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Showing posts from October 16, 2015
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The IAB Takes On Ad Blocking By First Admitting The Industry Screwed Up

“We messed up. As technologists, tasked with delivering content and services to users, we lost track of the user experience.” That’s the IAB’s admission of industry complicity in the swell of discontent about digital advertising and use of ad blockers.In reaction to this screw up and in the face of rising awareness and availability of ad blocking tools, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) announced it is launching a new approach to ad standards.The new L.E.A.N. Ads program — an acronym for light, encrypted, ad choice supported, non-invasive ads — devised by the IAB Tech Lab, is meant to quell the havoc that ad tech has wrought on digital advertising experiences and quell the ad blocker-reliant rebellion against terrible user experiences.The L.E.A.N. program proposes an alternative set of standards to address the reasons why consumers are turning to ad blockers:Among the many areas of concentration, we must also address frequency capping on retargeting in Ad Tech and make sure a u…

Ad Blockers & Analytics: What Webmasters Should Know And Do

Ad blockers have been around for some time now and are widely used. The question around the end of the “free internet” and the impact on sales is not a new topic, and I won’t discuss it here.But as of September 16, 2015, ad blockers entered the world of iOS devices when Apple announced they would allow third-party development of “content blocking” apps in its new operating system, iOS 9. One of them, Crystal, became in a few days one of the most downloaded paid apps from the App Store.Unfortunately for website owners, Crystal (and probably other content blockers) not only blocks ads from being displayed on Web pages, but in some cases can also prevent pages from rendering properly.More importantly, Crystal intentionally blocks analytics scripts from being downloaded and therefore executed. Result? A visit to your site from an iOS 9 device using Crystal won’t be reported in your analytics platform.Why This Is A Major IssueI understand internet users not wanting to see ads cluttering a …

Social Brand Mentions: Key Tools To Find And Fully Capitalize On Them For Marketing

What are people saying about your brand online? Is your company receiving good publicity? What are customers telling their friends on social media about your products or services? It’s important that you know the answer to those questions.If you don’t monitor mentions of your brand online, then you’re missing out on some valuable feedback and opportunities. These are the people you need to interact with and build connections with.If people are singing your praises, then you’ve stumbled across a world of opportunities, testimonials, guest blogs, networking and more. On the other hand, if people are criticizing your company, you have an opportunity to determine if the criticism is warranted, and if so, take the appropriate action.I really try to look at criticism as an opportunity to improve; I consider it free consulting.In this article, we’ll cover some of the best tools to use so that you can monitor what people are saying about your brand online. Then, we’ll offer some guidelines ab…

Safe Harbor Overthrow Creates New Data Purgatory For US, EU Companies

The SIINDA conference in Prague concluded today with a panel of European publishers and lawyers discussing a range of legal and regulatory issues now facing companies operating in Europe: taxation, competition but mostly the defeat of the current Safe Harbor data transfer agreement.On the panel were, Andriani Ferti, attorney, Clifford Chance LLP; Kostas Rossoglou, head of EU Public Policy, Yelp; Michal Feix, from Czech search engine Seznam.cz; and Stephanie Verilhac, director SIINDA EU affairs.They presented a picture of a legal and regulatory framework that was very much up in the air, a situation that is potentially as difficult for EU companies as it is for North Americans. And despite the PR-driven assurances by some US marketing executives, the regulatory reality in Europe is anything but clear at this moment.To recap, last week the European Court of Justice (CJEU) cited Snowden and NSA spying, in the Schrems case, to invalidate a long-established Safe Harbor agreement between Eu…

Talk Human To Me: Why It’s Time For Brands To Get Real

How many times have you been at a party, stuck talking to that one person who won’t shut up? The narcissistic, self-centered bore who flips every conversation back to their favorite topic: themselves. My guess would be too many.I know those are the people I want to stay as far away from as possible. I want meaningful interactions that go both ways, whether it’s with someone at a party, with one of my favorite brands or with my own customers.It used to be that brands could be the raconteurs holding court in front of a group of adoring fans. In today’s hyper-competitive world, we need to be as interested in our customers as they are in us.Most brands are behind the eight ball when it comes to making marketing feel more like a conversation and less like a lecture. Despite the vast array of social media and user-generated content, most brands still talk at people, force-feeding them their latest value prop.That’s one reason so many people don’t trust brands. Consumers may love the product…

Evaluating Website Performance: I’m All About That Slope, ‘Bout That Slope

What can you tell me about the website from this graph of all traffic?Things seem to be slowing down since June. How can we be sure? You would conclude that the site’s traffic has grown over last year, but that growth has slowed. You would also conclude that this site had a slowdown beginning in June. This slowdown wasn’t seen last year.Given that nothing has changed in the way the site generates traffic, how would you diagnose this slowdown in traffic?Is this really a slowdown? How bad is it?It’s hard to tell from a graph like this. However, Excel offers us a tool that will help us understand the magnitude of changes in our metrics, and it’s pretty easy.You’re About To Do Regression Analysis. Tell Your FriendsRegression analysis is a fancy word for “tell me the straightest line through some data points.” For a time-series graph like we get from Google Analytics, we can call a “linear regression line” a “trendline.” I prefer “linear regression line” because it makes me sound smarter th…