Digital Marketing

Weekly Digital Breakdown

Snapchat Develops Its Own Mobile Network

Snapchat made a big announcement on Thursday about plans for a Snap Audience Network, its own mobile ad platform with targeting across various apps.  The initial launch will be strictly for iOS devices and will extend to Android at a later date.

There are still questions surrounding how this will operate as compared to similar networks.  However it’s projected to compete with Facebook, LinkedIn and Google with the added unique ability for app developers to utilize Snapchat’s same full-screen, vertical video ad format.

The announcement didn’t come with much detail, but it appears to be an effort by the company to help boost it’s own advertising agenda to partner with more agencies and businesses. While there are still a number of unknowns with this new platform, it will be interesting to see Snapchat competes with other social networks and what differentiates them in the space.

https://www.adweek.com/digital/snap-announces-plans-to-build-its-own-mobile-ad-network-to-connect-with-its-audience/

Facebook Exposed for Storing User Data on Public Amazon Cloud Servers

Cybersecurity firm, Upguard, uncovered more than 540 million Facebook user files stored on a public Amazon cloud server this week. Information included user actions on the site, comments and Facebook IDs, all of which were accessible on the server for public download despite profile settings.  Once alerted, Facebook immediately worked with Amazon to take down the database, but cannot verify how this may impact users.

While Facebook policies prohibit user data being stored on unsecure servers, this news adds to the growing data privacy concerns with the platform. After last year’s news that millions of user’s data had been misused by Cambridge Analytica, Facebook audited thousands of third-party data apps and suspended those who were mishandling. Despite continued efforts to protect user data, it appears the extent of the problem may not be fully known at this point.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-03/millions-of-facebook-records-found-on-amazon-cloud-servers

Amazon Alexa Advances Healthcare Services

Amazon Alexa users can now utilize the smart speaker for healthcare information with its recently released HIPAA compliant skills.  Users can leverage the technology to manage healthcare needs such as booking appointments, checking a prescription status or accessing stored medical information such as ongoing glucose readings.  The skills are currently only accessible through select partnerships but will expand based on user adoption.

With the launch, some entities are unveiling HIPAA-compliant skills specific to their own recently discharged patients.  Boston Children’s released a skill known as “ERAS” which allows patients and caregivers to ask questions specific to recent patient care records and allows doctors the ability to follow up with patients remotely.

While data privacy remains a huge concern for patients, Amazon confirms data is encrypted and securely stored in addition to the strict guidelines HIPAA puts in place for patient protection.  This announcement is a major advancement in the evolution of remote patient care.

https://techcrunch.com/2019/04/04/amazon-alexa-launches-its-first-hipaa-compliant-medical-skills/

Weekly Digital Breakdown

Streaming Video Exceeds Cable Subscriptions

For the first time, video streaming service subscriptions surpassed cable, jumping up 27% to 613 million subscribers last year. The shift is attributed to the consumers being drawn to services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime for the 24/7 accessibility across devices and original programming.   This trend further is likely to continue as more cable subscribers “cut the cord” and rely on digital video for programming.

ttps://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-21/netflix-s-growth-helps-streaming-eclipse-cable-subscriptions

McDonalds Uses AI to Drive Personalization

In an aggressive move to integrate a more tailored dining experience, McDonalds acquired the personalization company, Dynamic Yield.  This technology will be used to create a dynamic menu that will adjust to variables such as weather, time of day or trending menu items.  It will also aid in upselling, or suggesting additional items that compliment your selections. They will begin leveraging the technology for drive-thru customers and plan to expand to self-serve kiosks and the mobile app.  McDonalds plans to roll out the new technology in the US throughout 2019 to increase customer service and clearly distinguish the company from competitors.

https://techcrunch.com/2019/03/25/mcdonalds-acquires-dynamic-yield/

Big News From Apple

On March 25th, Apple introduced its streaming service, Apple News+ to the public.  While some industry insiders remain skeptical about the announcement, publishers are hoping to use the service to expand their audience and drive digital subscriptions.  Apple News+ includes over 300 magazines and select newspapers for a monthly fee. Publishers view this as an opportunity to reach and engage a news centric audience, driving their own revenue through advertisements.  While the audience is shared across multiple publishers, this approach offers the chance to reach readers who may never interact with some publications and gain loyalty. Publishers are not expecting this to be a magic solution but an added layer to in their efforts to increase readership and expand audiences.

https://www.adweek.com/tv-video/publishers-view-apple-news-as-an-experiment-not-a-solution-to-the-industrys-woes/


Facebook Amends Targeting to Fight Discrimination

Facebook is refining it’s targeting options as they pertain to employment, housing and credit advertisements as prompted by a recent settlement agreement with leading civil rights organizations.  Brands promoting these items can no longer target users based on demographic information such as ethnicity, age, gender, religious affiliation or family status. Based on the previous set-up, targeting could include or exclude these criteria or create look-a-like audiences to target similar users.  While Facebook continues to be under right scrutiny for it’s policies, this is just another step they are taking to earn user’s trust and continue focus on data privacy concerns.

https://www.adweek.com/digital/facebook-is-revamping-its-targeting-for-housing-employment-and-credit-ads/

Your Guide to Keeping Consumer Data Secure While Personalizing Campaigns

Customers expect personalization. A well-crafted email with a customer's first name and a product suggestion related to a past purchase, for example, has become the norm.  Research shows 98 percent of marketers believe personalization advances the customer relationship, with 74 percent claiming it has a "strong" or "extreme" impact on the relationship, according to Evergage.

While marketers see the value of personalizing messages, creating them requires customer data. To market effectively, you have to know a lot about a customer. That can range from basic information (such as a customer's name and hometown) to more intrusive information like buying history and spending limits.

Having this kind of coveted data provides amazing targeting applications, but it also comes with great responsibility. Customers are concerned about privacy. One survey shows 91 percent of Americans believe customers have lost control over how their personal data is collected and used, according to Pew Research.

So how can brands provide personalized marketing and protect customer data at the same time? Here are some tips:

Get Consent to Contact

Before reaching any customer digitally, make sure you have permission to do so. Aside from being a best practice, it's also mandated by new privacy legislation. The European Union's GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), for example, requires businesses to get consent from digital customers before collecting, storing, and using personal data.  Although this legislation was passed in Europe, experts say more laws aimed at protecting personal data elsewhere in the world are likely in the future.

How do you get consent? Ask customers to voluntarily join your email list, or run a promotion on social media that asks for permission to contact the participant with future offers. Whatever the tactic, get permission to make contact.

Don't Assume You Know What Customers Want

Many marketers make assumptions on behalf of customers, and that is starting to bother those customers. What kind of assumptions? Marketers sometimes use pre-checked boxes on forms that automatically sign up subscribers for promotional emails. These pre-checked boxes assume every customer wants to get coupons or a weekly email digest, when customers might not want that at all.

Or, let's say you're at a trade show and you exchange business cards with dozens of people. When you get back to your office, you add everyone to your email list. Why? You assume everyone wants to stay in touch after the show. But they didn't give consent to join your email list at all. That's another assumption.

One of the best ways to respect customers and their privacy is to avoid making decisions for them.

