IgnitionOne Picks Up a Bronze at the Digital Impact Awards UK

Last week, IgnitionOne’s work with Unicef UK on the Syria Christmas appeal was recognised with a bronze at the Digital Impact Awards 2014.

The awards, held at The Brewery in London, welcomed over 500 of the UK’s finest digerati. Launched by Communicate Magazine in 2010, The Digital Impact Awards celebrate creativity, innovation and strategic thought in digital stakeholder communications.

In conjunction with Unicef UK we were nominated for the ‘Best use of digital in the charity, NGO or NFP sector’. Competition in our category was fierce from the likes of Marie Curie Cancer Care and The Royal Navy. Undoubtedly we were thrilled to add our bronze accolade to the UK’s already bursting awards shelf.

IgnitionOne worked with UNICEF UK to develop a uniquely integrated online advertising campaign using their first party data. Through a broad reaching display campaign, supported by on-going paid search activity, IgnitionOne’s unique technology helped drive traffic to the UNICEF UK site. Once onsite, we used our LiveMarketer and engagement score technology to understand who the most engaged users on the UNICEF UK website were. The highly engaged visitors to the UNICEF UK site who failed to donate were then reproached through our Smart Retargeting®. The campaign outperformed the 2012 Christmas campaign and donations came flooding in.

Here’s hoping the winning streak continues at the upcoming UK Search Awards and The Digitals next month. We’ve got our black ties and fancy frocks at the ready… fingers crossed!

Practical Considerations When Selecting Your Tech Partner

George Shaw, Head of R&D at Retail Next, hosted an Exhibitor Big Ideas Session at Shop.org 2014 where he spoke about the importance of having a strategy in place to integrate new technology into your store/brand. This post focused on that topic, which can be found here. During the second part of his presentation, he focused on the practical considerations to think about when searching for a partner to help you with your specific needs. He highlighted the following four areas of importance, all of which will affect the overall shopping experience for the end user:

Technical: The first step is to determine your specific technology needs. Walking around in any exhibit hall at a conference can be an overwhelming experience, especially if you are new to the tech space or are unaware of what you are trying to accomplish. By hosting an internal dialogue between all departments, everyone’s stakes are on the table and it begins to define what you need to succeed. The initial collaboration session will help to alleviate any confusion. Make sure to invite your IT and development team to ensure that all technology specs are known.

Trust: If you are using a tech partner for a “mission critical component,” it has to be someone that you are able to trust. Make sure to ask them how they would respond to certain scenarios and also for recommendations/testimonials from current customers. As I am personally working with vendors, I think of them less as vendors and more of partners for success. If a problem were to occur, are they available 24/7 to help answer your answers? By making sure that you trust your partners, it sets you up for success from the beginning.

Cost: For every company, cost is always going to be a concern. Upon researching the partner you are looking to use, make sure to discuss costs to understand both implementation and use costs. Do not forget to ask what benefits come with this package. For me personally, I receive immense value from my partners as they learn my strategic goals and work with me to help meet them. This alone is invaluable as often times they present new insights or angles to problems that will continue to grow both the brand and company value.

Privacy: With the knowledge of data collection becoming more apparent in the media over the past three years, more than ever consumers have been concerned about how their data is being used and protected. As Shaw said, people view their data as currency and will give it to the brand if they are receiving a valuable item in return, such as features, functionality, offers, etc. Furthermore the landscape is changing rapidly, both from a best practice and legal viewpoint. It is crucial to make sure that your partner is able to speak to these in a way that provide your brand with the maximum knowledge needed to make informed decisions about marketing campaigns.

Planning the Future of Retail

Everyday new technology is being designed and launched into stores meant to enhance the path to purchase for the consumer. With a plethora of options already available, and new innovations being created on the daily, the question is not only about deciding which technology to use, but also ensuring a strategy exists to make sure your brand is not left behind when a new and revolutionary concept hits your vertical.

