The CLICKTRUST monthly pick – August 2019

News and articles that allow us to stay on top of our game. You might want to read them too.


Data & Privacy


RTB RIP? The Writing Could Be On The Wall For Real-Time Bidding In Europe

– Adexchanger

“There is a latent question in the air,” said Townsend Feehan, CEO of IAB Europe. “Is it possible to do programmatic in a way that complies with the GDPR?”


Performance Marketing And Measurement: A New Beginning Amid Ever-Evolving Privacy Restrictions

– Adexchanger

It’s high time that marketing analytics teams perform a thorough audit of their measurement stacks, rules and approaches. For example, it’s worthwhile to understand how much of the business is driven by Apple’s Safari and how the attribution by channel is impacted since the new tracking restrictions went live this year.


The best digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week

– Econsultancy

1) Influencer fraud predicted to cost brands $1.3 billion in 2019
2) Correlation found between GDPR and online visits and revenue
3) Ecommerce ad spend rises and CPCs fall
4) Mobile ad fraud costs marketers $2.3 billion in H1 2019


Is Conversion Lift the Future of Attribution?

– Searchenginejournal

If we will be able to conduct a controlled experiment for any campaign, keyword, or audience, there will be less guesswork in estimating the actual incremental value of advertising.


Apple Clarifies Its Anti-Tracking Policy For Safari – And Possible Exceptions

– Adexchanger

“You can maybe look at what Apple is doing on Safari as a precursor to what could happen in mobile,” Eliashiv said. “Are mobile and web on the same path in terms of privacy?”


The Grim Future Of An Open Web Devoid Of User Tracking


While the regulations and browser changes that are coming into place are primarily being directed at user privacy, they will have the perverse effect of pushing even more personal data and revenue toward some companies that are arguably the greatest violators of user privacy. Certainly they’ll be slapped with fines and will clean up their acts, but they will end up even more dominant in the industry than before.


Is It Time To Reward Users For Sharing Their Identity?

– Adexchanger

A new idea: a reward program that grants “brite points” to people who agree to have their identities tracked across a federation of websites. These points can be exchanged for free gas or other benefits.


How to measure marketing in a world without cookie-tracking

– Econsultancy

There are a number of testing strategies you need to be familiar with in this new age of measurement. Here are the main ones, arranged from the broadest scope to the narrowest.


Ignoring The Clash Between RTB And Privacy Regulations Doesn’t Remove The Threat

– Adexchanger

There are two outcomes, in my opinion. The first (and only one, if you asked me) is for quality media owners to break away from the programmatic marketplace and create their own walled garden, RTB-free.
The second outcome is crueler but sadly the most likely, the longer media brands’ tinker: Only those that can afford to switch RTB off and diversify – by offering capabilities like sophisticated contextual targeting and non-RTB behavioral targeting – will survive.


Google Ads & Google Analytics


How to Handle Google Ads Average Position Sunsetting

– Clix Marketing

If you are still using average position to evaluate performance, it’s time to start getting familiar with the metrics that can be used to improve ad placement: Search top impression rate and Search absolute top impression rate.


Step by Step: Setting up an App + Web Property

– Krista Seiden

In this Step by Step guide, I’ll take you through the three steps you’ll need to go through to set up a new App + Web Property in Google Analytics.


Google extends same-meaning close variants to phrase match, broad match modifiers

– Searchengineland

As expected, Google is further loosening the reins on close variants, this time extending same-meaning close variants to phrase match and broad match modifier. With the changes, Google is also changing its keyword selection preferences to prevent keywords from competing against each other.
This change will rollout in English in the coming weeks, with more languages to follow through 2020.


A new way to unify app and website measurement in Google Analytics

– Google

Currently, many businesses measure app engagement with Google Analytics for Firebase and website engagement with Google Analytics. While each of these products separately offer powerful insights, getting a more unified picture of engagement across your app and website can be a manual and painstaking process.
To make this simpler, we’re announcing a new way to measure apps and websites together for the first time in Google Analytics.


Facebook & Instagram


Facebook Adds Instagram Scheduling to Creator Studio

– Social Media Today

Yes, that’s right – native Instagram scheduling, via an official app.


