Dotomi Rolls Out Multivariate Testing for Display Ads

  |  July 29, 2009   |  Comments

Methodology determines which ads ultimately work best -- not to make users click, but to persuade them to buy.

Web ads are getting smarter and smarter. Dotomi, a Chicago interactive agency, announced a new multivariate testing methodology yesterday for banner ads. It follows Web users around to determine which ads ultimately work best -- not to make users click, but to persuade them to buy.

Dotomi COO Ken Treske says clients saw anywhere from 5 to 15 percent improvement in customer conversions, on average, by incorporating the methodology into their campaigns, and some saw bumps as high as 47 percent.

The company works with clients to design banners with several variations of several variables, such as colors, fonts, button shape, specific wording, offers, and call to action. Testing many variations at once allows the tester to pinpoint not only which combinations work the best, but the effect of each specific element.

Dotomi combines the testing methodology with a proprietary "personalized" approach that uses cookies to track certain customers from the client's site across their Web travels. Attaching geographic and demographic data to those users, the company can track which ads each test user sees and whether a sale ultimately results. "We can observe how we're able to change the behavior of different individuals, and the relation of a near-term click to the person's long-term purpose," Treske said.

"It's very easy to create survival of the fittest around clicks because they happen in the moment and it's easy to see, but the client's end goal is how messaging ultimately influences consumer behavior to make a purchase," he added. "The conversion cycle can take days or weeks or months, and you don't want to narrow down to an ad that leads to short-term clicks but not to a sale. We think our big innovation is applying multivariate testing principles to display advertising at an individual impression level, and making that a consistent part of a campaign on an ongoing basis."

Privately-held Dotomi, which doesn't publish its client list but claims more than 100, concentrated among large consumer brands, is in the first wave of what will probably be standard practice throughout the online advertising industry within a couple of years, says Michael Andrew, director of search and analytics at the San Francisco agency Mediasmith. He points to the Yahoo! SmartAds program , which uses the mass of data collected on millions of Yahoo users, as well as third-party data sources, to serve ads dynamically. The first two third-party partners in the program, Tumri and Teracent, also promise tightly targeted ads using their own proprietary technologies.

Dapper, another contender, pulls live information from the advertiser's Web site. The analytics company Fetchback allows advertisers to retarget recent visitors with new offers to lure them back to the advertiser's site.

"All of these offering are relatively new in the market, and we're talking to a lot of companies who can do customizations based on all kinds of data," said Andrews. "They'll optimize on whatever action you think is important, whether it's seeing a movie trailer or getting to a shopping cart. It's still new ground and that's why there are all these players emerging. We don't have a concrete judgment on what's better. You don't know what these algorithms are like until you've worked with them."

ClickZ Live Chicago Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Oct 3 to take advantage of Early Bird Rates!


COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.



Featured White Papers

IBM: Social Analytics - The Science Behind Social Media Marketing

IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.

Marin Software: The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising

The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.



    • Digital Marketing Analyst
      Digital Marketing Analyst (GovLoop) - Washington D.C.Are you passionate about audience acquisition? Love effective copy and amazingly effective...
    • Product Specialist
      Product Specialist (Agora Inc. ) - BaltimoreDescription: The Product Specialist is hyper-focused on the customer experience and ensures that our...
    • Partnerships Senior Coordinator
      Partnerships Senior Coordinator (, Inc.) - Las VegasZappos IP, Inc. is looking for a Partnerships Senior Coordinator! Why join us? Our...