Get Ready For The Cookieless World

Get Ready For The Cookieless World

Get ready for The Cookieless World Download the full dentsu Report to focus on what you should and need to know today to prepare for 2023 By: Caroline Fülep, Associate Director, Paid Search, iProspect   What is Happening For many years, ‘big data’ in marketing has been ripe for the taking. Tech and ad platforms approached tracking people’s personal data as an implicit and default choice. For businesses that grew in the digital space over the past years, it meant unlimited access to valuable data that enabled them to reach people who were most likely to buy their products or services. At any time. Wherever they were online. However, as consumers started to worry about the data companies were collecting on us, we started taking steps to reduce, or at least select, the personal data to be shared online. This shift in consumer behavior has started a revolution in the digital marketing industry. User consent is now at the core of privacy regulations across the globe – GDPR in Europe, LGPD in Brazil, CCPA in California, APPI in Japan, among many others. Today, one out of two people (52%)1 believe that it is essential that organizations gain active consent to use their personal data to serve them the most relevant online ads. In addition to legal regulations, limitations on tracking technology have increased exponentially since 2017 when Apple introduced its Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) to limit cross-site tracking and conversion measurement. This move by Apple – who had little to lose in the advertising revenue world – led to a slew of tech and ad platforms following suit. Each platform likely wanting to show off their user privacy focus similar to Apple. Perhaps most notable alongside Apple’s iOS 14 updates, were Google’s commitment to ending third-party cookies by 2022/2023, and the rise of other types of tracking prevention. This will impact brands and advertisers across different dimensions. Why do we need to care These dramatic changes in the industry will lead to fewer opportunities for ad targeting and personalization, especially for acquisition-focused campaigns. It will be important for brands to adjust strategies, by prioritizing those that interact with the ads and inviting them to take the next step (and share first-party data like email addresses to be used for future targeting and personalization). It will also be imperative to continue investing in creativity that will catch user attention. It is imperative that brands understand these changes will also affect marketing measurement and KPIs. For example, without third-party cookies, most display and programmatic view-through conversion data will disappear, but consumers will not have simply stopped converting after seeing banner ads. Most brands leverage tactics such as retargeting user profiles based on interactions (e.g. site visit, click on the banner, abandoned cart) o and extend their audiences through modeling, which will be impacted with the end of third-party cookies in 2023. Although the deprecation of third-party cookies undeniably disrupts how brands engage with audiences online, alternatives continue to emerge. With no single silver bullet solution but many workflows and new concepts arising, the digital world is racing to find helpful and privacy-first options for targeting and measurement. How to prepare Advertisers must look to more durable methods to continue activating audiences and measuring the impact of digital programs in the future. Some alternative routes are already known, such as the importance of nurturing first-party data sources. Others are still in development, such as Google’s Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoCs) and unique ID solutions from The Trade Desk and Liveramp, each with different potentials for scale, levels of investment needed, and infrastructure requirements. For most brands, business continuation and growth are not likely to come from a single alternative, but from a blend of alternatives, which are unique to needs. A one size fits all mothership will no longer be achievable, and instead rigorous test & learn options will help prove out performance and tactics. It will likely be based on a combination of:  First-party data relationships including learning how to motivate users to share their personal or CRM/email data.  Partnerships with platforms and walled gardens using unique and shared identity solutions to identify users in different environments.  Non-audience-based targeting solutions such as contextual targeting; focused on the type of content people consume rather than a specific audience type. Hybrid measurement models including in-platform attribution, incrementality testing and fast-paced media mix modeling. Dentsu’s definitive guide for global marketers, The Cookieless World, cuts through the ambient noise to help focus on what you should know today and investigate tomorrow to be ready in 2023 when the world becomes cookieless. Get ready for The Cookieless World 0

4 mins read

How iProspect Is Building an End-to-End Media Mindset

How iProspect Is Building an End-to-End Media Mindset

Danielle Gonzales, CEO Americas, and Duncan Smith, Chief Media Officer US, at iProspect sat down with Adweek to discuss where the agency is headed and the new media mindset.   How have iProspect’s own brand initiatives progressed since the refresh in March? How has iProspect redefined itself? Danielle Gonzales: It’s been a transformative moment for iProspect—we evolved our organization to offer clients a competitive advantage by bringing a performance mindset to all media decisions. In addition, we’ve cross-trained our teams, brought together expert skillsets, [and] better enabled tools and technology to be used for end-to-end connectivity.  We’ve already seen a considerable amount of progress with the positioning and output of iProspect over the last year. The vision of iProspect enabled significant wins, such as Cox Communications and LinkedIn, as a true full-service, performance-driven media agency. We have been accelerating the delivery of those services not only for Cox Communications and LinkedIn but across our client portfolio every day. Not only has the balance of the work shifted, building on our world-class performance foundations to offer more strategic and omnichannel activation, we have also evolved the internal organization and services to form a cultural mindset. Over the past year, we have built a larger, stronger and more consolidated strategy team to work across our entire portfolio, continuing to drive market-leading thought leadership around all things performance while balancing that with award-winning brand strategy and personnel. We have also doubled down on communications planning expertise and are currently raising the bar for those disciplines across the entire body of our account management and planning teams.  As we continue to evolve and accelerate growth, we want to ensure that our mission to close the gap between brand and demand is well heard, understood and embraced by our clients and the industry. In addition, we will continue to develop thought leadership around the intersection of all things performance. How has the company’s approach to performance marketing evolved? How has the definition sharpened or been refocused in terms of the work iProspect has been doing? Duncan Smith: iProspect has always been at the vanguard of performance marketing. Our belief that no dollar should be left unaccounted for can now be applied across every interaction with a consumer, driving communications and commerce up and down the marketing funnel. To achieve this means taking the lens of performance to all of the media and marketing decisions activated by our clients—evolving our product to be more strategic and consultative, more outcomes-focused across every touchpoint, and more dynamic and addressable in execution. Check out the full article here 0

