How to Develop the Most Effective Demand Generation Strategies in 2023
Businesses all over the world strive to convert brand awareness into customer conversions and profits, but marketing and customer service efforts are only as effective as the principles that are driving them. Demand generation is the strategy that helps B2B and B2C companies create reliable brand interest that translates directly to high quality leads.
Gordon Ferris, Director of Growth Marketing at Marin Software, shares significant insight to help us understand the principles that will define the success of demand generation strategies in 2023 and beyond. With more than a decade of experience in search, social media, and ecommerce marketing, Gordon generously explains the key tenets of demand generation that every marketer must understand to succeed in both B2B and B2C companies.
The Core Tenets of Demand Generation
Understand Your Brand
Most brands believe they know what they stand for in a general sense but this does not always translate into effective messaging. A major reason for this disconnect is not knowing how the brand is perceived within the minds of internal and external stakeholders. Each brand makes a promise to their customers and these promises must be ratified through consistent, concrete behaviors. Businesses that successfully communicate their marketing messages consistently have seen a 33% rise in overall revenue.
Gordon shares that businesses must “understand the power of their product and what makes their brand unique because this is what people will respond to. This needs to be actively pushed through across marketing activities and channels.”
Understand Your Customer
Once a business defines the promise it makes to its customers, it needs to understand how those promises relate to each customer segment’s needs. Marketing can be viewed as one-way communication from a brand to its customers, but successful demand generation requires more than that. Businesses should actively collaborate and engage with customers to collect customer insights to better define and meet their needs. This can also help businesses create brand advocates that further amplify a business’ message through organic communication.
Even if businesses want to listen to their customers, it can be challenging to define what they’re looking for. Gordon explains how businesses can break down a customer’s needs into two distinct categories. “Businesses need to identify a customer’s rational and emotional needs. Rational needs relate to the functional needs and attributes they want from your product. This can be quality, variety, efficiency, saving time, reducing cost and effort, and more. Emotional needs, on the other hand, relate to how your customers want to feel when interacting with your product. This could be a customer feeling confident or enjoying exclusivity through the ownership or use of your product.”
Understand Your Product Positioning
In an ideal world, the relationship between a brand and its customer would be enough to translate effective communication into active demand. However, brands don’t exist in a vacuum. Competing services, products, and brands present constant challenges. This has led to almost three quarters of people actively avoiding advertising with the use of ad blockers or other tools. To avoid overwhelming the customer, businesses must position themselves as a partner customers can trust.
Gordon adds that “positioning can only be done appropriately when businesses know their brand and all its components. They also need to understand the competitors they share space with. Marketers should ask questions such as what are some of the brands in your direct category? What brands fall just outside the category, but have an overlap or affinity with your customers? Analyze competitor brand positioning; how do they want to be perceived by their customers?”
How to Generate Demand Effectively in 2023 and Beyond
According to Gordon, “Once you do those first three steps of understanding your brand, your customers, and your positioning, then you get into tactics and the tactics become easier.”
The principles listed above should apply across all demand generation activity. They can help businesses be more proactive in learning about their customers, themselves, and their competitors.
Remain Authentic to Your Customers
Authenticity has been cited by 88% of customers as an important factor in determining whether they like and will support a brand. Even if marketing messages have a proven track record of success with a customer base, if the brand that is sharing those messages doesn't believe it, it will not resonate with customers. Businesses should identify and amplify the messages that lie in the overlap of the brand’s beliefs and the customer’s needs.
Learn to Make the Most of First-Party Data in a Cookieless World
Businesses have been trying to phase out the use of third-party cookies as major browsers and search engines ditch the information-gathering method in favor of first-party data. However, a staggering 83% of marketers still rely on third-party cookies to learn about their customers. Businesses must learn to extract actionable insights from the information they already have or are able to gather.
Gordon explains that “once someone is on your site, you need to make the most of that engagement. Allow your customers to find what they’re looking for, but at the same time, by the way they click or navigate your site, find what’s important to them.”
Make it as Easy as Possible for Your Customers to Buy into Your Messaging
Marketers can sometimes overlook the needs of the average customer when designing messages that seem eloquent to their own eyes. While there is value in including flair in a brand’s marketing, it should always be accessible and easily understood by the business’ most important customers – and the message must connect to the priorities of the intended audience.
Businesses should actively “create bite-sized paths that are addressing specific value propositions or questions that your customers might have for your product or the industry you’re in,” shares Gordon.
With MarinOne, businesses can gather information about how well each message is resonating with their customers, learn what their customers are actually interested in, and how their competitors are faring with different marketing tactics and messages.
To learn more about how MarinOne can help you reach your audiences more effectively, request a free demo of our solution now.
PI LIVE London 2022 is done, and we're excited for many other events Marin will be attending over the coming weeks, including Amazon Unboxed in New York this week. But before we close this chapter, we wanted to highlight some of PI Live’s best moments and share what we learned.
Marin sponsored the Pyramid Stage, one of two areas where keynote presentations were shared. And we even had our own Anu Adegbola give a 30 minute session on budgeting strategies for 2023. She is an experienced and accomplished public speaker who shared great insights on budget planning.
Day One Speaking Session Highlights
Speaker Tina Judic, co-founder and Chairman of Tomorrow Group, talked about the importance of AI integration in advertising at the Rakuten Advertising Main Stage and also on the Marin Software Pyramid Stage. Shay Okelola, the Account Director for Neo Media World, described how programmatic has changed the advertising game. Both welcomed all attendees and exhibitors and outlined the schedule for day one.
Budgeting Strategies for 2023
Marin’s Anu Adegbola took the Pyramid Stage to share the best tactics for approaching a budget for the new year, as well as roadblocks that may affect how funds are allocated amongst marketing channels in 2023. Some of the key concepts Anu mentioned include:
- The 70-20-10 Methodology:
- 70% of your marketing initiatives should be proven and tested methods that are almost certainly going to support your business objectives
- 20% of your marketing initiatives should be new methods or ideas that are somewhat untested for your business, but have had success in the market at large for other competitors
- 10% of your marketing initiatives should be what you'd call "wild bets," or tactics that are completely out of the box, creative, and untested. This is the best way to find new niche audiences for your products or services.
- Industry disruptors that will affect budgeting in the new year:
- Making way for new channel experiments - TikTok, Quora, Reddit and more all have new advertising campaign types that are relatively untested. Start with spending just 5% per month of the total possible allocation for a new channel and tie that spending to tangible deliverables. As you have data to optimize from, you can continuing scaling 5% month over month continuously.
- Covid-19 has changed consumer behavior for the long haul. One of the lasting effects Covid-19 has had is consumers have dramatically changed their behavior in terms of needs, timing, and what factors influence their purchase decisions. Buyers are still making purchases; but getting into the psyche of how, when, or where your target audience is likely to convert is more complex than it has ever been.
- The recession is here. Economists across Europe and the US project significant economic downturn in 2023, and many economists say we are already in the midst of a recession that could take several years from which to recover. Price point will be a very high priority for consumers in this next year and beyond.
- When in doubt…remember you're just frying chips
- Mark Ritson published an article this past week in MarketingWeek that really beautifully summarized what all budget allocation techniques boil down to. He describes in the article how back in the '90s famous chef Heston Blumenthal became obsessed with making the perfect chip. After hundreds of tests, Blumenthal found the best method for making delicious chips every time was simple. Boil the potatoes for 15 minutes, freeze, fry, freeze again, fry again. Perfect chips. Every time. Regardless of oil temp or seasoning or what have you…these fries always came out pretty great.
- Planning your marketing budgets also should be simple. Here are the "brass tax" points Mark Ritson outlines that will make your budgeting strategy pretty great every time. Regardless of the market, the campaign, or the channel.
Brand-to-Brand Partnerships: The Ultimate Convergence of Brand and Performance
A panel of branding experts from various sectors shared their thoughts on brand-to-brand partnerships at the event. With trackable ROI and consumer trust, this partnership can be a fruitful collaboration for new startup businesses.
Some of the most compelling learnings from this session included:
- When you partner with someone you can use their content extensively across your different channels to drive ROI.
- Tech has progressed significantly in terms of carrying out successful brand-to-brand partnerships. Still, there's always that human element that brands can't use a computer for.
- Smaller brands are really useful for smaller niche audiences. For those clients with specific needs, why not get a partnership from the niche provider?
AT YOUR OWN RISK! 30 Mins Inside the Mind of an Integrated Creative
Jo Arscott, an award-winning Creative Director, shared her approach to storytelling. She made a compelling argument that sometimes shifting your focus away from data and research can actually lead to surprising new business opportunities.
According to Jo, the human imagination is what makes technology such a great asset for creativity. In her experience, digital data both helps and hurts at once - it’s good because it fuels creative ideas but also bad because of exposure and privacy concerns.
State of the Industry: 2022 Affiliate and Partner Marketing Trends
Have you ever wondered how advertisers feel about affiliate marketing? The IAB released a report with insights into the current state of affiliate marketing and presented the results during PI LIVE. Some of the main points that I took away from this talk was:
- Over the next year, affiliate marketers expect that editorial content will be their biggest source of revenue. Influencers are also very popular and came in second in the poll.
- Publisher diversity is a huge concern CMOs are currently facing when looking at continued investment in affiliate marketing.
- IAB saw a correlation between the worsening cost of living crisis and the importance of affiliate marketing, as reflected in survey responses. This suggests that as consumers must tighten their belts financially, buyers will be depending upon recommendations through marketing means they trust to make the best purchase decisions.
Day Two Speaking Session Highlights
Tapx CEO, Luke Judge and the founder of PlanIt, Steve Cox, hosted a successful second day at the conference. All participants and exhibitors were welcomed and the program of the second day was outlined.
Influencers, Live Shopping & Social Commerce: Affiliate is the Ultimate Conversion Tactic
This panel discussion was an interesting dialogue based on the following statistic - 74% of consumers are making buying decisions based on social recommendations, a number that is worth paying attention to. Here are some of the most valuable learnings from the session:
- Influencer marketing in social shopping has a lot of potential. To make the strategy work, you will have to plan everything beforehand and track each campaign individually.
- Don’t automatically go for influencers that have millions of followers. Often there are smaller accounts that share niche common interests with your brand because these influencers are more likely to drive better results.
- Humans are not like technology - they can be unpredictable. That’s particularly why you need to make sure contracts with influencers are spelled out and that the influencer is given enough freedom to do their thing.
Fireside Chat with Boohoo: The Value of Unlocking the App for Affiliates
Most affiliate campaigns drive traffic to mobile websites rather than apps, even though the app experience is much better for the user and converts at a higher rate. The content remains significantly lower on mobile sites. Some of the things we learned during this session included:
- Apps can produce different outputs for different businesses. Boohoo could make an app that's basically the same as their website with a more intuitive conversion process, whereas fintech brands may develop apps to address the need of their customers.
- Cracking the code to tracking is paramount when coming up with an app for your company. If you are great at explaining how seamless and accurate you app’s tracking really is to your affiliates, they will be happy clients and won’t stop promoting your company.
- If you're a business looking for some guidance, it can't hurt to use a tech company that offers training and advice when developing your app.
Lessons from 2008: What’s Next for the Recession-Era Affiliate Marketing Industry
This panel with professionals brimming with knowledge provides insights for current economic climate. After attending this session, it is clear that:
- Facing a decline in sales, luxury brands should consider paying more attention to more accessible products. As an example, consumers may look for a lipstick instead of the Chanel bag, so it's important to promote your products that are at a lower price point rather than the higher value items.
- Even during a recession, you should not cut your expenditure on marketing. Those who keep investing during testing times are those that remain strong and achieve lifelong brand value.
- Ensuring you're active on review sites is an excellent way to show your trustworthiness to potential customers. The key is to be sure you have a system in place that lets legitimate reviews through, while filtering out fake ones.
The Learnings Shared Were Compelling, but Networking Opportunities Were the Real Highlight
It was clear the event producers put a lot of effort into selecting an engaging agenda with keynotes, fireside chats and panels on two stages. As always, networking was one of the best parts of the day! On day one, DJ Viv May provided music during lunch. In the evening, there was a cocktail happy hour post-show on the terrace.
On the second day, as the crowd relaxed and got to know one another better, it was great to see that the event brought out so many meaningful marketing conversations. Between the Networking Village, impact.com's Prosecco Lounge, and Webgains' Sports Bar, there were plenty of places to share ideas, exchange contact information, and plant the seeds for potential partnerships.
At Marin, we're enjoying the opportunity to re-engage with our clients and partners on a personal level. Reach out to join us at one of the other events we'll be attending in the near future. Our team of expert marketing consultants would be happy to host you for a dinner and discuss your marketing strategy for new coming year.
Protecting yourself and your company in a world of remote work
This is a story about people doing bad things on the internet. It’s not the first and certainly won’t be the last. We decided to tell our story to help prevent others from becoming victims. Of course we don’t want people misusing our brand, but the people who have spent their precious time and lost money in this are the real victims and are the ones we are looking to protect.
It started with a DM
We started getting strange messages to our social media accounts and various company email addresses asking “is this project real?” The project: Translation work from somebody who is using a name very similar to ours and our company logo.
This has nothing to do with our company (if you look closely, you can see the misspelled name). We responded to these inquiries letting the email senders know the project was not real and that they should not communicate with these Scammers (I’d really prefer to use a stronger term here, but my editor would not allow it). We also let the platforms where these conversations originated know what was happening.
As we received more messages, some of them became more urgent. Some of these new Victims were panicked because they had done the work and then sent money to the Scammers. One of them had sent $1,500.
How does this work?
We believe that these scams start with a job posting on sites like Freelancer.com and Upwork. The Scammer then asks the Victim to move their communications off the original platform and to communicate directly through Telegram or another messaging platform, including email.
The Victim is given work that seems legitimate, and completes the task. When the Victim seeks payment, the Scammer then requires the Victim to establish an account for payment, which requires the Victim to send an “account registration fee” to the Scammer. This advance-fee scam is not new. Similar scams have been around in various forms for decades or longer, including the Spanish Prisoner and Nigerian Prince scams.
The Scammer promises that the account registration fee will be refunded upon the Scammer’s payment for the Victim’s work. At this point, many of the Victims realize that they have fallen for a scam. But some Victims, having already done some work and not wanting to walk away from a potential payment, go ahead and pay the account registration fee. A behavioral psychologist might refer to this as an escalation of commitment or sunk-cost fallacy.
In a few cases, the Scammer further escalates the commitment by asking the Victim to make an additional payment to link their account.
How can freelancers protect themselves?
According to HR statistics, freelance work in the US has been on the rise, with 53 million registered freelancers in 2014 versus 59 million in 2020. So how can these freelancers protect themselves? The first thing that people can do when working on freelance projects is to always work through the platforms. They have established policies in place to ensure that payment happens once the job is completed and that payment should happen directly through the platform. Being asked to move communication to email or another platform should be a red flag.
Secondly, there is absolutely no reason that we can think of where a legitimate company would ask you to provide payment in order to get paid. If it sounds like it doesn't make sense, it probably doesn't.
Third: watch out for projects that look too good to be true. The pay for the projects that we've seen were quite generous and this of course gets people more interested. If it seems like you are being overpaid for the amount of work involved, keep your guard up.
There are many articles and videos with additional advice on what to watch for.
What are you doing to stop this? What can other companies do?
We aim to work with the freelance platforms and relevant law enforcement to try to prevent these types of scams from happening. Below are some contacts and links that we used so you can use them if needed. If you become aware of a scam online posting, please report the posting and/or the user to the relevant platform.
Also, provide a way for people to contact you. People who have lost money are very resourceful about getting in touch with someone who can help. We have seen direct messages on social networks, emails to every alias listed on our website, and well as personal telephone outreach to team members and their families. By posting a link on our Contact Us page, we have made it easier for people to connect with our legal team and get additional information.
Open request to freelancing platforms
As we discussed how to handle this internally, one of the things that we think could provide a significant Improvement in the freelance ecosystem would be to allow companies to become certified. This would be similar to the blue check on Twitter. This way, a freelancer would know that the job is legitimate and coming from the official company account. It seems like a step in the right direction. It appears there is something similar for individuals, but we couldn’t find anything for companies.
We are not experts in this area, so there may be other things in place or better ways to solve this problem. We'd love to start a discussion about how we can do that. For now, know that Marin's cyber security practices are strong. If we need any freelance assistance, we will not be contacting anyone through Telegram or Whatsapp.
As we live in a world with increasingly remote employees, we expect that we will all face more of these types of threats. We all should keep our guards up.
MarinOne’s powerful optimization tools deliver performance for LinkedIn advertisers
Looking for growth? Interested in a channel where you can generate leads, drive website traffic, and build brand awareness?
How about LinkedIn?
You can now manage LinkedIn Marketing Solutions campaigns from Marin Software’s flagship MarinOne platform. The MarinOne integration with LinkedIn’s Campaign Management and Reporting & ROI APIs gives advertisers better insights and improves the performance of their LinkedIn campaigns.
With nearly 800 million professionals and 4 out of 5 members driving business decisions based on information they find on the platform, LinkedIn is an important lead generation destination for B2B marketers and others with longer consideration cycles.
Our self-serve MarinOne platform unifies industry leading optimization tools with flexible reporting and bidding to help advertisers maximize the impact and reach of their LinkedIn marketing investment.
Blast Analytics, an innovative agency helping advertisers with LinkedIn ads has been using MarinOne to optimize their campaigns.
“Marin Software continues to innovate and improve its technology to drive better performance for our clients,” said Brian Lange, Senior Marketing Manager at Blast Analytics. “The MarinOne solution has saved us time reporting on our LinkedIn campaigns and also provided a significant performance uplift leveraging its bidding technology." (Click here for the full case study.)
MarinOne serves a hub that links marketing activity with true business impact from an advertiser’s CRM, allowing optimization to revenue, not just form fills.
“By connecting downstream customer data to our advanced automated bidding, MarinOne can significantly improve the performance of your campaigns,” said Chris Lien, Marin’s Chairman and CEO. “LinkedIn is an untapped opportunity for many advertisers and we are excited to help advertisers drive growth on this fast-growing channel.”
Advertisers can manage their LinkedIn campaigns alongside paid search, paid social and display campaigns to help generate additional demand. Marketers can align their efforts across channels to ensure they are working seamlessly across the customer journey.
Click here to learn more about support for the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions integration with MarinOne.
You may have seen news recently about a security flaw in a common software library called Log4j that could affect large portions of the internet. Also known as CVE-2021-44228, the vulnerability is specific to Java-based services. A successful attack could potentially allow an attacker to access host data and resources.
At Marin Software, the privacy and integrity of our customers' data is a top priority. Marin has evaluated its primary external services and preliminarily determined there is limited vulnerability, if any, to the log4j issue.
- MarinOne, Marin Enterprise, Marin Social, Marin Go, and Marin Labs: Internet-facing services are non-Java.
- BI Connect: all components have been upgraded to remediate against the vulnerability.
- Marin Tracker: runs “outside the firewall” and communicates via asynchronous file transfer using a non-Java mechanism.
- Marin hardware, OS, and network infrastructure: confirmed cleared of vulnerability per vendor statements.
Because of the evolving nature of the threat and the high volume of potential attacks at this time, Marin will continue to investigate these services as well as secondary / internal services. For publisher remediation status, customers should contact those publishers directly.
Update published January 5, 2021:
Marin has completed its assessment of the Marin application. We believe that the Marin application host systems and related data are currently protected from the vulnerability noted above and related Log4j vulnerabilities. We believe the Marin application host systems and related data were not compromised. Our conclusions are based on many factors, including but not limited to a lack of Java-based external services, tightly circumscribed host settings and network privileges, and communications with third party vendors. As part of a defense-in-depth approach to system security, Marin has also taken several steps recently that have been designed to create additional protections against this class of vulnerabilities.
Marin will continue to evaluate any vulnerabilities as they come up, and we will work to comply with industry best-practices in application, host, and network security.
Every so often, a story surfaces of a nefarious actor gaining access to a Facebook Business Manager account and running ads for an unrelated product or to a click farm. Usually, they are able to spend thousands of dollars and max out any and all credit cards associated with the account before the ads are paused and the cards are cancelled.
A majority of the time, this is caused by a digital team member simply giving access to the wrong person. Facebook’s 2-factor authentication works well against individual accounts being accessed, but unfortunately, it does not prevent user error.
The Challenges of Maintaining User Permissions
One way to reduce risk is to reduce the number of users with access high enough to provide credentials to those who should not be in your account. Sounds easy, right? Managing user permissions can be more complicated for a number of reasons.
Of course, you want your team members to have permissions high enough to do their job effectively and efficiently. But over time, team members may gain higher levels of access when they may only need to do one or two tasks at a higher level. Sometimes it’s just easier to grant permanent Admin rights (we’ve all been there).
Additionally, you must remove user access when a member of your team no longer needs it, perhaps due to a change in roles or companies. With ‘The Great Resignation’ underway as workforce dynamics shift, a record number of employees are leaving their jobs or careers altogether. Permissions should be updated quickly to reflect users’ departure. But auditing the permissions of your entire account can be time consuming and sometimes takes a back burner to the priorities of managing your campaigns.
Prevent Your Account from Being Compromised with MarinOne
There’s an easier way to solve the issues that come along with account user management.
With MarinOne, only one member of your team needs access to Facebook Business Manager, and the rest of your team would only need access to the Marin platform. By reducing the number of team members with Facebook access, the chance of permissions being granted to the wrong person is lowered significantly. Users can still build, manage, and report on Facebook campaigns to drive performance on your ad spend without the risk of opening your account to a hack.
MarinOne’s rules engine lets you set parameters to pause campaigns when there is a dramatic increase in spend and will also send you an email alert to notify you of the change immediately. By setting up these guardrails, you’ll be notified of a security breach in real time and be able to shut down your campaigns before your account is drained.
Finally, removing users in MarinOne only takes two clicks in an easy-to-navigate account configuration menu. So, as team members transition in and out of your organization and new users gain access to sensitive Facebook data, you can easily stay on top of permissions to keep your account secure.
Now more than ever, it is crucial to keep permissions limited to those who genuinely need access levels, and it’s just as important to make sure those who no longer should have access are removed. MarinOne’s security features ensure that those who never should have access to your account have fewer avenues to gain permission.
Click here to learn more about connecting your Facebook account to MarinOne.
Marin and Google Renew Revenue Share Agreement to Drive Innovation in Paid Search
This week, we disclosed that Google and Marin have entered into a new 3-year revenue share agreement. The agreement supports innovation and choice in paid search management and optimization. Google has agreed to make revenue payments to Marin based on the total paid search spend Marin’s customers are managing on our platform across Google and other search publishers.
Independent solution providers like Marin improve the ecosystem and help advertisers succeed. With the revenue share payments, Marin will further develop and enhance our MarinOne platform to serve the needs of the world’s leading search advertisers.
Our goal with MarinOne is to complement the tools built by the publishers, expanding advertising abilities to analyze, automate and optimize their digital marketing campaigns. As an independent third-party, we help advertisers leverage their data and make better budget allocation decisions and deliver better results across all publishers.
This agreement provides an additional source of revenue and will support Marin’s investments in innovation and delivering value to our customers.
Digital marketing is an ever changing industry and we are in a great position to help our customers deliver more growth and maximize the return on their digital marketing investments.
4 New Insights Available: Bid Strategies, Landing Page Errors, and More
MarinOne Insights generates over 5,000 recommendations for our customers daly, identifying millions of dollars in potential performance improvements from their digital marketing programs.
Insights are automatic, tailored recommendations that help advertisers get more out of digital marketing campaigns and provide them with the tools needed to quickly implement those recommendations.
This week, we have added these four new Insights to MarinOne:
Landing Page Errors
Sending traffic to a broken web page is a waste of spend and a terrible experience for your customers. MarinOne automatically crawls your top landing pages by spend, and surfaces issues such as a 404 error codes.
Marketers should either fix the landing page or pause the keyword until the landing page issue is resolved.
Bid Strategy Performance
The bidding tools in MarinOne help you get the best performance for a given target (e.g. ROAS or CPA) but did you know they can also help you understand what your performance would look like at a different target.
This Insight identifies MarinOne Bid Strategies where adjusting your target would yield improved performance. In other words, we look for situations where a different target would increase the overall profitability of your campaigns. Marketers can then adjust the Bid Strategy targets if the forecasted outcome aligns with their campaign goals.
With the publisher’s rules for what is permitted in ad constantly evolving, it’s easy to lose track of policy violations that can result in ad groups not serving. This Insight identifies ads that have been disapproved within the last 2 weeks.
Marketers should then either submit a policy exemption request to the publisher or add a new creative to the group that is within policy.
On a large account, it’s inevitable that you will have duplicate keywords creating clutter and complexity in your accounts that should be avoided. This Insight identifies duplicate active keywords.
The marketer can easily pause the keyword with a lower quality score. If the Quality Score is the same, pause the keyword with less spend in order to preserve the keyword with more historical data that can be leveraged by an automated bidding solution.
Marin customers can check out their Insights today, or if you are interested in learning more, click here to connect with a sales representative.
Lucie Ataya has been working at Marin for 8 years. She’s now a product manager working directly with Wister Walcott, Co-founder and EVP, Product and Technology
Tell us a bit more about your experience as a woman in tech at Marin
I joined Marin 8 years ago, after a couple of years being the very first hire in a Somerset-based tech startup. I started at the bottom, making my way into different roles, both as an individual contributor and in leadership positions. I've had a lot of opportunities to learn and explore different avenues, which has made for an exciting journey.
I had to face prejudice early on in my career, based on my age and gender, and it made for some challenging situations. Finding mentors, from both genders and from different backgrounds early on, who were able to guide me and help me grow was invaluable.
How does it feel to be the only woman in the room
I've found there can be a lot of unspoken and unconscious bias, both from men and women and the only way to get through it is to stand up for yourself - no one else is going to volunteer to do it for you.
There's a lot of self-help and self-improvement content out there, which in my opinion boils down to very little: it's all about building the confidence and the belief that you know what you're talking about and are worthy of being heard.
Getting that level of confidence, I think, comes to a large extent with being prepared and doing your due diligence. Make sure you do your homework.
It also comes with being mindful of the language you use - both what you say and your body language. Everything you say, the way in which you say it and the signals your body sends whilst you're saying it can either strengthen or undermine your message - not just for the people you're addressing, but for yourself too.
Advice for the future generation
There is a lot I've learnt in my decade in the tech sphere. If I had to pick the top few, my two cents would be:
If it doesn't seem right, it probably isn't - I know a lot of us try to rationalise situations that don't feel right by convincing ourselves we're 'probably overreacting'. We have to learn to recognise situations for what they truly are (nothing more, nothing less) and acknowledge the ones that carry prejudice. We need to start trusting our own instincts rather than try to tone it down for fear of what people might think. Only then can we start doing something about it.
If you don't ask, you don't get - Don't be scared of putting ideas forward, making suggestions and asking for guidance. The worst thing that will happen is people will say 'no'.
This is also valid for your own personal growth and career evolution. You're the best person to be looking after your own interests, no one else will ever be as vested as you are in making sure you succeed.
Be proactive in creating change - Don't wait for someone else to do the things you think will benefit you, your team or the company as a whole. If you can spot a gap or identify room for improvement, be the one to lead the way to make it happen.
Marie Boivent started as a customer engagement manager at Marin Software 11 years ago. She's now VP Revenue and managing a team of 50 people across the world.
