Enriching Email and CRM Initiatives with a new tool

Here at IgnitionOne, we’re pretty proud of how we have been able to innovate to make marketers’ lives more simple. One of the ways that we do that, and something that is truly the heart of our operation, is by using really rich, well-rounded data in order to bolster marketing efforts for our clients.

Profile Exporter

A new feature that we highlighted today, Profile Exporter, is yet another way that we are giving our clients the opportunity to provide a more personalized experience for their customers, which in turn, improves performance. The feature enhances CRM and email initiatives  by augmenting declared profile information with undeclared data (such as Engagement Score, product interests, and browsing behaviors) to create a better view of an online customer. By filling in these gaps, marketers are able to provide more relevant interactions to enhance efforts.

Mini- Case Study

We recently worked with Philips to increase email marketing driven conversions. Using the Profile Exporter, IgnitionOne was able to match existing declared profile information, such as email address, with undeclared data, such as Engagement Score, product interest, recency parameters and frequency parameters. This allowed Philips to hyper-target users with a high propensity to convert, customizing email subject lines and email content that spoke specifically to the products that they were interested in. As a result, Philips saw a huge increase in its KPIs: a 250% uplift in CPA, a 340% uplift in CTR and 90% increase in open rate.

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Google Shopping + Predictive Bid Optimization = Game Changer for Retailers

Today IgnitionOne announced full support for Google Shopping Campaigns, meaning retailers can now manage, optimize and report on their shopping campaigns within the Digital Marketing SuiteSM (DMS). Uniquely, we are able to optimize Shopping and text ad campaigns together within the same SPOT (or Predictive Bid Optimization) group, allowing marketers to forecast campaign performance  at different spend levels and automatically optimize bids accordingly. This gives marketers the ability to maximize ROI to get the most out of their marketing efforts.

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This comes ahead of Google’s implementation of changes to its PLA product. Retailers can now (and must adhere to) manage their product feed and targeting within the AdWords ecosystem – and IgnitionOne is ready and able to assist with this transition. By integrating Google Shopping Campaigns into the DMS, retailers can reap the benefits of fully integrated paid search campaigns and have the ability to predict performance of all ads holistically at a specified spend and optimize accordingly.

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Other key features include:

  • Campaign Management allows marketers to create and edit shopping campaigns, ad groups and ads, and manage bids on Product Groups.
  • Feed Management gives marketers the ability to specify a Merchant Center feed and track URLs for Google Shopping products.
  • Robust Analytics provide insight into Campaign reports, Ad Groups and Ads reports, Product groups, and product detail reports.
  • Predictive Bid Optimization forecasts campaign performance in advance at different spend levels and optimizes automatically.
  • Mobile Support brings retailers’ products to consumers on the devices they use the most

Read our press release here.

Forcing Close Variant Matching: The End of Exact as We Know It or Efficiently Reducing Clutter?

Google announced last week that it was enforcing “close variant matching” to all exact and phrase match keywords.  While this has been an option – and, to be sure, the default setting within AdWords Keyword Matching Options – for marketers since it was first introduced in 2012, starting in late September it will be the law of the land.  Advertisers will no longer be able to opt out.

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Close Variant Matching allows advertisers to show ads for queries that are considered “plurals, misspelling, or close variants” of their Exact and Phrase Match keywords.  Close variations are defined as misspellings, singular and plural forms, acronyms, stemmings (such as floor and flooring), abbreviations, and accents. According to Google, many misspellings and abbreviations would be missed by advertisers given their low search volume.  Thus, matching to close variants allows advertisers to increase quality traffic by showing ads for queries that reflect the intent of their current keyword set, even if they don’t match their keywords exactly.

This is undoubtedly true for some advertisers, particularly smaller, less sophisticated accounts, where the resources – whether people or tools – to help build out and manage large keyword sets just don’t exist.  Google states that advertisers who have used it over the past two years have seen an average of 7% more exact and phrase match clicks with “comparable clickthrough and conversation rates.”

