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10 TRENDS FOR MARKETERS TO PREPARE FOR IN 2018
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As the end of the year draws closer, our experts have been contemplating what could be the "next big thing" in digital marketing in 2018, narrowing down their myriad of thoughts to just one or two top predictions that they believe will shape the coming year.

Whether it’s a relatively new trend, or something that’s been around for a while but is really going to take off in 2018, each trend presented in this eBook is from the unique perspective of Mediative’s experts, how they see 2018 unfolding, and what digital marketers should be considering when planning next year’s marketing efforts.

Download the eBook to learn more about our experts' thoughts on:

* * Facebook Video Ads * Voice Search * Artificial Intelligence * Data Usage * Messenger Advertising * The Journey to Conversion * Blockchain * More Automated Content * Artisanal Advertising * Live Steaming Videos
10 TRENDS FOR MARKETERS TO PREPARE FOR IN 2018 DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE COPY
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  • Voice search and user experience
  • VOICE SEARCH AND USER EXPERIENCE
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    Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, shared his thoughts about voice search.

    “From a user's standpoint, they are looking for information, looking to get things done”, “so they may ask a question on voice, later when they pick up their phone they want continuity, so we think of this as an end-to-end thing“, and “needs to be thought about as a part of a user's overall search journey.”

    Spot on! In a post last week, I looked at the digital assistant ecosystem. But voice search is about more than just the right interaction and interface. An end-to end solution needs also to cater for SECURITY, PRIVACY, FUNCTIONALITY, FRAGMENTATION AND CUSTOMIZATION. Past concerns (great insights in the comments section), remain valid today. Thankfully, technology has moved forward.

    SECURITY
    First let’s take about security. New, but subtle advances in voice recognition are tackling complex problems around identity and security. Researchers are looking at “converting voice to kind of like a barcode to identify every human.” But is this enough when, as a user and customer, our own life savings are at stake? To create products for everyday use, banks require even more stringent security than law enforcement, analyzing not only the voice and environment, but also “physical features of the head producing the sound – larynx type, nasal passages etc.” Is the technology perfect? Probably not, but the steps are being taken to tackle issues such as fraud, impersonation and miscommunication. For example, Alibaba’s Tmall Genie comes with built in “voice-based user identification,” and “learn from past interactions, helping it improve in its ability to serve as your digital assistant.” Such voice recognition features should also enable use of voice assistance in crowded noisy places.

    PRIVACY
    Along with Security, another critical concern users have is privacy. The primary concern is that people don’t want to be listened to all the time. While the major players have policies and guidelines around privacy of voice recordings, including, what is transmitted and when, duration the recordings are kept and control over keeping and deleting said recordings, these are already being tested in the real world. The challenge though isn’t _just _about voice recordings – it is also about data privacy and access to other devices in the home. While the privacy vs convenience issue is not new, it does create new models, opportunities and segments to target. Just read the pitch by Andy Rubin’s new venture “We designed Essential Home to directly talk to your devices over your in-home network as much as possible in order to limit sending data to the cloud. Essential Home’s proactive assistant also runs its AI engine locally on the device.”

    FUNCTIONALITY

    The next biggest challenge is functionality – what does voice offer other than the ability to set reminders, check the news and play your favorite tracks? A common complaint about voice services is the limited applications available for voice services.

    If you expect a complete package to be available, it isn’t. It is too early in the game. From an Agile / Lean perspective – why should Google, Amazon or Apple build all the use cases they can think of only to find out that 90% of the use cases they built were wrong? Wouldn’t it be better to build an MVP and an API that can be quickly designed to meet use cases as they are discovered? Wrap each set of use case into an “app” and you have an eco-system. Allow a subscription model and third party development and you have a marketplace.

    FRAGMENTATION
    Which assistant should I get? From a users’ perspective, functionality is key. But are businesses in a position to develop and maintain voice solution across multiple platforms? Will they have the financial will to be early adopters and invest knowing that some of these platforms will eventually die out? These questions are likely to raise a new breed of cross platform tools for integration, modelling, design, analytics and testing – though they have a long way to go before getting an “awesome” label, there are already prototyping tools that offer some level of cross functional adaptability.

