Benefits of the Unified stack, a byline for Google / Think Insights

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As the global leader in digital advertising solutions, VivaKi needs to stay on top of—or ahead of—digital marketing trends. New trends bring new tools, new techniques and new data that VivaKi can use to help its clients. The company’s integrated marketing platform provides it with a unified solution for cross-channel digital marketing, and Executive Managing Director Marco Bertozzi explains why that’s such a big deal for both company and client.

Display advertising has changed dramatically over the years. And with innovation comes complexity. There are more formats, channels and devices than ever before, providing almost countless ways for brands to connect with consumers. This level of opportunity is exciting but also daunting. Fragmentation is a huge issue. Advertisers and agencies need to figure out how to create, launch and manage integrated campaigns efficiently.

At VivaKi, one of the world’s largest media counsel and buying groups, we feel these challenges keenly. To help our clients find effective ways to access and leverage their customer data, we’re turning to technology platforms. But there are many questions we need to ask when evaluating them. Will it make us more efficient? Will it drive a better experience for the consumer? Will it provide more opportunities to reach that targeted customer? Will it deliver better results?

This is where a platform—a unified solution for digital marketing—can be extremely valuable. However, this is not to say that once you’ve committed to a platform, you can set it and forget it. Shifts in the industry will always necessitate adaptation. As your clients’ needs evolve, so does your quest to find the right tools. Recently, for example, this has increasingly involved the practice of retargeting—the idea of driving visitors back to your site with targeted messaging.

As an early adopter of an integrated platform, at scale, we’ve been quite pleased, and the benefits for our clients have been significant. Here I’ve detailed some of the major features we’ve come to value as well as some of the results our clients have experienced because of its implementation. In our case, the solution we’re describing is DoubleClick Digital Marketing.

Multi-channel support. We use the data from search campaigns and from social, display, video and mobile channels to power an extended dialogue with consumers, and this goes beyond using search ad performance to improve results. For example, in any given search campaign, you convert a percentage of leads, but the rest remain visitors who have not bought or done anything. On an integrated platform, reconnecting with these unfulfilled leads is easy because display and search campaigns are on the same platform.

Building brand response. Facebook, YouTube and the like provide a real opportunity for brand building, and we’re now able to seamlessly connect brand activity with lead generation. Consumers are very engaged on YouTube, and an integrated platform makes it possible to reconnect or continue the conversation with this highly engaged audience.

Insights from analytics. Imagine the range of actions people conduct on your site. If you dig into this data and gain understanding from the site analytics, you can then use this information to reconnect consumers. It allows you to turbo-charge the sophistication of your messaging, seamlessly aggregating insights to design creative that’s immediately applicable across the web. One size definitely does not fit all when it comes to campaigns, and advertisers now have the ability to adapt their creative strategy easily and quickly, using a single, unified platform.

Real-time response. The term “real time” is often overused, but it has a specific meaning when applied to the bid process and programmatic buying. Here, recency and frequency are key: The ability to deliver a tailored message to a consumer quickly after a site visit is vital to today’s campaigns. Our platform lets us schedule an ad to run within the first two hours after a site visit. We can incorporate an aggressive call to action, and we can set the frequency at high. The research window is often small—the time it takes a consumer to research car insurance plans online, for instance. That consumer might look at only five sites, with a strong intent to purchase, so it’s important to act quickly and efficiently. Using a single stack has allowed us to bring this to life, providing a new opportunity for advertisers to react fast.

Real-time data. “Real time” also has a specific meaning when applied to generating insights. Take conversion data, for instance; our platform removes the pain point of waiting to reconcile and mash up conversion reports to get a full view of our performance across channels. Because everything is happening on the same platform, we can make up-to-the-minute decisions using real-time conversion information.

Better workflow. Workflow is incredibly important, as is knowledge sharing among teams. The platform brings together so many different disciplines—search, display, mobile, analytics—all working together for a single purpose: the client. The process of using paid search signals and applying them to our bidding activity is seamless and immediate. There’s no cumbersome uploading and downloading to deal with or spreadsheets to manipulate. We now have a single user interface for all of our experts to work with and share across agency teams.

Increased performance. There is now a smarter, easier and faster way to make media-buying decisions. Results are what matters, and our integrated platform has provided us with many new ways to generate insights that drive results. For example, we’ve seen a better than 60% improvement in CPA across our travel and auto advertisers when they have incorporated their paid search signals into their display activity, using display remarketing from search ads. And when we used our stack for the U.K.’s first video retargeting campaign, we smashed all of our KPIs.

