The Top 3 Metrics for Tracking Video Success

Video became popular in 2015, but truly exploded in 2016.  By including a video on a landing page, you can increase conversion rates by 80%. In addition, after watching a video, 64% of viewers are more likely to buy a product online, with 90% of users saying that product videos are helpful during the decision process. If it wasn’t clear before, it should be clear now, video is crucial to your marketing strategy.

In light of the recent Facebook video metrics scandal, it’s more important than ever for marketers to repair the damage to advertiser’s reputations by ensuring that metrics are correctly tracked and accurately measured. Although Facebook issued an apology, and marketers tried to downplay this gaffe, with 85% of digital ad spend going to giants like Facebook and Google, their actions can have a serious impact on future marketing practices and affect trust within the industry.

So what metrics matter when tracking video? We’ve listed some suggestions to get you started tracking correctly, and accurately for your next video campaigns.

Beyond “Views”

Many marketers rely on this metric as the end all be all of their video measurement strategy, yet it tells you nothing if you can’t demonstrate that the views are driving traffic to your website or concrete conversions.  If the viewers aren’t your target market, then it really doesn’t matter if you receive a million views because they won’t be purchasing your products or services.
If you really want to accurately assess whether your campaign is working, you need to dig deeper and look at measurement values from play rates, completion rate, and lead generation.

Play Rate

The “play rate”, i.e., the percentage of people who click on your video divided by the total number who access the page where your video is embedded, is a better measurement for ROI versus “views”. A play rate above 50% is considered ideal. What does that mean exactly? Play rate tells you whether you’ve done a good job of presenting engaging video content, by letting you know if your video was appealing and grabbed viewer attention.  If you discover your play rate is low, it means that you need to make some changes such as making your video more interactive and interesting to capture, and more importantly, retain your audience’s attention.

Completion Rate

How long are people staying tuned into your video?  By looking at completion rates, you can get a sense of the impact your video has had. The amount of time they are actually engaged with your content and what they do with it is a much better marker of success that just “views”. This is a good metric to use when judging the effectiveness of branding campaigns.

If you are using the skippable ads format on YouTube consider how many people skip the ad after 5 seconds. This is a good indication as to whether your video is compelling enough or perhaps you are not reaching the right audience.

Lead Generation

Video advertising is an excellent means of attracting attention and initial interest in your product or services. Video tends to do better than other forms of lead generation for garnering conversions and currently accounts for 50% of all mobile traffic. Beyond click and convesion statistics, there are a few other metrics to look at to judge campaign performance including post view website visits and prompted searches.

How can marketers capitalise on video for viable leads?

  • Create “how-to” videos, and offer tips and assistance. Show that you have something valuable and unique to offer them.
  • Include a strong CTA at the end of the video to draw viewers to download an app, fill out a form, or visit your website to get more information
  • Be authentic by creating videos that showcase the people behind your brand to get viewer buy-in. Concretely explain what you do and how you can help your viewers.
  • Take advantage of formats where you can insert lead generation forms directly in the video. While this form of gatekeeping may turn some viewers away, the ones you do capture have a much higher likelihood of converting because they have demonstrated a genuine interest in the product or service your video is offering.
  • If you’re using YouTube, you can add CTAs via YouTube Annotations  to drive desired viewers back to your landing page

Video is here to stay will continue to grow exponentially in 2017 and beyond. It’s now a vital part of marketing campaigns, no longer the afterthought it was a scant three or four years ago. Marketers need to look beyond how many “views” they’re receiving to get an accurate picture of what is and isn’t working in video campaigns, and how they can best incorporate other metrics into their future strategies.

To learn more about top advertising platforms for video, download our latest whitepaper: The Importance of Video Advertising in a Digital World.

VOTE for our Rising Star!

We are excited to announce that Campaign Manager, Anna Jorysz, has been nominated for the Performance Marketing Award’s Industry Rising Star! The prize is awarded to the best and brightest in Performance Marketing. We are very proud of her hard work and efforts! Get involved and cast your vote!

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Anna joined NMPi as an Analyst in 2014 after travelling through Thailand for a year where she helped develop the website and social activity for a charity organisation.

