Story of the Week: 10 Eye-Opening Stats and Facts About Online Display Advertising


Digiday published a snarky list of facts about online display advertising the other day. It turns out you’re more likely to survive a plane crash than click on a banner ad. Interesting. But what’s more relevant to marketers is that you don’t have to click on a banner ad for it to be effective. For instance, found that you are 80% more likely to type a brand’s name into a search box and more than 30% more likely to convert after seeing an online display ad.

Those are just two reasons why online display advertising is poised to grow to $28 billion by 2017, according to Forrester Research. And here are 10 more proof points testifying to the health, vibrancy and unrivaled flexibility of online display:

  1. Advertising spending on ad exchanges increased by 49% last year. (Standard Media Index)
  2. Display ads boost search conversion: For each dollar invested in display and search in tandem, there is a return of $1.24 for display and $1.75 for search ads. (Harvard Business School Working Knowledge)
  3. When search ads were paired with display ads, the lift in sales is 119%, (comScore)
  4. Shifting 15% of a TV ad budget to digital advertising resulted in a 6.2% increase in reach. (IAB)
  5. 85% of respondents said online display advertising returned average to good ROI, which meant it outperformed content marketing, webinars, mobile, social media and video advertising. (econsultancy)
  6. Coca-Cola said that online display were 90% as effective as TV ads –- while search was only 50% as effective as TV. (AdAge)
  7. An estimated $130 million to $200 million on micro-targeted online advertising was spent during the 2012 presidential campaign. (IAB)
  8. Samsung’s Facebook ad campaign for its Galaxy S3 phone delivered a 13-times return on its $10 million investment. (CNET)
  9. 64% of advertisers surveyed said they planned to boost their social media ad budgets this year. (Vizu/Digiday)
  10. The number of video RTB global bid requests increased 596% in 2012. (SpotXchange)

The Six Deadly Sins of Leadership

By Jack and Suzy Welch

Being a leader is perhaps the hardest challenge any of us will ever face. No matter how long we work at it, practicing the right behaviors is a never-ending task. Knowing – and avoiding – the wrong ones is too. Thus, we offer the following six common leadership pitfalls:

1. Not Giving Self-Confidence its Due.

Self-confidence is the lifeblood of success. When people have it, they’re bold. They try new things, offer ideas, exude positive energy, and cooperate with their colleagues instead of surreptitiously attempting to bring them down. When they lack self-confidence, it’s just the opposite. People cower. They plod. And they spread negativity with every word and gesture.

But all too often leaders ignore (or neglect) this very basic fact of the human condition. Why is anyone’s guess. Perhaps they just don’t understand that it is part of their job to instill self-confidence in their people. It may even be said that it’s their first job. You cannot unleash the creative power of individuals who doubt themselves.

Fortunately, some people seem to be born with self-confidence. Others gain it from life and work experience and come to a company fully loaded. Regardless, leaders can never stop pouring self-confidence into their teams. The ways to do so are myriad. Make sure goals are challenging – but achievable. Give effusive positive feedback. Remind your direct reports of what they do right.

We’re not saying that leaders should blindly extol and exalt. People know when they’re being gamed. But good leaders work relentlessly to find ways to instill self-confidence in those around them. They know it’s the gift that never stops giving.

2. Muzzling Voice.

Perhaps the most frustrating way that leaders underperform is by over-talking. That is, they act like know-it-alls. They can tell you how the world works, what corporate is thinking, how it will backfire if you try this or that, and why you can’t possibly change the product one iota. Sometimes such blowhards get their swagger from a few positive experiences, but usually they’re just victims of their own destructive personalities.

Ultimately, the company ends up being a victim too, because know-it-alls aren’t just insufferable, they’re dangerous. They don’t listen, and that deafness makes it very hard for new ideas to get debated, expanded upon, or improved. No single person, no matter how smart, can take a business to its apex. For that, you need every voice to be heard.

3. Acting Phony.

Can you spot a phony? Of course you can – and so can your people. Indeed, if there is one widespread human capability, it is sniffing out someone who is putting on airs, pretending to be who they’re not, or just keeping their real self hidden. Yet too many leaders spend way too much time creating personas that put a wall between them and their employees. What a waste.

