Display advertising has been a stalwart channel for marketers for some years and with the proliferation of new digital channels, has tended to seem a bit behind the times in terms of technology advancements.
But now display marketing has made the technological leap by targeting customers in real-time and providing them with relevant ads based on their interests. So, why exactly should display marketing still be allocated a proportion of the marketing budget?
1. The online consumer
Marketing spend is increasingly shifting from offline to online as more and more people access content on smartphones, tablets and computers. Display is benefiting greatly from this shift as more and more premium inventory is becoming available as the number of websites and mobile sites multiply. This explains the rapid growth in the market with online display advertising set to make up about two-thirds of the total online advertising market this year.
2. Real-time success
Display marketing seemed behind the times because it was stuck in the manual phase; a phase where you needed several people and multiple parties to display a single banner ad. Now there is the option of automation, saving the marketer’s time and resources, as well as serving ads that are more rewarding for both marketer and consumer.
Programmatic buying has brought automation to the world of display advertising and allows ads to be served to consumers on a real-time basis, automatically serving the most relevant marketing to the most relevant consumer based on their interests. For example, if a woman is looking at jeans on the House of Fraser website, a House of Fraser ad promoting a sale in women’s jeans could be shown on other fashion websites that the woman was browsing on.
This trumps the process that display marketers had been using. True, previous models allowed marketers to target people with ads that they might be interested in but this didn’t always allow for the personal touch. Using the same example, as above, former approaches would ensure a House of Fraser ad was shown to the woman who was looking at the House of Fraser website, but it might show her an ad for a sale on menswear, losing its conversion potential, simply because it didn’t make use of the personal data available.
Programmatic buying is certainly the hot topic of digital marketing right now and with the likes of Google and Facebook making use of the technology, its adoption within the industry is set to soar.
3. Creativity in communication
We’ve established that the ads can be shown to a well-segmented audience but how are they engaging in themselves? Well, display is no longer restricted to the banner formats you see running along your computer screens. It has evolved to encompass interactive elements or rich media including music, slideshows and video across multiple formats such as mobile and tablet. Instead of simple pop-ups, a retail catalogue or a music video can be incorporated into a banner ad, creating much more engaging content for consumers and again, massively increasing click-through rates.
So, where before the creative was restricted to the parameters of a small rectangle at the bottom of the screen, now the web is the display marketer’s oyster, with multiple possibilities for creative content plus a chance to integrate display advertising with other platforms, particularly social media.
Display marketing is now at the forefront of cutting-edge technology that increases consumer engagement and marketers are sure to profit from integrating display into their campaigns. Marketers will find themselves in a win-win situation since the technology has allowed display marketing to become a much more cost-effective, time-efficient and transparent process to both advertiser and publisher, and it can serve more relevant ads to interested consumers — the dream solution for any marketer.
Gustav Mellentin is the CEO of Adform.
Video in email is not a new concept. A static image with a “click to play” call to action that starts the video playing in the browser or media player is a standard technique. However, since the advent of HTML 5, having a video that starts to play in the email client as soon as you open the email has become simpler. In theory.
Whether this is something you want to do in an email campaign is open for discussion. In the Implix 2010 Email Marketing Trends Survey, video in email marketing was shown to increase click-through rates by over 96% in some cases.
I believe, like many marketing techniques, there is a time, place and audience for which autoplay videos will work and give improved campaign results. If someone is sitting at their desk at work they might not appreciate a video playing in an email with the soundtrack blasting out of their speakers. Video is probably better targeted at a B2C audience rather than B2B but that’s not to say it wouldn’t work for B2B with the right content. It is horses for courses.
Unfortunately HTML 5 is not the total solution for video in email. Not all email clients support HTML 5 and of those that do, some have disabled the support for the <video> tag. But let’s look on the bright side.
Hotmail starting supporting HTML 5 in 2011 and you can get a video to autoplay in Hotmail for most browsers (not IE7 or IE 8 as HTML 5 isn’t supported). The same is true if your email client is Apple Mail. On IOS devices (iPhone or iPad) the video shows as a clickable video link that then starts the video in the media player. For all other desktop and web-based email clients the fallback image is displayed, which can include the call to action to click the link to play the video.
