4 New Year’s Resolutions Every Digital Marketer Can’t Live Without

Over the last 6 months in this column we have looked at all aspects of the overlap between search and display, from why search marketers could take over the world media budgets of the future, to advanced methods for retargeting and simple alternatives to attribution modeling.

So to round out the year, we revisit the key learnings and outline the New Year’s Resolutions that all ‘media’ professionals should be focused on to drive significantly increased performance in 2012.

Resolution #1: Join ‘Media Anonymous’

The first step to solving your problem is admitting you have a problem!

In November we asked media professionals from iCrossing, ethology, AKQA and Booyah to give their perspective on the overlap between search and display – the shared opinion is that the overlap is real, it can be quantified and you are missing opportunities if you don’t take advantage of it.

“My name is Dax and I admit that search and display must be planned together”

Key messages:

  • 1+1= something more than 2
  • The benefit of planning search and display together comes from being present during an extended research phase and by keeping individuals on your own site and away from your competitor’s
  • A marketer should plan in advance how to measure the overlap as it is not a simple process
  • The benefit can be measured by looking at the CTR of search, the overall program CPA, the quantity of brand searches and the engagement rate on your site after exposure

Resolution #2 – Learn Something New

When marketers hear the term ‘retargeting’ they typically assume ‘site retargeting’, the idea of targeting ads to people who have visited their site, but abandoned the process before completing a desired action.

In September we brought you the concept of retargeting off-site events too – specifically search actions, social connections, content consumption and more, and we broke these 7 tactics down in a handy infographic.

The fastest growing, and best performing, of these tactics is search retargeting, a tactic that itself barely existed just 18 months ago, but is now already on version 3.0 and continuing to be at the front of digital media innovation.

Key learnings:

  • Understand that retargeting is about more actions than just a site visit
  • Add site and search retargeting to your marketing program as an evergreen tactic
  • Understand that site retargeting is a conversion optimization tool – it is not an acquisition tool
  • Search Retargeting should be bought at the keyword level, utilize tools like dynamic creative and shiuld be bought on a dCPM like search for maximum campaign efficiency

Resolution #3 – Cut The Fat From Your Retargeting

Few marketers would disagree that retargeting should be part of every digital marketing program in 2012, but so often a retargeting program is over simplified, resulting in a high percentage of wasted impressions.

In September, we looked at some simple ways you can cut this fat from your retargeting and maximize the efficiency.

  • Set a frequency cap of impressions – I don’t want my browser to be saturated with your brand until next Christmas
  • Remove convertors from your targeting pool if they are unlikely to covert again – if I just signed up for your credit card offer, am I really likely to do it again?
  • Exclude irrelevant individuals – if I was browsing your careers page, chances are I am not looking to buy your product too
  • Google is not the be all and end all of retargeting – many companies (like Chango) have inventory that stretches far beyond the reaches of Google and provide more advanced technique like Search Retargeting that Google does not offer

Remember, the more wastage you trim from your spend, the higher your ROI will go from the same amount of effort.

Resolution #4: Stick To Your Resolutions

Defining a good New Year’s Resolution always includes a goal – ‘lose 10 pounds’, ‘earn $10k more’, ‘get promoted by summer’, ‘see family more often’ etc.

If you are going to follow our media resolutions then you need a measurement framework to see just how well you are doing throughout the year. But in August we discussed how hard this can be to get ‘right’ and provided 3 simple methods for measurements over something complex like an attribution model.

  • The media overlap report allows you to answer the common question of whether your display investment is really incremental over your search spend
  • The PSA test demystifies the world of post-impression (view-thru) revenue and gives you a simple percentage by which to factor your results

With such techniques, measurement doesn’t have to be as complicated as it first seems.


By following these simple resolutions you will have a more efficient media program, be using cutting edge techniques AND be able to prove just how great you are as a new breed of integrated marketer!

As 2011 seemed to come and go in the blink of an eye, and I am convinced media years are a bit like dog years, with a current estimate of 5 media company years to every standard year! A lot has happened in a short space of time and the pace is only going to increase before it slows – but that’s why we do what we do right?

Next year is likely to bring many more changes, including a move beyond the framework of the browser, more data/media division and consolidation in all parts of the industry, but that’s a topic for next month :)

In the mean time, thank you for reading this column for the last 6 months, have a fantastic holiday season, and a very Happy New Year. See you on the flip.

Stock image used under license from Shutterstock.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Display | Search & Display


About The Author: is the Chief Strategy Officer at Chango, the solution to programmatic marketing and "big data", and is based in San Francisco and London. You can follow him on Twitter @DaxHamman.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter


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