Strategy

For marketers, there are more ways than ever before to conduct outreach, contact your target audience, and increase sales. With so many different methods available, it can be a challenge to determine which will produce the best outcomes and which ones are worth incorporating into your marketing efforts. 

While everyone has their favorite strategies, certain forms of outreach have proven to have a high rate of success. The key is in the variety of methods you employ, and the consistency with which you use them. 

8 Proven Prospecting Techniques that Actually Work

While excelling at prospecting still demands mastery of many of the same age-old techniques that worked 30 to 50 years ago, there are new approaches you can take to boost your game. 

Here are eight advanced tactics you can follow to secure more sales. 

Use a Qualification Framework

To assess which prospects are strong potential buyers, you’ll need to identify the major criteria that you and your salesforce team consider to define a good candidate. Before you reach out to your leads, develop a set of qualification questions to help prioritize your outreach efforts. This way, you’ll discover which leads are worth connecting with, and which can be ruled out immediately. 

Create a Lead Scoring System

Don’t let your hottest leads grow cold while you spend time on lukewarm prospects. After you’ve identified which leads are qualified, rank them using a lead scoring system so you can prioritize advancing those most likely to close. Develop a lead scoring system by assigning value based on data pulled from previous lead successes. 

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Follow your Prospects on Social Media

The best insight on your leads will come from your leads themselves. Scanning their social media channels can help you determine whether or not they’re a good prospect by yielding relevant data. LinkedIn research reveals that social selling influences more than 50% of revenue. Staying informed about your audience’s interests and values can give you a deeper understanding of their needs while simultaneously allowing you to build rapport and win their trust. 

Strategically Structure Your Communication

The way you approach your prospects can impact how you close a deal or lose one. Use these methods to discover the best ways to reach out.

  • Wow” them: You don’t need a complex strategy to capture attention. If you’re going to draft an email, go beyond a standard pitch. Instead, use a clear statement of what you do and how you’re different, one that makes the prospect say “wow.” With so many software suites available on the market today, testing emails to see which work best is easy to do. If your outreach involves phone calls, recognize that leads warm up more when you make it personal. Pay close attention to what their needs are, gain a clear understanding of their industry, and research your competitors. By knowing what they want, you can tap into solving their needs and “wow” them with a golden pitch they’ll respond well to. 

  • Offer added value: With any kind of sales communication, adding value is critical. Leads are more responsive when you win them over with free offers. Consider giving them a free demo or providing a sales guide. Not only does this give you an opportunity for a follow-up later on, but it gives your prospects a chance to become more familiar with your products. 

  • Use a single call to action: Whether you’re pitching your lead via email or on the phone, ending with a single call to action is key to encouraging them to take the next step. Request a follow-up phone call, another meeting, or ask them directly to buy. When presented with a single, clear CTA, your lead is more focused and you’re more likely to close a deal.

Ask for Referrals

Referrals are a powerful sales prospecting technique that can earn you the credibility you deserve. Word-of-mouth has impact. In fact, when making buying decisions, 91% of B2B buyers are heavily influenced by it. With statistics that high, it pays to be proactive about tapping into your network so you can receive lead-boosting referrals that prospects will value. A testimonial, quote, case study, or social proof can elevate your leads’ confidence in you, ultimately converting them into a prospect. Either way, referrals are a win-win. As a salesperson, you increase your sales with little groundwork involved, and leads adopt your product using word-of-mouth as a preferred and reliable buying strategy. 

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Consider Using Video

The rise of video is one of the latest trends sales prospecting pros are using as a marketing and outreach tool. Incorporating video throughout your sales cycle can boost your numbers significantly. According to current statistics, after watching a video, 88% of buyers continue to complete a purchase, and 73% prefer to learn about products this way. With video rising in popularity, it’s worth taking advantage of this medium. 

Be Well Aware of the Competitive Landscape

To be a sales prospecting pro, it’s critical that you scope out your competition. By keeping a close eye on the competitive landscape, you can rest assured that you are optimally positioned for your intended audience. If you aren’t already doing so, analyze magic quadrant results, follow competitor news, survey competitor websites, and track the latest advancements across relevant industries. 

Leverage Marketing Automation Tools

Complement your prospecting strategy with an automation tool so you can nurture your leads and convert stragglers into sales. By using these tools, you can link content distribution, allowing you to get the right message out to the right people at the right time. Automating various processes to optimize your marketing-sales pipeline can convert leads into customers more quickly and efficiently. With the right tool, you can segment groups based on specific criteria, prioritize based on highest needs, generate interest along every step of the buying process, and much more. 

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Closing More Deals with MarinOne

There’s no doubt that prospecting skills matter. However, with so many opportunities to help you outsource work and automation tools at your fingertips, along with a vast array of software choices to help you work more efficiently, you can multiply your successes and fill your pipeline with an abundance of qualified leads.  

Using tools by MarinOne can help your marketing team optimize paid advertising processes, bring in more interested candidates into the sales funnel, and ultimately close more deals. MarinOne is a customizable, enterprise-class solution that can help accelerate your paid media efforts.

Ready to start prospecting for new leads? To learn more about how MarinOne can help you achieve the results you want, get in touch with one of our team experts today.

There are plenty of online shoppers in this day and age, but there is also increased competition! If you are looking for a way to stand out from the crowd, increase engagement, and say thank you to your customers, get into the spirit of giving with competitions and giveaways.

Here are our top four favorite competition strategies to incentivize shoppers to get involved with your digital communications, boosting sales in the process.

Competition idea #1: Video submissions

Improve your brand awareness with a themed video contest that asks customers to perform a specific task or show off forms of customer appreciation via video. User-generated content is a great way to spread the word about your products or services.

Some popular video contest ideas include:

  • Sing your favorite trending song
  • Show off your best product idea
  • Demonstrate how fast you can perform a certain task relating to your product (speediest submission wins)
  • Send some before/after shots of an area of your home the product improved

Always set a time limit for the video submission, and be sure to share the user-submitted videos and tag your customer's social media accounts (with their permission). You can choose the winner by the highest customer votes; be sure to follow a strict deadline and shout out the winner on your website as well as your social channels. 

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Competition idea #2: Refer a friend

There are plenty of ways to get your content in front of people who do not already follow you, such as hashtag marketing and refer-a-friend competitions, which both work in a similar fashion. An effective way to cut through the competitive noise is by getting recommendations people will trust; and who better than their personal friends.

Get in front of new customers by running a referral contest and generate organic word-of-mouth while boosting brand awareness and minimizing customer acquisition costs. This approach can also help to retain existing customers by offering a discount for the person doing the referring.

Some referral contest best practices to consider include:

  • Offering a reward to the person who refers, and their referral
  • Setting a purchase limit to earn the referral reward
  • Ensuring you have social sharing buttons available to share the referral link
  • Providing a dynamic referral link for individual customers
  • Setting a contest deadline 

When promoting your competition, don't forget about using offline channels, especially if your business has a physical presence. Make your storefront a feature with posters, props, or other forms of visual communication that grab the attention of new shoppers.

Competition idea #3: Run a sweepstakes contest

A sweepstakes contest is a little different from a standard contest, but is still a valuable engagement-boosting activity. As all participants receive some form of prize, people are more likely to enter as they are not off-put by high odds. Prepare to receive a high number of entrants, all of whom require a prize, so keep your prize budget in mind when choosing rewards. The lowest level prize can be as simple as a small discount off the next purchase (encouraging purchases in the process).

As sweepstakes have many winners, these can all be selected by chance, like in a lottery. This is a great way to acquire valuable information which you can use for future business marketing strategies and growth with data mapping. Think about the type of data you would like to gain about your customers, and use these as question prompts to enter the sweepstakes.

Sweepstakes are very easy to run, as all you need is a simple landing page that collects email addresses for people to enter. The key with sweepstakes is promotion, and it is important to consider the following before running one:

  • Ensure you have enticing visuals and prizes to grab attention
  • Make it easy for people to enter
  • Set a predefined probability for choosing the winner
  • Include attractive social sharing buttons
  • Give bonus entries to people who complete short surveys
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Competition idea #4: Gamification 

If you can make your competition fun, you'll likely get more participation. This is where a gamification contest can be an effective tool; simply play a game to win a prize! Incentivize unique actions and then reward customers, gaining their business and loyalty in the process.

