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Signals Outside the Engines

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Ryan Curtin
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on Tuesday, 22 April 2014
in adMarketplace News

Note: This is the fifth and final post in a series of articles leading up to our April 23rd Insight Summit. Be sure to check back for detailed follow-up posts after the event. 

Our opening Insight panel, “Signals Outside the Engines,” will focus on different forms of intent data outside the traditional search engine model. Search engines like Google and Yahoo!/Bing rely on keyword queries to calculate user intent, and keyword-generated intent data has long been considered the key to user intent modeling. This panel, moderated by our VP of Ad Operations James Domenick, will feature three industry experts with experience gathering and leveraging non-traditional intent data. Vikram Somaya, GM at The Weather Channel, will explain how weather data influences user intent. Geoffrey Shenk, VP of Business Development at Superfish, will weigh in on the rapidly evolving field of image-related intent. And, Chia Chen, SVP at Digitas, will discuss a holistic view of intent data. Non-keyword based intent data is still emerging and evolving, and this panel will  help  shine some light on the various forms of intent data outside the traditional keyword  model. See below for a brief overview of the topic:

What is alternative intent data?

User intent data is any information that gives advertisers clues about the types of users most likely to respond to a given ad. Typically, this information comes from keyword data, but there are many other sources. Weather, location, user movement, and image data can all contribute to user intent.

How does this work?

According to Vikram, weather affects the way people shop, the way people eat, and the way people spend their leisure time. Attaching user behavior data to weather data can help advertisers predict how users might behave on a given day. Likewise, users interact with images differently than they do with textual keyword results, so intent data from image-centric algorithms like Superfish tell a different story than its keyword-based counterpart. Our panelists will break down the various ways that different intent data can tell a more complete user intent story

Why is this important?

With access to more and better data, it’s now possible to draw conclusions about user intent in ways that were impossible in the past. It is highly likely that, in the near future, it will be commonplace to utilize intent data from a variety of sources, rather than relying on keyword data from search engines. Our panelists are at the forefront of a practice that will soon be industry standard, and we are very excited to hear their thoughts.

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Search Outside the Box: Monetizing Search Outside the Major Engines

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Ryan Curtin
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on Thursday, 17 April 2014
in adMarketplace News

Note: This is the fourth post in a series of articles leading up to our April 23rd Insight Summit.

In addition to a series of industry relevant panel discussions, our upcoming Insight Summit will also feature a fireside chat with Dwayne Walker, SVP of Advertising at Oversee. Search Outside the Box, moderated by our VP of Business Development Vincent Meyer, will focus on paid search advertising outside of the major search engines. Oversee.net was an early pioneer of domain monetization and Dwayne will be able to provide some expert knowledge surrounding paid search in the domain world, as well as explain the myraid of different types of Internet search.

 

Internet search occurs in a variety of channels – in fact, more than half of all online searches occur outside of Google and Yahoo/Bing. Domain search makes up a significant portion of search outside the engines. Think of domains as the undeveloped real estate properties of the Internet – often times visited before the construction of a fully developed site. The volume of users searching in their navigation bars and arriving at domain search result pages is staggering, and provides abundant opportunity for optimization.

Dwayne and Vince will also discuss mobile domain monetization, and make some predictions about the near-term future of mobile domain monetization. The boom in mobile usage – and by extension mobile search – is no secret, and the mobile surge has affected all forms of search advertising.

We’re really looking forward to this discussion, as it focuses on the publisher side of an often overlooked segment of the search advertising world. The PPC crowd tends to focus on search engines, when this form of search only makes up a portion of the search puzzle. Search Outside the Box aims to present a more complete view of the search ecosystem.

 

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The True Cost of Brand Search

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Ryan Curtin
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on Wednesday, 16 April 2014
in adMarketplace News

Note: This is the third post in a series of articles leading up to our April 23rd Insight Summit.

 

In Buying your Brand Term on the Search Engines: How much does it really cost you?, our panelists will discuss the true cost of conversion for paid search listings on search engine result pages (SERPs). This panel, featuring Gary Milner, Steve Gibson, and Paul Longo, will explore the value of branded search on the major engines and explain when it is advantageous to buy brand, and when it is not. The following is a brief overview of the key points our panelists will discuss. 

 

How is brand search on the big search engines different from other forms of search advertising?

On Google, brands will always rank high in the organic listings, and paid search ads become merely supplemental. With branded queries on a major search engine, the customer is already headed to the site – paid search is simply navigational, capturing pre-existing intent. Outside of search engines, there are no organic listings and companies must purchase their brand to have any hope of driving traffic to their sites.  Non-brand search is largely the same on SERPs and outside the engines. Some people believe that organic listings and implied user intent on Google (and other big engines) creates a fundamental difference between branded search on Google and branded search outside of major search engines. Our panelists will discuss whether or not branded search should be treated differently than non-brand search, and the implications of such a difference. 

 

Why does this difference matter?

Brands and agencies have a tendency to view ROI from branded search on Google as representative of paid search as a whole. This can be costly. Some industry experts believe that branded search conversions from SERPs are disproportionately high because they capitalize on pre-existing user intent, and CPCs for brand terms on the engines are comparatively low, which further distorts ROI. Moreover, the true cost of branded search extends beyond CPCs. Our panelist will discuss how this distinction affects search advertising budgets.

