What Bidtellectuals Are Thankful For This Year

What Bidtellectuals Are Thankful For This Year

Does it seem like Thanksgiving really snuck up on us this year? What a whirlwind! But that doesn’t mean we didn’t take a moment to reflect on what we are thankful for. While it seems like the world is moving at lightening speed – especially in our industry – it’s important to take note of what’s right in front of you. Below, some Bidtellectuals chime in with what they are most thankful for this year. We hope these make you smile!

What Are You Grateful For This Year?

“Thankful for having a great family, an awesome dog and loving what Bidtellect does for our clients.”

– John Szumowski, Southeast Sales Director

“Developing relationships with clients and supporting their respective initiatives.”

– Nick Herbst, Platform Solutions Analyst

“All of our customers, all of our partners – and Bidtellectuals everywhere!​”

– Lon Otremba, CEO

“Taco Tuesdays, hot sauces, great weather, family & friends and [b]+studio (duh!)”

– Yeni Gordillo, Sr. Creative Marketing Manager

“My family are still very close, even though we live in many different states.​”

– Karl Hentschel, Director of Quality

“My wife, awesome UI/UX team, and my dog​.”

– Mitchell Enfield, Junior UI/UX Developer

“Thankful for my family, coffee, my peleton, and to be able to have a part in building an amazing company.”

– Craig Aron, SVP, Growth and Strategic Business Development

“I am thankful for being a part of one of the best companies in ad tech.”

– Bobby Niebler, Director of Platform Solutions

“Jesus; my family and my friends.”

– Mike Feeley, VP Supply Partnerships

“Our clients, awesome team of people at Bidtellect, my family and friends.”

– Terah Bocchi, VP of Sales

“Fermented grapes, amazing son and awesome work family.”

– Missy Steiner, VP of Marketing

“When clients get what we do and create amazing content for their brand.”

– John Ferber, CSO

“I am grateful for my little family, beer and awesome food!”

– Tim Chidsey, Quality Engineer

“My Family, Friends, doing what I love every day!​”

– Lane Johnson, Regional Director of Sales – Central

“God, Wife, Family, Friends,Team, Bidtellect and living in FL, USA.”

– Jason Boshoff, COO

“California Sunshine, Family, and Bidtellect being super.”

– Jonno Burden, West Coast Sales Director

“Working with people I love.”

– TJ Kryzanowski, Director of Account Management – East

“Family and friends, my two puppies….and that it’s almost officially “acceptable” to listen to Christmas music!”

– Katie Broussard, Account Strategist

“Friends and family that I always want to be around, a great job, and not a lot to stress about!”

– Kendra Wilson, Director of Sales – Central

“Family, friends, good health, my cuddly dog Fonzie, and the most wonderful team here at Bidtellect.”

– Jennifer Zeidler, VP Sales Operations

“I’m thankful for my friends & family, and that I get to be part of such an awesome work fam!”

– Shannon Malley, Creative Marketing Coordinator

“Cisco UCS and Powershell​.”

– Jason Taylor, Director of IT

“Amazing dogs, a workplace that allows dogs <3 , friends that have become family, and of course, family.”

– Karen León, Account Manager

“I’m thankful everything new I’ve learned in the past year – it’s been a lot! And I’m thankful for these fabulous Bidtellectuals 😊”

– Charlotte Otremba, Sr. Manager Marketing and Communications

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Best Practices That Will Get You on the Nice List, 2019

Best Practices That Will Get You on the Nice List, 2019

Get on Santa’s good side with these creative best practices for Holidays 2019.

The holidays are approaching and it can only mean one thing: gift-giving overload. As customers look for that perfect special something, advertisers know it’s their time to make their products shine. Want to get on the nice list? Download this ASAP. See ya, bag of coal (or worse, sinking engagement)! This list is foolproof.


Headlines | The first (and arguably best) way to catch a shopper’s eye? The headline.


Naughty: Long (as in more than 60 characters) sentences that aren’t written in title case. And anything pushy or blatant!


Nice:  Provide value! Think: promo codes, offers, holiday sales. Also: Short and sweet! Ask questions! Be punny! Keep it eye-catching.

Images | Actually, the image is probably the first and best visual cue – so don’t slack here!


Naughty:  Text on images. Just don’t!


Nice:  Use people or animals (they are more relatable!). Think: lifestyle, authentic, and in the holiday spirit. Tug on those heart strings!


Descriptions | This is the copy under the headline – it gives a little extra information about what your product or content offers!