Gamification contests can include any of the following:

  • Spin the wheel
  • Scratch and win
  • Enter a quiz or raffle
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Play trivia

Make sure the theme of the game is relevant to the season and that it is easy and fun to navigate. Promote the game on your site's homepage and social channels, and keep the prizes a surprise to increase interest.

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Creating fans of your brand

People who enjoy your brand’s output are more likely to become repeat customers. Rewarding followers for their loyalty is a great way to keep them coming back to your business. Consider the cost of your competition, how much the prize you are offering is worth, and if the cost is viable when considering the potential spend of a new, loyal customer. The marketing return of a contest should also come into consideration, as the exposure it gives you to new segments can often be more cost-effective than some other marketing methods. MarinOne can also help with this by supercharging your paid search, social, and e-commerce advertising, so reach out to meet with one of our expert consultants today.

Luke Carlino is a guest contributor for Marin Software.

Customers are interacting with brands more than ever, and they’re doing so across channels that can provide marketers with important customer insights. In a world where customer data has never been more important, marketers must navigate increasing scrutiny over data handling while collecting and processing data about their customers’ behaviors, needs, and preferences.

Approximately two-thirds of customers expect brands to know and understand their needs and expectations. With rising competition and amplified customer voices, businesses must find new and better ways to attract and retain modern customers. 

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Brand website analytics, custom applications, feedback forms, and cookies have empowered businesses to understand how customer interactions affect sales, marketing, and communication efforts. The extent to which businesses can extract actionable insights from behavioral data depends on their understanding of how customer behavior analysis can serve them, however. 

Businesses have also had to evolve to keep up with a rapidly changing regulatory landscape. Third-party cookies are being phased out around the world and businesses are constantly looking for new ways to collect and analyze critical customer data. 

Why businesses struggle to extract insights from customer behavioral data

Customer information is stored across operational silos

While most businesses collect customer information in some form, they struggle to build a coherent and complete image of their customers—especially when departments don’t collaborate and share the data they have. When fragmented data is scattered across departments in the organization, it can’t help businesses understand their customers and make informed choices about how to reach them.

Sales and marketing teams can benefit from knowing a customer’s communication preferences, social media teams can view a customer’s online interaction history, and finance teams can understand a customer’s payment preferences. In general, businesses can use this data to make sure they are making financially responsible decisions. 

Paid marketing campaigns can sometimes go under the radar or be under-analyzed because of this data fragmentation

Businesses fail to establish and integrate effective data processes into existing workflows

Data processes can be cumbersome and tedious for non-technical staff who are unfamiliar with complex data management systems. As a result, mistakes are made and data is not collected effectively and efficiently.

Businesses must find new ways to encourage widespread participation with data processes across the organization. This could include automating repetitive or tedious tasks or improving education on data processes and how they can be conducted without excessive disruption to non-technical staff. This data also needs to be funneled effectively to marketing teams who can then use it to strategize future initiatives and outreach. 

Data processes are not aligned with business objectives

Even though data processes can confer significant benefits to businesses from reduced costs to increased efficiency, these benefits have to be targeted. Business leaders must design and implement processes to align with their data strategy goals. Marketing campaigns can vary wildly in their objectives, from increasing visibility to changing customer perceptions of the brand, to improving conversion rates. The metrics used to analyze customer data change significantly depending on the priorities of the business. 

A haphazardly planned data strategy can lead to significant time and resources being wasted in service of a poorly defined plan. Poor planning during the data process design stage can also increase the likelihood of data errors caused by a lack of understanding of these processes within the organization, inconsistent participation with data practices, and more issues that could be costly and cumbersome to resolve. 

4 tips for transforming your data into truly actionable insights

Evaluate the data that has already been collected

The average person generates 1.7 MB of data per second. Businesses can sometimes collect insightful data without realizing it. Before designing and implementing widespread changes to existing data operations and workloads, business leaders must evaluate the data that has already been collected or is continually being collected unintentionally. 

Businesses that interact with customers on social media often have a base-level understanding of important metrics that the platform’s integrated analytics tool provides. That would be considered data that is already collected or being continually collected. Modern businesses have to go beyond that and analyze attribution data to optimize their presence on each platform.

Morgan Gelot, Director of AdTech Partnerships at Marin Software, revealed how marketers can use attribution data to receive insights that standard social media back-ends fail to provide. 

MarinOne provides marketers with “a collection of insights that are refreshed daily, that looks at things like search queries and performance trends. Advertisers can filter through this information to visualize the importance and the impact of certain sites and prioritize on the most impactful ads or platforms,” he shared. 

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Modernize data collection strategies to receive a holistic view of marketing performance

Insightful data can be collected in a variety of ways. Some businesses set up data pipelines to directly collect data from the customer but most companies supplement that data with information that they receive from social media platforms and different marketing channels. 

In the past, companies could simply use cookies to collect the information they need to meet their business needs. However, platforms have recently “set up their own solutions to mitigate some of the risks that have appeared on the market with cookies being more limited,” Morgan explained. He also shares how MarinOne can combine insights generated from APIs across social media platforms to provide business leaders with a holistic view of marketing performance. 

Close the gaps between information silos and integrate data workflows into regular business processes

It’s not enough for businesses to collect and analyze data effectively to achieve marketing success in highly competitive markets. Marketers must be able to easily access these insights and integrate them into their daily activities. The first step to achieving this is to close the gaps between information silos and make sure information is collected from multiple sources and combined on a single platform. 

This information has to then make its way to crucial operational teams such as customer service. MarinOne empowers marketers by making marketing data easily digestible and providing them with the information they need to optimize interactions with customers across communication channels. 

How MarinOne can help businesses improve digital marketing performance by unifying customer data

Many factors influence a customer’s purchasing decision. Information about these factors exists across communication channels and social media platforms. MarinOne, Marin Software’s flagship product, allows marketers to easily consolidate performance data, customer behavioral data, generated insights, and more from multiple sources, platforms, and campaigns. A native automation engine allows marketers to simplify how they identify opportunities and tie them into existing customer journeys. 

To get started in understanding more deeply how your customers interact with your brand contact one of our MarinOne experts.

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

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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."

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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.

Market segmentation is the foundation of a successful marketing campaign. There are likely many different types of consumers that could be interested in your products, and sending the right message to each type of customer is key to acquiring new users. Whether it be targeting customers based on their age, or understanding that different types of customers value different aspects of your product or service, you’ll want to deliver unique, personalized messages to different segments in order to foster enthusiastic brand loyalty.

Let’s run through the 5 different types of market segmentation in detail so that you can understand which is right for you.

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Demographic Segmentation

This is usually the first type of segmentation we think of when starting to define our different customer personas. These are basic defining characteristics such as age, gender, race, income level and education level. Demographic targeting can be anything from advertising high end products to those with higher income levels, to a clothing company advertising gendered clothing to women and men separately.

This is mostly used in B2C marketing efforts, as these traits focus on the individual. The B2B counterpart is firmographic segmentation.

Firmographic Segmentation

Firmographic segmentation is the most basic form of market segmentation for B2B marketing efforts. Firmographic traits of a company include size, location, industry, structure and financial performance. For example, you’ll want to use different messaging when marketing towards a small business than when reaching out to an organization with hundreds of employees.

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Geographic Segmentation

A subset of demographic segmentation, geographic segmentation entails segmenting customers by their location. You can segment by city, country, zip code or even language region. The most straightforward example of this is trying to drive foot traffic to a brick and mortar store by targeting people who live within a certain number of miles from the store. But even for online businesses, it’s important to analyze which geographic areas your website traffic is coming from. Sometimes these answers may seem obvious, like a company selling cowboy boots targeting states in the south. But you may be surprised what other regions are interested in your product, beyond the most obvious opportunities. Often market research brings about data that cannot be acquired by intuition alone. Who knows, there could be a lot of cowboys in Vermont…

Behavioral Segmentation

This is the most complex and arguably the most valuable type of segmentation. Behavioral segmentation is the ongoing process of tracking and targeting users’ behavioral trends. As you collect data about your target market over time, you’ll be able to segment your audience into groups based on things like purchasing habits, brand interactions, buying history, website visits and interactions with competing brands. This form of market research is very valuable because it brings to light users with intent to buy, allowing you to target your most interested audiences.

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Psychographic Segmentation

This form of segmentation attempts to understand the consumers’ motivations. It’s not the what, or where, but the why that psychographic segmentation strives to make sense of. Why do customers buy your product, or choose your competitor's product over yours? Is it their values? Their political beliefs? Their interests? This sort of segmentation is extremely valuable for media companies, for example. News stations will market towards those with aligned political beliefs. Gossip magazines will target those interested in celebrity content. This form of segmentation can be difficult to nail down, but is very powerful.

