Search Engine Watch recently published an article highlighting Magnetic’s new study, “Searching Beyond Search: Life Beyond the Googleplex.” Here’s a snapshot of the article, which takes the readers beyond search retargeting and focuses in on the search data, where it comes from and why its powerful for display advertising….
It may surprise many marketers to learn that while 62 million U.S. searches are performed on core search engines like Google and Bing on the average day, an additional 33 million are happening on alternative search sites. In January this year, search engines accounted for 18.7 billion U.S. searches; alternative search sites produced another 9.9 billion (report cites comScore data).
Marketers focused solely on traditional search may be missing out on a huge opportunity not only to tap into additional search data, but to connect in a meaningful way with searchers further into the purchase funnel. A new study by New York search retargeting firm Magnetic shows that while search activity overall is up, those using alternative search sites are also searching longer, indicating a greater quality experience for users.
Download report here: http://www.magnetic.com/searching-beyond-search/
James Green, CEO of search retargeting leader Magnetic, will be speaking at SES Toronto on Tuesday, June 12th at 3:00pm.
SES Toronto will be packed with sessions covering topics such as PPC management, keyword research, search retargeting, keyword level targeting for display, SEO, social media, local, mobile, link building, duplicate content, multiple site issues, video optimization, site optimization, usability and more.
For an overview of what James will be speaking about, please see below:
Crossing the Digital Divide: The Leap from Search to Display
Many advertisers who embrace the highly measurable, highly efficient world of search engine marketing remain on the sidelines in display. Historically, display advertising has lacked the targeted pricing, placement, and ROI of search. The advent of new display optimization technologies and next-generation ad exchanges, however, is offering a radically fresh take on an outdated media model. In this session you will hear:
- An Introduction to DSPs and ad exchanges.
- An overview of the new display optimization technologies.
- Sage advice for experienced search advertisers who want to make a first foray into exchange-traded display.
Interested in attending the event? Visit http://sesconference.com/toronto/index.php for more information. Hope to see you there!
In a recent article on Search Engine Land, Magnetic’s Director of Product Management, Aaron Doades, discusses the opportunity available to search marketers in the search retargeting space.
The article, titled “A Search Retargeting Guide for Search Marketers,” provides four guidelines in order to produce a better understanding of how a search retargeting campaign can be successful in the eyes of the search marketer. Those tips are listed below:
- Understand why search marketing will not perform as well as search engine marketing
- Know how to measure search retargeting campaigns and give feedback to partners
- Leverage your experience and assets, but remain open to new ideas
- Use ad verification to monitor impressions
Click here to read the full article as posted on Search Engine Land
When most people think, “search,” they automatically think Google. Well, think again. New data reveals that Google and its fellow search engines are not the only search game in town.
We recently hosted a webinar with comScore focused on search data, which examined search activity happening across core search (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) vs. non-search engines, such as e-commerce sites, shopping comparison engines and product review or vertically-focused sites. In December 2011, comScore discovered that nearly half (43%) of all searches occurred outside the top five core search engines.
Don’t Dismiss Data Being Generated Beyond Search Engines
What does this mean for marketers, publishers, and e-commerce players? Now that we know that all this search is taking place away from the major search engines, we can develop strategies for reaching this audience at the ripest time, using the proper search data. For publishers and e-commerce players, this means you can develop product offerings to take advantage of the data under your roof.
Look Under the Hood Of The Search Experience
As I take you through what comScore’s data means for marketers, I urge you to consider your own search experience.
Phase 1: Initial Search
If Sarah is in the market for a new TV, the most likely place for her to go is Google and type in “flat screen TV.” Let’s define this action as the “initial search.”
At this point in the game, Sarah is not ready to make a purchase. She needs to see what options are out there. As Sarah explores the results and links provided by Google, she will quickly move outside of the search engine (destinations could include Best Buy, Next Tag, etc) and carry on her quest for more information.
