Innovations in marketing and the popularity of social media have made it easier than ever for businesses to reach their customers effectively. However, this has also led to customers being inundated with marketing material. Competitive benchmarking can help your business rise above the competition and make an impact on potential customers.
What is competitive benchmarking?
All marketers want to drive the best performance of their campaigns, but how do you know if your efforts are paying off? Understanding and analyzing performance in a vacuum can be unproductive—or worse, misleading. Competitive benchmarking analysis is the study of marketing performance as measured against the performance of your closest competitors.
“There are several competitive analysis tools marketers can use to monitor their competitors organically - which track most things available to the public, and there are also tools you can use to track your competitors' paid activity,” Candace Boren, Product Marketing Director at Marin Software explains. “Once you’ve collected metrics for your competitors, you can use that information side-by-side with MarinOne to analyze your performance to see how you are or aren’t stacking up to your competitors.”
Monitor organic competitive intel
Take a look at what content your competitors are producing for their website, blog, and social channels. Press releases and news mentions will also allow you to keep track of the messaging strategies employed by your competition. Vendors such as Crayon, Klue, and Contify can help you keep track of your competitors’ owned content and mentions. You could supplement this research by analyzing competitor SEO performance using vendors like Semrush and Ahrefs.
Monitoring paid competitive intel
In addition to organic intel, you should also keep an eye on paid media and where your competitors are advertising across search, social, display, television, and other channels. The success they experience can be replicated while their failures can be avoided. Some tools that can help you keep track of your competitors’ paid marketing efforts include MediaRadar, The Search Monitor, and Pathmatics.
How analyzing the competition can give you greater insight into your own marketing performance
So you’ve gathered intelligence on when and where your competitors are advertising and distributing organic content. Now what?
The key to competitive benchmarking is to use this data to your advantage! Take a look at which channels your competitors focus on. This may be a good indicator of where to best reach your target audience. Have they moved away from a particular channel? Maybe they haven’t seen strong performance here. And of course, notice if there are channels you’re missing in your campaign strategy—you want to maintain a presence everywhere that your competitors are reaching potential customers.
“Competitive benchmarking is important because even if you think your performance is where it needs to be, you don’t want to look at it in a vacuum because there’s always more opportunity to acquire customers who might otherwise go to your competitors. So if you are monitoring their performance to make sure you are in line with it, you're capturing every opportunity that you can see,” Candace explains.
Keeping an eye on your competitors can help you ride the wave of success that they might be experiencing on another platform. For example, TikTok has become important since its rise in popularity in 2019. Analyzing the competition can help you identify the opportunities a new popular social media platform can present to businesses.
The benefits of competitive benchmarking don’t stop there. Modern customers are highly opinionated and fragmented. Effective targeting can help you find and reach customers who are being underserved by your competitors. If a competitor is experiencing success on a platform or with a specific marketing strategy but are unable to meet customer demand, competitive benchmarking would put you in the perfect position to fill that gap in the market.
3 ways to extract maximum value from competitive benchmarking data
Make your competitive benchmarking data work for you by pairing it with effective analysis and improved strategizing using these tips.
Use the RACE Framework to analyze the effectiveness of your marketing activities across all channels
Sometimes, it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact area within a wider marketing strategy to adjust for the best results. The RACE Framework gives marketers a simple way to analyze marketing activity and it can be applied to any channel or platform that you wish. RACE is a mnemonic device. It stands for Reach, Act, Convert, and Engage.
These steps represent the journey that marketers must take from the beginning of a customer interaction to its conclusion. Analyzing marketing results at each of these steps can help marketers understand how to capitalize on the opportunities presented to them by competitive benchmarking data.
Improve marketing data utilization with effective and uncomplicated reporting processes
Data is only as valuable as the insights it can provide. These insights also have to reach the right team members to actually be useful. Marketing teams must make sure that decision makers, team leaders, and other relevant stakeholders have access to critical information so they can strategize effectively. It is also important for this data to be presented in an easy-to-understand manner.
Optimize spending on channels and strategies that have a proven track record of encouraging conversions
The average social media user visits over seven social platforms each month. How do you decide how much attention each platform should get from the marketing team and how the marketing budget should be distributed across these channels? Competitive benchmarking data can pinpoint the platforms that seem to generate the most conversions and interactions for businesses with a similar profile to your own. Marketers should use this information to optimize their spending on important platforms while keeping niche platforms in consideration in case they become more important in the future.
"Analytics tools like MarinOne can help you look at your performance and compare it to your competition. And if it's not where you need it to be, budget allocation tools can help you find the right level of investment for your campaigns to get you up to par," Candace explains. "And as you move through your spend period and find you are not performing in one channel and performing really well on another channel, these algorithms will automatically shift your budget allocation for you. You'll be outperforming your competition without having to manage your campaigns manually day in and day out."
