IgnitionOne Releases Q1 2013 Report

In the Q1 2013 Report, IgnitionOne reveals that  paid search spend for tablets (112%) and smartphones (113%) are up YoY. Tablet users were also shown to have been responsible for the greatest increase in usage of the two mobile device types. The report indicates that Yahoo! Bing has maintained its upward climb in market share gain. Despite a flat January, paid search spend accelerated through February and March. Programmatic display experienced a 55% increase YoY, defying the traditional claim that media bought programmatically is “low cost and low quality.”

“Not only are users engaging with more ads on mobile devices, they are also spending more time on marketers’ websites when they do” said Roger Barnette, President of IgnitionOne. “This creates both opportunities and challenges as marketers adjust to the changing landscape.”

To read a more in-depth rendition of the above and more about the digital marketing trends and conclusions of Q1, click here.

Integrating Marketing Technology – Webinar Recap

In our second in a series of integrated marketing webinars, Roger Barnette, President of IgnitionOne, covers the challenges faced by marketers today and how to best address those challenges in order to enhance results in “What to Look for When Integrating Marketing Tools and Technologies.”

Marketers are in a space that is over saturated with single-point solutions, each creating very separate data sets from each channel which is challenging and often impossible to integrate efficiently, and increasingly difficult to glean true insights from. The answer: leverage a centralized multi-point solution to shed light on the true impact of your digital marketing efforts and optimize for improved results.

Roger details the benefits of integrating marketing tools and technologies, such as the creation of a single-data source, experiencing fewer errors in reporting, and true attribution which allows for deeper insights and greater returns.

This is one in a series of integrated marketing webinars loosely based on topics covered in the Integrated Marketing Playbook. Please register for any of the upcoming sessions here.


How Marketers Can Get the Most from their Technology Vendor

By maximizing the service you receive from your technology vendor, marketers rightly magnify the value of the investment being placed in them. The below tips will give marketers the confidence to get the most from their working relationship:

Partner with them -Most of the people who work at technology companies come from a hands-on digital background, making them ideal in terms of being an extra branch of resource for supporting your team. With them comes expert knowledge of the industry and of the technology’s tool, meaning they will have insight into how the tool can best achieve your goals and it is up to the marketer to leverage that knowledge. Marketers should insist on quarterly updates to go over the account and learn how to maximize performance using the tool. Ideally, monthly meetings are a great time to catch up on queries/new releases of the tool and ensure that you are kept up to date with developments with time assigned specifically for focusing on the accounts and the tool that you are running the accounts through.

Maximize all of the tools in the platform – Not just the shiny ones. Yes, there is always one big feature that really sells the technology to you, which is normally the algorithm-led optimization tool in IgnitionOne’s case. But there are also a lot of other tools that yield shiny results by saving the team time and effort in day-to-day campaign management. Bulk changes, scheduled reports and advanced filters have all been designed to increase efficiency while decreasing the effort you have to put in. The efficiency these features provide allows you to focus on the things you lack time for, like overall strategy testing and bigger picture optimization. The tools will also come in handy with the restructuring of accounts in preparation for Google’s Enhanced Campaigns.

Get Training – Make sure you are trained on how to use the tool. Make the most of these sessions with your vendor by asking questions, making sure you understand how to manage and optimize campaigns with the platform. Not only will it help with efficiency, but mastery of a technology platform is a great addition to your CV skill set. If your technology provider has uncapped training hours then maximize on that and have as much training as you need until you 100% understand all aspects of the tool to ensure you are getting optimal value.  Undergo refresher training at least once every six months. If there have been new features added to the tool, ensure you understand them. If your technology vendor doesn’t set a training session, you should feel comfortable requesting this.

Communication – Are you unhappy with the tool? Tell the vendor. Often, frustration stems from lack of knowledge, so presenting a problem means you can work towards a solution. If the problem is not lack of knowledge, then tell them that. Proprietary technology means any issues can be easily fixed and worked through with a positive end result. Chances are, if you’re having an issue then other clients will be too, so you’re doing the vendor a favor by providing constructive feedback. Clear, honest and open dialogue is important in any industry – it ensures your voice is heard and will lead to improvements. Though it’s important to bear in mind that these requests typically won’t be solved over night, so have realistic expectations. If you are still not getting what you need or feedback after lengthy discussions, then walk. Equally, if you are happy with the tool then tell your vendor, so they can continue doing what they are doing without switching processes on you.

