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Thinking online when acting online

World News Publishing Focus

World News Publishing Focus
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Thinking online when acting online

“We started mapping everything – every day,” says Halvard Kristiansen, Head of Behavioral Targeting for Schibsted of Norway, in explaining how his company constantly uses data collected from users to make decisions.

Mr. Kristiansen says the mission of his five-person group is to help Schibsted sell inventory at the highest price, and extensive data collection and ongoing observation tests help them do that.

He says Schibsted uses two main methods to measure campaigns. One is CTR (click through rate) – the number of times an ad is clicked relative to the number of times the ad is shown, expressed as a percentage. The second way is through observation tests: “We talk to people about what they remember about the ads.”

Mr. Kristiansen points out that while CTR is a standard measurement, there is one major flaw with it: You have no idea how many people are actually seeing the ad. Is it 10 people clicking 10 times each? Or one person clicking 100 times, or is it 100 different people? It’s impossible to say.

“We have developed a system where we can recognize each computer that has seen the ad – on the fly, in real-time (using cookies) and then we can do an observation test 24 hours later,” he says. In a print campaign, testing is done when the campaign is over; online, testing can be done throughout a campaign, so that it can be adjusted to get better results.

“We register all the things we’re doing every day,” Mr. Kristiansen says.

One major lesson learned from this process, he says, is you should match the thinking to the medium, and not be thinking in terms of print standards when dealing with online-related issues, for example.

“We need to start thinking online while we’re acting online, because there is a lot of thinking we’re not doing,” he says. He sometimes wonders: “Are we thinking online when we’re acting on mobile?”

Author

Brian Veseling's picture

Brian Veseling

Date

2012-03-02 17:20

Author information

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