The CLICKTRUST monthly pick – January 2020

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

General: Data, Privacy & more

The Marketing Funnel Isn’t Dead, We Just Understand It Better

– Search Engine Journal

“As we consider the concept of the marketing funnel, it’s tempting for us in the midst of the mess we marketers try to track every day, to throw our hands up and exclaim “it’s all chaos!”
However, I would (and have) argued there to still be a purchase intent progression that takes place in the customer journey. “

Google Chrome Will Drop Third-Party Cookies In 2 Years

– AdExchanger

“Third-party cookies – the backbone of programmatic advertising – are not long for this world. Google’s Chrome browser will phase them out in two years.
Google Chrome is betting that its Privacy Sandbox – the privacy-preserving API first unveiled in August – will over the next two years build functionality that replaces third-party cookies.”

DMPs Aren’t Dead, But They Must Continue To Evolve

– AdExchanger

“The DMP is not dead – but the free-for-all days of non-consented, persistent identification and data promiscuity are. What must also die is the near-total disregard for consumer privacy and consent, which reigned supreme in the quest for one-to-one marketing and its associated riches.”

You don’t just need personalization — you need the right personalization

– Think with Google

“Over half of U.S. consumers say they are interested in seeing personalized content when shopping. And they say they are comfortable sharing their information as long as they feel like they’re getting value in return.
A study that we fielded with Ipsos found that shoppers value experiences that: Save them time, Offer value & Surface the right product or service assortment.”

How brands can merge online and offline experiences to drive growth

– Think with Google

“For today’s consumers, shopping doesn’t begin and end in the store. With so many options both in stores and online, digital and video play a huge role in getting people through the door. For example, 80% of people say they typically switch between online search and video when researching products to buy. It’s no wonder, then, that every brand with an online and offline presence is looking for better ways to connect the dots between the two.
The final step in the campaign was measuring its success. In the past, H&R Block connected digital campaigns to digital KPIs, optimizing for what it could squarely measure: online appointments. But this proxy didn’t capture the full picture.”

Top-Down. Always Top-Down!

– Avinash Kaushik

“Taking a top-down approach – Success Delivered, Budget Spent, Executive Affection – helps deliver clarity of purpose for any analysis you do. It reduces the time you and I spend sitting in our Email silo or Display silo or TV silo and thinking our work is God’s gift to the company and going on meaningless analytical journeys.
Big lesson: Just because you can analyze something, don’t. You are magnificent, your time is precious. Find the worthy.”

Google: Organic, Ads & Analytics

January Updates to Paid Advertising Platforms

– PPC Hero

“Google: Google implements black “Ad” label and brand icons on the desktop SERP
Google: What: Bid simulator now enabled for Target ROAS, while budget simulator is now available for Maximize Clicks and Maximize Conversions
Microsoft Advertising: Response Search Ads(RSAs) are now available worldwide
Microsoft Advertising: Microsoft sunsetting average position metric”

Google Ads Introduces Bid Simulator Support for Smart Bidding

– Search Engine Journal

“Google Ads is rolling out bid simulator support for the Target ROAS (return on ad spend) bid strategy, as well as a new budget simulator.
This marks the first time bid simulator support has been available for a smart bidding campaign. Previously, bid simulators have only been available for campaigns using manual bidding or Target CPA. “

Would Google’s own marketing team use Smart Shopping Campaigns? (Probably not.)

– Mike Ryan on Linkedin

“Google’s Smart Shopping Campaigns (SSC) have been at the center of tons of heated conversations in recent months. This is partly due to debates about the new campaign type’s pros and cons (increased reach and revenue in exchange for several settings and reports). It’s also due to a wide-scale sales push by Google reps to drive adoption – which has generated controversy among PPC managers. “

Google desktop favicon search results study

– Search Engine Land

“In 2019, Google introduced a new format in mobile search results which included a small “favicon” icon from the website, to the left of the snippet. This week, Google announced that a similar format was being launched in desktop results.”