    BEYOND THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY
    Google is not the only one thinking about voice assistant and the customer journey. Expedia is exploring a “real time” travel assistant. To deliver the kind of digital assistant that is our own personal Jarvis, it needs to handle “unstructured queries” across a variety of environments while pulling from a variety of sources. This structure highlights the possibility of various digital assistants specialized in different tasks – finance, travel, hoteling, and driving. The question is not then about designing just a customer journey, but providing a great but accurate experience within the customer journey. Just listen to Dara speak about voice (21:30 onwards): “And if they ask a question, and you have a bad answer, first time maybe they will be okay with it, third time this is a complete waste of time I am going away.”

    CONCLUSION
    In the field of voice, building a great user experience is not just about designing smart and engaging voice interactions, but also aligning all elements, from devices and displays to the underlying data, to deliver useful information and actions to the consumer. If the voice interaction works but any of the other elements don’t align, voice will feel “wrong”. In fact, designing the voice interactions might end up being the easy part – after all, we are interacting with other human beings through voice on a daily basis and are familiar with how we like to receive and deliver information as well as its limitations. The challenge may lie in creating processes that deliver consistent results.

    Nabeel Hussain
    Nabeel Hussain believes great products dont just solve a problem, they deliver an experience. The voice search and digital assistant ecosystem are ripe to build new experiences and "wow" moments. He brings this mindset to Mediative, where he works as an Enterprise Search Strategist.
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  • The digital marketer’s guide to Google’s search engine results page
  • THE DIGITAL MARKETER’S GUIDE TO GOOGLE’S SEARCH ENGINE RESULTS PAGE
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    DISCOVER WHICH PLACEMENTS ON THE SERP WILL MAXIMIZE CLICKS, CONVERSIONS, AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR BRAND AWARENESS.

    Google search engine results pages (SERPs) have greatly evolved over the last 10+ years, and as a result, so have the ways in which searchers have been conditioned to behave. The way people look at, and click on, the search results have changed.

    User intent, relevant content, brand power, paid vs. organic results, an ever-changing algorithm…these all are pieces of an increasingly complex puzzle.

    This eBook, drawing on past Mediative research, will help you improve your odds of being seen—and clicked on— by the right audience.

    * * * * 10 tips to earn more organic clicks * * * * 10 tips to earn more paid search clicks * * * * 3 tips to earn more organic clicks when a knowledge graph result is on the SERP DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY NOW!

    MAXIMIZE CLICKS AND CONVERSIONS ON THE SERP DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE COPY
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  • Voice search and the digital assistant ecosystem
  • VOICE SEARCH AND THE DIGITAL ASSISTANT ECOSYSTEM
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    The digital assistant and voice search market is heating up, and there are quite a few players vying to be "Google Search" of voice. These include not just the commonly known names of Apple’s SiriAmazon’s AlexaCortana by Microsoft and Google Assistant, but also other players such as Bixby by Samsung, IBM's Bluemix and Watson platforms and other smaller players like Hound.

    DIGITAL ASSISTANTS WILL BE DEVICE AGNOSTIC
    Amazon's Alexa is already available for android. And with Google's move into making Google Assistant available on Apple's platform, the competitive pressure is likely to drive other players to do the same over the next year or so. Voice assistants will be device agnostic. That is, they will be available across multiple devices, such as home systems, TVs, phones, the car and on the web, regardless of the parent ecosystem.

    SMART SPEAKERS WILL BE A MIX OF BRANDED AND OPEN SOURCE SOLUTIONS
    As the voice ecosystem has evolved, smart speakers and home devices, such as Google Home and Amazon Echo are seen as the drivers of commercial success in the category. For the tech giants, smart speakers in your home serve as a platform to make money in other ways. But consumers may not see it this way. These same devices will be opened, hacked and modified, with or without permission from the tech giants. Firmware players are likely to bet on an open market strategy.

    VOICE ASSISTANTS WILL BECOME PART OF THE VALUE DELIVERY
    The availability of Software Development Kits for voice solutions has led to third party apps appearing on the marketplace. While voice assistants provide basic search services and resort to serving web results or triggering an app instead of having a complete interaction, the SDKs present opportunities in thinking of voice as not just a channel but a core part of the value delivery.

    Integrating within the core value service will require defining, developing and testing how to interact with voice and manage customers all the way through to delivering a service. While each player in the digital assistant market evolves its ecosystem to improve third party integrations, service providers such as Starbucks are already experimenting and discovering what this evolution means for their industry. By looking into "skills" and "actions" for each assistant, it is possible to understand the impact for your industry.