IgnitionOne’s own research skews a little differently, especially by vertical.  By comparing the user’s query to the keyword it was matched to, we were able to determine whether or not that query fell into the close variant category, and then ultimately whether or not that ad click resulted in a conversion.   Of course, this kind of transparency no longer exists either, as Google has since removed the query from the referrer – another wall in what is becoming an increasingly black box.

The retail industry fared the best, with CPA’s roughly 11% lower on close variant queries.  However, advertisers outside of the retail vertical on average saw CPAs roughly 75% higher on close variant queries than they did on non-variants.  Clearly, based on this data, the close variant traffic for non-retailers is likely to be significantly less efficient, but that does not necessarily mean that it’s bad traffic.  That is up to the advertiser or their search partners to determine.

The primary concern is the lack of transparency.  While advertisers can still use misspellings, et al, within their accounts, the ability to vet the specificity of the matching engine – and, therefore, the efficacy of this new change – went out the window when Google removed the typed query from the referrer.

 

THINGS YOU CAN DO 

  • Continue to add in misspellings, abbreviations and other “close variants” with their own bids.  Google should match to them when appropriate and enforce their independent bids.
  • If you suspect a negative impact on CPCs for some keywords, try pausing them and see if similar terms pick up that traffic.
  • Utilize a portfolio approach to optimization and evaluate whether there are other paid search assets, or other advertising channels, that could use the capital more efficiently.
  • Be aware that “close variant” traffic is likely to be less efficient, so evaluate whether or not their performance still falls within your efficiency tolerance.

IgnitionOne will continue working closely with our clients to understand the ramifications of this change and to ensure campaign results and metrics remain strong. If you have any questions, please reach out directly to your IgnitionOne contact or email us at info@ignitionone.com.

Also available for download is our recent report on Google Shopping .

IgnitionOne Acquires Leading Mobile Marketing Technology Human Demand

We are excited to announce that IgnitionOne has acquired Human Demand, a leading independent mobile marketing technology company providing mobile audience and tracking solutions to advertisers. With this acquisition, IgnitionOne continues to enhance the industry’s most comprehensive integrated digital marketing technology solution, by adding mobile display advertising capabilities and cross-device tracking to its Digital Marketing Suite (DMS).

 

Human Demand’s fully transparent, highly scalable and efficient mobile media solution will integrate with the DMS to:

  • Better reach mobile audiences and mobile app users through display advertising
  • Provide additional capabilities for cross-device tracking to inform cross-channel attribution and user data
  • Deliver targeted mobile audiences, including hyper local geo-targeting, at scale with  superior location insights, campaign optimization and visual analytics

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IgnitionOne’s clients will benefit from Human Demand’s intuitive self service interface whose capabilities will be seamlessly integrated into the DMS. The DMS is our digital marketing hub that centralizes the ability to buy, manage and optimize digital media across Search, Display, Social and Mobile, understand client users through Data Management and Cross Channel Attribution, and optimize conversions on a marketer’s website through Marketing Automation.

This is an exciting day for the IgnitionOne team and we welcome the newest members to our family!

Visit us at www.ignitionone.com or contact us at info@ignitionone

Introduction to Paid Search

We know that most of our customers are well versed in paid search, but there are many who don’t live in the space and have limited knowledge.  I was asked to write an introductory article to Search and I discovered that there are so many different aspects that go into search advertising: from bidding on keywords to the multiple search engines, it seems almost impossible to know every little thing about the channel.

Every day, billions of people encounter advertisements when they use a search engine.  These ads tend to differ depending on which keywords the user types into the search bar.  These paid search advertisements are getting increasingly important in the marketing and advertising world.

Paid search works on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis.  Companies bid for the most efficient advertising spot on a search engine based on keywords the user types in.  For example, a travel insurance company would want to bid for the top spot for the keywords “best travel insurance companies”.  The company is bidding for how much they will pay for each click their advertisement receives.  CPC prices can be as low as $.01 to as high as $54.91 (for the keyword “insurance”).  Is paying the high price for a top advertising spot worth it?  The top advertisements average 12.2% more clicks than the next advertisement. So in short, yes.