Explain How Information Is Used

One of the best practices pushed in laws like the GDPR is transparency. GDPR requires brands to tell customers how their personal information is collected, tracked, and used.  Many brands use cookies to track a customer's online activities. Since GDPR was enacted, brands must explain how their sites' cookies collect, track, and store data. As a result, you've probably seen "cookie consent" messages pop up on your favorite websites, like this one:

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In this case, customers can accept the data tracking policy, select how much data they want collected, and see how their information is used by the company.

Whether you use cookies or not, one of the best ways to show customers that privacy matters is to explain exactly how you gather and use their personal information.

Be Honest About Data Breaches

Data breaches happen, and some of the biggest companies have experienced them. While they're embarrassing, it's important to tell your customers about it, and quickly.  

In the U.S., Uber was forced to pay a $148 million settlement when a 2016 data breach was found to have been covered up by the transportation company's then-CEO, Travis Kalanick. The breach wasn't made public for a year, according to USA Today.

Customers want transparency. In Europe, the GDPR sets strict requirements that companies notify customers of any stolen data within 72 hours.

Personalization and privacy have become a balancing act for brands across the globe. Customers want personalized experiences, but they want to trust their data is safe and being used in ways that they approve of.

The Power of the Hashtag

Hastags are now a normal part of social media activity but you may be wondering how you can leverage them for business.  When used strategically, hashtags hold an amazing power to reach large audiences and there's little doubt they can serve as effective tools for marketers when properly implemented.

One of the major benefits to marketers are the countless ways to measure hashtag campaign performance. Engagement, for example, could include metrics about retweets, replies and comments. Awareness might be measured with reach, exposure and volume. Traffic to your website could be measured in clicks, conversions and shares.

Hastags can create opportunity and increase visibility.  Here are some examples of successful hashtag campaigns at work.

• #TweetFromTheSeat

After launching its #TweetFromTheSeat hashtag campaign, Charmin earned "Time Magazine's" vote for the "Sassiest Brand on Twitter."

RESULTS: Approximately 80,000 new followers

• #WeAccept

This Airbnb campaign used images of people of various ethnicities with the hashtag #WeAccept to demonstrate the founders' commitment to welcoming groups such as refugees.

RESULTS: 1,954,277 YouTube views, 109,000 Instagram views, 14,022,922 Facebook views

• #LikeAGirl

The Always brand used the #LikeAGirl hashtag as a call to action, inviting women to tweet about the positive things they do "like a girl" to remove the stigma from the phrase. They complimented it with a #LikeAGirl page hosted on Always.com..

RESULTS: Twitter followers tripled in the first months; 177,000 #LikeAGirl tweets in the first three months, including celebrities

Ready to get started on your next hashtag campaign? Consider these guidelines:

1. Research existing hashtags.

You want to create a hashtag unique to your company, so do your homework to ensure you're not diluting your messaging by distinguishing yourself from competitors. Incorporate trending hashtags into your campaign to complement your main hashtag.

2. Create a tag that's unique to the brand.

Generic hashtags are fine as supplemental pieces, but your primary hashtag should be unique to the brand. Good examples include Lay's #DoUsAFlavor, Ryu's #WhatsInYourBag and the Worldwide Breast Cancer organization's #KnowYourLemons.

3. Create unique tags for different promotions.

Be creative and use different hashtags for different campaigns, products, etc. Oreo, for example, has used #MyOreoCreation, #OreoHorrorStories, and #PlayWithOreo.

4. Use the hashtag across multiple social media platforms.

Hashtags aren't just for Twitter. Use them on all social media updates.

5. Test varying amounts of hashtags per post to find your sweet spot.

As a general rule, use two hashtags on Twitter and seven or fewer on other platforms.

6. Choose niche hashtags.

Stay away from generic hashtags and get more specific, such as using #BigAndTallTuxedos over a broad term like #Tuxedos.

7. Follow your hashtag on social media.

Keep an eye on what others are saying by following common hashtags you use.

Using these tips, you'll find hashtags can make an impact on your marketing strategy and increase your reach.

Tips for Marketing to Spring Break Travelers

No matter your target audience, spring break is an excellent time for brands to get in front of their consumers.  With college students spending an estimated $1 billion on spring break every year added to the amount spent by families who take advantage of the time off school for travel, spring break has become a huge marketing opportunity.

For business, you can use this time to boost your brand, attract more followers and promote sales. Here are four tips to get started.

Hold a Spring Break Sale

Regardless of your business, running travel-themed marketing campaigns can entice consumers to try your product or service. Spring break is the ideal time to clear out inventory or offer promotional items to drive more traffic to your website or physical locations. One example of success was a direct marketing campaign by Great Wolf Lodge.  They offered a promotional discount to travelers who booked rooms during spring break to increase reservations and attract repeat customers.

Leverage Social Media

Spring break is a great time to host contests, giveaways and live events for your followers. It's also an opportunity to create a campaign centered around themed stories and invite your followers to contribute. This could include videos, photos or written content detailing their adventures with your product, letting everyone in on the fun they're having. Users with the best stories or photos could then win products or services.  The authenticity of showing products in use resonates with consumers and creates the feeling that your brand is part of the spring break experience.

Deliver an Experience

Experiential marketing tactics are all about becoming another factor in the fun surrounding spring break. They aren't about making revenue as much as they are geared toward exposing travelers to your brand and letting them interact with it, creating a positive impression to share with friends, coworkers and families. In a recent example, Axe took a two-pronged approach by setting up a tent and games on a popular beach to attract spring breakers, in addition to sponsoring toiletries at popular hotels.

Stamping your presence on a hot spot is not the only way to take advantage of experiential marketing. You could have brand ambassadors hand out samples and free gifts or use your social media strategies to drive traffic to your website with interactive games or events.

Sponsor Events

Whether it's a party geared toward college kids or a families, sponsoring spring break events can increase brand awareness, provide an opportunity for engagement and help your brand gain traction. Many times this doesn’t require you to be on the site to reap the benefits, but attendees will likely take note of your name on the promotional materials or sponsored activities.


Spring break is a tradition where people of all ages are ready to celebrate the end of winter with some fun in the sun.  Use this time to your advantage to get in front of consumers and be part of the action.


Leveraging Platforms for March Basketball Hysteria

Basketball viewing during the March tournaments used to be restricted to only the game(s) that were playing on cable at the time. Now, fans have the ability to watch multiple games on various devices while staying up-to-date with bracket-busting news via social media.

Social platforms alone have become a hot spot for hoops hysteria.  During the 2015 tournament, there were 350 million impressions on Facebook and Twitter, according to Koeppel Direct. In 2017, March Madness Live (MML) brought in 69.1 million live streams. All the excitement is prime opportunity for brands to leverage the influx of users streaming the live action and catching up on the day’s wins and losses. To help your brand slam dunk its campaign, we’ve provided some strategy tips.

Facebook

Facebook profiles are full of customer-specific data, including a user's college history and location, which provides ready-made segments for your ads. This presents a variety of strategic campaign options to appeal to various audiences.

A company selling sports gear, for example, can create Syracuse Orangemen ads for Syracuse alum, or a travel agency can create an ad for a Final Four trip aimed at fans vying for the chance to see the games in person.