Now that we’ve got an understanding of the different types of segmentation, let’s discuss how to begin segmenting your market. 

Start with testing

The first step is market research. You’ll want to cast your net wide with broad targeting, then see what content appeals to different segments of users. Once you’ve identified segments based on engagement with your different categories of content, you’ll understand what sorts of products or services they are interested in. Then you can hit those segmented audiences with more specific retargeting ads.

It’s important to set a measurable goal when testing. Let’s say you’re trying to understand if your products appeal more to women or men. Send ads to both groups equally, and measure performance with a metric such as click through rate or conversion rate. If women seem to drive a higher conversion rate for a particular product, break men and women out into separate audiences and allocate proportionately more ad spend to the female audience. This is one simple example; but there are countless ways to run this same sort of test based on the segmentation factors you believe could apply to your particular campaign.

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Never stop analyzing

It’s important to continually analyze these different sorts of user trends, as things can change over time and new segments may emerge. Moving forward, allocate a small portion of your marketing budget to testing ongoing so that you can make sure you're capitalizing on emerging segments and keeping your audience fresh.

Streamline analysis with MarinOne

If you create strong audience segments and send the right message to each segment, you’re sure to win in performance marketing. With so much data to navigate when analyzing the unique performance of your various market segments, it's best to bring it all together in a powerful tool like MarinOne. MarinOne makes your life easier by enabling you to optimize campaigns in bulk, pivot bidding types on the fly, and get a holistic view of all your paid media campaigns in one place. Start your journey to better market segmentation and great advertising performance with MarinOne today. Our team of experienced marketers is ready to help you achieve your goals.

The marketing world is constantly changing and developing with new tools and methods. Strategies that are effective today may not work next year, or even next month. What we know for certain is that successful marketing requires looking beyond the top of the funnel for customers who will stick around. Without retention, there is no growth. 

That’s why growth marketing is more important than ever. So, what is growth marketing all about? Learn why growth marketing is important, what its core components are, and five different ways to turbocharge your business with it. 

Growth marketing defined

Growth marketing is a spin on traditional marketing with additional digital layers such as A/B testing, SEO optimization, data-driven blog posts and email campaigns, and careful attention to each aspect of a user’s experience. Insights inform strategies that are quickly implemented to achieve sustainable and robust growth. Unlike traditional marketing, growth marketing prioritizes small hypotheses, fast experimentation, and rapid iteration over large, long-term campaigns.

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Why growth marketing matters

An average of 4 million businesses are opened every year, and over $297 billion is collectively spent on marketing expenditures. With those figures, it’s more important than ever to make your business stand out. To compete, it's crucial to have a growth marketing strategy. A strategy that is creative and compelling will:

  • Help improve customer acquisition rates and allow you to expand your loyal user base
  • Allow you to grow and scale your business rapidly
  • Enable you to maximize your marketing activities across many different channels
  • Provide you with insights into the full customer journey
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Core components of a growth marketing strategy

The primary focus of your marketing strategy should be based on metrics like retention rates, acquisition rates, conversion rates, and customer lifetime value. Some of the most frequently used tactics that growth marketers find successful include:

A/B testing

A/B testing can be used in a variety of formats, such as email marketing, landing pages, social media ads, and more, making it one of the primary tactics to be used in a strong growth marketing strategy. By deploying “A” or “B” tests, you can gain a better understanding of which content pieces are performing better. With better insights into how to engage your audience, you can optimize future campaigns and increase your likelihood of boosting conversion rates. 

Pro tip: Just because one test proves to be more effective with a particular audience segment doesn’t mean you should stop testing. Concentrate on customized segments and keep testing new content variations to understand which content resonates best. 

Cross-channel marketing

With cross-channel marketing, your focus should be on building a plan to extend customer reach. It can include push notifications, email marketing, direct mail, in-app messages, and other action-driven initiatives. The key is to know your audience’s preferences. When you incorporate your plan into your growth marketing strategy, zeroing in on communication preferences will help you build your campaigns accordingly. 

Pro tip: When you integrate multiple channels into your marketing plan, your audience can remain engaged from anywhere. Use contextual campaigns to help you gain a deeper understanding of your audience’s behavior across different platforms. 

Customer lifecycle

As part of your growth marketing strategy, be sure to pay close attention to the three critical life cycle stages: activation, nurture, and reactivation. You need to: 

  • Target your audience with introductory campaigns to build credibility
  • Nurture them to strengthen relationships through cross-channel marketing efforts
  • Re-engage them to drive retention and loyalty through post-purchase or win-back campaigns. 

Pro tip: Each customer will progress through the life cycle at their own pace. However, proactively accommodating users' changing needs will help you create more need-specific campaigns, setting you up for success. 

5 ways to turbocharge your business with growth marketing

Know your clients and competitors

To optimize your campaign, know your clients. Analyzing their data can often shed light on surprising insights such as discovering which leads have a higher likelihood of converting. It can also help you tailor communications to improve retention rates. 

While it’s important to analyze your client base, it’s equally important to determine what your competitors are doing. Seeing what works well (or doesn’t work at all) for them can give you insight into new marketing opportunities to test, too. 

Pro tip: To see what your competitors are doing well, use an online competitor analysis tool. To learn what media your clients consume or what terms they use when searching for your product, use the Google Keyword Planner and try client and industry surveys. 

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Optimize your content marketing

When done right, content marketing can create a lasting impact as part of your growth marketing strategy to help you generate new leads. Demonstrate your expertise in your field with articles, videos, and other sources that your potential customers are searching for. By optimizing your content around keywords your audience is looking for, you can boost the chances of them coming to you and staying. 

Pro tip: Be sure to plan, test, and analyze which content is working. When you determine which content is attracting the most attention, adjust your campaigns to ensure you improve results. 

Maximize your advertising

You’re probably already employing advertising as part of your marketing strategy — be it sponsored content, display advertising, remarketing, pay-per-click, social media ads, and so on. In most scenarios, real-time data is accessible, allowing you to closely monitor your ads’ performance. Dig into the data and follow growth marketing principles by planning, testing, tweaking, and repeating. 

Pro tip: By digging into that data, you will be able to identify insights that enable you to improve leading indicators over time. But to truly maximize your growth marketing efforts, don’t lose sight of the big picture. While data is important, stay focused on broad performance metrics (like sales and revenue) over time so you don’t repeat ineffective advertising moves. 

Prioritize your website

Optimizing your website is key to generating more leads. It’s important for communicating why prospective customers should choose you. If you haven’t already done so, advance your SEO strategy. Ultimately, your goal should be to funnel your clients to the action you want them to take. Additionally, your site’s aesthetics and user experience should be familiar for your target audience. 

Pro tip: Seeking advice on your SEO strategy is wise, since it’s a specialized technical area. You can also consider identifying CRO improvement opportunities by conducting A/B testing, individual user testing, qualitative research from focus groups, and client surveys. 

Make sure your customer service team is motivated

For growth marketing to be sustainable and successful, focus on the customer experience. Having quality service will help you build loyalty and turn consumers into brand advocates. Your products alone will not keep customers happy — they must be coupled with high-quality customer service. Make sure that all brand interactions leave your customers feeling satisfied and valued. If your customer service team isn’t motivated to give each person the "white glove" treatment, your customers probably won’t be coming back…which can make the colossal effort of attracting new users feel like a waste. As we said at the beginning of this article, growth marketing is nothing without a great retention strategy. 

Pro tip: To create a good customer service experience, collect customer feedback through surveys and ask for suggestions on how to improve. 

Scale Growth Efforts with MarinOne

With growth marketing comes countless tools, channels, platforms, and tactics. One thing is clear: growth marketing requires work, but the return makes it very worthwhile 

MarinOne has the tools you need to be a successful growth marketer and can help you focus on both testing and optimizing to boost engagement and provide a better customer experience. 

Ready to take your growth marketing to new heights? Contact one of our MarinOne experts today.

Conversion rate is a crucial metric for digital marketers. It indicates how well your ads are working—since conversions are the main reason you're running ads in the first place. If your conversion rate is low, your advertising dollars are going to waste. But if it's high, you'll have much more money to spend on other marketing campaigns, like PPC. If you're running display ads and not seeing the results you want, it might be time to tweak your strategy. So, what exactly can you do to increase your digital ads’ conversion rates? 

