Black Friday is the busiest shopping event of the year, capturing $59B in 2012 according to the National Retail Foundation. Black Friday is also no longer a day – most retailers extend their activities through the weekend, and Walmart and Best Buy open at 6pm on Thanksgiving Day, before most families have even carved their turkeys. The majority of “window-shopping” and list making happens much earlier, with shoppers searching for leaked deals online up to 3 weeks in advance of the big event. Given our web-wide visibility we examined our audience data to understand how shoppers are preparing for Black Friday – we analyzed their demographic profiles, how they look for deals and where they are looking.
The Black Friday Hero: Moms 25-44
Who’s preparing to shop on Black Friday? We looked at our real-time dataset of anonymous user behavior to find out.
We began by examining the demographics of consumers searching for “Black Friday” online in the past three months through November 18th.
We found the Black Friday deal searcher strongly skewed towards females aged 25-44. Based on our findings, more of these shoppers had an income between $50-100k and a college education than the US Internet population. Just as interesting is who isn’t looking for Black Friday deals. Men, Asians and Hispanics, Seniors (65+) and high income-earners ($150k+) all significantly under-index for Black Friday searches.
Not All Mobile Is Created Equal
Looking at the platforms Black Friday searchers are using, we found the mobile revolution is making its presence felt. US Black Friday searchers are 1.5x more likely to use an Android device than the typical US user online.
We spoke to Michael Brim, owner of BFAds.net, one of the largest Black Friday deal sites, who related how BFAds.net’s mobile traffic has grown dramatically. According to Mr. Brim, “Mobile (phone and tablet) web now represents almost 40% of BFAd.net’s total traffic. While we have seen year-over-year increases across all devices, mobile web traffic is up a combined 250%.”
Mr. Brim also notes that despite the huge traffic growth from mobile devices, a large majority of shoppers are still completing their online purchases on the desktop or tablet rather than on their smartphones. Smartphones may be powering research, but online commerce is saved for bigger screens and the comfort of home.
Interests in Family and Home
As a final element for this research into Black Friday shoppers, we looked at what keywords they searched for and organized the data in a couple of ways. First, we looked at which retailers over-indexed in searches. Second, from analyzing clusters of related keywords by interests we can understand what types of content users were searching for and engaging with.
Family and home oriented big-box retailers dominated the top lists as many of people’s interests revolve around family. Other notable interests include travel and sports.
In examining this year’s pre-Black Friday activity, we found Moms aged 25 – 44 are the driving force, and that’s not surprising given the stereotypical image of the Black Friday parent braving the crowds to find their children the hot toy for the season. Last year, Gallup conducted a poll that found adults 18 – 29 were the most interested in Black Friday shopping, and a story developed that Black Friday has made a dramatic skew towards youth. Based on our analysis of this year’s Black Friday shoppers, we think 2012 may have been an anomaly.
Posted by Art Prateepvanich, Head of Product Marketing, Publisher Solutions and Samuel Lo, Data Anthropologist
It’s every advertiser’s goal to capture their customers’ attention at the right time and place, but with so much content out there across so many devices, that window of opportunity becomes more and more important. As an industry, we need to find relevance―at the risk of getting lost in the noise.
In a webinar with the American Marketing Association (AMA) and Critical Mass this week, we explained how machine learning helps drive better advertising decisions and identified the key ingredients to successfully leverage real-time display buying. Listen to our VP of Performance Engineering, Michael Recce, leverage his background in neuroscience and artificial intelligence to simplify the science behind predictive modeling, in the full recording here!
And if you have any questions about getting started with programmatic buying, please shoot a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by Stephanie Park, Demand Generation Manager, Performance
For a brand advertiser, the goal of an advertising campaign is to increase awareness of the brand among the target demographic. While this sounds fairly simple, a concept like “brand awareness” has always been difficult to measure.
To measure and optimize their campaigns, brand advertisers are using various metrics and vendors. Many turn to brand surveys that, while popular, are often cumbersome and expensive. Others are beginning to measure in-target delivery using a campaign audience validation service like Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings™. These reports indicate how many campaign impressions were delivered to their intended audience. Still, because of the ambiguous nature of measuring brand awareness, many online advertisers fall back on click-through rate (CTR) because it’s easy to measure and understand.
