Definitions of Big Data

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Definitions of Big Data

Q: Can you please provide me with a definition of Big Data?

A: The definition of Big Data is a moving target.

Opentracker big data definition

In order to make it possible to follow the discussion, as it evolves, we see have started a list of definitions, as we read them on the internet.

Author names: Andrew Brust (ZDNet), Bill Franks (FCW article), PCmag encyclopedia,  John Rauser (Networkworld), John Weathington (TechRepublic Blog), Cory Janssen (, Mike Gualtieri (Forrester),  John Ebbert (Adexchanger), Edd Dumbill  (O’Reilly Strata), Boyd & Crawford (cited by Leslie Johnston on the Library of Congress), Tim Gasper (cited on TechCrunch), Margaret Rouse (TechTarget), Mike Loukides (O’Reilly Radar), Jimmy Guterman (O’Reilly), Wikibon,  Steven Burke (CRN), Urbandictionary .com, Slashdot (SAP survey), George Dyson (personal correspondence Tim O’Reilly), Doug Laney (Stackexchange), Brian Hopkins and Boris Evelson (Forrester), Bob Gourley (Smartdatacollective),  SAS,  Stephane Hamel.

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  1. “Big data is a collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand database management tools or traditional data processing applications. The challenges include capture, curation, storage, search, sharing, transfer, analysis, and visualization.” Cited from Wikipedia
  2. “Big data is the term increasingly used to describe the process of applying serious computing power – the latest in machine learning and artificial intelligence – to seriously massive and often highly complex sets of information.” Cited from 4/2013 the Microsoft Enterprise Insight Blog
  3. “We can safely say that Big Data is about the technologies and practice of handling data sets so large that conventional database management systems cannot handle them efficiently, and sometimes cannot handle them at all.” Cited from 1/2012 ZDNet Blog by Andrew Brust.
  4. “An easily scalable system of unstructured data with accompanying tools that can efficiently pull structured datasets.” Cited from a 4/2013 post on the FCW Blog.
  5. “The definition of big data? “Who cares? It’s what you’re doing with it,”” Cited from 3/2013 FCW article, quoting Bill Franks.
  6. “The definition of big data refers to groups of data that are so large and unwieldy that regular database management tools have difficulty capturing, storing, sharing and managing the information.” Cited from
  7. “Big Data refers to the massive amounts of data that collect over time that are difficult to analyze and handle using common database management tools. Big Data includes business transactions, e-mail messages, photos, surveillance videos and activity logs (see machine-generated data). Scientific data from sensors can reach mammoth proportions over time, and Big Data also includes unstructured text posted on the Web, such as blogs and social media.” Cited from the pcmag encyclopedia
  8. “Any amount of data that’s too big to be handled by one computer.” John Rauser cited 5/2012 at
  9. “To define big data in competitive terms, you must think about what it takes to compete in the business world. Big data is traditionally characterized as a rushing river: large amounts of data flowing at a rapid pace. To be competitive with customers, big data creates products which are valuable and unique. To be competitive with suppliers, big data is freely available with no obligations or constraints. To be competitive with new entrants, big data is difficult for newcomers to try. To be competitive with substitutes, big data creates products which preclude other products from satisfying the same need.”
    Cited from 9/2012 John Weathington on the TechRepublic Blog
  10. “Big data refers to a process that is used when traditional data mining and handling techniques cannot uncover the insights and meaning of the underlying data. Data that is unstructured or time sensitive or simply very large cannot be processed by relational database engines. This type of data requires a different processing approach called big data, which uses massive parallelism on readily-available hardware.” Cited from a Cory Janssen post on
  11. “Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data — so much that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. This data comes from everywhere: sensors used to gather climate information, posts to social media sites, digital pictures and videos, purchase transaction records, and cell phone GPS signals to name a few. This data is big data.” Cited from
  12. “A more pragmatic definition of big data must acknowledge that:
    Exponential data growth makes it continuously difficult to manage — store, process, and access. Data contains nonobvious information that firms can discover to improve business outcomes. Measures of data are relative; one firm’s big data is another firm’s peanut. A pragmatic definition of big data must be actionable for both IT and business professionals.The Definition Of Big Data: Big Data is the frontier of a firm’s ability to store, process, and access (SPA) all the data it needs to operate effectively, make decisions, reduce risks, and serve customers.”
    Cited from a 5/2012 Mike Gualtieri Forrester Blog post
  13. “The world has always had ‘big’ data.  What makes ‘big data’ the catch phrase of 2012 is not simply about the size of the data.  ‘Big data’ also refers to the size of available data for analysis, as well as the access methods and manipulation technologies to make sense of the data.” Cited from 12/2012 article by John Ebbert
