Joint Case Study: HPE Ezmeral & Bidtellect Partnership Reports Data Management & Performance Benefits

Joint Case Study: HPE Ezmeral & Bidtellect Partnership Reports Data Management & Performance Benefits

When Bidtellect recognized it was time to switch to HPE Ezmerel for its data needs, we knew migration would be a massive undertaking. Despite this pressure, we achieved it in just five weeks with no service interruption. In this joint case study feature published by HPE, read how Bidtellect was able to save money and improve performance. Here are 3 takeaways:

1. Change is good!

The motivation to switch came from increasing in prices along with the need for better functionality and performance. Change is (usually) never a bad thing!

2. The data needs

Bidtellect is a highly competitive demand side platform that runs online bid requests and auctions for digital advertising. With that, there is a lot of data that needs to be processed. Migrating to a new vendor would not be easy, and HPE Ezmerel would need to be up to the challenge of our data and performance needs.

3. Key advantages

The migration to HPE Ezmeral has allowed for real-time feedback. There are four key advantages that have been a direct outcome in this migration: more efficient date storage, higher performance, improved security, and an easy-to-access file system architecture.

Read more about our successful partnership with HPE Ezmerel for data and performance outcomes.

Bidtellect reports 4 data management and analytics benefits using HPE Ezmeral 

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Valentine’s Day, 2020 Reflection, Contextual Targeting. This Week’s Newsletter: February 12th, 2021

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6 Tips and Trends for Your Holiday Campaigns That You Do Not Want To Forget

6 Tips and Trends for Your Holiday Campaigns That You Do Not Want To Forget

It’s the final countdown! While preparing your holiday advertising campaigns, we rounded up our top tips and trends you do NOT want to forget.

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

Keep it positive! Consider making small tweaks to your website (if you don’t already have one, contact the likes of Cefar to get one designed) and 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.

2. Which Images and Creative Units 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.

Take your static images up a notch with cinemegraphs, scroller units, and carousel units. These are highly effective at telling a short story and conveying a specific setting or emotion. They also drive maximum in-unit engagement. One advertising agency found that cinemagraph content tends to have more virality, with 71% higher organic reach than still photographs. Don’t believe us? Check out this case study or this one.

3. Make It Personable! Build Trust.

Holidays can be the most amazing, yet most stressful time of the year for families – especially given the last two years. As a brand, bringing a “human” and empathetic touch to your messaging can make your holiday campaigns more attractive and build trust with your consumers. When asked by eMarketer which emotions were most effective at making consumers feel connected to brands, admiration and trust were the overwhelming choice. Gain trust by being personable and building a connection with your consumers. This can be through family-forward images, warm and inviting copy, and inspirational content and stories. Don’t forget the importance of brand safety tech controls – i.e. where your ad is placed on the page – consumers can quickly lose trust in your brand if it’s placed next to unsavory and/or user-generated content.

4. Count on Heavy Ecommerce Holiday Shopping

Last year proved that consumers were just as – if not more – willing to spend money online while shopping for the holidays. Even with the ability to shop in-store this year, ecommerce will continue to grow, and forecasts predict record-breaking ecommerce sales this holiday season. So it is essential for small and local businesses that are online to see how Local Search Engine Optimization can work at this time, as well as take on other digital marketing steps. It would be important for them to start this off just before the season begins so it can have enough time to reach their intended audience and drum up business. They may also want to change their payment processing system if their current one has had faults, they do not want to have a jam or issue as the season begins because it could lose them money. Checking out websites like https://www.easypaydirect.com/merchant-accounts/high-risk-merchant-accounts/ as well as similar others, can show them what is available for the type of business they have.

Retail ecommerce sales are projected to make up 18.9% of total holiday retail sales, up from 17.5% last year according to eMarketer. Thanksgiving Day ecommerce sales are expected to hit a whopping $6.21 billion, per eMarketer forecasts. (For reference, Thanksgiving Day ecommerce sales reached $4.13 billion just two years ago in 2019.) And as we mentioned, Cyber Monday was the heaviest online spending day in history, rising 15.6% to $10.78 billion. This continued through the end of the year, especially online, driving a dramatic 47% increase in ecommerce sales during the traditional holiday season, according to Facebook.