3 mins read

Linsey Loy, selected as one of Business Insiders’ 50 Rising Stars of Madison Avenue

Linsey Loy, selected as one of Business Insiders’ 50 Rising Stars of Madison Avenue

Linsey Loy, SVP and Head of Growth for iProspect, has been selected as one of Business Insiders’ 50 Rising Stars of Madison Avenue who are revolutionizing advertising in 2021!

2 mins read

Danielle Gonzales Joins iProspect as Its First North America CEO

Danielle Gonzales Joins iProspect as Its First North America CEO

NEW YORK, NY — October 5, 2021 -- iProspect, a dentsu company, announced today that it has appointed Danielle Gonzales as its first North America CEO. In this new role, Danielle will guide over 1,000 specialists across the US and Canada, leading a unified team in elevating the agency’s end-to-end capabilities to accelerate growth through a performance mindset. Danielle will report to Doug Rozen, CEO, dentsu Media – Americas and become a member of the dentsu Media Americas executive team. With a deep knowledge of changing consumer behaviors, innovative media connections, and data-driven storytelling, Danielle is known for how she redefines media approaches that push business outcomes. Danielle joins iProspect from Publicis Groupe, where she was recently elevated to President and Chief Client Officer of Publicis Media North America. Before that she was President and Chief Client Officer at Starcom, where she led North America and global client partnerships for KraftHeinz, McDonald’s, and BeamSuntory across Publicis Groupe’s media, communications, data, and tech teams. With over 25 years of industry experience, Danielle has helped transform clients’ marketing and communications connections from siloed to complete consumer experiences.  Before her leadership positions at Starcom, she led the largest multicultural media agency Tapestry for more than a decade. At Tapestry, Danielle successfully grew the business by double digits for five consecutive years. Doug Rozen, CEO, dentsu Media Americas said: “Danielle is a get it done, master practitioner that truly knows the how, the what, and the why -- which allows her to push the status quo and stay ahead of what’s next. Her ability to understand the radical shifts in media and develop client friendships beyond just a professional relationship is exactly what the new iProspect requires to capitalize on their impressive full suite of services. Danielle brings a leadership style of boldness and empowerment that not only champions systematic change, but creates an inclusive environment for our people, clients, and partners.” Danielle is also a well-recognized industry leader, having been named Ad Age’s Women to Watch, Adweek’s Media All-Star, and HispanicAd.com’s Media Planning Executive of the Year in recent years. On joining iProspect, Danielle commented: “The next evolution of marketing involves improving performance at every bend of the consumer journey, and iProspect’s unmatched expertise and craftsmanship makes them unstoppable. I’ve seen first-hand the power of product and the value it brings to global brands and iProspect is perfectly positioned as the agency to not only accelerate growth for those brands, but also make a distinct impact on the industry. I’m excited to lead this forward-thinking team focused on delivering real outcomes.” Amanda Morrissey, Global President, iProspect added: “iProspect is the agency designed to deliver more effective growth across the entire media spectrum through the intersection of brand and demand. Danielle’s fierce ability to know consumers and their needs will play an integral role in shaping iProspect’s unique culture and client relationships.” Danielle joins iProspect at a transformative moment, recently launching into a game-changing digital-first end-to-end media agency. iProspect was also chosen as a global strategic media partner for LinkedIn anchored out of the US, and named the agency to handle Cox Communications US ad planning and buying business. In addition, it has won numerous accolades at industry events this year, including the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. Original article on Adweek   Danielle Gonzales joins iProspect as its first North America CEO NEW YORK, NY — October 5, 2021 -- iProspect, a dentsu company, announced today that it has appointed Danielle Gonzales as its first North America CEO. In this new role, Danielle will guide over 1,000 specialists across the US and Canada, leading a unified team in elevating the agency’s end-to-end capabilities to accelerate growth through a performance mindset. Danielle will report to Doug Rozen, CEO, dentsu Media – Americas and become a member of the dentsu Media Americas executive team. With a deep knowledge of changing consumer behaviors, innovative media connections, and data-driven storytelling, Danielle is known for how she redefines media approaches that push business outcomes. Danielle joins iProspect from Publicis Groupe, where she was recently elevated to President and Chief Client Officer of Publicis Media North America. Before that she was President and Chief Client Officer at Starcom, where she led North America and global client partnerships for KraftHeinz, McDonald’s, and BeamSuntory across Publicis Groupe’s media, communications, data, and tech teams. With over 25 years of industry experience, Danielle has helped transform clients’ marketing and communications connections from siloed to complete consumer experiences.  Before her leadership positions at Starcom, she led the largest multicultural media agency Tapestry for more than a decade. At Tapestry, Danielle successfully grew the business by double digits for five consecutive years. Doug Rozen, CEO, dentsu Media Americas said: “Danielle is a get it done, master practitioner that truly knows the how, the what, and the why -- which allows her to push the status quo and stay ahead of what’s next. Her ability to understand the radical shifts in media and develop client friendships beyond just a professional relationship is exactly what the new iProspect requires to capitalize on their impressive full suite of services. Danielle brings a leadership style of boldness and empowerment that not only champions systematic change, but creates an inclusive environment for our people, clients, and partners.” Danielle is also a well-recognized industry leader, having been named Ad Age’s Women to Watch, Adweek’s Media All-Star, and HispanicAd.com’s Media Planning Executive of the Year in recent years. On joining iProspect, Danielle commented: “The next evolution of marketing involves improving performance at every bend of the consumer journey, and iProspect’s unmatched expertise and craftsmanship makes them unstoppable. I’ve seen first-hand the power of product and the value it brings to global brands and iProspect is perfectly positioned as the agency to not only accelerate growth for those brands, but also make a distinct impact on the industry. I’m excited to lead this forward-thinking team focused on delivering real outcomes.” Amanda Morrissey, Global President, iProspect added: “iProspect is the agency designed to deliver more effective growth across the entire media spectrum through the intersection of brand and demand. Danielle’s fierce ability to know consumers and their needs will play an integral role in shaping iProspect’s unique culture and client relationships.” Danielle joins iProspect at a transformative moment, recently launching into a game-changing digital-first end-to-end media agency. iProspect was also chosen as a global strategic media partner for LinkedIn anchored out of the US, and named the agency to handle Cox Communications US ad planning and buying business. In addition, it has won numerous accolades at industry events this year, including the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. Original article on Adweek   0

