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Google’s AI Breakthrough: Machine Beats Human Go Player For First Time

Google has invested a great deal in machine learning and artificial intelligence. In early 2014 it acquired London-based DeepMind for roughly $500 million according to some estimates.Today the company is showing off an AI milestone. Google says a program created by DeepMind called AlphaGo has done what nobody has done before: beaten a professional, human Go player.The game of Go is vastly more complicated than chess and takes a lifetime to master. That’s why, according to DeepMind, this event is a much bigger deal than IBM’s Deep Blue defeat of Russian chess master Garry Kasparov in 1997 or Watson’s Jeopardy victory in 2011.Researches told journalists on a conference call that it’s much more difficult to program a computer to play Go than chess. That’s because there are more possible positions in Go than there are atoms in the universe, “more than a googol times larger than chess” (pun probably intended). They also boasted that “Watson couldn’t play Go.”DeepMind was founded by Demis H…

Find Your Technology-Powered Solutions At MarTech. See Who’s Exhibiting.

Join us at MarTech, where marketing meets IT. The strategy-packed agenda is only part of what makes MarTech an exceptional conference. The expo hall is packed with leading industry vendors waiting to provide you with the next tool or solution. Pass options are available. Register today!

via Marketing Land

New Google Research: Can The Long Tail Be Covered Without Broad Match?

Google talks all the time about the necessity of broad match. As a representative of Google, I’ve argued the importance of this match type myself. I believe in broad match, but talking to a lot of advertisers, it’s clear that many aren’t believers.The common argument we hear is that heavily built-out exact, phrase or broad match modifier keyword lists are enough to cover the long tail.Luckily, Google is a data-driven company. The product management team for match types actually wonders similar things as you do. Does broad match help you cover the long tail as intended? And can the long tail be covered without broad match?A few months back, the team conducted a study on broad match performance, and I was lucky enough to get my hands on it. Even better, they were willing to letting me write up the results and share them with you.The MethodologyHere’s some basic info about the stats I’m about to present:A “long-tail query” in this context means a query that appeared at most 10 times in t…

Preserve Your Content Ecosystem By Fixing Link Rot

Fixing link rot in your vertical positions your brand as the custodian of a content ecosystem, as a passionate contributor to those in “informational need,” including not just your target consumers, but future writers and thinkers to come.If you’re cultivating a topic area (not just a keyword), and you’re working to be a steward of the important work done in this vertical, then one overlooked way to contribute is to actively fix resource rot.Link Rot: We Have A “Virtual Epidemic” At Our FingertipsLink rot is what’s happened when a previously available informational resource is no longer available. In other words:A study of the academic web found that among pages with a median age of 9.3 years, 38 percent of links no longer led to the intended resource. That’s about one-third of links every 10 years!And unlike non-digital sources, there’s little possibility of recovery once an item is truly lost (Thanks, archive.org!). If this problem persists, in a few decades, many verticals will be …

Frisco, Texas Ranks As Most Mobile Friendly City In America According To Study

If you were asked to name the most “mobile-friendly” city in America you probably would guess New York or San Francisco or Seattle. But according to Buzzboard’s “Mobile Readiness Index,” it’s Frisco, Texas (near Dallas).The Buzzboard data focus on business websites rather than consumer mobile-device penetration, which is nearing 80 percent according comScore. On the other end of the spectrum, Patternson, New Jersey ranks as the least mobile ready city in the US says Buzzboard:Source: BuzzboardThe company generated these findings from a database of roughly 20 million local business listings. The sites analyzed are mostly small businesses but larger entities are present in the database as well. The scores in the charts above refer to whether the cities over or under-index based on the national average.Essentially the index is documenting the percentage of businesses in a city that have mobile-friendly sites. Below are the scores for San Francisco and New York:The opportunity factor cite…

PPC Blunders: Downright Dirty, Inexperienced Or Overwhelmed? 

We’ve all been through it: inheriting a PPC account that someone else has managed. And we’ve all had that “WTF” moment after looking under the hood, when we’re baffled by how the account even survived to this point.But you never truly know what drove the previous PPC manager to do what they did — were they being downright dirty, were they just inexperienced, or were they overwhelmed with so many other tasks that they got sloppy?It could be any one of those circumstances. And hey, it’s a small world, so the last thing you want to do when inheriting a PPC account is bash the previous agency or professional to your new client or boss. It certainly does take some restraint as you’re pulling apart the logic of an account that doesn’t seem to make any sense.My agency recently inherited an account with some major blunders, and it’s been haunting me as I try to figure out why they made the choices they did.I wanted to share with you today some of the poor practices in that account that stood …

