Holiday Advertising @ the Bonz

Happy (gulp) holidays everyone!  That's right, we're already seeing an increase in holiday displays and cheesy Christmas music at our favorite retail stores, so it can only mean that it is the time of year when sales start to catch fire.  Ole!

This year we've been brainstorming on how we can effectively raise awareness about Bonanza to shoppers during the holiday season, and as usual, we have arrived at "advertising" as the solution, but "lack of funds to dedicate to advertising" as the problem.

Yes indeed, it's that time of year.

After a bit of collective head scratching, we realized that the most fair & effective way we could fund our 2011 holiday advertising campaign would be by generating a new revenue stream:  targeted ads at the bottom of Bonanza search results.

I'll admit, initially we were pretty resistant to the idea of allowing ads in our search.  But as we started to look around at our many ecommerce brethern, we noticed that nearly every single one (including our friends at Amazon) are now employing ads at the bottom of their on-site search.  The reason, it turns out, is that these sites have realized that when they can't deliver the results a buyer was looking for, these ads can actually increase the relevance of their search results by allowing Google to take a stab at showing the buyer what they are after via advertising.  As it turns out, Google is pretty good at finding results that are relevant to a buyer when Amazon (or Bonanza) isn't.

Even given the pervasiveness of search advertising, we were still hesitant.  The decision to add any sort of extra element to a page is one that we don't take lightly.  But when we realized the potential to redirect these revenues from our on-site advertising directly into an ad campaign that would bring new shoppers to Bonanza, the writing was on the wall and we decided to get our advertising program started. 

So now the question to our savvy merchants:  where do you think we should be advertising Bonanza to capture the most & best holiday shoppers?  I still don't think our budget is going to be able to buy us the Super Bowl commercial we've been after, but most types of online advertising, and possibly offline advertising, are now in play.  We're very excited to finally be able to implement some of the creative advertising ideas we've heard in our forums for so many months.  Let's make Bonanza's 2011 holiday season one that Bezos would be proud of! 

P. S.  Thanks for yet another record breaking month of sales in October, everyone!  You're on a roll.

P. S. S.  Don't worry, we have setup exclusions on our ads such that we don't advertise certain competitive sites in our search, though please let us know if you see anything getting advertised that you think doesn't belong.  Also, be aware that the ads won't always show up when you search -- they will only show when Google AdSense thinks it has something relevant to present.

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