Friday, September 6, 2013 | Edited by Daniel Moores
||The Mobile Measurement and Metrics Miasma
Consumers worldwide are rapidly shifting their media consumption to mobile devices. The mobile advertising ecosystem -- specifically smartphones and tablets -- presents huge opportunities (and unique ways) for brands and agencies to reach the right consumer at the right time and the right place using the right medium with the right advertising message.
However, despite the growth in the mobile advertising market, as well as the size of the audience, metrics and measurement of smartphone and tablet campaigns remains a significant challenge (and barrier) for agencies and brand marketers -- causing them to be more conservative in their mobile marketing spend and not fully embrace the channel.
While traditional metrics have been applied to the mobile industry, which makes sense to some extent, they don't fully capture the breadth and depth of mobile -- which is capable of generating an incredible amount of intelligence around behavior and engagement with content, advertising, and real-world locations. Mobile advertising needs to have end-to-end metrics to truly understand the attitudinal, behavioral, social media and transactional response that cover all elements of a mobile campaign. This level of information will enable brands and agencies to measure performance and optimize at all phases of the campaign to ensure the best possible results. However, before we develop metrics that are more unique to the mobile ecosystem, we need to ensure that we have sound and stable measurement standards and reliable, consistent methodologies to understand audience behavior and ad effectiveness.
Mobile -- which is complex, fragmented and both growing and evolving rapidly -- presents a very difficult challenge to develop an effective measurement framework. In mobile, we have mobile Web, downloadable, mobile search, mobile video and TV, mobile apps (the popularity of apps requires a measurement methodology that includes them as well), potentially text messaging (SMS and MMS), and so forth. Each has attributes that are unique to the channel, creating a complex measurement environment.
In addition to these channels, the mobile measurement landscape is further confounded by the fact that there are multiple operating systems, varying technologies, handsets, devices/platforms, and carriers across smartphones and tablets. The various players involved use different (counting) methodologies, which causes massive discrepancies and inconsistent measurement, metrics and reporting standards -- all inhibitors to getting a clear view of a campaign's ROI. Basically, the problem is fragmentation of information.
This is why most in the space argue the need for a common set of reporting metrics and measurement standards for smartphones and tablets to unlock greater spending and value like with all other advertising. Determining bottom-line value is of the essence. In addition, in order for mobile to compete with online and traditional media vehicles, getting standardized measurements of success is crucial. After all, without metrics that are apples-to-apples, how will both buyers and sellers of mobile advertising have enhanced confidence that the performance and effectiveness of campaigns can be consistently and accurately measured?
Agencies and brand marketers need to be able to measure the results of their campaigns and do this in a manner that is more consistent, repeatable and scalable, allowing easy comparison of the effectiveness of each campaign. One of the greatest frustrations facing agencies and brand marketers is the lack of consistency between their online advertising campaign initiatives and mobile.
Measurement has become a critical element to quantify the mobile opportunity to drive brand involvement. With the introduction of greater accountability, accuracy and consistency -- via standardized definitions, measurement and (set of) metrics -- to the medium, agencies and brand marketers will no longer see mobile advertising as a "trial and error" exercise, but as an effective medium for reaching and engaging the most accurately targeted audience possible, and absolutely integral to:
The growth in consumer usage as well as the increase in ad spending on mobile platforms underscores the urgent need for greater transparency, improved methodologies and standards for mobile audience measurement and advertising effectiveness and industry-accepted currency. This will not be easy -- measurement rarely is -- and it will require the cooperation of all key stakeholders in the industry, something that is not easily done.
- Demonstrating the value of the mobile channel
- Marketers learning how to use mobile most effectively
- Increasing the credibility of mobile advertising
- Establishing mobile as a legitimate advertising medium
- Increased investment in the mobile space
- Helping to determine what and how much to allocate to mobile
- Making mobile a cohesive and integral part of the marketing mix
- Prioritizing mobile against other media
- Measuring the effectiveness of mobile in multichannel advertising initiatives
I am not advocating that the industry just adopt the (legacy) online measurement models and metrics without taking into account the specific strengths and unique characteristics of mobile advertising. Mobile has many facets, so it will be difficult to apply a "one size fits all" model to measurement and metrics. Mobile is one of those moments in media history when new consumption patterns are rapidly evolving, opening the door to new approaches to measurement and (deeper) metrics.
