Ad Viewability

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Ad Viewability: It Will Change The Way We Buy Anything With A Pixel

Ad Verification used to mean Fraud and/or Brand Safety. Advertisers were concerned that robots were being counted for served ads instead of humans, or worse, a brand being placed on a site that vehemently contradicted the values and virtues of the brand. The preceding definition still stands, and has been expanded to include Ad Viewability. The metric is new and slowly gaining traction industry wide.

Viewability is a rising concern among Advertisers. They are turning to their agency and/or Ad Exchange partners to prove they are judiciously spending the entrusted digital media dollars. Advertisers are looking for vendors of verification services to re-position the learning’s from a post campaign position to a more real-time, programmatic-like offering.


The standard definition of view-ability set by the Media Rating Council (MRC) is:

  • Display Ad View-ability: 50% of the Ad units pixels are visible for 1 second or more
  • Video Ad View-ability: 50% of the Ad units pixels are visible for 2 consecutive seconds or more

A recent study by ad verification vendor IntegralAd found that roughly 50% of US banner display impressions served on ad networks and exchanges in Q3 and Q4 of 2013 went unseen. In Q1 2014, the industry with the best view-ability figures was Travel at 49%. Forty-Nine percent being the best – means there is a lot of work to be done by publishers, servers, exchanges and agencies to prove their value to clients.

Video advertising solution manager TubeMogul found that in January 2014, its platform had less than 44% view-ability for video ads shown on players smaller than 1,000 pixels. The below chart shows that if the pixel size of your video ad is less than 1,000+, your view-ability is more than likely less than 45%.

If these figures from TubeMogul and IntegralAd are anywhere reflective of the view-ability of all or most ads placed across the web, then a better level of accountability must be put in place and soon.


View-ability will become the standard currency for digital media as advertisers will demand it. It will require upgrading current practices – most importantly determining the standard that publishers will implement with an ad viewable impression model rather than the ad served impression model of today. It will entail the adoption of a standard Javascript display / video unit – used across domains by all exchanges and networks. If such a standard were adopted it would be verifiable by the IAB standard SafeFrame iframe. iFrame can precisely determine the placement of the ad on a page via a triangulation of squares and rectangles. The alternative to the IAB SafeFrame standard would be a browser painting method – which relies upon the browser to communicate controlled information between the iframe and the page owner – allowing the measurer to determine that the ad is present, rendered and properly sized.

Publishers will have to do a significant amount of due diligence and yield management modeling to implement the view-ability price model. The new model presents an opportunity to Advertisers to mimic what we see today with Real Time Bidding (”RTB”). It is within reason to believe that given the efficiency seen in digital verticals like Search Term Real Time bidding, the demands for pre-bid view-ability are bound to come to the display / video ad verification arena.

An RTB type of verification system for digital video sits at the top of many advertisers wish list, but they must be aware of the tradeoffs and risks. Publishers offering programmatic like inventory can have higher view-ability and fewer brand safety concerns than open exchanges. They are, however, still susceptible to fraud and other non-compliance matters. The current adoption level of ad verification in the Fraud – Brand Safety – Ad View-ability sense is unknown and will only come with time and standard setting. Determining pre-bid viewability will come with a mix of statistical analysis and guesswork.

We anticipate that 2014 will be the year the industry starts realizing that the pixel, not simply the impression, must be verified.

Source:E Marketer: Ad Verification: From Post-Campaign Reporting to Real-Time Prevention- David Hallerman and Mitchel Winkels
E Marketer: Interview of George Ivie: CEO and Executive Director The Media Rating Council (MRC)


Ray Maylor, Sr. Research Manager

Meet Kevin Arsham: Resident Business-To-Business Expert

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Kevin Arsham is responsible for managing business-to-business client relationships. Kevin has 22 years of developing B-to-B communication strategies. Prior to joining TargetCast, Kevin oversaw the strategic planning initiatives for global companies including Dell Computers, FedEx, General Electric, Georgia Pacific, ING, Michelin Tires, Shell, Visa. He has been the former Chair of the American Association of Advertising Agencies B-to-B Committee and is currently the Vice-Chair of American Business Media’s (ABM) B-to-B Media Advisory Board. In 2002, 2004 and 2005 he was awarded “Best & Brightest Media Strategist” by Advertising Age B-to-B Magazine and “Rising Media Star of 2004” by Media Post’s Media Magazine. While working 9 years on GE’s advertising, Kevin wrote the Guide to Business to Business Media providing a fresh approach to business-to-business advertising, stimulating creative and strategic thinking.

