“Advertisers in the travel industry need to increase their online footprint in order to keep up with this ever growing audience,” wrote the online ad team at Yahoo! Their 2011 data revealed that travel-related searches begin climbing in May and peak in July, suggesting now is the time to optimize online ad accounts for the season. Yahoo! offers these tips
Yahoo! offered some specific tips from its search-ad experts:
- Ensure your keyword coverage: Analysis of travel keywords used by adCenter advertisers reveals that the highest click-through rates (CTR) are found in longer keyword entries that include the destination and an offer (e.g., "Hawaii all inclusive vacation packages"). Even if the destination was not included, terms like "all inclusive vacation" or "last minute vacation" still have strong CTRs.
- Book Insurance for your Ads: Like travel insurance, a robust list of negative keywords will, for example, prevent your ad from being shown for searches related to cruise ship accidents or other such incidents.
- Know what's popular: Yahoo's Search Query Performance Report shows exactly what queries a Bing or Yahoo! Search user entered in relation to a keyword. The report helps you identify additional keywords to bid on and provides a list of potential negative keywords to exclude unwanted traffic.
- Go Mobile: Analysts estimate that the number of U.S. mobile users booking via mobile will nearly double from 2010 to 2012, from 8.7 million to 15.1 million. Duplicate your search campaigns to target mobile devices, and reach these searchers while they are on the road.
- Plan ahead: In a 2011 survey commissioned by the Mark Travel Corp., 19% of respondents booked trips six or more months in advance, compared with 16% in May 2010. That type of traveler has already made summer plans, but are booking their fall and winter trips now.
Nielsen has released some updated stats and an infographic on African-American consumers and mobile advertising. As of Q4 of 2011, half of black mobile users owned a smartphone (up from 44% in Q4 2010) and 58% accessed the mobile Internet, more than any other race/ethnic group.
Nielsen was updating data from its Sepember, 2011 “State of the African-American Consumer” report, which it compiled in cooperation with the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), a federation of more than 200 Black community newspapers across the U.S. As Nielsen described, “This growing economic potential presents an opportunity for Fortune 500 companies to examine and further understand this important, flourishing market segment.”
“Too often, companies don’t realize the inherent differences of our community, are not aware of the market size impact and have not optimized efforts to develop messages beyond those that coincide with Black History Month,” said Cloves Campbell, chairman, NNPA.
Where to reach them?
Spot and search advertisers will want to concentrate on the eastern seaboard and south/southeast, according to U.S. Census data.
Among other findings by Nielsen and NNPA:
- With a buying power of nearly $1 trillion annually, if African-Americans were a country, they’d be the 16th largest country in the world.
- The number of African-American households earning $75,000 or higher grew by almost 64% between 2000 and 2009, a rate close to 12% greater than the change in the overall population’s.
- African-Americans make more shopping trips than all other groups, but spend less money per trip. African-Americans in higher income brackets also spend 300% more in higher-end retail grocers more than any other high income household.
- There were 23.9 million active African-American Internet users in July 2011 – 76% of whom visited a social networking/blog site.
- African-Americans use more than double the amount of mobile phone voice minutes compared to Whites – 1,298 minutes a month vs. 606.
- The percentage of African-Americans attending college or earning a degree has increased to 44% for men and 53% for women.
- Fox has taken an equity stake in an interactive television technology provider (ACTV8), reports MediaBistro. Fox will "ACTV8" several its primetime series, beginning with the “New Girl” second screen app, now which is available on iTunes App Store for iPhones and will be available on iPad and Android platforms in the coming weeks. Using the apps, viewers can interact during live broadcasts of Fox shows by chatting in real time, earning badges by watching and answering episodic trivia.