Instagram

Instagram has access to Facebook data allowing for similar segmenting of users.  It also presents the opportunity to leverage trending hashtags around game excitement.  Adding a relevant hashtag to your message can tie basketball and your brand together. The searchability increases your brand presence when used correctly.  For example, Acme Footwear asked users to pick the game winner by combining the predicted winning team name with its company name for responses like #dukeacme. Fans love to show their team fandom and get excited to be a part of the celebration.

YouTube

To get the most bang for your buck, consider launching a campaign via YouTube during the tourney.  With audience-specific targeting available, you can show ads to users who have watched a specific video or tournament related content.  You can also leverage remarketing capabilities to further your reach.

Digital Video Ads

With people now watching sports via live-streaming channels at all hours, digital video ads are a great way to stay in front of consumers.  This spans platforms, increasing opportunity for exposure. Facebook, for example, will interrupt a live stream with breaks for ads. Since viewers are already engaged in the game and ads are limited, you have a captive audience who are more likely to remember your brand and product.

The hype surrounding bracket success, or the sleeper team that’s sure to be a bracket buster, presents a great opportunity to reach consumers with fun and memorable ad experience.  Fans are engaged and playing into the excitement is sure to be a marketing win.

Leverage First-Party Data to Boost Personalization

To succeed in today's marketing world, personalization is crucial. Research shows 84 percent of customers say being treated like an individual and not a number is important to winning their business, according to Salesforce.

To treat customers like real people, you need to know who they are. But this isn't always easy. Sure, you might remember a few customers who frequent your business, but it's impossible to know everyone, let alone create marketing messages tailored to each person.

Personalized messages rely on customer data. You need to collect data in every category possible. From collecting email addresses at checkout and tracking order histories to asking customers to fill out forms and surveys, your data collection strategy should be diverse and continuous.

Any data you collect is considered first-party data. Thus, the emails you collect on your website form, the information shared when customers join your social media contest, and the data collected as customers browse your site are all first-party data. You collected it.

To help marketers take personalization to the next level, we'll dive into the data world and explain what first-party data is and how to utilize it.

  • Tips for Using First-Party Data Effectively

Once you have first-party data, it's time to put it to work for you. Here are a few tips:

  • Do a Deep Data Dive

At the beginning, you probably focused on collecting the basics from customers, such as their names, email addresses, and ages. Now, it's time to go deeper. You need behavioral data like past purchases and browsing history to create more detailed messages.

  • Refined, Smaller Segments

As you collect more data, you can create more defined segments. Essentially, you should segment your segments. For instance, if you segmented your customers by sex, take it one step further and segment based on past purchases. So rather than just sending an email to all female customers, you can send an email to all female customers who made two shoe purchases in the last month.

The further you define your segments, the more personal the messages become. An email aimed at your female customers isn't as targeted as an email sent to shoe-loving female customers who have recently made purchases

  • Use Data for Targeting

You can leverage first party data to improve your advertising strategy. Platforms like Facebook, for example, allow you to input data to customize audiences that see your ads. The more data you have, the more likely you are to attract interested customers.  

  • Deploy Retargeting Messages

By monitoring customers' online actions, you can deploy retargeting campaigns that are specific to each user. Let's say a customer comes to your site, searches for shoes, and spends considerable time looking at a pair of black heels, but never makes the purchase. They can then be retargeted via a variety of platforms (social, mobile, desktop, etc) with a tailored message that includes that same pair of shoes.  Retargeting gives you the ability to deliver personalized content to customers who have actually shown interest.

With these tips, you can up your personalization game and start connecting with customers on a deeper, more meaningful level.

Getting Started With Marketing Personalization

To reach customers, a generic email, text, or Facebook ad won't cut it. Today's customers have high expectations. They expect personalized advertising that's relevant to their lives, and they are willing to help make that happen.

As many as 57 percent of consumers are willing to share personal data, as long as it results in personalized content and offers. At the same time, the majority of consumers (88 percent) aren't happy with the level of personalization they receive from brands they like, according to research presented by Econsultancy.

To help marketers better meet consumers' expectations, we'll explore what personalization is and why it's important, and provide a few tips to get started.

Personalization Defined

Personalization is more than just adding a customer's first name to an email subject line. Personalization is the act of knowing your customers and creating customized content and messages that resonate with each one. Customized content can take many forms. From sending a personalized promotion to customers based on their purchase history, to targeting a specific audience for a Facebook ad.

Why Personalization Is Important

Personalization helps brands attract and retain customers. By crafting messages and ads that are relevant to customers, you’ll draw more people in and keep the customers you have delighted with your efforts.

In time, you’ll build a relationship with your customers. It's similar to building a relationship with a friend. The closer you get and the more experiences you share, the more trust you develop.

As we've mentioned, customers want personalization. In fact, 58 percent of customers are willing to switch half of their spending to brands that excel at personalization, according to a recent report.

Tips to Achieve Personalized Marketing

To put your new personalization strategy into place, here are a few tips to get started:

●       Collect the Right Data

Get to know your customers. In today's modern age, that means collecting personal data. You'll likely need a tool or platform to collect, store, and utilize the data. Ideally, you'll get both demographic information (like name, age, and sex) and behavioral information that tracks things like past purchases and visit frequency.

●       Segment Audiences

Your customers are likely a diverse bunch. To pull off personalization on a large scale, you'll need to segment your customers, or break them into smaller, like-minded groups. Doing so gives you the power to create content for each niche.

●       Start Small

Create a small list of ways you can personalize your next marketing campaign. Don't try to do it all at once. For example, segment customers by location and send a promotion that's specific to a store in that area.

●       Test, Test, Test

As with any marketing campaign, you should test to see what's working and what's not. You can test many different personalization tactics. For instance, you can send an email that includes a customer's name and test it against a generic message that doesn't include the name.

Personalization is an important marketing and advertising tactic, but it takes some time and effort to perfect. You need to collect data and leverage it in a way that customers will respond to. Doing so will help you build a strong relationship with your customers.

Brand Perception: What It Is, Why It Matters and How to Measure It

When was the last time you really thought about your perception of a product brand or service? Sure, we might use online brands every day in our work or at play, but do you think about how you perceive a brand? You should.

Brand perception is important. It's the sum of our feelings, attitudes, and experiences with a product or service. Brand perception is what moves the needle for companies, taking a common product and giving it elements that evoke emotional feelings. Every car ad during football season is appealing to a viewer's emotions about the brand. Every skincare ad seeks to sway a consumer's emotions into creating a favorable brand perception.

Ultimately, the customer is the one who decides their perception of your brand. Whether you're marketing a consumer commodity like clothing, or a high-level B2B web application, how consumers view the brand can make or break a product.

Let's break down exactly what brand perception is, why it matters and how you can measure its impact in your daily work.

What Is Brand Perception?

Put simply, brand perception is the sum of feelings a consumer has about a brand. These thoughts and feelings happen when a consumer is aware of the brand, and what follows when that consumer hears, sees, or interacts with the brand and its product.

Brand perception incorporates a multitude of areas that touch upon the brand's customer interactions. From product development and packaging to public relations and social engagement, brand perception is a top-level measuring stick of a product's visual presence, goodwill, and emotional character. All of these can play into the product's success.