Anna quickly progressed to Campaign Manager and became an integral part of the performance team. She began her career in Paid Search, and over the past year has helped shape the development of NMPi’s Performance Display solution with not only her strategies and optimisations but with the help of a customisable, dynamic creative she built.

Anna is a passionate problem solver and her dedication to her team in evident in her work every day. Her strength as a Campaign Manager lies in her unique ability to look at platforms from a tech and strategic perspective, enabling her to find new and innovative approaches to problems and deliver the desired outcomes for her clients. Her rapid progression is a testament to her commitment not only to her career but to her co-workers and clients.

Make Sure to Cast Your Vote: Vote Here

Video Branding: Tell Your Story

According to a Cisco study, 80% of information consumed on the internet will be via video by 2019. Video is swiftly overtaking written content as the go-to means of sharing vital information about brands, products, and services. It is vital marketers add this format to their marketing strategy. The question is: How can you successfully integrate video into your brand’s vision in 2017?

  1. Telling Your Story – Video gives brands the ability to share their unique vision with potential clients and consumers. A well-crafted video detailing your mission, purpose, and goals, while showing a glimpse of your company behind the scenes, is a fantastic way to share important information in an engaging way. Companies are now using video to replace dated and boring ‘About Us’ pages to give viewers a vibrant picture of their brand. This type of video doesn’t have to be complicated, it just has to effectively communicate your brand to existing consumers.
  2. Combining Existing Marketing Strategies – Video can be used to complement existing marketing content. A two-minute video can engage and share pertinent information quickly for viewers who don’t have time to read a white paper, case study, or blog, extolling the virtues of your product or services. While certainly not a replacement for these formats, video can give viewers the initial most important takeaways, with written content providing further, in-depth information.
  3. Hiring – Video is an excellent way to attract new talent in your recruitment strategy. Millennials and Generation Z are drawn to video content. A snappy video showcasing things such as a day-in-the-life, what your company offers, employee interviews, and company culture, is a great way to get new hires excited to work for you. Read our case study ‘Driving Instant Results with Video Advertising for Exact‘ to find out how we used video advertising to promote Exact as an employer in NL and increase candidate submissions.
  4. Announcements – How many people really read their company newsletter or a press release? Most people hit delete and move on. Video can turn blasé press releases and internal newsletters about company events and important announcements into engaging news pieces. Viewers can get the gist of your message without being bored to tears. If you have something important to get across, a brief video outlining those points might just do the trick and get your employees and potential consumers to tune in, instead of tune out.
  5. Social Media – Video enables brands to engage a wider audience than ever before with the popularity of live video streaming on channels such as Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram. Currently, the opportunity to monetize live video is in the works, but with the help of paid ads on social channels, video content can reach relevant audiences quickly. There is little need to build a viewer base from the ground up for video marketing because large platforms such as Facebook have these users already in place. Successfully engaging viewers via social media can help drive traffic and build brand loyalty.

Incorporating video strategies into the marketing mix can help brands convey their vision, promote hiring drives, and share announcements with the potential for extensive reach and increased engagement. It can complement existing marketing initiatives by giving users the ability to access important information quickly, and cement brand loyalty by tapping into video’s massive social media appeal.

NMPi #1 Elite Media Agency!

We are thrilled to announce that NMPi has topped the UK’s Elite Media Agencies poll in this years Drum Digital Census.

The census evaluates agencies based on their achievements across financial performance and client satisfaction. We are honored to be recognized not only for our growth over the past year, but more importantly by our clients who have supported us and believe in the work we deliver.

This couldn’t have been achieved without our clients as well as our talented staff, so thank you to everyone who has been a part of this great success.

Managing Director from the London office, Luke Judge, expressed his excitement at the news, “This is a real testament to the excellent work done by the NMPi team. Over the next year we are going to continue to grow and push the limits in digital innovation. We will be better than ever, and will continue to maximise performance for our clients.”

Pinterest Play? Instagram Takes Steps Towards Shoppable Ads

Instagram waded into the shoppable ads arena when it trialled its version of the popular ‘buy now’ button with twenty US brands. The social photo sharing platform has taken steps to close the gap between browsing and shopping by allowing users to learn more about products from within their app, and then purchase them seamlessly. If this sounds eerily like Pinterest, you may be onto something.

