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GrowthGenius Shares B2B Marketing Wisdom

In this installment of Canadian Growth Hackers, Vitaly interviews Ryan Nahas, a founding member and Head of Sales at GrowthGenius, an AI-assisted outbound sales prospecting service for B2B companies. They discuss B2B content marketing and lead generation, what it takes to build outbound sales muscle, and how to build a “growth-minded” team. The interview originally appeared on Betakit.

Continue reading “GrowthGenius Shares B2B Marketing Wisdom”

4 min read

Stuck with Dying Display Ads? Try Native

Native has become one of the fastest growing advertising strategies in programmatic and does not appear to be slowing any time soon. Native advertising opens up new channels of content distribution for digital and content marketers, particularly due to their non-intrusive nature and alignment with the content the user is viewing.

Ads found on social channels are one of the most familiar (and successful) examples of native advertising. The success of social ads can be attributed to:

  1. The ecosystem in which they are served: users are familiar with the environment and are already browsing content they are interested it, making it easy to include relevant ads that are less intrusive. This works particularly well for millennials and modern day users who are heavily consuming content on social channels, specifically on mobile.

  2. The targeting social channels offer: social networks offer highly targeted environments, due to the personal information the platforms have collected from their users.

Seems like a perfect formula for advertising. But what about all the other parts of the web? Not all users are avid social media users, and some users have different usage habits.

Some Facebook users may check their newsfeed via desktop or the app once in a while, but they’re primarily using it as a messaging tool. How do marketers reach these individuals through other channels, where they are browsing more frequently? These users are also familiar with display ads, and might even be familiar with ignoring them. It would be a shame to lose these eyeballs to banner blindness, when there is advertising potential. Enter Programmatic Native.

Programmatic Native has the same delivery as social — so if money is spent on social, maybe it’s time to allocate some of those dollars to native. Native ads still have a headline, body text and content, and the creative calls out the user the same way it does on social. The ads can be served on familiar sites including news sites and blogs, meaning the viewers have some level of trust.

Let’s break down how Programmatic Native can compete with social:

1. Cost

These Walled Gardens (Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram) limit access beyond the networks in which the users are browsing. This limits supply to the three or four domains available. Although there are hundreds of thousands of users, with millions of impressions, the publishers available to host the ads are limited. This ultimately drives up the cost and requires much higher advertising budgets. With Programmatic Native, you can find less expensive impressions than you would with paid social.

2. Saturation

As social became more prevalent (and advertising along with it), it naturally has become more saturated. Users on social channels are now very familiar with ads, both right rail and in-feed, and the less intrusive aspect loses its charm. At this time, as native on programmatic is ramping up, there is still lots of opportunity to capture users who are not blindsided by the other display ads, and saturated social ads.

3. Intent

User intent varies depending on where they are browsing online, and intent is very important when it comes to capturing engaged visitors. People visit social networks to connect with others. Yes, we acknowledge that advertising is working well because it is highly targeted. However, the intent of a social user is not necessarily to consume content (like that Facebook user who logs in just to use the messaging function), so they may not be as willing to respond to the ads they see. On the other hand, when users visit blogs or other content sites, they are interested in content related to a specific topic. When sponsored content appears on these pages, they are very relevant to what the user is consuming and the ad’s performance significantly increases.

4. Performance

Users have real intent when visiting pages with relevant content and are visiting sites they are familiar with and normally frequent, so they are more likely to trust the native ads and find them less intrusive. In fact, 26% of people are more likely to look at a native ad on content rather than the content itself. As a result, you will find there is much higher engagement with Programmatic Native, with lower CPCs, especially when compared to regular display ads.Source: Sharethrough

It’s no surprise that Programmatic Native is taking over. As it is growing in popularity, it is not taking over social budgets. In fact, the budget is being reallocated from another familiar tactic: Programmatic Display. An increasing portion of Programmatic Display budgets are being reallocated to Programmatic Native line items and tactics, mainly due to the large performance increases advertisers are seeing.It produces optimal results, with the closest familiarity to social ads, only with a much larger range of publishers. Sounds like the perfect combination. You will definitely want to include native into your media mix, to take advantage of the benefits it offers.

