Archive for the ‘Display’ Category

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It continues to disappoint me when I hear about large blue chip clients working on the default 30 day PV (post view) cookie window for display campaigns and then accepting 100% of the PV conversions. Not only this, but in most cases no viewability tech is being used.

When looking at your PV cookie window, typically it should be set to mirror what you have deemed to be the average consideration time to purchase as well as taking into account the ad format.

On the other hand, you want to avoid coming up with an arbitrary PV window which so many brands do.

Fortunately there is a robust way of finding out what percentage of PV conversions are genuine which you can use for future campaigns. This is called a ‘Placebo Test’. You would run an A/B test with one of your creatives adserved alongside a charity creative. Post campaign you minus the in view PV conversions which the charity creative delivered (which are obviously incorrect) from the in view PV conversions your brand creative delivered. This will leave you with the remainder of in view PV conversions which you can class as genuine. Work out what the percentage of genuine in view PV conversions were and then you can use this percentage within the buying platform which will mean only the percentage which has been proved genuine in the past will be accepted and attributed for the current and future campaigns.

Ideally you should expect the ‘Placebo Test’ to look something like the below. If both lines are similar then the banners are not working on a brand basis and they therefore don’t offer any value outside the click. The mention of ‘Placebo’ below would be a charity creative.

PV

Things to consider:

  1. You need £10k media investment
  2. Banners incl. charity banners
  3. Partner eg. MediaMath, DBM or Media IQ
  4. Viewability tech eg. Spider.io
  5. You only have to run it once per product

By overvaluing a channel like display has two main consequences 1. Wasting marketing budget as you could re-allocate some of the display budget to other better performing channels and 2. An algorithm optimising on bad data will only mean that it will aim to optimise towards that bad data more.

On the subject of display wastage, I recently worked with Exchange Wire on an article about my frustrations of DSP’s not integrating with third party viewability tech and the impact.

If agencies and brands stop wasting marketing budget and run display campaigns as they should be done in a more genuine way, the channel will then get the respect it deserves.

Cookie

With ad spend still over £15bn / year in the UK, there are a few digital suppliers and publishers who continue looking for the quick buck by cookie stuffing.

Worryingly some marketing consultants and CMO’s turn a blind eye or use the dodgy practices knowingly to improve on the marketing tracked performance.

A few examples of cookie stuffing:

  • When managed service media buys are told to only run prospecting campaigns, yet they use remarketing aggressively to get the last post view conversion.
  • Suppliers popping banners across the net on a blank page to get the last post view conversion.
  • Publishers delivering multi banners below the footer of a site to get the last post view conversion and generate more revenue for themselves.
  • Ad networks requesting a click tracker for a piece of copy and logo, but then just use the click command to pop the site to post click cookie bomb.
  • Pop suppliers popping site when people search for your brand on Google – dropping a cookie when someone is just about to visit your site already.
  • Pop suppliers popping site using a click tracker and therefore dropping a post click cookie on the view – another form of cookie bombing.
  • Affiliates have an abundance of click trackers at their disposal where CTR doesn’t get monitored. Many use these to pop the site to post click cookie bomb also.

These are just a few of the common practises which go on, but this neither helps the industry improve, is fair for genuine suppliers who do things by the book or helps advertisers grow volume incrementally.

Fortunately there are a few tech suppliers out there who can at least help you identify whether traffic is showing a fraudulent pattern such as Traffic Cake.

Agencies and marketing managers need to have a stricter policy on cookie stuffing so then it can finally be put to bed along with the suppliers who do it.

Cookies

Firstly you need to have access to a DSP and have adserver container tags across your whole site. When implementing the container tags, it’s essential to pass back as much data through the custom variables as possible eg. age, gender, bucket amount, revenue, customer loyality type.

Container tags should be placed across each site / product page and then a tag from homepage throughout the whole conversion process to the sales thank you page. Also a tag across the current customer login section is required.

