Here we go again. The shopping period is already here, and season-crazy advertisers are going where every ad campaign has gone before, but now even more so—online and mobile.
This year’s expected to be even more frenzied—and lucrative—than the last. To help you maneuver through the upcoming spending sprees and plan for a successful holiday season, we dug into the Marin Advertising Index to assess last year’s digital advertising performance and provide tips for Q4 2016. Check out a few of our industry highlights.
When it comes to shopping ads, Q4 and mobile go together like thumbs on a small screen (literally).
Sampling the Marin Global Online Advertising Index, composed of advertisers who invest more than $7 billion in annualized ad spend on the Marin platform, we analyzed data from around the world to create our 2016 Cross-Channel Marketing Report. Our research allowed us to make a few definitive predictions for mobile performance in the 2016 shopping season.
In sum: smartphones rule. For the full results our research, including data on social, text versus product ads, and recommendations for how to stand out during the 2016 holiday season, download The State of Shopping Ads: 2016 Cross-Channel Marketing Report.
Summer. It’s the time of year when I get serious about my binge watching. All of my shows are off the air, and I have precisely two months between the airing of the finale of Game of Thrones (Cleganebowl will be a thing) and Nathan Adrian’s first swim in the Rio Olympics.
But I would never limit my binge watching to just my personal time. I’m always happy to fall down the YouTube rabbit hole at work, and really, so should you with this hit list of Marin’s most popular and highest rated webinars. My colleague Maria shared a fantastic roundup of our best quickie blog reads, but our educational, half-hour to hour-long best practices webcasts are the sort of content you want to chill out with on a long summer workday.
It may not rival your Battlestar Galactica binge watch, but it’s the only one you can get away with at work, so happy viewing, online marketers!
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.
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.
In the first two ‘Going Mobile’ posts we explored how cross-device matching works and how ads are targeted and delivered to those users. In this long overdue post, we’ll go from the theoretical to the practical and go through some best practices for getting the most from your cross-device retargeting campaigns.
This is the basic step that should kick off any marketing campaign. Determine what you want to accomplish. Cross-device retargeting can help you accomplish four general goals:
Creating actionable audience segments is necessary for any retargeting campaign and it’s no different when you’re retargeting users on their mobile devices. When segmenting your audiences, there’s a balance you’ll need to strike with your audience segments – smaller audiences can perform well, but are harder to scale; large, generic audiences can be harder to optimize. For cross-device retargeting campaigns, we’d recommend starting with the following audiences:
If you’ve ever done retargeting, the previous two steps should be pretty familiar already. Step three is where some of the nuances diverge. There are two common mobile ad formats used in-app and across mobile web sites:
Beyond the obvious difference in size, the two ad formats have distinct strengths and weaknesses.
If you want to drive volume, mobile banners are your best bet, as the available inventory vastly outnumbers mobile interstitial inventory. We’ve typically seen the number of available banner impressions outnumber interstitial impressions by 3-5x. Mobile banners are also significantly cheaper than interstitials. Mobile banner CPMs range from $.50-$2.00+, whereas interstitial CPMs range from $3.00-7.00+. On average, interstitial campaign CPMs are about 3-6x higher than mobile banner CPMs.
Of course, price isn’t the only issue. Part of the reason Mobile Interstitial ads cost more is because they enjoy significantly higher engagement rates. On average, interstitial click-through rates (CTRs) are 3-4x higher than banner CTRs. Based on the campaign and creative quality, we’ve even seen interstitial campaigns with CTRs up to 10x higher than average banner CTRs.
The takeaway here is that, as always, there are trade-offs so it’s worthwhile to test different formats to see which best addresses your specific goals. For scenarios where volume is important, or you’re budget constrained, try testing mobile banner ads. If you’re trying to encourage customer action, then interstitials might be the optimal format.
