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Showing posts from June 23, 2016
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The Election: More searchers, more opportunities

In December 2015, Bing rolled out an Election 2016 experience, with data powered by Bing Predicts. You’ll know Bing Predicts as the crew that’s responsible for tearing it up at the Oscars, the NBA playoffs and the Scottish independence referendum (among others) with strikingly accurate predictions.While the Predicts experiences have never been intended as an opportunity for advertisers, the reality is that on average they result in a 50-percent increase in search traffic year over year for those related terms and a 20-percent lift in “likelihood to use” Bing against Google in perception surveys.As a marketer, I look at this as an opportunity. So I decided to dig into the Bing Elections 2016 experience to see what makes sense for advertisers who are looking for more volume. Here’s what I found out…[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]

via Marketing Land

Ad tech evolution continues, with Avid Media’s new DSP for native content only

From the Avid Media web site On the constantly evolving ad tech front: London-based Avid Media has announced what it calls the first demand-side platform (DSP) entirely devoted to native ad content, while supply-side platform Pubmatic in Redwood City, California has expanded on its private marketplace portfolio.Called Spartan, Avid’s programmatic platform for web and apps is a self-serve version of what the company has been using internally. It can be used to address any other demand or supply platform, Chief Business Development Officer Lucy Hemming told me, and its user interface can be customized for the requirements of agencies, trading desks, or advertisers.While there are a number of other DSPs offering native ads as part of the mix, she said that Avid is the only one specifically designed for this kind of offering.Avid — no relation to the maker of the Avid Media Composer video editing system — eschews the term “native ad,” preferring to describe what it does as native content o…

Where Instagram and Facebook advertising converge and where they differ

tanuha2001 / Shutterstock.com As of last count, Instagram had 500 million monthly active users and (already) more advertisers than Twitter. Combine that with a bunch of capabilities and targeting options the platform inherited from Facebook, and it’s clear we’re looking at a burgeoning advertising powerhouse.About that overlap with Facebook, though — how is it manifesting so far? Where has Instagram advertising shared almost 1:1 takeaways with Facebook advertising, and what are some key differences in the platforms that advertisers must take into account?Where they convergeWe’ve seen a few pretty easily replicated successes from Facebook to Instagram. These include:• Concise messaging. Although the messaging itself might need to be adjusted for each platform (more on that below), brevity of messaging — short and to the point — has worked as well on Instagram as on Facebook.• Top creatives. You can absolutely repurpose top-performing Facebook creative on Instagram. It may require some a…

Where Instagram and Facebook advertising converge and where they differ

tanuha2001 / Shutterstock.com As of last count, Instagram had 500 million monthly active users and (already) more advertisers than Twitter. Combine that with a bunch of capabilities and targeting options the platform inherited from Facebook, and it’s clear we’re looking at a burgeoning advertising powerhouse.About that overlap with Facebook, though — how is it manifesting so far? Where has Instagram advertising shared almost 1:1 takeaways with Facebook advertising, and what are some key differences in the platforms that advertisers must take into account?Where they convergeWe’ve seen a few pretty easily replicated successes from Facebook to Instagram. These include:• Concise messaging. Although the messaging itself might need to be adjusted for each platform (more on that below), brevity of messaging — short and to the point — has worked as well on Instagram as on Facebook.• Top creatives. You can absolutely repurpose top-performing Facebook creative on Instagram. It may require some a…

Back to basics: Why you need to stop stressing over backlinks

Backlinks are important — there’s no argument on that fact. The emphasis that has been placed on backlinks in the past decade, however, has caused SEOs to hyper-focus on something that was never meant to be a marketing strategy.I cannot count the number of times I have had conversations with clients, trying to impress upon them how they hurt their digital marketing efforts by prioritizing followed backlinks over relevancy, value and innovation in their marketing strategies.In my experienced opinion (5+ years in the link business, 50+ clean-up efforts, 100-percent penalty removal success rate), the downward spiral of ineffectiveness begins the moment you start a marketing strategy conversation with, “What can we do to get followed backlinks?”When backlinks become the primary KPI of your campaign, you’ve effectively shifted focus away from your customer and to your bottom line. Your readers will notice this lack of sincerity, as will the influencers you try to engage with.The harder you…

