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  • NorCalSEM 8:16 am on July 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , bid managment, , display, , , interface, microsoft adcenter, mobile, , , search, , yahoo bing alliance   

    i bing. you bing? 

    Let’s face it, in search, Google is King.  And they have been for a while.  But finally, after Yahoo and Bing struck a deal to work together last year, a Queen has been crowned in search engine land.  Microsoft AdCenter is now a viable play for every serious search marketer and a great way to increase a brand’s share of voice across the web.  But it wasn’t always so.  For years search marketers paid less attention to advertising on (now)Bing and Yahoo than they did on Google’s AdWords.  Usually, marketers who could meet their traffic needs with Google alone would skip Yahoo and Bing.  Clunky UI’s, inept editing tools and small market shares just made the time spent outside of Google AdWords not worth the effort for some. If this is you, it might be time to give things a closer look.  You might just find that Bing is better than ever.

    i bing. you bing?

    Here are some of the reasons why:

    • Larger Market Share

    AdCenter now reaches nearly 30% of all web searchers.  With numbers like that it’s important for marketers to have a strong presence for their brands on Bing and Yahoo.  And remember marketers, not everybody is using Chrome and Firefox like you are.  Yahoo and Bing especially, benefit from being default search engines in web browsers, tool bars, and mobile devices all bundled on the latest laptops through Office and Windows.

    • Greater Control

    The alliance between Bing and Yahoo gives marketers a chance to manage both networks now through one UI, Microsoft AdCenter.  This helps marketers by reducing resources previously used across three separate networks.  With AdCenter, the functionality has been updated to make working in the UI easier than ever before.  Microsoft does offer an offline editing tool, AdCenter Desktop, but larger campaign managers may find this tool’s power, or lack thereof, a bit frustrating.  I’d love to see this upgraded to the quality of Google’s AdWords Editor.  I think this is the Achilles heel at the moment for this network.

    • Quality

    Like Google, AdCenter has implemented a quality score rating.  Where Google uses a scale of 1-10, AdCenter uses a 1-3 rating system.  The basic premise is the same, provide the user with a quality experience, including ad copy and landing page relevancy, load times, and various other factors.  It’s now more important than ever to start campaigns off right and watch them closely while new keywords and ads establish themselves in the network.

    • Mobile

    Device usage is huge and, according to most blogs out there, web searches on mobile devices should be eclipsing web searches on computers any day now.  It’s important to maximize the growing market share AdCenter offers on mobile devices. Bing offers the ability to target smartphones, as well as feature phones.  Tablets and other devices are part of the regular search option for now.  Smart marketers should segment their campaigns for even greater control and flexibility.  Here’s an example from an online retailer advertising on AdCenter’s mobile networks:


    • Display

    While both networks have aligned on search, which runs through AdCenter, Yahoo and Bing still compete for business in display.  Yahoo display is more robust than Bing, but both offer you a chance to target the entire network or select specific categories or domains.  Good marketers understand the value display can add to the overall marketing mix.  Display ads help increase brand awareness and drive users to search for your brand.  If users don’t click on your display you don’t pay.  If you look at it as really cheap impressions, it’s essentially free marketing.  Why wouldn’t you do it?

    • Good Service

    I think for the most part, the service is pretty good at YaBing, especially the Yahoo rep I’ve worked with for the last several years.  Because of the clunky UI and unpopular editing tools, I rely on the network reps to handle large tasks for me.  Save your own resources for things that are more important to your brand, like your overall strategy and subsequent micro-strategies.  Push those large uploads and bulk edit tasks to your reps, that’s what they’re there for.

    If you’re not extending and maximizing your brand’s digital footprint, then what are you doing?  If you’re not using AdCenter, now is a great time to start doing so.  Take advantage of the increased market share and traffic quality that AdCenter offers now, segment your campaigns by devices for greater clarity and control, and branch out beyond just search into mobile and display.  Your reps will be happy for the business and your brand will thank you for the exposure.


