Tag Archives: Yahoo!/Bing

IgnitionOne’s Q1 2014 Report: Search and Programmatic Display Grow

IgnitionOne’s new report covering trends across digital marketing reveals positive growth for digital marketing in Q1 2014. Search and programmatic display experienced an increase in spend QoQ, while mobile normalized and search engine market share steadied.

Key findings within the report include:

  • 2014 starts with a positive Q1 for Search – Compared with a robust holiday shopping season, US search saw advertising spend up 8% Quarter over Quarter (QoQ) in Q1. Search spend was also up 8% when compared to Q1 in 2013.
  • Mobile device growth continues to normalize – US spending growth Year over Year (YoY) for tablets is up 79% while smartphones spend is up 107%. The slower growth rate is due to normalization as YoY growth is now off the larger base that resulted from the 300%+ rate of past quarters.
  • Engine Market Share Remains Steady – The Yahoo!/ Bing Network held on to its US search market share in Q1, with 22.9% of spend vs. Google’s 77.1%, barely up from last quarter’s 22.7%.
  • Programmatic Display Trends – Q1 saw a seasonal QoQ decrease in programmatic display KPIs for Retail marketers. The travel vertical saw growth, where programmatic display spend increased 3% QoQ, yielding a 25% increase in clicks and a 49% increase in impressions.

“Mobile device traffic is still sizzling, but has begun to stabilize when compared to past quarters,” said Roger Barnette, President of IgnitionOne. “What we are seeing now is increases in efficiencies, especially within the Yahoo!/Bing network where marketers have ability to control and optimize their mobile advertising to a greater degree.”

To read the full report, click here.

The Beta Debate

To beta or not to beta…that is the question. It is always tempting for search marketers to load up a text ad with the latest ad extensions offered by Google or Yahoo!/Bing to command more real estate on the search engine results page (SERP), but does it pay off in the form of increased ROAS? The answer is sometimes yes, but a lot of times, no. So before you jump on the beta bandwagon, carefully consider your vertical and the KPIs to which you are managing to ensure the beta will actually help you achieve your goals.

When evaluating whether or not a client should participate in a new beta, the media team at IgnitionOne takes into account the following considerations:

  • Vertical – While it makes sense for a travel or retail client to run Google’s new image ad extensions, the beta will not be as impactful for a telecomm or banking client. Google users will be interested in seeing images of a luxury hotel or fashion house’s latest line, but not as intrigued by a stock photo man on the phone or a pile of cash. Running banal stock images will not increase CTR or any other return metrics.
  • KPI (Key Performance Indicator) – To what metric are you optimizing your client’s account? If you are lucky and the answer is simply site-traffic or awareness, then the world is your oyster (the world of betas that is.) But, if your KPI is ROAS, as it is for most advertisers, then choose your betas carefully. For example, running Google’s communication extension may encourage users to sign up for a newsletter, but it also may discourage them from actually clicking through to the site and potentially making a purchase. Another recent example of a newish product that has the potential to decrease ROAS is Yahoo RAIS Video ads. Because the video does not link through to your site, you are essentially trading potential conversions for video views.
  • Tracking & Reporting Capabilities – If the results are not “trackable”, then they do not exist. While a beta may help drive incremental revenue, if you cannot track the performance and report on it, that revenue (and your effort in setting up the beta) is wasted. For example, enabling call extensions for Yahoo|Bing! campaigns may look great in the SERP and will drive traffic to your call centers, but if your campaigns are not integrated with a call tracking technology, those conversions will be lost. Most times, your technology platform will not have built in support for betas, so you may have to set up workarounds, like dummy tracking.
  • Budget Constraints – Any budget allocated towards testing engine betas should be incremental. Never rely on a beta product, like Google’s DSA (dynamic search ads) or Yahoo|Bing’s in-stream ads to spend your core budget or drive revenue towards your overall goal. Betas should always be tested with a small incremental budget before they are launched across an entire account and expected to boost performance.
  • Client’s Level of Risk Aversion – Now I am scared of many things, including heights, public speaking and tick borne illnesses, but engine betas are not among them. However, many clients prefer to stay with the tried and true and are hesitant to enable betas before they are a proven success. For example, clients with highly particular brand guidelines tend to stay away from betas that have any type of dynamically generated ad-copy, since the predictability of how the brand will appear is low during the beta period. Other clients are not satisfied unless they are on the cutting edge of something, even if the risky behavior costs them performance. Of course, the smartest advertisers fall somewhere in the middle, but always consider your client’s risk aversion when proposing that they test an engine beta.