Instagram recently ran afoul of Snapchat when it was accused of copying Snapchat Stories with its Instagram Stories.  After several failed attempts to purchase the platform, Mark Zuckerberg did the next best thing, copied Snapchat’s most coveted feature, Stories, on Facebook-owned Instagram as Instagram Stories.

Instagram is ready to play copycat again with its venture into Shoppable Ads. It set about testing posts with select brands in the US to allow users to learn more about the products they see before buying them. Instagram presents the user with a ‘tap to view’ icon at the bottom left of each photo which expands tags for up to five products. The tags contain the details and cost of the items but don’t immediately appear, users must hover over the ‘tap to view’ indicator to see a featured item. Users can then scroll through the products shown and decide to purchase from within the app.

Pinterest has had this feature for some time, and has seen remarkable results. 75% of its users have purchased something on the platform or because of it.  Pinterest users stay on the platform for approximately fifteen minutes per visit, giving marketers plenty of time to deliver ads to them. The demographic for Pinterest and Instagram used to vary widely, with Instagram being the platform predominantly for Gen Z and younger Millennials, and Pinterest skewing predominantly towards women in their late 20s to early 40s. Recently, Pinterest has seen a spike in Millennial use, with 67% of its users falling into that category.  Instagram is eager to cash-in on this potential new source of revenue and is now strongly courting brands to use its platform to reach their younger demographic. Add to this, the eventuality of a ‘save for later’ button, and Instagram fully moves into Pinterest’s territory as a save and shop platform.

This latest development is aimed at Instagram’s discovery audience, i.e., those who use the platform to look for the latest items but aren’t sure what they want just yet. Much like Pinterest, it enables retailers to capture users as they are information gathering and turn them from inspired browsers to buyers.

Why is this development important?

  • It cuts out a step/barrier to purchase. Users don’t need to leave the app and open a separate search window to find out more about the products they like. They can navigate and get all the pertinent information they need all within Instagram’s platform.
  • The consumer can then hit ‘shop now’ from within the tags and be taken directly to complete their purchase on the retailer’s website.
  • It solves the problem of inserting unwieldy captions to redirect users to click on links to circumvent Instagram’s ban on organic links within posts.
  • Shoppable ads have the potential to steal revenue from online shopping giant, Amazon, as users are heading onto sites like Pinterest and Instagram to discover new products and get alternative shopping ideas.
  • Most mobile use is spent in-app. Instagram has the highest rate of mobile use among social networks in the US. Given that Instagram is primarily mobile-focused, making products shoppable is a vital step for the social media platform and for brands that have a significant following on it.

Twenty popular US retailers have joined the endeavour, predominantly up-market brands such as Michael Kors, Kate Spade New York, Coach, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Hollister. The tags will be initially rolled out to iOS users in the US, but there are definite plans in the works to expand globally. Currently, this is a free service to post to your followers but Instagram plans to monetise the shoppable format by allowing brands to advertise to relevant target groups outside of their followers.

While advertisers have seen success using Instagram ads, only time will tell how users will react to yet another form of advertising. If it does not alienate its original base of photography enthusiasts, it has the potential drive significant ROI from Instagram.

Black Friday Trends 2016

The busiest shopping period of the year is once again fast approaching and this year’s Black Friday extravaganza, is again expected to exceed previous years for e-commerce.

Black Friday has long been a popular shopping day in the US, traditionally the day after Thanksgiving when retailers kicked off the festive sales period and ‘moved into the black’. This day has been the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season in the US as far back as the 1920s, with the term ‘Black Friday’ becoming popular since the 1960s.

In the last decade, Black Friday has become increasingly important for e-commerce for the holiday shopping period in the US, UK, and other global markets. There have been many digital spin-offs too with Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, being the most notable.

The Digital Rise of Black Friday
In recent years, consumers have become increasingly familiar with the images of long checkout queues and stampeding bargain hunters which is further fueling the shift from offline to online. More shoppers are choosing to avoid the manic in-store experience and instead, pick up bargains from the comfort of their own home, particularly in the UK and other markets outside the US where Black Friday falls on a normal working day. This resulted in high street sales over the 2015 Black Friday period being relatively disappointing whilst online, websites crashed due to the large surges in online traffic.

