Manufacturers and retailers have both been looking for the best way to engage consumers with online display ads. For the most part, manufacturers have been placing display ads on content sites or using their own sites to connect with consumers. But new technology and new attitudes are changing the way branded products from manufacturers appear to consumers who are shopping on retail sites.
One new program is allowing large advertisers to show ads to consumers who are purchasing goods on retail sites. For example, a company like Toyota can position an ad for a new car in front of shoppers who are buying a car seat on Overstock.com through the use of a service called Enrich for Brands. Brand marketers can have their ads appear next to specific product categories or by product recommendations. In a recent Internet Retailer article, Paul Demery explains that this technology allows brands to access consumers who are in the process of buying related products. Targeting is carried out by using the shoppers’ search histories, search terms and geo-location.
Currently, big brands are paying about $30 per thousand viewers to use this program. The revenue is shared by Enrich and the retail site owner.
In addition to being personalized, these ads allow the brand marketer to reach consumers at a new touch point in the sales cycle. EnRich allows the marketer to target the shopper at the point of purchase. A consumer making that car seat purchase, might later remember that Toyota has a new vehicle model in local dealer lots.
Initial data from Enrich looks promising. The company reports an engagement rate of 4.9% measured by the number of clicks on ‘the ad or related product recommendation.”
The debate continues at the national level about the use of consumer online behavior for targeting by marketers. Industry participants and legislators appear to be moving in the direction of allowing consumers to opt out of the kinds of tracking systems use by Enrich for Brands. But many consumers may decide they like this kind of engagement by marketers and opt in which would increase the size of the market for operators with innovative platforms.[Sources: Demery, Paul. Big e‑retailers open up their pages to personalized ads. InternetRetailer.com. 31 Mar. 2011. Web. 15 Apr. 2011; Angwin, Julia. Senators Offer Privacy Bill to Protect Personal Data. WSJ.com. 13 Apr. 2011]