Another year has come and (almost) gone. There’s been tons of great momentum, change, and shifts in the world of digital advertising, and Marin Software was squarely in the eye of the storm! This storm, however, was more of a fun, wild ride than anything requiring an umbrella.
From important acquisitions and partnerships, to new ad types, to the ascendency of mobile, 2015 was truly a landmark year.
We hope your year was as great as ours. Here are some of the greatest hits and highlights, across Marin and digital advertising.
G2 Crowd, more popularly known as a “Yelp for business software,” released its Winter 2016 Cross-Channel Advertising results, and Marin’s on top!
G2 Crowd brings peer reviews to business software. Actual software users can review different products and share insights on marketing, CRM, e-commerce, and other types of solutions. Then, those looking for information on a specific product can use these first-hand reviews to help their software selection process. As anyone who uses Yelp knows, these insider tips are invaluable in making a final, informed purchasing decision.
Vendors were scored based on three ratings:
Marin earned the highest overall G2 score – an average of satisfaction and market presence.
Our customers are truly the key to our success. To raise awareness of G2 Crowd and solicit reviews, we put the word out and entered anyone who completed a review – regardless of what they wrote – into a “schwag bag” drawing. Five lucky winners were picked, and they received Marin-exclusive items including clothing, a gift card, and major bragging rights (schwag brag?).
Here’s Daniel Morris, our Director of Product Marketing, choosing our victors. (Click the image for the “big reveal.”)
Here’s what a few of our reviewers noted:
Love seeing my revenue and profit each morning in 10 seconds
Marin is a true enterprise solution meant to scale SEM programs.
Marin makes it easy to make large scale account changes in a simple and straightforward way via bulk uploads and multiedits.
Other tech companies could take a lesson from Marin’s training.
The support provided by Marin has been the best of any partner that I have ever worked with.
If you’d like to partner with us to increase revenue, grow your audiences, and act on real-time business intelligence,
contact us today.
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.
At EMEA Marin Masters in London on Wednesday, November 4th, we announced seven winners of our inaugural Marin Software EMEA Awards. We presented them with awards during a ceremony that brought together over 200 leading digital marketers and industry innovators to showcase the best examples of ad campaign optimization, audience engagement, and increased revenue.
The key criteria for our jury members included clear strategic thinking, innovation, effectiveness, and tangible results. We were delighted to see a diverse set of industries being represented at this first edition, which will hopefully announce many more. (Already interested in participating in the next one? Contact email@example.com).
This was a great opportunity to hear real-life industry scenarios and smart uses of technology, as well as our customers’ different objectives and the ingenious solutions they use to reach them.
Without keeping you in suspense for too long:
The winners are … [drums rolling]
The industry-respected judges had the difficult decision of awarding the overall Grand Prix trophy to one social and one search winner. The triumphant agencies were:
Mourad Zeggari, Labelium Managing Director, explained how the Tough Mudder social campaign achieved a 126% increase in clicks, 77% reduction in CPC, 29% increase in conversions, a CPA fall of 60%, and over 16m video views: “Tough Mudder’s brand values of teamwork and camaraderie were integrated into our social ad campaign. With Marin Software and a strong and streamlined partnership focused on results, we were able to push the envelope and exceed all expectations. The fact that we increased video views by 16.3 million and saw exponential growth across all indicators clearly demonstrates that optimized social ad programs are a marketing imperative.”
Upon receiving the Search Grand Prix award, Puneet Vaghela, Paid Search Account Director at Manning Gottlieb OMD, presented the agency’s award-winning campaign for Virgin Atlantic. Marin Software’s unique algorithm created a seasonality function that caused Virgin Atlantic’s revenue per booking to increase by 14%, conversion rate to increase by 30%, and overall revenue to increase by 20%.
A big thank you to our esteemed jury!
The evaluations are in and counted – and Marin Live is a resounding success!
Marin Live is our 4-part training webinar series where our search experts teach our customers some of the platform’s best practices, tips, and tricks. Using Marin Live, our customers can take advantage of a convenient, hands-on learning model to get up and running fast. After just three rounds, our series has already trained over 600 customers.
Across all three webinar rounds, we’re rating at 4.5 out of 5 stars. Here are just a few things people are saying:
“These sessions are a great idea and I’m excited to attend more over the next few days!”
“Keep them coming!”
“These have been very helpful so far!”
If you’re a Marin customer and haven’t joined us yet, the final two rounds of 2015 will be held the weeks of November 16th and December 7th.
If you’ve already joined us for Marin Live, thank you for helping make it a success. You can now listen to archives of the previous sessions.
At Marin, we’re constantly innovating to bring you the best solutions possible, and our training program is no exception. If you’re new to Marin and would like to learn more about how we can help you quickly grow audiences and revenue, contact us today.
We held our sixth annual Marin Masters San Francisco on Thursday, October 15th. Marin Masters is unique in that it allows us to bring together our customers and partners in one room to share ideas, talk about the latest digital marketing trends, and network.
Beyond the food and drinks, there was a lot on offer. Here are my top three takeaways from the event and some of my favorite tweets.
One of the new features we were excited to preview at Masters is our version of lookalike targeting. For those of you unfamiliar with Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences, it allows advertisers to find new customers by uploading their own customer data, and having Facebook identify other people who might be similar to your customers.
