The Rise of Native And Mobile Ads

Mobile and native advertising are gaining increased popularity. With more social media users checking their accounts via mobile devices than on their computers, in-stream mobile ads are quickly becoming advertisers’ chosen method for getting their message front and center. This infographic provides an in-depth look at the rise of mobile and native advertising and offers predictions for the future.

Native advertising’s influence on a broad range of media, including mobile and social advertising, will allow marketers and agencies to justify and continue to invest in native budgets for the foreseeable future.


[Source: Linkedin Marketing Solutions].

10 must-know digital marketing statistics from 2013

In this post, I round-up some of the significant stats from 2013 which show the big trends in consumer behaviour across different digital platforms and channels that will help you question your priorities in 2014.

Social media marketing

Q. Which social networks should we focus on?

With limited time you need to focus your participation on the social networks which are growing fastest and have the most participation amongst your audience. This data from Global WebIndex shows the growth in the main networks across different age groups. You need to check how you’re performing compared to competitors too.


Q. Which social networks encourage sharing?

Our post asking which social network drives the most visits used social sharing data from Gigya to help answer this question.  These are the top sources of sharing at a top-level.


Of course, sharing will vary by market, so check your sharing against your direct competitors. Here we can see that Ecommerce sharing is quite different – with Pinterest very popular, particularly in the US.

Google Chrome

Q. Should we offer social sign-in?

The same data source also shows the relative popularity of the social networks for social sign-in. Data is available specifically for Ecommerce companies and publishers too.



Q. How popular is mobile search and how effective is our mobile SEO?

With the increase in consumer adoption of mobile, you should focus more on visits from mobile SEO. See how the proportion of mobile visits vary in importance compared to other traffic sources to see whether you potentially have a problem.

Despite the growth in popularity of social media many of us still turn first to a search engine, although this new data from Google’s new Mobile Path to Purchase guide shows us that mobile apps and brand sites are important sources too according to consumers.

Mobile search popularity 2014

Q. How do I review the effectiveness of my SEO given the growth in Not Provided?

We have alerted readers to how Google has progessively removed referring keywords in its reports during 2013, so making reporting on SEO more challenging, although we have shown there are decent alternatives.

As if you needed a reminder, this is how significant Not Provided is now…


Ecommerce and conversion rate optimisation

Q. What is our potential improvement in conversion rates?

Although overall conversion rates for Ecommerce can help us benchmark, as Dan Barker said in this post average conversion rates are near-meaningless.

So what you need to review is the variation in conversion. This will vary by device, country, referrer and of course product category on the site as suggested by this benchmark from Monetate.  Only by analysing variation and understanding which interactions on category and product pages and customer online shopping concerns which affect conversion will you be able to improve conversion.

Mobile conversion

Q. Which channels drive conversion and value – beyond last click to assists

We’ve regularly written on the importance of channel attribution to understand which media influence sales over the increasingly complex customer journey. This new data from Adobe shows, for example that social media and search can be more valuable when assists are taken into account. It also highlights the importance of comparing channels on revenue per visit.

Google Chrome

Email marketing

Q. How seriously should I treat mobile email?

You probably know the answer to this already! The answer is “very seriously”. Litmus does an excellent job in in documenting the growing rise of mobile email.

Within email opened on mobile devices, checking your iPhone and iPad rendering is most important, although Android is rising fast.

[Source: Smart Insights]

Ad Tracking: The Invisible Personal Shopper

Ad Tracking: The Invisible Personal Shopper | Internet Service Providers

[Source: Internet Service Providers]

Brands allocating most of social marketing budget on Facebook, uncertain of worth

Brands are spending more on Facebook than any other social network as found by BI Intelligence, a branch of Business Insider research. The Technorati Media’s 2013 Digital Influence Report has found that 57 percent of social media budgets are allocated toward Facebook with YouTube and Twitter only receiving 13 percent.

In a separate study, out of 3000 marketers surveyed 41 percent said they were “uncertain” about the effectiveness of Facebook marketing. Social Media Examiner’s 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report also found that 17 percent have directly said the site is ineffective for marketing purposes, with 32 percent finding it effective.


As the largest social network, it comes at no surprise that brands are spending the majority of their budgets on Facebook. However, there is a potential opening for other social networks to lure advertising away from Facebook.

These statistics suggest that it is important for Facebook to better communicate results and effects for all marketing. Brands have difficulty quantifying the value of a like, so it is important for the social network to educate marketers on how they are spending their money and how they should be measuring their results.

