Proving the worth of Facebook ads

The @AdobeUK Team

August 10, 2012

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Marc Blinder, Director, European Operations, Adobe

Just as data from the computer age helped shape finance in the 1970’s, it has also become the digital revolution’s gift to marketing. Gone are the days where marketers are on the back foot as to justifying how their campaigns are working; the availability of real time data gives them instant access to exactly what is and isn’t working on their campaign so they can tweak and optimise it accordingly. This coupled with the availability of tools which predict and measure campaign results, has given marketers a much bigger say into the company strategy and budgets – much like the role of the finance team.

In order to get to this stage however, marketers need to understand exactly which metrics to measure for each channel, in order to successfully play back that channel’s ROI in the boardroom. With the ease of capturing behavioural data online there’s certainly no shortage of such metrics, but the trick is to know what key indicators are important for each channel and observe these accordingly.

Take Facebook ads for example. There has recently been some interesting debate around just how effective this form of marketing is. On one hand, reports have suggested Face­book adver­tis­ing is not very effec­tive and in com­par­i­son to Google pro­vides sig­nif­i­cantly less value. Other reports however have highlighted brand successes through the same method which begs the question, are people measuring this form of marketing correctly?

Typically, Facebook ads should be mea­sured by soft and hard met­rics. Soft metrics include reach and engage­ment and hard metrics include the impact on rev­enue, profit, mar­gin and offline store sales across all mar­ket­ing and sales chan­nels of a business. Where some marketers have struggled in the past however is because they feel that social chan­nels should be mea­sured using the same mea­sure­ment mod­els and account­abil­ity as search mar­ket­ing efforts.

Unfortunately, this method is flawed because consumers are not spending time on social chan­nels to imme­di­ately buy goods and ser­vices, like they often are when engag­ing in online searches. Instead, they tend to use social plat­forms to con­nect with their friends, social­ise, share con­tent, and par­tic­i­pate in dia­logue around things that they are expe­ri­enc­ing and think­ing.  Advertising on Face­book, for brands who don’t sell online games or flash deals, is more like adver­tis­ing on TV – it increases the likeliness to buy, but it often takes time for a user to convert.

Read on for some common themes we have seen from some of our clients’ suc­cess­ful Face­book campaigns….

  1. Sig­nif­i­cant and sus­tained ad budgets – suc­cess­ful Face­book cam­paigns must have mean­ing­ful ad bud­gets with sig­nif­i­cant reach, as a Facebook ad only sees the desired effects when it reaches a sig­nif­i­cant per­cent­age of users.
  2. A strate­gic long term view –  the best social cam­paigns are well thought out with strate­gies designed to build audi­ences and engage with them in a mean­ing­ful way, so they: 1) grow a fan base, and 2) increase loy­alty to the brand. For the mar­keter this means a strat­egy to cre­ate mean­ing­ful con­tent that is rel­e­vant to the fan base at a given point of time, and con­stantly updat­ing con­tent so that the mes­sage remains fresh.
  3. Data is used as an asset – the remark­able thing about Face­book adver­tis­ing is both the tar­get­ing and data that the adver­tiser can obtain with appro­pri­ate per­mis­sions from the user. A good exam­ple is to build apps where the user vol­un­tar­ily agrees to pro­vide infor­ma­tion and then launch and mar­ket to them with the sup­port of Face­book ad buys. Through this, the ad buys drive audi­ences to the app and the data from the app can be lever­aged to make the app expe­ri­ence more inter­est­ing and the whole process more effi­cient.
  4. Good con­tent is key – adver­tis­ing will have min­i­mal impact if you don’t have mean­ing­ful con­tent. You need a good com­mu­nity man­ager and mod­er­a­tor to under­stand when to place con­tent, what con­tent to place and how to mea­sure the effi­cacy of con­tent. If you fail to develop good con­tent, your fans and the Face­book plat­form will ignore your mes­sage.

Local Content, Global Context; Investec Delivers A World Class Web Experience With Help From Adobe

The @AdobeUK Team

August 01, 2012

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Act local – it’s a mantra for multi-nationals the world over. However, it’s often easier to say than do, especially when it comes to digital marketing. Issues of quality, control and ownership often push firms down a ‘vanilla’ route of centrally created content.

For Investec – an international specialist bank and asset manager serving corporate investors and high net worth individuals – the challenge was to move from a single on-line presence in Johannesburg to a 15-region digital marketing platform that would allow the company to take advantage of local opportunities, often at relatively short notice.

Using Adobe CQ, part of Adobe Digital Marketing Suite, Investec now has a global web experience platform that delivers a distinct, local visual and user experience without being limited to generic-looking templates or designs.