6 mins read

A Cookieless World Conclusion

A Cookieless World Conclusion

As 87% of people now believe data privacy is a right, not a privilege,[1]we, as marketers, should do better to address their growing concerns around how their information is collected and used. It is not only a matter of legal compliance, but also a matter of trust.  In that context, although the recent evolution in the cookies landscape has triggered legitimate concerns around the potential consequences on advertising efficiency and on market dynamics, we should all welcome any change promoting user privacy as a collective, meaningful progress.  Of course, these changes come with their own set of challenges and uncertainties, and the industry will probably have to make do with less - but better - data.  As we have seen in this report:  The leading web browsers are moving away from third-party cookies, creating a fresh paradigm for the digital marketing industry. In 2023, we consider using third-party cookies for advertising purposes should be a relic of the past. Apple is going even further, requiring apps to explicitly obtain consent to keep tracking users.[2] Some digital marketing activities are impacted, such as data management, audience activation, and performance measurement.  Marketers must reconsider how they manage data. This means questioning their current value exchange, improving communications around data privacy, and revisiting their technology needs.  To keep engaging consumers, marketers should investigate the possibilities offered by contextual targeting and cookieless audience targeting alternatives such as persistent IDs.  To measure future performance, marketers will have to combine multiple techniques, from in-platform attribution to incrementality measurement to media mix modelling. A solid testing roadmap will be more important than ever.  There is no silver bullet for this evolution, instead, each brand must develop its unique combination of responses. It is fine if your organisation has not figured out the best option yet. You are not running behind as there is still time to adapt – but you should not wait any longer to plan your transition to a new model.  We expect discussions around privacy and identity to stay at the forefront of the debate even after we have pivoted to the cookieless world.  This is why at dentsu we constantly monitor the martech landscape and are committed to working alongside our clients and partners to imagine and implement solutions that work for all. As a global leader in search marketing, we have implemented advanced cookieless strategies for the world’s largest brands for the last 10+ years. We are using this know-how to help our clients not only thrive in a world free of third-party cookies but do so with speed.  Digital advertising has always been one of the most dynamic and exciting marketing spaces - and we are confident the best is yet to come.    For more, download the full report today: http://ow.ly/KDTK50FKTaJ  [1] Microsoft Advertising in partnership with iProspect, 2020 Consumer Privacy and Brand Trust Survey, Dec 2019 – Mar 2020, as featured in the report In Brands We Trust, published in April 2020  [2] Apple Developer, App Store, User Privacy and Data Use, as accessed on May 4, 2020    0

