Media Buyers Unite: A product for agencies and MicroHoo

Disclaimer: This product has virtually no shot of ever succeeding.  Read at your own ROI.

And a note: This post is in draft form and I’ll edit it throughout the day. 

Since the 1950’s (and that’s before my time thankfully), a media buyer been able to see and understand exactly what media they are purchasing, a soft of transparency.

Fast forward to the age of Google and ad networks and suddenly, media buyers are blinded. Of course, there has always been remnant and the aftermarket, but this was typically for non-premium inventory.

With the advent of search marketing (premium inventory for ROI) and ad networks (the ability to secure premium inventory through a high effective blended CPM), suddenly premium inventory is being secured without real transparency. Hence all of the recent news.

But wait a second, can’t you just purchase the keyword “Florida vacations” on Google? Yes you must certainly can, but the value of that inventory (regardless of what you paid for it) is compromised.


Because you don’t know how many advertisements that users was aware of or worse responded to.

For example, I purchase the keyword “Florida Vacations.” I pay $.90 for that click.  One user, one click, $.90, easy math, right? Wrong.

How many times did that user click before they clicked on my ad? How many times did they click on a natural result first? Was this the first users first search or their last one?

So the equation might actually be 50% confidence of 1/32 of a user, one click, $.90.

Changes my metrics.

More importantly, changes the value of that user and the value of the media.

It an interesting parallel is the following.

I was recently talking to the head of marketing of a major enterprise software company and reviewing their distribution plan. After looking at some of the numbers with them especially on high volume, non-specific keywords (think “CRM”) I said, “Do you realize that you are losing a ton of money on this word, upwards of $1000 per day!” I was evaluating it with a few performance-based metrics (cost of acquisition, viewthru value, etc.) 

He replied, “Well I wish I new the impressions, because it probably beats what I’m paying my agency to do brand awareness.”

In short, the lack of transparency in terms of user behavior by Google creates an inability to buy media on whatever metric a media buyer wants to purchase it on.

Which way would Google’s revenue j if they allowed roadblock buys on content just like Yahoo does on Autos, Sports, etc.? Wait, that’s a separate post.

How about the product? Call it Media Validator or something.

What does it do? Provides all sorts of data to marketers in terms of the types of impresions they are buying in search.

How does it work? By search click redirection. Here’s the flow: Client purchases click, the landing page url goes through Media Validator to client landing page, recording the data to be reported on later.

What would be needed?

Technical: An extremely scalable, distributive computing systems that could process data flow with higher uptime and latency than anyone else. This would be Herculean, only a few companies have this right now–as I can tell–and have the talent to do it (besides the government): Microsoft, Yahoo, Amazon, etc.

Corporate: A service owned collectively by all agencies except Publicis and MicroHoo. Why? Because Google is the market leader and Publicis just signed a relationship with them.

What do you get? An understanding of the number of impressions (calculated by search term on Microsoft and Yahoo) per search terms and usage patterns on those impressions to indepedently calculate media value in the V1. V2 would be an opt-in basis of what advertisers want to contribute (pricing, marketing message, etc.)

Why won’t it work? Total pipe dream. The business coordination, capital investment, egos etc. stop this one right here on this blog. Oh, and how much money is being made here through this service–that would be only subscription fees.

But it was fun to think of.


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