Google has so many awesome secret weapons - many of them living within the Google AdWords platform. Semi-recent additions like Expanded Text Ads, all kinds of ad extensions, and the ability to build image ads and dynamic ads right within the platform have cemented AdWords as a force to be reckoned with - even for huge publishers.
But, real time Google Ads? We saw this in our weekly Think With Google email last week and had to save it to take a deeper look. Here's a brief synopsis:
Google's Art, Copy & Code project used existing programmatic ad technology to create a prototype ad unit that pulled highlight clips from a hockey game that were uploaded to YouTube and served them to a targeted group of fans with the advertiser's overlay. The link sent users to the Rogers NHL GameCenter LIVETM site - a subcription site for watching NHL games to "sample the goods" as it were.
By serving this proprietary content that already exists to an audience that wants more access to this type of content, the advertiser found that the users spent on average 63 seconds in the ad, which was about 4X the time spent in a more traditional expandable ad. Additionally, they saw a 30% year-over-year increase in subscriptions during the period the ads ran.
You Have the Goods, Show Them Off
We love this because it blends existing exciting content with targeted delivery. Repurposing is a beautiful thing! Especially when marketers are expected to deliver multichannel strategies with limited budgets. Any type of asset you create is an opportunity for multi-channel marketing and lead generation.
One of our mantras is "if no one can find it, it doesn't exist". Maximize the visibility of your hardest working assets with SEO, Social, PPC, and Display to magnify impact. The return on one asset may be exponential and is provable with Google Analytics or other Analytics suites.
We all know that videos, images, and locked assets aren't great (in and of themselves) for SEO, but when they are presented on a website alongside descriptive content that's findable by search engines, their organic power is amplified - both on the website and in social profiles and posts. As well, paid search can drive to a landing page where an asset is teased for a lead capture. Finally, the dynamic, "real time" Google ads referenced in this article shows that Display can drive serious increase in conversions when it uses exciting, proprietary content as a hook.
Are your assets working as hard as they could be? It's worth a test for sure.
Time decay, linear, data driven attribution models. The options are many, but some are definitely better than others. We've experimented with all attribution models, and are seeing some really interesting things in the data driven option in Google Analytics Premium.
Let's take a step back for a minute, though, and talk about what an attribution model is. From Google "Data-driven attribution reveals the real path-to-purchase, allowing you to fine-tune strategies based on real customer behavior."
There are 3 traditional buckets of "rules based" attribution models which include: single touch (credit assigned to one source), even (conversion attributed across all touchpoints), and custom (assigns more credit to first and last touchpoints, but also gives some credit to the middle points). A few years back, Google introduced data driven attribution, which is algorithmic and dynamically builds attribution models based on actual conversion path data. This is really the gold standard now. Consider the opportunity:
So, what do YOU need to get started with data driven attribution? Google recommends making sure you have a strong internal champion to ensure the attribution program is set up properly, and who can analyze and disseminate findings.
Data Driven Attribution Model Requirements for Success:
1. Define Goals - what are the true conversions, a sale? a lead? Nail these down and make sure you are tracking them.
2. Cross Departmental Budget - Since multiple sources will be credited with driving conversions, it's critical to be able to have some fluid budget allocation to optimize performance.
3. Cross Departmental Buy-In - You're going to need cooperation from marketing channel owners and their trafficking/tagging folks (if a different group) as well as from IT to make sure data is clean and accessible.
4. Mechanism to Disseminate Information - show your stakeholders that their contributions matter and how.
Google states that "industry standard assumptions suggest that returns on an attribution solution will typically be 10x the cost of the solution", so it's almost a no-brainer to begin understanding your customer journey(s) better, and to ensure your marketing mix is best in class.
A report from the Harvard Business Review, sponsored by Google, hit my inbox the other day and quantifiably confirms that marketers who use data to inform and influence campaigns see the biggest payoff. A quote from the article that I really like is "the biggest challenge that companies face isn’t talent. It’s the ability to move from data to action." Getting buy-in from the top is key.