3 mins read

GMB Posts Now Available for Business Chains

GMB Posts Now Available for Business Chains

Chains, defined as 10+ locations, will be able to create Google Posts via the Google My Business (GMB) API on an on-going basis. Google has decided that chains, defined as 10+ locations, will be able to create Google Posts via the Google My Business (GMB) API on an on-going basis.   This feature is here to stay and will not disappear once the COVID Pandemic subsides. “Google temporarily lifted restrictions to the Posts feature back on March 27, 2020, but they have now made the Posts feature permanently available to chains.” (“Google Posts - Everything You Need to Know About GMB Posts”)     / BRIEF HISTORY Before the COVID Pandemic, Google My Business Posts had to be published manually listing by listing. This made Google Posts hard for enterprise-level accounts to maintain and justify the ROI.   As a response to the COVID Pandemic, Google released an update to the Google My Business API allowing for only COVID-related content to be published in bulk. Google My Business API documentation stated that “Note: In response to coronavirus (COVID-19), chains may now create Posts via the API for a limited time. Posts made by Chains should be related to business updates relevant to coronavirus (COVID-19).”   The COVID Posts update helped educate clients about Google Posts and more importantly ensured clients were able to get the word out about store locations’ COVID updates – i.e., Store closures, limited hours, health & safety protocols, and well wishes.   Using the Google My Business API, COVID Posts for promotional content was against Google Guidelines for chain businesses with more than 10 locations.   / WHY IT MATTERS It’s time to start incorporating Google Posts into your brands Local SEO strategy to make your branded search results stand out and increase listing engagement. Through testing, iProspect’s Local SEO programs have seen listing engagement and conversion rates lifted as much as +25% MoM when Google My Business Posts are published on location listings. Local SEO conversions are measured as clicks to the website, calls to the business, and request for driving directions.   Google Posts are an excellent opportunity to:   ·       Entice customers to choose your business over the competition ·       Drive brand awareness through engagement ·       Partner with paid channels to support campaign messaging organically ·       Display fully optimized Google location listings that support Click-Through Rate results   Google Posts are visible on desktop, mobile, and even voice searches. Google also recently updated Posts visibility to from 7 days on listing knowledge panels to 6 months.   Please reach out for best practices, questions, and case studies to the Local SEO team - local@iProspect.com.   / EXPECTATIONS ·       Hotel chains cannot utilize the Google Posts function. ·       This update does not include the ability to create Product Posts. ·       Google My Business API access is required to use the Bulk Posts function. Please note: Clients using listing managers such as Position Tech, Chatmeter, Rio, and Yext are connected to the API.   / RESOURCES ·       Google My Business Help Center GMB Posts Now Available for Business Chains 0

3 mins read

News

dentsu bolsters global media offering by bringing together iProspect and Vizeum brands to form future-focused iProspect brand globally

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Google Marketing Livestream 2021

Google Marketing Livestream 2021

Google kicked off their flagship marketing event last week (Google Marketing Livestream) via a one-day livestream event. Google uses this annual occurrence as a platform to share new products & features which will help change our digital marketing industry over upcoming months. This year saw a slick event which flew by and you are not alone if you were too absorbed by Alicia Keys and Emmanuel Acho, only to look back and think “wait, what were the key takeaways?” Every digital marketer is preparing for the looming cookieless future, and weaved within the event were several tools built to navigate this change. This year saw an expected focus on privacy-first innovations and new measurement capabilities to better surface impactful insights. New Insights In addition to being a fantastic marketing channel, search is the world’s largest ongoing consumer survey. Google announced several new and updated features focused on surfacing more insights that marketers can leverage strategically. During this era of increasing automation, a significant amount of search marketing data has been removed from our visibility, and advertisers are desperate to get it back to inform strategic decision making. Last year Google made two high-profile changes: restricting data within the Search Terms Report (STR), and launching an initiative to offer free product listings within the Google Shopping Tab. Both were met with similar feedback from the industry – “We need more insights!” Google also introduced conversion reporting for free listed products, in addition to competitive visibility based on displayed impressions, doubling down on their philosophy of democratization of commerce. This is a step towards the creation of a holistic approach to Google Shopping which introduces the relationship between paid and organic. As advertisers, more insights result in a more informed strategy. The ability to dive into Google Ads or Google Merchant Center and surface these crucial details at a moment's notice is a powerful thing. New Tools for Action The value of an insight is significantly diminished without the ability to act upon it, and Google announced several new features that enable advertisers to both scale and optimize their campaigns across multiple Google properties. Google has increased the emphasis on Performance Max campaigns which they announced last October. There are 11 campaign types in Google Ads today and there is an argument that an advertiser needs to be live on at least 4 of them, targeted at the same goal, to get the best of Google's inventory. With that in mind, Performance Max campaigns complement your keyword-based Search campaigns to help you expand across all of Google's ad inventory to drive more conversions and value. GML also highlighted several other changes such as the introduction of tROAS targeting for Video action campaigns, in addition to adding more local attributes into Maps and YouTube. However, the update, which will impact the highest number of advertisers, will be the introduction of ad customizers within responsive search ads (RSAs). We truly believe that RSAs have the power to transform creative testing within the paid search industry. Combined with the option to pin copy, plus the reporting updates mentioned earlier in this article, and the ever advancing AI which powers it, RSAs are getting closer to becoming the omnipotent ad copy option we know they can be. Leveraging RSAs isn’t just a good idea, it has become a foundational best practice for paid search. Google is also continuing to make strides in the eCommerce space. Retailers need to build the best consumer experience and establish incremental places to get discovered. However, the core tool in the arsenal of a retailer is their brand, and yet it is this piece of the puzzle which seems to get lost as consumers increasingly start their search on a comparison site. Google has recognized this and is actively working to introduce “Storefronts”, a new brand experience and functionality within the Google Shopping platforms. Additionally they plan to launch Business Identity Attributes, allowing brands to highlight nuances such as “Female owned business”, and product feeds on Discovery, YouTube and Gmail, which will introduce incremental platforms for brands to be discovered. Continuing the focus on the Brand and Consumer experience, Google is building an inclusive ecosystem by developing new integrations and partnerships with Shopify, WooCommerce, GoDaddy and Square. The goal is to help all merchants to succeed with their eCommerce by lowering barriers and crafting an open ecosystem. Google even went as far as to mention the building of a cross-browser tab shopping cart within chrome which can work in conjunction with automated discount discovery tools to form a seamless shopping journey within Chrome which offers consumers the best prices for their chosen products in a single payment process.  This focus on empowering brands and streamlining the consumer journey excites us a lot and we are eager to partner with all involved to help develop such an impactful transformation.   Privacy & Measurement Google is looking to raise the bar on privacy while also building new solutions regarding first-party data. To achieve this they are increasing the functionality of Consent Mode, developing new modeling and workspaces within Google Analytics 4, and enhancing existing tech like conversion tracking, DDA, and Customer Match, to better fit this privacy-first world. Consent has been a huge shift in the online world over the past few years, starting with GDPR in Europe. Its goal is to establish a balance between data privacy and digital advertisements. Google launched Consent Mode late last year as a new way to measure conversions and get analytics insights when using services like Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager (GTM), and Google Ads. The update announced at GML is the ability to integrate directly with Consent Mode via Tag Manager or Tag Manager 360 with no additional tagging required. Additionally, advertisers are expected to experience drops in measurable traffic due to privacy and consent regulations, so Google is launching a number of changes to increase data visibility and measurement. Through modelling, enhanced conversions will provide a new way to measure conversions even when fewer cookies are available. This launch will coincide with Google Analytics 4 Modelled Behavioural Reporting which will model on consented data to fill in gaps. Whatsmore, this data can be attributed in a more holistic DDA model which includes Display and YouTube traffic, and then can be analyzed and actioned within GA4’s new Advertising Workspace. Combined, these AI-driven data visibility and measurement updates should dramatically reduce any foreseeable data gaps and ease advertisers through this transition to a privacy-first world. Two lingering questions are how accurate will modeling conversions be over time and is there a diminishing returns effect which could be witnessed as increased benchmark data becomes concealed? Knowing that the aforementioned launches and updates are Google specific, some advertisers may still feel some distance between today’s setup and tomorrow’s privacy-first world.   CLOSING More data visibility partnered with innovative insight technology results in a more informed strategy and these announcements from Google truly lean into that approach. An integral part of these brand-building elements will be the ability for consumers to search by their personal values e.g. women-owned businesses, in addition to the ability for the advertiser to integrate loyalty program data and create custom pricing and experiences. While it may seem like a minor change on the surface, we believe it to be a huge stride towards Google that increases the empowerment of both the searcher and the advertiser. Google Marketing Livestream 2021 0