Kevin Arsham

Kevin Arsham

Assembly: What are the key trends impacting business-to-business marketing in 2014?

Arsham: Content, mobile, and live events are continuing to be important media channels. We are helping clients, more than ever before, with storytelling in long documentary and thought-provoking formats. We are moving beyond the placement of a Full Page ad and a Leader Board to get the message across to the audience. We use the media space and carve it out further. We deliver our client’s viewpoint on the industry (they sell to) and extend the conversation to best practices, applications, and case studies. Cases studies are about the application of the client’s product in the field and to a specific facility that generated a certain result.

Events are going less-virtual and becoming more hands on – back to the basics of hand shaking and making deals and touching products on the spot (i.e. conference or seminar). We are taking best practices in consumer media; evaluating and applying tactics that have been meaningful in everyday life, creative enough to go viral, spin interest, and multiply audiences. For example, we find meaningful ways to reach production managers and engineers through media they engage with and create new ones outside their normal work environment.

Today, our job is to invent. We find new ways to break down barriers in getting to the customer. We soften the publishing boundaries between editorial and advertising; enable thought leaders behind the brand to become embedded in the content. For example, if you sell a product to school administrators, then you should be able to talk about school administration and have something to say about the industry – which is where media agencies come in, to make that a reality on a website, within a publication, on the phone/tablet, or in the out-of-home space.

Assembly: What are the biggest issues in business-to-business marketing right now?

Arsham: The issues are both challenging and exciting. Media becomes a journey from the moment you touch your tablet/smart phone or go online at your desk to when you are walking, driving, shopping, or out and about. We are doing the same thing for B-to-B. We are changing B-to-B marketing by making media the message (as Marshall McLuhan would say) and getting creative as possible to allow the media to extend the creative – to really help the creative first and foremost. Another challenge is to get consumer brands to think more about B-to-B advertising. There are great ways to extend brand communications and build revenue streams from buyers in healthcare, industry, military, law enforcement, retail, hospitality, education, real estate, just to name a few.

Another challenge is of course budgets. Sometimes there is not enough in the budget to make the kind of Star Wars movie you want and create the kind of engaging media tactic that will break through.

There is the challenge of trying to keep the investment where it needs to be and avoid going too far into the $1 CPM networks of media properties or knock offs that make it seem you just bought a grab bag of goodies at a carnival. We need to be in the industry media; created by quality publishers who started their media brand for the industry as early as when radio was invented. By the same token, budgets should set aside for what I call “after 5 media” – turning your target (a job title) into a consumer for a moment and reinforcing where and when you can when they are traveling or at home.

Assembly: What do you look for in quarterly financial reports?

Arsham: The percentage of marketing budgets towards events, print, and other forms of media. I would hope for a steady percentage in print, an increase in non-traditional, and a continuous increase in digital.

Assembly: Why did you personally choose to specialize in business-to-business marketing?

Arsham: I owe it all to my parents. My father has an amazing work ethic; going to work every day and never afraid to get his fingernails dirty. My mother is all about organization and creativity. My father is an industrial worker (runs his own scrap metal-recycling company). My mom is on the corporate side, experienced in healthcare, IT and military. Growing up, I saw greased, well-oiled manufacturing- machines inside a plant when I worked for my father during the summer. My mother worked in an organized and well-managed white-collar organization. Put two and two together and you have the industrial paternal upbringing and the maternal corporate/creative upbringing. My first job in B-to-B was on the YKK Zipper account. My boss at the mid-size Atlanta agency I worked for did not want any part of the trade advertising, felt it to be boring, and so he gave it all to me and I have enjoyed it ever since. This joy was solidified when I got the part to manage all of GE’s B-to-B advertising at OMD and learned how to manage a global brand with a diversity of products and technologies.

Assembly: What do you enjoy most about business-to-business marketing?

Arsham: It is simple and does not stand for a lot of fluff and a bulk of numbers to project or assume that something will work. It is a straightforward approach where you can go directly to the target and be in front of them when they are immersed in their jobs. There is nothing more fascinating than reading a trade publication in an industry – it tells you why certain things are made, how they are made. B-to-B media can teach you how a car is made and distributed, how we get our electricity, why our computers work the way they do, why a doctor chooses a certain x-ray machine for his or her office, and how we are able to fly from one place to another at any given time. This is all made possible because someone or some company had a product and sold it to another company and in turn that company gave something to the world to buy. Media professionals see their work during a commercial break on TV, they know when it will air and where. I see my work by picking up a trade publication, going online to a trade publication web site, following and sending Tweets to certain business decision makers, and when I attend a trade show.