Naughty:  A description that’s shorter than the headline. Tsk tsk.


Nice:  Value-driven, relevant copy. Make sure your call-to-action in the description matches your KPI. Consistency is key!

Video | Work in video content!


Naughty:  Super long videos (yawn) and videos that require sound to get the message across! Not everyone has headphones in.


Nice:  Short and sweet with a clear message – conveyed with or without sound. Pro Tip: Add subtitles.

Testing | We’re talking about those optimization strategies.


Naughty:  Not testing out different creatives and KPIs for ultimate engagement. Come on now!


Nice:  Optimizing! Test those campaigns and adjust creatives and KPI based on performance for maximum engagement.

Want more from the Bidtellectual? We have a monthly newsletter!


Ask [b]+studio: Top Tips for Tip Top Holiday Creative

Ask [b]+studio: Top Tips for Tip Top Holiday Creative

It’s time. You have the content. Your holiday offers are lined up. You’re ready to go live with your platform of choice. You want to distribute your content in a way that doesn’t feel like ads. You want images and copy that feel like a story, that engage users and invite them to your sites.

We asked Bidtellect’s in-house creative services team their mandatory tips to get your creatives on the nice list. Remember, no matter how great your platform’s placement and optimization capabilities, bad creative will kill engagement faster than you can say “naughty list.”

Remember also that it’s a process – a circle of refreshing copy and images. Make creative recommendations throughout campaigns to optimize performance. “Going live” is just the beginning.

Listen to the experts and remember these tips for your images, copy, and assets to distribute your content meaningfully – and you’ll surpass all your KPI goals!

YOU GOT THIS!

1. It’s the Happiest Time of Year – Keep it Positive!

“Keep it positive! Use positive adjectives in headlines coupled with happy images to increase CTR. Cold, monotone creatives do not bring joy. Bonus: add puns or rhymes to make it even more…puntastic.”

– Yeni Gordillo, Sr. Creative Marketing Manager

2. Save the Copy for…Your Copy

“Remember: no copy on images. While it’s great to push a holiday offer or discount, you don’t want your images mimicking a banner ad. Banner blindness is real. The goal is for your content to blend in with the content in the feed. Instead, use an image of a person enjoying your product or offer. And one more time for the people in the back: NO copy on images.”

– Missy Steiner, VP of Marketing 

3. Refresh Your Creative Constantly

Switch up your creatives! Better yet: rotate based on event, as you count down to Black Friday or that big holiday sale or new holiday release. 

4. Keep the Holidays Front of Mind

‘Tis the season: remember to include at least one holiday reference in the image or copy, or you’ll risk seeming out of the loop (as well as suffering poor engagement). 

Use the concept of “gift guides.” Offer helpful, valuable tips and create content that’s great to drive to. Think: find the perfect gift for “X” which doubles as calling out the targeted demographic, but in a fun, holiday way. Be a holiday thought leader!

– Shannon Malley, Creative Marketing Coordinator

5. Which Images Perform Best?

Photographs perform better than animated images. Always.

On that note, children, pets, and people in images perform best. Smile!

 Go solo: if using images with products, one solo “feature” product performs better than a group. 

6. And finally…

“Don’t make me say it. Don’t make me say it. CHECK YOUR SPELLING AND GRAMMAR. Misspelled words and grammar errors (unless it’s a common colloquial phrase) are a bad look. P.S. “Your” is possessive, while “you’re” is a contraction for “you are.” Apostrophe before an “s” indicates a possessive noun; drop the apostrophe for plural, i.e. Happy Holidays!

– Charlotte Otremba, Sr. Manager Marketing and Communications

What is [b]+studio?

[b]+studio is Bidtellect’s award-winning Creative Services Team. They are expert storytellers that have a deep understanding of best-performing images and copy and can help create your custom content assets. By using [b]+studio, expect to see your campaign meet KPIs above benchmarks in CTR, Engagement Score, Conversions and more! Learn more here.

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5 Steps to Engaging Creatives this Holiday Season

5 Steps to Engaging Creatives this Holiday Season

As the holiday season approaches, one thing on most retailers’ minds is how to get their products in front of gift-givers. How do they set themselves apart in such a competitive space?

What is that extra special something that will call gift seekers to engage with your content?

As more and more brands rely on content distribution to earn trust and loyalty, I wanted to provide some of the top creative Native best practices that are not only trending but are also driving results for brands.

