A few days ago, while in the process of optimizing a client’s ad campaign, I visited Overture.com. As usual, I signed in and made my way over to the Manage Listings section of the site to start updating the advertiser’s bids. Now, revising a client’s pay-per-search listings has never been a particularly painful task. But I was still thrilled to discover Overture has done something to make the lives of media buyers who manage their own campaigns even easier.
Prior to the redesign of Overture’s “Manage Bids” page, advertisers who weren’t content with simply bidding for the top spot had to open an additional browser window and surf between the two windows to verify the price of their desired positions. When you’re juggling a list of a few hundred keywords, the process can be fairly time-consuming. Now, that astute team at Overture has added a feature to the page that displays the top five bids for each keyword, highlighting the advertiser’s own bid and position. There’s even an option to view more bids in an accompanying pop-up window.
In addition to these improvements it’s added an Auto Bidding tool, allowing advertisers to set the maximum amount they are willing to pay per bid and have their listings automatically updated without having constantly to revisit the site. Once the maximum amount is set, the system revises your bid to one cent above your competitor’s to obtain the highest possible search result without exceeding your Max Bid (see the online tutorial). How’s that for a smart idea?
Google’s AdWords Select program, Overture’s brainy competition in the pay-per-search arena, provides buyers with similar abilities. Advertisers can cap their daily budgets and set maximum bids to control their spending, and Google’s “Discounter” system monitors your cost-per-click to ensure that you’re always paying the lowest price for your position.
When I’m particularly overwhelmed at work, I sometimes step back to look at the big picture, trying to figure out whether it’s the planning and prep work or the post-buying campaign management duties that suck up so much time. I doubt any buyer would be surprised to hear it’s post-launch responsibilities that require the most consideration. We can devise a perfect campaign strategy and make the best possible buys, but we can only do so much to ensure a campaign’s success before it goes live. If we neglect it once it’s up and running, our hard work can easily be compromised.
So I’m sure you can appreciate why I’m so pleased with Overture’s efforts. Even more encouraging is the fact it isn’t the only publisher to make simplifying the campaign management process for its advertisers a priority. Plenty of sites and networks out there recognize the importance of providing a manageable campaign optimization solution. Some, such as Advertising.com, try to remove the burden from the media buyer altogether. When you’re managing several campaigns at once, this kind of service can be a godsend.
When making a buy with Advertising.com, media buyers can rest assured ads will be optimized to their fullest potential. The network employs its own AdLearn Optimization Technology, dubbed “the first and only completely automated optimization technology specifically designed to maximize direct marketing performance.” If you thought campaign optimization was a simple process of altering your ad placements to match those performing best, Advertising.com can prove you wrong.
AdLearn uses a mathematical algorithm to factor in all aspects of a campaign, including site, creative, time of day, and campaign goals. It then uses the results to determine how, when, and to whom the ads must be shown to maximize efficiency. Ad placement is adjusted in real time, and advertisers are able to access their campaign statistics in real time as well, allowing them to calculate their return on investment quickly and easily while the campaign is running. On top of all that, the use of the technology is included in the cost of every campaign and can be used for a variety of creative formats, including email.
If your campaign management duties are getting you down, consider choosing to make your buys with publishers such as these who can provide effective, low-maintenance optimization solutions. You’ll be left with more time to focus on strategy, and the pressures of optimizing your clients’ ads on a daily basis will be significantly alleviated. Now honestly, wouldn’t that be nice?
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