Day Three Of The MediaPost Online Video Summit: Focus On Native And Social Video

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How do brands capitalize on built in social communities? How do you deliver engaging social video content, yet still be authentic? Before you engage, ask yourself is this shareable and would you watch on a mobile device?

Video will account for 2/3rds of mobile traffic by 2015. What makes story telling in video different on mobile and social? It is essential that your content is authentic. You need to respect your audience, be fun, impromptu and natural, irreverent, but not glib. It needs to be highly visual and they need to be able to watch it or read it; the platforms are all short form. Also, keep in mind most mobile will not have their audio on. How do you break through? A brand must deliver the best part of the video to deliver core message in first 3-5 seconds. You need to “ruin” the reveal- give away the goods upfront to get a user’s attention.

There are 80 million millennials that have grown up with the environments of You Tube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine and Snapchat. If you want to reach them, you have to go where they are, but keep in mind that each of these social platforms act differently, so you need to see which would work best for your brand and design the video for the specific platform.

Social Platforms:

Vine is owned by Twitter. The format is 6.5 seconds or 180 frames to tell your story. Every second there are 9 tweets that go out with a Vine video attached. Humor and personality need to be huge here. Vine is truly a natural environment with non-celebrities leading the social pack.

Instagram, 150MM+ users. :15 video format. 17% of US adults use Instagram. 11% of US teens. It is owned by Facebook. Big potential for growth for brands because it is a sophisticated community that shares and uses hashtags to organize photos. Cull from the community and usual highly visual pictures to tell your story.

Snapchat- audience is young, 70% female between the ages of 13-25. 400MM messages are sent per day. Most of these messages are sent to one person, and it is growing. Highly visual, engaged audience.

Twitter, 240MM WW users. Represent 18% of US adults, 46% use daily with 29% coming back multiple times daily. 76% of those use it do so in the mobile space. Twitter is often a first source for news; the audience is sophisticated and aspirational. You have to be part of the real time conversation.

Facebook, 71% of US adults. 94% of US teens. Teens are sampling other networks, but not abandoning it. With Facebook you need to be able to tell a complex story in a simple way. On Facebook, you have to have a story post that will last for 18-48 hours.

So how do you decide which platform? Look at where your audience is. Decide what you want to achieve from your social video and manage your goals to determine the type of engagement you want. Remember:  the web is not the same as social. Your content won’t work the same across both. There are different audiences, length, and writing styles for each. You have to design and measure differently for each platform.


Roni Jenkins, VP, Interactive Marketing Director

Day Two: MediaPost Online Video Summit; focus on viewability and fraudulent activity.

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How should video viewability be defined? How do we provide transparency and accountability? How to we protect our brands for fraudulent activity? How do you know if you are purchasing fraudulent ads? Who pays for it? Whose responsibility is it to monitor this?

There is an estimate that roughly 25% of of the $30 billion online ad industry is fraudulent. This is much higher in the programmatic space because there is a mix of both premium and long tail inventory so the “bad guys” i.e., pirates who hack into sites and create fake traffic, can more easily hide in this area to blend in with good inventory. The challenge of fraudulent inventory is creeping into the video space because CPMs are generally 10x higher than display, so this provides a greater revenue opportunity for malicious companies that run these fraudulent ads.

Here’s an example of how this works:  a PC gets infected with a virus. Software gets installed into the background of your computer and is unknown to the user. When a user goes online, the pirate software launches in the background and is directed by an outside computer. It directs what sites to visit, and these sophisticated systems will serve ads on a random page URL that are full of stacked ads, non human bots, and non viewable inventory– all deliberately malicious behavior that generates revenue for the bad guys, yet all this background activity is unknown to the user. The site gets fake traffic, and the users cookies get dropped, so there is a user profile associated with that traffic, and sites can sell this inventory to third parties because it seems real. This activity primarily shows up in the exchange or real-time bidding space, but even legitimate publishers- the ones looking to expand their inventory- are accidentally purchasing this fraudulent activity. Most of this in the video space comes in the form of running video in-banner ads rather than pre roll inventory.

