Archive for the ‘ Accountability ’ Category

Increase ROI and Confidence in the Media Mix

The top challenge marketers face this year is increasing or proving marketing ROI.  Part of the problem is 50% of advertisers aren’t confident in their own media mix.  A surprising 55% of advertisers aren’t confident they know and understand how to effectively reach and influence people along the customer journey.  One of the root causes…

The top challenge marketers face this year is increasing or proving marketing ROI.  Part of the problem is 50% of advertisers aren’t confident in their own media mix.  A surprising 55% of advertisers aren’t confident they know and understand how to effectively reach and influence people along the customer journey.  One of the root causes of this dilemma is they’ve been unable to measure campaign results across isolated media channels and big data silos.

 

So, what can be done about this problem?

 

The obvious answer is to improve campaign measurements so ROI and media effectiveness will reveal themselves, but I suspect most sophisticated marketers are already pushing the limits of tracking reports.

 

abilitytotrackroibychannel

 

What if there was a way we could measure the impact of channels that are currently limited in their own tracking capabilities?

What if we could also increase wholesale lift across the board at the same time?

 

Let’s take an example of a campaign running across channels, using the audience targeting features each network or site has available.  Just because we instruct Facebook and AdWords, for example, to target the same profile of person doesn’t mean those same people will be served our ads in both places.  If we’re doing a good job there has to be some overlap, but there’s no reliable or measurable way of seeing that.

 

Compare a different approach where we force an overlap of most of the people targeted in the campaign.  These isolated channels and platforms on their own, or using a management tool like AdRoll, don’t have the ability to force this audience overlap.  Fortunately, there are marketing data firms that provide the one-to-one targeting data to ensure the same people see ads in a truly omni-channel experience for each person.

Anytime an impression, click, page visit, or site conversion comes from an ad unit served to the overlapped audience, you will automatically know that person was also influenced by all the other channels in the mix.  If you weren’t serving ads to the same people in all channels you wouldn’t know the total impact each channel has on the customer journey.  By forcing the overlap of audience targeting you have the ability to aggregate the total impact and ROI of this mix-within-the-mix.  This approach has resulted in campaign performance increases of up to 66%.

 

Going back to our original problem of increasing and proving ROI, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Reaching hyper-targeted audiences one-to-one across channels has been proven to boost campaign performance.  This approach gives marketers the ability to measurably prove the ROI, boosts confidence in the media mix, and increases performance all at the same time.

 

 

Based on Getting Digital Right by Millward Brown Digital

In-the-Trenches View of Ad Blocking

Written by Chris O’Neill | @chrisoneillpro   A recent poll of my network revealed how in-the-trenches media professionals are dealing with the growing issue of ad blocking. Responses showed diverse approaches to what could be the biggest hurdle for digital media this year. Here is a summary of what industry leaders had to say.   How…

Written by Chris O’Neill | @chrisoneillpro

 

A recent poll of my network revealed how in-the-trenches media professionals are dealing with the growing issue of ad blocking. Responses showed diverse approaches to what could be the biggest hurdle for digital media this year. Here is a summary of what industry leaders had to say.

 

How are media professionals dealing with this issue?

  • Diversifying across media channels so issues with display will have less impact
  • Deciding that people who choose to block ads aren’t a qualified audience anyway
  • Increasing native, social, email, and blog efforts because they are not blocked
  • Relying on outside media partners to manage the situation
  • Using this as a wakeup call to re-evaluate opportunities for effective non-display tactics

 

What work still needs to be done?

  • Identify qualified people without ad blockers to ensure they get added to targeting pools
  • Know definitively how many people actually use ad blocking, to accurately quantify potential impact

Is Your Vendor Padding the Numbers?

  Posted By: Chris O’Neill, VP, Business Development, Future Flow Media   There seems to be a large discrepancy between what many digital media vendors report and what they’re actually able to deliver.  This sets expectations for campaign performance way off base and lets dishonest vendors continue operating. Let’s use some benchmarks for email campaigns as…

 

Posted By: Chris O’Neill, VP, Business Development, Future Flow Media

 

There seems to be a large discrepancy between what many digital media vendors report and what they’re actually able to deliver.  This sets expectations for campaign performance way off base and lets dishonest vendors continue operating.