Think about Facebook, for example. Last year Facebook's brand perception fell out of favor with many because of privacy issues and the platform being found to be the conduit of false or misleading news stories. Brand perceptions of Facebook were significantly changed in 2018, which is why the company is now making moves to make public opinion of its brand more positive.

Even for small companies, brand perception is one part of a larger marketing equation. How does your product or service resonate with its target audience, why does it matter, how do consumers feel about your brand, and how can you measure this?

Why It Matters

Brand perception is important because it reflects what consumers think about a company's culture. We've mentioned Facebook, but this affects even emerging online brands such as Fashion Nova and Everlane.

You might see a branded TV spot, read a review, or catch a pre-roll YouTube ad. These brief interactions can quickly change a consumer's perception of a company from negative to neutral, or from neutral to positive. That's the power of brand perception, and that's why it matters.

Once consumers formulate a perception in their minds, whether positive, negative, or neutral, it's hard to change their beliefs. That's why companies are trying hard to measure brand perception on their own.

Measuring Brand Perception

How can companies measure brand perception? There are agencies that would be glad to charge $5,000 to $25,000 a month for the privilege, but your own team can scout the web to get a fairly reliable reflection of consumers' perceptions of your brand. Some ways your research and marketing teams can do this might include:

●       Setting up Google alerts to track online mentions.

●       Reading online reviews. (This is critical for all brands. Efficient customer response can also help with brand reception.)

●       Social listening, which means monitoring social media comments, hashtags, and other mentions.

●       Measuring metrics for pay-per-click brand search and dwell time.

Overall, companies need to work hard to measure brand perception. A brand owner must measure the brand from the outside to truly understand how people view it. To do so, companies can try a variety of methods to gauge brand perception:

●       Track metrics in your target audience around your brand.

●       Use custom research among primary and secondary target audiences.

●       Conduct a brand audit on your company's brand perception against that of your leading competitors'.

●       Track customer sentiment through each stage of the purchase cycle, including information search, product evaluation, comparison research, buying decision, and post-buying feelings.

Brand perception is a critical part of your company’s marketing effectiveness. Getting a handle on it and putting your resources into knowing how to use it will help your company better plan its marketing campaigns.

4 Ways to Make Better Decisions With Marketing Data

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Effective digital marketing campaigns are built on data. Conversions, cost per click (CPC), traffic sources — with so many potential variables to analyze, it's vital to identify the data that is most important to your business. Data-driven marketing decisions can increase spending ROI and provide better, faster results. We've outlined four effective ways to make better decisions with your marketing data.

Use data to answer business questions. Where can we get the most value for our ad spending? How can we better reach our target demographic? By using marketing data to answer business questions first and provide insight second, marketers can speak the language of business with data-driven evidence. Individual statistics, such as the highest converting traffic channel or the lowest CPC ad campaign, work together to give insight into overall business goals.

Combine marketing and sales data for a complete consumer view. Remove the silos that separate marketing and sales data to form a clear view of the complete customer journey. Which traffic source produces the highest sales? Which ad campaign results in the lowest return rate? Data can tell the story of the customer's complete journey to product satisfaction, from the first ad view to a positive product review.

Use data to find new opportunities. Data can help you look outside your current campaigns for indications of new opportunities. Is there a surprising new source of traffic with high conversions? A new market may be revealing itself in your analytics data. After combining marketing and sales data, is there an ad campaign that produces high product return rates? Drill down on the advertising messages that resonate best with your customers. 

Make every marketing decision with data. Including data analysis as part of every marketing decision (rather than as an occasional addendum) ensures the process becomes a habit. Data-driven decisions can produce better, faster results than trial-and-error methods, and provide a mathematical basis for marketing campaign effectiveness.

A digital marketer has a mountain of analytics data at his or her fingertips. To use data efficiently and effectively, it's important to align your analysis with the goals of your business. From finding new business opportunities to increasing product satisfaction, marketing data has the potential to impact every facet of digital business.

5 Key Ways to Leverage Snapchat Marketing for Millennials

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It may not be Facebook or Instagram, but Snapchat has its rightful place in the marketing arena. This may be especially true when it comes to brands' engagement with millennials. From the app's simplicity and its easy integration with social media browsing to the appeal of its impermanent nature, Snapchat has captured millennials' attention for a number of reasons. That's why marketing to this generation via the app has so much potential. Here are five key ways brands can market to millennials via Snapchat.

Create Customized Geographical Filters

Millennials use geofilters to set their content apart from others. Brands can implement the same strategy to promote products and services, promotions, events, and location. Think of it as a step up from traditional text-based tagging. Geo-filters add more expressive content to snaps, giving viewers immediate access to your brand's activities and current location. Snapchat is the ultimate organic method for users to promote your brand to their followers, and a terrific way for users to become brand advocates within their networks.

 Exclusivity is one popular feature of geofilters. When Snapchat users activate location service on their smartphones, the app identifies if the user's location is within the boundaries of the geofilter. If it is, the user can apply exclusive geofilters based on location. As a result, content is more freely shared. Another popular feature is Snapchat's variety of geo-filters for streamlined customization.

 Here's where you can personalize brand messages and quickly get them out there to your followers, and to the followers of your brand's followers. There's also the success brands gain through sponsored geofilters. Remember, people trust the opinions and experiences of those they know, which makes word-of-mouth a powerful tool for targeted ads. This is the perfect opportunity to connect your ads to the user experience, which is what Snapchat's geofilters do best.

Taking Advantage of the Geofencing Feature

When you want your followers to be where you are, geofencing does just that. It tells Snapchat where a filter can be used geographically. When drawn right, your geofence gives the right audience access to your brand's filter. When promoting an event, for instance, your filter's exposure depends entirely on your geofence.

 Snapchatters snapping within the boundaries of your geofence are more likely to see and use your filter, post the snaps as stories, and expose you to their followers. Opportunities for engagement abound further if a user creates a geofenced story from your location. This will inevitably encourage others to add their stories, and to do so with your filter!

 To get the most out of this feature, consider these tips:

●       Ensure your filter is a minimum of 20,000 square feet, as 50,000 square feet is where geofencing tops out.

●       Avoid excessive use of circular points or shapes with small areas to ensure proper coverage.

●       Purchased filters aren't viewable, and an email usually follows once they're approved.

Placing Video Ads in Live Stories

With nearly 200 million daily users viewing about 10 billion videos per day, Snapchat paves the way to connect with millennials on a grand scale. Delight your audience by highlighting activities or events as a day in the life of your brand unfolds. If it's a captive audience you want, implementing video ads in live stories on Snapchat is the place to be.

 Your Snapchat ads can either be vertical video ads or full-screen, and last about 10 seconds. These are ideal to drive traffic to your site or to motivate them to watch long-form videos. Entice followers to interact with your brand, and encourage photo shares of the interaction or their use of your products. Promotions or contests are great incentive boosters to get engagement rolling. Say you decide to run a challenge each week for a few months; you can later repost the content in a Snapchat video story when advertising to expand your reach.

 What's more, video ads always play with sound. You want your following to pay attention to your brand, right? Why not generate video ads with a great audio track? Your following will not only watch, but also listen intently. There's even the option for users to drag the video upwards to see additional info, like entertaining content or informative articles.