Now it’s a case of building up your CRM database within the DSP. A pixel within the DSP represents a targeting segment to be included / excluded such as:

  • Main acquisition homepage
  • March 2013 microsite landing page
  • Car Insurance homepage
  • Home Insurance homepage
  • Quote confirmation page
  • Logged in
  • Deposit confirmation page
  • Business awards landing page
  • Affiliate landing page
  • CRM email – non converting
  • Males
  • Age 25-34
  • Gold customers

Once your pixels have been created in the DSP, it’s a case of implementing them within the adserver container tags using the existing variables which have already been setup. This will allow you to setup basic scripts to conditionally fire the pixels to match the segment. To increase cookie volume, implement separate pixels across all of your CRM emails also.

The tech part is out of the way and now you just need to setup all of the relevant strategies in the DSP including / excluding the newly created CRM segments accordingly.

As new product pages, websites, microsites and CRM email campaigns get created, then the same process needs to take place in order to keep the cookie CRM database updated.

As the cookie database is held within a DSP such as MediaMath, you can deliver the CRM campaigns across ad exchanges, yield optimisers and FBX.

Puddle

Offline brand activity has been measured in the same way for decades through econometrics – mainly looking at the correlation which offline activity has with brand search volume and bottom line acquisitions / revenue.

Many digital specialists claim that this way of measuring offline brand activity was built for offline and it would be unfair to use this method for measuring online brand. Yet, those digital specialists are more than happy to attribute post view data to all online advertising without analysing actual cause and causality.

The reason why many feel that it’s unfair, is because online branding is expensive and when looking at the correlation of online brand spend vs. offline spend through an econometrics model, offline shows a greater ROI for many advertisers. Also when it comes to banners, in many instances there is zero correlation between banner impression volume and brand search uplift / bottom line acquisitions.

Just because you can track post view, it doesn’t mean that you should attribute post view conversions to campaigns. Most digital planners who have been around for a while know how this can be easily abused, you only have to look back at the classic Yahoo Marketplace placement on the Yahoo HP where an impression counter could be attached to the ad to remember this.

The key objective for all brand activity is to deliver a positive ROI no matter how the consumer got to your site / store or whether the ad was delivered online or offline. I can’t imagine any marketer spending money on advertising and not ever wanting a return from that spend, so it’s pretty safe to say that the key objective above is fact.

So what is the most robust way of measuring the ROI of online brand activity.

Analysing the correlation that both uplift in brand search volume and bottom line acquisitions / revenue has on any medium to large weight brand campaign (online or offline), is the most effective way of viewing impact / ROI in a robust and truthful way. This would mean that econometrics would be perfect to measure the effectiveness of online brand campaigns also.

In order to determine cause / causality, the brand activity would have to be signficant eg. Portal / social network takeovers, online video or high volume display burst campaigns so then the noise will show up in an econometrics model.

For very low volume online branding, there is an option to use in view post view data as a proxy of success, but it’s essential to remember that you won’t know whether the conversions would have happened anyway, unless you have run a placebo controlled test.

The ultimate goal is to know what brand opportunities are the most cost efficient way of increasing conversions / revenue. Basic econometrics is still the most effective way of reaching this goal across all marketing channels.

Retargeting

Excitement hit the ad industry when Google announced that they will provide advertisers with the ability to retarget their paid search ads through display advertising via DBM.

The exitement was short lived for a couple of reasons 1. DoubleClick didn’t understand what you could actually do resulting in mis-selling to clients and 2. You can only retarget from the search ad click and not from search ad view.

Remarketing search traffic by keyword has been around for years so there is really nothing new here.

If you haven’t got the ability to already do this internally through referral data, then it should be added to the display bid managers agenda on a low priority. Low priority, as data suggests that the ‘extra’ retargeting media cost on top of the already high paid search CPCs, doesn’t yield a positive ROI for the majority of keywords.

