Why Mobile Marketers Should Focus Acquisition Efforts in the First Month of Launching a New Free Game

By Jana Fung and Scott Kamino

Although it may seem intuitive to invest resources in the games that have been struggling in the Play Store since inception, new data from MixRank suggests that focusing marketing efforts on new games will give mobile apps the highest probability of reaching the top charts.

In this study, we first looked at the most successful free games in 2013, and spotted trends for specific milestones. We found that these games were reaching the Top 10 charts within similar time period of other Top 10 free games. To take the a deeper look, we specifically analyzed the most recently top ranked games during the month of July 2013. Here’s what we found.

50% Top 10 Free Games in 2013 Reach a Top 10 Rank Within 13 Days of Being Launched

We came to our findings by analyzing free games that ranked in the Top 10 during the past 3 months (May – July 2013). The sample includes 41 out of 45 of the games that held a Top 10 position during the 3 months. (The remaining 4 games were excluded from the data as the exact date it appeared on the Top 10 charts could not be determined).

This trend suggests that the first two weeks of launching a game is an extremely critical time period for achieving success for a game. To gain a more detailed understanding about the ideal time frame for achieving success, we analyzed the games that ranked in the Top 10 during the month of July.

In July 2013, > 90% of Top 10 Free Games Reach Top 10 Within 30 Days of Being Launched

*Full historic data for this game is not available

This table shows the date games were uploaded, and the time that elapsed before appearing in the Top 10 rankings.  With only 1 out of 17 sampled games that achieved a Top 10 rank status after available for 58 days, it is rather uncommon for older apps to have a chance of making it into the Top 10 Free Games rankings if they haven’t already.

So, should developers try to keep moving up the slow and steady route with mobile acquisition strategies or should they cut off resources from their old games and invest in developing a new one? Knowing how rare it is for older apps to break into the Top 10 charts, it may be more realistic for developers to release a new game and reallocate their budgets to achieve a Top 10 rank within 30 days.

Once a game reaches that Top 10 ranking in the Play Store, it does have a chance of stabilizing longevity.  
But how likely is that? Below we look at the 2013 historic rank of the 22 games that placed in the Top 10 Free Games chart during July.  Highlighted in color are the 5 games that have been ranking in the Top 10 chart for several months.

Free Games Rarely Stay in Top 10 Charts for > 1 Month

In this graph, we see a 5 different games that were able to sustain a Top 10 rank throughout 2013. However, compared to the rest of the 22 games that ranked in July 2013, this trend proves to be quite uncommon.

The remaining gray lines in the chart represent the 17 games that ranked in the July Top 10 and were recently launched during May – July.  In order to understand the probability of a game reaching Candy Crush or Angry Birds status, we dissect this graph to see the trends of the newer games.

For a developer, a game’s level of success can be bucketed into one of the above charts: top games that sustain popularity with consumers for long periods of time or top games that rise quickly and fall just as quickly.

These figures take a detailed look at the 17 recently launched games. The first chart shows games that have been persistently fluctuating within the Top 10 charts, performing well for several months. Considering the vast number of games released in the Play Store this year, these games appear to be rare commodities, with only 4 out of 17.

As it turns out, majority of top ranked games do not experience this trend of staying in the Top charts for months at a time. In the last chart, we isolate the remaining 13 games to see a more standard journey of a top ranked game.  The trend shows that these games appear to rise fairly quickly to the top charts, and then drop soon thereafter.  We also noticed that once these apps have dropped beyond the threshold of the Top 50, none of them were able to regain their status back into the Top 10.

So, as we know that the first 30 days of launching a game is the most critical time to reaching the Top Charts, game developers are faced with decisions behind what to do when their games are seeing a dramatic decrease in rankings.  Based on this study, once there’s a notable drop in rankings, games will most likely not be able to recuperate, so resources are better spent marketing a new game rather than re-investing in the failed ones.