If you’re already running display ads and are not sure how to transition into running native, StackAdapt makes it easier than ever to make the switch. Contact your StackAdapt representative to learn more.

Not a StackAdapt customer? You’ll definitely want to be now – see Programmatic Native in action.

4 min read

Vertical Targeting Series: Intro to Building Your Vertical Strategy

When it comes to online advertising, capturing and targeting the most relevant audience is a key component to any campaign. Finding the ideal target market for your product can be particularly difficult when consumers fall into various demographic or behavioural buckets. If everyone falls into multiple categories, how do you know where to find the right people, for the right product, at the right time?

Take a step back and look at your audience to determine if they fit into specific topical groups, based on interest or industry. This might include categories such as travel, retail, finance or healthcare. In the world of digital advertising, these are considered verticals. If you can segment your audience into verticals, you may benefit from implementing a vertical targeting strategy.

Vertical Targeting

Vertical targeting is one of the most effective ways to capture a focused, intent-driven audience. You can use specific messaging tailored for that segment and curate the content to cater to the unique needs and interests of your target market. To help get you started, we’ve put together a four-step guide to building your vertical strategy.

Step 1: Reconfirm your target market

You likely know your target markets based on past purchasing behaviour or the success of your previous campaigns. However, you might be overlooking a few, or targeting an audience that is very broad. Dig deeper into your customer data to confirm your top verticals and perhaps uncover a few sub-verticals as well. Think about what interests or characteristics your customers share or pick features from your offering that you believe are appealing, either from reviews or direct feedback, and consider who else might enjoy or benefit from them. It is best to rely on defined metrics or data points where you can. For example, identify the characteristics of your top spenders to draw conclusions about who your target market is.

Step 2: Build your buyer personas

Next, and this is the most important part, build generalized representations of your ideal customer in the vertical you want to target, and imagine what the buyers would look like. Building a buyer persona is essentially creating a profile of a person who represents the exact centre of your target market. This ideal (fictional) customer is given a name, age, even a profile picture, and made into a “real” person by leveraging data that you collect.

To build your personas, find individuals in your network that actually work in or are involved with the respective vertical. Take them out for coffee and get some insight! They can provide context and an insider look into what resonates best with buyers like them.

If you are looking to follow a specific structure during your conversations, we suggest setting it up like an interview. Not sure where to begin? We’ve compiled example questions to get you started.

The categories you want to focus on are:

  • Demographics (age, gender, income, marital status, job title, etc.)

  • Psychographics (major life events, life challenges, accomplishments, etc.)

  • Behaviour and Preferences (social networks they use, devices they own, hobbies, etc.)

  • Buyer’s Journey (what product needs they have, concern for price vs quality, etc.)

It can be easy enough to gather demographic information online from places such as LinkedIn. You can even find information from online lookalikes to fill in the demographic gaps, and to dig deeper, you can ask some more detailed questions such as:

  1. What websites do you frequently visit?

  2. What publications do you read on a regular basis?

  3. How do you learn new skills?

  4. Do you typically conduct research before making a purchase? If so, how many sources do you use?

  5. Who do you trust for product recommendations?

  6. Describe one day in your (professional) life.

  7. What type of content do you prefer (text, photos, videos, etc.)?

  8. Are you loyal to certain brands/technologies?

  9. What key events and/or conferences do you attend?

  10. Do you consider yourself tech-savvy?

Personas should be built using data, not hunches. If you try to answer these questions without actually asking your candidate, you might be overlooking some integral points of view that you hadn’t thought of previously.

