Tag Archives: optimization

Predictive Optimization: Look into the Future for Search and Display Success

 

Today, Roger Barnette, President of IgnitionOne, hosted a webinar, “Predictive Optimization: Look into the Future for Search and Display Success.” In it, Roger discusses how in the past, marketing strategies were based on one part past data, one part hunch. Over time, marketers have become more proficient in knowing what is and isn’t working  and can use that information to drive budget decisions. However, missing for most marketers is the foresight to know what they should spend and what the results will be. Without this knowledge, marketers are leaving potential revenue dollars on the table.

Using examples from both paid search and programmatic display, Roger illustrates how predictive optimization can not only help marketers drive the greatest return from their budgets, but also automatically optimize bids across a portfolio of keywords and leverage user-level data to deliver the right message to the right consumer at the right cost – every time.

Achieving Accurate Currency Tracking: Reporting and Optimisation in Ecommerce

Background

The last few years have seen many businesses expand the global reach of their products and services, by giving international customers the ability to purchase via localised online stores.

The deployment of country specific online stores into emerging markets introduces a whole host of additional local currencies, in which a) customers expect to be able to purchase goods and services, and b) advertisers expect their technology partners’ support.

 

Issues

Typically, US headquartered, enterprise-level international companies, with an increasing online advertising presence in both EMEA and APAC face challenges..

These advertisers’ incumbent digital marketing technology partners are often only able to support the tracking of transactions in either a single currency (usually USD) or in an arbitrary value of no specified currency.

This can lead to circumstances where cross-channel media buying decisions are based upon ROI optimisations carried out on inaccurate revenue data.  Future campaign planning is then carried out, poorly influenced by this inaccurate historical performance data.

Let’s say a customer is purchasing a solid-state drive (SSD) worth 999 USD. On the EU site store, the customer pays 764 EUR for the SSD; the currency unaware tracking platform assumes 764 USD and as a result, significantly under-reports the revenue.

Over on the JP site store, another customer pays 91,343 JPY for the same SSD; the currency-unaware tracking platform assumes 91,343 USD and as a result massively over-reports the revenue.

When also taking into account the many channels of tracked online advertising that the customer could have been exposed to on their path to conversion, the effect can be exacerbated and result in a compounded wastage of budget, especially when inaccurate performance data is fed into an automated forecasting system unchecked.

At the very least it can cause account teams to burn efficiencies by requiring revenue values within reporting data to be painstakingly converted prior to carrying out a manual optimisation process.

 

Solutions

International brands need a transaction tracking technology that is currency aware.

IgnitionOne provides this solution and allows advertisers to dynamically insert the currency codes of the transaction’s currency, into a predetermined variable within the IgnitionOne transaction tracking pixel, along with the true value of that revenue amount, the merchant transaction ID plus up to 20 additional string values per transaction.

Instead of using only USD as a base rate, IgnitionOne stores the exchange rate of every currency, for every currency, and updates it every day, allowing a transaction in any currency to be reported back on in any other currency with 100% historical accuracy of the transaction’s true value at the time of either the transaction date or the reporting date.

This technology also allows IgnitionOne’s predictive bid optimisation technology, SPOT, to forecast ROI goals against 100% accurate multi-currency transaction revenue data, and for IgnitionOne’s cross-channel attribution technology to credit proportions of transaction revenue correctly to exposures on publishers from whom the media has been purchased in different currencies.

With this offering, clients of IgnitionOne are able to concisely and accurately report on revenue, helping them to better translate their successes. Currency-aware transaction tracking allows marketers to be more efficient; and a more efficient marketer is able to appropriately allocate budget and maximize their ROI.

Site Optimization for Nonprofit Organizations: the Cure for Retention?

Are nonprofit organizations ready to jump into a commitment with digital marketing? Fundraisers typically see their online-acquired donors switching to offline donations in later years. So is it even worthwhile to help them consider an online marketing strategy? The answer is yes and here is why.

The importance of retaining former contributors is indisputable when you note that returning donors account for 65% of all donations. Donor acquisition strategies are very costly, and it seems that nonprofit organizations are averse to altering the way they acquire new business. In order to achieve a reasonable balance, some conservative nonprofit leaders need to dismiss their old-fashion marketing strategies and embrace the advantages associated with furthering their online performance and web analytics tools. The road ahead will certainly be winding, involving work, innovation, incremental development and flexibility, but it will be well worth the challenges.

