This is a guest post from Johnathan Dane, Founder of KlientBoost.
Have you ever thought your Google advertising account should be performing better?
You may be following the advice of many that say that the more time you spend in your account, the better.
But what if it’s all backwards?
What if it only takes you 10 minutes a week to improve your Google advertising performance?
If your Google campaign performance hasn’t been improving month over month like the table below, then keep reading.
It’s about to get interesting. Let’s get started.
If you’re running any type of display or remarketing campaign, you might find that your display ads are showing up on websites, apps, or even video overlays that aren’t performing well.
Overall though, you might be decently happy with your display performance, but always wondered if it could do better.
To start the “performance pruning”, see which Automatic placements either have a cost per conversion that’s too high, or better yet, which placements are actually bringing in sales (not just conversions) by equipping your Google advertising Final URLs with ValueTrack parameters.
This will then help you get more conversion volume out of those specific placements when you extract and target them exclusively through a new campaign.
Search term reports are such an important part of regular Google advertising maintenance that it’s not uncommon that some people do this more frequently than brushing their teeth.
When looking at your search term report, get as close as possible to making sure your search terms and keywords have no discrepancies between them.
In other words, your Added / Excluded column from your search term report should have the green “Added” label going down the list for as long as possible, just like this:
When that happens, you can make your ads specific to not your keywords, but your search terms and see higher click-through-rates from your efforts.
Let’s say you look at your search term report and find your search terms and keywords don’t match. The first thing you should do is extract your search terms with the most impressions and create what are called Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGs).
Just like the name implies, SKAGs are ad groups that only allow one keyword per ad group, that then have corresponding ads that are extremely specific to that keyword.
Did you know that the last keyword and/or ad clicked always gets to lionshare of conversion credit?
What if there were seven other touchpoints (impression and ad clicks) that happened before the final conversion? Wouldn’t you want to know what helped assist that conversion?
I know I would.
If you don’t care, there’s a good chance you’ll pause keywords and placements that don’t get the conversion credit. But, when you do, you’re strangling your account at the same time, without even knowing it.
Let’s take a look at your Google advertising attribution.
Inside your account, go to the top of your Google advertising interface and click Tools > Attribution.
Once you’re there, take a look at the Time Lag report on the left side. Here, you can see how long it takes people to convert from either first impression, first click, or last click.
This will help you make your nurture and/or retargeting campaigns more of a priority to test.
Are you a local, statewide, nationwide, or even an international advertiser?
No matter how big an area you’re targeting, every geographic hill, slope, mountain, and valley performs differently. The same thing goes for individual states and cities.
And, because you can’t target people who live on just a hill (yet), the next best thing is to understand the performance of each state or city that sees your ads.
As you can see above, the state of New York may be costing more per conversion than others. So, you may want to add in negative bid modifiers at the state level, like this screenshot shows.
You can then drill even deeper and create new campaigns with state level campaign targeting, and give bid modifiers to individual cities within that specific state to get your closer to your cost per conversion goals.
You can take it even further and start utilizing city specific ad copy and landing pages with area code specific phone numbers, to appear more local to visitors and increase your conversion rates.
As I’m sure you’re already aware of, Google advertising doesn’t allow you to separate devices in their own campaigns like they used to.
These days, you have to group desktop and tablets together in the same campaign. And while Google may say that both those devices perform similarly, there are thousands of Google advertising accounts out there that say something completely different.
Here’s the truth: Desktops and tablets will never perform the same way.
I’m not just speaking from a conversion rate standpoint, but also from a sales standpoint.
When Google told the world that devices don’t matter, but user context does, they certainly never thought of every single industry, but more so of a blanket band-aid that would apply to “most advertisers”.
Believe it or not, there are some workarounds you can use to get desktop, tablet, and mobile campaigns in their own campaigns and still target the search and/or display network.
But first, let’s look at how we find current device performance differences within your account.
First, go to Segment then Device in the dropdown.
As you can see in the screenshot above, our mobile devices are giving us the lowest cost per conversion while tablets are sucking it up and being the most expensive.
Now let’s say for a minute that your tablet performance is just as good as your desktop performance (like Google says it is), but your mobile performance sucks.
You can quickly add in what’s called a negative bid modifier between 1 and 100%.
