The number of consumers online is increasing at a phenomenal rate - internet usage is higher than ever and mobile is a significant contributor. This has given brands and advertisers more opportunities to reach consumers more often but, at the same time, the digital landscape is becoming increasingly complex.
Up until recently, site designs reflected marketers assumptions about online consumers - that consumers would visit their website, and spend most of their time to browsing, or research products across multiple page views. Their website design offered a variety of promotions and category pages that were all merchandised just like a store.
However, consumer behaviour has shifted from sessions to spurts - the average website time per visit is declining, but the number of visits per user has increased. As a result, marketers today are no longer dealing with a captive visitor. Instead, they have to deliver utility for consumers in the brief moments when they are of engaged and these moments together, across multiple devices, will add up to the sale.
This shift in behaviour means that there has been an explosion in the sheer amount of data at our fingertips, and understandably many companies continue to fall short when it comes to measuring, analysing and acting on it and, as a result, they’re missing a trick.
Marketers face four key challenges in adapting to a multi-screen world. First off marketers need a complete view of the customer journey, so they can understand what path led to purchase, currently 84% of marketers don’t believe that their data sources are integrated.
Secondly once this data is gathered marketers need to be able gain insights rather than just more data. Thirdly these insights need to be easy to share, within large organisations collaboration is still very hard. In fact 57% of marketers find it difficult to give stakeholders in different functions access to their data and insights.
Finally they need these insights to be delivering a better experience for customers. If someone comes to your site because they're searching for running shoes and you show them boots instead, that's not a great customer experience. Today, data in systems have become siloed and custom integrations are laborious, time consuming and often times never really work well enough.
Enterprise analytics solutions such as Google Analytics 360 Suite are built to address these challenges and allow marketers to get a more complete view of consumer journeys across extensive channels. These consumer journeys can be fully contextualised instead of only analysing a session, or a single device. It is designed to deliver more insights - not data.
But to serve a truly personalised and relevant ad that will engage and convert a prospective customer, insights and analytics are only the first step. To put all of these data points into action and take advantage of a host of available variables, marketers will increasingly need to rely on automation.
Dynamic Search Ads that automatically tailor themselves to queries can help you be there for your customers in every moment that matters to them, while AdWords can help you push your investment further with true auction-time bidding. AdWords’ automated bidding systems analyse a rich set of signals in real time, covering time of day, operating system, remarketing status, browser types and many more, calculating the conversion probability of each and every query and ensuring that the most effective and efficient bid is made every time.
For example, Trivago, one of the world’s largest platforms for hotel searches, used Dynamic Search Ads to capture a broad spectrum of new query opportunities at scale. When travelers search for “what are the best hotels in new york city” they expect an answer that’s just as descriptive. Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) helped automatically generated longer, more relevant ad headlines for the company’s ads based on a person’s specific search. In emerging markets, the campaigns delivered up to 140% higher click-through rates on ads campaigns compared to regular search ads for the same keywords.
Ultimately, automation isn’t about handing over the keys to the kingdom to a black box - it’s about algorithms handling the precise, finicky stuff, at a speed and precision no human can match, freeing marketers up to focus on strategy, planning and, most importantly, results.