It's one thing to have data. It's another to pay attention to it. We marketers are stumbling over ourselves to move to data-driven marketing. No one would say that's a bad thing. But here's the catch: Data-driven marketing is all well and good when it's a small-stakes game: optimizing spend, targeting, conversion rates, etc. But what if the data is telling us something we don't want to know?
Search retargeting uses display advertising to target users that have performed specific searches. For example, once a user performs a search within a publisher network (e.g., mortgage), the user is then tracked as having performed mortgage searches. From there, advertisers that have purchased "mortgage searchers" from the publisher can show their ads to this user across the publisher network.
Last week, I talked about a backlash to wearable technology. In his comment, Simon Jones pointed to a recent post where he raised this very pertinent point: your personal data has value. Today, I'd like to explore this issue further.
Bob Dylan was once asked in the 1960s "How many protest singers are there today?" -- to which he answered, "about 136." A question that cannot be answered deserves a ridiculous answer. And so it goes with the question "How many keywords should you have in your SEM account?" The answer, in short, is that there is no one answer. Perhaps, however, unlike a protest singer census, we can at least create a reasonable way to infer whether an account is keyword-light or keyword-heavy.
Wearable technology, together with the "web of everything," will eventually change our lives, but most of us won't be going willingly. We're going to have to get through the "bubble of silliness" first. Some of this stuff will make sense and elicit a well-earned "cool" (or "dope" or "sick" or what ever generational thumbs-up is appropriate). Other things will garner an equally well-earned WTF? And some will be imminently sensible but will still end up being tossed out with the bathwater anyway.
While parts of the U.S. are thawing out from the polar vortex, the paid search industry has been doing what it can to keep things feeling hot hot hot! After analyzing quarterly trends across the $5 billion in annualized global ad spend on our platform, it's clear SEM is hotter than ever. Here are five key stats for Q4, 2013 across global search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, Baidu, Yahoo Japan and AOL:
Functionality builds up, then across. That was the principle of emerging markets that I talked about in last week's column. I've also talked about how Google + might be defining a new way of thinking about social networking, one free of dependence on destinations. It could create a social lens through which all our online activity passes through, adding functionality and enriching information. Finally, this week, I read that Google is pushing hard to extend Android as the default operating system in the Open Automotive Alliance, turning cars into really big mobile devices. This builds on Android's dominance in the …
Google isn't right all the time and it certainly has had its share of failures, but generally speaking, when Google decides to enter a category, the company does it well. Of course, whenever Google enters a new advertising market, it comes up with tons of collateral and sales initiatives to convince its millions of advertisers to start buying on these new channels. The question for advertisers is this: Should you follow Google's lead and diversify your budgets based on its recommendations, or should you chart your own path, regardless of whatever moat Google is currently building?
When new markets open, value chains first build up, then across. Someone first creates a vertically integrated experience, and then the market opens up as free competition drives efficiency. This is the challenge that currently lies ahead of Apple.