Philip Chan
Aug 30, 2012

Five things you can do to achieve measurable advertising results in challenging times

Philip Chan, general manager of Google Hong Kong, shares advice on effective advertising with measurable results in challenging economic times.

Philip Chan, general manager of Google Hong Kong
Philip Chan, general manager of Google Hong Kong

1. If you can't measure it, don't risk it

With the Internet we’re seeing a democratization of data, where information is available instantly and easily to everyone who needs access to it. The average shopper today uses more than 10 sources before making a purchase decision. People are interacting with brands across the web—browsing websites, using social media, watching videos, and searching on their smartphone. In order to create truly relevant and meaningful experiences for customers, marketers need to get a 360-degree view of how customers interact with their brand across different channels.

Analytics helps businesses and marketers make sense of their data so they can better understand and act on their customers' interactions throughout the web and across devices.

Search advertising has always been highly measurable, and this measurability extends into display, mobile and video—even into offline sales. Our experience is that businesses may allocate experimental budgets to new areas, but they invest serious money only when they can measure the results.

New analytics tools can help advertisers better measure their ROI, whether their goals are online conversions or brand lift, and the ability to compare offline and online metrics.

2. Make video more relevant

Bringing the power of sight, sound, and motion to a global audience, video advertising—led by the proliferation of online video—helps content providers and marketers earn revenue and build their brands. In our experience, we are seeing that viewers are four times more likely to engage with a brand by visiting their website or performing a search for the brand, on the online video platform.

Since advertising was first invented, advertisers have tried every trick in the book to get people to pay attention to their ads. Think big flashing LED billboards, ear-splitting TV commercial breaks, and “advertorial” disguised to look like content in magazines.

Advertisers should only pay for truly engaged viewers and people should only have to watch video ads if they want to. We’ve shown that the trick to getting people to pay attention to video advertising is not to force them to sit through it—the secret is to give them the option to skip it entirely.

For example, a new type of ad on YouTube, called TrueView, lets viewers decide whether they want to continue watching the ad or go straight to the video. Meanwhile, advertisers only pay when someone watches the full ad.

3. Go mobile for laser-sharp targeting

Mobile is one of the fastest growing advertising platforms. As mobile usage continues to explode, businesses increasingly need to adapt their marketing strategies to mobile platforms and mobile-specific consumer trends. It offers unique opportunities to connect with consumers—from creative tablet formats to location-based, click-to-call ads. As smartphone adoption has continued to grow around the world, we’ve seen an increasingly strong appetite to engage customers on mobile devices.

With new mobile solutions such as Click-to-call, a clickable phone number right in your mobile ad, it becomes easier for customers to connect directly to your business. Businesses can also impact offline sales with location-based ads that target customers who are looking for local businesses and show them relevant info such as the business’ phone number and address.

With mobile advertising, it is easy to target users by demographic, interest and behavior, what device they have, which network they’re on and with keywords. You can also target users who have visited your website before.

4. Translate online to offline

Tracking conversions is helpful for your business if you're trying to connect your ads and keywords to your business goals and boost your return on investment (ROI). Maybe you want people to view a particular page more, or you'd like more purchases.

Conversion tracking can show you which keywords are helping you meet those specific goals by connecting them to actions. Not all keywords are equal. But if you know which keywords bring you the most business and which ones don't, you can make smarter investments in those keywords and avoid the unhelpful ones altogether.

If you'd like to spot the hardest workers among your cast of ads and keywords, conversion tracking can help you. Conversion tracking can show you what happens after a customer clicks on your ads—whether they purchased your product, signed up for your newsletter, or filled out a form to receive more information.

By tracking conversions, you'll know which ads, keywords and campaigns bring you business. These insights help you invest more wisely in the best ones and, ultimately, boost your ROI.

5. Leverage real-life connections

Word of mouth is powerful. When you need to make purchasing choices, it’s not unusual to turn to the people you trust. Sometimes, it is as easy as getting a suggestion from a friend or co-worker face to face. And oftentimes, you do it online as well. By combining online marketing efforts with social media, businesses can have real conversations with their customers, and people can easily recommend their favorite brands and ads to their friends.

Social networks are evolving to include options to allow users to recommend the content they like on the web to their friends and contacts right when it’s most useful. Social-enabled ad campaigns find relevance through relationships on the web. It’s about making your search campaigns more personal, relevant and compelling.

Incorporating personal recommendations into display ads has the potential to change the way people view advertising. A display ad becomes much more powerful when people can see which of their friends and contacts have chosen to endorse it.

Campaign China

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