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Ingenio - AOL and Pay Per Call
The new compensation model of local advertising

 3:52 pm on Feb 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Pay Per Call will surely take root in the local search marketing arena. And Ingenio will lead the way.

With the addition of AOL to its distribution network that already includes MSFT, SmartPages, and FindWhat, Ingenio is well positioned as an early mover in this new space.

Ingenio's positioning reminds me of goto.com - focusing on *technology*, a new ad compensation model and *distribution*.

If you haven't tried ingenio's self-provisioning ad set up process, I suggest that you do. It is clean, fast, and intuitive.

We can't expect much by way of calls until the AOL partnership roles out and further distribution arrangements are commenced, but one can argue that the time is now to grow accustom to the process associated with ad set-up and account maintenance.

Within two years, an ingenio account will be as commonplace as an Overture or Adwords account.

With click fraud being on everyones minds, with half of small biz without websites, and with bid price inflation, pay-per-call will take hold, and ingenio will be its focal point, until Y and G are forced to acquire or build their own.


Lord Majestic

 4:29 pm on Feb 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

With click fraud being on everyones minds, with half of small biz without websites, and with bid price inflation, pay-per-call will take hold

Here is business plan for 21st century:

1) wait till amounts per call exceed $1
2) hire lots of English speaking nationals in usual offshore locations to make calls via VoIP (Skype) to list of phones supplied -- keep talking for a few minutes but never buy anything
3) profit! :)

It will be harder to detect fraud here since having someone call, ask a few relevant questions (2-3 mins duration) but not buy anything will make it hard to be classed as "call fraud". On the other hand in some places on this planet getting $20 a day for making 8 hours of calls is very good money.


 8:12 am on Feb 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

I believe that the minimum PPCall is at $2 per call, so no wait needed. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

As PPCall develops, it will be very easy to create ways to stop call fraud. PPCall is something that is targeted at local businesses. With caller ID it would not be very hard at all to catch call fraud. On the providers part, they can block any calls outside of a country, or even a state or area code.


 8:37 am on Feb 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

When you get into 'click fraud', it's very iffy what is and isn't actually legal/illegal by law (and don't want to debate that here).

However, since calls go over the phone lines, suddenly it's FCC jurisdiction, and I can see a very different set of 'fraud' players/investigators being involved in this sort of technology.


 9:02 am on Feb 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

Will this work? Would businesses pay for leads like this? What kind of businesses would this be best for?


 5:31 pm on Feb 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

This is an attempt to get small to medium sized businesses to advertise. Companies that either have no website or do not effectively use their website to capture leads.


 6:07 pm on Feb 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

Will this work? Would businesses pay for leads like this? What kind of businesses would this be best for?

Absolutely this will work and businesses targeting local customer base should pay for this.

Local businesses convert by users coming to their store location and shopping (restaurant, shoe store, etc.) or by users calling their business and purchasing (plumber, massage therapist, pizza delivery). We know that in general small businesses either don't have a website or have a marginal website when considering conversion.

This model removes that very signifcant variable even more so that YLocal, GLocal, and the IYPs and bring the user right up to the conversion point.

This brings Internet advertising back into the realm that businesses have been familiar with for the past 80 years (phone calls). From their perspective the idea of converting a user on the phone should be easy and much more tangible even more so than PPClick.

In terms of fraud and comparing it to PPClick, PPCall IMO will be much less prevelant. At least for the next few years.

I know that Ingenio sides on the advertiser for this as they don't want to scare them away right now. I don't believe they have strong systems to guard this right now, but I don't think they need to right now. Big money will always draw fraud but it will take a while and there are natural barriers for this. Comparitively, it's really easy to write a program to click on ads and run up the cost, versus organizing a call center to mock calls and run up costs.


 6:16 pm on Feb 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks, Money. I just wanted to find out if it was one those ideas that sounds good on paper but, for some reason, doesn't wash with its intended customers (B&M businesses).


 3:18 am on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Last I talked with Ingenio, which was a couple months ago, they didn't have fraud system per se in place, but they had some advertiser protection, such as a repeat call from the same phone number within two weeks wouldn't count as a second transaction.

However, they were still working on how to handle phone card numbers as those will show repeats.

For pay per click, there are people who search for your ad, and click it to revisit your site. For pay per call, the business has to train customers what number to call them back on - so in essence, their may be some advertising training involved, as after two weeks, it's considered a new number (not to mention that the 800 number might not always be assigned to the same business).

I really like the model from a measurement standpoint. When driving traffic to a website, it's difficult for a small business to know how many people called their business as a result of their advertising - Pay per call does help alleviate those headaches.

I think MoneyMan is correct with the fact less fraud measurements will be needed, at least at first. Autogenerating scripts that make phone calls are quite different than just clicking on an ad.

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