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?

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‘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.

LinkedIn Release Conversion Pixel Tracking Tool

LinkedIn have finally released a conversion pixel to track and optimise LinkedIn Paid Social. Conversion tracking for Linkedin allows brands to reap huge benefits.

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What are the Benefits of LinkedIn Conversion Tracking?
The recent announcement of conversion tracking capabilities gives brands the ability to provide advertisers and marketers with a tool which can be used to measure campaign success and boost ROI across the platform. Currently, this functionality is only available for Sponsored Content and Text Ads.

Once installed, multiple conversions can be generated for a single advertisement, based on URL firing rules (similar to Facebook’s website custom audiences). Conversions can be categorised under one of the following:

  • Purchase
  • Add to Cart
  • Lead
  • Sign up
  • Install
  • Key Page View
  • Other

Finally, conversion tracking can also be broken out within the LinkedIn UI by post-click, post-view, and device.

How Can Marketers Use This Feature?
? Linkedin optimisation helps marketers gain a better understanding of particular ads and exclusive Linkedin audiences that drive campaign conversions.
? Audiences can be segregated on the basis of job role, company size, and industry meaning a deeper insight into consumer reach.
? Marketers are able to track the metrics that matter the most. The conversion tracker will provide access to website conversions from the Campaign Manager analytics and insights into advertising ROI, conversion count, conversion rate, and CPC, leading to intelligent insights. Convenience and value – what’s not to like?!
? The Insight Tag is placed across your entire website – there is no need to insert multiple insight tags; afterwards you are able to customise and define which unique web actions to define as conversions.
? The seven different types of conversion measurements can be used to gain a better understanding of which audiences and ad creatives are driving conversions:

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LinkedIn Conversion Tracking Metrics

? Marketers can monitor performance via desktop and mobile, meaning insights are easily accessible and immediate. It can also record conversions to understand whether click-ons and ads resulted in conversions.
? Specific campaigns, ads and the nature of audience prompting adaptions can also be monitored and this information can be used to improve sponsored content and Text Ads targeting.
? Convenience is key: gain access to all of your key performance metrics in a single Campaign Manager dashboard.

Andy Powl, Programmatic Account Manager at NMPi sees LinkedIn’s Conversion Tracking Pixel as another angle to assess performance and return on ad spend.

“LinkedIn’s Tracking Pixel has been a long time coming and a welcome addition to assess performance. There are however, a number of limitations that remain regarding conversion tracking and attribution, such as a fixed 30 day attribution window and siloed conversions. The reality of running digital campaigns with an integrated agency such as NMPi means that the usefulness of LinkedIn’s tracking solution is limited to a qualitative assessment. To evaluate the user journey and attribute incremental conversions, click trackers and URL tags are still very much required for tracking on LinkedIn.”

Where is it Available?
All advertisers are able to use Conversion Tracking through LinkedIn Campaign Manager, AdStage and 4C and a couple of LinkedIn’s certified partners. There are plans to roll this feature out through partners and Sponsored InMail.

Divye Khilnani, LinkedIn Product Manager stated“Conversion tracking has been a top-requested feature from customers looking for more insight into how their LinkedIn ads are helping them generate high-quality leads, acquire new customers and raise brand engagement among LinkedIn’s global audience of 450 million professionals.”

LinkedIn Conversion Tracking looks set to offer marketers an unparalleled opportunity to reach a vast international audience with a wealth of insight and information.

Are You Ready to Use Conversion Tracking?
Log into LinkedIn Campaign Manager and click ‘Conversion Tracking’ at the top right of the home screen to get started.