Versium Launches Self-Service Predictive Lead Scoring With Automated Modeling

Predictive lead scoring has become a common service for many marketers who want a better idea about which potential customers and current customers are good bets for future sales.Today, data tech firm Versium launches what it describes as the first self-service predictive lead scoring that generates fine-tuned models built around machine learning and a large consumer data layer.Called the LifeData Predictive Lead Score service and available through the company’s Datafinder site, the solution employs machine learning to build granular models around a brand’s historical customer profiles, and then uses those scores to rate lists of potential B2C prospects.CEO Chris Matty told me a key differentiator is that, while there are automated rule-based predictive lead scoring systems, the new LifeData service automatically builds a customized, predictive model.While Versium had previously created predictive lead scoring on a custom project basis for clients, this is its first publicly-available…

Amazon’s First Ever Super Bowl Ad Will Promote Echo With Help From Alec Baldwin

According to Amazon, there are three things Alec Baldwin needs to build a snack stadium for his Super Bowl party: an architect, a five-star chef, and snacks. And, thanks to Amazon’s Echo and Alexa, getting the job done is as easy as asking “Alexa, what’s a snack stadium?”Making its first ever appearance as a Super Bowl advertiser this year, Amazon is using its game day spot to promote the Echo device, and has enlisted Baldwin to be its pitchman, even giving over its official campaign hashtag – #BaldwinBowl – to the actor.Beyond releasing a 30-second teaser ad that also stars NFL veteran Dan Marino, Amazon gave very few details around the campaign. A representative for the brand shared the following statement from Amazon’s VP of Advertising, Device Sales and Marketing, Neil Lindsay:“Echo has had an amazing reception from customers over the past year–they love it. We thought the Super Bowl was a great chance to tell even more people about what Echo and Alexa can do, and have some fun w…

How Social Media Data Can Guide You Through The Advertising Odyssey

Advertising and marketing professionals are taught that agency work is based on instinct, but research matters, too. Whether they’re crafting pitches, doing media planning or proving return on investment (ROI), agency teams need to understand where to start and how to proceed.However, research is time-consuming and requires agencies to spend countless hours trying to cull data and insights needed to prove a point. It’s a critical part of the job, and it’s impossible to move forward without investing time in understanding an audience, the media and the goals of a client.Finding all of that information will determine the direction and eventual success of the agency’s campaign.Today, instead of spending tireless hours of research, advertising and marketing professionals can identify the necessary data and insights needed to make strategic decisions on prominent social media networks. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and many others have become sounding boards for consumers.Users share though…

Reliance Jio Lyf Lineup Revealed; Will Consist of Lyf Water 1, Water 2 and Earth 1

Reliance’s most ambitious project, Jio, has created a lot of hoopla in India, which seems justified considering the quality and the quantity of mobile internet we are served with currently. As reported earlier, Reliance will be launching the Jio Lyf handsets that will come with freebies worth almost Rs 10,000. Now the company has revealed the specifications and the price for these devices on their website.Reliance needs to keep the people on tenterhooks and make up for the fact that the service has been subjected to several delays. Reliance Digital has listed Lyf Earth 1, Lyf Water 1 and Lyf Water 2 smartphones along with the price tags.The Lyf Water 1 has been priced at Rs 14,999 and the Lyf Water 2 at Rs 14,690. As you might have already guessed by the nomenclature the Water 1 and the Water 2 share most of the hardware. Both the devices come equipped with a 5-inch display and will draw power from the octa core Snapdragon 615 paired with 2GB of RAM. On the storage front, both the pho…

The Evolution Of Digital Marketing And Changing Customer Expectations

The onset of the digital age gave customers more discretionary control over what they buy and from whom they buy. However, even with businesses equipped to deliver on now sky-high consumer expectations, many continue to miss the mark when it comes to understanding customers and their buying journey.In a time when the customer has so much control, channel strategy should no longer be the primary concern for CMOs. Rather, “engagement strategy” is the new name of the game, and if marketing teams want to succeed, they’ll need to change their perspective drastically and focus on making the customer journey more engaging.First Priority: Shifting PerspectiveEven the most successful digital enterprises often don’t have perfect consumer-oriented strategies in place to engage their customer base. CMOs need to put themselves in their customers’ shoes by looking at the products and services they access in their personal lives through a digital channel.When taking this perspective, a marketing tea…

What you need to know about Yahoo Product Ads

Back in November 2015, Yahoo Product Ads officially launched, an umbrella name that encompassed a few different types of ad units within the Yahoo Gemini universe.I’ve been working specifically with the Search Product Ads unit, which appears on Yahoo.com search results properties with feed driven product ad units.You might be saying, “Wait, those were there before!” and you would be right. What’s changed is now those ads can now be served by Yahoo from Yahoo submitted feeds through a Yahoo Gemini Merchant Center.Previously, that inventory had primarily come from the Bing partnership that was renegotiated earlier in 2015. As a result, the amount of traffic being served from Bing Ads started to shift, especially as it pertained to mobile, of which most of the product ads are to come from Yahoo Product Ads or their partners, which does include the deal they also signed with Google in October 2015.Things to beware ofYahoo has begun to take advantage of this Google deal, serving Google Pro…

