Webinar Highlights: 10 Best Practices for 2015 Holiday Search Strategy

On Wednesday, August 26th IgnitionOne partnered with Boost Media to present the exclusive webinar “Smarter Search Strategies for 2015 Holiday Shoppers.” The webinar included speakers Dave Ragals, Global Managing Director of Search at IgnitionOne, and Rob Lenderman, COO + Co-founder of Boost Media. Over the course of the hour, Dave and Rob covered marketable moments, mobile search statistics, strategic planning, participant questions and the 10 Best Practices You Should Know when it comes to holiday search strategy. Here’s what they had to say:

1. Add at least one mobile preferred ad to each of your ad groups

2. Create and test multiple ad versions

3. Send users to mobile optimized landing pages

4. Utilize ad extensions

5. Highlight mobile-friendly user experience

6. Use all levers provided

7. Account for misspellings

8. Evergreen creative

9. Call tracking integration for click to call features

10. Review brand performance as CPC’s are increasing industry-wide

Ready to learn more about these best practices? It’s not too late to gain access to the full live webinar and presentation. Register for playback here.

It’s time to deliver your best holiday search strategy yet.

iOne Asks: What’s the Best Back-to-School Technology?

Back-to-school season is here, and as our global team prepares to send their kids off for another year (and reminisce about their own school days), we decided to ask: What’s your favorite back-to-school technology, and why would you recommend it?

Here are some of their answers:

An Echo Smartpen! It records audio while you take notes. It’s great for students who have a hard time getting down every important speaking point or focusing for long periods of time.
– Brittany Keele, Account Coordinator
Akron, OH

I would recommend parents to get their children tablets. I did some research during my undergrad on the effects of laptops and similar technology on overall GPA in both high school and college and found that there is a positive correlation with the addition of technology.
– Steven Holden, Algorithmic Media Analyst Intern
Atlanta, GA

I highly recommend the Cozi calendar. It’s a family calendar that can hold everything –soccer games, school events, doctor’s appointments, etc. And it texts the involved family members with reminders! With four kids, it would be impossible without it.
– Desiree Harrison, Director, Human Resources
Atlanta, GA

An indestructible pair of school shoes that can withstand, the relentless smashing of child’s play.
– Oliver Gillies, Account Manager
London, England

Parents instilling respect and understanding into their children before they start school is, in my opinion, far more important than any technology money can buy.  On the other hand, for a secondary school child, I imagine a great piece of back to school tech would be an alarm clock!
– Victoria Lavery, Digital Marketing Suite Sales Manager
London, England

The best technology for parents is the meditation app – “White Noise.”
– Mirek Wasowicz, Country Director Poland & Russia
Brussels, Belgium

Square Cash. With my son off at college, this is the easiest way for me to send him money to any of his accounts; regardless of ACH.
– Dexter Jones, Manager, Business Intelligence
Atlanta, GA

The Tile item tracking devices. Great for finding lost keys, backpacks – and teenagers.
– Patti Renner, Director of Marketing
Akron, OH

 

Register Now for the IgnitionOne August Webinar: Smarter Search Strategies for 2015 Holiday Shoppers

On Wednesday, August 26, 2015, IgnitionOne will host an exclusive webinar that highlights mobile search strategies that marketers will need heading into the 2015 holiday season. Mobile shopping has hit an all-time high and it’s no question that search marketing is on the rise. With the holiday season just around the corner, it is crucial that marketers implement mobile strategies that break through the noise and reach their target audiences.

The webinar, “Smarter Search Strategies for 2015 Holiday Shoppers,” will feature a collaboration between Dave Ragals, Global Managing Director of Search for IgnitionOne, and Rob Lenderman, COO and Co-Founder of Boost Media.

Participants in the webinar will:

  • Gain insight into the latest trends in mobile paid search
  • Explore considerations to impact your strategy development
  • Learn how to optimize ad creative for mobile and why context matters
  • Discover the 10 best ways to engage holiday buyers

“Smarter Search Strategies for 2015 Holiday Shoppers,” takes place on Wednesday, August 26 at 1:00 p.m. ET. Registration ensures access to the recorded playback.

