Archive for the ‘Marketing Industry News’ Category

Google Introduces A Re-Brand For Marketers

Thursday, July 5th, 2018
Google Re-brands

Recently, Google announced some big changes that would be coming to their marketing tools with the hopes of making the wide variety of products easier to understand and use. Google continues to dominate the search engine marketing landscape and staying ahead of the ever-evolving technology means continuous innovation and, often, new and revamped products. Over the years, Google customers have requested that Google simplify their portfolio of products. As of this month, the wait for a streamlined portfolio is over.

What Changes Are Coming To Google Marketing?

Three major changes make up this new re-branding effort.

  1. Google AdWords is becoming Google Ads
  2. DoubleClick and Google Analytics 360 are becoming the Google Marketing Platform
  3. DoubleClick For Publishers and DoubleClick Ad Exchange are becoming Google Ad Manager

According to Matt Lawson, the VP of Ads Marketing at Google, “this change signals that our ad offerings are about more than search.” The ability to communicate that Google’s marketing console includes much more than the standard search engine marketing capabilities is going to be a big win for the search engine giant.

Let’s Talk Google Ads

Dropping the “words” from Google AdWords doesn’t mean that Google is abandoning the keyword aspect of their marketing offerings, though. SEOs of the world – no need to fret! The re-branding to Google Ads is more indicative of the display, video, and app buying that is offered through Google, as well.

Why Combine DoubleClick And Analytics?

As the technology to collect information evolves, the usage of that data is becoming more and more prevalent in the marketing world. The fact is, if you’re not operating on a data-driven strategy, your marketing is probably not performing the way it could be.

Many Google consumers are already using both DoubleClick and the Analytics Suite, so why not bring them together? Lawson says, “The reality is when you combine advertising and analytics you get better insights into the customer journey and are able to drive better results.” By integrating these two products, it becomes easier to understand, execute, and optimize your campaign elements all in one place.

Can Google Successfully Re-Brand?

This isn’t the first time Google is making the effort to re-brand some of their product offerings. As marketers, we know better than most of the failed re-branding efforts that have saturated the marketing – GAP’s record-breaking new logo that lasted all of one week comes to mind. Marketers and customers alike can be skeptical of change, but this re-brand does appear to be 100 percent customer-centric.

Renaming and reworking the marketing product offerings that Google has doesn’t stem from the need to acquire more users, but rather the user’s need to understand and use the products more effectively and efficiently. While veteran users will likely still refer to the products by their original names, as demonstrated by the shift from Google Webmaster Tools to Google Search Console, new users can glean a better understanding of what marketing tools the search giant has to offer by name alone.

Ultimately, this is a nod towards what the future of marketing with Google has in store. We’re looking forward to this re-brand and everything it symbolizes in the digital marketing world.

Do you need help transforming data into effective marketing tactics? Contact the experts at FiG Advertising + Marketing today to learn how digital marketing can move your bottom line.

London Is Not Lovin’ It – Junk Food Advertising Ban Proposed

Friday, May 11th, 2018

Advertising has taken a lot of heat over the years for the role it plays in the consumer journey and the increase in bad purchasing habits that have been formed. With the rise in obesity across the world, advertisers for junk food and restaurant products have been under the most pressure to do their jobs well without adding to the negative impact excess amounts of unhealthy food has on the population.

The History Of Food Advertising

Since the 1920s, fast food has soared into popularity with its low prices and quick service. As television became a staple in households, advertisers capitalized on the shows that played regularly – Monday Night Football was a great place to put beer advertisements, Saturday morning cartoons were a great place to advertise toys and sugary cereals. It is no different than the programmatic and retargeting digital campaigns we run today – advertisers will always try to get their products in front of consumers who want to buy those products.

London Takes The Next Steps

This became problematic, especially with advertising that is targeted towards children. So much so that the Federal Trade Commission stepped in to regulate it. However, with childhood obesity rates still alarmingly high, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is proposing a ban on junk food advertising from the entire Transport for London network.

In addition to this, Khan proposed a ban on new fast food restaurants opening within 400 meters of schools.

