Search Insider Summit: Can You Hear Me Now?

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Magnetic took Deer Valley by storm at Media Post’s Search Insider Summit Dec 8-11th. Hundreds of top digital marketing execs gathered from across the country for panels, roundtable discussions and networking aimed at deciphering today’s top innovations and challenges facing the digital advertising industry. 

On the final day of the summit, Magnetic CEO James Green took part in an expert panel entitled “Can You Hear Me Now?” alongside industry experts representing very diverse viewpoints. The panel focused on voice command gadgets and the future of wearable technology. 

James’ panel covered topics including: 

  • Evolution of voice/gesture assistance technology and voice search
  • Popular products like Siri and Google Glass
  • Evolution of these technologies over the past year and how far we’ve really come

Expert panelists included:



Watch the panel by clicking on the snap shot below, enjoy!

Can You Hear Me Now?


Will Search Retargeters Be Affected By Google’s Secure Search?


Google recently announced that the company would begin securing searches for all users accessing Google properties, resulting in the encryption of their voluminous search data. While this change will undoubtedly impact marketers and search retargeting companies across the board, advertisers that leverage alternative search data will be unaffected by this change.

The reality is, search is changing – and so is consumer search activity. In the past, advertisers have thought of search in terms of Google, Bing and Yahoo!. But that type of thinking has led to limitations for search data. Advertisers’ new reality is one in which search data provides a multitude of opportunities to marketers for both branding and direct response campaigns.

“When we think of Google, most people think they own the whole search market. However, that is far from reality,” says Magnetic’s CEO James Green.

Around 35% of searches are completed on alternative search sites - outside of the traditional search engines such as Google & Bing. In fact, comScore reported last year that non-search engine properties including vertical sites, shopping comparison sites, and e-commerce sites generated more than 9.9 billion searches. Some common vertical search examples are sites focused on auto comparisons, legal resources, health inquiries, and travel. Vertical search engines also include recommendation sites like Yelp. Alternative search sites produce extremely valuable intent and interest-based data relevant for campaigns.

Marketers can find valuable, and more importantly, new customer data by embracing the concept of alternative search properties. “Non-search engine data adds up to greater specificity while searching,” says James Green. “It’s important because of the distance through which you can reach consumers down the sales funnel. Brands can reach into deeper funnel stages with alternative search. The more specific consumers are with their search, the easier it is to determine intent.” By using vertical and alternative site data, marketers will be able to expand their audience reach, and engage consumers who may not have had any previous brand interaction.

There are billions upon billions of highly valuable search data occurring beyond traditional search engines, which is something that marketers should strongly consider. And regarding the current media stir as it applies to Magnetic, in the words of our fearless CEO, “(We) hope this makes you sleep better knowing that your Magnetic campaigns will not be affected at all. Not one iota.”

SOURCE: Searching Beyond Search; Life Beyond The Googleplex

The Misconception About Search Retargeting

The Misconception About Search Retargeting

Lionel White, Magnetic’s VP of Technology Operations, explores the different types of retargeting and how marketers should be using each type for their digital strategy. The biggest misconception is that search retargeting is a bottom funnel tactic, used for re-engaging current customers, when it is actually more of a mid-upper-funnel strategy that should be used for acquiring new customers.

Here’s an overview of Lionel’s latest Search Engine Land article,

Site Retargeting

Site retargeting is probably the truest form of retargeting because you are re-engaging current customers. Site retargeting is a bottom-of-the-funnel strategy that uses data, as well as an existing relationship and knowledge to engage lost prospects, and bring back customers to purchase more from a site that they have previously visited.

Search Retargeting

Search retargeting, as stated above, is really more of a mid- to upper-funnel strategy that seeks to engage new consumers from an audience group that has shown some interest in a brand’s product/service (or a related product). With search retargeting marketers can focus on using search data to grow audience reach, including reaching those consumers who may not have had any previous interaction with the brand. The real benefit to using search data for display advertising compared to other data types is that it is based on what users are actually typing into search box, therefore, showing true intent and insight about what the user is interested in.

