On August 13 and 14 of this year, Google hosted its second annual Google Engage Summit at the company’s headquarters on the Mountain View campus in Silicon Valley. Attendance was fully sponsored by Google, and 100 “All-Star” agencies were selected from 14,000 companies worldwide to participate in the conference. Dana Communications was among those selected.
Google Engage is a program designed to improve communication between the search engine giant and agencies and to help those agencies maximize ROI from their use of new innovations in Google AdWords, Google Display Network, TrueView Video Advertising, Remarketing and Google Analytics.
The two-day conference highlighted a few recurring themes that reflect Google’s drive to encourage advertisers to consider the big picture. After a warm welcome, the first session was delivered by Matt Maltby, Google’s Head of Executive Marketing, Performance Ads. The session, entitled Performance Marketing for a Constantly Connected World, laid out Google’s mantra for optimizing conversion across all devices and parts of the conversion funnel.
Always There, Always Relevant, Always Optimized
Always There: Target all parts of the funnel. Research shows that clients overwhelmingly value the bottom of the funnel, using last-click analysis to evaluate ROI on digital marketing activities. Brand search, remarketing and opt-in email often look like top performers, and the vast majority of marketers don’t push for answers to questions like “What brings prospects to search for my brand, visit my website or sign up for my email list?” Two influences that are often undervalued are impressions and clicks from display networks and social media.
As Google pushes the development of analytics, we’re gaining a greater understanding of the process that leads consumers to those high-ROI activities that are associated with a low cost per conversion. Google is now pushing a new metric called Assisted/Last Click Conversion Ratio. This metric—now highlighted in Google Analytics—gives advertisers a better understanding of what activities impact the top of the conversion funnel. The higher the number, the more the channel is in play early in the conversion process.
Always Relevant: Use multiple levels of targeting to maximize ROI. Advertisers have long known that geographic targeting increases advertising effectiveness. Demographic and contextual targeting followed as a way of drilling down further. The biggest breakthrough in the targeting provided by digital media is the addition of behavioral targeting. Using all these forms of targeting together delivers an exponentially higher return.
Remarketing is a powerful form of behavioral targeting that advertisers are embracing. Let’s face it, visitors to your website from all referral sources are an extremely well-targeted audience, and marketing to them is an ultra-efficient way to capitalize on top-of-funnel activities. But instead of just retargeting everyone who visits your site with the same message, Google Analytics allows you to target by device, location, pages visited and a variety of other metrics than can really increase the relevance of your message and the response and return that follow.
Always Optimized: Tag, measure, analyze and adjust. After tailoring every message to each audience, take care to tag each inbound link. Properly tagged advertising ensures that when your campaigns run, the full impact of impressions and clicks can be measured and evaluated. The more information you can squeeze from the analysis of your efforts, the better your results will be, and the better equipped you’ll be to encourage management or clients to see the big picture and target all parts of the funnel.
We’re impressed with Google’s drive to push agencies to look beyond the last click. While Google derives revenue from display and social media, search engines are typically at the bottom of the conversion funnel. The world’s dominant search engine brought in $50 billion in revenue last year in part because of clients’ focus on ROI attributed to the last click. It may be a stretch to say that Google has marketers’ best interest at heart, and likely more accurate to guess that Google has precise knowledge of what really drives ROI and wants to be in the middle of it. That’s where the money is.
To talk to an expert about targeting the entire funnel, contact us.