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A look back at a merry multi-screen Christmas season!

Suppose that we could have hopped onto a flying sleigh for a quick trip around the world during Christmas. What would we have seen from up high? The twinkling lights of millions of multi-screen homes. This was a multi-screen Christmas season. People shopped online at all times, from everywhere, on all kinds of devices.

Cyber Monday, the first Monday after the Thanks­giv­ing hol­i­day in the US and the busiest online shopping day of the year, provided people with limitless opportunities to shop and save while being constantly connected. Thanksgiving may not be a European holiday and Cyber Monday may not be a well used term on the streets of Paris, Madrid and Milan, but our research proves that Europeans are just as likely to begin their shopping sprees in the week after Thanksgiving as their American counterparts. What’s even more interesting – in Europe – is that shoppers were getting a head start with their mobile devices the Sunday before Cyber Monday.

We looked at several popular Christmas present search queries across the US and Europe, and discovered a surge of mobile queries on Sunday 25th November. In the United Kingdom, for example, mobile queries for electronics surged 103% YoY on the 25th when people were using their phones while out shopping. The following day, people turned to their PCs and tablets to take advantage of Cyber Monday deals while at work and we saw PC and Tablet (where we see similar search behaviour) queries grow by 105% YoY for top electronic gifts.

               


These same multi-screen trends carried us into 2013 as people researched how to shed those extra Christmas pounds and get healthier in the new year. On New Year’s Eve, people did their research on smartphones while shopping for last minute outfits or getting their hair done. In the United Kingdom, mobile search queries rose 288% YoY on New Year’s Eve for gyms, cleanses and diets. And on New Year’s Day, as people sat on their sofas at home recuperating, search queries on PCs and tablets rose 128% YoY for gyms, cleanses and diets.

Advertising implications for businesses
So we know that today’s shoppers are constantly connected. We know they move seamlessly between many screens, in the moment, without second thoughts. And on all screens, they search. Now that we know that, what do we do?

One good answer is to think about context. All these new search patterns have created a world of new context-based marketing opportunities. When you know the time of day, a shopper’s general location and the kind of device that they’re using, you can guess quite a lot about what they may be looking for and where they are in the buying cycle.

Need help? Upgrade to enhanced campaigns in AdWords to make your cross-device advertising smarter, more powerful and more measurable. Enhanced campaigns can help:

1. Manage your bids across devices, locations and time.
2. Show the right ad creative, sitelink, app or extension based on user context and what the device can handle.
3. Track conversions like calls. And soon, you will be able to track digital downloads, in-store purchases and other cross-device conversions.


Get the context right on the next day of note, say Mother’s Day or Easter. To learn more about AdWords enhanced campaigns click here.

Posted by: Suzanne Mumford, Product Marketing Manager – Mobile Ads

Source: Google Internal Data. Growth based on YoY data.
*Top electronic gifts defined as smartphones, tablets, ereaders, mp3 players.
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Gumtree extend the reach of TV ads

Gumtree a network of online classifieds and community websites, wanted to extend the reach of their TV advertising on YouTube using TrueView ads. To achieve this, Gumtree harnessed the power of Google data to get the right ads in front of the right searchers.

Using TrueView ads Gumtree achieved a 26% view rate (45% above the benchmark), whilst maintaining a low cost per view at 2p (75% below the benchmark). Gumtree were also able to attract new visitors to their website with 59% of visitors from YouTube new to Gumtree.

Sam Diamond, Head of Brand and Communications at Gumtree highlighted the importance of YouTube in their media strategy by saying ‘We found TrueView easy to use, and an effective way of extending the reach of our TV advertising. We gained lots of interesting insight from our trial, and will now always consider YouTube as part of our media strategy’.

You can find the full Gumtree YouTube channel here.

For further details on YouTube TrueView ads click here or watch the short video below.

Posted by Ali Turhan, Industry Analyst – Agency Strategy Read More

Deep Linking From Mobile Apps

Hello Android and iOS mobile developers. Now when a user shares a favorite song or news story from your app to Google+, their stream post can include a deep link to that piece of content. Clicking the link either:

  • Opens your app, and goes directly to the news story (for instance), or 
  • Redirects to Google Play or the App Store to encourage download

Using the Google+ mobile SDKs, you can integrate the Share dialog and embed a deep-link ID with your post. The deep-link ID may be a URI or an identifier that your app can use across its supported platforms, to identify the correct context to launch in your app.

Here are some examples of deep link sharing on Android from Pulse News:

You can also download Pulse News from Google Play to see deep links in action.

Check out our developer docs to learn more about today’s launch of deep links on Android and iOS and follow the conversation on Google+.

