Management Lessons From a Public Company Gone Private

On the heels of a recent management-led buyout, IgnitionOne’s CEO, Will Margiloff, was featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, an online publication devoted to entrepreneurialism, small business management and business opportunities, discussing lessons learned during the course of his ventures.

Margiloff asserts that “a ‘clients first’ mentality is the winning formula. By focusing on what’s best for your clients, you’ll create a culture that will maximize success.” He also claims that with private ownership comes more opportunities for responsibilities and rewards, and that with independence, an organization has the freedom to innovate without facing “bureaucracy or petty politics.”

To read more of this article, click here.

Google’s Dynamic Search Ads Beta: A Step Into The Future

By: Katherine Wrobleski, Associate Account Manager

Every day, 16% of Google queries have never been searched before. How is a media manager to keep up? Worry not-Google’s dynamic search ad beta alleviates this constant struggle with keywordless paid search ads generated directly from a marketer’s website. The program is designed to compliment an existing account’s structure, serving on long-tail, specific queries that are not picked up by a keyword set. Google reports that advertisers see a 5-10% increase in clicks and conversions on average with the beta, and the setup is fairly painless.

Is DSA Right For Your Account?

Benefits of DSA coverage

  • Robust – DSA provides incremental keyword coverage. The long-tail coverage may generate conversions at lower CPCs than core keywords.
  • Efficient – DSA set-up is quick and easy to maintain after tracking is set up within Adwords.
  • Dynamic – Ads closely relate to search queries without complex media management.

Considerations before setting up DSA

  • Landing page coverage should align with account’s KPIs (unless DSA is being used as a branding initiative).
  • A good negative build is imperative for blocking irrelevant queries.
  • DSA headlines are highly relevant to a user’s query but do not always align with brand guidelines. If a client has specific requirements for ad copy, DSA is probably not the best option.

Let’s Get It Started

When setting up DSA for a marketer’s account, the following options should be considered:

  • By category: Google will look for themes on the website and show ads for the top ten themes
  • By URL: Google targets a section of the website based on URL string
  • By page title: Google targets specific page titles on the website
  • By page content: Google targets text from a webpage (this is the riskiest option and generally not recommended)

You can also set exclusions on the Auto Targets tab to block non-converting subdomains (ie: the Contact Us page).

After targeting is set, it is time to work on ads. While the headline and destination URL are dynamic, the description text is static. Break up targets into different ad groups and write ads to fit the theme of each group. The default destination URL is {unescapedlpurl}, but if using a third party tracking system (like IgnitionOne), this template enables marketers to incorporate it. And always remember to add sitelinks, target only one language per campaign and apply a basic negative set.

How Do You Optimize A Keywordless Ad?

Search marketing veterans may cringe at the thought of ad group level bidding, but most clients are seeing DSA performance exceed the performance of pre-existing non-brand assets in their accounts. The daily budget for a DSA campaign should be set at around ten percent of a marketer’s  total account budget. Category level and Search Terms reports are available on the Auto Targets and Dimensions tabs respectively, and marketers should mine continuously for possible exclusions and negative keywords.

DSA Case Study

Some marketers may still be skeptical. I was too, until I set up a DSA campaign for an IgnitionOne hotel client in April of this year.  We capped the budget at 10% of the account’s total daily spend and set up five ad groups, targeting five different sections of the website, with bids set to target positions two through three. Since the DSA campaign’s inception, we have mined the Search Terms report and altered bids to optimize performance every few weeks. I also tirelessly searched long-tail keywords at random until I got a good sampling of the ads live in the SERP. You have probably heard the same horror stories I have of early DSA ads stringing together inappropriate headlines, but I am happy to report I only found one wonky DSA ad, and it was not too offensive.

