Amex Offers Display Ads to SMBs

American Express continues its dedicated push to attract small-and-medium-sized businesses. The credit card firm today announced AdManager, a display advertising product that lets SMBs create and test campaigns on major networks and Facebook.

Robert Ciccone, VP of Amex’s SMB-focused “Open” initiative, said companies could target ads via Google Network, DoubleClick Exchange, Right Media, Yahoo Network, AppNexus, and Microsoft. Ciccone told ClickZ they’ll be able to view cost-per-click analysis and other metrics on a backend dashboard.

“It is quickly becoming clear that there are huge opportunities that online display advertising presents to reach and convert their customers where they live their digital lives,” he said. “They can also start, stop, and change campaigns anytime. [They can test] multiple messages to find and promote their best-performing offers and save time measuring campaign success with advanced analytics and easily track performance for each ad they have in market.”

Ciccone said that banner video ads will be part of the offer. AdManager will allow SMBs to integrate display ads across the web in conjunction with Facebook campaigns, he said. “[They] can launch an online display ad campaign on their own in hours, not weeks, giving them more time to spend on their marketing strategies and less time stuck in the weeds of tactical campaign management,” the VP said.

Amex has partnered with Seattle-based AdReady to provide the display advertising technology behind the new initiative. AdManager builds on the Open products that New York-based Amex has been developing since the 2007 launch of its Plum credit card for businesses. Last year, it launched SearchManager, which was designed to aid SMB’s search marketing efforts.

Three weeks ago, the company launched a contest called “Facebook Big Break for Small Business,” giving small businesses the chance to win $20,000 cash and a trip to Facebook’s headquarters. Five winners will fly to Palo Alto, CA, where they can attend a “boot camp” on Facebook advertising and marketing. In addition, 10 runners-up will win $2,500 worth of credit for Facebook ads.

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