The entire advertising marketplace is in a state of flux caused by the search engines' introduction of pay-for-performance advertising programs, according to a just-released study from InfoCommerce Group entitled "Online Buying Guides: Making Sense of What's Happening Now."
Among the study's key findings are: What really excites advertisers is not Pay for Performance (PFP) itself, but one of its key manifestations: shifting advertising risk from the advertiser to the publisher; Advertisers cite PFP as being "more fair," and this leveling of the playing field is what is driving the growth of PFP; A large majority of advertisers (71%) consider publisher-generated performance reporting to be important, while the exact same percentage of publishers (71%) deliver no advertiser reporting at all; Rather than stress the quality of their audiences--something that advertisers are increasingly willing to consider as part of their ad buying--publishers continue to sell largely (62%) on the basis of their overall site traffic, generally a losing strategy since vertical B2B sites rarely generate impressive traffic; and only a tiny group of buying guide publishers (4%) currently offer a PFP option.
Other topics covered within the ICG study include: Print-Based Buying Guides Are Start-ups Again; Internet-Based Buying Guides Need Sales and Staying Power; Where are Search Engines Headed-Vertical or Local?; The New Breed of Advertising Buyer; The Missing Metrics; The ROI Game; Quality versus Quantity; and Where Do Online Buying Guides Go >From Here?"Online Buying Guides: Making Sense of What's Happening Now" can be ordered online for pdf delivery at the InfoCommerce Group Web site.