Online Gaming Giant Uses Site Optimisation to increase Conversions by 49%


The Challenge

In an increasingly competitive market, online bookmaker was looking for ways to increase registrations from potential customers. wanted to maximise the potential of non-converting users already on its site. It wanted to achieve qualified registration conversions by optimising the most important point of customer engagement to lift conversion rates. In order to achieve these goals, Betfred engaged with IgnitionOne.

The Solution

IgnitionOne implemented its Digital Marketing Suite site optimisation technology. The technology is driven by a powerful audience scoring engine that monitors on site browsing behaviour based on 120 different variables (including click behaviour, dwell time, specific product views, RFM) of each user. This score is then used to trigger customised calls to action in real-time (see picture below), designed to provide each individual visitor with an offer relevant to their specific product(s) of interest whilst they are still on the site.

Two different types of interaction take place on via the IgnitionOne technology:

  1. Visitors with a high engagement score are targeted with a pop-in containing two calls to action: ‘Register Now’ or ‘Log-In’. The pop-in contains an offer relevant to the visitor’s interest profile. In addition to this, contact details and Live Chat links are also relevant to the specific interest so any query the visitor has can be channelled to the most appropriate team. This interaction is triggered on the visitor’s unique interest score and is designed to be shown when the visitor reaches the crucial conversion tipping point.
  2. In order to reduce the number of drop-outs, a second pop-in is triggered specifically within the registration page. This pop-in reinforces the relevant offer and encourages the visitor to contact the relevant customer support if they are experiencing any difficulties in registering. The pop-in on this page is triggered based on the amount of time spent on the page (if the visitor has spent longer than average on the page) as well as by mouse position. If the visitor moves their mouse above the top of the page (indicating that they may be about to leave the page), then the pop-in is triggered.

Dynamic Pop-In: Providing a customised and personalised experience at the appropriate time in these ways significantly increases the likelihood of a positive interaction with the visitor resulting in a substantial uplift of new registrations.

The Results

The IgnitionOne program was a huge success.

In order to prove the uplift generated by the technology, vigorous A/B testing was carried out whereby a control group of traffic was not shown any interactions. A/B testing allows for clear and comparative results. In the eight months since the IgnitionOne Digital Marketing Suite technology has been in place, has witnessed 49% uplift in registrations of the target group versus control group.

In addition to this conversion uplift, the reaction to the pop-ins by visitors has also been very positive, with on average 25% of users that are shown the pop-in actually using the call-to-action and engaging with it.

Buoyed by its success, is now preparing to use the IgnitionOne technology for a wide-range of additional purposes such as:

– Expanding the onsite offering through encouraging further customer interaction and product participation;

–  Using the audience profile to enhance cross-sell opportunities. has fully bought into the concept of IgnitionOne’s audience scoring engine and is reaping the rewards from using the technology. All elements of the business are familiar with the LiveMarketer display, which visualises the data on the client site in real-time as well as the benefits that the technology can bring. is a truly innovative business that really sees the value in working closely with third-parties such as IgnitionOne to drive results. The most exciting aspect of the relationship is that there is a significant desire from both parties to improve results even further. They continue to explore other elements of IgnitionOne’s Digital Marketing Suite, to ensure that the technology is used to its full potential by contributing’s growth and offering visitors the best possible experience.

For further information, please feel free to contact

Leveraging Rich Ads and Branded Sitelinks in Yahoo!/ Bing

With Yahoo!/ Bing (YaBing) releasing a beta for sitelinks, alongside the release of Rich Ads earlier this year, IgnitionOne investigated how to leverage the budgets of branded campaigns to increase efficiency to marketers’ YaBing account.  The basic premise of leveraging the two products’ budgets to increase efficiency lies in the ability to predict brand click-through rate (CTR).