- In search-engine marketing news, Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) browser has started to regain share of the browser market, reports ClickZ. It does so at the expense of rival browsers, particularly Mozilla's Firefox and Google's Chrome. According to data from Net Applications, IE has increased its market share by 2% from December 2011 to March 2012, for a total of 53.8%. The browser was losing share before that, losing more than 5% of users between May and December 2011. Firefox usage has declined since May 2011 through March 2012, dropping 2% for 20.6% of the market.
- Turner Sports lost some digital traffic with its streaming NCAA coverage, reports Multichannel News. Between paid subscriptions and the trials of TV Everywhere authentication, Turner Sports traffic to NCAA.com and March Madness Live broadband and mobile services declined 6% from the 2011 basketball tourney, to a still colossal 51.6 million visits, between March 11 and the April 2 title game. On a daily basis, NCAA.com and March Madness Live averaged 1.1 million daily unique visitors, which was down 10% from 2011, and averaged 473,000 daily uniques on mobile, down 1%.
- Google Ads has created a Google + page for advertising partners, where it will provide the latest Google advertising product news; training and events; tips; and Google Hangouts, with product experts. Google is promising that advertisers can “Stay ahead of the curve with the latest launches and updates for Google's advertising solutions, including search, display, mobile, social, YouTube and Google Analytics. Receive how-to information, best practices, and recommendations.” The latest how-to entry is “Fast facts about targeting ads to the modern digital mom.”
- “New dads are big-time social media newsers,” reports eMarketer. Fathers, particularly first-time fathers, engage in the same social media activities that new mothers do, according to a February survey by Edelman and The Parenting Group. The survey revealed that that 42% of new U.S. fathers who use social networks write family-related status updates on a daily basis. Further, 56% of new dads post family photos at least a few times a week, while 21% post family-related videos.
Whatever the buzz about the new iPhone and Apple-friendly digital magazines, Google’s Android platform is the king of the hill.
comScore has today released data from its comScore MobiLens service, reporting key trends in the U.S. mobile phone industry during the three month average period ending February 2012. comScore found that Google Android continued to grow its share in the U.S. smartphone market, crossing the 50% threshold in February to capture a majority share for the first time in its history.
The study surveyed more than 30,000 U.S. mobile subscribers and found Samsung to be the top handset manufacturer overall with 25.6% market share.
OEM Market Share
For the three-month average period ending in February, 234 million Americans age 13 and older used mobile devices. Device manufacturer Samsung ranked as the top OEM with 25.6% of U.S. mobile subscribers, followed by LG with 19.4% share. Apple captured the #3 ranking in February with 13.5% of mobile subscribers (up 2.3%), followed by Motorola at 12.8%. HTC moved into the #5 position in February at 6.3% (up 0.4%).
Smartphone Platform Market Share
More than 104 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the three months ending in February, up 14% versus November. Google Android’s share of the smartphone market eclipsed 50% in February, an increase of 17% since February 2011. Apple ranked second with 30.2% of the smartphone market (up 5% versus year ago), followed by RIM at 13.4%, Microsoft at 3.9% and Symbian at 1.5%.
Mobile Content Usage
In February, 74.8% of U.S. mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device, up 2.2%. Apps were used by 49.5% of subscribers (up 4.6%), while browsers were used by 49.2% (up 4.8%). Accessing of social networking sites or blogs increased 3.1% to 36.1% of mobile subscribers. Game-playing was done by 32.3% of the mobile audience (up 2.6%), while 24.8% listened to music on their phones (up 3.1%).
Microsoft’s Peter Yang on the company’s Microsoft Advertising blog site described numerous changes in location targeting, aimed at improving campaign performance.
“To optimize targeting in the U.S. and Canada, we will remove about 10,000 cities from adCenter targeting in May. Because these cities have seen no measurable traffic, this change will have no negative impact on the performance of your campaigns.” Users targeting a city that will be removed are advised to update settings to target a city supported by adCenter to gain more traffic. The company offers a spreadsheet of those areas (see above link), which lists 10,807 locations, plus their alternates. Someone in Flordell Hills, Missouri for example will switch to nearby Ferguson.
