Archive for ‘Mobile’

Taking Advantage of iBeacons for Advertising

By March 18th, 2015

While there are challenges in adjusting priorities and budgets as users shift from desktop to mobile, one of the benefits is being able to engage users in new environments using new information. One of the most exciting possibilities is the chance to use a mobile device to cross the divide between online advertising and offline action. In our recent Marin Hackathon, one of our teams successfully built a prototype of one fascinating way to bridge online and offline using iBeacons.

If you are not familiar, iBeacons are small bluetooth powered devices that can trigger very precise location information for iOS devices. A typical use case would include placing them around a department store or a car dealership to send alerts to phones giving customers deals or other context about their shopping experience.

We wanted to take this same real world information and use it for advertising. Imagine being able to count someone sidling up to the checkout counter as a conversion. Or we can target someone who strolled by a specific model of car at the dealership with an ad talking about the exact model and this months rebates, encouraging them to purchase today.

In order to make this work, we combined three core pieces of technology. Our Beta Mobile SDK for event tracking, our Cross-Device Targeting, and the Marin Display Real Time Bidding engine, giving us the ability to show a customer an ad on their phone and their desktop – as quickly as 5 seconds after we have seen them in store.

With some hard work on these tools and one very late coffee-fueled night, the team was able to get it working. We brought some iBeacons online and demo’ed the technology, showing live ads based off iBeacon signals on both a users phone and on their desktop. While the iBeacon feature isn’t quite ready for prime time, we continue to work on it and the underlying tech for our Mobile SDK and our Cross Device match so we will be ready when a customer wants to roll this out to hundreds of their stores.

Is that customer you? Get in touch with us at info@marinsoftware.com

About the Author

1537689_10152028777608124_1617972893_oJordan is the Director of Programmatic Technology here at Marin Software. He has been working in the digital marketing space for several years, having co-founded Perfect Audience before its acquisition by Marin Software. He cares most about using interesting technology to build tools that solve problems for users and customers.

A Closer Look At Cross-Device Targeting and Ad Delivery

By February 18th, 2015

In our first post, Going Mobile, we broke down cross-device targeting into two separate components – cross device matching and targeting – and explained how cross-device matching works. In this post, we’ll take a deeper dive into the targeting and ad delivery part of the story.

Let’s go back to a scenario we presented in our previous post. You’ve successfully identified that the user who visited your website from her laptop in a Manhattan office is the same user that played Crossy Road on her phone from a Hoboken coffee shop. Great!

But now what? How do you actually reach her across her different devices with your message? This is where ad exchanges play an essential role in ad delivery once you’ve found that user and the devices they’re on.

If you’re a search marketer, cross-device targeting is probably something you’ve been using for a while now. Google’s Enhanced Campaigns unifies targeting and ad delivery for desktop and mobile devices across Google’s search and display network. It’s just that when you’re trying to target a particular customer across hundreds of thousands of distinct websites and mobile apps, it can feel much more intimidating when you have to go beyond the tidy confines of Google’s ecosystem.

To solve this problem, ad exchanges emerged bringing order and centralization to marketers buying ad inventory across web sites and ad networks. Exchanges fundamentally changed ad buying by enabling display advertisers to target visitors based on audience data and then bid on each ad impression individually in real-time based on what that visitor was worth to them (thus, the “searchification” of display that you’ll often hear referred).

So how exactly do mobile ad exchanges like MoPub and Nexage fit into the story? The mobile advertising opportunity has been exploding recently and already accounts for over 27% of digital ad spend. With the plethora of mobile advertising options – including mobile and tablet apps, as well as mobile website inventory – a number of different mobile-specific ad exchanges like MoPub and Nexage emerged, aggregating the billions of available mobile ad impressions. But not only do mobile exchanges aggregate inventory, they also provide the marketplace for effective targeting and bidding, enabling advertisers, and using a demand-side platform to leverage their existing audience data to find, reach, and deliver ads to the potential customers they’re most interested in reaching.