How Rich Ads Work

Rich Ads run only on exact and phrase match types, can only run on brand terms or extremely relevant non-brand terms and the ad position only shows at a rank of 1. This design of the Rich Ads, along with the fact that no competitors can set up a Rich Ad campaign running on another marketer’s brand terms, indicates that the algorithm which dictates cost-per-click (CPC) for this product is slightly different from the algorithm we see in the perfectly competitive open market (i.e., the non-Rich Ads campaigns’ algorithm). The algorithm in the “open market” determines rank and CPC by looking at Quality Score (QS), which is usually a 10 for branded terms, CTR, as a relevancy proxy, and the next in lines competitors’ bid in comparison to your bid. Due to the Rich Ads’ design we can take out QS as a major determining factor for the CPC you are charged, as well as the next-in-line competitors’ bids. We also know that the algorithm is only predicting CPC as the rank and never changes for Rich Ads. This leaves CTR determining CPC. As we all know, CTR is determined by clicks and impressions.

So how can marketers use this information in tandem with their branded sitelinks strategy?

The Strategy

Since the Rich Ads algorithm primarily gathers information from within its campaign and pulls relatively little information from the market, it has more of a lagged model than the “open market” algorithm. Essentially, it uses past data to predict what will happen to the CTR in the future. The shift between the lows and the highs of brand demand (i.e., impressions) is where this gets interesting.

The lag experienced in CPCs, essentially based on impressions, is about 1-2 weeks (note: this may vary based on the amount of impressions your brand receives). During the period in which your brand has reached the descent from the apex of a high demand period, you will be charged high CPCs for about two weeks into your descent of demand within the Rich Ads campaign without the justification in ROAS (i.e., conversions or AOV decreases). This is when IgnitionOne recommends decreasing your daily budget caps so that your rich ad campaign will, in fact, flight (see Figure 1.0). From here, marketers should reallocate extra budget into branded campaign that has sitelinks, to ensure that all exact, phrase and broad match terms come in a rank of 1 (See Figure 1.1). This is important as the “open market” algorithm will adjust more quickly due to your competitors pulling out of the market/lowering their bids during periods of low demand. The algorithm will adjust more quickly also due to your ability to change more keywords’ average ranks to a 1, thus bolstering CTR, which will in turn lower your CPC. Once you see the Rich Ads’ CPCs coming down to where they should be, your brand should increase the budget to where it will not flight further.

Best Practices:

-Identify if your CTR follows this same pattern during extreme changes in brand demand.

-Watch your Rich Ads campaign to see how it performs during fluctuations in demand. You will need to understand your brand’s CPC lag time.

-Set keyword bids high in the Rich Ads campaigns. You will need to manage spend in your Rich Ads by daily budget rather than CPC, as there are no competitors bidding on these terms and no dispute for rank.

-Set the Rich Ad campaign serving setting to “accelerated.”

-Do not turn off your Rich Ads campaign during the period in which your CPCs will not justify the ROAS. You will need the Rich Ads algorithm to collect data in order to get CPCs where they should be.

-Ensure your branded campaign has enough daily budget to take over the Rich Ads campaigns’ daily spend when you switch over.

NOTE: How to predict changes in CTR

Impressions and clicks rise in periods of high demand for your product or brand. However, it is common that in periods of extremely high demand, clicks are able to maintain at the same rate as the demand (i.e., impressions). Due to this effect, brands typically can experience drops in CTR. Since CTR is the main dictator of our Rich Ads CPC, brands using this product can experience higher CPCs during high demand periods. This is not a huge detriment to the account as conversion rates tend to be fairly high in Rich Ads campaigns and also during times of high demand. Conversely, CTR increases as impressions decrease during a brand’s offseason causing CPCs to decrease in Rich Ads. It is during this time that IgnitionOne would recommend keeping Rich Ads budget caps high.

Figure 1

Figure 2

Google Maps Back on the iPhone: What it Means for Marketers

As of Wednesday evening, Google Maps is available to download on the iTunes App Store after a three month hiatus from the iPhone.