Social: Facebook, Instagram & others

Now that Facebook lets users clear internet tracks, marketers lose another signal to target ads

– Adage

“Facebook finally rolled out a “clear history” button that lets people erase their online tracks, adding to the potential roadblocks advertisers face targeting consumers as more internet companies lockdown data.”

3 weeks ago
Jochen Fostie

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The CLICKTRUST monthly pick – December 2019

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

General: Data, Privacy & more

The Power of Impression-Based Campaigns to Grow Your Brand

– Search Engine Journal

The title of this article is horrible and cliche in a time when everyone is talking about measurable impact but don’t let that stop you from reading the article. Full of knowledge gems and some nice anecdotes on why creating silo’s between “performance” and “awareness” is just a bad idea. They should be an integrated approach.

“As advertisers, we have the best targeting we have ever had available to us in the history of mankind.
We can literally advertise to our exact persona.
Yet, we insist on trying to drive leads and interest before we ever build awareness. It’s like we all somehow forgot the first part of the funnel.”

Coming Soon: The Demise Of The Brand Vs. Performance Construct

– AdExchanger

“Cliches about marketers on both sides of the divide are unfortunately often true. Brand marketers get excited about brand integrations and seven-figure YouTube masthead buys that grab a lot of attention, while performance marketers are overly obsessed with measuring every dollar.
As we head into 2020, conditions that allowed the brand and performance divide to persist are finally shifting, and marketers can take action. “

DMP Market Entering Period Of Volatility, According To Advertiser Perceptions

– AdExchanger

“DMPs from Oracle, Salesforce and Adobe have always been the most-used platforms in previous Advertiser Perceptions reports, and they still are in the research firm’s latest report, released Wednesday.
But their favor with marketers is either falling or remaining flat, Advertiser Perceptions found.”

The Perfect Rose Bush Distraction

– Avinash Kaushik

When data is presented in your org, the spotlight is on the beautiful rose bush in the front yard. How extraordinary the petals are, how perfect the shade of Mother of Pearl on your flowers, how amazing that YOUR WORK ensured that you had the first rose bush with its own Instagram feed. Everyone is looking, everyone is fawning, proud. Meanwhile, little attention directed to the fact that your entire house is going up in flames!

How important is this thing that I’ve been told relative to all other things I need to know?”

Oversold And Overpromised: Marketers Move Away From DMPs

– AdExchanger

“Marketers tell AdExchanger they have struggled to achieve ROI, often hiring consultants or in-house talent to manage their DMPs. Some went through disruptive rip-and-replace processes only to find that their new DMP providers also had poor match rates, bad integrations and weak connections into paid media.”

The 10 Game-Changing Ad Tech Exits Of The Decade

– AdExchanger

AdExchanger looked at the acquisitions that made the biggest impact in the past decade. Impact can mean many things. Some of these startups flourished under their new owners, showing worth far more than their deal price. Others, purchased during their downfall, reflect the changing winds of ad tech and how companies that were once dominant can swiftly fall from grace.”

Google: Organic, Ads & Analytics


Google now showing ‘request quotes’ button above local pack on mobile

– Search Engine Land

The request quotes functionality is consistent with Google’s broader effort to make GMB an “engagement” and transactions platform.”

Google now shows carousels of reviews on local business profiles

– Search Engine Land

Google has been spotted displaying reviews in a carousel format, placed more prominently on local business profiles. Review excerpts on Google My Business-powered (GMB) listings are not new; however, this is the first time they are displayed in a scrollable carousel format that may promote viewing more reviews without the user having to click “see all reviews.”

Should Smart Shopping Include More Data? My Rebuttal to The Rebuttal – Part 6: The ZATO Guide to Google Smart Shopping Campaigns

– ZATO Marketing

“I believe Google owes a certain amount of data to the ones paying for the ads. That is, I just want to make sure I have access to the data that I am able to make good decisions by for the good of my clients and business.
But this is the rub, and why we’re having this conversation: We’re all going to disagree on what data is necessary to do our jobs well.”

