Roughly half of the nearly $70 billion allocated to fund co-op advertising programs goes unused every year.” However, according to estimates from LSA, Borrell Associates and others that is exactly what is happening. So it is not that co-op money is less available as some might believe, it is more that the uses of co-op dollars are growing behind traditional media channels, with an growing amount being set aside specifically for digital.

If we want to look at that overall number from another angle, it means that close to $35 billion in co-op money goes unused or unclaimed. Is there an opportunity here? Absolutely.
So where is the money going??

Research shows that local marketers are still focusing co-op efforts on legacy media.
• Newspapers
• Yellow pages
• Billboards
• Radio
• Direct Mail

How does digital fit into all of this? More and more brands are re-vamping co-op programs and updating the rules to not only allow for, but to encourage the use of digital advertising. Certain brands (like for example car dealerships) are being extremely prescriptive on exactly how co-op dollars need to be allocated for digital. In fact, some dealerships are required to spend 50% of co-op funds on digital advertising.

The biggest hindrance to tapping into these dollars seems to be the perception of the complexity of it all. How doe we show proof of delivery? How do we show creative? How does it all work? Different co-ops have different rules and those rules do need to be navigated.  So how can your help your clients manage this process? First, by encouraging them to see what co-op dollars are available. Your Vici trainer can help with this – send us the client and brands you are looking for and we can do some digging for you. While business owners need to be aware of the rules that impact them, you can certainly be a resource.

According to LSA, There are three key factors to consider with digital co-op and they are not as difficult to navigate as you might think:
1. Brand Compliance: All brands will have specific requirements related to the appearance of the brand logo, the advertised product, ad copy, and occasionally a minimum advertised pricing component. Within the limited space available for online display, these factors become more complex. Most major brands will have an advertising standards document which should detail the necessary components. Regardless, in all cases, digital ad creative should be pre-approved with the manufacturer to ensure co-op compliance.

2. URL Linkage: Many brands will have specific requirements on where any digital display ads should link. Some brands are fine with the simple link to the dealer site, but many are moving to linking to specific interior pages of the client’s website that mentions the product. Always consult the program guidelines for detail and direct any questions to the manufacturer co-op contact BEFORE the campaign runs.

3. Proof of Performance: The minimum requirement for a co-op submission on digital programs will be a media invoice for activity and visual documentation for each invoice line item charged back to the program. All specific documentation requirements should be reviewed with the co-op contact during the pre-approval process. At a minimum, have the co-op contact review a copy of the monthly reports you receive from us and make sure that those will suffice as proof of performance.

By Dana Bojcic  Vici Media, Inc.

The mail arrives daily in the usual way, but the mail that makes it into my house depends solely on who brings the mail from the mailbox. While everyone usually brings in the bills, the rest is dependent on who physically carries the mail from the box to the counter.  Currently I’m tossing anything from car dealerships, sports catalog, and any coupon/offer I don’t immediately need.  And when my husband brings in the mail? All the HIS interests make the cut and my shopping magazines and catalogs immediately go MIA.

Want to reach the entire household instead? How about Household IP Targeting.

The problem with direct mail is you only get one shot to get to the right person, and it doesn’t rely on the marketing principles that make campaigns so successful: reach and frequency.  Household IP Targeting solves this challenge.

What is Household IP Targeting?

Household IP Targeting is the process of targeting internet advertising to specific households based on their Internet Protocol address (which is the string of numbers assigned to your internet connection by your Internet Service Provider).  It has the targeting ability of direct mail without the printing costs and mailing costs, and, instead of reaching a household once with a direct mail piece you could target a household 20-50 times in a month with a display or video ad – giving you the opportunity to reach your intended household member.

How does Household IP Targeting Work?

Unlike most forms of digital advertising, IP Targeting works without cookies and unlike cookies, IP addresses cannot be deleted or blocked.  You can stay connected to the household every time someone goes online and visit websites that display ads.  You can target one-to-one down to a specific household or business.   It works by using a technology of matching IP addresses to a list of names and street addresses and then displaying your digital ad only to those people on websites they visit across the internet.  Your ads reach the exact target household so you have zero wasted impressions or budget.

