Friday, October 31, 2014

Where's the Mobile Ad Money Coming from Next Year?

Smartphones beat tablets for delivering ad results; tablets win for engagement 

Advertisers are shifting ad dollars to mobile and away from other formats in order to drive customer engagement, reach consumers across platforms, build brand awareness and drive retail or online sales, according to a July 2014 study by Advertiser Perceptions. But where will those dollars come from over the next year? Print, television and digital display are the chosen ones.

More than 40% of US advertising decision-makers who planned to increase mobile ad spending over the next 12 months said they were taking money out of their print advertising budget to do so, while 34% said the same about TV ads. Even digital ads aren’t safe. Nearly one-third of respondents said they would lower investments in digital display advertising in order to spend more on mobile. A lucky 38% of respondents planned to fund higher mobile spending thanks to an overall expansion of their budgets. Mobile will likely continue to grab ad dollars away from these formats—and possibly others—as it continues its rapid expansion over the coming years. This year, eMarketer estimates that US advertisers will increase spending on mobile ads by 78.0%, pushing the total to nearly $19 billion, and next year, growth will come in at 50.0% for mobile ad spending of $28.48 billion. Even in 2018, expenditure on mobile advertising in the US will expand by nearly 20% to raise the total to $58.78 billion. Whether advertisers put their mobile dollars toward smartphone or tablet ads depends on what they’re trying to achieve. Advertiser Perceptions found that smartphones were better than tablets for delivering ad results such as impressions, awareness and return on investment, and they also beat the bigger screen for audience and targeting. Meanwhile, tablets won for engagement and user experience. 


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Real-Time Marketing Is Now Right-Time Marketing

Something delivered at right time doesn't have to be created in real time 

It’s time for the conversation about real-time marketing to move on. It’s not that the conversation is over. Rather, it’s that real-time marketing needs to evolve into something bigger and more important than simply sending out catchy posts timed to news events.

That’s the upshot of a series of interviews we conducted with brand and agency executives for a new eMarketer report, “The Evolution of Real-Time Marketing: What Marketers Are Thinking—and Doing—Now.” Their viewpoints provide a snapshot of the current state of real-time marketing and how companies can expand their thinking about this important topic. The definition of “real-time marketing” is changing. Many now refer to it as “right-time marketing.” The difference is subtle, but important: Something delivered at the right time doesn’t necessarily have to be created in real time. Even if it was developed days or weeks before, if it is delivered at the optimal moment, it feels real time. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Global Search Marketing Myths and Best Practices

Best Practices

Here are some specific search and localization practices to consider including in your strategy:
1. Have a Clear Localization Commitment for New Products
It's important to differentiate between concepts of "country" and "language." So it's best not to use flags to represent languages. Also don't limit support to the official language(s) of a country/region. Some languages may need to be supported even though they don't have official status. Finally, since languages don't have borders and need to be supported globally, it's key to capture users' preferred language(s) so you can serve them in their language independently of their location.
2. Tight Alignment Between Localization Stakeholders
Once a localization strategy is in place, there must be a commitment to localization vendor search marketing training. By doing vendor and reviewer training in region, you invest in their success. There also needs to be in place a strong partnership between global search, localization, and international Web production teams. With this in place, respect for deadlines between all three increases efficiency. Specifically, SEO is not considered an afterthought or simple checklist item, but integrated into the loc process early on. Consistent information sharing between teams naturally leads to a shared commitment to results.
3. Adhere to an SEO Localization Workflow Process
Having a defined and agreed upon process keeps all stakeholders informed, communications clear, and deadlines adhered to. Below is a step-by-step summary of our localization workflow process:
  1. Future launch event initiated by a business unit or product introduces a need for new content to support future products
  2. North America and in-country keyword research begins
  3. Localization process started with International program managers and country-specific localization vendor reps
  4. Final review and agreement on keywords based on local nuance, intent, and in-country demand initiated
  5. Content localized using keywords (mapped to content, videos, images, and other assets) and integrated with overall SEO best practices
  6. Localized content goes live and quality assurance (QA) completed to ensure accuracy

Next Up for Marketing Technology: Measuring Its ROI

Nearly 80% say data quality solutions have positive effect on ROI, but many have no hard metrics 

Marketing technology adoption will continue to grow next year, and thanks to the massive amount of data marketers now have, tools focused on making sense of all the figures are of particular interest. In September 2014 polling by Experian Data Quality, 89% of US data management professionals said they were investing in data quality solutions, and the majority were spending more than $500,000 on such technologies.

Data tools that helped with monitoring and auditing, standardization, data profiling and data cleansing were the most popular, each used by more than half of respondents. But as marketers continue to funnel dollars toward data quality solutions, can they prove they’re worth it? Experian found mixed results. On the positive side, nearly 80% of data management professionals said these tools had a positive return on investment (ROI); however, around one-quarter of those respondents weren’t actually backing this up with metrics—an issue in the long term, as solid figures are typically needed to maintain budgets for those solutions. 

