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Eloqua AdFocus: Marketing Automation Meets Display Ad Management

 

Eloqua just announced AdFocus–a tool that allows marketers to manage their display ad targeting within Eloqua's marketing automation system. AdFocus gives marketers a way to monitor and manage their paid display ad marketing alongside other marketing channels such as email and affiliate marketing.

The ability to monitor display ad targeting within Eloqua is useful since display ads are a growing area of focus for business-to-business (B2B) companies. According to a recent Forrester report, paid media is expected to make up 36 percent of all interactive media purchases by 2016.

Success with display advertising hinges on the ability to personalize ad content to niche audiences. Using the data kept in a marketing automation system for ad personalization helps marketers do this. To get a sense of how Eloqua customers can use AdFocus, Eloqua offered me an exclusive interview with Rob Bois, Product Marketing Manager at Eloqua.

AdFocus Creates Personalized Display Ads

Most display ads fail to reach their intended audience. A recent study by Demandbase, a personalization and targeting platform, estimates that 67 percent of all display ads are seen by the wrong audience. According to Bois, the big change for marketers is that AdFocus “allows marketers to bring the level of conversion optimization they’re able to bring to email campaigns and landing pages to display ads. Display ads are no longer simply about brand awareness–more and more they’re about lead generation.”

AdFocus uses Bizo–an individualized display targeting ad company–to help marketers reach the appropriate audience by using prospect data, such as their lead score, which is already stored in the marketing automation system. The system can embed personal information about a prospect, such as the prospect’s name, directly in an ad. Eloqua believes that this personalized approach to display ad targeting will improve the success of lead generation efforts.

Lead Nurturing Comes to Display Ads

For most marketers, emails and phone calls are the primary methods of lead nurturing. AdFocus allows marketers to display certain ads solely to prospects who are in the lead nurturing phase. For instance, marketers can display an ad with a call to action that is educational in nature and directs them to an informational page, rather than a sales page for individuals who are in the research phase.

As prospects exhibit more buying behavior (e.g., downloading a Web form) marketers can adjust their display ad to serve up content that moves the prospect toward a buying decision. For instance, Bois says that “after a prospect downloads a form on your website, you can provide a display ad for a return on investment (ROI) calculator or a request for proposal (RFP) form to keep the buyer further down the funnel.”

Eloqua AdFocus

Screenshot of Eloqua AdFocus mapping display ad rules. Click image to enlarge.

Another feature of AdFocus is that it allows marketers to automate account-level display ad targeting. Traditionally, when marketers wanted to target a specific type of account, they’d have to go out and research which websites are most likely to have an audience interested in their product or service. Then they’d have to manually target each of those websites for a display ad.

Demandbase automates this process by allowing marketers to target only specific account types, based on information saved in their marketing automation system. For instance, marketers can select to display a specific type of ad solely to their health care industry prospects. After designing the display ad, Demandbase can serve that ad to health care prospects, regardless of where they are surfing on the Web.

In addition, by logging all data in a single system, marketers will be able to compare the performance and return on investment of their earned, owned and paid marketing efforts side-by-side.

As the scope of modern marketing channels continues to expand, we’re likely to see an increased focus on centralizing the management of all marketing channels. The company plans to release Eloqua’s AdFocus in their Eloqua Winter 2013 edition. Do you plan to use this for your display ad targeting? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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Derek Singleton

About the Author

Derek Singleton joined Software Advice after graduating from Occidental College in Los Angeles, California. At Software Advice, he manages content related to the CRM software market and reports on business-to-business (B2B) marketing technologies, topics and trends.

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