Unveiling the MixRank Mobile App Directory for Google Play

At MixRank, we’re making changes to include even more relevant data for your digital advertising competitive intelligence needs. As we expand our data set into the mobile landscape, we’ve made some recent updates to the database that maps web advertisers, publisher domains and apps back to parent company profiles. Our latest features include two brand new directories, new filter options for the directories, and new search functionalities. Here’s a breakdown of the latest features we’ve added.

1. Mobile App Directory and Filter Options: We’ve been tracking Play Store apps since January 2013 and within the app directory, you’ll find filter options to view the Topselling Paid, Topselling Free, Top Grossing, Topselling New Paid, Topselling New Free, and Trending apps.

For free apps, MixRank has uncovered the SDKs that mobile apps are leveraging, allowing you to see what technologies and app packages mobile developers have chosen to use.  If you’d like access to this data, sign up here.

2. Company Directory & Filter Options: We are tracking over 5 million companies cross verified on LinkedIn. Property Count indicates the number of MixRank reports that are mapped to this company. Visit the company directory to filter the companies by industry.

To gain access to the MixRank Directories, visit the Browse section on the top right hand corner of any MixRank page.

3. Company Reports: To gain access to company reports you can click on the company name from the Company Directory, or from any other report or directory on the top right hand side.


Within the company reports, you can view the various web properties that MixRank has reports for. Below you’ll see the Zoho Corporation’s Company Report with multiple web advertisers and Play Store apps. This data is particularly useful when measuring ad spend and online presence for a company.

4. Universal Search: With the drop-down arrow next to the search bar, you can get more granular with your queries by indicating what type of MixRank reports you’re looking for.

If you wish to search for all MixRank reports, we’ve added a universal search that allows you to search under Everything. Try it now!

Android Developers: Stop Making Casual Games

By Jana Fung and Max Isenberg

Though Casual games have an easier time reaching the top charts, they stay there for much shorter periods of time and reach a smaller audience than Arcade & Action games.

After looking at the Google Play Top Charts over a 6 month period, we found that while 35% of Casual games in the Top 100 reach the Top 25, only 2 Casual games that started the year in the Top 25 were still there six months later.

With the first half of 2013 now over, we decided to take a deeper look at the journey a free game undergoes to enter the top charts in the Play Store and stay there. We especially focused on the Casual games category, as popular games such as King.com’s Candy Crush Saga have come to dominate the overall Top Game rankings.

We analyzed the following six subcategories: Sports Games, Brain & Puzzle, Casual, Cards & Casino, Arcade & Action, and Racing. We tracked the charts for the first half of the year, ending July 16th, 2013. Our findings:

The First Two Weeks are the Most Important for Reaching the Top Charts

Figure 1: Percent of Top 100 Casual games that reach the Top 10 based on number of days between the first entry into the Top 100 and the first entry into the Top 10 Casual games charts

83% of Casual games in the Top 10 took less than 2 weeks to get there. As a developer, it’s important to strongly market your game in the first 14 days after its release because after that point, it becomes much harder to push a game to the Top 10. This is despite the fact that Casual is the easiest category to reach the top rankings.

Casual Games Have a Higher Chance of Reaching the Top Rankings

Figure 2: Percent of games in Top 100 that reach Top 25

To explore the difficulty of reaching the top in various categories, we studied the likelihood that Top 100 games to break into the Top 25 over the same 6 month period. More Casual games get a chance to break into the top charts, with 35% of the Top 100 making it to the Top 25 within 6 months. This pattern holds for the Top 10 Casual games.

Figure 3: Percent of games in Top 100 that reach Top 10

In total, 80 unique Casual games that ranked in the Top 100 over these 6 months reached the Top 10. Reaching a top ranking is not the only determining factor for how many downloads a game gets; it also has to stay there.

Casual Games Are Less Likely to Have Long Term Dominance in the Top Charts 

Figure 4: Number of Top 100 games initially in the Top 100 at the beginning of the observation period that remained in the chart for the entire duration of the study

We looked at the set of 100 games at the top of each chart for each game Category on the first day of our observation in January. We then counted how many of those 100 were still in the Top 100 on the last day of the observation in July. Of the Top 100 Casual games in January 2013, only 24 remained 6 months later, lowest among all categories. We did a similar review with the Top 25.