Google Maps as we know it was created and designed by Apple, only using Google mapping data. The new and improved version has been completely rendered by Google programmers, meaning there is now potential for new sources of revenue by way of local ads and the ability to tie Maps in with other Google products and services. The precedent has been set with the re-introduced YouTube app that contains video advertising.

According to Daniel Graf, Director of Google Maps for Mobile in his corporate blog post that re-introduces the app, Google Maps “includes detailed information for more than 80 million businesses and points of interest.” For marketers, that is 80 million + advertising opportunities.

Steve Jobs saw Google Maps as a threat to Apple years ago when he began to explore map-related acquisitions and encouraged his team to begin building an application that would compete with its Google counterpart. The culmination of his envisioned product was presumably less (positively) impactful than he imagined.

Apple lovers around the world are defending their Maps application despite blatant flaws and assure us all that the app is getting better over time. But with the excitement generating around Google Map’s availability, it is hard to imagine that they will continue use for long. After only several hours of availability, the app was the most downloaded application in the App Store and within just two days had been downloaded by over ten million iPhone users.





Advertisers around the world should cheer. Last month, the iPhone’s market share in the US rose to 48.1%, meaning almost half of the smartphone users in the country had no choice but to use Apple Maps, which does not serve ads. With such negative reception of Apple Maps, a majority of iPhone users will download and use Google Maps, although ad-free now, will certainly be monetized in the very near future.

Where Apple makes its money on its hardware, Google is focused on revenue from its software. The other existing parts of the equation for both companies (software for Apple and hardware for Google) are in place to compete with one another and stay as relevant as possible in the eyes of the consumer.

At the end of the day, Google is in the business to serve ads, and its Map application will do just that, and well, providing advertisers yet another medium for relevantly reaching their audience.


Musings of a Digital Newbie

5 Things I have learned in my first month working for a digital

marketing solutions company

  1. Don’t turn up to work in tight trousers on the first day because they will split and you will have to go and buy new ones during your lunch break so that you don’t show all your new team your underwear.
  2. I now see cookies in a whole new light. I thought that a cookie was simply a tasty and highly calorific snack, oh how wrong I was. Cookies make the interactions between the user and the website faster, having the ability to remember preferences, text and shopping basket information. I think cookies currently have a bad rep, but if websites didn’t use cookies the Internet would be a much more frustrating place. It turns out cookies can actually be an incredibly insightful tool for businesses to learn a user’s real interests and act upon this information. In terms of how this can benefit the consumer in the long term, by using cookies, users will be able to see advertising specifically chosen for them, and congruent to their interests – so no more irrelevant annoying pop-ups.
  3. There are so many digital companies out there, all with point solutions and unique angles. I found it tricky at first trying to figure out what each one does by sifting through all the technical jargon and TLA’s (Three Letter Abbreviations). It’s refreshing to be working for a company that does everything under one platform: consolidating online data, conversion optimisation, analytics, managing SEO, PPC and facebook, as well as behavioural attribution.
  4. You can never be too thorough. Mistakes like spelling ‘Stephen’ as ’Steven’ can be the difference between someone replying to your email and not (and thinking you are a mindless idiot) so don’t get the simple things wrong. This is so important in the digital industry which is growing and changing so fast. Doing the right research is also important, making sure you are contacting the right person. I’m finding that job titles can be as puzzling as trying to predict what Lady GaGa is going to wear tomorrow.
  5. This links nicely to the joys of LinkedIn. I have gradually learned how to use it and enjoy finding out lots of information about who’s who in the industry. You can easily spend two hours researching every page on a company’s website, getting the prices for every product, but finding out that the E-Commerce manager used to go to the same university as you and that they have 20 years SEO experience could be even more useful and proves that you’re contacting that person for a reason. It’s also really addictive to check who’s viewed your profile: lesson learned after becoming a little obsessed!