  14. “Big data is data that exceeds the processing capacity of conventional database systems. The data is too big, moves too fast, or doesn’t fit the strictures of your database architectures. To gain value from this data, you must choose an alternative way to process it.” Cited from 1/2012 post by Edd Dumbill on O’Reilly Strata
  15. “We define Big Data as a cultural, technological, and scholarly phenomenon that rests on the interplay of:
    (1) Technology: maximizing computation power and algorithmic accuracy to gather, analyze, link, and compare large data sets.
    (2) Analysis: drawing on large data sets to identify patterns in order to make economic, social, technical, and legal claims.
    (3) Mythology: the widespread belief that large data sets offer a higher form of intelligence and knowledge that can generate insights that were previously impossible, with the aura of truth, objectivity, and accuracy.” From Critical Questions for Big Data Boyd & Crawford (2012) as cited by Leslie Johnston on the Library of Congress website
  16. “The definition of Big Data is very fluid, as it is a moving target — what can be easily manipulated with common tools — and specific to the organization: what can be managed and stewarded by any one institution in its infrastructure.  One researcher or organization’s concept of a large data set is small to another.” Cited from 10/2011 Leslie Johnston Library of Congress
  17. “Big Data is presently synonymous with technologies like Hadoop, and the “NoSQL” class of databases including Mongo (document stores) and Cassandra (key-values).” Tim Gasper cited 10/2012 on TechCrunch
  18. “Big data (also spelled Big Data) is a general term used to describe the voluminous amount of unstructured and semi-structured data a company creates — data that would take too much time and cost too much money to load into a relational database for analysis. Although Big data doesn’t refer to any specific quantity, the term is often used when speaking about petabytes and exabytes of data.” Cited from a 3/2011 post by Margaret Rouse on TechTarget
  19. “But I do like Roger Magoulas’ definition of “big data”: big data is when the size of the data becomes part of the problem.” Cited post by Mike Loukides 2/2013 post on O’Reilly Radar
  20. “Big Data: when the size and performance requirements for data management become significant design and decision factors for implementing a data management and analysis system. For some organizations, facing hundreds of gigabytes of data for the first time may trigger a need to reconsider data management options. For others, it may take tens or hundreds of terabytes before data size becomes a significant consideration.” Cited from 6/2009 Jimmy Guterman O’Reilly
  21. Big data has the following characteristics;
    1. Very large, distributed aggregations of loosely structured data – often incomplete and inaccessible:
    2. Petabytes/exabytes of data
    3. Millions/billions of people
    4. Billions/trillions of records
    5. Loosely-structured and often distributed data
    6. Flat schemas with few complex interrelationships
    7. Often involving time-stamped events
    8. Often made up of incomplete data
    9. Often including connections between data elements that must be probabilistically inferred,
    10. Applications that involved Big-data can be:
    11. Transactional (e.g., Facebook, PhotoBox), or,
    12. Analytic (e.g., ClickFox, Merced Applications). Cited from
  22. “We think at the end of the day, big data is not just about analytics, it is about data-centric applications. It is about driving some experience to a customer and causing them to do things in realtime.” Paul Mauritz quoted in a 4/2013 Steven Burke article on CRN
  23. “Modern day version of Big Brother. Online searches, store purchases, Facebook posts, Tweets or Foursquare check-ins, cell phone usage, etc. is creating a flood of data that, when organized and categorized and analyzed, reveals trends and habits about ourselves and society at large.”
  24. “A new survey by SAP suggests that nearly 76 percent of executives see “Big Data” as an opportunity. However, respondents’ definition of “Big Data” varied to a considerable degree. Nearly a quarter of the 154 C-suite executives felt that “Big Data” was the technologies designed to handle the massive amounts of data swamping organizations. Another 28 percent defined “Big Data” as that flood of data itself. Still another group (19 percent) equated “Big Data” with storing data for regulatory compliance. Around 18 percent viewed “Big Data” as the increase in data sources, including social networks and mobile devices.” slashdot 6/2012 citing an SAP survey
  25. “Big data is what happened when the cost of storing information became less than the cost of making the decision to throw it away.” Tim O’Reilly quoting personal correspondence via email from George Dyson 20 March 2013, regarding Dyson’s talk at the Long Now Foundation 19 March 2013.
  26. The Big Data Landscape:
    1. Apps
      • Vertical Apps
      • Ad / Media Apps
      • Business Intelligence
      • Analytics and Visualization
      • Operational Intelligence
      • Data as a service
    2. Infrastructure
      • Analytics Infrastructure
      • Operational Infrastructure
      • Infrastructure As A Service
      • Structured Databases
    3. Technologies