Tell us a bit more about your experience as a woman in tech at Marin
I don't see myself as a "woman" in tech, I just happened to be a woman in tech. Before joining Marin I worked for an agency who were developing their own tech. I loved being part of a process where your feedback could directly impact the product. I applied for a job at Marin hoping to experience this again, which I did. I see the tech world being well suited for curious individuals who don't like settling into a routine and who expect to solve conflicting challenges day by day. The digital marketing industry is always evolving, new solutions coming into the market every couple of years mean that there's a lot you have to learn on the job no matter what your background is. I was just lucky to discover this world early in my career and to be part of companies that trusted me with new challenges and that gave me opportunities to continue learning, developing and growing.
How does it feel to be the only woman in the room?
Funnily enough, I never paid attention to it until I became the mum of 2 girls. I now feel a level of responsibility to change the status quo and lead by example. Becoming a parent can make you more disciplined and more efficient in your job.
Whether I'm the only woman in the room or not, I always approach meetings in the same way:
- I make sure I'm prepared,
- I focus more on the value I can bring to the meeting
- I focus on the content I need to deliver.
If anything I see it more as an opportunity to stand out than something to be nervous about.
Advice for the future generation
Know your worth, and don't be shy to remind people about it.
Identify what you excel at and what you love doing and build upon it. There's a lot of material out there that can help you with it (The Art of Strengths Coaching by Mike Pegg or the self help book So Good They Can't Ignore You by Cal Newport have been eye opening for me).
Don't worry about what others think of you, worry about where you want to go and what kind of person you want to be.
Be proud of who you are, if being you allows you to stand out more, embrace it. I've always hated talks or webinars that tell you how to do things like a man. Being soft spoken doesn't mean that you cannot make yourself and your ideas heard.
We need more women in leadership roles to inspire other women to aspire to leadership roles. Be these women!
The search for better performance never stops. To help our customers get the most out their digital marketing dollar we have upgraded our optimization tools. MarinOne Bidding is our newest bidding solution that delivers peak performance, improved accuracy, faster bid calculations and increased scale.
Customers upgrading to MarinOne bidding from the previous version saw a 10-20% performance improvement and bidding times reduced by up to 95%.
MarinOne bidding automatically incorporates over 75+ signals for incredible responsiveness and accuracy across audiences, devices, geos and more. MarinOne Bidding is simple to set up but flexible enough to meet the needs of your business. It is especially well suited for advertisers with third-party revenue tracking and longer sales cycles.
Accuracy, Speed and Scale
No need to choose, with MarinOne bidding you get all three:
- Faster Run Times: The bid calculation job for large clients can be up to 90% faster than Marin search.
- Increased Scale: MarinOne bidding can effortlessly handle accounts with 10M keywords.
- Improved Accuracy: Dynamic Clustering algorithms improves predictions on lower-volume terms by strategically sharing across similar keywords via a decision tree clustering technique. The result: an average 28% lift in performance vs. Marin Search.
- More Reactive: Flexible lookback periods efficiently use the right amount of historical data to improve reactions to changing market conditions.
- Powerful Forecasts: In MarinOne’s Optimization page, users can forecast time into the future and explore trade-offs between volume and efficiency for each bid strategy.
- Better Control: Advertisers can specify separate targets by device and MarinOne bidding will optimize based on device-specific performance.
- Better Guardrails: In addition to max Users can set either a Top, Absolute Top, or Search Impression Share Cap.
- Automation of Bidding Target Changes: Scheduled boosts simplify management of changes in bidding targets and can be set globally or segmented by device and publisher, MarinOne bidding can automatically exclude data from data from boosted sale periods. bidding.
Our existing customers using bidding are being upgraded to MarinOne bidding. If you are a Marin Customer looking to get started with bidding, please connect with your account manager.
If you are interested in learning more about MarinOne bidding getting started with Marin, click here to schedule a conversation.
We’ve added nine new bidding and setup Insights to help advertisers get the most out of digital marketing campaigns and provide them with the tools needed to quickly implement those recommendations.
Here are the new recommendations:
- Enhanced CPC Identifies Google campaigns using Marin Bidding or Manual Bidding without Enhanced CPC and allows you to easily enable the Enhanced CPC setting
- Bid Caps: Identifies keywords, ad groups, product groups, and placements performing above the bid strategy efficiency goal whose bids are limited by the Bid Cap setting. Users can then disable or raise the Bid Cap setting unless there is a specific business case to maintain a maximum bid
- Bid Floors Identifies keywords, ad groups, product groups, and placements performing below the bid strategy efficiency goal whose bids are artificially raised using the Bid Floor setting. Users can disable the Bid Floor unless there is a specific business case to maintain a minimum bid
- Keyword Bid Overrides Identifies keywords on Bid Override that are in active Bid Strategies. Users can disable these Bid Overrides unless there is a specific business case for manual bid optimization
- Bidding Reactivity Identifies Marin Bidding Strategies that are not using the Limit Bid Changes under X% setting. Users can enable the Limit Bid Change setting and set it to 25% for affected folders.
- Keyword Count Identifies ad groups with more than 100 active keywords. Advertisers should segment keywords into multiple ad groups to improve keyword/ad relevancy
- Ad Count Identifies ad groups with less than 3 active ads. The publishers recommend maintaining at least 3 active ads in each ad group.
- Invalid Credentials Identifies publisher accounts that require a password update in Marin.
- Sync Errors Identifies campaigns that have fallen out of sync with Marin.
All Insights are available under the top-level Insights tab, next to your Home tab. For more details about Marin’s Automated Insights check out our original launch announcement.
2020 was likely the most unusual year of all of our lives, so I want to reflect on the past few months and then look forward to what we all expect to be better days in 2021.
The start of 2020 seems so distant. Marin first became aware of COVID from our team members in our Shanghai office early in 2020. At that time, it looked like a localized issue that would impact parts of China. I thought of SARs and MERS but didn’t think much of what might be to come. We quickly moved to enable our team members to work from home and supported them as they adjusted to public health restrictions.
From mid-March 2020 to now, Marin has operated on a fully remote basis with a focus on the safety and well being of our team members. Our team rallied to support each other and our customers and partners under these unusual circumstances. We learned that despite missing daily in-person social interactions our investments in technology and culture have enabled us to operate at a high level from home. I am proud of our efforts to help our customers work through the impact of COVID on their businesses.
On top of the pandemic, the United States and then the rest of the world also experienced a massive social change movement in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd. Marin is looking to play our part in moving society to greater racial justice with our investments in various Black Lives Matter initiatives, which include our providing pro bono software and services to Black-owned businesses as well as supporting a mentorship program.
Even with the challenges of 2020, Marin’s team continued to advance our products to deliver greater performance and time savings for our customers, the world’s leading brands and their agencies. Our cross-channel platform MarinOne was awarded Paid Search Technology of the Year. We expanded our support for paid search, social, and e-commerce ads across the leading publishers and gave advertisers more ways to drive higher returns from their online advertising investments. You can see a summary of our 2020 product highlights here.
As we close out 2020, we are not out of the woods yet, but we are encouraged by the vaccine rollouts and anticipate better days in 2021.
We wish you and your family a happy and safe holiday season.
What are Automated Insights?
There are a lot of moving parts to a digital marketing campaign. So many that it’s hard for even an experienced marketer to know what they need to do to get the best results from their campaign. Collecting data, recognizing the trends for optimization and other paid search strategy efforts often do not come as quickly as advertisers would like. That’s where we come in.
Marin has been providing account insight to our customers for over 10 years and now we are delivering these powerful, actionable recommendations directly in the MarinOne platform.
Insights are automatic, tailored recommendations that help advertisers get more out of digital marketing campaigns and provide them with the tools needed to quickly implement those recommendations.
Automated Insights in MarinOne are designed to
- uncover opportunities to reduce wasteful spending
- capitalize on additional volume in high-performing areas
- Implement learnings from one channel to another
How Insights Work
Each Marin Insight is a customized, cross-channel recommendation designed to increase your campaign’ performance. Unlike recommendations from the publishers, Marin Insights look across channels to identify the most efficient areas of improvement or to highlight where a learning in one publisher can be implemented in another. We also focus on recommendations that align with your business goals, not just increasing spend.
To help you prioritize your work, Marin Insights are always presented with a corresponding performance change. With this information you can easily tell how your account may change as a result of implementing and insight. These performance forecasts are built by analysing recent performance of campaigns, ads, keywords, and products and benchmarking that against the overall account performance.
If your account is tracking revenue data the forecasts will be reflected in terms of predicted change in Revenue and Spend. If your account does not currently track revenue, the prediction is in terms of Conversions and Spend.
Insights are updated daily based on performance data over the most recent four weeks so you never have to worry about wading through old materials.
What Insights Help You Do
Each Marin Insight is presented along with a downloadable report that enables you to go from insight to action. Each report can be uploaded back into MarinOne to apply the recommendation. This workflow gives you flexibility and the ability to accept or reject each recommendation at the most granular level.
Examples of our Insights Include:
Ad Copy Optimization - Identifies the individual word with the most clicks across an ad group's keyword set and determines if that word is included in the highest-traffic creative.
Ad Optimization - Identifies underperforming ads using the KPI and statistical confidence in your A/B test settings.
Budget Capped Campaigns - Identifies high performing campaigns limited by their daily budget.
Keyword Expansion - Identifies non-exact match search terms performing at a lower cost-per-conversion than their parent campaign based on Google conversion tracking.
Keyword Match Type Expansion- Identifies high performing keywords that do not exist on more specific match types.
Keyword Publisher Expansion - Identifies top-performing keywords that are not being leveraged in Bing.
Negative Keyword Expansion - Identifies non-converting search terms based on Google conversion tracking with a statistically significant amount of clicks.
Single Keyword Ad Groups - Showcases which keywords have significant mobile performance to move each into their own ad group so it can get its own mobile bid.
Top Performing Products - Identifies shopping products performing above average within their product group and should be moved to a dedicated product group for additional control.
Highly Qualified Recommendations - Volume and performance criteria result in recommendations that are expected to provide meaningful impact to your bottom-line performance.
Performance Predictions - Incremental spend, conversion, and revenue estimates allow you to prioritize your time on recommendations that will have the most impact.
Platform-Ready Exports - Downloadable reports allow you to review Insights at the most granular level. We've also made it easy to implement the recommended changes using a bulk upload.
Click on the Insights tab in MarinOne to see your personalized recommendations today!
If you aren’t yet a Marin customer, reach out today to learn about everything Marin has to offer.
Who Are the Big Four?
The digital marketing landscape has become more and more consolidated into “The Big Four” publishers — Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google.
These entities have a vested interest in keeping each other at arm’s length and they will continue to silo their data from each other. This means if you are relying on publisher-owned tools (Like Facebook Ad Manager, or SA 360) for your digital marketing management and bidding optimization, you will not be able to connect the dots for activities that jump from one silo to another and will be missing conversion data as a result.
Marin is able to work with, and across, all technologies in the space. This allows us to create cutting-edge features — like our Marin + Amazon Attribution feature, in order to provide advertisers a consolidated view of their Search, Social, and eCommerce activities alongside conversion data — regardless of where that conversion occurs.
If you have any tracking challenges or want to discuss how Marin can ensure you are effectively reporting and optimizing to a complete ROI for all your digital marketing initiatives — don’t hesitate to reach out today to speak with a Marin Expert.
We recently wrote a blog on The Power of Web Queries, a type of scheduled report in MarinOne that is hosted on a URL and automatically updated with the most recent data. These are fully customizable reports, right down to the date range, activity type and even how often the data is refreshed.
The flexible nature of Web Queries means that marketers can automatically import their data directly into Microsoft Excel instead of having to manually download their data and then import into Excel, saving you endless hours of time spent generating reports manually. You can even create dashboards and templates in Excel, which get updated with the most recent data at the click of a button.
The New and Improved Web Query Reports
Since our earlier blog post, we’ve made further enhancements to our Web Query reporting capabilities to not only allow data to be automatically imported into Excel, but now into Google Sheets too.
You’re probably asking why use Google Sheets? What’s the benefit? Well, here’s a few…
- Due to the cloud-based nature of Google Sheets, collaboration between multiple users makes a marketers workflow easier and faster
- Built-in revision history
- No need to constantly press “Save” due to Google Sheets’ auto-save functionality
- Real-time chat window with colleagues
- Access to your Google Sheet and data from any computer/device
- Refreshing of data is automatic on an hourly cadence - no manual intervention needed
- Ability to control access levels to the data, i.e. Read-Only, Edit or Comment access
- Share the data easily with management and stakeholders
- The data can also be synced into big data tools from Google Sheets for enhanced customization and reporting i.e. Google Data Studio
- Pricing – Google Sheets is completely free to use
Setting Up Web Query Reports for Google Sheets
Once you’ve generated your Web Query report from MarinOne, copy the URL and open up a Google Sheet then follow the steps below.
Click into a cell and type =IMPORTHTML(
- This function / formula imports data into a Google Sheet from a table within a HTML page such as Marin’s Web Query reports that are hosted on a URL
The syntax format is =IMPORTHTML("url", "query", index)
- url – The URL of the page to be examined, including protocol (e.g. https://).
This is where you paste the Web Query report URL that you generated in MarinOne
- The URL must be enclosed in quotation marks
- query – Either "table" or "list" can be used, depending on what type of structure contains the data
For Marin’s Web Query reports, it will be the query "table", and make sure to also enclose it in quotation marks
- index – The index, starting at 1, which identifies which table or list (as defined in the HTML source) should be returned
For Marin’s Web Query reports, there are three tables to choose from (as shown in the image below)
Your formula should look like the example below. Make sure that each syntax is separated with a comma.
- Once you hit enter, the data will be imported into the Google Sheet from the Web Query report
- Once you have the data into the spreadsheet, you’ll need to set the criteria for the data to be refreshed;Click File >> Spreadsheet settings >> in the pop up, click Calculation >> change the recalculation to ‘On change and every hour’ >> click Save Settings
Google will now automatically refresh the data on an hourly cadence, so you can be sure that the most recent data is up-to-date - There’s no need to manually refresh like you have to in Excel
Why not give it a try and enhance your workflow with our latest update? And if you haven’t already, check our earlier blog on Web Query reports: The Power of Web Queries.
Marin Software Stepping Up for Diversity and Equality with Pro Bono Digital Marketing Services for Black-Owned Businesses
Back in May, the tragic death of George Floyd was a wake up call for many individuals and companies who suddenly became conscious that we needed to do better. Marin Software was no exception: we need to do better, we need to do more.
We committed ourselves to listening, learning and supporting the organizations that are already doing great work and making a real difference. We looked at what other companies are doing in that field. We educated ourselves on this topic and seeked feedback from our employees.
As a result, we identified 10 initiatives that we will begin rolling out internally. A couple of examples include:
- Celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the US by making Juneteenth a company holiday for our US employees
- Promoting diversity in the ad/tech industry with dedicated internship opportunities for BIPOC and Latinx college students
Our goal is to continue fostering a work environment that reflects the rich and diverse communities that we live in. We want to reiterate our commitment to creating a tolerant and welcoming workplace for all.
Given our industry and our wealth of expertise in digital marketing, we have also decided to offer pro bono digital marketing consulting services to BLM organizations or black-owned businesses. This is where we call out to you, our network, for help. Do you or anyone in your network know of an organization that would benefit from an extra pair of eyes when it comes to their digital marketing strategy? If so, please get in touch with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Reporting is often a mundane and repetitive task. How much time do you spend on reporting? If that answer is too much, then keep on reading.
Every marketer's dream is to spend as little time on reporting as possible. The fact is that the less time you spend on reporting, the more time you have to spend on your marketing strategy, campaign optimization or perhaps testing something completely new.
One of the key benefits of using MarinOne is its web query functionality.
In a nutshell, web queries enable you to pull data from a website's URL straight into Microsoft Excel. The web query format creates an automated report that is posted to a static URL every time the report is processed.
Web query reports in MarinOne are designed to let users take advantage of their existing reports and have the application update the data on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, saving you literally hours a week by not having to pull reports manually.
As you can imagine, the possibilities with web queries are endless. Below we have outlined a few examples of the web query alerts and reports that we tend to recommend.
Performance-based alerts and reports:
- Poor performing campaigns, groups, creatives or keywords
- Strong performing campaigns, groups, creatives or keywords
- High potential keywords and search queries
- Campaign, group, keyword coverage change
- Low CTR/conversion rate creatives, keywords
- Performance by match type
- KPIs that have been achieved by certain objects in a given timeframe
- Mobile vs. desktop performance
QA-based alerts and reports:
- Disapproved creatives
- Missing Google Analytics parameters
- Active groups with less than two creatives
Example: Cross channel Dashboard build by using Web Queries
Setting Up Web Query Reports
Now that you know when to use web queries, how can you create one?
If you are using Windows, you can follow the below steps:
- Create a recurring report in MarinOne and select Excel Web Query as the format
- You can then run your report and click save.
- Right-click on the URL for the Excel link and select Copy Shortcut.
- In Excel, open the workbook where you wish to import the data. From the Data menu, select From Web under Get External Data.
- Paste the link you copied into the address bar and your report will be loaded into the window.
- You can choose which section of your report to import by checking boxes placed next to each table in the report.
- Click Import and you will be asked to specify the location for the report and you will have to enter your Marin credentials when prompted. If you wish to have the data in the report, refresh automatically when the file is opened, click Properties and select the Refresh Data When Opening File option.
- Click OK and your data will be imported into the workbook at the location you specified. This data range will be refreshed whenever you select Refresh All from the Data menu (or automatically, if you choose that option). Simply link your existing output report to this data section and your report will be updated.
As mentioned, web queries will help you save time and hopefully enhance your day-to-day workflow. If there are any questions or you would like to know more, don't hesitate to contact us.
“How can I improve the quality of leads for my sales team?” It’s a question I hear in nearly every conversation with a lead-focused marketer. Coupled with measuring ROI and longer sales cycles, difficulty obtaining enough quality leads is an ongoing battle for marketers in the automotive, real estate, B2B, insurance, and finance industries.
The balancing act between lead volume, lead quality, and lead cost is the triad we’re all trying to solve for. Each business is unique and needs to figure out the optimal equilibrium for these crucial metrics while, at the same time, focusing on optimizing them.
Whether your business is predominantly focused on Volume, Quality or Cost, Marin Software is equipped with solutions that can increase the performance of your B2B Lead Gen activities in each of these areas, so that you can generate a higher ROI and reduce wasted time and financial cost
Solving for Long Sales Cycles & Multiple Touchpoints
A study by Miller Heiman Group, leveraging data stretching back to 2014, comments on how three-quarters of B2B sales to new customers take at least 4 months to close, with almost half taking seven months or more. This timeline of course varies on industry, product, price and on-boarding cost for the product or service; however, the sentiment is there: the challenges with a longer decision-making process are much higher.
As a marketer, you are likely familiar with a purchase funnel and the various touchpoints in a customer journey. The stages vary per business, but typically include awareness, interest, desire, and action. So whether it’s the initial Contact Us or White Paper Download, the single or many phone conversations for additional information, or the final purchase, it can be challenging for marketers to combine these touchpoints into a holistic strategy.
Marin’s Full Funnel Bidding addresses this challenge. Marin’s full funnel approach allows for a bespoke bid strategy to accommodate the latency and multiple touchpoints we often see in the purchase cycle. This allows advertisers to dynamically set more aggressive CPA targets for leads that have higher propensity to convert to a sale.
Marketers are tasked with optimizing to the volume of leads coming into the top of the funnel while also managing the revenue or value of the lead. With MarinOne’s Full Funnel Optimization, touchpoints can receive revenue credit no matter where in the funnel.
Analytics to Action
If your business is not already capturing a Lead Score, I highly encourage you to start leveraging this methodology. This means ranking leads in order to determine their sales-readiness. You score leads based on the interest they show in your business, their current place in the buying cycle, and their fit in regard to your business. Understanding the quality of your leads by working on your internal metrics is pivotal.
In addition to that, it’s often the case that some PPC keywords or certain social creatives will drive a higher quality lead. Advertisers should be capturing this level of granularity, and then passing it into their optimization engine to capitalize on incremental lift and performance.
For example, an enterprise-level SaaS business may be leveraging two keywords: “ERP Software,” and “ERP Enterprise Solutions.” In this instance, both keywords are upper-funnel, and in many ways very similar. However, let’s imagine the term “ERP Enterprise Solutions” drives a higher revenue value per subscription and a higher renewal rate, thus increasing its Lead Score. Advertisers should be capitalizing on this granularity by applying agile modifiers. In this example, we recommend applying a Bid Boost Modifier to increase the bid value by 10%.
The lead generation game is fluid. The campaign structure we take today may not be successful tomorrow. Thus we need to be agile and flexible with the ability to automate optimization modifiers on the fly.
Marin Software can layer bid modifiers across any data point or signals, including Lead Score.
Budget Allocation & Forecasting
As marketers, we may often be tasked with “driving more calls” or “generating more downloads for the whitepaper.” Our partners in Sales & Operations often don’t understand the intricacies of simply driving more of a certain touchpoint.
On top of optimization modifiers, we at Marin Software have developed Budget & Forecasting techniques to support you during these demands for shifts. They help you evaluate new optimization opportunities before testing them out in the real world, and help you invest more of your marketing spend into campaigns and channels with increased upside potential. No more over-allocating to the wrong channels or tactics that don't produce qualified results. This information is not only helpful to us as marketers, but can also support advertisers’ conversations with internal stakeholders.
Understanding how to improve lead quality for your PPC campaign isn’t always obvious. Yet, there are simple ways in which Marin Software can provide support:
- Consulting on your internal Lead Scoring process and ingesting that into your Bid Calculations.
- Evaluating your consumer journey and feeding any latency expectations into the algorithmic engine to ensure total efficiencies across channels.
- Layering agile and bespoke modifiers across channels to optimize toward the areas of your campaigns that drive higher quality engagements.
- Leveraging advanced forecasting and scenario-planning tools to help you respond quickly to changing market conditions.
Ready to take action on generating higher quality leads? Schedule a demo with one of our account representatives today!
The Rise of Influencer Marketing, and What to Expect in 2020
In recent months, brands and retailers have had to adapt to a pandemic that no one saw coming, and one thing is for certain: engagement on sponsored content is increasing with more people at home and on social media. And while the pros of influencer marketing were prevalent to brands prior to COVID-19 (building trust and credibility, expanding your brand’s reach, etc), this new landscape requires both brands and influencers to adapt quickly to a market where priorities have shifted, consumers may be more sensitive, and actions may be more highly scrutinized.
Let’s take a look at how influencer marketing has evolved in recent years, what has changed during the COVID-19 crisis, and what brands can do now to stay impactful and relevant.
The Old and the New
In a 2019 benchmark report by Influencer Marketing Hub, 92% of consumers believed that influencer marketing was an effective form of marketing. Due in part to features like Checkout on Instagram, which allows consumers to select from various options such as size or color and proceed to payment without leaving Instagram, 83% of consumers surveyed claimed to purchase items that are advertised by influencers.
The influencer marketing platform market is also growing at incredible scale as brands and agencies look to foster deeper connections with consumers being “influenced.”. With over 300 new influencer marketing-focused platforms and agencies entering the market in 2019, brands can now easily discover potential influencers, develop relationships with influencers, and run campaigns.
And while Instagram continues to dominate influencer marketing, other digital platforms such as YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn increasingly play a pivotal role in extending a brand’s reach to engaged audiences.
Upon the introduction of COVID-19, the average screen time has increased and consumer habits have shifted, meaning that brands need to be vigilant about hitting all digital platforms more than ever. During this unprecedented event, trusted social media influencers continue to be a reliable source of information and an effective, authentic way to communicate with target audiences.
Here are some best practices for influencer marketing in the wake of COVID-19.
- Understanding Data Trends: How have social mentions of your brand or category (i.e. skincare, cereal, workout clothes) changed? Make sure to keep track of your website traffic, likes, and consumer engagement with videos, etc. across all social platforms. This information can help determine your content strategy, so you can continue building strong relationships with your followers.
- Adjusting the Distribution of Content: In the past two months, brands have transitioned to more video and live stream campaigns than pictures. With everyone working from home, brands should take advantage of the time people spend on their computers, TV’s and smart phones during the day with these more dynamic forms of content.
- Staying Adaptable and Sensitive: The term “home-influencer” is making its mark, as brands adapt their products and messaging to fit the needs of the “stay-at-home” consumer. Consider hosting virtual events with your influencer of choice, and co-host a cooking class, a make-up tutorial, or a live Q&A. Many brands are also showing their solidarity by including messaging pertaining to “stay-at-home” orders, highlighting their commitment to employees, shipping policies, and customer experience. At the end of the day, you always want to ask yourself, “How can I continue helping our employees and customers?” and make sure that notion is conveyed in the co-marketing efforts with influencers.
A good example of a brand effectively using influencer marketing is Alo Yoga. With spin classes, weight rooms and other fitness venues closed temporarily, health & wellness brands are creating unique ways for people to continue their daily workout routines during COVID-19 to stay active at home. The team at Alo Yoga entered into a partnership with influencer Callie Gullickson, who helped promote a workout series called Sweat & Tone (hosted on Instagram Live). Not only did Callie help increase awareness of the brand with her extensive following, but Alo Yoga also increased customer engagement with highly intensive workouts, which resulted in more traffic to its website, and better brand recognition and loyalty in a highly competitive space.
What to Expect in 2020 and Beyond
With demands shifting, and as both brands and influencers need to output the right kind of content in order to strive in a post-COVID climate, we can expect a lot more storytelling, with influencers showing their followers how they adapt to life at home and how different brands play into their new routines. Live content will also continue to become more popular, as professionals from all industries look for safe ways to stay connected, from athletic trainers to business consultants to live performers. Not to mention the element of authenticity and humanity Instagram Live brings to users.
The most human brands will continue to come out on top, especially the ones that invest in building long-lasting connections with their customers and partake in cultural conversations that are considered important to their target demographic. And, as the near-term effects of the coronavirus outbreak continue to be felt across the global economy, businesses and creators in the influencer marketing industry will continue to adapt to the new “consumer state of mind” by developing strategies with active listening of their consumers’ needs and determining how their brand fits into people’s new routines under #socialdistancing.
As we follow the news in the U.S. of the past week or so, we know this has been a very difficult time for Black people and all of us who care about racial equality and justice. The video of the murder of George Floyd by a group of Minnesota police officers is heartbreaking. It is the latest example of police brutality and systemic racism toward Black people in America.
We need to acknowledge that being Black in America is not yet the same as being White despite our ideals, best intentions, and the civil rights progress that has been made.
So, on behalf of Marin Software, I want to make clear that we stand against racism, racial injustice, and inequality, and we stand in solidarity with Black people everywhere.
I don’t pretend to have all of the answers on this difficult topic. We are asking ourselves: what can we do to be more of a part of the solution? I think we need to push ourselves to listen to Black voices and experiences to improve our understanding of the situation. I also would encourage each of us to take personal action to help make the world a more just, tolerant, and equitable place. I write these words based on events in America, but all of our team members worldwide can take them to heart. As Gandhi said, “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. ... We need not wait to see what others do.”
There are many organizations and initiatives doing great work and looking to make a real difference. For those looking for more information on this topic, two sites that you can visit are blacklivesmatter.com or naacpldf.org, and there is a helpful list of anti-racism resources here. You also might choose to engage in peaceful protest to show your support. Do what feels right for you, but I encourage you to do something.