    ADS IN VOICE WILL BE CLOSER TO THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY
    The advertising landscape is also likely to change – users don’t want to listen to ads as part of their voice enabled product or service. But while using voice services, users are also likely to ask for products that deliver better value than their existing choice, in turn creating new opportunities to vie for customer attention and dollars. The takeaway is not that there is a known path to running ads, but rather that the customer journey needs to be explored in the voice content to discover new advertising opportunities.

    NEW PLAYERS WILL EMERGE, AND BRAND LOYALTY WILL DEPEND ON MATCHING CUSTOMER NEEDS
    Different brands have different strengths and weaknesses. Google is relying on its search dominance and product integrations, Apple, its early mover advantage and brand value, Amazon, its product and e-commerce infrastructure, and IBM, it's AI platform. Even smaller players have opportunities. For example, by accessing the multiple strengths of each ecosystem, catering for unique use cases for smaller niche market segments, or creating new ways interpreting and modeling information.

    At the end of the day, however, who becomes the preferred choice of digital assistant will be dependent not just on discoverability, but on brand loyalty built by meeting customer needs and expectations as well as building seamless experiences. To win, businesses will also need to ramp up quality of service delivered. For business with locations, taking insights from reviews and responding by solving known issues might mean the difference between being a preferred choice and just another player in the market.

    ULTIMATELY, IF YOU ARE NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO VOICE, YOU ARE ALREADY FALLING BEHIND.

    _Voice services use existing services to provide context and intent_

    Nabeel Hussain
    Nabeel Hussain believes great products dont just solve a problem, they deliver an experience. The voice search and digital assistant ecosystem are ripe to build new experiences and "wow" moments. He brings this mindset to Mediative, where he works as an Enterprise Search Strategist.
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  • Expanded paid search keyword lists achieve a YoY CPA decrease of 35% for insurance broker
  • HOW MEDIATIVE EXPANDED PAID SEARCH KEYWORD LISTS TO ACHIEVE A YOY CPA DECREASE OF 35% FOR A LEADING QUEBEC INSURANCE BROKER
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    THE CHALLENGE

    Mediative’s client, a leading Quebec insurance broker, had a goal to get as many new enquiries as possible for the lowest CPA while focusing on certain verticals. As businesses in the insurance industry know, earning a spot in the search engine results (whether organic or paid) for keywords related to this industry can be difficult, if not impossible without an endless budget. Insurance CPCs are very high and there is a lot of competition. With our client’s budget being at the lower end, we had to get creative to compete!

    THE SOLUTION

    The client wanted to prioritize new traffic in tandem with a brand campaign, intended to maintain a small presence for people searching for their brand.

    In order to capture the most calls from new customers at the lowest CPA, we started by expanding the keyword list, thinking about more specific items and products that people want to insure within each vertical, such as Sea-Doo, construction worksite, etc. We moved away from highly competitive generic search terms with high CPCs and low conversion rates to focus on specific high converters terms. We have also optimized the messages in the ad copy, testing different headlines, and creating new ads with variations based on the ads that were performing better.

    THE RESULTS
    Once the campaigns had been optimized for maximum performance, the client saw the best CPA in 4 years – a year-over-year CPA decrease of 35% across all campaigns!

    You can also download the case study.

    If you have any questions, please ask one of Mediative’s digital marketing strategists: info@mediative.com

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  • Mediative is officially TAG verified and registered. What does this mean?
  • How big of a problem is fraud in programmatic and what can advertisers and agencies do about it?
  • How consumer behaviour is evolving because of mobile
  • HOW CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR IS EVOLVING BECAUSE OF MOBILE
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    On Sept 20th, Think with Google held a Facebook Like Q and A discussing the evolving consumer behaviour. Joshua Lowcock, EVP and chief digital officer at UM Worldwide and Bethany Poole, director of Think With Google discussed what these changes mean and the opportunities this is opening up for marketers.
    SUMMARY
    Consumers are shifting more and more to mobile – we have become more research obsessed and this is evident in the huge growth in mobile searches for “best” of things – “best” searches have grown over 80% in the past 2 years (Source: Micro-moments Now: Why you should be the advisor consumers are searching for” Aug 2017) and there has been a significantly higher growth for the “best” in low-consideration products like toothbrushes and shower curtains vs high consideration products like cars.
    Joshua Lowcock states that there is a desperate need for consumers to find authenticity and real genuine opinions and views on things. Consumers want to understand how they are getting value, and there is a growing skepticism when they see brand advertising or general messaging. People want to get to the truth about what’s a valuable product, and what’s the right decision for them - that need for personalization and relevance to them in the moment as opposed to “what are you trying to sell me or trying to tell me as a mass consumer”.
    We really are an impatient, on-demand generation where we want things _right now_. The mobile side of things gets interesting - as marketers, we are seeing location playing an increasingly important role in consumers’ expectation that marketers know _what they are searching for_ in that moment, _which device they are on_ and _where they are_ e.g. We will search for “Where is the nearest {store} to me.” The expectation is brands and companies know exactly where you are, and that you want to know the nearest location to you. As a result of this expectations on brands and marketers to know what they are looking for and where they are, consumers are also increasingly dropping that “near me” part of searches.
    There is so much data available to us as marketers, and consumers are waking up to the fact that if this data is available, they except marketers to be using it to make their lives easier and simpler, and to answer their questions, and communicate with them in personal meaningful ways.

