More Updates to Google Shopping, What Does this Mean for you?


 
Last week Google released several new updates to Google Shopping campaigns, formally known as Product Listing Ads or PLAs, just in time for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. We chatted with Net Media Planet Analyst, James Pendleton, to discuss what these changes are and how you can expect them to affect your PLA campaigns in the upcoming month.
 

1) Addition of PLA Auction Insights

 
Google Shopping data metrics now include Impression Share, Overlap Rate, and Outranking Share at Campaign and Ad group level.
 
With the original Google Shopping transition came the first competitive metrics for shopping. These included benchmark CTRs, CPCs and impression shares. They are important metrics to look at for optimisation, however; with these new insights users can compare their metrics to the competition benchmark. For instance, Overlap Rate now allows users to view key competitors who appear in Shopping Search results at the same time as their ads appear. This will help retailers to stay on top of competition by viewing trends and strategic opportunities.
 

 
Furthermore, all of these new insight metrics can be further segmented by device and time. This gives advertisers the ability to compare themselves against competitors with even greater detail. As mobile becomes a more valuable space this information will be critical to success.
 

2) Improved Search Impression Share

 
PLA impression share will no longer be calculated from campaign level but from customer ID level. Incidentally, this is how Google Search currently calculates Impression Share.
 
Google is making an effort to align Google Shopping features to those of text ads. Besides the one-time change in impression share when comparing October and November there should be no impact on how you manage the campaign. This will be useful when making optimisation decisions as there will be consistency between text ads and PLAs during data analysis.
 

3) New Columns for Predictive Bid Simulator Metrics

 
The Predictive Bid Simulator allows you to estimate how bid changes can impact your impressions. Google’s update allows users to download predictive information into a standardised report.
 
Although, currently this update will not have much of an effect on the overall product, the information produced by the Bid Simulator is a useful basis from which to start forecasting on optimisation scenarios.
 

4) Ability to Sort Product Groups by Performance

 
Impression Share percentage and other columns can now be sorted from product group data.
 
This is another function that will not greatly affect Google Shopping campaigns but it will help to give advertisers a better overview of product group performance by sorting important benchmark columns quickly.
 

5) New Diagnostics Tab in the Merchant Center

 
Within AdWords, The Data Quality tab has been replaced by the new Diagnostics Tab.
 
The work involved in troubleshooting and comparing AdWords performance to ProductFeed content is cumbersome. The new Diagnostics Tab will save time with the ability to download a report of issues with the feed at the ID-level from AdWords.
 

6) Merchant Promotions for non-US Advertisers

 
This is the most visual update made by Google. It enables retailers to show promotions within their PLAs on search results and Google Shopping.
 

 
Until now this option has only been available within the US market but Google has opened Merchant Promotions to United Kingdom, Germany, France, Australia and India just in time for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This feature will be incredibly beneficial to retailers who take advantage of it, as it highlights the benefit of purchasing from a retail website at the moment consumers are deciding where to shop. It makes the offer more enticing to the consumer with its visual icon.
 

Overview

Overall, we are seeing major alignments between Google Shopping and AdWords reporting, which will ultimately increase optimisation efficiencies between the two. With the Christmas peak just around the corner you can take a couple of these updates and implement them straight away to help improve your campaign performance. We recommend implementing the Merchant Promotions, as such a visual statement can give you a competitive advantage when consumers are ready to buy. Also, make sure you take advantage of the competitive insights now available when considering bid prices. These simple updates can have a large impact on your campaign when implemented correctly.
 
If you are interesting in implementing a Google Shopping campaign for your company and would like our help, please don’t hesitate to contact us via our website.

Net Media Planet gets down and Dirty at Spitalfields Farm

Thursday the 13th of November the Net Media Planet team had their community day at Spitalfields City Farm in Whitechapel, London. The farm was originally setup in 1978 by volunteers and to this day houses a selection of animals including, cows, pigs, donkeys, goats, and bees. There is also an extensive garden, where volunteers help to grow affordable organic food for our community. You almost forget you are in London surrounded by this oasis of plants and animals that is, until a tube passes by or you look up and see the Gherkin in the distance.
 
 
For mid-November we couldn’t have asked for a better day. We worked on a multitude of projects to help the farm including, shovelling manure, cleaning up leaves, and laying bark mulch for the bulls.
 
Here’s what our team had to say:
 

Joe

“It was dirty, cold and back breaking work but it was thoroughly enjoyable.”
 