Because authenticity is what makes people love you. Visibly grappling with tough problems, sweating the details, laughing, and caring – those are the activities that make people respond and feel engaged with what you’re saying. Sure, some people will tell you that being mysterious grants you power as a leader. In reality, all it generates is fear. And who wants to motivate that way?

Now, obviously, authenticity is unattractive if it’s coupled with immaturity or an overdose of informality. And organizations generally don’t like people who are too emotionally unbounded – i.e. so real that all their feelings are exposed. They tend to tamp that kind of intensity down a bit. And that’s not a bad thing, as work is work and, more than at home, allows us to maintain some privacy.

But don’t let convention wring all the authenticity out of you, especially as you climb the ladder. In time, humanity always wins. Your team and bosses come to know who you are in your soul, what kind of people you attract and what kind of performance you want from everyone. Your realness will make you accessible; you will connect and you will inspire. You will lead.

4. Lacking the Guts to Differentiate.

You only have to be in business a few weeks to know that not all investment opportunities are created equal. But some leaders can’t face that reality, and so they sprinkle their resources like cheese on a pizza, a little bit everywhere.

As a result, promising growth opportunities too often don’t get the outsized infusions of cash and people they need. If they did, someone might get offended during the resource allocation process. Someone – as in the manager of a weak business or the sponsor of a dubious investment proposal.

But leaders who don’t differentiate do the most damage when it comes to people. Unwilling to deliver candid, rigorous performance reviews, they give every employee the same kind of bland, mushy, “nice job” sign-off. Then, when rewards are doled out, they give star performers little more than the laggards. Now, you can call this egalitarian approach kind, or fair – as these lousy leaders usually do – but it’s really just weakness. And when it comes to building a thriving organization where people have the chance to grow and succeed, weakness just doesn’t cut it.

5. Fixation on Results at the Expense of Values.

Everyone knows that leaders deliver. Oratory and inspiration without results equal…well, a whole lot of nothing. But leaders are committing a real dereliction of duties if all they care about are the numbers. They also have to care about how those numbers came to be. Were the right behaviors practiced? Was the company’s culture of integrity honored? Were people taken care of properly? Was the law obeyed, in both letter and spirit?

Values are a funny thing in business. Companies love to talk about them. They love to hang them up on plaques in the lobby and boast about them to potential hires and customers. But they’re meaningless if leaders don’t live and breathe them. Sometimes that can take courage. It can mean letting go of a top performer who’s a brute to his colleagues, or not promoting a star who doesn’t share her best ideas with the team. That’s hard.

And yet if you’re a leader, this is a sin you cannot squint away. When you nail your results, make sure you can also report back to a crowded room: We did this the right way, according to our values.

6. Skipping the Fun Part

What is it about celebrating that makes managers so nervous? Maybe throwing a party doesn’t seem professional, or it makes people worry that they won’t look serious to the powers that be, or that, if things get too happy in the office, people will stop working their tails off.

Whatever the reason, too many leaders don’t celebrate enough. To be clear here, we do not define celebrating as conducting one of those stilted little company-orchestrated events that everyone hates, in which the whole team is marched out to a local restaurant for an evening of forced merriment when they’d rather be home. We’re talking about sending a team to Disney World with their families, or giving each team member tickets to a show or a movie, or handing each member of the team a new iPod.

What a lost opportunity. Celebrating makes people feel like winners and creates an atmosphere of recognition and positive energy. Imagine a team winning the World Series without champagne spraying everywhere. You can’t! And yet companies win all the time and let it go without so much as a high-five.

Work is too much a part of life not to recognize the moments of achievement. Grab as many as you can. Make a big deal out of them.

That’s part of a leader’s job too – the fun part.

Digital’s Share of Local Ad Spend Poised for Gains

Source: eMarketer, MAR 28, 2013

Digital media to grow

Digital has a special role to play in local advertising, especially as mobile has come into the picture and offered better opportunities for targeting consumers.

