Ad Serving Media Planning & Buying

School's Out for Summer. Get Back-to-School (shopping!)

Posted by Michael Froggatt on July 2nd, 2013 at 1:13 pm

School’s out, and if you’re like me, this time of year makes me want to relive the opening scenes of Fast Times at Ridgemont High, with kids literally running into the streets for a breath of fresh air and the joy of unsupervised freedom.

In reality, while Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out” rocks through my head in June and July, I’m sweating on my way to the subway in pants.

In the digital advertising space, even though some of us are lucky enough to have summer Fridays, the job doesn’t really slow down. There are campaigns to plan - especially for our US retail, apparel and electronics clients, which get a big sales boost during back-to-school season. After all, in a short time parents will be shopping for everything kids will need for school, from Snack Pack pudding to new clothes. The smart marketer prepares their campaigns while the family is at the beach.

To help that marketer put more oomph towards their digital campaigns, I compiled stats on several back to school campaigns that ran on the DG MediaMind platform during summer 2012. We found that rich media boosted CTR over standard banners by 70% and was slightly higher than the US 2012 benchmark in both CTR and dwell rate.

When I dug a little deeper and looked at one particularly successful apparel campaign, frequency was a huge indicator of success. Interaction rate and CTR dropped significantly after the first exposure, indicating that parents lost interest after seeing the first impression. The drop for both was near identical.

In the above example, roughly 64% of the impressions delivered were in that first exposure, while the long tail (2+ exposures) accounted for the other 36%. Dynamic creative optimization is one way advertisers can maintain effectiveness for those subsequent impressions.

Dynamic creative tools can help retailers stand above the crowd, hold parents’ interest and remain competitive in a crowded field. I spoke with Jaime Singson, DG’s Director of Product Marketing for our DCO tool, and he shared some easy to apply tips to help maximize the use of DCO in your campaigns:

Build your Retargeting Pools Early. Parents start ramping up their back-to-school shopping in mid-July. You don’t want to wait until then to start building your retargeting pools

Use the Info Browsers Tell You About Themselves. One parent is shopping for his 8-yr. old son. Another is shopping for her tween. One might be browsing laptops. Another might be looking at new handsets. Fortunately, visitors to your website reveal a lot about themselves when shopping. Personalize your ad to showcase the most relevant category for each buyer.

Don’t Forget Local Sensibilities. If you’re selling to a wide geography, what’s hot may be affected by local sensibilities. That’s going to be a pain to keep track of manually. Leverage an optimization solution to promote popular products for each market.

Showcase Popular Products. If you’re an apparel or gadget vendor, you’ll not just have one popular item, but lots of them. Plus, you may sell out on some of them. Showcase diverse products to keep your ads fresh and only the ones still in stock.

Be More Agile than your Competition. You’ll need to be reactive to your competitors’ discounts and coupons. Dynamic creative can let you react quickly to add a last-minute limited-time coupon promotion to spur short bursts of demand.

Always Deep-Link. Don’t ship every parent to your homepage. You’ve created tailored images for each buyer in your ad, so finish the job by dropping them off in the right category on your site – ‘tween clothing, electronics, etc.

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