Social Retargeting

Social retargeting is even more upper-funnel than search retargeting because it uses purely interest-based data points from consumers to identify and create audience groups, whether or not they have searched for, bought, or researched the brand’s product or a related product. Facebook was a prime example of this because it created ads based on, for example status updates. However, Facebook has now integrated both search- and site-level data.

Behavioral Targeting

Although behavioral targeting also focuses on building audiences, the main difference between behavioral targeting and social and search retargeting is the data it uses to identify those audiences. Behavioral targeting is less about fact, and more about inference, with the effect that marketers may be less likely to reach “qualified” customers.

The common thread with different types of ad targeting is data, not whether or not they are technically considered “retargeting.” Read the full article here: What Exactly Is Meant by “Retargeting”?

James Green to Lead Digital Discussions

Magnetic CEO James Green to Lead Digital Discussions This Spring
Topics Cover Attribution, Search Retargeting, the Facebook Exchange and Big Data

Search retargeting leader Magnetic announced today that James Green, the company’s CEO will be moderating panels at several upcoming marketing industry events. Green will speak to a multitude of topics during each session, including how the Facebook Exchange (FBX) affects real-time bidding (RTB), attribution and media measurement, and big data.

Upcoming events include:

OMMA RTB: Real-Time Buying (March 18; San Francisco, CA)

Panel: Facebook’s FBX: The Year Zero View

At this event, James Green will moderate a panel featuring Christina Beaumier, Vice President, Global Client Development, Xaxis, Adam Berke, President, AdRoll, Brian Quinn, Senior Director, Advertising Partnerships, Kenshoo and John Tuchtenhagen, VP, Group Director, Media, Digitas. The speakers will discuss the Facebook Exchange (FBX), including the challenges and opportunities it has brought to RTB and marketers.

The panel can be viewed live on Monday, March 18 at 11:30 a.m.PST by visiting the following website:

The Attribution Revolution (March 20; Chicago, IL)

This event will provide a deep dive into the probing questions that surround media measurement in today’s digital age, covering accurate measurement across marketing strategies from site and search retargeting to social and offline. Moderated by James Green, the panel will feature Jeremy King, Senior Product Manager for Analytics at Adobe, Paul Pellman, CEO of Adometry, Jeff Greenfield, COO & Co-Founder of C3 Metrics and Stefan Schnabl, Product Manager, Google.

MediaPost Search Insider Summit (April 28-May 1; Amelia Island, FL)

Panel: Marketing Experimentation: From Big Data to Big Testing

James will serve as the moderator for a discussion surrounding big data, and how insights are used for multi-channel marketing campaigns. Additional details are pending.


The Truth About Big Data

In today’s increasingly data-driven world, it’s interesting that there remain a number of misconceptions and hesitations surrounding big data. The most significant misconception is that many marketers refer to big data as a thing when it is simply a trend. While some marketers are wary of it, others are excited and ready to use the insights that big data can offer.

It’s not far off to say that big data has forever changed the advertising industry. Data touches every channel – TV, social, mobile, video, display, search and so on. And as it’s produced on an ongoing basis, marketers should look to big data to help to determine what a target demographic cares about, as well as how to use data across channels.

Using Data Across Channels

Aaron Fetters, director of insights and analytics solutions at Kellogg, recently stated “The digital strategy group uses the data to figure out how social media should play a role with Kellogg’s other digital touch-points.” Fetters’ comment shows that knowing what data to use is critical. In this case, the Kellogg team seems to focus on how information derived from social media can influence other digital channels.

The ability to track everything down to an individual, product, sale and behavior is something that was not available prior to the growth of big data. However, the one thing we all must realize is that you don’t necessarily need to track everything. Today, marketers need to focus on what data matters to your own brand and business. Relying too much on data is never a good thing.

Ad Targeting Fail

For example, a Notre Dame fan recently visited the sports site to read up on the hard loss of the national title. Upon his visit, he was welcomed by ads for Alabama featuring, “Congrats Alabama State Champs.” As he clicked through the adchoices icon, he found that Google was behind the ad targeting.

