Google Adds Enhanced Visual Options for Shoppers and Brands

Google | July 21, 2020

As online shopping continues to be the norm during Covid (and perhaps after it), Google has embraced the reality in several ways. Google announced last week the latest additions for this push: Image Extensions, enhancements to their Smart Shopping campaigns, and some upgrades to visuals in display ads. While on the surface, this might seem like routine housekeeping and updates for a platform, they’re interesting indicators of how Google is moving relative to other platforms. One of the often-cited reasons advertisers turn to alternate platforms like Facebook is that it’s strong for finding top of funnel users (ie, new prospects who may not be searching yet for something), and the rich visual options it provides.

Spotlight

Where is performance marketing now? And where is it going? In April 2018, TUNE and Acceleration Partners surveyed nearly 2,300 performance marketers in the U.S. and U.K. who are managing a combined $16.6 billion in annual sales. Survey respondents anticipate that nearly two-thirds of traditional brand marketing will soon be moving to performance channels. This clear indication of confidence and high expectations leads us to a key takeaway: Performance marketing is eating brand marketing. In 2011, legendary technologist and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen famously said that software was eating the world. Since he helped build the world’s first popular web browser, Mosaic, founded and sold multiple successful companies, and invested in some of Silicon Valley’s top startups, people listened. His point? Simply that software was taking over as the basis of value creation.

Spotlight

Where is performance marketing now? And where is it going? In April 2018, TUNE and Acceleration Partners surveyed nearly 2,300 performance marketers in the U.S. and U.K. who are managing a combined $16.6 billion in annual sales. Survey respondents anticipate that nearly two-thirds of traditional brand marketing will soon be moving to performance channels. This clear indication of confidence and high expectations leads us to a key takeaway: Performance marketing is eating brand marketing. In 2011, legendary technologist and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen famously said that software was eating the world. Since he helped build the world’s first popular web browser, Mosaic, founded and sold multiple successful companies, and invested in some of Silicon Valley’s top startups, people listened. His point? Simply that software was taking over as the basis of value creation.

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Walmart takes another page from Amazon, reports 95% increase in U.S. advertising sales

Walmart | August 19, 2021

Walmart reported a 95% increase in its U.S. advertising sales in the second quarter, and said its number of active advertisers rose more than 175%, as more companies and brands paid to advertise their products to its customers, online and in stores. The advertising boom was just one of the factors that gave Walmart’s earnings call a familiar ring to anyone who’s tuned into Amazon’s business. “The phrase ‘serving customers’ has traditionally meant one thing at Walmart,” said Walmart CEO Doug McMillon on the earnings call, referring to traditional retail sales. “But today It includes serving marketplace sellers, our advertising partners, and those that want to use our fulfillment services or proprietary software.” Walmart’s actual ad sales numbers weren’t large enough to require disclosure in its earnings report Tuesday, but Amazon has shown the value of this approach. Reporting its own second quarter earnings, Amazon said its “Other” category, which primarily consists of advertising, generated $7.9 billion in sales. That was up 87% from the prior year. It’s part of a larger trend of Amazon making more money doing things other than selling products. UBS analyst Michael Lasser pressed Walmart executives on the call to reveal more about the scale and potential of their ad business, without much success. Lasser estimated that advertising sales in e-commerce represent about 5% to 10% of GMV, the gross merchandise value of products sold. He surmised that Walmart’s ad business might be in a nascent phase, perhaps 1% to 2% of GMV, and asked if ad dollars are coming at the expense of other revenue from Walmart’s vendors. Brett Biggs, Walmart chief financial officer, didn’t confirm or deny Lasser’s speculation but spoke to the larger direction of Walmart’s advertising business. “We rebranded the business from Walmart Media Group to Walmart Connect last year, and that was just to make sure that it was very clear that this opportunity is going to help us connect buyers, sellers, suppliers and customers all together in a way that’s accretive to the customer experience,” Biggs said. “And as long as we do that, I will remain very, very bullish on the growth potential in this business.” Overall, Walmart reported total quarterly revenue of $141 billion, up 2%, with profits of $4.3 billion for the second quarter of its 2022 fiscal year, ended June 30, 2021. For the quarter, Walmart’s e-commerce sales growth in the U.S. dropped back into the single-digits as more customers returned to physical retail stores. Its U.S. e-commerce business grew 6% in the second quarter, to about $11 billion. That compared to year-over-year growth of more than 90% a year ago, at the height of the pandemic. But looking at the long-term trends, Walmart was able to maintain much of the e-commerce headway that it made during the past year. Its U.S. e-commerce sales are up 103% compared to two years ago. E-commerce now represents more than 11% of the company’s $98.2 billion in U.S. net sales, vs. 6% of its $85 billion in U.S. net sales for the same quarter two years ago. McMillon said Walmart wants to reach a point where it’s “completely indifferent” as to where and how customers shop, in terms of its revenue and profits. “I think some people view stores these days as boring,” McMillon said. “We don’t.”

