Understanding Programmatic Advertising

Technology is growing in a revolutionary rate. Advertising, in an effort to stay with the times, is similarly growing and transforming to fit the needs of our increasingly mobile and tech-based consumerist culture. In order to increase efficiency, one of the most revolutionary trends in advertising is automated, or programmatic, buying.

In a nutshell, programmatic advertising involves a software which optimizes ad bidding and hyper-targets consumer audiences so that your advertising reaches consumers most likely to respond to your brand. Programmatic advertising matters due to the efficiency of the approach; Advertisers no longer need human ad buyers and salespeople to contract an advertising deal. Instead, they can produce an advertising outreach in a fraction of the time with higher reliability due to algorithmic processing by programmatic buying software. This therefore allows for more sophisticated, customized campaigns marketed directly to a target audience, thus positively affecting ROI results as well.

The current conversations around programmatic advertising discuss the approach as the “future of ad buying.” Is it true? We believe so, yes. While it is impossible to tell the future, programmatic advertising has reaped such tangible results that more and more users look towards programmatic buying for their brand. Some brands have even built in-house teams to optimize their own use of programmatic advertising buys for their company as part of their marketing budgets. With social networks gaining presence in the lives of brand consumers, companies are turning to platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Twitter to sell ads across the web and beyond the limitations of their personal platforms, with programmatic decision-making software at the core of these advertising outreaches.

At the end of the day, programmatic advertising is good for viewability in that it effectively reaches target audiences through algorithmic means to bring in positive results for a brand.  While it is important to avoid fraud and URL masking, where a buyer has no idea where their ads will actually end up, done right programmatic advertising is one of the most revolutionary approaches for marketing and advertising in today’s world. Programmatic advertising is on the rise, and we certainly don’t expect it to slow down.

What Pokemon Go Has to do with Advertising

The immersion of augmented reality into the daily lives of consumers can be split into two – before and after Pokemon Go.

Before Pokemon Go, augmented reality becoming widely accepted was just a dream of advertisers. Today the idea of incorporating digital elements (like cute and fuzzy Pokemons) through our hand held devices and seeing them in our real world is exciting and new and most importantly, accepted by mainstream consumers.

Already in 2008 the first augmented reality was launched, however it wasn’t until 2011 when advertising powerhouses such as Disney and Toyota tried to integrate augmented reality into their advertisements. No matter who the brand, what the product, or how cool the ad, augmented reality just didn’t pick up with mainstream consumers.

All that changed this past month when Niantic unveiled Pokemon Go with unexpectedly little buzz. Despite the lack of pomp and glory, Pokemon Go has quickly become one of the most viral sensations of the summer, taking people out of their homes and into the streets to capture as many Pokemons as they can. In becoming a viral sensation and altering the augmented reality learning curve, Pokemon Go has single-handedly changed the safe of augmented reality, and in doing so, changed the future of advertising for years to come.

With Pokemon Go, Niantic has created an instant desire by consumers to intertwine what they see through their screen with what they see in real life – an act that augmented and virtual reality giants like Oculus and Samsung have tried to do for several years with the launch of their augmented reality lenses.

By bringing augmented reality to the mainstream consumer, Pokemon Go bypassed the need to purchase pricey augmented reality gear and gave the average consumer the chance to try and love this new technology. By simplifying the access and reducing the price barrier, Niantic has given digital advertisers rekindled hope that their dream of augmented reality integrated campaigns can become a reality sooner rather than later.

The result of the widespread acceptance of the augmented reality offered by Pokemon go will likely increase the availability of games that utilize mobile cameras as well as open up the digital advertising world to unlimited possibilities. Instead of struggling to take online ads to an offline location, advertisers will now be able to be a part of the journey consumers take from the moment they see an ad in the comforts of their own home, and all the way until they complete a purchase or visit a storefront.

 

Why You Care about Competitor Campaigns

You know the saying “tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are”? Well, in business its ‘tell me what your competitors are doing and I’ll tell you how to do it better.”

Before online marketing soared in popularity, marketers relied on television and newspapers and chance to understand what their competitors were doing and examine the market in which they were operating. Today, powerful tools (such as our very own AdClarity) have been created in order to help marketers understand their competitors and examine their campaigns.

So why do those tools matter?

