Happy Holidays from ClearPier


As the holiday season approaches, we’d like to take this opportunity to wish you a happy holidays and wonderful new year!

Thank you for your continued support and for following our blog. If you’re not already doing so, remember to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram for instant updates.

Stay tuned for more exciting content on everything digital, performance, and programmatic as we head into 2017.

No matter what you’re celebrating this season, happy holidays!

The Team at ClearPier

Want to learn how ClearPier can help you?
Connect with our team at sales@clearpier.com


5 Creative Tips for Video Ads that Work

Video ad spend continues to grow driven by its ability to engage and strong
click-through rate at 1.84%.

Did you know that by this time next year, US Digital Video ad spend may hit $11.72 Billion? On a dollar basis, US digital video ad spending is expected to reach $28.08 billion by 2020, up from $9.90 billion in 2016 (eMarketer).

Programmatic video buying is also seeing extensive adoption and growth – accounting for 41% of all Digital Video dollars spent. That represents 58% growth over the past 2 years.

The numbers aren’t surprising considering video’s ability to engage and its strong click-through rates at 1.84% (BI Report).

Video is on the up and up as consumers continue to cut ties to traditional media and turn to digital. Audiences are increasingly discovering content, being entertained, and uncovering new brands through video consumption online, most especially on mobile devices.

As demand for video rises, advertisers need to adapt to the new medium to generate maximum results. Earlier this year, Yahoo and Nielsen & Hunter Qualitative partnered to produce a report on native video advertising that also highlighted some best practices for brands to create stronger video ads.

So how can you find success with video advertising? Here are some of the best tips:

1. Use Large Logos

When it comes to video ads on mobile, the larger the logo the better. Large logos can increase brand familiarity by 24%, affinity to convert by 17%, and brand recommendation increase by 33% according to Yahoo.


For Millennial audiences on mobile, affinity conversion increases by 25% when large logos are used – that’s 11.5x higher than on desktop.

So remember to GO BIG with logos.

2. Always Employ a CTA

Consumer purchase intent increases by 14% for video ads on mobile devices if advertisers employ a call to action (CTA).

Encouraging visitors to take a specific action to take them further along your sales funnel. Whether it’s a sign up, call, or click – CTAs represent lower-funnel metrics like purchase intent and brand recommendation which all help measure your ads performance.



3. Optimize Your Creatives for Mobile

When creating your videos keep in mind that on mobile, you can watch video either horizontally or vertically (including vertical landscape and vertical portrait). Optimizing your video ads for screen alignment is therefore extremely important.

clearpier-mobile-alignment-videoTraditional horizontal landscape videos are the most efficient at driving top and bottom funnel metrics like purchase intent and brand familiarity.

4. Go with Traditional Length for Pre-Roll

We know that the traditional video ad lengths that run for 15-30 seconds work. When videos are shorter, say just 5 seconds, brand affinity conversion, brand recall and purchase intent metrics don’t do so well. 5 seconds may simply not be long enough for audiences to process and recall a brand.

Slightly longer video spots generally perform better, but only if they are entertaining, humorous, interesting, engaging and relevant to the viewer.


For Native video ads, Yahoo recommends 15 seconds which reportedly drive greater recall and purchase intent.

5. Go Ahead and Auto-Play

Digiday reported earlier this year that 85% of Facebook’s videos are watched without sounds, and other publishers seem to agree.


Yahoo advises that auto-pay significantly increases brand recall when compared to user-initiated videos play. Eye tracking indicates that auto-play helps keep viewers focused on the video ad itself, whereas user initiated videos depend more heavily on copy which can negatively impact engagement.

Video ad spend will only grow as the medium matures online and across mobile. But advertisers and brands need to experiment, test and optimize. Just remember to keep these best practices top of mind. Check out the full Yahoo report here.

Learn how ClearPier can improve your video campaigns. Connect with our team at sales@clearpier.com

A/B Testing 101: A Crash Course on Optimization

Without A/B testing -without experimentation- you have no concrete data to drive real growth.

What is A/B Testing and how does it work?

A/B tests are experiments in which two versions of something are compared against each other to see which performs better.

You can A/B test almost anything. Whether it’s an ad, a banner, a button, a landing page, a website, or an app –  it can be A/B tested.

When audiences visit your site or app, they are randomly split so that a percentage of users are shown version A, while others are shown version B. Statistical analysis will reveal which version gets the best results.

Image source: Visual Website Optimizer
Image source: Visual Website Optimizer

The A/B method lets you test very specific changes to your website, then collect and analyse the data so that the impact of the changes can be measured and lead to data-driven optimization.

The changes can be as simple as a headline (colour, wording) or as extensive as a complete redesign of the page. Then, half of your traffic is shown the original version, while the second half is shown the modified version to see which one gets the results you’re looking for – revenue, signups, downloads – whatever you’re trying to do with your website.

Why Should You A/B Test?

A/B testing may sound simple but the insight gained can lead to significant measurable improvement of the user experience and performance. When it comes to making guesses or assumptions about human behaviour – specifically, how people will interact with your site or app, the results are often unexpected and can only be uncovered through actually testing.

After testing one variable at a time – the cumulative effect of winning changes leads to tremendous boost towards your desired outcome or goals – such as conversion rates.

