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October 17, 2007


Dan Field

To some extent, the problem has always been here and the traditional answer is to simply look at the increase in product sales, referenced against historical sales data.

Large companies will also research and poll their market... asking a selection of their target market if they were aware of the Ad and their comments - how many people do actually know (Or remember) the gorilla is advertising Cadburys.

Paying your advertisers on a CPA basis can be difficult in some industries though....

Tracking responses to online ads can be achieved through unique call-to-action telephone numbers, or as you say a discount code or voucher. Most things can be sold online or at least have an appointment made online (To view a car at the dealer). Links into Internet Telephony can also be useful to enable ad tracking.

Taking the buying cars example, the site has to do everything it can to take the customers enquiry and then pass it on to the dealer... this may involve the site having a specific discount arrangement or maybe offer a free gift. Some utility comparison sites are doing this today - offering cash back if you buy through their link (Splitting their commission with the customer).

Smaller items (Like a chocolate bar) are tricky, and at the moment can only be advertised on a pay per view rather than a pay per action. This is more of a branding exercise than a direct product sale.

Maybe when we have mobile phone payments they can be used to track a purchase when an advert or offer has been sent by SMS for example, or maybe some kind of global Nectar card type system where you get people to install a tool-bar into their browser so you know which of your ads they have viewed and you will know when they buy your product offline too - bit of a nightmare for privacy though so would need a pretty good incentive for the customer to use it!

ClearMyMail - Guaranteed spam protection
MouseTrace - Coming soon... Web analytics for the Web 2.0 generation

Jon Squires

With purchases that require longer decision time, such as cars, it is easy to use the prompted or unprompted brand recognition metrics. You might say that this isn't as comprehensive a sample as online, but online traffic only represents the marketing and viral network that your site has.

I agree with a lot of what you say about the marketing spend, but the gorilla Phil Collins above is the wrong message for a chocolate bar and probably better for a sound system. Don't let that flaw bias your opinion. A good TV commercial or cinema ad for a car will always be more powerful than a simple online delivery. A black and white Guinness ad will always beat anything that they could do online. TV advertising will be more emotive; print will lose out.


James Penman

Microsoft's acquisition of Jellyfish points to one potential solution. Marry the huge audience a media group can provide to a platform that rewards punters for their attention and then you'll achieve the critical mass necessary to make a CPA deal on a car *possible*. Consumers could earn a small fortune in cash back when buying shopping items (this bit has started), financial products, cars and even a house. If they knew this and there was a platform that enabled them to do it then, for me, there would be sufficient demand for the CPA deal on a car to be possible. As for your small publisher, they could use the platform to earn a % on any sale introduced etc, etc.

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