The Ad Industry Responds

Khan explains that “childhood obesity in London is a ticking time bomb,” with more than 40 percent of ten and eleven-year-olds falling into the obese category. We can’t disagree that something needs to be done, but is an advertising ban the answer?

This is coming at a time when high-fat, salt, and sugar products are taking a lot of criticism as attempts to watershed ads for this product categories come under consideration. The Advertising Association argues that there is little evidence that the move to ban advertising for unhealthy food options would have minimal impact on obesity levels.

The Advertising Association suggests, alternatively, that they actually increase advertising for healthy initiatives, such as The Daily Mile, to increase awareness for tactics that have had proven success in decreasing obesity. Stephen Woodford, the chief executive of the Advertising Association, says, “our industry is always ready to play our role in supporting evidence-based and proportionate action around responsible advertising.”

Woodford explains that there are wider societal issues driving childhood obesity than food advertising, as can be seen by the vast differences in obesity level across the UK.

Amsterdam implemented their own multi-faceted approach at the start of the year, including an advertising ban, the results of which will likely be studied later this year.

The main concern with the advertising ban is the impact it will have on the overall economy. With unproven success for its proposed intentions, the ban would cause significant damage to the quality of media and content, as well as jobs.

If you’re interested in developing an effective and responsible advertising campaign, contact FiG Advertising + Marketing today to schedule a consultation.

Artificial Intelligence Is A Key Player In Marketo/Google Product Debut

Monday, April 30th, 2018
Representation of AI

In August, Marketo announced a long-term collaboration with Google Cloud to help scale Marketo solutions and make them more widely available to marketers. The first product of this collaboration, AudienceAI, debuted today. This solution is a program that uses the Google infrastructure and artificial intelligence to help marketers more easily expand target audiences.

Marketo is a leading provider of marketing automation solutions, including the increasingly popular Engagement Platform. Marketo works closely with large enterprises to help them build lasting relationships with their consumers.

Marketo CEO, Steve Lucas, explains that “Marketo customers use [the] Engagement Platform to deliver personalized experiences…this collaboration with Google takes that capability to new heights.”

Marketo solutions are widely recognized for scalability and the alliance with Google Cloud will only allow for more flexibility in the automation programs.

Tariq Shaukat, Google Cloud President, says “this collaboration will allow for innovation leveraging Marketo’s Engagement Platform and Google Cloud’s commitment to performance, collaboration, and data science at scale.”

By leveraging Google’s infrastructure, Marketo has access to untapped resources to fuel further growth. The launch of AudienceAI marks the first product to come from this partnership. AudienceAI is described as “a tool for unlocking unused audience segments lying dormant inside data.” With the help of machine learning, marketers will be able to better personalize content and experiences they create for their audiences.

The idea behind this development is to help marketers find lookalike audiences through Google’s data analytics with the ultimate goal of increasing conversions, revenue, and ROI. The beauty of such a highly evolved solution is that marketers are able to harness the power of extensive data without needing a data scientist to extract the information so it can be used.

With more and more capabilities to gather data on consumers, marketers often find themselves in a catch-22 – they have the information, but they don’t have any way to use it. This solution takes out the middleman and helps marketers tap into the power of the information they already have to create better communications and build stronger relationships with their audience.

This partnership is just the start of data-driven AI solutions that will help marketers become more effective in their communication and get brands in front of their ideal target audiences. We’ve been keeping a close eye on how AI is impacting marketing and communications, you can see our analysis here and here.

As AudienceAI takes off, the impact of artificial intelligence on marketing will become more and more noticeable. We can’t wait to see the next steps Marketo and Google Cloud will take together to help marketers create more meaningful messaging.

If you’re interested in leveraging data to create impactful communications that reach your target audience, contact FiG Advertising + Marketing today.

