Marketing Insights

Archive for ‘Mobile’

Mobile Ads Are Dominating Display Advertising

By November 12th, 2015

In just a year, display has gone from a desktop-based ad channel to a mobile one, showing a dramatically faster shift than either search or social. Not only has the display advertising world seen huge changes this year, but even more changes are anticipated in 2016.

This is indicative of a larger trend in digital advertising as a whole, where consumers are spending more time and attention on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets instead of desktops. In response, advertisers are allocating more and more of their display budget to targeting mobile consumers.

During Q3 2015, consumer engagement with display ads moved very decidedly towards smartphones. Over half of all display ad clicks came from a smartphone, and these ad clicks resulted in the majority of conversions.

eMarketer predicts that, by end of year, 60.5% of display ad budgets will be on a mobile device, and we’re seeing the same trends within Marin. This added consumer attention has translated to heightened innovation in the mobile display ad space. New formats for display ads are coming out on a regular basis, replacing the old banner ads to help encourage more click-through and conversion on mobile display ads.

For more information about the current state of display advertising and forecasts for 2016, download our report, The Q3 2015 Performance Marketer’s Benchmark Report, and check out our industry infographic below.


On the Air and in the Seats: Using Offline Moments to Drive Social Engagement

By November 3rd, 2015

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.

Extend your advertising message across screens

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.

Counter your competitor’s TV commercials

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.

Improve targeting and relevance with weather and sports

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.

Drive engagement during live or scheduled TV programs

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.

Faster Audience Onboarding for Mobile Retargeting with AppsFlyer, Tune, and adjust

By November 2nd, 2015

The next step beyond the app install

Once you’ve driven the app install, what happens next? Retention is a significant challenge for mobile app developers. Reports have shown that over 80% of mobile apps are abandoned within the first week of install.

Reaching those abandoners quickly is essential if you want them to return to your app and give you a second chance. The longer a user is away from your app, the less likely they are to return. Localytics released data showing that 40% of users who don’t return to your app within the first day will never return, and that number increases to 60% if they don’t re-engage within a week.

Faster audience onboarding with AppsFlyer, Tune, and adjust

To help marketers quickly onboard their existing mobile audiences onto the Marin Display platform, we’re excited to add mobile measurement solutions AppsFlyer, Tune, and adjust to our Audience Connect platform. Specifically, customers who’ve integrated either the AppsFlyer, Tune, or adjust SDKs into their mobile apps will be able to sync event data – like first time opens, reaching a certain level, viewing certain screens, etc. – into Marin Display. Then, they’ll be able to instantly build mobile audiences, and retarget those audiences with in-app banner and interstitial ads.

One of the key benefits of these partnerships is it enables you to get in front of your app abandoners immediately, without having to install additional SDKs and waiting to go through the app store review process where you can lose valuable days and weeks.

The Marin Device Graph also automatically matches audiences captured through these third-party SDKs cross-device, allowing you to expand your reach and target your visitors across more channels, devices, and apps.

For more information and documentation about each integration, check out the resources below:

Stand Out Online and on the Shelves: 6 Tips for CPG Brands on Instagram

By October 8th, 2015

After several months of testing and refining, Instagram advertising is now open to businesses of all sizes around the world! To make the most of the opportunity, follow this spotlight blog series for helpful tips specific to your industry or vertical. 


The US consumer packaged goods industry (CPG) is expected to increase digital ad spend to $7.04 billion by 2018. With most of this spend directed toward branding efforts, marketers are always on the lookout for new ways to reach and inform their audience. Instagram presents an excellent opportunity to do just that.

Here are a few tips to help CPG advertisers reach the fastest-growing and most engaged community on any major mobile property today.

1. Start with a clear objective

As you get started with Instagram, it’s important to have clear campaign objectives. Are you trying to tell a story? Do you want to boost awareness? How about driving people to your website, or getting them to install your app? Once you have a clear goal in mind, it’s much easier to align your concepts and creatives accordingly.

2. Drive brand awareness with video

Instagram offers a powerful visual experience with still photos, but you can take your advertising to the next level by adding video. Use it to depict your products in action, highlight the problems they solve, and bring your brand to life. A recent eMarketer study shows CPG brands rank highest for share of digital video ads, and early advertisers on Instagram have seen significant lift in ad recall using this strategy.

3. Offer a fresh perspective on your product

Consumers often have strongly held opinions of CPG brands, which can be tricky to alter. However, Instagram offers a great way to remain true to your brand’s voice while also opening users up to new ideas. Consider yogurt-brand Chobani. To break out of the breakfast rut and encourage users to think of them all day long, they ran ads showcasing their products at snack time and for dessert. Similarly, Philadelphia Cream Cheese found consumers only thought of them around the holidays, so they changed the conversation to highlight how their products can fit in at occasions of all kinds.


Chobani for snack time, and Philadelphia Cream Cheese for all occasions.

4. Think about timing.

Do you offer a product designed to help consumers make dinners fast? Advertise as people are leaving work and wondering what they’re going to cook. Sell a laundry or cleaning product? Reach people on Saturday morning as they head to the grocery store and start their household chores.