In addition, the overall spend on marketing can actually be decreased as the elements of the user interface become as efficient and effective as possible – especially when it comes to getting new customers. A/B testing also proves useful to help product developers and designers to optimize other goals such as user engagement, and in-product user experience – to name a few.

Here’s another example of why you should A/B test (for more examples, go to www.behave.org)  – the Citizens Bank experiment:

Should your call to action stress urgency or important information? 

Key Performance Indicator (KPI): Unique Open Rate (unique opens/net delivered)

Traffic Source: Existing banking customers. Traffic to site split 50/50 between version A and version B.

Goal: to determine which emotional language subject line will convert better – informative or urgent.

Difference between versions:

Version A: Urgent email subject line: “Act now – get help with selling or buying a home” 
Version B: Informational email subject line : “Important information about selling or buying a home”



Which version do you think won?

The Winner: VERSION B!

Compared to version A – the informational copy increased open rates 49.2%, at 99% confidence.

Why? Perhaps because urgency in subject lines is a widely used marketing tactic – one that has lost its effectiveness due to overuse. This particular tactic is an old trick – marketers are simply trying to trigger our impulsive instincts and motivate us to purchase or engage in some other call to action.

(Source for Citizens Bank example: BEHAVEhttps://www.behave.org/case-study/call-action-stress-urgency-important-information/)

Here’s another example from Highrise, a CRM software company:

Highrise’s Headline & Subheadline Test:

high-rise-a-b-testHighrise tested different headline and sub headline combinations to see how it affected their sign-ups. The test showed that the variation telling visitors that the sign-up is quick produced a 30% increase in clicks. It was also the only variation with an exclamation mark.

These examples show how A/B testing little changes can lead to big wins. So, what’s the process?

The A/B Testing Process

  1. Collect data: First, you must analyze and gain insight into where the bottlenecks are – such as pages with low conversion rates or high drop off rates and other user metrics such as page views, time on site, impressions, clicks, CPCs, and many more. Here are four tools to help gain this insight:

This information will help to set specific and measurable goals.

  1. Identify Goals: Figure out what metrics you will use to determine whether (or not) the changes get better results than the original version. Goals can be anything from website visit duration, email campaign signups, viewability of ads – the possibilities are vast and it is important to explore several possibilities before getting too focused as you risk missing the best possible solution. A helpful tip to start off: visit your website and jot down all the actions visitors can perform to create a list of possibilities.

While narrowing down to goals remember that less is more – keep focused and reduce choices so that you’ll get the most accurate results from testing. A straightforward goal example could be to simply optimizing engagement through a 20% increase in email list signups.

  1. Generate Hypothesis: Now that you know exactly what you want to improve, you can begin hypothesizing about what changes you think would make the biggest impact and then test. If your goal was to get more people to sign up for an email list or form – you could try something as simple as removing a few fields to make the process as painless as possible for the user to encourage more signups. We all know that attention span is short and that no one likes filling out lengthy forms (at least initially while to payoff is unclear). Or, what if your original call to action wasn’t as motivational as expected and your goal is to increase the response rate? For example, you want people to donate, so you might hypothesis that changing the wording from your current call-to-action “contribute” to “please donate” would be more engaging and direct.
  1. Generate Variations: Here’s where the A/B testing software comes in, which allows you to actually make the desired changes to your website or app and have the ability to see exactly what it will look like (especially helpful when changing colours or moving elements around) . A/B testing software resources include:
  • Optimizely optimizely.com (free trail for 30 days, affordable and easiest to get started, real-time support, multi-functional)
  • Visual Website Optimizer vwo.com (free trail for 30 days, feature rich, includes idea generation tools)
  • Unbounce unbounce.com (focuses solely on landing pages, offers 80+ pre-designed landing page templates)
  • KISSmetrics kissmetrics.com (premium, starting at $150 per month with full year commitment, offers advanced abilities, loads of data)
  1. Conduct Experiments: Let the testing begin! This is the part where visitors will be randomly sent to either the original version or the modified version to test which performs better. The way users interact with each version is monitored and compared to determine how the changes impacted the experience.
  1. Analyze Results and draw conclusions: You’re A/B testing tool will organize the data for you so you can see how your test version did compared to the original. Hopefully your test result support your hypothesis, but if not then there is still more hypothesising and experimenting fun to be had!


Every business, website, campaign, app, is different and A/B testing shows that common marketing wisdom often doesn’t apply. The advantages of improving conversion rates by A/B testing are well worth the relatively low investment of time and money.

See below for more surprising A/B testing discoveries that will make you want to test everything!




Want to learn more? Connect with our team at sales@clearpier.com


The Biggest Holiday Shopping Trends of 2016

Mobile a major factor in global
e-commerce sales this holiday season.

Did you know that worldwide retail e-commerce sales will climax at $1.9 trillion by the end of this year?

According to eMarketer, this year’s US holiday retail e-commerce is forecasted to grow 17% hitting $95 billion, and will represent nearly 11% of total holiday retail sales – the largest share of the pie, ever.



So, what are the biggest marketing trends we’re seeing as the holiday e-commerce season ramps up?

1.      Sales growth driven by smartphones

Double-digit growth is expected all the way through 2020 when sales will hit $4 trillion. E-commerce is huge, especially during the holiday season and mobile is a driving factor of this growth.


Retailers are in fact embracing mobile and seeking to improve the user’s purchasing experience on mobile.