 Also, the more your audience can relate to your brand, the better. Talk with your audience, not to them. Tell good stories, because more people are turning to video for stories than ever before. Keep things fresh and share news or customer videos with the latest industry happenings. Be casual, funny, and even a little silly. Snapchat is where brands get to foster endearing relationships with potential customers, so be real. The more you relate, the more you can sell.

Using Longer Videos and Direct CTAs

Snapchat makes it easy to link a snap to long-form media to quickly play when users swipe up. It's a great teaser for use in a 3- to 10-second snap to present a commercial or new trailer. Direct calls to action (CTAs) are strongly encouraged because Snapchat allows viewers to quickly act on ads. This, of course, is a more valuable commodity to marketers when results are key.

 When designing your video, take both the orientation and length into account. Why? Well, there's only a small window of time to make an impression. Besides, once the video is played, it disappears forever. Consider one of these two paths: Either create amusing or memorable long-form videos to impress in a limited time span or aggressively drive conversions to encourage viewers to take swift action. Mind you, the action is to invite a "Swipe Up" to follow your CTA.

Using Snap Ads Templates to Create Video Ads

Brands can also take advantage of Snapchat's gallery of templates to create compelling ads. The selection is diverse, and offers several options to dazzle viewers. There's even a wide range of customizations for animations and to have fun using various creative studio and design tools.

 Every template shows well, whether on mobile or vertical videos. Campaigns can always be managed manually if ad spend needs to be adjusted throughout campaign duration.

 Snapchat can prove to be the right medium for direct response marketing, especially for B2C marketers. To reap the rewards from its popularity, focus on its plethora of attributes to generate brand awareness. Brands simply can't go wrong with Snapchat, and will find it easy to create ads — and a lot of fun, too.

Refining Your Marketing Strategy with Google Analytics Data

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Google Analytics is a gold mine for marketers — a very large gold mine that can provide vast amounts of data to analyze. Breaking down that data and applying it to data-driven marketing decisions can have a big impact on business goals. We'll show you how to use the three main Google Analytics sections — audience, acquisition, and behavior — to identify your customers, discover what brought them to your company website, and understand what they do while they're there.

Google Analytics Audience: Who Are Your Customers?

The Google Analytics Audience section provides information about who your customers are — including basic demographics such as their gender, age, and location, as well as more detailed information including their interests, engagement, and accessing devices.

Audience data can confirm if your campaign is reaching its target demographic, as well as provide opportunities for growth. Marketers can use this information to identify the campaigns that produce conversions within a demographic and optimize advertising to deliver higher return on investment (ROI).

For example, a small, local boutique without e-commerce capability would only need to advertise to a local audience. An effective digital marketing campaign would optimize location data to increase views by potential customers within this single location.

Google Analytics Acquisition: Where Do Your Customers Come From?

The Google Analytics Acquisition section provides information about where your customers come from, whether it's organic search, referral, direct, social, or paid search, and how customers from each of those sources interact with your website.

Acquisition data can help identify the sources of your best customers. In this analytics section, each source is broken down by behavior (such as bounce rate, pages per session, and average session duration), as well as by conversation rate, number of transactions, and total revenue.

By breaking down each traffic source, Analytics offers the opportunity to focus marketing dollars and effort on the channels that produce the highest conversions. For example, a social media campaign may produce high traffic statistics but low conversion rates. This analytics section can help separate the effective from the ineffective and deliver higher campaign ROI.

Google Analytics Behavior: What Do Your Customers Do on Your Website?

The Google Analytics Behavior section provides information about how your website visitors interact with your website. How many pages do they typically view before leaving or purchasing? How much time do they spend browsing? Which pages are the most popular?

Digital marketers can utilize this information to develop more engaging content, improve website flow, or increase the number of events per session. Each of these improvements could result in increasing the overall conversion rate and improving marketing ROI.

By refining your digital marketing strategy with Google Analytics data, a savvy marketer can improve many aspects of the customer's online experience, as well as increase conversions and have an impact on your business's bottom line.

2018 Review - The Year in Digital Marketing

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Digital marketing had a tumultuous time in 2018. Technology moved into new areas for growth over the past year that affected the way we shop, communicate, and live. From the growth in artificial intelligence and automated voice systems to live video and changes in Facebook’s algorithms, it was clearly a year to remember in digital circles. Let’s take a closer look.

Facebook's News Feed Algorithm Changes

This year started with a shock when Facebook announced changes in its feed algorithm to promote more content from local news sources, friends, and family for “more meaningful social interactions.” Facebook also wanted to lessen the number of publishers’ news items in feeds, and the company may have wanted to thwart the rise of hackers and bots as well. Regardless, the January move by Facebook threw a wrench into marketers’ plans for the year, creating a period of adjustment. This link shows all of Facebook’s algorithm updates over the years.

AdWords Grew Into Google Ads

In mid-year, Google announced it was switching the nearly 20-year old brand “AdWords” to the simpler “Google Ads.” Google said the change reflected that its ads are all over the digital landscape now in web display and video ads, text and shopping, and even in app installations; ads are not just words on search platforms. Today’s web advertisers with Google can now run ads on Google’s search platform, on apps and websites, in Gmail, and on a variety of YouTube offerings. The name change represents a shift in digital thinking for marketers, and one that will likely pay big dividends to Google in the years ahead.

AI Technology Growth

Another huge trend in 2018 was the advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) technology by marketers across our data streams. Increasingly, companies are using smart systems, chatbots, and devices for more accurate customer segmentation and improved customer interactions.

We all contribute to the increase in AI when we personalize our recommendations on services like Netflix and Hulu. Other brands including Hilton, Levi Strauss and Co., and Nordstrom are using AI in chatbots to customize sales interactions with customers. Look for this digital marketing category to expand in 2019 and 2020.

Smart Speakers and Voice Search

In just two years, smart speakers have invaded our homes. Today, nearly 50 million Americans own a smart speaker, and that number will likely increase as people get more comfortable with sharing their living spaces with these devices.

Voice search is also growing fast. Web research firm Comscore predicts that more than half of all searches by 2020 will not be done by type or text but by voice. You are already seeing more people at work talking into their devices on search requests. It has become as commonplace as our desktop searches were a decade ago. Marketers will have to adapt to reaching consumers on smart speakers in the home.

Growth in Instagram Stories and Live Video Outlets

Another trend we saw in 2018 was the rapid rise in the use of live video and Instagram Stories. The number of users who create live video on their mobile phones and share with the world rose dramatically in 2018.

Google’s YouTube is the frontrunner in live video, dominating the amount of time spent by users watching video online.

The number of daily active users on Instagram Stories rose to some 400 million, Instagram reported in August. That’s from a universe of over a billion active monthly users. By contrast, Snapchat finished the third quarter with just 186 million daily active users.

Marketers are following those numbers, too. eMarketer noted that 86 percent of marketers use Facebook and almost 70 percent of marketers use Instagram. Only 28 percent of marketers use Snapchat. 

Personalizing the Consumer Experience

A growing trend in 2018 was the increase in personalization in many of our customer experiences. With our mobile devices and search immediacy, we are able to move quickly between purchase considerations and actual purchases. Increasingly, our expectations have risen across all our customer experiences. The winners will be those businesses that can deliver on the personalization process.