Pro Tip: Why you should stop using last-click attribution in Google Ads

– Search Engine Land

“Often, people are searching on multiple devices and do extensive browsing and research before making a purchase. Understanding the impact that higher-funnel keywords have on conversions can help better utilize spend, cut out waste and inform other digital marketing channels such as SEO and social media.”
** The article does mix up Google Ads & Google Analytics attribution. It talks about increases in the number of conversions after switching an attribution model which isn’t possible in Google Ads, the total number of conversions would always stay the same inside of Google Ads. For this example, they’re clearly talking about an increase in conversions attributed to Paid Search in Google Analytics. However, the general idea of the article is correct: different attribution models value different stages of the funnel over others.

The big list of 2019 Google search algorithm updates

– Search Engine Land

2019 saw a number of publically disclosed core and other search algorithm updates. Among the many changes of 2019, Google established a naming convention for core updates and brought natural language understanding to search results.

2 months ago
Jochen Fostie

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The CLICKTRUST monthly pick – November 2019

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

Data & Privacy

Digital advertising is not the dot com bubble, improper attribution is

– Marketing Land

“In other words, I am positing that paid search advertising itself has not failed, it’s that an understanding of how to use paid search advertising as part of an integrated marketing mix for individual companies has failed. Improper use of attribution has led to an obsession with directly tracked results that over time do not build a brand and incremental sales. They simply re-target (not necessarily remarketing, btw) the same users already in the sales cycle – ad nauseam.”

Apple’s data war could lower the value of ads, say these two major publishers

– AdAge

“Both executives say that they see a difference in the value of ads, depending on whether a reader comes to sites through Apple or Google browsers. Visitors through Apple browser, where cookie tracking is more limited, lead to cheaper ads.”

When Third Comes First

– Adexchanger

“Not all brands have first-party data, and in some advertising categories, first-party doesn’t help growth objectives at all because it reveals information about an existing customer, rather than potential customers where incremental opportunities reside.
Brands should seek a reliable and legitimate provider for the type of data they need, then apply a scientific, analytical approach to selecting the strong data signals they will use as a predictor to reach the right prospects.”

Is digital advertising a lot less effective than the ad industry believes?


“Put simply, companies are attributing to advertising what likely would have occurred anyway. Using an analogy from the article, there’s a person handing out coupons for discounted pizza in the restaurant itself and advertisers are crediting those coupons for sales even though it’s obvious this conclusion is flawed.”

Google: Organic, Ads & Analytics

Google search results eye candy: How users navigate search features and what it means for SEO

– Search Engine Land

Because search-results pages are now so inconsistent from query to query, users are often forced to assess the page before digging in and making a selection,” according to the report. Any given query can surface numerous search features, ranging from rich answers to carousels and everything in between. This assortment of information plays a critical part in shifting the user’s attention across the page. “That means that the layout of a SERP can determine which links get visibility and clicks.”

Misquoted and misunderstood: Why many in the search community don’t believe the WSJ about Google search

– Search Engine Land

“Google aims to ensure that the most relevant and useful search results show up in the organic search results. While Google cannot open-source its search ranking algorithms due to (1) competitive and (2) manipulation reasons, Google does work hard to provide a trusted set of search results for its searchers.”

See the ‘top signals’ informing your Google Ads bidding strategies

– Search Engine Land

“Google’s smart bidding strategies use a host of signals to inform bids with each auction. Now, Google is starting to show which signals are driving performance to optimize bids for people more or less likely to convert.”

Social: Facebook & Instagram & others

Introducing New Brand Safety Controls for Advertisers

– Facebook

While our Community Standards apply to everyone on Facebook, we also have additional policies to hold publishers, creators and advertisers accountable. At the same time, we know that not all businesses are the same and some may want additional controls for placements within publisher content, like in-stream and Instant Articles on Facebook or Audience Network. It’s why we are focused on giving advertisers more transparency and sophisticated tools to suit their brand. Today we are announcing strides in our brand safety controls.”

