A new ad-tracking tool makes it easier to quantify the value of an ad when someone shares it with friends.
Most media planners and buyers intuitively know that the ad placements they plan and purchase for their advertisers have a ripple effect. A user who may click on an ad ends up passing along the link to the destination page to other users who've never viewed the ad. This sharing of links generates an X factor of pass-along value to the advertiser that -- to this point -- really hasn't been easy to quantify. Now a new company, Meteor Solutions, has developed a technology platform that allows media teams to connect the performance of paid media with the "organic lift" that occurs by word-of-mouth.
How Meteor Works
Because of the cookie, Meteor can identify that a visitor to the appended URL is not the original visitor. This second visitor is cookied and assigned another new unique ID and appended URL -- and so on and so on for each new visitor to the site.
Conversion actions generated by these shared URLs are also tracked. Meteor then generates "sharing graphs" from these visits and conversions in a dashboard.
Meteor Tracker can help shed light on some of the unaccountable "no referrer" source in Web analytics that typically dominates all sources. Meteor has found that approximately 20 percent of inbound no referrer traffic actually comes from shared links.
Implications for Media Planners
Agencies can utilize Meteor Tracker in a number of ways:
In a time when advertisers want to see their ad dollars being put to the most effective use, Meteor's solution can help give media planners an edge.
Hollis is off today. This column was originally published Feb. 10, 2009 on ClickZ.
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A ClickZ expert columnist since 2005, Hollis Thomases (@hollisthomases) is president and founder of Maryland-based WebAdvantage.net, an online marketing company that provides results-centric, strategic Internet marketing services, including online media planning, SEO, PPC campaign management, social media marketing, and Internet consulting. Author of Twitter Marketing: An Hour a Day and an award-winning entrepreneur, Hollis is the Maryland 2007 SBA Small Business Person of the Year. Hollis speaks extensively on online marketing, having presented for ClickZ, the American Marketing Association, SES, The Newsletter and Electronic Publishers Association, The Kelsey Group, and the Vocus Worldwide User Forum. WebAdvantage.net's client list has included Nokia USA, Nature Made Vitamins, Johns Hopkins University, ENDO Pharmaceuticals, K'NEX Construction Toys, and Visit Baltimore. The agency was recognized as a "Small Giant" by the Greater Baltimore Tech Council and was chosen as a "Best Place for Business Women to Work" by "Smart Woman Magazine."
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