In this article, we'll walk you through eight tips to help boost conversions so you can reach a larger audience and increase sales. Remember, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to conversion optimization, but following these tips will help get you started on the right path!

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What is conversion rate and why is it important?

Conversion rate is a tricky concept. It's not as simple as measuring how many customers you get out of each ad. Instead, it's a measure of how many people who see your advertisement actually do what you want them to do, like download an ebook or make a purchase.

By increasing your conversion rate, you can make the most of your digital marketing budget and maximize your return on your investment. 

A high conversion rate is a result of:

  • A streamlined and appealing sales funnel
  • A well-designed website that is formatted effectively
  • A unique and compelling brand and proposition
  • An effective call-to-action

A low conversion rate means your website’s performance or design may be lacking.  This could be as a result of slow loading pages, forms that are broken, or content that doesn’t accurately convey the offer’s value. 

Through conversion rate optimization (CRO), you can allocate your PPC budget more efficiently and persuade prospects to take action. 

How to calculate your conversion rate

To calculate conversion rate, divide the total number of conversions by how many visitors clicked on your ad. To get the percentage, multiply that result by 100.

Leads Generated ÷ Website Traffic x 100 = Conversion Rate % 

This formula can be used for every conversion opportunity on your site. Count only the number of visitors on the web pages where the offer is listed. 

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8 tips for improving conversions

Identify your conversion goals

To optimize your conversion rates, create a robust conversion optimization plan. Consider what your prospective customers really want from you so you can make the conversion path as smooth as possible. Conversion goals help you optimize your advertising objectives more easily. With defined goals, you can also measure your marketing performance and set benchmarks for improvement. Clear objectives will lead to more successful campaigns. 

Make sure your landing page copy is clear and concise

There are a few ways to make your content more accessible and clear to readers:

  • Your landing page copy must be short, simple, and easy to understand. 
  • The tone should be conversational so it makes a natural connection between you and the reader, rather than sounding like an overly formal marketing pitch. 
  • If possible, use bullet points to highlight key benefits that would appeal to the specific type of customer who is visiting this page. 
  • Separate long lists into multiple sections so they don’t create readability issues when viewed all at once.

Create a sense of urgency to get customers to act now

“Accelerators” offer the extra push users sometimes need to convert. To increase conversions on short-lived deals and offers, use copy that provokes a sense of urgency such as “Limited time only,” “Last chance,” or “While supplies last.” As part of your ad creative, add direct call-to-action buttons to increase conversions. Offer limited-time discounts or free shipping for orders placed in the next 24 hours with no coupon code needed! This will help drive traffic and increase sales, especially for those final hours before major holidays. 

Add an interactive element like an online chat window or live demo for more engagement opportunities

By engaging customers with a live chat capability, you can increase both customer satisfaction and conversion rates. Live chat tools are perfect for consumers who are on the fence. This is one of the best ways to respond quickly when a customer has a question about your product or service, which can lead to increased sales

Offer content upgrades that are relevant to people who have already converted

If someone has bought a product, they might be interested in learning more about the topic or how to get even more value from the purchase. If someone has signed up for your email newsletter, they're probably interested in staying up-to-date on new products and promotions. Content upgrades can include: 

  • More information on the same topic
  • A free trial of a paid service
  • A coupon code for a discount on future purchases
  • A digital download

Use social proof such as testimonials from other satisfied customers

Social proof is a powerful persuasion tool that we've all seen in action—and reviews are one of the most instrumental forms:  89% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase. Social proof builds trust and when your customers have established trust in your brand, they’re more likely to convert. Here are some tips:

  • Build  a strong online presence 
  • Incorporate social proof into your digital ads by including links to where others have left reviews
  • Include testimonials from happy customers 

Reading reviews and testimonials puts consumers at ease. If it’s not apparent that your customers have faith in your product or enjoyed using it, your conversion rate will likely suffer. 

Create a FAQ page so customers can find answers quickly and easily

Include a search button on each landing page where a customer can type in their question or issue so a link to the answer appears at the top of the page for them. Next, make sure you include links to the FAQ page from both your homepage and contact page, or wherever else is relevant. This ensures that anyone who uses Google to research your business before clicking on one of your ads will be able to find this valuable resource immediately after landing on one of these pages. 

Surround buttons with lots of negative space

When your button stands out from its background, it becomes more obvious and easier for users to spot when they're scrolling through pages of content or shopping carts filled with products. This means that more people are likely to click on the button than if it was surrounded by other things like photos and logos, which can make buttons less visually prominent or harder to see.

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Get started improving your conversion rate today

There's no doubt that digital advertising is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. In fact, display ad spending is projected to increase by 20.9% in 2022 alone. So if you're looking for a new way to increase conversions and improve your bottom line, MarinOne can help. 

Knowing how to improve the conversion rate of your digital ads is critically important to the growth and development of your business. With MarinOne, you can create, manage, and measure your digital ads so you can gain insights into what's working and what's not, allowing you to make adjustments that improve your results. MarionOne’s automation tool enables you to track ad metrics and conversions automatically. 

Learn more about MarinOne’s ad automation tools. Or reach out to one of our MarinOne experts today to schedule a demo.

Advertising is more of an art than a science, and digital marketing is certainly no exception. In the last decade, a lot has changed in the world of online marketing, and the field will continue to adapt along with the quickly evolving technology landscape and ever-shifting consumer trends. In this article, we’ll take a look at how it all began, how it has evolved, and where it's headed next. 

The evolution of digital marketing

Let’s first take a look at how digital marketing has developed over the years by looking at some major milestones in its history.

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The late 1990s: The rise of the internet

Digital marketing made a strong start in the 1990s due to the rising popularity of personal computers. Between 1994 and 1996, the number of people using the internet jumped from 25 million to a whopping 77 million. Why? Well, when the World Wide Web launched in 1989 and the first popular browser, Netscape, arrived on the scene, it caused an explosion of new users. From then on, the digital landscape began to grow exponentially as more and more browsers and search engines popped up, including many of the most popular search engines we know and still use today. 

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Early 2000s: The social media revolution

The invention of the World Wide Web created a collaborative space for sharing information, leading to a social media revolution. You may or may not remember MySpace, but it was the first truly popular platform of its kind, and it set the trend for all the others to follow. After its release in 2003, Facebook made its grand entrance. As a social media leader, it quickly became an outlet for businesses to reach global audiences. Brands began to realize the immense opportunities that could be achieved through tweets, posts, videos, emails, blogs, PPC advertising, and more—and this opened the door for digital marketing to expand. 

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By 2011, TV viewership began to decline for the very first time in history, and marketers were taking note of the transition. With this shift came the introduction of “cookies.” If you’re not already familiar with them, cookies are small pieces of code that are useful for tracking user behavior and content retargeting. Advertisers took advantage of tracking techniques, giving attention to browsing habits and usage patterns so they could fine-tune their campaigns and other marketing efforts. 

The emergence of the internet and the rise of search engines also created an ideal space for what came to be known as native advertising. Using native advertising, marketers can promote content more effectively and connect with target customers through search ads. 

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Mid 2000s: Mobile devices surpass desktop internet usage 

When iPhones became available around 2007, they completely changed how we access the web. As the world quickly invested in the many glories of smartphones, mobile usage served as a major motivation for brands to undertake search engine optimization. By 2014, mobile device usage crossed a key threshold and predictive analytics started to gain some traction. 

In 2016, marketing automation went into effect and marketers started to build more personalized and efficient campaigns. When Facebook and Google prevailed as the two most recognized leaders of the internet in 2017, influencer marketing skyrocketed—and advertisers took the opportunity to grow their audiences. Paid advertising was no longer considered a supplementary strategy for marketers. 

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2018 and beyond: content popularity surges

When 2018 rolled around, marketers continued to improve their SEO efforts, realizing that long-form content was another strategy they could use to increase session durations. But SEO wouldn’t be the only strategy on the minds of advertisers. By 2019, marketers were dealing with an entirely new frontier: the quickly growing landscape of video platforms. By this time it was clear to advertisers that if they wanted to succeed, they would have to prioritize content creation as part of their marketing strategy — be it short-form or long-form text content, or videos

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However, the digital marketing landscape changed once again in 2020 when the pandemic hit and there were restrictions on many daily activities. Digital marketers were forced to keep up with skyrocketing social media use, new purchasing behaviors, and changing consumer behavior patterns. Consumer expectations skyrocketed and marketers had to shift their strategies to create more digital experiences. Marketers realized to adapt they would need to focus on customer values and experiences while placing a stronger emphasis on relationships than ever before. While online strategies are nothing new to the marketing world, COVID-19 initiated a stay-at-home virtual age that couldn’t be ignored. Since then, marketers have needed to focus on online strategies more than ever as a channel for reaching their existing and potential target audiences in order to remain competitive. 

