REPORT: How Modern Marketers Measure Advertising Effectiveness

Posted by on Jul 11, 2017 in Advertising
REPORT: How Modern Marketers Measure Advertising Effectiveness

How Do Marketers Know If A Campaign Was Effective?

That question seems to be one of the most hot-button topics in digital marketing today. Most likely because finding the answer is so challenging thanks to numerous channels, media mixes, and multiple devices.

And there doesn’t seem to be one right answer when it comes to measuring effectiveness, though campaign results are crucial in determining future advertising strategy, where to put more money, and how to expand on successful messaging. To truly understand the impact of a campaign, marketers need to be able to dig into results at an individual level through first-party data.

Research Now, an online market research company, and Econsultancy, a subscription-based service that gives marketers access to research, market data, best practice guides, case studies and e-learning, teamed up to survey 2,715 global marketers to examine their approach to measuring the effectiveness of campaigns. The sample consists of client-side/in-house marketers, agencies, independent marketing consultants, and technology vendors.

Some key findings in the report include:

  • More than three-quarters (77%) of company respondents agree that the success of advertising should drive the level of budget allocated to it. The ease of digital measurement, alongside this attitude, is reflected in the results; brands allocate 25% of their budget, on average, to digital, compared to 13% to TV, which tends to be a more difficult channel to measure.
  • Those who are effective at advertising measurement are more likely to be using key measurement tools. Over two-thirds (69%) of marketers who are ‘extremely effective’ at digital advertising use customer surveys, and 74% measure brand awareness, compared to 21% of those who are ineffective at measuring each of those.
  • More than 60% of client-side marketers agree that ‘surveys to test advertising effectiveness provide a strong indication of the success of an advertising campaign,’ and 54% agree that these surveys are essential to advertising validation. An even higher proportion (72%) see market research as playing an important part in measuring the effectiveness of advertising.

Measuring An Effective Advertising Campaign

The outcome of a campaign isn’t going to mean anything if it wasn’t set up correctly in the first place. Avoid any arguments and discussion after the fact by getting all key players to understand and agree on the campaign’s objectives and subsequent results tied to those goals from the very beginning.

The report cites Kevin Standen, Head of Digital Marketing at Vauxhall, who advises, “Given the possibilities in terms of journey sources, platforms, timeframes, channels and devices – to set KPIs to measure effectiveness that fit all of these is extremely difficult.” He suggests dividing every activity into a separate role as it relates to the customer journey, with each assigned a KPI.

Other respondents in the survey took the same approach, which results in prioritized objectives that stack up like this:

most important objectives for your advertising

When asked how they measure the above, respondents said proof of increased sales was the top indicator (66%), traffic second (62%), and social media engagement and increased brand awareness third (45% each).

So how do you apply this information to your marketing strategy? Before you even push “go” on a campaign ensure you know:

  • your individual campaign objectives and associated KPIs
  • which channel would be most effective for each objective
  • your media mix based on customer journey

Use A Broad Media Mix To Get The Results You Want

The report cites an eMarketer prediction that American adults this year “will spend almost six hours per day using digital media, including mobiles, desktop/laptops, and other connected devices.” All those channels (and time) provide a lot of opportunity for marketers to get their messages to audiences, but with all those choices, where do you even start?

As we talked about above, define your campaign objectives, and you’ll have a better idea of the media mix to include in your strategy. And don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

Diversifying will yield differentiated data that can provide better direction on how to proceed. When asked about spend on digital advertising, respondents reported a healthy mix of different channels:

average portion of advertising budget

More marketers are shifting budget to digital thanks to viral potential, low costs, and relatively easy measurement, but TV and video shouldn’t be ignored, especially if you’re focused on long-term effects like brand awareness.

The IPA, a UK organization for professionals in advertising and marketing communications, found in a study that adding TV to a media mix (in addition to channels like Facebook), can increase campaign effectiveness by 40%.

Applying the above findings to your strategy, diversify budget across a media mix that makes sense for your campaign objectives. You’ll get the most data and bang for your buck from multi-channel campaigns.

Don’t get overwhelmed by the number of marketing channels available. Instead, test quickly to determine which are right for your brand and strategy. Media mix choices will only continue to grow. The faster you can understand and implement, or ignore new channels, the more ahead of the game you’ll be. The most effective marketers see the wide range of marketing channels as an opportunity, not a burden.

Attribution Remains A Challenge For Many

Correctly attributing a purchasing decision often requires tons of clean data, which takes a lot of time and skill to establish and maintain – luxuries many businesses don’t have in-house.

