Casale Media: Advertising Network Review

Opening its doors in 2003, Casale Media is one of a large number of companies managing the advertising inventory for a wide number of websites. Casale works with popular sites like eBay Canada to fill their open advertising spots. Casale works with a network of 3,000 sites, and is able to target advertising based on a number of factors including geography, demographic and topic.

Before Working With Casale

For years now, I’ve been seeing Casale tables and booths at many industry events. I’ve been interested in their offerings, but never took the leap to actually work with them. I assumed they were like every other advertising network: high price, bad results.

One of the responsibilities I used to have was to sell advertising space, and after some sour experiences with other agencies, I gave up on trying to use an advertising network to sell space on blogs. They always took too large of a share, and gave very little in return. Also, quality control on advertising seemed to be low in importance.

Despite running into some nice people from Casale, I never had a huge need for their services.

Working With Casale

When I was hired for my current job, I tried out a variety of advertising networks in order to get the maximum penetration for the least amount of money. Most of the networks were impersonable, slow to react, and for the most part, I was left to self-manage, a process that was too time consuming for my multifaceted job.

Casale, compared to the rest, had the most personable, and friendly staff. I felt they were geniunely interested in what I was advertising, and they were fast to respond to questions and act on orders I placed for banner advertising campaigns.

We have never received any complaints regarding where our advertising shows up, unlike some other networks. Casale prides itself on brand safety and it is an important feature for the company that I work with.

Unfortunately, the results we recieved, while better than any other network we tried, was still running at a loss. We weren’t receiving enough conversions to cover our expense. Over more than a year, nearly half a dozen different CPC campaigns and we have yet to see strong conversion numbers.

It could be our ads, but we are getting a massive number of impressions and an above average number of clicks to impressions for our niche. Also, the same ads, on search advertising performed much better. This is skewed due to the pre-qualifying process of searching for a related term.

The only other issue we have had with Casale is that they have wanted payment up front for each campaign, which can be a little frustrating as our terms with other vendors are much more favourable.

Worth Working With Casale?

If you are looking to convert heavily, Casale might not be the right place to spend your money. It is difficult to limit your advertising exposure to the sites most aligned with your potential purchasing demographic. It feels like a shot gun approach to advertising that reminds me of the crazy CPM advertising days, where advertising and results weren’t really linked, and advertising budgets could easily spiral out of control.

If you are just looking to build your brand and gain exposure, then the responsive, friendly, and fast team at Casale are great options. They excel on communication and most facets of customer service. If they could learn to trust repeat ad buyers with better payment terms, then they would get two thumbs up in brand building instead of just one.

Check out Casale and their offerings.

Update February 16th, 2012 – I talked to my representative at Casale today, and she pointed out that we aren’t using a tracking pixel that can help us in receiving better results than we currently do. She was also a bit bummed that I wasn’t happy with the results we were getting, so I wanted to come back and update this post with some clarification.

Casale does much better than any other network we’ve used, but I feel like all networks have the same problem. We put up ads in places that don’t necessarily match what the users are doing. It is the same issue we had in doing Facebook advertising. As much as we have a large sub-section of our demographic on the site, they weren’t pulling out their credit cards upon seeing the ad because people don’t go on Facebook thinking they are going to spend money.

It isn’t a poor reflection on Casale, but instead an issue with what I call “shotgun advertising”. No network advertising can match the results of search advertising because the act of search is a pre-qualification towards purchasing.

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