Which online ad formats are proving to be most effective for b-to-b clients?
Bagot: Currently, streaming video seems to be our most effective vehicle. The efficiency rates we're seeing versus Flash banners, for instance, are fairly staggering. Also rich banners are really working for us. Much of the work we do at McCann Worldgroup, San Francisco, is for Microsoft, and these rich units give us an ability to demo products such as Office 2007 right on the page. From a customer experience perspective, we tend to tread very carefully around units that might distract or annoy, so we use floating ads over the page units very judiciously.
How are you using online video?
Bagot: Online video is really blowing up. If the last year taught us anything, it is the power of video storytelling. For many years the conventional wisdom was that business decision-makers don't watch online video. Today's truth is they are some of the most avid users of online video. Because of that fact, we're going fairly crazy with this stuff. We're creating everything from 15-second preroll videos to short films. Recently we created a 45-minute short film for the launch of Windows Vista. We divided it into seven episodes and posted them at a site called clearification.com. Because it was comedy-based content, it became highly viral. Also, we just completed a series of Web films for Office 2007 that have really changed the way we sell the benefits of Microsoft software.
What are the key metrics for measuring online advertising campaigns?
Bagot: Everything we do is measurable, from click-though to downloads to how deep our ads propel our customers into the engagement model. The area I personally pay a lot of attention to is time of engagement. I believe time spent in our client's branded environments is the ultimate metric and probably the most tangible way of measuring the business value we generate for our clients.