Currently the likes of Facebook are coming out with new ad formats which are in demand by the bucket load that work. In order for Google to compete, then they really need to bring out more thoughtful product initiatives which clients demand, such as remarketing paid search ads on the view, now that would be something special!

With the official release of DoubleClick Digital Marketing along with recruiting some high profile candidates from agency land to sell DDM, this hopefully means that future product updates will bring greater value to clients.

spider.io-—-powering-accurate-analytics

RTB brings a wealth of benefits to display advertising and one of the biggest features which is coming soon is the ability to auto optimise across different placements within a page based on historical in view rates. Yes, there is above the fold targeting but the volume isn’t there and there is still value from advertising below the fold.

Many advertisers are throwing over 60% of their RTB spend and adserving down the drain because over half of the ads delivered simply did not get viewed. For those who accept PV, the wastage would be significantly higher as the channel gets attributed PV conversions where the ads didn’t even get viewed.

This is where viewability technology comes in. Let’s look at the viewability technology marketplace and the test results off the back of a study to find the best partner:

Firstly you need to identify what you class as ‘in view’ – some tools believe it or not have a default setting which cannot be changed of 1 pixel has to be in view to class the banner as ‘in view’. It’s recommended to set the values at 100% of ad surface viewed for a minimum of 4 seconds or 50% of ad surface for a minimum of 8 seconds.

Project Sunblock

The test didn’t even get off the ground as they only supported a solution where the creative would re-direct through their servers. This brings high risk of their technology affecting the ad delivery so this provider was ruled out

Comscore

This test also didn’t get off the ground as they struggled to send the necessary tagging over and their technology does not work with Chrome or IE browsers so for that reason alone this provider was ruled out

Alenty

  • They have a pretty good offering and do offer very good customer support. Their tech didn’t affect impression volume and is compatible with all browsers
  • Test results show: Germany (35.8% in view), Portugal (40.7% in view), Poland (42.9% in view) and UK (29.2% in view)
  • They can use a DSP macro to pass back campaign name, strategy name, exchange name and domain name
  • They have a good reporting UI and can setup bespoke reports
  • You can customise your in view calculation in the UI and the data adjusts in real-time.
  • Compatible with DSPs
  • Infectious Media have been using the tech for a while now with optimisation success
  • Referring to their demo on http://www.alenty.com/en/demo/display-ads (which has since been removed), if you move the banner half off screen or have another window in front of the banner, the ad surface remains as 100% and visibility duration continues to go up which is a huge downfall of the technology because if you’re going to track viewability then you need to do it right.

If it wasn’t for Spider.IO, this would have been a good alternative.

Spider IO

  • Very good technology which is compatible with all browsers and didn’t affect impression volume
  • In view rate of 17%
  • They can use a DSP macro to pass back campaign name, strategy name, exchange name and domain name
  • They don’t have a reporting UI yet, but can supply bespoke daily reports with customised in view calcs
  • Technology is patent
  • Compatible with DSPs
  • As per their demo, their technology is truly ground breaking http://spider.io/vStp83jg6/
  • They offer log level data which can go into a DMP

Spider.IO was the clear winner due to their patent tech, the demo which works and log level reporting. Alenty although the tech is not 100% is still a fantastic alternative.

Quantilus_finance

The search is over and the best DSP on the planet has been found.

Taking into account global resource, data centre locations, commercials, minimum spends, targeting options, QPS, UI, reporting, sources plugged in, a list of the top DSPs has been put together.

MediaMath have a good combination of most key elements such as internal expertise for advance setups, they tap into all sources as a priority so they have the most reach available out of all DSPs and have an advanced algorithm that does what it says on the tin. They are also flexible on the commercials allowing you to build your volume up overtime with little risk. This strategy also gives you an idea of the kind of client service they provide which is at an exceptional level.

DoubleClick Bid Manager have certainly improved since moving onto the Google stack tapping into more sources than ever. They still cannot tap into FBX though and are locked out from certain publishers due to being under the ‘Google’ umbrella. As you’d expect, they do have the most superior QPS which is certainly an advantage when it comes to display CRM.