Of respondents in the survey, only 15% of in-house staff say they use attribution modeling to determine a campaign’s success, with that number rising to just 22% for agencies.

how to establish how effective your advertising is

Marketers are using a mix of results to determine campaign effectiveness, but the most successful respondents in the survey reported giving more weight to four specific categories:

  1. measuring brand awareness
  2. customer surveys
  3. attribution modeling
  4. and NPS


So if you’re looking for quick and solid feedback on your campaign, consider these avenues first. You’ll also want to prioritize the measurement techniques that are easiest for you to set up and manage. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by trying to create a complicated attribution model that might not be correct from the beginning.

Check out our post on solving attribution issues for some tips on how to get started and read the full report here.

Conversion Rate Optimization: How to Turn Luck into a Repeatable Process

Posted by on Jul 10, 2017 in Advertising
Conversion Rate Optimization: How to Turn Luck into a Repeatable Process

Conversion Rate Optimization Process

One of my favorite aspects of running digital advertising campaigns are the virtually unlimited options of testing to increase performance. Headlines, calls-to-action, bids, targeting, personalization…the world is your oyster.

It’s easy for marketers to quickly add new variations, but it’s much harder to understand exactly what variables are having a positive or negative effect on results.

CRO Tips for Testing

1. Write Down Your Hypothesis

Before launching a new initiative, write down the channel and variable you would like to test. Next, establish a timeline for how long the test should be active and the desired outcomes.

2. Benchmark Performance

Record the previous results. These metrics will be compared to the new test and help you understand if the recent changes helped or hurt the performance of the campaign. If you are looking to conduct a two week test for example, note the performance trends from the previous two weeks as a benchmark.

3. Use Tracking URLs

Custom URL applications such as Google URL builder help you track A/B tests within analytics platforms. With this tool you can add unique identifiers including:

  • Campaign source – Used to identify the channel (Email, Google, Yahoo!, BING, Facebook, LinkedIn, Quora, etc.)
  • Campaign medium – Used to identify the marketing medium (cpc, email, banner)
  • Campaign name – Used as a label to track a specific focus (such as a product or seasonal promotion)
  • Campaign term – Can be used to track specific search terms (keywords).
  • Campaign content – Used to differentiate two elements pointing to the same destination url (such as ad copy variations)

4. Use CRO Tools

Setting up an A/B test doesn’t have to be a painful, manual process. There are many tools created to help marketers run tests to increase paid media campaign performance. Here are some suggested options:

Landing Page Optimization

A/B Ad Copy Testing

Heatmaps and Visitor Recordng

5. Write Notes in Analytics

Google Analytics includes a feature called annotations. This allows a marketer to add notes, highlighting and tracking major initiatives or changes. Each annotation acts as a quick reminder of milestones, which helps explain spikes or drops in site performance trends.

6. Come to a Conclusion, Repeat What Works

After the end of your testing period, compare your hypothesis results, to those of your previous benchmark. Identify increases or decreases in performance (CTR, CPC, CPA, Cost Per Lead, etc.).

Wrap Up

As a caution, if you test too many variables or don’t document the conversion rate optimization process it will be very hard to pinpoint what did or didn’t work. Opposed to blindly running tests and being at the whim of what sticks, create your own luck. Methodically test and find the best suite of advertising channel, targeting, ad copy, and landing pages to yield monumental results.


How to Talk About PPC Results with Your Boss

Posted by on Jun 28, 2017 in Advertising, Reporting
How to Talk About PPC Results with Your Boss

PPC industry terms and acronyms can seem like a foreign language to those not managing digital media.

It’s important to translate how performance metrics impact overall business goals. Slim your reports down to the key metrics that matter, and explain trends in common terms.

Report on PPC Metrics in Common Business Terms


From an outsider clicks don’t seem all that valuable. Is it unique clicks? Clicks to what exactly? Describe these are active searchers, who were looking for your industry, product, or service and were interested to learn more.

Use instead: Web Visitors


This indicates the total amount of money the company owes for running ads. But, what is it in relation to? The C-suite allots budgets to departments based on performance and goals. How does this expenditure relate to your monthly/ quarterly/yearly budget? 

Use instead: Budget spent or spend


This is a broad universal term used for when a goal is achieved. How is a conversion defined in your business? Replace the word conversion with your objective:

  • Lead generation for sales
  • Email address capture
  • E-commerce purchase

Use instead: Lead, sign-up, or purchase

Cost Per Conversion

Is this relative cost high or low? Some conversions are worth thousands, others worth a few dollars. Use a more descriptive term to easily gauge value.

Use instead: Cost per lead, cost per form fill, or cost per sale.

Return On Ad Spend (ROAS)

This formula reveals the net revenue gained from your ad campaigns.