If you never want to target mobile devices, then you can set a negative bid modifier of 100%.
Just like keywords, ads, and landing pages perform differently, so does Monday compared to Thursday, and Saturday compared to Wednesday.
Inside your Google advertising account, you can see this day of the week granularity in a snap. Just head over to Dimensions -> View: Day of the week.
Having these kinds of numbers doesn’t mean that you should stop advertising on Thursdays (because it has the highest cost per conversions). But, it could mean that you should start considering “day of the week” bid modifiers like we did for our devices earlier.
Some industries tend to be very predictable in their weekly trends. If your company falls into a category like that, then take advantage of the control you have and get more aggressive with your bids on great performing days, and taper back on the not so great-performing ones.
Just like we saw how your days perform differently during the week, so do your hours within the day.
And, just as we can create bid modifiers for 24-hour day targeting, we can also take advantage of the same thing with bidding blocks of hours within a certain day of the week, to break it down even further.
If you already have the data and insight that allow you to use this type of granular bidding, then definitely do so.
You might even find that Google or other bidding platforms are restricting how many bid modifications you can make on a daily basis. If that’s the case, I suggest you try using Brainlab’s 24 hour bidding script that allows you to take it one step further, and then some.
Now before I let you go, please keep this in mind:
“With great control, comes great responsibility.”
Having access to all of this data is great, but only if you can be actionable with it to improve your performance.
I see time and time again that people spend countless hours trying to tweak and prune things with modifiers, rules, and even scripts that change bids depending on the weather.
While all of this is great, most of it becomes entirely obsolete as soon as you have a landing page test that improves your conversion rates by 50%. When that happens, all the things you’ve put into place need to be redone.
One thing that will always help you out, no matter your goals, is to extract and target things in a granular fashion that makes sense.
Use the dimensions tab and its reports to your advantage and keep on making progress
Pumpkin spice lattes. Cold weather. Football on TV. That can only mean one thing – the holidays are here!
While you’re busy planning your holiday vacation, family meals, or gift shopping plans, remember to schedule a few minutes for your retargeting campaigns. Consumers are ready to spend billions over the next six weeks (especially online!) so make sure you adjust your campaign settings to capitalize on the holiday rush.
Here are a few simple steps you can take to boost your campaign performance for the holidays:
With all that holiday shopping going on, you’re likely going to see a boost in site traffic, which means you’ll see an associated boost in impressions served and advertising funds spent. Make sure your campaigns have a proper budget set to guarantee you have enough ad money available for the day, so that you don’t miss out on these potential new customers.
We recommend a 25-50% budget increase for the holidays, but you know your site traffic best. Whatever % of traffic increase you’re expecting, boost your budget about that same %.
Consumers will be spending a lot of money on products, but that also means advertisers are spending a lot of money on ads. You’re going to have competition! With so many advertisers fighting for ad space, it’s not uncommon to see your CPM costs rise during this time of year. To be ready for this, make sure you increase your CPM bids across your campaigns. Allowing your campaigns to bid a higher amount will make them more competitive and give you a better chance of serving more ads. We suggest increasing your CPM bid by 50-100% of the current average CPM cost for the campaign.
Your potential customers are thinking, talking, and singing about the holidays this time of year. Join that conversation! Using ads that mention specific events like Black Friday or Cyber Monday can grab a visitor’s attention. Send them holiday cheer, mention that there are X number of shopping days left, and give them a reason to click on your ads. Use the holidays as a call to action, and you could see a boost in clicks and conversions.
Create landing pages and content on your site for these holiday events, then create audiences that capture visitors of these pages. (Information about audiences is available here.)
Finally, create campaigns to serve your holiday ads to your holiday page visitors. If they’re coming to your site looking for holiday deals, they are more likely to respond to holiday themes ads.
We hope these suggestions are helpful and lead to a profitable holiday season for you and your business. As always, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com with any questions or comments.
From our team to yours – happy holidays!
Marin Software recently participated in the E-Commerce Paris trade show, the largest cross-channel event in France. During the three-day event, we had the opportunity of presenting with our customers as guest speakers. One such opportunity was a workshop on ‘the relevant criteria to choose your digital media buying platform’. Thibaut Vouloir, Acquisition Manager at financial services company Cofinoga, detailed the main things every agency or advertiser should care about when looking for a solution.