5. Don’t hesitate to interact with users

Most people actually feel flattered if a brand interacts with them on Instagram, so monitor your hashtags and respond to the comments. Doing so can help increase engagement and further reinforce your brand personality.

6. Make it worth their while

To add value to your posts or ads, include something extra that consumers will appreciate. This could be a recipe, DIY idea, coupon link, or some other bonus that relates to your product. Nestle Toll House does a great job by providing handy baking guides, lots of recipes, and fun seasonal ideas.



As a relatively new avenue for social advertising, Instagram leaves lots of room for creativity and innovation to surprise and delight users. If you’d like to learn how Marin Software can help advance your Instagram strategy, feel free to get in touch.

The 8 Players in the Programmatic Ecosystem

By July 16th, 2015

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.

8 PPC Campaign Optimizations Brands Should Do Now from US Search Awards Judges

By July 8th, 2015

Each year, the US Search Awards recognizes the best and brightest brands among the world’s leading search and digital agencies and professionals. We compiled advice from eight of this year’s judges on what every brand should do to optimize their PPC campaigns.

This year’s awards will take place at Paris Las Vegas on Wednesday, October 7th. For more information and to enter, visit the US Search Awards website.


Diane Pease

Inbound Marketing Manager, Cisco Systems | @DPease

Monitor Your Extension Performance

With all the hype around ad extensions, we can sometimes get caught up in “extension excitement” – putting site links, callouts, and location extensions on our ads to provide a better user experience. But it’s important to monitor the performance of your extensions, to ensure they’re really working for you in the way you want them to. Create a reminder – and check on a bi-weekly basis. If you have an extension that’s not performing, make adjustments or try removing it. Extensions are a great way to expand your ad, but they need to be monitored.


Matt McGowan

Head of Strategy for America’s Advertising, Google | @Matt_Mcgowan

RLSA. Do it. It amazes me how many clients don’t add the tag to their sites. For free, you can bring together intent, context, and audience to help your business drive sales and leads with great ROI. With remarketing lists for search ads, you can modify bids, ads, and keywords for past site visitors. For example, people visit your sports apparel site to check out available styles, and look at the shoe section of the site. You could add these shoppers to a “Shoe category” list. Then, the next time they search for running shoes on Google you could bid more for them. More here.


Richard Gregory

UK Industry Expert | @Smartrich

You absolutely have to be leveraging Gmail Sponsored Promotions (GSP) these days. At a recent SAScon event, Larry Kim highlighted the low CPCs that early adopters of the format have benefited from. One great tip is to run a campaign targeting Gmail accounts containing newsletters from your competitors, remembering to negative your own keywords to avoid upsetting existing customers.


Jim Banks

Global Head of Biddable Media | @Jimbanks

Anticipate the device your users will be on and have ads that reflect that context. If someone is on mobile, then having the CTA as “Call” or “Tap” will get higher CTR (TTR – Tap Through Rate) than “Click”. Dayparting is now a 168-hour a week function, and device, location, and time of day/day of week will help or hurt more than keyword, bid, or ad.


Lisa Williams

Digital Marketing Strategist, Author, Speaker, Networker, and Columnist; Sustainable Digital Marketing | @SEOPllyAnna

Look at the performance of high-volume, general PPC ads and test the content for titles and meta descriptions. For example, the shipping message “same day shipping” performed better in Paid than the message “fast shipping”. Test the better performing message CTR and conversion to see if you get lift in Organic Search the same way you did in Paid Search.


Matt Umbro

Senior Account Manager, Hanapin Marketing; Founder of #PPCChat | @Matt_Umbro

In order to quickly find keywords that are costing too much and not providing enough (or any) conversions, create an automated rule. I’ll generally create a rule that runs weekly and looks at the last 30 days’ worth of data. I’ll set the rule to identify all keywords that have seen at least 50 clicks and zero conversions. I’ll have these keywords emailed to me so I can choose whether to change my bids, pay particularly close attention to the search queries, and/or pause the keywords all together. You can adjust the filter as you see fit, but this rule helps to easily find poor performing keywords.


John Gagnon

Bing Ads Evangelist | @Jmgagnon

To bid or not to bid? Bid. And, there’s finally concrete data. Bing Ads completed a study measuring the number of clicks a brand received when they were the top organic spot alone, versus the top organic spot plus the top paid ad.

After looking at three million impressions on brand searches for retail during 2014, the study found advertisers saw an incremental 31 clicks for every 100 brand searches when a paid search ad was used in combination with the top organic result. That’s huge!

Only 11 of those clicks would have been received anyways. Adjust your CPA lower by about 18% to account for the overlap – and you have a concrete strategy for bidding on your brand terms.


Jonathan Beeston

Owner, Beetsonomics | @Beeston

If you’re a retailer, then of course you’re running Shopping campaigns. But your campaigns will only be as good as the product or inventory feed that powers them. Spend as much time optimizing your feed as you would any other part of the campaign, making sure you have the right imagery and search-friendly titles. As you can use the feed with Bing Shopping Campaigns (now in beta), Facebook Product Ads, and Google Shopping, the optimization will pay off more than once.