ROAS = (Revenue – Cost) / Cost

Use instead: Return on investment (ROI)

This is how your CEO/CFO reports company health to the company, board, or investors. Don’t just provide the percentage – also include a ratio. Ex: 300% ROI. Or, a 3:1 return. Currently, every $1 spent is yielding $3 in return on average.

Tips for a Good MonthlyReport

1. Provide a highlight summary at the top

  • Include bullets on performance trends of the most important metrics.
  • Sum up performance across channels, accounts, and campaigns.
  • Include next action steps.

2. Visualize performance trends in graphs

Your CFO and you might love seeing all the raw data, but for others, it’s time consuming and hard to draw conclusions.

Appeal to visual learners by showcasing a slice of data within a graph.

AdWords Conversion Trends

Provide additional context with the graph. 

Example: Within this graph, you can see that total lead volumes have been increasing (total conversions), while the average cost per lead (cost per conversion) has been declining since May.

3. Explain how your results impact the business as a whole


Include other department insights or metrics if available. Examples:

Goal: Lead Generation

Over the past 3 months we generated 95 additional leads on the same budget, compared to the last quarter. This has translated into 60 additional sales demos ran, netting 15 new sales, totaling $105,000 in new revenue.

Goal: E-commerce

The warehouse manager noted there is a large stock of chainsaw inventory sitting in the warehouse for months. We created new chainsaw campaigns with promo discount pricing to move more products. The campaign sold 65% of the overstocked inventory, netting $85,000 in revenuespending just $35,000 of our total monthly budget.

Wrap Up

Remember, the executive team often is faced with making complex decisions with limited time. Whittle your report down to the essential viewpoints they can understand quickly. Finally, explain how paid media initiatives are aiding the company’s top line growth and net profits.

AdStage Report CTA

Quick Guide to Amazon’s Advertiser Audiences

Posted by on Jun 26, 2017 in Advertising, Reporting
Quick Guide to Amazon’s Advertiser Audiences

Amazon Announces New Lookalike Audiences Tool

Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods is intriguing news that’s been covered by just about every major media outlet, but the company quietly announced another addition to its capabilities in the past few weeks. One that marketers may find even more exciting.

Amazon, in its blog post, describes Advertiser Audiences as “a new self-service capability that allows advertisers to securely engage their customers and extend campaign reach on and off Amazon.” If you haven’t yet considered Amazon as an advertising channel, this could be a good time to start testing.

Advertiser Audiences allows you to reach existing customers – of which Amazon says case study participant Burt’s Bees saw click-through rate increase by 2x, consideration rate increase by 9x, and purchase rate increase by 4x to 8x – but the real power lies in creating lookalike audiences. To do that, advertisers anonymously match a list of their customers with Amazon shoppers to create new targeting segments to use in Amazon advertising campaigns.


Pros of Advertiser Audiences

Unlike other platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and even Pinterest, people looking at Amazon are the farthest along the funnel, and couldn’t be closer to a purchasing decision. This allows marketers to shape messaging accordingly. Instead of spending time and money on ads that inform, educate, or interest, messaging can be much more blunt and aggressive.

While you won’t get direct insight into Amazon’s customers, campaign results, if interpreted correctly, will reveal behavioral data for those people who have made it nearly all the way through the funnel. This information can inform future advertising decisions, even outside of Amazon campaigns.

Cons of Advertiser Audiences

Currently, Advertiser audiences is not an easy-to-use, intuitive platform. It’s a manual process that unless you’re experienced (or very patient) may require agency assistance.

As mentioned above, the tool will help you reach lookalike audiences, but don’t expect a huge dump of data in return. Some analysts have described Amazon’s advertising offerings as “black-box,” and this one is no exception.

Only Amazon advertisers (advertisers placing buys directly with/through it) have access to the channel and can use it only for their Amazon campaigns.


Advertiser Audiences In Action

Amazon worked with Burt’s Bees to test and ramp up Advertiser Audiences. Over the last holiday season, Burt’s Bees wanted to focus on their gift packs and stocking stuffers. Using Advertiser Audiences, they discovered 68% of their website customers also used Amazon for online purchases. They used that info to build a lookalike segment and saw that matched customers purchased 4x more.

How to Get Started

Though technically Advertiser Audiences is a self-serve platform, Amazon suggests you contact your account exec to get started. Pay close attention as he or she walks you through the process so you can take over from there and not have to depend on someone else to launch future campaigns.

As part of Amazon’s terms to use Advertiser Audiences, you will need to anonymize your customer email list using either a self-service user interface or if you know how, you can pre-hash your list before submission. (A search for “SHA256 generator” turns up quite a few encryption options. SHA256 refers to the algorithm that carries out the anonymizing).