Looking at a broader range of marketing technologies, platforms and solutions, Q3 2014 research by CMO Council and Tealium found slightly worse results. Here, less than half (46%) of marketers worldwide said the marketing technologies they used were producing ROI. The remaining 54% of respondents weren’t seeing ROI from such tools, weren’t sure if there was a return or were still working on determining this. The report noted that these results were likely why 39% of respondents were also struggling to make a business case for marketing technology spend in the first place. Despite this struggle, when asked how marketing technology investments affected business economics and marketing ROI, 54% of respondents said they provided a greater return and accountability of marketing and advertising spend—the second-highest response. Just 14% said such tools hadn’t had much of an impact. 


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Mums and supermarkets

A survey from Starcom MediaVest and Mumsnet into mums’ supermarket shopping habits reveals erosion of loyalty. 1,000 Mumsnet users were surveyed - here are the results:

  • 10% of mums claim to have swapped from the ‘Big Four’ in last six months in favour of discount supermarkets.
  • Half of mums top up shopping at least twice a week .
  • Mums now shop at an average of three supermarkets a week for their main shop.
  • 30% of mums surveyed now regularly do a main shop at Aldi.
  • 33% of mums claim to have switched supermarkets in the last six months, stating lower prices, better products and a better in-store experience being the top reasons for switching.
  • 24% of respondents who earn between £50-69,000 and 21% who earn £70-99,000 shop at Aldi. 22% of respondents also within the £70-99,000 salary bracket shop at Lidl.
  • A third of M&S and Waitrose shoppers topped up at least three times a week, in comparison to just under a quarter of Aldi shoppers doing the same.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Bitcoin: Will Consumers Say, 'Show Me the Virtual Money'?

Over the past 12 months, the virtual currency Bitcoin has experienced major price swings and a mysterious break-in at a major online exchange, Mt. Gox. But it has also gained wider acceptance, with a growing number of major brands signing on to accept Bitcoin as a form of digital payment, according to a new eMarketer report, “Alternative Payments: Bitcoin and Beyond.”

For the unfamiliar, Bitcoin (with a capital B) is an open-source, decentralized virtual currency, comprising a digital payment system and unit of value also called “bitcoin” (with a lowercase b). Instead of relying on a central institution to issue currency and manage transactions, Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to perform these functions.

A May 2014 study by the Massachusetts Division of Banks and Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) found 51% of US adults had heard of Bitcoin or another virtual currency, mostly from sources like the internet and television. However, just 3% had purchased or used virtual currency, with 18% reporting they would likely do so in the future.
In a June 2014 survey of US adults conducted by 451 Research, around 60% had heard of Bitcoin, though more than half of those who had heard of it didn’t know what it was. Just 2% reported already using Bitcoin, with another 3% waiting to use it.
A December 2013 survey of US internet users conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers highlighted many of the concerns consumers have about using Bitcoin, including the unpredictability of its price, the experimental nature of the virtual currency and the fact transactions cannot be reversed.
Not having chargebacks may be an attractive feature for online merchants that are often victims of chargeback fraud, but not as intriguing for consumers who might legitimately need to reverse a transaction.
Security is another consumer concern related to using Bitcoin. The Massachusetts Division of Banks and CSBS survey found that security was the most important factor among consumers in deciding whether or not to purchase or use Bitcoin, followed by insurance and regulation related to the virtual currency.

Retargeting can discourage some customers

Over half (55%) of consumers are put off buying products or services if they see the same ad online multiple times, according to a study by InSkin Media and RAPP Media that surveyed over 1,600 people aged 20 to 60.

Only 10% of consumers are more likely to buy something after seeing the same ad served repeatedly because of their previous web surfing behaviour (known as retargeting). 
People are nearly four times more likely to be encouraged than discouraged to buy something if they see a relevant ad during their research on it. However, as an ad is seen up to five times, it becomes ‘annoying’ and ‘intrusive’. Once it hits 10 times, ‘angry’ becomes the dominant reaction (see chart below).
In contrast to the positivity for a relevant ad being seen during research, one seen after research is over is 15% more likely to discourage than encourage a purchase.
  • If seen after the product is purchased, its nearly four times more likely to discourage future purchases.
  • Ads seen multiple times are 40% more likely to be received positively if they’re served on a website related to the ad content (e.g. a hotel ad appearing on a holiday website).  
  • Ads served on unrelated sites are over 11 times more likely to discourage than encourage a purchase. 
  • The quality of a site also has a big impact on how advertising is perceived; people are 37% more likely to click on an ad if it’s on a site they trust.
  • Almost one in four (23%) people are unaware that advertisers collect personal information to serve relevant ads.
retargeting chart

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Online advertising growth

The IAB internet advertising revenue report for 2014, in partnership with PWC, looks at the first six months' results.