AdStage Launches “Automate” To Power PPC Automation Across Search And Social Ad Networks

Self-serve campaign management platform, AdStage, has announced the launch of a new product called Automate to help advertisers optimize PPC campaigns across search and social networks.Automate is robust rebuild of the Automated Rules app on the Adstage platform. AdStage says its the first ad automation product that’s able to support optimizations across Google, Bing, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter Ads.The new product powers cross-network alerts, bulk actions, optimizations, campaign scheduling, ad testing and ad rotation rules. Below is an example of an Optimization rule setting to be applied to AdWords, Bing, Facebook and Twitter.Cross-network PPC automation is the first step in the company’s vision for Automate. As part of a longer-term plan, AdStage plans to build out the existing platform beyond advertising management to encompass sales automation, content management and marketing automation tools and give marketers a way to bridge data capabilities across a wide set of tools. Au…

MarTech Today: Facebook Audience Network, AOL ONE For Publishers & Qualia/BlueCava’s Merger

Here’s our daily recap of what happened in marketing technology, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.From Marketing Land:Facebook Audience Network Opens Up To Mobile Web
Jan 26, 2016 by Ginny Marvin
In a head-on challenge to Google, Facebook advertisers can now access native ad inventory across mobile apps and websites.AOL Launches Publisher Side Of ONE Platform
Jan 26, 2016 by Barry Levine
For now, simplification means only one account rep and agreement instead of as many as six. Eventually: a single sign-on and integrated dashboard/product lineThe War On Bots: No Time For Doom & Gloom
Jan 26, 2016 by Melody Gambino
On the heels of a bot fraud study from White Opps and the ANA, columnist Melody Gambino takes a look at how to fight back and reduce the impact of fraudsters.Video Ad Platform Videology Adds Ability To Buy Viewable Impressions Verified By Third-Party Vendors
Jan 26, 2016 by Ginny Marvin
Advertisers will be able to forecast and buy a guarantee…

Attribution: What’s Next In 2016?

In 2015, marketing attribution took huge leaps forward. Many marketers are now able to understand the incremental value of their marketing on an almost real-time schedule and see placements, campaigns and channels grouped and recalculated almost on a whim without relying on simple last-click metrics.The days of the old attribution model are long gone, and in 2016, attribution providers are going to make the next leap toward serving their clients with the fastest, most relevant and actionable data to help them understand the impact of their marketing campaigns.Though most of these ideas have been kicked around and explored for a while, I think that the technology has evolved to the point where the points below will become more than just pipe dreams.If your attribution provider isn’t doing some of the following yet, look for them to start introducing these enhancements soon.Daily Data UpdatesIf you can provide your data on a regular daily schedule, it’s possible you’re already receiving…

Study: Instagram Ads Saw Massive Demand In 2015 Thanks In Part To Video Surge

A new study from Brand Networks paints quite the rosy picture for Instagram’s ad platform. Instagram’s ad API opened up in August of 2015 and  saw an influx of ad volume and interest in the platform. Brand Networks analyzed 1.6 billion Instagram ad impressions over the last six months for this study and uncovered some interesting facts.One of the biggest areas of growth that was discovered was the rise of video. From September to November, a five-fold spike occurred, shooting monthly video impressions served to 250 million. All in all, video made up 22.52% of all Instagram impressions in December, up from just 9.54% in September.Another finding was that since the API opened up, the overall costs increased along with volume. In September the average CPM was $5.21 while in November the average CPM jumped to $7.20 before settling at $5.96 in December. The fashion vertical had were the priciest ads with CPMs eclipsing $16 and was closely followed by the organizations vertical, education v…

Xiaomi Claims $564-Million Revenue from Internet Services in 2015

Xiaomi has risen to glory thanks to the uber affordable smartphones that come equipped to the brim with the class leading hardware. It is but evident that Xiaomi is raking razor thin margins on the devices it sells, in fact it is the software and related services offered by Xiaomi that earn more revenues for the company.Reuters seems to have gotten hold of an internal document from the company which revealed that Xiaomi had earned $564-million from its Internet services. That being said, Xiaomi had initially set a target of $1-Billion for the Internet services and 100-Million for the number of devices shipped, both of which were out of reach for the company.The internet revenues are a result of the games and the mobile payment apps which surged a 150 percent Year-on-Year growth. It would be safe to assume that the major chunk of the revenue were from the Chinese market, as the Google Playstore is something that one doesn’t simply bake in to their phones. It’s in fact this very reason …