As such, according to BIA/Kelsey’s March 2013 forecast of US local media ad spending, the role of digital in the local ad market will continue to expand. BIA/Kelsey expects total local spending to reach $132.7 billion this year, essentially flat relative to 2012, when it was $132.5 billion. The composition of that spending will shift, however, as traditional spending declines from $109.4 billion to $107 billion in 2013 and digital spending increases from $23 billion to $25.7 billion.

BIA/Kelsey predicts local ad spending to resume growing in coming years, reaching $145.2 billion in 2016, for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2012 and 2016 of 2.3%. Most of this growth is projected to come through additional ad spending on digital media. Local digital ad spending’s CAGR is predicted to be 12.6% in the same time period, while traditional media is set to decline slightly, with a CAGR of -0.3%.

Accordingly, digital’s share of local ad spending will increase throughout the decade. By 2016, more than one in every four local ad dollars will be spent on digital media. By 2017, local digital ad spending will reach $41.1 billion, accounting for 27.6% of the $148.8 billion US local ad market.

The BIA/Kelsey data indicates that local advertisers are transitioning to digital slightly more slowly than advertisers overall. In December 2012, eMarketer estimated that 24.6% of total US media ad spending will go toward digital by the end of this year—BIA/Kelsey estimated that digital will account for 19.4% of the local ad market at that time. This gap is expected to narrow over the course of the decade: By 2017, eMarketer projected that digital spending will account for 29.1% of US total media spending, while BIA/Kelsey expects the local market will be 27.6% digital by then.

Local Biz Searchers Using Mobile or Tablet More Likely to Purchase Than PC/Laptop Users

Source: March 28, 2013 by MarketingCharts staff


Almost 86 million people use their mobile phones to seek local business information in the US, according to results from the Neustar Localeze and 15miles Sixth Annual comScore Local Search Usage Study [pdf]. The study highlights the growing importance of mobile devices to search, with the total number of visitors to search navigation sites conducted via mobile phones and tablets growing by 26% and 19%, respectively, between March and December 2012. Even more encouragingly, mobile searchers are more likely than PC and laptop searchers to make a purchase.

According to the report, 78% of mobile phone searchers and 77% tablet searches result in a purchase (online, in-person or over the phone), compared to 59% of PC/laptop searches. On another positive note, mobile phone purchase amounts were comparable to those for PCs and laptops, while tablet searches tended to end in more expensive purchases.

That’s good news because search activity appears to be migrating from PCs and laptops to mobile devices. Total US searches on the PC dropped 6% year-over-year to 27.8 billion in December 2012, with local searches declining faster than non-local searches (17% vs. 5%).

One reason why mobile phones and tablets are more likely to result in a purchase might be their prominence at later stages of local business search activity. That is, PCs and laptops are far more likely than mobile phones and tablets to be used at the beginning stages of a local business search than at the end.

Other Findings:

  • Application-based mobile search has almost doubled in the past 2 years. Of the mobile phone searchers who use applications to search for local businesses, 35% use Google Maps compared to 16% who use Apple Maps. The same disparity is evident when it comes to tablet searches (25% vs. 10%).
  • Mobile phone searchers are more likely than tablet and PC/laptop searchers to find maps, directions, and distance to be helpful features provided by sites, while tablet users value consumer ratings and reviews, promotions and online discounts, and methods of payment accepted.
  • Satisfaction with local business information among Portal Site searchers has declined from 84% in 2010 to 80% in 2012.
  • The active use of social networking sites to search for local businesses has dipped slightly from 15% in 2011 to 13% in 2012. Facebook is easily the leading site used for local business searches.
  • 54% of online searches are for services, compared to 40% for products. However, a leading 23% of respondents reported that the last local business they searched for was a restaurant.
  • The most important factors in choosing a business are location (56%) and familiarity (50%).
  • 48% of mobile phone users, 36% of PC/laptop users, and 32% of tablet users visited a business after a successful local business search.

About the Data: The study describes its methodology as follows:

“comScore, in conjunction with Localeze and 15miles, designed on online survey instrument that focused on understanding the use and value of Internet Yellow Pages, Print Yellow Pages, Search, and monitor shifts in consumer behavior and opinions.

The target respondents were individuals who have conducted a local business search in the last twelve months.

