I’m telling you this not because I think you should run out and do a bunch of Point·Roll advertising (although that may not be a bad idea), but rather because there are valuable lessons we can learn from its business. It leverages several driving principles applicable to pretty much everyone in the industry. Rich media vendors, agencies, and publishers alike can learn from how effectively Point·Roll has executed across each of these principles. The following discussion could be used as guidelines for evaluating potential new vendors for both agencies and advertisers.
Points (pun intended) herein aren’t revolutionary or new, but it helps to be reminded once in a while where we can focus attention to achieve maximum impact. A quick caveat: I do not wish to imply Point·Roll is the only vendor in the industry executing against these items. To the contrary, many vendors hit these principles. I use Point·Roll as an example here because it consistently hits these marks for me as well as exceeds my expectations.
Easy to Use
Technology products run the gamut where usability is concerned. Online advertising products are no exception. To use a clichéd example, my parents still have “12:00” flashing on their VCR. Point·Roll’s system may not be slick or beautiful, but it is utilitarian, intuitive, and easy to use. Once you’ve got all the graphics put together, constructing an ad in its system takes hardly any time. These are the things that set tech products apart.
Outstanding Customer Service
Customer service is a longtime personal pet peeve. It’s such a simple concept, but the execution of quality service can be much harder than it seems. Point·Roll has a dedicated and very smart team that consistently surprises me with turnaround times and a willingness to take on anything and everything it can to help our campaigns be as successful as possible.
And why wouldn’t it? A successful campaign is a win for everyone. When we get great results for our clients, it brings in more dollars for Point·Roll. Every time a consumer touches your brand, whether a quick trip to your Web site, a visit to your store, or a call for support, the experience impacts how that user views your brand, potentially for a long time. Whether I’m speaking as a business-to-business (B2B) client or an everyday consumer, I like quick and accurate answers to my questions. If I’ve bought a product or subscribed to a particular service, I don’t want to have to figure stuff out. If the thing’s not working, I expect the company to fix it. And if I want to push the boundaries of what the product was designed to do, I expect the company’s support.
Aggressive Pursuit of New Business
Point·Roll has a very active sales staff. They’re smart about how they handle the sales process. They know the hot buttons, but like any good sales team they use that knowledge carefully. They strike a great balance between selling and maintaining relationships.
In this case, aggressive pursuit of new publisher partners. One of the first things folks in a role similar to mine look at when evaluating a new rich media technology is site acceptance. Will publishers run ads in the format? Point·Roll has done a great job ramping up significant distribution. It’s very good at getting new publishers on board quickly. With the amount of pharmaceutical advertising we do, many of our campaigns hit very small, niche sites targeted to a specific illness or medical condition. Many times, Point·Roll has helped us get expanding ads running on those types of sites.
Product Innovations Based on Client Needs
During the boom days, you’d see lots of products that were seemingly developed without much attention paid to market need. You’d read countless press releases about the latest and greatest technology. At the end, you’d think, “Wow. That’s really cool. If that takes off, it’ll change… well, really nothing. Who even needs that? There’s no practical application whatsoever.”
I see much less of that these days, but this underscores something Point·Roll does well. It listens to what we as agencies and advertisers need and builds it. Point·Roll builds it in a way that manages to keep the other critical side of the company’s business — publishers — happy to continue to accept its ads.
Point·Roll offers online marketers an interesting and valuable product. But the strength of that product is not the sole reason for its success. A smart, service-oriented approach to these basic business principles contributes to its achievements.
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