Marketers recognize this and have advanced to using SMS messaging, mobile apps, social media, and voice automation to personalize their communications with us as consumers. It’s a world in which we’re becoming increasingly comfortable, and we anticipate more of these personal customer journey touchpoints around us in the coming year.

3 Ways to Promote Your Business Using the New Year's Holiday

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During the holidays, consumers have the spending spirit. Americans' holiday spending in November and December (excluding automobiles, gasoline and restaurants) has risen between 4.3 percent and 4.8 percent in 2017, for a total change of between $717.45 billion and $720.89 billion. The forecast, according to the National Retail Federation, compares with an average annual increase of 3.9 percent over the past 5 years.

To capitalize on the expected spending frenzy this holiday season, you should consider these three ways to promote your business during New Year's: 

1. Position products as "resolution solutions."

A new year means a fresh start. As a result, many Americans make resolutions as a way to improve their lives or reach new goals.

While up to 40 percent of Americans make resolutions, just 8 percent actually keep them, according to the Huffington Post. Why not help more people achieve their goals this year? Market your product as a tool that helps people keep their resolutions.

Your product or service might help people lose weight, improve time management, or limit stress. Think of ways your company can sell ''resolution solutions'' during the new year. 

2. Have a "fresh start" sale.

 As a new year rolls in, many people have an ''out with the old, in with the new'' mentality. You can capitalize on this concept by hosting a ''fresh start'' sale. Maybe you're looking to bring in new products and need to clear out some of your old inventory. New Year's is the perfect time to do it.

Promote your sale on social media, hang in-store banners, and create postcards you can add to shopping bags as a reminder.

3. Create content that helps people start new habits.

Since consumers are looking to learn something new or focus on improving certain habits, you can create content surrounding that idea while subtly promoting your product or service. 

Content marketing is big right now. It costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing and generates three times more leads.

A company selling cookware, for example, might offer online cooking classes to help people learn something new. An investment company might create an eBook that offers wise investment tips for the coming year.

By using these three promotional ideas, you'll start your new year strong. Even hosting an impromptu New Year's sale or an online flash sale promoted via email can give your company a financial boost heading into 2019. 

Here's How to Get Your Digital Marketing Holiday Ready

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Holiday season is upon us, and in digital marketing circles, it’s seen as the busiest and most competitive time of the year for marketers.  Now is the time to make sure all your planning and implementation strategies for holiday marketing are in sync and locked down.  

Here are some of the ways to make sure you're fully prepared for the 2018 holiday marketing season.   

Are You Using the 45-Day Rule Strategy?

If you've got content marketing as a key driver, then you need to know about the 45-day rule. Essentially, this rule states that an online business must look ahead and intentionally plan its web and social content 45 days ahead of important activities and promotions to drive user activity and search traffic. If you get your content posted later, it can hurt your overall search traffic. Adding your content two weeks before a significant event might result in only 25 to 50 percent of the traffic needed on your site. Think more long-term to 45 days, and you might achieve up to 90 percent of your intended traffic.  

Determine the Right Channels for Your Focus  

Choosing the right marketing channels for your product or service is something you've likely been thinking about for a while – make sure that you have determined the right course of action by reviewing and analyzing past performance and incorporating into your overall strategy. It starts with your product, its uses, its benefits, and how it impacts your target audience. Are you selling to consumers or businesses? How do you reach this target audience? On which channels are they receptive to your product?  

Create a Detailed Schedule of Campaign Activities

By now, your marketing team will have put together the range of your planned activities, including the timeline/schedule of promotions, in-store rollouts, online advertising campaigns, and other activities. This schedule must be detailed and exact. Your public relations team must be in sync with your product team, your customer success team, and other entities in the organization.

 

Developing Holiday-Specific Landing Pages

Your web development team should be offering frames for landing pages by early November. It should have already noted which year-round landing pages achieve high ROI so you can use that information as a jumping off point for your holiday landing pages. Some tips include:

●      Make sure your landing pages are optimized for mobile.

●      Make sure your page loading speed is high.

●      Use graphics to tell your story; make them high impact.

●      Use a strong, clear CTA; offer a premium to gain more attention.

●      Measure the journey of page visitors and follow up with retargeting efforts.  

Start to Build a Larger Retargeting Pool for November/December

The holiday season brings marketers a great opportunity to broaden reach and audience targets with retargeting. Your brand might be targeting a certain audience most of the year, but now you can retarget to others with a gift option. For instance, if you market golf clubs to mostly dedicated golfers for most of the year, you might be able to expand that with retargeted ad efforts to a broader audience that may include non-golfers who are comparison shopping for the golfer in their life.

Even though your company is putting its efforts into holiday season selling, remember that customers will look to your product or service during the following year too. So make that important first impression count.

Don't be afraid to increase your frequency of emails or social posts about special holiday sales during these weeks. By now, most customers are more engaged with your promotions and might actually be looking for your promotions.  

Lastly, track your results, define your success measurements, and keep a log of how your efforts are working for this year in order to replicate the same for next year or switch the offerings.

Creative, Collaborative Campaigns: How Adtaxi Fuels Innovation

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Collaboration results in creativity. That's an important facet of every advertising campaign — it's not all about data. Adtaxi knows that a healthy dose of creativity is integral for campaign success, and that's why the company culture facilitates cross-team collaboration and communication that result in fresh ideas. We work with advertisers and businesses across industries, managing roughly 2,600 campaigns monthly, and use historical campaign knowledge to build and optimize successful marketing strategies.

Improving Campaign Performance with Creative Systems

The Adtaxi search team recently developed an automated email flagging system to alert campaign managers of potential performance issues such as pacing concerns, disapproved ads, broken URLs, site suspensions, etc. These emails provide an additional line of defense in monitoring and help boost campaign performance.   by eliminating more manual checks.  This also allows more time for what our campaign managers do best — strategic optimization.

This process was identified and created by one of our own search team members which was then implemented across our organization, where it was quickly adopted and adapted by Adtaxi's social and programmatic teams as well.

Collaborating Across Disciplines to Get Results

Adtaxi's Quantum optimization platform started as a collaboration between our veteran sales and ops team members as a method of applying an algorithmic approach to optimizations that had previously been done manually. It started small but brought early success which lead to expanding the solution to a larger subset of campaigns demonstrating tremendous results.

Our product and development teams utilized the initial concept to create a full-fledged optimization tool that's critical in driving results across our organization.

Incentivizing Innovation with Quarterly Stretch Goals

Adtaxi's culture of collaboration encourages cross team creativity to further enhance ideas and education.  We support our team members with a quarterly incentive stretch goal program that rewards successful innovations which result in revenue growth, operational savings or contribute to driving brand awareness.

Each quarter, any team member can submit a proposal which is then reviewed by our management team. Approved submissions then must be proved and executed by the end of the quarter. If the goal is met and successful, team members are rewarded with a bonus, as well as recognition throughout the organization for their efforts.

By cultivating creativity in each of our employees, Adtaxi has fueled the innovations that now lead our campaigns. Each day, we combine data-driven insights with professional collaboration to produce maximum results.