Every time a user searches on Google an auction is triggered based on a formula known as Ad Rank.  Ad Rank is calculated by multiplying the CPC of each keyword by the components that go into  the corresponding ad’s Quality Score, including the expected click-through rate (CTR), relevance and landing page.  Ergo, ads with a higher Ad Rank can pay less on engines for their ads to appear against the same keywords as someone else.

There are many benefits to using paid search.  Your ads receive increased visibility, you get instant results, and there is typically an increase in conversions.  Customers who purchase online are 30% more likely to perform a search and 17% more likely to have clicked on a PPC ad.

Paid search usage is growing at an exponential rate.  Every year more and more companies are jumping on the bandwagon.  Just last year, search ad revenue totaled $18.4 billion, breaking the record.

There are a few search engines where the majority of paid search goes on, the most common being Google.  According to Search Engine Watch, 67.6% of all paid searches happen on Google .  Other major search engines are Yahoo!, Bing, and Baidu.  Google gets an estimated 1,100,000,000 unique visitors a month.  Bing gets an estimated 350,000,000 unique visitors a month.  Yahoo! gets an estimated 300,000,000 unique visitors a month.

I had a conversation with Dave Ragals, Global Managing Director of Search at IgnitionOne, where we talked about how search engines have been adding more advanced products like Google Shopping (formerly known as PLAs) and Ad Extensions.  He explained that with Google Shopping, retailers can now manage their products and inventory with AdWords.  Google Shopping now offers Benchmark Click Thru Rate, Impression Share, Products Tab, and Exclusions.  Imagine Google Shopping ad creation currently as your social circle. You can be part of multiple social circles concurrently, and have different attributes when in each.  But this could change, as, “Google tends to be the leader and Yahoo!/ Bing always ends up following suit,” he told me.  Ad extensions occur when there are numerous links associated with one ad.  For example, say you are looking at a CPO Commerce ad (client). With ad extensions, there can be a link to various pages that are not directly related to your search but may be of interest to you based on your query (see below).

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IgnitionOne’s technology is able to figure out where a company should advertise and what the CPC should be, all within a millisecond.  In addition, they can determine which keywords are most effective to bid on. They are able to determine the marginal cost to marginal return ratio for each keyword/position.

The future of marketing is in search.  Every day, more and more companies turn to search to fulfill their advertising needs.  Those who don’t adapt to search will most definitely get left behind.

Weekly News Roundup

Why Marketing Automation Is Driving a Bigger Role for the CMO

The role of the CMO is drastically changing as they are now influencing the strategic direction of the company as whole. The changes in technology have given the CMO more power in making better decisions.  “As a result, we have a tremendous amount of information available that allows us to track the movements of the consumer, and it’s all measurable. The technology has led to the expansion of the scope of the CMO role,” says Steve Herrera.

Instagram Marketing Is Quickly Catching Up to Facebook

We all know how much of an advertising hotspot Facebook is.  However, the fairly new mobile application, Instagram, is quickly catching up to Facebook’s advertising numbers.  Facebook had a 22% year-over-year (YoY) growth for brand posts, while Instagram had a 49% YoY jump.  Facebook had 2,396 actions per post and Instagram had 6,932 actions per post.

Social Media Ups TV Awareness

Social media is continuously showing signs that it will keep growing in users and popularity.  Social media has actually increased television awareness over the past year.  In 2013, Nielsen says 25% of people were “aware of more programs” because of social media — versus 18% in 2012. Also, 15% of those surveyed claim they “enjoy television more.” The number was 11% in 2012.  Social media has also led to more people shopping while watching television.

Getting Past the Labels

Due to the continuous advancement of technology, marketers now have the ability to target people based on very specific trends. Instead of buying audience segments, marketers can target customers based on behaviors and cues.  They can now also reach customers through specific environments like mobile or social.  The most important thing is that marketers cannot be lazy: they have the ability to integrate and optimize many pieces of data, all of which is time consuming, but well worth it.

Are You Ready For Google Shopping Campaigns?

Google plans to migrate all remaining legacy Product Listing Ads (PLA) campaigns to Google Shopping beginning in August 2014. Here are some questions to ensure you’re ready.