    big dataDerived from an informational diagram on The Big Data Landscape

  27.  The recently updated Gartner definition also recognizes the value aspect: “Big Data are information assets with volumes, velocities and/or variety requiring innovative forms of information processing for enhanced insight discovery, decision-making and process automation.” – Doug Laney posting at stackexchange  citing his original piece outlining the 3Vs of big data now republished.Here is the original 2001 paper entitled “3-D Data Management: Controlling Data Volume, Velocity and Variety” by Laney.
  28. “Big data: techniques and technologies that make handling data at extreme scale economical.” by Brian Hopkins and Boris Evelson at Forrester 8/2011. In diagram form. big data
  29. “To date, our key message has been that it is the enterprise CTO who is responsible for defining how the term should be used.”
    Bob Gourley (who originally posted the big data definition on wikipedia) posting on 12/2012.
  30. “A phenomenon defined by the rapid acceleration in the expanding volume of high velocity, complex, and diverse types of data. Big Data is often defined along three dimensions — volume, velocity, and variety.”  [Big Data requires] “advanced techniques and technologies to enable the capture, storage, distribution, management, and analysis of the information.”
    The TechAmerica Foundation’s Federal Big Data Commission Comprehensive Guide to Best Practices for Big Data, cited by Bob Gourley here 10/2012.
  31. “Big data is a popular term used to describe the exponential growth, availability and use of information, both structured and unstructured.
    Ultimately, regardless of the factors involved, we believe that the term big data is relative; it applies (per Gartner’s assessment)  whenever an organization’s ability to handle, store and analyze data exceeds its current capacity.”  SAS.
  32. The simplest definition of “Big Data” is “it doesn’t fit in Excel”
    from the full quote; “I have joked that the simplest definition of “Big Data” is “it doesn’t fit in Excel” – and when you think of it, it’s true for most people who wonder how to make the shift from a traditional approach to a Big Data one.”
    Stephane Hamel comment 8/2012 Big Data – What It Means For The Digital Analyst.
  33. More to follow…

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5 Mistakes Your Business Should Avoid When Understanding the Customer Journey

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5 Mistakes Your Business Should Avoid When Understanding the Customer Journey.

If you’re not thinking about your customer’s journey you risk a sub-optimal customer experience. This translates into risking your bottom line.

Did you know that an Amazon meeting always has at least 1 empty chair? Be it three, five or 15 people, no matter what size the meeting is, every Amazon event has one extra seat. Who is that empty chair reserved for? You guessed it, the CUSTOMER.

Customer journey mapping is all about understanding how people interact with your business from the CUSTOMER’S PERSPECTIVE.

Here are the five most common mistakes businesses make when understanding the customer journey:

Mistake #1: Boiling the ocean

Don’t try targeting everyone, that’s like trying to boil the ocean. There are multiple perspectives.
To give an example, remember in high school the jocks, goths, and geeks. The jocks are into sports, goths into black clothing, and the nerds into computers.
You need to identify the customer type you want to serve. Each message and campaign should speak to just one customer type.

Mistake #2: Using the companies take on the customer journey

So you know exactly what the customer needs to do? That’s mistake number 2. You should be mapping what customers actually do, not what you want them to do.
Don’t engineer a customer journey based on what you want customers to do. It’s comparable to herding cats… you can’t herd cats – it’s not in their nature to be herded. You need to understand the journey from the customer’s perspective.

Mistake #3: Using a model instead of reality

This mistake is about not using real data. Your assumptions are always wrong. Validate ideas with online data. Do you have your customer journey being measured in a dashboard? Collecting facts about the customer and their behavior and dispersing that information to your team will give you the data to improve the journey and experience.

Mistake #4:First contact is the first touchpoint

Think outside the box – meaning the box of your products and services. Keep in mind that the journey begins well BEFORE the (potential) customer reaches your site or uses your product. Your challenge is to understand the process that brings a customer to you. The decision-making process does not start when they arrive. Customers have already done their homework and read reviews.

Mistake #5: Failing to plan

Failing to plan is planning to fail. This is a crucial element of your customer journey. Plan the processes to measure the customer journey. Plan to capture relevant data. Make sure inputs are good and revise your assumptions. Your plan should focus on getting real data on the journey to improve the customer experience and reach your goals.

Delight your customer. Happy customers pay more, more often. Learn how Customer Journey by Opentracker can help boost sales!

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How to Run a FaceBook Ad


How to run a facebook ad


  1. Vocabulary
  2. What are FaceBook Ads?
  3. Why should I use FaceBook ads? (Statistics and Pricing)
  4. I’m convinced. Tell me more (Types and Formats of FaceBook Ads)
  5. How to ACTUALLY set up my FaceBook ad (And Beyond)



  1. Ad – the final image or other media form that the potential client will see
  2. Ad set – the level where you decide your target and budget
  3. Ad campaign – your ad objective (you can run more than one campaign at once and have more than one ad set for one campaign)
  4. Ad account – the place you manage all of your ads
  5. Ad manager – the place you set up multiple ad accounts and see all the info on your ads
  6. Business Manager – the place you manage your agency’s advertising account
  7. Leads – Information from your audience e.g. phone numbers, emails for newsletters etc.


What are FaceBook Ads?

Simply put, FaceBook Ads are a form of publicity for your brand, product or service. They are a social media tool used to reach the audience on FaceBook and, if you so wish, Instagram.


Why Should I use Facebook Ads?

Well, FaceBook so happens to be the largest social media platform in existence at the moment. This translates into you having the potential to reach 1.62 billion of its users on the planet. Yes, you read that right. 

That’s almost 1/4th of the world’s population.

 Surveys say that users are over 50% more likely to buy from a business they found on FaceBook than other social media platforms.

About 140 million businesses worldwide use FaceBook Ads as a marketing tool with single entities earning millions of dollars from them. 

This includes Ad agencies running ads for multiple clients.

By creating Ad campaigns, FaceBook has made it easier to run the right ad for achieving a specific goal for your brand. 

With this tool and more, as you’ll see below, the process has been made quite simple to follow.

Facebook has 2 agreeable rules concerning cost:

-The least cost is 1 dollar per day.

