Picking up where we left off in part one, we examine the rest of the day’s presentations that took place in our active presentation track.
As two-thirds of clicks come from paid ads, it’s important for a company to stand out on the results page, explained Stacy Westhead, Director at atom42. In order to achieve this, businesses must highlight their USPs on page titles, and in their economically-worded descriptions. Marketers need to make sure they use all of the characters at their disposal to their full potential, in order to pass their messages, and speak in a natural, human way. Brands need to reach out to their audience, find what they like and tailor their listings appropriately. Competition is an important factor to campaign performance; constant monitoring is required in order a brand to be able to counter its competitors’ messages effectively. Brands can also experiment with extra elements and bits of information, like review scores, specific landing pages, and contact info; they can even try to say something their audience doesn’t expect, something provocative that will grab their attention. In terms of measuring their ads’ effectiveness, Westhead suggested that marketers should examine their metrics and identify how they affect each other – in order to better set up their campaigns.
Technology has allowed businesses to gather data more quickly and effectively. Marketers need though to be transparent towards their audiences, as consumers are now in full control of their experiences; they choose how they engage with brands, the device they use for browsing, the moment they expose themselves to any messages, and what they subscribe to. Companies have to be contextual in their messages, serving the right content in the right place at the right time, argued Spinnaker’s Managing Partner, Robert Goldsmith. Marketers must be able to understand their audience, and make sure they’re offering them content they’re interested in. Brands need to structure their campaigns in a way that allows them to be responsive; people’s needs constantly change as new technologies, products and services are introduced, and companies must be able to adapt to this new data. Goldsmith suggested that native content served within an educational context can prove to be more effective, although the ultimate goal for marketers is matching a brand’s point of view to that of a consumer.
Liberty Marketing’s Managing Director, Gareth Morgan, offered practical advice on audience targeting using the Google Ads platform. Marketers should first identify where their customers search and ‘surf’ on the web, then adjust their bids based on data such as the consumer’s location, gender, age, device and the time of day. This way they will take advantage of what experts are calling ‘situational targeting’ on both Google Search results pages and the Google Display Network that amasses more than 2 million websites worldwide. In terms of selecting their target audience, marketers can use Google’s Affinity Audiences, a system which identifies large audience segments that match a specific profile. Although this method is accurate, according to Morgan, brands can also create their own custom audiences by combining the situational targeting with specific keywords. When companies are satisfied with their target audience, they can use Similar Audiences to enlarge it; “it is five times larger than remarketing and marketers can expect a 41 per cent uplift to conversions”, Morgan explained. Google also supports In-Market Audiences, identifying customers’ intent to purchase and serving them tailored messaging throughout their journey and right before their purchase. In terms of email content, marketers can target specific keywords within emails and benefit from Native on Gmail, Google’s dynamic email content; Morgan suggested that this feature can offer great results in remarketing campaigns.
Brands want to be trusted. Consumers that trust a company are more likely to recommend its products and use them more frequently, embrace its ideas, and even pay more. What is trust though? According to Nathan Fulwood, Strategy Director, CreateFuture, trust is credibility, reliability and intimacy, divided by self-orientation. In order to be credible, companies need to first make sure they’re relevant. Consistency in messaging is the key for reliability; brands have to build their own identity, tell their own stories and stand firm to their beliefs. They also need to build intimate relationships, showing their personality, staying true to their brand image and avoiding using incomprehensible jargon. In terms of self-orientation, companies mustn’t be too self-interested; instead, they ought to understand and empathise and pursue meaningful exchanges. Fulwood mentioned that even conflict can be constructive, as a catalyst for progress, provided it appears in a relationship that’s based on trust.
“In 27 seconds we either win or lose our customers” states Richard Summers, CEO, CrowdCat, whose presentation explained that urgency brands must have when passing them their messages. But people don’t necessarily behave in what marketers might deem a ‘rational’ way before making a choice. Marketers create the perception and the experience of value, but in order to do so effectively, they have to focus on people, rather than data. The human brain evolves during life, making complex decisions and expanding its decision-making capabilities. People are diverse; they communicate, feel, evaluate, and choose differently, and companies therefore have to approach them in a proper and effective way. When making a decision, consumers often don’t trust themselves, so this is where marketers should offer them the necessary information to help make that positive choice. Disruptive advertising can have positive results on this, although most brands don’t take the risk and instead they adopt a supportive tone in their campaigns. “Engaging them is not enough; brands need to influence consumers’ behaviour”, explained Summers.