Let’s start from scratch and reframe the strategy of donor cultivation. What is donor acquisition if not lead generation? Even if the literal connection buyer/seller in the case of fundraisings takes another dimension, their main purpose remains a permanent gain of new “customers”, in other words, capturing potential online donors according to their apparent deep interest in the cause. Along the same lines, what is donor retention if not customer relationship management? Indeed online interactions and technical support to existing and potential donors need to be maintained and controlled overtime.

Anecdotal evidence from fundraising suggests that donors are less willing to transfer money online, tending to switch from online giving to offline after a few years. But donors will begin to evolve into a more digitally-focused behavior as our culture further integrates with digital. The risk to miss the new generation of donors is too high not to be taken seriously.

There are no businesses that avoid finding new customers. This should also be the case for nonprofit organizations running fundraising campaigns and trying to build communities of supporters off and on-line. For nonprofits, websites are the best way to communicate to their followers and reach new visitors. Furthermore, when user-friendly websites are required to attract contacts, generating leads is not a suggestion, but rather a necessity. Moving forward, personalized website content such as banners and customized interactions such as pop-ins are key drivers for incremental donations. Producing personalized content allows for a very unique experience that motivates a person to join or donate to a cause.

Nonprofits must also keep in mind that most of their donors attribute a certain ethical value to each gift they make, so they want to feel they are particularly cared about and considered in return. Their experience should be special but without evoking a sense of intrusion. Thus existing donors and potential prospects have to be targeted and approached at the very moment that they are ready and willing to donate. To achieve such goals, lead generation strategies would be required, providing real-time dynamic site interactions customized based on cross-channel performance data and attribution models. Engagement scores of visitors, determined by previous behaviors and reactions to proactive messages, might lead to the projection of future actions and thus deliver personalized site content in order to improve new leads and donations.

There is a shift in how people find, use and share information today. Technology and the people of this generation, driven and influenced by digital media, are the future of online nonprofit businesses. Acquiring donors via lead generation campaigns might be the most relevant and sensible strategy ever, bringing not only engaged subscribers but also potential qualified and dedicated donors, who take the first step, interact spontaneously and give a particular credit to a specific cause, filling a form or signing a petition online.

Innovation through a Desktop

Encourage, foster & share – those are, in my opinion, the three most important words when it comes to innovation in a company. Being a digital marketing solutions provider, our office is filled with computers, keyboards, monitors, headphones, servers and more! Being so dependent on computers inspired me to look at innovation like a computer.

Browser history

If it weren’t for innovation, IgnitionOne wouldn’t exist. Who would have thought that synchronising media management and optimization, cross-channel attribution and analytics and conversion optimization would create the first ever Digital Marketing Suite (DMS), covering all digital marketing solutions? We did.

Am I overloading my own USB a bit? Of course I am! But there’s good reason for it. Here’s why. First let’s state the obvious: what’s shown to the outside world, what’s on our monitor. IgnitionOne introduced the very first Digital Marketing Suite and are constantly innovating to improve digital marketing returns and efficiency. Another example is IgnitionOne announcing the industry’s first integrated Engagement Optimization solution, offering marketers the ability to optimize ad spend based on behaviours and interests.

So, how on earth do we come up with these things? Where do the ideas come from? How are they tested and worked on to produce a useful solution for our customers? These questions bring us to the chore facets of innovation, the most interesting, opening up the shell of the company and looking at the processor inside.

Encourage, foster and share

A big forté of the company here is our diverse backgrounds. In just 40 employees in Brussels, we have over 12 different nationalities– that is a whole lot of desktop applications, getting the creative juices flowing.  Our office has a very open atmosphere; it’s easy to ask anyone what he or she thinks about a certain topic and you’ll always get an honest answer.  We are even working toward redesigning the office to bring all departments closer to each other, meaning more data will be stored on the RAM instead of ROM and the CPU can create extra bits to work on testing out ideas.

Nurture and encourage growth

We try to increase the number of followers. There is a fun spirit in the office: there is music, some people play ping-pong to relax the mind, people comfortably speak with one another at the lunch table and sometimes it is there that wacky ideas are thought of (our own chef, a hunky masseur for the ladies, or just the idea to have a BBQ together). IgnitionOne creates a comfortable atmosphere that encourages its employees to work hard and produce results.