The deadline for submitting an entry to one of the 22 categories in the US Search Awards is the 17th of July, so download the entry form today and you could be a worthy winner at the glittering Las Vegas event in October during Pubcon!

6 Creative Best Practices for Mobile Page Post Ads

By May 27th, 2015

Did you know that nearly 87% of Facebook’s monthly active users visited from mobile devices last quarter? That’s 1.25 billion people. Unsurprisingly, mobile now accounts for 73% of Facebook ad revenue.

As consumers continue their shift to mobile, savvy advertisers are upping their game with captivating mobile Page Post ads. However, there’s always room for improvement, and we’re here with six creative best practices to help you make the most out of this mobile ad type.

1. Limit your ad copy message to a maximum of two lines. This makes your ads easier to read, and improves their effectiveness.
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2. Say more with less. Keep your link names concise. If they get too long, they’ll be truncated and could potentially look sloppy.
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3. Test ads without descriptions or CTA buttons. Mobile means smaller screens and smaller ads, so there’s not a ton of room for copy. Play around with eliminating the CTA or description to get more real estate and achieve a very clean look.
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4. Test out text overlay on your images. According to Facebook’s policies, your ad images can’t include more than 20% text. So don’t go overboard! Instead, opt for brief but larger text to catch more eyeballs as users swipe through their News Feed.
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5. Use camera-aware subjects in your photos. Photos of people looking into the camera make users stop and take notice. Notice the difference between the two ads below. In addition, avoid photos that look too staged or like generic stock photography, as these can come off as corny or inauthentic.
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6. Put it all together. The ad below takes advantages of almost all our tips so far. In addition, it provides a preview of the app so users know what to expect and how the UI will look. If you use this tactic, make sure the type of phone shown matches the type you’re targeting on your ads.
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Bonus tip: Try mobile video ads. More than 75% of global video views on Facebook occur on mobile. Advertisers are already reporting strong results; so, video ad types are definitely worth a try.
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Consumer Behavior Shifts Mobile in Key Verticals

By May 13th, 2015

Advertisers are investing heavily in mobile, and the massive 4.5 billion global mobile users may have something to do with it. Smartphone adoption has reached an all-time high with one-in-four people owning and using a smartphone on a regular basis. Since consumers are spending more time online via mobile devices than desktop, marketers must learn to effectively reach and engage these audiences. Across all channels, smartphones and tablets are playing an ever-more important role in a marketer’s strategy to effectively reach and engage audiences.

In Q1, we looked at three verticals that were particularly affected by shifts in technology and user behaviors causing acceleration in their mobile investments: healthcare, finance, and automotive. There were a few key shifts in advertiser and consumer behavior that led to this increase in mobile spending and attention that is not seen within other verticals.


In the healthcare sector, there were a few key occurrences in 2014 that lead to increased consumer attention towards mobile. Consumer adoption of mobile-connected wearable technology such as fitness trackers or mobile-connected glucose monitors grew as an explosion of fitness and health-related apps entered the market. This inflation was in response to increased consumer demand for always-on health and fitness tracking. Mobile connectivity has also become the norm, with patient-recorded data continuing to gain acceptance among doctors in diagnoses. mHealth (mobile healthcare) is booming. On the industry side, digitization of health records and online cloud-based patient tracking is growing in usage across the industry, with records access via tablet or smartphone, or mobile communication with patients via texts or mobile video. All this marks an increase in consumer usage on their mobile devices to look up and browse healthcare related media. And advertisers have followed suit.


Mobile banking and payment is a key consumer trend within the financial industry. Today, consumers want fast and accessible banking, all done via smartphone. 82% of all financial institutions now offer some form of mobile banking through mobile web or app, and the number of consumers using mobile banking is expected to grow to 1.75 billion within the next 5 years. With many consumers moving away from traditional forms of payment like cash, mobile payment apps have become more attractive options for many mobile users, especially with functions like bill-splitting and tap-to-pay. As consumer adoption of mobile banking and payment continues to increase, marketers can expect greater demand for fast and easy mobile services from financial institutions. Two-thirds of all mobile users have already clicked on an ad for mobile finance or banking at some point, and demand is only growing.


In the automotive industry, mobile adoption has changed the way consumers shop for cars. The ability to easily look up and compare information on a desired vehicle has created a more savvy shopper, using their smartphones at the dealership to compare and research vehicles before they make a purchase decision. With consumers increased usage of smartphones to vehicle-shop, automotive advertisers are competing to capture their attention and expanding their focus on mobile advertising to seize this audience at a time when they are most likely to engage. Additionally, mobile experience has become more important than ever for these companies, with 71% of users having used a mobile app or web to click to enter an automotive website.

While mobile growth is slowing year-over-year, adoption is still increasing. As smartphones become more and more a part of our consumer-based lives, mobile experience and advertising importance will continue to increase. To read more on trends in mobile advertising, check out Marin’s Annual Mobile Report, which is filled with insights on the state of smartphone and tablet advertising over the past year and check out our industry infographic below.

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

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.


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