First off, he insisted that the provider must be independent from any media selling business. To guarantee a fair arbitrage of the bid recommendations on any campaign, the platform can’t be owned by a specific publisher, whoever that publisher may be. An independent platform helps advertisers to optimize their media investments on different channels, across search, social, and display.
For Thibaut, it should be a given that he has access to a local and experienced service team – in his case, based in Paris who speaks French – who understands his needs and gathers his feedback to improve the product. One of his needs is the ability to integrate his DMP tracking system, with customized specifications. The strength of a local team is its capacity to contact the DMP solution, then work collaboratively with the customer to deliver a needs-based solution that drives results.
In particular, Thibaut mentioned the absolute flexibility of Marin’s automated bidding tool considering the different objectives of Cofinoga’s financial products. Using the three different bidding strategies that Marin offers (position, CPA, and ROI) – within the same campaigns or across multiple campaigns and publishers – allows Cofinoga to effectively control and monitor the costs of acquisition. The time an advertiser saves with automated bidding can be reallocated to other tasks, such as A/B creative and landing page testing. “The keyword marketer is freed up from the repetitive task of manually changing bids every day,” said Thibaut.
To find out more about how Marin Software can help you achieve your cross-channel advertising goals, contact us today.
The holidays are a busy time of year for retail advertisers. Outside of work, their lives are packed with relatives, shopping, menu planning, and social events. Add launching holiday promotions, bid management, and budgeting to the agenda and they have an even longer to-do list in the middle of an already stressful holiday season.
To help our retail advertising customers succeed during the critical holiday shopping season, we’re happy to introduce Marin’s Center of Excellence. This is a new division of the Marin Customer Success team that combines marketing expertise and mastery of the Marin platform to help grow your business. The team provides consulting and tailored offerings for Marin customers to address business needs and help them get the most out of the platform.
While consumers are editing their shopping lists in October, you’re editing keyword lists and writing endless variations of holiday ad copy. And, if you’re asking yourself, “What am I missing?” or “How can I better optimize this?”, the Marin Center of Excellence team is here to help you through these and other common challenges.
Having managed campaigns themselves once upon a time, the team has compiled a list of step-by-step recommendations to keep handy as holiday promotions begin to kick off in the coming weeks.
Start by loading holiday focused objects into Marin early (e.g., keywords, creatives, sitelinks, and mobile-preferred creatives) and keep them paused until you’re ready to launch. This will allow enough time for creatives to go through review on the publisher’s side, for you to submit any exemption requests, etc. Don’t wait until the last minute or you risk forgetting important objects (like sitelinks!) and hitting policy violations.
In addition, make sure you have the necessary Scheduled Actions configured for your holiday-themed campaigns and creatives. Scheduled Actions are essential during promotions and sales and help you take back those long holiday hours by automating the pausing and activation of select campaigns and creatives. If you know that certain days or weeks see an increase in traffic, set up rules so you’re always showing top-performing ads at the most opportune times.
Marin Dimensions are another great time-saving tool. For example, if you have different promotions for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, tag them with a Dimension. Once tagged, you can quickly filter for those objects tagged with a “Black Friday” dimension to pause them and take the same steps to resume your Cyber Monday ads. This workflow works great for those time-sensitive campaigns you’ll be switching on and off across publishers.
Finally, you should consider an account audit ahead of the holiday. This will ensure you have an account structure in line with best practices, help identify specific performance issues, and allow enough time to prioritize any issues requiring implementation. The Center of Excellence is offering holiday focused account audits to improve account performance and better optimize your program this holiday season. Contact your Marin account representative for more details.
In anticipation of the expected increase in traffic and competition, the Center of Excellence recommends setting up a schedule for any bid changes that need to occur throughout the holiday season. Take a look at your historical data for previous years. Do you notice a year over year rise in historical CPCs? Did traffic increase significantly? Pair this data with your goals to set up an ad scheduling or boost schedule.
These two features allow you to make faster adjustments to bids without making drastic changes to your overall bidding strategy (by changing folder targets) that could prompt unwanted results. If you want a little help crunching those numbers, the Center of Excellence is offering a Holiday Bidding and Boost consultation tailored specifically to your program that works in tandem with our bidding algorithm.