Improved user experiences, bigger screens, and easy, efficient, and convenient payment methods are likely the main reasons why sales are improving on smartphones.

But more improvement is required to motivate more mobile conversions.

Earlier this year, GfK on behalf of Facebook IQ ran a study of 2400 adults who used mobile phones, tablets, desktops or laptops to research or buy items from online stores over three months. Consumers bought across a range of categories including consumer electronics, clothing, home appliances, home goods, and beauty (AdWeek).

what-drives-people-to-shop-clearpierAlthough 55% of participants chose to purchase on mobile because of the convenience factor, the study revealed there are significant challenges that still exist for mobile sales.

70% of participating shoppers stated that mobile website and app experiences can still be improved, and that includes a more streamlined final payment process.

Privacy problems, the inconvenience of multi-screen sequential browsing issues, accidental clicks on small screens, and clunky check out processes were all concerns expressed even by mobile friendly consumers.

2.      Local mobile search will rise

Multiple consumer touch points are important in the process towards a completed conversion. One of the biggest pros of having a brick and mortar store to service consumers is enabling clients to actually touch and feel a product – a critical, real world touch point.

Interestingly enough, prospective clients are doing so with products in store and on their screens, simultaneously. Mobile in-store searches are up by over 30% according to Google.

Shoppers are increasingly buying on their screens within stores, despite the checkout being so near.


Take me as an example, I’ve been to Ikea a lot this past month (like 5 times and we’re only halfway through the month). Each and every time, I’ve hopped on Ikea’s free WIFI on my iPhone and run some searches before adding items to my online cart.

In fact, Google tells us that 43% of mobile shoppers in consumer electronics have purchased products on their phones while looking at said products in the aisle.

With so much information available at their fingertips for digitally savvy shoppers always looking for deals, you can bet this trend will keep on growing well into 2017. For marketers, this means capitalizing on programmatic geolocation targeting capabilities.  

3.      Retailers are focusing on unique in-store experiences, supported by strong social media presence

The holidays is one of those times of years when delighting consumers isn’t just part of the spectacle, it’s a necessity.

Over the top window displays, mini-concerts, and special promotions are all part of pushing consumer desire to buy. A couple weeks ago the Hudson’s Bay in downtown Toronto had Mariah Carey perform as they unveiled their always well received holiday windows. The event generated a tonne of hype and free social media buzz produced by the audience in attendance.


Creating memorable experiences is a major retailer responsibility to curate demand, considering consumers know that there is always a deal happening somewhere.

Millennials in particular, drivers of the global economy, generally believe the experience is just as important as the product.

Retailers need to turn to technology to improve the already hectic holiday shopping experience if they hope to boost sales. Self-service technology like in-store kiosks to help with navigation or stock checks (e-catalogs), or express checkout services are all ways that retailers can engage consumers in store and win this holiday season.

Want to learn more? Connect with our team at sales@clearpier.com

18 Simple Ways You Can Segment Your Audience Data in 2017

Marketers must re-examine their audience data and segment creatively. Look beyond just demographics.

We’re midway through November already. The holiday lights are out, the Christmas décor is going up. Soon, we cue the endless music.

Yes, 2016 is coming to a close and as the end draws nearer, it’s high time we start thinking about next year’s revenue goals and ad budget. And to do that, advertisers need to re-examine first, and foremost, their audience data.

Earlier this week we mentioned the importance of audience data in programmatic buying. We argued that ensuring that you have granular audience segments in place to run specific and individual campaigns, rather than broadly scoped ones, will help you find greater success.

While simple demographics like age, gender, and location are great starting points, marketers need to get more specific.

So in the spirit of specificity, here are 18 different ways marketers can segment their audience data to double their ROI in the New Year.

Demographic Segmentation

Demographic segmentation is one of the most common ways advertisers can segment their audiences. These common attributes include the following familiar categories which form the basis of how marketers determine how to market their products.

1. Age

2. Household Income

3. Gender

4. Geolocation

5. Language

6. Education

7. Seasonal

These basic demographics are important to consider because based on, for example, the age groups of your audience, your messaging and even medium may change.

If you’re a cell phone service provider, the creatives you use to reach a millennial audience will be entirely different from your messaging for the baby boomer generation. The packages you sell may differ based on the needs of each age group. On top of this, gender and geolocation will affect the way you design your creatives and where you deliver them.

But wait, there are WAY MORE ways to segment your audience by demographics: 

8. Birthday: If you can further segment your audience by birthday, this means you can even run special birthday offers. Sephora, for example, does a great job with this with their Beauty Insider VIB birthday gifts.vib-sephora-clearpier

9. Weather: Weather based targeting is gathered the same way as geolocation and can influence what products marketers may choose to promote, as well as the messaging that goes along with it.

For example, a fitness clothes retailer may run an ad featuring anti-rain gear in a rainy weather geolocation, and hot weather gear elsewhere.

Source: Skymosity

10. Life Stage: You ever change your status to ‘engaged’ on Facebook and then suddenly, you’re bombarded with ads for diamond rings and wedding gowns (yes that happened to me)?

Life stage targeting can be incredibly effective because it’s based on a period in life your audience may be particularly conscious of. 

From upcoming nuptials, to entering college for the first time, retirement, or pregnancies, these are major life events and stages that marketers should consider to deliver the right audience to the right audience at the right time.

