Dashboard of the Month: Actionable Insights are in our DMA

Every month, we will present one dashboard that received highly positive feedback from our clients. We believe that sharing dashboards can help marketers facing similar day-to-day challenges. To kick this project off, we choose our new DMA (Designated Market Areas) data dashboard.

Recently, we completed the deployment of servers across 53 US DMAs, unfolding a terra incognita of insights for US companies. For the first time in the digital advertising era, we provide for our clients a comprehensive tool set allowing them to learn how competitors orchestrate digital campaigns. Our new tool set allows you to view which campaigns and creatives are promoted in each DMA, in addition to a variety of selected local and national publishers, thus demonstrating the competitors’ overall focus and share of voice from the DMA perspective.

The DMA dashboard is aimed at providing actionable insights in 4 major marketing challenges.

Challenge 1 | Getting a clear view on competitors’ digital performance within the US

 

DMA map

Geographic Reach in the US – DMA Breakdown

What do I see? The DMA breakdown highlights from popular DMAs across the US from a competitors’ perspective. By looking at the color-coded DMAs, you can identify the “hot spots” where your competitors devote focus, and the territories where you hold a relative advantage.

How it could help me? The geographic chart provides higher level of certainty when determine which US markets to focus on, even before you drill-down into the competitive landscape in each DMA.

 

Challenge 2 | Distributing campaigns wisely in different US markets

 

DMA data

DMA Data Chart

What am I looking at? The DMA chart above discloses the dominance of brands across different DMAs. It can point out strong market leaders in the US, and indicate what are the most advertised US markets, against those that are relatively exhausted.

How it could help me? This chart enables you to allocate funds wisely. You can invest less in territories that you are already very dominant, and invest more in territories where you want to increase your dominance.

 

Challenge 3 |Understanding competitors focus

 

DMA ranking

Campaign ranking across DMAs

What do I see? The relative ranking of top campaigns for each DMA. You can view the ranking differences across leading territories. Clicking on a specific ranking will show the top creative for a campaign on the right side of the screen. By hovering you can view the top publisher and mediator chain.

How it could help me? The ranking indicates how your competitors promote specific offers, products, and services in each DMA. In this example, BestBuy promoted Huawei products significantly in Oklahoma and Miami, but promoted Huawei less in most markets.  In addition, you can view your competitors’ most promoted creatives and popular sites.

Challenge 4 | Optimizing the mix of national vs. local publishers

 

publisher by tier

Geographical Breakdown per Publishers’ tiers

What do I see? The following chart presents the local/national publishers’ ratio per each DMA. In addition, the chart presented holds another layer of data, allowing you to understand which type of publishers are selected by direct competitors.

How it could help me? Analysis of the chart allows you to view DMAs where local advertising is dazzlingly popular. You can also filter the data per a specific competitor and view their publishers’ emphasis in terms of tiers, local or national and specific publishers.

In the next month, we will present the XY data dashboard pointing out the placements of competitors across publishers, channels, and countries

You can easily subscribe to “The Dashboard of the Month” by clicking button below and get next actionable insights straight to you email box

If you are interested in exploring our dashboard portfolio, and find out which dashboards can be relevant for you please Click Here

 

Not all Advertising Channels are Equal for Digital Advertisers

As a digital advertiser, you surely spend a great deal of time, energy and money on digital advertising for your brand. Your goal is to get consumers to notice your brand – so how do you do that in the most effective way possible?

Know your target audience

The first thing you need to do is know your target audience and understand their pain points. Once you understand their specific needs, you will have a better idea of where to find them.

Realize that not all channels are right for you

Did you know that apple only joined twitter in the beginning of 2016? As the undisputed smartphone leaders, they realized that their target demographic simply wasn’t on twitter and so they did not feel the need to allocate resources to managing a twitter account until recently.

Consider the way your ads are received

Taking the knowledge of your audience one step further is the ability to recognize the timing and placement of your ads and use that information to decide what medium would be most effective. If your audience spends time on their mobile device and your conversion funnel is mobile based, spend more resources on mobile media. If your audience is heavily invested in social media, that is where your traffic needs to be diverted.