In our next and final post in this series, we’ll provide some tips and strategies for getting the most from your cross-device campaigns.

Is Your Mobile Search Ready for TV?

By October 9th, 2014

This is a guest post from Jonathan Kagan and Jennie Choi of Results Digital/MARC USA

When one thinks of an “integrated media plan,” search and TV both come to mind (as they should). But all too often, no one remembers to think beyond the surface and realize the impact TV has on search by device.

Television is a quick way to either bump up your brands search traffic or kick it off for the first time (non-brand will be impacted as well, but the growth is rarely at the same level). With a few exceptions, the vast majority of your consumers will first see your TV commercial while sitting on their couch after work/school in the evening, and more than likely, they will have a smartphone – or even a tablet – within arm’s reach. This in turn begins the multi-screen integrated media approach.

Consumer sees TV commercial and is intrigued. Odds are consumer is to tired or lazy to get out their trusty computer, so they will turn to their trusty mobile device, launching an information gathering session based off just two impressions (one from TV and one from search).

Not believing this concept? Well let me enlighten you to a client who launched a branded TV campaign, after having no TV in market at all (comparison of branded search traffic: three before TV launched vs. three with TV):

  • Desktop: +70% visits and +78% unique visitors
  • Tablet: +252% visits and +279% unique visitors
  • Smartphone: +163% visits and 167% unique visitors
  • There was no adjustment made to bidding or budget caps between the two timeframes

Based on data like this, any search marketers must ask themselves, “Have I done everything possible to prep my search program for the onslaught of TV?” If the answer is anything less than “Yes,” then it’s time to rethink your strategy, ASAP.

But have no fear; here are four simple steps you can take to prepare your program for the incremental brand traffic you are likely going to get. Note: If you don’t get any incremental brand traffic, there may be an issue with the TV commercial itself:

  • Coordinated media calendar: Search should know when all TV is flighting; brownie points for time of day and channels.
  • Screen-to-screen consistency: Use taglines or language from the TV commercials in adcopy and on the landing pages; brownie points if you can fit “phone” in the ad (often see higher CTR when “phone” is present in mobile ads).
  • Be mobile ready: Have a mobile friendly website experience, and if not, drive them to do a phone call with click-to-call functionality (i.e. don’t let them see your website).
  • Be visible: TV flights are not the time to scale back on your branded mobile bid modifiers. Prime real estate is limited. All your competitors need to see is that you’re slacking, and next thing you know, you’re losing brand traffic to the competition.

After all is said and done, don’t be surprised if your post-click activity is less than ideal. Mobile is not meant to convert, it is meant to continue an engagement to a point that the consumer is willing to get up and finish the conversion process in a more comfortable environment – like a desktop or in-store.

 

About the Authors

Jonathan Kagan is the Sr Director of Search and Biddable Media at Results Digital/MARC USA. He is a veteran of the search marketing industry for nearly 10 years and was a 2013 winner of Google’s Search Excellence Award. In his time, he has run numerous Fortune 500 clients, as well as built teams with Digitas, Digitas Costa Rica, Mediacom, and Publicis Healthcare. You can often find him speaking at industry conferences or read his articles in the various industry trades. You can follow him on Twitter at: @JonKagan

 

Jennie Choi is the Paid Search Manager at Results Digital/MARC USA. She has 4 years of experience in paid search and social media, including: financial, consumer packaged goods, pharmaceutical, and telecommunications verticals. Jennie brings a diverse portfolio of experiences and skills to her role. When she has spare time, Jennie loves exploring good food and wine. You can follow her on Twitter at: @_JennieChoi

3 Tips For Optimizing Your Mobile Search Ads

By October 2nd, 2014

Mobile advertising is a hot topic these days, but many advertisers are still figuring out how to get the most out of their mobile search ads. As there are many reasons why mobile is the way to go – lower CPCs, growing advertising spend by retailers on mobile, and consumers spending more time than ever on their mobile devices – publishers like Google are taking note and are optimizing their products to help advertisers succeed with their mobile advertising.