Turn were very slow getting a data centre in Europe and they have a long way to go but they are still a very respectable DSP.

1
MediaMath
2
DoubleClick Bid Manager
3
Turn
4
AppNexus
5
DataXu
6
[x+1]
7
LucidMedia

wasting-money-300x183

Criteo have certainly become popular over the past few years with marketers. This is mainly due to them being sold into a no hassle site remarketing solution paying on a low risk CPC basis.

What a lot of marketers and CEOs don’t know is that by using a managed site retargeting service like Criteo is not only lazy and inefficient, but it it’s also opening the business to data leakage which could have a damaging effect.

Let’s break those three key points down further:

1. Inefficient way of spending money – Criteo typically charge c 50p CPC yet using a DSP eg. MediaMath and Adacado together, the eCPC rate would be c 5p. Everything works back to an eCPM for display, so on a CTR of 1.5% you’re paying £5 CPM for the managed service via Criteo and only c 70p CPM for the media and dynamic creative service both on a self-service basis. Not only that, 1.5% is quite conservative for a dynamic remarketing CTR so as it goes up, so does Criteo’s eCPM.

2. Lazy – it’s a lot easier to send a monthly invoice to accounts to pay but it does take a bit more intelligence, will power and proactiveness to get a self-service DSP on board and dynamic creative supplier. Display CRM would only be part of someone’s job and they’d typically apply a tight frequency cap and low CPM at the top of the funnel, but as you go lower in the funnel the frequency cap should be increased alongside the CPM as the users become more valuable to your business.

3. Data leakage – allowing a third party to ‘manage’ your data for you is always risky that it could fall in the wrong hands eg. a competitor or data exchange.

Something I haven’t mentioned is scale and volume, although Criteo do have a few exclusive publishers, this doesn’t match to any degree the sheer scale which a DSP such as MediaMath or DoubleClick Bid Manager bring to the table.

image

Using a DSP on a self service basis lets you set your own rules and strategy structure therefore site remarketing strategies should be completely separate from prospecting. It’s essential to separate them as the KPIs and strategy between prospecting and CRM are so different (similar to brand and generic search) – it’s a classic way of how a lot of ad networks used to over represent the real prospecting display results by including remarketing strategies within prospecting campaign results.

From remarketing site visitors who have bounced, to remarketing high value customers, the set-up should be bespoke to the segment. The further you get in the user journey, the less cookies there will be allowing you to be able to afford to be more aggressive as there’s less risk of budget getting out of control, also the further your customers get in the journey, the more you want to keep them (as their value increases):

Let’s start with remarketing people who have visited but not registered their details – a tight frequency should be implemented and reasonably low CPM.

Dependent on your user journey you should then split out your remarketing strategies by segment (which should all be list in your cookie CRM database) eg. Age, gender, country, product, user level – as the segment becomes more valuable to your business, the frequency cap should be loosened and CPM increased.

As well as the media strategies, the likes of creative and ongoing promotions are crucial for success in this area – it’s not going to help serving your high value customers banners telling them to sign up again or promote an out of date offer. A reminder of what’s currently available, what’s just launched, cross sell, RAF, special offers and what’s coming soon are the basics.

Remember, the harder you work on CRM and generally looking after your customers to avoid them leaving, the more you can afford to pay for new customers which has a positive effect on the incremental volume you can drive (referring to the classic volume price curve).

website-view-300x217

If you’re keen to ensure that your banner ads are making an impact, you need to ensure that the banners are first and foremost in view / have a high possibility of being viewed.

If you’re wondering why there is no correlation between impressions or post view conversion volume with bottom line acquisitions, then it’s a high possibility that around 60% of ads aren’t even in view.

