Category Archives: Mobile

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!

Mobile Learnings from eTail West 2015

Mobile is hot right now, but retailers are struggling with it. The knowledge of how mobile works, the challenge of connecting tech partners, and the ability to create a long-term growth strategy is causing confusion within the marketplace, especially among brands trying to capitalize on this exploding area in ad tech. As retailers are continuing to evolve in the digital space, mobile is becoming a large part of their annual budget and digital marketing spend, particularly for brands able to connect the dots and show an ROI based on their campaigns.

Late last month I had the opportunity to listen to Keith Petri, our VP of Strategic Partnerships, present at the “Mobile Tracking Panel Discussion: Optimal Tracking of Your Mobile and Tablet Programs to Close the Conversion Gap” at eTail West 2015. This panel, which also included Andy Nails, the Director of Data Management & Integration at Sears Holding Corporation, brought up key topics in mobile affecting the retailer and consumer when it comes to integrating mobile into your marketing strategy. Here are some highlights from their discussion:

  • The Need to Understand Consumer Behavior: As Petri said, “The retailer has to understand their consumer behavior and buying behavior.” The example he brought up was purchasing a car. While you may start researching on your phone, this is a purchase that would end in store. In the case of Sears, they are very into analytics and the ability to track everything. Their ability to marry the data they collect to their loyalty program offers insights to customize the user experience. Furthermore, from a retailer’s perspective, this goes as far to impact how the mobile site is constructed (i.e. full menu bar, vertical/horizontal, screen resolution, design needs, etc.) to improve ROI.
  • Overcoming Limitations: Yes, there are limitations in the mobile space. According to Petri, we have the opportunity to connect the dots. He explained that before mobile we had our home computer and a work computer, with no understanding of the connectivity between the two or our activity elsewhere in the physical world. However, mobile and static identifiers (such as Device ID) now allow us to better understand the interaction between these two environments and what we do in-between. In fact one stat said that 78% of consumers are doing research online and then visiting a store to complete the purchase. By understanding our limitations, certain workarounds can be used until more viable solutions arise to better understand cross-channel, cross-device investments.
  • Physical Retargeting: With advances in technology, physical retargeting has grown in popularity. For example, consumers who login to a retailer’s wireless internet can be tracked using IP addresses, beacons and Bluetooth technology. Petri mentioned that one stat stated that 88% of consumers said they would opt-in to location tracking because of coupons. While some retailers are concerned about the “creepy factor” of having an ad served to your mobile device while you are near that product in-store, Petri explained that if you have consumer opt-in, they asked to receive coupons on certain items and/or they are in-app, this helps alleviate the “creepiness” that may be associated with this type of messaging.
  • Mobile Data vs. Desktop Browsing: One audience member asked if the shelf life of cookies could differentiate between devices and what pitfalls we should look out for when doing a paid media campaign. Petri explained that a Device ID is the only static identifier on a mobile operating system, while a cookie is generated in a browser but siloed within that browser. For example, if you are in a retailer’s app it generates a cookie, but if you go to Chrome on the same device and page, it generates a different cookie that is not matched – they are siloed. By exiting the app or restarting the device, all cookies are lost. One solution is to buy paid media in-app to collect and reference back, for attribution purposes, the Device ID. This allows you to use that attribution across channel, not only for the attribution within the silo.

As you can see, mobile can be complex. It is changing every day and consumers are getting smarter. The largest obstacle is understanding the data that you have and how it can be connected across all consumer touch points to better know your consumer. To learn more about IgnitionOne and our Digital Marketing Suite, specifically our Data Management Platform, check out this article by our President, Roger Barnette, featured in AdAge last month.

Explosive Growth in Mobile Drives Holiday Weekend Digital Spend Increase

Today we released a mid-quarter report highlighting another strong Thanksgiving weekend for digital marketing. Mobile devices represented a growth area for retail marketing, with huge increases in search spending for smartphones.

Digital marketing figures are released quarterly by IgnitionOne, as we manage more than $1.5 billion in online advertising.

Key findings in the report:

  • Mobile phones dominate US Search: Mobile continues to empower consumer engagement. Not surprisingly, mobile phones saw the largest growth among device types (including tablets) at 184% YoY.
  • Sleepy Saturday wakes up to much higher paid search activity: Last year Saturday was the only day to show negative YoY growth (-7%); however, this year reveals a much different story. While Black Friday had strong YoY growth at 77%, the retail momentum continued into Saturday, with 50% YoY growth overall.
  • Desktop search impressions drop: US paid search impressions for desktop dropped 16.2% YoY during the Thanksgiving weekend and into Cyber Monday. It may be due to a shift in shopping patterns with more people out earlier as well as the continued trend of advertisers pulling out of the Google partner network.
  • Cyber Monday growth stalls except on Mobile: Cyber Monday saw relatively low growth with respect to last year (36% compared to 60%) with the exception of mobile devices which saw 272% growth YoY.
  • Programmatic Display Grows in Spend and Effectiveness: US retail spend in programmatic display increased 43% YoY along with conversions which were up 58% as advertisers delivered fewer, more targeted and effective ads.