Provide a clear and simple value proposition; create a sense of urgency and include vivid, strong CTAs
Creative optimization for your mobile campaigns goes beyond just repurposing your desktop banner ads. Mobile ads give you a unique chance to make an impression. The key to driving performance is simplicity and directness. You’ll want to ensure your mobile ads offer the following:
I’ve already beaten the drum pretty soundly on why you should be measuring view-through attribution here. If you’re still primarily measuring performance on a last-click model, mobile might be a good opportunity to also try testing a view-through attribution model. Tracking mobile view-throughs can be especially enlightening if your customers are more likely to convert on desktops or if your ad CTAs drive to a desktop-centric action.
Hopefully these recommendations will help you get a head start with your cross-device and mobile retargeting campaigns!
This is a guest post from Florence Broder, Content Manager at AppsFlyer.
As users shift from desktop to mobile, advertisers are serving more ads there. Social networks are being used on mobile more frequently and are creating more mobile advertising programs. At the same time there are social networks arriving late to the game. But what does it all mean for advertisers?
During every mega sporting event or award ceremony, viewers flock to their social networks to share reactions and comments with their friends. One of the most tweeted sporting events was the World Cup game with over 30 million tweets. It was single handedly responsible for doubling Twitter’s revenue in Q2 of 2014 and most of that came from mobile.
If that’s not enough to convince you, on average the most time spent on a mobile device is on social and communication apps. And that’s true no matter what the demographic, as you see from the chart below. Users want to be connected to their friends all the time no matter how old they are.
Given the increased time users are spending on social networks with their mobile device you would think that’s where most advertisers are putting their budgets. However, that’s not the case all. In fact, only 1% of all US advertising spend is on mobile platforms, compared to 43% for TV and 29% for print, according the CMO Council. But they too are getting on the bandwagon and will soon be spending nearly $60 billion by 2017 (see chart below from Statista). However, the 2015 Salesforce State of Marketing Report shows that 66% of marketers believe that social is intertwined with their business. It’s safe to assume it’s probably because most users are also accessing social networks on their mobile device.
And of course that brings us to the social networks themselves. Facebook and Twitter have been in the lead for a while and even have their own mobile measurement partners, completely embracing the nexus of social and mobile.
2014 saw two major social networks, LinkedIn and SnapChat, debut mobile advertising on their app. Unlike Facebook and Twitter where ads appear in user feeds, both LinkedIn and SnapChat ads appear in a user’s inbox. Pinterest is the latest social network to join the mobile bandwagon, announcing a unique partnership with the Apple App Store, allowing users to download apps directly from a pin. App Pins is the latest in Pinterest’s repertoire of rich pins.
Social networks will create more and more opportunities for advertisers to serve ads on mobile. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a promoted pin on my Pinterest board or a sponsored ad in my LinkedIn feed. Social networks will not only respond to this demand but the need for better data and measurement. However, as the opportunities increase so does the competition for a piece of social mobile real estate.
Florence is the Content Manager at AppsFlyer and has been working in the digital marketing space for over 10 years, in both B2C and B2B. She loves all things social and content-related and is thrilled that she can now work in the mobile analytics field, especially after her initial exposure to the mobile landscape at Conduit.
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.
The Super Bowl is one of the biggest sporting events of the year. It’s not just a football game, but also a social event, with people getting together for a Sunday full of eating, chatting and sharing on top of watching the game. With that in mind, it makes sense that Facebook sees a lot of activity during the game, especially on mobile devices as people watch live. So what did this activity look like for Super Bowl XLIX? We took a look at our Marin Global Online Advertising Index to understand how consumers behaved this past Sunday.
When comparing Facebook activity during this past Super Bowl Sunday against prior Sundays in January, we saw some significant boost from that single day. Click-through rates for Facebook ads experienced a 9% lift during the Super Bowl, and cost-per-click experienced an astounding 55% jump, signaling the increased competitiveness during this event. After looking at Facebook conversion rates during the Super Bowl, this increased competitiveness makes sense. Conversion rates on Facebook mobile devices jumped 414% during the Super Bowl alone!
What this means for advertisers is that the Super Bowl is not just a social event offline, but online as well. People sharing and commenting on social media during the event translated into real sales and conversions. Successful marketers managed to leverage this in combination with the second-screen effect to increase brand interest, click-through and ultimately, conversions.
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