Behavioral Segmentation

11. Cart Abandonment: For many consumers, price, timing, and shipping are often the culprits behind cart abandonment. 

But segmenting out clients who do so – clients who are often on the verge of converting – can help you tailor your retargeting campaign messaging to remind them about what they’re missing out on or if prices change.

Source: WordStream


12. Type of Shopper: Is your audience a bargain shopper, a luxury shopper, an online-only shopper? Different ‘types’ of shoppers respond to different sales and discounts. The way you sell to a bargain hunter from a luxury shopper vary greatly. 

13. Buying History: What does your audience’s historical shopping data look like? Do they buy similar items? Are they always on the hunt for a new tech gadget?

Knowing your audience’s click and purchase history is great for upselling by suggesting similar or complementary products at the final check out.

14. Engagement Level: Highly engaged customers are your best customers because they also act as your brand advocates. Engaged customers spend more on average according to 12ahead, and brands can take advantage of their loyalty by rewarding these clients.

Segment out your highly engaged audience and reward them by allowing them to contribute their ideas to product improvement like Starbucks’ ‘My Starbucks Idea’ or Lay’s Do us a Flavour campaign.




15. Psychographics: It’s like demographics, but more related to your audience’s affinity towards specific values, hobbies, political views, and spending habits. As Hubspot puts it, “demographics explain ‘who’ your buyer is, while psychographics explain ‘why’ they buy.” 

It’s important to segment out your psychographic information because you might have two or more completely different sets of psychographics to one set of demographics. Your single male audience aged 25-35 located in Vancouver may all be sports lover, but only half may be inclined to do sports while the other prefer to watch sports.

Social Data Segmentation

16. Brand Affinity: Brand affinity segmentation identifies groups of audiences that have a certain attraction to specific brands and the lifestyles they espouse. For example, Nike and the Just Do It attitude.

You can segment your audience out by specific brands or even by a competitor’s with similar products. If you’re an start up sports gear company attempting to disrupt the market and challenge dominating brands, marketing based on brand affinity can be one way to target your competitor’s audience.

In other cases, brand affinity is an excellent way to inspire cross or co-branded marketing initiatives like this example between BMW and Louis Vuitton.




17. Lifestyle: Your audience segments by lifestyle are ascertained usually by a combination of psychographic, past purchasing data, and behavioural data.

Be it the Savvy Entrepreneur, the Fashion Insider, the Tech Enthusiast, or the Health and Fitness Junkie – lifestyle segments are usually where brands find their brand advocates, influencers, trend setters, and early adopters.

These are the groups of individuals who categorically identify with a certain way of life that is aligned with the brand.


18. Interests: What are your consumer’s favourite television shows, movies, and sports teams? What kind of music do they listen to? What cuisines and restaurants do they love?

These are examples of interests that your audience may identify with which can in many ways dictate the types of promotions you may execute whether online or off.


Now you have 18 more ways to segment your audience data. Now get out there and get creative with your segmentation and double that ROI in 2017.

Want to learn more? Connect with our team at sales@clearpier.com


7 Tips That Will Take Your Programmatic Buying to the Next Level

Knowing your audience at large isn’t enough. You must segment in detail.

Programmatic is all about selling to specific audience segments. Knowing your audience is therefore key to success.

It starts with identifying your audience’s most urgent concerns. Decoding your audience’s main problems will have a profound impact on not just your marketing and messaging, but also on the way you conduct your business overall.

1.      Knowing who your audience at large isn’t enough. You must segment in detail.

Audience segments will allow you to clearly define your targeting parameters. Demographics like age, gender and location are great, but they may not be granular enough. For example, say you’re a travel company and you know you have a strong millennial audience. But segment deeper: pockets of your millennial audience may prefer to travel at very specific times of the year and to certain places only. Some may prefer quiet, luxurious retreats, while others prefer extreme outdoor adventures.

Properly segmenting your audiences will allow you to target with more precision and relevancy which are keys to conversion.

2.     Understand the Customer Journey

Knowing your audience helps you learn why your audience buys. But getting to know your customer journey helps you determine the how and when they buy.

How do you do this? Make sure that you’re properly tracking your audience’s behaviour and actions as they visit your website. If you work with a DMP, events based data can provide a lot of insight into your audience behaviour.

  • Consider the average time spent between first website visit and first conversion. This tells you how long it takes your audience to decide to buy.
  • What’s your audience’s pathway towards a conversion? This tells you precisely which pieces of content your audience views before they convert which helps highlight good content from bad.
  • Which sales channel results in the highest sales? Knowing your rate of sales per channel helps to identify your best performing channels so you can reallocate your resources to focus on those, or optimize your other channels.

Dissecting all of this will help you optimize your customer’s buying journey and user experience towards more conversion.

3.      Set Clear Goals

As with everything in life, setting goals leads to success. The same goes for programmatic buying, so ensure your goals are clear, measurable, and attainable.

Ask yourself and your team, what goals you want to achieve. Do you want to generate more online sales? Or boost brand awareness? Or perhaps you want to influence offline consumer behaviour?

Keep the following KPIs in mind:

  • CTR (click-through rates)
  • CPA (cost-per-action), CPC (cost-per click) and CPM (cost-per mille)
  • Conversions
  • App installs
  • Viewability
  • Reach and frequency

Programmatic buys enable you to measure your audience’s online buying behaviour at nearly every point of the purchasing funnel. Beyond these tangible results, marketers also want to measure brand impact.