AdStage Report CTA


Data Visualization: When and How to Use Graphics for PPC Reporting

Posted by on Jun 22, 2017 in Advertising, Reporting
Data Visualization: When and How to Use Graphics for PPC Reporting

Technology, an increasing demand to squeeze the most out of every minute, and the desire to objectively present information are driving our world to become ever more visual. Whether in news media, on social, or in daily business reports, there exists a need for detailed information to be presented and understood quickly.

You probably deal with mounds of data every week, but it’s often hard to sort through what really matters, and when it does, how to effectively tell a story with the numbers. No doubt you’ve come across a graphic before that either didn’t make any sense or did little to present information in a way that illustrated a point. Visualizing data isn’t always necessary, but when used correctly at the right time, can be crucial in getting your point across.

Reasons To Use Data Visuals In PPC Reports

Popping a graphic or two into a report can give it a professional look and save space where’d you otherwise need to use a bunch of text, but before you go drawing up a complicated line graph, make sure there’s a valid reason for the graphic. A few of the more obvious include:

  • Presenting and understanding complicated info quickly – Your client just sent a request for week over week CTR data for each active social platform going back 6 months. Instead of dumping it all into an Excel sheet and leaving them to decipher it, a simple graph can tell a story that might otherwise need a thousand words.

adstage CTR by week

  • Highlight emerging trends – Laying all the data out in a visual manner is often the easiest way to predict where certain trends are headed. If you’re seeing a bump on a piece of creative featuring a certain style of your retail client’s denim, you could use a data visual to help them see why another look at their website promotions and store layout could be an effort with a huge payoff.
  • Spot overlaps and patterns – Let’s say you’ve been A/B testing creative and you want to show your client why they should funnel their budget into creative A, even though they love creative B. A line graph could help show the disparity between the two pieces, and the power of reallocating the budget to the winning creative.

You don’t want to spend time on a meaningless graph, but you also don’t want to miss the opportunity to include valuable information that tells a powerful story. Make sure there’s a compelling reason to visualize a chunk of data and it’ll be a natural part of your report.

When To Use Certain Visuals

Pie charts, line graphs, bar graphs, Venn diagrams. Just hearing that list can bring back middle school memories of math class. Sometimes it’s obvious which chart type is most appropriate, but other times – not so much. Figure out what the goal of your chart is, and you can easily discern between which to use.


If you have many key players referring to the data, and each will be interested in his or her own piece, a table or metric is a good call. In this example from the NY Times, a table is used to show how common certain birthdays are, based on how many babies were born on that date between 1973 and 1999.

While it’s interesting to see how your birthday might compare to another one, you’re likely only looking for information that pertains to you and then moving on. One thing to note is that unlike other data visualization options, a table won’t bring your audience to an immediate conclusion, rather it will simply organize and present the information for reference.

how common is your birthday


The very structure of a line graph is set up for data to be shown over time. In this interactive chart from USA Today, four bar charts show why Apple recently cut the price of the iPad – starting with declining market share, then slipping quarterly sales, declining tablet shipments, and finally a comparison to other tablet manufacturers. The first three graphs are shown on a year over year scale, helping highlight the iPad’s rise, plateau, and decline – a strong indication it’s time for Apple to make decisions to reverse the drop in sales.

google table market share

Tailored Visualization

Depending on what you’re trying to present, a traditional chart might not do the job. If that’s the case, you have to get creative. Time does a great job categorizing and then visualizing the daily routines of famous creative people in this interactive chart.

daily routines of famous creative people

How To Use Data Visualizations

No matter what type of data visualization you’re using, you must set the narrative. On a basic level, all graphics should be correctly titled, and all data clearly labeled. Providing the right context will help avoid misinterpretation of objective data.

AdStage’s Report product takes care of all of that for you, and helps you generate better PPC reports in minutes. As we highlighted in a previous post, the cross-channel dashboards in Report offer customizable widgets for advertisers to select the data set and the visual components of the dashboard, such as tables, metrics, graphs, and charts.

How to Save 10 Hours on PPC Management With Automation

Posted by on Jun 19, 2017 in Advertising, Automation
How to Save 10 Hours on PPC Management With Automation

Managing a PPC campaign takes time. A big part of that time is taken by activities you repeat over and over, like scheduling ads, optimizing bids, and keyword management.

Some of the activities you do to manage your campaigns are small and may take you 10 minutes. But aggregate all those little tasks, and you will see you are losing many hours a month you could spend in higher-value activities.

In this article, you’ll learn how to use automation to save up to 10 hours a month when managing your PPC campaigns.

Campaign Optimization

On Your Own: 6 hours per month

Optimizing a campaign is one of the most time consuming tasks of any PPC specialist. Tasks such as setting up new ads to test, changing bids to reflect a new tactic, and improving the ad copy of a set of ads take too much time. Most importantly, it can distract the specialist from the big picture of helping a business improve its leads and ROI.