How To Spot An SEO Scam

Monday, March 19th, 2018

How To Spot An SEO ScamAs the digital marketing industry continues to expand at exponential rates, we see a number of companies coming out of the technological woodwork with inflated promises that they cannot effectively deliver on. Because of this, we are seeing more clients than ever who have been burned in the past and are now skeptical of agencies that have the resources and expertise to get the job done right. Avoiding an SEO scam can be challenging if you don’t know what to look for. These are the red flags that should send you running in the opposite direction when you are in the market for a reputable SEO agency.

Guaranteed Rankings

If an agency tells you that they can guarantee you #1 rankings, you should be wary. Google itself says that no one can guarantee a ranking of any sort. Google has rigorously developed it’s algorithms over the years to deliver search engine results pages (SERP) that best provide what a consumer is looking for. Every new search query returns the most updated and accurate SERP for that specific searcher, so it is impossible to guarantee the #1 spot for any search query.

Any Promise Without Industry Knowledge

An agency that guarantees rankings is irresponsible at best, however, an agency that is willing to make any kind of ranking without having a deep understanding of your industry is another red flag that should warrant skepticism. Some industries have significantly higher competition than others. Without extensive research of how your website compares to that of your competitors, any promise is nothing more than a guess.

Fast Turn Around Times

Search engine optimization is a process. Unlike some of the other digital marketing tactics that can deliver more immediate results, SEO requires strong bones with robust supplementary content to deliver any kind of results. A reputable SEO agency will take the time to research your industry, find opportunities for growth and weaknesses that can be improved. They will then develop a strategy that encompasses a variety of best practices to deliver the results you are looking for. Then, once all of these steps have been implemented, it is time to hand the project over to the search engines to index and evaluate.

Not only is SEO a slow-growing process, but it is also on-going. Search engine optimization is not a quick fix. A reputable SEO agency will continuously analyze the data to keep the optimization up-to-date. A limited or specific time frame, as well as promises of one-time-only, are signs of an SEO scam that will not only not deliver the results you are seeking, but also potentially result in penalties from search engines.

Insider Knowledge

A favorite tactic of SEO scammers is to claim insider knowledge or connections with search engines like Google. All webmasters have to follow the same protocols to be recognized by Google and there is no special relationship or connection that provides one site or webmaster priority over another.

Additionally, Google is constantly updating, even more quickly now that artificial intelligence is involved in the ranking of pages. With such a complex system determining rankings, an SEO agency that claims insider knowledge is almost assuredly a scam. Rather, you should look for an agency that stays up-to-date with search engine updates and can share that knowledge with you – which brings us to our next point.

Lack Of Transparency

Any lack of transparency – whether with references, pricing, or techniques should set off the alarm bells. Because SEO is such a complex process, there are many experts out there who have done extensive research and published information regarding what works and what doesn’t. The best practices of SEO are well-documented, so an agency that is unwilling to help you understand the process is likely just in it for the money and will utilize black hat techniques that may result in penalties to your site. To put it frankly, there is no secret strategy to successful SEO. A reputable agency will be willing to outline their techniques for you and answer any questions you may have.

Black Hat Techniques

Black hat techniques in the SEO world are a way of cheating the system. While they may work in the short-term, it almost always comes back to burn you. The downfalls of black hat techniques could span anywhere from poor user experience that sends searchers to your competitors all the way to penalties from the search engines themselves that prevent your site from ranking. Be cautious of agencies that mention outdated techniques and don’t be afraid to ask questions, especially if you are unfamiliar with SEO.

Finding The Right SEO Agency

When it comes down to it, an SEO agency that seems too good to be true probably is. Successful SEO is not a perfect science and the development is ongoing. The hallmarks of a reputable SEO agency include:

  • a willingness and ability to answer questions
  • an active understanding of any business-specific needs and the SEO economy
  • transparency throughout the partnership
  • a portfolio of successful clients
  • well-rounded capabilities, including supplementary digital marketing tactics

A good SEO can help your website reach peak performance. Unfortunately, for every reputable agency, there are so many more scams. Don’t let your website performance be hindered by the downfalls of an SEO scam. Find the right SEO agency the first time by looking for these red flags.

If you’re looking to improve your organic rankings by implementing an effective SEO strategy, contact FiG Advertising + Marketing today for a consultation.