Demystify data-driven reporting and marketing strategy with MarinOne
To compare your competitors’ marketing strategies with your own, you need a comprehensive picture of your digital program. MarinOne’s advanced analytics suite pulls all your search, social, ecommerce, display, and app advertising into one view. It’s easy to see at a glance where you are spending and where you are performing, so you can easily compare your performance with the competition.
If you want to take it a step further, MarinOne’s budget allocation tools will shift your budget between campaigns and channels based on how well they’re performing—all while ensuring you hit your budget targets at the end of each month.
Learn more about MarinOne today. Get in touch with one of our experts to learn how MarinOne can help you make the most of insights generated through competitive benchmarking.
When it comes down to it, your users are the only ones who know what brings value to their lives. When you deliver on that value, sales and customer satisfaction rates soar. Companies often get caught in the trap of outrunning competitors, making products bigger and better without stopping to think about what “better” actually means to their unique audience. In this post, we’re covering how to define and measure user value to help you meet your customers’ wants and needs with a product that actually brings value to their lives.
Define value for your audience
The first step here is to determine what value is for your audience, which requires actually talking to your users about what their goal is when using your product, how they are currently accomplishing that goal, and what problems they face throughout the whole process.
You can’t just survey customers on what is valuable to them. It’s difficult to put that into words. Instead, you have to use specific questions that draw out that customer’s definition of value in relation to the problem your product solves.
To define user value, you have to follow the steps below:
Identify the value proposition
The value proposition is what your product offers to its users. For example, Uber’s value proposition is “The smartest way to get around”. They offer a convenient mode of transportation. Budgeting tool Digit’s value proposition is “Save money, without thinking about it.” The tool optimizes your spending habits and automizes saving for different goals. Each of these value propositions clearly illustrates how the tool benefits its users.
Defining your value proposition starts with identifying the problem statement. Use these five prompts to brainstorm:
I’m trying to…
Which makes me feel…
An example using Uber might be: I am a traveler trying to visit a location but can’t because it is out of walking distance which makes me feel like I need to spend money on renting a car or finding alternate transportation. The value proposition above is the perfect solution to this problem statement. Do this correctly, and yours will be too.
Identify the core action
For every value proposition, there is a core action that must be taken for the customer to experience the value. If the user does not connect their bank accounts to Digit and start spending, the product will be useless to that user. The core action needs to be easy to do within the app if users are going to follow through.
Measuring user value by interviewing customers
The information in steps one and two will then be used to interview users about the product and its value in this step.
First, prompt users to complete the core action. Once they’ve done this, ask them to rate the experience in reference to your value proposition. Keep questioning to identify why that score was given as well as what specifics about the product contributed to their decision. Ask about competing products that also help the user with your value proposition, gathering information on how your experience holds up in comparison.
Listen to your audience
By defining and measuring user value, you gain visibility into what your product should be accomplishing and whether or not it is meeting that goal. Use this data to make adjustments so that your product continuously meets customer expectations.
While the financial cost of the product does play a role here, there are also intangible costs that impact user value. Here are some examples:
Time to purchase
User research might reveal that your core action is not intuitive enough, meaning customers cannot figure out how to use your product after opening it. Or maybe the core action requires more effort than its perceived value. In this case, updates are necessary to clearly define the core action and make it effortless so that customers will know exactly what is required for them to get value out of the product and will take the action necessary to do so. Prioritize the customer experience so that users can get value from your product without friction. The higher the customer costs, the lower the user value. The overall user value is comprised of the benefits minus the costs. So if your value proposition is ranked 10 and your customer costs are 5, your overall user value can only be 5. To increase your user value, you need to think about knocking out some of those customer costs– which brings us right back around to understanding and improving the product’s user value.
At the end of the day, products and services that don’t offer value to the customer are a waste of time for everyone involved. The most successful products are the ones that fill a need and do it well. Speak to a Marin consultant on how our tools can help you identify the right customer for your products or services and the best moment to engage them. Learn more now.
Perfect Audience is excited to announce our new integration with Shopify. Users of this leading eCommerce platform can now set up remarketing campaigns in a flash. With our one-click integration, we’ll import your Shopify product feed and automatically create a set of dynamic ads featuring your store’s products.
Advertise to your site visitors and cart bouncers so they return and buy after browsing your shop.
A Key Part of Your Digital Ad Strategy
Remarketing is a key component of just about every eCommerce retailer’s digital strategy. No matter how amazing your products are, a lot of your traffic will leave without converting. If they’re interested, give them a reason to return by showing them ads on tens of thousands of websites.
