News and Press

news 07/10/2012

RKG (Rimm-Kaufman Group), one of the largest independent digital marketing agencies in the U.S., released its latest Digital Marketing Report covering the second quarter of 2012 today.  Across its client base, which includes over 30 of the top 500 internet retailers, RKG found Google search spend growth slipping from Q1 levels, but remaining robust at 32%.

Lower average cost-per-click (CPC), down 10%, continued to temper the impact of booming Google paid click growth rates, which remained near five year highs.  While Google controlled 77% of organic search traffic, it was better able to monetize its user base than rivals Bing and Yahoo, generating 84% of paid clicks and taking 84% of search ad spend. More »

press 06/04/2012

Mark Ballard was recently interviewed by MIT’s Technology Review about the growing popularity of alternative search engines to Google, namely Blekko and DuckDuckGo.

Mark Ballard, a senior research analyst with Rimm-Kaufman, where he tracks online marketing and advertising, notes that both search startups started from a low base, making big growth easier to achieve. But he says they have proven that users can be tempted away from Google with the right product. “While we’ve seen Google ramp up their display of ads and move further and further from the ‘ten blue links approach’ [to more complicated search results], Blekko and DuckDuckGo are offering a simpler, less cluttered user experience.”

press 05/31/2012

Business Insider was quick to get RKG’s analysis of Google’s recent changes to Google Shopping.

Mark Ballard, a senior research analyst at RKG, noted that while changing Google Shopping to a fully paid marketing channel could generate a bit revenue for Google’s paid click services, it could also draw the ire of antitrust regulators, advertisers, and users.


Ecommerce Times also conducted an interview with Mark Ballard on Google Shopping’s switch to a CPC product:

“Based on our clients’ results, we would expect Google Shopping to increase Google’s paid click total in the neighborhood of 2 to 5 percent over the long term. That’s not a huge percentage, but it would ultimately mean billions more in revenue for Google,” Mark Ballard, senior research analyst at Rimm-Kaufman Group, told the E-Commerce Times.

Profit is likely to come without many complaints from retailers, Ballard said.

“The reaction from our retail clients has been more positive than I expected,” he said. “While no one is happy about having to pay for traffic that we were previously getting for free, a number of retailers have expressed optimism that the change will help fight price erosion and eliminate low-quality merchants who turn customers off from the entire comparison shopping channel.”

press 05/11/2012

George Michie was recently interviewed by Internet Retailer about Bing’s forthcoming inclusion of social signals on the SERP. Bing is preparing to include results from Facebook on the right rail of their search results page, a move that might help lure heavy Facebook users to Bing rather than Google.

press 05/01/2012

In an article this week, MediaPost’s Laurie Sullivan referenced George Michie’s recent Search Insider Summit panel about Multichannel Attribution:

Attribution becomes increasingly complex as more media becomes part of the mix. George Michie, CEO at Rimm-Kaufman Group, outlined the barriers to understanding attribution and provided an example of attributing each touch to a winning point in Game Seven of the NBA finals. He asked during last week’s MediaPost Search Insider Summit whether credit goes to the player in-bounding the ball to another player, or to the player who shot the ball through the hoop.

Michie also asked how marketers deal with a change in trusted metrics relied on for years as online advertising matures and changes. Year-over-year performance numbers could start to decline dramatically, and remain down for nearly a year with the change of an attribution model that now takes more than one media channel into consideration.

press 04/27/2012

RKG attribution management research was discussed in an eMarketer article about last click attribution models not providing marketers with an accurate picture of their campaigns. Overall weakness of a last touch attribution model is a topic that RKG has been discussing for awhile. As such, we built our attribution management solution to be flexible and provide fractional credit across multiple marketing channels.

press 04/12/2012

Data from RKG’s Digital Marketing Report for Q1, 2012 was used in a Search Engine Land piece that described the overall growth of paid search spend in Q1, 2012.

4/16/2012 Update:
MediaPost’s Laurie Sullivan wrote a great piece that wraps up a number of agency’s quarterly reports. Numbers and analysis from RKG’s digital marketing report are referenced throughout the piece. One key takeaway that Sullivan stresses is the growing importance of Google’s Product Listing Ads:

As for SEM, the decline of Google cost per clicks continues to be the major topic for most. But Mark Ballard, senior research analyst at RKG, sees Google’s Product Listing Ads format as another important metric.

Clicks on Google PLAs rose more than five times in the quarter compared with Q1 2011, accounting for 11% on Google, according to the RKG’s report. PLA cost per clicks came in 18% below standard text ads in Q1. Overall, CPCs on Google fell 9% compared with Q1 2011, Ballard said.

news 04/11/2012

Google paid search spend grew 35% in Q1 2012 as it once again benefited from strong click-through rate growth driven by newer ad formats and a cumulative string of design changes that have favored their paid listings.

This is according to the RKG Digital Marketing Report for Q1, 2012. The Rimm-Kaufman Group (RKG), a digital marketing agency and industry thought leader, publishes their report each quarter to help marketers benchmark their performance and understand the latest trends in online marketing. More »

press 03/28/2012

In a recent Charlottesville Daily Progress article RKG is said to be a finalist for 2 Charlottesville Business Innovation Council awards, specifically the Spotlight Award and the Community Award. The Spotlight Award is given to a company that brought positive attention to the Charlottesville area, and the Community Award is given to the firm that has improved the quality of life in Central Virginia.

press 03/16/2012

RKG’s CEO, George Michie, was interviewed by Internet Retailer about Google’s push towards semantic search and the impact this could have on advertisers.