In just one month, my whole perspective of the online industry has been changed. From day one my brain has been inundated with information far more interesting and useful than anything I remember learning in school IT classes. I know I’m touching the tip of the iceberg with regards to the possibilities digital marketing has for the future of advertising. I’ve started my journey in this fast paced industry and having a slightly embarrassing rip in my trousers is definitely not enough to stop me.


IgnitionOne’s December Industry Digest

This is the most recent issue of the IgnitionOne Industry Digest, created to keep you up-to-date on the latest industry insights and company news.

IgnitionOne News

OMMA Display at Advertising Week Day 2
November, 2012

Dave Ragals, SVP of Client Solutions at IgnitionOne, speaks on the OMMA Panel, “Data Out: Solving the Attribution Conundrum.” Fast forward to minute 40.

IgnitionOne’s Mid Q4 Advertising Report
November, 2012

IgnitionOne published the Mid Q4 Advertising Report, which exemplified an upward growth trend in online purchasing on Black Friday and Cyber Monday and verified that the retail experience, from early-stage researching to conversion, is moving toward digital. What’s more, mobile is in the limelight as advertisers recognize the importance of smartphones and tablets in holiday shopping habits by enhancing paid search spend on smart phones by 307% and by 237% on tablets.

Michael Stephanblome Appointed Managing Director of IgnitionOne
November, 2012

IgnitionOne appointed Michael Stephanblome as UK managing director, following the integration of AdJug into the IgnitionOne platform.

IgnitionOne Adds Facebook Exchange to the Digital Marketing Suite
November 8, 2012

IgnitionOne announced the addition of the Facebook Exchange to the Digital Marketing Suite in early November. This new functionality expands the integrated cross-channel capabilities of the DMS, the industry-leading digital marketing solution that centralizes marketing efforts into a single platform.

Looking Beyond the Click – Closing the Conversion Webinar
November 12, 2012

Dave Ragals, SVP of Client Solutions at IgnitionOne, conducted a webinar that centered on how digital marketing does not end with the click-through of an ad. Click here to watch.

Case Study: Driving Amazing Results by Tearing Down Marketing Silos, Chris Knoch, IgnitionOne
November 14, 2012

Chris Knoch, VP of Strategic Solutions at IgnitionOne, identifies how to improve digital marketing efforts by looking at the sequence of exposures as well as engagement data to create a better-aligned media mix. This session highlights the accomplishments of a well-established travel brand.

Infographic: Holiday Shopping Goes Digital
November 15, 2012

IgnitionOne looks at how e-commerce has taken over holiday shopping in a fun infographic.

Forrester Report: The Best PPC Bid Management Providers
Search Engine Land
November 20, 2012

IgnitionOne, named “strong performer,” was credited with customizable workflow and support for a wide range of biddable ad types in the Forrester Wave. Posts

Personas: Give your Campaign a Face, by Mathieu Bernimont, Quality Analyst, IgnitionOne
November 2, 2012

Mathieu explains how the Personas method provides marketers with a more precise and realistic vision of their typical users that can then be used to optimize marketing to their target audience.

Bring Colour to Your Campaigns, by Rachel Young, Marketing Coordinator, EU
November 6, 2012

Rachel describes the influence and affect that different colors can have on a marketer’s advertising campaigns, website or pop-in.

Four Things for Digital Marketers to be Thankful For, by Joe LaSala, Marketing Director
November 20, 2012

Joe discloses four things that he is grateful for in the spirit of Thanksgiving.

Reflections from a Site Optimization Veteran, by Dominique Rolin, Senior Onsite Developer at IgnitionOne, EU
November 27, 2012

Dominique describes her last four years working with IgnitionOne, the accomplishments of the onsite team and expectations for the future.

Written by Our Very Own

Opinion: Bringing the Traditional Sales Approach Online, by Stewart Holt, Sales Director, IgnitionOne UK
November 5, 2012

Stewart Holt compares conversion optimization to a suit salesman that understands when and how to approach a shopper in order to maximize the chances of conversion.