Social media ads are most effective for inspiring new product research


This is one part of Econsultancy’s “The best digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week” linked to above.
“The study assumes that the first action an online shopper will take to express interest in a product can be to click a link to learn more, type in the brand domain direct, or run a search for the product or brand. When it comes to inspiring product research, 23% of survey respondents cited social media ads as the number one most effective form of advertising – out of 11 different common advertising and promotional mediums offered.”

TikTok Is Testing A Self-Serve Ad Platform

– Adexchanger

Advertisers in the United Kingdom, France, Italy and the United States can purchase TikTok ads with partially self-serve tech. A pitch deck obtained by Digiday outlines TikTok’s two self-serve business models. The first allows bidding based on cost per click. The second model is based on cost per acquisition, targeting users most likely to convert. Among the usual audience parameters – age, gender and location – advertisers can also target based on device price, interests like beauty or travel and with look-alike segments.

3 months ago
Jochen Fostie

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The CLICKTRUST monthly pick – October 2019

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


Data & Privacy


Four strong indicators that your marketing analytics programme will fail

– Econsultancy

“According to Gartner, so far marketers have leveraged only 61% of the functions available in their martech portfolio. The reason? Most organisations lack people, skills and a proper vision for their marketing analytics programme.
Ascend2 research further mirrors that sentiment indicating that 61% of companies originally invested in martech solutions to improve marketing efficiency and marketing ROI. Yet, post-adoption, 47% of respondents still struggle to capture that elusive ROI figure and 40% are far from being as productive as they’d like to be.”


Marketers Are Going Straight To Exchanges For Ultimate Data Transparency

– Adexchanger

“As marketers seek more transparency into their programmatic buys, they’re bypassing their demand-side platforms and going straight to exchanges and publishers to ask for log-level data about the bids they’ve won and lost. Advertisers are planning to use this data to power their buying strategies. Buyers could find pockets of undervalued inventory though log-level analysis and make more intelligent decisions than competitors who don’t have access to this data. Granular pricing information could inform negotiations in direct deals with publishers.


Data Platforms Enable First-Party Data Strategies – But Aren’t A Substitute For One

– Adexchanger

“The framework should provide for adding and removing online and offline data sources, easily integrating into multiple channels well beyond programmatic and setting up data partnerships to fill the data gaps and improve revenue, including the collection of additional data that the user may be willing to provide. It should be independent and not tightly tied to any specific technology partner or platform.”


Some Unsolicited Advice For Surviving The ‘Cookiepocolypse’

– Adexchanger

“The “death of cookies” may be second only to “year of mobile” as ad industry prediction fails. Both forecasts felt tired after too many false starts. The third-party cookie may not be dead just yet, but the increasingly scrutinized piece of code – one which for decades fueled audience buying across the digital landscape – is arguably now on life support.
If you were renting third-party data, you will likely need to build partnerships or some other means of working around the reduced efficacy of the third-party cookie. If you have strong customer (first-party) data, you will need to find partnerships that enable that data to work on third-party sites.”



Google: Organic, Ads & Analytics


Is Google’s new BERT technology another nail in traditional SEO’s coffin?

– Econsultancy

As for optimizing content for BERT, Search Engine Land’s Barry Schwartz suggests that little can and should be done. He pointed to a tweet posted by Google’s Gary Illyes when RankBrain was launched, which stated “you optimize your content for users and thus for rankbrain. that hasn’t changed.”
Of course, that doesn’t mean that there is nothing for search marketers to do. For one, some companies might soon find that as Google’s ability to better understand natural language grows, they have reason to update content that was originally developed for traditional SEO so that it’s better-suited for human consumption.”


Google Ads Rolls Out 2 New Tools for Responsive Search Ads

– Search Engine Journal

“The two new tools include:

  • Performance column: Identify the exact creative assets that are driving results in high volume ad groups. Improve “Low” rated assets, keep “Good” performing assets, and emulate the “Best” performing assets.
  • Ad variations: Google Ads’ ad variations now supports responsive search ads, which lets advertisers run their own ad copy tests.”


