Steve Rubel points to a new Microsoft tool that helps advertisers sharpen their ad buys by rating the Online Commercial Intent of various queries and visits to websites. The idea is to rate the value of advertising not simply by counting impressions exposed to a target audience, but by whether the audience visiting a given site or entering a given query has a commercial intent to purchase.
Enter a URL or a query into a tool and you get a rating. Rubel lists various popular sites by their Commerical Intent index, with Consumerist and Gizmodo ranking at the top and Web 2.0 faves Wikipedia, Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter ranking near the bottom. (Bear in mind that there's a hefty disclaimer saying this is merely proof of concept and "the tools do not provide or display conclusive results; rather, they are designed ro produce anecdotal information that might indicate a trend or behavior that seems pertinent to an individual advertiser.")
For fun, I tried queries on iPod and Zune. Turns out that people searching for iPod have better than a 93% commercial intent, while those searching for Zune have between a 68% and 76%.
Oddly, the tool won't give you the same number twice in a row. For Zune the results varied widely: successive submissions yielded results of 0.7259, 0.7496, and 0.65499.
Mickeleh's Take: Anybody remember back a year when Zune was promoted as the iPod killer?