Know when your influence matters

Wasting money for the sake of wasting it is never a good idea – look at your competitors, examine previous campaigns and determine the optimal times for your advertising campaigns and focus on them.

Interested to Know More about Your Video, Mobile or Display Advertising CompetitorsGet a Live Demo with Adclarity Team 

 

Programmatic Advertising and your Marketing Budget

Programmatic advertising is the fastest growing industry in marketing these days, with over two thirds of all display advertising spending being allocated to programmatic advertising technology.  This increased reliance on programmatic advertising is on an upwards climb (in fact, the 2016 spending estimate of $22.10 billion is a 39.7% increase from 2015!) and it doesn’t look like that is going to change anytime soon – so what does this mean for advertisers and marketers looking to plan ahead for 2017?

For starters, it means that companies that do not use programmatic advertising in order to optimize campaigns, improve ROI and hyper target potential customers will have to start using programmatic tools if they want to stay relevant in 2017.  With the world shifting towards programmatic advertising, companies that do not automate media buying will risk being left behind and having ineffective campaigns.

A rise in the use of programmatic advertising also means that even smaller companies without big advertising teams can now compete with the big brands thanks to automated tools – so the competition is going to get harder!

That means that in addition to spending more money on the programmatic ad buys, companies will have to ensure their campaigns are that much more appealing in order to stand out and gain traction. To do that, companies will have to invest even more in copy writing, graphic design and development of high quality converting campaigns.

The main advantage of programmatic advertising is the clear shift in the direction of ROI-focused advertising. If up until now advertising campaigns were focused on awareness, the ability to optimize campaigns and reach a more relevant audience thanks to programmatic tools means that companies will be shifting their focus back to what matters – results and ROI.  Since programmatic advertising includes the ability to monitor ROI accurately, it has altered the way budgets are managed in order to put the focus back on gaining a return on investments.

As programmatic advertising tools improve and technology advances, programmatic advertising will continue to rise in popularity and as a result, bite a bigger chunk of digital advertising budgets in years to come – the good news is that programmatic tools tend to deliver better ‘bang for their buck’ making it money well spent!

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.

digital 6a

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: Defining the Customer’s Experience

Customers are the number one driving force behind the changes that are occurring in today’s digital marketing world. Traditional marketing methods based on a linear buyer journey are no longer relevant as the customer journey has become increasingly complex and the combination of a broad spectrum of multiple touch points and exceedingly high customer expectations, which demand consistency, personalization, and meaningfulness, have created an environment where marketers have no choice but to adapt.

In short, customers are now running the game.

And because of this, your digital marketing strategy can’t be motivated by sales. Rather, it must be motivated by the consumer and about delivering the most personalized and satisfying customer experience possible. The tricky part arises when you try to figure out what the customer wants and how your business can deliver above and beyond these expectations.

What do customers want?

Customers want a seamless, integrated, and personalized shopping experience. The days of mass generic campaigns are no longer cutting it and brands must be able to provide each of their customers with relevant and unique messages at the right place at the right time. They expect more from their favorite brands and they expect for those brands to deliver. And if the brands don’t deliver immediately, the customer closes the browser window and moves on to the next brand that will.

The ever-changing buyer journey

Regardless of what vertical you are in, online shopping has become extremely competitive. In addition to consumers completing 70% to 90% of their buyer journey before even approaching a vendor, consumers are also utilizing content more than ever. In fact, it is estimated that consumers read between 10-12 pieces of content before they make the decision to purchase, and this includes other customer reviews.

The amount of power that has transferred into the hands of consumers is immense and brands can feel it. They have to consistently and constantly reinvent themselves to deliver a memorable customer experience that will resonate with consumers. And that means understanding precisely what the customer’s beginning-to-end journey is.

This is where it gets tough.