Sign up now!

The Top 3 Benefits of Exceeding Customer Needs

Two weeks ago I had an amazing digital experience. I went to the doctor’s office as I wasn’t feeling well and they performed some simple tests. Near the end of the visit the doctor said my test results, which would dictate if I needed a prescription, would be available online the next day. Before I even received a call from the doctor or access to my online results, Walgreens sent a push notification to my mobile phone alerting me that my prescription was ready for pick-up.

This is brilliant for many reasons. First, Walgreens was able to act on the data shared by the hospital faster than the hospital could relay it to me. Second, in doing so they also gave me the status of the test. Third, while I associate this brand with my health already, their actions continue to prove how much they value my health and me as a person (read: this makes me want to spend my money with them). Finally, all of this happened because they have a top-notch data management platform in place to effectively manage their consumer’s data.

You see, at some point I wandered into Walgreens to purchase an item. Upon checkout I signed up for their loyalty card, slowly giving them more information during subsequent visits. Eventually, I downloaded their app and synched it with my loyalty card. Then I logged into my online account to manage the entire ecosystem. And truthfully, this was not the first time Walgreens impressed me (you can read about my Connected Experience with them here).

But by merely sending me a simple push notification they have exceeded my expectations. By exceeding expectations, brands stand to gain the following:

  1. Customer Loyalty – My default location for all prescriptions is now Walgreens. This experience, along with previous experiences prove that they can do it – and they can do it well. They are loyal to making sure I’m happy and I’m loyal to them by returning every time to spend my money with their brand. With hundreds of other locations to fill my prescriptions, I choose Walgreens because they know me and they can execute efficiently and effectively.
  1. Brand Advocacy – When I have a good experience, I am a sharer. I like to tell my friends and family so they can also have good experiences. If the experience is particularly great I will socialize online as well. Not only does this generate positive news regarding the brand, but it also influences my friends to shop with that brand. I remember once reading a stat that a bad experience is shared 3x more than a good experience – something brands may want to keep in mind while mapping out customer journey experiences.
  1. Exploration of Other Brand Offerings – When a brand exceeds expectations in one area, there is a good chance they excel in other areas as well. In turn, customers will explore their other offerings based on the experiences they have. For example, I learned about the pharmacy app because of Walgreens photo printing app. Both continue to add value to my life and help me simplify. I’m sure I will continue to explore to see what other offerings they have for me.

Regardless of the consumer, everyone likes to be treated well. And the companies that understand the value of treating a customer well will continue to thrive in this ever-changing digital world.

Six Tips to Cross-Channel Bliss

Your audience is savvy, using an array of devices, gadgets and “things” to engage with your brand or company. When you consider the volume of data that’s available – that might soon be accessible – it’s enough to blow your mind. Marketers need to be concerned with issues of reach, yet this also drives the need of consistency and real relevance across touch points and channels. It’s impressive that the interest identified on the website can inform a display ad, followed by an email offer and even a direct-mail coupon thanks to digital marketing hub advancements. Get it right and it’s a moment of wonder and awe, as if your brand universe aligns around the customer (cue choirs of angels singing) for a fantastic experience. But it takes some planning and investment to get there.

To support you in your journey toward cross-channel bliss, here are six steps to get you moving in the right direction. The key is to unite your data around a common goal – happy customers who support your brand.