14 most important SEO tasks in order of priority

SEO can be overwhelming for any number of reasons.Between local considerations, seeding the right content in the right places, and various other on-page and off-page factors, it’s tough to know where to begin even when it comes to basic SEO essentials.What makes things even more difficult is that you can’t just start anywhere and chip away at your work. If you want to see the most success, it’s important to prioritize the SEO tasks correctly.Although it’s not always publicized, prioritizing SEO tasks is actually one of the things we see companies’ mess up most often. If you do certain SEO tasks out of order, you’re going to spend a lot of time and use up most of your resources to finally meet your goals.In some worst-case scenarios you actually won’t be able to meet those goals because you started with something advanced and skipped the basics (without even knowing it!)Although there isn’t an exact order to follow, it does help to split up the most common SEO tasks into categories, st…

Lenovo Vibe X3 First Impressions: This coulda be a contender!

Yes, we know that smartphone prices have been on a downward spiral of sorts of late, but we confess that we did not expect the figures “Rs 19,999” to appear on the screen when Lenovo launched the Vibe X3 in India today (it goes on sale on Amazon from 14:00 hours on January 28). For, let’s face it, this is a very well stacked device as far as hardware goes – Lenovo’s representative constantly referred to it as “our flagship” right throughout the presentation, and is perhaps the most powerful device to come out from the non-Moto part of the Lenovo stable since the Vibe Z2 Pro more than a year ago.The first thing that struck many people about the phone was the presence of the front facing speakers above and below the display. This was followed by the slightly more curvy look of the device itself – the Vibe X2, remember, had had a more “boxy” look to it. Of course, the words “Motorola” were heard in the aftermath of both observations – quite a few of our friends who saw the phone felt tha…

Lenovo Vibe X3 Launched in India at Rs 19,999, Features a 21-Megapixel Camera and Snapdragon 808 SoC

Lenovo has launched the Vibe X3 in India today priced at Rs 19,999 and it does come with a premium appeal attached to it. The Vibe X3 will be the latest premium offering from the Chinese company and it does come packed with features that one would typically expect from the top of the range phones.The Lenovo Vibe X3 is equipped with a 5.5-inch FHD display and is powered by a 64-bit hexa core Snapdragon 808 processor mated with 3GB of RAM. On the storage front, the Vibe X3 offers 32GB of storage along with a microSD card slot to accommodate additional memory.The Vibe X3 boasts of a 21-Megapixel primary sensor and an 8-Megapixel secondary sensor along with an ability to record 4K videos. Lenovo has been ahead of the curve when it comes to audio features on the phone and the Vibe X3 is no different. The smartphone comes with a Dolby Atmos dual speaker setup at the front and it also bundles headphones which according to Lenovo has the best DACs for lossless playback.The Lenovo Vibe X3 will…

Several Brands Will Be Advertising On Snapchat During The Super Bowl

At least four major brands are set to advertise on Snapchat during the Super Bowl.Digiday is reporting that Amazon, Marriott, Pepsi and Budweiser will run ads inside the NFL’s Live Story on Super Bowl Sunday, with the caveat that Budweiser’s ad will only be shown to viewers who are at least 21 years old.Snapchat offers the young demographic that many brands are anxious to reach, but the service was unsuccessful in courting advertisers for last year’s Super Bowl. Still, brands like Mountain Dew, GrubHub and McDonald’s used Snapchat for their own Super Bowl-related marketing. And one Super Bowl advertiser last year — the movie Pitch Perfect 2promoted its Snapchat handle in the commercial that aired during the game broadcast.According to Digiday’s sources, Snapchat’s Super Bowl sponsors are spending a total in the “low seven figures” to sponsor the Live Story. The NFL and Snapchat will split that money.

via Marketing Land

New Report: Marketing Automation Held Back By Budget, Data Management, And Lack of Time

From Openprise’s “Martech Data Report” Two-thirds of marketing and sales professionals surveyed for a new report do not use a marketing automation platform (MAP). And, of the third that do, their usage is basic to moderate, with only about half of those engaging in personalization or lead nurturing.Those are some of the sobering findings in the “Martech Data Report” from Hyderabad, India-based IT/data management shop Openprise, based on survey responses from more than 400 marketing and sales professionals in the U.S.Although Openprise itself is in the business of cleaning and managing data, the report’s emphasis on the often-overlooked complications of working with big data rings true.For instance, the marketing platforms are increasingly differentiating themselves on their access to data sources and management, including Oracle’s purchase of data management platform BlueKai and marketing analytics firm Datalogix, Adobe’s launch of its data matchmaker Audience Marketplace, and Salesfor…