7 mins read

Future Focus 2021: Brands Accelerated

Future Focus 2021: Brands Accelerated

The new iProspect Future Focus report explores the intersection of consumer attention, commerce and data.    Today, we officially launch Future Focus 2021: Brands Accelerated as the essential read for conscientious marketers seeking to explore and exploit the latest consumer and industry advancements for brand growth. The 75+ page report addresses some of the most pressing aspects of modern marketing including; the battle for attention, wholesale changes in data privacy, and the emergence of assisted commerce.    Combining evidence-based research with interviews and responses from over 200 brand marketers in 29 countries, the Future Focus 2021: Brands Accelerated report delves deep into the challenges and opportunities faced in the current global climate and within the immediate media landscape. And, convenience and relevancy of media to the consumer is key, as 61% of marketers, polled for the report, considered ‘building a highly convenient experience for the consumer’ as the most powerful lever to generate business growth.i    The content of this sixth edition of the Future Focus series typifies the intricacies of bringing brand and performance together to achieve growth.     “Despite the challenging times we live in, I believe there have never been so many opportunities in media. With our new and unique approach of performance-driven brand building, we are firmly optimistic about the future and resolved to make it happen, today. With Future Focus 2021: Brands Accelerated as their guidebook, I hope all marketers will be able to leverage the growth potential afforded at these significant intersections of media, data, commerce and culture.”  Amanda Morrissey, Global President of iProspect    The findings showed that around 2 in 5 marketers (42%) still think the linear path to purchase is as relevant today as it was decades ago, despite the rise of digital. While at the same time 32% of marketers feel that expanding commerce capabilities is important for the 2021 roadmap, however 26% see this as one of the most difficult challenges this year.ii      Practical advice to marketers.   In addition to discussing and dissecting the impact of major global industry trends and innovations, the report spotlights the relevancy and opportunity for brands, regardless of sector, to capitalise on these seismic shifts in the media landscape. Examples of the report’s advice and guidance for marketers worldwide include:    #1: Commerce is Everywhere    Organisations should strive to build and maintain an accurate picture of their commerce capabilities across five key dimensions: desirability, availability, findability, buyability, and repeatability. This will help them define the most profitable commerce model for their brand, better integrate their e-commerce and stores into an actionable omnichannel strategy, explore new growth channels, and turn media opportunities into transaction opportunities.    #2 The Battle for Attention  Brands should consider factoring attention into their media optimisation and measurement efforts to elevate the impact and efficiency of their investment. To maximise audience attention, they should ensure the content and experiences they design truly align with consumer intent, and that the campaigns they develop do not relegate diversity and inclusivity as afterthoughts.  #3 The New Data Playbook    On the data front, organisations should embrace the new privacy-conscious world by re-evaluating the value exchange they offer to their audiences and anticipate technological changes to minimise business disruption. This is the occasion to explore opportunities for automation, evaluate the quality of the data they collect and process, and more broadly reflect upon how data is effectively used to inform decisions.    The last point is of particular significance as the report found in some circumstances there are huge disparities between what the consumer and brand marketer think, when it comes to assessing data value. Only 9% of marketers believe helping a company improve products or services is an incentive for consumers to share their data, while 44% of consumers believe it is a good enough reason to release personal identifiable information (PII) to the brand.iii     Download your copy of Future Focus 2021: Brands Accelerated now.    -----------------------------------------   [i] Proprietary omnibus survey: iProspect, 2020 Global Client Survey, 12 Oct–11 Nov 2020, 202 respondents. [ii] Proprietary omnibus survey: iProspect, 2020 Global Client Survey, 12 Oct–11 Nov 2020, 202 respondents. [iii] iProspect 2020 Global Client Survey (Oct 2020) and iProspect and Microsoft Advertising, Consumer Privacy and Data Survey (Mar 2020) 0