-Your budget must be at least double your cost per click (i.e. the average cost it would take to get two clicks).

Outside these rules, FaceBook Ads cost only as much as you’re willing to pay.

You can set a budget that’s either daily or lifetime. 


Daily means that your budget will be spread out through the day. Lifetime means that your budget will be spread out through the entire length of time you want the ad to run for.

If you’re having problems deciding, Facebook will suggest a budget based on your ad campaign/objective, your industry and other criteria.

According to Jorden Platten, the average CPC (cost per click) is $0.80 and the average CPM (cost per 1000 impressions) is $5.00.

In my opinion, Facebook Ads, when used properly, are well worth your money.


You’re convinced. I’ll tell you more.

This section of this article explains the different formats of FaceBook Ads that consumers see and the different types of ads based on what they help you accomplish.

 If you feel like you know enough and just want to jump right into the process, feel free to skip this section.

Now there are 5 formats and 14 types. I think it’s more beneficial to read about the formats so we’ll start with those.

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Formats of FaceBook Ads

  1. Photo/Single Image ads: These are also called links ads. You can upload a photo or status and add some text, a headline, and a description or use an existing post or status as your image ad.

Facebook has guidelines which you can check on FaceBook’s help documentation to check character count and image dimensions e.g. your photo’s size should be 1200 by 628 pixels if you want it to also be displayed on Instagram. 

Also, the photo itself can have overlaid text but if it is more than 20% of your image, your ad might be displayed to fewer people, if at all. 

Hint: Research suggests that the best performing images are funny photos or photos with people smiling, babies, pets or special offers e.g. discounts. 

  1. Video ads: These tend to perform best as they are more interactive and contain more information. 

Over 60% of consumers are more likely to purchase products they’ve seen a video on. Your video can pop up in a video someone is watching or as a story.

However, your video must be captivating from the very beginning as most people tend to abandon videos after a few seconds. It would probably be helpful to include captions or use videos that are easy to understand without sound as videos do not automatically play with sound (the sound has to be turned on manually by the user).

If you want your video to also be played on Instagram, it mustn’t be more than one minute long.

  1. Slideshow ads: Here, you can upload 3-10 photos and FaceBook will turn them into one slideshow for you. 

You can also add sound and text. Slideshow ads loop and while they are similar to videos, they might be a better option for you as slideshow ads are easier to load on slower internet.

  1. Carousel/ Multi-image ads: These allow the user to swipe through 2-10 photos. You can add a link and headline to each photo or use one link and headline for all the photos in the carousel. 

You can choose to allow Facebook to automatically show the best performing photo as the first.

  1. Collection ads: It is more interactive as users can swipe and zoom in or out.

This ad type cannot be displayed on desktops. In creating this ad, readymade templates are available and optional. 


  • Options b through to e allow you to include more information than in single image ads, are more interactive and therefore tend to perform better. They can be used to tell a story about your brand, show a product from multiple angles, display multiple products, explain a process or tutorial, or show before and after pictures.
  • Your ads should contain or end with strong calls-to-action e.g. links that say “sign up here” or “get directions” or “shop now”.
  • If you’re not sure what format to run with, you can use Facebook Creative Hub to create mock-ups of different formats to help you decide.

There are 14 types of Facebook Ads categorized into 3. They will be listed out for you in the process of setting up the ad. Each type accomplishes the particular objective for which it is named; however, some extra information will be given in this list.


  1. Brand Awareness: In choosing this objective, you should run with a more general audience. You could also use this option to remarket to people who have interacted with your brand before but may not have fulfilled your main objective e.g. subscribing to a newsletter or purchasing a product. It is targeted at people more likely to look at the ad for a longer amount of time.
  1. Local Awareness: To publicize to people within a particular area.
  1. Reach: To get your ad/page to as many people as possible. Brand awareness is more focused on people who will remember your brand.


  1. Traffic: To get people to click on a link. It is ideal for a small budget and works well if you’re trying to get people to read an article of any kind. This can be used to generate leads by driving people to your page. (In tracking the metrics of this, it is better to pay attention to landing page views than the number of clicks because not all clicks mean that someone actually viewed your content/website.)
  1. Post Engagement: This encourages people to like your content, view your videos, share your content, comment and engage with your page. The main benefit is that it lends credence to your page so if you’re a new brand or business, with little to no following, you might want to look into this. However, according to Jason Wardrop, this is simply a vanity metric whose target you’ll accomplish anyway if you run conversion ads; so it might be better to save your money on this and put it into a conversion ad instead.
  1. App Installs: This encourages users to install and use your app if you have one. This would probably be better suited for businesses like taxi companies, banks, etc.
  1. Video views: This is highly advisable, especially for businesses that are just starting out with no audience as video is a high-converting form of advertisement. This gets as many views as possible for the video.

Side Note: After the video has been sent out, you can create remarketing lists of users based on the amount of time people watched the videos for e.g. those that watched for 5seconds, 1 minute or 10%, 20% of the video etc.

