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Trada's Paid Search Crowdsourcing Model Gets Boost from Google

Google's venture capital arm has invested in Trada, a start-up that uses crowdsourcing to craft an online marketing campaign - in this case paid search. The company's business model connects small and medium sized companies to hundreds of paid search experts - specifically, people who have Adwords or a similar certification - to build their campaigns. Trada, which places search ads on Bing, Yahoo and Google, plans to use the new money in part to expand to other kinds of advertising, like display, video and mobile ads on sites like Facebook and YouTube or on blogs, according to the New York Times.

Google Ventures invested $5.75 million in Trada along with Foundry Group, a venture capital firm that previously invested about $2.2 million in the company.

How It Works

The firm entered into private beta last January and has since built a stable of 280 experts and landed 70 advertisers. It currently supports Google AdWords and Yahoo Search Marketing. The smallest budget an advertiser can request for Trada is $500 a month. The largest will range in the tens of thousands a month.

Trada is hardly alone in turning to crowdsourcing - it is expected to be one of the top trends for marketers this year, according to the digital experts at Last Exit.

Dark Side

The downside of the concept, however, is that companies can find themselves with a deluge of offers that may become more work than first realized, according to Jez Frampton, CEO of Interbrand (via Forbes).  "It is the ability to select and profitably execute an idea that delivers greatest value to the organization. This supports the old adage that success is 5% inspiration, and 95% perspiration."

Frampton tells of a creative director who tried crowdsourcing for a specific campaign and within 48 hours had received hundreds of ideas. The irony, Frampton said, was that the director and his team spent more time sorting through the input than they would have spent simply developing a good idea themselves.

These are still early days, though, and as this model takes off supporters say such problems will be resolved.

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