As the summer comes to a close, the Cajam Marketing team has been busy keeping track of Google’s advertising tool updates. Through the summer months, Google has been making changes to simplify ad management, and our search marketing team is on board with the improved solutions as we head into the holiday shopping season.
Google Simplified Solutions
Google rebranded and reorganized their advertising catalog to introduce simplified brands and solutions for advertisers and publishers. With the introduction of Google Ads, Google Marketing Platform, and Google Ad Manager, Google aspires to help clients of all sizes choose the appropriate solutions for their businesses.
Google AdWords Becomes Google Ads
Google Ads, formerly Google AdWords, will help us, as marketers, “connect with the billions of people finding answers on Search, watching videos on YouTube, exploring new places on Google Maps, discovering apps on Google Play, browsing content across the web, and more.”
The Single Solution Google Marketing Platform
Google Marketing Platform is the single solution that combines Google Analytics and DoubleClick Digital Marketing. This solution allows us plan, buy, measure and optimize digital media and customer experiences in one interface.
Google Ad Manager Unified Platform
Finally, Google Ad Manager creates a unified platform that melds DoubleClick for Publishers and DoubleClick Ad Exchange. Google states that the impetus behind this union was to allow publishers to manage their businesses more simply and efficiently.
The Cajam Marketing team works diligently to stay up-to-date on Google’s changes. These recent changes mean that Google is making their advertising tools easier to use and understand. Specifically, Google Ads now encompasses search, display, video, and apps. Google says these tools reflect everything offered today and where they are going in the future. That means more efficiency for Cajam and our clients.
Facebook is feeling the impact of its data privacy controversies. After recovering from a decline amid the Cambridge Analytica scandal earlier this year, Facebook stock took a hit last week. In fact, it posted the largest one-day loss in market value by any company in U.S. stock market history. No company in the history of the U.S. stock market has ever lost $100 billion in market value in just one day.
Diminishing revenue and user growth, along with a forecast from Facebook’s CFO that the decline would continue, triggered trading which resulted in the stock closing down 19% on Thursday, July 26th. MarketWatch called Thursday “the ugliest single-session decline since the company went public in 2012.”
U.S. and Canada Facebook Daily Usage Remains Unchanged
Regarding declining user growth, Facebook saw a decline in European users during the quarter as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect. Growth in the number of users who logged in daily declined during the quarter, but Facebook reports daily usage in its biggest markets, the U.S. and Canada remains unchanged.
Impact of Privacy Changes to Facebook Advertising
While Facebook started to make privacy changes in advance of the GDPR enactment, Mark Zuckerberg said that many of the GDPR required changes will be applied globally. This calls into question the impact of the privacy changes to Facebook Advertising.
Facebook historically used tools that let advertisers target users based on third party data. These “Partner Categories” which included offline purchase history, is now defunct in Europe and will soon be unavailable globally. Advertisers will only have access to their own data and the data Facebook collects.
What This Means For Facebook Advertisers
Despite the privacy changes for third party data, Facebook still has powerful first party data that allows targeting by demographic, region, and interests. These targeting options are ideal for local businesses to reach the community they serve. Facebook is also focused on gaining back revenue through SnapChat and Instagram advertising.
Cajam Marketing looks at all advertising avenues based on clients’ unique needs. Whether its offline efforts like print ads or mailers, testing, analyzing, and monitoring performance on tried and true platforms like Google Ads, or experimenting with newer platforms like SnapChat, Cajam will continue to follow the industry changes and trends and advise clients of the best channels for their advertising dollars.
The morning started like any other at Cajam Marketing: project updates, upcoming meetings and Philly sports team bragging or bashing (more bragging than bashing lately). We have all worked together for a while – some of us for over two decades, but who is counting – and we are comfortable with speaking our minds and sharing our unique perspectives. So when the question “Yanny or Laurel?” came up, the office erupted in a discussion full of different tones and pitches, followed by Google searches to prove which side, the Yanny team or Laurel team, was correct.
