@ Mixx: In Defending Display, Microsoft Implores Marketers To Go Beyond ‘The Last Ad’


imageYoung-Bean Song, senior director of the Atlas Institute, Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) Advertising, sought to make the company’s’ case that display deserves a little more respect than it’s been getting lately. He opened his presentation at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Mixx conference with a bit that sounded like the set-up of a joke.

The last ad standard: Song noted that when a marketer considers the ROI of an ad online, what counts is the last click, which gets registered when a sale occurs. He compared this reporting method to a marketing researcher for Corona beer walking into a bar, seeing the neon “Corona” sign hanging and connecting that to patrons ordering that particular brand. Concluding that it’s the sign that works, he recommends doing away with all TV, print and billboards. “That sounds absurd, right? But that’s what most reporting for online advertising is like. It’s all based on the last click before a sale is made and ignores all though other touchpoints.” Specifically, Song claims that 94 percent of “engagement touchpoints” that influence a sale online are ignored by the last click.

Clicks trump views: Views don’t get the credit that search does, Song says, so a little too much emphasis is placed on search. But marketers will argue that display doesn’t offer solid proof that the ads are working, at least compared to search. Song hoped to dispell, asking and then answering “how much of sponsored search is navigational? About 60 percent of total sponsored search clicks on are on the exact name of the advertiser or in the marketer’s URL. People say you’re bashing search. No, the issue we have with search is that it obliterates all the other touchpoints.” Putting your money in search is well spent, but it’s not the be-all, end-all.”

Engagement: Atlas’ research claims that display gives a plan with search a 56 percent lift in conversion than search alone, delivering on the promise of more “touchpoints and more engagement.” So far, the “engagement mapping” that Atlas does is only available to marketers working with Microsoft and so, the research is limited to its handful of clients.

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