This series will focus on the shift in digital marketing trends as based on the increasing importance of delivering the ultimate customer experience. You’ll learn about how to optimize the digital customer experience through a digital marketing perspective through understanding:

  • Why the traditional marketing funnel isn’t enough
  • Why content is king and native ads are ruling
  • The importance of hyper-personalization
  • What Omni-channel marketing is
  • The main touchpoint challenges for marketers
  • Programmatic buying and its impact on customer experience

We’re looking forward to showing you why the importance of customer experience has never been higher. Stay tuned and get ready to optimize your digital marketing strategies.

 

 

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.

The Evolution of Programmatic Buying: RTB

Finally! After torturing all of you for so long, the time has come to discuss what you came here for: Programmatic Buying!

We established that in traditional media buying, the buying and selling process was tedious, time consuming, inefficient, not promising, and didn’t necessarily yield maximum results for either the publisher or advertiser. And of course, everything was and is done manually.

All programmatic buying is, is the buying and selling of display ads in an automated manner using the technology that we covered in the previous sections. That’s literally all it is- making media buying an automated and much more efficient process. It’s a concept– an umbrella term that encompasses a whole world beneath it.

You may be super confused right now and think that there is much more to programmatic buying, which there is, but what you need to understand that the actual definition of programmatic buying is simple. I can’t reiterate that enough. The automated process of media buying. Period.

That being said, there are different types of programmatic buying, such as real-time bidding, or RTB, which I’m sure you’ve all heard of. We’ll get to this in a moment, but I’m going to drive you crazy and say this one more time:

PROGRAMMATIC BUYING IS THE AUTOMATED PROCESS OF MEDIA BUYING USING TECHNOLOGY.

Good. Now that we have that settled, let’s begin.

People often say that programmatic buying is a synonym for RTB. And now that you know the definition of programmatic, I am certain that you will be more than willing to understand that it’s not–real-time bidding is a TYPE of programmatic buying.

So what the hell is RTB?

Real-time bidding is the buying and selling of ad space (per impression) in real-time through auctions held in ad exchanges, DSPs, or SSPs. RTB is not its own platform- it’s a type of technology that ad exchanges, DSPs, and SSPs integrate in order to perform these auctions.

Okay… so how does it work?

I’m going to give you the simplest version of how the RTB works. And keep in mind, this entire process takes less than 80 milliseconds, about 4 times faster than it takes to blink your eye.

It all starts with the publisher. The publisher chooses an SSP to work with, such as Pubmatic, and places a tag in the ad space, or inventory, they want them to be in charge of.

A user goes to that publisher’s site and before the page even finishes loading, the request to fill that vacant as space has been sent to the SSP. The SSP finds out information about the user through its DMP. It gathers generic information such a demographics, time of day, day of the week, and so forth. Once all of this information is gathered, the SSP sends the request to the ad networks, ad exchanges, and/or DSPs it is working with.

The SSPs can distribute this request in 2 ways- Round Robin or simultaneously.

If you look at the infographic below, you’ll see how the SSP has connections with multiple platforms (DSPs, ad networks (AN), and ad exchanges (AE))

rtb

If the SSP decides to send the request in a round robin manner, that means that each of these entities will have a ranking based on priority. For example, the SSP could send the request to DSP1 and if the bid falls through, they’ll send it to AN1—it really depends on what their order of preference is.

Or they can send out the request to all of their partners simultaneously.

It’s important to note this because if you are an advertiser and you are working with a certain platform who works with a specific SSP that has traffic you want, you need to make sure that you are not on the bottom of their list in case they do a round robin. You need to be working with the highest ranking DSP, ad exchange, or ad network in the eyes of the SSP.

So the SSP sends the request over to its partners. And don’t forget, if they send it over to an ad exchange, the ad exchange could be working with several DSPs simultaneously.

Each player on the buying side evaluates the bid according to their own algorithms and targeting parameters that the advertiser set previously. For example, the advertiser may have wanted to target men between the ages of 30-47 who have a high income. Or maybe, the advertiser only wanted to target people who surfed on luxury watch websites. Or maybe, the advertiser only wants to target people who were shopping on their site earlier. The possibilities can go on forever.