So the general census is the higher the CPM, the higher the in view rate right, yet from a study which has been done across a DSP, this is not strictly true:

When delivering impressions at an increment of 20 cent from 15 cent up to $1.50 CPM, it was found that the average in view rate (55%) was pretty much completely flat and if anything as the price went up, the in view rate went down.

Interestingly though as you’d expect, when running the same strategies across above the fold inventory across the same pricing structure, the in view rate significantly goes up to 70% although it’s still flat across all bid prices.

Based on these facts, the data suggests that above the fold inventory which is becoming more and more available is a more cost efficient way at driving impacts / views than simply increasing your bid price.

DRbanner

Claims have been made that you can achieve search performance with display prospecting campaigns via DSPs and some say that display isn’t a DR channel and you shouldn’t just accept post click conversions.

Referring back to a typical volume price curve and the fact that DSPs are now available, it is certainly possible to setup separate DR prospecting display strategies which perform on par with other digital channels such as Facebook and paid search but at the expense of a fraction of the volume.

There are a few ways to achieve this:

1. Setup separate ‘spend’ strategies where you’re throttling the CPM as low as 15 cent.

2. Auto optimising on post click conversions only and the algorithm will only spend if it thinks it will hit the CPA

3. Look at all post click data from previous DSP prospecting and remarketing strategies setting up separate ‘spend’ strategies across areas eg. OS, browser, time of day, publisher….. which index highly / placements which hit your CPA goal.

Just because something is trackable ie. post view conversions, it doesn’t mean that you should accept them all. Also quite a lot of businesses simply don’t have the infrastructure to manage log level data and therefore be able to ignore post view conversions which weren’t even viewed.

Due to various strict policies which both Google and Facebook enforce such as gambling regulation, certain industry sectors would find display to be more valuable as display has minimal restrictions on what you can and can’t do.

There is also a case of ‘why bother with display DR’ knowing that you have to invest in decent DR creative, have access to a DSP and a display adserver and at the end of it all you get minimal conversions compared to other digital channels. My take on it is that it’s a growth area and volume will only increase in the future. Also having a multi channel media strategy is more powerful than focusing on the status quo.

Although many CEOs continue to unnecessarily obsess with banner ads because it’s the most visual way of demonstrating your product creative wise, if as a business you want to stay ahead of the game, you need to seek out all viable opportunities.

high-quality-high-value

Customer lifetime value / ARPU can look dramatically different across the full customer database therefore the ideal scenario would be to optimise only towards high value customers (lookalike targeting).

All you need is a DSP (due to reach, inventory aggregation and optimisation algorithm (which has a brain visualisation report)) as well as having the ability to implement the DSP pixel on a page where your high value customers visit (either conditionally firing a pixel based on variables or simply a premium product page – min. of 200 total global pixel fires a day required recommended)). Once the prospecting strategy sets off, the algorithm will reward the campaign with a conversion event every time someone views / clicks on a banner and then fits within the relevant criteria where the pixel would fire. The algorithm will then deliver prospecting ads that fit within the same internet surfing behaviour and demographic as your high value customers.

There are over 350 million websites in the world and when you duplicate that number to take into account sections of sites, browser, OS, time of day, device, day of week, above / below the fold, internet speed, country, ad format then that’s a hell of a lot of data for even a team of people to manage and manually optimise against for one client throughout the day, which is why an advanced algorithm which has an auto optimisation feature is recommended.

By looking at the brain visualisation report there is the option to also set-up separate manual strategies where you can view a list of targeting options which correlate with your high value customers on an index value basis.

As we know, display is a mixture between BR and DR and falls higher up the funnel than affiliates and generic search so when it comes to looking at ROI and optimising, it would be a good idea to firstly not accept any impressions which have not been ‘in view’ and then accept 1 to 7 days post view and 30 days post click conversion – the whole concept here is to deliver prospecting banners to the right person at the right time and in the right environment.

If you’re interested to find out more, get in touch with MediaMath who offer the best service when it comes to this strategy.