Retail is Booming 

In case you missed it, the 2019 holiday season is supposed to be record-breaking. eMarketer predicts it to be the first-ever trillion-dollar holiday season! And the key to serving up a successful holiday strategy, according to experts and trends documented by eMarketer, is sponsored, branded, or native advertising, which offer the highest-value for advertisers and is easiest to monetize for retailers.

From Q1 to Q3, we saw a 443% jump in Bidtellect’s retail space in just one year. 443%. Consumers rely on brands more and more often to get informed, for inspiration, and for valuable content. This shift to Native proves that shoppers are more likely to click on a “Top 5 Gifts Your Dad Will Love” versus “Sock Sale.” Content sells.

This is why creatives are so important. They are the gateway to a retail product; they are the invitation to and a representation of the brand. From a heartwarming image to a compelling headline, our top creative practices for the holidays will ensure that customers will want to engage with you first!

Content distribution starts with the right creative. Simple as that.

Headlines

The first (and arguably best) way to catch a shopper’s eye? The headline.

Remember to provide value, solve a problem from holiday shopping stress, educate the consumer, and use listacles to imply a quick and informative read. If you have a special offer or a promo code, now is the time to inform your prospective shoppers.

Ask questions! Be punny! Invite readers without shouting at them. Anything too pushy or blatant will deter readers. Keep it short and sweet (no more than 60 characters) and in title case.

Bottom line: engage, educate and entertain.

Images

Actually, the image is probably the first and best visual cue – so don’t slack here! Images that feature people or animals are more relatable and draw more of an emotional response. And if you have been thinking about utilizing cinemagraphs, now is the time to test it out.

Think lifestyle, authentic, people in the moment and in the holiday spirit. Do not include text to images – otherwise you’re entering display territory!

Bottom line: be emotional, authentic.

Description

This is the copy under the headline – it gives a little extra information about what your product or content offers! Remember to include value-driven, relevant copy that is consistent with the message in your headline.

And (this should go without saying) the description should be longer than your headline. It’s a slight explanation if you will. Establish the connection, create a conflict, and your call-to-action (KPI) is the solution.

Bottom line: call-to-action, consistent with the headline

Video

Consumers are engaging with Native video – and not just autoplay. Bidtellect saw a 143% increase in completion rate of in-feed, click-to-play videos in one year, proving that consumers do engage. The most successful videos are those that convey a clear message immediately.

Long videos that require time (and sound) from the viewer will not work. Keep the videos short and sweet, with a clear message that’s conveyed with or without sound and use subtitles or text.

Bottom line: clear message without sound

Testing

Don’t forget to utilize optimization strategies! Test out different creatives combinations and personalization tactics based on your KPIs for maximum engagement. It is essential to use a platform that will optimize to your KPIs to find your sweet spot.

Bottom line: optimization is key

Missy Steiner is the Vice President of Marketing at Bidtellect.

She’s hoping for Phish tickets as a gift this year!!

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How to Make the Switch to Test Automation

How to Make the Switch to Test Automation

It’s happening!  Either you’ve finally convinced upper management that it’s time to use automation in testing, or they’ve come to you with a mandate to automate testing.  Hopefully, you’ve laid the groundwork that automation isn’t a panacea, manual testing isn’t going away, headcount isn’t going to go down, and feature throughput isn’t going to skyrocket.  If you haven’t, you need to set the expectations. Either way, it’s an exciting and scary time, especially if your experience with automation is little or none. So now what?

You can ask for help

If you’re thinking you can get automated testing up and running and useful on your own, you may be right. But you’re likely very wrong. Can you home-grow automation expertise? Yes. Do you have the time (years!)? Likely not. You need help, and that’s something that can be hard for some, especially if you’ve built a solid reputation as a testing professional. For the best return on investment and probability of success in a reasonable time frame, you will need to hire either a full-time automation professional, or the right consultant. Unless you’re an expert in automation, YOU AREN’T AN EXPERT! So put your ego aside and find the right help.

If I’m not an expert, how can I get the right help?

Excellent question! You may not be an automation expert, but you can figure out what your automation expert needs to bring to the table. Read blogs about automation, especially if they’re by automation engineers. You probably know people (either directly or indirectly) with whom you can have conversations about automation and what to look for, especially “red flags.” Get with your team and find out what you need (and don’t need) automation to do for you.

