Adify snapped up

Adify got snapped up by Cox a few days ago for a reported $300 million. You may recall that I mentioned Adify in a recent post about vertical networks being all the rage right now.
Cox will use the Adify platform to help its own media outlets and partners build out networks online, a way to increase reach and revenue for all involved. Each partner will have a different group of little sites to manage, from blogs to fan sites. These small sites don't necessarily have the panel data available that newspaper and TV advertisers typically want, so there might be some difficulty for the sales department. The CPMs could be low until this is figured out.

Will we finally get pricing information?

I was recently briefed by SQAD (pronounced like squad.) They have been around in the offline world for a while, and provide pricing data to advertisers. They recently briefed me on a new project they are working on that would bring this service to the web. You might be thinking it's great that someone finally will report the CPMs for thousands of websites. And it is...however...

"What is the CPM for...?" is the most common inquiry I receive. And almost always, my answer is, "It depends." Even with a service that reports on average CPM by site, the answer will still be "it depends." Sites are complex, and pricing varies widely from sponsorship spots to remnant inventory. An average number is always going to tell an incomplete story.
Despite all this, I am looking forward to this service and do think it might help advertisers at least compare overall pricing for different sites. It will also shed some light on which sites sell more at premium rate card prices and which are being dragged down by lower remnant pricing. So now I'll say "It depends, but if you are looking for an average, there is this new service..."

Happy Earth Day 2008!

Frankland, Dave
[Posted by Dave Frankland]

While much of the world paints itself green today in observance of Earth Day (being Irish I thought that was a March 17 initiative), it seems like an appropriate occasion to stop and ask “how green is your interactive marketing”?  Last Friday, we published a report Direct Marketing Needs A Green Wake-up Call– but what about interactive marketers?

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Our Ears and Eyes Open: Please fill out our Survey

[Posted by Jeremiah Owyang]

A few weeks ago, we launched a survey to get your feedback about this blog.  Frankly, we've only had a few responses, and wanted to hear from more of you. 

Your feedback will help shape the direction of our future blog activities, so since you're taking the time to read this message, it's in your best interest to let us know what you think.

Please give us your feedback for this Interactive Marketing Blog Survey!

Free Search Marketing Survey Data! (In exchange for a few moments of your time)

I apologize for not being a very active blogger lately -- I've been traveling quite a lot, and most of my blogging impulses have been going towards Twitter the last couple of weeks.

But I did want to take a moment to announce that Jupiter is conducting its annual Search Marketing Executive Survey. If you're a search marketer or search marketing agency based in Europe or the US, and have a few minutes to spare (the survey is approximately 30 questions long), your answers will help us collect great data on the state of the search marketing industry.

You can take the survey by clicking here.

To thank you for your time and participation, we'll send you a free copy of the aggregated survey results, and enter you for a chance to win one of three free iPod Shuffles. Please also note that:
- Individual responses are strictly confidential
- Responses are only used in aggregate and anonymous form

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Three key applications for brand monitoring

[Posted by Peter Kim]

As you may know, I've been following the brand monitoring market for a couple of years and since publishing the Q3 2006 Forrester Wave on the space, it's clear that the market has shifted.  That's why I plan on updating the Wave in Q3 2008.

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New networks in the news

Our president, David Schatsky, pointed me to a Wall Street Journal article this morning that highlights one of the themes from my recent Ad Networks report. While the online conglomerates are busy tying all of their acquisitions together, big media companies are fighting back with network plays of their own. The WSJ reported that Disney is creating their own premium ad network by coordinating ad spending with other content sites. Much the way Adify works with sites like the Washington Post, Disney is using a branded vertical network approach to increase relevant impressions for its SOAP site and hopefully command higher CPMs and more premium advertisers than a traditional network. (Adify may well be behind this announcement, but it wasn't mentioned.)
At the same time, ComScore announced the top ad networks for last month. Not surprisingly, AOL's new Platform-A is the largest. About 98 percent of the volume comes from Advertising.com. That makes it obvious that other acquisitions like Tacoda and Quigo did nothing to increase reach, but hopefully added new clients and new technologies to the offerings.

Numeric Scoring: The Key To Lead Management Success

Lauraramos [Posted by Laura Ramos]

Recently I saw a preview of Eloqua’s spring release and it got me thinking about the role lead scoring plays in determining campaign effectiveness.  I hadn’t seen the product in a while and was impressed with the UI improvements the Eloqua team has produced. They have added new capabilities for delivering highly personalized direct mail, SMS/voice reminders, and on-demand fax and RSS delivery – interesting stuff that, while I’d need to talk to a client or two to be convinced of their specific usefulness, show that Eloqua is delivering a broader range of lead nurturing, drip marketing capabilities. Lastly, new campaign design UI will help shorten the time it takes to get first campaigns up and running.

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We’re renaming the blog


[Posted by Christine Spivey Overby]

I lead Forrester’s Interactive Marketing team, and I’d like to welcome to the newly-minted Forrester Blog For Interactive Marketers. Some of you may be thinking - Wait! I’ve been coming to this blog for years. What gives?

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Behavioral limitations

On the 10th of April, the Network Advertising Initiative floated some guidelines they'd like to use to make peace with the FTC and potentially with advocacy groups as well. I saw the New York Times write-up of the guidelines, which focused more on the cheekiness of the whole operation. Obviously anything that promises not to target people based on things like incontinence and death is a bad joke waiting to happen, but it is also so important to the future of online advertising. More personal information is known about individuals than ever before, and it's very valuable stuff...SO what to do?
Forget the laundry list of taboo subjects for now, today I'm thinking about their proposal for self-regulation.

The NAI includes all of the big networks, so they argue that self regulation is good enough. But why blow the whistle on a competitor if your own targeting has problems? These operations span many offices, hundreds of employees, and billions of impressions - so there is always a risk of a mistake.

The best solution is to create a combination of self-created technology and third party audit. Targeting technology is constantly evolving, so it would have to be the responsibility of each member to design its own monitoring system, then have it be approved by the third party, who would also perform random spot checks.

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