After three months of optimizations, we reevaluated the beta’s performance for our hotel client. In July 2013, the direct response DSA ad group drove only 38% less conversions than all non-brand assets in the account combined, with less than 11% of the non-brand spend. The cost per conversion in the DSA group was 80% lower than the cost per conversion for the non-brand assets, and the average CPCs were 34% lower in the DSA group.

This Beta’s Bottom Line

In short, DSA provides incremental coverage for this client that consistently outperforms the existing non-brand assets in the account, in terms of conversion rate, spend, cost per conversion and average CPCs. While it may not be a perfect fit for every client, if you are looking to grow a mature paid search account, Google’s DSA may be the beta you have been waiting for.

Back-to-School Shopping Season: What Does it Mean for Marketers?

August is an exciting month for retailers, as “back-to-school” shopping is the second-largest season with about $84 billion in consumer sales. It is also an indicator for the performance of the holiday shopping season to follow, and helps retailers forecast their fourth quarter earnings, plan their fall advertising strategies and media buys.

As with every other vertical, the Internet has truly impacted the way people research, browse and ultimately purchase. This year, retailers have experienced yet more change in the shopping habits and patterns of their consumers. The NRF reported that the average family with children in grades K-12 has already completed 52% of their back-to-school shopping, up from 40% at the same time last year. This strongly supports that families are more-value focused than before, and are looking to take advantage of shopping opportunities that save them money. This year’s back-to-school shopping season started as early as four weeks sooner than usual, with 30% of online shoppers making back-to-school purchases two months before Fall 2013 classes start.

With this information, retailers, and more specifically ecommerce marketers, should consider beginning their holiday advertising about four weeks earlier than usual in order to accommodate the budget-conscious consumer. Analyst Liz Dunn of Macquarie Capital said that “business is suffering from an absence of clear fashion trends and is instead relying on the effect of promotions,” encouraging retailers to really take advantage of their digital strategies in order to usher in sales.

 

Mobile

Mobile isn’t a device, it’s a channel, and marketers should be treating it as such. 79% of moms with children in school own a smartphone, and rely on them to get through their hectic days. Marketers should be enhancing their mobile campaigns in order to capitalize on these on-the-go moms who make most of the back-to-school purchases for their families.

Marketing Automation

Personalizing messaging on-site is a great way to grab the attention of your consumer and encourage them to convert then and there. Over the last couple of years, marketing automation tactics have become more widely used by marketers as a way to enhance lead generation and boost sales. Retailers that utilize content personalization and dynamic interaction across paid media and email are rewarded with stronger conversion rates.

Integrated Marketing

It goes without saying that if you, as a retailer, embark on a promotional campaign, then make sure the terms of that campaign are recognizable across channels. The same goes for integrated marketing, where all of an organization’s resources, goals, technology, data and measurement are aligned in order to achieve higher levels of efficiency and performance. Truly integrated marketing is equally as important as consistent messaging across campaigns.

 

So what if you can’t heed this advice for the almost-past back-to-school shopping season? Easy. Apply them to your holiday strategic planning. With about $580 billion in consumer spending to come in the latter half of Q4, these insights will help you get more bang for your digital advertorial buck. But start the brainstorming sessions with your teams now, because this holiday season’s shopping cycle will begin as early as late-October.

IgnitionOne’s August Industry Digest

Thought Leadership

Agencies & Tech: Better Out than In?
ExchangeWire
July 22, 2013

Will Margiloff, CEO of IgnitionOne, addresses the question of whether agencies and holding companies should build or buy their own advertising platform technologies, or leave that to specialized, independent technologies.

The Beta Debate
DMS.com
July 1, 2013

Denis Burba, Sr. Media Manager & Katherine Wrobleski, Associate Account Manager discuss the pros and cons of marketers partaking in product betas.

Big Data: How Small Steps to Harnessing Big Data Can Lead to Big Rewards
DMS.com
July 8, 2013

Brittany Lutz, Media Manager at IgnitionOne delves into big data, its continued growth and how it continues to grow. She offers marketers advice on how to make the most of the data they have available.