While harder to measure, it’s not impossible to correlate. Look to lift in branded searches, social media engagement growth, and attitudes towards your brand as indicators of brand impact even when you’re executing programmatically.

4.      Invest in Brand Safety with Premium Inventory

For marketers, there are a number of things that are top of mind when you run a campaign. First, your ad spend budget is finite. You need to make sure that what you spend ensures maximum ROI. Second, your brand reputation is at stake every time you run anything digitally.

So how do you make sure your brand stays safe but you get the most bang for your buck? Invest in your own brand safety and go with premium inventory.

But keep this in mind, not all “premium inventory” are equal. Premium inventory is set within the context of high-quality, brand-safe content – on trusted and reputable properties.

Working with vendors that have exclusive relations with publishers can ensure that your ads only land on these properties. However, for added brand safety look for vendors that provide additional anti-ad fraud security measures. Vendors that work with GeoEdge or Integral Ad Science are concerned with putting your brand safety first.

Demand more from your advertising partners and get a better understanding of how their premium inventory is bought and sold. Ask them which other platforms and exchanges do they work with? The answers will tell you the types of security measures your ad partner has in place to prevent ad fraud and ensure your ad dollars aren’t wasted.

5.      Always Employ Data

If you’re running your campaigns without insightful audience data, your ads might as well have never been seen.

The more granular and accurate data you have, the more opportunities you have to improve the accuracy and effectiveness of your campaigns. Data helps determine how well you target, how far reaching your ads are, how many conversions you will achieve, and ultimately, how much revenue you make.

Data can come in the form of 1st party, generally the data you as a marketer collect, 2nd party, non-proprietary data unique data retrieved from a partner, and 3rd party data, aggregated data usually from DMPs that can be built into custom targeting segments.

While each are important on their own, combining your data layers will transform your targeting capabilities and help your campaigns perform better.

6.      Use Relevant Creatives

We’ve talked about the significance of relevant creatives before and we’re going to say it again. If your creatives and messaging aren’t relevant, all your audience segmenting and granular targeting parameters are wasted efforts.

If your campaign messaging isn’t relevant to your target audience, it won’t resonate and therefore won’t result in the actions you aimed to stir from your potential customers. Additionally, if you’re always using the same ad copy for your campaigns, you reduce the power of that ad’s ability to persuade.

Split test your creatives, from copy, to images, to the colour of your CTA buttons to optimize for the best results. Refresh your creatives often so you don’t bore your audience.

Consider using Dynamic Creative Optimization platforms (DCO). DCOs can drive better engagement by swapping out components of an ad dynamically, in real time. DCOs can help increase the efficiency of this process, and helps deliver the most relevant creatives depending on your audience’s pass behaviour and targeting parameters.

7.      Go Mobile – Now

Everyone has gone mobile. That includes your audience. Are you reallocating enough budget to the mobile market? Optimizing for mobile right now may be one of the best things a marketer can do to boost their campaign results.

In 2015, the Pew Research Center estimated that 64% of American adults own a smartphone of some kind. For many, their mobile devices are their primary way of retrieving information.

In the US, programmatic digital display ad spending will reach $22.10 billion this year – an increase of nearly 40% over last year. A big driver of this growth in programmatic spending is mobile and eMarketer predicts that US mobile programmatic ad spend will reach $15.45 billion by the end of the year to represent 69% of all US programmatic digital display ad spend.

The shift towards mobile has been happening for years and marketers must adapt. Realize that the executions that worked on desktop may not work on mobile. Experimentation on the mobile frontier may be what puts you ahead of the competition.

Want to learn more? Connect with our team at sales@clearpier.com.

4 Ways to Optimize Your Holiday Campaigns for Maximum ROI

From segmenting your data to using a CMP; consider the following.

Put away the pumpkin spice lattes, it’s nearly time to switch over to the egg nog. Every good marketer has at this point fully planned and scheduled their holiday marketing strategies. Campaigns are just about ready to launch. But of course, there is always room for improvements.

Before you launch those campaigns, consider the following 4 ways to optimize your performance campaigns for this holiday season.

  1. Target creatives according to segmented audience data

If you combine the power of compelling creatives with insightful audience data, you can target your audience more precisely and with relevancy. Consumers are much more inclined to engage with ads that are relevant to their needs. The more interruptive the ad, the more likely they’ll put the blinders on.

Let’s take the Amanda Foundation’s fantastic campaign which is a prime example of how useful segmented audience data can be for targeting.

Each of the advertiser’s creatives uses a shelter animal to promote adoptions. But the messaging is uniquely tailored to the audience based on known browsing behaviour/interests, and demographic data.

So if the viewer is a known foodie who loves trying new restaurants, delivering them creative number three would be perfect to inspire engagement.

Image via CWMead
  1. Consider using a Creative Management Platform

Creative management platforms (CMPs) are powerful design tools for the programmatic marketer. CMPs are less technical than Dynamic Creative Optimization tools (DCOs) but also allows designers to make large ad sets as well as small changes to individual creatives. CMPs often have pre-set creative templates that cuts down on design time and makes duplication and customization simple.

It’s a scalable creative production environment where you can create and iterate on only the best performers.