Figure 5: Number of Top 25 games initially in the Top 25 at the beginning of the observation period that remained in the chart for the entire duration of the study

Only 2 Casual games within the Top 25 at the beginning of the year charted in the Top 25 every day during this 6 month period: Ludia Inc.’s Family Feud & Friends and King.com’s Candy Crush Saga. This turnover within the Casual games category suggests that many different games cycle through the top charts. And while games may experience higher visibility on the Top charts, Casual games lack the ability to hang on to their rankings compared to other games, like the 12 out of 25 Cards & Casino games that protected their rank status for 6 months.

Casual Games Have Shorter Stays in the Top Charts

Figure 6: Number of days the average charting game spends in Top 25

We next looked to see how long these games stayed in the Top 25 charts compared to other gaming categories. Casual games are only averaging a 21 day stay in the Top 25, compared to an average of 28 or more days in other gaming categories. We also looked at the average length of stay in the Top 10.

Figure 7: Number of days the average charting game spends in Top 10

Here, Casual games average only 12 days, half the time spent compared to Racing games that hang on to a Top 10 rank for 24 days. Not only is the Casual game category a difficult one to establish lasting and persistent titles, but also the average games cannot translate their initial popularity into even month long stays on the top.

A Lower Percentage of Casual Games Last for Very Long on the Top Charts

Figure 8: Percent of games that enter the Top 10 that stay for at least 2 weeks

The figure above displays the percentage of games that reach the Top 10 that last for longer than 2 weeks. As Casual games break into the Top 10 rankings, their time spent is short. Only 20 games out of the 80 games that reached the Top 10 stayed in the top charts for 14 days or more. The Casual games category demonstrates a tremendous a difficulty of staying on the charts for extended periods of time. In contrast, only 36 games entered the Top 10 for Arcade & Action, but 16 of those games (or 44%) lasted for longer than 2 weeks.

These facts, paired with the 19% of Casual games reaching the Top 10, suggest user boredom and low loyalty explains the fast-moving adjustments in rankings. Games cannot easily establish lasting presences in the category before the next wave of Casual games comes in and displaces the previous one.

Arcade & Action is the Most Popular Android Gaming Category

 Category Total # of Apps in Category # of Top 100 Games Games with 1M+ Downloads % Top Games with 1M+ Downloads Minimum Downloads Sum
Sports Games 4916 279 110 39.43% 407951010
Brain & Puzzle 34373 407 171 42.01% 683275000
Casual 22280 436 224 51.38% 727625000
Cards & Casino 6640 265 82 30.94% 262815500
Arcade & Action 21984 405 267 65.93% 1611096000
Racing 3490 343 130 37.90% 515236010

Figure 9

To evaluate the success potential for these categories, we considered three major criteria: ease of entry into the top charts, turnover in the top charts, and the reach of the category.

For ease of entry, Casual does very well, with 19% of Top 100 games eventually reaching the Top 10, comparing favorably to Arcade & Action’s low 9%. Thus, Casual games have a better shot to hit the top charts than games in other categories.

However, reaching the top easily comes at the cost of briefer stays on the charts for Casual games. Once in the Top 10, Arcade & Action games reap the rewards of the Top charts for a longer period than Casual games, averaging a 20 day stay in the Top 10 as opposed to an average of only 12 days for Casual Top 10 charters.

Not only do Arcade & Action games experience a lower turnover rate than Casual games, they also have a much larger reach. In the above table, ‘% Top Games with 1M+ Downloads’ is the ratio of the second over the first column, which gives the percentage of Top 100 games that had at least 1 million downloads. Additionally, ‘Minimum Downloads Sum’ is the sum of all games’ downloads that ranked in the Top 100. The Google Play Store gives download counts in ranges, so this metric sums the lower bound of all the ranges of games in each category, so the number is the minimum number of downloads for games in that category.

Though growing in popularity, Casual isn’t a threat to Arcade & Action’s existing popularity as the most played game category. Arcade & Action takes the cake among consumers, having the most games with > 1 Million downloads and over 2X the downloads than Casual games, despite there being roughly the same number of Top 100 apps in each category.