The bottom line for betas is to proceed with caution. Marketers should carefully consider their vertical, KPI, tracking and reporting capabilities, budget constraints and risk aversion before opting into the latest and greatest engine offering.

IgnitionOne Selected as Yahoo! Preferred Partner

We are excited to announce that as of today, IgnitionOne is a member of Yahoo! Bing’s Preferred Partner Program, which recognizes us as a leading SEM technology provider who has committed to a higher standard of Bing Ads’ compatibility and advertiser experience. This title signifies that advertisers can expect a superior level of Bing Ads platform and feature support and insights from us, and that we have committed to meeting the program functionality requirements.

IgnitionOne is really honored to be a part of Yahoo!’s growth, and we are proud to be among only a few organizations that hold this badge. The announcement also signifies a commitment to our clients that we are constantly evolving to suit their needs and the demands of this innovative industry.  Search is an important channel for digital marketers and IgnitionOne delivers a best-of-breed solution for search that only becomes stronger through this partnership.

To learn more about our search solutions and how we can help you with your Search Engine Marketing (SEM) campaigns, visit our site here.

Read the full post on Advertsing.Yahoo.com.

Q4 Report: Strong Quarter for Tablets in Paid Search Advertising

This morning, IgnitionOne released its quarterly report, which revealed that YoY US paid search spending growth for tablets doubled that of smartphones, as mobile devices in their entirety grew to 18% of total search budgets.

The report also indicated that the Yahoo! Bing Network saw a 48% increase in spend YoY, compared to Google’s 12%, elevating their ownership of the US search market to 24%, its greatest share since Q1 2009. Total paid search spending grew at 19% YoY, representing a continued acceleration from last quarter.

Download the Q4 2012 Online Advertising Report here.

Additional findings include:

  • 2012 ends with a strong Q4 for search – Ending with a robust holiday shopping season, U.S. search saw advertising spend up 19% YoY in Q4. The fourth quarter also saw YoY increases in impressions (19%), and clicks (6%).
  • Tablet search breaks away from smartphones as mobile devices continue to explode – U.S. YoY search ad impressions for tablets are up 212% compared to smartphones’ increase of 20%. Spend for tablets is also double that of smartphones with increases of 163% vs 87%.  Mobile devices now account for 18% of total search budgets.
  • Yahoo! Bing Network picks up steam – Yahoo! Bing continued to accelerate their growth in the U.S. with a YoY increase in Q4 spend of 48% compared to Google’s 12%. This helped Yahoo! Bing grab the biggest share of market (24%) since Q1 of 2009
  • Shoppers splurged on higher value orders in Q4 – U.S. Retail search advertising saw YoY increases greater than average on impressions (+28%) and clicks (+10%) and Average Over Value (AOV) increased an impressive 46%.  However, transactions decreased 31%, pointing to consumers checking out with fewer, but higher-value carts.
  • 2012 was a good year for paid search – When comparing to 2011 for our top U.S. clients, paid search metrics for the full year increased across the board with spend increasing 31% and impressions and clicks increasing 21% and 22% respectively.

“Tablets have become a very important device for advertisers, especially retailers,” said Roger Barnette, President of IgnitionOne. “Smart marketers took advantage of the high level of engagement on these devices during the critical Q4 shopping season and we will continue to see budget shifts to mobile campaigns in the New Year.”

This report is the latest in a series reviewing trends across the online advertising landscape. This and previous quarterly reports can be downloaded here.