With Automation: 2 hour per month

You can use automation to help you optimize a wide variety of basic optimization tasks, such as:

  • Pause ad sets and ad groups which spend over their desired limits
  • Pause low performing ad sets, ad groups, or specific ads
  • Increase the spending of ad sets, ad groups, or specific ads based on their high performance
  • Adjust the bids based on the impact (including ROAS and CPA)
  • Run ad tests

Google AdWords already lets you set simple automate ad rules. You can also use scripts and other AdWords automation tools, which usually give you greater control and more automation options.

Facebook has also released automation rules in 2016, allowing advertisers to optimize campaigns in a similar fashion than to Google AdWords. Some of the automation rules Facebook offer include:

  • Pause campaigns, ad sets or ads based on performance
  • Increase or decrease campaign budgets based on performance
  • Increase or decrease manual bids based on performance
  • Receive email alerts based on ad performance

Even though Facebook’s automation rules are good enough for companies with smaller budgets and levels of complexities, they can be too restraining for larger business. With the help of a tool such as AdStage, you can automate your campaigns with greater flexibility.

For example, you can implement your automation rules across multiple campaigns and ad sets simultaneously. What’s more, AdStage allows you to apply as many rules as you wish, while Facebook only lets you set up to 100 automated rules per ad account.

Ad Rotation

On Your Own: 2 hours per month

Ads don’t last forever. PPC specialists know this very well when they try to scale an ad that is performing well but stops performing as it should. The reason why a well-performing ad stops bringing any meaningful results is due to a process known as “ad fatigue.” When a publisher hits an audience with an ad too many times in a short period of time, the audience’s attention to that ad drops, which lowers the CTR and, therefore, increases its costs.

To fight ad fatigue you can implement a tactic called “ad rotation.” This consists on manually creating a large number of ads within one ad group (or set), with their respective images and copy for each one. Then, you could set a schedule time for each one, run them, and after a certain time has passed by, compare the results.

The problem with this solution is you would need to keep a tight schedule on each ad running time as well as manually check when they are supposed to stop. Finally, you would need to stop the ad yourself, and activate a new one. Repeat that over a dozen times, and you can imagine you can end up wasting a lot of time (without counting the mental fatigue that can give you).

With Automation: 30 Minutes per month

Automating ad rotation would help you set all your ads at once (with their respective headlines, copy, and images), set up how often you want to run them (which could be hours, days, weeks, or even months), and let the ads rotate automatically the way you set them up. You can then set up an alert (which you will see later how to do) and check the results without having to check constantly how they are performing.

Google AdWords currently allows you to use automatic ad rotation. Google offers four options:

  • Click optimization (the default option): With this option, Google would optimize your group to make it receive more impressions and clicks overall.
  • Conversion optimization: When Google optimizes your ads for conversion, they deliver the ads that have converted better more often into the ad auction than other ads in the ad group.
  • Even rotation: In this option, Google rotates your ads more evenly into the ad auction, helping your ads with low CTRs and conversion rates to show more often.
  • Indefinite rotation: In this option, Google also delivers your ads more evenly into the ad auction, but does so for an indefinite amount of time and does not optimize.

Facebook Ads rotation works differently, as they set up their ads in a way that different ads within the same ad set compete against each other for delivery. That means they display all the ads in your ad set until it’s clear one is performing better. As soon as that happens, the highest-performance ad will be shown more prominently than the others. Because of the nature Facebook rotates their ads, if you would like to have your ads display more evenly over the lifetime of an ad set, you need to separate your ads into different ad sets. Even if this rotation is automatic, it still requires a lot of work.

To this end, AdStage can help you rotate your ads with a feature called Flighting, which allows you to cycle a selected set of Campaigns, Ad Groups, and Ads. Once the first group of ads meets the time condition selected, those will be paused and the next step will be enabled.

Ad Scheduling (aka. Dayparting)

On Your Own: 2 hours per month

Unless you run a local business, showing your ads to your prospects at the right time can be a tiresome process. The prospects who live in the East Coast may be receiving ads that aren’t relevant at their time zone, which means you end up wasting money on people who aren’t likely to convert.

In some cases, it’s easy to know when your ads are more likely to be effective. For example, if you run a business with limited service hours which will be closed at certain times, you probably want to restrict your ads to run only while your business is open. In this case, you can limit your ads to run from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM Monday to Friday.

In many other cases (like in the case of an e-commerce store), it’s hard to tell beforehand when your ads will perform best. That’s where scheduling your ads to show at specific times, when they have proven to work best, can be a more efficient and time-saving process.

