Are You CASL Compliant?

Important Update:

The Government has decided to suspend the implementation of the provision known as Private Right To Action.  This is the provision that would allow lawsuits to be filed against individuals and businesses for alleged violations.

Check out this government page for more information: https://www.canada.ca/en/innovation-science-economic-development/news/2017/06/government_of_canadasuspendslawsuitprovisioninanti-spamlegislati.html

The government will be reviewing this, but the rest of CASL is still moving forward July 1.

Continue reading “Are You CASL Compliant?”

I Don’t Want To Give You My Email

I dislike getting my picture taken.

I’m not sure why, that’s just how I’ve always felt. So, you can imagine how thrilled I was to renew my passport, because not only can I no longer pretend I still look like I did 5 years ago in the last picture, but I had to spend a morning waiting in line at a government building after getting my picture taken. Luckily you don’t need to smile for the camera for these.

When I went to the studio, I told them I needed a simple passport photo, got my best neutral face ready, and picked up the debit terminal to pay. The girl behind the counter handed me a form and told me to fill out my name and email address first.

What?

I said “Why do I have to fill that out; can’t I just give you money?” She said that’s not how they do things, all customers must fill it out, it’s store policy. I was not given a reason why, but in the fine print at the bottom of the form was the typical text along the lines of “by filling out this form, I consent to receive further electronic communication”. Why? Must we complicate every benign transaction? I don’t like the idea that the next time I pop into a gas station for a pack of gum, they’re going to insist that I give them my personal information first. If I give my email address to the photo studio, they’re going to send me emails about their latest promotions, emails around Christmas trying to convince me to bring the family down for a shoot, emails about anything and everything – they’re probably even going to share my email address with the department store in which the studio is located, and I’ll get who-knows-how-many emails from them, too.

I didn’t say all of that, however, I just wrote down a fake email address without consequence. The perfect crime, right? She didn’t know it was fake, I got my photo, I left, and I won’t be receiving emails begging me to come back. If I need them, I know where to find them, and even then: unlikely. Like I said, I don’t like getting my picture taken.Frustrated male on his laptop at a desk in his room

Customers, and prospects, value their privacy.

The way customers want to interact with businesses is always evolving. Not so long ago, the newest and greatest thing to a customer was the ability to fill out a form on the website to submit their inquiry and get an email reply. Businesses then realized they should keep these email addresses for future marketing efforts, from e-newsletters to populating remarketing lists. Somewhere along the way, it became too much, and customers got sick of the constant barrage of emails from businesses they interacted with for a small fraction of time (and many they’ve never even heard of because someone may or may not have sold an email list to someone else).

We still tend to idealize form leads in the automotive sector. Sure, it’s great when a salesperson can get a neatly wrapped parcel in their email inbox containing the customer’s information and the nature of their inquiry written down for future reference. However, the rate at which form leads are being submitted is on the decline. Email is certainly not going away as a primary means of communication, but customers are increasingly reluctant to give up their email addresses. Some of the more distrusting prospects are even resorting to temporary email services, whereby a web service will provide exactly what it sounds like: a temporary email address which can both send and receive emails, giving no personal information away. Anyone who has worked in a dealership on the receiving end of form leads can tell you that plenty come in with the email address field full of gibberish text, or something like “asdf@asdf.com”, where users are hoping that the email requirement to get a free CarProof or trade appraisal is just a bluff, and the information will just pop on screen rather than having to come later from a salesperson. The distrust and frustration is plainly evident in how customers submit form leads.

woman sending emails from laptopOn the other hand, phone call leads are on the rise, as are live chats. It’s easier than ever for a website visitor to launch either of those instantly, and information without unwittingly subscribing to future emails.  Fortunately, different types of conversions can be tracked, and we can distinguish which phone calls are coming in as a result of clicking on an ad, to help businesses understand exactly where their leads originate. Strathcom President Duncan Cochrane expanded on this in his blog post discussing the different categories of conversions, and why it is necessary to know what exactly is being considered a conversion.

Many dealers still compartmentalize their incoming phone calls as being independent of online advertising, when they are in fact directly attributable to the campaigns, ads, and keywords which prompted someone to inquire.

It is also worth noting that CASL regulations are changing as of July 1, 2017, and it’s going to be more difficult to build and communicate with your email list.

But the point here is that we cannot get too attached to form leads as an indicator of effective online advertising campaigns. Unless your business has conducted intensive research, nailing down where every sale originates, calculating which source is most profitable, and has made some conclusions which no one else has yet… all leads should be valued. (#AllLeadsMatter). Therefore, our word of caution: completely altering a marketing strategy to gain a few more form leads, at the expense of what could be a large quantity of other types of leads, would be chasing a false positive.