What does this mean for Investec? It now has a highly decentralised web experience management platform with powerful content authoring tools and global brand management capabilities. In practice this means its digital marketing team can now react quickly to local opportunities and changing customer trends with relevant regional and customer-specific content.

And the results? Because Adobe CQ takes away the organisational complexity normally associated with multi-region content creation and publishing, Investec has been able to focus on delivering compelling, creative content that drives the business forward. For example, when Investec signed a midnight deal to sponsor Tottenham Hotspur football club in the English Premier League (seasons 2010/2011 and 2011/2012), the firm was able to launch a major microsite the following morning

Online traffic has also doubled since the system went live, along with a vast increase in the volume of both global and locally published content. It has also laid the foundations for multichannel communication, enabling Investec to respond to, and engage with, its customers regardless of time-zone, location or device.

“Our web presence plays a vital role in providing the level of service our clients expect from a world-class firm,” says Diarmaid Crean, Global Online Marketing, Investec. “Having our web infrastructure on Adobe CQ makes it simple for personnel throughout our organization to author and publish content, everywhere we do business, quickly and easily.”

Manny Vaghuela, Adobe’s Solution Consulting Director and Fahim Salim, Investec’s Web Development Manager can be seen discussing Investec’s moving to the Adobe CQ platform (a process described as re-platforming) during a recent webinar.

The discussion also covers the evolution of content management software and how Investec is using Adobe CQ to optimise its content to meet marketing goals and keep up with evolving consumer and technological demands.

The full case study, with more information on the Adobe CQ platform including how it allows Investec to add local, dynamic content can be found here.

Check out our webinar around replatforming web marketing systems in the age of the multi-channel consumer below.


Keep taking the tablets

The @AdobeUK Team

July 27, 2012

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A window of opportunity has opened in the digital advertising market as the industry waits for the full impact of the tablet revolution to affect Cost Per Clicks (CPC).

Figures from Adobe’s Q2 2012 Global Digital Advertising Update show that while conversion rates for tablets are 120 percent higher than those for PCs, CPC rates are markedly less than desktops or laptops, 30 percent less in fact.

With the vast majority of tablet users fitting the iPad owning demographic – tech savvy and with a healthy disposable income – brands have a unique opportunity to run highly-targeted campaigns across tablets, and smartphones, that will deliver greater ROI thanks to the lower rate CPC.

“Despite incredible sales of the Apple iPad, the tablet itself is still a relatively nascent technology,” believes Jonathan Beeston, Director of New Product Innovation at Adobe. “Historically CPCs have been lower for mobile devices as the user experience is constrained by screen size, device speed etc. Tablets don’t have these problems, yet they are still being viewed as a mobile device hence the lower CPC than PCs.”

American data in the report puts ROI for tablet advertising spend as high as 160 percent against PCs (with mobiles at 103 percent) reaffirming the belief that brands can realise significant impact and value by switching to mobile, at least in the short term.

“It’s a case of making hay while the sun’s shining,” adds Beeston. “With a slew of competitively priced, high quality devices like the Kindle Fire, Google Nexus and Microsoft’s Surface about to hit the mass markets, the situation will normalise as brands raise their budgets for advertising on tablets and the CPC rates follow suit.”

The report also shows that search advertising continues to grow, with search spend in the UK up 18 percent, Year over Year (YoY). Additionally, growth rates for search spend were strong in the US and Germany, seeing a 13 percent and 12 percent increase YoY respectively.

Finally, brands are continuing to invest heavily in Facebook to drive fan growth, with 21 per-cent Quarter over Quarter (QoQ) and 84 percent YoY growth worldwide. Facebook engagement among brands also grew by 60 percent QoQ and 338 percent YoY.

Click here to download the full report


Former Multi-Channel Advertising Technology from Efficient Frontier is Now Adobe AdLens

The @AdobeUK Team

July 18, 2012

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 We’re excited to announce that our multi-channel adver­tis­ing opti­miza­tion tech­nol­ogy acquired from Effi­cient Fron­tier has now been rebranded Adobe AdLens. This uni­fied solu­tion for opti­miz­ing search, social and dis­play adver­tis­ing has been enhanced with a new user inter­face inte­grated into the broader Adobe Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Suite. AdLens also offers data inte­gra­tion with the Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Suite to pro­vide cus­tomers with improved ad opti­miza­tion, accu­rate fore­cast­ing, and sim­ple deployment.

With the Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Suite inte­gra­tion with AdLens, large data sets can be used for ad opti­miza­tion, cus­tom analy­sis and report­ing in real-time. Through ease of deploy­ment, AdLens cus­tomers can quickly real­ize ROI from adver­tis­ing opti­miza­tion with a com­pre­hen­sive view of their dig­i­tal adver­tis­ing spend. This native inte­gra­tion with real-time data will allow Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Suite cus­tomers to rapidly deploy AdLens with min­i­mal effort and no man­ual inte­gra­tion or cum­ber­some data feeds.