Leveraging Rich Ads and Branded Sitelinks in Yahoo!/ Bing

With Yahoo!/ Bing (YaBing) releasing a beta for sitelinks, alongside the release of Rich Ads earlier this year, IgnitionOne investigated how to leverage the budgets of branded campaigns to increase efficiency to marketers’ YaBing account.  The basic premise of leveraging the two products’ budgets to increase efficiency lies in the ability to predict brand click-through rate (CTR).

How Rich Ads Work

Rich Ads run only on exact and phrase match types, can only run on brand terms or extremely relevant non-brand terms and the ad position only shows at a rank of 1. This design of the Rich Ads, along with the fact that no competitors can set up a Rich Ad campaign running on another marketer’s brand terms, indicates that the algorithm which dictates cost-per-click (CPC) for this product is slightly different from the algorithm we see in the perfectly competitive open market (i.e., the non-Rich Ads campaigns’ algorithm). The algorithm in the “open market” determines rank and CPC by looking at Quality Score (QS), which is usually a 10 for branded terms, CTR, as a relevancy proxy, and the next in lines competitors’ bid in comparison to your bid. Due to the Rich Ads’ design we can take out QS as a major determining factor for the CPC you are charged, as well as the next-in-line competitors’ bids. We also know that the algorithm is only predicting CPC as the rank and never changes for Rich Ads. This leaves CTR determining CPC. As we all know, CTR is determined by clicks and impressions.

So how can marketers use this information in tandem with their branded sitelinks strategy?

The Strategy

Since the Rich Ads algorithm primarily gathers information from within its campaign and pulls relatively little information from the market, it has more of a lagged model than the “open market” algorithm. Essentially, it uses past data to predict what will happen to the CTR in the future. The shift between the lows and the highs of brand demand (i.e., impressions) is where this gets interesting.

The lag experienced in CPCs, essentially based on impressions, is about 1-2 weeks (note: this may vary based on the amount of impressions your brand receives). During the period in which your brand has reached the descent from the apex of a high demand period, you will be charged high CPCs for about two weeks into your descent of demand within the Rich Ads campaign without the justification in ROAS (i.e., conversions or AOV decreases). This is when IgnitionOne recommends decreasing your daily budget caps so that your rich ad campaign will, in fact, flight (see Figure 1.0). From here, marketers should reallocate extra budget into branded campaign that has sitelinks, to ensure that all exact, phrase and broad match terms come in a rank of 1 (See Figure 1.1). This is important as the “open market” algorithm will adjust more quickly due to your competitors pulling out of the market/lowering their bids during periods of low demand. The algorithm will adjust more quickly also due to your ability to change more keywords’ average ranks to a 1, thus bolstering CTR, which will in turn lower your CPC. Once you see the Rich Ads’ CPCs coming down to where they should be, your brand should increase the budget to where it will not flight further.

Best Practices:

-Identify if your CTR follows this same pattern during extreme changes in brand demand.

-Watch your Rich Ads campaign to see how it performs during fluctuations in demand. You will need to understand your brand’s CPC lag time.

-Set keyword bids high in the Rich Ads campaigns. You will need to manage spend in your Rich Ads by daily budget rather than CPC, as there are no competitors bidding on these terms and no dispute for rank.

-Set the Rich Ad campaign serving setting to “accelerated.”

-Do not turn off your Rich Ads campaign during the period in which your CPCs will not justify the ROAS. You will need the Rich Ads algorithm to collect data in order to get CPCs where they should be.

-Ensure your branded campaign has enough daily budget to take over the Rich Ads campaigns’ daily spend when you switch over.

NOTE: How to predict changes in CTR

Impressions and clicks rise in periods of high demand for your product or brand. However, it is common that in periods of extremely high demand, clicks are able to maintain at the same rate as the demand (i.e., impressions). Due to this effect, brands typically can experience drops in CTR. Since CTR is the main dictator of our Rich Ads CPC, brands using this product can experience higher CPCs during high demand periods. This is not a huge detriment to the account as conversion rates tend to be fairly high in Rich Ads campaigns and also during times of high demand. Conversely, CTR increases as impressions decrease during a brand’s offseason causing CPCs to decrease in Rich Ads. It is during this time that IgnitionOne would recommend keeping Rich Ads budget caps high.

