Category: Digital Advertising

What Type of Story Are You?

It sounds like a bad pick-up line, but bear with me: knowing what your corporate story is, and what shape it should take, can boost your bottom line and create more warm fuzzies than you ever dreamed possible. Why is this? Because humans are social creatures; we’re hard-wired to connect with and love a good story.

When I was in college, I wrote a short play called “Broken Blinker” that won a national contest and played at The Kennedy Center. My play explored the complicated emotions surrounding the Vietnam War through the tale of two stoic Midwestern neighbors who struggle to fix a car blinker that won’t turn off. It took a complex issue and distilled it down to its essence for two ordinary people whose sons were in the war.

Big ideas – love, war, corporate values – become sticky when they’re packaged inside a compelling story. Which brings us back to your story. Which one(s) should your company tell? Here are some basic corporate story categories to get your brain storming:

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Google Victorious in Recent Class Action Suit

Recently, some people took exception to Google’s targeting of ads to Gmail users and filed a class action lawsuit suing Google for the violation of privacy. Google is able to offer Gmail for free because of its robust advertising revenue source. In fact, Google earned more than $50 billion in ad revenues in 2013 – an impression 16% increase over 2012. The Google Display Network, the largest display media network in the world, is successful due in part to the large number of publishers in the network and its targeting options for advertisers. More targeted ads receive more clicks, which pleases advertisers and results in more revenue for ad publishers. To help serve more targeted ads to users, Google automatically scans the content of emails for keywords that are used to display relevant advertising across the Google Display Network.

RepEquity Blog | Gmail Ad Example

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Using Adobe Analytics for Organic Search Keyword Reporting

With Google now limiting access to organic search keyword referral data, advertisers who use Adobe Analytics can no longer rely on Adobe’s standard natural search reports to identify the keywords that visitors use to enter the site. While Adobe Analytics still reports natural search terms from Bing and other engines, the gap left by the excluded Google data is significant and not usually covered by data from other sources.

The following sample Adobe Analytics natural search report is filtered to show only Google referrals. Notice that more than 80% of the organic search referrals are categorized as ‘keyword unavailable,’ and data is provided for only a few specific keywords.

Adobe Analytics Keyword Unavailable

To work around this limitation, Google recommends using data from Google Webmaster Tools, internal search, paid search and web analytics, including landing page popularity and traffic flow. To approximate the data in Adobe Analytics, you can use two reports: the Internal Search and Paid Search reports.

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Unauthorized Use of Trademarks in Google AdWords

Many organizations have discovered the unauthorized use of their trademarks in paid search advertisements. Google AdWords is at the center of discussion for many trademark owners. The AdWords platform allows advertisers to place text ads above and alongside natural search results when a user’s query matches their campaign keywords. On occasion, advertisers will use trademarked terms in ad copy even if they are not the trademark owner. This has become a concern, as it can cause confusion in the marketplace, negatively impact business and dilute brand strength for trademark owners.

Google’s current policy stipulates that advertisers are allowed to bid on any keyword, regardless of its trademark status. However, Google reserves the right to enforce restrictions on the use of a trademark term in ads. In these murky waters, what is a trademark owner to do if misuse occurs? Here are a few options:

  1. Reach out directly to offending advertisers and establish agreements not to advertise on each other’s marks or use each other’s marks in ad copy.
  2. File an official complaint with Google regarding the use of your marks in other advertisers’ ads.
  3. Send cease and desist letters from your legal team to the offending advertisers.

Of these options, we find that the first can be the most powerful. Even if a complaint is filed with Google, they may not investigate or place restrictions around the term’s use in ad copy.

How has Google’s trademark policy affected you? How have you dealt with trademark misuse? Tell us about your experiences in the comments.

Let’s Talk: Tracking Phone Leads Online

For local businesses, marketing success is often measured by how often the phone rings. Local businesses like pest control, lawn service and home improvement contractors live or die by generating quality leads. Typically these companies prefer phone leads over trading emails with potential customers because they can build rapport, ask questions, and provide personalized recommendations.  In other words, they can close more business.

Of course, competition is stiff. For every well-known, well-funded national competitor, there may be 100 other local and regional competitors to contend with. Having a strong presence in search engines and social media and a usable website that drives leads isn’t easy, but many companies do it well enough. We often find that the missing piece is optics into which marketing channels most efficiently drive leads and revenue. This information is essential to businesses and their agency partners for prioritizing, budgeting and making better decisions.

While web leads are easier to measure, they might only represent 5-10% of total leads.  Understanding what drives phone leads really matters.  So how do we get there?

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