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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
2. Say more with less. Keep your link names concise. If they get too long, they’ll be truncated and could potentially look sloppy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com
Jordan 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.
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.
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):
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:
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.
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
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:
Anything to add? Feel free to let us know in the comments section below.
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!
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.