Revenue total was $11.7bn in Q2 2014. Total 2014 second-quarter revenues were $1.42bn (13.8%) higher than in the second quarter of 2013 and $264m (2.3%) higher than in the first quarter of 2014.
q2 2014 ad spend

Friday, October 24, 2014

Consumers Get Engaged with Rich Media

Rich media ads tend to be pretty, and based on data released in September 2014 by Adform, their good looks are attracting consumers. According to H1 2014 research, rich media ads worldwide saw far higher clickthrough rates (CTRs) and engagement rates compared with standard banner ads. Looking at activity on its platform, Adform found that CTR for standard banners was 0.12%, while those for rich media ads were 0.44%—267% higher.

The study noted that CTRs were much higher for rich media banners due to their high-impact format, premium spots on publisher sites, and bigger sizes, which means that users pretty much can’t avoid looking at them. However, CTRs aren’t everything—especially when measuring mobile campaigns. When it came to engagement rate, rich media ruled again, at 16.85%, compared with 2.14% for standard banners and 1.62% for mobile. The percentage of in-screen impressions for rich media banners was also higher than for any other format—66.0%—another sign of how engaging the format is. On top of that, rich media ads with videos had a longer average playtime than regular video ads, due to the fact that users actually need to click on a rich media video ad to play it. Among industries studied, sports saw the highest CTR for rich media display ads worldwide in H1 2014—a whopping 5.29%, compared with 0.74% for second-place style and fashion. 

The former also had the top engagement rate—though not by nearly as much—with style and fashion ranking No. 2 again. Sports continued to dominate for in-screen impressions, followed by personal finance. News led in average engagement time, with 16.5 seconds, while personal finance trailed in a close second. Average video playtime was also highest for news rich media ads (66.5 seconds) and personal finance (59.6 seconds). eMarketer expects spending on rich media advertising in the US to rise 41.7% this year and reach $3.73 billion. Next year, 38.0% growth will push this to $5.15 billion. Still, rich media has a long way to go, as we estimate that it will grab just 7.4% of US digital ad spending in 2014 and 8.8% in 2015.


Why Marketing Tech Investments Will Change in 2015

Marketers look to improve customer service, satisfaction with technology 

The importance of marketing technology will only get bigger in 2015, based on an August 2014 study by Econsultancy in association with Teradata. The research noted that the demand for technology was growing thanks to marketers’ continuing prioritization of personalization and customer centricity.

Indeed, marketers worldwide were all about the consumer when asked about technology investments. Improving customer service and satisfaction was the primary reason for putting money toward new technology, cited by 62%. Increasing customer retention and providing a better customer experience also scored high marks. Meanwhile, respondents were less focused on purchasing new tools to increase return on investment or save a few dollars in the end. Marketers are aware that integrating technologies is just as important as acquiring the right ones. When evaluating new tools to invest in, nearly half of respondents said it was critical for them to be able to fully integrate the new with the old. This makes sense when one considers that 40% of respondents’ workflows weren’t as efficient as they needed to be because technologies they used didn’t work in tandem and that 31% and 28% lost time and accuracy to data integration issues, respectively. Privacy and data security were also key when deciding where to invest. However, Econsultancy noted that these were more in the IT and tech domain, suggesting marketers’ attention would be better focused elsewhere, such as on purchasing easy-to-use technology that didn’t require IT involvement. Despite its importance, technology grabbed just 16% of digital marketing spend, on average, with around half of respondents saying this was included in their budgets. 


Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Content Is Out, but Where's the ROI?

Less than one-quarter of B2C marketers can measure content marketing's return on investment 

There’s no doubt that business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers are using content marketing. In an August 2014 study by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs, 77% of B2C marketers in North America reported doing so. And responses indicated that marketers were getting more effective at the tactic: 37% said their organizations were effective at content marketing, up from 34% last year and 32% three years ago.

What metrics are most common for evaluating content marketing success? Website traffic remained the most popular metric for assessing content efforts, cited by 62% of B2C marketers. Fully 54% of respondents looked at sales, and conversion rates arrived on the scene. Actual time spent on the website and qualitative feedback from clients fell in importance.
Still, B2C marketers surveyed were struggling to measure content marketing efforts. Just 23% said they were successful at determining return on investment (ROI). In comparison, 32% of respondents were unsuccessful, and more than one-fifth weren’t even trying to track ROI. Similarly, measuring content effectiveness was the top content marketing challenge, cited by 51% of respondents.
Results from April 2014 polling by Forrester Consulting are in line with this. Among US digital marketing decision-makers studied, 52% cited challenges measuring ROI as a hurdle to content marketing—the second-highest response.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Where Can Digital Video Ads Have Consumers' Attention? Smartphones

Digital video advertisers that want to grab viewers’ attention, take note: The device on which a consumer views video ads matters far more than mood or location—or even the content genre. According to July 2014 research by YuMe and IPG Media Lab, smartphones have the biggest influence on attention, followed by tablets and then PCs.

