Friday, July 11, 2008

Google Ad Planner

I was accepted as a beta tester when Google's Ad Planner tools were released two weeks ago. You can see what alot of others think about it by checking out their first blush impressions. There's thems that says it replaces the agency and those that sez it's nothing new. Somewhere in between lies the truth.

What does Ad Planner do?

It allows an ad planner to evaluate traffic and audience demographics against specific websites and understand what (Google) ad network options are available for reaching

For example, let's say I want to reach a traditionally defined demographic online for 25-54 year old females, with bachelor's degree and more than $75,000 income. Google ad planner suggested the following sites (out of a total listing of more than 40 sites that support Google ads and hundreds of other sites that don't):

Apparently, this demographic is interested in babies, celebrities (who may be babies), jobs, healthcare and whatever it is that Martha Stewart does. Who would have thunk that? While these aren't necessarily the insights that make for great campaigns, they do come with some other great Google features. Like the ability to see traffic on these sites.

So here's a quick eval of the good, the bad, and the unknown:


  • I can enter a specific site and see what kind of traffic and the demographic against it.
  • For sites that match my criteria, I can see what other sites these people visited and the traffic they support.
  • A great way to gain insight into competitive web presenceseses
  • The dashboard interface is typically spartan Google and easy to use.

  • Only sites with sufficient traffic (as defined by Google) will show up...limiting utility for planning against Long Tail sites
  • The number of sites able to be researched is far greater than the number who accept Google advertising (which is, perhaps, only bad if you are trying to integrate your planning and buying with Google).

  • It is not at all clear where the demographic data comes from...but then Google is likely as trustworthy as any of the traditional demographic data sources (e.g., MRI, Neilsen).

In the end this is a beta. AdWords alone is a $10billion dollar business. As Google enables do-it-yourself media planning--and buying--expect AdPlanner to evolve in connecting marketers with the online world's Long Tail dialogue.

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