Phase 2: Consideration
As Sarah leaves the search engine and migrates across non-search engine properties, she will gather information on various products, brands and prices, refining her searches along the way. Let’s define this portion of the shopping experience as the “consideration phase” — also known as the retargeting opportunity.
As consumers search over the course of the consideration phase, data evolves based on their search terms and patterns. These interactions create opportunities for marketers to deploy search retargeting and site retargeting strategies.
If advertisers want to influence a consumer during the consideration phase, it’s essential to leverage the latest touch points (i.e. search data and website interactions) to identify key audiences and then reach them effectively with relevant ad messages that highlight special promotions, specific products, etc. This helps to push consumers even further down the purchasing funnel and ultimately influence them before they return to the search engines and revise their search.
Phase 3: Revised Search
Depending on the product or service, it could be hours, days or even weeks before a searcher leaves the consideration phase. At this point, consumers often return to Google and revise their search based on what information they’ve gathered, ads they might have seen, and any other information that may influence their purchase decision.
In the case of Sarah, she might revise her Google search from “flat screen TV” to “Samsung PN43E450.” At this point, the retargeting opportunity has passed, and only price or product availability might influence her purchase decision.
Search Data Creates Retargeting Opportunities
ComScore’s statistics indicate that search runs deep. It runs far deeper than search engines, and even search engine marketing. Today’s growth of search activity and availability of search data enables advertisers to harness the intent from search and apply it to the scale of display.
While more than half of all searches continue to flow through Google and its core search companions, billions upon billions of searches occur on non-search engine environments every month. It’s these entities which capture some of the most valuable data for advertisers.
Next time you think of search, think beyond search engines, consider the value of search data, how you can leverage it in display advertising, and most of all, what the customer experience is telling you.
Original article was posted on 4/16/2012 on MarketingLand
I recently participated on a panel at Brand Innovators E-commerce. The title of the panel was “Big Data Meets E-commerce,” moderated by Mike Peralta, COO at MediaMath, and it included panelists from Kraft, Dell and New York Life Insurance.
The panel discussion provoked thoughts around the value of each user, customer interaction, ad creative, and the impact on one channel on another,
from TV to online.
However, what I really started to think about later that day was not just data meets e-commerce, but this idea of Big Data.
What really does this all mean and how should we define it? The fact is, data is defined differently by different groups of people – definitions that are driven by their own personal and corporate goals for using the data.
From an e-commerce-based company to a search marketer, from display teams within an ad agency to a luxury brand, data is at the center of business decisions today.
Yet, while data is used differently, the goal is often the same –to drive more effective and efficient marketing messages through enhanced relevancy and data-driven advertising.
For me, I see search data as the highest indicator of intent, but for a luxury brand, it might be more focused on demographic data. Using data to further your campaigns and initiative is great, but only if you are diligent about which types you are using and strategic in the way you match data to your goal.
Define Your Objectives & Pick Your Data Accordingly
If you’re running a branding campaign with a goal to get in front of 18-34 year old males, you should be using demographic data. Companies like Bluekai, Exelate, and others offer data either a la carte or through their DSP partners. This idea of demographic data was one the initial topics in the data game.
However, demo data only goes as far as narrowing down the age range and gender of the audience. Alone, it is great for awareness campaigns, but its value is diminished if your campaign focuses on driving lower funnel activities.
If you’re looking for large swaths of users who have visited specific types of sites, and you feel that a user who has visited those types of sites are in market for a specific product, you should be using behavioral data. Behavioral data is a bit more “lower funnel” than demo-based data because a user has visited sites that seem to indicate an interest in a particular product or service type.
However, let’s be sure we carefully define interest-based data. It can be difficult to say that just because a user visited Rollsroyce.com as well as similar types of sites, that the person is in market for luxury goods.