    Q AND A
    How Is This Shift To Mobile Changing What You Do On A Day-to-day Basis?
    Mobile is a media channel as well as a source of data so one of the things we specifically are being very diligent on and passionate about it using mobile as an insight platform and not just a media platform for communication. More than half the time is now spent on a mobile device and what we can now understand is where people are at in their journey, where their location is, are they in store are they not in store, are they passing by the store? Marketing should be driving sales, and mobile can help determine if marketing efforts are driving people into the store, because if it is, and sales aren’t happening, it can help identify another problem in the organization that media cant control.

    Which Brands Have Done The Best Jobs At Adapting To The Needs Of These Micro Moments. How Do We Create Content That Speaks To These Moments Without Bragging About Or Touting Your Brand?
    Find the right data to be personal, relevant and intimate without being creepy. The real power for brands comes from being personal, and relevant to reach consumers in that micro-moment, and there is a real trade-off between mass marketing and personalized marketing with dynamic creative. E.g. If you are doing programmatic spend without creative personalization, you’re not getting the value of all that data and being able to communicate with someone in that micro-moment. Serving an ad that is relevant to the time of the day, someone’s location, and also environmental factors will be far more effective than a generic mass message. We are in the age of _assistance_.
    How Do You Reveal The Key Micro-moments? What Are The Key Metrics To Detect Them On Ecommerce For Desktop And Mobile Users?
    In micro-moments, what we are looking for, as a marketer is scale. So micro-moments are important, but in order to have impact from media, you need to be able to reach people at scale. E.g. in the US there are tens of thousand of people who have milestone birthdays a year, so that is a micro-moment that can also be scaled.

    What Are Main Challenges Of Working With Omni-channel Media In Micro-moments?
    The digital industry is obsessed with the fact that some parts of media are full of waste and that it’s a bad thing, but it’s not necessarily. There is value in mass reach audiences, but they have to be complimentary, to personalized interaction. TV, radio, out of home can drive great mass awareness and engagement – and then the micro-moments are intimate and personal, and relevant to the individual in that one-on-one time. It’s important to understand which touch-points are driving people from one channel to the next - all media interacts with each other, and it’s about taking advantage of personalization opportunities within each platform.

    What’s The Difference Between Micro-moment Mentality For Voice Search Vs. Mobile Search? How Do Brands Think About Those Two Things?
    First, brands must get active and passionate about voice search. The biggest challenge in voice search micro-moments is there is usually only ever one answer, one result. If you’re not playing in that space, you’re going to miss out. You need to give people the right answer at the right time – there’s really no second chance. If someone asks in a voice search, “what is the best toothbrush” they wont be given 400 answers, there will only be one – the one that is determined to be the most relevant in that moment, and if brands aren’t figuring out voice search, they are going to have brand and marketing challenges in the future.

    What Should Marketers Be Focused On In 2018?
    * Ensuring your brand is making authentic consumer connections. Work with creators, and influencers and look at the way you are communicating with consumers. It’s not a one-way communication.
    * Find the right canvas for mobile. Mobile is a fantastic platform for being in the micro-moment, but the creative environment on mobile is restrictive, and not great for “romancing” consumers and telling stories – brands need to discover better ways to tell stories on mobile.
    This is a summary of Think With Google’s Facebook Live on September 20th 2017. The full video can be viewed here.

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  • Your estimated conversions – on safari!
  • YOUR ESTIMATED CONVERSIONS – ON SAFARI!
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    As many of you probably noticed, AdWords has announced a change to the way they calculate conversions. It’s caused a lot of confusion among SEM/PPC professionals, as the announcement was quite vague and didn’t really talk about why this is happening.