Make sure your provider has Cross-Channel Capabilities–Managing all media channels in one place, attributing and de-duping against one another is a powerful feature. There is no need for straining resources with error laden and timely data crunching if you have a technology provider with an inbuilt attribution system that will do all of this for you in real-time. You can then have the insight into how your channels interact and perform together allowing you to make informed decisions to effectively manage the budget across channels.

By following the above tips, marketers will not only grow their own technical skill set and knowledge, but also garner better results for clients and ensure maximum potential is being reached with media spend.

Webinar Recap: Setting Up Your Organization for Success

“Setting Up Your Organization for Success” is the first in a series of integrated marketing webinars.

In his session, Roger Barnette, President of IgnitionOne, discusses how marketing organizations can achieve true and efficient integration by aligning teams and goals in order to drive improved results. The session discusses the importance of severing divisions between teams built around arbitrary lines and explores creative resolutions for eliminating barriers among point solution departments. Operating in silos hurts the goals of the business: functioning holistically is the most efficient way to maximize the bottom line and achieve the organization’s marketing objectives.

Roger also discusses how to align IT with the marketing team, and how centralized, data-driven decision making accompanied by flexible budget can lead to success within the business. Center Parcs, a client of IgnitionOne, is highlighted as a testament to the success of encouraging marketing teams to work together.

To learn more about the integrated marketing webinar series, click here.

Download the Integrated Marketing Playbook here.

IgnitionOne’s 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 released the definitive Integrated Marketing Playbook last month. Download it here.

We will also be hosting a series of integrated marketing webinars. Learn more about them and register here.

IgnitionOne in the News

RTB Reprograms the Future of Ad Buying
February 4, 2013

Will Margiloff, CEO of IgnitionOne, is quoted defending the anonymity of gathering customer information for use in RTB.

Yahoo! Bing Network Takes a Bigger Slice of the Search Market Pie in 2012
February 5, 2013

This article sites an IgnitionOne report that notes that clients increased budget allocation to the Yahoo! Bing Network by 48% (compared to Google’s 12%).

Top 5 PPC Software to Improve your PPC Campaign Performance
February 7, 2013

IgnitionOne is included in a review of the top five PPC management solutions available.

Refresh on the Basics of Content Marketing
February 19, 2013

Search spending data from IgnitionOne’s Q4 2012 report is used to support the article’s argument that brands should invest further in mobile.

Will Marin’s IPO Let It Buy an Ad Server?
February 20, 2013

IgnitionOne’s high ranking in the Forrester Wave is mentioned in this article about Marin, in light if its recent IPO.

Google Takes PLAs International, Converts to Paid Model
February 21, 2013

IgnitionOne is mentioned as having the ability to support PLAs.

Social Consolidation To Change Online Marketing
February 25, 2013

Mentions IgnitionOne’s Integrated Marketing Playbook and highlights the assertions that “social and search marketing flow naturally together because brand marketers believe their companies are ‘social by design.’”

IgnitionOne Publishes ‘The Integrated Marketing Playbook’
Mobile Marketing Watch
March 1, 2013

This article discusses IgnitionOne’s Integrated Marketing Playbook.


Onsite Conversions
January/ February, 2013

Stewart Holt, Sales Director, UK, explains how online gambling companies can attract new customers and generate more business from existing ones by using conversion optimization.

Part I; Holistic Marketing & Advertising
February 1, 2013

Chris Knoch, VP Strategic Solutions at IgnitionOne covers how to combine Marketplace Ads, page posts and Facebook Exchange in creative ways to drive ROI.

How are We Doing So Far? The Opportunity in Google PLAs
February 5, 2013

Roger Barnette, President of IgnitionOne, details the initial results of PLA campaigns and highlights what they mean for marketers.

