Thursday, December 18, 2014

What digital ad size should you use for a campaign?

There are a lot of different kinds of online display ads available for advertisers. One of the most common questions we get is what is the best size to run? It really depends on the campaign, the objective, and the measurability. Are you tracking success as clicks? Viewability? Conversions? A new report discusses the ad sizes that tend to have the highest in-view rates.

The research comes from Moat Analytics and reports that the following are the ad sizes ranked as far as in-view rates for desktop computers.
·        65.8%: 970x250
·        62.1%: 300x600
·        55.0%: 160x600
·        52.6%: 300x250
·        49.5%: 728x90

Breaking this down, it’s not surprising that larger ads tend to have the highest viewability on site. These ad sizes tend to be set in positions above the fold on websites.

Also, eMarketer reports that the longer ads typically have longer viewing time. Meaning ads like 300x600 and 160x600 are viewed approximately for 21 seconds vs. the wider ads like 970x250 and 728x90 that are viewed from 16 – 17 seconds. Again, this is not surprising because a user may scroll down a page to read content, and the longer ads can still be seen on the screen.

When looking at the mobile ad display units, 320x50 has the best in-view rate of 64.6% and the 160x600 ad size has the best time viewed with 18.6 seconds.


Overall, our recommendation is to run multiple ad sizes for your campaign. As the campaign matures, look to see which ads are getting you the best results. Once you have established what results you are looking for, you can optimize and funnel more impressions towards the better performing sizes. Additionally, for the ads not performing as well, pause or remove them.  

Friday, December 12, 2014

Should companies move customer service to social media?

If you have a question for a company, what’s your first choice for reaching out for customer service? New research shows that while some companies have been emphasizing reachability through social media, most consumers don’t seek help from there.

eMarketer reports on the findings from American Express’ study “2014 Global Customer Service Barometer” which was conducted by ebiquity. According to this, 53% of internet users will use social media to praise a company for a great customer service experience. About the same amount of people 50% will reach out socially to talk negatively about a service situation. The next highest response was sharing information about personal customer experience at 46%. Coming in fourth place at 40% was reaching out to a company for help in regards to a service issue.

Research shows that people prefer to go to a company’s website or email when making a simple customer service inquiry. The next method preferred is speaking to real person on the phone. If dealing with a difficult question, people prefer an actual person on the phone the majority of the time. A close second is speaking with a person face-to-face. Reaching out to a company via social media was the least preferred choice for both the simple and difficult issues.


In summary, the report suggests that companies should utilize social media to reach out to consumers to continue brand awareness, and manage public relation situations and not be the primary means of customer service.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Print inserts still sought out by consumers

Print is not dead. While many people, consumers and advertisers alike, believe that print is dying, I disagree. It is true that with the addition of digital media, there are so many platforms to choose from when putting together an advertising plan. Sometimes, other media forms have to be cut in the process. Just like every type of media, print has an audience.

One of the unique qualities that print offers and consumers seek out is inserts. eMarketer recently reported on research conducted by Frank N. Magid Associates on behalf of the Newspaper Association of America. The purpose of the study was to see how Americans shopped and spent money in 2014.

Of those surveyed who have used inserts, 70% sought it out to check on special savings or what sales are being run. Another 48% reported that it was easier to review printed inserts than search online for the same information.

The study further broke down which sources were used to find coupons.
·        61% used Sunday newspaper inserts or circulars
·        58% used direct mail advertising
·        46% used weekday newspaper inserts or circulars
·        45% went online to download and print off coupons
·        39% downloaded coupons on a handheld device that could be scanned at the store
·        36% used online coupons to buy something online
·        32% used ads from the regular sections of the newspaper

·        25% used coupons from magazines

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

When should you not advertise?

Is there ever a time where an advertising agency may suggest to an advertiser to go dark and not run a campaign? Depending who you talk to, the answer may be an emphatic “no” or a conditional “yes.”