Marin offers an easy way to set up and schedule automated email alerts to assist you with monitoring account activity during the holidays. The Center of Excellence recommends creating email alerts for the following:
Day over day cost changes
Sync errors for creatives/keywords
Average position threshold
Objects missing tracking
Creatives status = disapproved
If you manage multiple accounts in the platform, try setting up an All Clients report to review cross-client performance data. For example, set up a campaign performance report across all your clients to eliminate having to log into each Marin client account. Hint: Creating alerts across client accounts will save you time, which can be spent enjoying your holidays!
If you’re a client that has many different publisher accounts within many different Marin accounts, utilize Marin’s cross-client bulk sheet feature, so you can create everything with one file rather than having to organize and upload many different bulk sheets.
If you plan to use ad scheduling to help manage bidding this holiday season, set this up in Marin using the multi-edit feature, which will allow you to set your schedule across many campaigns or ad groups at one time, rather than individually.
Prior to making changes for holiday bidding, download a report of all your current keyword bids with the columns you would need for a keyword bulk upload. Use this report to upload these same bids into the application after the holiday season is over and more quickly return to expected levels of performance and traffic.
When creating a scheduled report or alert, take an extra 10 seconds and also create a saved view for those same columns and filters. This way, if an alert or performance report merits investigation, you can retrieve the corresponding saved view to pull this up in the application immediately.
Tag all of your holiday objects in Marin using a Dimension. This will make it easier to apply setting changes and scheduled actions at scale so you can get back to family and fun!
Today’s retail advertisers have to constantly deal with many different factors simultaneously – direct competition, changes in consumer behaviors, and staying on top of industry innovations and trends, just to name a few. All of this can be quite overwhelming, especially with the holidays quickly approaching.
To alleviate the stresses of the season for retail advertisers, we’re excited to announce the general availability of PositionLock™, an intraday, position-based bid optimization solution designed to help marketers maximize visibility, traffic, and conversions throughout the day. Using PositionLock, retail advertisers can rest a little easier this holiday season, especially during peak online shopping days and hours of the day.
PositionLock relies on a new, patent-pending algorithm that leverages ad position data captured throughout the day to intelligently set optimal bids and bid boosts to keep advertisers’ ads in desired ad position ranges.
For example, using PositionLock, a retail advertiser whose sales come primarily from mobile devices can opt to have their best-selling product terms appear between positions 3-5 for desktop and 1-2 for mobile.
Marin is the only digital advertising platform that allows advertisers to automatically optimize preferred position ranges, by device, throughout the day.
With the holiday shopping season already starting to ramp up, Marin’s PositionLock™ is an excellent solution for helping retail advertisers ensure they’re visible in the top ad positions for their best-selling product terms or important brand terms.
If you’re a retail advertiser looking to improve brand awareness, visibility, or traffic quality over the holiday shopping period, we’ve highlighted five example use cases to show how using PositionLock can help you meet your goals.
Most retailers have product terms on seasonal items that PositionLock can maximize visibility on during peak shopping season days. With PositionLock’s intraday bidding capabilities, you can adjust these positions throughout the day, and especially during peak online shopping hours. Additionally, as inventory comes and goes, you can easily adjust bids to promote certain inventory over others more aggressively through higher ad placements.
Competition for the top ad positions on search isn’t going away anytime soon, as it’s been shown that consumers on search are more likely to click on higher-ranked ads. To help you achieve your desired positions, PositionLock lets you take your non-branded terms and ensure that they outrank competitors. This is especially useful when it comes to advertising popular seasonal items that face a lot of competition.
According to a study by Google, search ads lifted top-of-mind awareness of brands an average 6.6 percentage points. This study highlights the clear opportunity for retail advertisers to effectively create the perception that they’re leaders in a particular product category, by appearing in a top ad position for the related product terms.
For example, a retail advertiser who wants to be known for selling “high-end fashion apparel” could use PositionLock to improve brand perception for these types of products by appearing in a top position for this term.
