Mobile Targeting 2.0

By: Jonathan Mellinger, VP Enterprise Partnerships at Goodway Group This time last year the debate was raging over the death of the third-party cookie. We wondered: How will we track mobile conversions given the app sandbox? And will clients have first-party data at scale to target media? These questions, at the time, were relevant. But it seems I haven’t heard them much in the last few months. It could be “viewability” just seems to dominate every conversation in the online media world these days. Or it could be there’s a new crop of companies thinking about mobile targeting and attribution that may be allaying the concerns a cookieless world presents.

The Problem with Cookies on Mobile

Audience targeting on the desktop uses cookies to infer user behavior and assign attributes based on that behavior. Basically, those attributes are packaged into targeting segments like, “Monster Truck Fanatics”. Mobile audience targeting presents two challenges that cookies on a desktop browser don’t. First, some mobile browsers, i.e., Safari, don’t allow third-party cookies by default—a user must opt in via the phone’s settings. This presents a challenge for marketers because Apple’s smartphone market share is about 50% and prevents accurate attribution. The second challenge is the sandboxing of mobile apps. “Sandboxing” prevents apps from sharing cookies with mobile browsers. This also makes tracking conversions difficult.

Going “Native” with Mobile Audience Targeting

We often hear one of the greatest benefits of mobile targeting is the ability to do so based on location or hyperlocation—messaging a customer or prospect when he or she is right at your store’s doorstep. This may be a successful tactic in certain circumstances, like when there’s scale, or when first-party data also is being used. But location doesn’t equal intent. And for mobile targeting to resemble behavioral targeting we can do with cookies, there has to be an element of intent. I’ve recently evaluated a number of companies that have accomplished this. Their approach is to analyze signals other than location and device ID, time of day, app-usage habits, other signals in the ad call, and, sometimes, registration data. When these attributes are processed and segmented into audiences we can access in our DSP, they create a richer profile of a prospective customer rather than relying on location alone. This is a significant step toward developing a more “native” approach to targeting on mobile devices. Using the technical components (Wi-Fi networks, device IDs, and ad-call information) native to the mobile format takes advantage of how we all use our smartphones and tablets. Furthermore, it reinforces Goodway’s goal of ensuring our clients can successfully reach their target audiences. Adding context and intent to location gets us closer to achieving that goal.

Your Campaign Was A Success! But How?

By: Jonathan Pinkerton, Client Services at Goodway Group As a member of a client services department within Goodway Group, our job is to ensure that client’s campaign is set up for success and hits its goals. We work in tandem with our sales team and directly with our clients so that no question goes unanswered and a campaign hits its fullest potential. The bread and butter of our role is reporting out a campaign’s success. Every report will include the basic metrics, such as impressions served, click-thru rate and Effective Cost per Action, but different campaigns have different successes. An auto campaign’s KPI may be completely different from a State Lottery’s KPI. As part of client services, it’s our job to identify the goal for each campaign and provide the best metrics possible to tell that story. We have a robust reporting library that allows us to highlight many different aspects of a campaign, including:

  • Activities – how many post-click and post-impressions were generated from the campaign?
  • Ad Sizes – did the 728×90 perform better than the 300×250?
  • Audience Composition – what was the male/female breakout? Age range? Household income?
  • Creative – did creative set #2 have a higher click-thru rate than creative set #1?
  • Heat Maps with Zip Code – which zip code had the highest conversion rate?
  • Markets – how did DMA perform versus another?
  • Pre-Roll – how many people viewed the entire video? Many people viewed half the video?
  • Tactics – did mobile targeting outperform domain retargeting?
  • Time/Day – which date of the week or time of the day was the most effective

Reporting is something that is customizable to the client and it’s our job to help identify what makes a campaign a success. Depending on the size of the campaign, we can even set up an online reporting dashboard so a client can pull up-to-date metrics before going into a meeting or closing out for the weekend. It’s our job to make you a hero and a hero can’t save the world without the proper tools!