Image via makethunder.com
  1. Remember the importance of “Micro Moments” on mobile

According to Google, 76% of people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a business within 24 hours and 28% of those searches results in a purchase. A lot of research is in the pre-sale buyer journey and this will spike as we head into the holiday season.

Google’s series on “I-Want-to-Buy Moments” examined one shopper’s micro-moments (by way of searches, clicks and website visits) over the course of one month to understand how much and how digital research played a role in her purchasing decisions.

The study shows that there are over 1000 digital touch points over a single month leading up to the consumer’s purchase.


Google also shows us the breakdown of her mobile versus desktop search paths:

micro-moments2So how can marketers win in these ‘micro-moments’?

Be there and be useful. Considering how much research goes into a consumer’s journey now a days, retargeting your ads is a good way to re-engage consumers with buying intent. Remember, although a lot consumers do their research on mobile, buying still happens mainly on desktop. Even upon checkout, marketers can reintroduce promotions, deals, and suggested products for upselling.

  1. Rotate your ads – or run dynamic creatives

Static banner ads are alright, if they’re well targeted. But banner blindness is indeed a real problem. Keep your visitors curious by rotating fresh creatives in to replace stale ones.

You can up your performance by employing dynamic html5 creatives as well. Why show case only one product, when you can highlight multiple? This is where using a CMP comes in particularly useful as these platforms are often equipped with dynamic creative templates where you simply have to plug in your raw assets.

Best Buy does a really good job at this. Get more out of your ad placement and do more to entice with fresh creatives.


So if you’re not already doing these four things to optimize your campaigns, now is the perfect time to start before the holiday mayhem begins.

Want to learn more? Connect with our team at sales@clearpier.com.

11 Optimization Tools that Will Improve Your Marketing

Looking for tools to help you optimize your marketing stack? Look no further.

What tools do you use to get your online marketing done? Are you a content creationist? Are you a brand marketer? Or perhaps, a social media maven?

Whichever category you fall under, the reality as a marketer is that your stack is often overflowing with tools. But which are the most useful? Which can actually improve your efficiency rather than just adding another layer of work in your daily life?

Look no further! We made you a list of 11 essential optimization tools to help improve all you marketing efforts.

Content Optimization


HubSpot Blogging Software - Automatically Mobile Ready

HubSpot is well known for its CRM and especially for its all-in-one inbound marketing software. There are a number of great features that HubSpot offers that’s worthy of highlighting, but let’s focus on their content creation solutions.

HubSpot’s content editor incorporates content layout and copy creation while enabling you to preview how your work will look across devices. This is an incredibly useful tool considering how most readers engage with content on their mobile devices now a days. Adding CTA buttons and building landing pages are seamless in this process as well. But on top of this, SEO optimization is built-into the editor so you can say optimize for keywords while you write and say by to WordPress plugins.


Similar to HubSpot, CoSchedule offers a great content creation solution for teams. Like HubSpot, you can easily plan and schedule your posts with their content calendar. But CoSchedule has the added feature of being able to schedule your social media posts immediately after you’ve finished writing and scheduling your content.

If you’re like a lot of marketers, you might be using a lot of tools from Google Docs and Analytics, to Evernote and more, so CoSchedule can be a good choice because of all its integration capabilities.

But one of CoSchedule’s best tools is its Headline Analyzer. Just enter your blog headlines and CoSchedule will give you a full analysis with an EMV (Emotional Marketing Value) score out of 100 and a breakdown of the ‘word-type’ components to help you write catchier, more click-worthy headlines. Best of all – it’s a free tool available to everyone.




SEO Optimization


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If you’re using WordPress to create content, you’re probably familiar with the Yoast plugin. If not, you should be. The basic version enables you to add a focus keyword for your content and provides you with content analysis to improve your readability and SEO.

We all know the importance of building up your blog or website’s SEO so you end up indexed properly across major search engines like Google and Bing. In addition to the XML sitemaps Yoast can generate for you and the keyword optimization, there’s post title and meta-description editors that allow you to fix exactly how your content will be viewed when links are shared socially too.


Equal parts competitive intelligence suite, and SEO optimization solution, SEMRush is a versatile tool in any marketer’s stack.

SEMRush gives insights into your competitor’s strategies across display, organic, and paid search, as well as back links. The company has expanded into display and video analytics recently, but its bread and butter has always been keyword analysis. You simply enter relevant keywords to get an idea of the keywords your competitors are using for their SEO and PPC campaigns, their long-tail keywords, and even their geo-targeting parameters. Leveraging the data on how your competitors are positioning themselves can also help you strategise your next move better.


Similar to SEMRush, Moz offers great keyword information. But in addition to this Moz helps decipher crawl errors and even provides you with a page optimization score. For publishers and web masters, this is a great tool to run an instant audit of your on-page SEO to optimize for specific and relevant keywords that your competitor is also using. Bonus, its page opportunities identifier helps you uncover what opportunities you’re missing out on your pages to help you improve your search ranking potential.


If you haven’t discovered monitorbacklinks.com, now is the time. Building a strong network of backlinks is important for improving your site’s ranking and boost traffic. Monitorbacklinks.com helps you identify the sites on which the best quality backlinks directing to your site are located.

This helps you identify where the best opportunities lies to build new relations and more content, and ultimately place more backlinks to push traffic towards your business.

