Both Search Engine Watch and Internet Retailer shared some of the key findings of RKG’s latest Digital Marketing Report in their recent articles. Amy Dusto of Internet Retailer mentioned RKG’s study which shows a slowing in growth of Google ad spending for Q3, but noted:
“The slowing may be influenced by the lower prices for now of ads that appear in the new Google Shopping area of Google search results pages, RKG says. The ads in that area, which Google calls Product Listing Ads, cost 15% less per click than comparable ads in search, the agency reports.”
Search Engine Watch’s Miranda Miller also mentioned RKG’s thoughts on the influence of PLAs:
“Click volume on Google grew 28 percent, while CPCs fell 7 percent, said RKG. They note that these figures were heavily influenced by Product Listing Ads and the Google Shopping transition, which have provided incremental traffic, but at a lower average CPC.”
Update: RKG’s Digital Marketing Report Covered by Search Engine Land – http://searchengineland.com/paid-search-study-bings-click-traffic-growing-faster-than-googles-138335
Rapidly-Growing Digital Marketing Agency Has Added To Impressive Roster
Since 2012 Survey Announced; RKG Now Tops Industry With Over 40 of Top 500 Retailers Onboard
RKG | Rimm-Kaufman Group has been named to the top Search Engine Marketing vendors list in Internet Retailer’s 2012 survey of top retailers, the company announced today.
The highly-coveted industry ranking is based on interviews with more than 1,000 of today’s top retailers, conducted by the magazine’s research team. According to officials at the rapidly-growing Charlottesville, Virginia-based company, RKG has continued to add to its impressive client roster even since the survey was completed, and now counts an industry-leading roster of over 40 of the Top 500 retailers among its clients.
This latest positive news for RKG makes it the number one Search Engine Marketing vendor to serve top retail clients using proprietary bid management technology. This is a distinction that captures the essence of what the company is all about, according to its Co-Founder and CEO George Michie.
“RKG’s success can be traced directly to our client-centric approach and our deep retail experience,” Michie said. “One key way to that approach is that we serve our clients with proprietary, customizable technology. It is simply impossible to deliver flexible, customized solutions with rigid, third-party software.”
The source of the recognition, according to RKG VP of Marketing Ryan Gibson, makes it even more gratifying. “As an agency with its roots in retail and in search, it means even more to us to be recognized by a group made up of today’s leading retailers. Their recognition is further proof that our unique combination of smart marketers and leading technologies provides exactly what retailers want and need in a dynamic and challenging marketplace. We congratulate our partners on the IR 500 and look forward to sharing RKG’s capabilities with even more members of this elite group in the future.”
Current RKG clients on the 2012 IR500 list include Charming Shoppes, Eddie Bauer, Nutrisystem, ThinkGeek and Zale Corp, along with over 35 others.
Both Search Engine Land and MediaPost picked up on some of the key findings of RKG’s latest Digital Marketing Report yesterday. Pamela Parker at Search Engine Land spotlighted the coming shake-up in the comparison shopping space noting:
The big story of the quarter — Google’s move to monetize Shopping by transitioning merchants to paid listings ads (PLAs) — won’t truly reveal its impact until later in the year. RKG’s figures give some measure of the impact of this change. The company said 15% of its clients non-branded paid clicks on Google were generated by PLAs in the second quarter, and they generated a 13% higher than average return-on-ad-spend (ROAS).
MediaPost’s Laurie Sullivan offered a rundown on a number of RKG’s Q2 data points and contrasted those results with the latest comScore findings:
On the desktop, Google improved its share of organic search traffic, which rose from 76% in Q1 to 77% in Q2. Bing and Yahoo each held a share of 10%. In paid search, Google AdWords generated 84% of clicks.
June 2012 search data from comScore reveals that Google holds 66.8% market share for the month, up sequentially from 66.7%. Bing holds 15.6% for June, compared with 15.4% in May, and Yahoo fell 13% from 13.4%, respectively, according to Macquarie Analyst Ben Schachter.
Search Engine Watch also featured the RKG Digital Marketing Report for Q2 2012 in a piece spotlighting data from four of the largest digital marketing agencies. While specific growth rates varied significantly, there has been general agreement that:
Paid search spend growth is relatively steady, but slowing from the impressive rates seen over the previous few quarters.
U.S. mobile paid search spend increased astronomically, while organic search visits from mobile, mobile as a percentage of total search spend, and mobile clicks and impressions all rose
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.