Returning co-founder characterizes his company's ad products as too fragmented from one another.
One day after returning as head of product, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey said the micro-blogging service's ad products could use more cohesion. "I think the biggest challenge is tying them all together," he said. The comment was a reference to Twitter's three core offerings for marketers - Promoted Trends, Promoted Tweets, and Promoted Accounts.
Speaking at the Columbia School of Journalism in New York this morning, Dorsey fielded questions about citizen journalism and privacy while also talking in detail about his mobile payment start-up Square. When asked about the future of Twitter advertising, he not only alluded to how his company's marketing products could be improved but also took the time to single out its successes.
He pointed to the tweet activity generated by Promoted Trends campaigns for entertainment marketers. In particular, Dorsey said, the very first Promoted Trend on his site - for the Disney film "Toy Story" - provided a "fantastic case study."
"I think advertisers have been surprised at the level of engagement," he said. "They are happy with the numbers they are seeing for click-throughs."
Dorsey, a 34-year-old Twitter co-founder, announced his return as executive chairman and product lead yesterday with a tweet through his "@jack" account. After being ousted in 2008, he has remained a Twitter director but has not been involved in daily operations.
Twitter's executive leadership has of late resembled a game of musical chairs. In October, then-CEO Evan Williams stepped aside to focus on products and to let Dick Costolo, COO at the time, take Twitter's reigns. Now, Williams is taking Dorsey's role from the last two years as a company director who is not participating in daily operations. Williams is reportedly mulling the launch of a new start-up during a sabbatical at his Lake Tahoe, CA, home.
Meanwhile, there's probably no digital marketing topic more white-hot these days than location, and Twitter advertisers are looking forward to learning more about the San Francisco-based company's recent tests with geotargeted ads. Dorsey didn't mention the development when asked about ads during his appearance on Tuesday.
At any rate, buyers of Twitter's Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts ads are granted some interest-level targeting, but they haven't been able to zero in by location. And, Promoted Trends advertisers can only run global ad placements. These reach all Twitter.com visitors and range in price from $70,000 to $120,000. Promoted Trends is being excluded from the current geotargeting ad test, which suggests Twitter is holding that placement in reserve for large national and global advertisers.
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Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
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