Examining competitor campaigns is a fundamental step for companies looking to expand their audience and improve the efficiency of their campaigns. Keeping up with competitor campaigns does more than remind you who they are  – it can help marketers improve their own campaigns.

By examining successful and failed campaigns of competitors, marketers can understand the CTA’s that drove consumers to act as well as asses if the campaign released was relevant to the audience at the time and places where it was released.  Examining higher converting campaigns can also help marketers determine a publication strategy and decide which publishing channels to chose over others.

For example, if your key competitor spends ¾ of their budget on a certain publisher consistently, you can assume that publisher is working and should consider shifting your budget to that publisher. If, on the other hand, a visually appealing and enticing offer was pulled quickly from another mediator, one can determine that the target audience did not respond to that message.

Validate What you Have and Work on What You Don’t

Understanding your competitor campaigns can help you understand whether your content is in line with what your consumers are expecting, and also help you recognize what content or campaigns you are missing in order to compete on the same level as your competition.

If for example your competitors have campaigns with a particular message or targeting a particular niche audience and you do not, examine if that offer is worthwhile and perhaps consider creating one to use on future campaigns.

Overall, understanding competitor campaigns can help marketers gain additional insight into the space they are working in as well as learn from the mistakes of others (and thus reduce ROI by not making those mistakes yourself).

Examining competitor campaigns is also a great way to get inspiration for future campaigns that will crush competition and help establish your company as the benchmark for your industry.

 

Transparency in Programmatic – Do we need it?

Programmatic buying: you’ve heard the term, you know its trendy, but you don’t know what it is, and you certainly don’t know why it needs to be (even though you know transparency is always important).

We’re here to help you understand programmatic buying and the importance of transparency when automating media buys.

Programmatic buying is simply the shift companies are taking from manually managing media buys to automating the whole process.

As automation tools are integrated into media buys, companies are able to optimize campaigns immediately and without human involvement, based solely on aggregated data that is analyzed and optimized based on the real time results. Programmatic buying is heavily based on tracking cookies, making the mobile world slightly unfazed by this trend due to tracking limitations on mobile

If you’re thinking about the Faceook Ads API or the Google Display Network, you’re on the right track. These tools, and many others, let companies enjoy automated optimization with the belief that the multi-sourced data signaling by the programmatic buying tool will save the company money in the long run.

According to eMarketer, programmatic buying accounts for $14.88 billion of the total money spend on digital advertising (approximately $58.6 billion) and based on the fact that an increase of almost 50% was seen from 2014 to 2015, experts anticipate the reliance on programmatic advertising to increase in 2016.

So why is transparency important?

While programmatic buying enables advertisers to hypertarget their audience based on additional information collected about them, the dependency on automated processes has led many to have a false sense of trust. Advertisers as a result are often forced to pay higher CPM rates due to the inflated inventory value by the publisher and the unknown fees tacked on.

This means an advertiser could purchase ad space with a quoted value of $8 CPM without knowledge of how this valuation was achieved or, what the publisher’s value of the CPM is or, even worse, without knowing what intermediary commissions and fees the publishers bundled into the CPM price

Creating a more transparent bidding process for programmatic buying involves true transparency on where the advertisements will be placed (direct URL’s), who the intended audience is, how valuation is achieved and what commission is added on to the overall media buying fee.

How to gain this transparency    

Using digital ad intelligence solutions such as AdClarity will help you gain the transparency you need to optimize your digital advertising strategies. For example, AdClarity can give you an overview of the digital advertising trends within any industry you are interested in. Additionally, it can provide you with the most granular details for each individual campaign, including its deployment chain of ad platforms, creatives, total impressions, total ad spend, and more.

About AdClarity

AdClarity is an Ad Intelligence tool which provides online marketers with actionable insights about their competitors’ advertising activities. Driven by big data and proprietary behavioral content discovery technology, AdClarity unveils brands’ campaigns, ad creatives, impressions, and spend data across multiple channels, including Display, Mobile Web, Mobile Apps and Video. Data is collected across 20 geographies and covers over 50M URLs daily while discovering over 40K new campaigns every day. The AdClarity product suite is used by over 7,000 media and advertising professionals globally in Fortune 500 Brands, Agencies, Ad Networks, and Publishers.

Get a LIVE DEMO of AdClarity.

