I don't really understand. Things like: eat at Taco Bell, buy Crest toothpaste, drink Coke, fill up with Exxon gas, use Tylenol for those aches and pains--these kinds of ads dominate traditional media. I don't see how the internet versions of these ads would generate direct sales. Leads, possibly, although even that is pretty sketchy.
That's why you don't see those ads on the internet. You see ads for things you can click through to buy on the internet.
Now throw YouTube into the equation - how well would "Drink Coke" fit on the end of a video clip?
AdWords : Sales
YouTube : Brand
The big question is whether advertisers want sales rather than branding... or if it's actually the publishers/providers who are pushing them into the sales model.
After all - pay for sales means you keep paying to keep having sales. Pay for branding means once you're well branded you can stop or just keep the brand 'topped up'. I know which I'd like if I was selling advertising...
Before the web, it was newspapers which had all of the sales-driven advertising and, of course, they still do. All of those inserts with prices are meant to drive immediate response.
Radio was similar, with "come and get it right now" ads for local retailers.
TV, meanwhile, was about building brand: Singing about Coke, laughing at the hamburger clown, looking at the girls with the beer, or feeling good about your stock broker.
Still, some use newspapers to build brand and others use TV to drive immediate sales. But, I think this report is right. Search ads are about sales mostly.
|The big question is whether advertisers want sales rather than branding... or if it's actually the publishers/providers who are pushing them into the sales model |
This is most likely the correct answer. I've seen it happen first hand and there are the traditional hurdles to overcome in the branding world.
The Internet has been so hyped up as a direct response vehicle over the years that the folks in charge of the advertising budgets for branding really don't understand it well and the ad networks certainly don't have a clue as to how to brand effectively. They haven't had to so I can understand why but if effective branding within an ad network were done then I think you would see brand dollars being spent more and more every day.
With online advertising, it's much easier to trace the direct path from ad to sale. When you've got good hard numbers readily available, it's an easy choice to use them as your measure of success.
But the novelty of having the hard data will wear off, and the importance of branding will become clear. Big internet firms like Amazon and eBay clearly are already using SEM for branding effectively.
For lots of companies, however, isn't sales part of branding online? There is the emotional connection a Coke ad or a Pamper ad on TV tries to instill but since the advertising/marketing/sales process is rather compacted online, generating sales is a form of branding. Much of the perception of the Amazon (or any other) brand (especially for a retailer) is the smooth flow from clicking on an ad and following a nice smooth process that makes you feel good and gives you what you want quickly and easily and makes you feel good about it as you move through a site and make a purchase. That makes for a good brand experience.
Seems online, there is also branding within a certain ROI. Lots of times there will be different buckets of keywords. Brand terms will show a really "high ROI", then you'll have some good generic converters and then there will be others that generate some sales, maybe $0.25 - $1.00 for every dollar spent in click costs. They are clearly not "profitable" but companies bid to be in the top 5 or so spots because they need to be there for "branding" purposes and may see an overall lift in sales (branding effect) even if they cannot track it directly back to the ads.
|They are clearly not "profitable" but companies bid to be in the top 5 or so spots because they need to be there for "branding" purposes and may see an overall lift in sales (branding effect) even if they cannot track it directly back to the ads |
This is the part where the networks don't have a clue as to how to brand effectively. Being in the top spot to 'brand' may be how it is viewed and even sold today but it is just wrong.
Search for 'Chevrolet' on Google and you will indeed see a Chevrolet ad first but it is for a red tag sale. What is the branding message there? See some red, save some green? What happened to 'built like a rock'? That is a branding message not save some green :-/
So does the actual search ad do the branding or is it the interaction with the site that enforces the "built like a rock" in whihc case the text search ad really just serves to get someone to interact with the brand?
