Direct Line Blog

Your ads don't have to annoy consumers

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You ever find yourself baffled by the ads that appear along the margins of a given Web page? Because I'm the CRM reporter here at Direct Marketing News, I often search for CRM companies and products. Because of behavioral tracking, the almighty “Internet” knows this; so whenever I'm browsing a site, even if the site has nothing to do with CRM, I'll see advertisements for Salesforce Chatter. This would be great if I were an enterprise looking to connect with my colleagues on a private social cloud, but since I'm just a lowly reporter trying to book restaurant reservations, I'd much rather see, well, restaurant ads.

Shoebuy.com, an online footwear retailer, and HookLogic, a provider of e-commerce media services, have partnered to help Shoebuy offer relevant product placements on its online store. The company wants to create new merchandizing opportunities for the company's brand partners.

Shoebuy works with more than 1,100 brands that will now be able to showcase individual products throughout the site in relevant locations along the shopper's path, both companies said.

This partnership makes sense for several reasons: 1) Shoebuy can sell, track, and measure ads on its site; 2) Brand partners gain visibility on certain parts of the site they might not ordinarily be seen on; 3) As the privacy debate rages on, Shoebuy has figured out a way to offer relevant ads without intruding on consumer privacy; 4) Consumers won't see Salesforce.com ads when they're browsing for Air Jordans.

“Hooklogic's technology allows for brands to extend the reach of their relationships with Shoebuy,” said James Keller, Shoebuy's CMO. “It's very important to make sure ad placement and product placement don't diminish the customer experience. You've got to make sure that it isn't something that diminishes the site experience.”

Since we're on the subject of relevant ads that don't diminish my site experience, can someone do something about ads that interrupt my app experience? Nothing annoys me more than those apps that drop down from the top of the iPad screen during a round of Angry Birds. The game makes it difficult enough to score three stars; the last thing I need is a drop-down ad for hotels to appear while I'm measuring speed and trajectory to obliterate the green pigs. I know, I know. These ads are what allow the Angry Birds app to be free in the first place, but still, if I'm annoyed by your ad, chances are I'm not buying whatever it is you're trying so hard to sell.

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