Digital Marketing in 2015: Predictive Marketing

The entire purpose of collecting, aggregating, monitoring, tracking, and analyzing customer data is to have a better understanding of the customer. Don’t underestimate the purpose, it is far more complex and influential than you could possibly imagine. Understanding customer behavior is the key to making data-informed business decisions through predictive analytics.

In the previous post we talked about using data analysis to figure out trends and relationships between variables in order to make an extrapolation based on existing historical data. In layman’s terms, we want to use the data we already have to see what works, what doesn’t, and most importantly, what is going to happen. To give an extreme example, in a world where data-based rationale takes precedence over natural human tendencies (emotions, impulsivity, etc.), you would be able to predict who your best customers would be, how you could effectually reach them… in short, you would be able to precisely plan your marketing strategies in order to reach your KPIs without any surplus or deficiency in any resources.

And although humans aren’t built to be completely predictable, they do leave behind enough data to allow us to make rationale and logical assumptions about their behavior- past, present, and future.

Predictive marketing isn’t predictive analytics. It’s an amalgamation of predictive and explanatory modeling, a type of analysis which requires you to understand, explain, and intervene in the prediction.

Predictive marketing is about understanding the customer and knowing what to give to them before they know they even want it. It is the cornerstone to marketing orchestration, which Forrester describes as “an approach to marketing that focuses not on delivering standalone campaigns, but instead on optimizing a set of related cross-channel interactions that, when added together, make up an individualized customer experience.”[1]

Orchestration is all about breaking down data silos in order to get a holistic perspective of the customer in order to optimize their buyer journey.

Make Sense of Your Data

Data can be everything and nothing at the same time, so it’s important you know what to look for.

Main Types of Customer Data:

To truly understand the relationship between the customer and brand, marketers must acquire three types of data: demographic, behavioral, and psychographic.

Demographic Data

Probably the most common and basic form of customer data, demographic data is comprised of basic information such as name, job title, email, etc. derived from forms, marketing automation programs, CRM, 3rd party data sources, and so forth.

Behavioral Data

This data is based on the interactions between the customer and your brand or product. Some examples would include email engagement, website/page visits, content download, browsing and purchase history, device usage, and so forth. Understanding customer behavior patterns can help you predict what interests or behavior will lead to what needs or actions.

Psychographic Data

Whereas demographic data defines the “who,” psychographic data focuses on the “why.” This data includes a customer’s interests, values, hobbies, opinions, and habits and helps marketers understand how a customer interacts and reacts to the world. By understanding their interests and personality traits, marketers can target them with material that triggers a positive action such as a sale or engagement.

Questioning the Accuracy:

As important as the data is figuring out how to leverage it.

Sample Size

A large and sufficient sample size is imperative to obtaining information that is as accurate as possible. The smaller the sample size, the less reliable the information is because of the higher margin of error and lower confidence level.

A quick way to figure out a satisfactory sample size (for a large or unknown population) is through some quick calculations.

Sufficient Sample Size = (Z-score)² * StdDev*(1-StdDev) / (margin of error)²

Confidence Interval

You always need to expect a level of uncertainty or degree of error when it comes to any statistical analysis. However, you can control the amount of error in your analysis through deciding on the confidence interval; the higher the level of confidence, the lower the likelihood that the findings were due to random chance.

Choosing the Right Model

The statistical model you choose must be fitted to the level of correlation between the output and independent variables and the known historical data. Most likely, you will end up using a type of regression model.

Conclusion

Predictive marketing is going to redefine the future of marketing. It is the only way that marketers will be able to accomplish the end goal of modern marketing: to provide customers with the most personalized, relevant, and grand experience throughout their buyer journey. We live in an era where data is like a precious stone. And luckily for us, it’s extremely abundant. However, like a diamond, the value of data increases only when it has been manipulated to be in a state of precision. And still, as fine as the data is, it is still worthless until it becomes information. What we do with the information is where the value lies.

 

About AdClarity

AdClarity is a Marketing Intelligence tool which provides online marketers with actionable insights about their competitors’ advertising activities. Driven by big data and proprietary behavioral content discovery technology, AdClarity unveils brands’ campaigns, ad creatives, impressions, and spend data across multiple channels, including Display, Mobile Web, Mobile Apps and Video. Data is collected across 20 geographies and covers over 50M URLs daily while discovering over 40K new campaigns every day. The AdClarity product suite is used by over 7,000 media and advertising professionals globally in Fortune 500 Brands, Agencies, Ad Networks, and Publishers.