Leonie

“It was great experience for the team to get outside and bond in a different working environment out of the office! Everyone worked well together within their teams and fortunately, no one was afraid to get their hands dirty on the job. It was a perfect chance for practical skills to flourish and for team members who don’t work together directly on a day-to-day basis, to get the opportunity to do so on the different tasks.”
 

Harry

“It was an interesting experience and lots of fun. I also appreciated how I had the chance to talk and work with other people in the company who I hadn’t had the opportunity to speak too much before.”
 

Anna

“I had a good time. It was refreshing to get out of the office and put our minds to something different, and it was great that we were able to actually produce something – Christmas tree stands in our case. By the end of the day, we could really feel that we had contributed to the farm.”
 

 
Overall, the team had a great time helping out at the farm and got to experience something new.
 
If you would like to get involved in helping to support Spitalfields City Farm you can make a donation on their website or hold your own community day.

We’re Moving!


 

Net Media Planet has been expanding so rapidly that in less than three years we have outgrown our current office in Farringdon. In order to keep up with the demand for space and especially meeting rooms we are moving office to nearby Angel.
 

Our move will commence on the 24th of November into the newly designed Suncourt House. Our new address will be:

Net Media Planet
Suncourt House, Level 3
18-26 Essex Road
London N1 8LN

 
Office Design
 

Guests will be greeted at our brand new reception, as seen illustrated below. We will upgrade from 2 meeting rooms to 4, plus an informal meeting room tucked around the corner of the kitchen.
 

 

There will be a spacious kitchen with stunning views of London. The most important feature of our Suncourt House office is that there is plenty of room to grow even further.
 
We will be sad to leave our Farringdon office as we have had so many great memories here. However, there is an air of excitement within the office as many are thrilled for what this change means for the company. This move is a great step to the future and our continual progress as a company.

How Papa John’s Takes a Slice Out of Advertising

 

At Performance Marketing Insights’ Sri Sharma, CEO of Net Media Planet, sat down with Papa John’s Senior Director of Marketing, Andrew Gallagher, for a Fireside Chat to delve into some of the challenges facing the marketing industry today. The conversation was a candid look into how Papa John’s is gaining market share against pizza giants such as Dominos and Pizza Hut through a clever marketing strategy.

 

 

Gallagher talked about the intricacies of the pizza sector and its competition. For starters, the pizza industry is worth £2 billion a year, and half of that business is done by independent pizza shops. The three main players are Dominos, Pizza Hut and Papa John’s, with Dominos dominating the sector. What’s interesting about these three companies is that they are all franchises, and for Papa John’s that means that their marketing budget is supplied to them by their franchised stores. That fact paired with the industry being notoriously driven by impulse and discounts has greatly determined how and where Papa John’s spend their marketing budget.

 

For Papa John’s, whose yearly marketing budget is limited compared to their competition, their overall marketing strategy is what Gallagher calls “smart spending.” With fewer store fronts than both Dominos and Pizza Hut their leaflets act as their shop window encouraging those impulse purchases. To maximise the effect of their leaflets, distribution was targeted to postcodes who were most likely to purchase. Their radio and television ads are aired on specific times of the day and days of the week, while PPC campaigns are run in a similar manner. All of these strategies are used to have the maximum effect on the most relevant audience, in other words “smart spending.”

 

All of these targeting strategies come back to “knowing your audience.” Gallagher expresses this as one of the most fundamental marketing requirements for increasing market share. He asserts that marketers must first define their audience and then communicate with them in a relevant way through the channels that they use. Gallagher suggests using “less of the spray and pray approach” and more focused relevant targeting.

 

Papa John’s ran a PPC campaign with Net Media Planet that emphasised the quality of the product, differing from the everyday discount and offers messaging that would normally run. This campaign focused on the product characteristics that would entice users to purchase, with messages of how cheesy and tasty the pizzas are. It was extremely successful because it focused on exciting the impulses of the consumer and what makes them desire pizza.

 

Sharma says, “For me it’s all about thinking outside the box, being dynamic in how you are doing things, using data to give a personal experience to your customer and building a great product.”

 

 

Sharma went on to discuss a great example of using data effectively. With the insights collected from Papa John’s PPC campaign, Papa John’s was able to determine the best locations for new stores. The data revealed locations with high volumes of Papa John’s search queries and when compared to current store locations could determine possible future locations with a higher return on investment.