On October 15, Google will be rolling out a change to their mobile search ads to improve consumer experience by making it even easier and faster for consumers to find exactly what they’re looking for on the small screen. Instead of showing two lines of text on mobile ads, Google may opt to show only one line of description text and ad extensions in the second line instead. This way, your ads are optimized to present consumers on the go with useful and timely local information that will help to increase engagement and clicks to relevant pages to your site.

In general, here are a few tips to making the most of your mobile ads:

  • Make your ads mobile friendly: As the mobile screen is a smaller screen, make sure you’re dedicating space to relevant messaging that the consumer needs. The same goes for your web site – you don’t want to lose consumers once they’ve clicked on a link to a mobile unfriendly website.
  • Changing consumer search intentions: Consumers that are searching on the go will most likely have different goals than those searching at home. While consumers at home may be comparison-shopping, many times consumers on the go are looking for more local information such as addresses and phone numbers.
  • Incentives are good: Studies have shown that consumers searching on their phones are more likely to act than those browsing on their desktop. Give consumers more reasons to convert with promotions and offers targeted at mobile users.

Anything to add? Feel free to let us know in the comments section below.

New Data Shows 40% of Click-Throughs are Made in the First Position

By September 19th, 2014

Mobile performance has been on everyone’s minds the past few years, and everyone knows that smartphone click-through rates have been trumping desktop and tablet click-through rates for some time. But just how important is ad position for marketers looking to capture the attention of their audience? We took a look at click-through rates by ad position to examine just how important this is. The data we examined consists of a large sample set of all Marin US clients.

By examining click-through rates, we can already see that position #1 for smartphones is much more important than that of desktops. Surprisingly, tablets show a similar trend to smartphones, even though they use the same SERP format as desktops. Upon closer examination, however, we see that smartphone CTR drops off much more rapidly than either desktops or tablets, at an average of 30% per position, versus 22% and 28% respectively.

By looking at the CTR-share by ad position, we can see that almost 40% of click-throughs are made in the first position. This is a third more than on desktop, and 10% more than on tablet. Why does this happen? If we take a look at the differences between the desktop and smartphone format, we find that many times on mobile, only a single ad is displayed on the top of a SERP. Meanwhile, on a desktop SERP, we see three or more ads on the exact same search. Naturally, this means that smartphones will see a much larger percentage of clicks go towards the first result.

Anything to add? Be sure to leave a comment in the comments section below!

Get Ready to Ditch Your Wallets

By September 9th, 2014

In the US, more than 166 million people – 53% of the population – own a smartphone. We carry them with us wherever we go. So, it’s no surprise smartphones are a key target of advertisers and e-commerce providers. The vision of smartphones replacing wallets is just too good to pass up. Case in point, Apple just announced Apple Pay payment solution in conjunction with the iPhone 6 launch.

But just how likely are consumers to use their phones to make purchases outside of a new app or scheduling an Uber pickup? To gauge consumer interest in using smartphones to complete transactions, we thought we’d take a look at the performance of Google Product Listing Ads (PLAs) on smartphones and desktops.

PLAs are unique in that they are predominantly used by retailers to showcase a product; so, we aren’t seeing consumers react to ads for services or information. Also, unless you’re in the market for a new Razor Scooter, odds are you aren’t going to search and click on an ad for one. Consequently, PLAs are a good barometer for getting a pulse on consumer online shopping behavior.

First off, the click-through rate (CTR) of PLAs on smartphones is higher. The gap varies, but more recently in June, 2014 the CTR of smartphones was 33% higher than desktops. This would indicate consumers seem to favor their smartphones for browsing and researching products. Makes sense. For the last few years, the story has been that smartphones are used to research but when it comes time to pulling the trigger, the transaction either takes place on a desktop or in a store. A smartphone is rarely used to complete the transaction.

To answer that question, we looked at the conversion rate of PLAs for smartphones versus desktops. Since these are ads for specific products, the likelihood of a conversion rate for a PLA being a transaction is very high. Desktops still rein king when it comes to completing transactions with a conversion rate 135% higher than smartphones in June; however, what’s interesting is the growth in conversion rate on smartphones.