Sure, you might capture a few more emails. But how do your customers feel about that?

HeroConf 2017: Recap On 3 Days Of Non-Stop PPC

T-Shirt from HeroConf 2017 that says PPC Nerd

From April 17th-20th, I had the opportunity to attend one of the largest gatherings of PPC nerds in North America: HeroConf 2017 hosted in Los Angeles.  This was my first PPC conference and I had no idea what to expect, but I couldn’t have felt more at home at the conference among other people who live and breathe PPC.

It was a busy week filled with learning, networking, and free drinks. Despite all the fun, I came home excited to share my new knowledge with the Strathcom team. Here are my key takeaways about what to expect in the world of PPC in the future.

 

It’s Time to Move on From Last Click Attribution

Attribution Modeling was one of the hottest topics discussed at HeroConf. Speakers from all industries agreed that it’s time to ditch the last click model, and focus on other touchpoints that lead to a conversion. However, there is no magical way of knowing which model is right for you. Speaker Jeff Greenfield of C3 Metrics discussed the importance of not waiting around for the perfect model, but to test and test again. The only way to prove the value of attribution models is to test until you become less wrong. Attribution modelling is extremely important in the automotive industry as we move away from the standard sales funnel, to a customer journey with multiple touchpoints. By ignoring the touchpoints a customer reaches today, we may never see them again for another 3 years.

Integrate Your Paid Social & Paid Search Strategies

Marketers are making the mistake of not integrating search and social strategies, or choosing to ignore social all together. Keynote speaker Jason Dailey of Facebook’s US Agency Development team stressed the importance of running a social campaign along with search ads, and how to properly run the content together.

To no surprise to anyone, mobile is the leader in performance marketing channels, and is the key platform to integrating search and social. Jason mentioned that people are on their phones from when they wake up to when they go to bed, and are less distracted by things around when consuming content on their smartphones (as opposed to TV).

The key to integration is recognizing that search and social advertising have the same outcomes, but with different signals. On social media, we can identify our audience based on their profiles and engagement, but cannot identify their intent online. Paid search allows us to discover our customer’s intent with keyword targeting, but cannot identify who they are as a person. Integrating social and search brings us to the middle ground of the two to execute a successful online advertising campaign.

Making Sure Your SEO & SEM Get Along

My favorite session of the week was keynote speaker Wil Reynolds of Seer Interactive. Wil brought an exciting insight as an SEO expert on how paid listings should complement organic. As PPC analysts, it is so easy to forget why customers are using Google, and focusing too much on getting them in our sales funnel.  His key take way was optimizing for the real world, and making sure you answer the customer’s question. If your organic or paid listings don’t help the customer, another source will. A true example below shows that both ads on the top of the page have no mention of the price of a Toyota Rav4, and the answer is provided by a non-dealer website.  Making sure ad copy or ad extensions match the “why” of a consumer’s search will improve the quality of traffic SEO and SEM listings receive."how much is a rav4?" typed into Google Search

It would be difficult for me to include everything I have learned in a single blog post. HeroConf 2017 was a great experience and provided so much insight into how to succeed in PPC in 2017. Can’t wait to return next year in Austin!

The Blurred Line Between TV and YouTube: what it means for advertisers

As more and more people turn to YouTube for their entertainment, it is getting more and more difficult to track exactly how many viewers a TV program gets. For example, I think everyone has watched – or at least heard about – Saturday Night Live’s skit in which Melissa McCarthy impersonates White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer. We all know SNL airs on NBC on Saturday nights (duh), but is that when and where you watched it? Or did you watch it on YouTube?

Watching YouTube videos on smart TV with home media sharing technology.

In a recent Think with Google article, Google discussed how more viewers are watching TV programs on YouTube, and even casting what they are watching on YouTube to their televisions. According to their research, adults are 5x more likely to prefer online platforms over cable TV.

In another Think with Google article, they discussed how programs like ‘Carpool Karaoke’ on the Late Late Show with James Corden – despite being a successful TV program – frequently gets more views on YouTube than on TV.

“The blurred lines of video consumption have changed the way success of any TV show should be measured. That’s particularly true for us since we originally air after midnight. We’re in the relevance business. The first thing we do when we come in in the morning is look at how our videos performed on YouTube. Our executive producer, Ben Winston, says, ‘The overnight ratings just tell us who managed to stay awake past midnight. The YouTube numbers tell us which bits flew.’ I couldn’t agree more.

