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Published October 2014

Understanding retailers and their relationship to real-time 

We recently ran a study with Forrester to understand how retailers were leveraging real-time data in their online advertising efforts. What we learned was that they believe real-time data presents both opportunities and challenges. Retailers see the potential for including this type of data in their campaigns, but they also think it can be too much work to respond to changes that can come and go in an instant.

DoubleClick Search makes real-time easy 

At DoubleClick Search, we want to make it easy to integrate real-time data into your campaigns. We’ve worked hard to build tools that give you the data you need to make quick decisions for your business. We also want to make your campaign optimization easy and automated, so you don’t need hours of planning to respond to sudden changes in demand.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll share stories of how advertisers are using real-time data to reach customers in their time of need, faster. This first post in our series is on the real-time gap and how DoubleClick Search helps you to bridge it. The “real-time gap” is the difference between retailers’ current SEM practices and their best possible performance.

Fact: Real-time data is important 

Any number of factors can affect consumer demand for your products and services—many of which are unpredictable. Heat waves and cold snaps appear unannounced, fashion trends crop up, and wild card sports teams make it into the playoffs. From weather concerns to new shoes to baseball playoffs, search queries give marketers insight into what matters most to people in a specific moment. And with today’s proliferation of smartphones and tablets, consumers search all day, every day, providing real-time data on what’s happening right now.

Barriers to adoption for real-time data 

If real-time data is so important, you would think that all retailers would integrate it into their campaigns, but it turns out there are a few common barriers to adoption.

First, many retailers believe it takes too much time and energy to respond to unplanned events. One respondent in our Forrester study explained: “I’m sure there are quick wins to be had. But we don’t have the experience or manpower needed to chase everything.” Another said, “I have so many demands on my time, managing for something unexpected isn’t convenient for me.”

Retailers also need to re-think what’s “good enough” when it comes to speed and real time feedback. Our Forrester research shows that only 20% of retailers have access to real-time click and conversion data, and that over half do not see data updated for a week. Despite this reality, 84% of these retailers who consider driving sales as a goal feel their marketing programs are either “effective” or “very effective” at achieving their goals. But, data received once a day (or even less frequently) means there are unlimited missed opportunities to capture revenue, brand awareness, or reduce cost.

DoubleClick Search makes real-time easy

We want to make it easy to collect and act on real-time data. Our smart bid optimization understands your goals, gets conversion information in real-time, and adjusts bids multiple times per day to meet those goals. And with conversion data from all channels, delivered in real-time, DoubleClick Search can react quickly to changing market conditions by optimizing based on real-time attributed conversion data.

Real-time data in action

Here’s just one example of how real-time data can positively affect sales. This is an excerpt from a recent iProspect report.

The chart below shows how one of iProspect’s clients, a top luxury apparel brand (let’s call it Brand X), looked to real-time data and execution to maximize its marketing during a busy shopping season. Brand X holds a highly anticipated three-day sale twice per year. In 2012, it used an SEM platform that did not offer real-time conversion insights or intra-day bidding. A year later, when it switched to DoubleClick Search, a tool that reacted more quickly, the difference was immense. The overall result: the company more than tripled revenue on the first day of the promotion year over year while decreasing cost per clicks (CPCs) by over 60%. 

real-time-retail-chart
Source: iProspect proprietary data

Your partner for real-time data

At DoubleClick search, we want to be your partner in delivering real-time data to improve your advertising performance. In our next post in the series, we’ll talk about how retailers are taking advantage of real-time data to optimize text ads and Shopping Campaigns for their products.

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