The most famous Digital Ad format is going to disappear: Death to the Big Box, long live the “Flexible Size Ads”!
Since the beginning of digital advertising, publishers, advertisers and internet users have lived with Big Box, Leaderboards and other IAB standard units. These guidelines got more and more complex with the emergence of technologies allowing for “rich”,“expando” and mobile formats that were not optimized for that many pixels to be displayed.
In 2017, the IAB will put an end to this proliferation of pixel ad units and simplify the digital advertising landscape with “Flexible size ads”. No more 300×250, 728×90 and other pixel formats and say hello to ads defined by ratio (1:1, 1:2, 1:3, 2:1, 6:1, etc.). Thus, we will be able to display the same creative on mobile, tablet or desktop in different sizes but with the same proportions!
This change will take effect as soon as 2017, so how should you prepare?
PART 1: LEAN ADS
In order to go through this transition as smoothly as possible, the IAB already offers to adopt LEAN ads (Light, Encrypted, Ad choice supported & Non-intrusive). These guidelines, compatible with our current tools, also follow the new formats. It is a first step to this new digital age.
If you already respect IAB guidelines, do not worry: your ads are already LEAN!
PART 2: FLEXIBLE SIZE ADS
The effective date has yet to be announced and the deployment will take place throughout the year.
However, we would all benefit from starting as soon as possible. To this end, the IAB has already published a new ad portfolio. So, for your 2017 campaigns, forget pixels and start thinking in terms of ratio!
If you want to discover all the new formats, download our guide on Flexible Size Ads.
This blog post was written with Franchisors’ CEOs and CMOs in mind. It is especially relevant for industries with a high Customer Lifetime Value and, usually, higher cost per acquisition (Industry example: Finance, Legal, Insurance…).
It’s a known fact that a successful Franchise offers more than just a strong brand, product or service. The secret often lies in the standardized business processes that help Franchisees deliver a consistent brand promise and user experience.
This is also true regarding the Franchise marketing efforts. Before the Internet came along, the Franchisor would focus on creating awareness through mass media, while Franchisees could promote their business locally, mostly using marketing collateral prepared by the head office. If territories were carefully delineated, the risk of having Franchisees compete against each other was unlikely.
In today’s connected era, marketing practices have evolved. Any Franchisee can launch their own website, run paid search campaigns (on Google Adwords or Bing) and claim their business location on a multitude of directories, including Google My Business. Without technology, guidelines and procedures provided by the Franchisor, the digital marketing landscape of a Brand can become a nightmare, with overlapping efforts rendering investments highly inefficient.
Franchise Marketing Chaos 101
To illustrate the all-too-common scenario facing franchise marketing, we’ll take the example of a fictitious company called “Great Insurance”. In an ideal, and pre-internet era, a potential client might simply call the head office to get a quote or simply walk into a nearby insurance broker’s office.
Thanks to the Internet, today’s customer will usually search online for “Car Insurance” or even directly the company’s brand name, in this instance: “Great Insurance”.
In theory, all the paid search results should be for competing brands, trying to outbid each other to win the click to their site.
The chaos appears when many results are from companies selling the same service. Instead of paying pennies for each click and being able to afford to appear for all potential customer’s search queries, internal competition sets in, and only a fraction of the potential clients are reached, or in another scenario, these customers are reached but for a much higher cost per click.
Here is what the marketing budget could look like if Franchisor and Franchisees all bid for the company’s Brand Name:
Scenario 1: Competing against each other
In the next scenario, we can see what happens if, using the same budget, only the head office bids on the Brand Name. Typically, this would direct visitors to a site with the Brand Name in the URL (www.brandname.com), and guarantee a much lower CPC.
Scenario 2: Only the Head Office bids on the Brand name
The above scenario is clearly more interesting than the one where there is internal competition. We see that the same overall budget has a much greater impact. But is this scenario ideal ?
What happens if we could offer the Franchisees the possibility to bid on the Brand name at the same price as the Head Office ?
This can be achieved if:
- Clicks are directed to a page specific for each Franchisee, ensuring that their marketing dollars are working for them. Example: www.brandname.com/FranchiseA
- Budgets are managed through a centralized marketing platform, giving each franchisee a turn to bid on the Brand name.
- All results are made available to the Franchise owners; transparency is the key to encourage them to pool their budgets together.
The above example illustrates clearly that a Franchise is stronger when all parties work together. This is real for “Brand” Keywords as well as “Broad” or “Long Tail” Keywords. In our above example, we would have:
- Car insurance
- Home insurance
- Truck insurance New-York city
The solution: A unified digital marketing platform
The only way to be able to centralize the digital marketing efforts of all the Franchisees is to offer a simple yet powerful solution that keeps Franchisees up to date on how their budget is working for THEM.
Key features are:
- Unified Web Based Dashboard: With different access at the Franchisor, Branch (Regional) and Franchisee level.
- Ongoing learning center: To leverage and communicate the best practices.
- Streamlined business process that fits with the company’s current reality and terminology.
- Support: Through an integrated FAQ section, Support forum and 1-to-1 communication platform.
Results: At the end of the day, it’s all about the result, getting more for your money (clicks, leads or sales) and demonstrating better performance relative to the competition.
