Article: Marketing in China: Can Machine Learning Solve the ROI Problem?

No Comments »

William Bao Bean, managing director of Chinaccelerator, explains how investments in artificial intelligence and machine learning are helping marketers improve user targeting and return on investment.

January 24th 2018 Uncategorized

Talking to Mr. Money Mustache about the US Digital Service

No Comments »

Last week, I passed my one year anniversary as head of the US Digital Service (USDS). So when Mr. Money Mustache asked for an interview, I was delighted to talk about some of the work that the USDS does. If you aren’t familiar with Mr. Money Mustache, he writes about a philosophy of badassity in which people make better life choices like biking to work or saving a higher percentage of their paychecks.

I remember discovering Mr. Money Mustache and immediately reading through most of his site, so it was a pleasure to do an interview with him. And if you haven’t heard of the US Digital Service before, this interview is a good chance to find out more. The US Digital Service is still here, still working on projects that matter, and we’re hiring.

January 23rd 2018 Uncategorized

Article: Why Premium Publishers Are in a Prime Position for 2018

No Comments »

Dan Greenberg, co-founder and CEO of native advertising solutions provider Sharethrough, discusses how buyers’ increased desire for contextual targeting and native advertising will benefit premium publishers in 2018.

January 19th 2018 Uncategorized

Integration of Salesforce Sales Cloud to Google Analytics 360 is now available

No Comments »
In November we announced a partnership with Salesforce, including a plan to build new integrations between Google Analytics 360, Salesforce Sales Cloud and Salesforce Marketing Cloud, seamlessly connecting sales, marketing and advertising data for the first time.

Today we’re introducing the first of these integrations: sales pipeline data from Sales Cloud (e.g. leads, opportunities) can now be imported directly into Analytics 360, so any marketer in a business that manages leads can see a more complete view of the customer’s path to conversion and quickly take action to engage them at the right moment. Enterprises such as Rackspace and Carbonite are already benefiting from this integration, saving hours piecing together data and reaching new, more valuable audiences.

A complete view of the customer journey

We often hear from marketers how difficult it is to connect online and offline customer interactions in order to see a complete view of a customer’s journey — and they also tell us how helpful it would be if they could do it successfully. Good news: with the turnkey integration between Sales Cloud and Analytics 360, marketers can now easily combine offline sales data with their digital analytics data so they can see a complete view of the conversion funnel.

This opens up new ways to understand how customers engage with brands and how marketing programs perform. For example, marketers can explore the relationship between the traffic source for online leads (e.g. organic search vs. paid search vs. email) and the quality of those leads, as measured by how they progress through the sales pipeline.

Example of a report in Google Analytics 360 showing the relationship between the traffic source for online leads and the progression of those leads through the sales pipeline, as tracked in Salesforce

With the built-in connection between Analytics 360 and BigQuery, Google Cloud’s enterprise data warehouse, marketers can also easily move Sales Cloud data from Analytics 360 into Google Cloud to join it with other datasets and unlock BigQuery’s powerful set of tools for identifying insights.

Better marketing outcomes

More visibility into the customer journey is great — but the real value comes from being able to take action. For example, if one source of site traffic consistently delivers leads that are higher quality than another source, budget can be shifted to drive more of the better traffic.

The built-in connections between Analytics 360 and Google’s media buying platforms offer additional ways to find new customers and drive incremental revenue. Marketers can use the tools in AdWords and DoubleClick Search to optimize their bidding on search ads based on the goal of actual sales (offline conversions tracked in Salesforce) rather than just basic website leads. Or they can create an audience list in Analytics 360 of qualified leads from Sales Cloud and use AdWords or DoubleClick Bid Manager so their display ads reach people with similar characteristics.

“People are doing backflips over this”

Rackspace® is a provider of managed cloud services that relies heavily on digital marketing channels to capture interest from potential customers and drive new business. Rackspace has been beta testing the Sales Cloud to Analytics 360 integration and the team has already seen significant benefits from connecting their sales pipeline reporting to their digital marketing analytics.

“Being able to easily see our sales pipeline data in Google Analytics and get complete funnel reports with no manual work has been a game changer. We’re now able to quickly diagnose changes in lead volume and quality, and trace them back to our marketing investments in a way that was not possible before.

We’re getting better insights into our marketing performance and getting those insights much more quickly than when we were trying to stitch this together manually — saving 8-10 hours each week and reducing the lag from importing offline conversion data from 4-6 weeks to virtually real-time. People are doing backflips over this!” – Lara Indrikovs, Senior Manager, Digital Insights & Analytics

Carbonite offers cloud data back-up services that help protect personal and business data from data loss. Carbonite has also been beta testing the Sales Cloud integration and is gearing up to change their media activation strategy to take advantage of the new insights that are now available to them.

“We’re really excited about the opportunity to leverage Salesforce data in Google Analytics and our AdWords media campaigns. This will allow us to activate pipeline acceleration and lookalike prospecting campaigns based on the profiles of companies that achieved key milestones in our customer lifecycle after becoming a lead. We expect this new approach will improve our ROI by shifting our targeting capabilities towards more valuable leads and opportunities.” – Norman Guadagno, SVP of Marketing

What’s next?