Purchase intent benefitted from high video attention on mobile devices. Among US internet users who viewed pre-roll video ads on a smartphone—a group that’s often on the go—64% of those who were highly attentive planned to purchase the product advertised. In comparison, just 23% of smartphone viewers who paid little attention intended to buy. Interestingly, while there was a correlation between attention and purchase intent on tablets as well, 37% of those who viewed pre-roll ads on tablets with low attention still planned to buy the product advertised—more than the low-attention audiences for PCs and smartphones.

Smartphones are increasing their share of digital video ad views. Q2 2014 research from FreeWheel found that, while desktop and laptop computers still grabbed the large majority of digital video ad views served in the US on the source’s platform (76%), this had dropped 3 percentage points since Q1 2014 as a result of smartphone views. Between Q1 2014 and Q2 2014, the smaller screen grew its proportion of total video ad views from 11% to 13%.

For now, PCs still rule the field when it comes to digital video ad views, but as smartphone viewers prove to be more attentive—and purchase intent continues to rise as a result of ads on such devices—users should be prepared to see more video ads popping up on their phones.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Frito-Lay Turns to Social Media to Pick New Chip Flavor

In the second "Do Us a Flavor" campaign, consumers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada submitted potential chip flavors, and used hashtags to vote for their favorite finalists.
For Frito-Lay's second "Do Us A Flavor" campaign, the snack chip brand once again looked to boost social media engagements by asking customers to help them choose a future flavor.
The vote, which comes to a close today, has been tallied via hashtags on Twitter, Instagram, and Vine, as well as online and through text messages.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Embracing Technology Leads to Business Success [Study]

After surveying marketers and rating their businesses, Forrester Consulting found that those who qualify as modern marketers are more likely to exceed their revenue goals and become industry leaders.

There's a strong correlation between being a "modern marketer" who embraces technology and greater business success, according to a new report by Forrester Consulting entitled, "Why You Need to Be a Modern Marketer: The Business Impact of Marketing Maturity in the Age of the Customer."
In the study commissioned by Oracle this past spring, Forrester Consulting surveyed 492 senior marketing executives from the USA, U.K., Germany, and France regarding the role of technology in their marketing habits. The marketers were graded on seven criteria and classified into four categories: novice, developing, experienced, and modern marketers. Most of those surveyed fell in the middle; only 11 percent were classified at the top as "modern."
Of the top scorers, 44 percent reported exceeding revenue goals by 10 percent or more, compared with 23 percent of their peers.

Google Adds New Features to Tag Manager

Google has enhanced Tag Manager's capabilities by adding new APIs, more third-party templates, and a new intuitive interface.
According to Google, the new Google Tag Manager API will enable users to customize the infrastructure of their websites based on their individual needs. For example, the new API makes it easy to manage user access in bulk. The admin can set permissions for many users at once, or set up role-based permissions and let the API give the right level of access to the right people accordingly.
Agencies can also use the new API to easily manage large tagging setups for their clients, says Google.
Meanwhile, over the next few weeks, Google will be incorporating more third-party templates into the tag creation flow. Currently, Tag Manager supports tags from AdRoll, Marin, comScore, Biz, and Criteo, among others. 
If a user cannot find the tag they need, they can add it immediately as a custom HTML tag.
In addition to new APIs and more third-party templates, Google Tag Manager now has a more intuitive interface to enable marketing managers to adjust and update tags.
Users can experience the new user interface immediately by logging into their Google accounts.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Introducing the Local Marketing Adoption Curve

The explosion of channels and devices has made the opportunity to connect with consumers more abundant, as well as more daunting, than ever. Today, marketers must ensure their brands are visible where and when their customers are looking for them - locally, nationally, and globally - as well as contextually relevant and engaging in the content and experiences they provide across the entire journey.
With 72 percent of consumers searching for local information on a smartphone visiting a store or location within five miles (and likely within five to 10 minutes), the local opportunity is clear. But local marketing consists of more than just optimized pages and listings - it’s a complex ecosystem that is always on and always changing. Because local truly puts the customer at the center of cross-functional corporate marketing programs that span paid, earned, and owned (think search, social, and mobile), many multi-location marketers have struggled to rally their teams to define, implement, and track their local efforts.
Enter the local marketing adoption curve. By taking a phased crawl, walk, run approach to building a comprehensive, cross-functional local marketing program, brands can be more visible, relevant, and engaging in the eyes of their consumers and, ultimately, drive customer acquisition across hundreds to thousands of locations.


Listing management is the required foundation for a local strategy. At the crawl stage, you want to focus on achieving brand consistency by getting the basics right with your local listings: have you claimed all the local listings where your name belongs? Is basic yet essential information about your local businesses accurately listed? Here, you want to cleanse your data and ensure that it is consistently distributed to the major search engines, IYPs, directories, and social media networks. You should also distribute data to aggregators, including Acxiom, Neustar (i.e. Localeze), Factual, and Infogroup. With clean, accurate data being pushed out to the entire ecosystem, you will ensure continued data health that will translate into accurate listings.