The Road to Success is Driven by More than Technology, by Dominique Gramatte, Head of Client Services, IgnitionOne UK
Figaro Digital
November 5, 2012

Dominic Gramatte explains how to bring your digital strategy up to speed.

The Search Marketer’s Guide to Facebook Exchange (aka FBX), Part 1, by Chris Knoch, VP of Strategic Solutions, IgnitionOne
November 8, 2012

Chris provides a search/ performance marketer’s guide to the Facebook Exchange.

Search is But One Tool in your Marketing Toolbox, by Roger Barnette
November 13, 2012

The MediaPost byline by Roger Barnette, President of Ignitionone, explores some of the shortcoming of search, such as creating a need and rekindling existing relationships.

‘The Future’s Bright, The Future’s ‘Kombinowac’,’ by Stephan van den Bremer, European MD & Mirek Wasowicz, Sales Director, Central & Eastern Europe, IgnitionOne
November 14, 2012

Stephan van den Bremer, European Managing Director and Mirek Wasowicz, Sales Director, Central and Eastern Europe explains why Poland is good for business upon the announcement that IgnitionOne had opened an office in Warsaw.

IgnitionOne in the News

Hurricane Sandy Impacts Online Marketing, Mobile Budgets
November 1, 2012

Roger Barnette, President of IgnitionOne, responds to the impact of Hurricane Sandy on paid search.

Ad Wreck: VC-Backed Ad Tech Firms Have Arguably Inflicted One Big Mess on Digital Advertising
November 6, 2012

Will Margiloff, CEO of IgnitionOne, comments on the fragmentation of the ad tech industry and the need for simplicity in the space.

IgnitionOne Adds Facebook Exchange Support
November 8, 2012

MediaPost announces IgnitionOne’s addition of the Facebook Exchange to the DMS.

Facebook Exchange Expands with IgnitionOne and Growth Outside US
Inside Facebook
November 9, 2012

Discusses IgnitionOne’s support of the Facebook Exchange in the DMS.

New MD Brings eBay and Gumtree Smarts to IgnitionOne
Social Media Influence
November 13, 2012

Covers the AdJug merge and Michael Stephanblome’s promotion.

giffgaff Case Study
Figaro Digital
November, 2012

Showcases the IgnitionOne giffgaff case study.

Should We Kill Last Click for Good? 
Media Contacts
November, 2012

Ollie Bath is featured (second guest to appear) and speaks to consolidation as a solution to fallacies of last click attribution.

Industry Insights


Facebook to Help Brands Track Ad-Driven Sales
November 16, 2012

Facebook will be rolling out a conversion measurement tool specifically engineered for direct-response marketers that will not only show companies how their Facebook ads drove actions on their own sites but also use that conversion data to inform future ad buys and will unlock the path to conversion from a Facebook ad.

Retail Tweets Lift Online Sales
November 20, 2012

According to a 75-day study released by Twitter, the social media users who saw either an organic or paid retail tweet purchased online at a 39% clip, per the firms’ study, beating the 27% of overall Internet users who bought something.

Social Media Ads Go ‘Native,’ Will Hit $9.2B by 2016
November 26, 2012

A report released by BIA/ Kelsey claimed that spend on paid social media advertising will increase from $4.6B this year to $9.2B in 2016. It also predicted that native ads will total $1.53B this year and are expected to grow to $3.85B by 2016.


Mobile Is Key To Cross-Media Marketing Strategy
November 7, 2012

Forrester released a method for benchmarking a company’s “mobile maturity,” as campaign budgets continue to rise. The guidelines are intended to help marketers understand different growth stages, and determine budgets to create a cross-media strategy. The research indicated that advertisers will spend $77 billion on interactive marketing by 2016, similar to the amount today spent on television.