What are the differences between the old PLA campaigns and Shopping Campaigns?

The Ads – Shopping Ads are still PLAs. The big difference is that now you don’t have to know precisely what is in the Product Feed to create valid groupings. AdWords now connects your Merchant Center feed to your AdWords account in a way that lets you drill down into Google’s category taxonomy to create Product Groups, or you can use other feed attributes such as Condition or Brand, or you can use custom labels to define your target set of products.

Product Groups = Product/ Targets – Each AdGroup in a Shopping Campaign consists of one optional ad (this is the promotional text that will appear with every product ad served from the group) and one or more Product Groups which determine the eligibility of products to be served based on more easily-defined parameters. Don’t let the rebranding of these campaign assets throw you off.

No Keywords – These are not keyword campaigns. They will behave differently and you will want to experiment to find the best way to structure your Product Groups. A simple start should include using Google’s product category taxonomy to group like products. Next break those groups down using additional attributes, such as Condition or Brand, or your own custom feed attributes. You can, however, add negative keywords to your campaigns to avoid unwanted impressions.

Google has provided several learning opportunities for marketers, including basic and advanced webinars: http://www.google.com/ads/experienced/webinars.html

 

Are your product feeds optimized for Shopping Campaigns?

Where the old PLAs used adwords_grouping and adwords_label fields for organizing your product targets, Shopping Campaigns introduces the availability to create up to five custom labels that can be used in conjunction with Google product category, brand, item ID, condition and product type to create Product Groups to be targeted.

These attribute filters can be combined and stacked to tailor your feed to meet your needs. Start with the highest level of categorization and break the category down to more granular levels. Your Product Groups are bid at the most granular level specified.

 

Do you have a plan for measuring the performance of Shopping Campaigns and comparing them to old PLA campaigns?

Gathering benchmarks now will help you see where differences may exist between Search Product Listing Ads campaigns and the new Shopping Campaigns.

Fortunately, Google has introduced some additional impression share and benchmarking metrics that will help you understand your place in the marketplace, too. Benchmark max. CPC and CTRs gives you an idea of the performance of similar product ads in the marketplace.

 

Is budget set aside for your Shopping efforts, or is it lumped into your Search budget?

If at all possible, segregating your Shopping budget from your overall Search budget can help ensure you have more time and freedom to experiment with the new Campaign type. CPCs have increased as more and more retailers have adopted product listing ads and it will be important to be cognizant of how those changes will affect your overall marketing spend.

My Royal Summer Comes to an End

In my last week at the IgnitionOne UK office, I have found myself full of emotion. Working in England this summer, I was enriched with the culture, diversity, personality, and strange wit of the British. They humored and spoiled me. They were among the most wonderful people I have ever met. As I sit in the office, I look around at the people, not just as employees, but as best mates.

My experience at IgnitionOne has taught me so much about digital marketing and media in the UK and abroad. I was fortunate enough to work with our marketing teams around the globe (the UK, US, Brazil, Belgium, France and Germany). The people have strong personalities and ambitions to get the job done in the most efficient way possible. In such a difficult job with so many tasks to complete each day, never have I met so many people who put their whole hearts into their work and devote themselves to making sure the company succeeds.

During my time here, I compiled case studies and onesheets, learned InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Excel, wrote blog posts each week for IgnitionOne’s Digital Marketing Suite, edited multiple PowerPoint decks, contributed to the Quarterly Newsletter, prepared and entered various award entries, assigned leads on Salesforce, and organized and held Marketing meetings. It was rewarding to see my efforts pay off (for instance, IgnitionOne recently received news on being shortlisted for the Digital Entrepreneur Awards, which I helped submit).

My favorite part of my internship experience was working with the team to rebrand IgnitionOne and implement a new look and feel to all of our collateral, websites, etc. It was fascinating to see the progression from the old to new and I am proud to have contributed to the shift.