Search engines aren't TV or radio or print. I'm not so sure the medium is as effective for building brands. A user who is actively searching for something (anything) is a very different user than someone vegging out on the couch in front of the TV, or even flipping through a magazine. There are a lot of ways to compare them, but in other ways you've got apples and oranges. We know more eyeballs are going online (from traditional media) but I think this will just make it harder to build brand loyalty. My sense is that companies who will do this effectively will do it by finding other areas that are more conducive to building an image than simply trying to bring their old objectives onto the internet (e.g. passive viewers, emotional situations, etc.). I'm not suggesting that companies shouldn't use the internet for brand building, just that they need multiple mediums and they need to recognize and exploit the strengths of each.
|So does the actual search ad do the branding or is it the interaction with the site that enforces the "built like a rock" in whihc case the text search ad really just serves to get someone to interact with the brand? |
It is the ad itself that does the branding. Branding is normally a very short interaction time wise so the branding message itself is short and to the point and through repetition to the same person it is easily remembered. Visiting the site will no doubt add to it but the message itself is the key. I'm guessing that most people will forget all about the message you see for Chevrolet now but they'll remember the 4 words 'built like a rock' for a long time :-)
But it also goes much deeper than that. Better branding for Chevrolet is to also know who is most likely to buy an SUV versus a Corvette since those buyers are normally different types of people. This is where print, radio and television can segment certain profiles and while the branding message certainly overlaps into households that are not in the profile it works reasonably well.
|A user who is actively searching for something (anything) is a very different user than someone vegging out on the couch in front of the TV, or even flipping through a magazine. There are a lot of ways to compare them, but in other ways you've got apples and oranges |
Nope...if you talking about the same person then they are the same person. The actions they are doing are absolutely different but I for one am the same person with the same mindset whether I'm in front of the computer or driving or sitting on the couch.
This is exactly why direct response has been pushed through the years. It's the same old line...a searcher on the Internet is more likely to buy now...without regard to who the person really is. It's the action that everyone has been worried about and actions alone cannot be used for branding.
This thread's subject line reads "Internet advertisers want sales not branding," but the story referenced in the initial post is about search-engine marketing (which is only one aspect of Internet advertising).
Fact is, corporate advertisers are spending plenty of cash on Internet brand advertising, and one of the big research companies (it may have been Forrester) published a report a few months back that forecast greater growth for display ads than for search ads between now and the end of the decade.
SEM is the online equivalent of direct mail: It's a valuable tool, but for mainstream corporate advertisers, it's just one item in the toolkit.
Online advertising can be more accountable and more efficient so of course it's more attractive than advertising for a brand. Additionally this article is coming from an organization built on promoting SEM awareness so of course they're going to have these conclusions. Some competitors of mine are doing commercials so now my organization is looking at doing TV advertising...kind of scary but SEM only goes so far then you need something else to find new customers.
For someone who didn't start with a brand, internet advertising has been purely sales driven until recently when I realised that people are returning to my sites and searching on my 'so called' brand name.
Now my thinking is that if someone is searching for you by name then you are much more likely to get a sale, so if you can build a brand as well as a site then you are twice as likely to succeed.
I'm certainly looking at the 'brandabilty' of new sites much more these days than I ever use to, even if I'm not spending raw $ trying to build a brand.
Gotta say I read the title of this thread and it made me laugh. Any business, given the choice of more sales or higher brand recognition, is gonna choose the latter.
Branding never paid no bills. Sure, it will help with corporate ego or is of some help when pushing up to an IPO or similar, but the value of a brand is always it's ability to produce revenue.
The relationship between building a brand and making more sales is tricky to define. The relationship between online marketing spend and bottom line impact is just maths.
Ask any CEO which they would prefer and I reckon the answer would depend on the position of their business in its corporate growth cycle:-
New business, building sales = more sales
Established business, building shareholder value = brand value, but even then, not at the expense of sales volume.
You can sell a business with good profits and no brand recognition, but not vice versa.
|Gotta say I read the title of this thread and it made me laugh. |
You can safely ignore the thread title--this thread isn't about whether Internet advertisers are interested in sales instead of branding; it's about whether SEM advertisers are more interested in sales than in branding. (Which is like asking if businesses are looking to achieve sales or branding when they use direct-mail offers.)
Many Internet advertisers spend fortunes on branding, but they do it with display ads--not AdWords/AdSense, YPN, Kanoodle, and other text ads.
Exactly EFV ..you hit it right on the money ..( it does help when veiwing the web to have already experienced the ad business and publishing offline ) ..branding is done via PPV and banners etc ( the equivalent of off line media advertising ) ..PPC is not a cost effective way to brand anything ..any "branding" that comes from it is incedental ..
The exception being the ubiquitous Ebay et al ads ..and spam is branding however inelegantly it's done
[edited by: Leosghost at 6:09 pm (utc) on Dec. 3, 2006]
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