The value and success of mobile advertising isn't just about establishing standard measurement and metrics; it’s about figuring out how it helps across all media touchpoints. Mobile is not a stand-alone medium. It's a connective piece of a broader and comprehensive multichannel campaign and experience. If you measure it in isolation, you might be under-leveraging the value.
(Source: George Musi, Media Post Blogs, 09/03/13)
||Don't Believe a Word -- Debunking the Lies That SEO Agencies Tell
There are many SEO (search engine optimization) agencies that provide high-quality services and work very hard for their clients. On the other hand, there are many blood-sucking SEO agencies that don't care about the clients' success at all.
I'm not even talking about the "black hat" practitioners. This is about those borderline criminals who lie and trick clients into search engine marketing hell.
Here are three of the "must-avoid" traps that I still see happening around the world.
Trap 1: Ranking Guarantee
You pay low monthly fee (or no fee) until you rank number one for the keyword. While you are ranking number one, you pay premium price.
Why it's a trap: They send you a screen shot of search results showing your page is ranking number one, but they don't tell you that they artificially create the ranking by using the personalized search on their browser. Or, they send you a monthly ranking report showing your page is ranking number one, but you don't know how the report was generated.
While you are paying premium, you don't see any improvements in the volume of organic traffic, and therefore, no business benefit. When you tell them about terminating the contract or getting your money back, they'll say you will immediately disappear from the organic search results after you terminate the contract.
Trap 2: Long-Term Contract
They present you with a long-term contract with a low monthly fee. They verbally mention a long list of SEO services such as ranking improvement and link building, but those are not specified in the contract.
Why it's a trap: Although the monthly fee may not be much, you are wasting money since you don't see any results. When you complain, they point out to you that the contract you signed was for a five-year lease of their SEO software, which they provide for you to do the activity and not for the SEO service itself. Since your complaint has nothing to do with the performance of the software, you don't have a valid reason to terminate the contract.
Trap 3: Sell New Website Design
They push you to create a new website (sometimes even a new domain) since they cannot optimize the site you have now (without giving the specific reasons.)
Why it's a trap: It's really a rare occasion when you have to completely abandon the website you own now and start from scratch. When they encourage or sometimes demand you to create a new site it's just so that they can sell more services to you. Since they're the agency that also provides the SEO services, you would expect the website they create would be optimized when it's finished, but they usually sell SEO services separately for an additional charge.
Also, you usually don't need to change the domain unless it's tied to so many bad links, negative reputation, etc. It's another way for them to sell you the services that you really don't need.
The nightmare doesn't end that easily. Many of these evil SEO agencies will even threaten you, when you try to terminate the contract.
Here are two of the common "threats" they might use.
Threat 1: It will cost your arms and legs.
You realize that the links your agency has been building for your site are actually hurting your website and you ask them to remove those links. The agency will then charge you to remove those links at the rate of two to three times or more than what you paid them for the link building to acquire them. The good news is we can now use the disavow tool to recover from this.
Threat 2: We'll whack your website and business.
You are not happy with the agency's performance and tell them to terminate the contract. The agency reminds you that they designed the website and they own the site, all the code they wrote including the shopping cart and other e-commerce functions, as well as the database, leaving you with nothing but a domain.
The small businesses who have less knowledge of SEO and the resources in general seem to be the main target for these practices. But, the size of your business alone won't protect you from these scams. Here are some tips that would help:
There are many opportunities to educate yourself about SEO. In addition to the many search-related conferences, there are free webinars offered by SEMPO and other organizations, and the Webmaster forums provide excellent information about the business of SEO.