We have found that optimizing for CTR is a losing proposition and published our findings in a recent whitepaper. CTR doesn’t work for any campaign, because people who click on ads have a consistent, distinct profile: they are either under 18 or over 50 with a household income of less than $50K. Chances are, this “clicker” demographic is not any advertiser’s target audience.
Delivering Targeted Audiences
We recently saw this dynamic play out for a brand awareness campaign that was initially optimized for in-target demographic delivery and then shifted to focus on clicks.
To promote its newest product, a national CPG brand was looking to reach its target audience of women 18-34 within a brand-appropriate environment. The advertiser ran its campaign across a premium women’s lifestyle network and used Quantcast Demographics to reach its target audience. Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings was used to validate the in-target delivery of women 18-34.
Using its web-wide visibility and audience modeling against each U.S. Internet user, Quantcast was able to deliver exceptional targeting accuracy for the campaign: a 69% overall lift in audience composition for women 18-34.
Once the advertiser chose to optimize the campaign for CTR, however, the audience composition of women 18-34 tumbled 36%.** This means that only 38% of the campaign impressions were delivered to the brand’s target audience of women 18-34, according to Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings.
As a result, more impressions were delivered to “clickers” – who are either very young or older with a low household income This clicker audience looks nothing like the CPG brand’s target audience.
Moving Beyond Clicks
Simply put, you get what you optimize for. While CTR may seem like an intuitive way to measure brand awareness, optimizing a campaign based on clicks means you’re optimizing away from your target audience. As evidenced by the results above, optimizing toward any metric that is not aligned with your target customer means your budgets are wasted on advertising to the wrong audience.
At Quantcast we want to ensure that brand advertisers are getting the best value for their ad spend. Brand advertisers want to reach their target audience, so a more optimal way to measure brand awareness is by measuring in-target delivery – not clicks. Third-party audience validation services can help advertisers understand whether their campaign message was served to their target audience. When combined with viewability metrics, in-target delivery becomes the Holy Grail that all brand advertisers should seek from their display campaigns.
Posted by Jag Duggal, Senior Vice President, Product Management
*Source: Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings, Benchmark Report, Q4 2012
**Source: Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings, April 2013
As brand budgets transition from TV to digital, audience guarantees and validation are becoming more commonplace. In a world where brands are seeking greater accountability, publishers must deliver in-target audiences with great efficiency and accuracy – using fewer impressions to reach a brand’s target means overall inventory can be better monetized.
With the availability of data and innovations in targeting, publishers now have a wealth of options to meet campaign needs.
Matt Clark, head of publisher development at Quantcast, explores the ways in which publishers can take advantage of audience data to help meet guarantees and garner exceptional yield in this session at the recent Digiday Publishing Summit.
Originally published in Digiday on November 1, 2013
Cat enthusiasm reached a fever pitch on Tuesday, National Cat Day, due in part to a promotion by car service Uber and Cheezburger, home of LOLcats. Uber users in New York, San Francisco and Seattle were allowed to summon kittens from local Humane Society and SPCA shelters to enjoy 15 minutes of snuggle time in their homes and offices. Demand quickly overwhelmed supply and many Uber users were left kitten-less.
The kitten shortage is not surprising when examining the audience demographics of the Cheezburger Network. Cheezburger’s audience tends to be younger, without kids, and is 5 times more likely than the general US connected population to look for kittens online, 8 times more likely to be interested in humor content and 1.7 times more likely to be interested in pets.
Cheezburger clearly understood their audience when designing this promotion. They endeared themselves to their cat-loving fans, while significant press coverage and cross-promotion with Uber exposed their unique brand of cat humor to just about everyone else.
What could you do if you knew your audience better? Learn how you can get free audience insights with Quantcast Measure here.
Posted by Maryam Motamedi, Product Marketing Manager, Quantcast Measure
Quantcast was a proud sponsor of an IAB Ireland breakfast briefing earlier this week. Focusing on Real Time Advertising, the event was also supported by Google and featured presenters from Yahoo and Radical.
