CYBERCRITIQUE: Just-plucked data enhances the sales pitch

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MARKETER: eCost.com

FIND IT AT: Salon.com

CRITIQUE: Pay no attention to what's going on behind this banner. It's plain. It's even a little dull. It says you can buy a Palm personal organizer online at eCost.com and what today's price is.

What's the big deal? The thing is, when it says "today," it means "today."

Every now and then we get a new technology to write about. A recent entry is Mojo Works from San Francisco-based Mediaplex, and it enhances these banners for eCost.

It's not a new technology -- merely a GIF file. But behind the scenes, Mojo pulls information from a database and serves it into regular old GIF banners in real time.

It can pull pricing or stock data. It also can do amazing things, such as following you around the Web -- changing the price until it finds your point to convince you to click through and buy it. It can state how many of a certain item are in stock and, as the stock decreases, update that information, too, no matter how many sites the banner is running on and without having to recreate all the creative.

This particular execution, creatively, isn't the most exciting thing, but it shows promise.

The potential applications are certainly there and probably will show up more and more as marketers tap this customized sales pitch.

We've said many times that the banner ad needs to do more for the advertiser. By taking an already great piece of real estate and then integrating information from an advertiser's other information systems and marketing efforts, it is even more effective as a sales tool.

WHO CREATED IT: In-house with Mediaplex.

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