The New Era Of Digital Advertising
Search engines have been spotlighted as key entry points for brands and retailers to engage with ready-to-buy-consumers.
Now, Google is making the search experience more relevant and retail friendly with its Google Shopping Product Listing Ads (PLAs). Social media juggernaut Facebook also is venturing more into the paid advertising space.
So what does this mean for retailers trying to optimize their paid advertising spend without inundating consumers? In the below Q&A, Bob Buch, CEO of SocialWire, shares his thoughts on the paid advertising space. SocialWire works with retailers and ecommerce companies to make social advertising as effective as Google AdWords.
Retail TouchPoints (RTP): Based on your extensive experience in the digital advertising space, how has the space evolved over the past few years?
Buch: Automation is the key underlying theme for the last several years in both search and display marketing. Google released PLAs, which, like SocialWire, takes retail catalogs and converts them into image ads within Google for specific products. This has been massively successful for retailers, and therefore for Google, in the last year and a half. Display used to be dominated by a few large players like Yahoo, AOL and Microsoft. But the rise of programmatic advertising has enabled any publisher to join an exchange and monetize its audience much more efficiently.
For retailers, most relevant in display is the rise of retargeting. It can be jarring for users from a privacy perspective, but there is no denying that it is highly effective at closing the deal once the customer has expressed intent to buy. When done correctly, both PLAs and retargeters are essential elements of the marketing mix for retailers.
RTP: What trends do you believe are going to emerge during 2014?
Buch: Facebook became an important part of the marketing mix for retail and direct response in 2013. Some retailers are spending north of $20 million per year doing direct response on Facebook, and those budgets will increase in 2014. Twitter will be ramping up its efforts in direct response this year, as well. So if you are already doing direct response on Facebook, by mid-year it’ll be time to give Twitter a look.