  1. Page Likes: It simply gets people to like your page. This also is most useful, in my opinion for gaining social proof as a new page. However, you could also use it to grow a group by inviting the people who like the page to join a group.
  1. Event Responses: This gets people to attend your event.
  1. Lead generation: These help you gather information from potential clients via lead form ads that open in Facebook itself (not your website). You could also do this with conversion ads but the information gathered with lead generation tends to be more accurate because, in this system, FaceBook automatically fills the blanks with information that the users have already given it access to.
  1. Messages: Messenger bots are used to encourage users to chat with you; the bots could also be used to keep the conversation going. It is widely advised for brands that have expensive merchandise; it would give potential customers a convenient way to have their inquiries answered and objections were taken care of so that they can then purchase.


  1. Conversions: This is used to get people to carry out your specified action e.g. making a purchase, filling a form, etc. As mentioned before, conversion ads are also used to generate leads on your website. The differences between these and lead generation ads are that the user has to manually enter the information here and that you have more control over what happens next whether to send the user to some other page.

To use the following two, the landing page should contain a Facebook pixel (which can be put in by you or your web developer) to help you monitor more details of user activities on your site after they use the link in your ad.

  1. Catalog sales: This encourages people to shop with you. You can remarket with this; for example, it will remarket a product or a similar product of yours to a person who may have looked at that product but didn’t purchase it.
  2. Store visits: This advertises, to people, your branch that is closer to them.


  • it’s important that you choose the right objective because Facebook will show the ad to the people that are most likely to fulfill that particular action. If you try to get leads with a traffic ad, your conversion rate will be low because traffic ads target users who are likely to click on your link, not users who are likely to fill out a form.
  • If you want to run just one ad, choose the objective that is MOST important to you at that time and run with it.

How to ACTUALLY Run Your Ad

You must have a Facebook Account to create a Facebook AD.

You can then create a page in your Facebook account for your brand or business. Use your personal account to create your business page (you can get banned if you try to open a new account for your ads alone therefore it is not advisable).

To start the process of running the ad, you can use Facebook Ads Manager.


Using Ads Manager will show the ad on the page you used to create the ad so if you don’t want your page cluttered with ads, use the Power editor.

  1. Go to Ads Manager, on the top right corner of the page, click on ‘Create an ad’.

After loading your account information, it will present you with the list of campaign objectives for you to choose the one you want for that ad. Choose your objective.  T

These are the types of Facebook ads we discussed in the previous section. They determine how you want the users who see your ad to respond and therefore determine the audience that Facebook makes available to you.

Hint: Note that ‘Boost your posts’ will mostly get you likes only.

  1. Pick an objective and fill in the follow-up details.
  1. You’ll be led to the ad set where you set criteria for the audience you want to reach. e.g. location, gender, age, interests, etc. You can create and save custom audience lists for future use. Fill as desired.

If you’re not sure what the target audience for your product or service should be, a google search could help you figure that out. You will also set your budget here. Facebook can suggest a budget for you and you can give Facebook an amount to spend for you. As discussed above, you can decide if you want your budget to be ‘daily’ or ‘lifetime’.

  1. Create your ad: Choose your ad format, select your photo. You will also insert the headline, text, and call-to-action you want to use to communicate your ad to your audience.
  1. Click on “Publish” at the bottom right of the page.
  1. Track and Measure: Go to your Ad manager dashboard and pick the ad you want to track; When you have on the ad, you’ll see “view charts” Like the image below.

 Click on it and it will take you to a dashboard where you view your ads performance based on your set objectives.


Facebook ads shelters the largest number of individuals amongst other social media platforms. Running an ad on the platform may seem complicated on the surface but this guide has broken down what you need to know about creating a Facebook ad. From creating a Campaign Manager account to Creating an Ad Set to hitting publish. Feel free to save and reference it anytime. Happy advertising.

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How Does Deeply Understanding Your Customer’s Journey Unlock Revenue?

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How does deeply understanding your customer’s journey unlock revenue?

You’re in the business of satisfying your customer with a great experience. But how do you know if you’re delivering?

Businesses are spending more on promotions than ever before, but most struggle to know what actions to take and where to focus their efforts.

When customers don’t buy, do you know why? Can you improve the buying experience? The marketing? Differentiate the product? Without an idea of what your customers are feeling or how they are engaging, it’s hard to make informed decisions.

Privacy laws are making it clear that it is important to collect your own data related to your own customers. Trusting third parties like Facebook or Google to give you these insights is now a significant risk. More and more businesses are choosing first party solutions.

Getting sales is great, but how many sales are you losing because you are not seeing bottlenecks in the customer journey? Knowing what delights and discourages your customers is next to impossible without controlling your own data.

Customers have 5 touchpoints, sometimes spanning days or weeks, before making a purchase and you following up. Are you measuring these touchpoints to increase conversions?

Moving The Needle And Driving Revenue

Not tracking your customer’s journey is like tossing money out the front door.
For any business, tracking the customer journey is essential. As Peter Drucker said “If you don’t measure it, you will not improve it”. All too often, you’re forced to guess how your customers will buy. You don’t know what’s working and what’s not. Consequently, you have no idea what to optimize. You’re wasting money.

You should guide customers through their journey. Provide support when they get stuck. Learn what makes them leave and why you can’t close the deal. Don’t rely on just Google’s or Meta’s report.

Track The Customer Journey. Own Your E-Commerce Dashboard.