Generation Gap 4.0
DMS.com
July 30, 2013

Kevin Van den Bosch, Client Services Account Supervisor at IgnitionOne in Belgium, discusses privacy concerns, the drastic change in privacy precautions taken by teens, and the emergence of Web 4.0.

 

IgnitionOne in the News

IgnitionOne to Split from Dentsu In Management-Led Buyout
AdAge
July 2, 2013

IgnitionOne Goes Private, Detaches From Dentsu
MediaPost
July 2, 2013

Ignitionone Takes Full Ownership of Company From Dentsu
The Drum
July 2, 2013

IgnitionOne Gets Independence; Anti-Social Amazon
AdExchanger
July 3, 2013

Strong Quarter for Digital Ads Led by Mobile Search and Programmatic Display
AdOps
July 3, 2013

Marketing Technology Firm Ignitionone Spins Off From Its Owner
Internet Retailer
July 3, 2013

Ignitionone Announces Management Buyout from Dentsu
BtoB
July 3, 2013

Dentsu Issues More Shares, Strengthens Financial Base
MediaPost
July 5, 2013

Accounts and People of Note in the Advertising Industry
NY Times
July 7, 2013

Retailers, Travel Brands Spark Up Mobile Strategies
Brafton
July 8, 2013

Advertisers Double Down on Mobile Paid Search
eMarketer
July 12, 2013

Weekly Furniture World Media Note #81 from Lance Hanish-MobileFirst
Furniture World
July 15, 2013

IgnitionOne Announces Management Buyout, Creating Leading Independent Marketing Technology Company
Econsultancy
July 17, 2013

EBay Flexes Advertising Arm, Launches Its Own Digital Agency
Adotas
July 22, 2013

Ignitionone Appoints Simon Haynes UK MD Following Buyout From Dentsu
The Drum
July 24, 2013

Simon Haynes Appointed UK Managing Director At Newly Independent Ignitionone
Econsultancy
July 24, 2013

Facebook’s Mobile-Ad Boom Provides Model to Social Sites
Bloomberg
July 26, 2013

Publicis Omnicom Creates Uncertainty for Brands
MediaPost
July 29, 2013

IgnitionOne Appoints John Ragals COO, Pushes Tech Efforts
MediaPost
July 31, 2013

 

Industry News

CMOs Pessimistic About Achieving Their Goals? Turn To the Data
Adotas
July 1, 2013

A recent report published by the analyst firm Accenture revealed that 40% of CMOs said they are unprepared to meet their marketing objectives, a 5% increase from 2011. The first step for these CMOs in acheiving their objectives is to accept technology, such as marketing automation, which has had a low adoption rate since its introduction to the industry five years ago.

NRF Predicts Cautious Back-to-School Shopper
MediaPost
July 1, 2013

The state of the economy is predicted to affect the shopping habits of 77% of families with kids in school, clearly having potential impact on ecommerce during the second largest shopping season of the year.

The Marketplace Fairness Act: What To Expect From An Internet Sales Tax
Econsultancy
July 3, 2013

Explains the implications of the Internet Sales Tax as it is on its way to becoming codified and standardized, giving states the authority to obligate remote sellers to collect sales tax in the states where transactions occur, applying to retailers with aggregate annual remote sales of at least $1 million.

Back-to-School Ad Campaigns Start Jarringly Early as Marketers Seek Tight Budgets
AdAge
July 8, 2013

Back-to-school spending accounts for $84 billion in sales, making it the second-biggest season for retailers. Typically beginning mid-July, this year’s back-to-school shopping started prior to Independence Day, sending some e-retailers into a frenzy while others told customers to come back later.

The Ill-Defined Problem of Attribution
MediaPost
July 11, 2013

Argues that although algorithms can assist marketers with attributing appropriate credit to channels and predicting future media buys, human nature is “notoriously tough to predict.”