7 Tech Tools Every Marketer Needs to Know

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Today's digital marketers need help on all sides to achieve their goals, and marketing services providers offer that support. In order to reach consumers online more effectively, you'll need the best tools for the best engagement. Fortunately, we've got you covered.

The tech companies below all have tools that can be utilized to refine and improve your marketing strategy. We've skipped a few of the obvious ones, such Google Analytics, because it's likely already entrenched in your marketing toolkit. There are other tools that help streamline a variety of tasks for marketers and increase the effectiveness and return on investment (ROI) of your campaigns.

1. Pardot for B2B Marketing Automation

If your company uses Salesforce, you've likely heard about Pardot, a marketing automation tool for Salesforce users. Pardot can be used to reach clients via social media, email campaigns, or paid marketing. Pardot's email templates are used in mobile responsive campaigns and custom drip campaigns, among others. Pardot is a great way to streamline your marketing efforts and track results from lead generation to client nurturing in one system.

2. Zapier for Automating Connections in Platforms

Zapier helps customers automate and connect apps during the workday. Imagine your workday when you receive an email filled with attachments of ad proofs that must be reviewed. Instead of opening these individually, Zapier performs a number of processes that use trigger actions to shorten your time spent on these tasks. Zapier can detect when emails with vital information come in and automatically transfer the attachment images into Dropbox for easy sharing with your team. If you need to start workflows multiple apps or finish routine tasks automatically, try Zapier for speedy automation.

3. SimilarWeb.com for Tracking Competitors' Site Traffic

SimilarWeb.com is a web software analytics company whose employees help thousands of clients with competitive website analysis. If you're looking for top-line analytics on your competitor's websites, then SimilarWeb is for you. You can view and analyze exactly which sources are generating traffic to your competitor's site. But SimilarWeb does more than that; it analyzes industry data and apps for clients and provides reports that mix marketing stats for export use.

4. Kickbox for Email Verification/List Maintenance

Kickbox is an email technology company that utilizes software products to help customers verify email addresses and prevent fraudulent user information to a company's applications. It verifies that an email address is valid and deliverable. If you're working in a field that needs official email address verification, then use Kickbox in your email platform.

5. Marketo Digital Marketing Automation Software

Marketo has taken marketing automation to new heights in recent years, warranting its market-leading position in digital marketing. Now, with its sale to Adobe for nearly $5 billion, Marketo's tools will be available to many more marketers. Marketo's account-based marketing tech tools and lead management will join with the Adobe Experience cloud tools for a powerhouse B2B-B2C digital marketing engagement experience.  

6. Buffer for Managing Social Posts and Accounts

If you're running several social media accounts across brands, it helps to have tech tools like Buffer to help improve your game. Buffer is an social media management platform used by more than 80,000 companies for managing social media content. The company operates in a crowded vendor space that includes Zoho Social, Sprout Social, and Crowdfire.

Besides its primary task of helping users share content across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other leading social sites, Buffer lets users distribute content from one primary log-in. There is also the ability to create seamless integration with Chrome, WordPress, and other tools to find shareable content.

7. Marchex for Call Analytics

If you're doing any kind of online advertising, from display to mobile, working with Marchex for your call analytics is a no-brainer. The company helps analyze, quantify, and measure the performance of mobile, online, and offline advertising for small to medium-sized businesses, resellers, and advertisers. Marchex helps you identify what's really driving new customers to call? Which ads? Which keywords? When they call, what type of consistency is in place? Marchex ad tech products help you to measure and analyze calls for quality, origination, and how to measure call trends.

 

Determining the Right Media Mix for Your Ad Campaign

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Today's digital media advertising opportunities are more niched, numerous, and fragmented than ever before. Key target audiences are scattered on streaming TV outlets, online video sites, social media platforms, cable TV and elsewhere. The goal for marketers is to find the most efficient, accurate, and targeted blend of media to use in digital display, mobile ads, in-video advertising, web-only channels, and others.   

Let’s have a look at some of the elements that go into determining the right media mix for your next advertising campaign. 

Find the Right Media Mix

Using multiple advertising mediums to promote your products and services is often a great idea for a campaign, but it's important to get that mix right. Different combinations work better with different audiences. It’s essential that you understand your target audience to determine what media mix to use to use. The choices you make in your media strategy will determine how successful you are with your advertising strategy.

Here are two key thoughts for guidance with your eventual media mix: 1) defining your target audience with a reasonable amount of certainty, and 2) backing up your choices of media with accurate and current data of your audience's media consumption habits.

Define the target audience

Defining the target audience for your product or service should take into account basic demographic data like gender, income, age, location and education levels. You should also know who are likely customers for your offering. Your team can develop customer personas to further drill down on your likely target audience types.

Use good data to choose media targets

Collecting more data on your target audience increases your opportunities to see relevant media matches, across formats, platforms and time zones. This should be clean data. This data can include organic research, industry research, competitor audits and more. Learning how to gather, analyze and effectively use data is one of the most important tools in any digital marketer’s toolkit.

Check the data from media viewing research sites including comScore, Nielsen, and local network affiliates, depending on your product or service. Collect specific data on gender, income, and region. Using the right data can provide the insight needed to boost engagement among target audiences and increase return on investment (ROI).

Omnichannel approach

Marketers are increasingly adopting an omnichannel approach to online advertising. Instead of narrowly focusing on a few niche channels, advertisers are going wide across the board. This means using retargeting, web ads, email marketing, online display ads, direct mail, social media ad programs, and pay-per-click channels to gain the attention of online customers.

The ultimate goal in an omnichannel approach is to spread the touches with your customers. The more times they see your ads, the more attention you can bring to your product or service

Use different media effectively

Maybe your budget doesn’t allow for for a wide omnichannel approach. Maybe your target audience stays glued to YouTube sports clips every evening. You'll find this out by analyzing the YouTube viewer data for your preferred target customer. If that’s the cae, you can concentrate a portion of your ad spend on this particular platform. In another example, Instagram may be your preferred ad location if you are trying to reach a high concentration of educated adults across social media

While using different ways to advertise is often a great idea for a campaign, it's important to get that mix right. Do solid research, gain key data points and spread your campaign around different platforms to develop your next winning ad campaign. 

 

 

7 Digital Marketing Trends to Watch for the 2018 Election Season

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 Political advertising isn't just about spending money — it's about creating a platform for powerful messaging to influence the voting process. Highly specific targeting is also necessary. These factors play a large role in shaping the trends in digital-political marketing, and that's just as true in 2018 as it was in 2008. Here are seven digital marketing trends to watch for the upcoming season.

1. Dynamic Database Systems

Properly code and build detailed databases to include demographic information. Data of this nature aid in identifying voting history or frequency. If possible, include data relative to voter belief systems. A deeper understanding of demographics in terms of digital marketing provides a broader range of information to segment and target voters from polling data.

 

Most of the information needed to establish an efficient database strategy can be obtained through field or telecommunications analysis. Surveys, polls, and petitions are alternative sources, too.

 

Using demographic information, advertisers can search or track data with greater efficiency. Then there are added benefits to targeting through:

●      Email list segmentation: Divide lists into categories — one devised of persuadable voters and the other containing enthusiastic supporters. Lists can also be narrowed to include volunteers, contributors, registered voters, inactive voters, and even political signage.