Research Design
comScore surveyed panel members and the general population via email and POP invitations. Over 3,000 completed responses were collected. Respondents were categorized based on the site they used for their last online business search, and weighted on age, gender, and last site used to conduct a local business search.

Study Design
The Neustar Localeze/15miles Sixth Annual Local Search Usage Study consists of both a quantitative survey and behavioral data from comScore’s U.S consumer panel.

Quantitative Survey Design: The survey study consisted of a targeted sample of over 3,000 users of local business Internet searches conducted in three search categories: Internet Yellow Pages, Local Search Sites, and Portal Search Sites. Internet Yellow Page Sites (IYP) included 394 sites including,,,, and Local Search Sites included 875 sites including Google Local/Maps, Yahoo! Local, Bing Local,,, and Portal Search Sites included 1,614 sites including,,, and

Behavioral Data: comScore provided additional analysis of total web search activity, local web search activity, and local mobile content consumption.

The survey was fielded December 4, 2012 to December 14, 2012.

Industry Websites’ Performance Varies Across Devices, Metrics

Source: eMarketer, MAR 27, 2013

Retail, travel, entertainment each leaders by different measures

When it comes to website performance, a number of factors need to be considered: How sticky is the content? Are users encouraged to drill deeper into web pages? How much time are they spending per visit? And increasingly important, how well are websites optimized for tablets and smartphones?

A January 2013 study by Adobe examined how various industries’ US websites stacked up in terms of site performance and pinpointed those industries that stood out in certain categories.

When it comes to how long consumers spend on websites, for instance, Adobe found that the top-performing media and entertainment site kept users on the site for about 12 minutes per visit. Although it might not be that surprising that an entertainment site would capture the most user time, it’s interesting to look at the gap between the top-performing media and entertainment site and average site performance, which clocked 8.88 minutes per visit. Adobe noted that adding video and rich media to websites helped boost minutes per visit.

Adobe also examined website stick rates, defined as the percentage of visits that result in more than one web page view. The top-performing financial services site excelled at getting users to drill deeper and click on page links.

Overall, travel and hospitality pages averaged the highest stick rate, while media and entertainment fared worst by this measure. Adobe suggested that stick rate is an important indicator of acquisition and engagement. The more consumers engaged with content, the likelier they were to convert.

More disparity surfaced between the top-performing site vs. average site peformance when it came to tablet and smartphone traffic. According to Adobe, the top-performing site that got the greatest share of traffic from smartphones was again in the media and entertainment category, with top-performing retail sites and travel and hospitality closely trailing behind. The average percent of internet traffic coming from smartphones to these categories was over 10% for each.

When it comes to tablets, retailers, perhaps unsurprisingly, take a fair amount of internet traffic. The top-performing retailer site studied got 13% of internet traffic from tablets. Travel’s top-performing site trailed closely behind, with 12.6% of internet traffic from tablets.

Notably, there was less disparity on tablets between the average performance of sites and the top-performing sites in each industry. Perhaps this is due to brands realizing the likelihood of consumers shopping on their tablet and putting more consistent effort into optimizing for the devices.

Still, the results suggest that the high-tech industry, in particular, could stand to refine its tablet site strategy. Both the top-performing site and the average performance of sites ranked quite low. Although it might not be a highly visited category among tablet users, Adobe found that rich media and videos created better tablet experiences for this industry.

Sites optimized for tablets and smartphones are more likely to encourage mobile purchases, and conversion will be increasingly important on the devices going forward. eMarketer expects US mobile buyers to reach nearly 73 million this year, up 38% from 2012.

Which Social Media Marketing Tactics Work Best?

Source: eMarketer, Mar 26, 2013

Best social tactics to drive engagement also require time and effort

Now that marketers’ tenure on social networks is at least a few years old, they are zeroing in on what they are best able to accomplish on the sites, what their biggest challenges are and how to most effectively track their performance.

Ascend2, an agency consulting company, surveyed marketing professionals around the world in February 2013, and the greatest percentage of respondents from both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) companies considered customer engagement to be the primary purpose of their social media marketing. Website traffic also ranked high for both types of marketing professionals.