A look at Google Trends for ‘Black Friday’ shows how this online search interest has been increasing consistently over the past decade with year-on-year growth exceeding 20% over the past two years.

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The Global Evolution of Black Friday
Despite originally being a US-only retailer event, Black Friday sales have strongly taken hold in the UK and many other international markets in recent years. In 2015, UK Black Friday sales hit a record £1.1 billion with £3.3 billion in total generated over the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend according to Experian. Using Google Trends to map search interest year-on-year shows how Black Friday awareness has evolved from the US to a global phenomenon.

Up until 2006:
Black Friday is a US only event, overtaking the last Saturday before Christmas as the busiest shopping day of the year from 2003 onwards.

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2007-2008:
Black Friday popularity spreads to Canada following cross-border shoppers flocking to the US in previous years.

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2009-2010:
Black Friday awareness spreads over the border to Mexico and across the Atlantic to the UK and Germany mainly due to advertisers originating from the US promoting Black Friday deals.

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2011-2012:
Black Friday searches spread to South America, other markets in Western Europe, Australia, and India.

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2013-2014:
Awareness spreads to Russia, Scandinavia, Central/Eastern Europe, and South Africa.

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2015:
Black Friday searches increase further across Europe and awareness also starts to extend as far as Singapore and Pakistan.

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Despite the growing interest demonstrated from the Google Trends charts above, Black Friday was still a relatively low awareness event in many European markets in 2015, however, despite this, the year-on-year growth figures from Google Trends shows that this awareness is increasing rapidly with growth exceeding 500% in markets such as Spain, Denmark and Ireland.

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And with the increasing adoption of retailers running Black Friday sales in markets such as France, Germany, and Spain, we expect that this awareness will continue to grow further in European markets in the 2016 holiday period and beyond.

So what are the key dates for the 2016 holiday shopping period? What trends can we expect to see, and what actions can we take to maximize the performance of our paid search campaigns?

Key Days for Online Sales 2016

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Thanksgiving & Black Friday
In recent years, retailers have started launching Black Friday promotions increasingly earlier, often starting on Thanksgiving afternoon in the US to entice turkey stuffed bargain hunters, or even up to a week or two before Black Friday in order to spread sales more evenly over the period.

Cyber Monday
The Monday following Black Friday, expect many retailers to switch from ‘Black Friday’ to ‘Cyber Monday’ deals. Similar to Black Friday, awareness of Cyber Monday has spread from the US to Canada, the UK, South America, and Australia although awareness is significantly lower in European markets.

Google trends for ‘Cyber Monday’
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Sofa Sunday
The Sunday within the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend, known for driving high traffic volumes, particularly from mobile and tablet devices, as consumers shop from the comfort of their sofa.

Manic & Green Monday
The first and second Monday’s in December are two of the busiest online shopping days for ordering Christmas presents.

Singles Day
Starting as a relatively recent shopping day for single people in China in the 1990s, November 11th is now a massive online sales event for China and South East Asia. E-commerce revenue generated on this day in 2016 is set to top that of Black Friday sales due to the vast population in that market.

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2015 Performance Trends
In terms of predicting trends for the 2016 holiday shopping period, looking at last year’s performance data provides a good indication on what we can expect to see this year.

Black Friday was Still No. 1 for Revenue
Aggregating performance data across a sample of NMPi clients shows that Black Friday was still the clear winner in terms of both traffic revenue generation with Cyber Monday coming in second.

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Black Friday, by far, saw the greatest uplift in traffic volumes, however conversion rates actually peaked on Cyber Monday with strong uplifts in conversion rate also seen on the first three Mondays of December as shown in the chart below:

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2015 Saw the First Mobile-Dominated Black Friday
Black Friday 2015 saw mobile traffic overtake desktop for the first time, accounting for around 46% of traffic from our sample of accounts. We can expect this trend to continue for Black Friday 2016 with the percentage of traffic from mobile likely to increase further.