4 mins read

Google Page Experience Update

Google Page Experience Update

Google have long made clear that brands should optimize their sites and content for people, not for search engines. In a move which takes this a step further, Google has announced an algorithm update that focuses on page experience, which will be a big ranking factor. SEOs have long questioned how much page experience plays a part in Google’s algorithmic ranking factors, which Google have been historically vague in answering. This update, due to roll out in May 2021, changes that – in a big way. How do we know it’s going to be big? Google is notorious for updating their ranking algorithm without any notification. This advance notice is demonstration of the expected significance of the update for websites – both good and bad. Those already savvy may know that the announcement of Page Experience updates was first made in a Google Search Central blog post from May 2020. Recently however, the rollout was confirmed for May 2021.   So how will this update impact the SEO landscape, and what should you do to make sure your website doesn’t lose Organic visibility?   What’s Changing? Google will now be using their Core Web Vitals metrics, first introduced in April 2020, as a ranking factor. These are technically a subset of a more general group of Web Vitals, “ … quality signals that are essential to delivering a great user experience on the web.” Core Web Vitals however are most important, and measure three key usability factors: ·       Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): Measures the load time of a page’s largest assets (video, images, text blocks, etc…). ·       First Input Delay (FID): Measures the time it takes for a web page to respond to user interaction (submitting a contact form, interacting with a live chat function, etc…). ·       Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Measures the amount of element ‘shifting’ that occurs on a page (ever accidentally tap on an ad or link that suddenly appeared on a mobile page? Yeah…). (image: https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2020/05/evaluating-page-experience)   The impact of this update may also play a part in the performance of paid campaigns driving to your website. The changes made to your site in supporting this algorithm update should also directly feed into Paid Campaign landing pages. What Should You do Now? This update is an added layer to some of the technical foundation items brands should have been focusing for the last several years: Security, Mobile Friendliness, and Speed. Core Web Vitals should be a major focus for your SEO strategy in 2021. Ignoring this update could result in your website losing SEO value and your competitors outranking you in organic search. We recommend getting a pulse check on your website’s Core Web Vitals ASAP. Use the Enhancements report in Google Search Console to find out which desktop and mobile pages are performing well, and which have room for improvement. Working with your SEO and Development teams will be critical in addressing the noted issues.   (image: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-search-console-core-web-vitals/370591/) Contact us to start preparing your website for the Page Experience update. 0