The types of Analytics the report considers, include:
1. Digital analytics, including customer journey analysis
2. Marketing analytics, including demand forecasting, attribution models, budget optimization
3. Customer analytics, including lifetime value, propensity to buy and segmentation
4. Sales analytics
5. Consumer surveys & research analytics
It's all well and good to measure and report after the fact, but we believe (and this paper proves) that using data prior to campaign execution promises an undeniable ROI. We are huge proponents of Google Analytics and have used it to unlock information about the customer journey, channel attribution, customer/audience data, and so much more.
What is key to measurement with any Analytics is knowing what counts as a true, valuable conversion. Once this is set up in a tool like Google Analytics, it's remarkably straightforward to trace the path (even down to the search query) that led to the purchase, sign up or lead, both on and off the website.
How can companies deepen customer relationships in the age of commoditization?
The report also said that "many companies are not gaining competitive advantage from analytics because they are still focused on product-centric strategies." Netflix is highlighted as being successful in turning the product-centric model on its head. Instead of casting a wide net like traditional cable companies, it has used viewer data to create series like House of Cards that fulfill the desires of their "best" customers, cementing the company's quality reputation.
Customer relationships are really important in healthcare (obviously), so HCA Healthcare's digital marketing team has used analytics to measure the impact of online marketing on new patient growth. Also, they use tools to analyze social chatter about their properties, leading to improvement in many areas from parking to patient accomodations. Measuring all of this has also empowered the digital marketing team to create replicable best practices in managing patient acquisition and satisfaction.
What to do with all this data?
The report has lots of great graphs and anecodotes about how companies are dealing with data, but we will end with a good point from the article: "Instead of building data science capabilities, companies often bring on increasing numbers of analytics specialists" This results in what Peter Fader from Wharton (University of Pennsylvania) calls a “data firehose”. Companies are beginning to understand this, moving data analytics specialists onto the BUs and teams that need specific data to drive marketing objectives and report success or pivot strategies. We are on board with this!
Our mantra has always been "measure what you need", so let us help you get on the right track. Get in touch.
See the whole report here.
If you read yesterday's Napoleon Dynamite quote post, you'll know that I can't resist clicking on Facebook's trending topics. Today's is cheese advent calendar. OMG! Unfortunately, after cursory research and fixing myself an omelette, I discovered that these aren't available until 2017. :(
I love a good advent calendar. As a child, I delighted in opening up each door to discover a cute picture inside, and as a parent, I've realized that the real thrill of the advent calendar is the countdown itself to the BIG DOOR behind which, of course, is Christmas morning. This year, my kids and I are forgoing a typical "open the door" advent calendar, and doing a really sweet 24 Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar. I look forward to it.
Advent Calendar Keyword Research Example
As a certified Search Geek (tm), I couldn't resist going to Google and seeing what autocomplete had to suggest about different types of advent calendars. What a great - albeit seasonal - product idea for the cool people on etsy, the grommet, uncommon goods, etc. to get into production for the coming seasons! Here's a head start on your "advent calendar type" keyword research/consumer demand measurement which we would use as part of our SEO and PPC process. Type in "advent calendar with" followed by any letter of the alphabet. Here's w, for example:
So, what should we make for our etsy advent calendar shop? Wine advent calendars, whiskey advent calendars, white chocolate advent calendars, or wooden advent calendars? And this is only w!
Now, let's go to the Google AdWords volume estimator and see which kind of advent calendar we should start on for the 2017 Christmas season :)
Wooden whiskey advent calendars it is, friends!
In all seriousness, customer demand is a hard thing to gauge and it's a moving target. As a Marketer, I've never seen any data that is more real time than what I just did above. Add into the timeliness of the data, the fact that it's drawn from what is likely the largest repository of our deepest desires (GOOGLE) and you've got a pretty solid foundation. Thanks for visiting!