Thus, while reaching the top is harder for Arcade & Action games than Casual, its significantly lower turnover and its larger audience make it the better target for developers. While a few Casual games have recently gained notoriety, top Casual games generally get fewer downloads than similarly ranked Arcade & Action games. The Casual top charts are the most saturated, making it difficult to stick and accrue downloads that make your games more valuable; instead, focus on Arcade & Action games that more easily hold their value by lasting on the top charts and gaining many downloads.

Next time, we will uncover exactly how much momentum it takes to reach the top charts and the surprising apps that were the biggest winners and losers of the 2013 Google Play charts.

The Top Three Examples of Internet Growth Hacking

Last week, I attended the Growth Hackers Conference in San Francisco. The Keynote speaker, Keith Rabois of Khosla Ventures, gave an interesting presentation about Growth vs. Growth Hacking, providing three incredible examples of growth hacking. Here’s my version summarizing his awesome presentation.

Growth and growth hacking should not be confused with one another, as they are not the same thing, nor can they be focused on at the same time within a company. They are two very separate stages in a startup, and one cannot occur without the other. Growth, is sort of like the pre-requisite to growth hacking. You can’t focus on growth hacking without having an initial phase of growth to start. And once you’ve reached a certain stage of growth, growth hacking is a strategy that grows your business exponentially without as much investment in time or money.

I’ll show you three famous examples of growth hacking and explain what Keith meant by having growth before you can focus on growth hacking.

1. LinkedIn started as a community for professional networking. They were able to grow their users from 2 million to 200 million within a few years due to this awesome growth hacking tactic: allow users to create public profiles so the search engines index their profiles and show up organically in search results. Prior to LinkedIn, it was very rare that you could find yourself within the top 5 search results, unless you were famous or written about frequently.

In order for this simple SEO concept to work successfully, LinkedIn had to grow their users from 0 to 2 million members first, which means they had to undergo some extent of growth before they could enter the growth hacking phase. Once their growth phase was to a substantial size, they could start indexing these 2 million profiles into the organic search results. By entering a search for an average working-class individual, LinkedIn URLs are now showing up as the first search result on the page (as seen below with my profile).

2. Youtube, now the second largest search engine after Google (which also owns YouTube), started out as a platform that allowed users to share their videos. So how did YouTube take advantage of growth hacking? Like LinkedIn, they had to go through a period of growth first. By reaching a certain amount of initial users with their first few thousands of users and videos, they could start focusing on growth hacking. Here’s what set YouTube apart from the rest.

The growth hacking success of YouTube was their ability to implement the nifty and easy-to-use “Embed” this video script. By making it relatively easy and painless for users to upload their videos and embed the entire video player onto any other website contributed to what it is today, having over 1 billion unique visitors each month and 72 hours of video uploaded every minute.

3. PayPal has a slightly different story, but an equally awesome growth hacking success. eBay, the leading auction site for online seller to consumer sales, allowed sellers to include their preferred forms of payment in their listings. Over time, more and more listings were accepting “PayPal,” but this wasn’t an option that was available in eBay, so sellers would write PayPal in several spots on their listings, sometimes totaling in over 10 locations on the listing.

As PayPal noticed their growth among eBay sellers, they worked out a deal with eBay to include the PayPal logo on the listings that accepted PayPal. The logo sat side by side the other preferred forms of payment, like Visa and MasterCard logos. This growth hacking idea was successful because eBay was already well-established, so PayPal was driving growth from the success of another company’s success. As more and more sellers only accepted payment via PayPal, this forced consumers and buyers to create PayPal accounts, hence the start of growth hacking. Since then, eBay acquired PayPal for $1.5 Billion and is now the only logo that is shown on eBay listings in the payment methods section. Not too shabby in my opinion!