Share

In the office in Brussels we have monthly “TEDx” sessions. We present new ideas, interesting projects and results from testing, discuss suggestions. This often results in the creation of new ideas. Our TEDx sessions are interdepartmental because we understand that what each of us does has an impact on other’s work. We share the presentations after the sessions for others that are interested too (even internationally) to download, which sometimes spurs new ideas in others, opening new browser tabs.

Better than a computer

Is comparing innovation at IgnitionOne a stretch? Maybe. We avoid the blue screens of death and rebooting our team is as easy as an afternoon coffee. But the important part is the fact that all the components of our system work together like a well built machine to develop and foster new ideas to help our clients achieve their goals.

Are You Listening to Your Customers?

Imagine a stellar PPC program: Its CPCs are under control, the account is hitting monthly budgets right on the dot without caps, negatives are in place, and the structure is solid… However the lift in conversions and conversion rate is minimal at best. The above scenario seems to be common and most companies are content with their conversion rates because they believe their sites are fully optimized. Should a conversion rate really be acceptable just because it is on par with industry averages? Even when considering all the blood and sweat put in to drive quality traffic? Put in perspective, the performance of a brick and mortar store’s sales manager who cannot close the deal with 98 out of every 100 customers would likely result in one out of work manager.  So, why should we treat the online sales so differently?

The solution to overcome this fatigue is simple – listen to visitor engagement. Various customer insights tools, such as IgnitionOne’s engagement scoring technology, help advertisers overcome this strenuous task. Some of the applications of this technology that directly impact the conversion rates include:

  • Interactive Pop-Ins : Interact with those users that reach a threshold where they are more likely to convert
  • Smart Remarketing : Remarket to a selective pool of high quality leads
  • On-site Content Optimization :  Display the most relevant content to the user
  • CRM integration: Personalize email content based on relevant content
  • On-site to Off-site : Drive in-person store/showroom traffic through online incentives

Engagement metrics can shed some light on a PPC account’s performance from both direct response and branding perspectives.  Below are the metrics that are tied to campaign, group and keywords performance within the Digital Marketing Suite

  • Number of Sessions
  • Average Session Time
  • Average Score Change
  • Average Final Score
  • Average Page Views
  • Total New Users
  • Total Returning Users
  • Interest Categories

Now let’s look at one of the cool ways to slice and dice these engagement metrics and see how they can be utilized to close the loop for your SEM strategy. Below is a quadrant approach which divides keywords into two groups based on their location in the conversion funnel: Low Assisting vs. High Assisting.

The Low Assisting quadrant suggests that keywords higher in the conversion funnel with few conversions and low engagement (minimal average score change, low number of sessions, low number of interest categories) should be considered for replacement via search queries. Likewise, those low assisting keywords with high engagement scores indicate that the visitors are highly involved on the page but are not turning into closers. The area of improvement for these terms is testing landing pages or interacting with the visitor via Conversion Optimization tactics (pop-ins, lead forms, vouchers, etc.)

The High Assisting quadrant suggests that keywords lower in the conversion funnel with few conversions and low engagement should be maintained at best for future value.  On the other hand, high assisting keywords with high engagement scores should be considered true introducers, where as it falls on the advertiser to assign the trade-off value as a direct converter versus contributor.

While the above examples explain only a couple of direct response scenarios, a lot can be deduced from analyzing this data, including branding initiatives. The key benefit of this technology is adding in the visitor intent into the equation and tying it back to a PPC program’s success. It gives advertisers the chance to actively listen to their customers’ online behavior and let them choose what they desire to do with that information. Are you listening to your customers?

Want to learn more? Visit IgnitionOne or contact us.

Q&A with Gareth Griffiths, Head of Digital Marketing, SecretEscapes.com

Luxury travel website Secret Escapes recently came onboard the IgnitionOne DMS in order to manage and optimise all its digital marketing channels. We sat down with Gareth Griffiths, who is the Head of Digital Marketing for SecretEscapes.com to ask him about some of his thoughts on the digital industry as well as who he would love to have lunch with… dead or alive.

What do you do?

A little bit of everything digital. Primary focuses are paid and organic search and affiliate marketing. We also have a large customer database so email marketing is a big source of traffic.

What is your background?

Moved from a sales and analyst background into digital marketing

What does Secret Escapes do?