 

Gallagher wrapped up his time on the PMI stage by reiterating how important knowing your customer is and that you need to be dynamic in the ever changing advertising environment. In closing, Sharma complimented his statement, adding that marketers need to learn how to use their data effectively to make better decisions in their marketing strategies.

 

If you would like to see more images from the event visit our flickr page.


A Look Back at Net Media Planet’s Executive Breakfast Seminar

Yesterday, Net Media Planet hosted our bi-annual Digital Breakfast Seminar at the Soho Hotel in London entitled “The Personalised Path to Purchase.” The day began with a riviting presentation from renown digital marketing specialist Matt Bush from Google. Doubleclick’s Rick Jones and Matt Bennathan from eXelate gave thought-provoking sessions ahead of Net Media Planet’s very own, insightful Sri Sharma.

 

The ensuing client panel, “Leveraging the Omni-Channel Consumer,” consisted of retail industry experts James Dunford from Cotswold Outdoor and Gordon Newman from Life Style Sports, who were joined by Matt Bush and Sri Sharma.

 

The event focused on how the changing consumer path-to-purchase will demand that brands embrace new personalised advertising strategies and technologies across Paid Search and Performance Display advertising. We explored topics such as, consumer search trends and innovations; new 1st and 3rd party data practices; advanced audience profiling; personalised relevance; cross channel continuity and how to tackle the omni-channel challenge.

 

From a marketing perspective, we view personalisation as the use of data to deliver a relevant and engaging experience to a consumer across digital channels and engagement points.Through this strategy we can provide a more effective form of advertising. In fact, according to Forrester’s research, campaigns that are personalised have a 19% increase in sales.

 

“The Personalised Path to Purchase” Speakers

 

Matt Bush (Google)  –

 

  • Think Digital – “52% of those who clicked on an online ad in the last 3 months purchased as a result of an ad click.”
  • Think Mobile -“Location based ads led 32% to visit stores/make purchases and 19% to make unplanned visits/purchases.”
  • Think Engagement – “PLA’s to drive 33% of 2014 retail traffic”

 

Rick Jones (Doubleclick) –

“We don’t want to be in our comfort zone.” If we stay in our comfort zones we are missing the future opportunities on offer. We need to keep pushing the boundaries and trying new things as technology continues to advance exponentially.

 

Matt Bennathan (eXelate)

“Data is the fuel that runs the engine, which drives the car.” “Combine 1st and 3rd party data for relevant and effective digital advertising.”

 

Sri Sharma

“Serve the heart, as the rational mind is easy to achieve.” Rational marketing such as price, availability, delivery and support, are easily duplicated by competition. Whereas it is winning the heart that secures long term customer loyalty. That is something that we can achieve by knowing your consumer, reaching them and being personal.

 

Below, are copies of each of our speaker’s presentations. Follow us on twitter @netmediaplanet to keep up-to-date on future events and seminars, plus we will soon be posting the video of our seminar. Don’t miss out.

 


Download Matt Bush’s Presentation “Search and Find”

 

 


Download Rick Jone’s Presentation “Prepare for the Future”

 

 


Download Matt Bennathan’s Presentation “1+3=5”

 

 


Download Sri Sharma’s Presentation “Winning Hearts”

Facebookers Feed On New Ad Format

Facebook have recently introduced new ad formats to encourage ‘objective-based’ ad buying and reporting. These objectives are defined as driving traffic; getting more likes; increasing event attendance, and, promoting app installs. Facebook then recommends which ad format you should use based on which objective you would like to achieve.

 

Newsfeed Ads – How it works

 

Of particular interest is the introduction of newsfeed ads. Ads can now appear in the newsfeed, blending into the users social updates. These ads can be created at the same time as right hand ads, with the option to opt in or out of either ad format.

 

Facebook Newsfeed Ad

 

 Overview of newsfeed ads

 

1. Use of larger images – 600×315 pixels

 

The option to use larger images is a big bonus. However, be warned, Facebook will still shrink your side ad image resulting in an image ratio that is not appropriate for the right hand column. To avoid this, duplicate the ad and upload a new image, opting out of either the newsfeed or side ad depending on the image size.

 

2. Additional description text of 90 characters

 

It’s important to remember that the newsfeed ad has a different layout. Due to its larger size, the main copy is above the headline and the description text appears below the headline, next to the image. This may impact user interaction if the same copy is being used for both your newsfeed and side ad.