In the walk stage, you should think more about how location pages are optimized. Location pages should be created with links to social media and review sites. Title tags should include city, and meta descriptions should include categories. You should claim and optimize your listings on Google+ and add location-specific images and videos. During the walk stage, your data analytics should be complete enough to help you identify opportunities to grow your brand based on performance of local sites and any insights into customer behavior you can gain. At this point, you should be getting enough analytics data – through clicks as well as click-to-call tracking – to start capitalizing on the opportunity to build market leadership for your brand. The outcome of the walk stage should be improved brand visibility (as measured by such key performance indicators (KPIs) as improved rankings).


When you are running, your local marketing efforts should be getting more sophisticated through the use of hyper-local paid search and paid social targeting DMAs and other defined demographics. You should be adopting a multi-location strategy across an extensive network of mobile apps and incorporating local promotions. In essence, at the run stage, you should be ready to consistently share information across search, social, and mobile to improve customer acquisition. Paid search and paid social should drive visitors to the location pages created in the "walk" stage. The outcome of the run stage is increased lead volume and a lower blended cost per lead. At this point, there should be no question about measuring the value of local.
And what happens after you run? Well, you should optimize your local marketing efforts based on a more refined understanding of how your customers behave across your network. You should optimize all your local marketing for customers who use multiple devices to find your brand. In other words, once you are running, you really are "all in" with local marketing. But don't stop running. Local marketing success is dependent across search, social, and mobile - a complex ecosystem that is always on and always changing. To be successful, marketers must be agile and continuously adapt to the changes.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Smartphones and tablets account for one third of ad conversions on Google and Facebook

Smartphones and tablets account for 30% of conversions on Google and 35% of conversions on Facebook , according to a new report by Marin Software.

Facebook logo EspaƱol: Logotipo de Facebook Fr...
  • The mobile conversion trend is consistent across channels, with similar increases recorded for mobile search, social and display ads.
  • On Facebook mobile ad conversions increased 16% quarter-over-quarter (Q3 2013-2014).
  • Mobile ads on Facebook accounted for 52% of ad impressions and 63% of clicks.
  • in Q3, mobile devices accounted for 31% of paid search impressions and 38% of search ad clicks on Google.
  • Mobile conversions on Google paid ads increased 2.4% quarter-over-quarter and nearly 11% year-over-year.
  • Mobile devices accounted for 40% of display ad impressions, 54% of display ad clicks, and 38.6$ of display ad conversions. 

In-store mobile use impacts large majority of connected shoppers

On Device Research has surveyed 1,500 mobile internet users in September 2014 to reveal mobile consumer behaviour

81% of the connected consumers in Saudi Arabia and UAE and 40% in Egypt have stopped a purchase while in store because of comparison shopping on mobile or feedback received from friends or family.
The number of mobile internet users in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and UAE is rapidly growing - roughly 40% of the participants of the research went online for the first time within the last 12 months. Combined with one of the highest smartphone penetrations in the world (76% in KSA, 75% in UAE) this audience is a huge opportunity for region’s retailers.
Growing user numbers combined with increasing media time on mobile offers a unique new opportunity for retailers to target buyers with location and time-specific offers while people are in or near their store.
in-store mena mobile use

Friday, October 17, 2014

Search performance trends

Adobe’s Digital Index team has just published their Q3 Digital Advertising report and it includes some interesting insights for advertiser in the lead up to the holidays.

There's plenty in the report. Here's a snapshot.
  • Google CTRs grew 14% YoY; Google CPCs up 4% YoY with continued growth expected in Q4.
  • Google vs. Bing:  25%+ of all browser visits to websites are referred by Google, but Bing is driving higher revenue per visit (RPV) via referrals than Google and major social networks.
  • Google Shopping Ads (formerly PLAs) outperformed other search ad spend, up 34.8% YoY.
  • Mobile traffic continues to drive paid search. 40% of paid search expected to come from smartphones in a year.
  • Macro-economic data, i.e. weather etc. predicted to be the next major factor for maximizing conversion rates. 
  • Facebook algorithmic changes led to a 50% decrease in organic post impressions and a 5% increase in paid impressions.
SEM ad spend
ppc spend by currency
cpc changes in search 

