Although paid search still commands the majority of digital advertising spend, online marketers find themselves having to follow consumers through an always-on, multi-channel world. In this highly competitive landscape, the path-to-conversion is anything but linear, and the ways in which consumers engage with brands is gaining complexity. For instance, a customer may have viewed a display banner, clicked on a paid search ad, and was retargeted on Facebook prior to converting on an iPad.
Keep in mind that the click-path above wasn’t even possible three years ago. The degree to which media is fragmented today makes attribution incredibly challenging. So how would an online marketer value each of these touch-points and subsequently develop an effective bidding strategy to maximize performance across their entire marketing program?
This is exactly the problem that Marin Software has solved. Today, we’re excited to announce a partnership with Adometry, a leading attribution company. Through conversion and revenue data integrations, advertisers using this joint solution will be able to:
And because Marin has certified the integration process with Adometry, our mutual clients will be able to take advantage of these industry leading capabilities without incurring any additional costs or disruptions to service.
So there you have it, Adometry + Marin = A win for online marketers.
For many search marketers, identifying opportunities for optimization within paid search campaigns is challenging. Monitoring and maintaining top performing ad groups, keywords, and ads is a standard best practice; but as campaigns grow, keyword lists expand, and creative tests multiply, this approach fails to scale and provide incremental improvements in paid search performance. With so many optimization opportunities hidden in an ocean of data, how can search marketers give the required attention each campaign deserves? Where do you even start?
To help search marketers answer these questions, Marin Software is thrilled to announce our partnership with BoostCTR to offer a free paid search diagnostics tool that not only provides insight into account performance, but also opportunities for optimization. The Account Performance Grader is designed to analyze historical performance across keywords, ads, quality scores, and ad groups for AdWords and Bing Ads campaigns. Simply sign up and enter the required information to receive your customized report.
Among other best practice recommendations, this report will provide actionable insights for pausing poor performing keywords and ads, as well as reveal quality score trends that identify areas where keyword relevance can be improved. With the Account Performance Grader, search marketers can remove the guesswork out of campaign optimization and focus their time on more strategic, high impact tasks.
Sign up here and start optimizing your campaigns today!
Marin Software and TagMan are delighted to announce a new, certified partnership which brings Online Marketers the opportunity to streamline deployment of both tracking solutions and open up a world of best-in-breed attribution, reporting and campaign optimisation.
TagMan is the global leader in tag management, with the industry’s most mature and proven platform for enterprise e-commerce. Since launching the first, independent tag management platform in 2007, TagMan has been helping over 100 customers solve tagging, site performance and attribution-related challenges.
This partnership will allow post-attributed, de-duplicated conversion and revenue data to flow automatically from TagMan into Marin, enabling online marketers to jump-start their day using Marin’s powerful analytics-to-action interface and renowned optimisation tools. Several joint clients have already benefited from the integration and we look forward to many more in the future.
The Marin Customer Spotlight series profiles industry leaders and provides an informed perspective on current topics and trends. Last week, Jeff Ferguson, CEO at Fang Digital Marketing, sat down with us (virtually) to discuss the state of Facebook advertising and the future it holds for online marketers.
Marin: What are your thoughts on Facebook’s recent announcement around their new targeting options (email lists, etc.) using Custom Audiences? How effective do you think this will be in engaging and converting more Facebook users? How do you see businesses using this functionality?
Jeff: I think this is an immensely powerful tool for Facebook advertisers. The ability to reach out to your existing prospect or customer based on another marketing channel, especially one that is designed for social interactions like Facebook, will allow marketers to increase conversion retention, and share of requirements (repeat purchases).
Although one of the examples that Facebook provides for this type of tool, which is running a campaign to get more likes, would usually be seen as a waste in and of itself, in this instance, since you’re trying to get likes from prospects or existing customers, the value of those likes would actually be of some worth. Once that interested audience is within your circle of conversation, you can continue that conversation to close the deal or get them coming back for more.
Marin: Facebook continues to explore additional revenue opportunities – with new audience options, ad types and device targeting – to promote more advertising spend.
Jeff: First and foremost, I know that Facebook is in the business to make money – period. Discussions around how that they should limit their attempts to create revenue for their company and their investors are just not based in reality.
That said, I give major praise to Facebook for not only trying to find the proper balance of revenue generation and user comfort, but doing such without the fear of failing. Unlike many businesses who seem to get stuck in a single design, a single ad format, etc. because it’s working (or worse, “always worked before), Facebook is putting it all out there to find that perfect match of making money, making its customers, that is the advertisers, happy and keeping its users from feeling they are just the vehicle for making Zuck richer.
Jeff: Facebook is still an evolving animal, especially when it comes to its interfaces for its advertisers. Facebook ads were clearly designed with a single, self-serve attitude in mind, which was fine for the smaller advertisers they had when they started, but it’s time for them to grow up and make that interface work for the Enterprise and the Agency. Marin Software allows that type of access for management of bids, ad testing, and much more, and all within the same interface where we manage our paid search campaigns.
Marin: With news feed ads receiving more attention, most recently with the introduction of Facebook’s mobile ad placement, how have you seen advertisers capitalizing on this opportunity and how have you seen users respond? Is there a compromise that needs to be made as more ads are delivered in a limited mobile landscape?