All in all, I really enjoyed the Growth Hackers Conference and am looking forward to the next one. It’s a great conference for start-ups and marketing professionals who are seeking insights for growing their business and learning real examples of how leading companies grew their businesses. I’ll release some other blog posts later this year with other really interesting presentations related back to growth hacking. Thanks Keith Rabois for sharing these three awesome examples of growth hacking! Have you had a great growth hacking idea you’ve tried in the past that you’d like to share? Tell us in the comments section below.

The Top 5 APIs that PPC Advertisers Use to Rapidly Scale Online Ad Campaigns

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With various advertising channels available to PPC advertisers these days, it becomes extremely time-consuming to manage and maintain ad campaigns across multiple ad networks and accounts. Growing online ads has become a real challenge in such a fiercely competitive industry. That’s why APIs are becoming more prevalent as the next big trend that allow advertisers to save time and rapidly scale campaigns. API stands for Application Programming Interface, but what does that even mean? More importantly, how can it help you rapidly scale your online campaigns?

As it turns out, more and more sophisticated advertisers are turning to automated bid management tools, whether it be proprietary or from third-party vendors, like Marin Software or AdStage. With automated bidding in place, this allows advertisers to spend more time optimizing campaigns, and taking action on the data to scale faster. To do this with ease, advertisers access the top APIs to manage and scale their ad campaigns side by side, without having to export reports from each platform and data mine. Let’s take a look at the top 5 APIs that PPC advertisers leverage to rapidly scale their online ad campaigns:

1.  AdWords API: Google has dominated the revolutionary paid search advertising market since it launched AdWords in 2000. It’s also created several innovative tools that offers marketers a more convenient work-flow for managing and scaling profitable campaigns, such as The Conversion Optimizer, AdWords Editor, and Google’s Keyword Tool. However, while there are thousands of advertisers that only invest their digital marketing budgets on Google, there are still third-party tools, like WordStream, that cater to these advertisers because of AdWords’ intimidating and difficult to use platform. The AdWords API has proven to be quite useful for those marketers who don’t find the AdWords interface user-friendly.

2.  Bing Ads API: While Google is the top dog for paid search traffic, the top advertisers are savvy enough to realize that scaling ads beyond AdWords increases reach and overall returns from ad spend. A recent report shows that there are 153 million unique searchers on the Yahoo Bing Network and that these searchers spend 8% more than Google searchers. This means that 153 million people can only be reached through Bing Ads and will never be reached if only advertising through AdWords. This is one of the most compelling reasons why advertisers sync the two search channels up with the Bing Ads API.

3.  Facebook Ads API: Since the release of the Facebook Advertising API in 2011, Facebook has opened their API up to partner with over 260 vendors in over 45 countries. With all of the Facebook updates and lack of simplicity within the Facebook Ads self-serve platform, social advertisers have been turning to third-party solutions like AdParlor and Qwaya to successfully manage and scale their Facebook ad campaigns. Facebook’s innovation with ad formats, and their access to such valuable inventory has certainly been quite valuable to advertisers, but without the Facebook API available in user-friendly partner tools, the top advertisers would not be able to grow their campaigns and ad spend as quickly as they have.

4.  Twitter Ads API: Although still in private beta, the Twitter Ads API was released earlier this year with a few select partners. Twitter Advertising is taking off with its “pay-per-engagement” pricing model and ability to reach any industry and audience. Advertisers who are actively managing social profiles and looking for more brand awareness can do so with Twitter Advertising, which lends more followers and more syndication for tweets at scale. Online advertisers have been patiently waiting for this API to open up so they can easily measure and compare campaign performance with similar digital ad channels and automate bids accordingly.

5.  MixRank API: MixRank’s leading competitive intelligence tool allows advertisers to quickly spot their competitors’ top performing ads, keywords and placements. With the unveiling of MixRank’s API last year, we’ve seen an incredible amount of interest from advertisers who are looking to leverage competitive data to profitably scale their own campaigns. MixRank’s API can be easily integrated with your home-grown bidding solution or third-party online advertising management platforms, acting as a recommendation engine to influence bids, ad copy, keywords, and/or even placements to buy traffic on. These recommendations provide significant time savings when scaling profitable campaigns, as it eliminates over 50% in research and testing time. With the world’s largest database of online ads, MixRank’s API is versatile for all industries and markets. If you’d like to gain access to the MixRank API to leverage competitive insights with your bidding solution, sign up here.