 

[1] http://www.cmswire.com/cms/customer-experience/forrester-marketing-orchestration-instead-of-big-gun-campaigns-022944.php

 

Digital Marketing in 2015: y≠ax+b

Over and over again it has been repeated that today’s marketing teams and brands must be customer focused in order to deliver an optimal customer experience. But what does it mean to be customer-centric? And how can brands actually create a marketing strategy based on the needs, actions, and expectations of their customers?

At the risk of being repetitive, a good customer experience derives from having positive interactions between the customer and brand. And an interaction is the output, or dependent variable, between two or more independent variables, which in this case are the brand and the customer. The customer comes into the equation with a purpose to accomplish something, whether it be a purchase, trying to find a solution to an issue, general knowledge, and so forth. The brand must be able to respond to the customer’s request immediately by providing the relevant information. If the brand succeeds in doing so, then it has been a successful interaction and positive customer experience. The challenge is figuring out what the customer needs ahead of time. And the only way to do this is by understanding the customer’s journey.

The Buyer Journey

Although we have established that the funnel is dead and that the buyer journey is non-linear, we can’t argue the fact that the buying customer will always go through the three main stages: Awareness, Consideration, and Purchase. How? Because no matter how sporadic their interactions are with the brand (entering the buyer journey mid-way, regressing buyer journey, jumping from place to place in buyer journey), they always start and end at the same point.

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Each stage serves a different purpose for the customer and the combination of all these stages, from start to finish, are what create the buyer journey.

And as stated previously, the purpose or end goal of each one of these stages is to provide a positive interaction between the brand and the customer, which means that the brand must be able to give the customer what he or she needs as soon as they make a move. The issue is figuring out what move they are going to make, and in this case, a move is the equivalent of asking a question to find out more information on behalf of the customer. In short, the brand needs to know what questions the customer is going to ask before the customer does depending on what stage they are in in their buyer journey. Once the brand understands the customer’s incentive, it will be able to assist them with clear, relevant, and precise answers to any questions they may have.

So really, at its most basic, the buyer journey is comprised of a list of questions the customer will have at any given stage. And the brand’s responsibility is to figure out what those questions are, what the answers are, and how to deliver the message in a convenient and clear manner to the customer.

Touchpoints

Imagine you are planning a cross-country road trip. There are three major decisions you must make before you leave for it.

  • You must figure out a basic layout of the places you want to visit.
  • What you want to accomplish, see, or do at each place.
  • What route you will take to get to each site.

The basic layout of the places you want to visit represents the buyer journey. It is a very high overview of your journey and marks each spot you plan to visit before reaching to your final destination. What you want to accomplish at each spot is the interaction. It involves having a specific need that must be satisfied at a specific time and place. This interaction, exactly like the one described in the opening paragraphs, represents the touchpoint. The final decision involving the routes represents the channel you will be using to reach those touchpoints.

The touchpoint is the interaction between the customer and brand (both directly and indirectly), based on the needs of the customer.

touchpoint

And because the touchpoint plays such a large role in defining the relationship between the customer and brand, brands MUST know what the needs and expectations are of their customers. There is no orthodox method of uncovering what a customer’s needs are and how a brand should deliver it to them. Rather, brands must create a strategy that is comprised of seven steps to ensure they achieve a holistic perspective of their customers.

1) Understand what information should be supplied at the difference stages of the buyer journey

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2) Integrate all your data sources

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3) Use data analytics to see which variables and customer segments drive the most sales
equation

 

4) Adapt offers, pricing, and messaging according to customer segment

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5) Take the most impactful variables and use them for predictive analytics to make the best educated assumptions about future conversions

extrapolation

6) Track, monitor, and analyze how customers access their information to determine which channel will bring in the best results

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source: http://davidmlane.com/SPSS/correlation.html

7) Get as much customer data as possible to continue improving marketing for product and services

Digital Marketing Channels

In order to have enough data to fulfill some of the equations in the previous section, you must already have some data in your system which includes a majority of the variables such as digital marketing channels.

A channel is the medium in which a brand communicates with a customer.

There are a plethora of marketing channels available to marketers, but depending on the brand and its goal, certain channels may be more relevant than others. No one can predict which channel is going to work the best without some trial and error, and that’s where the imperative need for data comes in. By tracking and measuring the results from your different marketing channels, you can plug the data into the equations to figure out what works best and what you should be spending most of your resources on.