In answer to some FAQS about the changes:
Will this change have any negative impact on my campaign / ad group performance?
No. You are likely to see an increase in impressions if you switch your targeting to a city supported by adCenter.
Do I need to make any changes for campaigns / ad groups that are targeting multiple cities, some of which will no longer be supported by adCenter targeting?
No. adCenter will simply remove the non-supported cities from targeting options and your campaign/ad group will continue to serve ads on other targeted locations.
When will this change occur in May?
Microsoft plans to remove the non-supported cities from adCenter targeting in mid to late May.
Will this change affect other countries outside of the U.S. and Canada?
No. In May, Microsoft only plans to remove non-supported cities in the U.S. and Canada from adCenter targeting options.
Advertising research firm BIA/Kelsey projects that U.S. companies will spend $136.2 billion on local advertising, between traditional, online and mobile ads, in 2012, reports eMarketer. That number will climb toward $151.3 billion by the end of 2016.
As we reported yesterday, BIA/Kelsey chief economist Mark Fratrik told Media Life that digital with its lower cost-per-thousand impressions (CPMs) makes sense for smaller businesses, as well as with its more targeted reach: a print ad in a local paper, or broadcast ad on a local news station, cannot target the 12-mile radius that a plumber may wish to reach, but targeted digital ads can.
Traditional spends will grow but in the low single digits, versus in the teens for digital. Still, with its lower percentage of overall spend, the overall spends will grow annually between 1 and 4%.
Though total U.S. local ad spending should grow slowly over the next four years, digital ad spending will grow by double digits, driven largely by social, mobile and video advertising. By 2016, the firm projects that local digital ad spending will tip the scales at $38.5 billion, more than 25% of total local ad spending, up from 16% in 2012.
“From 2010 to 2011, we saw a 2.4% decline in local ad spending,” said BIA/Kelsey CEO Tom Buono at the ILM-East conference in Boston on March 26. “We were projecting a decline originally, but it’s a lot more severe than we expected because of the economy. Therefore, in our projections moving forward, we’re less bullish than we were.”
Local TV stations are integrating with advertisers, and extending their coverage and conversations with viewers, through social media, reports Ad Age. The magazine was reporting from the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA) Transformation Conference in LA, and on a panel called “Socializing Local TV.”
As an example, President Valari Staab of NBC Owned Television Stations described how Facebook helped a local NBC affiliate dominate coverage of Hurricane Irene in its market. Viewers engaged about the hurricane on the affiliate’s Facebook page, which provided enough content and interest that the station’s news broadcast went on-air live at 3 P.M. versus 6 P.M. “We slaughtered our competition on the coverage,” as Staab described.
Local advertisers can benefit from a station’s social extensions, remarked panelist Dunia Shive (president-CEO of Belo Corp., a Dallas-based owner of 20 broadcast stations and two cable stations). Still, Shive believes the connection between advertising and breaking news is tenuous. Belo plans to introduce a mobile streaming product later this year in 32 U.S. markets. " We'll have to see how consumers react to that launch and how content is used, and then build digital-ad opportunities,” said Shive.
Local advertisers will likely latch on, for the lower cost-per-thousand (CPM) impressions alone. Local ad spending fell 2.4% in 2012, according to analyst group BIA/Kelsey. The group expects local advertising to bounce back this year, and continue through 2016 with a compound annual growth of 2.6%. BIA/Kelsey chief economist Mark Fratrik told Media Life that “Online/interactive/digital probably wasn't hit as much [in 2011] because it's new and exciting and it tends to be lower-priced CPMs…There's sort of a movement from higher-priced media to lower-priced media.”