Forrester: $2.1 Trillion Will Go Into IT Spend In 2013; Apps And The U.S. Lead The Charge
Tech Crunch
July 15, 2013

Forrester Research has now released its annual look at the state of IT spend globally, and analysts project that there will be $2.06 trillion invested across software, hardware, and IT services by enterprises and governments in 2013.

 

Search

How to Break Enhanced Campaigns (and Why You Shouldn’t Bother)
ClickZ
July 1, 2013

Offers advice for marketers who are unhappy with Google Enhanced Campaigns and illustrates how to segment smartphone traffic into separate campaigns.

Microsoft Exploring Options with Facebook
MediaPost
July 2, 2013

Bing and Facebook are working toward implementing ad formats on the social site, allowing members to like an ad. In addition, Bing plans to create product listing ads similar to Google’s PLAs as well as launching click-to-call similar to Skype, along with call-tracking tools.

Taking Search Marketing Further? A Look at Remarketing
MediaPost
July 30, 2013

This article illustrates the three factors that are driving the growth of search remarketing, including appealing to visitors who didn’t convert, up-selling/ cross-selling to existing customers and reaching customers within a given time before or after making a purchase.

 

Display

Portable TV: 10% of Video Views Going To Devices
MediaPost
July 1, 2013

Video views to devices in Q1 rose by 19% over the previous quarter alone, now accounting for 10% of all views, according to Ooyala. The company says video growth on tablets (now between 5% and 6% of all views) and smartphones (more than 4%), is on the same curve as last year when their combined total share doubled between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31. In Q1 2012, mobile devices had only a 4% share.

Programmatic Buying Rises, But Display Ads Decline
MediaPost
July 23, 2013

An analyst report cites a rise in programmatic buying continuing to drive the decline in premium display ad sales.

Real-Time Bidding Deserves Real-Time Insights
Adotas
July 23, 2013

Discusses the importance of real-time analytics that support RTB, highlighting the benefits to buyers, publishers and exchanges.

How Big is FBX Anyway?
AdExchanger
July 25, 2013

In light of recent comments made by Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, regarding FBX being “a very small part of (Facebook’s) business,” this article notes that although that may be true, FBX “remains important for ad tech companies, specifically because marketers remain deeply committed to retargeting potential customers in the Facebook environment.”

 

Social

LinkedIn Ramps Up Content In Pursuit of Ad Dollars
AdAge
July 2, 2013

Traditionally a place for housing resumes, job-seekers and recruiters, LinkedIn is pitching brands and agencies on its transformation into a content-marketing platform, including its pilot test of “sponsored updates,” its rendition of native ads that appear in users’ news feeds.

Twitter Unveils its Ad Retargeting Effort
All Things D
July 3, 2013

The remarketing effort will allow advertisers to upload an aggregate set of cookie IDs to Twitter’s ad system and ask Twitter to match those with the cookies of users who visit the social network.

Facebook Mobile Swells to 41% of its Ad Sales
ADWEEK
July 24, 2013

Facebook mobile ad sales in Q2 beat Wall Street expectations, accounting for 41% of $1.62 billion in total ad sales, whereas in Q1, mobile ads accounted for 30% of ad sales, indicating that Facebook now understands how to engage users via mobile.

 

Mobile

Mobile Retargeting: Some Just Do It Better
Adotas
July 2, 2013

Discusses the growth of mobile remarketing and offers advice for how marketers can make the most of their remarketing strategies.

North America Dominates Tablet Spend in 2013
AdExchange
July 2, 2013

North America will account for 47% of tablet revenue in 2013, according to a new study by ABI Research, followed by Western Europe at 29% and Asia-Pacific at 21%.

More Than Half of America Has a Smartphone
ADWEEK
July 10, 2013

As of May 2013, 56% of US adults own smartphones, up from 46% in February 2012. This infographic also highlights the percentage within each age group who own smartphones, distribution of smartphone ownership according to income, and more.