Speaking at the event, Quantcast’s Amit Kotecha outlined how advertising is currently undergoing an “Industrial Revolution,” witnessing more change in the last three years than in the previous 500.
In addition to the presentation from Quantcast, other speakers offered agency, publisher and ad-exchange perspectives. With more than 90 advertising professionals in attendance, the event showed that the adoption of programmatic buying is on the up in Ireland.
Posted by Michael O’Connell, Manager, Demand Generation EMEA
Quantcast’s VP of Modeling and Optimization Michael Recce presented at IAB Engage in London on the use of data and predictive intelligence to deliver relevant advertising, view the presentation here.
The dust has now firmly settled after this year’s IAB Engage, and it’s worth reflecting on the trends that speakers highlighted and lessons we can learn as our industry plans for 2014.
This was the fourth IAB Engage I have attended and it’s interesting to think about how our industry has changed. The theme of the event was “the human touch” but tech and hardware was the dominant topic, with widespread implications I will touch on in a second.
I’m still astounded seeing so many of the best in our industry in one room and it’s great to hear thought provoking TED-esque talks that get you thinking about the year to come – the list of keynote speakers featured some seriously heavy hitters, many of whom had flown over from the US just for this event.
It’s been said many times that “next year will be the year of mobile.” But with tablet penetration looking to be close to 50% by the end of the year according to IAB, the shorthand name for 2014 looks like a foregone conclusion.
Several comments from speakers leapt out at me as having real implications for our industry.
Amazon’s VP of global ad sales Lisa Utzschneider highlighted the importance of cross-platform shopping and how we need to “start from the consumer and work backwards” in order to develop a successful marketing strategy.
Nicola Mendelsohn, EMEA VP at Facebook frankly admitted that the social network initially ‘failed to understand mobile’ but said that the company is now “putting mobile at the heart of strategy”.
Then Google’s VP of business and operations in Europe Matt Brittin managed to overcome technical glitches with his presentation to gave a captivating talk about how Google “needs to work the way the world works rather than the other way round” showcasing what is now an impressive suite of Google hardware products.
Microsoft’s General Manager of XBox Ross Honey, then showcased the new Kinect and IAB’s Realview research highlighted how essential multi-screening has become in our multi-tasking ‘always on’ lives. On the brand side Waitrose, Unilever and Amazon all talked about the need to put customers at the heart of e-commerce and digital advertising solutions.(read full post)
Jag Duggal, Senior Vice President of Product at Quantcast, and Erin Levzow, Executive Director of Hotel Marketing and eCommerce for Palms Casino Resort, present how to best unlock the potential of real-time advertising and highlight the excellent results that Palms Casino Resort achieved with a Facebook Exchange prospecting campaign, along with other ad campaigns running with Quantcast.
The Application Developers Alliance is one of the leading associations supporting app developers as creators, innovators and entrepreneurs. Quantcast is proud to be working with the Alliance to provide support and resources for its 25,000 members.
This week, the Alliance featured Quantcast developer Kevin Smith as its “Developer Spotlight” of the week. In the feature, Kevin describes his inevitable path to becoming a developer. Like many other avid gamers and developers, Kevin started coding around age 11 or 12 with QBasic. “I made everything from small text-based games to programs to help with homework,” says Kevin. The curiosity to program, and the opportunity to explore endless possibilities, is what Kevin says most developers have in common.
Kevin joined Quantcast to lead mobile measurement development. At Quantcast, Kevin works on making the Measure for Apps SDK more accessible to all kinds of app developers. Read the rest of his profile and his predictions for the next 10 years on the Alliance site here.
Posted by Maryam Motamedi, Product Marketing Manager, Quantcast Measure
Attribution is among the most common topics we discuss with our clients as they seek to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by Real Time Bidding (RTB). Most see it as the biggest challenge in the evolution of digital advertising.
During the webinar Phil Macauley, Quantcast’s EMEA Managing Director, and Pete Robins, agenda21’s Managing Partner, will discuss how best to measure your campaigns, clarify existing measurement shortcomings, and determine which metrics to focus on to drive ROI.
You can register here for this complimentary webinar, which has been scheduled with a European audience in mind.
Posted by Michael O’Connell, Demand Generation, EMEA