Changes to text and aspect ratios on Mobile News Feed

– Facebook

Updates for mobile News Feed: Fewer lines of primary text will show on mobile News Feed. Now only 3 lines of primary text will show on Facebook mobile News Feed, after which people will be prompted to click to view additional text.
Maximum media height for photos and videos will reduce to 4:5 on mobile News Feed. The tallest supported aspect ratio for images without links and for videos is now vertical (4:5). Media taller than 4:5 will be masked on Facebook mobile News Feed.

2 weeks ago
Jochen Fostie

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The CLICKTRUST monthly pick – July 2019

News and articles that allow us to stay on top of our game. You might want to read them too.

Analytics & Data


IAB Tech Lab Releases Data Transparency Standard, With Audits To Give It ‘Teeth’


“The IAB Tech Lab on Thursday released a new standardization system for third-party audience data and an auditing and credentialing program for data sellers.”


Could A Consumer Taxonomy Fill The Identity Void In A Cookie-less World?


“Instead of approaching the problem from a universal cookie angle, an independent trade group like the IAB should step in and create a standardized consumer taxonomy that will allow for identity- and interest-based targeting while still maintaining user privacy.”


The Tyranny of a Single KPI

– Avinash Kaushik

Of all the harmful business decisions you can make analytically speaking, the worst is picking a single KPI for success. … There is an enormous amount we can get wrong when it comes to Analytics. Please get this basic bit about KPIs right. Not doing so has a profoundly corrosive impact, one that permeates across the organization in harmful ways. Don’t let your KPIs be lonely.”


Trade Desk Clashes With Google Over Transparency Initiative


According to sources involved in the discussions, Google worries that if exchange bidding is categorized as an intermediary who takes an extra financial cut out of transactions, some buyers will stop using it. Instead, they may route more spend to competitor Prebid, the open source wrapper which will be classified as “direct.
The ultimate fear is that Trade Desk and others would stop buying through exchange bidding completely.”


Brand Safety Is Not Synonymous With Quality


“The result is ads from some of the top advertisers often being displayed, by exclusion, on “safe content” like silly polls, competitions or otherwise bland content of little quality and engagement. At the same time, quality media owners complain that a good amount of premium content is automatically filtered out by brand safety algorithms, affecting their revenue.”


How to Use Google Data Studio for Client Reporting

– Conversion XL

While we think the title of this article can be misleading, the content is really interesting and basically explains what should (or shouldn’t) be in a client reporting.

“In data-driven industries, it’s easy to imagine that we can “let the data decide,” but that’s actually not the function of data. It’s our job to help our clients interpret the data so they can approve recommendations and take action.”


How to get the best out of Google and Facebook’s free attribution services


“The reason I’m excited is because an attribution competition between the two biggest advertising platforms creates opportunities for advertisers. Limitations in one can be offset by capabilities in other, and biases can be identified and mitigated through cross-referencing.”


#GTMTips: Introducing The GTM Templates Library

– Simo Ahava

“When Custom Templates were released in Google Tag Manager, many of us active in the GTM communities started doing two things: 1) creating our own custom templates, and 2) waiting patiently for Google to release a “gallery” or “library” for distributing these community contributions.
While I have full faith in the latter happening some time in the future, I thought it would be fun to create something similar to a library, and then open-sourcing it for the community to help out with or to download locally for their own purposes.”


The Case For First-Party, Community-Driven Identity


“It’s hardly revolutionary to predict the end of the third-party cookie. Digital advertising’s fundamental currency for the last ten years is under increasing strain….With publisher revenues and marketer outcomes on the line, there is still no industry-wide consensus as to what will replace them.”


Facebook & Instagram


A Short Reference of Facebook One-Sheeter Guides


“This short article will help provide an easy resource to bring some of these Facebook one-sheeter resources together. While this list is by no means exhaustive, it captures some of the main topics.”


How Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO) is Performing Around The World


“Here’s the bottom line: no one has CBO completely figured out just yet. Regardless of your country, the vertical you sell in, or your Facebook campaign objective, there just doesn’t seem to be one, consistent formula that everyone can use for success.”


Google Ads


Google Gallery Ads – Another Day, Another New Ad Format

– PPC Hero

“All in all, it is an exciting time for search. The possibilities are endless for advertisers. From displaying multiple aspects of a retail product to highlighting popular dishes on a restaurant’s menu, digital search strategies will be evolving to fit an image focused agenda as Google Gallery Ads enter the game.”