In this case, there was too much reliance on automation and data, and therefore, the information was not mined correctly. Sure, the content of the page included Alabama and Notre Dame, and the user probably was identified as a football fan and may have even searched for information about football. But, in the end, thanks to relying solely on data and machines, the Alabama ad was targeted to a Notre Dame fan on a Notre Dame site-specific page.

The key takeaway here is that we don’t want to end up relying on data for all decisions and great ideas. The human eye and big ideas are still needed today, and sometimes, they can’t be driven by data alone.

Data For Optimization

At the end of day, the main use of the data is to help marketers to identity what is working and what isn’t worth dedicating a marketing budget to moving forward. Data help adjust, refine and optimize campaigns and complete strategies in a way that benefits both the brands and the consumers. These benefits help foster a deeper relationship between the advertiser and their audiences.

When it comes to search retargeting, big data is a major part of how retargeters reach their target consumer. From keyword lists to word optimization and creative, search retargeting uses tremendous amounts of big data to first identify a brand’s target audience and then determine where the audience is located across the Web. As a result, the best ads are served to the right audiences at the correct time.

Marketers are sitting on a gold mine of information that’s just waiting to be unearthed. The amount of data we have access to is going to grow exponentially for the foreseeable future. Use it or lose.

Originally published in Marketing Land on 1/21/2013


The Most Common Misconception of 2012: Display Looks Like Search

The most common misconception over the past year has been the commonly heard statement,display looks like search. While we have all heard this a number of times (albeit it might be partially true) it’s largely based on one main factor: the rise of the auction-based marketplace in display.

However, there are a number of reasons why I see this reason as misleading… read on:

Display Is About Audiences & Reach

The growth of ad targeting has actually led to display becoming more audience-driven than ever before. Behavioral advertising and search retargeting both focus on mid to upper funnel activities where brands use display ads to move the customer into the purchase funnel, as well as help them through it.

In search, advertisers have better precision but limited reach. Another key difference is that bidding is based on keywords vs. audiences that are derived from search activity and online behaviors, psychographics, etc.

Real-Time Media Does Not Equate To Direct Response

The concept of delivering the right ad, to the right person at the right time exists in both search and display. However, it is the response of the real-time ad that differs.

Search represents a clearly defined direct response channel. A user searches, immediately receives an ad related to their search query and is expected to take action.

In display, and more specifically in data-driven display advertising, a user is targeted with a display ad based on audience information. They may not take action by visiting a website or inquiring for more information right away; but, days later, or even weeks later, they might do so.

Within that time, other display ads are shown. This type of real-time media is about sequencing, frequency caps and influencing the consumers during the consideration phase.

In display, reaching consumers at the optimal time is relies heavily on the combination of creative, media and even data optimization.

Display & Search Are Held To Different Metrics

Simply putdisplay is not search and shouldn’t be measured by the same click-based yardstick. Search marketing is a complex topic, and has developed into a rigorous discipline. Keyword search marketing is very similar to the yellow pages ads. In the ’70s, if you wanted to find a business, everyone searched in the Yellow Pages.

Display does not rely on metrics as simple and straightforward as a click. Display may actually be the most measurable channel today when you consider the various touch points available to marketers. First, there is reach. After all, display campaign are generally bought on impressions and focused on maximizing exposure (targeted or not).

Next, there is engagement. The creative opportunities in display lend itself to additional metrics. On the other hand, some display campaigns may look at site visits – what ads are contributing to site conversion and even conversions and ROI.

The point is, metrics for display differ from advertiser to advertiser and by campaign to campaign. It’s about aligning campaign goals with the actual metrics used.

Even if a retailer is looking to sell products, one display ad is most likely not going to be 100% responsible for the sale.

Buying Keywords In Search Differs From Keyword-Level Display Advertising

Search retargeting is not search. The concept of search retargeting is a display strategy. The usage of keywords even differs.

In display, you are buying inventory based on audiences that have been targeted based on search history. In search, you are bidding on keywords.

Let me explain the fundamental differences here. First, in search advertising you are using a keyword list and bidding on selected words. In display, you are paying by CPM and expanding your reach by targeting audiences that may have not only searched for that one word, but also other related words or categories.