Coolpad Cool VR 1X Headset Launched in India at Rs 999; Smartwatch, Powerbanks Coming Soon

Coolpad, the Chinese OEM popularly known in India for their budget and mid-range smartphones has now launched their VR Headset dubbed the Coolpad Cool VR 1X in the country at a price of Rs 999.Cool VR 1X is just like any other budget VR Headsets available from other OEMs in India; however it clearly has an edge over the others thanks to its stellar pricing. One of its main competitors namely the ANT VR Headset from Lenovo is priced markedly higher at Rs 1,299. The budget Virtual Reality headset from Coolpad comes with customizable lenses that will allow you to optimise the focal length and the object distance. That aside, Coolpad Cool VR 1X comes with support for most phones that sports a display size ranging from 4.7 inch to 5.7 inch and a minimum resolution of 1280x720p. It goes without saying that the supported phones also include the company’s own Coolpad Note 3, Note 3 Lite, Note 3 Plus and the recently unveiled Coolpad Max.As expected, the Coolpad Cool VR 1X will be an Amazon ex…

A CMO’s View: How College Ave uses personalization to connect with customers

As College Ave’s CMO, Jennifer Astle says the student loan company has built its entire brand – and team – around three core pillars: personalization, transparency, and simplification.“We took people with banking experience, and also deep customer retail experience, to bring those two worlds together.”Astle has managed College Ave’s marketing efforts since its start two years ago. She says she saw the role as an opportunity to take her lessons in creating a seamless customer experience within the retail world and applying it to the banking industry.“Banks have a ton of data on the customers. They really know who their customers are,” says Astle. The CMO says because banks provide a need-based product, they are very rarely focused on the customer experience.“We’re dealing with students who were demanding that kind of white glove treatment of you need to know me and give me what I need,”  says Astle.Today, Astle shares how her brand leverages personalization within its marketing efforts…

Customer experience in the age of disloyalty

There I was, stuck in the middle seat of an airplane. As I wrenched the seatbelt out from under the cushion and wedged my legs together, I wondered: Do these seats keep getting smaller?This return flight, like my departure, was provided by one airline but “operated” by another. In total, I was graced with flight numbers from three different airways. I really had no sense of where the first airline ended and the other one began. Was the crew part of the latter airline? What about the plane? When I registered for a flight, which airway was I actually paying?This is the standard customer experience for airline passengers who are just Googling flights and finding tickets for every possible airline at every possible time. The cheaper the better.Brands are competing by making a product or service easy and cheap, but, ultimately, a lot worse. In turn, this is teaching customers that every brand is interchangeable. That’s a dangerous place to be when a five-minute search can turn up a dozen …

How to reduce the risk of getting email blacklisted

Email marketers inevitably risk ending up on blacklists during email campaigns. But there are ways to reduce your chances and avoid the dreaded blacklist to ensure your mail reaches the inbox.To start, it’s important to understand how blacklists work. Most blacklists use a so-called “spam trap,” email addresses that are used to identify where the spam mail is coming from, usually an IP address or a domain. If that IP address or domain does not check out, it is blacklisted.Whether it’s IP or domain blacklisting, to reduce your risk of getting blacklisted from the inbox, there are three best practices you should employ: You should confirm opt-ins, practice real-time address validation and apply a “sunset” policy — remove stale recipients — based on engagement.Confirm opt-insWhen you send a confirmation email before adding a new recipient to an active mailing list, only valid and engaged recipients will be added to your list. While this practice could potentially decrease the amount of …