3 mins read

A Successful Content Strategy Includes Video

A Successful Content Strategy Includes Video

Video consumption continues its upward trajectory into 2021 as a popular source for information and entertainment on the web. By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic, according to a recent study by Cisco. YouTube is still the world’s second largest search engine, making it a great driver of organic traffic and brand awareness. The platform has progressed tremendously since the days of cat videos. While it is primarily a home for independent content creators, brands have traditionally kept a distance from the platform. Those that have, continue to produce short bursts of content akin to advertisements. These can sometimes prove to be ineffective as a strategy to engage your target audience. We suggest taking advantage of all the below platform features to enhance your YouTube strategy and to engage your audience. Suggested Clips: Google has always strived to improve search and make it easier for users to find what they’re looking for. The search engine giant first introduced “suggested clips” in 2017, a feature that allows users to jump to the point in the video where the answer to the search query appears. The purpose of suggested clips is to make it easier for users to find the answer to their questions. Consumer behavior often results in the user viewing the answer to their question then continuing to click through to gather more information.   (Source: Google) Key Moments: Google has also added another enhancement to video featured snippets by introducing the Key Moments Feature. This update shows users exactly what the video contains, organized by time stamps.   A Search Engine Journal article from May 2020, pointed out that “appearing in suggested videos can generate almost as many views as appearing in YouTube’s search results.” For the brands that have invested in YouTube, they have positioned themselves well for video search in both search engines – Google and YouTube.     Watch Time and Engagement: Google was granted a patent for an algorithm that uses “watch time” as a ranking factor for videos. An August 2012 article by Google explains that watch time is used as part of their video discovery feature, an existing part of their algorithm. To promote rich, informative content and combat click-bait, the video discovery feature recommends videos based on engagement. The greater the watch time, the more times the video will be recommended, and in turn the more traffic the video will receive. This “survival of the fittest” approach naturally buries low-value, click-bait content and rewards high-value, informative content designed to enrich the lives of its viewership. Informative and valuable content for viewers acts as a lever brands can use to speak directly to their audience and expand their reach. Brands should not be afraid to build out long-form content. Consumers will engage with their brand if it’s entertaining and valuable without clicking away. Some great examples of Brands building audiences on YouTube with engaging content includes Lego and BMW. Lego invests into building short movies using Lego characters. They also host podcasts with designers who have used Lego to build unique things such as models of race cars and skyscrapers. This, and other types engaging content has helped Lego build an audience of 11.5 million subscribers. BMW uses their YouTube channel to build How-to videos showing their audience – both owners and would-be owners – features of their latest model. BMW’s videos are much shorter, often just over a minute in length, but are extremely useful. Users will often watch the same video multiple times if they are trying to learn about a new feature in their car, thus organically enhancing watch time.   Mobile: More than 70% of YouTube views come from a mobile device. This makes YouTube a staggering tool for audience engagement. While mobile usage was already increasing across the world due to an increased number of commuters using mobile devices on their way to work, research from Statista.com shows that world wide mobile phone use has increased by 70% as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.   The average engagement time from mobile users is 40 minutes, meaning that users are looking to learn something new and research new topics as they spend more time in their homes. The NY Times reported that traffic to YouTube.com has increased by 15.3% since the start of the pandemic.   According to Think With Google, 91% of smartphone users use their device while completing a task. These tasks including anything from fixing a sink to shopping for jeans. With the mobile phone as a key research tool during a consumer’s journey, Google’s featured snippets updates allow consumers to find answers quickly and easily to their questions. Furthermore, users can use suggested clips and key moments to find the answers to their problems within a video, thus saving them more time. Convenience is what consumers are after, and brands can win in this space by creating video content useful to users.     Smartphone usage isn’t just a consumer trend. Google has also increasingly favored mobile devices over desktop. Since 2015, Google has pushed for a more mobile-friendly internet. YouTube is already optimized for mobile, offering a seamless jump from a Google video result to the YouTube app on a mobile device. In the below graph, we see the growth of video impressions over the course of 16 months for a CPG iProspect client in the shave care space. This growth was accomplished through a content strategy focused on long-form, how-to style video content.     Brands should consider YouTube to further establish themselves as an authority within their vertical. With over one billion hours watched daily and almost one-third of the internet using YouTube, brands have the potential to accumulate a large volume of views which lead to improved brand awareness and an increase in sales. As you plan for 2021, YouTube and video content are important strategies to consider for your brand to ensure you are meeting your customer during every stage of their online search journey. 0

6 mins read

Affiliate Acquisitions Kick off Q1 2021

Affiliate Acquisitions Kick off Q1 2021

In the first few weeks of 2021, four major Affiliate industry acquisitions/partnerships were announced: TopCashback-owner TOPG acquired Swedish affiliate Refunder, Global Savings Group acquired Shoop Germany, Button announced a major collaboration with CJ Affiliate, and the Rakuten-owned Cartera subnetwork has partnered with Bumped, a startup loyalty app that rewards through stock options rather than cashback or points. While all are newsworthy and meaningful, it’s the Bumped/Cartera news that will most likely impact our clients’ performance and also sparks some debate and discussion. Through the integration, Cartera will opt-in all live merchants to Bumped if they are ITP Compliant and Track on Mobile. The integration enables users an “entry point to investing” without a separate app, aka the opportunity to use their purchase rewards in the stock market. It’s a win-win for users, but it’s also advantageous for our clients. Why? The Cartera program (a huge program as it is, with major airline and credit card rewards programs in its network) can now be integrated seamlessly and without a setup fee. Integrating with Bumped through Cartera will reach a new audience of finance-savvy shoppers who are looking for great deals -- in many ways it is similar to the Capital One acquisition of Wikibuy in that respect. It’s a value add and an audience expansion opportunity. But unlike Capital One and Wikibuy, the marriage of a finance giant and a huge affiliate publisher is an example of the conglomerate Rakuten integrating yet another affiliate publisher (although not explicitly acquiring). Ebates acquired Cartera in 2017, and Ebates, now Rakuten Rewards, was acquired before that by Rakuten in 2014, in one of the biggest plays in commerce this past decade. Bumped is one more publisher to be absorbed by Rakuten, where Rakuten is now both the third-party tracking network and the affiliate publisher itself. Rakuten’s strategy to expand across network technology and publishers has proved successful for them thus far. Still, it’s also created a bit of the elephant in the room in the industry. All roads now lead to... Rakuten?   Except that Rakuten isn’t the only network taking such an overt approach in the affiliate space. Button’s partnership with CJ Affiliate is another example of a major network integrating with a publisher powerhouse. Button’s partnership with CJ is aimed to optimize mobile traffic and fuel app installations seamlessly. The fairness of this practice and whether there needs to be more regulation around these acquisitions is a hot topic in the affiliate world. Since there have been no regulations put in place thus far, it’s unlikely that the partnership land grab will cool down any time soon. Now that Pepperjam and Partnerize have joined forces in another big merger, it’s possible that such a play may also be in the cards for them as well. We see the competition's concern and reasoning behind it. On a tactical level, advertisers may be forced to join multiple networks to work with all the partners that would benefit the program, which we are wary of for our clients. However, in the case of Bumped, it helps advertisers, as there is a one-stop-shopping ease for consumers and brands themselves. As we work with each network in an agency partnership model, we feel confident we can help our clients navigate this tightening competition and conglomeration territory. 0

