Our Marketing Blog

Our industry is ever-changing. Get insights and perspective from our experts as we share our knowledge and experience on how to successfully navigate the marketing landscape.

Katelyn Nadeau

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Back to School Keeps Mobile Cool

There are conflicting results being published as to when consumers will begin their back to school shopping, but despite timing, there is one topic that everyone seems to agree on: the number of consumers turning to their mobile devices to shop and research products. According to the National Retail Federation Back to School Survey, 'Of those consumers who own tablets, 45% plan to research products on their device, while 31% will actually purchase products. And of those consumers who own smartphones, 37% plan to research products, while 22% will make purchases on their devices.'? Photo Credit: http://www.responsys.com/ Mobile Impacts In-Store Behavior Consumer mobile adoption continues to impact Ecommerce but is also impacting in-store sales. Beyond the volumes of transactions taking place from mobile and tablet devices, comparison engines and mobile apps are literally at the fingertips of consumers while shopping in-store. Shoppers can now compare prices while standing at-shelf to find the best price or discover coupons. This has steered retailers to put more weight on their mobile presence and better integrate their owned mobile tools into their complete brand experience. Reported by The Search Monitor, '78% of smartphone owners used their phones to perform BTS searches in 2013.'? It's evident from stats like this one that marketers must impress upon agencies or in-house resources that paid and organic content needs to be optimized for mobile devices with specific mobile-only offers. Mobile shopping will continue to gain momentum. To ensure maximum brand and product visibility, a mix of both Ecommerce and effort to influence consumers before and during their brick and mortar experience is critical. Savvy shoppers who are already consuming media and content on their mobile devices will be more likely to also convert on mobile or seek out product information in-store if the experience is a good one. Leveraging Mobile Targeting to Influence Purchase Geo-fencing: One example of specific mobile advertising is 'Geo-fencing', which has become a popular means of reaching consumers on the go. This method ensures that only users within a designated location radius (ex. 5 miles) are served an applicable advertisement, often stating in the copy, the proximity to the closest retailer where that product is sold. These ads are served across mobile websites and mobile applications. Mobile Consumer Reviews: Consumer reviews also have their place and have a strong influence on purchase decisions; but on a small screen of a mobile device this element can be compromised. Platforms like Google, Amazon and Facebook all make it possible to incorporate a star-rating system, which increases readability. Even so, displaying reviews predominantly so they are easy to find and require minimal navigation increase the chances a user will have a positive mobile interaction. These are just two descriptions of many mobile earned and owned opportunities useful during 'off peak' or seasonal times. Back to School is a hectic time for consumers. Smart marketers will meet them where they already are to make the shopping experience easy and enjoyable.

Keep Calm and Promote Your Pins

Why Pinterest's New Advertising Tool is Important to Your Brand? Until now Pinterest has been non-revenue generating, but is testing the waters of paid advertising in the form of 'promoted pins' to cash in on all the brand awareness they are drumming up for retailers. Pinterest Promoted Pins Until recently, promoted Pins have only been available to select brands through priority access but this week Pinterest announced a DIY Promoted Pins tool to engage small to medium size businesses. A select number of CPG companies participated in the soft launch, including: General Mills, Kraft, Nestle and Ziploc in addition to big box retailer ' Target. All of these advertisers committed upwards of $1Mil - $2Mil for the initial partnership. The ads were priced on a CPM basis (cost per thousand impressions) and saw rates in the $30 - $40 range, signaling premium inventory. The new tool however will be priced on a CPC (cost per click) basis enabling advertisers to pay only if a user clicks on their ad. It is likely the initial rates will fluctuate as more advertisers partake, with certain targeting groups being more competitive than others, but this model is not unlike those being used by Facebook and Google Adwords. The ads are marked with the terms 'promoted pin' and a small informational icon alerting consumers that the pin is in fact an ad. The ads are not currently displaying in a users image feed, which is the first experience upon account log-in, but are being served in onsite search results and top trending categories. The Pinterest User Shopper Marketers! Pinterest users have been found to exhibit high purchase intent when browsing through pins as shown by these statistics. % of wielding purchase power over non-pinterest users: 9% % of active users who bought something because they saw it on Pinterest: 38% (of which 43% were moms and 53% were daily users) Top Brands People Want to Follow: Walmart, Target, Crayola, L'Oreal, REI Engaging with Shoppers on Pinterest Pinterest as a whole offers an incredibly valuable environment to engage with consumers online, the core objective of AMP's Shopper Digital Group. As consumers become increasingly web-centric reaching them through traditional advertising is as exciting as outdated inventory ' it just won't sell. The ability to influence brand selection early in the purchase journey starts in spaces shoppers are already consuming content; limiting the modification of the existing user behavior. 73% of active users are neutral to positive about Promoted Pins but advertisers should not lose sight of providing meaningful content like recipes, contests, coupons, sweepstakes and DIY tips all of which have the potential to add value. Pinterest still has to prove its ability to effectively monetize but integrating this channel into the current ability to engage shoppers, building brand recall and drive foot traffic in-store is a key area of focus for the Shopper Digital Group. A multi-channel audience buying approach is critical, and Pinterest will become increasingly important as the platform deploys new, more granular targeting features and optimizes the overall ad format into the existing experience. To learn more about AMP's Shopper Digital Group and Shopper Marketing Services, fill out a contact form.

Why Social Media Ads are like Dating

Being targeted with an ad on social media is a lot like meeting a potential suitor. It is very much about perfect compatibility. A brand can have intriguing and eye-catching content, but without the right targeting, the message is going to get lost in the sea of potential suitors vying for their attention. Engage in Interesting Conversation Just like someone may call a best friend to divulge details of a perfect date of conversation and craft beers, a user will gladly share content they find interesting with their social networks. Good marketers smear the lines between organic content, sponsored stories and promoted posts. A promoted, unpublished page post blocking up your newsfeed with a boring call to action and a lackluster image is like spending two hours with Mr. Know It All or Sally 'Like' is the only word in my vocabulary. It's important to keep the advertising buyers close to the content creators to ensure the most interesting content is shared. Pay Attention to What He/She Likes Why keep repeating the old dating patterns that have left you single in the first place? I'm talking about the disruptive space fillers and low hanging fruit. Instead, leverage content that has already resonated with your fan base to attract new suitors. Then, your efforts will stay focused on the quality of the content and start of the relationship rather than the quantity produced (unless quantity is your modus operandi). The advantage of social advertising is the ability to select highly targeted audiences and share with them relevant content based on their lifestyle and precise interests. So, be selective (or picky) and execute multiple campaigns. Bring her roses if she likes roses or daisies if she likes daises. Again, Be Interesting. Social media advertising should be a layer to your existing content strategy. A distribution channel that works in two directions ' pushing content out and channeling potential customers on those networks back onto the site, ideally that houses other intriguing content. Do not fill the air space with noise, especially if you want the person to ask for a second date. Answer the question 'Do I have a story worth telling?'? When you answer 'yes' to this question, social media advertising becomes easier and that single ad engagement can be the start of a loyal and engaged customer. And, do not be afraid to ask a friend to put in a good word for you. Sponsored stories convert users into an ad shown to their friends. It says 'you can trust me before you know me'. Not all brands will be able to scale content worth sharing, and some may be able to produce but not quickly. Brands that are able to do both of these will garner the results of a content focused, social media second strategy. This leads to the perfect marriage (yes, this has come full circle).

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