If you’re one of the top online advertisers, you’ve probably used at least one, if not all of these APIs to manage and scale your campaigns. What makes an API highly adaptable for all of the top advertisers is when it can be leveraged in any industry for any market. These five APIs will certainly help you scale your online presence faster. And with the recommendation insights provided by MixRank’s API, you’ll be able to scale more intelligently and profitably. If you’re already leveraging a PPC bid management tool and want to scale your campaigns more intelligently by outperforming the competition, learn how with the MixRank API.  Sign up today.

Interpreting Web Analytics for Actionable Data-Driven Marketing

As marketing has become more data-driven, it’s become gradually easier to gather data, but increasingly more difficult to digest, analyze and interpret all of the data in order to take action. There seems to be an overabundant amount of tools that allow marketers to collect data, many of which are free, like Google Analytics, however, without enough time in the day to analyze and interpret it, the data collected becomes useless and more of a hassle to house than grow your business from.

To help solve this problem, we’ve partnered with GitGrow, a simplified analytics tool that informs data-driven recommendations to improve your site. By accessing your current Google Analytics data and integrating with MixRank, GitGrow saves you the time you would normally spend on interpreting data and determining where to focus your online marketing efforts.

The GitGrow and MixRank integration offers a side-by-side comparison of your organic, paid search and contextual keywords that allows you to visualize the keywords you’re ranking for and paying for across various online marketing channels.

Take a sneak peek at the integration here:

To take advantage of the amazing partnership between GitGrow and MixRank, try GitGrow for free. Along with the MixRank keywords, GitGrow also offers:

  • Automated Summary Reports of Web Analytics: Receive a weekly executive presentation tailored for reporting to business users.
  • Easy to Implement Recommendations: Based on trends in your data, leverage recommendations to improve your website’s overall performance.
  • Customized Out-of-the-Box Benchmarks: Uncover how the performance of your site ranks with comparable companies of your industry.

For a limited time, GitGrow is offering a 30-day free trial. Claim for your free GitGrow account today!

10 Bargaining Chips for Negotiating a Direct Media Buy

Direct media buying is an excellent strategy to purchase ad impressions for your targeted audience. You have the luxury of buying impressions in bulk with the satisfaction of saving money, given that the impressions offered at a discounted rate. Surprisingly, more often than not, the listed rates are not always “discounted” per se. Ad impressions are priced at what the publisher wants for their inventory, not necessarily how much the inventory is worth to you. So, how do you get the publisher to give you exactly what you want, without letting on that you want to pay a lot less than their listed prices?

Here are 10 bargaining chips for negotiating direct media buys:

  1. State the “facts”: When reaching out to a publisher, it is likely that they will respond to you if you’re interested in offering them money for their ad inventory, but to guarantee a response, state your budget is $10,000 more than it actually is.
  2. Evaluate the metrics: What is the publisher’s CTR? How many impressions will they guarantee with a monthly rate? What is the page view ratio? These metrics should be considered before trying to negotiate a lower rate. If you notice something as a red flag in their metrics like an unusually low CTR or an extremely high amount of page views per visitor, you can use this data as when stating that the listed price is too high.
  3. Have a number in mind: Before you lay out all your concerns or start asking for discounts, have a plan of what you’re willing to pay for this ad inventory. If you’ve advertised on this site before through an ad network, you know what an ideal CPM is for you. If you haven’t, you can figure out how much you’d want to pay per acquisition based on their CTR and your conversion rate. When negotiating the price down, tell the publisher the price you’re willing to pay and why this is your target goal. Make sure to bring up the metrics you evaluated to prove your reasoning.
  4. Conduct a test: You’ll probably receive some resistance from the publisher with the above bargaining chip, so now is a good time to request a test with a small amount of remnant inventory or instead of a month commitment, just a week of impressions. A trial like this will help you better evaluate the performance of the publisher, and provide the publisher a chance to prove its value to you. Since the publisher thinks you have a huge budget, they’ll try to work with you on this.
  5. Measure the test and re-evaluate: How did the test perform for you? Are you impressed with the results? If not, move on to another publisher. However, if there was potential with the outcome, re-evaluate the amount you’re willing to pay for the impressions and see if you can get any discounts with the following strategies.
  6. Ask for a discount for a long term commitment: Many publishers have monthly rates. If you offer to commit to 3 months, 6 months or even 1 year up front, see if you can get a 5-20% discount. This helps the publisher out because they won’t have to worry about selling the inventory.
  7. Ask for a discount for paying in advance: Rather than getting invoiced monthly for your long-term commitment, see if you can get a discount for paying in advance. If you have the money now, and are seeing profitable returns from the media buy, why not save a little cash by paying for the impressions now? This helps you out, because you’ll get a bigger discount, and this helps the publisher out, because they don’t have to worry about invoicing you every month and collecting the funds. 
  8. Ask for specific ad units: Although this won’t result in monetary savings, it really does matter what ad units you’re purchasing with your media buy. Don’t you want your ad above the fold for every impression? Make sure you’re paying for only the best ad impressions available and ask for specific ad units.
  9. Get some add-ons: If you haven’t received the monetary savings you were hoping for yet, try asking for some other value. Ask if they could feature your ad in an email newsletter as a test. Be sure to let them know you’d be willing to pay for more promotions if it performs well.
  10. Measure everything and re-negotiate: After you’ve negotiated your ideal media buy, measure the performance with an ad server. You’ll want all of this data so you can use these metrics when re-negotiating your next media buy or negotiating another media buy with a similar publisher.  When negotiating, don’t give up all of your data at once. Turn your poker face on and stand strong in what you believe is fair.

This is a starter list of just some of the tactics you can use when negotiating a media buy.  Have you used any of these strategies in the past? How did they work out for you? As always, share with us in the comments section below what strategies you’ve tried when negotiating media buys.

Look for MixRank at Performance Marketing Summit

Performance Marketing Summit is a one-day conference, put on by Affiliate Summit, taking place at the Baruch College Vertical Campus in New York City. The Summit brings together 200 of the top executives and influencers with a vested interest in advertising strategies and technology made for affiliate marketing.

Through a series of sessions and interactive conversations, attendees will explore new implications and innovations that are currently trending in affiliate marketing. MixRank’s CEO, Ilya Lichtenstein, will be speaking on the topic of Rapid Media Buying at Massive Scale where he’ll show real examples of how affiliates can apply the same big data and real-time bidding (RTB) strategies used by big brands to quickly scale up media buy campaigns.

Want to join Ilya’s session? Here are the details:

  • Session: Rapid Media Buying at Massive Scale
  • When: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 2:50pm
  • Where: Baruch College Vertical Campus in NYC, Room 14-220
  • How to Register: Register to attend here

Can’t make the event? Don’t worry, there will be many more opportunities to see Ilya speak on your favorite topics. Follow us on Twitter and Google+ to stay up to date with all of our latest news and sightings.

Which Super Hero Would Your Online Marketing Strategy Be? The PPC Optimization Edition

Pay per click (PPC) ads aren’t successful over night, and as you know from our last post in this series, a few online advertising strategies or super heroic powers can be used to quickly optimize your campaigns to profitability. If you thought optimization strategies for PPC campaigns were boring and menial tasks think again, because you might be using these extraordinary powers in your daily routine.

The PPC Optimization Edition

Here are a few of our favorite X-Men characters and their powers that can be used for optimizing PPC campaigns. Tell us in the comments section below which character’s powers has given you the most performance lift when optimizing campaigns.

Wolverine: Campaign Segmentation

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The Super Power: Wolverine possesses retractable claws within each forearm. They can cut through practically any known solid material, segmenting metals, woods, and even stone into pieces. His abilities are similar to campaign segmentation, which is the process of breaking up your campaigns by network, location, or device. Wolverine’s ability to heal from any wound, disease or toxin at an accelerated rate is just another signal of proof that sharpening Wolverine’s powers of campaign segmentation can rapidly bring your poorly performing campaigns back from the dead.