Using an alternative technique you can also get the video to autoplay in Yahoo. Earlier this year, Yahoo released the Yahoo! Mail Widget Engine that allows you to play video in the body of the email received by Yahoo without using HTML 5.
I think autoplay video could have a massive impact if used in the correct scenario with video content that is relevant and exciting to the recipient. Due to the technical limitations, however, some segmentation is required to achieve the best results and, as ever, test, test, test.
The phone has become an integral part of our daily lives. Consumers browse for information, use price comparison sites, and involve friends and family in purchasing decisions — all from their mobile handset. As a result, mobile advertising is having a much more serious impact on the entire purchasing process.
It used to be if you wanted consumer awareness you advertised on TV; if you wanted conversions you invested in coupons. But with the ever-increasing popularity of mobile advertising, the entire “funnel” of the consumer's purchasing process is changing.
So just how can an advertiser optimise mobile across all points in the funnel and what are the purchasing stages to be aware of?
1. Building awareness
Whether shopping from a smartphone or a tablet device, the purchasing funnel usually begins online as the consumer starts looking for a product or service to satisfy a need. Using mobile display and rich media ads can help significantly to drive consumer awareness at this initial stage.
2. Doing research
The next stage is the research phase. According to Google and research specialist Ipsos MediaCT, smartphone users performing a search are more likely to be in the later stages of the purchase funnel, continuing their research or even going to see a product.
The research found that the most common single action after a smartphone search was to visit a store in person, which was completed by 55% of respondents.
3. Taking time to consider
The consumer enters the consideration phase after they are satisfied that they have done enough research. This often involves using a mobile device in-store, comparing prices and looking at items while they are on the move.
This presents a prime opportunity for mobile advertisers to use location-based advertising in real-time. On the PC you can target someone sitting at home or in the office, but on a mobile device you can target the right person at exactly the right time, who has the right intent and is in the place you want them to be.
4. Making the purchase
Finally, the consumer enters the purchase stage, either in-store or on the mobile. Stats from the IAB show that 24% of consumers have bought a product or service on their phone, with the average transaction increasing from £12.20 to £17.49 in 2011.
So whether the consumer is at home purchasing via their mobile, or physically in-store after considering their purchase, mobile advertising can be a great facilitator.
The complex journey
The customer journey is no longer linear. Complex relationships exist between all advertising channels, whether TV, online or radio. But mobile is unique as an advertising channel: a recent presentation from O2 at the IAB Mobile Engage event showed that mobile was found to be 4.4 times more efficient than TV, and 2.6 times more efficient than digital advertising at driving incremental sales revenue.
The reason? Mobile enables advertisers to be with the consumer throughout the whole process, from initial awareness of a particular product or service, throughout the consideration phase, through to final purchase — and it's for this reason that mobile will continue to steal advertisers away from traditional media.
Tim Finn is head of EMEA at StrikeAd.
I was delighted recently to be asked to review the introduction to Valuable Content Marketing — the new book due out later this year by the talented Sonja Jefferson and Sharon Tanton. Sonja was looking for something that really put content marketing in context and quickly showed why it’s so important to today’s businesses.
What came to mind, for me, was the beginning of Star Wars where the plot history scrolls up the screen putting the story you’re about to hear in context. So, here it is — a brief history of marketing, according to me.
Once it was enough to simply say “buy this, it’s great” — a time when advertising hoardings plastered the streets and notices started to appear in the press.
Footfall was the name of the game, and shop-keepers knew everybody’s name.
Then there were too many hoardings for people to read them all, and the clever ad was born to grab your attention.
Then people starting asking a few more questions, and a brochure was the new marketing must-have.
A time when shopping from your sofa meant big books, a cuppa, a few weeks wait for the snail mail.
Along came the internet and the brochure went online.
A time when barely an hour went by without an irritating sales phone call from people who couldn’t pronounce your name, and got flustered by leaving their script.
And then came the daily clear out of unwanted email.