Don’t Bother With Digital Display If Using Last Click Attribution

By: Jay Friedman, COO of Goodway Group In our book 30 Days to Paid Digital Media Expertise we talk about the paid digital media pyramid. Aside from display re-targeting, display (mobile or desktop) and video are at the very top.  What this means is that these tactics aren’t as effective as they could be until everything else underneath is well-funded and intelligently deployed.  This is because each “level up” catalyzes the benefit of what’s been done before. So when the time comes to rev up the banner and video machine, a brand or product should be at a point where the first three layers are nearing the point of diminishing return.  However, just because you’ve been measuring clicks through Google Analytics to attribute performance and success for the first three layers doesn’t mean that is the way to continue forward.  In fact, if you do, you’re going to need to hammer really hard. Imagine you’re a swimmer. World-class, too. You know how far and long your initial dive should be, how to time your turn at the end of the pool, and how to align your breathing with your stroke.  But now you decide to take up running.  So you hire a coach.  You ask, “how far do I dive and how long do I stay down before I come up for air?” The coach tells you that running is different.  You’re going to need to train, understand, and measure success differently.  In fact, the coach tells you you’ll never win a national championship without shoes.  “Uh, been there done that!”  Display banners and video are that different from the rest of the pyramid.  Using Google Analytics and last click attribution to measure the success of your display is absolutely no less crazy than judging the quality of a runner by how well he turns at the end of a lap and starts running backward. Display banners are clickable, but display advertising is not created for clicking.  Big difference there.  Why should you believe this? Let’s look at several studies that have been done to demonstrate that not only does a display click have little to no value, it will actually send you in the opposite direction in optimizing your media and audience.

  1. 18 years ago (!) the IAB came out with a study showing that even the 2% click through rates of the time didn’t add value or provide a good metric.
  2. 11 years later, comScore and Starcom released the famous “Natural Born Clickers” story.
  3. If this wasn’t case closed, they followed up on the study a year later to ensure the results hadn’t changed. They had.  They’d gotten worse. 8% of internet users account for 85% of clicks? Hmmm.
  4. Nielsen also jumped in. In 2011 Nielsen released a study demonstrated no relationship between clicks and brand metrics or offline sales.
  5. In 2012 comScore again discussed the (lack of) value of the click, showing a .01 correlation between clicking and conversion/purchase. .01! It literally couldn’t get any worse!
  6. Then the IAB implemented a test where it ran banners with nothing in them. Some were a pure white box, others were a pure orange box. The result? These “banners of nothing” achieved the same click through rate the industry sees with brand and direct response banners.

Furthermore, there have been even more studies demonstrating how display actually drives more search traffic, proving that higher pyramid layers build on each other.  These are just two of 10+ studies that have been published in this space. The moral? Square pegs or swimming training – you name the metaphor – don’t work when the new environment isn’t built to be measured the same way.  Let the ad server do the hard work of measuring display banner and video campaigns in such a way that you can learn the true value of your media investment. If you insist on using last click, you should consider sticking with swimming.

Optimize Your Search For 2015

By: Olivia Bias, SVP of Sales Operations for Goodway Group Paid search management & strategy has come a long way since the days of Lycos and AltaVista in the mid-1990s.  Besides Google now being the dominant engine, search strategists now have to consider a myriad of factors in order to run a successful campaign such as increased competition as more advertisers have come on board and more sophisticated user psychology patterns as users navigate through an increasingly complex online environment. Has your SEM kept up-to-date with the times?  Here are two areas on which you can focus now to keep your search competitive amidst changing technology and user behaviors:

  1. Optimize towards the mobile user experience – if there is one thing you can do this year to improve your search results that would be to ensure that your users have a painless experience discovering your business through search on their phones.  Did you know that beginning early last year, more Americans (55%) used devices to access the internet over PCs?  This is a huge shift in user behavior and a trend that will only become more prevalent in the months and years ahead.  Mobile considerations:
    • Implementing click-to-call extensions that make calling your business easy
    • Implementing app-extensions that make app download easy via the ad
    • Device-optimized landing pages and sites
    • Optimizing towards mobile technology factors such as device type or OS
  2. Optimize towards conversions – Since you pay for clicks it is only natural to want to optimize towards clicks, but a better long-term strategy is to optimize towards users who are engaging and taking meaningful actions on your site.  Google’s Quality Score algorithms have become more favorable towards advertisers who do a better job of delivering what users are actually looking for and they measure this through bounce rates, time on site, etc.  So while clicks are important – they get your “foot in the door” with the user – conversion optimization will help you drive a better quality score, better page position, and ultimately lower CPCs in the long run.

Need help with your search?  Goodway has a dedicated search team, skilled in SEM strategies for many types of industries and can work with you to place pixels for conversion optimization and make recommendations to provide a better user experience on mobile devices.