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The future of digital marketing

As it has done in the past, digital marketing will continue evolving and developing every year. So what can you expect for digital marketing next? Current trends forecast that AI, automation, and machine learning technologies will likely become more pervasive. Influencer marketing will continue to grow and voice search and chat bots will soar in popularity. Interactive marketing content will pop up more, and you can also expect to see digital marketing become algorithm-driven. 

While it’s impossible to say with complete certainty where the ever-changing digital marketing landscape is headed in the future, it’s exciting to see where it will go next. 

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How to stay in the loop

Digital marketing has come a long way in its development. However, the digital market industry is continuously evolving and digital marketers must keep up with the rapid acceleration of changes. They must be able to identify emerging trends as well as the creation of newer and more intelligent search engine algorithms.

To help you keep up with trends and make the most of your digital advertising campaigns, MarinOne gives you full visibility into your campaigns while continuously integrating the latest developments in digital marketing.

MarinOne can help you elevate and scale your paid search, social, and ecommerce advertising by helping you automate your campaigns. To see how contact one of our experts today and schedule a personalized demo.

It’s hard to keep up with what’s new in the world of marketing with so many new strategies emerging every day. A decade ago, marketers focused on creating catchy ads and putting them in the right places at the right time. However, a lot of things have changed since then. For one thing, effective marketing now requires businesses to implement a more holistic approach. 

With more competition than ever before, simply creating an ad won’t yield the best results. In this day and age, customers are more in control and are more discerning. You must understand your buyer, learn what they want, and develop a strategy to meet their needs. One of the best ways to do that? Precision marketing

Read on to learn about precision marketing and gain meaningful insights and advice from one of our very own MarinOne digital advertising experts, Anu Adegbola, on how to create an effective strategy that will get your brand noticed and help you win your customers’ loyalty. 

What is precision marketing?

Precision marketing uses data and relationship-building to precisely target a brand’s customers. The technique involves nurturing relationships—specifically, prioritizing existing customers over new ones and connecting with them in a more relevant way. It’s about customer retention, upselling, and cross-selling. Using precision marketing, marketers rely heavily on market segmentation to analyze shopper habits, behaviors, and other patterns to help increase the success of their marketing efforts while providing a better and more intelligent customer experience. 

Why precision marketing is important

Marketing needs to be agile

The internet has made it easy for customers to respond to marketing campaigns and ads in real time. If you want to stay ahead of your competition, you need to be prepared to adapt quickly. 

Marketing is more complex than it used to be

To thoroughly understand your customer base, you need more than just demographic information. While it’s helpful to know the basics of where and who your customers are, it’s just as critical to know what’s important to them, how they communicate with one another, and more. When you have accurate data, you’ll be able to create messaging that resonates with your key audiences

Customers have high expectations

Customers expect their user experience to be frictionless. In this new digital age, they want what they want, when they want it. To ensure customer satisfaction it is critical to stay up-to-date with the latest marketing trends. If you don’t, your customers may look elsewhere, seeking out your competitors instead. 

Connections matter

Marketing is no longer about copy that sells. While engaging ads are still very important, success now requires social insight along with an understanding of psychology. When you understand why customers are making their purchase decisions, you can develop a more tailored marketing strategy. 

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5 tips for an effective precision marketing strategy

Implementing an effective precision marketing strategy that produces results requires following a careful and comprehensive plan.

Engage with your customers

When promoting your product, don’t forget that commitment to your customer comes first, and their purchase comes second. Developing real relationships will help foster more brand loyalty along the way. 

“If all you’re focusing on is getting clicks, you’re not going to get the return you’re looking for. It’s not all about volume—it’s about the right volume. You need to make sure you’re showing things to the right audience,” says MarinOne marketing expert, Anu Adegbola. “Those who have focused on just the data and not building a relationship with their clients won’t succeed because they don’t have the whole picture.” 

Have a strong online presence 

Besides having had a profound effect on marketing, social media has proven to be an essential part of a successful marketing strategy. Old marketing strategies like live events and cold calls may have worked in the past, but not now. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media platforms give you a way to connect with customers more personally. 

Anu’s advice: “If you’re going to have a presence on a social platform, you need to do it well. Test the various platforms to see what’s working for your brand or company—if it’s not working for you, move on and find what does. Make sure you’re on the appropriate platform for your brand and your customers. If you’re in the wrong space, you may get a negative reaction.”

Offer real value to repeat customers

Customers respond well to brands that cater to their needs and consistently offer them real value. “It’s not just about targeting the single purchases, but it’s about building repeat customers,” Anu explains. Make lifecycle marketing an integral part of your precision marketing strategy by creating interesting and dynamic content that brings your precisely targeted customers back to your brand again and again. Personalized offers that relate to past products they've bought, birthdays, or unique interests are all great ways to get repeat purchases from the same customer over time. 

Be authentic

Customers appreciate authenticity. Understand where your brand sits in the market and what makes it unique. To be effective, know your brand values and make sure you represent those values through your marketing efforts. It also helps to have an approachable brand voice–test out multiple variants of landing page or ad copy when running a targeted campaign. Most likely the assets that will perform the best will be the most simple to comprehend; making things too complex increases the likelihood that you'll lose interest by those unfamiliar with your brand.

Create a desirable customer experience

Customers today live in a digital world with unlimited options. Give them a compelling reason to work with you. By delivering an exceptional customer experience, you can win their trust and expect that they will keep coming back. 

“You need to make things easy for the customer,” suggests Anu. “For example, if the return process is easy, they’ll come back to shop again, and hopefully buy something even more expensive the next time they shop with you.”

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5 keys for success in brand loyalty

Here are some of the best ways to get in front of your customers and build their loyalty. 

Maintain a strong brand

Customers naturally gravitate towards brands they’re familiar with and can trust. Aim to align your brand with your values, mission, and your customers’ expectations.

Understand your audience’s habits

Use precision marketing to gain accurate insight into your audience’s behaviors. When used effectively, audience data can help you create content that is engaging and relevant. 

Stick to your goals

Setting realistic goals will make it easier for you to track the success of your marketing efforts. By measuring what’s working and what’s not, you can adjust your goals accordingly. Consider evaluating click through rates, the number of email newsletter subscribers, how effective CTAs are working, as well as ups and downs in website traffic. 

Make retention a priority

While it's good to attract new customers, it’s far more cost effective to focus on retaining your existing ones. The goal is to have people keep coming back. To drive more conversions, focus on creating personalized experiences and deals that your existing customers will find appealing. Segment your audiences, collect data about each audience group and their behavior, and you’re sure to be on your way to higher retention rates. 

Stay on top of trends

You may already be aware that marketing trends change frequently. Staying on top of trends—even if they come and go—gives you a competitive advantage and helps you maintain a close connection with customers. When a new trend pops up, assess whether it will be effective for your brand. To make sure you're in the loop, read current blogs and listen to your customers so you can meet their needs. 

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Use MarinOne to boost your precision marketing efforts

The marketing industry is constantly evolving and it will continue to do so in the years to come. To remain responsive, marketers must use precision marketing to build solid relationships with their existing customers and attract the right audiences for new potential customers. 

MarinOne can help you streamline and amplify your precision marketing campaigns using the latest analytics and automation tools. We can also provide tactical and strategic advice, guide you on what strategies will work best for your specific needs, and much more. Learn more about MarinOne today. 

Get in touch with one of our experts to see how we can help you get the information and tools you need to increase the effectiveness of your precision marketing campaigns.

When it comes to creating snap ads, the little ghost has your back. Snapchat distributes quite a bit of information to help advertisers find success on their platform. In this post, we’re consolidating their tips along with the insights from veteran users to give you an all-in-one guide to Snapchat ad strategy and campaign optimization. Let’s get into it. 

How to create a Snapchat Ad strategy from scratch 

When you start out, you’ll set up your campaign similar to how you would with Facebook ads. It goes like this: campaign > ad set > ad. You can have multiple ad sets in one campaign and multiple ads in one ad set. 