Google Ads is Testing New Lead Form Extensions

– Search Engine Journal

“Advertisers can customize lead forms with their own title and description, and indicate which pieces of information they want to ask customers for. ”


Google Ads now showing cart metrics for Shopping campaigns

– Search Engine Land

“Merchants capturing cart data with Google Ads conversion tracking will be able to see additional revenue and profitability data attributed down to the product level. The new metrics, currently in beta, take cross-device conversions into account.”


Google Chrome Will Block Mixed Content

– Search Engine Journal

“Google announced that Chrome browser will begin blocking web pages with mixed content beginning December 2019. Publishers are urged to check their websites to make sure there are no resources that are being loaded using the insecure HTTP protocol.
Mixed content is when a secure web page (loaded through HTTPS) also contains scripts, styles, images or other linked content that is served through the insecure HTTP protocol. This is called mixed content.”


Facebook & Instagram


Facebook is Changing How it Calculates Organic Impressions

– Search Engine Journal

“Facebook pages are likely to see organic impressions go down as a result of changes being made to how impressions are calculated. Facebook is specifically changing how repeat organic page impressions are calculated. Changes will affect the time frame in which organic impressions from the same person are calculated.”



4 months ago
Jochen Fostie

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HeroConf London 2019 – Key takeaways

…Why PPC marketers are pretty clueless about the future of digital marketing.


Data-driven, AI, automation, store-visits, privacy and user experience were the very topics on everyone’s mind and the same questions remain after these 2 very interesting days. Marketers have no clear idea on what to do or how to position themselves about the future of digital marketing. Let’s navigate the main takeaways:


Is AI/Automation going to push marketers out of their jobs?


Artificial intelligence and machine learning were obviously amongst the most followed topics during these 2 days and conferences about these subjects easily filled up the conference room. Let’s temper the expectations right away, there is no groundbreaking AI that’ll replace marketing teams nor awesome hacks to crack the code and master algorithms.

Like Frederick Valleys from Optimyzr had explained very well, AI is a tool and we need experts to add the final touch. This final touch is « context » that any algorithm will never be able to fully understand.

These automation solutions allow us the work « smarter » and more efficiently and we should totally look into it to streamline our processes, but we need experts to master them. Machine to machine marketing is not likely to be the answer. As mentioned by several speakers, algorithms have increased in quality and capabilities exponentially for the past 10 years, but this curve is plateauing and computers won’t get any much better.

The conclusion would be to find a soft spot between man and machine, keeping the final user in mind.

You can have the smartest bidding algorithm and the better attribution algorithm, if you provide bad user experience, you’ll fail.

Fun fact, a speaker asked, « Do you think chatbots are interesting and would you add it to your marketing mix ». 98% of the audience hands up. This was followed by a second question « As a customer, do you like and use chatbots? ».

2 hands up. It summarizes quite well the situation, technical tools are available but we need marketers to create a great experience.


Data and audiences in a cookie-free world and why Data-driven models suck.


« You have to leverage your 1st and 3rd party data to the moon. »

« You have to make the best out of audiences and uber complex customer journey. »

You could hear that in a lot of talks and see nice examples of how the data was mastered showing awesome results.

But very few dare to speak openly about the core issue and dodge the main question in the Q&A’s.

How to tackle GDPR, ITP, e-privacy, walled gardens challenges and overcome hurdles in an ecosystem where cookies are dying?

We know it’s happening, we know we should think about it, we know it’s not going any better anytime soon but no one is really taking the bull by the horns.

Blindly trusting data and data-driven model’s in a world where that very data is not going to get any better is not « smart ». Thinking that we can map complex customer journeys and provide a tailor-made solution at every touch-point based on biased data to skyrocket performances is a fantasy.

These questions remains big question marks and marketeers are clueless.

