Advertising Fragmentation

by Travis Ketchum · 2 comments

dictionary-homepageJust as when you are identifying your clientele, you must break down your advertising efforts into fragments to boost the success within each segment. Those who plan on advertising anywhere and everywhere are most assuredly doomed to losses, because while advertising can drive sales and is necessary to garner attention for your product or service; a poorly implemented advertising strategy is going to cost you more than you could make back. That is the unfortunate truth for most early marketers.

So how do you decide which advertising strategies will work best for your brand? The decision is highly dependent on the type of product that you sell, or if you provide a service. One of the basic rules that you will learn in any promotional management class is that you do not stretch your promotional budget to meet your objective, you make your objective fit your budget. So with an emphasis on startups, here is the generalized breakdown for promotional strategies.


The biggest draw for startups towards an affiliate model is that it requires little to no upfront cost to start moving products, or gathering clients. The most involved part of this model is setting up the program and adding to the catalog.

Affiliate systems work by have a vendor or service provider sharing either a set dollar amount, or percentage of their sale (also pay per lead is considered affiliate). This usually works out for the vendor because it hedges the amount of money they need to spend in order to gain additional sales and grow their customer base. Affiliate marketers also like these kinds of programs because they are typically very in tune with what type of traffic they can channel and at what cost. For the marketer, these programs are essentially arbitrage.

{A great way to start your own affiliate program for free is through Has Offers [link] }

Pay Per Click {PPC}

PPC advertising is a great way to get traffic as quickly as possible, especially if you are using a major search engine to deliver the ad inventory. The idea behind PPC is that you create ad copy, select keywords to bid on, and pay each time somebody clicks on the link to go to your website etc. Click fraud is a known problem that many ad networks are combating daily, however if you know how to leverage the metrics that decide your cost per click, PPC can be a great way to drive sales.

{Google AdWords is certainly the market leader right now, and has the highest search volume thanks to Google}

Cost Per Thousand Impressions {CPM}

Impression based advertising is more for the major brands, or for particularly large promotions where a firm wants to raise awareness of their product or service (typically a particular line within a series). This type of advertising usually yields lower returns on investment for direct sales; however this type of advertisement can be attention grabbing if you have a great designer. The goal here is to really reach the magical 3 real impressions per user so the message sticks with them.

{Yahoo! has a very dynamic impression based network, at least until Bing replaces Yahoo! search[link] }

Cost Per Day: Take Over

Arguably one of the most effective forms of advertisements, cost per day also carries the highest ticket price. From a consumer perspective, these ads typically “take over” an entire website, or an entire category (often home page) in order to saturate the advertising impression with the customer. I feel that this is better for the consumer because while you can’t escape the message at hand, the ads are often thought out to much more detail, more creative and reduce overall clutter on the affected website.

The advertisers like these take overs because they know that each and every person visiting that page will see their promotional message and often times has the value added ability to make large portions of the site clickable for the consumer to find out more information. A great example of this is illustrated above from using its backsplash as a type of digital billboard.

MG Siegler from TechCrunch finds this approach appalling stating that is “God-awful” and “greedy”. What he is missing is that these condensed take overs result in a cleaner advertising experience for the consumer and a higher quality experience for both parties. {article}

The bigger the firm, the more diversified your promotional strategy can be, but while you are still small you should be focusing on narrow casted promotion with affiliate and ppc promotion. It isn’t until your firm requires large scale brand recognition (read outside of your local area) that cpm and take over’s are a logical step within your promotion.

What do you think about large scale take over advertisements from both perspectives? Is MG Siegler from correct in describing these digital billboards cancer to the internet?

Definition {Arbitrage}: Profiting off of the imbalance within two markets.

Example {Arbitrage}: It costs me an average of $15 to produce a buying customer to site X using my e-mail lists. Site X value’s each paying customer at more than $20, and therefore pays out an affiliate commission of $20 per new lead. The arbitrage in this case would a market imbalance of $5.

About Travis Ketchum
A smart ass marketer who doesn't take no for an answer and always questions the status quo. Connect with me on Google+. Convinced yet? Get more tips and great content 100% free.

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Building a sustainable business is all about how well you can gather and maintain an audience. An email list is still one of the most viable ways to do just that.

We wanted to find a way to build an email incredibly fast, in a way that people actually find interesting, engaging and well - cool. It took a lot of testing to weed-whack through all the hype and find something that really worked.

The result? We ended up building our own solution, focused around the idea of contests and rewarding people for taking the actions that ultimately led to more leads on our email list. Everyone wins (and some literally do!), because as it turns out people love contests regardless of their market place.

Click to continue…

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

tmongan October 9, 2009 at 8:50 AM

Great article! I saw your link on tech crunch about the click fraud. I think online advertising is going to have to move in a direction that is more secure and conversion focused especially for smaller businesses who don’t have the marketing budget the big boys do. Thanx for the great read!


tketch October 9, 2009 at 11:27 AM

tmongan, Thank you for taking the time to read my article! I couldn’t agree more that performance based marketing will have a much larger market segment in the small and medium business sector due to limited budgets and/or knowledge of online promotion. The less risk that the advertiser has to take, the more likely a CPA network is going to have a large inventory base. Hope you come back soon!


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