3 mins read

Google's Match Type Evolution drives smarter targeting

Google's Match Type Evolution drives smarter targeting

Today, Google announced changes to Paid Search keyword match types. While the depreciation of broad match modifier (BMM) will likely get the most attention, Google is also making two other more subtle changes which will give savvy marketers more control their search campaigns. Just like the good old days but with a lot more variants and AI and…on second thought, nothing like the good old days but still exciting.   The three changes: 1.     Broad match modifier (BMM)is being sunset and replaced by an evolved version of phrase match 2.     Exact match keywords will become more predictable in terms of query to keyword mapping 3.     Broad match keywords will deliver fewer irrelevant impressions due to the incorporation of incremental signals like landing page and other keywords in ad group to determine if a query is relevant One important note: None of these changes affect negative keywords.  Negative match types will continue to work as they currently do.   BMM and Phrase Merge Google is bringing behaviors of broad match modifier into phrase match and starting in February both phrase and BMM keywords will begin to serve using the updated phrase match behavior. They believe advertisers using phrase match are potentially missing relevant queries, while advertisers using BMM are potentially reaching irrelevant queries. Therefore, Google will be phasing out support of the BMM match type while simultaneously expanding the matching criteria of phrase match effectively consolidating the two match types into one.    Many within our industry have been doing this for a while with the phrase match modifier hack. This purpose-built version from Google removes the need for the ‘+’ syntax and utilizes AI to determine when word order is relevant to the meaning of the search. We know, we know, less control and more faith in Google AI but we will reserve judgement until the test results are in.   Here’s the timeline: ·       Between now and mid-February: No changes ·       From mid-February to April: BMM and phrase match types will start functioning in this new way. Both will have the reach of BMM, but the control of phrase Match. During this three-month period, only eight languages will be affected - English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, and Russian. ·       June to July: The process is repeated for all remaining languages ·       July onwards: Marketers will no longer be able to create new BMM keywords. Existing keywords will remain in the account but will function in the way described above, not like BMM functions now. The only remaining match types available will be exact, phrase, and broad.   Between February and April we do not know the speed of the roll out so advertisers should not presumptively make changes to account structures or match types unless performance dictates. Deleting BMM keywords in favor of phrase keywords, or converting BMMs to phrase, prior to the completion of the rollout could result in a more substantial loss in volume than if advertisers wait until April to make these changes.   Marketers should, however, establish regular reporting to monitor volume and performance by match type, adjust budgets where necessary, and consistently examine the search terms report, adding negative keywords to filter irrelevant queries. As matching criteria changes expand, it will be important to monitor corresponding campaign budgets in order to accommodate changes in volume, in addition to reviewing keyword coverage.   Here’s an example of where monitoring is necessary – “Car Charger For Sale” is currently a phrase match term reaching people who are looking to buy car chargers. If this new version of phrase match was to misunderstand the “meaning” of the term, that it could incorrectly match to “Charger Car For Sale” which would reach individuals looking to buy a Dodge Charger. We have faith in Google’s AI but strongly encourage all Paid Search experts monitor their keywords and anticipate possible errors.   Exact Match Becomes More Powerful Google will also be rolling out small, yet exciting, amends to other match types as well. For exact match, Google is making the most efficient match type easier to prioritize in complex accounts. No longer will other match types, or even close-variants with a higher Ad Rank, compete with a query that is identical to the exact match keyword.   You read that correctly. Search queries that exactly match the exact match keyword, live in the account, (or the spell corrected version of the query) will always be preferred vs other match types and variants. That sound you hear in the distance is thousands of search marketers cheering.   Previously, while and exact keyword that identically match a query was supposed to be preferred, there were cases where other keywords with lower bids and higher Ad Rank could be used instead. This resulted in Paid Search experts building exhaustive lists of cascading negatives to help alleviate any exact match anomalies. We can now sleep happily with the knowledge that any doubt has been removed and these inconsistencies are a thing of the past, at least when the query exactly matches the keyword.   While the effect on performance from this change is likely to be minimal, Paid Search experts should monitor exact match traffic to better understand if any uplift occurs through this slight alteration in match type preference, then adjust budgets and strategies accordingly.   Broad Match Becomes More Targeted Finally, there is a slight yet impactful change to broad match targeting. A common complaint is that broad match is too broad and triggers irrelevant spend. This new update will insert additional signals within the match type criteria to improve overall quality and relevance. For example, landing page content will now be used as a signal to better qualify relevance to a given query. Using the previous example of “Car Chargers”, broad match would be able to better appreciate that the landing page contains copious amounts of charging hardware and no Dodge Chargers, thus (hopefully) avoiding any irrelevant results.   Overall, we understand why Google is making these changes and believe there is long term benefit to be found from the new match type definitions. BMM and phrase served a similar purpose, and the phrase match modifier hack was just that, a hack. Making exact match more…exact again is definitely a great move and the update to broad match terms will offer some interesting future tests.   0

6 mins read

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