Online “ad versioning” has taken on heightened significance as national and regional brands vie for their own piece of the sizable local advertising pie. However, as SEM becomes more sophisticated and consumers expect smart targeting from commercial messages, basic metro-level campaigns often don’t suffice. Kenshoo realizes that and is implementing its Conversion Attribution Modeling platform with national clients to allow them to effectively build out hundreds of search campaigns targeted to specific store locations.
Kenshoo’s director of product marketing, Ariel Rosenstein, told BIA/Kelsey that for retailers and other businesses with diverse geographical locations, consumers are in different “life cycle” stages (awareness, consideration, intent, purchase), meaning that keywords resonate differently based on a buyer’s position in the purchase funnel. If these distinctions are not accounted for, then the unwanted result can be the misallocation of online budgets to keywords that are not optimizing. Generally, this plays out with a business overvaluing the last click prior to purchase while discounting other keywords that may have been essential in driving the ultimate conversion.
Kenshoo’s Real Time Tracking mechanism gives large-scale businesses running multiple, simultaneous campaigns a location-specific window into where clicks are originating from and where they’re leading. Based on how this behavioral pattern points to conversion, combined with the goals of the client, a national-local franchise can apply weight attributions to decipher which keywords are most effective in driving purchases. Campaigns can then be modified to accentuate powerful keywords and redirect away from less effective ones.
For instance, if a business is courting initial customers, it may choose to place additional weight on early clicks that introduce potential buyers to a brand. Meanwhile, time-sensitive campaigns can invoke time decay attribution so that more recent clicks receive more value.
Rosenstein showcased Kenshoo client Extra Space Storage as an example of the importance of attribution weighting to understanding the unique, and often segmented, behavioral and buying patterns of a customer base. Notably, nearly 25 percent of ESS’ conversions included “some geographic term, yet they were running general campaigns. They needed to add local keywords.” Additionally, almost one-third of conversions had “a brand keyword in the path,” making it important to shift away from “prefer last” keyword attribution to more balanced models that accounted for the importance of brand awareness. And in some geographic areas, conversions occur more quickly than in others.
The next game changer for national-local brands is social media, which plays a dynamic role in the customer life cycle and has heavy cross-over with search. Kenshoo is already using Facebook’s API to attribute conversions from social channels. Its next, more ambitious step is to build out a full social ad campaign management tool, currently in beta.