Case in point: Viewership of ‘Carpool Karaoke’ on YouTube regularly eclipses viewership on the show itself.”

So what does this mean for advertisers? It could mean that the money being spent on TV ads (about $72 billion last year) could be better suited for YouTube. This is one reason that YouTube is now rolling out a Web-TV service called YouTube TV. For just $35/month, customers can sign up for a package consisting of about 40 channels. It has also been speculated that YouTube TV will get about 2 minutes of ad time per hour to sell to advertisers.

It also means that Google’s targeting methods can now be utilized in the TV space, and Google can now sell their advertising in the network ad slots that would have typically gone to cable operators. But Google is insistent that they are not trying to take money away from TV, they just want to play in the TV space.

Will you sign up for YouTube TV if it comes to Canada? Will you be willing to spend $35/month? Let us know in the comment section!

What IS Attribution Modeling?

Ever wonder why the conversion data in your Analytics account is different from AdWords?  That is because of attribution modeling. An attribution model is a rule or multiple rules that are assigned to different touchpoints in a conversion path.  Consumers may interact with multiple touchpoints during their purchasing journey. Attribution models help marketers develop a better understanding of how to optimize their website and online advertising to facilitate a consumer’s conversion path. There are 6 Attribution Models: Last Click, First Click, Linear, Time Decay, and Position-Based.

Google Analytics

Last Click Model

The last click model gives all credit of the conversion to the last ad and the corresponding keyword. This model is best suited for when your advertising goal is to attract people at the moment of purchase, or your sales cycle does not include a consideration phase. This is the default model in AdWords.

In the automotive purchasing journey, car shoppers experience many touchpoints before they commit to a purchase. According to Google, a consumer can have over 900 digital interactions over a 3-month period. By only tracking with the last click model, we are missing out on the hundreds of interactions before the final conversion.

First Click Model 

The first click model gives all credit of the conversion to the first clicked ad and keyword. This model is helpful when tracking initial brand awareness. If you are trying to build your brand, this model will help track when your customers are first exposed to your brand.

Linear Model

The linear model gives credit of the conversion across all of the touchpoints in the path. For example, your Paid, Organic, and Social channels will all equally contribute to the conversion. You will use this model if you want to maintain a presence with the customer throughout the entire purchasing journey. All of your campaigns are equally important during the buying process.

Time Decay Model

This model gives more credit to clicks that happen closer to the time of the conversion. If a customer clicked on your Facebook ad a week ago and never converted, but converted an hour after clicking your paid search ad, your paid search ad will be given more credit to the conversion than the Facebook ad. Advertisers who run short promotions will find this model most useful to give more credit to interactions that happened during the days of the promotion.

Position-Based Model

Position-based model gives 40% of the credit to the first and last clicked ads, and spreads the remaining 20% across all other touchpoints. Advertisers who use this model value the first interaction that introduced the costumer to the brand, and the last interaction that lead to a sale.

Fractional conversion credits are available to accounts that follow an attribution model that attribute fractional credit for each conversion across multiple clicks. The fractions are represented as a decimal such as 0.33 or 0.5 to give an accurate representation of the credit of the keyword or ad.

At Strathcom Media, our advertising experts have the skills and the tools to track all of the necessary touchpoints to understand your consumer purchasing journey. Interested in making the most of your online advertising with attribution modeling? Contact our sales team today to get started on a smarter way to advertise online!

The Top 10 Super Bowl 51 Commercials

friends watching football on TV

Super Bowl LI featured the most exciting 4th quarter in the history of football, Lady Gaga jumping off the roof of the arena, and some really great commercials.  USA Today has released the results of their annual ‘Ad Meter’, where people can rate the commercials that were aired during the big game.  Out of the top 10, 5 were vehicle commercials from Honda, Kia, Audi, Ford and Buick.  Check out the top 10 below:

#1 2017 Kia Niro | “Hero’s Journey” Starring Melissa McCarthy

#2 All-New Honda CR-V 2017 Big Game Commercial – Yearbooks

#3 Audi #DriveProgress Big Game Commercial – “Daughter”

#4 Budweiser 2017 Super Bowl Commercial | “Born The Hard Way”

#5 Tide | Super Bowl Commercial 2017 with Terry Bradshaw

#6 Mr. Clean | New Super Bowl Ad | Cleaner of Your Dreams

#7 Big Game Commercial with Cam Newton & Miranda Kerr | Buick

#8 Super Bowl Baby Legends | Who’s Next? | Football is Family

#9 2017 Ford Go Further | Ford

#10 Inside These Lines

Consumers in Canada and U.S. Set Record Sales in 2016

Despite the drop in oil prices that resulted in lower sales for Albertans, Canadian and American automakers had record sales years in 2016. For the fourth consecutive year, Canadian automakers have exceeded their previous year’s sales.