In my time spent in England, I have learned to understand various forms of the British accent (some I still struggle with more than others). I have managed to cope with the bi-polar weather, or rather, I just carry an umbrella and thick sweater on me at all times. I will always remember my weekend adventures, not only in London, but all around England. I travelled to Bath, Avebury,  Brighton, and Oxford. In London, I visited all the markets, saw all the major buildings, and walked in the most beautiful parks I have ever seen in a city. The people I have met on this journey are those I will never forget. They now own an extremely large part of my heart.

As my internship ends, I will leave England with so much professional growth and personal development from a summer ventured alone in London. I feel more prepared for the professional world than ever before, thanks to the internship and the constructive feedback gained from my coworkers. I may have come here on my own, but I am leaving with over thirty friends for a lifetime. Summer 2014 was filled with new skills learned and memories that will last forever.

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Weekly News Roundup

Virtual Reality: Advertising’s Next Big Thing?

Coca-Cola, Nissan, and HBO have taken a giant leap into the virtual world of advertising. Virtual reality can transform the advertisement industry, but the industry itself has to understand the technology before diving head first into the transformation. Virtual advertisement will allow individuals to enter a completely different experience, getting immersed in a very authentic way of viewing ads. “Today social networks are about sharing moments, but tomorrow it will be about sharing experiences.” Virtual reality will give all a sense of presence that they are unable to get from any other advertisement.

Facebook Starts Building Ad Links to Instagram

The same ads you see on Instagram will now be appearing on your Facebook page. Facebook, who owns Instagram is testing this on Mercedes-Benz, allowing their car ads to target users who follow them on Instagram. Targeting will be extremely precise. “Brands could use Instagram for brand awareness, then Facebook for their direct-response messaging.” The goal is to target individuals based on their information on both Facebook and Instagram, giving them ads from businesses that interest them.

Tap Into the “Big Data” Power of Search

Search is part of a huge platform for driving conversions. The article talks about three different ways to improve a company’s entire marketing efforts through search perspectives. The first being to listen carefully as to provide the user with a better experience. The second is to review your brand’s trending techniques frequently. Finally, the third is experimenting with Google AdWord search.

Pinterest’s New Head of Brand: ‘I’m here to expand it globally’

The female dominated site, Pinterest, just hired David Rubin as their new head of brand. This was a bit of a curveball because Pinterest is predominantly used by females and at his last job, Rubin worked with Axe. However, Pinterest hired David in order to expand their reach to men as well. “This is a fantastic brand already,” Rubin said. “My job is to help unlock that for more people, more often.”

Can Foursquare Kick the Check-in Habit?

Foursquare is in the middle of a huge rebrand. It is getting rid of one of its main features, the check-in. In addition, they are also changing their logo and creating a new typeface. The problem they face with this is not upsetting their loyal users. They are trying to make the user experience more personalized. They have approximately 10.3 million users.

Google Shopping Now Features Product Ratings in Ads, Blurring the Lines between Organic and Paid Search

Google is notorious for getting big name brands to sign on for their promise of better click-throughs. Google has it easy with blurring the lines between organic and paid search. Mike Capsambelis, the Product Manager at Google Shopping wrote, “We believe these ratings will help differentiate products across google.com and google.com/shopping and will help merchants drive more qualified traffic through Product Listing Ads.” the product ratings willl begin to appear across Google Search homepage, as well as Google.com/shopping portal.

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Source: ClassroomChronicles

Engagement Scoring and Portfolio Optimization: 1+1=3

IgnitionOne was an early innovator of Portfolio Optimization which allows for the optimal spending of each dollar for highest return possible, aiming for the highest efficiency aggregate. We are also the first to leverage a proprietary Engagement Score, that measures the historical and real-time behavior of each individual visiting your site, allows for deeper insights beyond revenue at the user level. By combining the two innovations, engagement scores in conjunction with standard revenue metrics, it has the potential to significantly improve the accuracy/insights in automated portfolio bidding.

Learn more about how these technologies and how they work together in IgnitionOne’s new insights document – download it here.

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IgnitionOne’s Predictive Engagement Scoring offers dynamic, real-time insights into likelihood to convert and product interest to drive intelligent optimization