Step 3: Map your customer’s buying journey

Now that you have buyer personas, you can map their individual paths to purchase to determine where your ads will be most effective. Consider the entire research process for a potential customer, along with the purchasing stages, and all of the ways they might be using their various devices throughout. For example, for a potential traveler, you would not want to assume they only use a desktop to book a trip and overlook their mobile activity, which may be integral to the buying process. Once you have mapped out the customer’s buying journey, you can identify the best time to capture their attention with an ad, ultimately increasing the probability of a conversion.

Step 4: Leverage your DSP

You will want to use advertising technology with the appropriate targeting parameters to support your vertical strategy. This includes partnering with a Demand-Side Platform (DSP) that offers features such as audience targeting, geotargeting and day parting. In addition to the standard targeting options you can find in most advertising products, some DSPs also offer custom, intent-based segments that capture people who are actively reading about topics relevant to your brand or your competition. You can also leverage either Deal packages designed specifically for your vertical, a tentpole event or custom deals to capture specific inventory you are interested in.

Easy as 1, 2, 3… 4

Each vertical offers unique opportunities to build out your campaigns, and there are different tools and tactics you can leverage for each. Be sure to check back on our blog as we will be taking a deep dive into several verticals, and how to tackle the campaign planning for each.

If you want to learn more about custom segments, custom deals, or vertical targeting, reach out to your StackAdapt representative or contact us to get your vertical strategy going.

5 min read

StackAdapt Achieves Lower Fraud Rate than TAG’s Fraud Benchmark Study 2 Years in a Row.

StackAdapt has always recognized the importance of brand safety and fraud detection. We pride ourselves on our strong anti-fraud standpoint and take quality control very seriously. With partners such as Forensiq by Impact, StackAdapt provides quality assurance at all stages of campaign execution.

We are proud to announce that this strong emphasis on ad-fraud detection has resulted in StackAdapt achieving a lower overall fraud rate, beating both industry and TAG certified benchmarks two years in a row.

The Study

Annually, the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) reports on quantitative and qualitative research that measures the rates of invalid traffic in TAG Certified Channels, in comparison to the industry average.

The 2018 Study measured general invalid traffic (GIVT) and sophisticated invalid traffic (SIVT) over 75 billion impressions of display and video inventory on Desktop, Mobile and In App devices. GIVT and SIVT are different flavours with different dangers. According to IAS insider, GIVT is like the white noise of fraud because it’s always on in the background. On the other hand, SIVT is like a cat and mouse game where fraudsters try to develop new forms of fraud that blend with legitimate inventory without being detected.

The Results

The industry average for overall fraud rate is 10.43%, while the average for TAG Certified Channels is 1.68%. StackAdapt surpassed both benchmarks with a lower overall fraud rate, for the second consecutive year.

StackAdapt’s traffic is 91% cleaner than the industry average and 41% cleaner than other TAG Certified Channels, which is one of the reasons StackAdapt received verified by TAG earlier this year.

We are so proud to provide this level of sophisticated fraud detection, and are continuously improving our fraud prevention tactics to ensure that our publisher partners and marketers operate in a trusted environment.

Contact your StackAdapt representative to learn more.

Not a StackAdapt customer? You’ll definitely want to be now – see our ad fraud detection (and so much more) in action.

4 min read

David Jowett of NFA on Why the Agency Business Model Needs to Evolve

In this installment of Canadian Growth Hackers, Vitaly interviews David Jowett, partner and head of Media at No Fixed Address. They discuss the evolving role of the marketing agency vis-à-vis brands, technology, and the opportunities agencies have in coming years. The interview originally appeared on Betakit.

Continue reading “David Jowett of NFA on Why the Agency Business Model Needs to Evolve”

6 min read

Importance of Customer Success for Self-Serve Platforms

In the world of self-serve, getting to know a platform and mastering its nuances can become a daunting task. Even for the most well-versed ad-tech professionals, using a complex buying platform can take some getting used to and usually requires some form of training. Learning how to use the platform can be straightforward, but for comprehensive training and strategizing, personalized help from the experts in required. This is why Customer Success Managers (CSMs) for self-serve demand-side platforms (DSPs) are as important as the functionalities in the DSP itself.