For example, I visit Rollsroyce.com all the time, and my NYC apartment is about 200 square feet. I literally couldn’t even fit a Rolls Royce into my bedroom, let alone afford one. I visited the site and sites similar to it, but I’m more interested in checking out the latest model than actually purchasing one. If Rolls-Royce is focused on driving awareness, then I’m a key audience, but if they are looking for an actual purchase, they may have wasted their marketing dollars.
If you’re looking for users who are in market for a specific product, you should be using search data to target your campaign. The reason that SEM works so well is because users who are searching for your product are in market for it.
Search Data & Search Retargeting
Using search data outside of search engines is what search retargeting is all about because you can target users who have searched for your product once they leave the search engine. While search data is great for purchase intent, it must be combined with demo-based data if demographics are important to the performance of the campaign (which is not always the case).
For example, we can tell that a specific user searched for “fake teeth” and is therefore in market. However, a college student searching for “fake teeth” is probably looking for some accoutrement for their theme party costume. A 70-year old searching for the same term is looking for a very different product.
Additionally, search data can also be used to target based on interest. Let’s use Rolls-Royce as another example. If I visit mototrends.com and search for “Rolls Royce,” the search preformed is likely more interest based than intent focused. While search data drives response, it’s also become a vehicle for targeted brand awareness.
Long story short, this idea of big data is too large to be defined.. Whether you are an e-commerce company, an ad agency working with direct response or branding campaigns, luxury advertiser or so forth, many aspects to data might apply. Before you settle in on your data sources, think about the idea of “big data” and what it means to you.
Article originally published on Search Engine Land on 4/11/12
In a recent webinar, Magnetic and comScore presented new data on search activity to provide marketers with a better understanding of search data and the true power of intent. Download the full presentation to learn how search data from beyond the search engine is becoming a valuable asset for search and display campaigns.
Key points covered in the webinar include:
- State of search activity across core search and non-search engines
- Value of non-search engines & their role in the consumer funnel
- Data opportunities afforded by retargeting
- Differentiation by vertical across non-search engines
While Magnetic continues to focus on search retargeting, James will be sharing his perspective on various topics ranging from Google’s search guidelines to why search data creates opportunities for marketers to drive better performing display campaigns.
Check out James at the following panels and events taking place in San Francisco this Spring:
- Power of eMarketing Conference (http://www.emarketingassociation.com/2012/agenda1.html):
- April 3rd (10am-10:50am PST): Exploring the Success Behind Search Retargeting
- April 4th (2pm-2:50pm PST): Complying with Google search guidelines
- Ad:Tech San Francisco (http://na.ad-tech.com/sf/sessions/targeting-data-startups/):
- April 4th (11:30am-12:30pm PST): The Future of Data & Targeting
If you are interested in setting up a meeting with Magnetic, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
**Originally published on Marketing Land**
There’s nothing like a white-hot economy, or a white-hot sector, to create marketing geniuses. Notice that there are a lot of well-known social media geniuses these days. The financial service sector seems to have a shortage of them. Which is not to say there are none. It’s my belief that the very smart executives shine in tough times. They may not get the publicity, but the executives that have deep skill sets understand that businesses have cycles. They live and breathe; expand and contract.
So it is with publishing. It’s easy to point to the decline in print ads for 2011. Easy to find doom and gloom in newspaper circulation drops. But for me, a lot of respect is due to the publishing business. Content can be created anywhere and consumed everywhere, so every producer has gone from living comfortably in their offline sandpit, to a fight to the death in a borderless, endless, ocean. At the same time, they have had to recreate themselves for the digital platforms that change seemingly every minute, and keep their brand intact while they do it. Not easy.
With the digital migration in full-swing, many publishing companies are focused on monetization, and rightfully so. It used to be a very simple equation. Readership = audience. Audience = circulation. Circulation = advertising. It’s not so simple anymore. Publishers need to figure in premium branding partnerships, page views, conversions, remnant inventory and cross-media package deals. While they’re doing all this, I suggest they return to a basic tenet of the business: the audience.