As a company, Marin understands we must also do more. We commit to listening and learning. We commit to supporting the organizations that are already doing great work and looking to make a real difference. We will report back shortly to our employees, our customers, and our audience on our specific plans to do better.
Here’s to better days for America and our world,
What is Amazon Attribution?
Amazon Attribution allows advertisers to measure the impact of non-Amazon search, social, display, email, and video media channels that drive searchers to buy your products on Amazon. Examples include third party search ads that lead directly to Amazon product pages, keywords with sitelinks, and social media advertising that directs users to purchase directly on Amazon.
Amazon Attribution reports contain publisher metrics such as impressions and clicks, as well as Amazon conversion metrics, such as detailed page views, add to carts, and purchases.
Why does Amazon Attribution matter?
If you are selling on Amazon, some of the customers you are reaching with other paid media may be converting on Amazon and this is almost certainly a blind spot when you are measuring the ROI of that media.
Amazon Attribution allows advertisers to better understand the impact of their paid search, social and eCommerce channels together. This reporting also provides a holistic view of how each marketing tactic contributes to a brand's shopping activity on Amazon.
How does Amazon Attribution work?
Amazon Attribution requires adding attribution tags to the click-through URL of your third party search ads (or other media to be tracked). Once you’ve implemented your attribution tags and your ads are being measured, Amazon Attribution is then able to report which campaigns, channels, ads, or keywords help to drive conversions for your brand on Amazon. Advertisers can decide where they place attribution tags to determine the level of their reporting output.
How should I use Amazon Attribution data?
Now that Amazon Attribution conversions are available for third party search and social ads, advertisers can use this reporting as part of their search and social workflow and optimization strategies.
In summary, Amazon Attribution provides an excellent tool for brands to understand how non-Amazon media is helping to drive sales for their brand on Amazon. It also allows advertisers to develop optimization and budgeting strategies across paid media channels that will ultimately increase efficacy and ROI. Want to learn more? Schedule a demo with one of our account representatives today!
How Ad Tech Can Enhance The Home Delivery Experience During COVID-19 and Beyond
For many of us, our shopping habits have been forced online. The stay-at-home orders, radical shifts in demand, undersupplied distribution channels, and difficulties with supply chains have disrupted our usual behaviors and required us to shop in new ways, and away from brick-and-mortar locations. .
Even before the dramatic changes from COVID-19, online shopping was overtaking a major part of retail. With the introduction of a global pandemic, home delivery has become a serious competitive advantage, and brands all over the world are searching for ways to enhance this game-changing strategy that will most likely continue – perhaps even flourish – long after this crisis is resolved.
While many marketers may see home delivery as purely operational, primarily for a company’s logistics and supply-chain teams, there are ways that advertising technology can help and contribute to a more ideal user experience for the end-customer.
Inventory Data & Integrating Business Intelligence
The most powerful weapon performance marketers have is their own data. For eCommerce advertisers, specifically tied to delivery and operation logistics, inventory is a pivotal data point that should be ingested into all aspects of digital programs. The inclusion of inventory data allows for the changes of creatives and bid adjustments to align with the availability of certain products.
This can support the quest for seamless home delivery through the ability to sunset campaigns for certain products that are running low in inventory and will sell organically. As consumers, we all know there is nothing more frustrating than clicking an ad only to realize the product is out of stock, or that delivery will take an additional few weeks to complete.
Marin Software is an open stack platform so we can take full advantage of all your available data sources —including your inventory, CRM, data warehouse, publisher data, and additional third-party signals. Marin’s SmartFeed product automatically activates or pauses your campaigns based on inventory levels. Furthermore, it also automatically compares your optimized feed with actual converted search terms, so that you can see missing words from the title and split test to improve performance.
Estimated delivery time is set to become a unique selling point and competitive advantage, particularly as smaller, independent retailers try to compete with Amazon Prime. A simple way to convey your delivery times is within your ad creatives. By structuring your programs with geography in mind, you can control the information within the ad creatives to indicate an estimated delivery time to the user.
Additionally, creatives should include delivery cost and/or any import duties a consumer may need to pay, in order to keep it entirely transparent with potential customers (this also helps with brand loyalty in the long run). If you can, include inventory too!
With Marin’s Dynamic Campaigns, you can automatically build keywords and creatives from a product feed and campaign template, so that all the pertinent information we just covered is seamlessly populated.
As many advertisers shift their attention from acquisition to retention, securing any revenues they have, the user experience is becoming an increasingly important element for purchase consideration. For many businesses, it’s possible that certain products or geographies can’t render as competitive a delivery service. It’s important to use this logic in your optimization and budget allocation strategies across your digital activity.
In the areas you are more competitive, be aggressive with your bids and budget allocation--you’re a champion in this sphere. This can be done easily through applying modifier logic within your AdTech tool, or leveraging a partner like Marin Software, whose platform has built-in forecasting and budget allocation tools to do the work for you.
Once an order has been made, the fulfillment experience begins. As customers, we all like to know when our purchase will arrive, thus communicating fulfillment progress is pivotal. The integration of order fulfillment and email marketing technology is an important component in this process.
Offering services such as free tracking and text updates is a great way to keep customers up-to-date. As we focus on retention and customer experience, these regular updates demonstrate that your operation is a business that cares about more than a simple transaction.
One, perhaps extreme, example comes from the mainstream pizza delivery brands like Dominos, which have an order tracking app to keep customers informed of each stage of their pizza’s journey to delivery. Updating regularly through order-received, including the preparation, cooking quality control and out for delivery, the platform makes sure customers stay up-to-date on exactly when their meal will arrive. This, of course, is a level of detail that not all brands will need, or have the resources for, however it shows what can be achieved.
To summarize, ad tech can support your quest to champion online delivery by automating the ad creatives to dynamically update per the user’s specific criteria. Within your creatives, your customer should clearly be able to understand the delivery time, cost and terms straight off the bat. Furthermore, you should leverage first-party inventory and shipping data, combined with audience data, to give you the biggest advantage over your competitors.
Should you want to have a conversation on how Marin Software can help you champion your online delivery strategy, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of our account management team by scheduling a demo today!
Digital technology is available in its many forms to help you work faster. For marketing in particular, technology can improve the quality of your marketing output and ultimately help you generate more revenue and leads.
With that said, today’s unprecedented shift is creating the urgent need for brands and their partners to think outside the box and pivot quickly. Furthermore, it also surfaces a time to evaluate different tech stacks and see which tools can help increase their performance and efficiency.
Evaluating the right advertising technology for the job will come down to many factors, and reaching the best decision for your organization will take considerable time and effort that will likely involve you engaging in substantial research in order to get it right.
It’s important to ask yourself the right questions so you can narrow down your search. Think about questions such as:
- What level of visibility or reporting does the product provide for forecasting versus actual results? Is it able to integrate with any of the advanced data visualization tools that I use on a day-to-day?
- Does the vendor support multiple channels? Does the platform integrate with all major search engines and ad exchanges?
- What support does the vendor provide for audience activation, and for which channels?
- What level of integration does the solution have with our organization’s current technologies? How does it integrate with different data feeds or analytics solutions?
- Does the platform enable dynamic delivery of personalized ads for the end-customer?
- What level of support would they provide for any account escalations or questions?
Once you’ve answered these questions, and the answers are suitable to your company’s needs, it’s time to trial your options. Going back to the dawn of humankind, when it comes to problem solving, trial and error has always been one of the fundamental methods. Cavemen would test which weapon would kill Benny the mammoth most efficiently, while our old friend Julius Caesar would stage many different kinds of gladiator fights in order to see what the Roman people enjoyed most.
Full-service tools can get expensive quickly (even if you’re just trial-and-erroring), and most digital marketers are limited on budgets. Luckily, there are many instances in which you can get a free taste of what a product can offer (also known as the freemium model). There may be limited usage of the product, but you’ll likely get a solid understanding of its core value and if it addresses the needs of your business.
At Marin Software, we offer Marin Go, which helps you experience the power of MarinOne (our flagship product), without committing to a platform fee. You can then upgrade to MarinOne at any time.
With Marin Go you can:
- Aggregate data from multiple channels into a single comprehensive dashboard. Marin Go can link up to accounts from 10+ publishers, including Google, Bing, Facebook, Apple Search Ads, LinkedIn, & Amazon. You can schedule reports to be collected, curated, and sent straight to your inbox in CSV format (or linking back to the platform).
- Track budget pacing for the month and preview capabilities from our premium tool, MarinOne, including automated budget allocation and machine-learning bid optimization.
- Ask questions of your performance using powerful, interactive reporting with change columns, flexible date ranges, saved views, and more.
- Automate the preparation of polished executive-level and client-ready PDF reports.
- Improve campaign performance with actionable suggestions and insights from our Account Performance Audits.
- Automatically A/B test creatives.
If you are interested in trialing an enterprise-class reporting tool for free, and evaluating a tech stack that can incorporate data from all your different marketing channels, sign up now with Marin Go! We believe every advertiser should have the tools to break down publisher silos. Simply link in your accounts to start enjoying the benefits today.
Consumer behavior has been forced to immediately change as a result of COVID-19, and change on a massive scale. The transformation in consumer consumption is fluid, and we can expect it to continuously evolve over the coming weeks and months. For us marketing professionals, it poses the opportunity to shift and re-align to meet the needs of our ever-changing customers.
A seasoned advertiser is familiar with how to roll out a new digital strategy in “normal” times. That said, very few do so at the scale and the speed suddenly required by the new world we live in today.
As restrictions are lifted, and we begin to settle back to the hustle and bustle of our familiar routines, we will continue to see consumer behavior evolve. The fluidity in the unchartered waters we’re all sailing in will require flexibility, control, reactivity and transparency across all aspects of our digital programs, optimization and budget allocation in particular.
And while many advertisers will look to Smart Bidding to execute on their campaign optimization and budget allocation, it’s important to consider the restrictions that Google’s automated bidding solution presents--including the prerequisites that we’ve laid out above--flexibility and control, reactivity and transparency. Not to mention, budget pacing and scenario forecasting is unavailable with Smart Bidding, so advertisers are unable to evaluate new optimization opportunities before testing them out in the real world. See below on what we mean.
Flexibility & Control
One of the most widely-known and influential thinkers on management, Peter Drucker, once said, “Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window.” This statement, now more than ever, is very true. Consumer behavior is changing by the day, and the search auction is a highly dynamic environment. Advertisers can benefit from flexibility.
Marin Software’s technology solves for this challenge through Device Adjustments, Exclusion of Date Ranges in Bidding Calculations, and Malleable & Bespoke Optimization Bidding Targets. And rather than only catering to Google, Marin Bidding can also be applied to an advertiser’s Bing, Amazon, Apple Search Ads, and LinkedIn campaigns. Our solution optimizes for you, the advertiser, and not the publisher, and works across many different channels.
As markets and industries shift, advertisers will need to react to sudden adjustments in the marketplace. For an e-commerce advertiser, this could be a sudden increase in a product category that you had not anticipated. For marketers in insurance, it could be reacting to the sudden change in profitability across a vertical. Such shifts require prompt and agile adjustments, and Smart Bidding is not equipped to handle this.
The MarinOne platform was designed with just this in mind. Within MarinOne, advertisers have the ability to layer custom modifiers in bulk, at scale to tailor any adjustment grand or slight. Couple this with the fact that Marin is open-stack and easily able to ingest any first-party or third-party business intelligence data to automate and streamline such adjustments to ensure you never miss a trick!
Transparency & Publisher Independence
For many years to come, we will be reflecting on the spring of 2020 as the time of perplexing changes in our lifestyle. The effects for many businesses will be great, and the financial leaders of these organizations will be mindful of every investment made as they return to growth. With this in mind, we expect a wider call for transparency and publisher-agnostic partnerships. A true evaluation of marketing investments will carry an even greater weight in understanding publisher performance.
The Marin Software ethos is to deliver the best performance for our advertisers, regardless of publisher. In doing this, our technology offers absolute transparency into all areas of optimization and budget allocation - an area we increase to invest in with exciting things to come this year. Without access to the complete bid history of any keyword or any individual auction, like that of Smart Bidding, there’s no way for an advertiser to unpack the selection criteria, optimization signals or decisioning systems for their campaigns.
What to do...
According to a recent McKinsey publication on how to navigate Digital Transformation in a Crisis, now is the time to act. Playing it safe now, understandable as it might feel to do so, is often the worst option.
As we emerge, and consumer behavior continues to evolve, agility will be forced upon us. As marketers, we’ll need to use everything in our power to control shifts, react and be flexible to our surroundings. Marin is here as a partner to equip advertisers with technology, insights and support to guide them through the journey ahead.
If you’re interested in learning more about the differences between Marin Bidding and Smart Bidding, check out our dedicated page.
Most search marketers are familiar with Google’s “Labels.” They’re a great visual reminder for keeping track of all sorts of things, such as your account’s keywords, ads, ad groups, and campaigns, so that you can quickly and easily filter and report on the data that is most important to you. Account organization is an extremely important element to a successful PPC campaign.
Marin Software’s version of Labels is called “Dimensions.” Similarly, advertisers can tag different objects for easy filtering, and then use those filters to monitor performance. They keep you organized by allowing you to easily aggregate data across an ad group, campaigns, keywords, or the entire account—faster and easier than exporting to Excel and running a pivot table.
However, there are a couple of unique ways in which Marin’s Dimensions can help make the life of a search marketer much easier, giving them a more enhanced functionality than Google’s Labels.
There are a lot of unique factors that impact your performance as a business that are outside the auction–such as ratings, social media buzz, and new product launches. The machine-learning that is calculating your bids knows about these things so it can accurately predict changes in conversion rate and conversion value. In Marin’s world, these external factors are known as Dynamic Actions and can easily be leveraged with Dimensions to enhance your bid optimization via Marin Bidding.
It’s really up to your imagination, but here are some of the things our clients frequently do using Dimensions:
- Load product stock information on a dimension, and use this as an additional lever for Marin Bidding by increasing bids for products where stock is high and lowering bids where stock is getting low.
- Push/pull a particular vertical by specifying a boost on keywords that have a certain value on a dimension.
Smart Bidding (Google’s automated bidding solution) is unable to incorporate external data into its calculated bid, limiting the use of Labels.
This is the most common use case of Dimensions--allowing detailed performance analysis across multiple channels for a search marketer to take action on and optimize. This can be done in the platform by filtering for different dimension values at various levels, but also in the Dimensions grid where you can see the aggregated performance for all objects with a particular value on a dimension. This use case of Dimensions is particularly powerful as it allows:
- Cross-publisher reporting: Dimension values can be applied to all publisher accounts in Marin, so you can measure the effectiveness of each marketing channel.
- Cross-channel reporting: Dimension values can be applied to all your search, social, and e-commerce campaigns, resulting in a unified performance view of all your digital marketing campaigns, side-by-side.
Google’s Labels are limited to the Google ecosystem, making it difficult to get a holistic view of your digital marketing investments.
Augmenting Your Cross-Channel Strategy
At Marin Software, we encourage our clients to leverage Dimensions to enhance their cross-channels marketing efforts through Automated Search Intent. This allows advertisers to create high-value user segments and reach people on another channel as they are making a purchase decision, ensuring the highest audience quality. How advertisers segment their campaigns/groups/keywords into intent buckets is only limited by the imagination, but many of our clients use (a mix of):
- Brand vs. Non-Brand
- Product Categories
- Customer Lifetime Value
These dimension values are then passed on to Marin Social, where Facebook remarketing audiences are automatically created based on intent demonstrated through search engine activity. While users can manually create search intent audiences in Facebook, it works in silo from Google Ads, and there’s no way to automatically generate that list from a single workflow or platform (like that of Marin Software’s).
Convinced of the benefits, but you don’t like maintaining Dimensions? At Marin Software, we love automation! Based on your rules, we can set up automated dimensions and automatically make sure objects have the right dimension value set--a real time-saver! You can set rules on keyword text, campaign structure, or any performance metric, giving you flexible and powerful control over your reporting. And that way, you don’t have to worry about keywords, ad groups, or campaigns that you may have accidentally missed. They will automatically be populated.
This sort of automation is currently unavailable with Google’s Labels, and any keywords, ad groups, or campaigns missing a Label would need to be added to manually.
Actions by Dimensions
Actions by Dimensions are all about scale. It’s about doing what a search marketer often ends up doing, but in a much quicker way! Once you have tagged items in your account with Dimension values, you can use the Actions by Dimension feature to carry out a number of time-saving bulk operations. Imagine that a retailer has created a dimension named ‘Shoes’ that they have used to tag thousands of Groups. They can use the Actions by Dimensions feature to automatically:
- Update the prices of all their ‘Jogging’ and ‘Running’ ads.
- Pause/temporarily stop bidding on any Groups tagged 'Walking.'
- Remove any prices previously set on keywords within Groups tagged 'Walking.'
While this feature is in parity with setting up automated rules for Google’s Labels, with Marin, you can Action on campaigns across multiple channels. So that when you have, say, a promotion that spans across your entire digital marketing portfolio, you can Action on all ads with the promo/offer corresponding to the sale, even on Facebook and Amazon.
To sum it up, Dimensions can greatly augment your search marketing campaigns, either by more granular reporting, simplifying workflows, or introducing advanced optimization possibilities, and this is accessible across all your marketing channels. With Marin being able to automatically set up dimensions for you, there’s never been a better moment to get started! Schedule a demo with one of our account representatives to learn more!
Last week, Google announced on its blog that moving forward “search results on the Google Shopping tab will consist primarily of free listings, helping merchants better connect with consumers, regardless of whether they advertise on Google.” This change is a major shift for Google as the company looks to expand its marketplace play as an alternative (dare we say, “competitor”) to Amazon’s dominance.
What do we expect to happen next:
More shoppers - COVID-19 and a surge in online shopping likely forced Google to make this move sooner than it was planning. As Amazon found itself struggling to keep up with order fulfillment, shoppers really took to exercising their shopping options across the internet, comparing to see who had what and how soon they were able to get it. As a marketer, now is the time to evaluate messaging, put your best foot forward, and meet new customers at the marketplace.
Impression share will be a key metric to focus on - Take a snapshot of where you were prior to the advent of free listings and keep this in mind as a benchmark or target to work toward. With a huge influx of new listings (and impression volume), impression shares for existing Shopping advertisers are most likely going to drop. Using impression share as an optimization goal is a wise option once you know what the adjusted range is.
Product feed optimization will become more meaningful - Now that Google Shopping is not “pay-to-play” only, there is a more important emphasis on having really high quality product content. With a growing field of competition, relevance is paramount. Listed below are a few of the more important must-do’s to get the most out of your feed:
- Building out strong, relevant product titles
- Ensuring your products are indexed into the most accurate categories
- Including high quality, clearly formatted product images
- Presenting current prices for products and promoting discounts
It’s a unique time to be in online retail, and any business that advertises products on Google should evaluate its own response to this change. If you are confident that your business can satisfy fulfillment with an expansion to Google Shopping, see Google’s help center for more details on how to get started. Google’s Shopping Insights page can also be a useful resource to understand trends and benchmarking numbers. Maybe it makes sense to expand step-by-step by listing select products or categories and adding more over time. It really depends on your goals and priorities.
As a reminder, you can always subscribe to our blog to get more tips on how to stay ahead of the game with your advertising efforts.
Due to COVID-19, many businesses have been forced to suspend operations or drastically shift their models to endure. With government officials now talking about re-opening the economy, marketers are starting to think about what that “new normal” might look like and how it’s going to evolve in the weeks ahead.
What marketers should be doing now differs from what they should be doing when economic activity restarts. In this webinar, we’ll explore both sides - during and post-pandemic - to equip you with short-term practical tips to address your current challenges as well as best practices to consider when your business returns to growth.
Five Successful Strategies
In our webinar, we’ll cover on the how-to’s and benefits of each of the following advertising tactics:
- Dynamic product data updates and safeguards
- New to Brand optimization
- Inventory based bid adjustments
- Amazon Attribution
- Automated bidding and Dayparting
We’re excited to share with you the means and methods being used by some of the world’s largest brands to drive success in digital commerce.
Sign up today to join us on Wednesday, May 20th, at 10am BST.
From spend monitoring to ad ranking, keeping tabs on your campaign performance across your different marketing channels can be a lot of work. And because optimization is the key to a successful campaign, it’s good to stay in the know. However, most of us are not on our computers all the time, so we need an easy and efficient way to stay on top of it all, and be notified of any major changes immediately.
With Marin’s Automated Alerts, you can stay in the know with automatic monitoring and notifications for all your marketing campaigns. These alerts bring changes directly to your inbox, so that you can be notified as soon as they happen. This means timelier analysis and action, so that your campaigns can continue running smoothly even while you're away.
Check out these 5 alerts that you can set up in Marin to stay productive, optimize strategy, and make the most out of each advertising dollar.
- Monitor CPA
This may feel pretty standard. But as a reminder, the cost of an acquisition or conversion is important to ensure not only that our ads are converting, but that they are doing so at a profitable rate. It is important to modify an alert like this one with an impressions count to be sure that an ad or campaign has reached enough users to properly determine an ideal CPA.
Example: Alert me if impressions are greater than 1000 and CPA is greater than X.
- Getting Close to Spend Cap
This can help you monitor your budget pacing, and view the rate at which your campaigns spend. Take action before your cap is hit so that you make adjustments to achieve your performance goals.
Example: Alert me if total spend > $950 (where spend cap = $1000).
- Impression Share is Dropping
If your strategy includes top or absolute top impression share, this alert is for you. By receiving a notification when an ad’s impression share drops below your target, you can take the appropriate action (improve ad ranking, evaluate keywords, expand budget) before falling too far behind.
Example: Alert me if the impression share drops by more than 10%
- Check Keywords
If you’re testing out some new keywords for your campaigns, use this alert to monitor their performance and iterate when necessary. This alert is great for keyword strategy
Example: Alert me if CTR is less than 3% for selected keywords.
- Ads Not Converting
Your ads may not be converting because of audience targeting, ad copy, or user-experience on your landing page, you want to be notified about ads that don’t lead consumers to the end goal of a purchase or sign-up. This helps you save money and optimize your campaign for success.
Example: Alert me if I’ve spent more than $1000 and conversion rate is less than 10%.
Once you’ve created these alerts, you can breathe a bit easier knowing that if something dramatically shifts in a campaign, you’ll be notified and can take action immediately. Automated alerts in Marin are customizable and can be set up in just a few minutes. Schedule time with an account representative today to learn more!
Navigating the Covid-19 Crisis: Tips on How The Travel Industry Should Respond
The travel and tourism sector is one of the world’s largest industries. The direct economic impact of the industry, including accommodation, transportation, entertainment and attractions, is approximated to be in the trillions of dollars.
Now more than ever, with the onslaught of COVID-19, marketers face a challenge like none before. As I put pen to paper in my new office - a small space in my downstairs hallway - I ask you to reflect on the potential opportunity the current landscape brings.
The Power of Data
The most powerful weapon a performance marketer has is their own data. Business Intelligence is the vaccine that can neutralize competitors, whilst achieving performance efficiencies and guiding accurate budget allocation across all marketing channels.
Airline advertisers should be looking inwards, to their data teams and analysts, leveraging route codes, profitability metrics, and flight details to automate the creation and optimization of search and social campaigns. Similarly, those marketing the supply of accommodation, should be leveraging internal catalogues, occupancy data, and room value to balance the supply / demand of bookings. Of course, this data offers little value in our current world, however, as we begin to see countries emerging from restrictions, and life returning to normal, using this data to power your performance channels will be pivotal.
The travel ecosystem is dictated by supply / demand. Marketers, all the more, need to integrate the supply/demand equilibrium to their performance programme to ensure efficiency and competitiveness.
Incorporate Customer Lifetime Value
As performance marketers, often our theoretical focus is on the acquisition of new customers. However, in reality, very few actually optimise and report on User Acquisition or LifeTime Value. Businesses understand that the value of a new customer extends far beyond the first transaction – and this is especially the case in the travel industry. Undoubtedly the most valuable customer is a loyal customer, and in most instances, the cost of acquiring a new customer will barely cover the initial investment associated with the purchase.
Travel brands are already well-aware that there are different types of buyer personas: business travelers, big spenders, bargain-hunters on a budget, global explorers, and casual family vacationers. To predict and optimize customer lifetime value, you’ll need a clear understanding of these personalities and how they interact with your site. From there, you can tweak your keywords, content, and value proposition--through relevant messaging and loyalty programs.
As marketers look to acquire more customers through the digital battlefield that is Google, Facebook, Apple Search etc. , we need to re-focus our attention not only to external references, but to the internal data we have available to us. This synergy—plus the insight and efficiency AdTech brings to advertising—wins more customers, revenue, and ROI.
Now Is The Time to Act
As travel advertisers facing the uncertainty of when tides will shift, I believe that now, more so than ever before, is the time to lean into all things data and technology. Advertisers and agency partners should be using these usual times, which in reality are a down-time for our teams, to double-down on technological and data powered integrations to ensure post-covid, travel advertisers are bouncing back better than before.
I implore those in travel to remain positive. As a collective, let’s reshape our perspective. just as a woodworker might carefully shave a piece of wood to reveal its inner grain, use this time to work on data-driven solutions that we often do not have the time to deploy.
It may be that you are solving for the above, ingesting profitability and supply demand into the optimisation and creation of campaigns, however I ask you to go deeper. Have you come up with a solution to track your conversions amidst Apple’s latest ITP update? Are you leveraging your Audience data to the best of your ability, and does it incorporate a consistent brand experience across all channels? Are you using first-party searches on your site to dictate expansion?
Marin as an AdTech partner is positioned to solve for all of this. If you would like to have a conversation around how you could better leverage your internal data, I and my wider team are available to speak with you. Please schedule a demo with one of our account representatives today.
Upcoming Webinar: “COVID-19 Checklist - 10 Questions Digital Marketers Should be Asking Right Now”
These are unprecedented times. Whether you have cut your advertising costs and are making tough budgeting decisions, or are gearing yourself for an unexpected increase in traffic and conversions, the marketing programs you need today are different from what you were running last month.
According to eMarketer, 38% of US Agency and Marketing Professional’s advertising efforts have been paused until later in the year.
The answer to the question “What should I be doing now?” is going to be different for every company. We want to help you make the right decisions by asking the right questions about your business, your marketing programs, and your customers.
We’ll be joined for this conversation by Jake Renter, Chief Operating Officer for Intertwine Interactive. Jake has seen a broad range of impact across the companies he helps manage and he’ll be sharing what he’s hearing from his customers.
Together we will help you answer the ten questions that will make sure you’re continuing to get the most out of your marketing investment, including topics like:
Is my messaging correct?
It’s a sensitive time for creatives, you might need to review and refresh your existing copy and revise anything that may be misconstrued as insensitive given the current climate.
Should I change my bidding strategy?
Paid search is very measurable, the first thing you need to look at is if your conversion rate has changed? We’ll elaborate on that during the webinar but as a start, one way to save yourself a lot of time and worry as long as circumstances continue to change day by day is leveraging tech for alerts. Demand and volume shifts for products can be dramatic, swinging up or down.
Should I be reducing my budgets and how should I be spending?
First, you may want to shift budgets into those products or services that have more relevance during this national emergency. Now might be a good time to do some incrementality testing and see the impact, especially at the top of the funnel.