  • NorCalSEM 6:34 pm on June 3, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cell phone, , , google mobile apps, google search, mobile, , mobile search, phone   

    Google Search Bar on Your Mobile Phone 

    So continuing on a bit further down the mobile road I was cruising on in my last post….I recently downloaded the Google Apps that are available for mobile to my phone. One of the features that I have been using a little is the Google search bar that now sits right in the middle of the home screen on my phone. This makes accessing Google super easy and takes out the annoying steps of connecting to your internet, waiting for your carrier’s boxed environment home page to load, then selecting favorites and going to Google. It even makes it easier than connecting to the internet on a phone with Google set as the home page. You just type in your search and click select on your phone’s keypad and you are instantly taken to a Google (mobile format) SERP (search engine results page). This is a phenomenal application for solving that argument you might have in the cab with your buddy about whether that was Tom Sizemore in that movie you saw last night or Mickey Rourke. It works well on local searches it too, so typing in pizza on your way home could pay off really well for you. (for local search, I have been more impressed lately with MSN’s Live Search for mobile – more on that in another post). But Google knows that the mobile medium is/will be huge and that is why these mobile apps have graduated from the lab in mountain view and are now available to the general public. By getting that Google search bar on my phone’s home screen I bet I shave at least 10sec. of my mobile search time. That almost makes up for the time it takes me to dig the phone out of my pants pocket. At least I’m breaking even!

  • NorCalSEM 1:15 am on June 1, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: mobile, mobile communications, , mobitv, moto Q9c, sprint speed, sprint tv, windows mobile   

    Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger. How about Cheaper?! 

    So, for a while now, I have been extremely geeked up on mobile and all the possibilities that it holds.  I’ve been in several phones, and now reside inside a sleek MotoQ9C.  It runs on Windows Mobile, which is decent in usability and I have Sprint, so SprintSpeed is how I roll!  It works really well.  Even when I’m watching Sprint TV during a commute or while walking the dog, the data speeds have come so far. 

    It seems like just yesterday (but actually is 2 years ago give or take) that I downloaded MobiTv, located over in Emeryville, CA, and was using a Palm Treo at the time.  I liked the idea of getting small chunks of different programing, but the data speeds were slow and the resolution spotty.  With SprintSpeed, you get some real nice transfer speeds, I think Sprint TV is the old MobiTV anyways, but the point is the data speeds are faster now.  If I’m watching the NFL Network, where there is a lot of fast moving action, it can be a bit wonky, but with a nice fixed image, such as; John Stewart or Joel McHale’s weekly tv roundup, The Soup, it can be a nice way to spend a few minutes.  Plus with CNN, I can put the phone in my pocket and listen to the news cycle through on my bluetooth while I’m walking Miles Davis.  I mean, who needs to watch the talking heads anyways?  Plus it leaves my hands free to pick up dog crap. 

    Mobile remains a new frontier for advertisers because right now the consumer shoulders the entire financial burden of the medium.  The consumer pays for everything; the data, the applications, the service, and the hardware.  Once these variables find subsidization, possibly through ads, it will truly launch mobile computing and mobile communications to the next level. 

    Two of the two largest barriers to advancing mobile right now with the consumer are the handsets and the data plans.  For starters, most companies have expensive data plans.  Some charge you minutes while online, some charge by the data usage, and a variety of other things.  For the most part, the data plans just aren’t low enough yet to crack the masses.  

    Another big hurdle to mass adoption of mobile services and data access is the high prices of the handsets.  I mean, why are we even paying for these things?  The ones they give you for free don’t do a whole lot, other than text, and I guess that is enough for most consumers at this point.  Although I have seen smartphones, such as the Palm Centro, down at the $99 rate, most are expensive (iPhone) and cost prohibitive to the average consumer.  The price of phones and data plans are just two problems with the advancement of the mobile marketing industry, albeit two of the most basic and important.  I don’t see this lasting too long, though. 

    At some point in the next couple of years I would expect to see smart phones become the new flip phone and come free with service.   And data plans should follow suit and become better, faster, and more affordable.  Sprint is already offering an all inclusive user package, which includes unlimitied text, talk time, data usage, and email for a flat $99 a month.  I use my phone for almost everything (more on this in another post) so for a savvy power user this is pretty acceptable, but for the average user this is not yet a justified use of discretionary income.  It’s certainly a step in the right direction though and I applaud Sprint’s CEO for pushing this excellently marketed campaign to market.  This should help to stimulate competition from other carriers for cheaper usage packages.  It won’t be long until that $99 access package is down to $49 and those data plans carry HD quality streaming video and audio directly to your handset wherever you are.  Better, Faster, Stronger…and Cheaper!  Now mobile is ready for the masses. 

    Advertisers and Marketers!….Start your engines!

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