[Source: InsideFacebook]

Trust in Advertising: Owned, Earned and (social) Paid

In a recent Nielsen global study, all forms of paid advertising—TV, print, digital, radio—showed a gap in the “trust factor,” with a majority of respondents reporting that they don’t trust each type much or at all. Conversely, and not surprisingly, “recommendations from people I know” scored highest on trust, with 92 percent of consumers trusting this source completely or somewhat. Owned media, such as brand websites, scored higher than paid advertising but lower than social recommendations. Yet advertising as a medium continues to thrive, with ad dollars on the rise globally and in many markets around the world.

Trust in Advertising – Q3 2011

Trust In Advertising

Now What? The Convergence of Paid, Owned and Earned

Now that we’ve demonstrated what many of us already knew, what should we do about it? Does trust in advertising matter? If so, can we even do anything about it?

Since trust in advertising lays along continuum that moves from earned (highest trust), to owned, then paid (lowest trust), it stands to reason that brands should want more earned and owned. But can paid be given up completely? For most brands, that strategy isn’t really feasible given both the broad reach and historical success associated with paid media.

Instead, we need to start thinking of how paid, owned and earned can work together to improve trust and deliver better results. Marketers continue to discuss them as if they are mutually exclusive media. They’re not.  And now technology is blurring the lines of paid, owned and earned media more than ever.  Paid can now also be social, as social is often about paid. Owned can have paid embedded media in it. And sometimes, all three can exist in one consumer touchpoint. What’s a CMO to make of this trend?

Three Examples of Convergence Between Paid, Owned and Earned

1. Paid Ads Work Harder with Social
What actually happens when you combine social and paid advertising? Research on Facebook ads with and without a social layer (Jimmy, Billy and eight other friends are fans of Brand X), shows that social ads generate much stronger breakthrough and purchase intent than ads without a social layer. Why? Knowing that the advertised brand is liked by our friends builds trust.

2. Paid Digital Advertising Drives Owned Usage
Digital advertising can drive consumers to a brand’s owned media. In the example below, we look at the effectiveness of four different brands’ digital advertising in driving consumers to their respective web sites. Brands A & B were far more successful in doing so than Brands C & D.

Brand A Brand B Brand C Brand D
% of those exposed to the online display campaign that went on to visit a brand’s website post-exposure 4.7 5.2 1.0 1.2
% of those not exposed to the online display advertising who visited a brand’s website 0.5 0.4 0.2 0.3

3. Owned Can Work Harder Than Paid
What about owned media? Does it work once consumers arrive? One way of understanding this relationship is to measure the off-line sales impact of those consumers exposed, versus not exposed to your brand’s website. In the example below, we can see that exposure to Brand X’s website drove almost three times the sales lift of paid digital ads alone.

Owned Can Work Harder Than Paod

The Opportunity – Putting it All Together

Addressing the truth deficit in advertising is more than just making ads that are, well, true. It’s also about how to use paid, owned and earned media to your brand’s advantage.

Using the example above, why not build social into your paid advertising (where possible), use your paid ads to drive consumers to your website and optimize your site to drive maximum on or off-line purchase? Why not experiment with the myriad ways to engage your consumers across the paid, owned and earned continuum?

Overcoming the trust deficit in advertising isn’t about making ads that aren’t misleading or exaggerated. It’s about adding in social and owned media experiences in ways that give paid media more legitimacy,  enabling it to work harder for your brand.

[Source: Nielsen]


Ecco, in sintesi, quali sono i tipi di comunicazione di cui si fidano le persone:

  • I media “earned” suscitano la fiducia più forte: il coinvolgimento di consumatori disinteressati è garanzia di imparzialità. Parliamo ad esempio di social network, blog, forum e piattaforme non proprietarie;
  • I media “owned” sono degni di fiducia: sono “della marca”, ma lo sono esplicitamente, apertamente. Le persone si fidano del messaggio di questi canali sia perché i brand se ne assumono la responsabilità in modo diretto, sia perché – sempre più spesso – le marche coinvolgono le persone sui propri canali. In questo caso si intendono soprattutto piattaforme di conversazione, ad esempio blog di marca o luoghi di discussione facilitati dal brand;
  • I media “paid” funzionano solo quando hanno una componente “social”. In altre parole, quando mantengono la caratteristica di acquisto di uno “spazio” o di “visibilità”, ma lo fanno includendo un elemento di conversazione. Parliamo ad esempio dei “social ads” di Facebook o dei “promoted tweets” di Twitter. Questi canali funzionano quando sono utilizzati sfruttandone le peculiarità social e non quando vengono intesi come “spazi banner” tradizionali, ma contestualizzati in un social network. Gli “ads” con una componente social non solo sono più affidabili per le persone, ma sono ricordati più facilmente;
Ogni nuova indagine, insomma, evidenzia come si rafforzi la tendenza a ritenere la conversazione come un elemento imprescindibile per quelle marche che vogliono stimolare la fiducia delle persone: ecco perché è importante studiare il modo in cui le persone interagiscono sui canali social per identificare la strategia di migliore per raggiungere gli obiettivi.
[Source: WeAreSocial]