Conclusion

The buyer journey may seem unpredictable, but with a little patience and data analytics you are sure to find a pattern amongst your customers. No matter where they start in their buyer journey, there is always a solution to providing them with valuable content and information that can push them towards a purchase.

It is vital for marketers to track and monitor their customer’s movements and interactions with the brand as much as possible in order to see which variables bring in the best results. These variables could include channels, segments of the population, content, and so forth.

But once you are able to gather your data and put it to good use, you will be able to understand and potentially predict what your customer is going to want before they know it. And that is the key to building a long-lasting customer relationship.

 

 

About AdClarity

AdClarity is a Marketing Intelligence tool which provides online marketers with actionable insights about their competitors’ advertising activities. Driven by big data and proprietary behavioral content discovery technology, AdClarity unveils brands’ campaigns, ad creatives, impressions, and spend data across multiple channels, including Display, Mobile Web, Mobile Apps and Video. Data is collected across 20 geographies and covers over 50M URLs daily while discovering over 40K new campaigns every day. The AdClarity product suite is used by over 7,000 media and advertising professionals globally in Fortune 500 Brands, Agencies, Ad Networks, and Publishers.

 

Request a guided tour of AdClarity.

Digital Marketing in 2015: Omni-Channel Marketing

When it comes to omni-channel marketing, the argument that the customer is king is more powerful than ever. Why? Because omni-channel marketing embraces the customers and their needs.

What is Omni-Channel?

Omni-channel marketing requires CMOs to provide their customers with a truly seamless and integrated purchasing experience, no matter what device the customer is using or where they are located.  The customer must be in constant dialogue with the Brand, not the channel. To emphasize, the experience for the buyer must be synchronized regardless if they are on mobile, desktop, in-store, on the phone, or on their laptop. Each campaign or piece of content targeted at the customer must be in line with their status in the purchasing funnel, and interactions with the Brand should not be repeated. The Brand must have a singular and unified view of their customer. And this requires marketers to take all the fragmented big data they have meld it together in order to have a holistic perspective for each and every customer.

The Cycle

The entire concept of omni-channel rests on the purpose of delivering an exceptional customer experience. Once this customer experience has been delivered, a relationship arises between the customer and Brand, where the customer begins to grow loyalty and trust towards the Brand. This feeling breaks down a lot of the barriers brands often face in acquiring customer data. And once the Brand has access to the data, they can use it to better market their products and services and therefore provide a better customer experience…which leads to more loyalty and trust on the customer’s behalf.

omni1

At the end of the day, brands must realize that bettering their customer experience is the secret ingredient to boosting their business and sales.

According to a recent study done by the Temkin Group, a modest increase in customer experience at a typical $1 billion company can help it earn an addition $272 to $462 million in revenues over three years.[1]  How?

  • There is a correlation between customer loyalty and repurchasing, with a high Pearson Correlation coefficient of .83.
  • Supermarkets generated more than $100 million in additional revenue over three years just by word of mouth as a result of the improved customer experience.[2]

The Process

Data acquisition is the most important component necessary to deliver a premium customer experience. However, acquiring useful data is the main barrier most brands face due to the privacy and security issues customers are facing when it comes to providing their personal information.

A recent study done by Intel[3] showed how omni-channel technology improved a brand’s ability to collect customer data and measure its results, the two major parameters vital to determining ROI and strengthening the marketing strategy as a whole. And this makes perfectly good sense as the more personalized data a brand can collect, the better they can market their products and services (Step 5 in the cycle).

Just as omni-channel promises the customer a singular view of the retailer, it provides the retailer with an entire comprehensive overview of the customer and their shopping experience.[4]

omni

Omni-channel doesn’t just benefit the customer; it arms the brand with the knowledge and data it needs to optimize all dialogue and interactions they are having with the customer. The customer may be moving from device to device or from online to in-store, but omni-channel enables for their preferences and activities to travel with them no matter where they go or when they go. And even before the dialogue between the brand and the customer begins, the brand is armed with information that enables them to target the customer with exactly what they need, eliminating any friction the customer may have faced otherwise. This data goes beyond just the pre-sale necessity; it also allows brands to have the tools they need to offer a consistent and compelling customer experience during and after their purchase.