Let’s use some benchmarks for email campaigns as an example.

House list campaigns have the best performance because subscribers are so engaged with the brand they took the time to opt-in directly.  Average open rates are in the 20-40% range with click-through rates (CTR) in the 4-6% range (percentage of emails sent). (eMarketer, 2015)

3rd Party/Prospect/Rented list campaigns perform differently because though they opted in to receive offers via email, they don’t yet have the loyalty and rapport as the house list subscribers.  These campaigns average 9-10% opens and 1-1.5% CTR (percentage of emails sent). (eMarketer, 2015)

FYI: Email is still an amazingly effective tool to contact unreached or under-engaged audiences, IF you use the right partner with confirmed permission-based 3rd party opt-in data (no spam and no risk to your brand). 68% of consumers rate email as their number one method for staying in touch with businesses compared to just 5% via social media. (Constant Contact, 2015)

What happens when an email list rental vendor claims to have achieved 25% opens and 5% CTR on a campaign?

  1. They could be sending out more emails but not taking them into consideration on the report, artificially inflating the numbers.  If the order was for a 100k email drop, but they actually sent 300k (without telling you), the report would show 3 times higher open and click percentages.  Are those extra records targeted recipients or just random data to generate extra activity?
  2. I hate to say it, but there are companies out there that pay people for clicks or use some kind of bot to simulate email traffic.  The best thing to look out for when evaluating a new (or current) vendor is to simply ask yourself whether their claims make sense.  Are their performance promises, or campaign reports, somewhere near the ballpark of what industry benchmarks say they should be?
  3. There can be exceptions and homeruns with email campaigns, but not all the time.  The campaigns we run here at Future Flow Media average 10-15% opens and 1-2% CTR and periodically see higher results because of our optimization expertise.  Don’t be alarmed if you have a successful campaign, just be observant of what “normal” is and should be.  When you compare campaign metrics to industry benchmarks and it looks too good to be true, there’s probably something fishy going on.

Discrepancy Between Viewability and Online Success

  There can be significant discrepancies between viewability rate and actual on-site interaction and conversion. Take a newspaper’s website for example, although the viewability of the ad positions above the fold is generally over 70 percent, the best results for a rectangle position is far below the fold, embedded within the news articles. The ad is positioned…

 

There can be significant discrepancies between viewability rate and actual on-site interaction and conversion. Take a newspaper’s website for example, although the viewability of the ad positions above the fold is generally over 70 percent, the best results for a rectangle position is far below the fold, embedded within the news articles. The ad is positioned where readers are focused on the content with a higher time spent on page. Although this position has a viewability rate of “only” 35 percent, it outperforms on CPA by 300% for both sales and brand metrics.

What viewability rate should advertisers expect? As a whole, ad networks and exchanges have traditionally delivered lower viewability than media purchased directly from publishers. Currently, average viewability rates for display are 43% while average video viewability rates are even lower at 39%.

Viewability rate is not the same as a viewable guarantee percentage. Though 100% viewability rates are impossible to achieve, it is still possible to make sure that 100% of the impressions you pay for are viewable. This is typically called either a viewable guarantee or vCPM (viewable cost-per-thousand impressions) transaction, and it means you are able to set the requirement for the number (or percentage) of viewable impressions you want to be guaranteed, and that’s all you’ll need to pay for.

Post-viewable conversion tracking. By using viewability as a touchpoint in conversion measurement you can also get insights on whether high viewability resulted in increased on-site behavior, like quality visits (over x seconds on the website), or an interaction on the website like putting a product in the shopping basket.

DSP’s & viewability. Enrich your RTB platform with viewability data to learn and bid smarter and faster on inventory, but don’t forget to check the relation with other KPI’s, like creative interaction and on-site engagement. Various DSP’s are investing heavily in the enrichment of their platform with viewability data. Although this mostly concerns reporting at present, it will find its way into bidding algorithms and smart targeting in the near future.