Year over year, the conversion rate for PLAs on smartphones has increased 120%. But what does this mean? It means consumers are completing more transactions on their smartphones. This is likely due to not only familiarity and comfort with doing so but also retailers and technology providers like Google making the transaction process easier and much more mobile friendly.

Get ready to ditch your wallets.

6 Reasons You Should Pay More Attention to Mobile

By June 11th, 2014

Back in March of this year, we predicted that mobile was on pace to surpass desktop paid search on Google by the end of 2015. Tablet conversion rate has already exceeded that of desktop, and mobile adoption and engagement continues to grow.

The pie charts above, taken from the Marin Global Online Advertising Index at the conclusion of Q1, show that marketers have yet to catch up to the growth of this increasingly important medium. Take the US for example – click share on desktop was only 64%, yet spend share was significantly higher at 73%.

Still trying to get buy-in for greater investment in your mobile programs? Here are some stats you’ll want to know:

  • 93% of people who use mobile research go on to complete a purchase of a product or service. Most of these purchases happen in physical stores. (Source: Google)
  • 55% of consumers using mobile to research want to purchase within the hour. (Source: Nielsen & Google)
  • 86% of US smartphone users say they use their devices as second-screens while watching TV. (Source: Nielsen)
  • The average US consumer spends 34 hours and 17 minutes using browsers/apps on a smartphone per month. (Source: Nielsen)
  • eMarketer predicts that by the end of 2014, 1.76 billion people will own and use smartphones monthly, up more than 25% over 2013. (Source: eMarketer)
  • Facebook ranks as the top mobile app, reaching 74.1% of the app audience in April 2014. (Source: comScore)

As marketers catch on to mobile, there is still some low-hanging fruit. For example, be sure to provide your customers with a good mobile experience. Don’t send them to a brick-and-mortar store if there’s no inventory for the product they’re searching for. Consider whether you’d be better off providing a mobile browser or an in-app experience. And always provide immediately helpful sitelinks.

Looking for more mobile data or best practices? Check out our previous blog post 3 Tips Every Mobile Marketer Should Know, or click over to our Benchmark Report: Mobile Search Advertising Around the Globe.

3 Tips Every Mobile Marketer Should Know

By March 20th, 2014

Now that you’ve had a chance to check out our mobile benchmark report (download here!), it’s time to think about how to use this data to most effectively reach your audience. Best practices for mobile devices differ from those of desktops in a few important ways, so keep that in mind while crafting your strategy. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Pay attention to ad position. While click-through rates for smartphones are higher than click-through rates for desktops, this may be due to how ads are displayed on smartphones. The limited real estate on a smartphone screen allows only a few ads on SERPs, relative to tablet and desktop. This underlines how important ad position is, with click-through rates dropping off sharply after position 2.
  • Create a cohesive mobile experience. In addition to improving conversion and return rates, a cohesive mobile experience can also affect ad cost and ad position – crucial metrics for online marketers. To create a positive mobile experience, make sure you have mobile-optimized landing pages and conversion paths that work well on smartphones and tablets. This means formatting the page to fit and read properly on a small screen, and addressing the difference in input.
  • Make it easy for people to convert. It’s also important to take conversion paths into account when developing mobile advertising. Ideally, you should make it as easy to convert as possible. For example, consider discarding long-form fills on your mobile site, and replacing them with click-to-call buttons or a store-locator option.

With mobile adoption growing by the day across the globe, it has become critical for marketers to keep pace and leverage this consumer behavior. The potential gains are huge, and the market is only getting bigger.

mobile search advertising in the us

Download the full report for more detail.

Benchmark Report: Mobile Search Advertising Around the Globe

By March 19th, 2014

Our much anticipated mobile benchmark report is here, packed full of data and graphs that illuminate the mobile search landscape. Make sure to download your full copy of Mobile Search Advertising Across the Globe: 2014 Annual Report.

mobile search advertising by country

Download the full report to see data for 13 countries/regions.