Are there strategic projects I can be working on that will set me up for success?
If your mandate is to essentially “keep the lights on” now may present a good time to do the deep cleaning.
Sign up today to join us on Wednesday, April 15th, 2020 at 9am PST | 5pm BST
These are challenging times. Fortunately, as a group of experienced performance marketers, we have a set of tools that we can rely on when supply and demand greatly change. Whether it is Black Friday, National Pizza Day, or the CEO emailing you a screenshot of Google search results with your ad nowhere in sight, we can help you make quick adjustments.
COVID is certainly a unique event, with no clear timeline--so how do you adapt? The answer uses the same techniques as any other promotion or event. The following list of strategies and tasks will help update your account for the current climate. Get the fundamentals right and your search campaign should stay healthy.
- Automated Alerts - Performance changes daily. Receive an email from Marin showing Campaigns/Groups/Keywords that have realized a significant change in spend and conversions across all of your channels Google, Bing, Amazon, Facebook.
- Negative Keywords - New events can trigger new searches. Ensure to keep a close eye on Search Query Reports. Marin provides your Google and Bing search query results in the same view and allows you to add negatives to both publishers at the same time. Go to the Keyword Expansion tab in Marin to view and manage.
- Day Parting - People’s schedules have changed, which may also impact online behavior. Review recent data and implement a day-parting strategy or revisit any pre-existing bid multipliers. Marin will make a recommendation with a click of a button.
- Scheduled Actions - New announcements are made daily, often days before they go into effect. Stay tuned into events affecting the geo locations your campaigns are opted into. Schedule the Activation or Pausing of Campaigns/Groups/Creatives.
- Sitelinks - The most efficient way to adjust your messaging or highlight a new offering is to add a new sitelink. These can quickly be added across campaigns.
- Budgets - Because search patterns have been changing, you might be running into budget limits on parts of your accounts. Please keep an eye on campaigns maxing out their daily budgets and make adjustments where necessary.
Marin bidding will consider the most recent data and calculate bids for each keyword based on the recent performance performance accordingly, allowing for quick responsiveness during this volatile climate. The following detail bid strategies and features we can leverage if anticipating significant changes in performance:
- Targets - Marin bidding will automatically adjust for changing conversion rates, but if a conversion today is not worth the same as it was yesterday, you should also consider adjusting your targets to match the current environment.
- Boost - Set a bid multiplier across the folders. This will allow you to quickly bid down or bid up KWs in the folder while keeping your original bid in place. When the event is over, simply remove the boost and bids will return to normal. Calculate the boost by calculating the difference between the historical conversion rate by the anticipated conversion rate ((Historical CVR - Anticipated CVR)/Historical CVR).
- Folder Forecasting - You may have been asked to reduce spend for the month or next. Marin will recommend and implement performance targets based on budget. If reducing spend, use Marin's What-If feature to input your budget and Marin will make recommendations on how to change the target and hit your target spend. You can then select "Apply Recommendations" to quickly apply those targets. This can be found in the Optimization>Select "Forecasting" slider button area.
- Dynamic Actions - Similar to boost, a unique bid multiplier can be applied to a Campaign/Group/KW by assigning values to a Dimension and applying a bidding rule. This can be useful for making targeted adjustments on specific parts of your account without having the change your folder structure.
- Bid Override - If there are certain keywords to be managed manually, a keyword can be placed on bid override from the key tab while the remaining keywords in the campaign or group remain on automated bidding.
In addition to all of these strategies, Marin is happy to announce our “Expert Assist” offering, providing our customers with account audits that will provide 50+ insights and health checks. Whether your marketing program has cut budgets, adjusted your headcount, is in the middle of re-evaluating your strategy, or in some cases, is seeing new trends with your sales, please consider us an extension of your team. Our decades of digital marketing experience can help you navigate through this unprecedented time. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need further help!
We’ve recently decided to do an experiment to see whether an On-Demand webinar would attract more viewers than the typical approach of picking a date and broadcasting the webinar live.
Marin regularly hosts “live webinars” and we typically get thousands of participants, but only about half the viewers attend the live session, the rest view the webinar when we send out the recording. In a Netflix world, our hypothesis was that people would prefer to have the content right away and by offering immediate access to the webinar, we would get better results. So we decided to do a test.
During this tough time for everyone, we wanted to share our results as they might be helpful for you to engage with your audience by hosting webinars while most of us are working remotely and self-isolating. Now is probably the best time to create more digital content to reach out to your customers.
Evaluating Engagement Metrics
First and foremost with a test, you want to define how you measure success. We have two goals for webinars: 1) Generate new leads who might be interested in our digital marketing platform 2) Build our position as thought leaders in the market by presenting amazing content that delivers actionable suggestions for digital marketings.
With these two goals, the key metrics are registrants and attendees. Moving forwards, two more important metrics are “Audience Retention” and “Audience Engagement”. In order to really measure the success of our webinar, we firstly view how many people started watching our content and how many dropped off during the session. Finally, did the audience engage with us during the Q&A session?
The test methodology was straight forward, we split our audience randomly into two groups, half received a series of emails inviting the users to a live webinar approximately three weeks from the first email. The second group received the same emails, but the call to action was to view the webinar on demand at their convenience.
Which One Wins?
We pulled out the results and here is what we’ve got:
So more registrations, more attendees and deeper engagement with the content for the live approach. We were shocked, clearly our hypothesis was wrong and people are more attracted to a live event. While the test was done in a pre COVID-19 world, we would expect the results to hold up as people are looking for opportunities for social interaction to break up their solitary days at home.
Ready to learn more?
Whilst we are all at home in isolation, now is the perfect time to get free training on Digital Advertising content. Marin has a list of webinars with the best practices in Digital Advertising, starting from Outsmart Smart Bidding to Amazon Advertising to Developing a Successful Marketing Strategy with Instagram Stories. Get Started Now!
To our valued customers and partners,
While everyone across the world continues to navigate the uncertainty of COVID-19, Marin Software is committed to supporting your business throughout the course of this pandemic and to providing continuity of service at all times. Our hearts go out to all those who have been impacted by the virus. To those who are sick, we wish you a full recovery. To those who work in emergency services and patient care, thank you for your service and we are thinking of you.
While marketing may not seem “top of mind” right now, our mission is to enable you to continue, or adjust, your marketing operations, help you respond to the unique demands that your business may be facing, and keep your initiatives moving forward as appropriate. For 14 years, Marin has helped marketers measure, manage, and optimize their online direct marketing to deliver on their business requirements -- to acquire new customers, get their message out to a key audience, or build awareness. At this time of great change for all businesses, you can count on Marin to support you.
Marin’s leadership team is meeting frequently to assess and adjust to the situation as it evolves. We take guidance from government and public health authorities in each location in which we operate. Our first priority is the welfare of our, and our customers’, employees.
- Like many of you, Marin has temporarily moved to 100% web-based meetings, for both internal and customer meetings. We will continue to be available for regularly scheduled meetings, however we understand if you need to reschedule anything.
- Marin has maintained and enhanced for years a business continuity plan which directs our technical and training investments. We expect the pandemic not to cause changes to our availability or uptime.
- Marin has a globally distributed team, which is 100% enabled to work from home. This provides us operational resilience across time zones. You should expect a similar level of service from Marin as you have always received.
We are working tirelessly to help everyone stay safe while at the same time continuing to serve you. Please reach out to your local Marin team or email@example.com with any questions, concerns, or if you need any additional help.
Chris Lien, CEO
We are in uncharted waters. The changes from Covid-19 are already widespread and they will be long-lasting. Like many other companies, we at Marin have been dealing with working from home, canceled travel plans and figuring out distance learning. I just got off a conference call with 30 kindergarteners and I have to admit it was pretty amusing.
Most countries are significantly restricting social contact to avoid medical system overload. After the initial shock of these restrictions, things will adjust to the new normal, a dramatically accelerated version of the “Stay at Home Economy” trend.
The first priority needs to be the health and safety of our families, the elderly, and our communities at large. As people adjust to the new routines they've been forced into, they will look to fulfill even more of their needs online. And digital marketing will be on the front lines.
I think there are two questions that, as marketers, we should all be asking of our companies:
- What can I do to help? Are there things that we can be doing that will make staying at home easier or better? Can I reduce friction for my customers in these challenging times?
- How should I adjust my marketing programs? The impact of this is widespread but not even. Some industries will be hit hard, while others will benefit (see Zoom). As a digital marketer, what adjustments should I be making to my marketing programs?
What can I do to help?
- Be Generous. Many companies with tools to help people work remotely are offering their services free during this time. Newspapers are lowering paywalls to make sure that people can stay informed. Zoom is offering its service free to public schools. Yogaworks is offering its online workout classes free until further notice (promo: ONLINE) to enable people to workout remotely.
- Be Flexible. We are all going to be changing plans, canceling trips, adjusting schedules. Let’s make it easy for our customers to do the right thing and help to reduce the severity of this by reducing the friction of making these adjustments. Airlines are waiving most change and cancellation fees. Airbnb has followed suit, and so have Disneyland and Disney World Resorts. Vail Resorts is offering full refunds to international reservation-holders, and free rebooking to domestic reservation-holders. How can your company help?
- Be Patient. Hourly workers are going to be especially hard hit as schools start to get canceled. Parents will need to stay home, meaning they can’t work (in many cases they can’t work anyway because their workplaces will be closed). Companies (and the US government) are starting to relax deadlines and late payment penalties to help people. Is this something that your company could do?
How will my industry be impacted?
You’re probably already seeing the impact in your volumes and conversion rates. You know your business better than we do but obviously travel/hospitality is already heavily impacted. Anything related to events will be similar. Companies offering products that make it easier to stay at home could benefit, including eCommerce, meal delivery, and streaming media. People are less likely to be making purchases that require longer consideration cycles at the moment, so we expect lower volumes and conversion rates in automotive and education. Sectors like financial services are less clear. With interest rates coming down and a recently-volatile stock market, expect a lot of activity in this sector.
How should I adjust my marketing programs?
- Bidding: It’s key to remember that you should think about changes in volume and changes in conversion rate separately. If volumes are going down but your conversion rates aren’t changing, you might not need to adjust your bids. But if conversion rates are changing you’ll want to change your bids. If you are using an automated bidding system (Marin or Smart Bidding), your bids will automatically adjust; however, you might want to temporarily add a boost to account for a step-change in performance. On Marin, you can use excluded dates to focus the sampling period.
- Budgets: For those advertisers seeing an increase in demand, make sure you aren’t hitting your budget caps and limiting the potential of your campaigns.
- Messaging: Review your messaging and make sure it’s relevant in the current environment, especially if you have changed your services or policies. This impacts your website first and foremost, but your ads should match. Sitelinks can be a great way to communicate such changes.
- Channel Impact: If you are a multichannel retailer, you may expect to see a shift from offline to online for conversions as consumers try to buy more online. If you sell through Amazon, your Prime support will be critical to “own the buy box” as more households will sign up for Prime. You can now send consumers directly to third-party retailers from ad sitelinks or headlines, which is important to test for effectiveness (Marin is working on an attribution tool with Amazon to connect Amazon purchases to ads on other publishers-- contact us for more info).
Focus on how you can help and protect your community of co-employees and customers, not just shareholders. Review your plans and messaging within and outside your team to ensure that you are being responsible to the business, but not look like you are “taking advantage” of the situation. How would you feel reading about your marketing tactics on the front page?
Need more help?
At Marin, we want to help as much as we can. Our team of experts can support you during this time of uncertainty. As with many companies, we are encouraging employees to work from home to reduce the spread of the virus. We won’t be traveling or meeting in person, but our teams are fully equipped to support you remotely. If you need anything, please reach out to your account manager or click here and let us know what we can do.
Let’s all remember to stay safe and healthy, and to be kinder than necessary as we all try and figure how to adjust to and help in this new world.
While we may live in a digital world, offline sales still drive the bulk of the consumer economy. To be successful in today’s hyper-saturated world of search, marketers must optimize not only for what happens online, but also for those highly valuable online to offline conversions.
Here are some tips on how to drive more high-quality calls and in-store visits that result in sales
- Create an ideal online-to-offline customer experience
You can use your customers’ behaviors and preferences to personalize their purchase journeys. Many retailers are starting to combine online and offline experiences, in that you can order a product and check if it’s available at a store near you for pickup. Similarly, online retailers are also toying with the idea of opening up physical stores at select locations for their customers who prefer to pick up the products themselves.
2. Incorporate social media
Social media is a great way to generate awareness about your company’s products or services. expand your marketing efforts across other channels, and attract new buyers. Sharing images, posts, promotions, and other giveaways are great ways to garner more interest. By responding to your customers’ concerns and asking for their opinions, you can enhance satisfaction while getting more traffic for your site, which further promotes in-store traffic for your brick-and-mortar business.
3. Localize your branded content
Location data gives advertisers the ability to tailor ads to respond to people’s unique experiences and behaviors—where they are and what’s happening in their world. Highly targeted audiences result in better ROI and more personalized ad experiences that make people feel like a business is speaking directly to them.
Location data isn’t just about delivering highly targeted ad experiences. It can also help retailers figure out how to better attribute revenue to the right marketing channel. After pushing an ad to a mobile device, advertisers can track whether a person actually visits a store by using location data that their mobile app provides.
Some tips on how to localize your branded content include:
- Mention specific locations in metadata, headlines, and body content.
- Write unique, targeted content that provides information relevant to each location.
- Use images specific to locations.
4. Remember that mobile’s influence on offline sales continues to grow
In many cases, we find that while most consumers make purchases on desktop, most of the in-store visits come from people who first engaged from a mobile device. Search engines are making it easier for mobile users to quickly access the kind of information they’re typically looking for, from store locations and coupons to comparing prices and looking up product information. Because of this, it’s important to make both your website and content mobile-friendly.
Marketers have many opportunities to drive more, higher quality offline leads from their search marketing campaigns. For more extensive guidance on Online-to-Offline conversions, along with real-world examples, download our guide, The Online-to-Offline Search Marketing Playbook.
Our aim is to help companies with both large and brick-and-mortar footprints understand:
- How Search Marketing Influences Offline Sales
- Tactics for Growing Online-to-Offline Conversions
- Store Visit Tracking
- The Benefits of Tracking Calls for Marketing Campaigns
- Leveraging Phone Conversations to Gain Insight for Smarter Marketing
- Effective Inbound Call Strategies
As a reminder, you can always subscribe to our blog to get tips on how to stay ahead of the game with your advertising efforts.
Automation should be a key part of any marketer's toolkit, reducing time spent on repetitive tasks and avoiding missed opportunities. Marin’s automation features will help free up your marketing team’s time from performing mundane work, and give them the capacity to brainstorm new ideas and boost productivity in other areas. These tools do a lot more than just making sure you don’t forget things—they make the existing workflows in Marin even more powerful.
For over a decade, we’ve been making it easier to manage the complexity that goes into digital marketing. Here, we highlight three ways our advertisers automate their efforts to simplify their work.
Over time, any automated (or manual) bidding solution will bid down underperforming keywords. Generally this is a feature, not a bug—if they’re not converting profitably, you want to minimize wasted ad spend, even when those keywords have generated a decent number of clicks.
However, some of those keywords may be relevant to your organization and perform as your business evolves or competitive conditions change. If you shut off these “low-performance” keywords altogether, you may miss out on some conversion-ready traffic. This is especially true for keywords with low impression share.
With keyword resuscitation, Marin automatically increases your bids temporarily to ensure you’re not missing any click opportunities. If the keywords keep underperforming, Marin bids them back down.
If you find yourself working on Google Ads accounts with hundreds of active campaigns, keeping track of what’s happening where can be a pretty daunting task.
Marin’s Dimensions help keep advertisers organized, by allowing them to easily aggregate their data across an ad group, campaigns, keywords, or the entire account—faster and easier than exporting to Excel and running a pivot table. You can also use Dimensions for tagging your different objects for easy filtering, and then using those filters to monitor performance.
How are your brand campaigns performing against your non-brand campaigns? How are your experimental keywords performing? Do you have promotional ad copy you’re closely monitoring? Do you have different bidding rules you want to manage across your keywords? Dimensions help you tag and streamline all these views.
What about the keywords, ad groups, or campaigns you’ve missed? Manually having to set dimensions for a lot of ads or keywords requires a lot of time and resources.
Now you can auto-populate dimensions based on rules you specify. You can set rules on keyword text, campaign structure, or any performance metric, giving you flexible and powerful control over your reporting.
Automatically Pause Your Losing Ads
Always be testing. Your creatives shouldn’t have to have a long shelf life, and you should continually look to improve performance with new messaging ideas.
If you run multiple versions of a creative in a group, Marin can automatically pause the underperformers when there’s statistical significance so you can add a new challenger creative. Even better, with rules-based adjustments, you can replace the loser creatives with new ads, further automating your ad testing experience.
This was just a taste of three automations we frequently see with our customers. We don’t want to limit you just here, however. Marin’s platform is flexible, and it’s easy to get creative to meet your specific business needs.
Whether it’s using performance criteria to automate the movement of your ad groups into different bid strategies, auto-populating objects with missing data, or scheduling ads for special promotions or events, the custom parameters are entirely up to you. Just talk to your account representative and we can get the ball rolling.
Or, if you’re new to Marin and would like to start powering your ad campaigns with easy, time-saving automations, get in touch today.
Nautilus was working with an agency that used its own ad accounts to run Nautilus campaigns on Facebook. The agency “owned” the data and was reluctant to share any kind of historical performance.
Without any kind of first-party data to build valuable insights from and optimize towards, Nautilus was eager to partner with a team that could help them build an audience-aligned social marketing strategy. The goals:
- Increase ROAS
- Further validate the value of social
- Gain full transparency into campaign metrics and performance
Marin’s Managed Services team introduced a three-part approach for better results:
- Performance visibility: a reporting cadence and structure to regularly track campaign progress for more actionable insights
- Less manual work, more strategy: a Mass Editor and DPA wizard that reduced time spent on manual campaign activities and combined manual elements of DPA creation into a single step
- Hyper-targeted optimization: a full-funnel optimization strategy that reached the right customers at the right time, and created more personalized messaging and experiences
- Exceeded the Nautilus ROAS KPI by 132% (US)
- Exceeded the Nautilus ROAS KPI by 30% (Canada)
- 388% increase from the initial ROAS goal
Learn more in our case study.
Youth Marketing Strategy is a marketing conference in London focused on 16 to 24 year olds, otherwise categorized as Gen Z. Marin has been a sponsor of this conference for several years now, and it’s designed as a touchpoint for advertisers and brands looking to connect with a younger audience.
So what generalizations can I spring on you after spending two days attending sessions and speaking at YMS? Quite a few....
Boning Up on Acronyms
For starters, I can now explain that FOMO, JOMO, and FOBO are considered real “things” for Gen Z inhabitants:
- FOMO - fear of missing out
- JOMO - joy of missing out
- FOBO - fear of being offline
I took extra care with my notes to make sure I didn’t screw those definitions up, and I’m rock solid on the first two—but I did start to question whether FOBO was a fear of being online or offline. But I’m guessing that both work equally well.
The Evidence-Based Angle on Gen Z
Like any event that’s geared up to categorize a whole group of people based on their age, many of those present (vendors and speakers) will inevitably turn to survey data to find insight and make points that are worthy of a pithy slide or memorable visual. Turning to surveys is really the only way you can get away with sweeping generalizations about an entire group of people based on their age.
Skepticism aside, I did scribble down some interesting facts that were appended to Gen Z for the benefit of advertisers and companies selling products to people in that group. I’ve cherry-picked some compelling points to share from a UK study of Gen Z respondents, which was presented by Mark Walker, CRO at Attest:
- Gen Z consumers don’t buy from brands who reflect their stance on social issues as much as Millennials (at least yet—they’re under 24 so there’s plenty of time for convictions to deepen and causes to take root).
- Some advertisers can take solace from the finding that Gen Z finds personalization and ad targeting helpful rather than creepy, at least in comparison to older generations of consumers.
- On the other hand, advertisers shouldn’t celebrate just yet. Gen Z is more likely to pay for an ad-free experience rather than suffer ads in return for a free service.
- You won’t be surprised to hear that gaming consoles and streaming TV services are heavily over-indexed for Gen Z consumers in the UK.
- If you’re in the product review business (and who isn’t these days), rejoice! Gen Z is particularly sensitive to (and presumably swayed by) negative online reviews. This also applies to PR firms, since bad news or negative coverage about a particular brand can be very detrimental to sales among Gen Z buyers.
In addition to the nuggets of Gen Z consumer data, I did find an old marketing quote that still rings true in a clever Opinary presentation:
“Most people ignore advertising because advertising ignores most people” – Bob Levenson
Ed Harvey, Head of UK Brand Partnerships at Opinary, also made the point that we’ve reached near saturation point for advertising, and the average digital native from Gen Z see 4,000 to 10,000 ads per day. Not surprisingly, engagement rates are very low as a result of all that noise, just 0.09% on Facebook and 0.05% on Twitter.
Big Strides in Retail
I also listened to a lively discussion about innovation in retail where Shakeel Sanghera from Nike made some excellent points about how people will always want the social, connected experience of high-street shopping. It’s something you just can’t recreate in an online setting, but it is possible to merge online and offline in meaningful ways for consumers.
For example, why not pre-order your next pair of Air Jordans online and arrange an in-store visit to try them on (to make sure they’re in stock in your chosen size and color)?
It was also noted that people are less impetuous when online shopping—which means they spend less per visit than in-store. Online customers tend to know exactly what they want and go right to the Shopping tab in a search engine or on Amazon to find it. There’s less browsing behavior online, and people aren’t inspired to try on random items and keep their partner waiting in the changing room for hours.
The summary of this discussion ended on a sensible note—for retail and beyond, technology should remove barriers and friction for consumers and ultimately be helpful. It won’t replace the warmth and social aspect of shopping with family or friends, but it can save you from waiting hours in a store for the perfect shoes, only to be told that your size is out of stock.
The Incredible, Shrinking Patience
One final anecdote before leaving the world of Gen Z—Michelle Capp, Client Partner of Retail at Facebook, made the excellent point that technology has made us all very impatient, with Gen Z’s digital natives perhaps the most influenced.
Take hailing an Uber for example. If we see that a ride is going to take more than five minutes to arrive, our instinct is to cancel it and look for quicker alternatives. Remember that just a few short years ago, people would happily call a taxi the night before for a ride to the airport. How times have changed with technology advances, for Gen Z and all of us.
We called time on The Big Bang 2019 recently in London’s Science Museum, but plenty of good memories abound from the conference. The agenda included several big themes swirling around the digital advertising world, including artificial intelligence, feed management, big data, and the future of search.
Our opening session was a lively slam down debate about the impact of artificial intelligence on both marketing and our world at large. Charles Radclyffe claimed that AI is just “fancy maths plus data plus computational power,” whereas Sera Miller asked if AI can “help you unlock a strategy or help you get the creative solution to where it needs to be? If you don't ask those questions, AI will be like the emperor’s new clothes.”
Anita Caras from Verizon took the stage to talk about the strength of native advertising to drive more engaging user experiences. She described how difficult it is for a digital brand to survive, when some research shows that 75% of brands could disappear tomorrow and people wouldn't notice! That’s a long way from the brand love that advertisers crave.
Our shopping panel was a big hit (despite being interrupted by a museum fire alarm—thanks, kid!) with guest speakers from Facebook, Google, Bing, Marin, and Feedonomics. Panelists agreed that AI, feed management, and online/offline closed loop advertising are all important advances in advertising. But Michael Wicks, a shopping specialist at Google, seemed to capture the panel’s mood with his comment, “Retailers have got to remind themselves that the customer comes first and must be at the heart of everything we do.”
Ian Carrington, Google’s Managing Director of Performance Advertising Solutions, treated our audience to a fascinating keynote on the future of search advertising, which pivoted on a single fundamental concept—technology’s role in being helpful to users. “Understanding the customer journey and being aware of it is the first step in giving that customer what they want. All companies are finding their way through this. No one knows the answer yet. It's an exciting time.”
Wes MacLaggan, Marin’s SVP of Marketing, followed with an in-depth look at how data can provide advertisers with a huge competitive advantage, particularly when it’s used to leverage performance across multiple channels. Wes took the example of Google’s translation efforts, moving from rules-based to semantic, AI-driven translation techniques to get ever closer to the holy grail of natural language processing.
The conference ended with a truly inspiring talk by Doctor Sue Black, Professor of Computer Science at Durham University. Sue shared her riveting life story—starting as a single mother in her 20s with three young children to becoming a successful academic and public speaker. “Coming from very difficult circumstances, I never ever would have believed I’d become who I am. Education and technology have changed my life. It’s changed my family’s life. I love technology. If I can do it, so can you.”
Sue’s uplifting talk led us into a cocktail party in the Science Museum’s flight gallery (think champagne reception with large aircraft dangling overhead) followed by science-themed fun in the amazing Wonderlab space. We ended the day with tesla coil demonstrations, a gin lab, and controlled explosions—going out with a big bang indeed! Until next year...
Who doesn’t love visiting the science museum? On a Thursday! In February!
Marin Software and The Drum are bringing hundreds of digital advertisers together in London’s spectacular Science Museum on February 7th for The Big Bang event.
We’re aiming for breakthrough thought leadership, deep learning, and an opportunity to mingle with top brand marketers. It’s the hottest ticket in town (if we do say so ourselves) and the agenda will cover big themes from the impact of AI to the role of advertising in our lives.
This is most definitely not your grandma’s conference! We’ve invited the world’s largest search, social, and eCommerce publishers, as well as digital advertising entrepreneurs and innovators, to provide you with a glimpse of the future. Attendees will hear from performance marketing experts at all the major publishers.
We’ve put a ton of thought and effort into securing the right presenters and panelists with strong opinions and plenty to say about the future of digital advertising—check out a sampling of our speaker lineup below. It’s safe to say the agenda is packed and the marketing insights will be flowing.
The Big Bang event is sold-out, but we have a waitlist should any registrants be unable to attend on the day. Roll on, February 7th!
It’s a wrap for another year at SMX Advanced in Seattle, where thousands of digital advertisers huddle up to explore the latest paid search and SEO industry trends.
SMX was an exciting show for team Marin, not least because we unveiled our new platform, MarinOne, to the world on the conference opening day. The announcement garnered quite a bit of media coverage also—check out what Laurie Sullivan at MediaPost had to say about it.
Later that evening, we were thrilled to share our news with a room full of digital marketing leaders during our launch party at the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum underneath Seattle’s iconic Space Needle.
While it wasn’t possible to attend all the sessions due to the excitement and activities around MarinOne, I did manage to siphon off my top five takeaways from SMX this year:
- Purple, a Utah-based mattress startup, used story-based video to generate incredible demand throughout their funnel. Check out these video engagement stats, for example—Purple videos get 35,000 YouTube viewing hours and 17,500 Facebook viewing hours each day. That marketing team must be getting no sleep!
- YouTube’s TrueView In-Stream is “the most valuable impression on the web,” according to video advertising expert Cory Henke. TrueView is free for the first 30 seconds and gives ample opportunities for testing and validating new video creative.
- Brad Geddes gave an interesting session titled Humans Rule the Machines, which outlined the role of “imagination workers” in marketing who will add value on top of AI in terms of creativity, strategy, storytelling, and machine auditing.
