Google PLA comes to Europe


February 13, 2013

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Select European countries, including the UK, will see the arrival of Google Product Listing Ads (PLAs) from February 13th, 2013. The move will be the end to free traffic from Google shopping and search but does open up a huge opportunity for advertisers.  The introduction of PLAs will mean more granular control over product listings, bids and traffic, allowing advertisers and marketers to work out what’s going where and when, and distribute budget as necessary.

The US completed Google’s Shopping’s transition from a free to a paid PLA model back in November 2012 and, so far, it’s been a success as both a significant and profitable source of traffic.  The additional costs involved with PLAs mean advertisers must consider spend efficiency when thinking about their strategies, and this is something that the UK can look to the US to learn what has and what hasn’t worked.

Click on the video below to see what Jonathan Beeston, director, new product innovation at Adobe has to say on what marketers and advertisers can expect from Google PLAS, looking at:

·         What are PLAs?

·         How are PLAs implemented?

·         What have we seen in the US?

·         What do you need to do?

Check out Jonathan Beeston’s blog on Econsultancy for more insight and have a read of our whitepaper for new ways to enhance search marketing.

Mobile search will continue to sharply rise into 2013

The @AdobeUK Team

December 21, 2012

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2012 will be remembered in the marketing world as the year that digital marketers finally got around to writing the rule book on mobile.  Whilst the move was visibly in an effort to better adapt to the huge shift in con­sumer behaviour, it’s clear that there is still room for improvement.

At the start of the year in Adobe’s Q2 2012 Global Digital Advertising Update, we predicted  that one in five paid search clicks would come from a mobile device and whilst this seemed ambitious, we have surpassed that mark. However on the other side of the coin – many brands still don’t have fully optimised websites or apps for mobile.

So what should digital marketers look out for next year?

Gartner predicts the sale of smart devices to rise by as much as 1.2 billion in 2013 and we think mobile search will continue to grow as a significant portion of SEM campaigns. By the end of 2013, we think one in three paid clicks will come from a tablet or smartphone, with consumers increasingly making purchasing decisions solely with their mobile devices. With this shift marketers need to recognise that a mobile strategy is not optional. Finding ways to monetise and personalise mobile traffic through apps, publishing and optimised web experiences are critical to success.

As well as mobile, we are expecting to see a combination of trends and new technology innovations cause 2013 to be an eventful year for digital marketing. See more on the following 2013 predictions from Adobe on ad exchanger:

–          Cross-channel and cross-device measurement will become paramount

–          Marketing will become even more granular

–          Marketers will understand the true value of Social

Jonathan Beeston, director, new product innovation at Adobe

Catch the window before it shuts

The @AdobeUK Team

October 12, 2012

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Despite the shaky UK economy, brands are continuing to invest billions into digital advertising – both online and through mobile devices.

This is one of the findings from the latest advertising expenditure report from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB); with advertising spend shooting up by 12.6 percent to £2.6 billion in the first half of the year.

Fuelled by the rocketing number of smartphone and tablet users, mobile advertising alone grew by 132 percent to £181.5 million in the first half of 2012, from the previous year, and now accounts for seven percent of all digital advertising spend.

These results support the findings of Adobe’s Q2 2012 Global Digital Advertising Update, which we blogged about back in July.   Our report showed that whilst conversion rates for tablets are 120 percent higher than those for PCs, Cost Per Clicks (CPC) rates are markedly less than desktops or laptops, 30 percent less in fact – opening a window of opportunity in the digital advertising market.

“Mobile traffic continues to demonstrate a significant opportunity for advertisers as the industry is still yet to normalise click through rates” comments Jonathan Beeston, director of new product innovation at Adobe. “With results remaining strong for mobile, there is a growing emphasis on mobile devices as tablet conversion rates outshine desktop conversion rates.”

However, the gap in that window of opportunity is starting to close and it won’t be long until the cost per click rate starts to increase. To make the most of this, brands need to act now to make sure they don’t get shut out by their competitors.

“There’s still time for brands to get in there and reap the benefits delivering greater ROI but they need to move quickly before this ever shrinking window shuts,” adds Beeston.

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


The effect social and mobile has on paid search advertising

The @AdobeUK Team

June 12, 2012

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We should be thankful that despite these times of economic gloom, the online advertising world is still growing at a tremendous pace. In fact, two pieces of recent research have recently caught my eye on this topic and have reinforced in my mind both the growth and dynamics of this market.

Firstly, eConsultancy is predicting that the UK paid search market will grow 14% this year, with advertisers spending £4.19bn in 2012 on media, agency services and consultancy.

Forrester has also estimated that paid search spending across Western Europe will by €10.61bn in 2012, up 19% on 2011.

Both reports can’t help but mention the importance of two essential trends which are having an instrumental affect on the advertising industry. Social media has a critical role that complement and sometimes supplants, traditional search. For example, social content created and shared by users generates inbound links playing a key role in SEO. Likewise the rise in social ads, brings a new way of targeting consumers at the awareness and consideration stages of the buying funnel which complements paid search’s usual role of delivering conversions and sales.

The other key trend is mobile, and the IAB’s recent report on this estimates the global mobile ad market was $5.3bn in 2011. Nearly 62% of this media investment came through paid search ads. Econsultancy and Forrester both note that smartphone penetration is continuing to increase across Western Europe and so having a key mobile strategy is essential. Twitter and Facebook are also doubling-down on their mobile ad offerings too. Consumers are accessing their social networks on their mobile devices more and more – exploiting upcoming ad formats will be essential.

So what does this mean for advertisers?

  • Optimise across channels and devices: the online ad market has never been more dynamic. You need to understand how consumers interact with your ads and the roles they play in delivering a final sale. But understanding this attribution between search and social, desktop and mobile isn’t enough. You need the agility to move investment quickly and accurately too.
  • Figure out your KPIs for each channel: of course we all want to drive sales, but is that a fair or useful metric for ads on a mobile device or a social network? Think about what the consumer wants at the time and how you can help them. Perhaps a location based store finder, an in-store voucher or a link to your mobile app is more useful than asking them to ‘Buy Now!’
  • Create the right mobile experience: a properly optimised mobile web site will lead to positive customer experiences. Cramming your desktop site on to a small screen will not. Think about what consumers want to do when accessing your site on a mobile device.
  • Test and experiment: new ad formats and opportunities seem to come out every week. Some will work for you, some won’t. You can’t test them all and you shouldn’t try, but pick out some opportunities that fit with your broader strategy. Then test them well (investing time and budget) and test them properly (if your team doesn’t include at least one stats genius, it’s time to hire). Then repeat, learning from your mistakes and improving your process. Your test isn’t going to produce a world-beating ROI first time round; fourth or fifth time it might.

The pace of change in this industry continues to breathing-taking. To learn more about mobile search, check out the on-demand replay of last month’s webinar “Mobile Matters: Optimizing search for mobile devices”.

Jonathan Beeston, director, new product innovation at Adobe

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