Customer Success has emerged as a key service offering of any technology organization, as it allows for a bridge between the internal product, tech teams, and the user. CSMs form relationships to provide client-focused insight, while offering a new point of view through strategic guidance and recommendations. A CSM is an internal advocate for their customers, and also acts as an extension of their team.

We’ve identified 5 reasons why having a CSM is so important for self-serve platforms. Let’s explore:

1. Allow you to gain a competitive advantage

Customer Success Managers have industry insight to help navigate the complexities of digital media. Based on where your organization is today, and where you need to be tomorrow, CSMs consider the entire ecosystem to ensure you move quickly and keep up with trends while reducing risk along the way. They can educate your team on industry buzzwords and topics that could be causing roadblocks in campaign strategy planning. If your team is stuck in the CPL debate – and whether it’s an important metric – CSMs will help you answer that question and settle the bet. Their main goal? To ensure your use of the platform is aligned with your goals and objectives.

2. Help maximize the use of your platform

Beyond giving you insight into what is going on in the industry as a whole, the key role of a CSM is to help you think outside the box with the self-serve platform your team is using. Whether it’s providing a second set of eyes on your campaigns to ensure everything is set up correctly or highlighting valuable features you may be overlooking, the CSM’s goal is to ensure you are using the tool as efficiently as possible. Ensuring maximum use includes in-depth, one-on-one training — beyond help centre articles.

3. Provide insight into unique campaign strategies

Specifically in the programmatic space, using the features in a DSP is an art. In many cases, some features are designed to be used in combination with others. CSMs will suggest specific campaign tips to aid the success of your marketing initiatives, but will also offer insight into how features or tactics can be leveraged in tandem – for example video retargeting or sequential messaging. CSMs also suggest new ways to explore tactics you are leveraging, such as using custom segments with your audience targeting. They are also a great resource for providing A/B testing strategies against campaigns you may be running elsewhere, to ensure you’re not wasting any dollars while you test.

4. Make integrating with vendors a breeze

CSMs are devoted to better understanding your unique environment and technology journey, working collaboratively with your team to provide the best strategic support. This includes working with the platform’s features, as well as its integrations. In the world of programmatic buying, this may include integrations with analytics platforms, 3rd party segments, and direct deals with publishers, or private marketplace deals (PMPs).

5. Take the hassle out of transitioning platforms

Signing up for a self-serve platform is the easiest part of the process. In many cases, marketers are transitioning between products, which can sometimes be more difficult than simply starting from scratch. CSMs know this, and do whatever they can to ensure the transition is seamless. They offer the right resources to support the effective adoption of the new platform in your organization, helping you ramp up faster and with greater ease. Based on how you were using other platforms, CSMs will highlight the similarities and differences to ensure you understand how to switch your strategies and daily tasks to align with a new system.

Can you tell we love CSMs?

Customer Success teams are immensely valuable in the technology space, especially with self-serve platforms. The team’s main goal is to provide personalized, proactive support designed to address business-critical environments, minimize risk, and accelerate adoption. If your technology partner has a Customer Success team, it’s a great idea to reach out and catch up with them to ensure you are not missing out on potential campaign optimizations or integrations.

If your organization is using a platform that does not offer customer success to back your team, it might be time to consider one that does.

StackAdapt has a dedicated Customer Success team for all of its clients. Not a StackAdapt customer? You’ll definitely want to be now – get started today.

5 min read

Are you keeping up with Private Marketplace opportunities?

Did you know that Private Marketplace (PMP) volumes have grown YoY by 15% for desktop, 50% for mobile web and 85% for mobile apps in 2017? This growth, coupled with the ability to deliver precise target at scale, means Private Marketplaces can help you reach and target more of the audiences you value. You’ll also be able to solve many common campaign challenges because PMPs provide you with:

  • Access to higher-tier, premium inventory

  • Greater control over the placement and performance of ads

  • Access to inventory not available on open exchange

Introducing StackAdapt Deals

If you need to optimize your campaign strategy, Private Marketplaces may provide the best results, and now with the introduction of StackAdapt Deals, pre-packaged and custom deals created by the StackAdapt Partnerships team, accessing PMPs is simple.