During an Exhibitor Big Ideas Session at Shop.org last month, George Shaw, Head of R&D at Retail Next, spoke on this very topic by explaining that while we don’t know what technologies are coming down the road, we need a strategy to absorb them. Here is what he proposed:

Sense: This component is about getting a feel of what is happening inside your store through technology. Think of the countless devices in your store – it is truly an internet of things. Communication is a two-way road between the store and the consumer. For example, when I’m in a store I may try to access the public WiFi, which could direct me through a landing page with store specials. If they know me well, perhaps it was customized to my liking (let’s say fall décor) and I found myself in that aisle taking pictures to post to my social media page. This step is about observing how tech is being used in your store.

Process: As you begin to understand how tech is working in your store, it is time to bring together your data points. In Shaw’s presentation he mentioned how the data needs to be very scalable, very quickly. While this may not be extremely useful to be able to narrow data down to one customer, as you will want to be observing trends in mass, it is nice to have the option if needed. The ability to segment your data in a variety of ways can prove useful depending on the outcome you are trying to achieve.

Analyze: Now that data points have been brought together it is time to analyze your data. This is a term often heard in the tech space, but I think the meaning can get lost from time to time. Before you analyze, I think it is crucial to take two different approaches to this step. The first is to look at your company objectives, pain points and obstacles, and see if you can use the data collected to help you find an answer. The second is to play around with your data, without any specific objective in mind, to see what you find out. Either way, it is crucial that you are open to truly listening to what your data tells you. Often we try and manipulate data to fit the story we want to hear. Doing this will just make it more complex to meet your end goals.

Report: The entire purpose of reporting is to show that our findings have meaning. We can take them to create and implement a change that will direct us towards a more desired result than the current outcome(s) you are seeing. In terms of reporting, Shaw explains of two types. The first is for human consumption, such as data mining and actual reports. The second is for machine consumption, such as using an API to allow a feed of data to occur between two technologies already in place. Each has their unique purpose, but both can offer great insights to what your data revealed.

With the tech space changing so rapidly, I found this approach to be an insightful and solid framework as you begin to observe how to integrate new technology (both inward and external facing) throughout your store.

An American Tale

I recently landed back in the UK after my three week work exchange programme placement in Akron, Ohio. My initial reasons for picking Akron revolved around becoming familiar with the Data Management Platform (DMP) and seeing clients and useful contacts in the area. I had no thoughts or expectations on what Akron would actually be like. Some might say that this was naïve…I like to think I was just being adventurous. I did a little research after realising that I was going on the trip, Wikipedia informing me that it was the home of Goodyear, Chrissie Hynde and LeBron James but other than that I had no idea what to expect. Let the adventure begin, I thought!

I don’t know quite what I was expecting in terms of climate, but I certainly wasn’t prepared for it being so warm and sunny. My first week in the office went by in a flash of sunburn and salad. I had some great ‘Icebreaker’ sessions and learning lunches with the team, then spent my first weekend seeing the sights of Akron and going for an 11 mile run around the tow path in the valley. Not only was it hot in Akron but I also quickly came to find out how hilly it was!

During the trip I experienced many American Firsts. I tried my first s’more, drove (a golf cart) for the first time, watched my first ‘football’ game and went to a proper American ‘mall’. I also got to go and see The Black Keys in their home concert in Cleveland, which made the trip for me on its own.

In reference to the driving being a first – I’m not a driver. I’ve never even had a driving lesson, so driving a golf cart felt like a big deal. Not being a driver turned out to be quite an issue living in Akron, as the town is quite spread out and everyone drives. Within the first couple of days of me arriving, the team had organised a Taxi service to drive me to and from the office from my hotel. This worked out OK for a while, but as the week went on the driver got later and later to his allotted pick up time, he also started to get lost on the way to the office, which was confusing to me as I thought he was a local. Needless to say, the taxi man lost our business and the lovely office team took it in turns to drop me off and pick me up from then on. Note to self – if going to somewhere in the US that doesn’t have public transport – learn to drive!