Website Performance

Visual Website Optimizer

Visual Website Optimizer (VWO) is a favourite A/B testing software for marketers. Even with no understanding of basic coding, Javascript or HTML, you can tweak and optimize your website and landing pages for better performance. You don’t have to go to your developers and ask for help, VWO really makes it easy to split test multiple versions of your site.

After a simple integration process require you to plug in a small script into your site’s header to verify your domain, you’re ready to start testing. And you can test almost everything from URL split tests, A/B test headlines and images, CTA buttons, or generate heat maps to understand where people are clicking and how to boost your conversions. Bonus, VWO offers a number of analytics and reports so you can identify where the major fixes need to be made.


Like VWO, Optimizely gives you the ability to experiment with your site to optimize towards the best user experience and ultimately conversions. The big difference with Optimizely has to be its mobile optimization tool. If you have an app, this is a great tool to edit your interface on the fly AND run split tests on mobile to ultimately roll out new upgrades in phases, or re-engage your audience.

Social and News Monitoring


BuzzSumo is a monitoring tool that helps you keep an eye on your content and understand what performs best based on audience engagement across social. But in addition to this, BuzzSumo allows you to identify the influencers that create and share content relevant to yours.

There’s a “Trending Now” stream that helps you keep a finger on the news pulse running across social. You can filter this according to your own viewing preferences as well. Bonus, there’s a back links tracker and a Facebook analyzer that helps you identify which of your Facebook content is doing best to optimize towards superior social content.


Hootsuite is one of those essential tools that almost every social media marketer has in their arsenal. We’re all aware that through Hootsuite you can schedule and share social media content across multiple channels. It’s an all-in-one social platform.

But, you can keep an eye on your competitors or industry relevant news by adding their social accounts into your stream. For example, keep an eye on everything eMarketer is posting to their Facebook page by plugging them into your Hootsuite Facebook stream.

hootsuite_streamsTheir Twitter stream is even better: you can add a stream based on keywords. For example, if you add a stream and specify you want to follow keywords like “Performance Marketing” or “Digital Marketing”, these tweets are filtered in and you only see the most relevant tweets in this stream, rather than everything like in your actual news feed.


The best way to start your mornings? With a cup of coffee while scrolling through Feedly, the ultimate news aggregator. Feedly compiles news feeds from a massive number of online news sources all into one news feed that’s personalized to you. Feedly isn’t so much an optimization tool, but using it definitely helps optimize your workflow.

You can sort your news according to subject matter like Business, Design, or Marketing, and get through the most relevant news in the most organized way possible. It’s the easiest way to stay abreast of all of today’s digital marketing news.

And there you have it, 11 essential optimization tools to help improve your marketing that you should be adding to your stack, now. Did we miss anything? What’s in your marketing tool kit?

Want to learn more? Connect with our team at sales@clearpier.com.

What's Next for Header Bidding?

Header Bidding continues to make waves among publishers well into 2016. But its future, looks even brighter.

‘Header Bidding’ was a big buzz word in 2015 and still is even now late in 2016.

Before header bidding was introduced, publishers who were employing the ‘waterfall’ or ‘daisy chain’ bidding method suffered from a loss of impressions when passing impressions back and forth between partners and ad servers.

Since the solution entered the digital advertising ecosystem, header bidding has continued to make waves among publishers. Many large publishers, including Fortune.com and other Time Inc. sites, have adopted it. It doesn’t look like interest in header bidding is slowing down anytime soon and as we move towards 2017, the forecast looks bright and filled with innovation.

But before we discuss what the future has in store, let’s take a step back to re-examine header bidding’s origins.

How does Header Bidding work?

Header bidding relies on a piece of code that is scripted to a publisher website which enables their inventory to be shown to multiple demand sources – including exchanges, ad servers, and DSPs – simultaneously. A real-time auction then takes place on the impression across all demand, and the winning bid is relayed to the ad server to run the ad. All of this takes place in the milliseconds before the page load and before the ad server is able to work through the traditional waterfall.


For a really great explanation, check out this video on header bidding via ExchangeWire.

The benefits of header bidding.

Not only does header bidding help increase the density of demand for publishers, but it also enables the actual highest bid to win. In the traditional waterfall, the daisy chain process could result in some demand partner’s bids never being assessed, despite bidding higher than the winning bid.

Before header bidding, buyer access to inventory was limited by the preferences set within the ad server. The ‘waterfall’ was also originally quite labor intensive, requiring too much human intervention and inefficiencies. For publishers, especially those who don’t have the resources to man the waterfall, this resulted in a significant amount of missed opportunities.

This changed with the advent of header bidding. Beyond allowing publisher partners equal opportunity to purchase impressions, header bidding has an equalizing effect on the auction floor. This drives up demand and yield due to the nature of how many competitive bids are eligible to win the impression.

“It’s no secret that the more competition you enter into the programmatic space, the higher the impression will sell for. Header bidding just helps solve this efficiently.”


Megan Sun / Director, Publisher Relations

Commenting on the impressive changes that header bidding has brought to the fore Megan Sun, Publisher Relations Director at ClearPier, said “the biggest gain that publishers have seen after setting up header bidding is that there is little to no management required for your yield to increase and stabilize itself.” She also added, “It’s no secret that the more competition you enter into the programmatic space, the higher the impression will sell for. Header bidding just helps solve this efficiently.”

