Google Trials New Approach To In App Advertising

By Jason Bauman

Google may be the industry leader when it comes to ad targeting on the desktop, but the search giant knows that the future is mobile. According to a study conducted by Flurry, users of the popular Android and iOS operating systems spend up to 90% of their time on the devices within mobile apps and not the browser.

This presents a problem for Google, which relies on browser habits to target relevant ads to consumers.  Mobile applications don’t have cookies or other tracking scripts, which means that user actions within an app are largely hidden from Google’s analytics software.  This is very valuable information for Google, a company that still relies on advertising for a majority of its revenue.  To try and fix this blind-spot, Google is testing a new method that combines data from their DoubleClick network with mobile identifiers such as Android ID and Apple’s Identifier for Advertising (IDFA).

Newer, mobile-first ad companies recognized the trend towards mobile apps years ago and use a very similar approach to the one Google is trialing now to create relevant in app advertising. Others, such as Facebook and Twitter, use a “deterministic approach” to try and track usage patterns for their growing ad networks.  A deterministic approach is when a company uses your login information, email, or phone number to track your usage across your desktop, tablet, and smartphone.  This allows the companies to serve customers relevant advertisements, even within mobile apps.

Using the deterministic approach has proven invaluable for these social sites, but it can present problems for Google.  Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Most services offered by Google can be accessed without the user signing in.  According to Piyush Shah, vice president of the mobile ad network InMobi, up to 90% of Google’s mobile traffic comes from either a search box or from YouTube, both of which do not require the user to log in or enter any identifiable information.

The deterministic approach also raises privacy concerns because companies can potentially track users outside of their apps or networks.  Google’s new method will circumvent these concerns by allowing users to easily opt-out of the tracking in their mobile browser or apps (or both) if they wish to, as well as respecting users established privacy preferences they already have on their device.

On the desktop, Google is the undisputed leader in user analytics, but the changing paradigm provided by mobile applications are proving to be more difficult for the search giant to adapt to than they likely originally anticipated.  Companies that chose to take a mobile-first approach are discovering innovative ways to position ads to a growing mobile app user base, but none of them have Google’s historical data to correlate these new patterns to.

Once Google successfully combines this mobile information with their existing database, they’ll be able to use it to update their powerful adwords network to take advantage of app-based user data.   This new information should allow ecommerce sites to make sure that relevant products are displayed to users, even within mobile apps, which will help to further improve transaction conversion rates. Google might be late to the party of mobile app advertising, but the end result should prove profitable for both their own coffers and ecommerce retailers to rely on the network for customer traffic.

Source: Clickz

Amazon Enters the Mobile Payment Game

By John Nicholson

You know those little on-the-go payment devices that connect to a smartphone or tablet? The ones local business owners use to take credit and debit card payments? Well, just a few days ago, Amazon released their own version: the Amazon Local Register Secure Card Reader.

Like the Square, the Local Register connects seamlessly to your phone or tablet and processes payments through a free downloadable app. Sounds the same, right? The kicker is that Amazon’s device is less expensive for local businesses than its competitors.

Featuring a 1.75% payment process fee on all major cards, the Amazon Local Register costs business owners significantly less than Square (2.75%) or PayPal (2.7%). Amazon’s fee will increase to 2.5% after October 31st, but even then it’s the most affordable option.

Furthermore, the Local Register device costs just $10 to purchase, but the company covers your first $10 in processing fees — so it’s essentially free. What’s more, reports and customer reviews say that the Amazon processor has a higher success rate when it comes to reading the card. Where it may take the Square four swipes for a proper card read, for example, it takes the Local Register just two.

On the other hand, most customer reviews haven’t been so hot. Still new, the product only has two stars. In regard to the free app, one reviewer said, “The app still feels like its in beta form.”

The initiative is young yet and I have no doubt that Amazon’s developers will quickly smooth out each and every problem – and probably come up with some new features in the mean time.

Data-Driven Marketing Fuels Analytics Trends

By Jessica Herbine

Econsultancy’s latest case study is calling it: data-driven marketing and content personalization are the insights that marketing professionals are most interested in receiving.