With Automation: 15 Minutes per month

Ad scheduling, also known as “dayparting”, show your ads to the right people at the right time. You can schedule your ads to show at specific hours and days of the week. Your ads will be served your audience’s time zone so you get the results you want.

Both Google AdWords and Facebook offer dayparting in their campaign managers. The problem is they don’t make it easy for you to turn off your campaigns.

AdStage Automate lets advertisers use dayparting through the campaign scheduler. Based on data taken from your previous campaigns, you can show your ads at specific times of the day or week when they have shown to be most effective. This helps you spend your budget as efficiently as possible. Scheduling your ads in Power Editor requires a lifetime budget. With AdStage, in contrast, advertisers have no restrictions on what budget types can be used for scheduling.

Get Alerts

On Your Own: 3 hours per month

How many times have you run a campaign and feared it would end up spending more money than you desired? If you measured how much time you spent monitoring your accounts and campaigns, you’d probably gasp at the number. Whether you check in on a campaign’s spend, on your KPIs, or simply troubleshooting problems that show you, logging into accounts to look at the numbers is time-consuming.

With Automation: 15 Minutes

You can end all your worries by receiving a curated list of your accounts and campaigns straight to your inbox. With automation you can set a threshold in relation to a certain metric, and the threshold is hit, you immediately get an email or message. Alerts do all the work for you by sending updates as soon as you over or under spend, make specific adjustments, and anticipate problems before they happen.

Facebook currently doesn’t offer alerts, while Google Adwords does. Google Adwords lets you get the following email notifications:

  • Billing alerts
  • Campaign maintenance alerts
  • Newsletters
  • Google market research
  • Customized help and performance suggestions
  • Disapproved ads and policy alerts
  • Reports
  • Special offers

AdStage also allows you to create custom alerts to your inbox.

Create Reports

On Your Own: 2 Hours per month

Reporting is a common activity any PPC specialist spends a large deal of time on. The problem is, each time they need a report, they need to log in, pull all the necessary data, organize it, and export it. If they need the same report every a specific period of time, they can end up spending more time than necessary creating those reports.

With Automation: 20 minutes per month

Both Google Adwords and Facebook Ads lets you automate your report creation. The problem with their standard reports is you can’t customize it. For example, you can’t compare the performance of your AdWords and Facebook Ads campaigns. You can’t create standardized templates for reuse. This is not to mention how confusing and ineffective creating reports can be. Neither companies allow you to add graphics or tables. To do that, you you have to export your data and work it on Excel, which can be even more complicated and time-consuming.

AdStage allows you to create custom PPC report templates, and then schedule them as a recurring report (including daily, weekly, or monthly) straight to your inbox. You can also add your team members or clients with ease.


If you are a PPC specialist with too much work and not enough time, this article has shown you the power of automation. Throughout this article, you have seen how automating five tasks in your PPC management can help you save 10 hours (or even more).


Why AdStage Automation

[The PPC Show] This Week In Ad Tech Headlines for June 12-16th

Posted by on Jun 16, 2017 in Advertising
[The PPC Show] This Week In Ad Tech Headlines for June 12-16th

This week on The PPC Show, Paul and JD break down the top news and trends in ad tech and digital marketing.

In this episode we breakdown Facebook’s new value-based lookalike audiences, Bing’s new In-Market and Custom Audiences Targeting features, Amazon’s Audience Match Tool, Twitter’s UI update, and the impact of Google’s Ad Rank update from May.


Facebook – Value Based LAL Audiences

Because so many people engage with ads across Facebook, Instagram and the Audience Network, we’re uniquely able to determine whether a person is likely to take actions based on historical data and people with similar characteristics. Through App Event Optimization, advertisers can deliver ads to the people who are likely to take valuable actions within their apps.

Value optimization works by using the purchase values sent from the Facebook pixel to estimate how much a person may spend with your business over a seven-day period. The ad’s bid is then automatically adjusted based on this estimation, allowing campaigns to deliver ads to people likely to spend more with your business at a low cost.

New In-Market and Custom Audiences Targeting features help advertisers target and reach their best customers

Bing Ads is releasing two new features via a pilot program that are designed to help advertisers reach their ideal customers. The two new features include In-Market Audiences (US-only), and Custom Audiences (global).

In-Market Audiences are curated lists of individuals found to have purchase intent for a particular category of products or services. Purchase intent is determined based on user signals across Bing, MSN, and other Microsoft services.

These curated lists can be associated with specific ad groups, upon which you can target and modify bids for these audiences similar to Remarketing in Paid Search lists.

Unlike In-Market Audiences, Custom Audiences are remarketing lists generated using your own data. After connecting your data platform manager into Bing’s new Custom Audiences feature, you can import your Custom Audiences segments into Bing Ads for search remarketing.

