Eyeblaster has now officially released its Channel Connect for Search. See Press Release.

For me personally, this is one of the most key developments in online advertising, notably because rather than fighting a declining click-rate, it addresses real consumer behaviour as opposed to assumed behaviour. It gives agencies and advertisers confidence in measuring the effects of online advertising by breaking down the silos of display and search and getting to the heart of the matter – if people are not clicking on display adverts, then what the heck are they doing?!

Very few people click on adverts – about one in a thousand. As a consumer, you would have to be very far down the purchase funnel as a result of supporting media in order for you to click and convert immediately as a result of a display banner. Clicking away from content to a website to me is the equivalent of asking me to get off a bus on the way to work just because I notice a sign through the window saying “discount here today.” Reality being is even if I was interested, I would make a mental note and go back later at my convenience. No matter how keen you were, most of us would still go to work first – we have our own agenda – it is a huge call to action to expect me to get off that bus unless I was already on my way there. But, I still ‘noticed’ the sign…

We are therefore forcing and measuring unnatural human behaviour. No other media channel is expecting users to respond “now”, rather they work together to build up a story where results are seen within a period of time. The lack of immediacy has no reflection upon effectiveness.

Online advertising has created a rod for its own back. Its accountability is also its downfall. This is all about to change.

Often what is missed by mass-media however, even if successful in gaining results, is the consumer journey and process in between exposure and conversion – measuring the true behavioural effects over time. In my analogy, did people research the company and/or product prior to going back there to make a purchase? After all, few of us buy without qualifying first.

We are about to find out…

What is the strategy behind Eyeblaster’s launch of Channel Connect for Search?

The link between awareness and interest has always been a key aspect in a purchase funnel. Traditionally, mass-media advertising has driven foot-traffic to brick and mortar shops where sales staff have been able to answer inquiries live. With web 2.0, much of this conversation now happens online, as consumers look for product reviews and ratings to help qualify their research methods from trusted peers, beyond mere information.

Being able to measure the effects of display advertising beyond an immediate click-through has always been at the heart of rich media. Much of the missing data regarding brand effectiveness beyond the impression is seen by consumers seeking further information – in a way they feel more in control – and that is via search. Linking search and display is in essence being able to measure the conversation between a brand and the consumer more completely. It is now possible to follow the conversation across multiple impressions and channels to the final conversion, giving marketers full visibility of their sales funnel.

What challenges does Channel Connect for Search help agencies and advertisers address?

For any advertiser, it is a mistake to disregard the 99.5% of people who do not click on an advert. No other media are measured on an immediate response, rather a piqued interest that moves a consumer along a conversion cycle. The linking of the data sets of both display and search give insights into actual user behaviors and helps justify investment in display advertising beyond the click. Pulling the results from both areas brings a more unified analysis on behalf of an advertiser as well as revealing the bearing each discipline has upon the other. From an agency perspective, it reveals crucial insights as well as a huge time saving in concatenating or de-duping information. It also helps agencies develop a more natural strategy for advertiser-consumer dialogue, with less forced emphasis on immediate clicks as a way to measure campaign effectiveness. In other words, unified reporting provides clear evidence that the credit for conversions must be distributed beyond the final impression, whether it be search or display.

What brands have used/will use Channel Connect for Search?

Channel Connect for Search was a response to Eyeblaster customers across the globe. They asked for an easy way to integrate their digital advertising channels that provided unified apples to apples reporting. We are currently running major campaigns for many verticals, including pharma, cosmetics, broadcast entertainment, automotive, financial, and consumer packaged goods.

How will Eyeblaster get the word out about the service (i.e. marketing tactics)?

Eyeblaster has a heritage of innovation for helping the advertising community develop against a sea-tide of change in consumer behavior. Eyeblaster has this year gone through a rebrand, representing our evolution from a pure rich media vendor to delivering cross-channel digital consumer experiences. Our staff from around the world are already geared up to discuss this turning point with their agency contacts. With a fresh look and message, a new challenging advertising campaign focused on an industry coming of age, as well as multiple industry speaking opportunities discussing advertising 2.0 – building brand-consumer relationships in a digital age – it is indeed a powerful and exciting and timely message for the digital industry.

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