Keen IO releases “analytics-as-a-service” for apps, sites, and devices

For marketers, the quality of analytics — in the tools they use or the software products they sell — can define their success.In this age of cloud-based software, many tools and products employ outside platforms for specific functions that complement their core, such as Stripe for electronic payments, Twilio for communications, or Amazon Web Services for cloud computing services.Today, San Francisco-based Keen IO is making a bid to become the analytics equivalent of those services, with the release of its Native Analytics. It is a white-labeled platform that, via a software development kit and API, offers analytics and advanced visualization that can be customized, branded by the client company, and embedded natively into an app, website, or service.“Nobody else offers this analytics-as-a-service,” COO Will O’Brien told me. Point solutions like Mixpanel, Amplitude, and Google Analytics, he said, have specific capabilities, while Native Analytics is highly adaptable. The chief competit…

How to keep the ‘person’ in ‘personalization’ without being a creep

Some brands don’t target well enough, while others go way too far, creeping people out. With personalized marketing, striking a delicate balance is the key. Personalization is an important skill for any marketer to master, but it’s also quite a difficult one. There are just so many different ways it can go wrong.If your ads don’t have any personalized components, people perceive them as not being relevant enough, making them that much more likely to use an ad blocker (provided they’ve heard of ad blockers).But on the flip side, it is possible to go overboard with personalization. If people perceive your brand to be like Big Brother, they’ll be just as turned off.As with many things, the answer is somewhere in the middle. If you’re looking to personalize your ads, the most important thing to remember is that the root of that word is “person.”The pitfalls of getting too computerizedJan Jensen, chief marketing officer (CMO) of Cxense, points out that as marketing gets more complicated, t…

Huawei Wants to Gift the World a New Mobile Operating System

The quest for a fourth alternative mobile operating system has been on from quite some time and despite the fact that Android, Apple, and Windows (to a very small extent) own a major share when it comes to the Mobile operating system companies are nevertheless trying to reduce the reliance on these operating systems.After Jolla, Tizen, Firefox it is now Huawei’s turn to try their hands with a new operating system. It seems like the OS will be developed from the ground up and a team in Scandinavia is already in the works. As expected the team of developers constitutes some industry leading professionals like ex-Apple mobile UI design leader Abigail Brody and a bunch of other ex-Nokia employees.It all started after Huawei bought on board Abigail last year in order to “change the look of the Huawei skin.” The Emotion UI has been taking flak from most of the tech fraternity as it borrows heavily from the iOS. Maybe one thing led to another and Huawei decided to take on Google with an alte…

MarTech Today: PebblePost’s updated platform, AdSense Labs & Conductor’s new web crawler

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:PebblePost’s updated platform makes direct mail more like digital ads
Jun 22, 2016 by Barry Levine
Instead of the previous limited triggering, marketers can now set unlimited behavioral and rule-based triggers to generate personalized color postcards.Google launches AdSense Labs for publishers to test new features
Jun 22, 2016 by Ginny Marvin
Inline ads and Show fewer ads are the first tests available in AdSense Labs.Snapchat’s Everest Live Story showed climbing production quality of app’s TV-like format
Jun 22, 2016 by Tim Peterson
For its Live Stories, Snapchat is increasingly using pre-recorded footage that its curators can polish with illustrations and animated overlays.Google Analytics adds hacked spam webmaster notifications alerts
Jun 21, 2016 by Barry Schwartz
Now you can get some of your Google Search Console alerts directly in Goo…

YouTube opens online version of its Brand Partner Program to school agencies

YouTube is ready to take even more marketers to school on how to be a YouTube star.The Google-owned video service is opening up an online version of its three-year-old YouTube Brand Partner Program that teaches marketers to produce videos, work with YouTube stars, run ads and otherwise manage a brand’s presence on YouTube.The online version of YouTube’s Brand Partner Program appears to be aimed at agencies, whereas the offline version was more geared at marketers. The original program ran employees from brands such as Taco Bell, Ford, Samsung and Visa through three-day bootcamps held at YouTube’s offices that entailed speaking sessions with top creators and video network execs, activities for the marketers to get some hands-on experience making YouTube videos.Agencies that enroll in the YouTube Brand Partner Program Certification will be able to take online lessons from YouTube stars such as Hannah Hart, MysteryGuitarMan and My Cupcake Addiction. Lessons will be available in 22 langua…

