Home Digital TV and Video eHealth.com Thinks Mobile Is A Watershed For TV Attribution

eHealth.com Thinks Mobile Is A Watershed For TV Attribution


screenEHealth.com, an insurance resource and price comparison engine reaching about 50 million eligible Americans, wants to reach a broad swath of consumers.

Thus, national cable and syndicated TV buys – particularly for its Medicare business focused on individuals 65-and-older – are key to obtain that reach.

Over the years, eHealth.com expanded its advertising investments to include more TV, radio and even direct mail. And as eHealth.com ramps up its mobile strategy to reach the under-65 set, it’s thinking more proactively about tying mobile searches back to its TV investments.

“Early on, search-engine marketing was a core, built-in need for an ecommerce company, so it was something we built out internally,” said Jeff Bernstein, SVP of marketing for eHealth.com, who joined the company in fall 2013 from Universal McCann. “We then branched out and moved more heavily into programmatic, since we found many of the skillsets we had in SEO were leverageable in display.”

Although 37% of eHealth.com’s under-65 users are mobile, Bernstein acknowledges the insurance industry, given the nature of its product, has been slow to develop mobile strategies. Think about the last time you filled out an insurance application – customers don’t necessarily want to fat-finger their Social Security numbers or other pertinent data points onto a small screen.

But because a bulk of its TV ad spend is direct-response – many commercials have calls-to-action – eHealth.com wanted to explore the impact of TV ads on second-screen search activity. It’s partnering with TV ad-syncing platform Wywy to do so.

“We see this as a really interesting way of creating a mobile-first campaign where it’s less about the ad size or native ad format within social, but more about using a suite of tactics,” said Bernstein. “Part of taking advantage of mobile is accounting for the fact that a mobile user, as a result of your TV commercial, raised their hand and showed interest in your category.” 

Marketers increasingly request more granular information around their TV ad buys, said Wywy’s CEO Andreas Schroeter. If a 9:35 a.m. BMW campaign on ABC in the New York metro area drives regional search queries, the auto manufacturer might also want to know whether it led to an uptick in dealer visits.

Measurements are improving across the board. In addition to tracking whether a TV ad drove a final purchase or conversion on-site, advancements in attribution let marketers tweak keyword bids in real time around search queries related to specific TV airings, or to conquest against competitive TV airings with a brand’s own keywords.

“Paid search has evolved a lot from its past where you would do a lot of branding at the beginning and paid search at the end for the lower-funnel campaigns, but now with mobile at their disposal, you’re connecting more into the branding part of the experience because search activity has changed,” Schroeter said.

Wywy SearchSync data indicates engaged TV viewers tend to search for products within 90 seconds from when the ad airs. This surge drives a 50%-100% increase in brand searches within three minutes of the commercial’s run time.


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“It’s all about cost of acquisition,” Bernstein said. “When we bid on keywords within a window of moments after the commercial’s run, we see a better COA within those two minutes than within the rest of our campaign.”

Bernstein said he’s been a longtime user of Adobe’s analytics and attribution, and since there is an integration with Wywy’s tool, it would allow him to measure the impact of TV ads on site performance. Over the last 9-10 months, eHealth.com put out a number of RFPs to move away from “a patchwork of four different programmatic vendors” to a unified Adobe stack.

Ehealth.com now uses Adobe Media Optimizer for display and is in the process of rolling out Audience Manager as its data management platform.

“For our purposes, attribution needs to live between our traditional TV spend, digital and our ecommerce site,” said Bernstein, adding that offline plays a role as well, since eHealth.com operates three call centers.

He added: “Google’s got a really fascinating attribution product, but I think it’s more valuable if you have a brick and mortar presence and you want to tie that back to mobile. For us, it was about tying TV spend into increased search activity or site usage and interactivity between those distribution points, so we want to buy more for the present, not the promise for the future.”

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