We negotiate exclusive rates for luxury hand-picked hotels and holidays in the UK and abroad, at up to 70% off the price you’d pay by booking anywhere else. These special rates are only available to our members so signing up for free is the only way to get them

Which digital marketing channels do you see as being most important for your particular industry?

Email and paid search are very important. For customer acquisition paid search is key, whereas email marketing is number one for sales generation.

From your perspective what is the single biggest change in the digital industry in the last 10 years?

The biggest change in the last 10 years has to be the rise of Social Media. Whilst the race to utilise Social networks as a sales channel has a long way to go, the access to potential customers with specific interests is a big opportunity. With the use of sites like Pinterest and StumbleUpon increasing at such a rate, there is definitely scope for a luxury travel business like Secret Escapes to source new customers whilst engaging existing members and promoting our brand.

What was your main reason for choosing IgnitionOne?

Management and optimisation of search campaigns can be very time consuming, especially for a small team across multiple channels. IgnitionOne allows us to optimise and analyse multiple campaigns from one place, making it easier to implement a coherent multi-channel strategy and increase time efficiency. The use of predictive bid optimisation should see campaign performance increase and make intelligent budget allocation far easier.

How do you see the digital marketing arena shifting over the next five years?

Mobile has to be the next big shift for digital marketing. The advancements in smart phones and tablet technology will see more and more sales being made via mobile devices. Mobile devices now make up a big percentage of our visits, especially from email and search. I see the computer focussed domination of digital strategy in past years moving through a period of a more even focus and into mobile being the greater focus.

If you could have lunch with anyone, who would it be…dead or alive? 

Leonardo da Vinci. Described on Wikipedia as “perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived”. As a painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer I doubt that the conversation would be boring.

What is your favourite travel destination?

Kenya. Going on safari is an amazing and unforgettable experience.

What is your favourite film and why?

Silent Running. It’s a futuristic science fiction film from the early 1970’s. I first watched it when I was little and the three robots (Huey, Dewey, and Louie) were my instant favourite.

IgnitionOne’s June Industry Digest

Every month, we round up some of the most relevant pieces of industry news, as well as our own company highlights, in a single, convenient place. IgnitionOne knows that the digital space moves at a rapid pace, so we aim to provide a selection of news that touches on all of the most important topics to help you fuel your digital marketing decisions.

Company Highlights

Attribution: How Organizational Structures Fit
MediaPost
April 30, 2012

Roger Barnette, President of IgnitionOne, discusses that marketers are being kept from gaining an integrated marketing channel and capitalizing on attribution.

Attribution: IgnitionOne Gives Marketers Another View
MediaPost
April 30, 2012

An in-depth overview of new Digital Marketing Suite functions that allows marketers to compare multiple attribution profiles from the Analytics section of the tool.

The Engagement Yardstick: What Should Marketers Look for From Online Measurement Tools?
The Drum
May 1, 2012

Ollie Bath, Head of Client Solutions for IgnitionOne UK, discusses the benefits of Engagement Optimization in his byline.

Take Attribution for a Test-Drive Using a Secondary Profile
MediaPost
May 10, 2012

Dave Ragals discusses the benefits of attribution and covers examples of areas to test, such as partial credit, exposure sequence/ latency, look-back and weighting.

DataPop Creative Ad Platform Driving 40% Average Increases in Sales for Marketers’ Online Ads
MarketWire
May 10, 2012

IgnitionOne offers praise to DataPop’s creative optimization solution as bringing a unique set of capabilities to our customer base.

Attribution Challenges Business Objectives
Search Engine Watch
May 10, 2012

IgnitionOne is mentioned for having released new DMS features that enable marketers to compare multiple attribution profiles, showing credit attributable to media, such as display, search, video and social ads.

How to Turn Your Inventory Into a Valuable Commodity
MediaPost
May 10, 2012

Makes mention of IgnitionOne’s Q3 2011 Report, noting a supply-and-demand imbalance in digital advertising.

Paid Search: the True All Round Performer
The Drum
May 11, 2012

IgnitionOne is noted for its attribution modeling technologies having a positive influence on search by providing insight into the wider media marketing mix, which also aids in optimizing media spend.

Google’s Motorola Deal Could Up Ad Inventory
MediaPost
May 22, 2012

Roger Barnette, President of IgnitionOne, notes that for marketers and advertisers, the closer integration between platform and device should drive scalable and innovative advertising opportunities.

