Archive for the ‘ B2C ’ Category

This is How to Reach Millennials

  Millennials (18-34 year olds) will represent $200 billion in annual buying power by 2017 (Harvard Business Review). So how can brands reach this lucrative demographic? We’ve all heard the typical advice, ‘put your advertising budget into social media, after all that’s where the action is’. There’s no doubt Millennials love their social media for…

 

Millennials (18-34 year olds) will represent $200 billion in annual buying power by 2017 (Harvard Business Review). So how can brands reach this lucrative demographic? We’ve all heard the typical advice, ‘put your advertising budget into social media, after all that’s where the action is’. There’s no doubt Millennials love their social media for keeping up with friends, events, and sharing each and every moment of their day.

But when it comes to consumer-to-consumer brand communication, they prefer more direct contact. A 2015 study by the Principal Financial Group shows given the choice between email, in person, postal mail, social media, phone call, online chat, or text message, Millennial respondents overwhelmingly choose email straight across the board. They want one-to-one contact with companies, whether it’s for offers, customer service, or other communication.

Marc Apple, owner and chief strategist at Forward Push Media believes no one is constantly on social networks, but most people check email every day, whatever their demographic profile:

“In my opinion, email is the original social media.”

Not surprisingly, Millennials check email more than any other age group according to a recent Adobe study. That same study found nearly 98% of Millennials check their personal email at least every few hours at work, while almost 87% of Millennials check their work email outside of work.

But that doesn’t mean the same old email marketing will work. Ultimately, Millennials want useful emails. They want emails to work on the device of their choice, and they want emails to appeal to their interests and passions (Harvard Business Review). Here are some tips for planning your next email campaign involving Millennials:

  1. Mobile Rules – Since they live life on their phones, design your emails for mobile first. Use responsive design across every screen size. Get your call-to-action across quickly as part of a clear, captivating mobile user experience.
  2. Targeting – Stop batch ‘n’ blasting and start marketing to individuals. Millennials expect personalized, relevant content that interests them. Take advantage of a third-party hyper-targeted email advertising campaign and precisely target your ideal audience based on 100s of criteria. This is a great way to compliment your existing house list and the email delivery is handled by the third party.
  3. Timing – Millennials are more likely than any other age group to check email while in bed (45.2% according to a Harvard study). Experiment with sending emails first thing in the morning or late in the evening with content relevant to that time of day.
  4. Rock Your Content – Content is all-important, and that’s about personalization again. Make it relatable and relevant, speaking to them on their individual terms. It’s got to provoke thought and look smart or risk being swiped away to the trash folder.

Once is not Enough: Mobile Retargeting

  Most customers will not buy, book, or request more information the first time they visit your website. They spend time doing research and can forget about a certain product or service very easily. A category or product page they’ve read on your site gives you valuable information about that consumer. Retargeting completes the loop and displays ads to those high-intent…

 

Most customers will not buy, book, or request more information the first time they visit your website. They spend time doing research and can forget about a certain product or service very easily. A category or product page they’ve read on your site gives you valuable information about that consumer. Retargeting completes the loop and displays ads to those high-intent visitors while they browse other sites. This has been proven to be highly effective since, as cmo.com reports, consumers who see retargeted ads are 70% more likely to return and convert.

Mobile Usage Is Surpassing Desktop

The majority of retargeting efforts are setup to work with desktop consumers. As you’ve probably heard, mobile usage is out-pacing desktop in almost every category. Take the Travel/Tourism industry for example: In 2016, more travel sales will booked on a mobile device compared to a desktop or laptop. Accommodations and airfare booked via desktop continue to decline as people grow increasingly comfortable researching and booking trips on small-screen devices. eMarketer’s latest travel industry study forecasts 52% of US travelers who book trips via digital channels will do so using a mobile device, which will be up from 43% in 2015. It’s clear your audience is on their smartphones and tablets more than desktops and now they are making more significant purchases on those devices.