Customer Journey by Opentracker makes it easy to control the customer’s journey. We help you get a clear picture of how you can improve what you’re doing – and where you need to make adjustments. The result? You get more sales.

Our platform helps track customer behavior and delivers essential insights. Whether it’s tracking new leads and acquisition or understanding retention and the factors that drive repeat purchases. Customer Journey provides clarity and actionable insights that boosts your ROI.

With Customer Journey, you will get the data insights you need faster, more reliably, and at a fraction of the cost. Our team is dedicated and knows how to work with e-commerce businesses. Our consultants will be there to make sense of your metrics so that you can make data-driven decisions.

Delight your customer. Happy customers pay more, more often.

Learn how Customer Journey by Opentracker can help boost your sales!

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How can understanding Customer Journey VS Buyer Journey affect your bottom line?

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How can understanding Customer Journey VS Buyer Journey affect your bottom line

The difference between Customer Journey vs. Buyer Journey can best be summed up as: The difference between Attraction and Retention.

The Buyer Journey is all about the steps a person takes before making a purchase.

The Customer Journey is about developing a relationship or customer experience with a person after purchase.

The word ‘journey’ is relevant for both customers and buyers.

The Customer’s Journey starts when the Buyer’s Journey ends.

A good analogy might be a race track. You run a race and you win a buyer. Now you running around the same track, win another race and sell something more to that customer.

Can it hurt your bottom line to not understand the difference? Of course. The big secret is that it costs more to gain a new customers (CPA – cost-per-acquisition) than to keep existing clients, both in terms of money and effort.

Heck, if you do your math right, you can even make a loss with your first sale to acquire a customer.

Think of it as running another lap around the track just one more time, instead of learning a whole new sport.

The point is that we are always on the lookout for the next campaign or promotion. Looking for new customers. It is tempting to keep thinking of new hooks and pain points.

Looking for new customers and keeping existing buyers engaged should both keep happening. But keep in mind that they are different funnels and require different strategies (call to action, offers, pricing, etc.).

Bottom line: approach these two types of engagement differently, be aware that they exist and require different hats.

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Why do some video advertisements perform better than others?


Why do some video advertisements perform better than others?

Video marketing is a great tool for promoting your brand or business. In fact, 87% of video marketers agree that video gives them a positive ROI. However, this isn’t true for all video ads.  Some don’t hit the mark and brands end up costing money, instead of generating it.

So why do some video ads perform better than others? Video ads usually involve a lot of planning and preparation. They also use a range of tools and methods for boosting their views and engagement.

But before we discuss these tools, let’s dive into the core of video marketing: quality content.

What makes a good video ad?

Video is a unique marketing tool with unique features.

It allows you to engage with an audience without pages of text.

Good video ads will also help you to create an effective digital marketing funnel so you can generate more traffic and convert views into sales.

To create a good video ad, you should ask yourself the following questions.

  • What is the video for? This is crucial for establishing what to include in the video. Think about the problem you’re trying to solve for your audience. For example, if you have an umbrella that can withstand heavy winds, then show this solution in the video.
  • What platform is the video for? Good video ads are always tailored towards the video platform they are on. For example, Instagram and Tiktok have different video aspect ratios. As you can see below, Instagram needs square or portrait videos, while YouTube works best with landscape videos.

Source: Instagram

  • What tone does your video need? Base your tone on your company branding and target audience. A SaaS brand will use a different tone compared to a clothing brand, and millennials and Baby Boomers speak differently. 
  • How can you stand out in a crowded market? Aside from learning about the recent video marketing trends, identify what is unique about your product, service, or company. Then make sure this comes across in the video. Also, think about how your video can stand out. Humor always works. You could also use a celebrity or influencer that no one is using. Pepsi has done this with an advert that features Cardi B.

5 tips for creating fantastic video advertisements

So you have your ideas and talent ready to create a video ad.

But you still need to know a few things to make that video ad successful. 

Follow these tips and tricks to ensure your ad gets as many views and conversions as possible.

1. Get your audience’s attention inside the first 5 seconds.

If you want to interact with your audience, then first you need them to listen to what you have to say. And this isn’t easy when 65% of viewers skip online video ads as soon as possible. 


So try to be succinct. The skip button usually kicks in around 5 seconds, so you need to capture attention within that time. Because of this, some ads don’t even bother making their ads longer than 10 seconds.  

Check out this ad for Hefty Party Cups. It is exactly 6 seconds and uses humor to draw in potential customers. 

Source: Hefty Party Cups

This shows that you can summarise a product or service within the first 5 seconds of a video. You just need to find a creative way to achieve that goal.

2. Work with influencers

Influencers are everywhere. They’re in all the restaurants, fashion shows, and tourist destinations. There might even be one hiding behind your sofa – not saying there’s one, but it might be worth checking. Wherever and whoever they are, influencers are everywhere, and you can work with them to promote your brand.

You can now partner with the most successful YouTubers to market your online ecommerce platforms. They can show how your products work and recommend them to their audience. And some YouTubers have millions of followers. So you could end up reaching huge numbers of customers from all over the world with one video alone.