Leads were a more important end for B2Bs than B2Cs. Twenty-nine percent of B2Bs used social to generate better quality leads, and 27% sought to get more leads with the tactic.

Search engine rankings remain an important part of businesses’ digital strategy, and social media plays a role here too. Approximately one-quarter of both B2Bs and B2Cs used social media outreach to improve search rank.

The fundamental goal of increasing sales revenue was a social goal for over one-third of marketers from both B2Bs and B2Cs.

To best achieve social objectives, the greatest percentage of respondents cited creating articles and blog post content. These tactics fall directly in line with driving the goal of customer engagement. Other forms of content creation also ranked high, including research and whitepapers for B2Bs, and video and audio for both types of companies.

B2Cs found advertising on social networks to be a much more effective strategy than B2Bs did.

Still, even if these strategies may prove the most effective at driving social goals, that doesn’t mean they’re easy to pull off.

The top three most effective social marketing tactics were also the most difficult tactics to execute. These findings mirror growing research that while content marketing is one of the latest and greatest marketing tactics, it is also difficult and time consuming to produce.

As to what obstacles stood in the way of marketers achieving their social goals, the greatest percentage of respondents (42%) cited staff limitations—not having enough personnel to create the content or drive the continuous engagement that powers social.

Nearly two out five respondents, the next greatest percentage, said difficulty measuring the return on investment (ROI) of social channels was a major obstacle in their social efforts.

When marketers do set out to measure social performance, the greatest percentage—over 60% on both the B2B and B2C sides—said they looked at website traffic. This metric may be somewhat basic, but it is also direct and easy to measure. The same goes for tracking search engine rankings, which was the No. 2 response. These responses show that even as marketing tactics have become more sophisticated, marketers still turn to tried and true methods to quantify ROI.


The 5 Secrets To Leading Great Meetings

Source: Justin Rosenstein, Asana, March 21, 2013

Meetings get a bad rap, and deservedly so – most meetings are disorganized and distracted. But they can be a critical tool for getting your team on the same page.

Over years of iteration while working at Google, Facebook, and Asana, I’ve found a way of leading meetings that ensures we discuss the most important things, quickly and efficiently, and that things never fall through the cracks.

1. Know when to email vs. when to meet.

Logistics are best handled over a non-immediate communication channel like email or Asana tasks. Detailed status meetings will suck the life out of your day.

But when topics are complex and meaty, don’t create a never-ending email thread. It’s amazing how much time people waste composing and reading carefully-worded essays, when a 5 minute in-person chat would resolve the whole thing.

2. Capture goals ahead of time.

Throughout the week, as you find those meaty topics, don’t keep everything in your head. Remembering is stressful, and you’ll forget important questions. Just add it to the agenda, in a shared Google Doc or an Asana project.

Everyone can do this. By the time the meeting starts, the agenda already includes everyone’s ideas. No more wasting the first 10 minutes figuring out what to talk about.

3. Timebox aggressively.

Establish how long you’re going to spend on each topic, and stick to it. Talking about a topic for 20 minutes will probably lead to a better decision than talking about it for 5. But if the topic only deserved 5 minutes, you’re not gonna have a chance to talk about all the other important items. Or, worse, you’ll spend all day in meetings. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the great.

4. Make each agenda item a race to clarity.

Go through each item: Extract information and perspective from the team, identify next actions, and owners for each action — as quickly as possible. If you’ve extracted all the perspective but it’s not clear what the right decision is, don’t debate or ruminate. Assign someone to think about it and trust them to make the decision — even if it’s not how you would have made it.

5. Guarantee follow through.

By the end, you should have a written list of every new action item. Each should have one owner (not two) and a timeline. Keep that list in the same place you’re keeping the running agenda.

Then, when it’s time for the next meeting, you can immediately see all the items from last week. Hopefully each owner will just nod that they did what they committed to. Now things won’t fall through the cracks, and you won’t spend the first 10 minutes remembering what you decided last time.

The bottom line.

When leaders know how to lead great meetings, there’s less time wasted and less frustration. We have more energy to do the work that matters, realize our full potential, and do great things.