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All clicks are not equal, says Microsoft

Microsoft is launching beta of Engagement ROI tool that lets advertisers redistribute their ad dollars across different types of online ads.

Microsoft is proposing on Monday a new way for marketers to think about the value of clicks on Internet ads, with the understanding that the last click a consumer makes isn't necessarily the most important.

Say a consumer sees an ad for a product in a video ad one day, and then clicks on a text ad to visit the retailer's site the next day, and then eventually sees a banner ad that leads to a purchase. All of the monetary credit tends to go to the text link that was clicked on, says John Chandler, principal analyst for Microsoft's Atlas ad serving division.

"Under our (Engagement Mapping) model, those will share the credit," for example, with 40 percent each going to the video ad and the text ad and 20 percent going to the banner, he says.

The ability for advertisers and ad agencies to configure the distribution of their advertising campaign dollars is the core of Microsoft's new Engagement ROI tool, which launches in beta this week as part of the Atlas Media Console.

In general, "the text links may be overvalued and the video site is probably being undervalued," Chandler says.

The tool is being announced at the Interactive Advertising Bureau's annual meeting in Phoenix.