The good news, according to Fratrik, is that smaller and medium-sized local businesses can now afford digital and interactive ad vehicles. He raised the example of a plumber in the suburbs who can taret paid search in a 12-mile radius, which newspapers find difficult to do and local TV finds impossible.
comScore, Inc. has released full results from its U.S.-based vCE Charter Study involving online advertising campaigns for 12 premium national advertisers, including Allstate, Chrysler, Discover, E-Trade, General Mills and Sprint, among others. comScore announced the Validated Campaign Essentials (vCE) offering in January, and last week signed on Forbes.com as a client.
The comScore study found that, in many cases, a large portion of ad impressions are not delivered according to plan, and that the quality of ad delivery can vary greatly based on a variety of factors, including site, placement, creative and targeting strategy. The study evaluated ad delivery based on a several key dimensions, including whether or not the ads were delivered in-view, to the right audience, in the right geography, in brand safe environments and absent of fraud.
“This is the first study to bring twelve leading marketers together to holistically understand how online advertising is delivered, allowing us to begin to diagnose sources of waste and identify solutions for improving the value that all players in the ecosystem can extract from the digital advertising market,” said Linda Abraham, comScore co-founder and CMO. “Until now, neither side of the industry has had a clear picture of ad delivery, resulting in a lack of confidence in digital’s ability to deliver on its promise as the most measurable advertising medium. The insights from the charter study represent a critical first step to improving the efficiency, efficacy and ultimately the economics of online advertising for all participants.”
Executive Summary of Key vCE Charter Study Findings
The vCE Charter Study includes a variety of detailed findings that shed light on the current state of online ad delivery and its implications for different participants in the online advertising market. Key findings include:
- In-View Rates are Eye-Opening. The study showed that 31% of ads were not in-view, meaning they never had an opportunity to be seen. There was also great variation across sites where the campaigns ran, with in-view rates ranging from 7% to 100% on a given site. This variance illustrates that even for major advertisers making premium buys there is a lot of room for improvement.
- Targeting Audiences Beyond Demographics Can be Powerful. Generally, campaigns that had very basic demographic targeting objectives performed well with regard to hitting those targets. For example, those with an objective of reaching people in a particular broad age range did so with 70% of their impressions. Predictably, as additional demographic variables were added to the targeting criteria (e.g. income + gender), accuracy rates of the ad delivery declined. However, the results also showed that 37% of all impressions were delivered to audiences with behavioral profiles that were relevant to the brand (i.e. consumers with demonstrated interests in categories, such as food, auto or sports). One campaign had 67% of its impressions viewed by the target behavioral segment.
- The Content in Which An Ad Runs Can Create Problems for Any Brand. Of the campaigns analyzed, 72% had at least some impressions that were delivered adjacent to objectionable content—chiefly adult-oriented or “hate sites” (e.g., white supremacist content). While this did not translate to a large number of impressions on an absolute basis (141,000 impressions across 980 domains), it is important to note that 92,000 people were exposed to these impressions. This demonstrates that brand safety should be of concern to all advertisers.
- Fraud is the Elephant in the Digital Room. Fraud is an undeniably large and growing problem in digital advertising. The results showed that an average of 0.16% of impressions across all campaigns was delivered to non-human agents from the IAB spiders & bots list. Although this percentage might appear negligible, there are two important considerations to keep in mind. Only the most basic forms of inappropriate delivery were addressed in this study. When additional, more sophisticated types of fraud are considered, the problem will only get larger. Like brand safety, fraud should be an important concern for all advertisers.
- Digital Ad Economics: The Good Guys Aren’t Necessarily Winning. The study showed that there was little to no correlation between CPM and value being delivered to the advertiser. For example, ad placements with strong in-view rates are not getting higher CPMs than placements with low in-view rates. Similarly, ads that are doing well at delivering to a primary demographic target are not receiving more value than those that are not. In other words, neither ad visibility nor the quality of the audience reached is currently reflected in the economics of digital advertising.