 

3. Option to connect to a Facebook page, enabling social interaction

 

The newsfeed ads also benefit from social integration, allowing users to like, comment, share or link through to the associated Facebook page. This is an important tool for brand awareness but do keep an eye on the comments. Many Facebook users are upset by ads now being shown in their newsfeed and may unleash their anger on your ad!

 

Initial Test

 

We have recently tested the newsfeed ads alongside the traditional side ads for a retail client. The purpose of the campaign was to drive footfall to a new store opening. Both ads had the same targeting – city radius targeting combined with interest targeting. Both ads linked to a custom landing page, giving the details of the new store. Both ads mentioned an enticing offer if the user visited the store in the ad copy. Both ads used similar images, although the newsfeed ad was of larger dimensions.

 

Test Results

 

The results are very interesting. Click through rate was over 6000% greater for the newsfeed ad than the traditional side ad, at a lower cpc of £0.20 compared with £0.33. Added to this, the newsfeed ad benefitted from social engagement. In one week we generated 160 post likes, 18 comments and 5 post shares. Considering the purpose of the campaign was to promote a new store opening, the social interaction is an added bonus at no extra cost.

 

We believe that over time newsfeed ad cpcs will rocket. Their premium page position and social integration make them a great ad format – our advice would be to jump on the band wagon quickly and take advantage whilst they are so cost effective!

‘Mad Men’ versus PPC Men

On occasion I have found myself longing to be a “Mad Men” style advertising executive from the 1950s. It isn’t just the Bourbon at 10am, or the glamorous PAs, it’s the blissful ignorance that advertising lived in. This was a time before data and analytics, where the sharply dressed creative director could hypnotise his clients with an intriguing story and have them sold, hook, line and sinker on a single catchy tag line.

 

Alas, those days are gone. Now clients, correctly, ask their marketing agencies to do more than simply sell them on intelligent strategy. A typical PPC monthly review meeting will not only outline the overall results of the activity, but will dig into the exact details behind performance, identifying the definite reasons behind any fluctuations.

 

The level of transparency that Net Media Planet can provide within reporting would have been unthinkable ten years ago let alone sixty. All of our clients can now see total sales and revenue down to the specific keyword, meaning there are no question marks concerning the nuances of their results. The vast array of data and insight that we provide has led to our clients becoming ever more confident in their marketing decisions.

 

Increasingly the issue is not whether the data is available, but how we draw the correct conclusions from what we are seeing. A mistake that is often made is to assume that the story the data is telling on the face of it is an accurate portrayal of what is really happening. For example within the realm of PPC clients often look at generic keywords and immediately ascertain that because the data indicates they are not profitable they are not valuable. This has led to clients incorrectly taking the decision to cut back spend on generic keywords, usually resulting in a negative impact on overall performance.

 

The key for marketing professionals is to look beyond the early indications from the data and dig into the core of what is really happening. Most reporting from PPC campaigns still centres on a “last click wins” model. Through this method the keyword that receives the last click before a sale is made is assumed to have been responsible for the entire sale. Measuring campaign performance through this model is deeply flawed. For a start numerous studies have shown that the path to conversion almost always includes more than one click, with consumers usually starting their journey with broader generic keywords before narrowing down their search to the brand name.

 

The nature of the “last click wins” model means that brand is regularly overvalued and generics undervalued as the branded search comes later in the search funnel than the generic search. It has always surprised me that so many clients, and indeed agencies, continue to base the majority of their decisions on a “last click wins” model. Giving 100% of the credit for a sale to a branded search is the equivalent of saying the sign above a shop was responsible for a sale rather than the friend who recommended them, or the TV advert that inspired you to leave your house in the first place.

 

The solution is to start looking at more than just the last click. What initiated the sale? Which media/keyword was present the most often throughout the path to conversion? Once you start asking these questions the data starts to tell a very different story. For example for one of our clients we found that the “last click wins” model was undervaluing their generic keywords by 120% when compared to a “first click wins” model.

 

The truth is that none of the “last click”, “first click” and “most present” models is perfect, and each will over or under value different elements of the campaign. Organisations that wish to see the most accurate interpretation of their performance must move to an “attributed” model. Within this model credit is assigned based on weightings in relation to the frequency, time and type of keyword used. Implementing this model with clients has helped us to demonstrate the true value of the keywords that we are using. Generic and competitor keywords that were once deemed too unprofitable to run have become some of the most valuable keywords within the account.