The Audience Is The Thing
If you view a title as one publication rather than two separate online and offline properties, you come back to audience. It’s not a reader and a viewer and a social follower. It’s one publication and one audience with many interaction points. Within this landscape the audience is a valuable asset. I think too often that publishers need to have a better understanding of how to monetize that audience. Remember, audiences create data. And their partners in the digital area need to have a better understanding of how audience data can be used.
For simplicity’s sake let’s call the audience “readers” even though they may become viewers, searchers, and other iterations. This reader is the source of a tremendous amount of data. They click on ads, share stories that interest them, search for more information about products and services and then, hopefully, take action. They are not simply passing through. They are engaged. The readers of Forbes, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The Chicago Tribune andThe Hollywood Reporter are all going there for a reason. Once they get there, the behavior they exhibit and the data they generate is extremely valuable.
Don’t Give It Away
My question here is: why give it away? Why not monetize it? I’m not suggesting that publishers sell their customers like list brokers (very 20th century). But I am suggesting that they leverage their audience data to better serve their readers and monetize customers at the same time.
It’s logical business sense that a publisher’s sales team will focus its efforts on big-ticket direct sales that fill premium positions. Large homepage takeovers and unique creative executions play the largest role in publisher’s revenue. It also makes sense in the current market to use ad networks and exchanges to fill any un-sold inventory. However, picking who you will allow to sell your unsold inventory can be challenging.
I suggest all vendors be looked at through this lens: Is the person buying from you because (a) they want to re-sell the audience you have gathered, or (b) because they have data that was obtained elsewhere and are looking to see if their target audience happens to be visiting your site. Avoid the former, it’s cannibalistic in the marketplace. But data driven media buying — the buying of audiences — is clearly not cannibalistic. And, like it or not, no publisher has the scale to do this effectively by themselves — so you might as well take the money.
Take A Close Look At Behavior On Your Site
For the longer term, I would suggest taking a deeper look at reader behavior including searches within a publisher site, what pages and content are engaging audiences most, etc. For example, if a site visitor conducts a search query for “luxury travel,” the publisher may want to consider showing that reader an ad for American Express Premier Rewards Program or perhaps deliver more relevant content related to travel plans, vacation reviews, etc.
Retargeting search queries, display interactions and text ad interactions allows the publisher to increase ad relevancy, while simultaneously increasing the value of their inventory. Publishers can act on that data without giving up revenue. And, while its not going to be the “bread winner” for the publisher’s business model, it’s certainly a step toward owning and monetizing data instead of giving it away. There’s nothing better than multiple revenue streams for a business. Premium ad sales, remnant ad sales that are driven by data, and data sales are all different pieces of the audience puzzle that advertisers are solving for.
I tip my hat to the publishing geniuses that focus on building a strong business during the digital migration. We all know it hasn’t been an easy transition into the digital world. Those that have shifted with the times rely on their greatest assets — the readers. Readers generate data, which creates a promising market for publishers to live and breathe, expand and contract. And better markets, well, they create geniuses.
This year’s Super Bowl commercials were a driving force behind top internet searches -this is easily discovered by a simple peek at Google Trends (see below). In many cases, searchers were seeking the ads – in other cases, they were seeking the brands directly. Did Super Bowl advertisers do everything they could to capitalize on this search interest?
In a recent article on Search Engine Land, contributor Vanessa Fox tackles this very question. Out of 53 brands that she tracked, 44 bought a paid search ad, and 51 ranked organically for the brand name. Paid search ads drove consumers to specific landing pages based on their search, including custom YouTube pages designed to engage users. It seems that the Giants weren’t the only winners – Super Bowl XLVI advertisers seem to have carefully strategized how to capture users in the heat of their search.
Google Search Trends – Day After Super Bowl
Google Search Trends – Acura NSX over past 30 days