The American Business Awards Announce Finalists in Marketing Category
American Business Awards
May, 2012

Extended Stay Hotels’ Integrated Online Marketing Campaign, conducted by IgnitionOne, is a finalist for the 2012 Online Marketing Campaign of Year for the American Business Awards.

Industry Insights

Predictions from the First Internet Bust and What They Tell Us about Digital Marketing Now
Fast Company
May, 2012

GM O’Connell looks back on predictions made in 2002 about how the Internet would impact people and brands. He looks back at those predictions and assesses his accuracy.

Mighty Mobile Infographic
Culture Label
May, 2012

An infographic by CultureLabel.com that explores why mobile is a channel that companies, especially ecommerce, must now make an integral part of their business.

New Online Ad Forecast: 12% Growth for 2012
MediaPost
May 1, 2012

Encouraged by the increase in smartphone and tablet usage, advertisers are beginning to embrace all mobile formats. MagnaGlobal anticipates spending on Internet media to grow by 12.2% this year.

Mobile Devices Gain as Shopping Tools
MediaPost
May 3, 2012

A Nieslen study found that 79% of US smartphone and tablet owners have used their devices for shopping related activities. Where mobile devices are preferred to locate a store, tablet owners are more likely to make purchases on their devices.

Is Your Traffic Mix Efficient?
ClickZ
May 4, 2012

Analyzing a website’s traffic mix does not convey much about your marketing efficiency. Rather, a company should consider their visitor mix as a starting point to optimize how to generate traffic, and then the underlying motivation for conversion.

Why CMOs Need to Experiment
DIGIDAY
May 8, 2012

Steven Cook, brand marketer and CMO of live-music firm Fankix.com speaks to Digiday about why the number of Facebook fans doesn’t make the brand, why brands need to experiment, and why the hunt for social media ROI is beside the point.

Shopper Marketing: Mobile Up, Daily Deals Struggling
MediaPost
May 8, 2012

Although digital has fundamentally altered the way people shop, a Forrester study finds that 17 digital tools most used in shopping are struggling to earn their share of spending, such as QR codes and daily deal sites. Dividing the tools into four different tiers, Forrester assesses technologies in their infancy, survival mode, growth phase and those having earned a place in the shopper marketing toolkit.

Marketers Still Baffled, Suspicious of Agency Trading Desks
AdAge
May 9, 2012

Digital media buying platforms are still being faced with skepticism in light of issues associated with them, including transparency, kickbacks and agency self-dealing. However, Forrester Research analyst Joanna O’Connell said they, or something like them, will ultimately become the predominant way that digital and some other media, such as addressable TV, are bought and sold.

Google, Alert: Bing Wants “to Model Every Object on the Planet,” Reinvent Search
Fast Company
May 10, 2012

Bing believes that the approach of ranking and indexing pages is no longer sufficient and has revamped its front end in an effort to make search results more useful for users. Rather than indexing text, Bing is “trying to associate data that exists on the web in all forms with the physical object that spawned it in the first place.”

Online Sales per User Continue to Climb in North America
eMarketer
May 10, 2012

Since 2009, the average amount that US internet users spent annually shopping online has increased $100 per year, and in 2012, GroupM estimates that the average B2C ecommerce spending per user in Canada and the US will break the $1,000 threshold.

Social Media Ad Spending to Reach $9.8 Billion
ClickZ
May 15, 2012

According to BIA/Kelsey’s U.S. Local Media Forecast, social media advertising revenues in the United States will grow from $3.8 billion in 2011 to $9.8 billion in 2016, representing a compound annual growth rate of 21%.

Think Global, Act Global: How Big Brands are Taking Facebook Marketing to the Next Level
Holy Kaw
May 16, 2012

Big brands on Facebook capture a more global audience, as is evidenced by this infographic.

What’s the Biggest Myth About Online Advertising?
DIGIDAY
May 25, 2012

Digiday asked industry leaders what they felt were the biggest myths in online advertising. The results included comments on the worth of banners and clicks, apprehension of new native advertising, and questions about the relationship of digital and traditional media.

Google: Search Activity Rising Following Revamp
Wall Street Journal
May 29, 2012

Google has introduced a new feature that allows people doing web searches to see a big box of information and photos related to the queries, drawing information from sites such as Wikipedia, music and movie catalogues, and more. The semantic search revamp has enticed people to search more.