Second, in display you are able to reach consumers much earlier in the funnel because you are utilizing search terms from across multiple types of search entities – not just search engines. Most often, search retargeting is used as a pure display strategy, but there are times when search teams leverage it for search extension.

Display might have more search-like characteristics than ever before, but display is a different breed entirely. Audience reach, awareness and different metrics are all proof points that these channels equate to different strategies.

Let’s put the idea of display looking like search to bed in 2012, and instead, open up to how various channels can work hand-in-hand in 2013.


Article originally published in Search Engine Land

Targeted Advertising: Gaining Ground For Branding Campaigns

To date, branding has often been associated with billboards, magazine spreads and million-dollar TV spots. In online advertising, this translates to large media buys with premium publishers, including spots such as site sponsorships and homepage takeovers.

However, where do data and ad targeting fit into the branding equation? Is there a place for branding campaigns within the world of ad targeting and real-time media buying? The answer is yes.

Large brands such as Proctor & Gamble (P&G) and Unilever have already commented publicly about moving brand dollars to digital — crediting their shift in ad spend to the cost savings and ability to have more 1:1 conversations with target consumers.

Other brands, both large and small, will likely follow suit and spend more of their advertising budgets on digital. We have already started to see this trend come alive in search retargeting — especially as more brands begin to couple data with more engaging ad formats, such as rich media and online video.

The truth is, branding campaigns have an opportunity to tap into digital channels and take advantage of the data revolution, which we typically refer to as “targeted awareness.”

Let’s first begin by clearly defining the online world of branding, targeted awareness and direct response:

There are two distinct catalysts for brands choosing to integrate ad targeting into their online advertising strategy:

  1. Data: The rise of data has created an opportunity for marketers to couple data and media together. With an improved access to data, brands can now leverage search retargeting and behavioral ad targeting for their branding campaigns.
  2. Digital Innovation: The innovation behind digital display allows brands to reach consumers with high-impact advertising in real time. This includes the integration of online video, rich media and interactive ad formats with data intelligence.

How To Tame Targeted Advertising For A Brand Campaign

So, how can advertisers leverage targeted awareness for their branding campaigns? Targeted awareness is all about using data to complement branding initiatives.

For starters, there is a lot of content being consumed beyond the large publishers. With this in mind, when brands purchase site buys or sponsorships, it’s imperative that they also immediately consider ways to amplify their reach.

For example, a brand may choose to align with for sporting content. However, the same consumers who read and visit may also be found cruising sites such as, or

To extend the scale beyond what a single publisher can offer, brands should consider purchasing access to audiences through ad exchanges in real-time. Doing so allows brands to reach and target consumers throughout their experiences across a multitude of publisher channels, and at a lower price.

Let’s take our example one step further and consider that Under Armour is running a large ad buy on To augment their reach, Under Armour should consider additional ways to increase its media exposure amongst relevant audiences.

By leveraging data, Under Armour could target consumers who have previously searched for sports-related keywords or who have indicated interest in key categories such as sports and fitness.

One way to accomplish this strategy would be to purchase audiences and ad placements on remnant inventory via the ad exchanges. Such ads might be video, standard banners or rich media — and could re-direct consumers to Under Armour’s larger media buy on or to a specific landing page for the brand.

Measuring Branding Success

Another key component to consider when running a targeted awareness campaign is measurement. Measurement for branding campaigns might be based on clicks, driving new traffic to the brand’s website, site activity or ad engagement.

Before testing targeted awareness, marketers must define their goals and work with their partner on the best targeting strategy for the campaign. A great way to test if a campaign has performed well in the targeted awareness bucket is to conduct a short-term brand study, through which you are able to measure brand lift. Companies like Vizu and comScore are great partners to consider for brand studies.

Ultimately, times are changing and brands now have many more options when moving ad dollars to digital. Ad targeting, real-time media buying and data are no longer just for performance campaigns — brands do have a place within the targeting arena.

With this in mind, consider how ad targeting can magnify your brand’s exposure and strengthen reach amongst relevant audiences for your next branding campaign.


Article originally published on Marketing Land on 8/6/12