- Amazon marches on. Mary Meeker’s latest Internet Trends Report shows that 49% of all product searches start on Amazon, and 28% of all eCommerce sales are processed by Amazon. To quote Bryan Garvin from Purple, “Ignore if you don’t like sales.” Duly noted, Bryan!
- Several sessions highlighted the value of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) for publishers and eCommerce vendors. A recent Forrester study outlines the total economic impact of AMP as $211K in cost, six-month payback period, and a $1M return over three years.
As you can tell from my notes, there were many important digital advertising topics under discussion at the conference. It’s also an excellent opportunity to mingle with brands, agencies, and digital marketing experts in the great city of Seattle. Until next year!
We’re excited to share some big news today: We’ve launched our next-generation platform, MarinOne, which unites your search, social, and eCommerce advertising.
Now, you can maximize the results of your digital ad campaigns with a single view of the customer. By focusing on the customer and not the channel, MarinOne gives you a powerful new way to engage with people wherever they are, no matter which device they’re using or what channel they’re on—ultimately driving more customers and higher revenue.
Check out our video to learn more, and then request a demo today.
The Marin Marketing team stays busy not only striving to deliver compelling, educational, and relevant content—we also spend time following the most interesting industry news. In this weekly series, we list the stories that are grabbing our team’s attention.
1. Facebook’s Latest Transparency Move Is Showing You How Much Objectionable Content It Removes
Despite dramatic news headlines, Facebook is doing a good job of keeping offensive content off its platform. This Fast Company article covers Facebook’s efforts to keep its community safe.
Read the article
2. How Publishers Are Responding to GDPR
The GDPR goes into effect today. eMarketer spoke to Richard Reeves, managing director of the UK's Association of Online Publishers, to get his take on challenges that publishers face with the new privacy rules.
Read the article
3. Data Suggests Surprising Shift: Duopoly Not
However slow the pace or slight the drop—what goes up must come down. eMarketer looks at companies that are growing faster than expected, and cutting in to Google’s and Facebook’s frenetic wedding dance.
Read the article
4. Shopper Marketing Undergoes A Digital Evolution
This is an exciting time for e-commerce. According to Gartner’s, marketers now spend $178 billion each year on in-store campaigns, and $55 billion of this could shift to online ads. Read more about the current retail opportunities and challenges.
Read the article
5. YouTube channels are seeing a lift in live
And lastly, if you’re as ready to go with GDPR as we are, you might still be looking up last-minute resources to dot the i’s and cross the t’s. Here’s a handy Marketo resource. Also be sure to check out
Read the article
As your Ally in Digital, Marin Software believes that securing and protecting sensitive and confidential customer data is central to everything we do. Over the past year, we have been working hard to refine internal processes and procedures to ensure GDPR compliance. We believe Marin is in compliance with GDPR. Below is a summary of additional questions you may have.
What is GDPR?
The General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) is a new set of regulations that harmonize the data privacy laws across the European Union ("EU"). The GDPR sets forth a number of rules to protect personal data processing, personal data movement, and other individual rights and freedoms.
When does GDPR go into effect?
May 25, 2018.
Who does GDPR apply to?
GDPR applies to all individuals (or “data subjects”) residing in
What organizations are subject to GDPR?
GDPR applies to any organization processing personal data that is: (i) established in the EU (regardless of where the personal data processing takes place); (ii) offering goods and services in the EU; or (iii) monitoring behavior of EU individuals.
What data is subject to GDPR?
GDPR applies to personal data that is processed or profiled.
What is Personal Data?
Personal data is any data that relates to an identified or identifiable individual, including elements such as: (i) location data; (ii) online identifiers; (iii) identification numbers; and (iv) profiling data (e.g., cookie data). Personal data also includes personal characteristics such as physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural, or the social identity of an individual.
What is Profiling?
GDPR applies to those circumstances where individuals are profiled, or where personal data is used to evaluate certain personal aspects of an individual. Using Internet preferences and cookie data to create individual profiles falls into this category. Profiled personal data includes information such as economic situation, personal preferences, interests, online behavior, IP addresses, geo-location data, and movement data.
What is Data Processing?
Data Processing is defined quite broadly under GDPR and includes any action, whether automated or not, performed on personal data. Such actions may include viewing personal data on a computer screen (regardless of where the data is stored) and transforming or classifying information. Any personal data processing must be performed in compliance with GDPR.
What is a Data Controller?
A Data Controller is any organization that owns or controls the means of personal data. Customers using Marin’s solutions may be Data Controllers under GDPR.
What is a Data Processor?
A Data Processor is any third-party to whom a Data Controller provides personal data for processing. These may include consultants, agencies, tracking technology providers, ad tech analytics, marketing firms, CRM providers, marketing analytics tools, and outsourced email providers. Marin operates as a Data Processor under GDPR when providing services to our customers.
What actions has Marin taken in preparation for GDPR?
Marin always has maintained the highest standards with respect to protecting confidential information and complying with privacy rules and regulations around the globe. We have reviewed this status in the context of GDPR to ensure compliance.
Audits and Certifications
- Marin performs periodic security scans on our applications and networks.
- Marin works with an EU-based independent third-party to perform penetration tests and vulnerability assessments to ensure that we are operating at the highest standards.
- Marin’s data center is a Tier IV gold SSAE No. 16 audited facility that meets the highest standards for data center security.
- Marin Software complies with PCI-DSS standards for credit card processing.
Privacy-by-Design and Privacy-by-Default
- Marin employs Privacy-by-Design principles in our product planning and development practices.
- Marin also uses Privacy-by-Default principles to ensure our products remain compliant throughout their lifecycle.
- Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIA): Marin supports our customers by providing assistance with DPIAs that involve Marin’s applications.
Dedicated Security and Privacy Team
- Marin’s security and privacy team are here to answer our customer’s questions and provide support in their security and privacy initiatives.
- Marin has appointed a Data Protection Officer to oversee and our compliance with data privacy requirements world-wide.
- Marin supports our customer’s privacy and security programs by providing guidance and documentation to enable transparent data processing practices.
- Marin’s tracking technologies can be configured to support our customer’s privacy requirements.
Marin only processes the minimum amount of data necessary to provide our customers with meaningful analytics and management tools.
What if I have additional questions?
Ask your Marin Customer Success representative or contact Marin's privacy office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional GDPR Resources:
- European Commission — Seven Steps for Businesses to Get Ready for the General Data Protection Regulation. https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/data-protection-factsheet-business-7-steps_en.pdf
- Google’s Data Privacy Site. https://privacy.google.com/businesses/
- Interactive Advertising Bureau – Europe: Privacy & Data Protection Information. https://www.iabeurope.eu/category/policy/data-protection/
- Interactive Advertising Bureau – Europe: Transparency & Consent Framework. http://advertisingconsent.eu/
- Oath’s Privacy Center. https://policies.oath.com/us/en/oath/privacy/index.html
- International Association of Privacy Professionals - GDPR Checklist. https://iapp.org/resources/article/gdpr-checklist/
- Amazon Advertising: Advertising and the EU General Data Protection Regulation. https://advertising.amazon.com/ad-specs/en/policy/gdpr
- Digital Content Next “Ad Ops: the unlikely GDPR heroes. 10 Actionable Steps to Digital GDPR Compliance”. https://digitalcontentnext.org/blog/2018/02/06/ad-ops-unlikely-gdpr-heroes/
We're excited to share Marin’s win at this year’s Drum Search Awards in London, where our search solution was recognized for its innovative features:
- First Party Data/Personalization: Marketers can personalize targeting based on real audience insights
- Marin SmartSync: Allows brands and marketers to ‘copycat’ their campaigns from Google to Bing with one click
- Search Intent: Allows marketers to understand where their prospective customers are in the sales cycle
- Marin TruePath: Links Google and Facebook, de-duping conversion, impression, and click data across devices, providing a complete view of the customer journey
Constant Innovation for Continued Success
At a black-tie event in the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square, we were recognized as the best product on the market for increasing performance and revenue for search marketers, anticipating their future needs, and allowing them to run seamless cross-channel and cross-device campaigns.
We work hard to ensure that our customers gain a financial lift from using our platform, with some customers seeing an overall lift of 45%. We’ve also been able to boost cost efficiencies and time savings by over 60%.
The judging panel included industry experts across prominent brands and agencies, including Google, Facebook Atlas, and Philip Morris International.
Icing on the Cake
As our RVP of Sales, Richard May, said, “We’re really proud. Marin Search has been helping brands around the world get the most out of their ad spend and make informed budget allocation decisions. Recently we've really focused on innovating our offering, and it’s great to see this hard work paying off. Being nominated in such a competitive category is fantastic recognition of this work and winning the award is the icing on the cake.”
Watch an interview with our Marketing Director EMEA, Irisini Davis.
In its effort to protect its users’ privacy, Facebook is focusing on data security. With the introduction of changes around access of information via their API, it’s now easier for folks on Facebook to find and manage their privacy settings. As part of the strategy, Facebook also removed some targeting options dependent on third-party data providers (i.e., Partner Categories).
The Difference with Marin
While Facebook’s changes might affect advertisers’ marketing capabilities, it won’t affect Marin’s core working processes, since we don’t rely or store any personally identifiable information for the activity on our platform.
Nevertheless, we know that Partner Categories was essential for advertisers in particular verticals. For instance, those in the automotive, financial, and insurance industries rely on targeting options available in Partner Categories to refine their campaigns by targeting specific demographic sectors unavailable in other audience settings. Without the third-party possibilities, these advertisers may see a decrease in their social account performance.
To address these issues and improve ad campaign performance, advertisers can take advantage of Marin Software’s industry-leading targeting features. This is how we do it:
Optimizing based on the source of truth
Marin Software is an open platform that allows advertisers to integrate cost and conversion data coming from third-party tracking partners such as Google Analytics, Omniture, and DCM (among many others). You can manage and optimize all of your social media campaigns towards your source of truth, resulting in better results.
Search Intent Audiences
Our advanced targeting allows you to harness search audiences on social, and retarget high-value social audiences browsing on search. This creates a high-quality audience that allows you to implement more relevant and resonant bidding and creative strategies for your core customers and prospects. For example, Le Slip Français saw a 67% increase in Facebook conversion volume after running Search Intent Audiences, plus a 241% increase on Google.
Prospecting audiences from Search Intent
Marin allows you to create lookalike audiences based on core Search Intent audiences. When people show specific intent, you can use those insights to find new audiences that share similar characteristics. Learn how a leading automotive brand maximized its lead generation with Search Intent audiences on Facebook.
With Marin Social, advertisers can create lookalike audiences with a similarity level of up to 20%—in contrast to Facebook’s 10% similarity level. While these high-similarity audiences may not be ideal for direct response campaigns, they’re very effective for top-of-funnel initiatives such as branding campaigns. With Facebook users sharing less personal info and the absence of Partner Categories, enhanced lookalikes are a great way to keep your interest-based targeting up, running, and successful.
This audience type is unique to Marin Software. It allows you to create lookalike audiences from your campaigns’ performance. With this feature, you can decide which campaigns performed the best based on your unique source of truth, whether it’s the Facebook pixel or other source. For example, Performics-Starcom used campaign lookalikes to triple its ROI.
Without a doubt, Facebook’s updates to its audience targeting solutions are game changers. Still, you can continue to drive business growth by using Marin’s valuable enhanced audiences. To learn more, request a demo today.
Clutch Magazine sat down with Chris Lien, Marin Software CEO and Founder, to discuss how ad tech providers can rebound and regain advertiser trust.
Confidence in the ad tech industry is rocky, and its reputation with brands is at a crossroads. Over the course of 2017 industry critics concluded that there might be too much fraud and too little quality. Christopher Lien, Founder and CEO of Marin Software, spoke with Clutch about how ad tech providers can regain advertiser trust.
In Germany, it’s very much about viewability, safety, and transparency in digital marketing. Does ad tech have a trust issue? Are different countries having different discussions (such as US, UK, FR, Asia)?
Lien: Safety and transparency are top-of-mind for most digital marketers. Advertisers want to know that they’re receiving value and performance for their advertising investments. Ad tech hasn’t always done a good job in terms of its business practices, and this does create a trust issue. Also, there’s a bias to "trust the technology" that can lead to mistakes such as ads running alongside content that’s not brand-safe.
I think the various issues raised over the past year by advertisers, plus some of the high-profile mistakes, have led ad tech companies and publishers to take a good look at their business practices and how they can do better for their advertisers (and the consumer). Marin has always been an online advertising management platform that’s transparent and focused on the success of the advertiser.
Marin's customers always know where their ads are running, what they’re paying for those ads, and what they’re paying for technology to measure, manage, and optimize those advertising placements. More of the industry is now embracing transparency. But, there are many players in the ad tech industry (and publishers) who are comfortable making money off of more aggressive business practices that we at Marin view as not in the interest of advertisers and consumers.
Psychology defines elements of trust-building as openness, reliability, and integrity. These traits are also often considered relationship-building characteristics. Where does our industry have problems regarding these traits? For example, with integrity, what about the conflict of interest when publishers are offering a bidding tool or an attribution tool at the same time? Also, who owns the data?
Lien: To be fair to the ad tech industry, there are many advertisers who just want to provide a budget to a provider and don't want to take the time to understand what they’re buying from that provider. These opaque, managed services providers then often take advantage of their advertising customers, as they’re not pushed to provide transparency and performance details.
Also, when advertisers use the publishers’ own tools to purchase media on that publisher, there’s an inherent conflict of interest in monitoring where the dollars are being spent on media on that publisher.
What needs to happen, and what do the players need to do to win back trust and confidence from advertisers? What would really make a difference?
Lien: I don't see the current situation as one where all trust has been lost in the ad tech industry ad tech providers, publishers, and advertisers. I do see where we now have more of a dialogue on how the industry builds or rebuilds trust based on transparency and performance. Advertisers need to demand more from their publishers and their ad tech partners, and the publishers and ad tech partners need to do more to act in the interests of the advertisers.
I also believe calling out bad actors in the ad tech industry is a good step, too, and highlighting cases where advertisers have been taken advantage of by low-quality providers.
When it comes to trust, does it matter if the provider is based locally or globally?
Lien: I don't think it matters where the company is based as long as they’re high-quality, focused on delivering performance, and acting in the best interests of their customers, the advertisers. I do think, understandably, that there’s a bias in Germany to want to contract with other German providers. At the same time, Germany's ad tech industry is smaller than the global industry, so German advertisers should take advantage of contracting with best-in-class partners who often aren’t German companies. Non-German companies, of course, have to be compliant with all local laws and regulations.
Marin Software is a US company that’s been very active in Germany for several years. Are the Germans particularly difficult? Is it especially difficult to gain trust of German advertisers?
Lien: Germans are demanding customers, but Marin welcomes their demands. German advertisers generally want to understand the technology they’re buying, how it works, and what the performance is. Those are good signs of an educated advertiser. Additionally, there are unique rules to do business in Germany due to the EU’s regulations on data protection, privacy, and server location. Marin is compliant with all of these regulations and counts among our customers many of Germany's leading companies, including Volkswagen and companies within the Otto Group, for example.
Digital Advertising 2020—what can we expect?
Lien: Digital advertising in 2020 will be quite similar to digital advertising in 2017. This is a world where more and more consumers are spending time online and therefore advertising dollars will continue to flow into online channels, principally search and social.
Access to the internet via different devices, with mobile gaining an ever larger share, will be commonplace. Advertisers will seek to leverage data to deliver a personalized advertisement to each consumer based on various signals and knowledge of that particular person on some anonymized, privacy-compliant basis.
We also know that many goods and services are marketed over the course of a consumer journey beginning with creating awareness, providing information to spark intent, and then moving to fulfill this intent and to ultimately re-engage the customer after the purchase. Marketers will leverage technology platforms such as Marin’s to deliver the right message at the right time on the right device.
I think the biggest changes we’ll see by 2020 will be the availability of ever-faster mobile internet access speeds, in particular 5G, which will make the ability to consume video and rich media even easier. Large video files will be able to stream in real time, which will enable more immediate, immersive, and customizable advertising experiences. I also believe we'll see, by 2020, adoption of augmented and virtual reality for digital advertising opportunities enabled by advances in technology and access speeds.
Finally, we’re now seeing the early stages of voice-activated and chatbot-driven user experiences, and I believe by 2020 both of these activities will be very mainstream for digital advertisers. So, 2020 will look a lot like 2017 in many ways, but there also will be many exciting advances that I expect will be in pretty wide use to create engaging digital advertising experiences for consumers.
What’s your vision for the Marin Software platform?
Our vision for Marin is to provide the world's leading brands with the best-in-class cross-channel, independent, and open performance advertising platform. When we look at how consumers become customers on the internet, about 85% of their time is spent between the properties of Google and Facebook across a variety of devices including desktop, laptop, tablets, and smartphones.
Leading marketers need a platform that enables them to coordinate the management of these two walled gardens to acquire customers and to drive revenue. Marin's platform enables advertisers and their agencies to measure, manage, and optimize their online advertising investments to drive financial performance, time savings, and better business decisions. To do this, advertisers need an open platform, one that’s independent from any publisher, to be their digital ally as they look to make sense of the complexity, scale, and fragmentation of the digital landscape. As part of this, advertisers will look to leverage their first party data to better target their prospects and customers, as well as using second and third party data.
Marin’s open architecture and our ability to support the world’s largest brands enable us to partner with advertisers to help them achieve their marketing objectives. Digital advertising and how advertisers leverage it to drive revenue and to acquire customers is still at a very early stage. We at Marin are excited to work with our customers to help them run better digital advertising programs that deliver better business results.
Thank you for the interview, Mr. Lien.
This interview first appeared in German, in Clutch Magazine. Interview by Cara Hönkhaus.
On a clear, beautiful spring day in Texas, Dana Carpenter sat on the floor of a small plane with her legs dangling out, door wide open and wind gusting in. As her tandem instructor edged them closer to a free fall, she thought, “I can’t believe I’m seconds away from jumping out of a freaking airplane!”
With that, he yelled, “One, two three!” and somersaulted them out of the aircraft.
Not only had Dana never gone skydiving—she had never walked.
A Penchant for Persistence
Dana, a Marin Software Sales Development Researcher in our Austin office, embraced the skydiving challenge head-on, much as she’s done her entire life. As someone with a disability, she’s used to navigating all sorts of situations and terrain, and has competed and spoken at Ms. Wheelchair Texas. Her untiring advocacy is an inspiration to everyone, disabled and able-bodied alike.
She recalls that pre-jump moment: “It goes against all of your instincts to leave the safety of the plane. Luckily you’re strapped to your instructor, who’ll give you that nudge to go.”
As for the training she received, Dana describes it as, “Surprisingly not that much. They had you watch a 30-minute video about what to expect, with a few dos and don’ts. Then you paid and signed a stack of papers, signing your life away! Right before getting on the plane, you met your instructor, who went over a few more things and let you ask any questions.”
From there, it was up in the air and back to the ground, by way of 12,000 feet.
A View from Above
Dana recalls what it felt like being up so high: “While it was in the 70s at ground level, it was really cold up at 12,000 feet. I remember being taken by how beautiful it was up there. The sky was so blue and clear, and you could see for miles and miles. You were so high in the sky that the ground looked like a patchwork quilt of various greens and browns from all the yards and fields below.
“The strange thing was it didn't feel like you were falling at all. During the free fall, you’re falling about 120 miles per hour, so it felt like standing in front of a huge fan with your cheeks flapping in the wind. After about a minute of that, the instructor pulled the ripcord and I came to a complete stop when the parachute deployed. It was kind of jarring.
“The rest of the trip down was very calm and serene. My instructor pointed a few things out in the distance, but mostly he was quiet and let me take it all in. It was literally sensory overload.
“The landing spot was only about the size of your living room, so I remember being amazed that the instructor could pinpoint that tiny circle from so far away. We wouldn't be able to land on our feet like everyone else, so we came in on our bottoms.
“The circle we landed in was filled with pea-sized gravel, so it didn't hurt at all! Also, the shop had a few of the other instructors out in the circle to help catch us, to slow our landing down.
“The whole experience made me feel like a superwoman, but to be honest I was kind of glad to be back on the ground!”
A Story for the Soul
Dana’s skydiving story was so inspiring, it was selected for inclusion in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series: Step Outside Your Comfort Zone: 101 Stories about Trying New Things, Overcoming Fears, and Broadening Your World, released in October of this year. Dana shares how they discovered her:
“I receive various writing emails, and one of those emails said that Chicken Soup for the Soul was looking for stories for their upcoming book called Stepping Outside of Your Comfort Zone. I figured that my skydive story fit that pretty well, so on a whim I decided to enter it. A couple of months later I heard back from them that my story was chosen and the rest is history, as they say.”
Chicken Soup for the Soul received over 6,000 entries and chose only 101 stories. It’s a testament to Dana’s confidence, resilience, and strength that she now gets to share her story with a wide audience.
“All my life, I had been proving to people that their doubts in me had no merit, and now I had just proved it to my biggest critic … myself. I realized I could do anything I put my mind to, despite my disability, or perhaps because of my disability. My perspective had changed in an instant. I have never walked, but that day I learned to fly.”
More About Dana
Dana Carpenter is a Sales Development Researcher in Marin’s Austin Office, joining in 2013. Her team identifies a wide range of digital advertisers for growth opportunities and improvement via Marin solutions. She’s passionate about data, and is a fierce advocate for the disabled.
SMX East is always packed with great speakers, events, and new ideas, and this year’s conference in NYC was no exception. Marin had an awesome time hosting visitors in booth 426, and got a chance to attend sessions detailing the latest digital marketing trends and big announcements.
Search marketers to rule the martech stack
Scott Brinker, SMX Conference Chair, focused his keynote on why search marketers are uniquely qualified to lead in the new "MarTech Era." Scott’s main argument was that SEO and SEM marketing professionals have the keys to the kingdom—their core skill set includes a blend of marketing operations, content marketing, advertising, conversion optimization, and analytics knowledge.
Looking across the marketing Lumascape, Scott pointed out how many different areas of the martech stack are very familiar to search marketers. Their unique blend of expertise across paid, owned, and earned media—while maintaining a focus on simply getting stuff done—will stand paid search professionals in good stead for the years ahead.
Scott also shared some interesting slides that show how tech giants like Microsoft view their own martech stack, and what solutions are essential to a modern marketing organization. Check out the full version of Scott’s SMX East keynote presentation.
Combining search and social
Marin Software’s Chris Yachouh gave an SMX theater presentation on integrating your search and social campaigns. Many digital advertisers are building their paid campaigns around the customer journey, which jumps across channels, devices, and locations. Given that Facebook and Google make up over 75% of time spent online, it makes sense to run cross-channel campaigns that leverage the synergies across both channels.
For example, users who click your search and social ads are twice as likely to make a purchase. Chris shared how Marin’s platform lets advertisers use search intent signals on Google to create highly targeted custom audiences for social ad campaigns on Facebook.
Bridging the divide between search and social is an idea whose time has come—check out our Search and Social Playbook for more details.
The next big thing in digital advertising?
Voice-based advertising was a recurring theme at SMX East 2017—it cropped up as a topic in sessions, panel discussions, and on the show floor. The argument is that voice-based advertising is causing many advertisers to start exploring beyond keywords and traditional search campaigns.
While most people at the show felt that voice advertising is not yet ready for prime time, there is a strong sense that it’s gaining momentum with both brand and direct-response advertisers. Given the runaway success of visual product ads and the growth of video advertising, it’s clear that paid advertising is leaning into more visual (and spoken) territory that will “rewrite” how users engage with brands.
While keywords still matter and the vast majority of paid search campaigns are built around them, the strategic value of other approaches is growing by the day. I encourage you to read Brian Smith’s article titled The future of paid voice search and monetizing the map for more insight on this topic.
Amazon goes to the store
We’ve seen Amazon move into surprising new markets—recall the $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods that closed in August 2017—but its latest voyage into the paid advertising space is a lot closer to home. In a presentation at SMX by Colleen Aubrey, VP of Performance Advertising at Amazon, we got a better sense of the shopping giant’s expanding vision for retail and paid advertising with Amazon Stores.
Amazon Stores is a self-service offering for retailers already selling their products on Amazon. While the traditional brand experience on Amazon has been product-based and transactional (not to mention lucrative for retailers), it’s hard for companies to deliver cohesive, brand-friendly experiences for their customers. With Amazon Stores, brands can offer a multipage storefront to showcase all their wares, in custom categories and highly personalized shopping experiences.
Amazon is betting that brands will flock to these virtual stores, leveraging the reach and targeting that they’ve always offered alongside a more immersive customer experience. Retailers can take advantage of embedded features like social sharing buttons, in addition to promotional extensions such as Headline Search Ads, to drive store awareness and traffic.
While there are missing pieces in the overall campaign functionality, it certainly looks like Amazon is building out an impressive value proposition for retailers looking to drive customer engagement and loyalty.
As 2017 draws to a close, it’s clear that Amazon continues to be the driving force behind retail innovation. Voice and innovations across the martech stack are really heating up, while integrated search and social campaigns continue to drive substantial gains for advertisers in terms of incremental revenue and customer acquisition. It’ll be fun to see how these themes develop in 2018.
How The Economist Increased New Subscriptions with Marin's Social Campaign Management
On October 23rd at this year’s International Performance Marketing Awards (IPMA) in London, Marin Software took home the gold, winning Best Paid Social Campaign for our innovative work with The Economist. The IPMA is the largest and most prestigious ceremony in the world for paid advertising.
With Marin’s experts leading the way and tapping into our social campaign management technology, The Economist boosted new subscriptions by 66% through a highly targeted Facebook video campaign. The results shattered targets while generating a 72% lower CPC than image-based ads.
How We Did It
The goal of the campaign was to increase the number of subscriptions to The Economist across 24 countries, including the UK and the US. Along with boosting new signups, The Economist wanted to improve the outlet’s profile as a trusted source of news within social platforms, and to keep conversion costs as low as possible.
The strategy was to focus on converting those who had expressed interest in The Economist by continuously engaging with them. We used two specific ad types—Facebook link posts and animated video ads—to engage readers and encourage them to subscribe.
The team’s tactics ensured a prizewinning campaign:
Dynamic Product Ads
The Economist used Dynamic Product Ads (DPA)— traditionally used only in e-commerce—to target people who’d read an online article on Economist.com. The reader would then receive subscription offers based on the themes of the article. This was an industry-first use of DPA in EMEA.
Unique to Marin: Managed Social Advertising Rules and Ad-level Bidding
The Economist used automated ad pausing to maintain a below-target cost per subscription. The Marin platform automatically paused ads that spent over a set threshold without converting, resulting in more efficient budget allocation.
With managed rules and automated bid management, The Economist increased the reach of its video ads in strong-performing markets, and paused under-performing video ads in other markets. This strategy delivered the maximum number of subscriptions within a target cost per acquisition. In fact, it reduced cost per subscription by 12%.
With ad-level bidding, The Economist achieved granular bidding capabilities on the ad level on Facebook—as opposed to the ad set. This allowed for maximum control over delivery and optimization to meet results.
Video and Animated Covers
The industry is currently mad about video. To ride this trend, ad creative included animated magazine covers and video that provided a much higher engagement CTR of 1.24% on video ads compared to 0.51% on link posts. The Economist also used video carousels to showcase multiple covers in one ad format.
We’re proud to have partnered with The Economist to achieve not only record-breaking performance but also a big win at the IPMA! To find out more about how Marin can help your team realize similar results, get in touch today.