Data Points: The Eyes Have It
November 21, 2012

An infographic that visualizes an eye-track test conducted by Poynter on 36 people during the summer of 2012. The organization identified interesting behaviors that have implications for publishers seeking to increase time spent with their apps.

Holiday Shopping

Ecommerce Stats: the Importance of Returning Customers
November 9, 2012

This article evaluates the importance of the returning customer to e-commerce sites and weighs in on how online retailers are preparing to entice consumers to coming back to their site.

Google Upgrades Shopping, Maps Ahead of Holidays
November 13, 2012

Google announced Shortlists, which lets users bookmark and compare products featured on Google Shopping and additional sites and share those lists with others who can then add or comment on existing products on the list. Users will also be able to view any promotions associated with a product. The company has also plotted over 10,000 indoor maps where users can zoom in to discover where certain sections are within the brick-and-mortar.

AdWeek Cyber Monday Review
November 26, 2012

A recap of what happened on Cyber Monday 2012.

Cyber Monday Search, Sales Rise, Along with Cost per Clicks
November 26, 2012

Search stats and facts around Cyber Monday, including the number one retailer on Google’s search engine, top ten Google search queries and a breakdown of mobile performers.

Four Things Holiday-Shopping Kickoff Tell Us about the Economy, Consumer Habits
November 26, 2012

Retailers are nervous about the economy; consumers could care less about the ‘fiscal cliff;’ online shopping has lost any perceived stigma; and holidays are no longer sacred.

Cyber Monday Ranks As Biggest Online Spending Day Ever
November 28, 2012

Up 17% from last year, Americans spent $1.465 billion on Cyber Monday, according to comScore. From November 1-26, Americans have spent more than $16 billion online, representing a 16% growth from the same period last year.


Spiffing Up Your Search Results Page
Inside Search
November 6, 2012

Google announced that they rolled out a new desktop search results page, with “a bit more breathing room, and more focus on the answers you’re looking for.”

Google Shopping’s Transition to Pay-for-Play Expands Internationally, Search Results to Change by February 13
Tech Crunch
November 13, 2012

Google Shopping is expanding to U.K., Germany, France, Japan, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Brazil, Australia and Switzerland beginning February 13, 2013.

Will Yahoo, Facebook Consider a Search Alliance? 
November 19, 2012

Contradictory reports question whether Yahoo and Facebook are working toward a partnership.


Real-Time Bidding Soars, Display Ads to Hit $15 Billion
November 14, 2012

eMarketer estimates that RTB will account for 13% of all US display ad spending this year which is more than 3 times what it was two years ago at $1.9 billion.

What’s Next for Mobile Display Ads?
November 19, 2012

A panel at the Guardian Mobile Business Summit discussed mobile display ads in the UK and the direction the industry is heading.

Meal-Time Displaces Real-Time: Thanksgiving Analysis Shows RTB Cost Soaring As Volume Crashes
November 26, 2012

Over Thanksgiving weekend, RTB volume crashed as the supply of online ad impressions plummeted due to holiday usage patterns. The result was a spike in the average prices paid by advertisers bidding on inventory during Thanksgiving week.

Site Optimization for Nonprofit Organizations: the Cure for Retention?

Are nonprofit organizations ready to jump into a commitment with digital marketing? Fundraisers typically see their online-acquired donors switching to offline donations in later years. So is it even worthwhile to help them consider an online marketing strategy? The answer is yes and here is why.

The importance of retaining former contributors is indisputable when you note that returning donors account for 65% of all donations. Donor acquisition strategies are very costly, and it seems that nonprofit organizations are averse to altering the way they acquire new business. In order to achieve a reasonable balance, some conservative nonprofit leaders need to dismiss their old-fashion marketing strategies and embrace the advantages associated with furthering their online performance and web analytics tools. The road ahead will certainly be winding, involving work, innovation, incremental development and flexibility, but it will be well worth the challenges.