10 Key Mobile/Location-Based Stats That Marketers Need

To help frame the opportunity, here are some key mobile and location-based statistics that all marketers should be aware of.
  1. Three Mobile Usage Models. There are three main modes of usage: urgent, bored and repetitive. When creating mobile apps or mobile-optimized sites, it’s important to understand these meta use cases. Many times, only those instances meeting the “repetitive” or “bored” use cases merit developing an app. For the “urgent,” often a mobile site is all that’s needed unless it’s for stock prices or information that a user is making daily decisions on. Source:Mobify
  1. Mobile Device Adoption Rate. Mobile web adoption is growing 8x faster than web adoption did in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The biggest takeaway from this statistic is the fact that as ubiquitous as desktops and laptops are, mobile devices will outstrip this by a lot. This will also have a profound impact on what is called the Internet of Things as access to data and services moves from a mobile screen to objects in our cars, homes and work, including things we wear on our bodies.  Source: Mobify
  1. Rise of Unstructured Data. Unstructured data is growing at a rate of 100:1 vs. structured data. For anyone that understands data, this is both a blessing and a curse. The lay persons’ explanation for this is that unstructured data is harder to parse and interpret because it is largely text-, photo- and video-based so writing queries against it is not as easy as it is for structured data (think of things like name, address, zip, phone as structured data or data that easily fits into columns and rows of a database). Source: Venuelabs and The LBMA
  1. Location-Based Data. Twelve percent of adult smartphone owners say they use a geo-social service to “check in” to certain locations or share their location with friends. When my co-author, Mike Schneider, and I originally wrote the book, Location-based Marketing for Dummies, we were bullish on the concept of active check-ins. Since 2011, behavior has trended much more toward passive location-based activity. In particular, apps that are geo-aware are becoming more and more prevalent. This number is down from 18% in early 2012 by the way.” Source: Pew Internet
  1. Mobile Internet Usage. More time spent on internet via  smartphones than laptops/desktops. Web designers and architects: take notice. This is no longer your father’s internet. Responsive design rules the day. The key is lighter, faster and cleaner. Source:MarketingLand
  1. Mobile Ad Engagement. Brands are seeing as much as a 20% increase in conversion when adding location data to their ad data. We’ve all heard about the death of advertising. And while we know that’s not actually true, it is apparent that the paid media space is becoming more fragmented and thus more expensive and less effective. Enter location data as a way to drive greater effectiveness in mobile ads. Content is still king, but context is quickly becoming queen. Source: Skyhook Wireless
  1. Location-Based Opportunity. Today, about 67% of photos posted to the internet have an associated location. Locked within these photos are insights into merchandising, operations, and other valuable information that can be mined. Refer back to point three for additional context. Source: Venuelabs and The LBMA
  1. Demographic Targeting. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of U.S. adults have smart phonesFile this under “duh,” but the reason I am including it is not what you think. It’s actually to reinforce the fact that this means that 42% of mobile phone owners don’t have a smart phone. This means that SMS is still important. Also of note is that for the 58% that do own smart phones, 81% of those have a household income of $75,000+. Source: Pew Internet
  1. Location-Based Advertising. Sixty-nine percent (69%) of Google searches include a specific locationRelated to the inclusion of location data to the effectiveness of advertising, it’s also driving a lot of search queries these days. Customers don’t want to know what but where. This also reinforces the importance of keeping your business’s address and information current on sites like Google Places, Yelp and foursquare. Source: eMarketingBlogger
  1. Omni-Channel Advertising. Forty percent (40%) of shoppers consult three or more channels (often while shopping) before making a purchase. This same stat was less than 10% in 2002. And 4 out of 5 consumers use smartphones to shop. I covered this concept of “omni-channel” in a recent post; but clearly, it’s more important than ever to consider the shopper journey. Those that ignore will cede sales to upstarts and smart brands that understand and execute against this concept. Source: Convince and Convert

Thursday, October 16, 2014

How the Visual Web Is Going to Change Marketing

Images have a powerful impact on the way consumers interact with the Web, so marketers need to be aware of the importance of visual aspects when designing their next campaign.
It's been an exciting few years for everyone who loves Web design. Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, and other platforms have ushered in a new era in which large, striking images take center stage. But if the visual Web, as the phenomenon has come to be known, is a well-established trend among publishers, some marketers are only now beginning to catch up. Let's take a look at how the visual Web might cause us to rethink some of our fundamental ideas about online marketing.
The first thing both publishers and marketers should appreciate about the visual Web is that it's not only about the aesthetics. Studies show that users are more likely to click on a headline that's accompanied by a large image - a fact that helps explain why the photos in your Facebook News Feed keep getting larger. And the visual Web is uniquely suited to e-commerce. Pinterest is so effective at driving conversions largely because it offers such compelling images of the products people love.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

5 Ways to Improve Social Commerce

These strategies can help you harness the power of social media to boost your sales, especially during the holiday season.
The holiday shopping season is fast approaching, and it's not just retailers that are getting their sites in order to capitalize on this massive shopping peak. Social networks and publishers are also gearing up, and it seams a new company is releasing a shopping feature every week. Last week it was BuzzFeed testing a feature that allows readers to buy products mentioned in the article. In early September, it was Twitter announcing the inclusion of "Buy" buttons for a limited number of merchants, allowing users to buy directly from the tweet. And Facebook got a jump on the competition, announcing its "Buy" button back in July.
Is all this signaling that people think social media can actually be used to sell products? The data so far has been conflicting, to say the least. Social sales are predicted to nearly double in 2014 to $9 billion, and account for 5 percent of all online retail revenue. However, IBM reported late last year than only 1 percent of traffic to e-commerce sites comes from social media channels, and just a fraction of 1 percent results in a sale.

