How Tech-Savvy Kids Are Wrecking the Effectiveness of Google Ad Campaigns

Are your Google ad campaigns being wasted on kids accidentally clicking ads on their mobile phones? If you’re targeting Google’s Display network, then there’s a good chance you’re wasting a lot of your ad budget. Learn how to put an end to this today.

If you were a kid during the ’80s or the early part of the ’90s, you likely didn’t realize that you were the last of your kind. Every generation of kids going forward will, outside of an apocalyptic event, never know a world not driven by technology. When creating your Google ad campaigns, think about how often you see kids as young as five or six absorbed in playing games or watching videos on a mobile device.

What does any of this have to do with your meticulously crafted Google Ads? If they end up running on the same apps on which those kids spend a lot of their time, plenty.

How Mobile Apps Throw Off Your Numbers

The Display Network provides the capability of allowing your ad to reach 93% of online users. That includes websites, videos, and apps. The potential created can be limitless, but so can the damage that can be wrought by your ad’s inclusion in a mobile application.

It makes sense for marketers to have their ads seen on websites relevant to their product, and that is where Google Ads can be of real benefit. The problem comes in when those same ads appear in the latest version of a child’s favorite mobile game.

The Fat Finger Problem

Think about your actions when playing a game on your phone or some other mobile device. The only ads you will click on are those appealing to your interests, and you likely close the rest. Sometimes your finger placement is wrong, and you end up accidentally clicking through an ad.

Those accidental clicks go up exponentially when children close out ads. All those accidental clicks fool you into thinking you are getting lots of interest in your product, thanks to strategic ad placement. That makes it hard to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns and figure out where you may want to make changes.

How to Avoid Miscounting Random Clicks From Mobile Apps

The following steps outline how you can examine your campaigns and see where your ads are placed.

  1. Select a specific ad campaign from your Google Ads dashboard.
  2. Click “Placements” from the left navigation sidebar.
  3. Click “Where Ads Showed” from the top navigation.

You should see a listing of previous ad placements for that campaign. Enter “mobile” into the search box to narrow the results down to mobile apps.

Excluding Mobile Apps

The Google Ads platform gives you the ability to opt out of having your ads displayed within mobile applications. You can do this by:

  • Clicking the checkbox to the left of the placement, then
  • Clicking “Edit” and
  • Selecting “Exclude from ad group” or “Exclude from campaign.”
  • Next, click “Exclusions” from the top navigation to view all the placements you’re excluded from.
  • Click the blue edit button to add more to campaigns or ad groups.

A Matter of Money

Business owners can benefit the most from completely excluding their ads from all mobile applications. The extraneous clicks could end up costing them quite a bit, as they will not result in the desired conversion.

They can do this by adding “App categories > All Apps” to the Exclusions list within your Display network campaigns.

Pulling It All Together

Not all clicks lead to the promise of a conversion, especially unintentional ones done by kids on mobile apps. You can review your ad placements in the Google Ads platform by clicking on the “Placements” button in the left navigation sidebar.  This will show you the placements you’re targeting.  Click “Where Ads Showed” to see where else your ads were displayed and determine if you need to exclude any of those additional placements.

Most businesses should exclude “All Apps” to save yourself a lot of headaches and reporting issues.

Want more tips to improve your Google Ads campaigns? Get your free copy of our “Ultimate Google AdWords Checklist.”

 

The Transformation of Payments: A Flashpoint of Innovation

For any brand or company, the payment experience must be considered part of the sale. Think about the last time you went to a store and left because the line to pay was too long. Or the last time you went online to pay for something and the checkout process made you so uncomfortable that you just gave up. This shows how important the payment experience is to a brand.

Online paymentFor any brand or company, the payment experience must be considered part of the sale. Think about the last time you went to a store and left because the line to pay was too long. Or the last time you went online to pay for something and the checkout process made you so uncomfortable that you just gave up. This shows how important the payment experience is to a brand.

Technology in the payments field has gone through a huge transformation in the last three years. Let’s look at how this has transformed the lives of consumers.

1. Point-of-Sale (POS) Technology

POS technologies available to brands have exploded. Let’s take Square as an example. How does a consumer pay for a magician for their child’s birthday party without pulling out cash or writing a check? Square is the answer. This technology works with iOS and Android devices to accept payments anywhere by using an attachment for the mobile phone.

Other new POS devices include Poynt and Clover. These devices are able to accept EMV payments, gather data on the customer and provide personalized offers. The technology works outside the hardware, so it can be implemented by companies of all sizes — from Amazing-the-Magician to Zoe’s Fashion Bracelets.

2. Mobile Payments

Another key element of new payment technology is mobile payments. This includes mobile wallets available, like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. According to a National Retail Federation (NRF) study conducted by Forrester® Research (The State of Retail Payments, 2016), 68 percent of retailers said they planned to implement at least one digital payment feature in the coming year.

But with new payment methods, we’re really looking for consumer adoption. According to a Synchrony Financial 2016 Digital Study, 81 percent of consumers surveyed were aware of mobile wallets, but only 9 percent said they plan to use the technology regularly.