One of the keys things I took away from my trip was the relationships I was able to build with the team. I could not have felt more welcome from day one in the office, everyone was so friendly and generous and that was a constant during my whole stay. I felt like Princess Kate Middleton at times, and not just because everyone kept asking me if I see much of Price William or Harry, living in London (I look nothing like her by the way).

I really enjoyed getting to know all of the teams at the office. One of the key opportunities I had to do this was at cross fit training, which happens at the office three times a week. It’s a scheme started by Brian a couple of years back and it has had a big impact of many members of the team, not just in terms of bringing the teams together socially (and getting a bit of friendly competition going on) but in changing people’s entire lifestyles. I’m actually really going to miss those cross fit sessions, as well as my daily chats to Melody about music on the journey to and from the office and my weekends with Bryce, Elizabeth (and their amazing dog Mowgley) swimming and drinking homemade margaritas.

Thank you so much to everyone that made my trip happen, you all made my experience very special and I’m eternally grateful. To anyone thinking of applying for the exchange programme – I cannot recommend it enough, and if you’re thinking of coming to the London office, I can promise you that we’ll show you all the best things that England has to offer, we might miss out on the taxis though, as they’re even worse in London!

Shop.org 2014: The Unification of Marketing & Finance

More than ever marketing is under pressure from upper-management to justify their annual spend. The ability to prove ROI has become increasingly valuable to obtaining larger budgets, increasing brand presence and furthering campaign efforts to connect with consumers. Shop.org 2014, held at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle at the end of last month, offered one panel, “Leveraging Customer Lifetime Value Data to Power Your Digital Marketing Strategy,” addressing the importance of marketing and finance coming together to leverage data as a way to better measure campaigns, set realistic marketing goals and ultimately ensure marketers can maintain or increase their annual budget.

Rose Hamilton, EVP & CMO at Pet360, explained how she has strategically partnered with her CFO in order to begin to assess customer lifetime value and integrate it into her marketing efforts. There is so much emphasis being placed on the partnerships forming between the CMO/CIO that it is important to recognize other opportunities for internal strategic partnerships, specifically in this case the CMO/CFO. These partnerships break down internal corporate silos, offering direct communication leading to commitment and results. Plus, these partnerships may help when you find your drained budget needs an extra boost in Q4.

Hamilton explained the steps she took in order to help integrate lifetime value into marketing started with balancing customer value with cost structures. From there she started to “connect the ‘intangible’ customer value to profitable customer behavior changes,” as a way to quantify trends occurring to justify spend. This lifetime value measurement was comprised of different components including: organic growth, monetization of every visitor, engagement, and profitability. The outcome led to better customer segmentation and defined value, showing marketers where they should be placing their spend for the best ROI.

As she was speaking it was clear to see lifetime value could not be calculated without a system in place to first, collect all of the data necessary, and second, analyze it. This centralized system of being able to breakdown silos and connect all data points is crucial in discovering the value of your customer and continuing to help lower customer acquisition costs as you learn the specific quirks of your ideal customers. In addition, Hamilton pointed out that you need to understand the true value of all of your costs, including often forgot factors such as shipping, to get a realistic view of this calculation.

With marketing, it can be overwhelming when trying to decide how to spend the budget allocated to you, especially if the industry is rapidly changing. I believe the best place to start is with your owned data, internal resources/partnerships with other executives and a plan in place to measure your spend. By using data you have you can strategically design, test and refine your spend on all marketing efforts, ultimately resulting in a more strategic spend targeting customers with a higher propensity for a longer lifetime with your brand.

Get your Digital Vitamins at Digital First 2014

On Thursday, October 16th, you can meet the IgnitionOne Brussels team at Tour & Taxis for the event Digital First 2014 (booth D22). Digital First is THE B2B event for the digital industry in Belgium. Over 3.500 people interested or active in digital marketing meet up and discuss the future of digital marketing and new technologies. Over 80 conferences and workshops hosted by the most specialized professionals will leave the attendee food for thought and new inspiration for 2015.