Viewability & creative. Create smarter ad units by dynamically integrating viewability duration to change the creative content after x seconds. For example, you can change the visible offer after a specific viewability timeframe. Or move your call to action forward as soon as you know you are serving on a page with a low viewability duration. You can also implement this non-dynamically by bundling domains and placements with equivalent viewability durations and serve separate creatives for those groups.

Viewable impressions will cost more than served impressions. After conducting a study across 505 million impressions from nine campaigns, Rocket Fuel found that, of the inventory that could be measured, viewable ads cost 25% more than non-viewable ones. This makes sense because the remaining spots become more valuable as the total available inventory shrinks to ensure higher viewability. They believe that if all stakeholders (advertisers/agencies, ad tech companies, publishers) pitch in to solve the problem of low viewability, everyone will start to realize even higher value from this more expensive inventory pricing.

Viewability as a tool, not a goal. Use viewability as a valuable and efficient way to run smarter advertising and to provide valuable insights, but not as the only goal in itself.

Based on articles from RocketFuel and Blue Mango.

How to Enforce Accountability in Automotive Campaigns

  Posted By: Chris O’Neill, VP, Business Development, Future Flow Media   I was speaking with an automotive agency a while ago who shared a story about campaign accountability I thought others in the automotive marketing industry would want to hear. Several dealerships were introduced to a direct marketing company that claimed to have the ability…

 

Posted By: Chris O’Neill, VP, Business Development, Future Flow Media

 

I was speaking with an automotive agency a while ago who shared a story about campaign accountability I thought others in the automotive marketing industry would want to hear.

Several dealerships were introduced to a direct marketing company that claimed to have the ability to send emails to vehicle intenders in each dealer’s area. There’s nothing wrong so far – Future Flow Media provides this capability and does it very well. The problems began to mount with how this vendor executed (or didn’t) the campaign and how they handled the situation.

The first red flag was the number of email records reported to be available, sometimes nearly the entire population of the town. I doubt EVERYONE in the area had legitimately identified as an auto shopper AND legit email opt-in all at the same time. Regardless, the dealerships went ahead with testing the new advertising vendor.

Second issue was the traffic patterns on the dealership websites. Web analytics reports showed most of the “traffic” driven by the email campaigns were <1 second hits to the home page and there were no behavioral patterns showing web activity typical of real shoppers on the website. This arose suspicion about whether email campaigns had been sent out at all, or if the vendor used a bot traffic generator to fake web hits. I understand the gravity of this kind of accusation and don’t use it lightly – which could have been alleviated quickly except for the third problem.

The vendor refused to do a sales match back. This is the process of matching the postal addresses of people who bought vehicles against the postal addresses of people who were sent the email campaign. People who received the email, and bought a vehicle, would have been influenced by the email in their purchase journey. The straight refusal to have any data processed, for analysis purposes only, accomplished nothing but to aggravate the (now burned) customer and cement the suspicion of fraudulent practices on behalf of the vendor.

How can automotive marketers ensure accountability when using outside partners for conquest email campaigns?

  1. Always insist on a sales match back process. I understand that data licensing terms can sometimes require a couple of extra steps, but it’s well worth your while. If there is sensitivity from either party, remind all involved this process is for analysis purposes only. One way to eliminate the risk that data can be misappropriated by either party is to encrypt each record with MD5 (your IT guys know what this is), making the data useless for any purpose other than one-to-one comparison.
  2. Observe customer behavior patterns on the website. Does it look like the kind of activity that real people do when they browse vehicles on a dealer’s site? There will always be some who hit the home page and leave quickly, but you should at least see some window shopping and tire kicking. In addition, there are specific leading indicators in dealership website activity our market research team here at Future Flow Media have identified. Get in touch with us and we’d be happy to share this information.
  3. Only work with marketing vendors that don’t sound fishy (impossible targeting criteria, more records than people, etc) and follow all the best practices for 3rd party email campaigns. They should have 100% confirmed permission data, the distribution systems optimized for proper delivery, and reporting of the open/click rates. For more tips and specifics on what to look out for, let us know and we’ll be happy to share more details.