“Mobile devices are changing behaviors of consumers across the board and extending the promotional power of the holiday weekend,” said Roger Barnette, President of IgnitionOne. “The strong results this past weekend show the savviness of marketers to reach consumers where they are and leverage the entire weekend to drive sales through digital marketing.”

This report is the latest in a series of reports from IgnitionOne, reviewing trends across the online advertising landscape. This and previous quarterly reports can be downloaded at http://www.ignitionone.com/thought-leadership/.

Mobile Tracking and Targeting Infographic

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Mobile has rapidly become one of the biggest and most questioned topics in ad tech. That’s why IgnitionOne partnered with AOL to deliver a Mobile-focused Infographic that details specifics regarding third party cookie tracking, cross-device targeting methodologies, and statistics. As we continue to play a role in its application and transformation within the industry, IgnitionOne vows to always keep you in the loop with informative and interesting onesheets, infographics and pieces of thought leadership like this.

 

Video Ads, Mobile and Facebook: A Winning Combo?

Facebook announced that it has begun a formal test of auto-play video ads in News Feed on all devices. This is following the testing of non-commercial video in the News Feed that began in September. For the moment, let’s ignore the thought that users may hate this (Facebook users aren’t known to be big fans of change) and talk about what this means for marketers and digital marketing in general.

For years we have been asking if we have finally reached “the year of mobile” – But has Facebook finally put all the pieces together to make it happen? Mobile is interesting. Video is interesting. Facebook goes and puts it together. “Two great tastes that taste great together.”

Facebook has finally made mobile successful by leveraging native ads for relevant, highly contextualized messages in a user’s news feed. The ability to add video in that environment is biggest opportunity in the digital space. But why is Facebook blazing the path here? Facebook has something that gives them a unique advantage for mobile video: A captive and highly engaged audience.

Why do we sit through ads on television (before DVR)? Why do we wait the 13 seconds of promotion before seeing a dog riding a skateboard push a kid into a pool? Because it is content we want to see. We can avert our eyes, but do we?

Facebook knows 48% of daily users are now mobile-only and 23 percent of all time spent on apps in the U.S. is on Facebook. In fact, mobile is expected to be ~$6B of Facebook’s ~$10B in 2014. These users are people invested in seeing what is going on in their newsfeed – whether that is while waiting in line, or commuting, or during down time (a third of Americans use Facebook in the bathroom). They may complain initially about new video ads, but it will not be much of a blocker.

This, of course is if they can continue to keep the advertising socially relevant and contextual.
For marketers this opportunity opens the door to mobile video advertising in a real way. You can expect Facebook to scale this up, tweak it and perfect it quickly. While there will be some growing pains, Facebook is grabbing this opportunity and marketers should think seriously about doing the same.

Mobile is Star this Thanksgiving Day – Smartphone Search Spend Up 1000%

Today we released a mid-quarter report highlighting a strong Thanksgiving weekend for digital marketing. In the report, we discuss how mobile devices represented a growth area for retail marketing, with huge increases in search spending for both smartphones and tablets, the growth of Thanksgiving Day as an important event for online retail marketing, as well as the increasing value of programmatic display advertising.

Key findings in the report include: 

  • Mobile devices drive major growth:  Thanksgiving weekend saw a magnification of the importance of mobile devices with huge increases in US paid search spending, especially for smartphones, which saw a 542% increase year-over-year (YoY) for the full weekend, peaking at over 1000% growth in spend on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Holiday weekend metrics up over last year: US retail advertisers had a busy Thanksgiving weekend, with a 52% YoY increase in spend. Impressions were also up 40% compared to the 2012 shopping weekend.
  • Thanksgiving growing in importance for online retail: Thanksgiving Day, along with Black Friday, saw the biggest increase in US paid search spending among retailers in what was a perfect storm of wide adoption of mobile devices, a shortened holiday shopping season and increased promotion of Thanksgiving as a shopping day.
  • Programmatic Display increases in effectiveness for US retailers: Retailers saw conversions increase 52% on Black Friday and 79% on Cyber Monday YoY as the effectiveness of programmatic display advertising benefited from both technology and marketers becoming more sophisticated.