If you would like to set up a meeting at the event in advance, please contact Kevin.Vandenbosch@ignitionone.com and have a chance at winning an Apple TV!

At 11:20 you can join Kevin, our European Account Director, for his presentation “3 key vitamins for your lead generation 2.0”. The 3 key vitamins will be illustrated with real examples and cases. In order to get your vitamin boost during the event, come and enjoy a non-digital, freshly squeezed orange juice at our booth, D22. You can find more info here: http://www.digitalfirst.be

More Insight into IgnitionOne’s Q3 2014 Digital Marketing Report

Last week we released our latest Digital Marketing Report for Q3. If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, grab one now.

Charlie Archibald, IgnitionOne’s Algorithmic Media Manager, provided additional insight into some of the report findings. Read on to see what he had to say.

On Yahoo/Bing’s Increased Market Share:

“There’s a couple factors involved that I think are worth noting. The first is that when you take out the Partner networks Google has actually gained a small amount of market share YoY (76% of spend in Q3 2014 vs. 75% in 2013).

The second thing worth noting is that Google’s CPCs have declined 9% YoY (across all networks), while YaBing’s have increased 15.1%. This is the main cause for the difference in market share in my opinion. If you look at traffic numbers YoY as opposed to spend, Google’s market share is more or less flat.”

On the drop in CPC:

“One factor appears to be that advertisers are getting more sophisticated and efficient in their mobile advertising. Mobile had a disproportionately large drop in CPCs compared to the other device types across both engines. It also happens that Mobile accounts for a much larger percentage of spend on Google than it does on Bing among IgnitionOne’s client base (20% of Google spend vs. 8% of Bing).

One other thing to consider is that at this time last year all advertisers had been thrown into Enhanced Campaigns on Google. We noticed that caused a pretty immediate increase in CPCs across both mobile and tablet. Now that we’re one year removed from that I believe that advertisers are growing more adept at figuring out how to best optimize their accounts in the new landscape. Thus it would not be surprising to see Google CPCs decline some relative to this time last year.”

On the Growth in Mobile Search

“Mobile has continued to grow at a much faster rate than tablet in terms of impressions, clicks, and spend. We’ve seen this trend for some time now. We have just finally hit the point at which mobile has surpassed tablet in nominal spend. I think this is a combination of advertisers figuring out how to advertise more effectively on mobile devices, as well as users becoming more dependent on mobile devices for search.

CPCs on mobile are actually considerably lower than they are on Desktop and Tablet, so I don’t think the spend increase has so much to do with CPCs as just more people utilizing mobile as a primary form of search.”

IgnitionOne’s Q3 Report: Yahoo!/Bing Has Largest Market Share Increase Against Google in 5 Years

Today, IgnitionOne released the latest version of its quarterly digital marketing report. The Q3 Digital Marketing Report takes a look at the digital marketing trends from this quarter.

Some key findings from the report include:

Yahoo!/Bing gains market share against Google: In its best showing since Q1 2009, Yahoo!/Bing increased their US paid search market share to 25% compared to Google’s 75%.

Yahoo!/Bing search gets more expensive: Yahoo!/Bing partner networks see a 5.8% drop in traffic YoY, but the large increase in CPCs causes overall partner network spend to increase 17.6%.

Phones edge-out tablets in paid search spend: For the first time ever, paid search spend surpasses tablet spend, increasing 18.5% over the previous quarter (QoQ).

Third Party Partner network decline causes ripple effect: Search spend decreases 32% YoY as advertisers pull out of Google partner network. As impressions drop, CTR continues to climb, largely due to advertisers pulling out of display networks and third party search partner networks which have naturally lower CTRs.

Mobile growth continues: Mobile continues to see enormous growth, especially for phones, which saw triple digit growth in search metrics including impressions, clicks and spend.

Read the full report here.