For my company and my team, we wanted:

  • Robust, low-maintenance tests that concentrated on the most critical parts of our systems.
  • Automated tests that would relieve testers of the tedious and time consuming tests.
  • An automation engineer that:
    • Shared our quality and testing philosophies.
    • Understood our automation goals.
    • Had done it at least once before.
    • Had done it more than once and in different ways, OR
    • Had done it once and wanted to approach it differently this time.
    • Had a proven track record mentoring testers in automation.
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Are you asking the right questions?

To find the right candidate, you need to ask the right questions. Or do you? How do you get candidates to REVEAL what you want to know without directly asking? I like to use “Describe”, “Explain” or “Tell” requests rather than asking questions outright:

  • Explain the primary reason for automated tests.
  • Describe the benefits and pitfalls of automation.
  • Tell us about an automation achievement that stands out in your mind.
  • Explain what you would do differently if you had to do that project now.
  • Explain how you determine which tools to use.
  • Describe your plan for developing automated tests.
  • Explain the automation pyramid (if they haven’t yet mentioned it).
  • Explain how you would introduce manual testers to automation.
  • Describe your mentoring approach and how you will get testers excited about automation.

Miracles require a lot of work and preparation

So you’ve done your research, talked to your peers, defined your needs with your team, posted the position, interviewed the candidates and you found and hired the perfect candidate.

Congratulations! You’re home free!

Not exactly.

Hate to break it to you, but automated tests don’t just happen. And even if you manage to find someone that’s familiar with your vertical, she/he won’t be familiar with your specific products and code. You need to onboard them, just like any other tester, AND onboard them just like any other developer. Then you need to work with them to develop a strategy, decide what work needs to be done first, investigate tools and approaches, do a Proof of Concept, and then, after that, the work really begins!

At this point it’s worth mentioning again that YOU AREN’T THE EXPERT! They are. So you still need to keep your ego out of it.  You need to be realistic…and then some…with timelines and milestones. You’re not getting a fully developed testing framework and 100% code coverage in phase 1. Or even by phase 5. Or even if you purchase an existing automation solution (because no matter how “universal” the “kit”, you’re still gonna need to customize it for your “ride”).  You need to organize things based on your company’s and your team’s needs. Start with useful tests that eliminate pain points. Evaluate the “Return on Investment (ROI)” for your proposed automation efforts and determine which will give you the biggest bang for your buck. Always encourage and weigh the possibilities of solving tactical problems with strategic solutions, especially if the added effort is marginal.

Protect your investment

Whether you hire a permanent automation engineer, or a consultant, you MUST give them the time to get the work done.  The automation engineer is NOT a sprint test resource at this stage, and, in my opinion, shouldn’t ever be considered as such.  The job is to create, maintain and update the framework for automated tests, not test sprint features. The framework will never get to be a solid and useful tool if your automation engineer is constantly pulled away to test sprint work.  Do that, and you’ll not only not have a testing framework, but you’ll lose the automation engineer to a company that lets them do what they do best: build automation frameworks. And you may lose some of your best testing experience if your manual testers, once excited about getting the drudge testing out of the way so they can do some really good exploratory stuff, are a year in, with no solid framework, still doing the mind-numbing testing, and with no light at the end of the tunnel.

Don’t ignore your testers!

Your testers are your expertise in testing your systems. Leverage that experience and use it to propel the automation forward. They complement the automation, because they know which tests should be automated (and which shouldn’t). The automation engineer mentors them in how to use the framework to create automated tests. If they don’t have what they need in the framework, they inform the automation engineer and she/he develops what they need. As their experience grows, they can get deeper into framework to learn how its structured, and how to expand upon it.

Evaluate

Remember that ROIs can change with business changes and, subsequently, what gives the biggest bang for your buck will change. Do not be surprised if your first few forays aren’t as successful as you want or need them to be. Be the hitchhiker of the galaxy and DON’T
PANIC!  Your initial test framework architecture didn’t work? Learn, pivot and change (also easier to do with a small, tactical goal than a sprawling effort). You WILL SUCCEED if you persevere. You’ll look back and see that progress has been made, the framework is sorting out and stabilizing, your team is contributing tests for automation, and your ROI is now focused on more strategic goals than tactical ones.

Bidtellect Stats

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with leading supply and demand partners for the most expansive network in the ecosystem 

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for a service approach that works best for you

[b]+studio Creative Services

team for all image, copy, content, and creative needs

Post-Click Metrics

to understand how consumers engage with your content, factoring in number of sessions, pageviews, bounce rate, and time on site, giving you key insights about your campaigns, creative, content, and audiences so you can optimize accordingly.

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capabilities like Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO).