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Advertising Week: "The Foundation Is the Analytics"

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Advertising Week: "The Foundation Is the Analytics"
Advertising Week: "The Foundation Is the Analytics"

Adobe's Director of Product Marketing Advertising Solutions Timothy Waddell gives his overview of the advertising space at Advertising Week 2013 in New York.

What's the role of analytics in advertising?

The foundation is the analytics data. Marketers' first party data is the gold source. It's the place where you want to start first. Are [visitors to a site] a loyal customer and whatnot? Retargeting is where a lot of companies do quite well. It's something that I personally think should always be on.

Give me an example of this in action.

If a visitor to your site bought an item, then great. But what's the next step? Maybe after buying a TV they need a Blu-ray DVD player. If they go to Google and type in “Blu-ray”, I should be able to offer something. Or I should be able to reach them through a social ad or a display ad as well.

Is there an application for analytics that's often overlooked?

In search, we're pulling in really granular data, like pages or products viewed. In many cases, the tail term, which doesn't get as much traffic, is ignored. Like “GAP” gets a lot of traffic on its own, “khakis” gets a lot of traffic, but “green cashmere sweater” might not.

Why is that important?

Those tail terms can generate 10 to 20% lift. Brands might have been pulling in those tail terms [when they were bidding], but they wouldn't have the information to make smart bids.

So it's like they don't know the value of those less-popular terms.

Here's my budget and goal: How do I bid across this group of keywords?

Why is attribution modeling important?

If I have a mix, search might show the best results because that's where someone clicked last. But were there two or three ads before that or a social program that got the person to do the search? You need to find the right attribution across channels, to understand the set of customer touchpoints [that led to a conversion or action].

How do you determine the value of all these different touchpoints?

There's traditional last-click attribution, which is outdated. Then you can have first-click, which is where you care only about the first impression. More effective is using a linear model where you put the same weight across each touchpoint, but as you do more analysis you might realize, that actually, the first two impressions drive more conversions. There is no cookie cutter version. You have to build out that attribution model over time.

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