Using product ownership to slash online ad costs


Novices to online marketing are typically shocked that banner ad costs can swing in a 10-to-1 range, but that’s the modern Wild West of Internet media buying. About a year ago we were negotiating banner ad rates with The Wall Street Journal. The quotes were all over the place, north of $60 CPM in the initial round, down below $20 as we found other nooks and crannies in their pricing strata. And then, of course, with behavioral targeting, we reached identical prospects for $6 CPM or less.

The secret is simple: If you can find a way to reach the exact same audience directly, without paying the toll extracted by a major publisher, you can often free up 90% of the costs. (This issue has nuances; see Thomas Miskin’s excellent riff on why publisher context is sometimes more important than media costs.) Advertising networks are typically the best way to remove the toll; their collections of thousands of web sites can add cookie-based consumer tracking to pinpoint audiences that expensive, elite publications once owned.

OwnerIQ targets the man behind the mower

Now OwnerIQ provides a new spin on behavioral targeting. OwnerIQ is a consortium of advertising networks that uses observations of consumers who visit manufacturer pages indicating they own a product. Say, for instance, you boot up a web site with details on the owner manual for a Blu-ray device. Ping. It’s highly likely you own that gadget, so by tagging your computer, OwnerIQ can then serve future ads to you as you travel across the web — perhaps for a Bose sound system. OwnerIQ collates the data from three sources: relationships with about 30 major manufacturers; publisher partners that offer parts for specific products; and its own site, ManualsOnline.com — the type of content someone only reads when they have to work on something they own.

OwnerIQ claims in its case studies that response rates can be 50% higher or more than standard web banner CTRs. The cost structure is a fraction of niche marquee sites reaching the same audience. If you believe that past product purchases are a signal for future consumer behavior, OwnerIQ may be worth checking out.

Image: Idiolector

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