Databases ruled supreme and your name was attached to one of eight personas — were you a lemon or an orange do you think?
Now, people are able to research all their options at their leisure, and ask the opinions of thousands of people in minutes at any time of day or night, wherever they happen to be.
A time where people can talk to real people again, even if they are known by their Twitter handle rather than their name.
Where unwanted interruptions can, thankfully, be blocked, un-followed or sent straight to trash.
Your company needs to be one people choose to hear from. Their permission is yours to earn, and yours to burn.
And, your product needs to be the one those people recommend to others. It needs to stand up to scrutiny and be talked about with real affection.
And, that’s where content marketing matters.
For today’s savvy, cynical, connected buyers, selling no longer works. You need to inform, entertain, and most if all, honestly help them through to a purchase that’s right for them… be it from you or someone else!
And, for that my friends, you need content.
And lots of it.
Have I missed any key points in the plot people? I would love to hear your thoughts.
Bryony Thomas is an expert contributor to Marketing Donut and a marketing consultant, speaker, and author. This blog originally appeared here. Bryony’s book – Watertight Marketing – will be available Summer 2012.
When historians reflect on twentieth century British entrepreneurship, certain names will be writ large, including Branson, Dyson and Dunstone. Let us hope that there is also room for at least a modest footnote on Norman Small.
A dapper former military man very reminiscent of Captain Mainwaring, Small later earned his living as a sales representative calling on the retail trade. In five years he met with over 10,000 people, who back in 1974 found themselves facing the introduction of Class 4 National Insurance, which was to be levied specifically on the self-employed.
Incensed, Small fired off a strong letter to The Manchester Guardian newspaper, putting forward an idea that "could do much to improve industrial relations by example, and give a voice and a platform to the huge moderate silent majority".
His suggestion was "the formation of a non-political, self-supporting union of the hundreds and thousands of self employed people in the United Kingdom". The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) was formed soon afterwards.
Today, the FSB is the biggest business organisation in the UK with over 213,000 members, from sole traders to fifty-person companies. One of the FSB's key roles is to lobby government, and, back in 2010, I was lucky enough to meet their then Head of Public Affairs, Stephen Alambritis, at their London offices, strategically situated in Westminster within the sound of The Division Bell. Alambritis has since gone on to become the Leader of Merton Council.
He explained some typical examples of where the FSB was able to help their members.
A publican returned at 3am from holiday to find a letter saying his lease had been terminated. He called the FSB hotline there and then, and the organisation's lawyers were up all night looking at the various options. Eventually, The FSB was able to prove to his landlord's satisfaction that the appropriate lease conditions had been met, and the matter was resolved in favour of the publican.
Another member had a run-in with the tax authorities, and sensibly called the FSB immediately on receipt of the demand. Alambritis was very proud to note that when the tax authorities realise that the FSB is involved, they automatically escalate the issue to a senior inspector. In this case, the tax authorities finally accepted a payment of £400, a considerable improvement on the £200,000 originally demanded.
Success in growing a small business is predicated on hiring the right people; when this process goes wrong it can destroy many years of hard work. Most owner-managers are very wary of employment tribunals, assuming that the court will always look favourably on the litigant, however unreasonable their behaviour, whilst working for the company. Alambritis quotes an example where the outcome for an FSB member was a £10,000 decision against their former employee who was shown to be acting maliciously.
These are, of course, “highlight” cases — some businesses sail through life largely untroubled by legal threats. Even so, I have spoken at several FSB events and met hundreds of members, all of whom invariably see the value in their membership. As well as an effective source of advice, protection and representation, the FSB is, at its heart, a grass roots organisation and therefore closest to the true sentiment of new, small and growing ventures. It offers community (with plenty of live events), knowledge and occasionally solace.
FSB membership is what Small might have called “a total snip”, coming in at as little as £170 per year. It's a small price to pay for considerable peace of mind; but I know that in these troubled economic times, every penny counts. I therefore always encourage new businesses to take advantage of FSB membership when they have got a little bit of cash rather than on day one; but it remains a quick win even for one-man-bands.
