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Dynamic Advertising Using News-Feed

Goal Attainment

The web has created tough challenges for publishing companies. Their core product – journalistic content – is being increasingly consumed online, accompanied by a strong decrease in willingness by consumers to pay and a drop in indirect monetisation via advertising due to various reasons.
Hence, we wanted to come up with a solution to this problem: How is it possible to attract readers to high-quality journalistic content?

Starting Point

Tamedia, the leading private media group in Switzerland, collaborated with Dept on exploring new ways to make the readers of the newspapers Tages-Anzeiger, Berner Zeitung (including local newspapers), der Bund, Zürichsee-Zeitung, Thalwiler, Sihltaler, Züricher Obverländer, Züricher Unterländer, Tribune de Genève and 24 Heures increase their content consumption. After all, as pointed out in the campaign of the famous Zurich newspaper Tages-Anzeiger, “You are what you read.”


Attracting readers to high-quality journalistic content

In order to reach this goal, Dept used the product itself as an ad instrument and found an innovative way to use a Google ad product: Dynamic Ads in the «Google Display Network» (GDN). Populated through a feed, they are ideal for online stores to promote products to visitors in a targeted way. Instead, we considered the editorial article as a product and created dynamic ads via feed.

To be more precise, whenever an unsubscribed visitor demonstrates a certain amount of interest in a Tamedia article from a certain section, such as Zurich, Switzerland, Sport and others, they are assigned to a specific remarketing list. Moreover, if these users are identifiable in the GDN, they are served a teaser ad of a brand new article from the previously visited section of the respective media titles.

Target Group

Dept develops all projects within the online marketing framework «SEE, THINK, DO, CARE», which we adopted from Google employee Avinash Kaushik and continued to refine it further.

The framework splits users and their intentions into four clusters – SEE (customer notices brand) over THINK and DO (thinks about or does make a purchase or business interaction with the company) to CARE, where customers actively engage with the company of their choice. Within each phase, we distinguish five levels: audience, micro-moment, content, distribution and measurement.

In the case of Tamedia, it was clear from the outset which phase should be in focus. We wanted to repeatedly attract readers of Tamedia titles who did not yet have a subscription and expose them to high-quality journalistic products which would trigger a thought flow: “yes, this Tamedia title is continuously delivering valuable information, my relationship to this brand should be reflected’ – hence, we were dealing with a THINK campaign”.


The Tamedia team pulled the relevant data from their internal CRM system on a weekly basis and provided it to Dept. Next, the feed nomenclature was adapted to Google specifications for the «Custom Feed» and imported into AdWords. The promotion was conducted based on three requirements: The user does not have a subscription, has recently consumed an article of the same section and the content of the ad fits the topic.


The feed campaign generated the highest conversion rate with regards to Smart Goals, only the brand campaign in search (meaning: Google – search for [tagi] [berner zeitung] et al.), as well as the marketing newsletter, exceeded this result. However, it performed better than the SEO-traffic and other activities in the field of Display advertising. This is the result of the tailored solution which was able to bring the target group closer to the brand during the THINK-phase, which yielded superior performance compared to common approaches.

  • 24.5 million impressions
  • 106,000 clicks
  • Click rate of 0.4%
  • Cost per click 1.20 CHF
  • Price per 1000 contacts 5.20 CHF
  • 2,000 conversions
  • Cost per Smart Goal 64,000 CHF
  • Increase in reach by 140%
  • Goal attainment exceeded by 260%
  • Cost per goal attainment reduced by 40%

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