The report show that as consumer adoption of mobile devices has been increasing at a blistering speed, digital advertisers have matched the momentum, moving ad spend onto mobile devices to take advantage of this new channel. With mobile devices already accounting for over one third of all paid-search clicks, it’s clear why everyone has their eye on smartphone and tablet advertising. Smart allocation of ad spend on mobile will help advertisers stay ahead of the competition, as the landscape morphs into a more interconnected, mobile consumer-base.

In 2013, we saw US mobile click share break the one third mark with spend share close behind. Smartphones make up the majority of the mobile clicks and spend, emphasizing the widespread adoption of smartphones and increased ad integration within these devices.  In addition, smartphones and tablets have comparable click-through rates compared to desktops, while mobile cost per click remains lower than that of desktops. This means that performance has caught up, but competition on mobile isn’t full-blown yet.

Our data shows similar trends across the world, with mobile click and spend share growing at a remarkable pace. In some regions, mobile advertising is growing even faster than in the US. Across Europe, mobile device adoption has led spend share to nearly double in the last year, and click-through rates have shot above that of desktops. This is a strong indicator of the emerging value mobile devices hold for performance advertisers.

The pace of worldwide mobile adoption has changed the digital marketing paradigm on a global scale. With smartphones and desktops adding another layer of complexity on top of the conventional desktop model, advertisers have more opportunity to reach their audience than ever before. To learn about the opportunity to expand into new markets, or simply to benchmark your own campaigns, make sure to download the full report here.

Retailers Invest in Mobile for Big Results to Reach 2013 Holiday Shoppers

By December 5th, 2013

Marin Software, mobile, SEM, PPC, online advertising, paid search

Based on our analysis of retailers’ search ad performance on Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, ad spend, impressions and clicks reached all-time highs, signaling consumers were quite active this last week hunting for the perfect gift at the perfect price

Lasting Impressions

While desktops still captured the lion’s share of impressions, smartphone impressions increased 140% and tablet impressions rose 84%. Smartphones grabbed their highest share of impressions on Thanksgiving Day, hinting that indeed consumers were likely sneaking a peak at their phones while waiting for pumpkin pie or waiting in line for early deals.

Impressions on desktops hit a high on Cyber Monday, probably as consumers returned to work and “multi-tasked.”

Mobile Clicking with Consumers

Click share across devices tell a similar story. Clicks on smartphones increased 68% and tablets 42%, with smartphones capturing 10% more clicks than their tablet counterparts.  On Thanksgiving Day, smartphones grabbed 20% of clicks, tablets 17% and desktops 63%. When consumers returned to work on Cyber Monday, the share of clicks on desktops increased, capturing 74% of total clicks. Tablets and smartphones were split at 13% apiece on Cyber Monday.

Retailers Spending to Win

Spend overall was up 27%, but with mobile usage on the rise, especially when shopping in-store and on-the-go, retailers increased their investment in mobile-based ads compared to last year. For the three shopping days, spend on smartphones was up 93% and on tablets 64%.  Cyber Monday saw the biggest bump in spend across devices, with retailers increasing spend on smartphones 123%, tablets 77% and desktops 24% compared to Cyber Monday 2012.

The fluctuation in performance across devices and each holiday underscores the impact of a multi-device world on retail advertisers. As consumers take their shopping sessions across devices, advertiser need to ensure they have a presence on each, take into account the differences in consumer behavior on each device, and optimize their campaigns for each form factor to drive more revenue throughout the busy holiday season.

The Marin Global Online Advertising Index is comprised of data from hundreds of large-scale advertisers and agencies that collectively invest more than $5 billion in annualized spend through the Marin platform.  The data analyzed by Marin for this snapshot reflects a subset of Marin’s direct and agency clients managing active advertising programs for the retail vertical from 11/26/13 through 12/02/13. All data is accurate as of December 2nd, 2013, but subject to change.

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