Some pirates are even able to insert their malicious software on a levitate publisher site. Why would the bad guys want go to a legitimate publisher site? They do this, without being paid, to build up the cookie pool, also to throw off the tracking of their software so they seem legitimate. The bad guys are extremely sophisticated. We are brands, and the publishers we align with are going up against some of the best hackers in the world. Exchange inventory is rampant with fraud.  We need to Encourage all of our publishers to invest in ad technology to help fight the bots such as Intergal Ad Science, Double Verify, or White Ops.

Verification and brand safety software is a must have. We need additional levels of defense such as blocking to proactively block fraudulent activity. Block the activity before it happens. Be proactive versus reactive. The bad guys are moving fast, you have to constantly be on top of it and monitor and update your tracking. Assume all the impressions you are buying are guilty (fraudulent) until proven innocent (legitimate inventory). Recognize the value in premium content and legitimate publishers. The premium price is beneficial to pay because you can have guaranteed non-fraud, viewable impressions and rely less on questionable third party ad sources.

With all this fraudulent activity it poses the question “Who should pay for blocked impressions?” Should it be the agency or publisher? The suggestion is to work it out in advance with the publishers. If a publisher had ad monitoring software and your brand has ad monitoring software, then you have the best protection you can have. Your fraudulent activity will be limited. I feel this idea of payment for blocked ads is a bigger issue and would take a tremendous amount of time to negotiate payment terms with all of our vendors. This should be addressed in the contracts we enter into and the IAB should update our Terms and Conditions to version 4.0 which would include payment terms for blocked impressions after mutually agreed upon discussions in the industry.


Roni Jenkins, VP, Interactive Marketing Director

Day One of the MediaPost Online Video Summit

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How do we have online video marketing success and what defines it? There were four key topics of discussion:  measurement, production, performance, and distribution.

Measurement via reach, frequency and GRPs: what else should we measure?

How do we build, reach and frequency in the online space? Micro targeting is great but comes at a cost of reach. With social, marketers thought that if they developed content, the reach would come. Facebook has reminded us that reach isn’t free. Video can help solve for both:  Video is 3 or 4 times more engaging than just imagery. A good online video will be your tool to help build frequency because it is engaging. A word of caution though with changing technology and the new “disappearing content” programs. Snapchat, and a Mark Cuban investment in a new company called CyberDust, which is aiming to be for texts what SnapChat is for photos, will make user posts disappear once seen, and will challenge marketers on how to build frequency in age of disappearing content. Agencies are requiring content creators to guarantee views. We need OCR or VCE to manage the new online currency.

What else should we look at? When you get into online you have to add in other metrics other than reach, frequency and GRPs…you have to add in secondary metrics such as viewability.  We also need to understand technology to manage R/F across devices.

How do we produce video that will drive engagement?

Technology has changed video landscape where low quality video can produce quality results, production values can be lower than what have expected in past, and there is no need for “Hollywood” type videos that drives cost and takes longer. Buzzfeed is a good example of creating content that drive a habit. What Buzzfeed did is establish a series of things that are recognizable, users know the format and what to expect– a series of quick lists that are easily digestible and you don’t have to work hard at figuring out what you’ll get.

Reality of human behavior is that people want quick sound bites, it’s a twitter world.

When thinking about brand video, you have to think like a talk show host…you have to think on your feet and deliver. To get a video viral there needs to be one of three things:  Make someone cry, make them fall on floor laughing, or have the ask themselves “is that real?”.  Keeping in mind, this must be authentic to get users to engage.

Performance: what should we expect on Paid vs Earned Media?

Brands need to create strong content, but focus on optimization tactics to strengthen the reach. Average earned media is on average 100% of what you received from paid media while paid media is in flight, but if video is tagged correctly then you can also get an additional 50% earned from SEM over next year.

You need to look at engagement immediately:  How a video performs during the first 24 hours is critical. Velocity, completion rate, and engagement are the three things you have to optimize to get distribution based on the search engine algorithms. The odds of true viral success are low.

Here is an example of an online video that revived a tremendous amount of earned media. Take a look at this Anna Kendrick New Castle video: Other brands that have great earned media success are Red Bull, Nike and Chipotle.

Distribution and You Tube:

You Tube is its own medium, it is the world largest repository for videos with more than a billion views per day; it’s also the worlds second largest search engine and the third social network by percentage of active users. One size does not fit all when it comes to marketing on YouTube.