What Amazon’s Audience Match Tool Means For Advertisers
Amazon on Monday quietly launched a self-serve platform called Advertiser Audiences, which lets advertisers upload their audience lists and CRM information, enabling tactics like audience matching and lookalike modeling.

Assessing the Impact of Google’s May Ad Rank Changes
brand cost-per-click (CPC) Y/Y change has been trending lower since early May, and it appears that advertisers have some reason to cheer Google’s update at this point.

Twitter’s Given their Apps a Major Overhaul – Here’s What’s Been Updated
the new layout will change the way your profile images look. Once you have access to the new layout (it’s being rolled out now), it’s worth taking a look at your Twitter profile to ensure it looks how you want it to in the new format, and that your visuals align with the rounded presentation.

Quick Guide to Facebook Lookalike Audiences for Multiple Countries

Posted by on Jun 15, 2017 in Advertising, Social
Quick Guide to Facebook Lookalike Audiences for Multiple Countries

Facebook recently released an update to its Lookalike Audiences that makes them even more powerful and easier to use for advertisers who wish to reach a global audience. If you’re not already familiar with Lookalike Audiences, it’s a Facebook targeting option that shows ads to people who are similar to those already connected to the brand.

Using a Custom Audience list of customers, marketers can select Lookalike Audiences, which will show ads to people who “look like” their existing customer base. This is generally used as an audience expansion technique to reach more potential customers.

In the past, Lookalike Audiences had to be executed for one country at a time. For example, let’s say you wanted to target an English language ad to United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, the audiences would have be created separately and combined in the targeting.

It was fairly messy with so many audiences and obviously took a lot longer to create and manage. Many times, advertisers would limit the number of countries they wanted to target with Lookalike Audiences to avoid the chaos.

New Countries and Regions for Lookalike Audiences

With their latest update, Facebook has released Lookalike Audiences for multiple countries. If you’d like to select countries from corresponding continents, Facebook lets you expand countries from Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Central America, Europe, North America, Oceania, and South America.

Lookalike Audiences Select Countries via

Alternatively, if you’re looking to target specific regions, you can skip country targeting and target an entire region from the following list: Free trade areas, App store regions, Emerging markets, or Euro area.

Lookalike Audiences for Multiple Regions

Free trade areas groups countries are classified into the following:

  • European Economic Area (EEA)
  • North American Free Trade Agreement
  • ASEAN Free Trade Area
  • Mercosur
  • Gulf Cooperation Council
  • Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
  • Commonwealth of Independent States Free Trade Area

By hovering your mouse over any of the groups you can see which countries are within them.

Lookalike Audiences Regions via

App store regions may be useful for brands that wish to promote an app. The options include Lookalike Audiences from iTunes App Store Countries, Android Paid Store Countries, or Android Free Store Countries.

Emerging markets could be a good source for cheaper clicks, but keep in mind that this audience may not always have the funds or internet connectivity to be reliable customers.

Targeting the Euro area, which includes anyone who uses the Euro as their primary currency, could be useful for businesses that wish to reach the entire European Union.

For Performance Advertisers: Create a Custom Audience

With the addition of multiple countries for Lookalike Audiences, Facebook no longer requires a minimum number of people from a source country to create a Lookalike Audience. This update means you could use a seed list audience that is completely from the United States to create a Lookalike Audience in Germany, Spain, Australia, or Japan.

This may be useful for top of the funnel or brand awareness campaigns, to expose more people to your brand, but may not result in immediate conversions. For this reason, we recommend promoting an educational blog post or video that will drive more engagements, rather than conversions.

If you’re a performance advertiser looking for conversions, we don’t recommend using Lookalike Audiences as your primary targeting option, but rather, you can build a Custom Audience with people who’ve previously engaged with your website or video, and run a retargeting campaign that promotes opt-ins or products.

Creating Your Custom Audience with Robust Data Matching

In the past, Facebook only allowed you to create a Custom Audience from an email or phone number. However, now you can add a number of fields that will help you be more precise with your Custom Audience targeting and match rate with Lookalike Audiences. For performance advertisers and specifically B2B advertisers, the match rates could be higher as some consumers use their personal email address with their Facebook account rather than their business email address, which is the one you likely have on file.

To upload a data file for your Custom Audience, include as many fields as possible in your csv or txt file.