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Boatim Introduces New Digital Brand Advertising Campaign

Boatim | January 28, 2021

Boatim Inc., an data-driven, online marketplace center for buying and selling boats and yachts anywhere on the world, presents its new digital brand advertising campaign. The campaign addresses to the worldwide boating community as a component of the progressing boating boom, initially catalyzed by the pandemic a year ago. Demand keeps on developing this year as basic requirements remain: COVID-free activities that give a break from stress, and all things being equal, give fun and exercise, such as being out on the water—particularly in the upcoming year's summer season 2021. "Boating has always meant freedom and independence. But especially now for first-time boat buyers, who'd never considered buying a boat. A new generation of captains are now getting immersed in the seafaring culture", says Patrick Burkert, Boatim's Chief Marketing Officer. Boatim will publish the campaign in February on all major digital advertising networks, as well as social media marketing channels including YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. For the US and European rollout, the brand will initially run on a wide array of both established and new social networks and media channels, with a variety of programming, subsequently optimizing to those that perform the best.

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Anzu Awarded TAG Seals and IAB UK Gold Standard 2.0 Certification

Anzu Virtual Reality Ltd. | August 16, 2021

Anzu.io, the world’s most advanced in-game advertising platform, announced today that it earned three major industry certifications: the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) Brand Safety Certified Seal, the TAG Certified Against Fraud Seal, and the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) UK Gold Standard Certification 2.0. Together, these certifications demonstrate Anzu’s ongoing commitment to promoting a safe, secure, and fraud-free ecosystem that benefits the entire advertising chain. Anzu was awarded the TAG Brand Safety Certified Seal after an independent validation by third-party auditor ABC, demonstrating that the company had achieved the program requirements, including industry best practices to improve brand safety and reduce the risk of ad misplacement. The TAG Certified Against Fraud Seal is awarded to companies that maintain rigorous standards to combat fraudulent and invalid traffic in the advertising supply chain. As part of those requirements, Anzu uses MRC-accredited anti-fraud solutions and measures and verifies that traffic is compliant with industry safety standards. Anzu is known to take a proactive approach to meeting and exceeding industry demands for greater transparency. These certifications will give media buyers, and advertisers increased confidence in the steps taken to protect brand safety and reduce fraud through Anzu’s in-game platform. “As digital gaming continues to grow rapidly, we are pleased that forward-looking companies like Anzu are adopting best practices to combat fraudulent, invalid traffic and protect the brand safety of their ad partners,” said Mike Zaneis, CEO of TAG. “These supply chain challenges extend across all parts of the digital advertising ecosystem, so TAG is committed to ensuring its program covers gaming and other emerging digital advertising channels, and we look forward to continuing to work with Anzu on these important efforts.” To receive the IAB Gold Standard Certification 2.0 in the Full-Service Support category, Anzu took the necessary steps. These included implementing IAB Tech Lab’s ads.txt to tackle ad fraud and its Transparency & Consent Framework v2.0 to ensure GDPR and e-privacy laws are adhered to, undergoing a TAG Brand Safety audit, and endorsing the guiding principles from Coalition for Better Ads. “As the industry evolves, with areas such as gaming seeing rapid growth, it’s essential that businesses are upholding standards and best practices across the board. The Gold Standard is key to this, helping to create a digital ecosystem that is both responsible and sustainable. We’re delighted to have Anzu’s support in this mission, and many congratulations to them on becoming Gold Standard 2.0 certified,” said Tina Lakhani, head of ad tech, IAB UK. In addition to these achievements, Anzu is the first and only platform of its kind to earn an ISO 27001 certification. The in-game advertising company also partners with many top-tier AdTech industry leaders to enable advertisers to make smarter, more effective media buys. Anzu and Moat work together to track impression delivery and IVT measurement in 3D mobile and PC game environments. The company’s partnership with Comscore brings advertising measurement and attribution solutions to advertisers to better understand audience behaviour and campaign impact. “The public’s interest in gaming and esports has exploded over the past few years, and advertisers have taken note, realising that they can connect with a diverse audience of 3.1 billion gamers. We have taken the concepts of brand safety, transparency, measurement, and data privacy to the next level, ensuring advertisers and publishers operate within an environment that delivers value for them while protecting the player experience,” said Tegan Hull, Anzu’s head of operations. “We are proud to have earned these certifications, and we will continue to lead the industry in promoting them and establishing new ones that uphold our values.”

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