These findings suggest that measuring all dimensions of ad delivery for every placement in a holistic fashion is critical and that optimizing delivery in-flight is a necessary step in the campaign management process. The findings also support the argument that any digital GRP metric must account for validated, not gross impressions. This validated impression measurement must include ‘viewable impressions,’ based on the very simple notion that if an ad is not seen, it cannot possibly deliver its intended effect.
“With 31% of vCE Charter Study impressions not being viewable, it is now abundantly clear just how important in-view measurement is to online campaign validation,” said Abraham. “In order for any digital GRP metric to be relevant in the online space and to be cross-media comparable, it must include validated ‘viewable impressions’ in its calculation. While audience and geographic validation are crucial – and should not be ignored – if a digital campaign rating does not also take into account whether or not the ad had the opportunity to be seen, then the metric fails to deliver a true apples-to-apples comparison to all other media.”
About the vCE Charter Study
To better understand issues associated with display ad delivery and validation, 12 leading marketers participated in a U.S.-based charter study, called the vCE Charter Study. The goal of the study was to quantify the incidence of sub-optimal ad delivery across these key dimensions for the advertised brands, and in so doing, frame the relative importance of each for the industry. Key validation dimensions included: in-view, audience delivery, geographic delivery, brand safety and fraud.
Select Study Participants: Allstate, Chrysler, Discover, E-Trade, Ford, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Kimberly Clark, Kraft, and Sprint
Time Period: December 2011
Total Campaigns: 18
Media Placements: 2,975
Site Domains: 380,898
Ad Impressions: 1.8 billion
Format: All ads were display, delivered via iframes
Paid search, social media and display ads are poised to take over in lead generation, where email leaves off. But B2B marketers are particularly optimistic about social media, reports eMarketer.
In a February 2012 survey of B2B marketing and agency professionals by BtoB Magazine, 59% view lead generation as their greatest online marketing challenge.
Most respondents rely on email, with 57% saying that as an online channel, emailcontributes the most qualified leads to their businesses. But a significant percentage reported that another online channel was their biggest driver of leads, including paid search (20%) and social media (13%). Respondents from agencies were more likely than marketers to favor social or search.
Both B2B marketers and agencies felt that social media in particular has room for growth in their organizations. After email, social media was the most widely adopted of the marketing channels, but only 5% of respondents described their social media efforts as “well-optimized,” compared with the 30% that felt their email programs were optimized. A majority of 55%, said their social efforts were in the early-stage but showed promise.
The data suggests that B2B enterprises should look first to LinkedIn and blogs (both of which are increasingly ad friendly). An October 2011 study of B2B marketers worldwide conducted by marketing automation provider Pardot discovered that LinkedIn was the social media tool most successful at lead generation, followed closely by blogging.
While paid search presents another lead-gen opportunity for B2B marketers, with 18% reporting that it was their single greatest lead creator, only 11% said claimed to have a mature and well-optimized search program in place. Another 43% reported not using search marketing at all.
“Today I’m happy to announce that the partnership we announced this past November, between Microsoft, AOL and Yahoo! is now fully operational and open for business,” declared Microsoft on its ad blog. “Starting this week, the Microsoft Media Network, AOL’s Advertising.com and Yahoo! Network Plus are leveraging real-time bidding (RTB) to offer advertising opportunities across all three networks’ premium, non-reserved, owned and operated display inventory.”
The idea is to provide marketers with “flexible access” to a larger pool of ad inventory; added audience reach; and the combined analytics of the three organizations.As Yahoo! described the offering in its own ad blog, the partnership streamlines the media-buying process “by providing more efficient access to premium online ad inventory,” while both extending reach and offering better yields.
As Adweek described, the agreement was perceived as a “play against Google, which added premium inventory to its offering through last year’s Admeld acquisition.” But until this announcement, there was no indication when the partnered inventory would go live. Still there were some rumblings, when AOL moved its inventory to Yahoo!’s Right Media Exchange (RMX). Microsoft’s inventory will remain on its Microsoft Advertising Exchange.