Column Header





Phone Number


  • 1-234-567-8910
  • 12345678910
  • +44 844 412 4653

First Name


  • John
  • F.
  • Émilie

Last Name


  • Smith
  • Sorensen
  • Jacobs-Anderson



  • Paris
  • London
  • New York



  • AZ
  • California
  • Normandy



  • FR
  • US
  • GB

Date of Birth


  • MM-DD-YY
  • MM/DD/YY
  • DD-MM-YY
  • DD/MM/YY
  • YY-MM-DD
  • YY/MM/DD

Year of Birth


  • 1986



  • 65
  • 42
  • 21

Zip/Postal Code


  • W11 2BQ
  • 94104-1207
  • 94104



  • M
  • F

Mobile Advertiser ID


  • AECE52E7-03EE-455A-B3C4-E57283966239
  • BEBE52E7-03EE-455A-B3C4-E57283966239

Facebook App User ID


  • 1234567890
  • 1443637309

For more details on preparing your data file for the best match rate on Custom Audiences, visit Facebook’s documentation here. Some of our clients have seen as much as a 60% increase in their match rates for their Custom Audiences.

With match rates like that and the new international expansion targeting for Lookalike Audiences, go ham on releasing campaigns with better targeted, and more scalable Lookalike Audiences for any region you wish to expand into.

What do you think of the new Lookalike Audiences? Any results you’re seeing as part of this release? Share them with us in the comments section below!


[The PPC Show] Jason Wu, Machine Learning and The Future of Advertising

Posted by on Jun 13, 2017 in Advertising, The PPC Show [Podcast]
[The PPC Show] Jason Wu, Machine Learning and The Future of Advertising

On this episode Jason Wu, CTO and Co-Founder at AdStage, joins The PPC Show. Besides leading the engineering effort there, he also loves running and is constantly learning about new tech topics ranging from security to AI.

Listen to the full episode of The PPC Show as he talks about the early days of AdStage, machine learning, and the future of advertising.



What Does the 2017 State of Digital Marketing Have in Common with the Doors of a Billionaire?

Posted by on Jun 12, 2017 in Advertising, Search, Social
What Does the 2017 State of Digital Marketing Have in Common with the Doors of a Billionaire?

… they’re both all about being mobile. That’s what Marin Software found (more or less) when they surveyed 500 digital marketing managers from the world’s top agencies and brands. In their 2017 State of Digital Advertising report, Marin asked these marketers what trends, opportunities, and challenges they face in 2017.

From mobile ad spend to lags in expertise and what the future of digital marketing holds, they uncovered insights that are sure to drive the field forward (and up, like a billionaire’s car doors) this year and beyond.

Budgets Migrating to Mobile

Did you know that the average mobile user unlocks their phone 150 times every day? Marin reports that 70% of respondents are actively advertising on search and social, and budgets are shifting to meet that demand.

Screen Shot 2017 06 02 at 10.16.36 AM

43% of their surveyed marketers indicated that they believe their mobile budgets around search marketing investment will increase between 10% and 30% in 2017. An additional 34% of marketers plan to increase their mobile budgets by more than 30%. And when it comes to social, 70% of marketers plan to increase their advertising budget. Not a huge surprise, says Marin, given that Facebook eclipsed Google in gross traffic for the first time ever in 2016.

Lack of Expertise

Because search and social are experiencing such growth and change, marketers indicated that it’s tough to stay at the top of their game. When asked to list the biggest challenges associated with delivering ROI from paid search, respondents listed: 1. Difficulty replicating campaigns across Google, Bing, Yahoo or other search providers (37%), 2. Lack of support for investing in paid search (31%), and 3. Lower conversion rates compared to other forms of advertising (25%).

Screen Shot 2017 06 02 at 10.18.10 AM

Marin addressed a few solutions for those top challenges. For “difficulty replicating campaigns,” they suggested investing in tools that import and continually sync Google AdWords campaigns. Regarding “lack of support for investing in paid search,” they recommended highlighting strong returns with limited risk, using past data to prove that customers use search engines to find your product. And finally, for “low conversion rates,” Marin made the case for pre-click optimization to keep the focus on the continual testing of your targeting, message, and advertising bids.

What’s Hot in 2017 and Beyond?

Are we really surprised that high-quality content was listed as homecoming queen here? In Marin’s survey, 42% of marketers said “content marketing” was their top priority in 2017. Closing out the top three were “search marketing,” with 39% of the vote, and “social media,” with 30%.

Screen Shot 2017 06 02 at 10.20.26 AM 1

The ability of consumers to price-check whenever they wish, ship items home, and more reveal the direct need for marketers to provide consumers with the right content at the right time. Marin notes this as a double-edged sword for marketers who find equal footing on mobile, while confronting increased competition to create rich content for consumers.

Still Too New

Surveyed marketers called voice search and virtual reality still too new to be a real priority in 2017. However, with Search Engine Land stating that “60% of smartphone users who use voice search have begun using it within the past year,” Marin suggests paying close attention to the impact these new technologies are having on the digital landscape.