In this forever-changing landscape, a common mistake is assuming that merely implementing technology is the answer to everything. In reality, it’s the questions you ask of the technology that make the real difference. Asking the right questions—those that can make you more efficient and provide nuanced messaging for consumers and better results for clients—is a step in the right direction. For us, and many others, choosing an integrated platform that brings together all advertising activity was a good first step.

 

Thanks to Google Zeitgeist

I just wanted to post an official Thanks to Google for their world beating Google Zeitgeist conference. The level of delivery, the speakers, venues and thinking really put almost all other events to shame.

Just take a look at the schedule for the two days click here

The quality of content was fabulous and the discussions expectantly lively at times, I particularly liked the ‘Zappos’ vs Alcatel debate, it was ready to kick off I thought, good fun though! That said after all of those illustrious people, who came out on top? Boris Johnson, amazing orator, funny, informative and I know that everyone to a man thought he stole the show, even the Google founders could not deliver that level of interaction with the audience. See all the vidoes here:

These events are fascinating, there are some very aggressive networkers. People talk about ad exchange technology delivering Ads in a second, at these events, people can look at your badge and decide if they want to talk to you even quicker! I am no good at it, too obvious, I think I need glasses although Google were kind enough to make the names pretty big! A lot of cards were exchanged, polite coffees and drinks consumed and many different languages spoken, that’s the beauty of these events. Normally Google do not showcase any of their own wares but due to popular demand they walked us through Google Squared, Search, Youtube Disco, Mobile, Maps and Gmail and I think everyone was taken back by how much stuff they have up their sleeve but don’t talk about excessively. After what I saw yesterday I think they should strut their stuff a little more, because its good…take a look at Youtube Disco here just add an artist.

I think this sort of event is one others can only aspire to, but I hope they catch on, especially the handing out Nexus Ones at the end! My over-riding image though was leaving at the end and walking to the exit to see what can only be described as an army of men in black suits next to fleets of Mercedes and BMWs, clearly not many people like to drive themselves anymore!

Anyway thanks to Damian and the team, much appreciated!

Google is a mirror on society..very scary search suggestions

Marco Bertozzi:12.05.2010


Have you had a good look at the search suggestions on Google? Well I thought I would do 5 searches to see what comes up and see what the populus is searching for day to day, holy shit its worrying! Here was what I typed in..

Where do I…
How do I…
Who do I..
When do I..
What do I..

Only when I had done this did I realise that if the suggestions reflect what people are searching for then we are in trouble! So what did I learn? Well first of all we worry about a few key things in life..our Blackberrys and iPhones, sex, tax, life in general and Facebook.

There are a myriad of people out there with some fundamental life decisions to be made. Now I am all for starting with a broad search but I particularly like these two; ‘Where do I begin’ and ‘What do I want to do with my life’ fantastic questions! These people have focus issues and or are high as kites and probably sitting in student digs somewhere looking for a short cut. You might think they are in trouble but there is a group of people who have some of the worst issues imaginable.. ‘Where do I find Chuck Norris’ now thats not your average question but seemingly one many are getting their heads around. Politics in the last few weeks has been a hot topic so I would not be surprised if Nick Clegg was one of many searchers against ‘who do I vote for?’ or perhaps Gordon was a number of those asking ‘who do I inform when I move house?’

Life, sex and babies comes up a lot as you might imagine. The second or third suggestion down when you search ‘What do I’ is repeatable for this blog, take a look yourself, it’s not your average question!

There are whole life stages covered in there too. Some of the top suggestions in response to those questions above included:

1. What do I get my girlfriend for Valentine
2. When do I ovulate
3. How do I know if I am pregnant
4. When do I have my first scan
5. When do I stop paying child maintenance
6. When do I retire

People are clearly turning to the web for the big questions, I imagine they start big and work their way through to the important detail questions such as the oft searched ‘where do the Inuits live!’ Christ it goes on and on, weird and wonderful questions that Google is shining back at us…

The state of Facebook is now very much revealed by these searches with most of the ‘How do I‘ search suggestions being around FB. Mainly ‘how do I close my account’ Much has been made of the FB situation, interesting to see how that goes but I think Google is reflecting a little of the sentiment of the population at the moment.

Finally and probably the best reflection of society is the ‘Who do I’ section. A true reflection of our obsession with celebrity with ‘who do I look like’ how is Google going to tell you that? Where does it start? Such a weird question and I think expecting more of Google than one should do, probably easier to answer the question ‘where do I begin!’ Which celebrity do I look like? Who do I share my birthday with? It seems a constant need to associate with celebrity, it’s a sign of the times I am afraid.

So what do I conclude? I conclude that the world’s population has gone mad! What else can I take out of it? Probably best not to dig too deep!