Google enters the Artificial Intelligence race with Magenta

The words Artificial Intelligence can bring to mind far-fetched, sci-fi ideas and a society where robots have replaced humans. Well, this idea may not be too far off given Google’s recent innovations.Google recently released Magenta, a computer based system that has the ability to create pieces of music.Even though its first melody sounds like a generic song pre-programed to a keyboard, the project is considered a success because the system taught itself. The system composed the 60-second melody with little human intervention.Google engineers only provided Magenta with four notes to begin the process. They also added drums to add a bit of flair to the song.Magenta is a project from the Google Brain team that questions the traditional view on computers. In the past, computers were generally seen only as an electronic device used for storing and processing data. But now, Magenta questions all of that.With Magenta, the Google Brain Team is asking ‘can computer can learn to create compell…

How to optimise your m-commerce site for search

In 2015, Google announced that for the first time ever, it was seeing more searches taking place worldwide on mobile devices than on desktop.The steady and unerring shift towards mobile over the past few years has meant that online retailers now need to think about ‘m-commerce’ as well as ecommerce.M-commerce is the name given to retail transactions which take place on mobile, and retailers are increasingly aware of the importance of having a dedicated, optimised mobile presence in order to attract these transactions to their site.But how can you make sure that your m-commerce site is as visible as possible to searching shoppers? Drawing on insights from our recent ClickZ Intelligence report, ‘The DNA of a Great M-Commerce Site’, here are some practical steps that you can take to make sure your m-commerce site is optimised for search.Make sure your site is fully mobile-responsiveHaving a mobile-responsive site is essential even when you aren’t looking at SEO. If your site is properly …

Xiaomi Announces QiCycle, a Foldable Electric Bike with 45Kms Range

Months after it was teased, Xiaomi has finally announced the QiCycle electric folding bike at an event in China. Remember Xiaomi’s sub-brand MIJIA, well the electric QiCycle will be available under the MIJIA sub-branding.Xiaomi has ensured that the QiCycle is a unique offering and it comes with features that will help it lure the prospective buyers. The QiCycle is extremely compact and is also pretty light at just 13.3KG. Further adding to its dimensional attributes is the fact that the QiCycle can be folded and stowed away. The main chassis of the Cycle is not welded to the rear bracket and instead hinged. It is this design that will let us fold the QiCycle.Interestingly the QiCycle works just like a Hybrid car, when the rider exerts pressure on the pedal the TMM (Torque Sensing Technology) jumps into action and supplements the force so that you can ride the cycle comfortably. The motor in use is a 250W 36v high-speed one which will also let you climb the inclines with relative ease.…

OnePlus 3 Review: The Best of OnePlus (1 + 2)

That the release of a new OnePlus device is awaited with anticipation accorded to the likes of flagship devices from Apple and Samsung speaks volumes of just how far the brand has travelled in such a short period of time – we first heard of it in 2014, remember? But while the OnePlus One got OnePlus off to a flying start, things have been a tad more rocky since. The OnePlus scored on the spec and design stakes but was let down by its software – a new flavor of Android called Oxygen OS, which OnePlus developed following a break-up with Cyanogen, the OS which ran on the OnePlus One. This was followed by the OnePlus X, which seemed like a shrunk and more stylish version of the OnePlus One and whose position in the OnePlus portfolio not too many seemed clear about (was it a design showcase or a relatively powerful device aimed at those with small hands and budgets? We still know not), and which we have now been told has been consigned to history without so much as a sequel. The OnePlus 3 …