Avail­able now, dig­i­tal mar­keters and adver­tis­ers using AdLens will ben­e­fit from these fea­tures and capabilities:

  • Uni­fied View of Multi-Channel Cam­paigns—See which chan­nels and cam­paigns are impact­ing key busi­ness met­rics, such as con­ver­sion and revenue.
  • Multi-Channel Strat­egy Exe­cu­tion from Uni­fied Inter­face—Cam­paign man­age­ment and opti­miza­tion for search, dis­play and social chan­nels. Appli­ca­tion pro­gram­ming inter­face inte­gra­tion with Baidu, Face­book, Google, LinkedIn, Yahoo, Bing and Yan­dex, as well as real-time bid­ding inte­gra­tion with lead­ing ad exchanges and supply-side platforms.
  • Flex­i­ble Attri­bu­tion Mod­els and Accu­rate Fore­cast­ing—Move from an over-reliance on “last-click” attri­bu­tion to flex­i­ble mod­els that can accu­rately fore­cast which chan­nel, or com­bi­na­tion of chan­nels, will deliver results for chang­ing goals and budgets.
  • Seam­less Work­flow from Insight to Action—Uniquely auto­mates opti­miza­tion, enabling mar­keters to pur­chase more of what is work­ing based on proven bid­ding mod­els and algo­rithms. Mar­keters still main­tain con­trol at every step of the process.
  • Updated User Inter­face—New UI pro­vides many capa­bil­i­ties famil­iar to search mar­keters, as well as break­through fea­tures such as inline edit­ing for quick changes, advanced fil­ter­ing for large adver­tis­ers with mil­lions of key­words, and auto­mated cus­tom labeling.

We’ll keep invest­ing in industry-leading work­flow and data visu­al­iza­tions to allow mar­keters to quickly drill into data across all online chan­nels to find unique insights and auto­mate action. AdLens will keep expand­ing with addi­tional func­tion­al­ity as well as inte­gra­tions with other prod­ucts in the Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Suite so check it out and let us know what you think!

– Bill Mungo­van is the direc­tor of prod­uct man­age­ment & strat­egy, Adver­tis­ing Solu­tions, for Adobe’s Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Business

Using personalisation to create unique digital experiences

The @AdobeUK Team

July 10, 2012

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There’s a high correlation between great customer experience and three key elements of loyal behaviour: willingness to buy more, reluctance to switch, and likelihood to recommend. Given today’s consumers interact with brands across many different channels and devices, marketers are left with a number of challenges – which channels are most relevant to their brand, how do they manage multiple channels and how do they evaluate the success and business impact of their activities?

Check out our recent webinar with Forrester and Pippa Barron, Renault UK’s Online Development and Publishing Manager. Here they discuss best practices to increase engagement, relevancy and personalisation and put customers in the driving seat.


Read on to see how we’re working with Pippa and her team to create a unique experience for Renault’s customers:

  1. Understand what your customers want: Customers increasingly expect to conduct all their vehicle research online, including pricing, product, colours, and options, before they even go into a dealership. We’ve worked with Renault to integrate engaging media across its site. Adobe Scene7 displays images, shows video, and provides other content that allows visitors to explore available models and vehicle features for a better digital experience.
  2. Use enhanced images: By providing 360-degree views of each vehicle the customer can even see inside the car before going to the dealer.
  3. Offer personalised options: Using the colour-rendering option Renault customers can see swatches of all available colours and zoom in to really get a feel of what their car will look like in the colour option that they’ve chosen. This level of personalisation lets customers get a good idea of what colour car they want before they ever step into a dealership.
  4. Provide engaging hot spot content: Renault used Adobe Scene7 to implement engaging hot-spot content (both text and video) where specific features and functionality are described and demonstrated in detail. This enables Renault to showcase its products and to zoom in to give the customer a great experience about what the product is really like. 
  5. Offer relevant product videos: Adobe Scene7 also enabled Renault to add four to six product videos per car showing key features and functionalities in detail. These included test drives or TV commercials that highlight the performance attributes of different models, as well as some information about the car that might move the viewer closer to a purchase decision.
  6. Provide up-to-date brochures and product price guides: Renault maintains a vast library of e-brochures and price lists for all its models and these are updated weekly using our technology. It also has a wide selection of supporting brochures about paint trim selections, financing options, and features like satellite navigation to provide the most up-to-date content for its customers.
  7. Evolve to meet customer expectations: Renault’s looking to evolve in ways that meet customer expectations in terms of mobile and desktop functionality. It has a mobile-optimised site that is compatible with all smartphones, and it will soon offer the 360-degree spin and zooming functions as well as video.

For more information on how to personalise the brand experience, please click here.


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