Last year Wachovia improved the results of their house ads almost twenty-fold. It's a big gain for their revenues because house ads (ads for your own offers that run on your own site) clicks are far more likely to convert than ads run anywhere else on the Web.
Ilieva Ageenko, Wachovia's VP & Director of Emerging Applications, told me in her gorgeous Cuban accent how they did it. "We were guessing in most situations about where to place the ads, then we implemented new Web analytics."
"Our marketing group analyzed the average amount of time spent on a page, and compared it across the different types of ads -- static, rotating banners, rich media, and so on." If typical visitors didn't spend enough time on a page to see rotating creative or load rich media, then the team put static creative there instead.
Conversely, they put ads that require more view time on pages that typically already got more view time. Then they tweaked creative such as skyscrapers versus buttons, to figure out what size worked best on each particular page.
The overall amount of rich media used rose a bit after the team discovered to their joyful surprise that 76% of site visitors were on broadband connections.
Three lessons learned:
o Optimizing house ads can produce a quick ROI for Web analytics investments, which makes upper management happy
o Media buyers should ask about average page visit time for each section of a site when planning creative placements
o Although just under 50% of US households have broadband connections, around 80% of at-work Web surfers are on broadband. Since many people do personal surfing at work, business-to- consumer sites may have far higher broadband users than you think.
By the way, I want to give credit to Wachovia's new analytics firm, WebSideStory, for introducing me to Ilieva. Thanks!
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