  • -90% of you Tube is viewed off of YouTube -YouTube reaches more males 18-34 than any cable network. It is where to find those people who don’t watch TV anymore.
  • -40% of You Tube views are on mobile
  • -in comparison, video is only about 3% of Facebook activities

“The best thing to make something go viral is to pay for it.” ~Unknown


Roni Jenkins, VP Interactive Marketing Director

The Power of Content Marketing

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On Tuesday, April 1st Taboola and Beet.TV partnered to host a Content (i.e., Native) Marketing Summit at the Group M offices. Content Marketing is the idea of producing and publishing  information that builds trust of your brand and helps grows your community. A brand can be seen as a trusted authority and drive sales without the “hard sell”.  Speakers participating in the conference ranged from Adam Singolda, CEO & Founder of Taboola, a content distribution platform,  to Craig Ettinger, GM of Adam spoke to how “content discovery will be the fourth category of Digital Advertising” while Craig talked about how Time Inc. has embraced recirculation of original content.  Currently, 93% of marketers use content marketing and 42% say they use if effectively to reach their customers.

As agencies shift towards a more integrated approach, they will be better equipped to handle the ever evolving landscape.  As more brands begin to explore content marketing, a potential barrier could be gaining the consumer’s trust.   Not forcing the brand into the content, authenticity, and relevancy are three ways to help gain consumers’ trust.  They suggested articles or video that is clever, counter intuitive, and quickly digestible. Articles should be either shorter than 400 words or longer than 800 words for those deeper insightful pieces to get you thinking. As content marketing continues to emerge, we as an industry still need to figure out the best way to measure success. What is your ultimate goal? How does content marketing fit into your overall marketing objective? How much are you willing to invest? What is your core message?

One thing is for sure; content marketing is growing and should play a role in your brand strategy. If you are interested in learning more, Beet.TV has posted several of interviews on their site

Ken Druckman, Interactive Communications Associate & Katie Smithson, Interactive Communications Associate

I’m running for mayor and Foursquare CEO, Dennis Crowley, is supporting me!

in Facebook, Foursquare, Social Media No Comments

Along with several other Assembly folks, I had the pleasure of attending the Fast Company “Austin Comes to NYC” panel on March 26th, with special guest, Dennis Crowley. At a high level, Foursquare is the app that allows you to broadcast your where about’s where ever you are, to your select social community. You’re probably asking yourself- “what’s the difference between Facebook, Yelp and Foursquare?” Simple- the algorithm. Foursquare focuses on where you’ve been and makes suggestions on where you should go, solely based on previous check in’s as well as those of your friends. This is what we call, a truly customized experience. Five years and 160 employees later, Foursquare has had over 5 billion check in’s with each receiving a different experience- that’s a lot of customization happening on the fly!

Try using Google or Yelp to locate a bar or a restaurant in your neighborhood and you along with Bob, Jill, Melissa and Sam will all receive the SAME search results. Mr. Crowley sees this as “broken method” that lacks the ability to create a personalized experience, and that’s the world we all live in. “Local search just hasn’t gotten there yet” says Crowley, “Foursquare is the first to really push this model”.

So what does Dennis Crowley see as the future of this Microsoft version of “Clippy” (go on, look up the analogy- It’s the cool hipster-esque gadget that sits in your pocket and knows what you’re doing and where you’re doing it. Sound creepy? Just wait till you visit Bushwick or the Lower East Side and can’t determine where to eat or what activities to indulge in. Foursquare’s got your back.

Oh, and if you’re going on vacation anytime soon, let Foursquare know. You’ll be greeted at your destination with a customized list of activities, restaurants and bars that mirror those you’ve done in your home city. Tourist- no more.


Christine Monahan, Manager, Marketing & Business Development

Trendy Meets Techie & Voila! Smart Watches

in innovation, Technology No Comments

Up until this point smart watches have been nothing more than an extension of smart phones.  Fear no more–Google has announced Android Wear, an Android operating system made specifically for Wearable Technology.

What does this technology promise? It promises actionable information that will help amplify our daily lives.

You check the weather; you see it is raining.

You check the time; you’re running behind.

You check your schedule; the meeting location has moved.

You text your coworker; you want to let them know you will be late.

You check your teams score; you fell asleep during the game last night.

You do all of this while making waffles for the smiling faces sitting at your kitchen table.