You’re in control of your creative, budget, campaign duration, and more.
It’s free to sign up for Perfect Audience, a Shopify user can set up campaigns in minutes, and the only charge is the amount you spend on campaigns—an amount you set.
We’ll even give you a special one-time $250 credit to get started. Email email@example.com by November 15, 2018 to take advantage of the special free trial credit. For more information:
This year’s holiday season will beat 2017 in every major online retail category—the duration of the season, the amount spent, and the number of shoppers who engage. We’ve put together a list of tips to boost your retargeting click-through rate and conversions during this critical quarter and holiday season. We’ll also highlight a bunch of new Perfect Audience features we’ve pushed out this year that can help you achieve your goals.
Get an early start. Cyber Monday (November 26, 2018) is not the day to launch your holiday campaigns for the first time—there’s a lot of down time over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and people spend some of it online. Have your Perfect Audience Site Tracking Tag installed, your audience segments defined, and your creatives ready to go at least 30 days in advance.
It’s a good idea to run some campaigns in October, too. There’s less competition for ad space than in November and December—you may attract early bird shoppers while planting seeds for future conversions.
There’s inventory to be won using some less popular but still useful ad sizes (970×250 headers for desktop, 300×250 and 320×100 for mobile web). This is in addition to the sizes we recommend for all web campaigns.
Cross-device retargeting means Perfect Audience will follow your shoppers from desktop to mobile device. Are they browsing your store at work, then using their phone on the train home? That’s where we’ll get them. Desktop is still king in terms of revenue, but mobile’s share rises every year and can’t be ignored. Make sure you run mobile campaigns in addition to everything else you’re doing.
In Q4, you’ll probably see a lift in site traffic. This means your audiences will grow and you can serve more impressions. Our team recommends a 25-50% weekly budget increase for the months of November to December. If your traffic usually goes up by a certain amount, increase the budget by that percentage.
To change your weekly campaign budget in Perfect Audience, go to Manage -> Campaigns and Edit your campaign. In Step 3, change your budget amount. When you’re done, click Save at the bottom of the page.
Increase Your Bids
Just about every eCommerce store bumps up its advertising budget for Q4, making ad impressions harder to win.
With so many advertisers fighting for ad space, it’s not uncommon to see your CPM costs rise during this time of year. Prepare for the surge by increasing your CPM bids across your campaigns. Bidding higher will make your campaigns more competitive and will give you a better chance of serving more ads. We suggest increasing your CPM bid by 50-100% of the current average CPM cost for the campaign.
Go to Manage -> Campaigns and edit a campaign. In step 3, find Bid Type and change the setting to Manual Bidding. Then enter your CPM bid.
You’ve also got CPC bidding options for Facebook campaigns in Perfect Audience.
Save when you’re finished editing your bidding.
Facebook Marketplace and Messenger
Perfect Audience supports ad placements in Facebook Marketplace and Messenger. These are two of Facebook’s newest placements, representing new avenues to reach Facebook users. It’s turned on by default if you run Facebook campaigns in Perfect Audience. Learn more and check it out.
Take Advantage of Instagram
Mobile shopping continues to rise, as does engagement with Instagram. Instagram is approaching the one billion user milestone, and 80% of those users follow at least one business. If it looks good on the ‘Gram, your customers are thinking about how it’ll look in their homes.
Perfect Audience now has an integration with Shopify that automatically imports your product feed and builds dynamic (that is, product-specific) ads for your catalog. Set your own budgets and keep total control over your campaigns. Detailed reporting ensures you have a clear picture of your return on ad spend. If you’re already a Perfect Audience and Shopify user, setup is quick and easy.
Dynamic Ads: Stuff Your Ads Like Stockings
It’s better to have more gifts under the tree, more cookies on your plate, and more products visible in one ad. If you’re an eCommerce retailer and you have a Google Merchant Center product feed, try our multi-product dynamic ads. If you’ve got a feed imported, it takes just a few seconds to build your ads. It’s like four impressions for the price of one.
Create Holiday-themed Ads and Landing Pages
Holiday ads and landing pages get attention, create urgency, and show you’re not running the exact same campaigns as the rest of the year. Send a happy holiday message, mention the buy deadline to ensure holiday delivery, and give them a reason to click your ads.
It takes just two quick steps:
Create landing pages and content on your site for these holiday events, then create audiences that capture visitors of these pages. (Read up on audiences.)
Run campaigns to serve your holiday ads to your holiday page visitors. If they’re coming to your site looking for holiday deals, they’re more likely to respond to holiday-themed ads.
The season extends beyond December 31st—returns and gift cards mean another wave of shoppers arrives in January. You can lower your bids and budgets a little, but don’t turn all your ads off—there are still plenty of sales to be made.