 

About AdClarity

AdClarity is a Marketing Intelligence tool which provides online marketers with actionable insights about their competitors’ advertising activities. Driven by big data and proprietary behavioral content discovery technology, AdClarity unveils brands’ campaigns, ad creatives, impressions, and spend data across multiple channels, including Display, Mobile Web, Mobile Apps and Video. Data is collected across 20 geographies and covers over 50M URLs daily while discovering over 40K new campaigns every day. The AdClarity product suite is used by over 7,000 media and advertising professionals globally in Fortune 500 Brands, Agencies, Ad Networks, and Publishers.

 

Request a guided tour of AdClarity.

 

[1] Temkin Group Q4 2014 Consumer Benchmark Survey

[2] http://www.dmnews.com/the-roi-of-customer-experience-who-cares/article/374873/

[3] http://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/solution-briefs/omni-channel-tech-gives-retail-marketers-new-edge-brief.pdf

[4] http://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/solution-briefs/omni-channel-tech-gives-retail-marketers-new-edge-brief.pdf

Digital Marketing in 2015: Hyper-Personalization with Display Ads

Customers are no longer apathetic about their digital purchasing experience; they want it to be personalized and relevant. They are running the game now and marketers must play according to their terms and rules. Personalization is about being relevant at the right place and time to the right person- and the last thing that matters is you.

For marketers, the challenge with creating hyper-personalized content or campaigns is gaining the actionable insights they need quickly and efficiently in order to target their customers with personalized messages and offers. This type of engagement is what creates a good customer experience and customer loyalty. Marketers may think they know where to approach prospects or how to approach them, but without the right Marketing Intelligence tools, marketers are left in a constant stage of assumption, especially when it comes to display advertising.

Personalized display ads do in fact work, but they must be delivered at the right time of the customer’s buying process. Showing an end-of-the funnel ad to a customer who is only at the beginning of their buyer journey is not effective and is a waste of ad spend.

AdClarity Marketing Intelligence

Use Case 1: Knowing which creatives and publishers work in different stages of the funnel

Depending on what stage of the buyer journey the customer is in, it is vital that your display ads and campaigns compliment their behavior. For example, you aren’t going to give a reader who has never heard of your company the same message as someone who is already in the decision-making stage. By discovering which publishers your competitors are using, you can identify the stages based on the creatives they are delivering on each site. This will allow for you to understand which types of creatives and messages you should be delivering on your own spectrum of sites.

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Pic3Use Case 2: Discovering which publishers are most relevant

In addition to knowing which publishers are associated with different stages of the buyer journey, you can also discover which publishers are most successful for your competitors. Not only does this enable you to know where you should be advertising your own ads, but you can get an idea of who you should be working with in ways other than display: partnerships, collaboration, sponsorships, newsletters, guest blogging, and so forth. If you know which sites are bringing in good results for your competitors, you know that they are targeting your audience and that your information will be useful to them. Additionally, by using the previous example, you can also understand what type of content you should be promoting on those sites.

Conclusion

The whole purpose of hyper-personalization is to develop a relationship with a customer, and this takes time. In most cases, no one is going to propose on the first date; they need to develop trust and take the time to get to know one another. This is no different than the kind of relationship between brands and customers.

Giving your customers a personalized brand experience is not an impossible task, if your brand is using the right tools. With Marketing Intelligence, brands can gain the actionable insights they need to better their display ad strategies and make them more effective.

 

 

About AdClarity

AdClarity is a Marketing Intelligence tool which provides online marketers with actionable insights about their competitors’ advertising activities. Driven by big data and proprietary behavioral content discovery technology, AdClarity unveils brands’ campaigns, ad creatives, impressions, and spend data across multiple channels, including Display, Mobile Web, Mobile Apps and Video. Data is collected across 20 geographies and covers over 50M URLs daily while discovering over 40K new campaigns every day. The AdClarity product suite is used by over 7,000 media and advertising professionals globally in Fortune 500 Brands, Agencies, Ad Networks, and Publishers.

 

Request a guided tour of AdClarity.

 

Digital Marketing in 2015: Contemplating Content & Native

There is no question that content is one of the most important aspects of any marketing strategy for any type of company. As noted in the previous chapter, customers want to consume valuable and relevant information that will fulfill their needs, whether it be just acquiring information about a general topic or trying to understand why they need a certain product or service. It is crucial for marketing teams to develop a content marketing strategy that does all this, while still maintaining its objective of providing a positive customer experience which will lead to a profit.