An extra bonus of a complete centralized Franchise Marketing Platform is the possibility to manage Local Listings like “Google My Business”:
- This allows measurement of key performance indicators: Click-to-call, Directions to store, Reviews…
- Allow management and quality assurance of key information:
-> Store pictures
-> Store hours
-> Usage management (who can reply to reviews, who can manage pictures and store hours)
- Strong bulk management features:
-> Add locations.
-> Edit specific info (store hours, holiday hours, pictures).
-> Undo changes in case of a mistake.
Franchisors, by definition, have a responsibility to leverage the best solutions and procedures to ensure their Franchisees are the most profitable.
In today’s connected world, technology must be at the heart of these procedures, especially to organize digital marketing efforts.
By offering a centralized Franchise Marketing Platform, Franchisors:
- Increase competitive power, by reducing internal competition to benefit all stakeholders.
- Reduce operating cost due to streamlined procedures.
- Position their Brand as innovators
- Increase their operational budget, the more Franchisees agree to pool their budgets and efforts through a centralized solution managed by the Head Office.
Are you interested in learning how a Franchise Marketing Platform can help your company be more efficient and competitive ? Drop us a line, we would love to help!
Nowadays, who is not tempted to use his phone or tablet while watching TV? Whether it’s for texting, tweeting, browsing Facebook or Instagram, or finding an answer on the web, the temptation is strong. A study carried by Consumer Technology Association (CTA), 2015 Video Consumption Trends, reveals that 88% of individuals between the age of 18 and 34 (in the US) use a second screen when watching TV.
This is what we call “screen-stacking”, or more commonly “second-screen”.
These moments are all the more significant during ad breaks. While advertisers invest more and more $ in TV ads, catching and keeping the attention of viewers is now a real challenge for brands. The ideal solution would be to take advantage of the devices used during those moments to recapture their attention by developing strategies incorporating multi-screening.
What if TV Ad-Syncing was the solution?
TV AD-SYNCING: WHAT IS IT
Ad-syncing is the synchronization of ads broadcasted on digital devices with the ones broadcasted on TV or on the radio in real time.
This technology allows to meet your audience distracted by their mobile devices, but also to capitalize on this audience, inspired by what they are seeing on TV and looking for more information. It means taking advantage of the digital technology to meet or re-engage – with programmatic solutions – these new audiences.
HOW DOES IT WORK
Let’s say someone is watching a cooking show on TV, and during the break, an ad for St-Hubert appears. Imagine then that within milliseconds of the TV ad appearing, the same or a similar ad is broadcasted to any one of the digital devices the viewer may be using at the same time. This is ad-syncing.
The first option to synchronize its digital ads with TV is – quite simply – to adjust its media plan to the moments where are broadcasted TV ads (by using ad-scheduling). Unfortunately, this technique requires a lot of time and meticulousness, not only in the setting up but also in the operationalization. Furthermore, a lot of TV spots are not reserved for a specific hour and this makes any synchronization impossible.
Fortunately, several companies have developed ACR (automated content recognition), which are able to detect and identify a TV ad exactly when it is broadcasted. Some platforms – MediaSigma – even allows pushing this information in real time towards web ad platforms in order to synchronize digital and TV ads.
HOW TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF TV AD-SYNCING?
1. Reinforce/Intensify the message
Pushing the same message on several screens at the same time can only reinforce its impact and prompt a particular resonance for the consumer. And having already an Internet access in their hand, they are only one click away from reaching the brand’s website.
A study carried by wywy and TNS Infratest shows the impact of TV ad-syncing on KPIs (such as word of mouth, buying intentions or even the interest towards the brand). The results are more than promising (see the image opposite).
2. Be present when needed
Have you ever searched for a product or service after seeing an ad on TV? If the answer is no, you’re one of the few exceptions of this world.
Indeed, the Television Bureau of Canada, with its TV/Internet Synergy Survey produced in 2014, informs us that more than 72.5% of people search for a product or service after seeing the commercial on TV.
This is a great opportunity for brands to be present during those key micro-moments. This is what TV ad-syncing is all about!
3. Capitalize on the competition’s investments
On the contrary, it is also possible for brands that don’t have the necessary budget for a TV campaign to capitalize on their competitors’ investments.
A counter-attack strategy consists then of deploying its own ads on digital platforms when competition broadcasts theirs on TV, or to dominate paid search during the following minutes.
For example, a Saint-Hubert TV ad will probably bring in searches to order some chicken. With TV synchronization, a competitor can deploy its ads on the web at the same time while increasing its bids in terms of corresponding searches and take advantage of the enthusiasm created.
4. Quantifiable results
Other than the benefits presented above, synchronization in real time allows web advertisers to easily measure and analyze the impacts of TV ads on their website metrics – which was no easy task until then. They can now optimize and test their different TV spots and improve their ROI.
In this perspective, MediaSynced published the results for three clients (TUI, Renault and Sony), which are very promising. They noticed an increase in quality visits, resulting in a better engagement rate. For Renault, they noticed a 113% increase of their CTA. For TUI, they noticed a 37% decrease in their cost per opportunity, a 54% decrease of their conversion cost, and a 47% increase in new visits.