In my opinion, it depends on the client. An argument could be made that non-retailer advertisers may steer clear of advertising during heavy retail holiday times like Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, and Black Friday. These and other dates have national advertisers who have access to big budgets to have high frequency and high impact campaigns, which is great. However, for non-retail, local advertisers who have a smaller budget, your message may get lost in the shuffle.

Another situation in which an advertiser may lighten up a campaign is customer behavior. An example may be a retirement facility that doesn’t heavily advertise in May because families are focused on graduations and finishing up the school year. However, that same facility may heavy-up schedules in January when families realize that relatives may need to start looking for living alternatives.


Overall, advertising your product or service is a 24/7, year-round job. However, there are times where a schedule may be pulled back strategically in order to use a budget wisely. It really comes down to knowing your audience and understanding your advertising environment.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Quick cheat sheet of digital media buzz words

There are a lot of new buzz words floating around the digital media landscape. Half the time I know what people are saying, “optimize”, and other times, not so much, “sticky.” Below is a little lingo tutorial to help decode what digital people are saying.

KPI:  Key Performance Indicator is a type of performance measurement. It evaluates the success of a particular activity in which it engages.

Native Advertising: Much like a print advertorial, this is an ad that is made to look like a part of the website. It may be a sponsor of a popular section of a website or an actual editorial piece on a designated page. These ads will be marked as advertising.

Optimization: This is a fancy way of saying that changes were made to a campaign to make it better. For example, changing up keywords, demographics, geographic targets, and/or creative.

Programmatic Advertising: This is a software program that is used to purchase digital advertising rather than working with vendors.

Stickiness: This is the amount of time spent on a website over a certain amount of time.

These are just a few of the many digital terms in use today. In general, buzz words tend to fall into the categories of Return on Investment measurement (success), the process in which ads are served (ad format), the method in which ads are purchased (vendors), and the manner in which ads are maintained (back-end reporting and managing).


If in doubt, use the word “optimize” as it tends to work in a lot of digital advertising conversations.

Friday, November 14, 2014

What consumers think of email marketing

One highly targetable method for advertisers to reach consumers is email marketing. The question, however, is how do consumers feel about receiving email blasts?

The Center for Media Research reported on a new research study titled, “Take Advantage of Positive Email Attitudes,” by Forrester Research. MarketingCharts helped to summarize the findings. Approximately 33,500 online users were polled.

Here are some highlights:
·        42% deleted most email advertising prior to reading (This was down from 59% in 2010 and 44% in 2012.)
·        39% felt that he/she received too many email promotions and offers
·        37% sought to unsubscribe from unsolicited email lists
·        29% wanted to know how advertisers got ahold of the email addresses
·        24% reported that email advertising was a good way to be informed of new products and promotions


What advertisers should take away from this study is to make your product as relevant as possible to your consumer. Buying a list of unsolicited addresses may not help perceptions and too many emails per week may tire your audience.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Youth tablet and mobile phone usage

Generally speaking, there are many devices that a consumer can utilize to access media. In the digital realm, there tends to be three major players: mobile phone, desktop/laptop computer, and tablet. New research dissects the user age demographics of mobile phones and tablets.

In the study, “The Mobile Device Path to Purchase: Parents & Children,” conducted by Communicus, there was a breakdown on media usage between the age groups preschoolers 2-5, kids 6-9, tweens 10-12, and teenagers 13-17. eMarketer reports the general findings:

Preschoolers 2-5:
·        37% of those surveyed use a mobile phone
·        71% use a tablet

Kids 6-9:
·        47% of those surveyed use a mobile phone
·        83% use a tablet

Tweens 10-12:
·        71% of those surveyed use a mobile phone
·        80% use a tablet

Teenagers 13-17:
·        94% of those surveyed use a mobile phone
·        65% use a tablet


Important to note is the shift between mobile phone and tablet usage and age. As kids grow into teenagers, tablet usage decreases while mobile phone increases. Kids between the ages of 6 and 9 tend to use the tablet the most.