Few solutions were discussed, but are either very complicated/costly or not applicable in most cases. Also, everyone agreed these workarounds won’t probably work anymore in a few times. It’s a cat and mouse game.


UX Designers should be the best-paid guys in the building.


The opening talk featured Rory Sutherland, and we can say it, he rocked the party!

He gave a very smart (and fun) talk on why we should focus on user experience « in a world where we have to pretend that everything makes sense ».

He showed that video where they put Ed Sheran in a 2$ peep show with a creepy sales-guy on the driveway trying to get people in. Even though these people would very likely pay 100$ tickets to live the experience of an Ed Sheran’s show, they won’t enter for 2$ dollars private show since the user experience was terrible.

This analogy was very easy to understand in our digital marketing jobs. We have to make « people marketing » not « spreadsheet marketing ». We usually spend more time analyzing data and tweaking algorithm/automation rather than write new ad copies or create new banners right?

Very often, the most effective way to increase conversions is to increase conversion rates by providing a better user experience, not just throwing more budget in the machine.


Forget shiny objects. A « store-visit » story.


Agencies used to jump on last marketing shiny objects but tend to forget the incremental value. Don’t get us wrong, research and testing is a very important part of the process. As Rory Sutherland mentioned in his presentation, luck and irrationality matter too.

Store-visit is one of these stories. After a speech about bridging the gap between online marketing and offline behavior, the Q&A has been very interesting but the conclusions stayed the same :

• Revenue could be bad on a PPC or shopping campaign be could have a positive impact on store visits

• A very good ROI campaign won’t necessarily impact in-store traffic.

• In-store results are extrapolation.

• We can’t split organic and paid “go-to store”.

• Incrementality is very hard to measure.

« Trust the tech and let it be » was the final word.

We can’t really agree with that….


Conclusion: Where are PPC managers going in 2020?


As Fred Valleys mentioned, as digital marketers today, we are PPC doctors. Taking context into consideration to provide the best treatment. We are also PPC pilots, managing auto-pilot for 95% of the flight and putting hands on the bar for the most important moments or if something is going wrong.

The PPC manager role is evolving. We used to crunch numbers in spreadsheets and make manual changes in slow tools. The role is evolving towards settings goals/KPI’s, picking automation and monitor them, teaching the machines and troubleshooting as well as leveraging insights across platforms.

• We have to challenge tech and ad tech. Not blindly follow it to avoid self-fulfilling prophecies.

• We have to challenge ourselves as marketers. Cut the bullshit, place user experience in a central position, look at the big picture and think “incrementality”.

• We have to challenge our organizations. Stop working in silo’s, think about integrated marketing and open communication and reporting.

But most importantly, we have to use our common sense more than ever. As things are evolving so fast, there is no time for the status quo.

Thanks again to all the speakers and special shout out the staff for making this event possible. The app to interact with the speaker was great. Following these events allow us at Clicktrust to be on top of what’s going on and try to find answers to help our clients and partners to overcome the hurdles about their digital marketing journey in a world in constant evolution.

4 months ago
Julien Delbauve

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The CLICKTRUST monthly pick – September 2019

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

Data & Privacy

It’s Time For Consumer Choice In The Value Exchange For Content

– Adexchanger

“After 25 years of the commercial internet, two things are clear: People understand the internet, and publishers must be paid for the services they provide. The best path forward isn’t to infantilize the consumer by deciding for them in the name of protection. It’s to let consumers choose the value exchange that they prefer.”

The Demise Of Third-Party Cookies Means Brands And Publishers Must Get Closer To Consumers

– Adexchanger

“While the ramifications are quite serious for many stakeholders, these browser changes will hardly limit the practice of targeted advertising. They simply provide compelling new incentives for both publishers and marketers to move toward a targeting infrastructure built on first-party data acquired through a clear and transparent value exchange.