Pandora’s Box

The customer’s ability to have constant access to content has opened up a type of Pandora’s Box. Whereas previously the customer had to contact the company in order to get more information about them, now they can access it almost anywhere on the internet—leaving the company with little to no control over the educating and qualifying process. That is, unless they have created a content strategy that can positively affect each and every customer and prospect no matter what stage of the funnel they are in.

Customers can now empower themselves with the information they have access to without ever speaking to a single salesperson, and because of this, it is important that the content creates a positive customer experience and relationship.

Creating content isn’t hard. Creating quality content is.

Anyone can create content, but not just anyone can create quality content that provides customer engagement across multiple channels to different segments. This type of content takes on an entirely different approach from the generic type as marketers are forced to abandon their comfort zone and change their approach to be purely customer-centric one. What the marketer is familiar and confident with is no longer relevant. Their focus must only be on the customer’s desires and needs as content is the main influencer for the majority of the buyer’s journey. Because if they don’t give the customer what they are looking for, the customer will simply look for it somewhere else.

“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

A company can create the most advanced and relatable content, but if they don’t know how to repurpose it and promote it, the content will most likely make no impact and no traffic will be driven to their website. There are many ways to promote content, such as through social media, guest blogging, partnerships, and of course, advertising.

Paid Media

“Paying for reach on social channels is no longer an option for brands; it’s an imperative.”[1]

It is extremely hard to promote content organically unless the company creating the content is extremely well-known and already has a huge amount of traffic coming to its website. Even if a company decides to bombard their social media channels and database with emails, there is going to be a plateau, or a glass ceiling in regards to bringing in more traffic to the website. And the only way to break the glass ceiling is through paid media.

Paid media allows for companies to access readers beyond their finite database and extend their reach in less time. And as the company continues to deliver premium content, these new readers will keep on engaging with the company. And if the content is good, then these readers will become customers.

Truly amplifying content with paid media is not an impossible task as long as the marketer is using the right Marketing Intelligence tool.

Marketing Intelligence

Marketing Intelligence is the process of gathering all the world’s digital media data and presenting it in a useful and accessible manner to allow for better decision making. AdClarity, the leading Marketing Intelligence tool in the digital advertising industry, enables marketers to gain all the actionable insights they need to create the best possible digital campaigns. And when companies are building their content marketing strategies, it is crucial for them to have as much information possible on what their direct and indirect competitors are doing.

The following case study shows a true portrayal of how we used Marketing Intelligence to distribute our content and expand our reach. Download it here.

Native Advertising

“…the goal of native advertising (at least for definition purposes) is to not disrupt the user experience … to offer information that is somewhat helpful and similar to the other information on the site so that users engage with the content at a higher rate…”[2]

Native advertising developed from the concept that businesses, especially marketers, must build trust with the customer before trying to pitch to them. It is a known truth that customers lose trust in a company when a piece of objective content ends with an attempt of a product pitch. Therefore, it is imperative that the piece of content being used in the native campaign truly blends in with the character of the site it is being promoted on. However, it is also important to make sure that the reader is aware that the piece of content is a sponsored post as deceiving them to think otherwise can also deteriorate trust in the brand.

Conclusion

Using content to build trust with a customer is a challenging but necessary aspect of marketing and sales. The content of any brand must be created to fulfill any needs the customer may have no matter what stage they are in in the buyer journey.

 

About AdClarity

AdClarity is a Marketing Intelligence tool which provides online marketers with actionable insights about their competitors’ advertising activities. Driven by big data and proprietary behavioral content discovery technology, AdClarity unveils brands’ campaigns, ad creatives, impressions, and spend data across multiple channels, including Display, Mobile Web, Mobile Apps and Video. Data is collected across 20 geographies and covers over 50M URLs daily while discovering over 40K new campaigns every day. The AdClarity product suite is used by over 7,000 media and advertising professionals globally in Fortune 500 Brands, Agencies, Ad Networks, and Publishers.

 

Request a guided tour of AdClarity.