Retail Component on Tap In Mondelez-Google Deal for Online Video Ads

Mondelez already has proven to be a game changer in digital marketing in its two short years in existence. And now the global snack-brands spinoff from Kraft Foods plans to leap decisively ahead of its competition through a vast strategic partnership with Google and its YouTube unit that will result in 10% of the total Mondelez advertising budget going to online video this year.

It also won’t be long before Mondelez and Google invite supermarket retailers into the fold to help them exploit the unprecedented possibilities of their partnership by taking advantage of apps and location-based technologies to use the new content to influence sales inside the store.

“We’re going to quickly see a focus on that, especially as we get closer to having anonymized personal data that can map onto retailer data,” Bonin Bough, vice president of global media and consumer engagement for Mondelez, told CPGmatters. “Then those kinds of partnerships with retailers, even around online video, become really exciting.”

For the time being, the excitement is all for Mondelez and for Google, to which Mondelez has made a big commitment in advertising spending. It includes assistance from Google offices around the world to help Mondelez and its family of brands – which include Oreo, Cadbury, Trident and many others -- distribute timely, relevant, engaging and diverse branded-video content on YouTube that will create a return on investment for Mondelez and fuel sales growth of its products.

In fact, Mondelez plans to invest a total of about 18% of its marketing budget via digital platforms this year, indicating that its partnership with Google right out of the gate will comprise the company’s single most important platform for digital advertising.

The deal represents “a cutting-edge approach to video that will make media buying, creative production, data and analytics work together in real time and at a fraction of the cost,” Bough said in a press release.

“There are three pillars to this,” he explained to CPGmatters. “First is that it will provide deeper integration of the insights that Google has around branded video and bring it closer to ours. At the scale Google operates what you could call the largest TV channel in the world, with teams all over the world, they can deploy these insights quickly.”

Bough said the second pillar of the deal is to help Mondelez optimize ROI with online video as it reaches more diverse audiences and those that are difficult to communicate with via traditional channels such as TV. “What does being the best-in-class online-video advertiser look like?” Bonin said. His asking that question should terrify TV broadcasters who are left on the sidelines by this partnership.

And finally, the Mondelez-Google deal—which expands greatly on the mobile-only media deal that they signed last year—involves exploring new models for content creation “that can allow us to get the sheer volume of content that we need to give consumers what they want,” he explained.

“How do we create more branded content?” Bough said. “It could be pure ads. There could be the next 15- or 30-second TV ads coming out of this process. What's the right creative approach? How do we deliver different video creative to different audience segments? We don't know. We have these content creation needs and we want to explore them. The economics of providing enough branded content are very tough given the sheer volume of content you have to create to gain impact and awareness.”

Retailers soon could come into play, Bough said. “If you step back and look at Google, you see that in reality, it owns the largest mobile operating system, which is individualized information, and also the largest video and largest search platforms,” he said. “So Google is throwing out insights all day long. If we can match a smartphone to a video user we begin to get to the place where with anonymized personal data, we can actually see video drive sales.

“So while there isn’t a retailer component that’s a direct part of this deal, our push is to get real granular to study how video drives sale and go from there.”

Among other things that are planned under the current deal, Mondelez and Google will be partnering on content pilots with YouTube's Brand Partner Program. Also, along with Fullscreen, a global youth media company, Mondelez is crafting a new model of high-quality, low-cost video content featuring influential digital stars, at first focusing on its Sour Patch Kids brand.

Bough said that Fullscreen isn't affiliated with the Mobile Futures initiative that Mondelez launched last year to attempt to leapfrog competitors in the crucial arena of digital marketing technology. “But Fullscreen is part of that overall strategy of working with the guys who are reimagining the models” via digital marketing, he added. “The Fullscreen people are ahead of us, and the way they're reinventing the content-marketing model is very exciting."

The Google partnership follows a major pact by Mondelez with Facebook that was announced earlier this year for a similar-sounding “global strategic partnership.” Mondelez said at the time that it would put Facebook at “the core of our media investment plans.” Also, last September, Mondelez signed a deal with Twitter to enable real-time marketing through Twitter teams dedicated to Mondelez in the United States, Brazil, India and the UK to collaborate with local marketers and leverage Twitter’s analytical capabilities.

So apparently there’s room enough in Mondelez’s expansive digital-marketing portfolio for huge swaths of cooperation with three of the world’s digital-tech giants.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

GSK Consumer Healthcare Outlines Plans for Digital Future

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare is laying a strong foundation for its digital future.