When the Cookie Crumbles: how to measure and validate the accurate delivery of Digital Campaigns

With the rising popularity of social media and online video, along with the growing adoption of smartphones and other connected devices, the Internet continues to consume an increasing amount of time in the daily lives of millions of consumers. For brands around the globe, the Internet has also emerged as a significant advertising channel. Consider that the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) reported that UK online advertising spending in 2011 was 14% higher than in 2010. In the U.S., eMarketer says online spending will grow by a staggering 23% in 2012, far outstripping the total media ad spending forecast of 6.7% in 2012.

To a large extent, brands are investing in digital advertising based on the results of research showing that online ad campaigns can increase both online and retail sales in a very cost-effective manner. Let’s take, for example, the results of almost 100 comScore studies that measured the impact of FMCG online ad campaigns on retail (i.e. in-store) sales. These show that five out of every six FMCG online campaign generated a positive offline sales lift, with a median in-store sales lift of 21% among households exposed to the digital advertising campaigns compared to households not exposed to the campaigns. Further comScore analysis has shown that one of the main reasons digital advertising works so well for FMCG brands is that more than 40% of the campaign ads include price and promotion incentives (e.g. communication of special prices, discount coupons, price packs, etc.), which have been proven to lift sales quickly when included in other media.

As the industry continues to study digital advertising and we learn more about how online advertising works, there’s been an increasing focus on what I believe to be an essential and foundational part of effective digital media, and one that can generate even stronger sales results. That is, the measurement and validation of the accurate delivery of digital campaigns. I find this aspect of digital advertising to be critical because, if executed correctly, it can allow for even more precise and efficient targeting of ads than is possible with traditional media. Let’s take a closer look at why this is true.

During the early days of digital advertising, it was assumed that display campaigns were generally delivered on target. After all, this was part of the great promise of the Internet as an advertising channel. As branding dollars began to move online, however, advertisers sought third-party validation of their campaign delivery. They wanted answers to critical campaign delivery questions, such as: Are my ads reaching the intended demographic and geographic segments? Are my R/F levels in line with my buying guidelines?

Many advertisers were surprised to learn that, because of the way targeted ads are delivered online, their campaigns were often not reaching their target to the extent they believed. There is one main culprit for this, and that is, the cookie. The cookie is a piece of computer code that is placed on a computer’s browser when the user visits a particular website or performs a certain online activity (e.g. configuring a new car or providing demographic information, etc.). Cookies are also deposited each time a computer receives an ad as part of a specific campaign. The cookie uniquely identifies the computer and browser. In digital ad targeting, the cookie is used by ad servers in an attempt to identify the demographic or behavioral characteristics of the individual using the computer and the number of times the ad server should deliver an ad impression to each computer it sees.

It all sounds straightforward, but there are two main problems with relying solely on a cookie-based approach, and these problems have been illuminated via research from comScore (and other third-party measurement providers). Using comScore’s global research panel of 2 million Internet users who have given comScore explicit permission to install measurement software on their computers, comScore is able to continuously measure browsing activity, with an accurate measurement of individuals’ gender and age, as well as the number of times users receive an ad impression. Using comScore’s technology means this information can be obtained without having to rely on cookies.

To better understand the potential flaws of cookie-based targeting and reporting, comScore first studied the incidence of multiple-user computers and found that about 66% of Internet users are, in fact, on multiple-user machines. This means that using a cookie to identify the demographic profile of a user (as explained above) can be subject to substantial error, and thus can negatively impact the accuracy of one’s targeting. Take for example, a household with three users – a husband, a wife and their daughter. Because each of these three people use the same computer, the cookie cannot differentiate who is on the computer at any given point in time, and the ad server might deliver an ad that is intended to reach the male head-of-house to his daughter. When reporting delivery, the ad server would count the impression as one delivered against the male target, when, in fact, it was never seen by this individual and was instead “wasted” on his daughter.

