As marketers continue to explore new ways to gain ROI through social media and technology, older forms of online marketing are even less effective. It’s almost as if the consumer is trained not to click on the outside box of display ads these days, as generally click thru rates are one in every two thousand impressions. It should then come as no surprise that rich media, social activity advertising and paid search all trump the latter.
Todd Wasserman of Mashable agrees that display ads really don’t do much for a marketing campaign:
“Aside from search, advertising on the web has been tricky. Consumers generally don’t click on banner ads — especially not on Facebook — and tend to view ads as an intrusion on their web-browsing experience. In contrast, a recent report by Appssavvy (admittedly not a disinterested observer) found that in-app ads perform 11.4 times better than standard banner ads, which means they are almost as effective as search.”
Here’s the chart that shows the multiples of other forms of in-device advertising in comparison to display:
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That’s all well and good, but in this age of mobile marketing, advertisers need to focus on converting those impressions into sales via mobile commerce.
Even using the latter forms we’re still blinded to who exactly is viewing our marketing via smartphones and tablets.
Even though we can also put a QR Code out there for people to scan and track the number of scans, intercept mobile devices via bluetooth and record someone’s location and what kind of device they are using, it’s difficult to see how that data translates into something that would impress a marketer in terms of ROI. We still don’t have any qualified answers as to which consumers are converting those impressions into transactions.
BlueCava first identifies the device your customer is using, and then they assign a reputation rating to the device in terms of whether or not that device has been active in producing transactions via e-commerce or mobile commerce.
The technology that enables this is called “device fingerprinting”. Some privacy experts see it as an invasion of privacy, but one should also note the device reputation lowers if one is to commit fraud, preventing the loss of business through fraudulent transactions.
For good measure, BlueCava’s patents and technology were wrestled away by Microsoft in the earlier part of this decade until the Australian inventor of device fingerprinting, Ric Richardson, battled Microsoft in court and was awarded a $388 million dollar settlement. Don’t think Microsoft isn’t fighting back though- Jack Marshall of ClickZ reports that the embattled corporation is now leveraging BlueCava’s biggest competition, Ringleader Digital in the device fingerprinting arena.
With BlueCava now up and running at full speed beyond the Microsoft copyright infringement case, the company is now working on something beyond device reputation called “reputation exchange”. This is similar to the music file sharing days of years past on the Web, where we downloaded songs off users that had a high reputation to decrease the likelihood of getting a virus. The same principle works here, where one uses reputation exchange to target users that would have a low risk of committing fraud.
BlueCava says that once this functionality is up and running in the coming weeks or months that the exchange will provide information on more than one hundred categories of device behaviour allowing marketers to target more effectively than ever before in mobile.
If advertising is to continue to exist, even in these times where many people perceive it as the continued unfettered quest to access of consumer information, it might as well be targeted to those that already participate in a high amount of transactions.
After all, the way things are going in the marketing world, consumers will eventually get to choose whether or not they would like to be subjected to the advertising in the first place. If the marketing message isn’t relevant now, at least it will be more relevant in the future.
I think that’s a win-win situation for all, and BlueCava is helping us get there as the intersection of marketing and technology continues to deepen in more ways than we once thought possible.