What Google Enhanced Campaigns Changes Mean for Sophisticated Marketers
February 7, 2013

Roger Barnette, President of IgnitionOne, discusses how new modifications from Google will adversely affect marketers.

How to Combine Your Online Marketing Technologies Effectively & Efficiently
Search Engine Watch
February 22, 2013

In light of Google’s Enhanced Campaign changes, Dave Ragals, SVP Client Services at IgnitionOne, discusses the need for SEM practitioners to make sure the tools they use grow with them and highlights how integrated marketing is the first step in planning for growth and change.

How to Fix Common PPC Mistakes to Manage Successful Campaigns
February, 2013

Judy Chan, Head of Search, IgnitionOne UK, uncovers the truth behind some PPC myths in her article.

Benelux: The Brain
February 20, 2013

Dominique Rolin, Senior Team Lead at IgnitionOne EU, discusses why IgnitionOne opened an office in Belgium and why the region’s rich culture in technology provided the best opportunity for the cultivation of the business.

Blog Posts

POV: What Google Enhanced Campaigns Changes Mean for Sophisticated Marketers
February 8, 2013

Roger Barnette, President of IgnitionOne, discusses how new modifications to Google AdWords will adversely affect marketers.

Your Digital Media is Integrated: Now What?
February 14, 2013

Will Perkins, Senior Account Manager at IgnitionOne, discusses the rapid evolution in online marketing and provides insight into how marketers can best take advantage of these shifts.

Trends in Comparison Shopping
March 5, 2013

Leslie Gzehoviak, Account Contact at IgnitionOne, discusses comparison shopping engines, and how they are ushering more non-converting retail users into the conversion path.

Industry News

Facebook Sees 23% Mobile Ad Jump in Q4 2012
January 31, 2013

Facebook announced gains in its advertising business of 41% over Q4 2011 to total $1.3 billion, or 84% of total revenue. Of that, 23% was mobile ad revenue, up from 14% the previous quarter, beating analyst expectations.

Big Data Star Wars: The CMO/CIO Wars Continue
January 31, 2013

This article predicts that tensions between CMOs and CIOs will continue to increase as CMOs struggle to explore social and web data whilst the CIOs struggle to manage a more demanding and complex IT environment.

Keeping Tabs On Consumers: Tracking The Multichannel Customer Journey
The Drum
February 4, 2013

Explores the importance of using multiple variations of attribution to understand and analyze the multi-channel consumer journey.

Here’s Why Data Impacts Everything
iMedia Connection
February 4, 2013

“Data is driving decision-making in more businesses and sectors, is critical to winning in the future of marketing and more facets of our lives are being impacted by data — mostly for good — and the onus is on each of us to understand what that really means.”

LUMA’s Terry Kawaja Says Ad Tech Consolidation – Including ‘Fails’ – Is Here. And It’s Good
February 4, 2013

Terrence Kawaja speculates on how recent deals (MediaMath, AppNexus and adBrite) all reaffirm the trend of the ad tech industry consolidating, however, even as companies merge and acquire organization, other companies are popping up and further cluttering the space.

Ecommerce Sales Topped $1 Trillion for First Time in 2012
February 5, 2013

According to new global estimates by eMarketer, B2C ecommerce sales grew 21.1% to top $1 trillion for the first time in 2012. This year, sales are predicted to grow 18.3% to $1.298 trillion. Asia-Pacific is anticipated to see faster B2C ecommerce sales growth than all other markets worldwide.

Digital Channels Reported Consuming an Average of 35% of Marketers’ Budgets
February 5, 2013

56% of in-house marketers surveyed by Econsultancy and Responsys are spending less than 30% of their budgets on digital channels, while 32% are devoting more than half of their budgets to these channels. This year, 71% of companies plan to increase their digital marketing budgets by an average of 28%, compared to only 20% who expect to raise their traditional marketing budgets, by an average of 26%.

Digital Ad Spend May Surpass Traditional Media in Near Future
February 5, 2013

A new survey of ad agencies indicates that digital media may eclipse traditional advertising in the near future, with nearly one-third of respondents expecting to spend more on digital than on traditional media within the next three years.