Posted by Francis Ma, Product Manager, Google+.Read More

Ocado and LateRooms.com share their experiences of using Google+

In previous posts we have highlighted the creative ways that Ocado and LateRooms.com are using Google+. We’d like to share with you two videos from them on why Google+ is working for their brands.

LateRooms.com, a hotel aggregator matching customers around the planet with suitable hotel rooms, is using hangouts to discuss top destinations, providing travel tips to their customers and have experienced a 9%CTR uplift in search as a result of social extensions. See what they have to say…

Internet grocery retailer Ocado has done a series of hangouts with Great British Chefs who cooked for customers and these hangouts were promoted via True View ads on YouTube, which resulted in 167k engaged views. The Ocado YouTube channel views went from 50k to 230k in the space of a week thanks to the hangout, without including the people who live-streamed the event (which numbered to about 60 individuals at any given time). Ocado is also using social extensions and experiencing a 30% CTR uplift in Search as a result.

Posted by +Natalia CanoRead More

Case Study: Scoot & Doodle Sparks Creativity With Their Google+ Hangout App

San Francisco-based startup Scoot & Doodle brings people face-to-face in a shared online play space in real time. Scoot & Doodle chose to launch their first product as a Google+ Hangout app, and since launching built a user base of 100,000+, achieved strong engagement with returning users averaging 28 minutes per session, and increased their Google+ followers to nearly 900,000.

Scoot & Doodle chose to launch their first product as a Google+ Hangout app because the platform offered advantages to gain traction in the crowded, competitive online social space. Those advantages included:

  • Access to 400 million highly engaged Google+ users already connected through Circles, Gmail, YouTube, and Calendar 
  • Easy, streamlined discovery of Scoot & Doodle on Google+, through viral channels such as Notifications 
  • Quality, strength, and reach of face-to-face on hangouts, which let Scoot & Doodle users connect, create, and collaborate with up to nine people, simultaneously, worldwide 
  • Relatively simple development in the Hangouts API, they went from concept to launch in just three months

Scoot & Doodle has seen extremely high engagement with its product in Hangouts. The average visitor spends 22 minutes per session, and returning users spend 28 minutes per session. They’ve also found their users are engaging in ways they hadn’t expected, like anime artists collaborating daily with each other and with Japanese writers to create and design characters for online games. Also, students from junior high school to college use the app to illustrate, collaborate, discuss, and solve problems for their class work; for fun breaks, they doodle and play Pictionary-like games together.

U.S. and Japanese artists use Scoot & Doodle to collaborate on anime projects like this one.

“We’re seeing users engage with the product in creative, diverse ways. As a result, Scoot & Doodle has captured far more user communities than we initially envisioned,” says Patty Chang, company cofounder and product lead. “Scoot & Doodle on Google+ Hangouts has pushed the bounds of how we look at our product and where we’re going with it.”

Scoot & Doodle has identified new uses for its product from its followers, and connects with them regularly in hangouts and via Google+. The company also conducts focus groups using Hangouts. Its latest features—talk bubbles, stamps, and scrapbook—arose from discussions between users and customer reps on Google+.

We think Scoot & Doodle is a good example of a company who has built a strong audience on Google+ through its use of Circles, content rich posts, interactive Hangouts, and creative promotions. These promotions have focused primarily on community building and engagement, with good results from encouraging users to create with the app, then share and engage with others in their Circles.

Follow Scoot & Doodle on Google+ and download the full case study here. To learn more about Google+ Hangout apps, visit: developers.google.com/+/hangouts.

Posted by Amy Walgenbach, Product Marketing Manager, Google+Read More

Media Planning Toolkit


Planning can be tough. Ever changing media consumption, elusive audiences & time constraints can make it difficult to know your audience, how to target them and measure the impact… And yet careful media planning is key to successful campaigns.

Google planning tools can enable better decisions and more agile planning, with real-time data, insights across digital platforms.

Today, we are launching the Media Planning Toolkit to bring all these planning resources in one place. 

Make it your go-to destination to find quality insights and ideas, optimize your media plan and measure the results.

Happy planning.

Posted by Romain Perrier, Agency MarketingRead More

Ocado case study: Google+ features take the cake

With its inherently digital focus, internet grocery retailer Ocado has established itself as an early adopter of new technologies, so it comes as no surprise that the company embraced Google+ as soon as it could – and has already started reaping some tasty benefits.

The opportunity for Google+ to contribute to improved search rankings was a convincing reason to launch the brand’s Google+ page. By adopting social extensions, Ocado ads became instantly more compelling, and click-through rates increased by 30%.