“Online advertisers are shifting tactics to meet consumer demand – resulting in increased messaging across mobile devices and adding Thanksgiving Day as a major shopping day,” said Roger Barnette, President of IgnitionOne. “With a shortened holiday shopping season in 2013, this past weekend resulted in impressive growth for digital marketing that will help push through to a strong overall Q4.”

To download the report, click here.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Clickmas

If you work in digital advertising in the UK, chances are you’ve heard of Cyber Monday. Originally a Christmas marketing campaign to persuade people to shop online after the Thanksgiving weekend in 2005, Cyber Monday now become one of the biggest online shopping days in the USA and this year, the average shopper is predicted to spend US$646 (£402) in online purchases this year, up 11% from 2012. Continue reading It’s beginning to look a lot like Clickmas

What Marketers Should Expect from the 2013 Holiday Shopping Season

It’s no surprise that ecommerce has seen incredible growth over the last few holiday shopping seasons, but soon we will see Internet sales exceed those of brick and mortar stores during this very spend-heavy time of year. According to Deloitte, for the first time ever, when it comes to purchasing holiday gifts, American consumers’ most likely destination to shop is the Internet.

The official kick-off for the holiday shopping season in the US is Thanksgiving Day weekend. From 2008 to 2012, the United States saw a 31% increase in total sales, both on and offline, during the five-day period (Thanksgiving Thursday through Cyber Monday). Between 2011 and 2012, online sales increased 15%, whereas brick and mortar sales increased by a mere 3%. Based on this very positive trend, the 2013 shopping season is sure to produce an increase in overall sales, but more appropriately, continued growth in online shopping.

Trends to Expect this Holiday Shopping Season:

  • Showrooming. This is the act of using one’s mobile device in-store to search for an item across the Internet at a lower price. This is an obvious disadvantage for brick and mortar stores, clearly benefitting ecommerce. According to an Accenture study, almost half of those surveyed said that the primary purpose for their cell phone use in-store was to compare prices. Of those, only 10% purchased the product in question at the brick and mortar store.
  • Promotions. This year’s holiday shopping season will be significantly shorter than usual, which is thought to put digital retailers at an advantage, as consumers will seek the convenience of online shopping in a condensed period of time. But this also makes competition among ecommerce brands greater, encouraging more offered promotions in order to gain as much spend as possible in a shorter than normal time period.
  • Mcommerce Growth. US retail mobile commerce throughout the year will reach $41 billion, up 68.2% compared to last year and by 2016, mobile transactions will account for a quarter of all retail ecommerce. The 2013 holiday shopping season is predicted to see 19% of all consumers making purchases on tablets and 18% on smartphones – in 2012, 15% of consumers bought items on their tablets and 14% on their smartphones. This reinforces the need for marketers to really amp up their mobile efforts as more and more of their customers are looking to the convenience of mobile online shopping.
  • Contrasting views regarding growth or decline in holiday spend. The government shut down prompted speculation that consumers would be hesitant to spend more this holiday shopping season than last year. However, the Google 2013 Holiday Shopping Intentions Study revealed that Millenials will spend 19% more this year than they did last year. Looking back, we have only seen an upward climb in spending, even during the recession, making it highly unlikely that sales will dip this holiday season.

In the meantime, brick and mortar stores are on the defensive and are attempting to regain lost business by increasing their operating hours over the weekend, including Black Friday openings as early as the evening hours of Thanksgiving Day! Many have invested heavily in mobile apps and advertising to accommodate in-store shoppers.

Aside from the convenience of online shopping, brick and mortar stores lack the personalization that consumers have grown to love within the digital space. In order to compete, many department stores have begun to adopt and implement the aid of mobile apps, ads and resources to tackle this obstacle. The 2013 holiday shopping season will reveal the successes of those efforts.

At the end of the day, it is inevitable that we will see growth in consumer spending during the upcoming holiday shopping season. It will be interesting to reflect on the how the above trends impacted that spend, as well as the distribution of spend between online and offline outlets. It is more important than ever for ecommerce and traditional retailers alike to leverage digital marketing in order to reach consumers where they spend most of their time.

 

Holiday Shopping Goes Digital

For the third year, IgnitionOne released its holiday shopping infographic, accumulating data from the last several Thanksgiving Weekends. The infographic sheds light on important statistics around the kick-off to the holiday shopping season, giving marketers an idea of what to anticipate for the upcoming holiday weekend. Ecommerce should expect yet another highly successful season, as more and more consumers look primarily to the Internet to make their holiday purchases.