Why isn’t mobile wallet usage taking off? After trying the mobile wallet one time, consumers indicated they just don’t perceive the need, and are not sure if it is safe and secure. Most are satisfied with the payment methods they currently use. But, the tide is turning toward increased mobile wallet usage.

According to the same Forrester study, 63 percent of retailers believe consumers will use mobile payments when more features become available. This includes coupons, offers and loyalty programs tied to the wallet. As a result of these increased value propositions, and the increased number of retailers who adopt the technology, the use of mobile wallets is likely to grow in the future.

3. Mobile App

Enabling payments right in the mobile app is an extremely convenient new innovation. A perfect example of this is Uber: When taking an Uber to the airport, the payment experience is almost non-existent. You just get out of the car and go catch your plane. Why is this significant? Think about other mobile apps that could use this seamless integration. Checking out makeup at your favorite cosmetics retailer? Get the eye shadow instantly.

Synchrony Financial has implemented this payment method with an app plug-in called SyPI. Once the customer is in the retailer’s mobile app, the entire purchase experience is executed directly within the app. No digging into your wallet for your credit card each time you want to buy something — no wondering if you have enough credit line for that new sweater. This technology is gaining traction with many brands who want to create a seamless purchase experience.

4. Person-to-Person (P-to-P) Mobile Payments

P-to-P mobile payments have been taking off in recent years. Your local babysitters don’t have the Square attachment to their smartphones? You can still pay them by using other mobile apps. Examples of these are Venmo, Popmoney and Square Cash. These apps allow the transfer of money to an individual from a person’s credit card or bank account.

Many banks have developed their own P-to-P technology to keep customers connected and engaged. As Millennials reduce their time spent interacting with banking institutions, innovative payment technologies are created to keep them engaged and loyal to the bank.

The payments field has gone through an explosion in technology. And with this advent of new technology are new start-ups that create even faster and more seamless experiences. With the rapid pace of change, the end of 2017 may look very different from today in the payment experience for both consumers and brands. Is your brand ready to take advantage of these new ways to grow your business and keep your customer engaged?

Note: The views expressed in this blog are those of the blogger and not necessarily of Synchrony Financial. All references to consumers and population refer to the survey respondents.

Flag on the [Mobile] Play

If you’re a regular reader of this column, you already know that I’m a cheapskate. So it should come as no surprise that I’ve always downloaded the free mobile apps and games. But recently I surprised myself by actually being captivated by a mobile ad from Buffalo Wild Wings and took the bait—only to be deeply disappointed by the lack of, what I like to call, experience management.

If you’re a regular reader of this column, you already know that I’m a cheapskate. So it should come as no surprise that I’ve always downloaded the free mobile apps and games. I’ve found that I don’t have a problem staring at an ad for 3 seconds, waiting to return to my next round of Scramble With Friends (SWF).

But recently I surprised myself by actually being captivated by a mobile ad from Buffalo Wild Wings and took the bait—only to be deeply disappointed by the lack of, what I like to call, experience management.

Here’s what got me hooked: The ad was brilliantly designed for this mobile user who had just spent the previous two minutes rolling my fingers quickly across the screen in different directions to connect letters to form words and score points.

The visual, in the center of the screen, was a circle with a thumb print in it.

The headline was very inviting to this 49er fan: “Football fever is spreading fast. Take a quick test.” And the call to action was “Press and Hold Your Finter [sic] for an Instant Scan.”

Aside from the typo (doesn’t anyone proof anymore??), I was hooked. Great call to action and great visual—especially for an ad inside a mobile game where my fingers do all the work.

Naturally I pressed my thumb over the thumbprint, and a little “scan” visual swept back and forth, seemingly scanning my print. The next screen was a file folder labeled “Results.” A red “stamp” stated “Further Testing Required”—and a call to action to “Get a Complete Fever Diagnosis” kept me motivated to continue to the next screen. So I clicked, and that’s when the brilliance of the campaign all came crashing down.

It seemed that I had landed somewhere within the Buffalo Wild Wings website. Nothing more about football fever. Nothing more about my scan or my fever diagnosis. Nothing even closely related to my previous experience. What was most prominent was a “Find a B-Dubs” (I figured out this is insider lingo for Buffalo Wild Wings) with a place to enter my zip code. Sigh …

If I hadn’t been a marketer, I would probably have hit the “x” button to go back to my game. But being a glutton for punishment, I entered my zip code, hopeful that the B-Dubs folks might tie the action back to my football fever. But instead, I wait a second and … and … I get a message: “Results (0).” Really?

I get that there may not be a B-Dubs within 25 miles of me, but according to the website (which I visited separately), I found several in my SF/Bay Area geography.

So here’s my advice: Instead of telling me there were none, how about programming your site to say “Oh no! There isn’t a B-Dubs in your neighborhood, but we’ve found 5 that you might enjoy as you travel around Northern California.” And then provide those pinpointed on a map.

And what happened to that football tie-in?

All digital advertising and landing pages are an opportunity to optimize a series of thought sequences, and it’s critical that marketers understand how to help a consumer connect the dots.

In this case, the game ended with Buffalo Wild Wings: 0, Consumer Purchase Opportunity: 0.