it against competitors.


Bernard Schmidt, Interactive Site Producer, Luxottica Retail:
From the little experience we have, I'm against. One spoiled the bunch by purchasing AdWords on Google and driving traffic to their spot over the others. We learned! I do believe there are ones that can be trusted.


Doug Neil, SVP -- Digital Marketing, Universal Pictures:
Ad networks can be very effective for a campaign due to their attractive CPMs and potential reach. The networks that offer more detailed targeting capabilities have an edge up on their competition. The challenge with ad networks is the limited ad formats that are accepted. Also, there is no guarantee of SOV within particular sites for an ad network.


Andriana Thro, Marketing Specialist, Enterprise Rent A Car:
I'm pro ad networks. They are a good way to optimize and narrow down the huge world of online advertising most effectively for your business.


Sean Cheyney, VP Marketing & Business Development, AccuQuote:
I'm for working with ad networks, but do so cautiously. For example, we don't blindly do an ad network buy. We are very specific regarding the channel and types of publishers where our ads can be displayed. For a DR campaign, tight frequency capping is essential on a network buy. Even with careful planning in the setup stage, we've still found ad networks to be hit or miss.


Kevin Doohan, Director, Interactive Marketing, ConAgra Foods:
Pro networks. They provide great reach and measurement of campaigns across sites. They are a one-stop shop to reach significant base unreachable or infrequently reachable through portals.


Tarah Higgins, Internet Marketing Manager, VEGAS.com:
Pro, with reservations. Ad networks who don't tell you where your ads are going to be placed are a no-no.


Kim Biggerstaff, e-Marketing Manager, Delta Faucet:
We have not worked with networks simply because our message is so highly targeted and focused on just a few sites.


If you, either through an internal department or an agency, work with ad networks, are you happy with the placements your ads get through ad networks? Why or why not?


Responses:


Erica Schultz, Online Advertising Manager, The Home Depot | Home Depot Direct:
They are the generic, IAB sizes, which is fine and still effective. Yet, with the introduction of PointRolls and streaming to ad networks, they are evolving and giving the agencies/clients what they are looking for-- and within all the same "standards," which is great.


David W. Collins, First Vice President, New Customer Acquisition, Countrywide, Inc.:
Again it relates back to performance-- I've been happy with the ones we've used that have provided performance within our guidelines.


Bernard Schmidt, Interactive Site Producer, Luxottica Retail:
We were happy with the placement we got. We saw the redemptions we needed to meet goals. We also saw growth where we asked to have it.


Doug Neil, SVP - Digital Marketing, Universal Pictures:
No issues so far (the CPM/CPC continues to be efficient).


Kevin Doohan, Director, Interactive Marketing, ConAgra Foods:
Yes, satisfied. We can choose generally sites we want to be on.


What is your biggest fear about relying on ad networks for the placement of your ads? How have you tackled this?


Responses:


Erica Schultz, Online Advertising Manager, The Home Depot | Home Depot Direct:
PORN SITES. I can't tell you how many times we end up on a "random" site, that the VP's wife's best friend saw us on or the IT's buddy Mike found us on XXX site. I know they can't release all sites that they have contracted with. But please just stop serving my ads on those sites.


David W. Collins, First Vice President, New Customer Acquisition, Countrywide, Inc.:
Control I think is the largest concern any advertiser has. I've found through experience that ultimately if the ad network doesn't exercise the proper amount of attention to the account, the performance results reflect this and the problem solves itself through reduced revenues-- the ad network must change its methods. If the network does exercise the proper amount of attention, there is no control issue because the guidelines you set are being followed.


Bernard Schmidt, Interactive Site Producer, Luxottica Retail:
Trust.


Doug Neil, SVP - Digital Marketing, Universal Pictures:
Our use of ad networks is minimal, so the reliance on them for an overall campaign is minimized.


Andriana Thro, Marketing Specialist, Enterprise Rent A Car:
I wouldn't call it a fear, but more of a concern. I think it's definitely a negative that ad networks don't divulge which sites/ads worked the best for your business. However, as long as we are able to stipulate that our ads not appear on sites with questionable content and we are seeing results, it's not that big of an issue for us.


Kevin Doohan, Director, Interactive Marketing, ConAgra Foods:
Our greatest fear is inappropriate placements but like someone from Valueclick said, it's like lost luggage. It usually does not happen. Sometimes it does. The pros of air travel make up for the occasional lost bag. The pros of ad networks make up for the occasional inappropriate placement.


Dawn Anfuso is senior editor, iMedia Connection. .

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