So who can you target?

You can target any demographic using any data list you have or any data list you purchase.  With IP targeting you can purchase highly specialized lists to hit the exact target audience who is a good fit for your products and services. You can also target conventions, trade shows, university buildings and dorms…the list goes on and on.

How do I know if I need Household IP targeting?

Are you doing any direct mail? Direct mail is expensive to create and easy to miss. Especially if the person in the household the message was intended for does not actually bring the mail into the house. Is your target audience super niche? With IP targeting you can define your list by age, income, gender, location and more. You can narrow your audience based on large sets of criteria which allows you to target anyone from new homeowners to renters. New parents, high-income households, and countless other demographics.

How is this different from Geo-Targeting:
Geo-targeting uses groups of IP addresses to target an entire area.  But Household IP Targeting uses individual IP addresses to target specific households.  Think of it as sniper-like advertising reaching an exact target rather than advertising that blankets an area.

What are some examples and who is using it?

Colleges and universities consistently see success using IP Targeting to attract new students.   Schools can target homes where college-aged students are living with their parents and target those IP addresses.   Parents typically help the students decide what school to attend, and now colleges and universities can reach both the potential students and their parents all at once, dramatically increasing results.

Political candidates can reach specific households through their IP address and deliver their message to voters known to have voted in past elections.

Credit Unions and banks could target a list of people who have equity in their homes or existing customers who have bank accounts but not credit cards through their institution.

Automotive Dealers can use their existing customer lists to entice previous customers to return to their dealership and take advantage of their most recent lease programs or perhaps target a list of people that have been to their service department but have not purchased a car from them.

How are results measured?

Monthly reports will measure clicks, impressions, click through rate, conversions, view-throughs, top performing creative and in addition, we can do a “match back” report to show you exactly which customers came from your Household IP Targeting campaign.

Digital advertising allows you to craft an extremely targeted and measurable campaign. If you are not already implementing digital into your overall marketing plan, it’s time to explore the possibilities!

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that digital is only for large corporations. Digital is affordable and allows small and medium sized businesses a solid chance to compete for targeted traffic. With digital marketing, small companies now have more resources than ever. Resources that were previously available only to large corporations. Small businesses can engage effectively with multiple customers, to customers from different parts of the world even if they don’t have physical stores or branches in these locations.

Here are 4 more solid reasons to implement digital advertising:

  1. Conversions are getting people to do whatever it is you want them to do on your website (making a purchase, scheduling an appointment, downloading additional information). Tracking conversions allows you to measure success and see who is interacting. Analytics allow you to track trends over time, so you’ll know when your ads are flourishing and when they’re under-performing. Digital advertising gives you the ability to compare your ads against each other to see which one gets the best response.
  2. Targeting your audience. With digital advertising the targeting capabilities are almost unlimited! Depending on the platform/product you are using, you can target by demographics, behaviors and interests, geographical area, even physical mailing address or e-mail addresses. Digital ads make it easier than ever to reach your intended audience!
  3. The Flexibilitywith digital is tremendous. Your message doesn’t have to have a long lifespan. Creative and promotions are easily updated and changed without the costs of reprinting anything. You can make any necessary campaign adjustments along the course of the campaign – easily and painlessly. This flexibility applies to more than just the creative message. Target audience, geographical area, products and platforms are all easy to change in order to optimize a campaign.
  4. Go where the customer goes! Digital allows you to reach the right audience where they are looking. Across all devices: tablets, smartphones, desktops, laptops – digital goes to the customer. We are a multi-screened society, so if you want to be in front of the target audience, you need to speak to them where they are looking.

If you have yet to explore your digital possibilities, now is the time to jump on board and effectively deliver your targeted message to your specific audience where they are looking, and track your results.