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AdWords In Store Visits

It is no secret that many consumers often get annoyed with ads. Either they get worn down by sites that go overboard with ads littered across their pages or they just get tired of seeing ads that aren’t relevant or interesting to them. Thankfully, Google has found a way to give users the power to only see the ads they want.

Google is sending out notifications to users through Chrome and Gmail alerting them to a new web portal which puts the power to control ads into the users’ hands – among many other things.

The opt-in service allows you to voluntarily give Google a small number of personal details and surveys your interests to better target ads that are actually useful to users.

The feature is a part of Google’s new portal called ‘My Activity’, which displays all your activity across Google and Google devices in reverse chronological format including your past searches, visited websites, Map searches, and ads you’ve interacted with.

Obviously this might make many people nervous to see all the information Google can collect and store about their activity, but the portal also gives you the power to delete any information you don’t want to be there.

The ability to control the ads you see is specifically in a section of the portal called Ads Personalization. Here you will find checkboxes on topics you want to see ads on, along with sections to provide your age and gender.

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If you turn on the feature, Google will use this information to serve you ads based on your previous search history, recently watched videos on YouTube, and other information you provide. Conversely, by opting in you are agreeing to provide Google with information about ads you have interacted with.

Users who don’t opt-in will be shown ads based on other more general information such as location data.

Google is far from the first company to use user data to target ads towards users. In fact, they’ve been doing this for years. However, this is possibly the first time a company has so transparently allowed users to control what information is being collected and how it is being used to serve them ads.

facebookadvertising

For many advertising platforms, the rising use of mobile devices to browse the internet has been both a boon and a relief.

While the greater number of people accessing the internet on-the-go means advertisers have a better chance of connecting with potential customers close to the point of sale, but it has also created a schism where online advertising is either mobile or desktop based.

Some advertising platforms such as Google have been able to unify their platforms in many ways, but other services are still struggling to come together. Soon however, Facebook will be making big moves to bring their advertising into a cohesive platform.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook is closing in on the launch of an entirely new advertising platform which will allow marketers to more effectively reach target audiences across the plethora of different devices used to surf the web today.

The new platform is rumored to be a reworked adaptation of the Atlas Advertising Suite, an ad-serving platform purchased from Microsoft last year, and will supposedly be rebranded to just ‘Atlas’.

Beyond just improving ad targeting across devices, Atlas will also supposedly be able to help marketers see which ads are being viewed and which are drawing clicks or influencing purchasing decisions.

Current reports say Atlas will work by collecting data from Facebook and other third-party applications and services that serve Facebook ads. It will also come equipped with an automated ad-bidding tool which will facilitate the ability to buy targeted advertising space.

The Wall Street Journal cites an unnamed executive who claims to know Facebook’s plans as their source. The executive is quoted as saying:

The biggest impact of this will be in mobile. People spend more time on mobile than on desktop, but marketers don’t spend there because cookies don’t work. This could finally enable us to spend more money in mobile.

The latest “audience insights” report for Q2 of this year from NinthDecimal was released this week and the findings about shopping on mobile devices could have a big influence on how marketers think about on-the-go research and conversions.

The report shows that smartphones are quickly becoming the primary way users research retail purchases, which should be of little surprise. However, the findings also show that research on tablets has been significantly declining which may suggest a troubling future for the devices.

Retail Product Research

NinthDecimal says they believe the decline is due to increasing consumer comfort with shopping on smartphones, especially as screen sizes are increasing and NFC services like the newly launched Apple Pay make it easier than ever to shop on a smartphone.

Also unsurprising is the finding that consumers tend to conduct shopping-related research before they leave the home to shop, although in-store usage is also growing. The report also shows that the length of time that consumers spent researching a purchase before buying was directly tied to cost. Products under $50 saw an average of 10 days of research or less. Meanwhile products above $1,000 days got an extensive 45 days of research lead time on average.

Product Research Time

Of particular note to online marketers and businesses may be the data claiming that within the last month approximately 45 percent of consumers reported making a retail purchase after seeing a mobile ad. However nearly three-fourths of respondents said they were more likely to engage with retail-related advertising at home, before they began shopping.

Mobile Ad Response

According to the report, the types of ad content most likely to sway mobile users were (in order): product discounts/sales, reviews, product information, giveaways and store-location information

It was only a matter of time before Twitter unveiled an advertising platform to its users. So far, however, the results have been extremely underwhelming.

At the present, your Twitter ad campaign will be run like a poorly run AdWords campaign. This is due to the fact that there just aren’t enough tools and metrics made available to run it properly. Twitter can’t tell you who exactly saw your ad or who exactly converted because of it. Instead, you get the total number of impressions and how many new followers you have because of the ad. And, perhaps they didn’t think this all the way through, but you also get to see exactly how much money the ad cost you right next to the embarrassing lack of metrics.

The rumor is that Twitter ads has already advanced past this early stage and some of the big money marketers are getting to experience that next level first and there’s no doubt that Twitter will improve its advertising platform until it is on par with Facebook. For now, however, there’s no reason to spend any of your budget on Twitter ads.

Jason Yormak did start a campaign with Twitter ads. You can see his results at Business2Community.

Can Facebook ads help business to business sales? Adam Proehl of Business2Community says ‘of course!’

There’s bound to be some opposition from those established in B2B marketing, but consider some of Proehl’s main points. Though users aren’t going to Facebook to look for what your business is offering, that doesn’t mean they can’t find your business that way. Because, regardless of why they’re there, all of your potential customers are likely visiting Facebook.

Plus, through remarketing, you can gain an additional way to reach users who visited your website and left without a conversion. At worst, you continue to make potential consumers aware of your brand and what you offer.

So, don’t think of Facebook as direct marketing, necessarily. But, do consider it helpful to your business.