Marin’s version of lookalike targeting will act much in the same way, but will let you develop these lookalikes using data across search, social, and display. Maximizing the data from your first-party audiences is key to expanding your audiences and, in turn, seeing a high ROI.
It’s easy enough to understand that not everyone is the same, but in this data-driven day and age the keyword has in many ways replaced the customer. Cameron Urry, a customer and speaker from Partner Fusion, suggested we continually ask ourselves the question, “Am I truly customer focused?” Though the days of Mad Men are long behind us, we still need copy and content to resonate at an individual level. Campaigns should be set appropriately to target or reengage, and the customer must be supported in their buying process across search, social, email, website optimization, content, and SEO.
Joseph Corral from Google shared five key moment types digital advertisers need to worry about when addressing consumers:
We had some great tweets happening during the event, and here are a few of my favorite.
— Marin Software (@MarinSoftware) October 15, 2015
— Rachel Eastwood (@EsteMadera32) October 16, 2015
— Michael Louie (@mikelouie) October 16, 2015
— Rachel Lim (@aralim) October 15, 2015
— gia (@nottinbutaig) October 16, 2015
At #marinmasters feeling underdressed. Everyone is in button ups and I'm in a dashboard confessional t shirt oops
— Michael Louie (@mikelouie) October 15, 2015
(Hands down, Dashboard Confessional t-shirts are always welcome at any Marin event.)
According to Time Warner, 65% of people with a smartphone and tablet are likely to use social media while watching TV. From tweeting along during The Voice, to posting game-day Facebook statuses while watching our favorite teams, social media is now a virtual living room.
So what can digital advertisers do to capitalize on these multi-screen habits?
We’re excited to announce TV Sync, a powerful solution that allows advertisers to automatically activate their social ads based on customizable offline events including television flight schedules, live programming, weather changes, or sporting events – all in real-time. By synchronizing social media and TV advertising efforts, marketers can amplify reach and drive consumer engagement across screens.
TY Sync is made possible through Marin’s premier social partnership with TVTY, the leading provider of real-time contextual data. As TVTY’s preferred social advertising platform, Marin can now help advertisers run contextually targeted advertising campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using television signals from over 400 national and local channels, across 25 countries in North America, EMEA, and Australia.
TV Sync unleashes a multitude of possibilities for social advertisers. Consider some examples.
Running TV commercials? Use TV Sync to trigger your social ads immediately as your commercials air, reinforcing the message and increasing your impact with a multi-screen presence.
As soon as your competitor’s commercials appear on TV, counter them by launching social ads in real-time. This is a great way to stay top of mind and boost mindshare.
Trigger your social ads according to weather status or key sporting events for a timely, optimized, and personalized campaign that strikes a chord with your audience. For example, during snow-filled winters, travel advertisers can target users with ads to tropical locations.
TV Sync can help you advertise your auto brand during an episode of Top Gear, or launch social ads for your beauty brand during the red carpet at the Oscars. Aligning your ads with specific programming in this way creates a highly targeted and relevant ad experience.
TV Sync is immediately available for Marin Social customers, and we’ve already seen some exciting use cases and positive results. If you’re interested, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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!
“There are too many options! How do I know where to put my social advertising dollars?”
It’s a common scenario that every marketer faces, but thankfully Instagram has made your decision a lot easier by establishing itself as a clear and effective option.
How did they do that, you ask? They made it easy in three main ways:
Instagram is an easy choice for marketers because it’s proven itself through its authentic, highly engaged, and rapidly growing community. Consider the numbers….
It’s a no-brainer. And not only does Instagram deserve your social advertising dollars, it also deserves your branding dollars. Think outside of specific channels, and consider the function Instagram could serve as part of your overall marketing program.
Getting started with Instagram advertising is simple, thanks to some recent changes. You no longer need to sign an insertion order, and gone are the days of hefty spend minimums.
With the advent of the Instagram Ads API, you can now go through select Facebook Marketing Partners or agencies (like Marin!) to start advertising right away. This means fast onboarding and whatever level of spend you choose.
How about actually managing your Instagram ads? Well, that’s easier than ever, too.
Consider the workflow in Marin Social, where you can manage, measure, optimize, and report on Instagram campaigns alongside Facebook and Twitter. You can also take advantage of advanced features that help you save time, reach the right audiences, gain better insights, and achieve your specific business goals on the network.
Instagram is also making changes to provide advertisers with a fairly seamless workflow. Just last week, they announced support for landscape and portrait formats. This has big implications for using the same creative across Facebook and Instagram, particularly when it comes to video.
Have we inspired you to get started with Instagram advertising yet? Stay tuned for more best practice content to come, let us know if we can help, and good luck!
Do you spend your days creating and optimizing social marketing campaigns? Are you focused on ROI, CPC, CPM, CVR, CPLC, and a million other acronyms? Do you regularly find yourself on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram – all for work?
If so, you could be the 2015 Biggest Social Geek!
We’re looking for somebody who lives and breathes social media advertising. Test your social savvy by challenging yourself to our 20-question quiz, which launches today. You could win an all-expense-paid trip to SocialPro in Las Vegas, plus your choice of an Apple iPad Mini, Xbox One, or Sony PlayStation 4.
Ready to get started? Play Biggest Social Geek now!