- Learn basic SEO best practices. You don't need to become an expert, but you don't want to sign the contract without understanding what they are going to do and the relative value of each of the activities.
- Ask for the proposed SEO plan in detail. If they don't explain to you why and how the plan works (because you won't understand, or you should just leave it up to them), find another agency.
- Clearly state the services that are included (and not included) in the contract.
- Read the small print in the contract before you sign. If you're not happy with it, don't hesitate to ask them to make the necessary changes.
- Ask for five (not just two or three) references, and actually use them. Better yet, ask for a few former clients.
- Search for the agency's name to see if anyone is talking about their services. In the era of social media it is becoming harder for these parasites to hide.
(Source: Motoko Hunt, ClickZ, 09/03/13)
||Interactive Video Ads Create Two-Way Communication
Lots of Options for Interactive Video Ads, Best Practices Apply
When it comes to interactive video advertising, almost everyone is a newbie. That's because, according to various rough estimates, only about 10% to 20% of all digital video ads have some kind of interactive component.
For years, the term "interactive" has also been a synonym for online or digital. But these ads were really mostly static. Now, though, when applied to video advertising, the term interactive is used to describe some type of give-and-take, a two-way communication between advertisers and audiences, according to a new eMarketer report, "Interactive Video Advertising: Seven Best Practices for a New Ad Channel."
It's still the early days for interactive video advertising, but growth is rapid. As of June 2012, data from video ad management company VINDICO showed that 11% of all digital video ads had some kind of interactivity.
The share of ads that are interactive has doubled from last year, said Matt Timothy, president of VINDICO. "I expect it to double again in 2014."
The sharp gains in digital video ad spending underline the importance of incorporating best practices into campaigns. eMarketer estimates that video's share of the overall digital display budget will rise from 23.4% this year to 30.7% by 2017.
An understanding of the various ways marketers can make digital video ads interactive is the primary best practice when looking to get started with the process.
The following elements are all counted, by at least some, as contributing to interactive video. However, for some players in the space, not all of these elements are worthy of being called interactive:
The audience's motivation for interaction can be to get more information -- especially useful for high-consideration products -- or to indulge in some kind of entertainment, like a game, movie preview or fun content.
- A clickable button for engagement via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and so forth.
- An ad selector, giving audience members a choice among multiple categories.
- A click, rollover or other user action that initiates further content.
- Some type of call to action within the video player, where the ad pauses and expands in a new window, with which the audience then interacts.
- An overlay, which can deliver anything from a two-question poll to rich media graphics or animation to an additional layer of video on top of the main advertising creative.
It's also important that an interactive video ad's call to action vary depending on the type of product -- and the audience -- being pitched.
At this early stage, a few industries are gravitating more toward interactive video than others. Some, including automotive and electronics, take advantage of interactivity to provide deep information about product specs. Others, such as entertainment, have a lot of additional content to enhance interactivity. Ad executives also point to the travel, retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) sectors as active in the space.
(Source: eMarketer, 09/03/13)
Daily Sales Tip: Are You Kidding? How Can They Call That Integrated Marketing?
Every digital conference I attend has at least one session on "Integrated Marketing." Every time I attend one of these sessions I am disappointed. In the digital world, integrated marketing means integrating various digital media: web, mobile, email...
Never yet have I heard a digital marketer, advertiser, or agency mention traditional media within their concept of integrated marketing at these conferences. After sessions, I have often questioned the speakers about their lack of traditional media. They appear chagrined, but they haven't modified their presentations.
Radio has a wonderful opportunity to truly offer integrated marketing that includes traditional, digital, and event. Include all station opportunities in your presentations and take back revenue that has been sliding into digital "integrated campaigns."
Source: John Potter, SVP/Professional Development, RAB
Editor's Note: RAB will be hosting live webinars next week featuring Chris Pendl, Creative Director of Bonneville Seattle, with ideas for helping radio advertisers get the most for their money by using integrated marketing. Registration is available here. Cost is $49 for members, $79 for non-members.