The Snapchat ads manager doesn’t save your work halfway through. If you start creating an ad, make sure you have time to finish it. The last thing you want is to waste time creating ads that only the Snapchat ghost will end up seeing. 

Instant Create vs Advanced Create

Choose your campaign objective

With Instant Create, you can build a single ad in under 5 minutes. It’s a solid option for beginners. 

Instant Create advertising goal options

For more detailed targeting options, you’ll want to opt for Advanced Create. 

Choosing a campaign objective in Instant Create is as easy as clicking one of the 5 options in the screenshot above. With Advanced Create, the options are a bit more thorough. Here’s what that looks like:

When choosing your campaign objective, think about what you want your audience to do when they swipe up on your snap ad. Choose from the following options:

Awareness

  • Awareness
  • Promote Places

Consideration

  • App installs
  • Drive traffic to website
  • Drive traffic to app
  • Engagement 
  • Video views
  • Lead generation

Conversions

  • App conversion: Drive specific actions on your app.
  • Website conversions: Drive specific actions on your site.
  • Catalog sales: Drive sales on your chosen product catalog.

You can find out which ad types are available for each objective here.

Once your campaign objective is set, choose a start and end date (or just a start date, if you plan on running the campaign indefinitely) and set your daily and lifetime spend caps. Campaign spend caps must be at least $20.

On the next page, you’ll name your Ad Set then attach Snap Pixel and Snap App ID Tracking. Snap Pixel is a tool that helps you measure your campaign’s cross-device impact. This means you’ll be able to track the actions Snapchatters take on your site after seeing this ad. Snap App ID tracks actions snapchatters take in your mobile app after seeing your ad. Using this feature unlocks additional targeting benefits like Mobile App Custom Audiences, App Re-engagement Optimization Goals, or SKAdNetwork. 

Right under that is where you pick your ad set budget and schedule. The daily budget minimum is $5. Then you have the option to pick your placements. Snapchat recommends choosing automatic placement, but here’s what it looks like to customize:

Instant Create Audience Targeting

Select the appropriate demographics for your campaign. Here, you’ll specify your audience by gender, age, and language. Next, you pick the location(s) you want to target. 

Click “Show Advanced Targeting” to view the final two targeting sections: “Interests and Custom Audiences” and “Devices”. 

“Lifestyles” and “Visitors” are the two Snapchat Lifestyle Categories within the Interests and Custom Audiences section. According to Snapchat, these are “Audiences that have been built and packaged using Snapchat and Third-Party Data, allowing you to reach people based on their online and real-world interests and behaviors.” 

  • Lifestyle categories are created based on what the users are most interested in according to what media they consume.
  • Visitors are categories based on where the users go on their mobile devices.

There are a lot of options to choose from, so spend a good bit of time scrolling through and designing the audience that best fits your target customer base.

Last up is device targeting. You can pick between android and iOS, cellular or wifi, and specific device makes. This is only relevant in some situations, like if your app is only available for iOS. Otherwise, clicking “All” is your best bet. 

Advanced Create targeting options

In addition to demographics offered in Instant Create, you also get to choose a household income, education level, and marital/parental status.

The biggest difference between the two is the Interests and Custom Audiences section. With Advanced Create, you can pick from Predefined Audiences or create custom audiences from scratch. Predefined audiences are the Lifestyle and Visitor categories available in Instant Create.

Custom Audiences can be created using Snap Audience Match (CRM Lists), Snap Engagement Audience, and Lookalikes. You can choose to deselect the option to expand your audience automatically to optimize performance if you want, but it’s automatically selected based on Snapchat’s recommendations

When you click the “Create Audience” button, you’re taken to a page where you choose from one of 3 options: 

  • Custom Audience
  • Lookalike Audience: Choose a seed audience, a location, then a Lookalike type. 
  • Similarity: Matches your seed audience the best, but is smaller. 
  • Balance: Mid-sized audience that balances resemblance and reach.
  • Reach: Larger audience that prioritizes reach by broadening resemblance to the seed audience. 
  • Saved Audience: This option takes you to the Audience Insights page. Here, you can customize your audience and then save or export. You can also click through a visual representation of the audience you create. 

In addition to the operating system, device make, and connection type, Advanced Create also allows you to target specific mobile carriers. 

Here are some best practices to keep in mind: 

  • Keep your audience size under 20 million people per ad creative (be warned: a minimum audience size of 1,000 is required to run an ad). 
  • Create one ad set per unique audience. 
  • Use the Lookalike Audience feature to find new customers. 
  • A/B test ad sets with a specific audience by running multiple ads with unique creative assets.

Choose your budget and goal

Now’s the time to pick your daily budget, goal, and bid. 

Auto-bid will get you the lowest CPC if you’re new to Snap ads. If you plan to choose a bid amount, go with whatever you’re willing to pay to get the action you want.

With Advanced Create, you’ll adjust your per-ad budget in the Delivery section. The options change based on your goal, but here’s what it looks like if you choose “Swipe Up”:

While Snapchat recommends auto-bid, you can play around with Target Cost and Max Bid and see how they affect your results. When you click the Max Bid option, Snapchat will offer a recommended range to choose from. You don’t have to pick within this range, however. 

Choosing Max Bid also unlocks the Pacing feature, You can pick Standard to spread your CPA organically across your set dates or you can choose Accelerated to deliver your ads as quickly as possible (best for time-sensitive campaigns). 

How to create a Snapchat ad

The next page is where you create your content

  1. Choose your ad type/placement at the top of the screen. 
  2. Create an ad name, headline, and make your ad sharable. 
  3. Upload your Top Snap media (AKA your ad’s creative asset). Snapchat’s Instant Create has built-in templates for the Top Snap, but you can also create your own on a design platform like Canva.
  4. Select and customize your attachment (where you want your viewers to go). 
  5. Select your CTA. 
  6. Last but not least, add impression tags and swipe up tags for impression tracker verification.
  7. Click next to review your ad, pay, and publish.
Example of Instant Create’s built-in templates

You’ll also get access to additional features depending on where you send your viewers. For example, you might see the option to enable autofill for lead generation or smart prefetching to speed up mobile site load times. 

How to optimize your Snapchat Ads campaigns 

When it comes to optimizing your Snapchat Ads, it all comes down to trial and error. First check that your ad type aligns with your advertising goal:

  • For example, single image ads are great for conversions. 
  • Use filters and lenses for UGC marketing. These ads tend to inspire trust in your brand and are less intrusive than traditional ad formats. And when users in your chosen location use your filter or lens to send Snaps to friends in other locations, you get even more exposure. When creating a filter, opt for something artistic that doesn’t obscure the main part of the user’s Snap. That’ll encourage more Snapchatters to use your filter.
  • Lenses are also a powerful AR shopping tool. Create a lens that shows users how your product will look when they bring it home and put it to use. 
  • Story ads are good for snagging attention quickly.
  • Commercials are only available to selected advertisers, but they’re super effective as they can’t be skipped.
  • Collection ads are ideal for e-commerce stores looking to drive sales. To set yourself up for success here, choose the top-performing products on your site, optimize your photos, and add some enticing CTAs. 
  • We all know how effective video ads can be. Keep your Snapchat video ads short and hook viewers by calling out their pain points from the start. Use audio and captions to make your ads accessible. Lay out your solution to the viewers’ problem, then end with a strong CTA. 

9 tips for optimizing your Snapchat Ad campaigns:

  1. A/B test (aka split test) your ads.
  2. Define strong KPIs.
  3. Keep up with your audience insights and optimize targeting accordingly. Pay key attention to the purchase intent metric.
  4. Familiarize yourself with Snapchat culture.
  5. Only advertise to locations where your product is available for purchase (that includes shipping options for e-commerce).
  6. Make your creative asset fun, snappy, and shareable. Shoot for 5 or 6 seconds.
  7. Create Snapchat ads that feel like native content. That means throwing out the polished, professional vibe and going for a more casual, conversational ad. 
  8. Launch a broad, data-gathering campaign; then study your Delivery Insights.
  9. Try out goal-based bidding. It’s a strategy where you optimize ads toward a specific action you want viewers to take. You set a cost-per-action requirement, and Snapchat will deliver impressions to efficiently achieve your desired outcome.

Want to make Snapchat an integrated part of your marketing strategy?