 

Using data correctly has allowed our clients to gain a crucial advantage over their competitors. Where their competitors are miss-assigning value due to incorrect measures we are helping clients to be truly confident in the strategies they are undertaking, allowing them to see where the true value within a PPC campaign is held.

 

Yes, Don Draper may have his slick hair, wit and charm, but we have the knowledge to be comfortable that the decisions we are making are the correct ones. Maybe working in advertising in the 2010s isn’t so bad after all, although the Bourbon still sounds attractive…What do you think?!

 

Image: http://i.marketingprofs.com

 

Net Media Planet Supports Innovation at the PMAs

A4U logo

 

Net Media Planet is delighted to be sponsoring the Advertiser Innovation award at the upcoming Performance Marketing Awards.

 

Taking place in 07 May 2013, the awards recognise excellence and innovation in performance marketing, showcasing the very best that the sector has to offer.

 

As an organisation that places innovation at the heart of everything that it does, we are pleased to sponsor the Advertiser Innovation award which celebrates the use of innovation to improve revenue opportunities, engagement, communication, relationships or visibility.

 

As defined by the judging panel, this innovation could be technology-based, could utilise associated channels such as Mobile, Social Media or Display for example, or simply approach things differently within their space.

 

Talking of the partnership, Sarah Parsonage, Managing Director of A4U said; “The Performance Marketing Awards are the most prestigious in the industry calendar and have been for over 6 years; the 2013 awards are set to be the best to date. We want to celebrate and recognise innovation, creativity and reward achievement throughout the year and having the on-going support of Net Media Planet is another reason to celebrate.”

 

Sri Sharma, Managing Director and Founder of Net Media Planet adds; “The Performance Marketing Awards are universally recognised as the authority within the performance marketing industry. We are delighted to sponsor the Advertiser Innovation award. We pride ourselves on delivering performance-based, forward thinking campaigns, so it’s a pleasure to celebrate with those individuals and companies who strive to develop and advance the ever-changing marketing sector.”

 

Entries have to be submitted very soon, so get your entries in now. Good luck!

 

Facebook unveils its new Graph Search feature

facebook-graphsearch

Yesterday at Facebook’s press event, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, announced the launch of its new feature, called ‘Graph Search’.

 

While we are still digesting the news, and the potential implications for paid search marketing, we thought it worthwhile to explain the announcement further and what it means for advertisers.

 

What is Graph Search?
Facebook’s “Graph Search” aims to help users more easily find people, learn more about them, explore photos, quickly find places like restaurants and learn about common interests.

It broadly means that users will now be able to navigate Facebook much in the same way that we search on the internet. Users will now be able to search and find people, as well as social interactions, within the network on terms such as ‘people from Islington who like Chinese restaurants’. The first version of Graph Search focuses on four main areas – people, photos, places, and interests – and the social interactions between them eg. Likes, similar interests etc.

 

What’s the opportunity for advertisers?
Until now, advertisers were mostly limited to targeting people by demographic and interests such as ‘liking’ a shop, restaurant or car brand. But ‘liking’ something doesn’t mean you are trying to buy something related to it right now.

The key difference with Graph Search is that it will ultimately get advertisers in front of people when they are ready to buy something from them. Whilst Facebook said the goal of Graph Search is to give you answers, not links, we anticipate that Graph Search will eventually let brands make sure users see their answers. This is where Google search ads currently operate and where advertisers are willing to pay to promote their products and services. It is inevitable that Facebook will follow similar routes.

 

Graph Search vs Web search
Facebook are keen to stress that Graph Search is not web search, but is instead designed to ‘take a precise query and give you an answer, rather than links that might provide the answer.’

Facebook suggest firstly that, web search is designed to take a set of keywords and provide the best possible results that match those keywords. Whereas with Graph Search users combine phrases to get that set of people, places, photos or other content that’s been shared on Facebook.

Secondly, every piece of content on Facebook has its own audience, and most of the content isn’t public. It makes finding new things much easier, but users are still only able to see what they could already view elsewhere on Facebook.

 

Going forward
Graph Search is available as a “beta” now, and is rolling out slowly; it will only be available to a limited set of U.S. users at first.  Users can sign up for the wait list at www.facebook.com/about/graphsearch.

 

 

Join the conversation at LinkedIn