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Mobile & Tablet Conversion Rates Increased Significantly on Key Sales Dates
In addition to the higher percent of traffic, conversion rates on mobile devices (which traditionally lag behind that of desktop) actually saw a greater percentage of uplifts. Mobile conversion rates on Black Friday jumped to more than double that of the November-December average.

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Black Friday is Daytime-Dominated
The two charts below comparing traffic by hour of the day shows how Black Friday traffic volumes from our client samples were heavily weighted towards the early part of the day, particularly on desktop and mobile devices as consumers rush to pick up the best bargains both overnight and in the early morning. In comparison, the trends for Cyber Monday follow a more typical weekday trend.

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Top PPC Tips for the 2016 Black Friday & Christmas Sales Period

• Have a full digital strategy in place that can track and attribute conversions across devices and channels.

• Ensure your website is optimised for mobile devices as well as desktop and ensure it can withstand peak traffic and stock levels for key sales dates

• Analyse performance from last year and integrate previous learning into this year’s strategy. e.g.,
o Which products/ categories performed well – clothing, gift cards, electronics, and toys tend to be top of shoppers gift lists?
o What keywords drove performance?
o Which ad copy messaging generated the highest CTR?
o What days, times, geographic locations, devices and audience segments performed the best?

• Ensure campaign budgets are increased to accommodate the additional traffic.

• Schedule device level bid multiplier adjustments to maximise on the expected uplifts in conversion rates on key times of day for Black Friday and other important days based on performance data from 2015.

• Use AdWords Ad Customizers combined with Expanded Text Ads to push Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales messaging and countdown to sale end dates.

• Maximize use of Ad Extensions–sitelinks, callout extensions, structured snippets etc. to push key information shoppers will be looking for e.g., free/next day delivery, free returns etc.

• Integrate with promotional landing pages and use AdWords Scripts to flag landing pages where stock has been depleted, or any noted site downtime to avoid wasted ad spend.

• Ensure ‘Black Friday’, Cyber Monday’, ‘gift’ and any other applicable seasonal keywords are added to your campaigns.

• Utilise remarketing and RLSA targeting.

• Make use of the new Demographic for Search feature in AdWords to increase bid multipliers or separate out campaigns for top demographic segments.

• Maximize shopping campaigns – adjust bids and make use of campaign priorities to maximise impression share on key sales driving products and categories.

• Ensure Bing opportunities are maximised including Bing shopping campaigns

NMPi Expands Internationally with Netherlands Office

Today is an exciting day for everyone for DQ&A and NMPi, as last night at our 15th anniversary party we announced the launch of the NMPi brand into the Dutch market.

By consolidating DQ&A’s Dutch agency activities under the NMPi brand, we are building the foundation for a global, full-service, digital agency. We are looking to challenge the traditional agency groups with our service offering that is built upon the best foundations; expert teams, cutting-edge digital marketing technology and a commitment to achieving optimal return on marketing spend for all of our clients.

The NMPi agency offering in the Dutch market will include Display, Paid Social, Paid Search and an Analytics service. The current DQ&A agency customers will transition over to the new agency brand, while continuing to work with their existing Dutch client teams.

The DQ&A business will continue to exist and will focus on providing customers with leading digital marketing technology platforms and consultancy services around digital marketing infrastructures. It will look to further strengthen its position as a leading DoubleClick Certified Marketing Partner, helping its wide customer base navigate their digital marketing challenges effectively.

By expanding the agency offering that existed in the Dutch market with world-class Search and Analytics services, we expect we can help our clients in being relevant across every digital media touch point they have with their intended audience. This is an opportunity for two companies to come together and share nearly 30 years of knowledge and experience in the industry. 

The Dutch NMPi team will consist of some of the Netherlands top Account Managers, Consultants and Digital Analysts. We have brought together an exceptional team of industry experts to deliver campaigns of a quality synonymous with NMPi. Our focus is on delivering a truly localised approach that will see our clients exceeding their goals through really innovative campaigns.

The year ahead for DQ&A and NMPi is exciting as both companies seek to continue their expansion and growth across the globe, helping advertisers across the world gain transparency, knowledge and insight into their digital marketing activities.