Let’s start from scratch and reframe the strategy of donor cultivation. What is donor acquisition if not lead generation? Even if the literal connection buyer/seller in the case of fundraisings takes another dimension, their main purpose remains a permanent gain of new “customers”, in other words, capturing potential online donors according to their apparent deep interest in the cause. Along the same lines, what is donor retention if not customer relationship management? Indeed online interactions and technical support to existing and potential donors need to be maintained and controlled overtime.

Anecdotal evidence from fundraising suggests that donors are less willing to transfer money online, tending to switch from online giving to offline after a few years. But donors will begin to evolve into a more digitally-focused behavior as our culture further integrates with digital. The risk to miss the new generation of donors is too high not to be taken seriously.

There are no businesses that avoid finding new customers. This should also be the case for nonprofit organizations running fundraising campaigns and trying to build communities of supporters off and on-line. For nonprofits, websites are the best way to communicate to their followers and reach new visitors. Furthermore, when user-friendly websites are required to attract contacts, generating leads is not a suggestion, but rather a necessity. Moving forward, personalized website content such as banners and customized interactions such as pop-ins are key drivers for incremental donations. Producing personalized content allows for a very unique experience that motivates a person to join or donate to a cause.

Nonprofits must also keep in mind that most of their donors attribute a certain ethical value to each gift they make, so they want to feel they are particularly cared about and considered in return. Their experience should be special but without evoking a sense of intrusion. Thus existing donors and potential prospects have to be targeted and approached at the very moment that they are ready and willing to donate. To achieve such goals, lead generation strategies would be required, providing real-time dynamic site interactions customized based on cross-channel performance data and attribution models. Engagement scores of visitors, determined by previous behaviors and reactions to proactive messages, might lead to the projection of future actions and thus deliver personalized site content in order to improve new leads and donations.

There is a shift in how people find, use and share information today. Technology and the people of this generation, driven and influenced by digital media, are the future of online nonprofit businesses. Acquiring donors via lead generation campaigns might be the most relevant and sensible strategy ever, bringing not only engaged subscribers but also potential qualified and dedicated donors, who take the first step, interact spontaneously and give a particular credit to a specific cause, filling a form or signing a petition online.

2013: Marketing to the Fiscal Cliff

As 2012 draws to a close and 2013 appears on the horizon, one big topic for 2013 will be the pending “Fiscal Cliff” of increased taxes. This is not necessarily a time of doom and gloom, but an opportunity. Many companies will remain on the same path, while smart marketers will adjust to the changes in the marketplace. Potential fallouts (if Congress is not able to fix the problem) are increased taxes and decreased spending. Discretionary spending probably will decline, and consumers will be tighter with their money. Online, consumers are probably more likely to take longer to make a purchase and will click on more links and ads before buying. Additionally, Average Order Value (AOV) could take a hit as consumers might purchase what is needed and not needed/ wanted. How do you make lemonade?

Despite the Internet being approximately 20 years old, it still works with the same premise of garbage in -> garbage out. From an end user perspective, relevancy is still the gold standard. In direct response marketing, providing a relevant advertisement will ensure that your company has a chance to service a potential client at the precise time of need. To achieve this, review how your Google and Yahoo! Bing accounts are structured and how customers search. Maybe your company needs another account to handle meta data searches (such as model numbers or SKUs). Additionally, a review of landing pages to ensure that all ads are using the most relevant landing page would also be a good exercise.

The 4P’s still apply and promotions are king. Consumers will be increasingly looking for and demand promotions. Free shipping is now standard. Can your company offer “no additional taxes” by offering a “rebate” on local taxes? What about a price match guarantee which covers any regular online and offline retailer? Price match is complicated, and many retailers have found that 3rd party verification services are useful. Promotions can also be differentiators: are there promotions which the competition is not using which your company can use?