Enhancing Adwords for a Constantly Connected World
AdWords Blog
February 6, 2013

Google announced in early February that it would be enhancing campaigns for AdWords, allowing marketers to manage their separate campaigns, reports and ad extensions in one place.

Read Roger Barnette’s, President of IgnitionOne, response to this here.

Evolution Of Display Ad Strategies For Mobile Monetization
Marketing Land
February 14, 2013

The result of mobile, shifting users from desktops to smartphones and tablets, is an overlap in search and display, leaving marketers trying to make sense of converging mobile ad platforms and what that means for driving targeted, qualified leads with limited screen real estate. In order for mobile display to become a source of mobile monetization, mobile should incorporate the key tenants of successful search ads, such as establishing secondary action strategies to drive user engagement, taking a localized approach, and targeting mobile ads based on mobile user profiles and preferences.

Agencies Better Cozy Up to Ad Tech
February 14, 2013

Smart agencies that care about future-proofing for the long haul recognize the value of having the right ad tech providers as partners involved in their plans. Chris Hansen, President of Netmining, notes that the agencies that don’t value their ad tech relationships will be left behind.

How ‘Responsive’ Does A Brand Want To Be?
February 15, 2013

A seamless customer experience is open for interpretation from brand to brand. Although brands want their aesthetics to appear universal from PC to tablet to smartphone, users respond differently to a variety of screens at different times of day.

Digital Influence: How the Internet Affects New Product Purchase Decisions
February 19, 2013

The trend of the Internet influencing consumers buying electronics, appliances, books and music, has extended to consumption categories as well. Driving this trend is social, which has been an effective soundboard to learn about issues and the identification of innovation opportunities and consumers are finding the Internet to be “just as compelling as more traditional advertising.”

Proving ROI Biggest Hurdle for Companies Investing in Mobile Marketing and Staff
February 20, 2013

68% of enterprise executives responsible for hiring marketing said they need to “prove that mobile marketing has a positive ROI” before hiring mobile marketing talent. In identifying the three biggest challenges to mobile marketing overall, these company staffers cited measurement/ROI (42%), reaching the correct audience (34%) and data security (34%) most frequently.

Yahoo Makes Over Its Homepage, In Bid for More Traffic
Fast Company
February 20, 2013

Yahoo’s new look was designed to keep visitors more engaged, encouraging them to stay longer on the site and thus be exposed to more revenue-generating advertising.


When it Comes to Bid Optimization, are you ‘Book Smart’ or ‘Street Smart?’

In talking with prospective customers on a daily basis, I field a lot of questions about the science of bid optimization. But over the years, the nature of the questions has shifted from “can you” to “how do you” and have become increasingly complex, as search marketers grow savvier. And even though we’ve been optimizing search campaigns using predictive portfolio methodology since 2005, the marketplace has only recently widely adopted the approach.

Taking a trip down memory lane to when I first started working with IgnitionOne (then SearchIgnite), I thought I’d share my personal recollection of how bid management questions have gotten more sophisticated, tougher, and longer over the years.

But is there a point at which the evolution of our questions and understanding (or lack thereof) of bid science will actually come at the detriment of our campaign performance? And are we relying too much on automated bid science to drive performance?  Can bid and campaign optimization be completely automated by algorithms? Is an algorithm going to put me out of a job?  ARE ALGORITHMS TAKING OVER THE WORLD?!

Okay- maybe I slipped too far down the slope on that last one, but hopefully you see where I’m going with this. As far as we’ve come in our understanding of rules versus portfolio logic, I’ve noticed a surprising backlash against portfolio optimization tools lately. More and more marketers have been coming to me saying that they have portfolio tools, they understand how to use them (theoretically, anyway), but they…

  • Can’t customize them for specific business rules or campaign goals
  • Aren’t getting results as advertised
  • (and my personal favorite) Just don’t trust them

These are all valid points if you’re relying on a black-box algorithmic portfolio model to handle your bid optimization in a vacuum. So the question becomes:  when it comes to bid optimization, are you book smart or street smart?