 

Fashion Made Easy with Google’s Shop the Look

Last year, Google made mobile shopping from search results a cinch when it launched ‘buy on Google’ and ‘checkout’ buttons, turning casual browsing into cash. They’ve taken it one step further in 2016 by partnering with Polyvore, Curalate, and LiketoKnow.it to get users to purchase items directly. The goal: to make search even more lucrative.

It seems to have been successful venture. Google tested Shop the Look recently during New York Fashion Week. Those within the US who searched for details of the event on their mobile would be shown curated images which enabled them to shop for products directly.

IMG_3471 After clicking on 'Shop the show' fashion fans are taken to a page where they can purchase what they've just seen.

After clicking on ‘Shop the show’ fashion fans are taken to a page where they can purchase what they’ve just seen.

Even if shoppers don’t have a particular brand in mind, Shop the Look can still can guide users towards a purchase. How? Users can Google an article of clothing, such as “cocktail dress”, and like items will be shown in the form of Google Shopping ads. Images will be sourced from bloggers, retailers, and publishers, whilst products will be sourced from Google Shopping inventory. Retailers will be charged on a cost-per-click basis, with impressions and clicks reported within shopping campaigns.

Shop the Look offers retailers another opportunity to turn the casual browser into a buyer by making shopping for favourite designers and clothing, an easy, convenient experience. Combined with behind-the-scenes access, videos and images, mobile users can engage with the latest fashions, and designers, and with a few easy clicks, purchase what they see immediately.

This is a clear attempt to vie for space in online shopping against retail giants Amazon and eBay. Google hopes to take the success it garnered from Fashion Week and move further into apparel, and expand into home decor. Shop the Look is currently available in limited locations.

 

Demographics for Search Ads – The Lowdown

DFSA-blog=-img Google has introduced a number of new AdWords changes in the last quarter, with expanded text ads and bid multipliers for tablet devices arguably being the most significant for Paid Search advertisers. However, over the last few weeks, they have rolled out the latest new feature for all AdWords accounts: Demographics For Search Ads targeting (DFSA)

Why Is This Important?

DFSA has the potential to top previous AdWords features in terms of the impact on Paid Search performance. This new demographic targeting option can be located under the audiences tab in the AdWords interface and makes it now possible to target and implement bid modifiers based on a user’s age and gender in AdWords paid search campaigns.

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Demographic targeting options has long since been available on other numerous platforms including Bing Paid Search campaigns, the Google Display network and various social media platforms. Many would say this is a long overdue feature, as well as a much sought-after addition to the AdWords Paid Search advertising tool kit.

Best Practices for using DFSA

As with the existing bid multiplier options for devices including time of day, geolocation and RLSA audience, DFSAs now provide another insightful tool, allowing advertisers to spend their budgets more efficiently. Whether this will be through improved targeting bids and messaging for customer demographics, there are obvious key benefits to this feature. For example, if an advertiser in the pension release sector were to use this tool, users under the age of 55 would automatically be excluded to improve CPL.

Although, as an advertiser, you may already have a clear view of your core customer demographics, strategic decisions should always be based on analysing available performance data, i.e., just because women make up 70% of your audience, it does not mean that men driving the remaining 30% of sales convert at a lower ROAS. The performance by demographic segment can also vary significantly by keyword group/product category/service etc. for any one client so it is vital to not blanket bid multipliers across the board.

To ensure DFSAs are being implemented effectively, we would recommend:

1.  Analysing demographics performance reports by keyword group/product category/campaign or any other segment of your client’s activity where the demographic profile could vary.

2. Looking at your primary performance KPI (ROAS, COS etc.) for each age and gender segment compared to the average in order to calculate what bid multipliers you should be applying to your campaigns.

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This client data shows two different product categories; the variance in the ROAS vs average by age group and gender differ significantly, therefore there is a requirement of separate demographic bid adjustments to optimise overall performance.

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3. Considering which campaigns or ad groups would get a performance uplift through being filtered by age or gender – this will give the added benefit of being able to tailor ad-copy messaging and landing pages as well as simply changing the effective bid for different demographics, as seen with clients who stock both male and female product ranges or gift products in the run up to the Christmas period.

