May 17, 2012
The MLB At Bat iPhone app
NEW YORK A Major League Baseball executive at IABs Innovation Days conference said that the organization is seeing a lot more consumers buying baseball tickets via mobile.
During the Increasing Ad Spend ROI: Put Audience Targeting to Work and Deliver Personalized Advertising session, executives from MLB and Quantcast presented a case study on how the sports organization is benefiting from real-time advertising. Additionally, the session presented a look at how the MLB breaks down campaigns by specific baseball teams.
The goal is to drive online ticket sales and to increase ad spend, said Barbara McHugh, senior director of Major League Baseball Advanced Media, New York.
We decided to work with Quantcastto measure the audience that is more likely to buy tickets and are now serving impressions that are most like our current ticket buyers, she said.
However, with 30 teams in different markets that all offer different prices, it can be difficult for the company to measure where traffic is coming from. Additionally, ticket sales can sway depending on a teams season performance.
Each team has their own marketing strategies in place and may include in-house agencies.
Eight MLB teams have worked with Quantcast on online campaigns to increase ticket sales. To collect data, Quantcast tags all of a teams Web pages with pixels.
Ms. McHugh claims that since working with Quantcast in 2011, the company is seeing a 27:1 ROI.
Thirty-five percent of conversions from these campaigns come from users who are MLB members but have not bought tickets from the teams Web site. Eight percent of the conversions are for new ticket buyers who have never visited a MLB site.
On average, 45 percent of conversions are made within one day of seeing a Quantcast display ad. Fifty-six percent of conversions are made within two days.
Jag Duggal, vice president of product management at Quantcast, San Francisco, also spoke on the panel about the role of real-time display advertising.
The ultimate goal of real-time display advertising is to drive search-like displays that will eventually impact channels such as mobile.
However, real-time display advertising is too new of a channel to completely figure out yet.
As an example, Mr. Duggal compared the medium to the basic ads that first ran during I Love Lucy, which was one of the first prime-time hit TV shows.
At the time, TV was still new for both consumers and advertisers. However, brands knew that it was a hot place to be in and started to experiment with advertising.
Marketers need to understand that each ad impression is different and needs to be treated differently, per the Quantast exec.
Evaluating campaigns only on clicks is not an effective measure of success because clicks do not necessarily equal conversions.
Search advertising gives marketers an exact idea of what a consumer is interested in with specific keywords.
Compared to search advertising however, display can be trickier because consumers are not necessarily giving out strong signals on what they are interested in while reading news online orbrowsing through their Facebook account. To make up for the gap, marketers can use data to make advertising relevant.
It is important to understand that there are new rules that lead to success, Mr. Duggal said. In a world of big data, the amount of data does matter.
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York
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