Marin Software's team of marketing consultants are standing by to get you started. Our tool makes cross-channel executive perspectives easy to see, and helps you make the best tactical marketing decisions possible…which is especially important when testing new channels. When you integrate the management and analysis of all your social and paid search platforms together, you'll save time and energy for everyone on the team. Our experts will make sure everything is tied together properly at the start so you can automate the systems that slow you down.

There's no reason to put all your social media advertising eggs in one basket when there’s a whole world of low competition and high ROI advertising opportunities out there. If you’re ready to branch out, consider giving Snapchat a chance. 

Snapchat demographic statistics

With a recent resurgence in popularity, the platform is experiencing a new fleet of users among teens and young adults. As of the second quarter of 2022, the app had 347 million daily active users worldwide, which is an 18% increase from the previous year.

Snapchat reaches 75% of Gen Z. If you’re trying to reach a younger demographic, Snap ads might just be your secret weapon. Many of today’s teens even use Snapchat over their phone’s native messaging platform for chatting with friends. While these users might also use social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, the fact that many advertisers sleep on Snapchat means less competition for your ads. 

Take the airline-booking app Hopper, for example. A recent case study from Snapchat’s inspiration page revealed some pretty impressive stats:

  • Snapchatters were 37% more likely to watch a flight on Hopper vs users acquired from other social platforms. 
  • Snapchatters had a booking rate 4 times higher than users acquired on other platforms. 
  • The brand achieved a 50% decrease in cost per install (CPI) by using radius targeting on Snapchat.
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What sets Snap apart from other social media platforms

Now that we’ve piqued your interest, let's find out what Snapchat ads are all about. Snapchat started as an app used solely for sharing vanishing images. Soon after, they added the ability to send direct messages and send short videos. They led the pack when it came to the Stories concept, lenses, and geofilters. 

Nowadays, they’ve expanded to include a Discover Page filled with news, articles, and stories by featured creators. That Discover Page is your ticket to advertising success. It houses Stories at the top. Scroll down a bit to see the featured content.
Snapchat ads are similar to the ads you’re used to on popular advertising platforms like Facebook and Instagram. They appear between Stories, on the Discover Page, and in the form of branded lenses and geofilters.

Ad types available on Snapchat

Below are all the Snap ads formats you can use to reach your target audience:

Single image or video ad

This is Snapchat’s basic ad format. It displays a single image or video full screen and can be used for most any brand objective. Videos can be up to three minutes long, but the platform recommends keeping them between 3 and 5 seconds for the best results.

These ads take up the entire screen, meaning they don’t have to compete for the viewer’s attention with other content. They appear between content in the following sections: User Stories, Publishers, Creators, and Our Stories. 

Here are a few use cases:

  • You can attach your website to the ad so that the CTA swipe-up link lets users make a purchase without leaving the Snapchat app. 
  • Generate more app installs by attaching an “Install Now” swipe-up CTA to the bottom of the ad screen. This allows viewers to download your app without leaving Snapchat.
  • Long-form video is also an option. Snapchat will play a 10-second preview of your chosen video. The bottom CTA will have a swipe-up link directing users to watch the full video. 

On-Demand filters

Create an On-Demand geofilter for users visiting your location of choice. This is a good option for brand awareness campaigns. There are a few different types of geofilters:

  • Event geofilters: Become available at the time and location of your event.
  • Shared Spaces geofilters: Appear to users in communal areas like malls, airports, parks, etc. 
  • Chain geofilters: Available to your brick-and-mortar store customers.
  • National geofilters: Available to everyone in your chosen country.

Filters can be made smart to serve ads with real-time updates based on the user's location, name, time, etc. 

Lenses

Snapchat really paved the way for TikTok and Instagram filters. I mean, how could we forget the OG puppy ears? Snapchat’s lenses are its AR filters. 

Face lenses manipulate the user's facial features to make them appear different in some way or another. They can be used to transform users into a character relevant to your brand or as a way for users to try on your products without leaving the Snapchat app.

World lenses appear on the outward-facing camera (aka the back camera). They detect the user’s environment and allow users to interact with 3D objects overlaid on their world. These filters are also an effective method of showcasing products. 

Branded filters allow brands to advertise inside user interactions. Most of the other ad types offered by the platform live on the Stories/Discover Page. Branded filters show up when a user goes to send a Snap to a friend. 

Creating these filters is a great way to build brand awareness among users who might not have clicked your ad on the Discover Page.

Story ads

Snapchat story ads are a series of images or videos that appear in between user stories or in the Discover Feed. They can display a collection of between 1 and 20 images or videos. These are pretty effective considering many Snapchat users watch their entire Story feed multiple times a day.

You can also advertise an article via the article ad format. It will pop up in the Discover section amongst other featured Stories and Articles. 

Product catalog ads

Display a series of products with this shoppable ad format. These catalog ads can display as collection ads, single image/video ads, or story ads. They allow users to purchase without leaving the Snapchat app. 

Commercials

Commercial ads are non-skippable 6-second video ads. The actual video can last up to 3 minutes, but the ad is only non-skippable for the first 6 seconds. 

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Wrapping up

Now that you understand the basics of Snapchat ads, it's time to get to snapping. Snapchat's ads manager has a pretty nice suite of analytics where you can find what segments interact with your ads (including segments you didn't choose to include in your campaign). This is super helpful when it comes to improving your campaign relevance and reducing your advertising costs.

Paired with MarinOne's Snapchat integration, you can see all your advertising campaigns in one place, making it easier to identify budget by channel, successful products, and successful audiences that can be tested across various platforms. Speak to one of our marketing experts for a free consultation to get started with am omnichannel advertising strategy, featuring Snapchat.

There's nothing worse than feeling like you're wasting perfectly good product in storage facilities because certain items in your inventory just don't seem to be selling. This is frustrating both for operations and marketing teams. Operations teams are facing supply chain issues, shipping headaches, storage fees, and more while they watch waning product take precious warehouse space that best selling items could occupy. 

Meanwhile the marketing team is pouring money into ads, thinking that more exposure will lead to more sales, while certain items cannot seem to get out the door quickly enough. Sometimes, no matter how many times you tweak a campaign, the results just aren't there. Too many companies suffer from the "left hand not speaking to the right" in regard to marketing and operational teams. If this sounds familiar, it might be time to take a closer look at your inventory management strategy and realign the effectiveness between operations and marketing. 

As Julie Durante, the Director of Inbound at Impulse Creative, said, “Operations must serve the customers that marketing helps attract. If marketing and ops aren’t in alignment, no one will be successful.”

What are the benefits of aligning operations and marketing roadmaps?

If your operations and marketing teams work side-by-side, you'll see great results. Making sure operations are aligned with what marketing is doing ensures a smooth workflow and you'll end up with more leads and revenue because of this close collaboration. Entering into a mutual agreement means you can share ideas, improve efficiency, and create the right environment for company growth. Here's a quick overview of the advantages of this approach.

  1. Avoid over-ordering products that aren’t selling well 

By reducing your exposure to products that aren’t moving, you can save money on advertising and inventory costs. By ordering just enough to meet consumer demand— no more and no less—you can avoid major losses. 

  1. Improve your company cash flow with inventory management

When an effective management strategy isn’t in place, you can tie up your money by purchasing large quantities of inventory all at once. With careful management, this can be avoided, resulting in improved cash flow that can be spent elsewhere when needed, like special marketing initiatives. 

  1. Improve your organization’s bottom line 

When you streamline processes, it impacts the rest of your business by increasing revenue growth and leading to more consistent profitability

  1. Benefit from a well-organized operations and marketing system 

Since you now have insight into exactly how much product you have, it makes it easier to determine the right products for upselling, cross-promotion, and bundling. An inventory that is well organized and well documented will also help save staff time and prevent errors, leading to tight shipping schedules and a greater overall customer experience, which is an important part of reputation management for the marketing team as well. If your inventory is properly organized, the rest of your supply chain will fall right into place.  

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3 Challenges of operations-marketing alignment

Obviously creating the kind of multi-team synergy we're describing takes time and effort. That’s why it's important to find the right balance between having autonomy amongst each team and finding the most opportune moments for both teams to work together. 

  1. Changing processes can be difficult to implement for larger businesses

Poor operational oversight and control can slow down fulfillment, and make errors more frequent. Some of the tactics we've mentioned, like engaging an inventory management tool, or reorganizing documentation processes, will make things much easier.

  1. It requires accurate and up-to-date communication

As with most things in business, communication is key. Constant, transparent communication between the marketing team and operations team is a vital part of achieving success. The idea is to encourage the free flow of information. Promote collaboration by giving everyone a chance to share their ideas and knowledge. Make sure that people can easily talk to one another in person or through conference tools, and help break barriers between departments.