Apps vs Mobile Web

The majority of mobile usage occurs within apps compared to mobile web. Nielsen data shows an overall 80/20 usage split between apps (email, social, news) and web browsers (Chrome, Safari). But don’t ignore the mobile web when buying media because it’s still very important for brands with mobile-optimized sites who have customers arriving from search engines. Tablet users spend 56% of their time on the mobile web (comScore). The key to successful mobile retargeting campaigns is the ability to access ad inventory across all environments, networks/exchanges, iOS, Android, in-app, and mobile web.

In 2016, it’s important to be engaged along the entire digital purchase journey. Google reports 90% of consumers start a task on one device and finish it on another. Mobile retargeting is a great mid-funnel marketing tool that keeps your brand in front of potential customers at the right moments with personalized, relevant ads on the device they use the most.

Remember:

First, make sure your website or landing pages are mobile optimized. Second, choose a digital advertising partner that has access to mobile ad inventories across iOS, Android, apps, and mobile web. Talk to Future Flow Media about retargeting your audience on their mobile devices. Contact Us

You might also like: The Difference Between Cookie and ID Targeting

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How North Dakota Tourism Targets Visitors

  North Dakota had the eighth-lowest tourism budget among the 46 states reporting figures to the U.S. Travel Association in fiscal year 2013-2014, spending nearly $6 million. The state which spent the most that year was Hawaii with $82 million, Delaware spent the least at just over $2 million. With a small budget and competing destinations surrounding North Dakota,…

 

North Dakota had the eighth-lowest tourism budget among the 46 states reporting figures to the U.S. Travel Association in fiscal year 2013-2014, spending nearly $6 million. The state which spent the most that year was Hawaii with $82 million, Delaware spent the least at just over $2 million. With a small budget and competing destinations surrounding North Dakota, the tourism division has to make the most effective use of its money. With the help of research, the state is able to find out what brings people to North Dakota and what media they consume. According to the department, it appears to be paying off: visitation increased 22% between 2011 and 2013.

“It’s really just trying to take all that information and trying to lay it all over on top of each other, and make sure the most important things rise to the top,” said North Dakota Tourism Division Director Sara Otte Coleman. “The bottom line is most of the efforts we put in we want to be able to measure.” 

North Dakota is planning a $3.3 million media buy in 2016, with 78% of that being spent on ads in the U.S. and another 15% to Canada. Roughly 6% will be spent on niche advertising. Their advertising will be targeting Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois for the U.S. markets, and Manitoba and Saskatchewan in Canada.

The tourism department plans on using print, TV, and digital media including email marketing. Targeted digital media such as email allows North Dakota to engage specific audiences while they’re online, and recent studies show email is the preferred method for consumers wanting to receive news and promotions from brands (MarketingSherpa). An example of how research helps shape the state’s marketing, is the decision to focus on families in nearby states and provinces, because most of North Dakota’s out-of-state visitors travel by car.

“We need to be very strategic about our media buys in order to make that as effective as possible,” said Heather LeMoine, Marketing Manager at the North Dakota tourism office.

How effective has their marketing been recently? Longwoods International, a research firm contracted by North Dakota, said in a 2014 report that visitors spent $94 for every advertising dollar spent. Meanwhile, the report also said the North Dakota ad campaign in U.S. markets generated 1.1 million incremental trips that would have not otherwise taken place, bringing in more than $200 million in visitor spending and nearly $16 million in state and local taxes.

 

This post is based on an article by Inforum. Image from tripadvisor.ca.

 

Consumers Want Your Advertising

  Digital advertising has been hit hard lately with all the buzz about ad-blocking software claiming to create an ad-free experience for everyone. New research from MarketingSherpa suggests consumers don’t actually hate advertising, they just have preferred ways of receiving that communication from brands. Only 8% of the consumers researched said they didn’t want to…

 

Digital advertising has been hit hard lately with all the buzz about ad-blocking software claiming to create an ad-free experience for everyone. New research from MarketingSherpa suggests consumers don’t actually hate advertising, they just have preferred ways of receiving that communication from brands. Only 8% of the consumers researched said they didn’t want to receive marketing, while each respondent cited a preferred way of discovering new products. More than one-third of those surveyed said email is their preferred way of communicating with brands on their smartphones.