5. Help Holiday Shoppers With Context Discovery

Half of all shoppers polled by Facebook experienced some difficulty knowing what to buy for others, while 63% of global shoppers surveyed enjoyed discovering items they weren’t actively looking for. Call it Discovery Commerce, online discovery, point of intent, content marketing – the point is the same: consumers want a bit of help when it comes to shopping, and there’s no shame in that. So, when you are planning your advertisements this season with your chosen resource, whether that be though a company like Creatopy or an in-house team, you will want to discuss the range that you can do for your customers so they can be helped along.

Creating digital ads – discovery aides – that help shoppers determine what to buy based on what they are likely to love (thanks to context clues and audience groups, for example) is crucial to success. Maximizing contextual targeting and context-driven optimization will ensure your ads and content find your target shoppers. Make your consumers’ holiday shopping job easier. Don’t just meet them at their needs; anticipate them.

6. Black Friday is Starting Early This Year​ – So Get Ahead

Companies are coming out with Black Friday deals earlier and earlier every year! Do not miss the chance to jump ahead on early deals in order to gain the attention of your target market – because they’ll be more likely to shop with you. New data from Criteo found that 30% of consumers will try a new online store because of early holiday deals, and one-quarter of consumers research purchases one month before their Black Friday buys. Amazon has already started rolling out their Black Friday Deals, and “when the biggest power in ecommerce sets an early start to a shopping season, others quickly follow to avoid missing out.”

Brands and advertisers, we hope tips for engaging holiday creative assets make your performance soar! The holiday 2021 shopping season is going to be a great year!

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‘Tis the Shopping Season…

 

If planning your holiday campaigns feels overwhelming – fear not. Arm yourself with the stats that matter for the most up-to-date programmatic strategy. The focus of this Infographic is the most recent data on holiday retail spend, holiday shopper patterns, and content marketing including mobile and video. Bonus: scroll down for 4 Key Takeaways you can implement now. 

Retail Holiday Spend 2018

 

Total Holiday Spend

Total U.S. Holiday retail spending increased 5.4% to $998.32 billion in 2018 

November + December

Total U.S. online sales in November and December 2018 reached $122 billion, an increase of 17.4% from 2017

Trillion Dollar 2019

eMarketer predicts that the 2019 holiday season will see healthy US retail spending growth of 3.7% to $1.035 trillion

Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Black Friday Weekend

About 18% of shoppers consolidate all of their shopping to the Black Friday-to-Cyber Monday period

Billion Dollar Weekend

Black Friday 2018 (Thanksgiving Day plus Black Friday) raked in $9.9 billion in online sales – a 19.7% increase over 2017

Mobile Revenue

Mobile accounted for 34% of Black Friday weekend revenue (26.3% smartphones, 7.7% tablets)

Online Only

63% of Black Friday weekend shoppers spent time shopping online – researching, browsing, and purchasing

Cyber History

Cyber Monday was the heaviest online spending day in history, with a reported $7.87 billion

Content Matters to Holiday Sales

Research First

53% of holiday shoppers say they always do research before they buy to ensure they are making the best possible choice

Last Minute Hunt

51% of Last-Minute Shoppers said they weren’t certain where they wanted to buy, or they had multiple retailers in mind, when they started shopping

Quick Gifters

48% of shoppers want to get their shopping done as quickly as possible.

Content First

Content makes consumers 131% more likely to buy.

Mobile is the Move

Higher CTR

According to data pulled from Bidtellect’s platform, in Q4 2018 Mobile CTR was 150% higher than Desktop and 19.2% higher than Tablet

Shopping In-Store

72% of Black Friday weekend shoppers used their mobile device to shop and/or browse, with 52% using their mobile device while in store

Last Minute Shoppers

65% of last-minute (two days before Christmas holiday) shoppers used their mobile device to shop and/or browse, with 43% using their mobile device while in store

Target Accordingly

67% of smartphone users are more likely to purchase from companies whose mobile sites or apps customize information to their location.

Don’t Forget Video

 

Click-to-Play Engagement

In-Feed Click-to-Play Video engagement grew 143% from 2017 to 2018

Video Inspo

Two Thirds (⅔) of shoppers say online video has given them ideas and inspiration for their purchases

The Top 4 Takeaways

Consider the Entire Customer Journey

Holiday shoppers might start early (before November) and shop all the way through December or start browsing online then buy more in store, or read articles for ideas then buy a month later… The possibilities are endless. So target and retarget using a multichannel approach.

Mobile Matters

Incorporate mobile into your strategy. Do it. Also remember that the the buy online, pick up in store option is gaining momentum

Go Native

The best way to distribute your content is with Native. Simple as that.  Our Top 3 KPIs for Retail Advertisers in 2018 were: 

  1. Drive Traffic to Blog Content
  2. Offer-Driven Creative (Like a Promotion)
  3. Drive Sales

Content. Content. Content.