  1. Assigning ownership and responsibility can get messy

Great teams work to understand the full range of what work is taking place and who owns what pieces of the puzzle. Who will take charge and make sure your teams function as well as they should? The answer lies in the question of ownership, not control. Establish early on the areas where one team will have to dictate the actions of another and vice versa, based on the greater good and big picture objectives of the company. 

If a shipping promotion marketing wants to run will ultimately cost the company too much, operations may have a veto in that area. But if a product bundle idea could potentially bring in a significant amount of additional revenue and it doesn’t add too much time in terms of labor or packaging, marketing may have the final vote in that scenario. 

At the end of the day, everyone is on the same team of reducing costs and increasing revenue for the company at large. Keep that singular focus in mind, have a spirit of teamwork from the top-down, and every situation will play out as smoothly as possible.

What role does inventory-based spend management play?

Inventory-based spend management is a way of making marketing and advertising budgeting decisions based on the product inventory you have available. 

By tracking and forecasting inventory levels and targeting your campaigns more specifically to the products you have in stock, you can increase your chances of making a sale. Surprisingly, 43% of small businesses don’t track their inventory—and 21% of companies overall say that they don’t have proper inventory management in place. Starting with a basic understanding of where things are now is paramount in order for all parties to move forward. To make a strategic sales approach based on inventory management successful you must get on top of existing inventory, the current marketing plan, and identify where those two componencts do not align in the big picture.

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How do we get started?

In this case, unlike other marketing tactics, the operations team takes the first step. Inventory-based spend management starts with a forecast and analysis of your product inventory. You'll need to take a close look at what products you have in stock, the expected rate of turnover, and any supply problems on the horizon. Without this kind of information, the "tail will be wagging the dog" as marketing continues to guess on which products to promote and feature.

Once that data is all in one place, you can start to make decisions about where to allocate your marketing budget both in the short-term and the long-term. If there’s a problem with supply for one item or category, you can shift your marketing strategy to other products. 

Thankfully, all of this can be done by implementing inventory software. With a good system in place, you can automate your strategy, optimize cash flow, successfully manage and control orders, oversee warehouses, reduce handling costs, and much more.

Inventory-based spend management techniques

There are predefined techniques to help you optimize inventory-based spend management. By choosing the techniques that work best for your business, you can maximize your budget and optimize your spend strategy. Here’s a look at just a few of them.

  1. Just-In-Time (JIT) inventory management

The goal of JIT is to have the minimum amount of inventory on hand to meet demand. That means you bring in inventory on an as-needed basis, rather than buying in large quantities. 

  1. ABC analysis

With this technique, goods are split into three categories, A, B, and C. Category A products represent your most valued goods—those that make a huge impact on your overall profit; Category B reflects products that fall somewhere in the middle of your most valued products and your least valued ones; Category C includes small transaction items that are critical to overall profit but don’t individually matter too much. 

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  1. Demand forecasting

Demand forecasting focuses on historical sales data to forecast customer demand. Companies use this type of forecasting as a rough estimate of the amount of goods they expect consumers to purchase in the future. 

Inventory-based spend management is crucial if you want to ensure your customers get the goods they want when they want them, but can also be a key tool to help you properly manage your marketing budget. 

Realizing the potential of inventory-based spend management

Inventory-based spend management is a great way to save money and get the most out of your marketing budget. By targeting your campaigns specifically to products you have in stock at a surplus and those that generate the best profits, you can avoid over-ordering products that aren't selling well and bounce back as a business when inventory levels are off. This approach can also help you make more sales by increasing your marketing focus on products that are in stock.

How MarinOne Can Help

Whether you’ve got a solid marketing and operations strategy in place already, or you’re looking to develop one, MarinOne can get you headed in the right direction.

MarinOne helps your marketing team see all of your ad spend data in one place, so you can make more informed decisions about where to allocate your marketing budget instead of watching your dollars go to waste. 

Paired with a great inventory management tool, you'll have effective multi-team visibility for both operations and marketing needs. Consult with one of our advertising experts to learn how you can successfully manage and optimize spend.

Advertisers know how important optimization is, whether it’s major changes or several small changes throughout the week. With Marin Insights, making these regular optimizations is easy. Our Insights are designed to save you time and to catch important details that may have been missed. 

Many advertisers are used to looking through multiple publishers and making adjustments within each of them. With the recommendation engine in Marin, you can easily make adjustments to multiple publishers at once. Whether that is downloading the Insight and re-uploading with the desired changes or using the one-click implementation that will seamlessly adjust each publisher included in the Insight. Leveraging data from multiple publishers can be useful for advertisers as well. 

How Various Marin Insights Work

In Marin's “Duplicate Keywords” Insight, the MarinOne tool will look through your account and find keywords with the same text, publisher, match type, location target, and audience. Instead of looking through the account to find these, they will automatically be searched for every day and show up in the Insights section. We have now made the process of this Insight and several others easier by adding a one-click implementation. Saving more time with the click of a button, rather than manually updating these. 

In the “Keyword Expansion” Insight, artificial intelligence technology looks at top-performing keywords across publishers and recommends adding them to other publishers. If Microsoft has great performance with a specific keyword, our Insight AI will pick up on that and suggest it be added to Google as well.

About the Insights Algorithm

We have years of digital experience that we’ve applied to perfect these algorithms. Every day automated machine learning will search your publishers, seeking out new opportunities for performance improvement. Using the Insights tab can save advertisers time, effort, and money. There are also separate sections of the Insights page that divide the Insights by category. Insights are a key initiative, and we are continuously working on creating new Insights and finding the best way to implement them. 

One-Click Implementation

Our one-click implementation Insights have been created for ease of execution, you click the button and we’ll do the rest. The one-click implementation Insights currently include;

  • Amazon Keyword Expansion - Add high performing search terms as exact keywords to gain bid control and improve performance.
  • Amazon Keyword Match Type Expansion - Add missing phrase and exact match keyword variations for high performing broad and phrase match keywords.
  • Apple Keyword Expansion - Add high performing search terms as exact keywords to gain bid control and improve performance.
  • Apple Keyword Match Type Expansion - Add missing exact match keyword variations for high performing broad match keywords.
  • Keyword Expansion - Add high performing search terms as exact keywords to gain bid control and improve performance.
  • Keyword Match Type Expansion - Add missing phrase and exact match keyword variations for high performing broad and phrase match keywords.
  • Negative Keyword Expansion - Add negative keywords for non-converting search terms to reduce wasteful spending.
  • Amazon Negative Keyword Expansion - Add negative keywords for non-converting search terms to reduce wasteful spending.
  • Budget Capped Campaigns - Increase budgets on high performing campaigns to improve overall efficiency. If spend needs to be maintained, reduce bid targets.
  • Ad Optimization - Pause or replace underperforming ads to drive more traffic to top performing ads.
  • Duplicate Keywords - Pause or delete duplicate keywords, keeping the keyword with the higher quality score or spend, to improve performance and make more informed bid decisions.
  • Landing Page Errors - Pause keywords directing traffic to broken landing pages until the issue is resolved.
  • Landing Page Errors (enhanced) - Resolve landing page errors or replace with functioning URLs.
  • Keyword Bid Overrides - Remove keyword bid overrides to allow Marin Bidding to optimize towards the bid strategy goal.
  • Bid Caps - Remove or raise bid strategy caps to allow Marin Bidding to operate more efficiently.
  • Bid Floors - Remove bid strategy floors to allow Marin Bidding to operate more efficiently.
  • Bid Changes Preview - Review bid changes recommended by Marin Bidding and set Bid Strategies to Traffic.
  • Bidding Reactivity - Prevent drastic daily bid changes by setting ‘Limit Bid Change under %’ to 25%.

The MarinOne Difference

There are many other Insights that we have within the platform as well. Some will eventually have one-click implementation, while others require more analysis. Advertisers have the ability to download any Insight on the page for a more thorough review if desired.  We have set up our tool to include complete transparency on how we define an Insight which allows you to understand why specific recommendations have been made; and you will be able to implement Insights to several publishers from one page.  By utilizing this tool, you will have more effectively optimized accounts and more time to focus on the real building blocks of your business.

To learn more about our automated paid media management Insights or any other campaign management quandary you may be facing, schedule a consultation with a MarinOne expert today.

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