This is the second article on our annual customer summit, Marin Masters. At this year’s event, our presenters explored several key advertising trends that impact digital marketers today, with a focus on driving more clicks, conversions, and revenue.
One of our keynote speakers, Erik Hawkins, Director of Global Product Marketing at Facebook, explored how mobile has impacted customer growth. Mobile has transformed entire industries—think about how eating, dating, or shopping habits have changed—by putting users in control of the overall narrative.
Facebook’s research shows that people consume a piece of content faster on mobile (1.7 seconds) than on desktop (2.5 seconds). Mobile users also browse five fewer products than desktop users. For advertisers, Erik’s advice was clear—the customer journey has changed too much to wait for people to come to you. Today’s top brands must be proactive; they should create purchase intent and reach out to meet customers where they are.
Content in Context
Laura Masters from Oath delved into the importance of brand safety for advertisers, identifying several high profile recent incidents where brands were burned by association with low quality inventory, fake news, and offensive content.
In fact, 75% of consumers feel that brands are responsible for the content their ads appear next to—so advertisers are fully justified in their concerns. Consumers in turn are seeking out trustworthy content from reliable sources, which creates a tremendous opportunity for premium media brands to leverage their established reputation.
In addition to the priority of brand safety, Laura emphasized the message that premium content simply drives better results for advertisers. Check out Laura’s presentation titled The Importance of Content in Context.
Patrick Hentschel from Feedonomics built an excellent business case for designing and optimizing your product feed on Google Shopping and with Facebook Dynamic Ads. Linking your product inventory to an optimized data feed can deliver outstanding results for advertisers. Patrick explained that high feed quality lowers your cost per acquisition (CPA), increases your rank/relevancy, and drives up return on ad spend (ROAS). You can view Patrick’s presentation titled Transform Your Marketing Efforts with Feed Management. Marin and Feedonomics are working together to offer feed management optimization to all our customers, so contact us if you’d like to learn more.
See you at Marin Masters 2018!
With over 1,000 businesses exhibiting and more than 55,000 digital marketing professionals roaming the halls, DMEXCO has indeed secured its spot as the digital marketing spectacle of the year. For many, not only it is the first chance to uncover the latest trends and innovations in digital, it is a mega launchpad for ad tech players (and an opportunity for some serious parties.)
Among the many discussions and presentations, five DMEXCO feats rose to the top of the highlights list:
1. The Rise of Influencer Disruption and Killer Millennials
Influencer marketing—arguably defined as a hybrid of affiliate marketing and celebrity-endorsed infomercials—had a prominent seat at the table, with brands and agencies recognizing the growing role of influencers in their social advertising strategy. As consumers continue to adopt online and offline ad blockers, influencer value will run parallel and disrupt how brands go to market. Millennials, also known as the ‘I need it yesterday’ generation, are key protagonists of the influencer disruption movement.
2. All About Attribution
A digital revolution is upon us. Marketing attribution has become more complex than ever before as the concept of the Internet of things (IoT) becomes reality and advanced algorithmic-based adtech continue to dominate the digital marketing industry. DMEXCO was all about examining the importance of using audience data and leveraging cross-channel transparency when measuring digital marketing performance KPIs.
3. Data-Driven Search and Social Advertising
Overlaying user search intent with audience data is all the rave as the concept of machine learning continues to gain momentum. Marketers were keen to learn how to better convert their ad spend into profits. Although Google led the conversation, Marin Software’s Google + Facebook: A Playbook for Cross-Channel Success was one of the most highly sought-out pieces of content available at the conference. This playbook demonstrates the importance of combining search and social advertising channels to deliver above and beyond on performance KPIs.
4. Catching the Moment
DMEXCO is all about the experience—humanizing digital and understanding how artificial intelligence can advance society and empower brands to leverage advertising technologies to ‘capture the moment’. This boils down to connecting with customers wherever they are.
5. Cutting Through the Noise
Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook delivered a keynote, Building Community and Discovering Growth in a Mobile World, which championed building meaningful connections to achieve growth through mobile. It’s a new take on how brands can leverage traditional marketing techniques in their digital strategy. As we previously noted in our 2017 State of Digital Advertising Report earlier this year, mobile surpassed desktop for the first time, confirming a shift in how people consume information. It therefore makes sense for brands to rethink how they engage with consumers via mobile, differentiate, and break through the clutter.
Marin Masters is our annual customer and partner summit that offers attendees a deep dive into the latest digital marketing trends, including cross-channel advertising, audience targeting, multi-touch attribution, and brand safety. We’re hosting Masters at the Terra Gallery in San Francisco on September 21st and The Standard High Line in New York on September 28th.
We’ve compiled a full-day agenda of thought leadership, deep learning, and networking with top advertisers on the Marin platform. Attendees will enjoy presentations from an exciting lineup of expert speakers, each offering a unique perspective on the state of digital advertising today:
A Sneak Peek at Our Latest Cross-Channel Innovations
At Marin Masters this year, we’ll also be showcasing our next-generation platform that combines the best of search and social advertising. We’ll reveal the how and why of managing campaigns in a single place, including:
- Viewing performance across search and social campaigns in a single UI
- Aligning creative and messaging across channels, saving countless hours
- Planning budgets across new and existing customer audience segments
- Automatically pushing campaign changes out to multiple publishers
A big shout-out to our key sponsors for adding their insights to our overall agenda for the day:
Marin Masters is an exclusive, invite-only event and space is limited this year. If you’d like to join our waitlist, please use the appropriate button below.
Join the Waitlist for San Francisco
Join the Waitlist for New York
A leading women’s accessory retailer wanted to extend its digital advertising from search alone to a combined search and social strategy. To increase sales, the retailer tested performance of its manual prospecting campaigns against the product sets that Smart Sync for Dynamic Ads generated. The result—ROI increased
The retailer’s tactics included:
- Identifying top performing product categories from Google Shopping campaigns
- Cloning these directly into Facebook
- Using Dynamic Ads targeting to prospects, transitioning from email lookalike custom audiences to intent lookalikes on the web
Read all about it in our case study.
Advertising performance for a world-famous design and fashion house trended well below its target return on ad spend (ROAS). Strong seasonality and a rapidly shifting marketplace caused sliding sales. These challenges were as tricky to negotiate as the catwalks at Fashion Week.
In with the Marin Crowd
Marin Software collaborated with this fashion house to design a new shopping plan and implement it with the “hautest” marketing technology.
The alliance was an immense success, resulting in a 400% increase in ROAS.
How did we do it? To find out, read the case study.
Facebook Dynamic Product Ads, if we must say so, are pretty badass. In the not-so-distant future, dynamic product ads are the way all digital advertising on social and display will be delivered, regardless of industry or vertical.
Dynamic Ads for Travel (DAT) allows advertisers in the travel industry to automatically deliver personalized ads based on the interest people have shown on their travel site or app. Part of the Marin Social platform, DAT lets you seamlessly create dynamic audience and product sets across each phase of the buyer journey—from retargeting to cross-sell and up-sell.
Meliá Hotels International used DAT to lower its CPA and increase ROI by 6.7 times.
Watch the video to learn how DAT can help you target the right travel audiences, deliver thousands of relevant ads in seconds, and increase your conversions.
The people at Marin are as unique as the work we do. Our Life at Marin series highlights the expertise, passions, and backgrounds of our fellow Marinites.
What do you currently do at Marin Software? Were there other roles that you previously held here?
As SVP Engineering, I’m responsible for most of the development (with the exception of social and display development) and Quality Engineering at Marin. My career at Marin has always been in Engineering, starting as Director, then Senior Director, then VP.
What motivated you to join Marin Software?
The people—the interview panel was impressive. I was also attracted by the opportunity to work with a team in China, something I’d always wanted to do.
What is it about your team that you’re most proud of?
Watching the Shanghai team grow from a handful of contractors working on non-customer-facing issues, to a full-fledged subsidiary with around 20 full-time employees who can deliver on most of the existing search functionality.
Is there one thing you can share that you’ve done and are most proud of?
Creating my own Internet startup with a grad school buddy. We raised tens of millions from VCs to build a company around online communities supported by a targeted-ad business model, and later reinvented it to become a streaming video service provider. We grew to around 40 employees, and kept the company going for about eight years.
What was your former professional life?
I’ve worked in the software industry my entire career. I was a developer on the Purify memory-error detection tool at Pure Software before starting my own company. I also worked on a MATLAB to C compiler and at a voice application service provider, where I managed outsourced teams in India.
What are your interests / hobbies?
I like history, travel, cooking, and spending time with my family.
What are you reading now?
Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams, by Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory.
During my commute, I listen to many audiobooks. I just finished What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America,
1815-1848, by Daniel Walker Howe.
Now, I’m listening to Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath, by Ted Koppel.
Which person or organization do you admire most? Why?
George Washington—not only did he lead the Continental Army to victory against all odds, he retired from the presidency after two terms, establishing the tradition of peaceful transition of power in the United States.
As Edgar Allan Poe once said, “There are few cases in which mere popularity should be considered a proper test of merit; but the case of [blog]-writing is, I think, one of the few.”
Okay, so he said “song-writing” instead of “blog-writing.”
It still fits, right?
Well, after tens of thousands of reader visits to Marketing Insights in 2016, the 10 articles below passed the merit test and rose to the top of our “most popular” list. Some are indicators that digital advertising continues to rapidly evolve, others point toward the importance of continual learning, and all of them contributed to a fun, fast-paced year of content creation and curation. Thanks for being part of it.
1. The Ever-Shifting World of Social
2. Google’s Expanded Text Ads–Things to Know and What to
3. Google’s New Ad Layout: Pros, Cons, Ins, and Outs
4. Similar Audiences + Customer Match: Google Ramps up
First-Party Data Capabilities
5. 3 Facebook Advertising Trends You Need to Know About
6. Why PPC Granularity Will Be Your Best Friend
7. 5 Reach and Frequency Tips for the Modern Marketer
8. Text Versus Product Ads: Shopping Peaks, Valleys, and Plateaus
9. How to Evaluate Programmatic Buying Transparency – Types
10. How to Optimize Impression Share to Increase Brand Awareness
The people at Marin are as unique as the work we do. Our Life at Marin series highlights the expertise, passions, and backgrounds of our fellow Marinites.
What do you currently do at Marin Software? Were there other roles that you previously held here?
I’m a Senior Product Manager on Marin Search. When I joined Marin, my work focused on search publishers—specifically, features for Bing. I still work with Bing, but my work has grown into other, fundamental parts of our application and features for other publishers like Google and Baidu.
What motivated you to join Marin Software?
Marin Software has a great reputation as a performance advertising platform, which really excited me. There are polished features that many leading digital marketers across the world use. I wanted the opportunity to work on next-generation features they'd use on a daily basis to save time and deliver stronger advertising results.
What is it about your team that you’re most proud of?
Commitment and flexibility. Not just among our product managers, but across our organization. No matter what challenges arise from the ever-changing digital marketing landscape, the team is great at finding solutions to solve them.
Is there one thing you can share that you’ve done and are most proud of?
We released some new shopping features this summer, which was a lot of fun. After identifying an opportunity, we came together and put a plan in place to get the functionality out. In fact, just today someone from our Customer Success team passed along a note about a client optimizing his business based on this feature.
What was your former professional life?
My background is actually in digital marketing—starting with interning at an agency many years ago. As my career has serpentined through a few roles, I ended up working on the technology side, which led me to my current position.
What are your interests / hobbies?
Traveling and exploring are at the top of my list. Either around California or across the US and across the world when I can swing it! I also enjoy games and trivia, as well as movies and great TV—I’m working my way through some documentaries and classic horror movies at the moment.
What are you reading now?
But What If We're Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman.
Which person or organization do you admire most? Why?
This is a tough question! I’ve always admired risk takers, because I tend to be reluctant to take big jumps. That said, I might select Ed Catmull, from Pixar. A lot of people don’t realize that Pixar started as a technology company that at one point was selling hardware.
Catmull knew that he wanted to bring innovation to the industry and took a few different approaches to get there. Pixar pivoted to capitalize on its product and eventually became a leader in entertainment. Not exactly the path that he started on, but it still allowed him and his company to take advantage of their technical advantages and change the industry!
The people at Marin are as unique as the work we do. Our Life at Marin series highlights the expertise, passions, and backgrounds of our fellow Marinites.
What do you currently do at Marin Software? Were there other roles that you previously held here?
I’m a software engineer in the Publisher Framework team. I usually work on projects related to ad URLs, and also on projects responsible for syncing data between Marin and publisher databases such as AdWords.
A few years ago, I was an engineering intern on Marin’s Solution Engineering team, implementing custom revenue solutions for large clients.
What motivated you to join Marin Software?
When I first joined Marin, it was through my school’s yearlong internship program. I think Marin was the only California-based company that year (although they have many more now). I was interested in working abroad, although I had no intention of working abroad after graduation at the time.
The information session gave me a brief overview of the ad tech industry, which I found intriguing. I had such a great year, I decided to come back full-time after graduation. My coworkers were (and still are) professional, smart, and fun, and I was already missing them when I went back to school. It’s great to be back.
What is it about your team that you are most proud of?
I love that my team is very helpful with each other. Being on a large team with many projects, things can get quite overwhelming. However, whenever such things happen, people are willing to jump in and help out. It can be as simple as walking through projects with a demonstration of how it works, but this speeds up the overall work tremendously.
What was your former professional life?
If internship counts as professional life, I did a co-op in a children’s hospital research center in Toronto during college. I helped analyze DNA sequences and protein binding sites.
What are your interests/hobbies?
I’ve been running a lot lately. Marin’s San Francisco office is located near the Ferry Building, and running south along Embarcadero towards AT&T Park is amazing. I sometimes stop in the middle of the run to take a picture of the sunset, or simply the great view of the water and the Bay Bridge. I also do a lot of crochet.
What are you reading now?
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo, which I’ve been reading for a while. I don’t think I’ll finish any time soon since it’s so long and descriptive. I already know the whole plot since I read a shorter version as a child and watched the movie, but I think it’s still worth the time to read a great classic. I’ve also been listening to the audiobook version of The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.
If you could invent or improve on one thing, what would that be? Why?
One thing that comes to mind is an iPhone 7 with an earphone jack. I often charge my phone and listen to music on it at the same time, so its absence was definitely a deal-breaker. I actually don’t need a new phone at the moment, so I wasn’t that disappointed with the announcement, but it seems that a lot of people would appreciate one with an earphone jack.
Working with Marin Search: How to Optimize Sub-Categories Within Bidding Folders
If you’re an enterprise search marketer, you’re likely managing thousands to millions of keywords. To automatically improve performance, increase brand awareness, get back valuable time, and attain those magic revenue numbers, Marin Search and its bidding folders can help.
If you’re already using Marin Search, follow these tips to make sure you’re maximizing value. Or, if you’re looking for a search platform that makes keyword and account management easier, these tips provide a glimpse of what our leading advertising solution can do.
Marin Search uses a patent-pending algorithm to automatically adjust keyword bids to meet target KPIs. This automated bidding feature optimizes keyword bids within folders. For accounts following PPC best practice structure (organizing groups into targeted themes), bidding folders should fall in line with account structure.
If you’re unsure of which ad groups should go into what folder, think about the KPI you’re trying to achieve. All keywords within a folder should have the same target KPI.
Tagging Sub-Categories with Dimensions
The above bidding strategy will optimize all ad groups and category keywords to one KPI. However, each category could contain sub-categories that might not preform the same.
With dimensions, you can pull reports at the sub-category level. Not only can you use this to create granular reports, but it can also help you improve optimization.
For example, the folder ‘Dining Tables’ is set to achieve a CPL of £75—however, a dimension report reveals the actual category-level performance.
‘Wooden tables’ is performing 20% below the folder CPL, while the ‘folding tables’ CPL is 20% above. Use the percentage difference as bid boosts for keywords in each category, reallocating spend to the better-performing category. The average folder spend and CPL will remain the same, but the conversion volume will increase.
Once you apply dimensions, Marin can analyze the data to calculate bid adjustments for each sub-category dimension.
To automate dimension bid boosts, use Dynamic Actions. With this feature, bid modifiers simply sit on top of bidding folder calculated bids, and folder settings remain unchanged.
Using dimensions to optimize bidding cross sub-categories, our customers have seen some amazing results:
- CVR increases up to 80%
- Revenue increase by 30%
- A reduction in CPA by 38%
If you’re a Marin customer and would like more information on how to optimize sub-categories within bidding folders, contact our CoE team for a bidding consultation. Or, to see it in action, sign up for a free trial.
We’re delighted to announce that our Marin Engineering tech blog is officially live. We hope that the wider Marin Software and developer communities will connect and learn from this forum.
The blog’s editor-in-chief is Kumar Palaniappan, Technical Director - Platform Engineering - Data, Analytics Services and his team of contributing writers are software engineers Filip Jaros and Julian Jaffe.
The blog already has several great content pieces, covering topics such as:
- Digital advertising storage on Apache HBase and Apache Phoenix
- Spark streaming, including analytics store updates and elastic scaling
- Optimizing Apache Phoenix query patterns
If you have any questions or want to talk shop, contact Kumar directly.
Earlier this month, Marin Live celebrated its first birthday, and what a year it’s been!
In the last year, we’ve held 132 live training webinars covering eight different topics in two languages, reaching 40 countries on
5 different continents—and that’s only counting live participants! We think it’s safe to assume that recordings of Marin Live are being viewed from many, many more countries around the globe.
On top of that, our participants have logged more than 7,000 training hours via live webinars, post-webinar recordings, and permanent recordings housed in our Support Center. We’re currently averaging 11 live webinars a month and we’re on track to present many more in the future.
So what’s next?
- We’re refreshing our existing content. We’ve updated all of our intro search webinars to make sure we continue to offer our customers fresh, up-to-date information that aligns with publisher best practices, even as those best practices change.
- We’re tiering our content and offering advanced webinars. The four intro-level webinars we introduced last year continue to form the core of our program, but in August we launched our brand new Revenue Tracking & Troubleshooting. We’re working on offering more intermediate and advanced content in the future.
- We’re adding more languages. Our English and Spanish content has been so popular, we’re working on localizing our webinars into even more languages, so that we can continue to bring our amazing content to new users the world over.
- We’re creating new content. We're adding new webinars on troubleshooting activity log errors, Google Expanded Text Ads, and much more.
We're ready to celebrate. If you'd like to join the party and learn more about how we can help you quickly grow audiences and revenue, contact us today.
The people at Marin are as unique as the work we do. Our Life at Marin series highlights the expertise, passions, and backgrounds of our fellow Marinites.
What do you currently do at Marin Software?
I joined Marin Software in June 2016 as a Senior Network and Security Engineer. As a member of the Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) team in the San Francisco office, my main responsibility is the design, support, and operations of Marin’s enterprise network and IT security systems. One of my primary responsibilities is ensuring that Marin’s software network has the highest network availability and most secure access to our applications.
What motivated you to join Marin Software?
The HR personnel and the staff that I interviewed with, and the Site Reliability Engineering team members I met, left me with a good impression of the company and the culture. I enjoy being able to be part of a great team here, where I can contribute my expertise and experience, and apply my skills and knowledge to provide excellent support for our clients.
What is it about your team that you’re most proud of?
It was clear right off the bat that my Site Reliability Engineering team is hard-working, capable of balancing many plates in the air at once, and working long hours without complaining. They’re great team members and good people. They’re a professional group who believes in providing good support and services to our clients. I admire their dedication, commitment, and hard work. Basically, they’re cool dudes.
They manage to keep the systems up, and work behind the scenes on application deployments, keeping up with daily requests, answering questions from other team members, and participating in daily stand ups. They’re the ones on call after hours.
Is there one thing you can share that you’ve done that you’re most proud of?
I like to lead by example and enjoy helping people who need help. It’s something I like to encourage everyone to do. This is especially something I continue to strive to do for my kids. We have to show our humanity and empathy. I believe that the presence of empathy leads to healing and resolution. Helping people can be shown and achieved in many ways.
What was your former professional life?
I’ve been working in IT for over 20 years. I was a principal network and security engineer for over 10 years with a large enterprise company in Oakland, California. When my daughter turned 16, I decided to become an IT contractor to spend more time with her before she went to college. I contracted with another large company in San Francisco before I joined Marin in June 2016. It was very special to spend time with my daughter before she started college.
I’m like every other IT engineer—we love new technology and working with it, especially networking and security technology.
What are your interests and hobbies?
I think my hobbies have changed over the years. In the past seven-plus years I started to skydive and I love the freedom I feel while doing it. I like to stay fit and healthy, and I enjoy running almost seven days a week. In the past, I completed the San Francisco Marathon and half marathon. I also enjoy traveling and have visited many countries, with hopefully many more to come. This year we went twice to Sydney, Australia, and visited Brisbane. While there, I got to see and feed kangaroos at the Australia Zoo.
What are you reading now?
John Grisham is one of my favorite authors. The Street Lawyer was the last book I completed. I’m still in the middle of The Rainmaker and The Broker. I like to read mysteries, too.
Which person or organization do you admire most? Why?
I’ve been with Marin for over 90 days. I believe everyone is working hard for the common good including Operations, Development, Engineering, Marketing, HR, and other groups. Everyone is doing a great job. I interact most with my team and Operations. They both have my admiration.
The people at Marin are as unique as the work we do. Our Life at Marin series highlights the expertise, passions, and backgrounds of our fellow Marinites.
What do you currently do at Marin Software? Were there other roles that you previously held here?
I’m RVP Agencies, North America. I lead the Agency team and client roster for North America. I’ve been with Marin for four and a half years, and my previous roles were Agency Relationship Manager and Senior Director of Services, East.
What motivated you to join Marin Software?
About eight years ago, I was managing an agency search team and after vetting several platforms, we chose Marin. The platform was a game changer for our team in terms of efficiency and performance. Most importantly, I had a chance to work with really brilliant people in ad tech. When Marin opened the New York office and a position became available, I jumped at the chance to join the team.
What is it about your team that you’re most proud of?
My team is extremely well-versed in digital media and the Marin application. They’re enthusiastic, service-oriented people who really want to help their customers succeed. Most of them have worked for agencies and have strong empathy for their agency customers. They work hard and care about each other. I’m most proud of this incredible team.
What do you enjoy most about your role? What would you like to learn more about?
I enjoy working across teams at Marin and we all learn so much from each other. I also enjoy the strong relationships I’ve developed with our clients over the years. I’ve seen many search marketers start out in the field and become Marin advocates—they carry their affinity for Marin as they move through their careers, and Marin in turn is developing to evolve with the ever-changing landscape.
What was your former professional life?
I have a degree in education, and an MS in applied math and operations research. I’ve taught at almost every level, most recently mathematics at the college level.
What are your interests / hobbies?
A lot of live music, reading, and skiing.
What are you reading now?
I’m currently reading The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff. It’s a dramatic novel that takes place in Cooperstown, NY—an absolutely beautiful place that I recently visited (to see live music, of course!). I just finished A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki and can’t wait until she writes another book. Everyone should read her novels.
Who is the one person, group of people, or organization that you admire most? Why?
My mother and my son are the most important influences in my life. My mother was a Czechoslovakian war refugee who was taken in by an English coal mining family during the war. She lost most of her family in the war, but she ended up having this fantastic, adventurous, rich life. She taught me to take chances, look at the bright side, and find goodness in everyone. She was incredibly intelligent and brave. My son knows almost everything, is passionate and independent, and makes me laugh a lot.
Bidding Optimization with Marin and Google Analytics
This is a guest post from Dionte Pounds, Account Manager at
One of the reasons advertisers choose the Marin platform is for the flexibility it provides. It grants advertisers the ability to track conversions through the standard publishers (Google, Bing, Gemini), via Marin’s own platform tracking, or by importing conversion goals from Google Analytics. Each method of counting conversions has benefits and should be considered when you’re first setting up on the account.
If you have multiple conversion actions, one method I believe is very powerful and should be considered is integrating Google Analytics and Marin.
Who Should Consider This?
While this type of account setup could benefit most advertisers, those who judge performance based on the revenue or goal completions reported in Google Analytics—over publisher metrics—will find this setup most useful. The reason is that Google Analytics aligns publisher performance metrics (clicks, impressions, etc.) with the goals that impact your business the most.
I personally manage an ecommerce client that likes to monitor publisher conversions and reported revenue, but primarily cares about driving transactions and revenue as reported in Analytics. So, setting up my Marin account to import this data from Analytics allows me to look at total performance as it matters to my client and build a strategy based on the bottom-line numbers.
As you may have guessed, the biggest benefit to importing this data is in bidding. Revenue and conversions can be tracked from Google Analytics back to the keyword level from each publisher platform. With this data now imported into Marin, any bidding folders you have in place are now able to execute bid adjustments based on the data that’s most valuable to your business. This makes their adjustments more accurate than if they were based on the reported revenue data from any publisher platform alone.
To make Marin integration with Google Analytics simple, a Setup Wizard guides you through the process. To set up the wizard, go to the Admin tab, and click the Revenue sub-tab.
From the RevenueTracking setting, select Google Analytics.
If you’d like to use the imported goal to be added to the platform, select the Bidding Eligible box. Before moving forward with this option, be sure the Google Analytics goals are reporting correctly.
Granularity and accuracy are key for all advertisers and particularly critical in high season. If you’re an ecommerce advertiser heading into Q4, put this strategy into play ASAP, test, and refine as needed. Good luck!
The people at Marin are as unique as the work we do. Our Life at Marin series highlights the expertise, passions, and backgrounds of our fellow Marinites.
What do you currently do at Marin Software? Were there other roles you previously held here?
Hi! I’m a dedicated resource for our strategic-level clients. I help them achieve technical and operational success with Marin. I work closely with clients, account managers, and product teams to ensure needs are clearly understood and met.
Previously at Marin, I was a Customer Success Director and primary client relationship holder. Prior to that, I was an Engagement Manager working more on the technical and strategic side. My current role is in many ways a marriage of these two roles, bringing value through strategic, technical, and communicative experience.
What motivated you to venture into the customer success profession?
I got my start on the agency side, managing accounts and account teams. Coming to Marin allowed me to explore the technical side of the business. A knowledge base of strategy, implementation, and now the technology itself allowed me to holistically service client needs, which is something I really enjoy.
How would you describe the Marin Software approach in connecting with our customers? What is it about your team that you’re most proud of? What one thing did you do in this role that you’re most proud of?
Marin is a client-focused company first and foremost. We have an open dialogue with our clients, and our features and methods are never black-box. A large part of how we gain trust is by letting our clients know the exact logic behind what they’re using.
I’m proud that our team is encouraged to be honest. Our founder’s motto was always “keep it real,” which is how we continue to operate. We’ll let you know the good, the bad, and the necessary ugly before it becomes beautiful.
What do you enjoy most about your role? What would you like to learn more about?
What I enjoy most is not being tied down to one function. It can be technical one moment and strategic the next. You seldom get bored when your role is so open. Our company is forever expanding and innovating, so I can always learn more about what we can do and what we’re working towards. In fact, I keep an ongoing list of “What did I learn today” and I can tell you it’s updated daily!
What was your former professional life?
I mentioned a background in the agency world, which is how I got my start in SEM and SEO.
Before that, I worked for a biofuel technology company that would harness pollutants to rapidly grow algae. My first gig was at a progressive culture magazine covering art, music, and fashion.
