What is an Advertisement?

For the latest version of Commerce Server 2007 Help, see the Microsoft Web site.

An advertisement is a piece of content that Commerce Server delivers on a Web site based on a specific formula for delivery referred to as Need of Delivery (NOD). An advertisement typically has a delivery goal, date ranges, and target attributes. After you create an advertisement, you schedule the advertisement, specify the Web pages where the advertisement is to appear, and target the advertisement to a specified group of customers. You can also specify your advertisement display. For example, you may want an advertisement that contains text and an image, or you may want an advertisement that contains text only. After you specify the appearance of the advertisement, you can preview the advertisement display.

The Content Selection Framework (CSF) processes the variables that you specify for an advertisement: campaign goaling, exposure limit, schedule, weight, page groups, and target expressions. Every time that a customer visits your site, the CSF determines whether to display the advertisement.

The CSF for advertising uses a formula called Need of Delivery (NOD) to score the advertisements based on how far behind schedule the advertisements are. This formula considers the total quantity of content to be delivered and the length of time over which the quantity must be delivered. The CSF calculates NOD for each advertisement request after it has processed the advertisement request. Commerce Server applies NOD to paid advertisements only; Commerce Server does not apply NOD to house ads.

If you plan to run several campaigns at the same time that use the same target expression and the same priority, the CSF selects the advertisement to display based on the advertisement type. If the advertisements are both house advertisements, CSF selects an advertisement at random using the weights as relative probabilities. If the advertisements are paid ads, CSF selects an advertisement for display based on the NOD calculation that considers the start date, end date, number of events scheduled, and number of events served to date. One score modification the NOD uses is History Penalty. History Penalty applies a decreasing penalty to advertisements recently seen by a customer.

Commerce Server supports the following two types of advertisements:

  • Paid advertisements. Pieces of content Commerce Server is to deliver based on NOD.

  • House advertisements. Pieces of content that Commerce Server is to serve when paid advertisements are ahead of the specified-NOD schedule. For example, a customer orders 1000 paid advertisements to be delivered over four months, but in the first two months the advertisement has been served 850 times. To balance the NOD schedule, Commerce Server serves house advertisements.

    House advertisements are critical to guarantee the smooth delivery of paid advertisements. House advertisements display when there are no paid advertisements eligible for the request. For example, a house advertisement would be served because all paid advertisements missed a required target.

    You may also use house advertisements to sell leftover inventory at discounted prices. You can use house advertisements if the advertisements on the site do not have specific delivery goals, but you want to have the advertisements run at specified weights.

See Also

Other Resources

How to Create an Advertisement

How to Target Advertisements to Page Groups

How to Target Advertisements by Using Expressions

How to Edit an Advertisement

How to Copy an Advertisement

How to Restore an Advertisement

How to Create a Target Expression

What is a Target Expression?

What is a Campaign?

Managing Tasks Common to All Business Management Applications