StackAdapt Deals gives you the ability to choose and execute on a number of pre-packaged Deals across a variety of channels and supply sources. Some of the pre-packaged StackAdapt Deals include:

Our Partnership team has been hard at work consolidating and building these pre-packaged Deals to help you target specific inventory. However, if there is inventory you’re looking for that you can’t find in our pre-packaged Deals, the Partnership team can also help you facilitate custom deals.

Why use StackAdapt Deals?

As always, we’re with you every step of the way. Your StackAdapt representative will work with you to choose publishers that offer inventory most suited for your client, brand or campaign. And detailed reporting allows you to compare the performance of your private deals vs open market buys. This valuable insight will help you target your best audiences and determine where you could use StackAdapt Deals to augment your open market buys for future campaigns.Contact your StackAdapt representative to learn more.

Not a StackAdapt customer? You’ll definitely want to be now – see StackAdapt Deals (and so much more) in action.

4 min read

The Ultimate Holiday Stack

With the holiday season in full swing and the year coming to a close, we started to reflect on 2018 as we look forward to a successful 2019. What better way to recap the year than with our top 12 blog posts?

These posts all contain amazing tips and information on how you can optimize your native campaigns, making this the ultimate holiday, and 2018, stack of posts. Dive in and review anything you may have missed in the busy year so you’re armed and ready for success in 2019!

  1. 10 Digital Marketing Tips for 2018 from StackAdapt’s Campaign Experts

We rounded up tips from our Customer Success Team to help ensure your campaigns hit your KPIs. Our experts give you advice on the ideal number of creatives to use, targeting best practices, tools to best measure in-store foot traffic and so much more! Check out our digital marketing tips to get a jump start on 2019 (and come back in January for more tips for next year!).

  1. From the Founder’s Desk: Vitaly Pecherskiy on The Top 3 Tech Trends in Advertising

StackAdapt’s co-founder and COO, Vitaly Pecherskiy, shares his insight into the top 3 trends he sees in advertising. He also gives insight into what the future of native advertising has in store. Are you keeping up with these trends? Make sure you’re ahead of the game and prepared for the ever-evolving landscape.

  1. Managing your Campaign on the Go? Yes, it’s possible!

2018 was a busy year, and to help you optimize your time, StackAdapt released Mobile Campaign Management. That means that while you’re commuting on the train, waiting in line for your coffee or running in between client meetings, you can check in on your campaigns right on your phone. Learn more about how you can manage your campaigns on the go and make 2019 your most efficient year yet!

  1. 10 Research-Backed Reasons to Use Native Advertising

There can be hesitation when it comes to programmatic advertising and switching digital advertising budgets from display to native, and we understand. Native advertising is one of the more recent ways marketers are attempting to keep up with consumer behaviour. Still not convinced? We’ve compiled 10 research-backed reasons to use native for your next digital campaign. They just might change your mind.

  1. 5 Native Advertising Mistakes that Sabotage Campaigns

How do you know if you’re making common native advertising mistakes that are sabotaging your campaigns? Read about the top mistakes digital marketers are making, from not testing audiences to making assumptions about your customers, and hear our tips on how you can avoid them.

  1. Campaign Planning Anxiety? We Have the Cure!

We know that the lack of proactive campaign planning can cause a lot of anxiety, which is why this year we released the StackAdapt Planner. With this feature, you can get better insights, maximize budget, target more efficiently, and more, to help you reduce stress. Check out our post on the StackAdapt Planner and find out how it helps to cure your campaign planning anxiety.

  1. How to Choose the Right KPI for Your Next Digital Campaign

As a digital marketer, you have hundreds of data points from which you can choose for your campaign’s KPIs. Taking all these data points and choosing the right one or two indicators of a successful programmatic campaign is the challenge. We generated a chart to help you understand how to choose the right KPI for your next digital campaign. This is a post you won’t want to overlook as you start planning for 2019.