Mobile Ad Measurement Rules Finalized
MediaPost
July 11, 2013

The mobile Web ad measurement guidelines outline requirements, such as client-side counting for mobile Web ad impressions to increase consistency with computer-based ad measurement and help to reduce discrepancies in mobile impression counts. With these clear guidelines in place, performance and effectiveness of mobile campaigns can be measured more accurately.

Tech Talk: Keep It Simple

As a PR guy in advertising technology, I’m often asked by insiders, and even friends, the following question: “With the subject matter so technical and esoteric and the messaging so packed with acronyms and jargon, how can you tell these tech companies apart?”

A fair question. In fact, it is a topic that has been getting little play in various quarters. Hopefully, my perspective here will nudge the conversation along because I strongly believe that it is an important issue for ad tech players.

So why is it that most ad tech companies talk and write about themselves and the space in general as if they were reciting an instruction manual for a high-end vacuum cleaner? Yeah, sure, algorithms and quants are driving the conversation but at the end of the day, we must not forget one simple thing: we are in the advertising business. And lest we be reminded, what is the overriding objective of the ad biz? To sell stuff. And how do you sell stuff? By engaging the target audience in a compelling manner and employing tactics that elicit the full range of positive emotional reactions from laughs to tears of joy and empathy.

That being the industry’s raison d’etre, the more you stray from that., even in the tech sphere—actually, especially in the tech sphere– the more likely that your messaging will disappear into the cacophony of noise that dominates ad tech communications.

Instead of serving up alphabet soup, how about clear, simple and direct usage of the English language to describe the value proposition of your offering along with clear, simple and direct usage of the English language to describe the benefits of employing your offering for advertisers?

I understand that technical language and acronyms are a necessary tool in describing many of the businesses and product features, but I predict that they will mean a lot more if used judiciously. In fact, the jargon is more likely to stick in people’s heads in a resonant way if they are juxtaposed with and supported by common language.

We’re not talking about scoring style points here. We’re talking about economic survival. In a sector that is marked by commoditization, employing vagueness in communicating the distinctiveness of your brand—presuming that your brand has some form of distinction to tout—is public relations folly.

How do you expect to win over a prospect base as well as key influencers like journalists and analysts if you sound like every other fly-by-night point solution?
As the enlightened in this industry continue to tout the imperative of integrating and simplifying the marketing technology stack, a concurrent wave of simplifying marketing technology “speak” needs to emerge.

Because unless you somehow miraculously hit upon the golden, game-changing formula like the Zuckerbergs and Brin-Pages of the world, where the product is that transcendent, the ability to distill your brand to the most human terms possible may make a big difference in whether you wind up as contender or pretender.

John Ragals Joins IgnitionOne as Global COO

John Ragals

On the heels of IgnitionOne’s recent management buyout, the newly independent company has hired John Ragals as global Chief Operating Officer. John will provide his expertise in leveraging the IgnitionOne Digital Marketing Suite technology to benefit both advertising agencies and brand marketers.

As a new member of the executive team, John brings deep experience across all facets of digital marketing. Most recently he was Chief of Network Development for Dentsu Network. Prior to this, John served as COO of 360i for 6 years. While at 360i, John helped lead them from a specialty agency of less than 50 people to a 400+ person, full service digital firm working with such brands as Fisher-Price, Enterprise, CapitalOne and JCPenney.

John was also one of the first executives at Modem Media, a pioneering digital agency. Later in his career, John ran some of the biggest pieces of direct digital marketing business for Beyond Interactive, then a Mediacom company.

As COO, John will oversee the delivery of operational excellence across IgnitionOne’s current 13 global offices as the company continues its expansion into new regions. John will also provide leadership in enhancing IgnitionOne technology and services delivered through the Digital Marketing Suite platform.

We welcome John to IgnitionOne! Click here to see the full official announcement.