Hangouts are a clever way that Ocado has brought food-centric content to life. The company capitalised on its existing Great British Chefs initiative and used Google+ to produce a live event where the chefs cooked for customers. Ocado promoted the hangouts via True View ads on YouTube, which resulted in 167k engaged views. The Ocado YouTube channel views went from 50k to 230k in the space of a week thanks to the hangout, without including the people who live-streamed the event (which numbered about 60 individuals at any given time).

The experience has led Ocado to consider further possibilities for moving images. They are keen not to use text-based feeds as what they really want is to get people excited about food, and images are a great way of differentiating. In addition to hangouts and images, Ocado has embraced the Google+ badge which appears on the check-out page with the aim of making the shopping experience social through gifting and sharing.

In future, Ocado has plans for more hangouts on the Google+ page, as well as ideas for more video and channel-specific content. The intention is to deliver the sights and sounds – if not the tastes and aromas – of Ocado products straight to users’ screens.

Find out more about Ocado’s recipe for success by reading the full case study here.

Posted by +Natalia Cano
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Creative Sandbox Gallery. Now open for play.

At Google, we’re amazed by how the ad industry is using the digital canvas to bring brands and ideas to life. Whether it’s enticing viewers with video, evoking a smile with a mobile phone, or re-configuring the typical ‘test drive.’ When digital advertising works, it can not only be informative, but emotional and dazzling. That’s why we’ve created a space where everyone can see this great work, talk about it, and roll around in it like a big happy dog.

Yesterday we launched the Creative Sandbox gallery. It’s a crowdsourced collection of global campaigns that push the boundaries of creativity and technology from across digital platforms — a place to flash your brilliance, spark new digital ideas, inspire and be inspired. We’re asking the creators to share a little detail on how they made the magic happen and the tools they used to do it, exposing us all to new ideas and new ways to improve our own work.

As with any sandbox, looking and playing are required. Vote to push your favorite projects to the top. Tell other creators what you admire. And if you’ve done something amazing lately, send it in. We’d all love to see it.

Jump in. Explore. And play.

www.creativesandbox.com

Posted by Justin Joy, Agency Marketing ManagerRead More

How Google+ is being used by Fashion Brands

For anyone with a passion for fashion, the most exciting time of the year is here: Fashion Week. While the runway shows in New York, London, Milan or Paris are still filled mostly with fashion buyers, bloggers and celebrities, with YouTube and Google+, everyone can get a front row seat right from their desktop, mobile phone or tablet.

  • From New York, more than 30 fashion shows are being streamed on YouTube Live from the Runway channel, sponsored by Maybelline, giving you front row access from your living room.
  • very.co.uk hosted a hangout on air with Radio 1 DJ Fearne Cotton who presented her Winter Collection with fans. Only 6 people were given the chance to chat with Fearne and ask her questions about her new Collection but there were prizes for everyone: free tickets to join her exclusive London Fashion Week show this Thursday.

  • Paris Vogue Fashion’s Night Out: +VogueParis posted “Live-GIFs” of the event on their +Page, where notable guests, models and VIPs had their images turned into GIFs, ready to be shared across the web. Their 3hour YouTube live broadcast, is now available on the Vogue Paris YouTube Channel http://www.youtube.com/user/Vogueparisfr or on www.vogue.fr.

There are without any doubt an increasing number of EMEA brands Gucci, Burberry, H&M, Hugo Boss with over 1 million followers on Google+ and others such as Versace or Armani who continue to grow on the platform. These brands are all using the photo / image capabilities of G+ to showcase all their latest designs and collections.

We saw this earlier in February with H&M’s David Beckham underwear collection, and now again in August with H&M’s (#BeckhamforHM) behind the scene photo shoot, and continue to see more and more examples of how fashion and retail brands are embracing Google+ to engage with their followers.



Posted by Natalia Cano, PMM Google+ B2B MarketingRead More

Online Engagement and FMCG Spend in the UK

Are you an advertiser or agency interested in the UK FMCG sector? Are you looking for more information on ROPO (research online purchase offline) behaviour? Then check out this study that looks at ROPO behaviour in the UK FMCG sector focusing on FMCG searchers and those who have visited a grocery retail online site. The study combines single source data for online behaviors and offline purchases in those categories.

 Key Findings:

  • In 2011, 64% of UK internet users spent significant time researching brands before making a major purchase (vs. 50% in 2008). 
  • 47% of main shoppers visit grocery retailer websites and 72% search for FMCG related terms. Two thirds of main shoppers search for Food & Drink related terms, half search for Beauty information. 
  • Main shoppers who Search & Visit spend +13% more in-store than those who do neither. 
  • Main shoppers who search for FMCG information online are younger, more affluent and have larger households. 

You can access ppt and pdf versions of the study on the Think Insights site here. Posted by Rosie Rankin, Agency TeamRead More