Reply.com, a San Ramon-based online marketing company, has launched a new PPC Click Marketplace that it hopes will give small businesses that don’t typically have large ad budgets access to highly targeted advertising. Reply.com CMO Brian Bowman says that while other ad platforms offer geo-targeted ads, they tend to be more expensive than normal ad campaigns, and are also prone to incorrectly assessing a web user’s location.
Conversely, he says that Reply is offering smaller, more targeted campaigns that rely on user input to ensure that the ads are relevant and the users are engaged. He says that the platform is similar to Overture’s PPC offering, but instead of relying on text ads and keywords, Reply.com is using categories (like automobiles or real estate).
The system primarily relies on inserting a ‘middle-page’ between each ad and the ultimate destination. After clicking on an ad, users are prompted to enter basic information depending on what industry the ad is associated with. Browsers clicking on an automobile ad might be asked their zip code and the the make and model of the car. Depending on the user input, Reply will send the user to one of the advertisers from its pool of participants in the Click Marketplace.
In the past, advertisers had a hard time monetizing clicks they had already paid for, but weren’t relevant to their company because the user was outside of their target audience – beyond using Comission Junction, displaying a page full of AdSense ads or requesting an Email address, there was little they could do to recoup the cost of the wasted click. Using Reply’s Click Marketplace, these advertisers can pass these “premium clicks” on to a company that is relevant to the visitor’s stated location and interest.
While using this system of inserting a ‘middle page’ to gather information will likely see many users leave without ever visiting an advertiser, advertisers on the platform will know that visitors who do wind up clicking through are genuinely interested in their product.
Update:This post has been updated to further clarify the new marketplace.