If you had to go through a corn maze to get into the mall, would you bother even trying to shop there? Likewise, online stores should be scrutinized for stumbling blocks and pot holes which slow down consumers from completing their purchase. Simplicity and guideposts can set your website apart from the competition: show consumers where they are and cut the unnecessary fluff which might distract from the checkout process. The ultimate goal is to efficiently get the customer to the “Thank you for your order”. Many online stores do not pay attention to their checkout process, and this is reflected in their lower than anticipated sales.

2013 is an opportunity – grab it by the horns and run with it. If you are not constantly working to improve, then you are falling behind everyone else who is.

Attribution Is Where It’s At

In a session on interpreting multiple data sets at ad:tech NYC, a panel was asked “What data set or point is at the top of your wish list?” The answers were not surprising:

  • Individual psycho-behavioral information
  • TV viewer behavior and conversion
  • Attribution

Attribution was one of the hottest topics at ad:tech. Everyone acknowledges that marketers have made great strides in using attribution to fine-tune their digital advertising strategies. But the Holy Grail of accurate cross-channel, cross-platform, cross-device attribution remains elusive.

Why is attribution so important? The simplest answer is efficiency. Understanding what spurs conversion helps marketers mold their strategies for maximum ROI. There is nothing simple about attribution, however, in a world where the classic purchase funnel has become more of a maze.

Credit where credit is due

Several of the panelists at ad:tech warned of the fallibility of last-click attribution models. Generally, last-click/last-view models favor search. What marketers really need is the ability to give proportional credit to all marketing channels and to understand how cross-channel and intra-channel assists contribute to conversion. While technologies can help marketers gain insight where tracking is possible, no one has been able to address the biggest challenge of all – cross-device attribution. Until someone cracks that code, analyzing behavior across all of the devices consumers are using is more art than science.

So much media …

As the list of devices that consumers use grows, so does the list of publishers and media outlets. Today’s campaigns run across search, social, display and TV, with multiple permutations within each of those channels. So how does a marketer know what really works?

One suggestion from ad:tech panelists was to keep a good marketing calendar and make sure that calendar is shared across media planning and analytics teams. By overlaying time-based data on an up-to-date calendar comprising all elements of a campaign, marketers can get a sense of causality that the numbers alone can’t provide.

Another tip offered was to compare multiple attribution models rather than putting all stock in one methodology. In one case study presented, analysis found that by using a last-click attribution model, only two of the tested creatives were winners. When assists were considered, though, five of the creatives contributed to conversions. Especially in testing creative and placement, considering alternate attribution models can keep marketers from throwing out good creative.

Other presenters encouraged marketers to be bold and creative in their testing: “turn off your branding campaign in order to measure attribution; bring offline data into an anonymous cookie pool to sync with online data; test for causality beyond conversion; explore new data sets,” they said.

Not without challenges

Attribution is a fairly new science, so, of course, it’s still evolving and will need to continue to adapt as the landscape changes. Some of the challenges that technology companies and marketers will be trying to overcome in the near future include:

  • Four-screen attribution – Single users on multiple devices create the biggest challenge in positively identifying “what works.”
  • Audience verification and cookie management – The lack of tracking capabilities for mobile and TV prevent an accurate account of how those platforms contribute to campaign success.
  • Over-abundance of data – It would seem logical that more data is better, but that’s only true if marketers understand which data really matter and don’t get buried in an avalanche of numbers that prevents them from reaching meaningful conclusions.
  • Protecting privacy – Consumers are more wary of tracking tactics than ever, making it all that much more important for marketers to be mindful of protecting their customers’ privacy.
  • Staffing for the new world – In an environment where CMOs are projected to spend more on technology than CIOs, the need for new roles is becoming evident. Agencies and marketers will need to have someone on staff to evaluate the diversified and specialized landscape of tech providers to create the right tech stack for each client and campaign, and make sure that these disparate solution providers work together.

Attribution is guaranteed to be a focus of ad tech and data providers as they strive to create more sophisticated models and overcome technical challenges. Marketers who aren’t paying attention are missing out on one of the best ways to really understand their customers’ behavior.