Google Site Targeting at AD:TECH
By Charlene Li
I just attended Google’s debut of their site targeting feature on AdSense. Patrick Keane, head of sales strategy for Google, quickly introduced the site targeting features (see here for more details). Patrick then quickly moved to introduce Rishad Tobaccowala from Publicis and SMG Next and Dan Gliniecki, New Media Manager at Chrysler Group.
Rishad said that the biggest challenge his agency faces is media fragmentation, and the challenge to “re-aggregate” to get scale. There were four aspects to AdSense that excited his team:
1) Targeting a site, that was consistent with a brand.
2) Reaching only people who were interested in the product, thanks to contextual placement
3) Use more creative formats, such as animated gifs. Rishad hypothesized that Google wouldn’t stop at just this but would also move into rich media and online video ads.
4) Bidding on a CPM basis, which could place pressure on other CPM-based media.
There were two points that Rishad made that I thought was particularly insightful. First, site targeting allows marketers and agencies to use their talent and imagination again, rather than just rely on machines to optimize the campaigns. Judgment, creativity, and understanding about a brand’s goals will become important. Second, the launch of site targeting comes right before the TV upfront – which should scare traditional media into thinking about how much their impressions are really worth.
Dan Gliniecki showed a few quick examples of how site targeting’s ability to cluster sites together into groups helped them target specific affinity groups. Two examples: parenting affinity sites and gaming sites. In a discussion after the session, Dan and I talked about how their agency and Google worked together to create the site lists. Google aggregated the sites using their knowledge of what the content on that site. Dan said that the quality was very high – his team went through the sites manually to make sure the sites were relevant for that particular affinity group. The result: Chrysler was able to buy on sites that they had never heard of, with the ease of buying just one ad buy.
Most interestingly, Dan also echoed Rishad’s thoughts about leveraging their experiences with site targeting to other channels. I expect that traditional media will be watching Google AdSense a whole lot more closely in the future.