In an actual example from a recent ad campaign shown below, we see what happens as a result of the inherent flaws of cookie-based targeting. The ad server is clearly unable to accurately identify the demographic characteristics of the users on the machines at the point in time that it delivered the ads.


comScore research also uncovered that about 30% of computers have their ad-server cookies deleted in a month, with a frequency of 4+ times per month. This can cause substantial error in the planned delivery of campaign’s reach and frequency. Take, for example, a campaign in which an ad server repeatedly delivers ads to a computer that has had its cookies deleted, believing that it is delivering the ad for the first time, when, in fact, the computer has received the ad multiple times throughout the course of the campaign. This typically causes an over-delivery of frequency and a corresponding under-delivery of reach.

Here is a real-life case example of this very scenario:


Using the comScore panel to measure the true delivery of this digital campaign for a client, comScore found that 65% of all impressions were delivered by the ad server with a frequency of 10+ per person, far exceeding the optimal level of 3 to 8 that the media plan required. Because of high cookie-deletion rates, the ad server kept delivering impressions to the same computers, believing that they had not previously received ads, when they actually had. Because the cookies were deleted, however, the technical evidence of the delivery was erased.

So, how should the digital ad industry address these issues to improve the accuracy of its targeting efforts?  At a recent meeting of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), Aaron Fetters, associate director of Global Digital Strategy and Analytics for the Kellogg’s Company, outlined how Kellogg’s has attacked the problem. To eliminate measurement skews associated with multiple-user computers and cookie deletion, Kellogg’s tags its ads with a comScore tag, allowing comScore to receive information about the ad delivery. comScore then uses this information, along with its panel, to truly understand who is receiving an ad (i.e. the actual person, not just the cookie) and at what frequency. This information is then fed to Kellogg’s and its ad agency in almost real time so that on-the-fly modifications can be made to the media plan, as needed. These modifications can involve shifting ad dollars from publishers who are unable to accurately reach the target segment with the desired frequency to those who can. By receiving this daily data throughout the duration of the campaign, advertisers no longer have to wait until the end of the campaign to understand the accuracy of their delivery. Instead, they can course-correct throughout the campaign, helping to eliminate wasted ad impressions and to avoid post-campaign ‘make goods’ (as is common with television advertising). According to Kellogg’s, this approach to measuring and validating ad delivery has delivered value in terms of both improved effectiveness and efficiency of their digital campaigns.

As digital advertising continues to evolve to reach its true potential as the most effective and efficient advertising medium, it is increasingly clear that ad delivery measurement and validation is a critical part of the advertising process. By leveraging the inherent ability of the Internet to deliver more ad impressions to a target segment in a given period of time than is possible with traditional media and by relying on third-party sources to verify accurate delivery, digital advertisers will be able to reap additional benefits in terms of even higher returns from their investments in digital advertising.

[Source: ComScore Voices]

This article was originally published in the June 2012 issue of Admap magazine. Reproduced with permission of Admap, the world’s primary source of strategies for effective advertising, marketing and research. To subscribe visit © Copyright Admap.

They Work! Facebook Mobile Ads Are Clicked 13X More, Earn 11X More Money Than Its Desktop Ads

How will Facebook monetize mobile? Its organic-seeming Sponsored Stories ad format may be the answer. Mobile Sponsored Stories are getting over 13 times the click-through rates and earn 11.2 times the money per impression (eCPM) on mobile compared to all of Facebook’s desktop ads, and 1.93 times the CTR and 2.65 times the eCPM of Sponsored Stories on the web in the two weeks since Facebook began selling them separate from web ads.

The data comes from new studies by TBG DigitalAdParlor,Nanigans, and Spruce Media, three of Facebook’s biggest Ads API partners that help brands buy ads. Since Sponsored Stories slip into content feeds so seamlessly, Facebook may actually be better equipped to handle the shift to mobile advertising than other web-first tech companies. Let’s check out the early proof.

Much of the doubt surrounding Facebook’s IPO came from evidence that the social network’s user base was shifting away from the web to mobile, where Facebook only began testing ads in February. On the web users are shown up to seven ads per page and some spend big sums on social games, but on mobile they’re only shown a couple of ads per day and few pay for games on Facebook’s HTML5 gaming platform.

Fears about Facebook’s mobile future are partly to blame for its share price sinking from its $38 opening to around $31.50 today. But earlier this month, Facebook began allowing advertisers to specify that they wanted their ads only shown on mobile, and now the world is getting its first deep look at how Facebook mobile ads perform. The results could make investors more optimistic.

TBG Digital’s CEO Simon Mansell tells me “this is huge news that show mobile is potentially going to be the big revenue driver that Facebook needs, especially because the usage in there.” Here’s the results of two data sets shared exclusively with TechCrunch plus more confirmations from the ad industry.