In the old days of marketing, only the biggest brands could afford to get their messages out to big audiences via mass media vehicles like TV and radio. These days, increased media fragmentation and new tools like retargeting have evened the playing field, allowing mom-and-pop-shops to drive awareness among their target audience even faster than many large brands.
Retargeting provides a huge opportunity to small- and medium-sized businesses, but many marketers aren’t aware of how it works. How do you get started? How do you ensure you’re getting the biggest possible return on your investment? Outdated information about retargeting online can confuse good marketers and keep them unnecessarily sidelined.
We’re here to help. We’ve teamed up with HubSpot to bring you a guide to getting started with retargeting. You’ll get a full overview of all the major types of retargeting, plus insights on how to run your campaigns, create compelling ads, and measure your performance.
Holiday shopping’s in full swing. If you’re running retargeting campaigns, make sure they’re as prepared for the season as you are. Online sales are forecast to increase between seven and 10 percent over last year to as much as $117 billion.
We made your list, so check it twice, and take these steps to boost campaign performance during the holiday season.
Increase your budgets to win more impressions
You’re likely going to see a boost in site traffic (especially if you sell anything that can be given as a gift), which means you’ll see a boost in impressions served and in advertising funds spent. Make sure your campaigns have a proper budget set to guarantee you have enough ad money available for the day, so that you don’t miss out on these potential new customers.
We recommend a 25 to 50% budget increase for the holidays, but you know your site traffic best. Whatever percentage of traffic increase you’re expecting, boost your budget about that same percentage.
Raise your campaign bids
Almost all advertisers will increase their spend for the holidays, so you’re going to have serious competition.
With so many advertisers fighting for ad space, it’s not uncommon to see your CPM costs rise during this time of year. To prepare for this surge, make sure you increase your CPM bids across your campaigns. Bidding higher will make your campaigns more competitive and will give you a better chance of serving more ads by winning more impressions. We suggest increasing your CPM bid by 50-100% of the current average CPM cost for the campaign.
Use holiday-themed ads and landing pages
Holiday-themed advertising only gets people’s attention during one time of the year, and you should join the conversation your customers are having. Using ads that mention specific events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or any of the major holidays can grab a visitor’s attention.
Send a happy holiday message, mention that there are only X number of shopping days left, and give them a reason to click your ads. Use the holidays as a chance to create urgency and you could see a boost in clicks and conversions.
Two Quick Steps You Can Take Right Now
Create landing pages and content on your site for these holiday events, then create audiences that capture visitors of these pages.
Run campaigns to serve your holiday ads to your holiday page visitors. If they’re coming to your site looking for seasonal deals, they’re more likely to respond to holiday-themed ads.
We hope these suggestions are helpful and lead to a profitable holiday season for you and your business. As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments.
The Publisher Spotlight is a series where we introduce premium publishers who are using Partner Connect to develop business relationships with relevant and interested advertisers. In this post, we spoke with Kirk Ciarrocchi, Paid Search Marketing Manager at The Sharper Image, an American brand that offers consumers home electronics, air purifiers, gifts and other high-tech lifestyle products.
Where people find creative gifts for all occasions
The Sharper Image is the online place to go for cutting edge gadgets and electronics, as well as luxury home and lifestyle products. Our unique products add style and comfort to any home and also make great gifts for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, weddings, and the holidays. No matter what the occasion is, our customers visit our website to find original and creative gifts. Our top categories include drones, hover boards, air purifiers, massage chairs, audio and sound, travel accessories, and sleep solutions.
With over 500,000 unique visitors per month and over 3 million unique visitors during the November–December holiday season, our website reflects the popularity of our brand.
The Sharper Image audience is made up of avid and active shoppers
Our users tend to be very affluent, are not price-sensitive, and are consistently active shoppers. As far as connecting with complementary partners goes, we’ve done similar strategies with our catalog mailing lists, and found a strong connection between our customers and the customers of other luxury living brands.
For instance, we’ve partnered with brands offering goods and services such as wine subscriptions, travel merchandise, performance bicycles, finance and insurance, and home décor. We think that our customer base would be a great fit with a number of different types of retailers.
Other important stats to note are that 91% of our users live in the United States, with a 50/50 split between males and females. Additionally, 92% of our users are over the age of 25, and 72% are over the age of 35.
How did you learn about Partner Connect?
In developing a more advanced display strategy, our Marin team recommended Partner Connect as a way to share and find highly qualified and targeted audiences. After finding huge success with Marin in our search efforts, being able to leverage Marin in other areas seemed like a no-brainer because we’ve already proven that the technology works, and works well.
What goals are you looking to achieve with Partner Connect?