  1. State of Conversions: How to Measure Across DSPs

According to research, the digital buyer is expected to use 4 different DSPs, which leads to difficulty gathering results and understanding which platform drove which conversions. So, to help reduce confusion, we’ve provided strategies to help you refine your data and gain a better understanding of where your conversions are coming from.

  1. The StackAdapt Creative Studio: Design Expertise + Technology = Peak Performance

The creative elements of your campaigns have the potential to make or break its performance. That’s why StackAdapt launched Creative Studio, a team of experts who will help you achieve peak performance by creating or improving campaign creatives. Check out some tips on creating high-performing ad creatives and learn how Creative Studio can help your programmatic campaign performance – a great tool for success in 2019.

  1. Performance Marketers Are Increasingly Relying on Intent-Based Targeting

StackAdapt offers Custom Segment; audience segments made up of users who have actively shown intent to purchase, to help you reach interested audiences in a timely manner. This targeting technique is growing in popularity, and we have compiled data and tips on how you can take advantage of intent-based targeting to increase campaign engagement and conversions.

  1. Mapping Out Your Geotargeting Strategy

Timing and location is key when you’re running digital advertising campaigns. Geotargeting, the practice of delivering content to a consumer using the geographic location of the recipient, can help you achieve your overall campaign goals. Learn more about geotargeting and check out our tips on how to best implement geotargeting in your campaigns, and start using this strategy in 2019.

  1. Seeing is Believing: StackAdapt’s Enhanced Native Ad Previewer

Creating the perfect ads for your paid marketing campaigns is much easier when you can visualize how everything will look before it goes live. See how StackAdapt’s Enhanced Native Ad Previewer allows you to see what your native ad will look like in a live environment, without accumulating additional impressions or clicks.

We hope you enjoyed our Ultimate Holiday Stack. There’s plenty more where that came from, and we will continue to provide you with amazing tips, tricks and industry knowledge. Reach out to info@stackadapt.com if there is a specific topic you would like us to cover! Happy holidays!

6 min read

Does your ad spend actually result in new customers?

Historically, native advertising has been viewed as a mid-funnel strategy. This is because when measuring if your ads are driving bottom-funnel activity, marketers have to account for an element of human behaviour, it’s not as simple as looking at click-through rates.

The impact your native ads have on bottom-funnel metrics is a measurement all marketers want, and with an innovative concept known as “incrementality”, you’ll be able to deliver those metrics.

What is incrementality?

Incrementality gives you insight into whether your ads impact signups or purchases by using a test vs. control format to compare results from a group of people who were shown an ad, and a comparable control group that did not see the ad. Incrementality testing will give you insight to how your customers were acquired; either as a result of the ad, or independent of the ad.

Why should I use Creative Incrementality?

Incrementality testing can lead to better decisions by marketers when it comes to their media investments. The results of Creative Incrementality help to identify which tactics were most effective. When you can tie business results to your native ads, you’re able to optimize your budget by allocating ad spend to have the most impact.

With native advertising playing a large role in driving users to blogs and other content experiences, measuring ROI of your campaigns through bottom-funnel metrics is an effective way to validate both your content marketing strategy and native advertising efforts.

How can I get started with Creative Incrementality?

With StackAdapt, you can start incrementality testing in 3 simple steps:

  1. Upload your creatives
  2. Set one as a control
  3. Determine the percentage of the audience you want to serve each ad to

Once your Creative Incrementality campaigns are live, dashboard reports provide the performance metrics for each ad creative!

With all the insights you’ll gain from using Creative Incrementality, you’ll be able to answer the question that all marketers are asking “Does your ad spend actually result in new customers?”.

Contact your StackAdapt representative to learn more.

Not a StackAdapt customer? You’ll definitely want to be now – see StackAdapt Creative Incrementality (and so much more) in action.

4 min read