Apparently the Laurel team is correct, based on the report that this audio experiment was generated by a high school student using the audio clip of the word “laurel” from vocabulary.com. While the Yanny team is not convinced – we are all in awe of the 14.8 million plus views this clip has gained so far.
How A Well-Synched Team Sees Things Differently
Throughout the day, linguistics professors, scientists, and audio specialists have weighed in on social media and television about acoustic patterns, frequencies and other theories to explain the phenomenon. At Cajam, we marveled on how our well-synched team can hear different things – or see different things. Our graphic design team still hasn’t fully recovered from the white/gold vs. blue/black dress debate. As marketers, this is a valuable reminder that even a targeted audience, grouped together because of a common interest, sees, hears, and processes information differently.
Yanny or Laurel – Who Hears What?
Our unscientific, internal Yanny or Laurel results seem to show the more artistic staffers hear “Yanny” and the analytical leaners hear “Laurel.” Keep in mind, this blog post is being written by someone who took Calculus as a pass/fail class – and the analytics team members would argue our sampling won’t yield significant results…but I think our Yanny or Laurel results could also match with the team’s divide between cream or no cream coffee drinkers or Philadelphia or New York sports team fans.
Strength in Our Differences
The one thing the entire Cajam Marketing staff agrees on is how our company is stronger because of our different perspectives. With every project, we all contribute our unique skills and input. As an analytics marketing partner, Cajam Marketing offers the best blend of creativity, intuition, facts and figures. Yanny or Laurel, we work together to bring fresh ideas and solid numbers to your marketing. Learn more about the Cajam Marketing process.
Philly! Philly! In the far reaches of South Central New Jersey, the Philadelphia Eagles fans at Cajam Marketing are celebrating the team’s first Super Bowl victory. DVRs are set for the victory parade today, and a Cajammer or two may take a longer than usual lunch break to catch a few minutes of the parade on TV.Minutes after the final whistle blew on Super Bowl Sunday and the Philadelphia area erupted into a huge street party, Cajam Marketing President Kathy Gould texted our team about the victorious Eagles and the parallels to our business model. Even during a Super Bowl celebration, Kathy’s marketing wheels are turning.
Underdogs Become Top Dogs
Who doesn’t like a good underdog victory story? As e-commerce marketers, we root for the little guys and gals every day as they go up against the mighty Goliath, Amazon.com. Amazon has transformed the online marketplace faster than most could have imagined. One company, Amazon, grabbed an estimated 50% of all 2017 holiday retail sales.
We’ve seen e-retailers struggle in the wake of Amazon, but we’ve also seen some businesses evolve and strengthen their niche markets and bottom lines. In a small organization, it’s easier to be nimble, innovative and stealth. Just like the awe-inspiring “Philly Special” trick play, the small companies can catch the bigger companies by surprise. The right marketing capitalizes on a small company’s strengths and tells a victory story.
“…A Team Can Make a Miracle”
In his victory speech, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson celebrates his team with his words, “An individual can make a difference, but a team makes a miracle.” This sentiment especially resonates with Cajam Marketing’s Kathy Gould. “At Cajam, we celebrate the team every day. At bigger agencies, frequent staff changes and turnover can disrupt the continuity and growth of an account. At Cajam Marketing, we are proud of our team’s tenure. Linda and I have over 50 years of combined experience. Our team members have all worked with us for more than a decade. When you work with Cajam Marketing, you get the stability of a real team — each of our team members is an expert in his/her speciality area, and we come together as a brain trust for your business,” says Gould.
Never Give Up
Even New England Patriots fans have been touched by Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles’ personal journey to victory. In his post-game speech, Foles recounts how he almost quit. With the support of his teammates, and a lot of hard work and dedication, a second string quarterback triumphs in the biggest game of his career. His story is inspiring on and off the field. This message is especially important for small business owners. Smaller companies can feel overwhelmed, but with the right team around you and steadfast faith that hard work will be rewarded, the little guys and gals can triumph too.
