In Myers Publishing's' recent Survey of Advertising Executives on Online Portals, Ad Networks and Search Engine Sales Organizations, Google remained #1 in the industry. Google's performance score increased from 64 in 2007 (out of a possible 100) to 69 in the 2008 survey, followed by Yahoo! at 55, and Yahoo! Search and AOL/Platform A at 53. MSN aQuantive scored 40 and MSN Search 33. CNET, a strong performer throughout the Myers study for the second year in a row, achieved a 51 overall performance score among total respondents and 48 among those most involved in online media. Yahoo! last week hired former Microsoft executive Joanne Bradford to head its sales operation as David Karnstadt departed for Redpoint Ventures. Also last week, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) advised the U.S. Justice Department that it opposes the collaborative search venture between Google and Yahoo! Yet, advertiser and agency executives acknowledge Google's supportive efforts in managing its industry relationships.
Advertising executives assign nine portals and search engines an overall average performance score of 50 on a scale of 1 - 100 (based on respondents who spend more than 75 percent of their time working with online media). By comparison, 26 leading ad networks achieve an overall performance score of only 39. The score is based on an aggregated and weighted average of eight performance attributes, including the percentage of respondents who met with each sales organization.
While MSN aQuantive and MSN Search both improved significantly year over year, the organizations continue to rank sixth and seventh respectively among the seven portals and search engines for overall performance, and while MSN Search improved among total respondents, its performance ratings actually declined slightly. Among this group, Yahoo!'s organizational performance improved 21 percent and AOL/Platform A improved 13%.
Comparing Portals and Search Engine sales organizations to ad network sales organizations, Google and Yahoo! retain their #1 and #2 ranking for overall performance among those execs spending more than 75% of their activity working on online media, and Break.com, Vibrant Media and TheEggNetwork outperform AOL/Platform A, with strong performance turned in by Centro, Specific Media, Google Ad Network and Tremor Media.
Among those spending the large majority of their time on online media, AOL/Platform A ranks first for responsive sales reps, the attribute ranked as most important to respondents in contributing to their decision-making process. CNET and Google are the only organizations generating very good/excellent ratings by more than 50% of respondents for Organization Delivers on Promises, with MSN, MSN Search, Amazon and Monster significantly underperforming the competition.
Google is a dominant leader for Delivers Value for the Investment, rated as very good/excellent by 62% of total respondents and 71% of those spending 75%+ of their time with online media. Only CNET and Google are recognized by a majority of respondents for excellence in Delivers More Targeted/Engaged Audiences, reflecting a missed opportunity by industry leaders to focus on an emerging priority among marketers.
With click fraud generating increased industry concern, sales executives are seeking to ensure trust among advertisers, and appear to be achieving their goal. CNET is ranked as very good/excellent (6/7) by more than 70% of respondents for Provides Trusted Environment for Advertising, with only MSN Search, Monster and Amazon falling below 50% of respondents rating them highly. Although Portals and Search Engine sales organizations are not perceived as offering excellent Innovative and Non-Traditional Opportunities, Google surprisingly leads the group and is the only organization generating very good/excellent ratings among more than 50% of respondents (53%). This is an opportunity for sales organizations to differentiate and brand themselves.
In the category Organization Offers Relevant Research Insights, CNET captures a dominant market position with 57% of respondents rating the organization very good/excellent. Google ranks second with 40% very good/excellent ratings, Yahoo! third at 37%, MSN aQuantive at 33% and AOL/Platform A demonstrating a competitive weakness with only 22% reporting very good/excellent research performance.
New surveys are in the field now offering advertising and agency executives the opportunity to evaluate the performance of national television sales organizations and the sales organizations of online branded websites. These executives are urged to link to the appropriate survey and share your feedback and insights.
National Television Sales Organization Survey:
Online News, Information, Sports, Entertainment, Media and Video Sites Sales Organization Survey: