[gsummit] The art of Google ads

One of the more interesting talks at the GSummit conference – though one that didn’t have the best attendance; I guess an talk on the arts is a hard sell to marketers – was by Erik Gensler from Capacity Interactive.

His presentation was on doing online marketing for dance companies and other arts organizations. Obviously pretty niche, but also really interesting. Two things really stood out to me.

1) They created a website that helped people pick out the right show for them. Users answered questions on what type of music they liked, when they were available, how much they wanted to pay, etc. and then the site gave them options for shows that fit their criteria. This was particularly successful for getting in newbies to the arts scene who were interested but had no idea where to start.

It seems to me that some organizations that are trying to promote grass roots action could really do with something similar that would recommend activities people could take based on their skill set, time commitment, etc. I imagine people would be more willing to follow through if they received a customized action plan.

2) Use Google ads to creep on people. As a follow up to the recommendation engine they also set up there Google Analytics to track users who went a certain amount through the process but then did not by tickets. With that info they then had Google serve up ads to those people for tickets to their shows. The idea being that a lot of the people who abandon the process are interested but leave for a variety of reasons and that by seeing the ad they’ll be prompted to pick the process back up. You see this a lot with online stores when you leave with things in the shopping cart unbought.

Again I could see a non-profit application for something like this for people who don’t end up signing petitions or who stopped in the middle of the donation process.

The slides from his presentation are embedded below.