We’d love to be able to share our data with other non-competing brands. While benefiting our partners, we hope to learn even more about our customers and their interests.
General conversion metrics about your visitors only tell part of the story. In reality, there are many steps a visitor might have taken before converting on your site. How do you measure the value of your upper-funnel prospecting campaigns, and determine whether they’re providing incremental benefit and driving last-touch attribution and conversion?
What Are Assisted Conversions?
Assisted conversions help give you better insight for how other campaigns may have contributed to your final conversion. This insight is important, since it helps you make better decisions on your campaigns and immediately illustrates the value of your top-of-funnel marketing efforts.
How It Works
Suppose you’re running a campaign where you’re targeting people who visited your website. You have another campaign that targets people who looked at a specific product page on your website, a much more focused group. You’re probably measuring how well you’re targeting website visitors, but you may not be crediting this campaign with any conversions that come from your product page.
In other words, your website targeting campaign alone looks like it’s not providing any value, although it’s pushing customers along the funnel.
Here’s another example: Suppose your visitor sees or clicks a Facebook News Feed ad, and then clicks a web ad to convert. With general standard conversion metrics, the web ad gets the credit for the final conversion. But, in this scenario, your Facebook News Feed ad should get an assisted conversion credit, since it contributed to the “slam dunk,” as it were.
Pumpkin spice lattes. Cold weather. Football on TV. That can only mean one thing - the holidays are here!
While you’re busy planning your holiday vacation, family meals, or gift shopping plans, remember to schedule a few minutes for your retargeting campaigns. Consumers are ready to spend billions over the next six weeks (especially online!) so make sure you adjust your campaign settings to capitalize on the holiday rush.
Here are a few simple steps you can take to boost your campaign performance for the holidays:
Increase your budgets
With all that holiday shopping going on, you’re likely going to see a boost in site traffic, which means you’ll see an associated boost in impressions served and advertising funds spent. Make sure your campaigns have a proper budget set to guarantee you have enough ad money available for the day, so that you don’t miss out on these potential new customers.
We recommend a 25-50% budget increase for the holidays, but you know your site traffic best. Whatever % of traffic increase you’re expecting, boost your budget about that same %.
Raise your campaign bids
Consumers will be spending a lot of money on products, but that also means advertisers are spending a lot of money on ads. You’re going to have competition! With so many advertisers fighting for ad space, it’s not uncommon to see your CPM costs rise during this time of year. To be ready for this, make sure you increase your CPM bids across your campaigns. Allowing your campaigns to bid a higher amount will make them more competitive and give you a better chance of serving more ads. We suggest increasing your CPM bid by 50-100% of the current average CPM cost for the campaign.
Use holiday themed ads and landing pages
Your potential customers are thinking, talking, and singing about the holidays this time of year. Join that conversation! Using ads that mention specific events like Black Friday or Cyber Monday can grab a visitor’s attention. Send them holiday cheer, mention that there are X number of shopping days left, and give them a reason to click on your ads. Use the holidays as a call to action, and you could see a boost in clicks and conversions.
Create landing pages and content on your site for these holiday events, then create audiences that capture visitors of these pages. (Information about audiences is available here.)
Finally, create campaigns to serve your holiday ads to your holiday page visitors. If they’re coming to your site looking for holiday deals, they are more likely to respond to holiday themes ads.
We hope these suggestions are helpful and lead to a profitable holiday season for you and your business. As always, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments.
It’s good strategy to periodically review your retargeting campaigns to make sure you’re hitting your volume and performance goals. An important part of that is setting the right lookback window for each of your audiences.
This post discusses lookback windows, why they’re important, and how to set or change them in Marin Display.
What is a lookback window?
A lookback window tells Marin Display how far back in time to look in an audience to retarget users. When you create a new audience, Marin Display will automatically start adding visitors to it as soon as they start hitting the pages you’ve chosen. But what if you only want to retarget visitors in this audience for 30 days? Set your lookback window to 30 days and you’ll retarget them up to that number.
Why are lookback windows important?
Lookback windows play a substantial role in your campaign’s impression volume and spend, as well as performance metrics like click-through rates (CTR), cost-per-click (CPC), and adjusted cost-per-acquisition (aCPA).
If you’d like to increase your campaign’s reach, consider lengthening your lookback windows. That’ll allow you to retarget your audience for greater lengths of time and increase your impression volume. However, keep in mind that your CTR may start to drop if you set too long of a window.
If your campaign’s reach is limited by your budget – or if you’d just like to give a boost to your CTR, CPC, or aCPA numbers – consider shortening your lookback windows. This will eliminate impressions you’re serving to your most distant visitors. As you free up budget to retarget your most recent and engaged visitors, you should begin to see more clicks and conversions in your campaigns.