“This may be somewhat surprising to some, as when mobile marketing is talked about, email is sometimes not included,” said MarketingSherpa director of editorial content Daniel Burstein. “Buzzier topics like location-based marketing—iOS iBeacon, for example—and apps tend to get the most attention.”

 

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Post based on Ad Age article.

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.

The Difference Between Cookie and ID Targeting

  In short, cookie targeting is about devices, while non-cookie targeting (ID targeting) is about people. Cookie Targeting The main issue with cookie targeting is it’s about devices, and most people use multiple devices per day. They likely have a separate computer for work and home, a tablet and a smartphone. Or the device could…

 

In short, cookie targeting is about devices, while non-cookie targeting (ID targeting) is about people.

Cookie Targeting

The main issue with cookie targeting is it’s about devices, and most people use multiple devices per day. They likely have a separate computer for work and home, a tablet and a smartphone. Or the device could have multiple users such as a home computer being used by four different family members. So if the family’s teenage daughter visits fashion sites, the next person to use that computer will be served ads based on her interests. The inconsistency between the device containing the cookie and the user presents a fragmented landscape for advertisers and consumers. It causes wasted ad spend and makes it difficult to measure performance or provide proper attribution.

ID Targeting

When a site has the appropriate re-targeting code, social networks like Twitter and Facebook can identify that person’s ID. That person is then served re-targeting ads the next time they’re on those social sites. And the great part is they see those ads on their desktop, smartphone, tablet, or anything other device they use social on. Google, Amazon, Apple, eBay, and Yahoo also allow for targeting based on user login information. ID targeting creates a more consistent and relevant experience for the consumer, which is important since 70% people are comfortable receiving advertising online as long as it’s relevant to them (sociomantic.com).

Will ID take over Cookie Targeting?

Eventually it will, but cookies are still widely used for advertising on desktops across a variety of digital platforms. For many, it’s the only way to reach users at all, and the pros of cookie targeting far outweigh the cons.

Bottom line: Re-targeting Works

Consumers who see re-targeted ads are 70% more likely to purchase (cmo.com). However you do it, re-targeting brings back customers who expressed interest in your brand. Build your brand preference and stay top-of-mind by displaying re-targeted ads to audiences that didn’t convert while they visit other sites.

How TV and Digital Video Work Together

  Nearly half of respondents to a BrightTalk/IAB poll conducted in March 2015 said digital video ads and TV ads were equally effective. And the share of respondents saying digital video was less effective than TV was virtually equal to the share who thought digital video was actually better. While TV maintains its audience with…

 

Nearly half of respondents to a BrightTalk/IAB poll conducted in March 2015 said digital video ads and TV ads were equally effective. And the share of respondents saying digital video was less effective than TV was virtually equal to the share who thought digital video was actually better. While TV maintains its audience with only slight erosion, digital video usage continues to grow in time spent and videos streamed. Digital is still nowhere close to the total consumption or aggregate ad revenue of traditional TV, but video and TV can still work together.

Here are the tips and suggestions from industry leaders on integrating video ads with TV (eMarketer, 2014):

  • Use video to reinforce the larger TV campaign. “We know that when we’re out with a digital video buy, there’s greater recall when our [TV] spot actually airs.” (Amy Peet, Chrysler Group)
  • Use TV for reach and digital video for frequency. “As a cross-media planner, if you’re able to sequence these two things together, you can have them both working in unison—one for reach, one for frequency. TV advertising typically raises the profile and creates a lot of impact. Then it’s supplemented by high frequency, much cheaper inventory bought through video networks, for example, or any programmatic video buy.” (Matthew Waghorn, Huge)

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IAB/Neilsen Online Video Study Findings:

  • The duplicated or online + TV reach is shown to be more effective on key brand effect metrics than either platform alone.
  • The sequence of exposure matters: prior exposure to an ad online enhances the impact of the TV exposure.
  • Planning and running online video first can boost how well both the online video and TV portions of a campaign work.
  • Online video ads score higher impact than TV ads on Nielsen measured metrics. Metrics are general recall, brand recall, message recall and ad likeability.
  • Shifting 15% of broadcast media spend to digital video results in a 4% increase in advertiser reach across verticals

Digital video advertising will make up nearly 12% of all digital ad spending in the US this year and is projected to grow significantly faster than search or overall display advertising for the next several years.

eMarketer_US_Digital_Video_Ad_Spending_2012-2018_169627

 

According to a study from marketingprofs.com, most digital video buyers see online video as an essential compliment to TV:

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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.