Entrepreneurship can be a very lonely business, and it is always good to have friends in high places. One of the first calls made by Chancellor George Osborne upon taking office was to the FSB. It was they who advised him to implement the rise in VAT on the fourth of January, not the first, which is traditionally a very busy day for our “nation of shopkeepers”, as Napoleon famously called us.
It is always a time of small celebration for small businesses when our VAT returns are done and dispatched successfully on-line to HMRC. Each quarter, I will definitely be raising a glass and toasting Norman Small.
The Federation of Small Businesses can be found at www.fsb.org.uk
Copyright ©Mike Southon 2012. All Rights Reserved. Not to be reproduced without permission in writing. Mike Southon is the co-author of The Beermat Entrepreneur and a business speaker.
It’s always interesting how many sales people fall for the “call me back after the summer holiday” objection.
The problem is that when you call those people back after the break, they either still haven’t made a decision, they give another excuse, you can’t seem to get hold of them ever again — or worse, they have chosen to buy from someone else.
Why is it that decision-makers give us the summer holiday objection? Sometimes, there’s a genuine reason — perhaps a colleague is away that needs to be involved, perhaps there isn’t a budget until later in the year or perhaps that person is so focused on delivering existing projects, they just can’t think about another one.
Often, however, decision-makers use the summer holiday objection as a convenient way of getting salespeople to go away — and they keep using it because it works!
Unless you learn to do something about it, you’re going to suffer the same problem year after year. So here are some suggestions:
1. Be prepared
You know you’re going to start getting these sorts of objections so why not consider how you’re going to deal with them and practice your responses? This means working out your objection handles, then practicing them with friends and colleagues. Don’t leave this until the last few moments before your telephone call, client meeting — or even worse until you’re waiting in reception — do this on a regular basis.
2. Think about what they really mean
What does the buyer or decision-maker mean when they say, “call me back after the summer holiday”? Some people use that phrase when actually what they really mean is a flat-out “go away” Or perhaps they are saying, “your offering isn’t important enough for me to look at right now”. As someone who originally trained as a professional buyer, I can guarantee you that’s the case! If you are after new business, the likelihood of them fobbing you off is much higher. If you’re with an existing client that you have a good relationship with, it’s more likely that they’re telling the truth.
3. Make your call more compelling
If you are making new business calls in the holiday period, make them more compelling! Generally speaking, people will be busier as they’re either about to go on holiday, just back from holiday, or covering for someone else who’s on holiday. Whichever of those it is, they’re going to be time poor, so make sure your call is as good as it can be. Take a closer look at your voice tonality and your message. Does it sound as though you and your call are important? Does the outcome that you are suggesting sound like a must-do? Is your close short and to the point?
4. Ask better questions
Most people I meet struggle with asking good questions — questions that get them information that their competitors don’t get, questions that make them look good and questions that make the decision-maker think.
So when someone says “call me after the summer holiday”, that should not be the end of the conversation. First you need to get the information you need. The most important thing to find out here is if they’re trying to fob you off, without accusing them directly! If you can establish that there are genuine reasons to put the order on hold until after the break, it should be easier to pick things up from where you left off come September.
5. Have the right attitude
Your attitude is vital in getting the results that you want. I’ve seen far too many people trudge round on appointment after appointment, or from phone call to phone call looking and sounding like they’re terminally depressed! Not many people are going to buy from you in that state, are they? If you pick up the phone or walk into a meeting expecting the other person to say “call me back after the summer holiday” then that’s what you are likely to hear.
If you’re in a competitive market you can bet that the decision-maker is talking to other suppliers, and all it takes is for the salesperson at one of those companies to be better at dealing with the summer holiday objection than you are — then when you ring back in September you’ll find they’ve bought off someone else!
The decision maker might say, “oh we went with xyz firm because they had a better proposal” or “we went with abc because they have us a cheaper price” but in most cases what they mean is “we went with xyz because they dealt with the summer holiday objection better than you did and that won them the business”.
Now that you’re aware that’s often the case, you’re not going to let that happen to you in future are you?