Despite the price of oil, vehicle sales continue to rise.

In the Canadian sales race, Ford took the top spot with a 9% increase in deliveries, ahead of FCA Canada, which was the top dog in 2015. Automakers are noting consumers’ change of interest, specifically the shift from passenger cars toward trucks and SUV’s. This shift has affected their investments on a factory level across Mexico and the United States. In 2016, Nissan’s Rogue crossover surpassed the Altima as their best-selling vehicle, and the Ford F-Series outsold their passenger cars.

Despite the booming growth in 2016, experts anticipate a slight decline coming up in 2017. Dennis DesRosiers of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc. expects a 3% decrease in sales for the Canadian Market. However, DesRosiers recognizes that a stabilizing and growing economy could push for another record breaking year in 2017. But no matter which way the sales go for 2017, experts agree that the Canadian auto market is not destined for failure, and sales likely won’t differentiate by more than 5%.

The outlook for 2017 is very positive overall.

Only time will tell whether the Canadian auto industry will thrive for a fifth year, or whether sales will decline. But one thing is for certain – it won’t break us. Douglas Porter, BMO chief economist said, “Even as the broader Canadian economy has struggled in the past two years, the consumer has just kept chugging along.”

What do you think the Canadian auto trends will be this year? Let us know in the comments below!

Google’s 2016 Rewind

year in search 2016

Now that 2016 has almost come to an end, Google has released their lists of the top 10 searches this year for a variety of categories including People, Global News, Global Sporting Events and more. The Top Searches on Google this year were:

  1. Pokémon Go
  2. iPhone 7
  3. Donald Trump
  4. Prince
  5. Powerball
  6. David Bowie
  7. Deadpool
  8. Olympics
  9. Slither.io
  10. Suicide Squad

You can see the top searches in other categories here.

Google has also compiled the top YouTubers and the top searches for the year into two videos; check them out below!

YouTube Rewind: The Ultimate 2016 Challenge
Google – Year in Search 2016

 

Recommended for You

If you have ever shopped on sites like Amazon, eBay, or Expedia, you are likely familiar with the concept of recommendation marketing. However, you may not know just how effective this type of marketing is. In fact, Amazon’s recommendation engine generates 35% of their revenue and according to an article on Fortune.com:

“Judging by Amazon’s success, the recommendation system works. The company reported a 29% sales increase to $12.83 billion during its second fiscal quarter, up from $9.9 billion during the same time last year. A lot of that growth arguably has to do with the way Amazon has integrated recommendations into nearly every part of the purchasing process…”

Cropped photo of man using credit card to make payments Recommendation marketing is essentially upselling 2.0. Companies like Amazon, Expedia and Netflix track what you view and use an algorithm to determine which additional items you are likely to purchase/watch. A humorous example of this is the drug dealer example; when someone looks at a scale on Amazon, Amazon recommends a vaccuum-sealed storage container, rolling papers, and a spice grinder because these are items that are frequently purchased together.

How can auto dealers incorporate recommendation marketing?

One way is Dynamic Remarketing. This type of remarketing shows potential buyers ads based on the inventory they viewed on your site. For example, if someone viewed a Ford Explorer, you could show them ads for some other Ford Explorers in your inventory or other models that people tend to also look at; like the Edge, for example.

Another way is Website Personalization and Geo-Fencing. With these tools you can set rules that change the images, messaging and CTA’s on your site based on where the user is located and/or which pieces of inventory they viewed. If the user is a student at the local university, you can recommend vehicles under $10,000, for example.

young people view car ad

A third way is with lookalike audiences on Facebook. Lookalike audiences are when your CRM list is uploaded to Facebook and Facebook advertises to those that share similar characteristics to your current customers. Similar to how Netflix recommends shows to you based on what your Facebook friends watch.

If you want to get started on recommendation marketing or would like to learn more about any of these tools, drop us a line or subscribe to our newsletter!

The 25 Best Inventions of All Time

Outdated technology. Flat design - EPS 10, RGB. Effects used: transparency, blending transparency.

Since 2017 is expected to be a pretty pivotal year for technology, Inc. has made a list of their top 25 inventions from the last 5,000 years. On this list are things like the automobile, antibiotics, oil, and even beer. But the top of the list was the telephone, the radio, and the computer; Inc. noted that all three are “part of the greatest – and still just beginning – revolution in human history – communication”.