July 17, 2008, 12:00 AM

Murad gets 15% lift in sales with Google content network campaign

Skin care specialist Murad’s content network advertising campaign lowers its cost per customer acquisition by 13%.

An online advertising campaign using Google’s content network led to a 15% increase in sales for a line of skin care products at retailer and manufacturer Murad’s web site. The campaign also helped to lower Murad’s cost per acquisition 13% when compared with Murad’s cost per customer for its conventional search campaigns.

Online sales of its cellulite treatment product line had topped out after five years of successful search advertising, the company says. And, so Murad began seeking ways to increase product sales without increasing its cost of customer acquisition, according to Michael Behrens, vice president of eMarketing at WebMetro, the Internet marketing agency that worked with Murad on the campaign. “We needed a way to get in front of new people,” Behrens says.

To reach a wider audience, WebMetro and Murad used targeted advertising on Google’s content network of hundreds of thousands of publisher sites, including news pages, topic-specific web sites and blogs. The publisher sites partner with Google to serve up contextually relevant paid ads through Google’s AdWords advertising program. In Murad’s case, a niche site in the network, Cellulitetreatment.com, delivered unexpectedly strong results.

“We weren’t expecting the quality and quantity of sites on Google’s content network dedicated to a topic as specific as cellulite treatment,” Behrens says. He says it would have been impossible for Murad to manually place ads on as broad an array of niche sites as Google was able to.

Google`s placement performance reports for AdWords rated the performance of each ad on the content network, allowing Murad and WebMetro to adjust campaign costs. For example, if a click from a particular content network page over time proves less likely to produce a sale, Google’s pricing feature automatically reduces the price Murad pays for that click.

The campaign’s success had lead Murad to restructure its approach to paid search, according to Katherine LaFranchise, senior director of online marketing for Murad. “”We used to think that content advertising was only useful for increasing search conversions, but we found you can achieve direct return on investment from content campaigns,” she says.

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