Facebook Ads Performance: Mobile vs Web

According to a new study by TBG Digital on 278,389,453 Sponsored Story ad impressions across 17 clients, mobile news feed Sponsored Stories (the only ads Facebook shows on mobile) have a stunning click-through rate of 1.14% at a $0.86 CPC. That means Facebook earns $9.86 per 1000 impressions (eCPM), and that could actually rise as more advertisers realize the power of mobile Sponsored Stories and compete for impressions there.

Compare those numbers to the desktop news feed Sponsored Stories that get a 0.588% CTR at $0.63 CPC and earn Facebook an eCPM of $3.72, and Facebook is getting 1.93x the CTR and earning 2.65x as much on mobile sponsored stories compared to what it makes on the web.

And look at Facebook’s desktop ads as a whole, including both Sponsored Stories and the traditional sidebars ads. They’re getting just 0.083% CTR at a $0.88 CPC earning Facebook an eCPM of only $0.74, so mobile Sponsored Stories have 13.7X the CTR and earn Facebook 11.2x as much as its combined desktop ad offering.

Meanwhile, a quick look at a campaign in the tens of thousands of dollars by AdParlor showed that mobile ads have a CTR of 0.821% while traditional Facebook ad campaigns that mostly show up in the web sidebar with some presence in the web and mobile news feed had a CTR of regular ads have a CTR of just 0.032%. That’s a 25x better CTR on mobile. The campaign at gaining new fans for a Facebook page, and while the click-to-fan conversion rate on mobile was slightly worse – 55% on mobile versus 72% across placements – the improved in CTR makes up for it many times over.

Other sources in the ad industry confirm the high performance of Facebook mobile ads. Another Ads API giant Spruce Media told MediaPost that its tests with Facebook mobile sponsored stories have seen click-through rates from .8% to 1.7%, the same range as TBG Digital and AdParlor. UpdateNanigans, a top Ads API choice amongst gaming companies, says it’s seeing an average of 0.79% CTR for mobile Sponsored Stories, but with smart additional interest targeting layered on, CTRs range as high as 2%.

This all doesn’t seem like users are just clicking the relatively new, three month old ad units out of curiosity. It looks like users are actually perceiving them as content, and are clicking through to learn more about the Pages and apps their friends interact with.

Cracking The Code For Mobile Ads

Attaining such a high click-through rate for mobile Sponsored Stories is game-changing for Facebook, because there’s simply not as much room for it or any service to advertise on mobile.

There’s no space for an ads sidebar and if far too many ads are injected into the content feed, users could get angry and stop browsing. But the impressively high CTR and eCPM mean Facebook doesn’t have to show too many Sponsored Stories to make a ton of money off of them.

And advertisers are lining up to buy them, says AdParlor CEO Hussein Fazal, “By allowing advertisers to show ads only on mobile – Facebook is definitely going to be able to generate more revenue. We have seen a ton of interest from advertisers who want to advertise just on mobile.”

Other social sites like Google+ and Twitter don’t have the scale, social graph, or on-site activity to serve Sponsored Stories that are as effective as Facebook’s. While Twitter and G+’s interest graph can power accurate ad targeting, only Facebook know who your closest friends are thanks to photo tags, wall posts, messages, and more. Its massive time-on-site also produces lots of interactions with brands and local businesses that can be turned into Sponsored Stories ads.

And Facebook is just getting started. Sources say it’s working on a hyper-local mobile ad targeting product that could serve extremely relevant local business ads to users within a few hundred feet of a brick and mortar store. Thanks to the new Facebook Exchange real-time bidding system, Facebook could drive up CPC or CPM prices by getting advertisers to compete to reach specific mobile users, including ones who’ve been retargeted after visiting sites that indicate purchase intent.

Legality is one of the last hurdles to the success of Sponsored Stories. Facebook settled a class-action lawsuit in California last week for using people’s likenesses in ads. It doesn’t currently offer an opt out for Sponsored Stories, but may eventually have to. Still, the setting would likely be buried deep enough to avoid too many people turning the offer the money-maker.

In the last two weeks, Facebook’s stock price has climbed nearly 20%, regaining a big chunk of what it lost since the IPO. Those who bought in at the bottom are looking wiser now. High mobile Sponsored Story CTRs indicate at least some users don’t hate the ads, and wouldn’t rebel if they see more.

Now Facebook has to strike the right balance of how many mobile ads to show. If it succeeds, it could walk the tightrope of the shift to mobile, end up a very rich company on the other side, and generate the returns that so many have hoped for.

[Source: They Work! Facebook Mobile Ads Are Clicked 13X More, Earn 11X More Money Than Its Desktop Ads | TechCrunch]