CASE STUDY

DART Motif On Target for Atkins

When DoubleClick and Macromedia jointly introduced DART Motif last summer, Scott Spencer, DoubleClick’s director of product management for publisher solutions, said it would provide advertisers with quick deployment and significant return on investment (ROI).

Specifically, the software integrates with Macromedia’s Flash and DoubleClick’s DART applications, then works to eliminate ad-serving discrepancies, reduce workflow steps and provide more creative control to advertisers and publishers, Spencer told CRM Buyer. “The strength of DART Motif is its ability to allow advertisers and marketers more creative flexibility with less hassle,” he said.

According to Spencer, DART Motif allows designers to provide a significant amount of user interaction with an advertisement by including information, motion and even video elements.

Focus on Atkins

Since the product’s introduction, interactive advertising agencies have had ample opportunity to test the veracity of Spencer’s claims. In at least one approved case study, his assertions appear to have proven true.

In early December, Atkins Nutritionals, an evangelist and purveyor of low-carbohydrate diet products, told its interactive media agency, Mass Transit Interactive, and its interactive creative agency, Digital Pulp, to put together an online, rich media (RM)-based campaign to coincide with consumers’ New Year’s resolutions to lose weight.

According to the case study, the goals of Atkins’ interactive New Year’s campaign were to increase customer awareness, drive sales of products sold at the Atkins Web site and generate subscriber registrations for the “My Atkins” service.

Goals and Challenges

Mass Transit and Digital Pulp faced several challenges as they worked to get the campaign running on time. They needed to cut campaign time-to-market from more than a week to a few days, automate the ad delivery and trafficking process, eliminate the reconciliation of discrepancies between DART and so-called “fourth party” ad vendors, and perform all of these functions at reduced cost for the client.

According to Jason Heller, CEO of Mass Transit Interactive, DART Motif enabled Mass Transit and Digital Pulp to achieve their goals. Specifically, the software provided Digital Pulp with easy authoring capabilities required to create and tag RM ads. It provided Mass Transit with one-stop reporting on all the media metrics needed to fine-tune the campaign while also automating the ad delivery and trafficking process.

Perhaps most importantly, DART Motif eliminated the need for fourth-party ad vendors — a potential stumbling block for media and creative agencies seeking to use RM in an efficient, cost-effective manner.

The Fourth-Party Overthrow

Before DART Motif, Heller told CRM Buyer, interactive media companies had to rely on fourth-party ad vendors to track and analyze data metrics. The process of coordinating with those vendors required days or even weeks of lead time.

DART Motif’s ability to shoulder these fourth-party duties cut the work time from about two weeks to two days, he noted. Not surprisingly, the difference in ROI was mind-blowing.

“DART Motif should have been around three years ago because it offers a more streamlined way of implementing the mundane task of tracking [RM] campaigns,” Heller said. “On our end, DART Motif got rid of the need to manually reconcile both fourth-party ad vendor metrics and billing.”

As a result of eliminating reliance on fourth-party vendors, DART Motif added an extra level of quality assurance. In a nutshell, Heller said, it not only provided Mass Transit and Digital Pulp with accurate statistics and the ability to make changes to RM creative as easily as to static creative, but also provided the same level of commitment in ensuring the data was correct.

“Accountability and avoiding discrepancies were one of the huge benefits of using DART Motif,” he noted. “A 20 percent discrepancy difference between us and a fourth party is the difference between success and failure.”

Beyond Afterthought

In the end, Atkins was so pleased with the results of Mass Transit’s and Digital Pulp’s RM campaign that it increased its 2004 budget to include more online and search-engine advertising.

“The thought process was that RM has already proven to be more efficient for them by creating efficiencies and [allowing them to] regain control over the outcome,” Heller said. “Now interactive is a line item on Atkins’ marketing spreadsheet, just like TV and print. It’s no longer an afterthought.

“The Atkins case study is great because the industry has been debating how rich media (RM) has been used,” Heller added. “At first, it was perceived to be expensive and complicated, but its benefits, when done in conjunction with DART Motif, outpace its cost.”

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