What are your interests/hobbies?
My hobbies change pretty frequently. Lately I’ve been getting rid of my towering pile of old novels and trading up for design and art books. I host a monthly 90s Simpsons trivia night, and I occasionally DJ current rap and R&B music. The Simpsons event is a lot more popular and generally no one attends the latter, but I enjoy them both.
What are you reading now?
I’m halfway through a collection of essays by Dave Hickey called Air Guitar. The author is considered the “bad boy” of art criticism, which sounds ridiculous, I know. I think he earned the title being a contrarian defender of despised work and by dropping the occasional F-bomb. His essays reference a lot of significant artists, critics, writers, musicians, etc., which has me constantly putting the book down to look up the name and learn more.
I’m also chipping away at the Chad Butler of UGK biography. It’s over 700 pages long, which is unheard of for a rapper’s biography.
Who is the one person/group of people/organization you admire most? Why?
Gosh, big question. My mother is a war refugee who flew over on the floor of a U.S. military cargo plane then found fulfillment in America. My father also came up through poverty to find success here. So off the bat those are my two. Though from a more superficial level, I admire the early cultural adopters. Those who see the incredible in what’s currently unpopular and champion it until the rest follow suit—names like Jim Walrod and the PS1 museum in Queens come to mind. I could go on and on, but I should stop!
On June 22nd and 23rd, Marin Software exhibited at the SMX Advanced conference in Seattle. Many of our partners joined us there—Bing, TVTY, and DialogTech, just to name a few. As always, it was wonderful to chat with so many existing customers and meet those who are less familiar with Marin.
SMX Advanced is a conference chock-full of marketers who live and breathe digital advertising in their 9-5 jobs. It was interesting and illuminating chatting with them at our booth, about everything from Shopping to Facebook DPAs.
There really is no better conference to attend if you’re looking to get a pulse on what the real-world challenges of advanced digital marketers are, and we’re already looking forward to next year’s event. It’s always a pleasure to share what’s new at Marin with our audience, but we’re committed to learning what online marketers’ pain points are and evolving to meet their needs.
Are you at @SMXseattle? Come visit Marin at booth #19. Grab some schwag & enter to win an ipad mini! 🙌🏽 #SMXadvanced pic.twitter.com/6CB005A5Ry
— Marin Software (@MarinSoftware) June 22, 2016
We also had the pleasure of presenting our Biggest Search Geek grand prize winner, Christoff Berlage, with his trophy. Christoff, who hails from the UK, earned a score of 93% on the quiz. Runners up included European Regional prize winner Elouise James, North American Regional contest winner Jake Hughes, and Danny Lam, who picked up the Australian Regional award.
Congrats to our @SMXseattle #BiggestSearchGeek, Christoff Berlage! 🏆👈 #SMXadvanced pic.twitter.com/72gkFVxt3i — Marin Software (@MarinSoftware) June 23, 2016
On Thursday, May 26th, we held our first-ever Executive Summit in San Francisco at the beautiful Box SF, where we brought back many of the great presenters from our New York City Executive Summit. Our group of digital marketing leaders gathered around what’s reputedly the longest table in North America—crafted from centuries-old Chinese village gate doors.
This event, sponsored by Marin Software partner Bing, finished with a sommelier-led wine tasting.
Our Regional Vice President of Customer Success, Diran Hafiz, gave a presentation about our Customer Success team. It’s a quick and interesting watch, both for customers interested in how things work behind the scenes at Marin, and anyone curious about the current, primary areas of consideration for the online advertising community.
As you search online for the cheapest flights, the top island destinations, or where a solo traveler can find the best international cuisine, remember—no matter where you are, the mind of the digital marketer always craves useful information to stay competitive.
Whether you end up flying high across multiple time zones or enjoying a staycation this summer, here are a few time-friendly reads from the Marin Software vault to bring along for the ride.
- Mobile Advertising Around the Globe: 2016 Annual Report
(10-minute read): Understand the latest mobile trends, and find out recommendations for crafting your mobile strategy for the second half of the year.
- Bing Shopping Campaigns Best Practices Guide (10-minute read): Know how to best use Bing Shopping Campaigns for the upcoming fall and winter retail surge.
- The Essential Guide to Native Advertising (15-minute read): Learn what native advertising is, and how can you use it to expand your audience and grab the attention of media-saturated consumers.
- The State of Facebook Advertising: Clicks, Videos, and Geotargeting (8-minute read): Keep pace with Facebook’s continued growth and identify ways to maximize revenue.
- Get Your Creative Ready for Google’s Expanded Text Ads
(2-minute read): Since Google’s new Expanded Text Ads (ETA) format rolls out in July, search marketers should start preparing now for the required transition to ETA.
- 5 Ways to Drive More Customers in a Mobile-First World
(3-minute read): Make a mid-year resolution to drive even more PPC conversions with a mobile-first optimization strategy.
- How to Evaluate Programmatic Buying Transparency – Types and Tips (5-minute read): Read all about the problem with buyer/seller blindness in programmatic buying, and take away advice for bringing more transparency to your programmatic initiatives.
- Here Come the Grads: Are They Ready for Your SEM Team?
(3-minute read): School’s out for summer. Eager new grads are prepared to join your SEM team, but are you prepared for them?
Bonus: This is actually 55 minutes worth of reading, not an hour. Use those extra five minutes to schedule a demo, and learn how we can help you with any and all of the above. Bon voyage!
A few of the folks on our Austin Customer Success team: Account Management, Professional Services, Business Intelligence, Centers of Excellence, and Customer Support[/caption]
1:30p: Analytics Office Hours with Kate, Nachbar, and Paco. This weekly meeting allows all account management teams to come together and bring optimization questions, cases, and situations to the Analytics team, and share knowledge and experiences.
3:00p: Meet with Jack and Krista from our Professional Services team to prep for a call for a new integration project for a client, where we’ll use Marin’s Smart Tag to collect audience data and retarget across channels.
4:00p: Call with client, Jack, and Krista to review the integration plan and sign off on next steps.
4:30p: Last meeting of the day, another recurring client call to share updates and discuss projects.
6p: In-office happy hour - no better way to end a busy day than to grab a Lonestar from our kitchen, and head up to the rooftop terrace to enjoy the beautiful views of downtown Austin and the capitol.
A view from Marin Austin's rooftop[/caption]Did you know that Marin's 2nd largest (and arguably coolest) office is in Austin? Austin houses many different teams - Sales, Support, Professional Services, Centers of Excellence for Search and Analytics, Account Management...even Engineering and Finance. Our office floor is open-concept, which allows us to interact in a seamless, fluid way.
If you've ever wondered what it's like to work at Marin Austin, take a peek into a day in the life of a Customer Success (CS) Manager.
8:30a: Hop into the kitchen for a cup of coffee from our latte lounge - maybe grab breakfast with a colleague from our fully stocked kitchen!
9a: Go through my emails and calendar to get organized. Lots of meetings today!
9:30a: Meet with Lindsay, Crystal, and Mickey from our Center of Excellence to review ongoing client projects. Current projects include an account restructure and cleanup for an education client, a competitive analysis for a retail client, and a conversion funnel analysis for a travel client.
10:30a: Recurring call with a client where I provide updates on the platform and industry, and we discuss open cases and projects.
11a: Meet with Andy from Customer Support, working on a new case workflow since he’s collecting internal feedback from different teams.
12:30p: Team lunch! Wouldn't be Austin without some BBQ.
For many of us in the United States, Memorial Day is an eagerly anticipated three-day weekend and the official start of summer. But for our nation’s history and collective memory, it is much more - and rightly so. The total number of Americans killed in all U.S. wars is more than 1 million. Truly, freedom is never free. We're immensely grateful for the ultimate sacrifice those in our armed forces have made.
We honor the fallen - and soldiers who continue to serve - and all the families and friends they left behind. I encourage you to fly the American flag this weekend.
- David A. Yovanno, Marin Software, Chief Executive Officer
On Thursday, April 28th, we held our first ever Executive Summit in New York City at The Standard Hotel.
The afternoon's talks were sponsored by Marin Software partner Yahoo and led by Marin Software's CEO, David A. Yovanno. We had a great roster of Marin presenters, who walked through our roadmap and shared their thoughts about the future of digital advertising.
We were also lucky to have Daina Middleton, the former Head of Global Business Marketing at Twitter and former CEO of Performics, and Sonia Carreno, the President of IAB Canada, as speakers.
Daina spoke about the Power of Prediction in today’s fast-moving marketing landscape. Sonia reviewed the current state of the nation in media usage, outlined major industry issues, and explained steps being taken to remove obstacles to growth.
The day’s presentations were rounded out by a fabulous wine and cheese tasting in the afternoon, guided by The Standard’s leading sommelier (you can catch him and his bowtie in the story below).
Marin CEO Dave Yovanno welcomes guests to our inaugural Executive Summit in New York City - #MarinExecSummitNYC pic.twitter.com/1xKFj7uE4C
— Marin Software (@MarinSoftware) April 28, 2016
Our Customer Success Team shares an early look at our new platform infrastructure. #MarinExecSummitNYC pic.twitter.com/em0XOFTUPV — Marin Software (@MarinSoftware) April 28, 2016
.@DainaMiddleton on the power of prediction. #MarinExecSummitNYC
"Only .06% of things that could be connected to internet currently are."
— Marin Software (@MarinSoftware) April 28, 2016
Way to go putting strong women on stage today @MarinSoftware ! https://t.co/yFORQtrsWc — Daina Middleton (@DainaMiddleton) April 28, 2016
Sonia Carreno @iabcanada on growth of social:
"Social media ads brought in $10.9 billion in 2015, up 55% from 2014." 🙌🏽 #MarinExecSummitNYC
— Marin Software (@MarinSoftware) April 28, 2016
Missy Schnurstein of @Yahoo: "60% of conversions now take place on mobile." #MarinExecSummitNYC pic.twitter.com/gI46saAyj2 — Marin Software (@MarinSoftware) April 28, 2016
Our sommelier-lead wine and cheese tasting has begun! #MarinExecutiveSummitNYC pic.twitter.com/JA2G6iYusW
— Marin Software (@MarinSoftware) April 28, 2016
Thanks to our fabulous #MarinExecSummitNYC sponsor @Yahoo! pic.twitter.com/wf6NCK0Sop — Marin Software (@MarinSoftware) April 28, 2016
The "Good, The Bad and the Necessary", including ad blocking, delivered by @passageC @MarinSoftware Exec Summit NYC pic.twitter.com/MwB2vqz2ZQ
— David A. Yovanno (@DaveYovanno) April 28, 2016
Grad season is fast approaching, and college students are already applying for paid search roles in anticipation of their impending release into the “real world.” These eager newcomers can make great additions to SEM teams, provided they’re given the knowledge and resources they need to do that stellar work you expect.
However, paid search today is a considerably robust topic to teach someone. You’ll want to make sure you’re covering all bases, which is why Marin's Center of Excellence has come up with tips and tricks to bring these enthusiastic new team members up to speed.
As with any endeavor, you’ll need to start by asking yourself some questions to understand how to best tailor your approach:
- What knowledge gaps exist for these new team members? Do they have any previous marketing experience, particularly in search?
- What will be the “everyday life” for your new hires? What knowledge do they need to be successful in their new role?
- How quickly do new hires need to fully assume their role? Can training be completed over a period of time?
- Who’s involved in the training? Mentors? Managers? Other?
- How will training content be developed and maintained?
- Does it make sense to invest in online courses or outside consultants to conduct the trainings?
- What methods will you use to keep participants engaged and accountable throughout the training?
- How will you assess the success of the trainings? How will you assess the competency of participants post-training?
- Are there any unique processes or strategies your company uses that team members need to understand?
The next step is to create your program for bringing these new hires up to speed. Use your answers to the questions above to decide how to best structure your program. In addition to developing clear and helpful content, establish how that content will be delivered (Will you host training sessions? Require self-study?), how participants will be assessed, and more.
We’ve created a quick breakdown of what you’ll need to do to prepare for these trainings, along with our suggestions.
New hires often inherit accounts from other account managers without much context. Understanding why an account is structured a certain way is imperative when deciding how to perform tests or when to make changes.
Those new to the industry may not understand things like segmenting match types or remarketing to specific groups of people differently if this isn’t previously explained. Keeping a record of tests and strategy for an account can be extremely valuable to a new account manager.
Recent college grads hired to a paid search team will often perform the day-to-day tasks involved with campaign management, such as writing ad copy for testing, negative keyword expansion, and more. For every workflow, it’s also important that new hires understand the impact these tasks can have on performance.
There are many strategies that account managers use to meet client goals within PPC campaigns. It’s important to inform new hires not only of the goals for the accounts they’ll manage, but of various methods they can use to meet those goals.
Make sure new hires have an understanding of how tracking works fundamentally, as well as the manner in which tracking conversions and revenue functions in your accounts. New hires will also need to learn how to identify and resolve discrepancies within your data, to ensure they’re able to make intelligent strategic decisions in the accounts they manage.
Although recent grads may not spend a lot of time performing deep-dive analysis within accounts, it can be helpful for them to acquire these skills early on in their careers. Bringing new hires up to speed can be a rewarding experience, but it can also be time-consuming!
At Marin, our Center of Excellence is available to develop and provide custom workshops to ensure your new hires are brought up to speed without taking up your limited bandwidth. If you’re a Marin customer and would like to learn more about this offering, reach out to your account representative!
Saddle up your computer and get ready for the wildest quiz of your life. We’re pleased to announce the launch of the 8th annual Biggest Search Geek competition. Test your skills against thousands of SEM cowboys and cowgirls around the world.
We reckon this quiz is our hardest yet. Some of the questions are guaranteed to get you hoppin’ mad. One of you city slickers will be our winner and boy are you a lucky son of a gun, 'cause this year’s bounty is a trip to SMX Advanced in Seattle.
But wait, there’s more! You’ll also get to pick from an Apple Watch, Amazon Echo, or Microsoft Surface Pro 4.
Good luck, y’all! Oh, and just a friendly reminder - never squat with your spurs on!
What are you waiting for? Giddy up: http://biggestsearchgeek.com/
Google Analytics 360 Suite - Validating an Entire Industry
Thank you, Google! Your announcement of the Google Analytics 360 Suite is industry-wide confirmation that enterprise level marketing tools are necessary in order to get the most out of your advertising dollars. Of course, Marin Software has known this all along and believes marketers of all sizes can benefit from these tools.
All marketers want efficient ways to reach new and existing customers and to understand what works and what doesn’t. As Forrester Research reports: “Sophisticated marketers who use analytics platforms are 3X more likely to outperform their peers in achieving revenue goals.” Organizations need this kind of sophisticated software to enable marketing teams to align around goals that help them optimize, compete, and drive revenue.
Cross-publisher, Cross-channel, Cross-device
At Marin, our focus is providing the technology and data needed for demand and revenue generation based steadfastly on our customer’s goals. We enable customers to make holistic creative, bid and budget optimization decisions across their campaigns, all from the same integrated platform.
Besides integrating well with Google, we have extensive experience working with Yahoo, Bing, Baidu, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and many other leading partners, including 10 of the largest global exchanges. Our commitment remains the same - helping marketers reach their goals across publishers, across channels (search, social and display) and devices (desktop, tablet, mobile).
Accomplish Your Goals with 100% Transparency
Purpose-built to provide customers with complete transparency of campaign data and results, our mission aligns with Peter Drucker’s adage, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” We provide digital marketers superlative cross-publisher data and measurement including:
- Transparent reporting, bidding algorithms, and predictive modeling
- Advertisers’ intent data for better targeting and ROAS
- Cross-channel insights and metrics
- The true cost of media
- Data throughout the customer journey
- Quality and viewability metrics
- View-through or click-through attribution
Although Marin Software has had a legacy in search leadership, we’ve evolved our cross-publisher platform via industry-leading acquisitions to power digital marketing campaigns for the world's biggest brands and agencies. We look forward to continuing to provide our customers with the tools and insights to profitably compete and reach their goals.
This month marks our 10-year anniversary – a decade of phenomenal growth, increasing revenue, and exceptional performance for our customers.
To celebrate, we put together a graphic highlighting just how far we’ve come, and all the things that make us the leading cross-channel performance advertising platform. Thanks for being on this journey with us!
Click the image to see the full poster.
The improvements to the Marin Social platform are almost complete, and will be fully available again at 11:00 pm PST on January 21, 2016.
The changes represent a major improvement to the data layer of the platform and are an important evolution for Marin in developing a more advanced big-data backend. These improvements will enable new and innovative features moving forward.
The upgrade was planned for and completed over the weekend of Jan 16-17. As the migration was completed, it was decided to address additional system maintenance based on testing results. The engineering team is currently wrapping up the QA process.
While some clients experienced intermittent access this week, ad serving was not interrupted and all campaigns continued to run. Marin account services teams have been in direct contact with clients to assist with changes during the maintenance window, and are providing guidance on making changes within the native tools, as necessary.
Another year has come and (almost) gone. There’s been tons of great momentum, change, and shifts in the world of digital advertising, and Marin Software was squarely in the eye of the storm! This storm, however, was more of a fun, wild ride than anything requiring an umbrella.
From important acquisitions and partnerships, to new ad types, to the ascendency of mobile, 2015 was truly a landmark year.
We hope your year was as great as ours. Here are some of the greatest hits and highlights, across Marin and digital advertising.
G2 Crowd, more popularly known as a “Yelp for business software,” released its Winter 2016 Cross-Channel Advertising results, and Marin’s on top!
G2 Crowd brings peer reviews to business software. Actual software users can review different products and share insights on marketing, CRM, e-commerce, and other types of solutions. Then, those looking for information on a specific product can use these first-hand reviews to help their software selection process. As anyone who uses Yelp knows, these insider tips are invaluable in making a final, informed purchasing decision.
The Process and the Results
Vendors were scored based on three ratings:
- Overall Customer Satisfaction and Net Promoter Score (NPS) based on ratings by G2 Crowd users
- Customer satisfaction with second-level product attributes based on user reviews
- Popularity and statistical significance based on number of ratings and reviews received by G2 Crowd
Marin earned the highest overall G2 score – an average of satisfaction and market presence.
We’re Here for Our Customers
Our customers are truly the key to our success. To raise awareness of G2 Crowd and solicit reviews, we put the word out and entered anyone who completed a review – regardless of what they wrote – into a “schwag bag” drawing. Five lucky winners were picked, and they received Marin-exclusive items including clothing, a gift card, and major bragging rights (schwag brag?).
Here’s Daniel Morris, our Director of Product Marketing, choosing our victors. (Click the image for the "big reveal.")
Here’s what a few of our reviewers noted:
Love seeing my revenue and profit each morning in 10 seconds
Marin is a true enterprise solution meant to scale SEM programs.
Marin makes it easy to make large scale account changes in a simple and straightforward way via bulk uploads and multiedits.
Other tech companies could take a lesson from Marin’s training.
The support provided by Marin has been the best of any partner that I have ever worked with.
If you’d like to partner with us to increase revenue, grow your audiences, and act on real-time business intelligence,
contact us today.
Marin Software recently participated in the E-Commerce Paris trade show, the largest cross-channel event in France. During the three-day event, we had the opportunity of presenting with our customers as guest speakers. One such opportunity was a workshop on 'the relevant criteria to choose your digital media buying platform'. Thibaut Vouloir, Acquisition Manager at financial services company Cofinoga, detailed the main things every agency or advertiser should care about when looking for a solution.
First off, he insisted that the provider must be independent from any media selling business. To guarantee a fair arbitrage of the bid recommendations on any campaign, the platform can’t be owned by a specific publisher, whoever that publisher may be. An independent platform helps advertisers to optimize their media investments on different channels, across search, social, and display.
2. Local Support
For Thibaut, it should be a given that he has access to a local and experienced service team – in his case, based in Paris who speaks French – who understands his needs and gathers his feedback to improve the product. One of his needs is the ability to integrate his DMP tracking system, with customized specifications. The strength of a local team is its capacity to contact the DMP solution, then work collaboratively with the customer to deliver a needs-based solution that drives results.
3. Flexible, Automated Bidding
In particular, Thibaut mentioned the absolute flexibility of Marin’s automated bidding tool considering the different objectives of Cofinoga’s financial products. Using the three different bidding strategies that Marin offers (position, CPA, and ROI) – within the same campaigns or across multiple campaigns and publishers – allows Cofinoga to effectively control and monitor the costs of acquisition. The time an advertiser saves with automated bidding can be reallocated to other tasks, such as A/B creative and landing page testing. “The keyword marketer is freed up from the repetitive task of manually changing bids every day,” said Thibaut.
To find out more about how Marin Software can help you achieve your cross-channel advertising goals, contact us today.
At EMEA Marin Masters in London on Wednesday, November 4th, we announced seven winners of our inaugural Marin Software EMEA Awards. We presented them with awards during a ceremony that brought together over 200 leading digital marketers and industry innovators to showcase the best examples of ad campaign optimization, audience engagement, and increased revenue.
The key criteria for our jury members included clear strategic thinking, innovation, effectiveness, and tangible results. We were delighted to see a diverse set of industries being represented at this first edition, which will hopefully announce many more. (Already interested in participating in the next one? Contact email@example.com).
This was a great opportunity to hear real-life industry scenarios and smart uses of technology, as well as our customers’ different objectives and the ingenious solutions they use to reach them.
Without keeping you in suspense for too long:
The winners are ... [drums rolling]
- Search & Health – twentysix for BMI Healthcare
- Search & Travel – Manning Gottlieb OMD for Virgin Atlantic
twentysix wins Search & Health[/caption]
- Social & Technology – Labelium for Sharalike
- Social & Cosmetics – Mangostorm for Bio-Oil
- Social & Sport – Labelium for Tough Mudder
[caption id="attachment_6796" align="alignnone" width="500"]
Mangostorm wins Social & Cosmetics[/caption]
The industry-respected judges had the difficult decision of awarding the overall Grand Prix trophy to one social and one search winner. The triumphant agencies were:
Grand Prix winners
- Social Grand Prix – Labelium for Tough Mudder
- Search Grand Prix – Manning Gottlieb OMD for Virgin Atlantic
Mourad Zeggari, Labelium Managing Director, explained how the Tough Mudder social campaign achieved a 126% increase in clicks, 77% reduction in CPC, 29% increase in conversions, a CPA fall of 60%, and over 16m video views: “Tough Mudder’s brand values of teamwork and camaraderie were integrated into our social ad campaign. With Marin Software and a strong and streamlined partnership focused on results, we were able to push the envelope and exceed all expectations. The fact that we increased video views by 16.3 million and saw exponential growth across all indicators clearly demonstrates that optimized social ad programs are a marketing imperative.”
Upon receiving the Search Grand Prix award, Puneet Vaghela, Paid Search Account Director at Manning Gottlieb OMD, presented the agency’s award-winning campaign for Virgin Atlantic. Marin Software’s unique algorithm created a seasonality function that caused Virgin Atlantic’s revenue per booking to increase by 14%, conversion rate to increase by 30%, and overall revenue to increase by 20%.
A big thank you to our esteemed jury!
- Jim Clark, Econsultancy
- Gideon Spanier, Campaign
- Stephen Chester, IAB
- Luis Pedro Martinez, Bing
For more information about the Marin Awards, please visit our dedicated website, and don’t hesitate to learn more through our case studies.
The evaluations are in and counted – and Marin Live is a resounding success!
What is Marin Live?
Marin Live is our 4-part training webinar series where our search experts teach our customers some of the platform’s best practices, tips, and tricks. Using Marin Live, our customers can take advantage of a convenient, hands-on learning model to get up and running fast. After just three rounds, our series has already trained over 600 customers.
Across all three webinar rounds, we’re rating at 4.5 out of 5 stars. Here are just a few things people are saying:
“These sessions are a great idea and I'm excited to attend more over the next few days!”
“Keep them coming!”
“These have been very helpful so far!”
Remaining Sessions for 2015
If you’re a Marin customer and haven’t joined us yet, the final two rounds of 2015 will be held the weeks of November 16th and December 7th.
If you’ve already joined us for Marin Live, thank you for helping make it a success. You can now listen to archives of the previous sessions.
At Marin, we’re constantly innovating to bring you the best solutions possible, and our training program is no exception. If you’re new to Marin and would like to learn more about how we can help you quickly grow audiences and revenue, contact us today.
Marin Masters San Francisco at the Terra Gallery - Top Takeaways and Favorite Tweets
We held our sixth annual Marin Masters San Francisco on Thursday, October 15th. Marin Masters is unique in that it allows us to bring together our customers and partners in one room to share ideas, talk about the latest digital marketing trends, and network.
Beyond the food and drinks, there was a lot on offer. Here are my top three takeaways from the event and some of my favorite tweets.
1. Build audiences of new users who behave like
your converted customers
One of the new features we were excited to preview at Masters is our version of lookalike targeting. For those of you unfamiliar with Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences, it allows advertisers to find new customers by uploading their own customer data, and having Facebook identify other people who might be similar to your customers.
Marin’s version of lookalike targeting will act much in the same way, but will let you develop these lookalikes using data across search, social, and display. Maximizing the data from your first-party audiences is key to expanding your audiences and, in turn, seeing a high ROI.
2. The forward thinking marketer is blending the
old and new to drive results with audience-
It’s easy enough to understand that not everyone is the same, but in this data-driven day and age the keyword has in many ways replaced the customer. Cameron Urry, a customer and speaker from Partner Fusion, suggested we continually ask ourselves the question, “Am I truly customer focused?” Though the days of Mad Men are long behind us, we still need copy and content to resonate at an individual level. Campaigns should be set appropriately to target or reengage, and the customer must be supported in their buying process across search, social, email, website optimization, content, and SEO.
3. In digital advertising, the biggest opportunities
are in the smallest moments
Joseph Corral from Google shared five key moment types digital advertisers need to worry about when addressing consumers:
- I-want-to-watch-what-I’m-into moments: the moment when someone is looking to explore their passions and be entertained through engaging content.
- I-want-to-know-moments: this is the moment when someone is exploring or researching, but not yet in purchase mode.
- I-want-to-go-moments: this is the moment when people are looking for a local business or are considering buying a product at a local store. Being a contender means getting your physical business into their consideration in that moment.
- I-want-to-do-moments: These moments may come before or after the purchase. Either way, these are “how to” moments when people want help getting things done or trying something new. Making the right content available is key.
- I-want-to-buy-moments: Someone is ready to make a purchase and may need help deciding what or how to buy. You can’t assume they’ll seek you out; you have to be there with the right information to seal the deal.
We had some great tweets happening during the event, and here are a few of my favorite.
Excited to welcome our customers, speakers, & partners to Marin Masters SF today. Follow the action! #MarinMasters pic.twitter.com/KR00JZs1fX
— Marin Software (@MarinSoftware) October 15, 2015
#Marinmasters #photoboothmasters #symantecSEM pic.twitter.com/wbALDNVama
— Rachel Eastwood (@EsteMadera32) October 16, 2015
What the hell? I really won? Yeeeeeee #marinmasters #ilovemarin #blessedby digitaljesus pic.twitter.com/LduLBDK7JQ
— Michael Louie (@mikelouie) October 16, 2015
Beautiful venue, favorite painting. #terragallery #marinmasters pic.twitter.com/jPSFp22Ovm
— Rachel Lim (@aralim) October 15, 2015
Break time at #marinmasters leading to productive conversations by marinsoftware pic.twitter.com/2qYpTCgH4c
— gia (@nottinbutaig) October 16, 2015
At #marinmasters feeling underdressed. Everyone is in button ups and I'm in a dashboard confessional t shirt oops
— Michael Louie (@mikelouie) October 15, 2015
(Hands down, Dashboard Confessional t-shirts are always welcome at any Marin event.)