Automation layering: How PPC pros retain control when automation takes over

– Search Engine Land

“The engines are automating many things we used to have lots of control over because we used to do them manually: from finding new keywords, to setting better bids, to writing ads. But when the people behind the businesses that advertise on Google get a say, results can be better than if the engine’s automation runs entirely on its own.”


RSAs vs. ETAs: Stop Comparing CTR

– PPC Hero

“We will not be comparing CTR between ETAs and RSAs. Why? For one, RSAs will show up for different queries, devices, etc., so it’s not an apples to apples test. And two, per a current Google Agency rep, Google created RSAs to be complementary to ETAs: they will win some auctions ETAs wouldn’t have and vice versa. “

2 months ago
Jochen Fostie

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A look back on Q1 – New office, Malaga, a MASSIVE pitch and our goals.

The first quarter of 2019 was amazing.  Lots of things happened!  Here is a quick overview:


Move into our new office


We spent the major portion of last years’ profit into a new workplace on Avenue Tervuren 36. We renovated from scratch, designs done by the team. We’re very happy to be here!


CLICKTRUST & Mountainview celebration event


February was also the month in which we celebrated the minority stake Mountainview has bought in CLICKTRUST. We celebrated in style, with a conference we organised for our clients, inviting several high profile speakers. The event was a blast!

Teambuilding in Malaga


To finish off the hectic month of february, we went for a two day teambuilding in sunny Malaga. With both relaxing activities and teambuilding work, the trip was a success. Profit sharing among employees was announced. Yearly getaways are now a thing.




Winning a MASSIVE pitch


To finish off these amazing first three months of the year, we ended up winning a huge pitch in March. Details will follow later, once we have succesfully onboarded the client and all their massive brands…


The road ahead


We will now work on further improving employee onboarding and internal operational efficiency. Client acquisition will be done very selectively. Our focus goes to quality, not quantity.

6 months ago
Fabian Van De Wiele

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Mountainview & CLICKTRUST : specialized, together.

It is no secret that CLICKTRUST and the digital strategy agency Mountainview get on well.  We crossed paths two years back on a mutual client – and chemistry happened!

Today, Mountainview & CLICKTRUST work together on many clients. We share the same views on service, transparency and the role of an agency in the ever-increasing complex digital eco-system.

Concretely, Mountainview has taken a significant financial interest in CLICKTRUST as minority shareholder. This officializes our collaboration.

We have often discovered our extreme specialisation in analytics and biddable media has to be introduced when clients are ready for it. They need a certain level of digital maturity for us to be able to deliver good work.  This is where Mountainview has proven very valuable to us. Their transparent, didactical approach prepares clients and helps them grasp digital as a whole, and allows them to understand where an expert agency like ourselves fits in.

We are extremely excited about this partnership – as we believe models like this are the working model for agencies of the future.  Individual agencies that each have their own resources, expertise & clients – but that are able to join forces on common projects.  This gives clients the best of both worlds : the ease of working with one entity for several services, and the expertise of working with an expert agency.

All this in full transparency.

Would you like to learn more about our working model? Contact us!

8 months ago
Fabian Van De Wiele

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Data-driven + lots of brand keywords? Start thinking like a marketeer…

[activecampaign form=3]PPC & attribution experts only. This requires a deep understanding of search and an obsessive passion for paid digital media. I expect some negative feedback on this. Allow me to indulge 😉




  • Client is ROI and Cost/sale sensitive (duh) and is currently facing very high cost per sale numbers on generic search terms in a market with CPC’s averaging 9 EUR .
  • They desperately want to expand generic volume, and have gone through several agencies who each have failed to deliver this.
  • The account contains both generic and branded keywords on both exact and broad match.
  • The average time between first click and conversion is more than 3 days.

Studying the path length reports in the search attribution tool showed us that generic queries almost always convert combined with branded queries. We can hence assume that the data driven algorithm that is looking at numbers would consider branded keywords pretty important.