Businesses are fixated on getting to know their customers and visitors better – their demographics, behavior on and off the website – in order to retain a loyal consumer base. Just as Facebook is now treating users to personalized advertisements of products recently viewed, marketers want to tailor the online experience to better fit visitor’s needs, whether it’s their first or hundredth time on the site.

If you’re in the analytics business, Econsultancy’s report highlights these two areas as weak points to be further strengthened and developed. The primary goal of marketers today is to be able to track consumer behavior across different devices and channels; and secondly, to glean insights on personalization and targeting.

EconsultancyReport

Personalization can play a huge role in ROI, as 63% of respondents of Experian Data Quality’s 2014 survey reported that cross-sell/upsell offers were the top processes improved by personalization. The use of consumer data to enhance content personalization also had a similarly positive effect on loyalty offers, brand integrity and internal routing.

Those who can jump the hurdle of delivering accurate and timely data to clients will find themselves far ahead of the game, as this is one of the biggest challenges marketers and data management professionals face. However, the endeavor offers plenty of rewards: according to poll from June, cross and up selling have increased industry-wide by almost 70%. If you’re looking to become indispensable to your client’s digital marketing efforts, customization and data-driven analytics are what’s currently trending.

Corporations Use Geofencing to Personalize Shopping Experience

By Jason Reschka

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With the continued popularity of mobile usage, corporations are discovering different ways to appeal to multi-channel advertising.  Companies needed to figure out a way where they could reach out to customers when it was most convenient and relevant to them.  This is where ‘geofencing’ comes in.

In the article “RetailMeNot deploys geofencing at 180 colleges for back-to-school blitz”, we see that RetailMeNot has been working with a select amount of retailers to spread the word about deals and discounts across 180 of the top prospected schools.  The way it works is by having a beacon located in the store that knows if a RetailMeNot App user is near one of the select stores.  Once the beacon is notified, it will shoot out a ping that lets the customer know of a sale within the store.

One of the issues that companies were having with this new technique was that customers would receive too many notifications, which could come off as annoying.  This could happen in a place similar to a mall where an individual will walk past multiple stores and be inundated by deals.  To combat this, RetailMeNot decided to put a policy in place where a customer has to be in a store at least two minutes before they receive a message about a deal or sale.  They believe that this strategy will give a more personalized approach to notifications and keep it more relevant for the buyer.

In order to stay competitive, more companies will need to provide a level of personalization, similar to RetailMeNot’s strategy.  Once they are able to appeal to customers in a way that is nonthreatening and helpful, they will surpass their competition and advance in the world of multi-channel advertising.

Using Segmentation To Drive eCommerce Engagement (Video)

By Craig Smith

Within this video, presented at eTail East 2014, Craig Smith (Founder & CEO) of Trinity Insight walks through the best practices related to eCommerce segmentation.  Covered in the video are the components that online marketers must consider when leveraging segmentation as a driver to conversion, along with the latest technologies needed to achieve business goals.

 

Is There A Best Time for Email Marketing?

By Jamal Anderson

Marketers are always on the hunt for the newest trick to interact with consumers and potential clientele. While social media is trending upwards, many are taking a step back and trying to pump some life back into email marketing.

The problem with this approach was that no one truly understood when the best day or time of the week was to deliver mail.What I’m here to tell you is that there still is no answer to that question. Furthermore, countless studies have proven nothing other than that the best time “depends.” MarketingSherpa recently did a survey to find which day had the best returns, and when looking at the data you see Tuesday and Wednesday appear to have the most success. However, other than that snapshot, again we find no reliable information on optimal timing.

What one has to consider when taking the email marketing approach is that optimization is unique to every individual company and industry; there is no one strategy. The best strategy if you’re taking this route, you have to test once, test twice and test again. When your company runs analysis you can track various interactive metrics including clickthroughs and open rates.

Be a student; learn how your email list works. Email marketing is not a lost cause, it just needs to be understood on a case-by-case basis.