Photo credit: This top dog has waited a long time to wear this Super Bowl championship hat. Thanks to Cajam Marketing friend Beth for sharing this photo with us. SaveSave
As marketing professionals, we tend to look at everything through an advertising filter, even during our off-hours. For fun, we share great subject lines, take screenshots of eye-catching retargeting ads and watch full video ads on YouTube, even when we can skip the ad after four seconds. We pore over “junk” mail and read catalogs cover to cover. We “like” Facebook ads, just to see what happens next.
We even approach the most universal dilemma of the day – “what’s for dinner?” – with a marketing slant. If we were chefs by profession, our take on popular meal kit delivery services would be much different. But as marketers, we are just as interested in the brand building as the perfectly proportioned spice packets.
Here’s what our recent experience with Blue Apron meal kits reminds us about the essential ingredients of effective marketing (as well as incorporating kale into a healthy dinner).
The Main Ingredient: Solve a Problem
Solving a problem is the keystone of all marketing. Blue Apron and other meal kit delivery services offer an easy solution to the common time-consuming challenge of planning, shopping and preparing a meal.
Takeaway: Whatever you are selling, focus on the benefits to the end-user.
Mise En Place: Everything In Place
Top chefs stress the importance of prep time, to make sure all the essential tools and ingredients are in place and easy to find. This same principle applies to building a brand through a well-planned marketing campaign from the start.
While lamenting my lack of a dinner plan to a colleague, she forwarded me a Blue Apron email with a coupon code and said her family was enjoying the service. I was familiar with the brand because I had seen Blue Apron ads on Facebook and noticed some friends were fans. Blue Apron had everything in place to convince me to give them a try: a friend’s recommendation, a coupon code that worked and brand recognition through social media. This was no coincidence; it was a well-coordinated effort to get my business.
Takeaway: Think about where your customers will find you and take the time to develop a consistent, multi-channel marketing plan.
A Good Presentation Makes It More Appetizing
“That looks good!” A great meal employs all the senses – it smells good, looks good, and has a nice texture. Great marketing invokes the senses too. The Blue Apron website is visually pleasing and easy to navigate. The site’s images are beautifully photographed, and the meals look delicious. The shipping box and meal kit are nicely branded. The recipe card is well designed and printed on high quality paper stock. Blue Apron purposefully makes a great presentation at every step, with top quality details you can see, feel and taste.
Takeaway: Pay attention to the details. Good photography, clean design and quality packaging can really make a difference and will set your business above your competitors.
Easy to Follow Recipe
How many times have you scrolled through Pinterest or flipped through a cookbook and ruled out a recipe because it seemed too complicated? Blue Apron simplifies meal preparation – but more importantly, they make it easy to join, select meals and pause meals. They offer free shipping with an exact shipping date. They also make it easy to cancel a plan or contact customer service.
Takeaway: Keep it simple. Make it easy for customers to buy your products. Most customers want to know about return policies and shipping before placing an order, so make sure this information is easy to find.
Share a Meal With Friends
“Try this!” A delicious meal is even better when shared with friends. Blue Apron does a great job of turning happy customers into brand ambassadors through social engagement. They encourage customers to share their meal pictures on Shapchat, Facebook and Instagram. They rely on the power of referrals, allowing members to send free meals to friends and family.
Takeaway: Encourage customers to share pictures, reviews and referrals.
Adjust to Taste
A favorite recipe evolves over time, with substitutions and adjustments. While this blog post was in the works, Internet Retailer published a story about Blue Apron’s recent IPO filing. According to Internet Retailer, Blue Apron spent about 17% of its total operational spending on marketing last year. In fact, Blue Apron warns potential investors of the high cost of acquiring and retaining customers. Notably, Blue Apron reported 92% of revenue in 2016 came from repeat customers.
Takeaway: Customer acquisition can take a big chunk of your budget. Good marketing analytics are necessary to assess the costs and returns of your marketing spend. Just as you modify a recipe to your taste, you’ll need to evaluate and adjust your marketing plan, using analytics to guide you. In addition to marketing, it is also important to consider the other ingredients that affect customer acquisition and retention such as fulfillment, operations and competition.
Learn more about Marketing Analytics.