Comparing data driven to first click attribution


Upon comparing data driven attribution to first click attribution through the attribution tool, the following happened:

  • very strong decrease in sales from generic keywords and huge increase in cost per sale both in percentage and absolute numbers.
  • massive increase in sales from branded keywords, and limited decrease in cost per sale in absolute numbers.

When showing this to the client, they were schocked. Nobody cared about the cost/sale of the branded keywords decreasing from 4 eur to 2 eur. The cost per sale of generic keywords that increased from 100 eur to 300 eur in the data driven model was however enough to leave them gobsmacked.


When data driven becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy


Statistically speaking, I’m sure the data driven model is correct. If it is providing weight to the number of times a specific query appears in the customer journey, than obviously branded queries will get a lot of weight. As data driven attribution will then decrease conversions on generic keywords, ROI sensitive clients will decrease bids. Branded queries will then become even more prominent, and the whole thing becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.


Think revenue across channels – not within silo’s


From an outcome-driven marketing & “lets grow revenue” point of view, this makes no sense. Cost per sale on branded search moved from cheap to too cheap to care, while generic cost per sale increased by 3 compared to a first click attribution model. Meanwhile, the site is ranking very well organically on all branded search queries and has limited competitors bidding on their brand.

As a result, the actual value of generic queries is massively undervalued due to the presence of the branded queries in the account. Is is highly likely that the client would have gotten the sales that happened on the branded query through organic search anyway.

So if datadriven is not taking the less important role of branded search queries into account on sites that are ok SEO wise, and uses frequency of search queries in the customer journey as a factor in the algorithm, we can expect ROI sensitive PPC managers to decrease overal media spend in the long run, as they decrease investment on generic terms. That can’t be the goal.

I’ve seen this happen several times now on pure ecommerce players. They fail to scale the accounts, especially in smaller markets with products/services that have decision cycles beyond several days.


Possible solutions:


  • Split branded queries and generic queries into seperate accounts so that data driven attribution can be used on generic queries only
  • Create a test to remove branded queries alltogether. Incremental impact on sales volume from branded paid search queries together with organic queries should of course be assessed.

In both scenarios’s, by taking branded queries out of the account, conversion attribution will shift back to generic keywords and data driven will do its work on generic queries alone.

Sales and media spend on generic search queries will go up while overall sales from organic and paid search combined should increase.

In any case: before using data driven, check the importance of branded search queries in the account. If your sales are primarily coming from branded queries, and you wish to keep them in the account – you’re probably better off with first click attribution…(the horror!)

Of course, savvy digital marketeers should be going beyond that and look for attribution tools that take the incremental value of branded search queries and all forms of remarketing into account across the entire media mix…

If you’re interested by this post, this is the stuff the CLICKTRUST team thinks about daily while optimizing your accounts. We’d be happy to exchange ideas.

12 months ago
Fabian Van De Wiele

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The last year and the road ahead.

Where we came from


CLICKTRUST grew from 4 people to 9 people over the course of one year.  We weren’t doing too bad before, at least that is what we thought. We had clients staying with us for years, and had the occasional win of a new client. We didn’t do any marketing. We got business through referrals. All in all, that didn’t sound too bad.

After sitting down and carefully analyzing the market, we discovered where we can truly make a difference.  Providing clients with a transparant service for digital media at a flat fee. No crazy media fees, no longwinded slide-decks, and no teams full of juniors.


New account wins


By pure word of mouth, we managed to win a lot of business this year. BNP Paribas Fortis, Hello Bank, Birdee, ALD Automotive, Printdeal, Ladbrokes, Collishop , Centerparcs… The list is long. Why did these companies chose us?  We stuck to our principles and committed to deliver only that what we know we do best. Combine this with a flat fee and we were a welcome change from other players that were either missing expertise or transparancy.


The recruitment of new people while keeping existing staff


Our progress allowed us to recruit senior, highly talented staff relatively easily. The existing team members from before all stayed – allowing us to go passed a crucial point where the team today mainly consists of people with solid experience. This has now put us in a position where we can attract even more talented staff, as this industry is driven by people that want to learn from each other. The best place to do that is in a place where experienced, like-minded are sat in one place.


So what is next?


We are now looking for 3 more people in different roles. We will grow the team to invest more time in training and development. If you would like to join us in this adventure, check out our careers page!

1 year ago
Fabian Van De Wiele

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