How do I set my lookback windows?
When creating or editing a campaign, your first task is to select the audiences you’d like to retarget, and set your lookback windows for each audience. In the box labeled “Targeting”, look for the “Lookback Window” fields and enter a value for each audience you’d like to target or exclude:
You can set lookback windows for a specific number of hours, days, or months. If you’re new to retargeting, or have recently started retargeting a brand new audience, we recommend starting with a window between 30 and 60 days to get a feel for performance.
Lookback windows work for exclusions, too. In the example above, we’ve created a cart abandonment campaign that excludes customers who’ve made purchases. If you’d like to exclude your customers from your campaign for a specific amount of time before potentially retargeting them for repeat purchases, you can use a lookback window to achieve that goal.
For more information on lookback windows and campaign setup, check out our knowledge base.
The countdown for the holiday season is on – which means now’s the perfect time to review your retargeting strategies and adjust accordingly. To ensure your retargeting campaigns are delivering the right message to the right audience, audience segmenting is essential.
This post covers audience segmentation and the types of audiences you should have in your holiday campaign. Identify Target Groups Using your visitor intent data, segment your visitors into several groups, depending on the page they’ve visited.
Add to cart
Add to wish list
Confirmation page (converted)
Sign-in / Login page
Set Up Campaigns Based on Intent
Once you’ve segmented your visitors this way, set up a number of high intent and low intent retargeting campaigns. Each campaign should have specific messaging and creative for the intended audience.
High Intent: Cart Abandonment
To set up a Cart Abandonment campaign, target users who’ve viewed the cart page but haven’t completed the checkout steps. With this campaign type, you can advertise a special holiday discount code or free shipping to get visitors to complete their purchase.
Low Intent: General Branding and Awareness
A General Branding campaign targets users who’ve visited your site but bounced off the home page. So, target the home page audience and exclude all other audiences.
Medium to High Intent: Add to wish list
This unique campaign type is one you can have during the holiday season to spread general brand awareness, or to target users with dynamic ads based on the products they’ve added to their wish list.
Important note: When setting up any of the above campaigns, always exclude users who’ve already converted. This’ll prevent you from spending your budget on users who’ve already made their purchase and may no longer be a good fit for the campaign.
Audience segmentation is key to having impactful campaigns and is the foundation to retargeting success. The above campaigns are just a few examples of what you can create with segmented audiences.
If you’re new to Marin Display, try it for free and get a $100 credit toward your first retargeting campaign.
In the old days of advertising, the name of the game was reach and frequency. Brands preferred mass media vehicles like television and radio, because they were the easiest means to reach large audiences and build brand awareness. Obviously, this meant the most effective advertising campaigns were dominated by the biggest brands with the largest marketing budgets.
If you’ve been reading our blog then you don’t need to be sold on the ways retargeting can help your business. However, putting everything together – building audiences, managing campaigns, optimizing performance, etc. – can sometimes feel overwhelming. This is especially true when retargeting is just one of the many marketing strategies that you focus on.
To help you out, we’ve teamed up with HubSpot, the world’s leading inbound and sales marketing platform, to bring you a free eBook, titled The Beginner’s Guide to Retargeting. In addition to providing context on the types of retargeting and the different ways it can help your business, we’ve collected some of our favorite tips and best practices for getting started, running your campaigns, creating good ads, and measuring and optimizing your performance.
A couple months ago, we announced a partnership with HubSpot. We’ve since been helping joint HubSpot and Perfect Audience customers connect their inbound and outbound marketing efforts more seamlessly. By automatically building retargeting lists based on HubSpot landing pages and Smart Lists, we’ve made it incredibly simple for HubSpot customers to build targeted, intelligent retargeting campaigns that help give more legs to their inbound marketing tactics.
Now, we’re taking it a step further. At the INBOUND 2015 Conference, HubSpot announced the launch of HubSpot Connect. We’re proud to have been introduced as a launch partner, and the only retargeting solution amongst their network of partners.
What Marketers Expect – A Wizard Behind the Curtain
Today, marketers expect to interact as one cohesive company that shares data and customer information across departmental lines. They don’t think about the different departments they’re interacting with or who’s responsible for what. Instead, they have the expectation that everyone in a company is able to work together to solve customer problems quickly and effectively.
Taking this even further – marketers are looking for ways to optimize their campaigns and reach the right audiences at the right time. For many HubSpot customers, though, outbound advertising and retargeting are new. It can be challenging figuring out how to set up the right types of campaigns, develop good creative, and determine how much to spend on your marketing efforts.