    In brief, this is what’s going on:

    * * Auto-tagging will now store a cookie in a new Google Analytics cookie on your website and if you link your AdWords and Analytics accounts, the AdWords conversion tracking will be able to use the GCLID from the Google Analytics cookie. * * Google will begin modeling conversions and adding those modeled conversions into the regular conversions column, similar to how it used to create estimated conversions in the past. WHY WOULD GOOGLE DO THIS? Don’t we want specific, one-to-one click to conversion behaviour in our measurements?

    The reason for the change is in response to an update from Apple. Apple’s main browser, Safari will soon passively prevent tracking, called Intelligent Tracking Prevention, and it will impact AdWords (and many other platforms) reporting on the Safari browser. This would directly affect your conversion metrics, particularly for conversions taking place on iPhones, and must be accounted for.
    To account for these conversions while still respecting user privacy in-browser, Google will use statistical modelling to estimate website conversions that can’t be measured from Safari and will include them in your AdWords reporting.

    Google confirms that this model will ONLY be deployed for conversions that cannot be measured. Any other conversion will be measured as usual. This includes conversions from Google Analytics, so if your AdWords is linked to Google Analytics, it’s likely that no modeling will be necessary.

    There will be no segmentation or way of separating the modeled conversions within the Conversions column.

    The change is taking place now and in the next month or so will happen automatically.

    WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR OUR CLIENTS?

    For Mediative clients, we already use Google Analytics tracking for many of our programs because so many of them are multichannel. For Enterprise programs blending search, programmatic display and Facebook advertising, we use multiple different tag systems to pull in traffic and measure ecomm purchases, leads or priority content consumption. For app downloads, we bypass analytics and use data connected directly to the app, which so far should not be affected by this change.

    We recognize that it is possible for modelled conversions to over-report rather than under-report. So while we have confidence in Google’s statistical modelling, we plan to observe closely and prep for sudden increases in reported conversions. There isn’t enough detailed information to forecast farther on things like impact to CPA or automated bids, but we do expect to monitor fluctuations in total conversions measured and total paid traffic from Safari.

    Julia Vyse on linkedin
    Julia Vyse
    When not in the Adwords UI, Julia can be found in jazz clubs and music festivals listening to music, celebrating music, writing about music and generally enjoying music. Possibly as a result, she is not a morning person.

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  • Case Study – LinkedIn campaign expands reach and conversions
  • LINKEDIN CAMPAIGN EXPANDS REACH AND CONVERSIONS AT REDUCED CPA COMPARED TO GOOGLE
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    THE CHALLENGE

    Mediative’s client, Ruby Receptionists® has provided personalized live, remote receptionist services to small businesses throughout North America since 2003. During 2016, Ruby collected Salesforce data and identified several verticals that showed the strongest opportunity to convert leads into sales. They wanted to capitalize on this through Mediative’s PPC efforts moving into 2017.

    Ruby’s AdWords account had an existing search campaign, however due to its poorer performance relative to the other non-branded campaign in the account, it was only activated when additional budget permitted. With Ruby’s new request, the challenge now became finding ways to target individuals by vertical that provided higher conversion volumes at a lower cost than the current vertical campaign.

    THE SOLUTION

    To meet this challenge we revamped the current vertical search campaign by updating the keywords, ad copy and landing pages to include vertical specific keywords, increasing ad and landing page relevance across the campaign. Prior to the revamp, the ad copy and landing pages in each vertical specific ad group was very generic and didn’t cater to vertical specific searches.

    We then applied our learnings from this campaign to a similar campaign on LinkedIn, targeting each of the verticals and using the same vertical specific landing pages as with the Google search campaign. Due to LinkedIn’s very precise targeting, we were able to serve ads to large groups of vertical specific individuals, expanding our reach and conversion volumes, and converting at a much lower cost.

    THE RESULTS
    * After one month of testing and optimization, the conversion rates of the vertical search campaign increased 500% and CTR’s saw a 30% increase. * After three months of testing and optimization, the LinkedIn campaign not only resulted in 380% increase in conversions compared to the vertical campaign in Google, but the campaign captured these conversions at a CPA 54% lower than the average CPA from the vertical campaign in Google. * In addition, MoM Ruby’s Lifetime ROAS saw a 43% increase and YoY saw an 87% increase.

    You can also download the case study.

    If you have any questions, please ask one of Mediative’s digital marketing strategists: info@mediative.com

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