With the help of a major research study, GSK is striving to understand the changing landscape of social media, digital and mobile marketing to develop relevant content that drives category and growth while engaging consumers. 

“By 2015 we want to have an always-on, always-relevant, and always-engaging digital presence,” said Cristina Marinucci, shopper insights manager for the company whose brand portfolio includes Aquafresh and Sensodyne toothpaste, and other products for oral health, skin health and nutrition.   

Marinucci and Lindsey Boyle, senior vice president, The Sound Research, outlined GSK’s plans recently at the 14th Annual Shopper Insights in Action Conference in Chicago. They stressed that the need for digital transformation is readily apparent. 

“The availability of information at our fingertips, and the ability to search for and use coupons on your mobile phones at any moment in time has forever changed the more linear and traditional purchase journey,” Marinucci said.

GSK has seen a shift from the first moment of truth — the first interaction between a shopper and a brand at the store shelf — to the zero moment of truth; that is, “the rise of full Internet adoption and the increased use of search engines resulting in our shoppers having many interactions with the brand even before they set foot into a brick-and-mortar retail space, and never mind standing in front of the shelf. We knew that if we continued to focus just on that first moment of truth that we would be losing an opportunity to influence that purchase decision,” she explained.

To get there, the company needed digital insights. 

“We wanted to develop the most relevant digital content that we could use across digital assets to make sure that we were delivering category growth, and continuing to engage the consumers on their terms, not ours. We needed the research to get us there. We needed foundational learnings to help guide our thinking and help us get there. Since the study, we have reviewed our digital strategies and looked for ways to improve both in the short-term and in the long-term,” Marinucci noted.

In the short-term, GSK is focused on making smaller, more incremental tweaks to its digital strategy. These include changing the way the company captures personal information about consumers, and making it less difficult for consumers to engage with the company.

“We all know as marketers that we want every piece of information imaginable about our consumers, but most of them, due to privacy issues or trust issues, aren’t willing to share that with us. So what is the bare minimum we need to engage with them?

“We are also doing a lot with our coupons, promotions and content in general to make it accessible across all devices. And then there is search engine optimization. We learned from the study that search is — and will continue to be — a major influencer in our categories,” Marinucci said. 

The longer term requires more of a shift in the mindset around digital investment strategies. 

“Typically as marketers, we spend a lot of money investing in the beautification of our own brand websites, and tend to forget about our retail partners,” she said. “What we learned from the study was that the retailer sites are frequented more than our brand sites, and the consumers are going to the retailer sites because they trust them more and find them more credible than a brand site. But we weren’t offering that content to our retail partners. So we are looking at moving some monies from the beautification or our sites to the beautification of our retailers’ virtual shelves,” she reported.

“This takes time, good effort and good partnerships. It’s not something that is going to happen overnight. We look at this transformation as an evolution, not a revolution. It’s a marathon and not a sprint. It’s about delivering the right content at the right time in the right place. We are very focused on getting this right for 2015 and beyond, and we have already made some small steps toward that,” she said.

The study that GSK relied on focused on the emotions underlying product categories, which will stay constant while technology changes, explained Boyle, whose company did the research. It also asked about digital behavior, and not just what consumers were doing now, but what they were open to in the future, “so we can speculate on where things are actually moving,” she said. 
The goal of the study at first was to focus on GSK’s digital path to purchase, but it expanded in scope as the understanding grew that not everything was tied to purchase. “What this is really all about is a digital path to engagement and trust, and that is what the study became.” 

Trust – or more precisely the lack of trust – was one of the universal emotions identified by the study. People feel overwhelmed and bombarded when they are connected, and that makes them feel mistrustful of digital marketing, Boyle explained. For example, they might sign up for a mailing list from a store and get three or four emails from them a week, or they might do a search and then see targeted ads. This mistrust also extends to the tone of digital communications when they are too “sales-y” or gimmicky. Finally there is the practicality of time issues, “busy people can’t deal with the volume” of digital communications.

“The only exception to this sense of mistrust that we heard was when there was a deal being offered,” she said because consumers are willing to put their mistrust aside when they are offered a good deal.

Marinucci added: “As marketers, we are often tempted to react to the behaviors that are visible to us. But this study showed us the importance of taking a step back from that, and thinking of it more as an iceberg. So the digital behavior we were seeing was only the tip of the iceberg. What we needed to understand were those underlying emotions deep below the surface that were driving the behavior that we saw.” 

Once marketers understand that behavior and the emotions that drive it, they get to that sweet spot: the mindsets that drive the behavior. “By doing that you can target them, take advantage of that behavior and learn where it makes the most sense to invest digitally,” she said.

She said GSK is optimizing its coupons, promotions and content in general to be accessible on any device at any time. “We are also rethinking our coupon strategies internally and looking at how to offer coupons through search, and not diminish our brand equity, or subsidize the purchase,” Marinucci said.