Of course I’m not telling you to be late to work. I am merely telling you that instead of spending your time glued to your smart phone, you can focus your attention on the experiences happening around you while seamlessly retrieving the information you need, instantaneously. Android Wear is “information that moves with you” and I couldn’t have phrased it better myself.

Each individual user will receive notifications most important to them to create an entirely unique user experience. To see this technology in action, I highly recommend you watch this video: Android Wear; Information that moves with you

Not only are these watches smart, but they are trendy. Google knows presentation matters and has pared with designers like Fossil Group to keep up appearances.

It is time a device helps us plug back into the world surrounding us and I am hoping Android Wear will be just that.


Cassie Lavo, Integrated Communications Assistant

Assembly, assembled.

in Advertising, Agency Life No Comments

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014, our professional lives as we knew it, were completely transformed. Two highly successful agencies with unique crafts transformed into the most evolved media agency of its kind.

We’re Assembly, nice to meet you!

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.” – Mark Twain

And that we did. Led by CEO, Martin Cass, Assembly defines what most agencies fail to- creativity conjoined with technology smarts, backed by one rockin’ staff! Simply put, modern day media agencies connect brands with consumers. Fast forward to 2014, Assembly’s proposition introduces the concept of meaningful connection. As Cass states in his interview with Mediapost’s Steve McClellan, “we don’t see advertising technology and automation as contradictory to the human creativity powering meaningful connection…we are freeing up significant resources to create the truly breakthrough ideas that meaningfully connect brands with consumers.” As the first scaled U.S. media agency in over 15 years, Assembly is committed to innovation and advanced technology, embracing the entrepreneur in all of us…and you.

So why should you care? Because you’re forward thinking, immersed in technology, you scoff at archaic corporations and the culture that accompanies it.

I’ve run out of reasons why we shouldn’t get to know each other… haven’t you?


In Defense of Search Marketing: Is SEM a Good Platform for Small Businesses?

in Advertising, Internet, Search Engine Marketing, Uncategorized No Comments

A couple weeks ago, a New York Times article considering the worthiness of Google AdWords (and similar platforms) for small businesses was published on the newspaper’s blog. It follows a narrative between three small business owners (of a high-end bridesmaid dress shop, an event planning firm, and an online shopping tool start-up, respectively) who discuss their woes and failed attempts at search marketing, reasoning that AdWords is not a marketing initiative fit for small businesses, mostly because it’s too expensive (“It’s a pretty expensive channel for small companies,” according to one entrepreneur) and doesn’t reach the right people (their words, not mine).

Naturally, the search community exploded with angry responses.

Many SEM bloggers have pointed out that perhaps these business owners did not utilize AdWords correctly, quoting pieces of the article that refer to the owners’ somewhat half-hearted efforts. Others have gone into further detail, pinpointing the issue as an inability to manage the platform rather than the platform itself. While the grievances of these small business owners have merit in their own right, there is another perspective that should be examined. Part of the issue here may be that these business owners are missing the point of paid search.

SEM is meant to be flexible. While Ms. Blumin (an entrepreneur interviewed for the article,) noted, “…you can’t set your AdWords for ‘people who really want to spend a ton of money,’” this is an issue for many marketing channels, but can potentially be addressed by more concentrated optimization efforts like targeting. With search, you can set your own campaign budgets, decide where they run, when they run, and who sees them. You can easily evaluate which efforts are successful and which aren’t, giving you the ability to focus time and funds in the right places. The point that these small business owners were missing is that SEM requires time and attention, not huge budgets.

The crux of SEM is figuring out how to meet the “hand-raisers” halfway. If someone is searching for a product or service, the potential is already there. SEM is therefore about learning how to get to those potential customers, not necessarily just sticking a huge budget on AdWords (although we never mind those either). Therefore, SEM is worth it for small businesses – it gives you the ability to capture these potential customers in an easy and targeted way. It just requires effort.

Obviously, there is a caveat – not all businesses run as well with paid search as others. This is a natural part of marketing; we all know that some mediums work better than others for different types of businesses. Perhaps there is a small business out there that has tried paid search and failed – this really could be because search just isn’t the right initiative for that business. But SEM shouldn’t be written off for all small businesses due to its seemingly high price tag. Know your customers, and know if they’ll be searching – and how they’ll be searching. This is a pretty unique role in the marketing space – and if you dive in deep enough, you get some pretty amazing results.

By Sarah Weg, Assistant Search Analyst

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