Because of the Perfect Audience and HubSpot partnership, all of this is now a lot easier. By creating audiences automatically from your landing page and Smart Lists, you can start your marketing efforts by targeting the audiences that are most valuable to you. From there, you can gradually test new campaign ideas by tagging the rest of your site and creating new audiences. So, not only do you have a cohesive, automated marketing experience – you’re making it work even more for you, to grow your audience and achieve new and better outcomes.
A Strong and Growing Partnership, Built for Results
If you’re a HubSpot customer who uses Perfect Audience, make sure to try the integration and let us know what you think about how we can make it better. We’ve already received a lot of great feedback and will continue working on strengthening our partnership.
If you’re reading this from HubSpot’s INBOUND 2015 conference, stop by and say hello!
In the obituary for Adobe Flash, September 1, 2015 will stand out as the day Google felled Adobe Flash with a mortal wound. As was originally reported in the Wall Street Journal, Google announced that its Chrome browser will block Internet ads that use Adobe Flash technology. With Chrome holding 60%+ market share, this essentially means Flash has become exceedingly irrelevant for advertisers.
A Lot of Us Saw This Coming
The move to a Flashless future shouldn’t come as a surprise to advertisers. The increasing focus on mobile – and Flash’s non-existence on that platform – means that many advertisers are already migrating their rich media creative to be built using HTML5, in order to maximize efficiency and reuse creative assets across their desktop and mobile ad campaigns. Other trends like YouTube ditching Flash for an HTML5 player also helped marshal that change along for desktop rich media advertisers.
What If Your Media’s Still Flash-Based?
However, not everyone’s updated all their creative assets, so this switch will have an impact for some advertisers, at least in the short-term. Here are a few immediate recommendations for how to reduce the short-term impact while you rebuild new HTML5 rich media creative:
If you haven’t already, upload static or animated GIF versions of your Flash ads, so there’s a suitable replacement that shows when the Flash ad doesn’t display.
Reduce spend on campaigns featuring Flash ads.
Although it’s ideal to recreate HTML5 versions of your ads from scratch to ensure they render properly, in a pinch, consider Flash to HTML5 conversion tools.
If you need to run Flash ads, segment them out into a different campaign, and block Chrome. They’ll still display on Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari, at least for now.
Odds are the demise of Flash hasn’t impacted you as much as you’d expect, with all the headlines raised in the past couple days (incrementally so if you’re a Marin Display or Perfect Audience customer, as we’ve never been Flash ad proponents). But, hopefully these recommendations will help you minimize the repercussions while you update your ads.
What do you do after you’ve clearly defined the KPI’s and benchmarks you need to hit in order to consider your business to be successful?
You may have read our previous post on getting started on the path to figuring out how you want to define your business success by nailing down KPIs and benchmarks. But what now? We have 5 next steps for what’s to come using Perfect Audience.
1. Assigning Revenue Value in Perfect Audience
Ensuring you have a conversion set up properly in Perfect Audience is critical for executing a successful campaign. There are a few things to consider here. If your KPI is a certain CPA, then you can assign a Revenue Value to each conversion while setting up your goal using the process above.
You can assign a Revenue Value by going to Manage > Conversions > Editing a Conversion Goal.
2. Calling in Dynamic Revenue in Perfect Audience
If your KPI is ROI, you will want to pass your revenue back to us dynamically. When placing your site tracking tag on your website, make sure to include the “pa.revenue” portion. Perfect Audience will apply the appropriate revenue value to each conversion, and display the total in your dashboard. When you hover over the revenue value you can easily see the Post-Click and Post-View value’s broken out. You can quickly see your revenue at a glance and compare to the cost of the media.
Read more about calling in revenue dynamically here.
3. Adjusting Attribution in Perfect Audience
Another thing to consider when setting up your conversions is your attribution settings. You can set different conversion windows and attribution rates for CTC and VTC. These will be applied to your aCPA in the dashboard. Keep in mind that your aCPA accounts for your attribution settings. For example, if you choose to give 50% attribution to VTCs, we’ll reflect that in your numbers. You can also hover over the CPA to see the Post-Click CPA at a glance. This can be a helpful indicator of your percentage of Click to View conversions.
4. Sort Function in Perfect Audience
Utilizing the sort function can help prioritize high CPA campaigns with one touch. Just click on the column heading and it will sort from highest to lowest CPA. You can easily manage your budget by moving money to the campaigns with lower CPAs. In the example below the weekly budget is higher for the most efficient campaigns.
Once you have launched your campaign and gathered some data, you can refine your benchmark. If you set your KPI too high and you are not meeting your goal, you may need to optimize toward achieving those goals. If you are still not able to obtain the goal, you may need to consider whether or not you’ve set it too aggressively.
Always remember it is important to define your goals prior to launching a campaign.
