SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Trevor Parsons, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel

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IDG Consumer & SMB Sees Ad Performance Rise With Redesigned HTML5/Responsive Sites

Two months after the launch of redesigned HTML5/responsive websites, IDG Consumer & SMB is seeing encouraging results from its changes to PCWorld.com and Macworld.com, along with newly launched site TechHive.com. Overall, ad placements are delivering an average click-through rate (CTR) around 80% higher than pre-redesign levels.

IDG Consumer & SMB’s sites are also performing well against industry benchmarks. Ad units scheduled as run-of-site are delivering an average 0.38% click-through rate, compared to the tech industry average of 0.11% (MediaMind Global Benchmarks 2012). All three sites have better than average click performance with content and user targeting as well.

“We’re very pleased with these metrics,” notes IDG Consumer & SMB Chief Revenue Officer Brian Gleason. “We focused our redesign efforts on giving users visually-rich and intuitive websites that work across devices. We also wanted to make sure our advertising partners had a prominent place among our content. We’ve hit the mark for both readers and marketers.”

Agency PJA and The Homepage Hero

The biggest change to each of the popular tech news and reviews sites is their homepage layout. The new front door of each site displays a large, visually impactful feature slot called the “Content Hero,” where editors display the biggest stories for each day. The IDG Consumer & SMB advertising team offers marketers the opportunity to take over the hero unit on a daily basis as part of a sponsorship package. The advertiser’s messaging is displayed in a custom “Hero” ad unit that sits on top of the editorial content for the first eight seconds of the user’s visit.

Advertisers such as Microsoft, Intel, Samsung, Brother and TrendMicro have achieved well above average click rates of between 2% and 4%. Agency PJA chose the Homepage Hero package to make a big impression on their clients’ prospects. “We love the ability to be front and center for PCWorld visitors,” explains Agency PJA Media Account Director, Peggy Groppo. “The new hero unit is visually impactful and offers a bigger canvas to showcase features and design. Coupled with additional homepage units, our campaigns with the new homepage sponsorship have shown great results.” Agency PJA has seen performance far above normal banner campaigns with a 2% CTR for one of its client initiatives.

Carousel Ad Unit and IAB

The other unit that is part of the Hero package is a unique placement that sits stationary on top of a rotating carousel of top stories on PCWorld, Macworld and TechHive homepages. That new unit, which displays an IAB standard medium rectangle, has averaged a 0.25-0.35% click rate across all campaigns in the first two months. The HTML5/responsive sites have also given the company the capability to run all of IAB’s standard and “Rising Star” ad units. Combined with a growing suite of targeting capabilities and audience segment packages, the advertising team at IDG Consumer & SMB is bullish about their prospects going into 2013. “We’re building out data targeting products and working with our sister company, IDG TechNetwork, to offer our ad partners the most advanced marketing services, with scale, based on clients’ audience demographics,” says Gleason.

About IDG Consumer & SMB

IDG Consumer & SMB publishes leading tech media brands, PCWorld, Macworld and TechHive, and offers innovative marketing services to technology vendors. Reaching a combined 20 million early adopters and tech influencers, IDG Consumer & SMB’s brands cover the tech spectrum from PCs, laptops and printers to the newest mobile tech devices and Apple offerings. IDG Consumer & SMB’s marketing services group offers tech-focused custom content through their Content Works division along with high-impact advertising/marketing solutions for a wide array of technology marketers.

IDG Consumer & SMB is a wholly owned subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world's leading technology media, events and research company.

Additional information about IDG Consumer & SMB is available at http://www.idgcsmb.com/

Additional information about IDG, a privately held company, is available at http://www.idg.com

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