Don’t shout at your shoppers, inspire them. Entice them. Offer articles, blog posts, and videos with ideas and inspiration to make their shopping easier. 

The Ultimate Guide to Black Friday 2019

Planning campaigns for the busiest shopping day of the year need not be overwhelming (we promise!) We put together everything you need to know as you prepare for Black Friday 2K19, including best practices, strategies, and need-to-know stats. 

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The Ultimate Guide to Black Friday 2019

The Ultimate Guide to Black Friday 2019

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO

BLACK
FRIDAY 2019

Planning campaigns for the busiest shopping day of the year need not be overwhelming (we promise!) We put together everything you need to know as you prepare for Black Friday 2K19.

STATS

Here are the stats that matter from Black Friday Shopping Season 2018:

Black Friday 2018

Black Friday 2018 (Thanksgiving Day plus Black Friday) raked in $9.9 billion in online sales – a 19.7% increase over 2017
(Adobe Analytics)

Black Friday 2018

$6.2 billion spent on Black Friday and $3.7 billion spent on Thanksgiving (a growth of 28% year over year)
(Adobe Analytics)

Black Friday 2018

14.8 million online transactions were processed on Black Friday 2018 and 13.7 million were processed on Thanksgiving
(Hitwise).

Thanksgiving 2018

Average per-person spending was $313.29 during Thanksgiving weekend 2018 ($217 spent on gifts)
(NRF)

Buy Online - Pickup In-Store

The Buy Online, Pickup In-Store (BOPIS) model saw a 50% increase year-over-year during Thanksgiving weekend 2018
(Adobe Analytics)

Online Conversions

Retailers with physical stores drove 28% higher conversions online
(Adobe Analytics)

MOBILE MATTERS

Site Visits

Mobile represented 51.4% of site visits (43.6% smartphones, 7.8% tablets) making it the first Cyber Monday where more than half of visits came from mobile.
(Adobe Analytics)

Mobile Revenue

Mobile accounted for 34% of revenue (26.3% smartphones, 7.7% tablets)
(Adobe Analytics)

Best Practices

What does it mean for your Black Friday and Cyber Monday Holiday Shopping Strategy? We’re so glad you asked!

Scale: Don’t Restrict Inventory and Set Aside Your Biggest Budget

The most reach is critical. 

Black Friday weekend raked in $9.9 billion in online sales and counted 28.5 million online transactions. That means a massive amount of shoppers are already ready and willing to shop online. Now is the time to go big or go home. Set aside a large budget.

Run nationally-targeted campaigns utilizing all 3 ad formats (in-feed, recommendation widget, and in-ad) across all 3 devices (desktop, tablet, and mobile) to ensure we are able to find relevant users at any time on any device.

Get access to as many placements as possible. Bidtellect is partnered with more than 30 supply partners for the most expansive network in the ecosystem, which means access to 58 million distinctly targetable placements and 10 billion Native auctions daily.

Performance: Optimize and Measure Post-Click for Qualified Site Traffic

It’s not enough to reach far and wide – aim for more qualified site traffic with placement level optimization, dynamic creative optimization (DCO) and qualified engagement measurement.  Dive deeper into the success of your Native Advertising campaign by using Bidtellect’s Engagement Score, unique proprietary technology for a deeper understanding of consumer engagement, so you can measure and optimize towards post-click engagement metrics such as page views, bounce rate and time spent on site.

Creative Insights: Copy + Image Matters For Maximum Engagement

[b]+studio is Bidtellect’s award-winning in-house creative team and they are experts in creating copy and images that draw in consumers and lead them to your content. Based on Black Friday (and all year long) performance, here’s what you should know: 

  • Include a promotional code
  • Be sure there’s a holiday reference in the images or copy
  • Children, pets, and people in images perform best
  • If using images with products, one solo “feature” product performs better than a group of products
  • Photographs perform better than animated images
  • Content/Thought Leadership: offer tips for the best gifts or creative ideas.

.

This was a best-performing Black Friday 2018 image with an eCPA of $2.16.

This was a best-performing Black Friday 2018 image with an eCPA of $2.31.

Consider the Customer Journey: Target and Retarget 

Since a consideration cycle is generally required to make a purchase – especially with so many choices and sales during Black Friday weekend – supplement a prospecting strategy with retargeting to drive prospects back to the site to purchase. Make it even easier to buy online and pick up in store, too. The (BOPIS) model saw a 50% increase.

