Microsoft attacks outdated online ad model

26 Feb 2008

Outlining its new rules of engagement for campaign performance in the online ad world, Microsoft attacked the internet industry’s ‘last ad clicked’ model as outdated and flawed.

The Seattle software giant yesterday outlined its new approach, entitled engagement mapping, to measuring and managing the effectiveness of online ad campaigns.

This new approach, it says, goes beyond the current ‘last ad clicked’ standard.

Online ad reporting methodologies over the past decade associate sales, leads and web traffic simply to the last click or ad exposure.

However, its new engagement mapping standard takes into account various online touch points and interactions which a consumer experiences before an eventual sale.

Beta testing of Microsoft’s new approach using software called Engagement ROI will be taken by a number of major US advertising agencies, including Agencia Click + UNICA, Best Western International Inc, BKV, Citi Cards, GSD&M Idea City, Ingenuity Media of The Martin Agency, Initiative, McKinney, MEC Interaction, Mindshare Interaction, Monster Worldwide Inc, Neo@Ogilvy, Sprint and World Vision.

Engagement ROI evaluates and assigns measurable value to a consumer’s interaction with ads, giving advertisers and publishers a more complete picture of online behaviour. The software has a reporting capability that sits within the Atlas Media Console from Microsoft.

Value is assigned and measured on a real-time basis and takes into account the impact that recency, frequency and ad format have on a consumer’s online path to action.

“The ‘last ad clicked’ is an outdated and flawed approach because it essentially ignores all prior interactions the consumer has with a marketer’s message,” said Brian McAndrews, senior vice-president of the advertiser & publisher solutions division at Microsoft.

“Our engagement mapping approach conveys how each ad exposure — whether display, rich media or search, seen multiple times on multiple sites and across many channels — influenced an eventual purchase,” said McAndrews.

“We believe it represents a quantum leap for advertisers and publishers who are seeking to maximise their online spends.”

By John Kennedy