Saturday, January 21, 2006

MSN AdCenter Annoyances!

One of my clients is a beta test for MSN AdCenter . I found the PPC interface frustrating to use so we don't run ads yet.

I do use it as a research tool and MSN AdCenter has provided some very interesting search demand and demographic data that has never been made available before in such detail (and on demand). However, MSN has opened Pandora's box for me, because now I hunger for more and the data that is provided is not reliable or extensive enough. Here's some examples (below).

Keyword: Southwest House Plans (and associated keywords)
'>href="">Search Demand for Southwest House Plans

The data for December 05 and January 06 (partial) don't match in Search Demand for days of the week or times of the month where there might be Peaks in demand. Now I want that percision but the MSN Beta doesn't provide it. Worse yet, there's no way yet to export the data to Excel so I can improve on it - in fact, only the current and previous months are shown, not enough data.

The location where those who are searching for SouthWest house plans also does not match from last month and this month - though there are overlaps.

'>href="">Search Location for Southwest House Plans - December 05

'>'>href="">Search Location for Southwest House Plans - January 06 Partial

Now, Geotargeted PPC might work with this data (target all the locations) but they're giving you the cities only, not the states they are in (there's more than one Arlington and Albany). Again, I need the ablility to export the raw data into a spreadsheet and MSN needs to provide that before they go live, in my opinion. By the way, if we use GeoTargeted PPC, you'll also want to do custom landing pages.

AdCenter has also provided some information on who is looking for Southwest House Plans
'>'>href="">Age and Gender information for Southwest House Plans - December 05

In this case, age and gender are fairly even; for many types of house plan styles, they aren't the same at all, and that should be a wakeup call to anyone that markets anything on the web...audinces can differ from offering to offering on the same website! The "show all and let visitors pick what they want" approach is effectively dead!

Finally, MSN provides demographic clustering information, similar to Claritas Prizm Segmentation System though the cluster definations are not explained anywhere on tbe MSN AdCenter Beta site - frustrating to say the least. So you have to go outside MSN AdCenter to find out what the cluster segmantation means. Also, the information they are collecting from the MSN Toolbar is not yet comprehensive enough (but it's a start).
'>'>'>href="">Cluster Demographics information for Southwest House Plans - December 05

You can see those who searched the most (that MSN can figure out thier cluster) was the "Rural Inheritance" cluster ... except it's not part of the PRIZM system defination, which means that MSN is using another Cluster defination, or worse yet, mixing different companies definations of various clusters. What needs to happen is for MSN to publish the meaning of each of these clusters and they haven't done that yet.

Finally, there's wealth infomation (do people accurately give their income level to MSN?)
'>href="">Wealth Demographics information for Southwest House Plans - December 05

So now that we have this data, we need more precision and wider data sampling in time, plus the ability to export the data.

I wonder if Google is planning some super stelth version of this right now?

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