Jack Chung, ClearPier’s VP of Engineering, also emphasized the programmatic efficiencies that header bidding allows on the advertiser side. Chung stated that header bidding ultimately improves the “quality of Programmatic and Performance campaigns by allowing them to compete with reserved buys at the same level.” In other words, programmatic will no longer be stuck with the ‘leftover’ so-called lower quality inventory seen at the end of the waterfall.

Early challenges and drawbacks.

As with any technological innovation, there are complications. Early on, many publishers have stated that integration has been among the biggest challenge for them since the concept was first introduced. For publishers without the resources available to help with the setup, integration is definitely the biggest drawback. After all, code is required to be embedded on the website, but the publisher’s ad server needs a corresponding line item mapping as well – this requires some technical know-how.

Other complaints that have arisen have to do with latency. With more information being passed through the header bidder to partners and more partners ‘looking’ at the impression, the effects all this has on page loading times is definitely an issue. Indeed, trying to connect with as many demand partners as possible can result in publishers running too many header tags simultaneously. This of course causes slower load times, which is counterproductive for publishers’ conscious of the importance of strong user experiences.

But some header bidding partners offer ‘time out’ functions which empowers the publisher and lets them determine what is an acceptable amount of time for their page to load before users drop off. Determining this, Sun advises, requires thorough testing to find the sweet spot.

What does the future hold? Innovation and expansion.

It has only been a year since header bidding has entered the digital advertising ecosystem, but its future looks bright.

ClearPier’s take on the header bidding solution is exchange agnostic and allows multiple exchanges to plug in whereas previous versions are exchange specific. Few tech vendors can boast this type of solution and even more attractive for publishers is ClearPier’s tag setup take less time and doesn’t require the publisher to place anything directly on their site.

As Sun puts it, “ClearPier’s ability to offer publishers with more granular settings will mean they get a more robust programmatic solution where latency isn’t a problem, and yield will grow. Our Premium and flexible demand partner selections combined with a DMP and DSP will help push the technology forward, and its expansion into mobile and video.”

Header bidding’s ability to facilitate fairer prices and transparency will indeed likely mean expansion beyond digital into video and mobile. But not before we see it work with high-impact units. As we move into 2017, the development of header bidding technology is definitely one to keep an eye on as it helps reshape the ad trading landscape.


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Want to learn more? Connect with our team at sales@clearpier.com.

Why are Brand Marketers Turning to Performance?

The bottom line for brands is that Performance provides true, measurable KPIs where ROI tracking wasn’t possible before.

Last Thursday, AdExchanger published an article about how one brand is shifting attention to Performance.

Namely, Reebok is beginning to explore how Performance can help them garner more measurable results in their US marketing strategy. David Oksman, Reebok’s Head of US Marketing, stated that Performance is increasingly entering Reebok’s brand equation, largely because of its ability to map audiences through their sales funnel.

Tracking audiences and understanding how deep they are in the sales funnel and moving them through your CRM not only allows for potential retargeting and more precise messaging, but also helps close the ‘leaky’ funnel one might have with content or brand engagement alone.

Indeed, on Performance Oksman stated “we make sure that we’ve got objectives and KPIs set up not just at the top of the funnel, but across the entire consumer purchase funnel, in order to maximize content.” He added, “The content [Reebok is] creating as well as the dollars we’re spending on media are really just about finding the right efficiencies in order to maximize reach. The balance of content creation and media investment is something we’re thinking hard about.”

Brands are beginning to demand more attributable results and accountability from their campaigns. And with that demand, more forms of media – paid content, ads, and TV – are becoming measurable beyond just engagement.

With such pivotal news we asked Debrani Ghosh, Programmatic Client Services Director at ClearPier, what her thoughts were on the growing shift.

What are your thoughts about brands shifting gears towards Performance?

The bottom line for brand advertisers is that Performance provides true, measurable KPIs where ROI tracking wasn’t possible before. But it’s effecting more than just our ad strategies.

Performance is also changing the client-vendor relationship in many ways as well. We’re seeing brands demand more from their campaigns and they’re doing so by putting vendors in the spotlight to be the main ROI drivers.

And as a result, vendors have to step up their game across data and insights capabilities, technology, client services and education to stay competitive.

Is shifting to Performance a smart move?

Absolutely. What’s the point in spending your ad dollars without measurable KPI objectives? Performance coupled with data encourages results and helps reduce waste compared to traditional methods.

For example when brands work with ClearPier on a Performance basis, we’re able to identify your potential consumers beyond site demographics, down to the page level with first-party data layering. So the result is you don’t have to spend time or money in the prospecting stages to gather more info. It’s also a controlled environment because of our direct relationships with each publisher, so beyond Performance, clients are also assured brand safety.

Does the future of all marketing belong to performance?

E-commerce trends indicates that an estimated $34 Billion will be spent online by Canadians alone this year. Worldwide, retail e-commerce sales will reach $1.9 Trillion this year. The rise in e-consumption will dictate changes in marketing budgets globally as well.

Total Retail Sales Worldwide, 2015-2020 (trillions and % change) via eMarketer.com.

And if brands are demanding more results, you can bet that they’ll also be shifting more of their marketing dollars towards Performance.

Want to learn more? Connect with our team at sales@clearpier.com