If you have anything to add, please feel free to leave us a comment in the comments box below to keep the conversation going!
In today’s post, I’ll be talking about a topic that customers ask me about quite frequently – excluding converted users from seeing your ads.
You’ve got your campaign up and running, you’re tracking conversions, and you’re making sales. But how do you stop serving ads to those who have converted? With Perfect Audience, you can set this up in two simple steps:
1.Create a “Converted Users” retargeting list. Click on Manage-> Retargeting Lists and create a new retargeting list. You’ll want to set this new retargeting list up to match the conversion goal you’re tracking. For example, if you have a conversion goal that triggers at www.yourdomain.com/thankyou.html, create the retargeting list to capture any users who land on /thankyou.html.
Now, anytime someone converts on your site, the conversion will trigger like normal, but the user will also be added to this new list of converted users.
2. Edit your campaign to Exclude this new list. When creating or editing a campaign, look for the step where you choose the retargeting list options:
Target any list of users that you want to show ads to, and Exclude the list of converted users as I have in my example above.
From now on, anyone who converts will be added to the Converted list and will automatically be excluded from seeing your ads in the future. This is a great way to save money on your campaigns. You’ll only be serving ads to those users who haven’t yet purchased something, giving your more bang for your buck and an increased ROI.
It’s almost too easy!
Take a look at this video to see a demo of how it works.
If you have any questions about this or anything else, please let us know in the comments section below or feel free to reach out to me directly on Twitter @scottsupportpa.
This post originally appeared on the Perfect Audience blog. We welcomed Perfect Audience to the Marin Software team in June.
You’re about to launch your first dynamic retargeting campaigns on Perfect Audience. Aw yeah! There are a lot more moving pieces to dynamic retargeting than static retargeting. If static retargeting is a hang-glider, dynamic retargeting is a rocket ship. Here’s a pre-flight checklist of things to look for to make sure your campaigns reach orbit.
1. Check your Google Merchant Account connection.
Ensure your Google Merchant account is successfully connected, that we’ve imported your products, and there were no errors along the way.
Click on Settings-> Dynamic Ad Settings, and look for this box:
If your Product Feed Import Status is Pending, we might still be importing your items. If you’ve been waiting longer than a day, please let us know and we’ll look into it for you.
In the Data Quality section, ensure we were able to import your products. If you see any errors here, you should check your Product Feed for duplicate Product IDs or issues with your images.
2. Check the ProductID in your website code.
Check to see that your Product IDs are being sent through our tracking tag correctly.
Go to an individual product’s page on your website. Now we’ll need to view the source code for the page. (Read this if you’re not sure how to get to the source code.)
Search the page (PC: Ctrl+F Mac: Cmd+F) for this text: _pa.productId
You should find a section of code that looks like this:
See the line that says _pa.productId=”171192490″;? That’s the line of code that sends us your Product ID. 171192490 is the Product ID in this example. If you don’t see your Product IDs there, you’ll want to check you’re using the correct variable to pass through your Product IDs. See this page for help.
Also, double check that you have that line of code written as: _pa.productId, not _pa.productid or _pa.productID.
3. Check your Product Feed’s Product IDs.
Ensure that the Product IDs on your website match the Product IDs in your Product Feed exactly. They need to match so we can sync up the products we feature in the ads to the visitor who saw the product.
In a lot of cases, the IDs will be similar, but not exact, i.e. the Product ID on the website is 12345 and the Product ID in the Product Feed is 12345a. The Product IDs need to be identical.
4. Check the ad content.
You’ll need to create your ads in accordance with Facebook’s guidelines:
Sidebar Ads: 25 characters in the title; 90 in the body. News Feed Ads: 500 characters in the message, 55 in the headline; 145 in the description.
For example, and ad like this has too many characters in the Title:
Check the ad status from the Ad Showcase. To get there, click Manage-> Manage Ads. Click on your dynamic ad and you should see ads of a selection of your products. If you don’t, you might see this message: We seem to be having trouble validating your products. Please verify that your template will pass Facebook validations (25 characters in the title, 90 in the body) after your product data is interpreted.
If that’s the case, create a new ad that adheres to the ad guidelines.
Once you see your products, scroll down to the bottom of this page and look for this line, which will tell you what % of your products we were able to use for your ads:
If less than 100% of your products were used, double check your image links in your Product Feed, and take a close look at the ad text to make sure a few products are causing the problem.
After going through this checklist your Dynamic Ad campaign will be ready to take you to infinity and beyond!
I hope this was helpful for you. If you have any questions about our checklist, please let us know at email@example.com. You are go for launch! Haven’t tried Perfect Audience yet, but we’ve piqued your curiosity? Visit www.PerfectAudience.com.