Over the next few months we’ll be making additional Sales Cloud data available in Analytics 360, giving marketers even more intelligence. For example:

  • Product-specific data will make it possible to run remarketing campaigns that present cross-sell or up-sell offers to customers based on products previously ordered
  • Data predicting the likelihood of lead conversion will let marketers create audience lists of prospects who have a high likelihood of purchasing, which can be used for remarketing (to move people along the sales funnel) or prospecting
  • Lifetime value data can be used as a diagnostic tool to provide insight into which marketing channel brings in the highest value customers

As 2018 moves on, we’ll continue to roll out more of the Salesforce-Analytics 360 integrations announced back in November. Soon marketers will be able to include conversion data from Sales Cloud in Google Attribution 360 for more accurate data-driven attribution modeling, surface data from Analytics 360 in Marketing Cloud for a more complete understanding of campaign performance, and make audiences created in Analytics 360 available in Marketing Cloud for activation via direct marketing channels like email.

Contact us here if you are not yet using Analytics 360 and would like to learn more. Current customers can talk to your account team or Certified Analytics Partner about developing a plan for implementing these integrations.

Stay tuned, it’s going to be a big year!

January 18th 2018 Uncategorized

Article: How Artificial Intelligence Can Transform the Digital Out-of-Home Marketplace

No Comments »

Omer Golan, founder and CEO of Outernets, discusses how artificial intelligence can improve the digital out-of-home industry.

January 17th 2018 Uncategorized

Why People Trust The Search Engines

No Comments »

search engines trustSearch engines are one of the most influential tools for retrieving any kind of information nowadays.

Shoppers, students, teachers, businesses, artists and the rest of the population with access to the Internet relies on them to provide them answers to their questions in a split second. But should we trust the pages we find on search results?

For people not working in the world of Internet marketing, and this is the majority of the population, they may not have any idea how the process of finding information online really works. They directly go to Google’s homepage (or any other search engines like bing, yahoo or yandex to name a few), type their query in the search box, click on one of the results and get spoon fed with information in less than a second.

But before you trust anything you read online, you must know that search results often provide the only information most people will ever seek. Instead of using a broader source of information which may provide various view points,
there is a great chance that the results you see merely support a single existing opinion and bolster some preconceived notions about a particular topic, question or controversy.

What some people do not know is that Google has never promised to show the most pertinent or 100% accurate answers to every query. Furthermore, they are not mandated to provide the most recent information to their users.

That is the reason why you can still find articles from 10 years ago (that may no longer be correct) to this day. As google is not perfect, they may not be aware that some information is out of date.

What this search giant promises to its users is to deliver the most relevant results based on the keyword or keyword phrases used. And they do so by using complicated mathematical formulas.

For regular users with no knowledge of how the process of searching works under the hood, they may assume search results are always truthful information and take them at face value. Many people believe that the results of the search engines are accurate and unbiased, when in fact a single missing word makes a massive impact on the information shown on the results page.

Google is not really in the business of providing correct and accurate results – rather, it is an advertising company that considers its users as the primary commodity of their organization. Of course, some people will disagree with this notion.

If you look at it in a marketing perspective and compare search results to a commercial on the television, Google somehow serves the same purpose – to promote the goods and services of paying companies (alongside organic search results) by the use of its algorithmic system.

Before you completely dismiss the credibility of the search results of any search engine, you need to understand that they also personalize search results by investigating a user’s online behavior.

First, the search engine tracks the queries you have made before in the search engine. It also keeps your click stream data. Second, it monitors your social accounts and reviews the people in your email and reviews your social network channels and other communication tools. Finally, Google also detects your whereabouts (geolocation) to narrow down a search query.

That means your personalized results will be a combination coming from your interests, the related groups you belong to and the location where you conducted your search query.

But are these three factors enough of a basis to provide the best and most relevant results?

If you think about it, Google can easily and subtly manipulate the results page to favor some paying businesses and advertisers more than others. After all, this massive digital marketing company has no obligation to the person using their free service.

So why do people trust search engines then?

The truth is, there is no clear-cut answer. Some experts speculate that people trust search engines so much because they present a “good enough” answer for the time being. Many users look for brief and quick explanations, and this is what search engines exactly provide.

In the light of the controversy of fake news spreading like wildfire in the world wide web, it is the user’s responsibility to proactively apply critical thinking skills and skepticism to determine whether the information they have gathered is truthful or not.

Just because an article shows up on the first page of Google does not mean it is the correct answer to your question. If the search engine has provided an incorrect answer, then you as a user may not be aware that anything was amiss.

So pay attention, use common sense, and do not follow any information blindly.

January 14th 2018 SEO

Article: For Ad Buyers, a Tale of Two Identity Graphs Emerges in 2018

No Comments »

Patrick Jones, global vice president and general manager of partnerships for Oracle Data Cloud, discusses how he expects agencies and brands to evolve their use of audience data sets this year.

January 10th 2018 Uncategorized

Article: Mobile Apps, Influencer Marketing Top Fraud Targets for 2018

No Comments »

Michael Tiffany, co-founder and president of ad verification and fraud prevention firm White Ops, discusses the next evolution of fraudulent practices for 2018.

January 3rd 2018 Uncategorized

Article: What's Behind the Rapid Progress of Advanced Audience Targets in Linear TV

No Comments »

Joshua Summers, CEO of linear television supply-side platform clypd, discusses the major advanced targeting trends expected to infiltrate traditional TV ad buying within the next year.

January 2nd 2018 Uncategorized