When it comes to launching new products, PositionLock can be beneficial to businesses across all verticals, but especially retailers this holiday season. With PositionLock’s ability to achieve top ad positions, you can easily drive visibility for new product terms with a relevant promotional message in the copy.
Today’s consumers have an average of three devices and studies have shown that each device type is used differently. Consumers on desktop devices tend to do more detailed research, whereas mobile users are often looking for fast and quick pieces of information (e.g., phone number, address, etc.)
With PositionLock, you can bid to the optimal ad position for each device to help achieve maximum ad performance across devices for a particular search term. For example, if you know you can achieve optimal performance by appearing between positions 3-4 on desktop but must appear between positions 1-2 on mobile, with PositionLock you can easily customize device-specific preferences and achieve your device-specific ad position goals.
These are just a few examples of the many scenarios in which Marin PositionLock™ can help advertisers gain better position-based performance results across devices. For information on this feature, reach out to your Marin Customer Success Director. If you’d like to learn more about how Marin Software can help you implement an intraday optimization strategy, feel free to get in touch.
We continue to get closer and closer to the busiest time of year for e-commerce businesses and the most festive for online consumer traffic. Our teams at Marin Software have even more tips and tricks for making sure you’re amply prepared.
To help you prepare your accounts for the holidays and top your competitors, we’ve put together five key action points you can start to implement today, directly in Marin.
There are several holidays between November and January. However, not every holiday is relevant to your customers – so, it’s important to focus and prepare for the dates and audiences that matter.
First, identify your customers. Are they discount shoppers looking for online bargains? Or shoppers looking for that special present for a loved one? Depending on what’s relevant to your business, bucket your strategy into interest-based audiences. For example:
Next, plot the dates that could influence them to search and purchase online. Here’s a short list of eight dates that have the most impact on consumer behavior, and who the holiday appeals to most. Be sure to add these dates to your calendar!
Review your target audience – will any of these dates affect their purchasing decision? In some cases, people might be interested in a holiday just to benefit from the special promotions that come with it. Instead of including the holiday name in your copy, try organizing by interest. To increase CTRs, tailor your creatives to match the holiday that appeals to your customers.
Creating ad copy for every holiday can become difficult to manage. Having a Christmas creative active on New Year’s Day can reflect poorly on your company. It’s important that a mechanism is in place to prevent this from happening.
Scheduled Actions in Marin enables you to schedule campaigns, groups, and creatives at a specified date and time. So, if you’re planning on ringing in the New Year on a beach in Mauritania, you can schedule your seasonal campaigns in advance and let Marin pause and activate them while you’re out of the office.
The top positions for your main keywords are prime real estate. With your competitors throwing compelling ad copy and offers into the ring, competition can be fierce. Just your presence alone in the top spot is not always enough.
To expand the size of your creatives and improve visibility, add Ad Extensions to them. This can increase CTR and brand awareness.
Leverage from your existing creatives’ quality score and add Ad Extensions to:
Excluding dates from bidding allows you to leave out cost and conversion data for specified dates and date ranges. This is useful during seasonal periods where accounts experience unusual performance, which can skew bid calculations.
If the data is not a true reflection of normal performance, bids will be calculated based on this inaccurate data. To prevent this, exclude the relevant dates.
Your additional holiday marketing efforts will very likely attract new visitors to your site. These new visitors may have gone to several sites before and after yours. With so many online holiday bright lights, it’s understandable how they could forget where they found that perfect product.
Use retargeting to help jog their memory, bringing them back to the original page where they first saw your offer. Whether you decide to use them or not, there’s no cost in building retargeting lists in AdWords and syncing them with Marin.
Each holiday attracts different search intent. Converting customers on Cyber Monday and Boxing Day could be listed as ‘Bargain hunters’, and customers converting on Christmas can be listed as ‘Gift Buyers’. Building retargeting lists around your target audience will enable you to promote offers across audiences through Display and Search.
We hope these tips get you well on your way to clinching the holiday gold. To learn more about how you can stand out this season, take a look at some of our recent content:
In the old days of advertising, the name of the game was reach and frequency. Brands preferred mass media vehicles like television and radio, because they were the easiest means to reach large audiences and build brand awareness. Obviously, this meant the most effective advertising campaigns were dominated by the biggest brands with the largest marketing budgets.