  1. Start with what you’ve got. Do an audit of what data you have and where it lives. What are you collecting right now? If people sign up for emails, what fields are included in the form? Do you track purchase history by customer name or ID? Do you ask gender or category preferences? What about web search activity? Call center details? Get a list together so you can see what you have, and what you may be missing that could be helpful to your messaging.
  2. Build a team. Bring together people from across your internal silos, working together to move things forward as you centralize your data. With so many projects and tasks, the best way to keep things on track is with cross-company involvement. Team members should have authority or responsibility over a specific channel or data source so there’s ownership in the decisions being made across the organization, especially as priorities shift toward an integrated data approach. You’ll want both their brains and their buy-in on this.
  3. Map out customer personas. Your data integration has a single purpose – to better serve and engage your customer. This can be difficult to do if you’re not sure who you’re selling to. See how the data you have can support the buyer/customer across their entire customer journey. Consider different situations when people buy from you. Chart out the steps a sample persona prospect may take as they are introduced to your brand or services. Then see what type of data can be collected and leveraged to make each of those experiences terrific.
  4. Investigate the details. Be the Sherlock Holmes of the customer journey, then smooth and improve any rough spots you discover along the way. As you piece together your data, look for trends. Spend time on the stories behind the numbers. Ask yourself “why” things are happening as they are instead of focused on the “how.”
  5. Reduce friction with facts. Use your data to identify real issues. Is there a falling off point along the path to conversion or checkout? Are your email campaigns doing well, but activity off of purchase confirmation emails is weak? Do people click through to the home page but jump off without browsing deeper into the site? Does your strategy include ways to engage them before they get away? These can indicate a point of friction on the path to conversion.
  6. Work together.Not only do you need to be working together within your organization to establish shared priorities to pull your data together, you also can work with partners specializing in Data Management to both educate and support you along the way.
    There are resources available to you when you’re ready to put your ideas into action.

DMP Alchemy: Improving Lead Generation Quality with the Data You Own

As Glengary Glen Ross tells us, leads are gold. While so much of marketing has to do with grabbing the attention of an audience, what actually matters more is connecting with the right individuals within that audience – especially those who are open to eventual conversion.  Harvesting leads isn’t enough if you’re not attracting the right prospects, which is the paradox of modern lead-generation strategy. Contrary to more recent strategies, quantity of content does not create quality of leads. It takes understanding to guide the alignment of content. At the center of marketing alchemy is the ability to use the data you already own within your DMP with real-time relevance.
 
Here are some suggestions to get started:
 
Content Alignment: Identify consistent patterns of specific customer segments. Then align your content, messaging and offers around that specific audience.  For instance, you probably have basic customer segments identified. Look at the data for each to identify trends. Are there similar page views on the website prior to conversion? Are their page views or search activities that are common to those who landed on the site but did not convert? Are prospects who consume one topic versus another more likely to follow a specific conversion path or timeline? For instance, people who need it now versus those who prefer to do their homework and take their time may require a different messaging approach based on those behaviors.
 
Linking with POS: A great place to start is using your purchase history data to influence messaging and content presented, including the cadence of those messages. Have the data from your POS system feed into a DMP so an individual customer’s purchase history can be used to inform content for their future emails, ads and offers. This simple approach to personalized content shows a deeper level of customer love, allowing for a more strategic approach that can result in meaningful ROI increase. Suggestion: Tailor content to suggest companion products, accessories, plus other details to maintain that post-purchase connection with your audience.
 
Using Location: With geographic segments, you can highlight regional interests and images in your campaigns. Consider infusing something as simple as weather information to promote relevant climate-related products and content. It’s about relevance. You can also take things a step deeper with geolocation data, marketing based on proximity to meaningful locations, different communications for in-store versus at home engagement, and so on. Getting outside the box and putting yourself in the consumer’s shoes at that moment can take current location into account to deliver interesting results. Suggestion: Test everything. If you know a particular region is experiencing a weather-related event, your lead generation approach and images can reflect such details.
 
Niche Targeting (and Re-Targeting): Having all your data in a profile-based DMP environment where information can be stored for both known and anonymous users means you have data which can be used to better communicate with each individual in your audience. Instead of the broader strokes of content alignment mentioned earlier, this is more using a fine brush to reflect specific known details – even of those not yet identified as a known lead. 
 
Distilling gold from what otherwise could be content chaos requires the smart use of data. Start small. Keep it simple at first. A few nuggets of understanding can lead to a rush of relevance in the way you engage your audiences to attract more prospects. Consider what data you have, then look for ways to use it as you add to it, supported by integrated technology to remove the complexity and provide real results.