Jeff: I have seen advertisers capitalize on the mobile front, but it’s mostly early adopters. There is a tremendous opportunity on this front for a variety of brands, products, and services, to start that conversation with Facebook’s most active segment, but as usual, it’s usually the little guys and the agencies themselves who put it out there first to see how it could work.
I don’t think there needs to be a compromise as much as a balance, and there is a difference there. The balance should be based on testing both the advertiser’s ability to get their message across to an audience and that audience’s ability to use the product in such a way that keeps them coming back again and again.
Marin is excited to announce our newest certified partner, Flashtalking, an ad serving platform headquartered in London with offices in Continental Europe and the US. As Europe’s largest independent ad server, Flashtalking ensures accurate de-duping across search, social, affiliate and display ads. They also provide path analysis and attribution modeling to ensure full visibility and effectiveness of each channel across advertisers’ campaigns. With this partnership, advertisers and agencies using Flashtalking will be able to easily get their post-attributed, de-duplicated revenue and conversion data into Marin, streamlining deployments and minimizing issues around conversion data consistency.
In the competitive and complex world of online advertising, retailers struggle to keep up with seasonal merchandise and ever-changing product catalogs. Products can go out of stock as quickly as new products get added. As such, marketers need to ensure that they always use the most recent product data when it comes to their paid search campaigns.
While Marin’s Dynamic Campaigns feature can help marketers keep SEM campaigns in sync with their product catalog, many retailers struggle with being able to provide a clean and reliable product feed. Our recent partnership with Mercent, a leading technology company that enables retailers to profitably reach and convert more shoppers online, helps solve this problem.
Mercent has developed a product feed that exactly matches Marin’s specifications. Joint customers can now easily and efficiently deploy inventory-based paid search campaigns using a product feed from Mercent and the Dynamic Campaigns capability from Marin. Along with this partnership, Mercent Performance Services (Mercent’s agency arm) will be using the Marin Software platform to manage search and social campaigns for several Mercent customers.
Cabela leverages Marin Software and Mercent to power inventory-driven paid search
The Marin Customer Spotlight series profiles industry leaders and provides an informed perspective on current topics and trends. Last week, Katie Kieft, Search and Analytics Specialist at Fuor Digital, sat down with us (virtually) to discuss the state of mobile advertising and share a few industry best practices.
Marin: What are your thoughts on the current state of mobile advertising? Do you feel this growing segment of consumers is only available or profitable to a specific set of industries/verticals? What are your thoughts on the disparity between smart phone and tablet performance within the mobile segment? Do they require separate strategies?
Katie: In short, mobile advertising today is nowhere near where it is going to be in 5, even 2, years. One thing for certain, however, is that the slow progression mobile advertising has seen is certainly not from lack of effort. Advertisers continue to innovate, test, explore, measure the new technologies and advertising opportunities that come with this exponentially growing mobile segment. Currently, mobile search seems to have been adopted and proven successful faster than newer mobile advertising channels, possibly due to the ability to apply knowledge and best practices from desktop search to mobile search. The growing mobile segment—smart phones making up over 50% of the US cell phone population and tablets continuing to grow exponentially—is certainly large enough to offer availability/profitability to all industries. In my opinion, what’s more important than industry or vertical when predicting mobile advertising availability/profitability is how well developed a company’s mobile infrastructure is. For instance, a restaurant with a well-designed mobile site will most likely be much more successful with mobile advertising than its counterpart who does not have a mobile site. The user experiences and user behaviors between smart phones and tablets are just as different as they are between desktop and smart phones, so it is no shock that performance is different as well. Just as mobile and desktop strategies should be customized, having separate strategies for smart phone and tablets is definitely something that should be considered, if not done automatically.
Marin: Mobile device (smart phones and tablets) adoption and usage continues to grow with performance comparable to and sometimes surpassing that of desktops. What paid search strategies are you putting in motion to capitalize on this growing opportunity? How has Marin helped you in executing on these strategies?
Katie: The copy feature in Marin has really made duplicating desktop campaign structures to run on smart phone or tablet devices very easy and has been a big time saver. In regards to smart phone advertising specifically, we understand how much more important being in 1st position is, and with Marin’s bid override feature it is possible to bid to position automatically. This feature not only saves time but also has proven effective in improving performance.
Marin: If you could only recommend one mobile paid search best practice, what would it be and why?
Katie: Always separate smart phone and tablet device campaigns. As previously stated, smart phone, tablet, and desktop usage and experience are all unique and require separate strategies. In order to successfully run separate strategies, the campaigns must first be physically separated in the search account by targeted device. Without proper account structure, other mobile best practices will be harder to implement and campaign management will become more difficult, hence the reason I would recommend this best practice over others.
iProspect recently released their Retail Blueprint for 2012. This study highlights their findings from the 2011 holiday season and provides guidance for a successful 2012 online marketing program. Data from over 45 retailers was compiled and analyzed across three time periods: early (November 1 – 23), high (November 23 – December 22) and late (December 23 – January 8). Some of their key findings include:
With these insights, online marketers can start taking steps now to prepare for a successful 2012 holiday season. Creating and separating mobile campaigns, testing creative timing and messaging in the offseason, and integrating social and display programs are just a few initiatives online marketers should consider.
Want to read more holiday 2011 findings with recommendations for a successful 2012? Download the full report at http://www.iprospect.com/our-work/our-thinking