If you’ve been reading our blog then you don’t need to be sold on the ways retargeting can help your business. However, putting everything together – building audiences, managing campaigns, optimizing performance, etc. – can sometimes feel overwhelming. This is especially true when retargeting is just one of the many marketing strategies that you focus on.
To help you out, we’ve teamed up with HubSpot, the world’s leading inbound and sales marketing platform, to bring you a free eBook, titled The Beginner’s Guide to Retargeting. In addition to providing context on the types of retargeting and the different ways it can help your business, we’ve collected some of our favorite tips and best practices for getting started, running your campaigns, creating good ads, and measuring and optimizing your performance.
Download the free eBook now and start learning how to use retargeting to increase leads and traffic today.
This is a guest post from Dionte Pounds, Account Manager at
Businesses kick their marketing efforts into high gear during the holiday season – which is technically from Thanksgiving until the New Year, even though I’ve seen people hanging Christmas lights from their windows before others start carving pumpkins. Many times, businesses depend on strong sales during the holidays to take them from the red to the black. As such, there’s extra pressure on the online marketer with e-commerce clients to drive the strongest performances of the year during this time.
Without strategic planning and execution, delivering on these expectations can be next to impossible. But by following these five outlined tips, you’ll be primed for success.
This should be a no-brainer. Use the performance history of the account as well as current trends to determine what a realistic budget for the holiday season should be. Work with your client to come up with a total budget and stick to that number. If you think the budget will be insufficient, try to create a plan to move spend from one or more low-performing campaigns into a high-performing campaign.
Imagine it’s January 2016 and you’re looking back at Q4. How will you determine success? Of course it’s important to hit established goals, but if there’s an opportunity to make a push for greater revenue and sales, would a possible increase in CPA be acceptable? Speak with your client before the season kicks off to figure out where you can be most flexible and what targets can’t be sacrificed.
Way in advance. Seriously.
The fewer last-minute adjustments that need to be made to accommodate promotional messaging in search ads, sitelinks, or Merchant Center Promotions, the better. Request a promotional calendar from your clients. Review all promotion details about a week or so in advance with your client if possible, just to iron out the details. When it comes to launching promotional creatives, use automated rules whenever possible to schedule future actions and remove any chance for human error.
Because the last thing you want to see before the start of a big seasonal push is a high percentage of disapproved Shopping products, do a quick review of your Merchant Center account and make sure all feeds are in excellent condition. Review your feed schedule. And, make sure your Shopping campaigns are structured in a way that makes sense for your business.
Remember: An item placed in the High, Medium, and Low Priority campaigns will automatically revert to the bid set at the High Priority Level. This is true regardless of whether the bids set in the Medium or Low Priority campaigns are higher.
Auction Insights won’t tell you how much a competitor may be bidding for a select term. But frequently examining Auction Insights will tell you if any competitors are creeping up on you (or beating you) in Google’s auctions. One of the more overlooked features is being able to segment Auction Insights by device type. This provides a useful look at who the key players are in your auctions and where you could be getting the most pressure – on desktop, mobile devices, or tablets.
Because this can’t hurt and you may come away with some real learnings to report to your client, try adding in new targeting criteria, such as average household income, to your campaigns with no set bid adjustment before the holiday season kicks off. As time progresses, periodically check in on these new targets and see how they perform. At worst, you’ll have no real actionable data and can simply remove the new targets if performance merits. But at best, you’ll have a better understanding of a new target audience and the ability to increase or decrease marketing efforts to that audience by applying bid modifiers.
Programmatic is hot right now. eMarketer predicts that by 2016, programmatic spending will top $20 billion, making up 63% of all US display ad spending. As quickly as it’s growing, though, programmatic has some serious terminology and conventions you have to learn if you want to consider yourself an expert. And once you get started, you may feel like you’re drowning in a sea of programmatic jargon, lingo, and acronyms.
The programmatic ecosystem is large and wide – but not impassable. A good way to start the journey is getting to know the 8 major players in the ecosystem, as well as their main functions.
1. The Advertiser
If you’re reading this, this is probably you. The advertising world wouldn’t exist without the companies that buy the ads.
2. The Publisher
Publishers are all the publications, web sites, and mobile apps that create and deliver the real value – the content – as well as the ad space that advertisers buy.