Popular YouTuber, Zoella, partners with brands for her videos. Below she is demonstrating some products for her followers. The video has received over 400,000 views and comes with her personal recommendation, too.

Source: Zoella YouTube

This is why 9 out of 10 marketers think influencer marketing is an effective form of marketing.

Research which influencers will work best for your brand based on their audience. Then pitch some products and marketing ideas to them.

3. Highlight the benefits to customers

Focus on all the benefits you can provide for your customers with your product or service.

If you’re advertising a product, then make sure you show all the unique features. Use close-ups to show them in action.

Gilette’s video for their Heated Razor does this by using close-up shots and clear copy. The product is the focus of the video and is set against a black backdrop to make it stand out.

If your video ad is for a service, then try using customer testimonials to highlight the benefits.

This adds authenticity as people can hear real-life stories from previous customers.

4. Include a call-to-action

A call to action within a video gets 380% more clicks than regular sidebar CTAs.

And this is great because more clicks mean more sales, subscribers, or website views. 

It’s best to have as many different calls to action as possible, like the video below. It has a spoken call to action for people who are watching, plus a subscribe button embedded in the video itself.

Source: Eva zu Beck YouTube

A call to action can also lead people back to your website. And you can convert this interest in your website into sales or engagement.

If this is what you’re doing, then try these landing page examples to improve your conversion rates.

5. Continue to test

Things don’t always go right on the first go. So keep testing to learn from your mistakes.

Research the tools that will help you measure your video marketing performance.

Look at why different videos are performing better than others. Then identify how you can make improvements.

Only through trial and error can you learn what to do to make improvements.

There are three reasons why video advertising doesn’t work.

1. Poor ad targeting

You must ensure your ad targeting is right as this will determine who sees your ad.

You don’t want products aimed at teenagers marketed to men over the age of 65. And vice versa. It will be a waste of your time and marketing budget.

Google’s video marketing tools allow you to target specific groups of people. You can choose them based on their age, location, and interests. Although there are also many other options to choose from.

Source: Google

Research your product and target audience first, so you know who to target. You can base this on your existing customer base or the customers of your competition. Either way, you need to stick at it. Keep optimizing your videos to ensure they’re reaching their full potential.

2. Incorrect video type 

People don’t watch all videos in the same way. For example, people watch 85% of Facebook videos without sound, which means you might need to add subtitles to them. On the other hand, most YouTube users watch videos with the sound turned on. 

However, this doesn’t mean you cannot use the same video for multiple platforms. You just need to ensure that the format you use is suitable for the platforms where you intend to publish video ads. 

3. Narrative defects 

Some of the best adverts involve stories.

They’re a great way to draw in customers and forge an emotional bond with your brand. And it seems to work, as 35% of people prefer to engage with short narrative stories most often.

But make sure your story is consistent and makes sense. Narrative defects are easily noticeable and will not look great for your brand.

For example, Skype has a story about a long-distance friendship between two girls. It has a clear beginning, middle, and end. And it builds an emotional connection within only a few seconds.

Source: Skype YouTube

Try creating your own story to show how your product or service can help people. Weave the business solution into the narrative. And use emotions to keep people watching. 

Wrapping Up

Video marketing can seem tricky at first and it’s not always easy to get right.

But, you should now be able to identify why certain videos perform better than others.

Use this information to create your own successful videos.

The key thing is planning and preparation. Think about the platform you’ll be using and the audience you’ll be targeting.

In time you’ll get the hang of it and your videos will be stronger than ever.


Jimmy Rodriguez is the COO of Shift4Shop, a completely free, enterprise-grade ecommerce solution. He’s dedicated to helping internet retailers succeed online by developing digital marketing strategies and optimized shopping experiences that drive conversions and improve business performance.

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Challenges All E-commerce Sites Face and How to Solve Them


Challenges All E-commerce Sites Face and How to Solve Them

Despite fierce competition, e-commerce sites tend to encounter a common set of challenges, especially when not properly planned and executed. Some site owners are so overwhelmed by these issues that they decide to suspend operations altogether.

These challenges however, are not unique to young e-commerce sites. Even the most established sites, including Amazon and eBay, still face these concerns on a daily basis. The difference between established sites and those that have left the game lies in the way these issues are addressed. 

In this overview, we’ll 

a) take a look at the most common problems e-commerce sites face and 

b) how you can solve them.

Delivering a true omnichannel experience

Customers expect to have the option to shop and interact with their favorite retailers on different platforms. They want to be able to place an order on an e-commerce site, track the status of their order using a mobile app, call a customer service hotline to ask a question about their purchase, exchange it for another item at a brick-and-mortar store, leave a review on Yelp, and get regular updates on upcoming sales or promotions through email.

Challenges All E-commerce Sites Face and How to Solve Them


Source: Packaging Strategies

This approach to e-commerce is called an omnichannel experience. It allows customers to reach your brand whenever and wherever they wish. If your business isn’t moving toward offering an omnichannel presence, it risks getting left behind by the competition. Here are some steps you can take to form an omnichannel strategy:

  • Identify key channels: If your company is just starting with e-commerce or is gradually scaling up its online presence, you may start with a few channels first. Identify the channels that your customers prefer. These may include phone, email, social media (and live chat), messaging apps, or in-app communication. You need to integrate these channels and ensure that the content and tone of voice is consistent. You may even use chatbots to automate your responses to common customer inquiries.
  • Use context to respond correctly: Your e-commerce platform has a wealth of data about customer transactions. Performing real-time analytics will help you determine the next steps to take whenever a customer gets in touch with your brand. For example, when an existing customer logs into your e-commerce site, the site should be able to access their purchase history, even the transactions made in-store, and come up with relevant suggestions.