This is not a problem that can be solved by adding new layers of ad tech. The current landscape of identity solutions is fragmented and labyrinthine. If you name a supply-side platform or DSP, they’ve partnered with a different source to help fuel their ID business. While this new technological layer may seem to solve a short-term problem, it’s only creating a larger gap between the walled gardens and everyone else.”

Publishers Are Abandoning First-Gen DMPs

– Adexchanger

“The reasons are manifold: First-generation DMPs use cookies as their foundation, meaning publishers are seeing huge deteriorations in scale as more cookies are blocked or require consent. DMPs also failed to deliver on the promise to lure in data-hungry buyers, who weren’t interested or weren’t ready to incorporate publisher data. And the tech created more work than publishers were prepared for, meaning expensive DMP investments didn’t generate the promised ROI.”

There’s An Upside To Sharing Our Data

– Adexchanger

“Marketers want to stitch together a narrative about their brand’s performance using impression data from owned, earned and paid media. We desire access to common metrics across all data platforms. We want access to data – which resides within platforms and walled gardens, publishers and media companies and advertiser-owned digital properties – because this information will help reduce media waste and lead to better-informed business decisions.
What if there was a way to share standardized data – in a privacy-compliant way that protects valued customers and respects emerging regulations – while opening up a wealth of valuable data insights?”

Google: Organic, Ads & Analytics

Google’s Ad Business Undergoes Massive Reorganization

– Adexchanger

“As part of the reorg, he’s re-visualizing the company as four “concentric circles.” The innermost circle is Google’s owned-and-operated properties, including search and YouTube. The next circle outside of that is Google’s buy-side and sell-side businesses. The two outermost circles span the organization: measurement and privacy.
Google’s network business is in the strange position of being powerful externally but disempowered internally. Externally, it faces complaints from competitors who see it dominating the market – which Hsiao recently denied in a blog post. But internally, its overall revenue importance has slowly diminished. Back in 2010, the network business comprised 30% of Google’s revenue. In the latest earnings, it was just 14% of its revenue – and that’s before it paid out 70% of that revenue to its partners.

Soapbox: ‘Intent’ should be every marketer’s #1 obsession

– Search Engine Land

“Google’s ranking algorithm might remain a mystery, but it’s always surprising to me that all marketers don’t rally around the same important concept as the most crucial of all: intent. By “intent,” I mean both user intent and what I call “creation intent.” That is, we should always be focused on what people are looking for and why we’re creating something because where those two elements meet is where the most successful content lies. Don’t get me wrong: There are other important elements, of course, like quality backlinks and keyword optimization, which can greatly boost your chance of ranking highly.”

Search query reports show a huge increase in Google close variant traffic

– Search Engine Land

“Close variant performance can vary by advertiser, campaign, keyword and specific close variant match. While most advertisers see these matches convert at meaningfully lower rates than true exact matches for non-brand keywords, some actually see higher conversion rate from close variants looking at this comparison account-wide. However, there’s likely no account where close variants are so relevant and tightly related to all the keywords being triggered that advertisers should simply allow them to take their course.”

September Updates to Paid Advertising Platforms

-PPC Hero

Accelerated delivery to be removed in favor of Standard Delivery
Add store visit to Smart Bidding
Instagram testing Shopping Posts as Ads
Search Ads 360 introduces auction-time bidding for Google Search Campaigns”

Facebook & Instagram

The Rise of Social Commerce – and What it Means for Your Brand

– Social Media Today

“With more social platforms looking to integrate direct, on-platform selling tools, social commerce looks to be the next major retail shift.”

#SMTLive Recap: Facebook’s Recent Updates

– Social Media Today

“Even people outside the social media marketing sphere have heard about all the changes coming to Facebook over the past few weeks. From the Facebook news tab, to Instagram and Facebook removing total like counts, to the Instagram scheduling option on Creator Studio, to ad targeting restrictions, these massive updates have been kind of hard to miss.”

5 months ago
Jochen Fostie

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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.

6 months 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. “

7 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.

11 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!

1 year ago
Fabian Van De Wiele

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