4. Don’t automatically exclude or reduce bids for ‘unknown’ traffic. You will notice there is a large unknown segment of traffic for both categories: Age and Gender. Google determines demographic information based on account holder information as well as user behaviour. However, there will still be a significant proportion of users who do not have a Google account and so their age and gender cannot be accurately determined based on search history. Google will automatically group this performance’s data under the ‘Unknown’ category. Google may also categorise those who are gender non-binary and under 18 into the ‘unknown’ bucket’.

Typically, the ‘Unknown’ age and gender category accounts for approximately 40-50% of traffic so it would be worth bearing in mind that this group will likely account for the majority of overall sales/revenue/leads, and should not be excluded. Alternatively, you may still want to implement a negative bid multiplier to the ‘unknown’ segment of age or gender if the ROAS is significantly below the average.

What’s next?

DFSAs being implemented within AdWords as a feature reflects AdWords’s evolution into becoming increasingly audience-centric. This is in comparison to preceding features: customer match and RLSA, both of which have limitations of previous site visitors/customers.

DFSAs however have wider potential due to not being limited in the same way by a fixed audience. It offers a significant opportunity for advertisers to improve the efficiency of their paid search campaigns in an increasingly competitive space.

So what’s next? Demographic bid multipliers for Shopping campaigns? Similar audiences for search ads? Further demographic segments such as parental status? Audience preference ad copies?

Watch this space!

Categorising Demographics: What’s The Issue?

Hands over laptop smartphone and tablet with coffee on the table in trendy cafe

‘Millennials’ are out. According to two separate studies, patterns of behaviour and attitudes are preferred segmentations to define consumers, rather than sweeping demographic categories. New research claims that marketers need to move beyond demographic data and ‘lazy’ terms such as ‘Millennial’ when creating customer segmentations. It is not enough to simply paint groups with the same brush, as Marketing Week columnist Mark Ritson has previously stated, the differences among target audiences are ignored because of the continual use of one-size-fits-all terms. He went on to say, “If you buy the idea of Millennials, then you must, by definition, reject the concept of proper segmentation and of consumers holding different perceptions and experiences”.

Market research group Forrester aims to separate itself from demographic segments and seek to group consumers according to how they respond to new products and technology instead. Forrester conducted a survey of more than 30,000 adults across nine European countries and defined five new contributory segments they believe brands should implement when marketing products and services: Progressive Pioneers, Savvy Seekers, Reserved Resisters, Settled Survivors, and Convenience Conformers.

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Additionally, the study proposed that businesses should measure how their customers are evolving and the extent to which different behavioural segments are changing. For example, the survey discovered that 41% of people across Europe read customer reviews (at minimum) once per week. This is in comparison to the 17% who shop around for prices, or research product information with their mobile device whilst in a store. We can now predict that different forms of customer engagement with a product will allow consumers to be more demanding in their relationships with brands.

Further research by The Gild, a brand consultancy also focused on preconceptions about generational groups. From their research, it was found that consumers belonging to Generation Z (born 2001 or later) are more conservative in their views than Baby Boomers (1946-1964), Generation X (1965-1980) and Millennials (1981-2000).  The research also found that opinions on topical issues including transgender rights, marijuana legalisation and same-sex marriage, 83% and 85% of millennials and 85% of Gen X stated they were ‘quite’ or ‘very liberal’ in opinion on these issues. However, this was in comparison to 59% of Gen Z respondents.

The Gild managing director, Andrew Mulholland confirms the conflicting differences in opinions among different generations and that to typically treat the attitudes associated with terms including ‘Millennial’ and ‘Gen Xer’, shows a lack of awareness of who people really are and how they behave, in all their nuances and varieties. For marketers, this means consumer segmentation should consider behaviour, perceptions, and experiences, not just demographics and preconceived stereotypes of how a ‘Millennial’, or ‘Gen Xer’ acts.

These findings refute the standard typecasting of demographic audiences according to their generation, and instead reinforce the idea of providing deeper insights into understanding the consumer behind the label. Perhaps this will allow marketers to move beyond terms, adapt to limitations, and go back to the basics of people-centric theories. After all, age is just a number.