●      Fundraiser data: Zero in on donors and research their worldviews, which could be issues ranging from economics to abortion rights. Aim to push their response buttons.

●      Advanced data modeling: Build a dynamic database using transactional data such as contributions made to political campaigns and causes.

 

Don't forget that people change and their perspectives will, too. Over time you'll need to bring in new data, refresh old data, build new models, and update accordingly.

2. Integrated Multichannel Marketing

 

Synchronizing messages across channels to increase awareness, favorability, or familiarity is no different on the political landscape. Integrated communications allow advertisers to deliver consistent messages to targets of a defined audience.

 

Popular in every sense, the internet still brings advertisers opportunities to share through social media, websites, and mobile apps. For specific groups you are targeting, create immersive experiences via channels such as:

●      Video

●      Direct mail

●      Email

●      Facebook newsfeed

●      Banner ads

 

To amplify this strategy, customize messages across ads or email — for instance, by retargeting. It's a cinch when used in combination with dedicated, promotion-specific landing pages.

3. Direct-Response Content

Copy containing a cleverly crafted call to action (CTA) and unique selling propositions are essential components to highlight the benefits of politically infused campaigns. To further solidify your marketing efforts, add separate landing pages for each segment you're targeting.

 

Imagine this: Your marketing team creates spectacular offers and drives traffic directly to the brand's homepage. The problem with this? There's no way to target messaging or measure its effectiveness. Clear messaging delivered through multiple channels deserves dedicated landing pages.

 

According to recent findings, 48 percent of landing pages contain multiple offers. Attention spans are short, so stick with a single offer and CTA button instead. This ensures audiences are only focused on taking one action at a time.

 

Also, minor tweaks are sometimes needed to increase response rates. Adopting a test and optimizing strategy for use on the regular keeps the marketing machine running.

4. "Bumper" Pre-roll Video

Video plays an essential role in online advertising. The short, memorable messages that work in your favor when targeting voters are those featured on YouTube video, as bumper pre-rolls. Six seconds is all it takes to maximize your reach, and Google Ads offers an intuitive platform to create bumper ads for mini-messages that have minimal impact on the viewing experience.

 

Again, focus is instrumental. To get the most out of your 6 seconds, design three distinctive ads that focus on one element in particular. Also, a combination of music, voice-overs, emotion, and comedy play well in bumpers.

 

Using video-based content is effective. More interesting are the benefits of retargeting, when advertisers can target people who show interest. Once a viewer engages, they become the perfect candidate for dynamic pre-roll ads. This method re-targets viewers with the same offers or category of products in the same price range.

 

Advertisers can get creative and take more chances with short-form messaging — even more so with Trueview campaigns. Each ad can be distributed to serve a different purpose: one for deeper engagement and one for reach and awareness, for example. Also, video retargeting continues to turn convention on its head, all while generating high returns on investments.

5. Digital Audio

Yes, power still reigns in audio — specifically, delivery of highly creative messages to voters in their unique environments.

 

With the rise of voice activation and recognition technologies such as Amazon's Alexa and Google Home, audio is an emerging tool to reach voters of all backgrounds and ages. With music being a top entertainment choice for many Americans, consider using Pandora as an outreach method in the next voter cycle. It's a premium, clutter-free environment where voters are tuned-in and receptive.

6. Mobile Devices

Advertisers need to be where many voters are today — on mobile. Voters use mobile to watch TV, stream audio and video, check their social feeds, and play games. A shift to mobile advertising is important. Advertisers who embrace this strategy gain a winning advantage for future campaigns.

7. Influencer Marketing

Reaching a few targeted voters can prove to be more effective than reaching the masses. Employ this digital marketing strategy to reach and influence important leaders capable of taking on the role of brand advocates to deliver messages to larger audiences.

 

The benefit of political advertising? The influencer (person, brand, web page, or source with vast reach) has credibility with — and the ability to influence — an audience. The success of using an influencer depends on how well the influencer spreads marketing messages and the impact those messages have on the audience.

 

What's next? Political marketers need to take an audience-first approach to generate sufficient awareness and persuasion. Advertisers are poised to leverage these valuable marketing techniques in strategic ways.

Clean Marketing Data Is Critical — Here's Why

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Dirty data, or data filled with errors, leads to poor marketing decisions. It's a pervasive problem that affects nearly every business. After all, data is the cornerstone of the modern information age we live in — even more so in the new marketing landscape — which relies heavily on the complex information that's more readily available today than at any point in the past.

The volume of customer data collected every day is immense, which is why it's so common for companies to have, or plan to have, a large marketing database to corral all its customer data.

In a perfect world, collected data is used seamlessly to provide marketers with the insight needed to guide campaigns, make decisions, and target audiences for promoting specific services and products. Unfortunately, dirty data costs businesses billions of dollars every year and has far-reaching consequences.

To remain competitive, prioritizing data quality is essential. Adtaxi wants to spread the word with all the essential details you need to know, from what dirty data is to how to clean data for optimal results.

The Lowdown on Dirty Data

The Data Warehousing Institute estimates that businesses in the United States lost $611 billion in staff overhead, printing, and postage due to low quality customer data. The real cost goes far beyond that, as poor data quality frustrates prospects and alienates loyal customers while eroding a company's credibility.

So, what is it? The simplest definition of dirty data is a database record that contains errors. Those errors could come from inaccuracies that existed from the start or from changes over time. As TDWI points out, roughly 2 percent of the information in customer records become obsolete within 30 days as customers go through life changes including moving, marriage, divorce, and death. Data entry mistakes and errors that occur when source systems change is also problematic. 

Perils of Dirty Data

In truth, having great data is the foundation of any effective marketing campaign. It allows organizations to engage with their target audience and respond to shifts in dynamics quickly and effectively to get the most return on their investment. As mentioned, errors in the data making up your customer database can cost you. Some consequences of having bad data include:

●      Wasted printing costs

●      Inaccurate customer metrics

●      Tracking errors

●      Inaccurate marketing segmentation

●      Misleading customer records

●      Missed opportunities

●      Decreased revenue

 

Characteristics of Clean Data

There's more to clean data than simply making sure it's accurate. To judge your data as clean, it should meet five criteria:

●      It's valid: you can judge it as accurate or inaccurate

●      It's accurate, up-to-date, and as current as possible

●      It's complete: all the necessary fields contain all the necessary information

●      There's no duplicate information and there are no (or minimal) errors

●      All the data values are consistent — same time zone and same unit of measurement throughout the database.

 

How to Clean Your Data

Don't make the mistake of confusing data cleaning with data purging. You can have clean data without deleting old records, which can be useful for creating reactivation campaigns or generating scoring models. Instead, prioritize eliminating useless information with a multi-step cleansing process:

●      Complete a data audit to identify discrepancies

●      Set data cleaning workflow constraints as a team so the program knows what to look for and your team understands how to deal with anything that falls outside of those parameters

●      Execute the data cleaning workflow

●      Review the data to make sure it's correct and to manually correct anything as needed

 

To combat the changes that naturally occur, cleaning data should be an ongoing process for businesses and marketers alike. Collecting clean data from the start is a way to control data quality and reduce heavy data cleaning workflow.