Custom Audiences Ad Boost; eBay Study Disses Search

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Custom Audiences Ad Boost

More than twice as many advertisers have flocked to Facebook’s custom audiences feature since January, reports Bloomberg’s Brian Womack. Released nearly six months ago, custom audiences, which lets companies apply data they’ve collected from outside the social network to their Sponsored Stories, is useful because it allows marketers to “more granularly target what you [customers] want,” Grady Burnett, vp of global marketing solutions at Facebook, tells Womack. More.

Amazon Super Users

Amazon’s Prime program has surged to 10 million users or 4% of its customer base, according to Morningstar analysts and Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. Interestingly from a data perspective, those users spend more than twice as much as non-Prime members. That means that for this growing segment of loytal customers, Amazon has far more purchase history data than for the other 96%. Amazon could knock the program's entry cost by dozens of dollars and have it still be profitable. So, more "super profiles" coming? Wired coverage.

eBay Study Disses Search

Google’s search ads take one on the chin in a new study by eBay. A spokeswoman tells Reuters, “Incremental revenue from paid search was far smaller than expected because existing customers would have come to eBay regardless, whether directly or through other marketing channels.” Last click is dying a slow death -- research like this could accelerate the shift of budgets away from the lower-funnel demand capture machine that is search advertising. More.

Make It Like TV

In a new whitepaper, video ad network and exchange company BrightRoll argues that it’s time to move beyond existing, accepted success metrics in online video ads and start thinking about the audience reached.  From the paper: “Until marketers reduce sole reliance on metrics such as CTR, completion rate  and time spent, meaningful cross-platform campaign measurement can never be fully developed or implemented.”  See the argument (PDF).

Portal Prices Rise

Portals have generally been viewed as dinosaurs, made extinct by the rise of social media and search. But as AOL and Yahoo experience some improvement in their respective profiles lately, it appears they’re able to attract slightly higher CPMs, according to ad cost analyzer SQAD. The Three Portal Index, which includes the AOL Media Network, MSN/Windows Live/Bing and Yahoo, reached a seven-quarter high after a surge in CPM rates in Q4. In terms of where the dollars are coming from, financial services are ramping up spending in the face of the rising Dow Jones Industrial Average. “Many of these sites show that branded content continues to draw dollars,” said Tom Adams, Director of SQAD’s WebCosts unit. “Additionally, many of the larger sites have become very sophisticated as it relates to inventory management and pricing strategies.” Read the release.

On-And-Off Lookalike

Data management platform Bluekai and predictive analytics and data provider TruSignal have collaborated on the release of interest-based “lookalikes,” which compares the attributes of converters to identify and target new prospects. Online reaches to offline, and back againl. Read the release.

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