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Target with benefits, test the variables

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Todd Tweedy last month took on the role of VP-marketing at Multicity.com, a multilingual application service provider for communication tools such as chat rooms, message boards, voting booths and instant messaging.

Tweedy, who was most recently the president and founder of The Tweedy Group L.L.C., a marketing consulting firm based in Washington, in 1999 launched one of the 10 largest online media placements, for Network Solutions Inc. The placements were in 13 different languages, and the ads included a series of interactive banner ads used to drive domain registrations.

In his new role, Tweedy plans to focus a majority of Tysons Corner, Va.-based Multicity.com's marketing efforts on banner ad campaigns.

When it comes to banner ads, he said, marketers should focus on the desired behavior of the user. By doing so, they can move away from typical branding advertisements.

Tweedy suggests sticking with benefits-driven messaging when developing banner creative.

"Since a single online ad view is not likely to trigger purchase behavior, the ability to recognize interests in a needs-segmented channel and deliver relevant benefits is a much more powerful selling proposition,'' he said.

In addition, Tweedy recommends that marketers look at banner ad campaigns "from the other side.'' First find out the placement specs for the advertisement, and then build creative to support that placement.

Doing so provides an excellent platform for testing a banner ad campaign, Tweedy said. "And testing creative variables like color, image and text will lead to better results.''

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