Figure 1

Figure 2

2013: Marketing to the Fiscal Cliff

As 2012 draws to a close and 2013 appears on the horizon, one big topic for 2013 will be the pending “Fiscal Cliff” of increased taxes. This is not necessarily a time of doom and gloom, but an opportunity. Many companies will remain on the same path, while smart marketers will adjust to the changes in the marketplace. Potential fallouts (if Congress is not able to fix the problem) are increased taxes and decreased spending. Discretionary spending probably will decline, and consumers will be tighter with their money. Online, consumers are probably more likely to take longer to make a purchase and will click on more links and ads before buying. Additionally, Average Order Value (AOV) could take a hit as consumers might purchase what is needed and not needed/ wanted. How do you make lemonade?

Despite the Internet being approximately 20 years old, it still works with the same premise of garbage in -> garbage out. From an end user perspective, relevancy is still the gold standard. In direct response marketing, providing a relevant advertisement will ensure that your company has a chance to service a potential client at the precise time of need. To achieve this, review how your Google and Yahoo! Bing accounts are structured and how customers search. Maybe your company needs another account to handle meta data searches (such as model numbers or SKUs). Additionally, a review of landing pages to ensure that all ads are using the most relevant landing page would also be a good exercise.

The 4P’s still apply and promotions are king. Consumers will be increasingly looking for and demand promotions. Free shipping is now standard. Can your company offer “no additional taxes” by offering a “rebate” on local taxes? What about a price match guarantee which covers any regular online and offline retailer? Price match is complicated, and many retailers have found that 3rd party verification services are useful. Promotions can also be differentiators: are there promotions which the competition is not using which your company can use?

If you had to go through a corn maze to get into the mall, would you bother even trying to shop there? Likewise, online stores should be scrutinized for stumbling blocks and pot holes which slow down consumers from completing their purchase. Simplicity and guideposts can set your website apart from the competition: show consumers where they are and cut the unnecessary fluff which might distract from the checkout process. The ultimate goal is to efficiently get the customer to the “Thank you for your order”. Many online stores do not pay attention to their checkout process, and this is reflected in their lower than anticipated sales.

2013 is an opportunity – grab it by the horns and run with it. If you are not constantly working to improve, then you are falling behind everyone else who is.

July 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

Retailers: Leverage All Your Data for Successful Search Campaigns
MediaPost
June 1, 2012

Roger Barnette provides an explanation of how retailers can leverage data to optimize paid search media.

Meeting the Efficiency Curve
Digital Marketing Suite
June 4, 2012

IgnitionOne’s Joseph Akyuz discusses the benefits of efficiency curves in gauging the overall performance of paid search accounts.

How Google Could Become the Oracle of Online Advertising
MediaPost
June 6, 2012

Will Margiloff responds to the introduction of Google’s DoubleClick Digital Marketing.

Taking the Guesswork out of When to Join the Conversation
Social Media Influence
June 7, 2012

IgnitionOne offers a new social analytics solution with partner, Expion, which feeds continuous social analytics into the IgnitionOne DMS to trigger instant ad creation for Facebook’s Sponsored Stories.

Don’t Neglect Landing Page Analysis
Search Engine Watch
June 7, 2012

Of the three gears used toward effective search marketing (keywords, creative and landing pages), landing pages tend to be neglected by marketers. Dave Ragals discusses how to optimize landing pages to better benefit your business.

What Google Phrase and Exact Match Close Variants Means for Marketers
DigitalMarketingSuite
June 7, 2012

Cassandra Murray and Leslie Poole of IgnitionOne discuss changes to Google paid search that allows the option to run phrase or exact keywords on closely related terms.

For a Dynamic Campaign, Deploy Dynamic Titles
DigitalMarketingSuite
June 12, 2012

IgnitionOne’s Lee Elliot provides some helpful hints from for employing Dynamic Keyword Insertion.

IgnitionOne Wins Silver in Online Marketing Campaign of the Year
DigitalMarketingSuite
June 19, 2012

IgnitionOne was recognized by the American Business Awards as a silver prize winner for the Online Marketing Campaign of the Year for its work with Digital Marketing Works and Extended Stay Hotels in search and display media optimization solutions.

14 Things You Didn’t Know About Mobile
DigitalMarketingSuite
June 21, 2012

Rachel Young, EU Marketing Coordinator, collected some very interesting facts and figures related to mobile.

Five Things You Should Know about RTB
DigitalMarketingSuite
June 26, 2012

Ollie Bath, Head of Client Solutions in the UK, answers five common RTB questions.

Free Google Product Listing: RIP, We Hardly Knew Ye
MediaPost
June 26, 2012

Roger Barnette discusses what will replace free listings on Google Product Search, and highlights some of the benefits that retailers will experience with the change.

IgnitionOne: Growth Slows for Paid-Search Spend
MediaPost
June 27, 2012

MediaPost fuels an article on the slowing growth paid search spend in Q2 with IgnitionOne’s quarter-end results.

Q2 2012 Online Advertising Report
DigitalMarketingSuite
June 28, 2012

IgnitionOne reports slow growth in US search, Yahoo!/Bing continues to outpace Google spend growth in US, US travel vertical breaks from pack and has strong growth and a continued increase in mobile search advertising.

Mobile Search Spend Increases 333% Year-over-Year
Econsultancy
June 28, 2012

Econsultancy uses IgnitionOne Q2 data to report on mobile and paid search.

Video: The Power of Social Advertising – When Earned and Paid Media Meet
DigitalMarketingSuite
June 29, 2012

IgnitionOne, Facebook and Expion host a webinar that covers how to best take advantage of Facebook advertising, which tools are available to automate and leverage popular and positive posts, and best practices for timing and optimizing Sponsored Stories.

Industry Insights

10 Commandments of Digital Analytics
Search Engine Watch
May 30, 2012

Ten industry commandments, consisting of measurement, setting business goals, misusing personal information, maintaining clear and concise metrics and KPIs, treating online and offline data equally, using meaningless data, stealing or falsifying data, etc.

The Eleven Letter Word that Continues to Elude All CMOs and Marketers
Business 2 Community
June 1, 2012

Spoiler: the eleven letter word is Integration. This article highlights the many times the author has promoted integration, as well as a Forrester survey that indicates 92% of CMOs and marketing VPs who were questioned agreed that while social media has “fundamentally changed how consumers engage with brands” only 49% of them said they integrated social media into their overall marketing strategy. Why do marketers acknowledge the need for integration but very few put it into practice?

New Media Channels and Data Raise Agency Profits
DM News
June 1, 2012

According to chief executives at direct and digital agencies interviewed by DM News, growth is on the radar. Marketers are asking agencies to create marketing platforms that address strategic goals, rather than simply designing campaigns. From CRM, e-commerce and database management to mobile and social media platforms, RFPs now require that agencies build out platforms that take a long-term approach.

Insights into the Modern CMO
Marketing Pilgrim
June 4, 2012

Today’s CMO is faced with more marketing and communications options than ever before as well as greater responsibility to justify the activities of marketing initiatives with proven ROI measurements. Marketing Pilgrim interviews Christine Moorman of Duke’s Fuqua Business School about the changes in the role of CMO, what CMOs should be doing to get ahead of the curve, what the most frequently relied on tools are to measure marketing effectiveness, and more.

3 Ways to Maximize Conversions from Display Advertising
ClickZ
June 5, 2012

Tips to help drive conversion through effective display advertising and sound website optimization strategies are being consistent, using context to deliver on-site relevance and knowing where your visitors are coming from.

IAB Launches Hub for Mobilizing Web Sites
MediaPost
June 7, 2012

The IAB is providing tools for publishers to improve their mobile presence, ultimately aiming to boost mobile advertising and m-commerce by expanding the number of sites designed specifically for mobile devices.

Tablet Usage Explodes, Changes Digital Habits
MediaPost
June 8, 2012

One in every four smartphone owners reported using tablets, a 13.9% increase in the past year. Tablet users were nearly three times more likely to watch video on their devices compared to smartphone users, with one in every 10 tablet users viewing video content almost daily on their device. The heaviest audience concentration is between 25 and 44 years of age and is skewed toward upper-income households.

Search and Social: How the Two Will Soon Become One
TechCrunch
June 17, 2012

Ben Elowitz discusses how Google and Bing have both released new search interfaces designed to better intuit intent and aid in getting to the one best answer more efficiently. He notes that this is the “biggest step forward we’ve seen since search results started looking 12 years ago the way they still do today.”

Study: Facebook Mobile Ads Have Higher Click-Through Rates than Those on PCs
AdAge
June 19, 2012

Research that examined more than 7 million Facebook impressions served between June 8 and June 18 for 12 companies who were running fan-acquisition campaigns, including about 242,000 mobile news-feed impressions that generated 1,911 clicks, revealed stronger CTR for mobile ads compared to desktop only (comprised mainly of right-rail ads), news-feed only (desktop and mobile) and the “control” group (uniform bids made across placements).

What Happened to Search?
MediaPost
June 20, 2012

It seems that search is an afterthought in light of social, video and mobile. However, search still has the ability to emerge as an innovation, as is the case with Siri.

Heavy Tablet Users Respond More Positively to Ads
ADWEEK
June 18, 2012

The Online Publishers Association collected data from 2,540 U.S. Internet users between the ages of 8 and 64. Its resulting study found that 31% of that population owns or regularly uses a tablet, up from 12% in 2011. By next year, the OPA estimates that that portion will have risen 47%. 74% said they use a tablet at least once a day, and tablet users average nearly 14 hours a week on their device.

The Golden Age of Advertising Technology
AdExchanger
June 20, 2012

Terence Kawaja discusses trends that bode well for the ad tech sector, including big data science, perfecting the down funnel, social CRM, mobile, digital video and cross-channel optimization.

Time to Marry the CMO and CIO
DIGIDAY
June 21, 2012

Marketing and technology are more entwined than ever before. According to a new survey of marketers, the formula for success is a closer partnership between the CMO and CIO departments. The survey found that 60 percent of marketers point to their lack of alignment with the company’s IT department as the biggest obstacle to reaching today’s consumers.

Microsoft AdCenter Rollout Comes to Three More European Countries
Search Engine Land
June 27, 2012

Both Bing- and Yahoo-owned and operated properties, as well as publisher networks, in Germany, Austria and Switzerland are powered by Microsoft Advertising’s adCenter as of end of June. The remaining European countries — Denmark, Finland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden — are expected to be transitioned later this year.

Less than Half of Companies Integrate Mobile into Marketing Campaigns: Stats
Econsultancy
June 29, 2012

Econsultancy’s Cross-Channel Marketing Report found that 49% of companies have a strategy for integrating mobile into broader marketing activity, including 35% who say integration is very basic. 51% of company respondents are not integrating mobile into marketing campaigns at all. Only 29% have a mobile commerce site and just 29% are optimizing emails for mobile.

Q2 2012 Online Advertising Report Published

Following two very strong quarters of increasing growth in US search advertising spending, the second quarter of 2012 showed a deceleration of spending growth. Q2 2012 had a year-over-year (YoY) growth in search spend of 15.5% in the US. Higher growth was seen in the travel vertical with a 37.8% YoY increase in search ad spending in Q2.

Mobile search advertising also continued strong growth YoY, with spending on mobile search ads up an astounding 333% YoY.

These figures are released quarterly by IgnitionOne, a leading digital marketing solutions firm, managing more than $1 billion in online advertising.

Download the Q2 2012 Online Advertising report here.IgnitionOne Q2 2012 Online Advertising Report

Key findings in the report: 

  • US Search growth slows in Q2 – Search spend in Q2 was up 15.5% when compared to Q2 2011. At nearly half the growth rate of last quarter, this represents a slowdown in growth of paid search spending. This slowdown in growth of spend can be presumably blamed on the current weakness of the macro-economy and softness of the retail vertical in the quarter.
  • Yahoo!/Bing continues to outpace Google spend growth in US – While Yahoo!/Bing impressions and clicks did not grow faster than Google, its CPCs and search spend certainly did. While Google only grew 11.4% in spend, YoY, in Q2, Yahoo!/Bing grew 32.9%. As this growth is off a smaller base, it did not translate into an increase in market share for Yahoo!/Bing, however.
  • US Travel vertical breaks from pack and has strong growth – Continuing last quarter’s trend there was impressive growth in activity and spend in Q2 compared to the same time period last year. Travel impressions were up 61.9% and search spend among travel marketers increased 37.8% YoY.
  • Continued increase in mobile search advertising – US mobile grew to 14% from 12% of total search budgets with a huge 333% increase in spend YoY. The mobile search ads also had greater growth in engagement as click grew 325% while impressions grew 130%.

“While search spending did not continue at the pace of recent quarters, the increase compared to last year is still strong,” said Roger Barnette, President of IgnitionOne. “The huge and continued growth in mobile search spending continues to impress and points to the movement of consumers and advertisers to these devices.”

This report is the latest in a series of reports from IgnitionOne reviewing trends across the online advertising landscape. The Q2 report can be downloaded here and as well as past white papers and reports

Meeting the Efficiency Curve

An online marketer’s life is not an easy one. It’s a constant battle of trying to keep up with the new trends while staying efficient in the quickly evolving online advertising landscape.

  • Google introduced countless betas and algorithm changes in Q1
  • Facebook has surpassed 900 million+ users and just had its IPO
  • Yahoo!/Bing is coming up with new updates every month
  • The display landscape is getting a complete overhaul

There hasn’t been a point in time when new ideas were created, tested and executed so fast and with such precision.  That being said, it’s becoming even more vital for marketers to take a step back and focus on their existing asset management in the midst of all these emerging technologies and product updates.

Take SEM as an example: What’s the best way to find out if assets are performing at an optimal level?

Running monthly efficiency curves is one of the great ways to gauge the overall performance of a paid search account. It displays the revenue and/or action potential of an account against the media spend by looking at the impression, click, rank and bid fluctuations from the previous weeks.  Plotting the current performance point against the curve demonstrates if an account is performing at a sub-par level.

 

A marketer’s immediate goal should be reaching the curve and then ultimately shifting the curve up through long term account restructuring tactics, such as geo breakouts, adding new ad copy and keyword assets. These tasks are a part of a long term project that may take significant man hours to plan and execute.

In the meantime, here are some quick tactics to help marketers move their “current performance point” closer to the efficiency curve:

Get rid of poor performing ads

This is a very quick and possibly the most effective solution to immediately cut down the wasteful media spend in an underperforming account.

Pausing Creative A under this scenario will distribute its impressions to the other text ads and may potentially drive $2,872 incremental revenue for this one adgroup. Imagine the possible gains if this exercise is repeated across the account.

Identify keywords below first page minimum bid 

More often than not, marketers add new keywords with very low bids in order to keep budgets under control (and rightfully so). Over time, campaigns end up with keywords without the ability to capture all of the demand in the market place. Filtering these keywords and increasing their bids will give them a chance to breath and perform as long as they don’t belong to a flighted campaign.

 

Monitor Low Quality Score Keywords

Tools like IgnitionOne’s Digital Marketing Suite’s advanced filters can help marketers identify the low QS keywords so that they can be eliminated or bucketed thematically somewhere else in the account.

Dive into the Search Query Reports for Negative Keyword Suggestions

Advertisers can rely on search query reports to compare the conversion contribution of the typed queries against credited keywords. The offenders out of this list should be applied as negatives either at the account, campaign or group level depending on the account structure.

Stop to smell the roses… And clean out the weeds

The tactics described above are meant to help marketers meet the efficiency curve and improve the bottom line. They are even more effective when complemented with integrated marketing solutions and repeated regularly. While it’s imperative for marketers to follow online trends and keep an eye on the grand prize, it’s equally important to allocate the time to optimize the existing resources.