Winning the Micro-Moments Battle

  In a recent report, Google asked the question, “how would you describe your phone’s role in your life?” Respondents replied with phrases like  “attached to my hip,” “butler,” and “lifeline.” The device that’s always by our side is transforming the way we learn and discover new ideas. Micro-moments, as Google has named them, are…

 

In a recent report, Google asked the question, “how would you describe your phone’s role in your life?” Respondents replied with phrases like  “attached to my hip,” “butler,” and “lifeline.” The device that’s always by our side is transforming the way we learn and discover new ideas. Micro-moments, as Google has named them, are the moments when we turn to our device and take action on whatever we need or want at the time. These micro-moments are happening along the customer decision journey and brands need to anticipate them and be there with the relevant information.

Red Roof Inn realized flight cancellations were leaving 90,000 passengers stranded every day. They started tracking flight delays in real-time which triggered targeted search ads to advertise their locations close to airports. “Stranded at the airport? Come stay with us!” It was relevant information that people needed at the moment. The result was a remarkable 60% increase in bookings across non-branded search campaigns.

Mobile is driving the micro-moments phenomenon, but it extends beyond mobile to all screens, devices, and channels. An integrated mix of hyper-targeted email, mobile, and search, along with re-targeting, ensures the message reaches your ideal audience at key stages of the customer decision journey. Learn more about hyper-targeting and the most effective mix of digital media channels.

More highlights from Google’s Report:

When people use mobile search to help make a decision, they are:

  • 57% more likely to visit a store
  • 40% more likely to make a phone call
  • 51% more likely to make a purchase

Compliment existing media with mobile search:

  • 66% of smartphone users turn to their smartphones to learn more about something they saw in a TV commercial

Beat the competition:

  • 90% of smartphone users are not absolutely certain of the specific brand they want to buy when they begin looking for information online
  • 1 in 3 smartphone users has purchased from a company or brand other than the one they intended to because of information provided in the moment they needed it

See the full report from Google here.

How Research and Data Shape Your Message

  It’s not unusual to find a tourism organization, or any company really, that hasn’t paid enough attention to consumer research. And West Virginia’s Division of Tourism hadn’t focused on this in over ten years. The tourism department wanted to know more information about the type of traveler that was visiting West Virginia and the return…

 

It’s not unusual to find a tourism organization, or any company really, that hasn’t paid enough attention to consumer research. And West Virginia’s Division of Tourism hadn’t focused on this in over ten years. The tourism department wanted to know more information about the type of traveler that was visiting West Virginia and the return on investment from their advertising campaigns. First, they conducted surveys of people who had visited West Virginia in the past year to determine their perception of the state and awareness of previous advertising exposure. Second, they started tracking mobile devices currently in West Virginia and whether those same devices had been served tourism ads for that city.

The survey results showed major distinctions in the type of tourists that were visiting West Virginia. This allowed the tourism department along with their agency, Digital Relativity, to create targeted messaging to different audience segments. For example, people from Ohio wanted more family-focused activities while people from Washington DC were interested in outdoor activities and couples getaways. By adjusting the messaging to specific audiences, a targeted email campaign had a 62% conversion rate based on signups and requests for travel guides. A hyper-targeted email campaign, combined with mobile and search ads, is a powerful and integrated solution that reaches responsive audiences online. Because hyper-targeted advertising is so efficient, less money is wasted, and campaigns are more effective.

Combined with the mobile tracking data, West Virginia was able to determine that they generate $7 for every $1 spent on tourism marketing. This led to state lawmakers tripling its 2016-17 budget to $6.5 million.

“What’s most important is we’re not throwing away money,” said Amy Goodwin, West Virginia’s commissioner of tourism and deputy secretary of commerce, “especially as a state you are beholden to the people who pay taxes.”

 

This post is based on an article by Ad Age