Targeting banners using site variable targeting
Tags: Developers, Online Advertising Explained, Tips and Tricks
by Arlen Coupland on October 17th, 2008
I can’t resist… the impulse is too strong… I click on banners which advertise movies featuring caped crusaders and fast cars. I know this because it’s in my nature, but how do you, the publisher, decide that you should show me ads about action movies rather than financial services?
You could try channelling the essence of Arlen but it’s not easy. Firstly you’ll have to buy a slick fannie pack. Then get some sweet Canadian rock tunes playing repeatedly in your head. And third… well actually that’s pretty much it, I don’t lead a complicated life.
But if you are without Canadian rock or fannie packs have no fear, banner targeting is here!
Luckily for you I am a registered member of your website and have provided you with a steady stream of useful information: age, gender, location, interests, address, marital status, # of children, favorite brand of maple syrup, and the like.
We have covered in other areas of documentation and tutorials different methods of targeting banners. Right now I’d like to go over the site variable method which is new in version 2.6. It is very similar to the source targeting option however it is much more versatile as you are able to define your own variable names and use as many as you like.
As the source targeting guide is very well written by community consultant Erik Geurts, I would highly suggest reading it first. The difference here is that on the delivery limitations page of a banner you will want to use the site->variable option rather than site->source.
Once you have chosen this option, you will want to provide a variable name and a value for this variable. Let’s use ‘gender’ as the variable name and ‘male’ as the value, and leave the equation option as ‘is equal to’.
document.write (’&cb=’ + m3_r);
What this will look like when rendered by the website would be ‘ajs.php?zoneid=5&gender=male’. The actual code will of course change depending on your website and how you store user data.
This is just the tip of the melting iceberg, but hopefully it helps many of you get started with this new feature. We will be adding an advanced tutorial which shows in more depth how to use the feature and how to append variables and values to different invocation tags. Basically - you want to add the variable after the main delivery file name. So for iframe it would be ‘afr.php?zoneid=5&gender=male’. Single page call would have ’spcjs.php?id=1&gender=male’.
So now that you know the user is male, you can focus on banners with subjects males most likely are interested in (like football and football - by the way geotargeting is also useful). Sure I once clicked on a banner for High School the Musical but that is an exception, not the rule (but it does exceptionally rule!).
As an example of how far this targeting can go, let’s say you add ‘favoriteFood’, ‘favoriteBand’, and ‘favoriteActionHero’ to the invocation tag - when I view a page, I might see a banner something like this. Definite click!
It’d be great if you can provide examples of how to code such basic additions to the invocation tag using your favorite programming language, CMS or templating system. Five stars and a smiley emoticon go to whomever points out a way to automatically grab page meta keywords, page title, and other such keywords and auto-add them to an invocation tag for a method of content-relative targeting.