How to Own It: Segmenting campaigns by network is the easiest way to exercise your inner Wolverine. Search and Display are two very different types of advertising channels, and should be measured and accounted for differently. To segment an existing campaign, you can visit the AdWords campaign settings and edit the “Type” of campaign. In Bing Ads, it’s a bit trickier to segment by network, but it absolutely can be done at the Ad group level under Advanced Settings in the “Ad distribution” field. If you’re already segmenting by network, wield your Wolverine claws with a more advanced strategy: segment by location or device. When segmenting by location or device, this allows you to create more relevant ad copy for the location or ad extensions for the particular device and gives you the control to set bids higher for strategic markets or devices with smaller screens.

Storm: Dayparting

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The Super Power: Storm is one of the most influential mutants on the planet, with the power to manipulate the weather. Her precise control over the atmosphere allows her to create special weather effects such has whirlwinds, humidity, precipitation, lighting, and atmospheric pressure. Just like the weather, your ads’ performance changes throughout the day. In order to control that performance in your favor, create a Storm moment with dayparting.

How to Own It: In order for this power to work in your favor, you’ll need to have some data from your existing ads or keywords so you can see what hours of the days are getting the most clicks or acquiring the most conversions. To analyze the hour by hour trends in AdWords, go to the Dimensions tab at the Ad group level and make sure to open the View: Hour of day report. In Bing Ads, you can view the same report by visiting the Reports tab, and selecting the Show: Hour of day report. Now that you’re equipped with the right data to control the weather of your ads, create a Storm by adjusting the Schedule settings at the Ad group level.

Morph: Dynamic Creative

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The Super Power: Morph, as his name suggests, is a shape shifter and can morph his physical appearance and voice to resemble any person or object he chooses. His ability to alter his form is similar to the way advertisers can use dynamic creatives to instantly change the ad copy for more relevancy to the audience. Morph also has limited telepathic abilities, allowing him the ability to read minds, similar to the way dynamic keyword insertion can automatically insert the keyword that’s on a person’s mind.

How to Own It: In order to perfect the powers of Morph, you’ll need to use dynamic creatives. You can either use dynamic text or dynamic keyword insertion for your ads. The way dynamic text works if you want to make changes to many of your ads without having to edit them all of them manually. Dynamic keyword insertion is when your ad automatically uses the keyword that was queried in your ad. There are many types of dynamic insertion tags you can use in your headlines, description lines, and display URLs, such as {Keyword:text}, {param1:text}, and {param2:text}. If you’re not already Morph-ing your ads and want to find out how powerful and efficient this strategy can be for your business, Morph your ads and use dynamic creatives in AdWords or Bing Ads.

Have you used these super powers when running your online ad campaigns? Let me know in the comments which character’s powers you’ve used in the past, and how you were able to own it to optimize your campaigns.

Live Webinar: The PPC Advertiser’s Guide to Creative Testing



We recently partnered with ReTargeter, one of the most popular retargeting and audience targeting solutions, for a free webinar next week.  As online advertising is becoming fiercely competitive, it’s never too early or too late to start testing new ad creative that will generate more clicks, traffic, and conversions.


The live event takes place on Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 11am PT / 2pm ET.


Join this live webinar, as MixRank’s Ilya Lichtenstein and ReTargeter’s Caroline Watts walk you though how to implement this optimization strategy and how the the top advertisers use it to enhance performance with any campaign.


In this webinar you’ll learn:


Why your current campaigns are losing money and how to bring them back to life.

The elements that the top advertisers test to drive 3x more clicks from their campaigns

The most commobn mistake when split testing ad creative that will waste thousands of dollars on unprofitable impressions

How to instantly find case studies of real ad creative split tests from your top competitors

Examples of the top advertisers’ ad creative tests and how to learn from their successes

How to execute a methodical & statistically significant creative test: know when to pause the losing creative


After the presentation, there will be a live Q&A session in which our presenters will answer the attendees’ questions.


Space is limited, so make sure to register now!