So if you remember, the DMPs are what provide the DSPs with behavioral data about a consumer. The DSPs are what make the decisions. So after the ad exchange sends the bid request to the DSP, the DSP makes a decision based on complex algorithms which decide if this user is relevant for the advertiser.  If it is, then the DSP places a bid on the ad space (the maximum bid amount is set previously), and whichever advertisers places the highest bid wins the ad space. (It is important to note that not every bid is created equally. Sometimes, an advertiser will pay more for a bid when they know that the user is extremely relevant for them.) Then, the winner sends instructions on how to retrieve the creative to the ad exchange, which then sends it to the SSP, which then sends it to the publisher. And finally, the ad is shown to the user.

Benefits of RTB

There is absolutely no dispute- RTB is a much more efficient way of buying and selling media when compared to traditional media buying.

Advertisers no longer have to work directly with publishers and negotiate. They no longer have to buy bundled packages with irrelevant impressions which lead to wasted impressions. With RTB, they are able to have enhanced targeting capabilities, minimize wasted ad impressions, increase their reach and frequency, have transparency to gain the insights they need to constantly optimize their campaigns, and choose each impression they want to buy.

Publishers have the same deal. They don’t have to waste time and energy trying to contact and manage negotiations with advertisers. They have access to a much larger audience of potential buyers. They have a higher likelihood to sell more of their inventory. And, most importantly, because advertisers bid on inventory, the publisher is receiving the maximum market value per impression.

That being said, like all things great and small, there are no ups without the downs. But I guess that also depends on whether the glass is half empty or half full.

So here’s the deal.

Before programmatic came around, advertisers cared about publishers. They cared about the publishers name, reputation, size, etc. Advertisers wanted to buy inventory space because of the publisher. And because of this, the majority of all ad spend was going to the premium publishers. No one had any interest in working with middle or long tailed sites.

But all of this changed with programmatic.

Rather than obsessing over the status of a publisher, buyers began to shift their focus to the audience; and this was a hard hit for premium publishers. You see, buyers realized that it didn’t matter if they were buying premium spots of premium sites if the user wasn’t relevant for them. All they cared about was reaching the right user at the right place at the right time, and buying from premium publishers just wasn’t enough.

A few things happened because of this.

First, premium publishers began to lower their inventory cost because they couldn’t compete with natural changes. However, because the amount of internet users increased exponentially, it sort of weighed out the situation. Their costs may have decreased slightly, but quantity increased immensely.

Secondly, because buyers cared about the audience, this gave a chance for the middle and long tailed publishers.

How? Through retargeting.

Buyers could now target their exact users on any site, no matter where it stood on the totem pole, through retargeting tactics. Their specific method of doing this is a little controversial, but it’s also pretty damn smart. It’s called data leakage. What buyers would do is this: they would buy ad impressions on premium sites (they would set their bid ceiling very high so they could win). And because the ad was being served through a third party platform, the buyer could drop a tracking code on their creative to cookie the user (without the publisher knowing). Once the lead was being tracked, they pretty much had no use for the premium publisher because they didn’t matter anymore. What mattered was where the user was going, and often times they were going to middle or long tailed sites. So the advertiser would stop working with that premium publisher because they got the information they need and then they would immediately launch an RTB campaign that would look for the users with the cookies through various ad exchanges, DSPs, and ad networks. And once they found them, they could place a much lower bid (because it wasn’t a premium publisher) to reach them.

So on the one hand, there is a huge debate on whether RTB is hurting or benefitting the publishers, but I strongly believe it is the latter. Yes, premium publishers have to lower their costs and deal with data leakage. However, with the growing number of users on the internet, they’re actually still making a profit.

Additionally, RTB sort of leveled out the playing field. It gave a chance for the smaller publishers, who no one would have even thought of before. The fact that the disparities between the big and medium-small publishers is decreasing is absolutely phenomenal and could only bring benefits to the ecosystem.

I want to also note that I gave you one example of how RTB can work. It can work in multiple ways and I have no problem introducing you to some of these variations if you’re interested.

But for now, I think you’ve acquired the foundation to understanding what RTB is and how it works.

Stay tuned for the next blog to see another type of programmatic buying—programmatic direct.

Hope you enjoyed and would love any feedback!

 

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.