If you’re book smart, you can probably whiteboard visualization for how your bidding technology handles keyword clustering for optimization. You have every bid completely automated with multiple portfolios across millions of keywords organized thematically, geographically, and by device (well, for now – thanks, Google…). You haven’t touched a bid in years, and you trust your little black box because it contains a revenue-crunching bid-busting algorithm. And it’s smarter than you (right?). Wrong!

But if you’re street smart, you know that you possess two forms of logic that even the best algorithms never will: common sense and foresight.  You know that the best performing campaigns are optimized against marginal cost to marginal return modeling, but you also demand transparency of the decision science. So when your algorithm is recommending that you bid down a keyword based on its rank return profile, but you know that you’re about to launch a promotion against that particular category of products, you can opt out of its recommendation without jeopardizing the relative performance of the portfolio.

So is it better to be book smart or street smart? Duh – both, of course! You don’t need to write your own algorithms, but please do remember there’s no such thing as a silver bullet when it comes to SEM, and even the smartest algorithms require human intervention every once in a while.

So ask yourself (and your technology provider):

 “Do I have…?”

  1. Transparency (into keyword level bid optimizations)?
  2. Input (over what data set(s) the algorithm is incorporating into the model)?
  3. Control (over individual keyword bid optimizations within the portfolio)?

Trends in Comparison Shopping

Digital marketers have the daunting task of understanding why a consumer does or does not convert. A great way to combat these online non-converters is to get inside of their heads. Despite the convenience of online shopping, many consumers may be overwhelmed by the process of sifting through various websites found on a simple search that yield the product of their interest.

Fortunately, there are tools available now that make purchasing products online more convenient for shoppers.  These should be leveraged by retail marketers and used to pique the interest of non-converters and in many cases, transform them into recurring online shoppers.

One of these tools is the increasingly popular comparison shopping engine, which are websites that offer a place for consumers to view the same or similar products at different prices across multiple retailers, encouraging stronger consumer engagement.  Aside from the obvious preferred giants like Amazon and Bing, there are numerous other comparison engines that consumers are frequenting to get the biggest bang for their buck such as thefind, shopzilla, PriceGrabber: the list goes on.

Many of these sites also offer apps for mobile devices that conveniently allow users to scan bar codes from their smartphone and compare offline prices with online alternatives.  IgnitionOne research has shown an increasing trend in paid search spend on smartphones early in Q4 2012 (http://www.ignitionone.com/pdf/ignitionone-q3-2012-online-advertising-report.pdf ).  With the use of comparison shopping engines on mobile devices combined with the increase in paid search spend on smartphones, retailers can rest assured that as more consumers adapt to using these tools, purchases on mobile devices will continue to increase.  By understanding who their customers are and how they are shopping, retailers have a tremendous opportunity in the mobile arena.

Consumers are also using multiple comparison shopping engines at one time to find the products they want at the prices they are willing to pay, making it more difficult for digital marketers to break down the path to conversion.  The readily available comparison information on the sites also provides a challenge for retailers who do not offer price match opportunities or who cannot lower their prices.  Why would a consumer spend more and pay for shipping if another reputable retailer is offering the same product for $20 less and free shipping? Not only do retail marketers have their hands tied in trying to understand the path to conversion, but it is also becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate their offerings from the competition, and customer loyalty programs aren’t cutting it anymore.  By understanding their shoppers’ demographics, continuously monitoring the competition, and implementing a solid promotional strategy in combination with optimizing their digital marketing media, retailers can avoid losing shoppers to the competition.

Google Product Listing Ads (PLAs) can help retailers optimize their digital marketing strategies.  With PLAs, prices are easily compared across several online retailers.  Often, a potential consumer is unaware and unsuspecting that retailers and Google are offering options they may not have even realized they were looking for.  This is a great way for digital marketers to increase exposure on the path to conversion (I actually found myself distracted while typing this blog because of online shopping with PLAs, and I’m certain that the goal of the retailer has been met, as I am grabbing my credit card at the moment).

New tools are making it more convincing for a potential buyer to purchase a product, and online advertisers are gaining the upper-hand in persuading them. With the use of insights from IgnitionOne, retailers can optimize their digital marketing performance and understand the different channels consumers are browsing in their path to conversion.

Now excuse me; I have some online shopping to do!