 

[1] http://customerthink.com/why-are-b2b-brands-so-obsessed-with-native-advertising/

[2] http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2014/11/wsj-content-marketing-not-native/

Digital Marketing in 2015: The Death of the Funnel

It’s no wonder that the traditional purchase funnel (aka marketing funnel) is no longer relevant to today’s average consumer; things have changed since the 1800’s when it was first introduced. Originally designed to represent the buyer’s journey, the funnel focused on the buyer’s linear migration in designated stages that started with awareness and ended with the purchase or loyalty stage. It assumed that all customers started at the top of the funnel and moved organically through the different stages. The problem is that the buyer’s journey is no longer linear (was it ever?) and the funnel is no longer pertinent, yet marketers are still referring to it when developing their marketing strategies.

What Changed?

The advancement of technological innovations has permeated the consumer’s realm by providing them with nonstop access to information and a giant increase in the available number of touchpoints. Consumers have welcomed this change and along with it, have altered the way they research, decide, and buy products, moving away from the fundamental concept of the traditional funnel.

The Shift

In the past, it was copacetic to inundate consumers with generic advertising messages that may or may not have had any relevance to the consumer. As far as the brands were concerned, the battle for the consumer was based on who had the most media spend and creative messaging. And most times, these campaigns weren’t customer-centric, they were focused on the brand and didn’t deliver any valuable information or content to the viewer.

As times changed and consumers evolved into data-informed consumers, the power began to shift from the brand to the consumer. Consumers now had the ability to share their opinion and experiences with a plethora of people via social media outlets and self-educate themselves in any stage of the decision-making process. So now, the traditional ad that would once send a consumer straight from the ad to your website no longer accomplished its main task. Rather, now consumers would view the ad and research your company, contemplate reviews, and begin a discourse through social media with other consumers who have experienced your product or service.

And if we were to force the concept of the funnel to today’s buyer journey, we would see that the consumer jumps back and forth through the different stages as they delve deeper and deeper into their research process, thus making the funnel inconsequential.

In addition to the abundance of information available for consumers, consumers can now access all of this information and more through a multitude of channels, such as mobile, desktop, in-store, etc. This creates an even bigger obstacle for the modern marketer who is trying to send their potential consumer the right message at the right time regardless of which channel they are using. The consumer is now able to skip through different stages in the decision-making process via different channels, requiring marketing teams to figure out how they can create and maintain a single view of their consumer in order to provide them with a seamless shopping experience no matter where they are.

The Impact

This shift in power from the CMO to the consumer caused a disruption in the marketing world. Marketers were no longer only focused on the brand; rather, they began to understand that the consumer and the customer experience was the key to an increase in sales and ROI.

In 2014, HBR quantified the customer experience and came to the following conclusions:

  • Customers who had good past experiences spent 140% more than those who had poor past experiences
  • In regards to subscription-based businesses, customers who had had poor customer experience would most likely remain a member for a little over a year whereas customers who received a high level of customer experience would most likely remain members for an additional six years

And because of this, businesses began to change the way they did marketing in order to appease their customers.

They began to give their prospects and consumers valuable content through their blogs, websites, and social media. Enhanced segmentation began to be considered, as it linked to delivering a hyper-personalized experience to their consumer. Businesses began to be available through every medium at every hour, dissipating the borders between in-store and online. And developing the right messages at the right time became more critical than ever.

Conclusion

It is easy to see why the funnel became irrelevant and why companies began to focus on the customer experience more than ever. But understanding this change is still not enough. Marketers must know exactly who their customers and prospects are, what they need, and where they’re looking to get their information. The difficulty to do all of this without the involvement of multiple touchpoints is immense, and with the touchpoints even more. Providing value to consumers has become a career within and of itself and in the next chapter we will discuss one of the most important aspects in bringing value to the customer which is through content and native advertising.

 

About AdClarity

AdClarity is a Marketing Intelligence tool which provides online marketers with actionable insights about their competitors’ advertising activities. Driven by big data and proprietary behavioral content discovery technology, AdClarity unveils brands’ campaigns, ad creatives, impressions, and spend data across multiple channels, including Display, Mobile Web, Mobile Apps and Video. Data is collected across 20 geographies and covers over 50M URLs daily while discovering over 40K new campaigns every day. The AdClarity product suite is used by over 7,000 media and advertising professionals globally in Fortune 500 Brands, Agencies, Ad Networks, and Publishers.

 

Request a guided tour of AdClarity.