Net Media Planet Supports Innovation at the PMAs

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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


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



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2013 and the trends every marketer should be aware of



I wanted to share with you my predictions on the big things brands will be devoting their time and budget to and how brands can act to stay ahead of the game in 2013….


1. Cross-device tracking will improve value attribution and performance

Today, if a consumer visits a brand’s mobile site and then visits the same site on his computer and purchases, we are not aware that the mobile site was within the consumer’s path to conversion. In 2013, we expect to see cross-device tracking solutions emerge that will enable better measurement of the value that each device brings. This means that, for example, Mobile Paid Search marketing as a channel will not only be recognised for the sales that it produces on mobile but also for the sales it contributes to across all devices – mobile, tablet and computer.


For brands looking to take advantage of this innovation, watch Google and Drawbridge. In mid-2013, Google is expected to launch a cross device tracking product based on leveraging Google account holder data across devices. Drawbridge is looking to use statistical modelling to group a consumer’s computer, mobile and tablet devices. Both innovations will provide more accurate value attribution across devices but also improved targeting – the ability to target consumers on one device and target the same people on their other devices.


2. Display advertising ROI is set to grow thanks to Facebook and Real Time Bidding

In 2012, Facebook Exchange was launched. It opened up a large pool of inventory to the marketing discipline of retargeting, thanks to over 1 billion users a month. Still in alpha to a handful of technology companies, the results are looking positive with some reports of ‘click to conversions’ 50-100% higher than for standard Display ads. In 2013, we expect this to be opened up to the mass market.


I also expect that Facebook will launch their Ad Network in 2013 as a challenger to Google Adsense. For brands this provides the opportunity to reach out to potential customers on a wider network of publishing sites. User-provided demographic and psychographic data within Facebook will enable sophisticated targeting, and so will be Facebook’s point of differentiation when compared to Google Adsense.


Lastly, Real Time Bidding (RTB) is the rising star of Display advertising, where brands can improve the effectiveness and return on investment of Display advertising. RTB works by buying Display advertising on an impression by impression basis in real-time, and currently is just over 10% of display advertising spend. By 2015, this is set to reach 25%.


Clearly Display advertising will become more measurable, targeted and effective in 2013. Make sure you stay ahead of the curve and take advantage of the opportunities opening up.


3. Mobile purchasing through NFC will take at least another year

NFC mobile technology and services such as Google Wallet will provide the ability for consumers to use their mobile phones as credit cards in-store and redeem vouchers on their mobiles. Importantly, the technology will enable the almost real-time passing of sales information from in-store back to online. This data can influence marketing strategy and tactical optimisation.


Unfortunately, the in-store payment technology is not nearly ready to support NFC yet and it will be at least 2014 before it is.


That said, we will see more mobile innovation in 2013 that will drive in-store and online sales. In Mobile Paid Search marketing, new Google products will emerge this year that use GPS data and Google account holder data to measure footfall in-store from online. Also we will see mobile apps emerge that offer object recognition – where a consumer will be able to take a photo of a product and be able to add it directly into their shopping cart. Brands should look to test these new emerging innovations to take advantage of the fast growth mobile channel.


4. Every new website must be responsive

The variety in device size across mobile phones, tablets and newer tablet/laptop hybrids has broadened quickly in 2012. Standard iPads are 9.5inch and new iPad minis at 7.9inch, mobile smart phones start from 3inches and new tablet/laptop hybrids from 11inches. This level of variation makes responsive design a must-have in 2013.


Clearly, with less than 50% of brand sites mobile-ready today, the primary focus for brands has to be the creation of mobile optimised sites. I suggest that brands consider responsive design based content solutions. Secondly, with tablet conversion rates twice as high as mobile conversion rates, investment in tablet experience optimisation will drive increased ROI.


5. Selling internationally will be a major focus for brands

With the UK in the economic doldrums, and highly effective international shipping solutions and favourable customs policies in some markets, UK brands have unsurprisingly been exploring new international opportunities.


This trend is set to continue and grow in 2013. If we take Europe, ecommerce sales are rising faster than in the UK. Looking further afield, without a doubt, consumers in high growth markets like China, India, Brazil are keen to buy from cool UK brands.


I would recommend that for brands looking to ‘go global’ to create the business case by testing fast response channels such as Paid Search marketing and Display advertising. Also look at engaging with market specific platforms, for example, in China the leading Search Engine is not Google but Baidu. Likewise advertising opportunities exist on Taobao which is China’s Ebay equivalent.


New Google Shopping – An introduction to the changes

Google shopping


Following the successful trial of the new Google Shopping model in the US, Google has announced that it will soon be rolling out similar changes across ten more countries, including the UK.


From February 2013, Google will commence the transition from free Google Shopping listings to a new paid-for programme. This will be based on Product Listing Ads, another Google advertising tool.


Below outlines some of the key changes for online retailers:


What is Google Shopping?

Google Shopping is one of the largest shopping comparison sites online, providing e-retailers with the opportunity to promote their products to consumers who can search, compare and click through to purchase.


What is changing in Google Shopping?

Currently, through a Google Merchant Centre account online retailers are able to display their products for free in organic listings. To increase coverage, retailers can also pay to display Product Listing Ads (PLAs) using their Google Adwords account. Figure 1 shows how the product search results are currently displayed on the search engine results page. Figure 2 shows organic (free) Product Search results on the Google Shopping tab, below the sponsored text ads:


Figure 1: Example of how products are currently displayed on the search engine results page


Figure 2: Example of how Google currently displays product listings on the Shopping tab


From February 2013, Google Shopping will operate on a fully commercial model. This will require retailers to ‘pay to display’ their products by creating PLAs in an Adwords account linked to a product data feed in the Google Merchant Centre account. Figure 3 shows the changes that will be made to the search engine results page, which will only display Google Shopping sponsored (paid for) ads and they will be grouped in one box, also known as a ‘unit’.


Figure 3: Example of how Google Shopping will display product listings on the search engine results page


In addition, the Google Shopping page, as like in the US now, will display a yellow box to the right which will explain that this is now a commercial site, and all listings (all paid for) will be listed below, as shown in Figure 4.


Figure 4: Example of how Google will display product listings on the Shopping tab


To help explain further how the shopping model is changing, the tables below highlight how product listings currently operate on Google, and how Google Shopping will work from February 2013.


The existing model for displaying product listings through Google:


The new, commercialised model of Google Shopping:


What are the financial changes to Google Shopping?

The new Google Shopping model will charge on a CPC basis. Retailers can apply a maximum bid to product target groups or individual products, through their Google Adwords account. However, instead of implementing a minimum CPC rate, Google will determine ranking based on what bids advertisers choose. So if another seller is only bidding 6p, and you are bidding 7p, your products will potentially rank higher than your competitor. Positions for specific key phrases will then be decided by a combination of a) your bid and b) how relevant Google deems your product to be for a specific search query – just like Product Listing Ads today.