Account for Mobile

It should be obvious, but maybe it isn’t. Before setting up campaigns, check that the landing pages you will be directing traffic to are as mobile-friendly as possible, from easy scrolling to readability to ease of purchasing products. Mobile represented 51.4% of site visits and accounted for 34% of revenue. 

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

How to Extend Your Holiday Campaigns #CyberMonth Style

How to Extend Your Holiday Campaigns #CyberMonth Style

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are done – WHEW right? Not so fast. The next wave of shopping is underway. We have the (data-backed) strategies to take your Native campaigns to the next level – and help those holiday shoppers!

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are behind us, but the once one-day-only shopping affair has turned into Cyber Week if not Cyber Month. For many, holiday shopping may just be beginning, and they’re looking around to find that extra-special something for their loved ones. If your Black Friday campaigns were broader-reaching, now is the time for targeted, personalized content to inspire last minute (or, rather, very patient!) holiday shoppers.

For reference, the 2018 shopping season is off to a good start. Cyber Monday 2K18 surged to new highs: $7.9 billion was spent online that day, an increase of 19.3 percent from a year ago (Adobe Analytics via CNBC) and U.S. holiday retail sales are expected to surpass $1 trillion for the first time this year (CNBC).

Try Video!

Native video ads are quickly becoming the #trending ad type, offering dazzling visuals and immediate, quality content for viewers to engage with. According to Promo, 70% of people said they visit the publisher’s website after watching a video. And based on Bidtellect’s own Native Report, In-Feed Click-to-Play Video grew 143% from 2017 to 2018, pointing to a more proactive, engaged viewer. 2/3 of users said that say online video has given them ideas and inspiration for their purchases. Plus, Native video ads are usually better received by the users because they don’t “feel” like advertisements, and hence don’t disrupt their experience (Entrepreneur.com).

Consider: Adding video to your campaigns. Pssst have you seen all the different kinds of video solutions we have?

Mobile Madness

If we haven’t said it enough, we’ll say it again: Mobile. Is. The. Move. Since Mary Meeker identified a $25 billion mobile ad spending opportunity in her Internet Trends Report and marketers are catching up. If Black Friday is an indicator of how the rest of the shopping season will continue, consider that $2.1 billion in sales came from smartphones on Black Friday 2018 (TechCrunch) and more than half of shoppers’ visits to retailers’ websites Cyber Monday 2018 came from smartphones (Adobe Analytics via CNBC). It was also the year of new app downloads – as retailers sharpened their mobile app ease-of-use, consumers followed: new shopping app installs grew 9 percent over last year to reach 1.8 million.

Consider: Location-based targeting, non-intrusive Native mobile ads, drawing users to your mobile apps

Remember the Last Minute Shoppers

Saturday, December 23 was the second highest shopping day of the year in 2017 (eMarketer) – last minute shoppers unite! It’s not too late to up your campaigns or target or create inspirational content accordingly. For instance, last year 5 out of 10 of buyers on PC also purchase on mobile (Teads) indicating a unified, multichannel approach is key.

Consider: Targeting, offering personalized content to inspire that perfect gift and an integrated (multi-channel) approach. Did you know that Bidtellect offers dynamic creative optimization for Native?

Give a Gift!

Yes, put your brand out there with content-driven native ads, but remember to offer your consumers something of value they can’t refuse! This means using the headlines, descriptions, and the image or video itself should be offer-driven – think: an exclusive deal (promo codes included!), a brand new style, a perfect gift for your mom with high-quality, alluring visual imagery in line with your brand’s story. You can include this in your text campaigns as well, notifying customers right on their smartphones and even allowing them to shop online with one click.

Consider: Offer and value-driven creative to increase CTR

Keep Going…Past the 25th

Don’t lose steam just yet! Once the holidays are over, consumers are ready to spend their gift cards, exchange gifts, and capitalize on post-holiday sales. 46% of consumers are expected to shop after Christmas in store or online and in 2017, shoppers with a gift card overspent by $38. In fact, the Saturday after Christmas is the ninth busiest shopping day of the year, and the day after Christmas is the fourth busiest shopping day!

Consider: Running holiday campaigns well into January; creating post-holiday shopping campaigns.

All this to say: don’t slow down. Shoppers will continue shopping if you offer them the special something they are looking for! Cheers!

And remember…if you need a little help send a note our way.

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