3. Ad Exchanges
Ad exchanges are the backbone of programmatic ad buying, and a major driving force for the display advertising renaissance over the past few years. Ad exchanges are essentially marketplaces where advertisers and publishers buy and sell ad space programmatically. Publishers make their inventory available and advertisers then bid for those ads, often in real-time, based on how much a particular visitor is worth to them.
4. Ad Networks
Ad networks are like the older, less capable big brother of the ad exchange. Like ad exchanges, ad networks aggregate inventory across multiple publishers and package it up, helping advertisers buy ads at scale more efficiently. Because they can still be a simple, efficient way to scale your media buy across a large number of publishers, they’re still relevant in this age of programmatic. Still, ad networks don’t offer the same targeting sophistication that ad exchanges do.
5. Data Management Platforms (DMPs)
Advertisers use DMPs to collect, store, and leverage their first-party audience data. DMPs also aggregate data from third parties and make it available to clients to use in their advertising.
6. Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs)
A demand-side platform is a tool that enables marketers to bid on and buy ads from ad exchanges. There are some big differences between the different platforms out there, so be sure to determine what’s most important to your business before investing in one – for example, access to data, quality of reach, transparency, etc.
7. Supply-Side Platforms (SSPs)
Advertisers use DSPs to buy ads on ad exchanges. Publishers use SSPs to sell their ads on ad exchanges. It’s basically the mirror opposite.
8. Agency Trading Desk
Agency Trading Desks (ATDs) are essentially the media buying and reselling arms of major advertising agency holding companies like WPP, Publicis, and Interpublic. ATDs reflect a mix of people and technology. While media is often bought programmatically using technology like DSPs and DMPs, it’s then resold to advertisers as a managed service.
These eight players are just one piece of the programmatic puzzle. For a more complete discussion – including how data, targeting, and retargeting figure in – download our full white paper, The ABCs of Programmatic.
Let’s suppose you’re a B2B marketer using the Marin platform. Hopefully, you’re using the more sophisticated “Revenue by Conversion Type” revenue model, and you’ve associated relative values to each conversion type in your website. If you’ve done all this…congrats! You can use Marin to bid to a lifetime value/cost ratio that’s most appropriate to your business.
However, by refining your strategies even more, you can increase the likelihood of boosting your lead generation.
During my first Marin onboarding, I received some pretty sage advice. My Marin rep told me I should allocate a small portion (10%, he told me) of the lifetime value from each conversion to a point earlier in the funnel. This serves as a vehicle for increasing relevant traffic diversity, which ultimately leads to more sales. If I were to assign 100% of lifetime value only to terms that converted at the bottom of the funnel, I would hinder my ability to grow the account.
What’s a good lifetime value reallocation strategy? It’s easy! Are there intermediary downloads on your site that lead people down the conversion funnel? Create a conversion type for each and assign each a value. Are there high-intent pages on your website that represent the penultimate step before conversion? Create a conversion type and assign people who land on that page some lifetime value. Are you doing email marketing with unique click-through pages? Create a conversion type for people who click on the email link and land on the site, and assign those folks a value. There are plenty more ways you can get creative with micro-conversions.
With a multi-layered micro-conversion strategy, it’s easy to either over-assign or under-assign value. You should have an understanding of how many micro-conversions each visitor typically completes, and set your values so that the “average” visitor will get assigned an “average” pre-sale value. Engaged visitors who trigger an above-average number of micro-conversions should be more likely to convert; by counting each, Marin’s bidding algorithm will favor the keywords that tend to generate hyper-engaged visitors.
Also, you can use micro-conversions as a traffic lever. If you decide a certain download has become a more valuable part of the sales process, raise its value. Marin will favor traffic more likely to download that item, and you’ll generate more downloads of that document. Whereas Marin’s Boost function will raise the bids allocated to an entire bidding folder, raising the bids on a conversion type is a hyper-specific way to impact your entire traffic flow – either within one bidding folder or throughout the whole campaign.
Marin is a wonderful platform to increase the value of your paid search efforts. And, with a little extra insight into the value of each step of your sales funnel, you can use Marin’s functionality to optimize your campaign’s performance to an even higher level.