 

ROI on branded search may not be accurate.

Is last click attribution a sensible metric for branded search on the engines? With brand search on Google, the query really represents the end of a complex marketing funnel. Users don’t search for brands serendipitously, and the impetus behind most brand search stems from some other forms of marketing. Research has connected television, display, and various other marketing channels to paid search and suggests that these external marketing costs should be factored into branded search ROI.

 

When should you buy your brand on Google? 

There are certain situations where companies should always buy branded search, and our panelists will lay out specific guidelines for branded search strategy. Generally speaking, advertisers should buy branded terms in conjunction with other marketing efforts, or to protect their brand from poaching. There is an art to knowing when and how to buy brand on the engines, and our panelists will outline best practices for branded search. 

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The Last Days of Last Click

Posted by
Ryan Curtin
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on Tuesday, 15 April 2014
in adMarketplace News

Note: This is the second post in a series of articles leading up to our April 23rd Insight Summit.

According to one of our panelists, if you aren’t thinking about multi-touch attribution modeling, you’re prehistoric. Last click attribution has been the standard web analytics attribution model for a long time. However, many members of the digital space are rethinking the wisdom of last click as a first choice. Our The Last Days of the Last Click panel will discuss best practices and trends in attribution modeling. This panel, featuring Eli Goodman, Julian Zilberbrand, Chris Knoch, and Josh Dreller, will explore how brands, advertisers, and publishers are thinking about attribution. We’ve published a brief outline of a few probable topics below.

 

Organization and self-assessment are essential for attribution.

Attribution needs to be defined effectively and understood in the correct context. So, how should brands assess themselves to properly understand attribution? How much data is essential for proper attribution? Today, many clients understand multi-touch attribution, but there is still uncertainty surrounding the best attribution modeling metrics. Our panelists will discuss the merits of various attribution metrics and lay out some best practices for deciding when and how to use each metric. Attribution is not one-size fits all, and confining attribution to last click should not be the industry standard.

 

How does attribution affect investment strategy?

Digital advertising is a complex ecosystem, and the industry still has a long way to go in terms of attribution infrastructure and education. Further, digital is not the only channel, and attribution becomes a lot more dubious offline. The best attribution models address media mix and understand where and how budgets should be utilized. How do the realities of omni-channel spend affect attribution modeling? A single company may need three or four attribution solutions, depending on their specific needs and strategies. 

 

Are brands considering dynamic attribution modeling to drive budget decisions?

The vast majority of brands are evaluating attribution modeling and managing their budgets accordingly. But, not every brand has the necessary data or infrastructure to effectively evaluate attribution. Using wrong or incomplete data can be detrimental to budgeting decisions, but how do brands know they have access to the right information? This panel will evaluate the steps brands can take to ensure they have proper data for attribution strategies, and explain how to best apply various strategies to budgeting decisions. Brands are evolving, but it is a slow process, and proper data and self-assessment are crucial if brands want to effectively analyze their attribution strategies.

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State of Native: 4 Nagging Questions About Native Advertising

Posted by
Ryan Curtin
Ryan Curtin has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Monday, 14 April 2014
in adMarketplace News

Note: This is the first post in a series of articles leading up to our April 23rd Insight Summit.

Native advertising has become a hot topic in the last year, but the concept is nothing new. Designing ads to match the form and function of a page is a marketing tactic that predates the Internet. Contemporary native advertising is more advanced than past sponsored content, but hardly represents a marketing paradigm shift. The Naïve About Native panel -- featuring Vik Kathuria, Adam Schlachter, and Mitch Weinstein -- will clarify the existing state of native advertising and discuss whether or not native is a passing fad, or the future of advertising. Here are some of the questions our panelists will be addressing:

 

1. How do we really define native?

Native ads can take many forms: content marketing, native display, sponsored tweets, Facebook posts, Pinterest graphics, sponsored comments, and a myriad of other options. There is no standard format for native, nor a standard idea of native. Native most likely falls under a “know it when you see it” classification, and our panelists will share their opinions about how the digital marketing world should define native advertising. 

 

2. Is native a format or a message?

Most people agree that native advertising should mimic the look and feel of the publisher’s page. In short, an effective native advertisement should look like it belongs. But, what does it mean to belong? Is an ad sufficiently native if the visual format matches existing publisher aesthetics? Or, must a native ad mimic editorial tone and style? An ideal native advertisement does both, but this feat has proved exceptionally hard to achieve at scale. 

 

3. Is true native scalable?

If the ideal native advertisement mimics the visual format and message of the publisher, is it really possible to run a large scale native campaign? Can native advertising ever be networked? Or, would a network native campaign be incongruent with the core of native advertising?     Obviously, a widespread native advertising campaign that effectively matches every publisher site is a dream come true for search advertisers, but is such a campaign really possible without compromising the true nature of native? What steps are advertisers taking to implement native on large scale?

 

4. How are publishers reacting to sponsored content?

A great ad format will always be welcome on publisher pages, especially if the ads bring in high revenue. However, any ad format that compromises user trust, or user experience, will ultimately be a bane to publisher revenue. How have publishers responded to the various new forms of native advertising? Is there any fear that ads may become too native for their own good and confuse or anger users? How are advertisers and publishers measuring the long term effect of native?

Be sure to check our blog after the summit to see how our panelists answered some of these questions.

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