On the Air and in the Seats: Using Offline Moments to Drive Social Engagement
According to Time Warner, 65% of people with a smartphone and tablet are likely to use social media while watching TV. From tweeting along during The Voice, to posting game-day Facebook statuses while watching our favorite teams, social media is now a virtual living room.
So what can digital advertisers do to capitalize on these multi-screen habits?
We’re excited to announce TV Sync, a powerful solution that allows advertisers to automatically activate their social ads based on customizable offline events including television flight schedules, live programming, weather changes, or sporting events – all in real-time. By synchronizing social media and TV advertising efforts, marketers can amplify reach and drive consumer engagement across screens.
TY Sync is made possible through Marin’s premier social partnership with TVTY, the leading provider of real-time contextual data. As TVTY’s preferred social advertising platform, Marin can now help advertisers run contextually targeted advertising campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using television signals from over 400 national and local channels, across 25 countries in North America, EMEA, and Australia.
TV Sync unleashes a multitude of possibilities for social advertisers. Consider some examples.
Extend your advertising message across screens
Running TV commercials? Use TV Sync to trigger your social ads immediately as your commercials air, reinforcing the message and increasing your impact with a multi-screen presence.
Counter your competitor’s TV commercials
As soon as your competitor’s commercials appear on TV, counter them by launching social ads in real-time. This is a great way to stay top of mind and boost mindshare.
Improve targeting and relevance with weather and sports
Trigger your social ads according to weather status or key sporting events for a timely, optimized, and personalized campaign that strikes a chord with your audience. For example, during snow-filled winters, travel advertisers can target users with ads to tropical locations.
Drive engagement during live or scheduled TV programs
TV Sync can help you advertise your auto brand during an episode of Top Gear, or launch social ads for your beauty brand during the red carpet at the Oscars. Aligning your ads with specific programming in this way creates a highly targeted and relevant ad experience.
TV Sync is immediately available for Marin Social customers, and we’ve already seen some exciting use cases and positive results. If you’re interested, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
3 Tips for Retail Advertisers to Maximize Results Over the Holiday Shopping Season
The holidays are a busy time of year for retail advertisers. Outside of work, their lives are packed with relatives, shopping, menu planning, and social events. Add launching holiday promotions, bid management, and budgeting to the agenda and they have an even longer to-do list in the middle of an already stressful holiday season.
To help our retail advertising customers succeed during the critical holiday shopping season, we’re happy to introduce Marin’s Center of Excellence. This is a new division of the Marin Customer Success team that combines marketing expertise and mastery of the Marin platform to help grow your business. The team provides consulting and tailored offerings for Marin customers to address business needs and help them get the most out of the platform.
While consumers are editing their shopping lists in October, you’re editing keyword lists and writing endless variations of holiday ad copy. And, if you’re asking yourself, “What am I missing?” or “How can I better optimize this?”, the Marin Center of Excellence team is here to help you through these and other common challenges.
Having managed campaigns themselves once upon a time, the team has compiled a list of step-by-step recommendations to keep handy as holiday promotions begin to kick off in the coming weeks.
Step 1: Prepare Your Campaigns for Success by Leveraging Key Retail-Focused Marin Capabilities
Start by loading holiday focused objects into Marin early (e.g., keywords, creatives, sitelinks, and mobile-preferred creatives) and keep them paused until you’re ready to launch. This will allow enough time for creatives to go through review on the publisher’s side, for you to submit any exemption requests, etc. Don’t wait until the last minute or you risk forgetting important objects (like sitelinks!) and hitting policy violations.
In addition, make sure you have the necessary Scheduled Actions configured for your holiday-themed campaigns and creatives. Scheduled Actions are essential during promotions and sales and help you take back those long holiday hours by automating the pausing and activation of select campaigns and creatives. If you know that certain days or weeks see an increase in traffic, set up rules so you’re always showing top-performing ads at the most opportune times.
Marin Dimensions are another great time-saving tool. For example, if you have different promotions for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, tag them with a Dimension. Once tagged, you can quickly filter for those objects tagged with a “Black Friday” dimension to pause them and take the same steps to resume your Cyber Monday ads. This workflow works great for those time-sensitive campaigns you’ll be switching on and off across publishers.
Finally, you should consider an account audit ahead of the holiday. This will ensure you have an account structure in line with best practices, help identify specific performance issues, and allow enough time to prioritize any issues requiring implementation. The Center of Excellence is offering holiday focused account audits to improve account performance and better optimize your program this holiday season. Contact your Marin account representative for more details.
Step 2: Review Your Bidding Strategy and Objectives
In anticipation of the expected increase in traffic and competition, the Center of Excellence recommends setting up a schedule for any bid changes that need to occur throughout the holiday season. Take a look at your historical data for previous years. Do you notice a year over year rise in historical CPCs? Did traffic increase significantly? Pair this data with your goals to set up an ad scheduling or boost schedule.
These two features allow you to make faster adjustments to bids without making drastic changes to your overall bidding strategy (by changing folder targets) that could prompt unwanted results. If you want a little help crunching those numbers, the Center of Excellence is offering a Holiday Bidding and Boost consultation tailored specifically to your program that works in tandem with our bidding algorithm.
Step 3: Closely Monitor Performance Throughout the Holiday Season
Marin offers an easy way to set up and schedule automated email alerts to assist you with monitoring account activity during the holidays. The Center of Excellence recommends creating email alerts for the following:
- Day over day cost changes
- Sync errors for creatives/keywords
- Average position threshold
- Objects missing tracking
- Creatives status = disapproved
If you manage multiple accounts in the platform, try setting up an All Clients report to review cross-client performance data. For example, set up a campaign performance report across all your clients to eliminate having to log into each Marin client account. Hint: Creating alerts across client accounts will save you time, which can be spent enjoying your holidays!
Bonus Time Saving Tips from our Top Center of Excellence Consultants!
- If you’re a client that has many different publisher accounts within many different Marin accounts, utilize Marin’s cross-client bulk sheet feature, so you can create everything with one file rather than having to organize and upload many different bulk sheets.
- If you plan to use ad scheduling to help manage bidding this holiday season, set this up in Marin using the multi-edit feature, which will allow you to set your schedule across many campaigns or ad groups at one time, rather than individually.
- Prior to making changes for holiday bidding, download a report of all your current keyword bids with the columns you would need for a keyword bulk upload. Use this report to upload these same bids into the application after the holiday season is over and more quickly return to expected levels of performance and traffic.
- When creating a scheduled report or alert, take an extra 10 seconds and also create a saved view for those same columns and filters. This way, if an alert or performance report merits investigation, you can retrieve the corresponding saved view to pull this up in the application immediately.
- Tag all of your holiday objects in Marin using a Dimension. This will make it easier to apply setting changes and scheduled actions at scale so you can get back to family and fun!
“There are too many options! How do I know where to put my social advertising dollars?"
It's a common scenario that every marketer faces, but thankfully Instagram has made your decision a lot easier by establishing itself as a clear and effective option.
How did they do that, you ask? They made it easy in three main ways:
1. Easy Choice
Instagram is an easy choice for marketers because it’s proven itself through its authentic, highly engaged, and rapidly growing community. Consider the numbers….
- Want to reach a lot of people? Instagram has over 300 million monthly active users.
- Need to drive global engagement? Over 70% of Instagram’s users are located outside the US.
- Looking for a platform to grow with your brand? Instagram is the fastest-growing major mobile property.
- Seeking out a lucrative audience? 73% of Instagram’s users are 15-35, and year-over-year engagement is up 108%.
It’s a no-brainer. And not only does Instagram deserve your social advertising dollars, it also deserves your branding dollars. Think outside of specific channels, and consider the function Instagram could serve as part of your overall marketing program.
2. Easy Start
Getting started with Instagram advertising is simple, thanks to some recent changes. You no longer need to sign an insertion order, and gone are the days of hefty spend minimums.
With the advent of the Instagram Ads API, you can now go through select Facebook Marketing Partners or agencies (like Marin!) to start advertising right away. This means fast onboarding and whatever level of spend you choose.
3. Easy Management
How about actually managing your Instagram ads? Well, that’s easier than ever, too.
Consider the workflow in Marin Social, where you can manage, measure, optimize, and report on Instagram campaigns alongside Facebook and Twitter. You can also take advantage of advanced features that help you save time, reach the right audiences, gain better insights, and achieve your specific business goals on the network.
Instagram is also making changes to provide advertisers with a fairly seamless workflow. Just last week, they announced support for landscape and portrait formats. This has big implications for using the same creative across Facebook and Instagram, particularly when it comes to video.
Ready, Set, Go!
Have we inspired you to get started with Instagram advertising yet? Stay tuned for more best practice content to come, let us know if we can help, and good luck!
Sources: Check out Iconosquare for demographic statistics, eMarketer for engagement information, and Instagram for Business for platform data.
Calling All Social Geeks! 2nd Annual Biggest Social Geek Contest Launches Today
Do you spend your days creating and optimizing social marketing campaigns? Are you focused on ROI, CPC, CPM, CVR, CPLC, and a million other acronyms? Do you regularly find yourself on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram - all for work?
If so, you could be the 2015 Biggest Social Geek!
We’re looking for somebody who lives and breathes social media advertising. Test your social savvy by challenging yourself to our 20-question quiz, which launches today. You could win an all-expense-paid trip to SocialPro in Las Vegas, plus your choice of an Apple iPad Mini, Xbox One, or Sony PlayStation 4.
Ready to get started? Play Biggest Social Geek now!
One of the fastest-growing major mobile properties, Instagram is home to an engaged and authentic community of over 300 million users. Each day, they share an average of 70 million photos and give out 2.5 billion likes. But more than that, Instagram is a deeply meaningful part of their lives. Of Instagrammers aged 13-24, 53% credit the platform with helping them define who they are.
Instagram is a place to be visually creative, to find inspiration, and to share unique perspectives. And it’s also an exceptional opportunity for social advertisers. In fact, 68% of users aged 13-24 say they interact with brands regularly, either by looking at photos, liking content, following a brand, visiting its website, or engaging in some other way.
That’s why we’re so excited to announce that Marin Social is integrating with the Instagram Ads API, to extend our cross-channel and cross-publisher support to this growing mobile property.
Integrating with the Instagram Ads API
Since gaining access to the newly developed Instagram Ads API, our engineers have been busy building an integration. And now we’re pleased to be working with a handful of customers to test brand awareness and direct response campaigns.
One such advertiser, NET-A-PORTER, uses Instagram to promote fashion events with top industry influencers. Instagram has proven to be a powerful channel for building relationships with existing customers and reaching new audiences who are interested in luxury brands.
"The Instagram Ads API allows us to target a very specific European audience within 24 hours of our events,” said Helen McGee, Head of Marketing, International, NET-A-PORTER. “With Marin's support, we drove awareness of our brand, and are better able to share exceptional fashion content with our customers."
A Panoramic View of Social Performance
Marin Social support allows brands and agencies to easily create, test, and optimize their Instagram campaigns. Even better? Instagram campaigns can be managed conveniently alongside Facebook and Twitter, so advertisers gain valuable performance insights and management efficiencies across their entire advertising program.
We look forward to working with more advertisers once Instagram moves to their beta phase, so keep an eye out for future developments. Oh, and make sure to follow us on Instagram!
Instagram for Business
Instagram for Business Blog
Facebook IQ Study on Instagram
Marin Software and Boost Media Expand Partnership To Bring Customers Highly Relevant Ad Creative
Boost Media is excited to partner with Marin Software, the leading cross-channel performance advertising cloud. Through the complementary nature of the two platforms, Marin customers will now be able to leverage Boost Media’s curated marketplace of expert copywriters and testing technology to optimize creative across search, social, and display campaigns. The combination of Boost Media and Marin Software ensures the highest return on search marketing dollars and a scalable best of breed strategy.
Search results pages have become crowded collections of nearly identical ad creatives. Standing out in this crowd matters now more than ever. Consumers want more relevant and targeted communications from the brands they engage with and the current approach with search ad copy fails to deliver.
The biggest opportunity to increase your search campaign performance is through improving your search ad copy. Boost Media is the leading Creative Optimization Platform and works with leading enterprise brands to scale the sourcing, testing, and optimization of search ad copy.
Writing and optimizing ad copy is a challenge for many marketers due to scale, constrained resources, and lack of insight into what drives ROI. Boost Media offers a platform that combines the power of a curated marketplace of human writers and designers combined with a SaaS platform for automated insight and analysis. With the Boost Creative Optimization Suite, organizations can marry the natural creativity of individuals with the automation and efficiency of a cloud-based platform, to generate ad copy at scale.
Download Boost Media’s Creative Optimization one sheet here to learn more about optimizing your ad creative.
About the Author
Sarah manages Content Marketing at Boost Media and leads a team of marketing professionals to drive revenue through complex B2B marketing campaigns in the ad tech industry. Prior to joining Boost, Sarah developed marketing and sales strategy at BNY Mellon, a top 10 private wealth management firm. In a former life, Sarah worked in journalism writing for magazines including Boston Magazine, The Improper Bostonian, and Luxury Travel. When she’s not writing engaging content, Sarah enjoys cooking, running, and yoga.
About Boost Media
Boost Media increases advertiser profitability by using a combination of humans and a proprietary software platform to drive increased ad relevance at scale. The Boost marketplace comprises over 1,000 expert copywriters and image optimizers who compete to provide a diverse array of perspectives. Boost’s proprietary software identifies opportunities for creative optimization and drives performance using a combination of workflow tools and algorithms. Headquartered in San Francisco, the Boost Media optimization platform provides fresh, performance-driven creative in 12 localized languages worldwide.
Click here to schedule a free demo of the Creative Optimization platform today.
One of Marin Software’s big value propositions is our cross-publisher capabilities and our robust support for the world’s leading publishers. We work closely with Google, Yahoo, Yahoo Japan, Bing, Baidu, and Yandex to ensure we’re providing the latest features from each one, and that customers can easily see and compare performance across publishers within our platform. As an example, Marin was first to launch support for Yahoo! Gemini earlier this year. Now, we’re excited to announce that we’re taking our relationship to the next level as a Gemini Preferred Partner.
What is a Gemini Preferred Partner?
The Gemini Preferred Partner Program was created to bring advertisers, agencies, and technology partners together to find and develop innovative digital marketing solutions. According to Alex Mrazek, Senior Director, Partner Development, Yahoo, “Through a higher standard of Gemini product integration and client services, this program will drive advertiser performance, scale, and ROI.” Check out Yahoo’s new page for the program: https://advertising.yahoo.com/partners/Partners/Marin-Software/index.htm.
What does this mean for Marin?
Yahoo selected Marin as a launching member of the Gemini Preferred Partner Program, as Marin is an established industry leader and is equipped to offer Gemini advertisers a top of the line solution. As a Gemini Preferred Partner, Marin is committed to delivering the highest standard of technology integration with Yahoo and client services. Customers can count on Marin to provide the latest updates from Gemini, and offer the best in class service that we’re known for to help address any questions or issues.
An example of how Marin helps customers with Gemini is our recent launch of Cloner for Gemini. With Cloner, you can easily copy objects from your Google accounts into Yahoo Gemini, resulting in faster and easier onboarding. For more information on Cloner and other Gemini features, please contact us here: http://www.marinsoftware.com/contact-us.
We've been working hard behind the scenes to enhance our Support Center making it better than ever before. This Friday, July 10th, you'll be able to discover the countless improvements for yourself first-hand as we launch the new design and interface! Want a sneak peek? Watch the video below for more information about how the new Support Center makes it easier to learn about new features, find answers quickly, and truly help you to make the most of the Marin platform.
Many Search advertisers are growing their audience reach by advertising on multiple publishers. While Google may still be the dominant force in the market, Bing is quickly growing. An April 2015 study conducted by Merkle | RKG shows that spend in Bing for Q1 2015 grew 36%, compared to Google’s 13%.
As many savvy advertisers already know, by diversifying your advertising spend across multiple publishers, you’re not only reaching new audiences – you’re achieving lower CPCs from decreased competition. Thankfully, it’s not too late to take advantage of these benefits, as it’s now easier – and faster – than ever to incorporate new publishers into your Search advertising efforts. All it takes is enhanced ad campaign management and a firm understanding of each publisher’s unique value proposition.
You most likely have established objects (accounts, campaigns, groups, etc.) in Google – now, you may want to run the same tried and true objects on other publishers. But, the thought of having to recreate every single campaign again from scratch is enough to cause you to cling to Google, instead of moving above and beyond.
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Marin Smart Sync – Easily create and sync campaigns from Google[/caption]
Thankfully, there are tools available today to help simplify a potentially overwhelming workflow. Platforms like Marin with Smart Sync allow you to pair objects in Google with other advertisers such as Bing. By selecting an object to pair, Smart Sync automatically copies the parent object in Google into Bing (the child object) – with a simple click of a button. Additionally, any changes that get made to the parent object in Google are automatically synced with the child object. This way, you’re essentially only managing the parent object in Google, but getting the added benefit of advertising on multiple publishers.
Understand the Unique Strengths of Each Publisher
When considering integrating another publisher into your advertising strategy, it’s important to include how the publisher is going to help you achieve your business goals. Certain publishers, like Baidu in China and Yandex in Russia, offer regional strengths. With strong local language support and more culturally relevant search results, they’ve steadily been holding onto the number one spot in Search in their respective countries.
Other publishers, like Bing, are partnered with Yahoo to offer an impressive expansive audience reach, with the ability to have ads displayed across the web properties of both publishers. Yahoo also has their Gemini offering, which allows advertisers to easily integrate Native advertising – the newest advertising format that’s gaining buzz in the digital advertising industry – into their search strategy. Additionally, Bing has grown its search share from 8% to 20% in just six years – making it an increasingly popular choice among advertisers. Understanding which publishers fit into your goals will help you reap the maximum benefits of advertising across multiple publishers.
A Single Solution for Advertising Across Publishers
Tools like Smart Sync make it easier than ever for advertisers to incorporate multiple publishers into their search advertising strategy. As John Cosley, Bing Ads Director of Brand and Digital Marketing, states, “We're excited that Smart Sync will now make it easier for advertisers to create, manage and optimize their Bing Ads campaigns. Today Bing powers one in three searches in the US, and with Bing being integrated in the upcoming release of Windows 10, we expect our market share to continue to grow. With Smart Sync, advertisers now have an easier way to tap into Bing Ads’ growing audience while applying the freshest campaign strategies.”
If you’ve ever considered expanding your search advertising efforts beyond Google, now’s the time to give it a shot. With all the benefits that different publishers have to offer, and the alleviation of all the complexities of managing campaigns across them thanks to tools like Smart Sync, this is the moment to see what other publishers can do for you!
Nothing makes us more proud than having the privilege of taking home the European Search Award for Best PPC Management Software Suite, as we did this week in Berlin. But what makes this win extra sweet is that it represents the finishing touch in a successive streak of Search Award victories across the USA, UK and Europe, solidifying Marin’s position as the global leader in the search marketing industry.
To add a special touch to this PPC love story, we’ve also had the honor of sharing several of these triumphs with our clients. MoneySuperMarket.com took home the most recent Dadi award for Best Use of Paid Search, and proved themselves a force to be reckoned with again on Wednesday securing the European Search Award for Best PPC Campaign. Confused.com was also recognized at the EU Search Awards for Best In-House Team – an accolade that acknowledges a truly outstanding group that consistently exhibits unparalleled understanding and use of search as a digital marketing revenue driver.
This most recent Search Award win represents Marin’s seventh in the last five years, showing our unprecedented momentum since opening up shop in 2009. We look forward to many more years of growth and innovation supporting our clients in their cross-channel digital advertising efforts – and are currently having another shelf built as we strive for future award wins.
Today we announced our agreement to acquire the #1 social advertising platform in Europe, SocialMoov.
Social is now the fastest-growing category in the digital advertising space and a vital part of any marketing mix. Acquiring SocialMoov propels our social offering forward, and fulfills our vision of providing the industry’s most powerful cross-channel advertising cloud.
With the addition of SocialMoov, we are excited to provide:
- Twitter and Facebook campaign management in a single easy-to-use interface
- Intraday reporting and optimization for immediate insights any time of the day
- Optimization based on budgets, product feeds, and even TV flight schedules
- Access to new features including Multi-Product Ads and Reach & Frequency Targeting
- Flexible audience segmentation to understand performance across any attribute
We are thrilled to have the social experts at SocialMoov join Marin as we offer our customers a best-in-class search, display and social toolset. To better understand the powerful results possible when integrating your social advertising with your search intent data, please get your copy of the best practice guide The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Ads.
Since 2011, SocialMoov has grown to become an innovative social advertising platform boasting several accomplishments that can’t be overlooked. SocialMoov is a top-five global Facebook PMD, was the first European platform to develop Twitter support, and is the first to synchronize social advertising with TV ads – all undeniable achievements.
Marin customers will now be able to combine social campaign data with complementary data sets from their search and display campaigns, allowing advertisers to more accurately create, target, and convert audience segments across the web.
We are excited to continue to provide marketers a unified platform through which they can leverage the latest technological advancements in search, display and social advertising. If you want to learn more about how Marin can help you find and convert your highest value audiences across channels and devices, contact us.
You can also read more about today’s news in the press release and our SocialMoov acquisition FAQ, or check out this video.
As marketers have increasingly taken an audience-centric approach to marketing, cross-device targeting has become an essential part of their marketing strategy. The promise of delivering a consistent and cohesive experience to customers across channels and devices is a key part of the value proposition.
In this post, we’ll go through some of the basics of cross-device targeting: What is it? How does it work? In subsequent posts, we’ll discuss the importance of ad delivery and also cover some best practices.
An Introduction to Cross-Device Targeting
You can break cross-device targeting into two distinct functions:
1. The first function is the “cross-device” piece – the ability to match data and identify a single user across multiple devices. The desktop-to-mobile scenario is one of the more popular use cases, but cross-device can also encompass desktop-to-desktop, mobile-to-mobile, and mobile-to-desktop (not to mention non-desktop/mobile devices, like TVs).
2. The second function represents the “targeting” aspect – the ability to deliver a targeted ad to that user across their different devices.
In this post, we’ll focus on the cross-device matching piece.
Matching Device IDs: Probabilistic vs. Deterministic
Accurately matching users across different devices is challenging. For example, a user accesses her phone from a coffeeshop in Hoboken on Monday, her office computer from Manhattan on Tuesday, and her tablet while on the road from an airport in Duluth on Wednesday. How can an advertiser know these three instances all reflect a single user?
There are two models for figuring this out:
1. The first method relies on identity data like login information or device IDs. This is known as deterministic matching. For example, if a user signs onto Facebook on their computer and their phone, an advertiser can be assured that both devices belong to the same the user.
2. The second method relies on statistical modeling to piece together a single identity based on multiple non-personally identifiable data points such as cookies, device data or browser data. This is known as probabilistic matching.
While deterministic matching is more accurate than probabilistic matching, it comes at the cost of data ownership, as the major owners of that login data – Facebook and Google – prevent advertisers from using it outside of their ecosystems. In contrast, while probabilistic matching trades off on some accuracy, advertisers can leverage their proprietary data however they want.
In practice, advertisers have to use a combination of both approaches to balance scale, performance and control.
In the next post, we’ll focus on the “targeting” part of the “cross-device targeting” equation, and how ad exchanges play an essential role in the process.
Do you spend your days managing keywords, creative, and bids for paid search campaigns? Are you caught up on the latest best practices and trends to gain that competitive edge? If so, you may be our next Biggest Search Geek!
Today, Marin Software and Search Marketing Expo are excited to announce the 7th Annual SMX Biggest Search Geek Contest, the popular quiz-based contest that tests your paid search industry knowledge. The contestant who answers the most questions correctly in the shortest amount of time will win a round trip for 2 to SMX West, an award presented onstage at the show, and their choice of an Apple iPad Mini, Playstation 4, or Xbox One.
What are you waiting for? Test your search IQ now and find out if you’re the geek to beat!
If you’re in the business of gaining traffic and attention for your company through the likes of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media sites then…
…WE’RE LOOKING FOR YOU!
We’re on a quest to find the Biggest Social Geek – someone who lives and breathes social media advertising and is a speedy test-taker to boot. Sound like you or someone you know? Then try your hand at Marin Software and Search Marketing Expo’s inaugural SMX Biggest Social Geek Contest, which launches today.
If you prove to be the social media smarty-pants to out-geek them all, answering the most questions correctly in the shortest amount of time, you’ll win a trip for 2 to SMX Social in Las Vegas, an award presented onstage by Marin’s CMO Matt Ackley, and your choice of an Apple iPad Mini, Sony PlayStation 4, or an Xbox One.
Think you have what it takes? Test your social IQ now and find out if you’re the geek to beat!
Marin Software is fortunate to have over 500 employees around the globe, and today we're excited to tell you about Dana Carpenter! A member of our research team in Austin, Dana is also an advocate for people with disabilities and recently participated in her second Ms. Wheelchair Texas. This unique competition is dedicated to promoting the achievements and needs of people with disabilities, and it does so with glamour and glitz!
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This year's gala and competition was held on March 29th in Houston.[/caption]
Contestants in Ms. Wheelchair Texas utilize wheelchairs for 100% of their daily mobility needs, and compete to become a spokeswoman for millions of Americans with disabilities. During the course of the competition, each participant delivers a speech on a disability issue they feel strongly about and plan to support. This year, Dana's platform was all about bringing awareness to companies on how flexible employment solutions - such as working from home - can increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities who are otherwise qualified for the position.
"Transportation is a huge barrier to employment for people with disabilities," Dana said. "As of February of this year, only 19% of people with disabilities were employed compared to about 80% of their able bodied counterparts. All it takes is creativity and flexibility to make a difference!"
In her role at Marin, Dana is able to work from home, eliminating worries about how to get to and from the office. Her manager Paul Greer noted, "Dana's efforts and warm positive demeanor strongly contribute to our overall goal to provide best in class sales development support. She is an asset and ally and we're very glad she chose Marin."
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Dana was escorted on stage in style.[/caption]
Bobby Hollis, Senior Manager of Sales Development and close friend of Dana's, echoed that sentiment saying, "Dana is not only a solid contribution to our team and culture, she backs it up with solid quality work that is making great impact to our sales process. Selfishly we want her in the office more because she's just a ball to be around but quite honestly we are extremely fortunate to have her with us in any capacity."
Dana loves competing in Ms. Wheelchair Texas, saying she appreciates being around other women in similar situations. "You really do form a sisterhood so to speak," she explained. "Also, it is so empowering to be on that stage sharing all the ways we are changing the lives of people with disabilities! You feel like you can take on the world, and win!"
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Dana (back, third from left) hangs out with the Ms. Wheelchair participants.[/caption]
Marin is proud to support Dana in her advocacy, and to hire the best employees regardless of physical disability or mobility issues. If you want to learn more about Ms. Wheelchair Texas, please visit their website or watch Dana's speech on YouTube.
"Marin has given me the opportunity to work from home, while still making me feel like I'm part of a team," Dana said. "How cool is that?!"