Creating a true omnichannel experience may seem complicated, but this need not be the case. The best ecommerce platform for your business will be able to integrate with the different channels you’re already using and make customer data readily available for these channels to utilize.

Shopping cart abandonment

Abandoned shopping carts (where people put items in their cart but fail to check out) are relatively rare in physical stores but present a big problem when it comes to e-commerce. An abandoned shopping cart means lost opportunity costs. Most of the time, a high cart abandonment rate indicates a poorly-designed e-commerce site or unnecessarily complicated processes.

The good news is that you can reduce cart abandonment and get more of your customers to click on “Checkout”. These simple strategies will get you started:

  • Increase the page load speed: One study shows that e-commerce conversion rates go down by 7% for every second delay in page loading. To reduce the page loading time, we recommend optimizing the images on the checkout page, removing unnecessary HTML code, or limiting social plugins.
  • Implement an exit intent pop-up: An exit intent pop-up displays when detecting that a page visitor is about to close the browser tab. You may use this pop-up to offer incentive deals or discounts, or promote new items to keep the customer on the website.
  • Send cart abandonment emails: Some customers abandon their shopping carts because of technical issues beyond their control and forget all about their transactions. Sending a cart abandonment email featuring high converting email copy will remind them of their pending purchase and give them an express lane to complete their orders. Send one email within one or two hours after the cart abandonment, then follow up after 24 hours if the customer still doesn’t push through with the purchase.

With so many competing options available, you need a compelling reason for your customers to stay on your website or come back and complete a transaction. Cart abandonment doesn’t have to mean the end of your relationship with your customer. When you handle cart abandonment properly, it will lead to higher revenue and better customer loyalty.

Keeping customers loyal and engaged

According to Forbes, attracting a new customer costs up to 5 times more than retaining an existing one. While we’re not telling you to abandon new customer acquisition, you need to rethink your customer retention strategy. At the very least, you should exert as much effort on keeping your customers loyal to your brand as you do on attracting new ones.

Building trust and loyalty among your customers isn’t something you can do overnight. The first step in establishing trust is to ensure that your customer service processes are efficient, from ordering to shipping to after-sales service. Even if you have a good product, you can’t expect your customers to stay loyal to it if your customer service is lacking.

Aside from providing superior customer care, you also have to engage your customers and keep them interested in your business. Posting relevant articles to your company blog, for example, will help your customers identify market trends and position your brand as a thought leader. Publishing instructional content will allow your customers to get the most out of your product and solve the pain points that led them to your brand in the first place.

Loyalty programs are also a great way to build customer loyalty. Implementing a loyalty program achieves two goals. First, you get to reward your top customers for sticking with your business. Second, you encourage them to buy from your business more often or to refer you to their contacts, generating even more revenue and possibly converting them into repeat customers.

Attracting quality traffic and increasing conversions

Building a shiny new e-commerce website is the easy part of running an online business. Attracting quality traffic – users who are likely to make a purchase – is more challenging. According to conversion rate optimization firm Invesp, the global website conversion rate is around 4.3%, while for the U.S, only 2.63% of site visits result in conversions.

E-commerce conversion rates vary across countries and industries. If your business is performing at a lower rate than the average site, it needs to attract customers who are ready and willing to buy. You may try the following strategies to increase conversion:

  • Focus on high-converting channels: A significant number of non-converting visits come from channels populated with customers who are not interested in your product or are not in your target market. Social media, for instance, is not so efficient at getting customers to convert because it casts a very wide net. An email newsletter, on the other hand, is relatively effective because it reaches people who have previously indicated an interest in your brand, either by downloading content from your website or signing up to your mailing list.
  • Promote your best-selling products: Within your site, different products will have different conversion rates. Using a page analytics tool will help you identify which product pages have the highest traffic and the most conversions. These types of insights can help you determine the products you need to promote. For example, if you run a lighting fixture store and your page insights say that chandeliers perform better than pendant lights, you may feature chandeliers prominently on your home page and enjoy higher conversions.
  • Use long-tail keywords for improved SEO: If your customers can easily find you via Google, they are more likely to visit your website. Optimizing your website and product pages for long-tail keywords (specific phrases with more than two words) will attract customers who know exactly what they need. For example, the keyword “transistor radio” will lead you to the Wikipedia page on the subject, but the keyword “RCA portable AM/FM radio” shows this Amazon product page in the top three results because it is optimized specifically for that keyword:

Attracting traffic to your e-commerce site is good, but if your site visitors don’t make a purchase, you are not attracting the right kind of traffic. Focusing on high-converting channels, promoting your bestsellers, and optimizing your product pages for long-tail keywords will help you target visitors who are more likely to convert. This is referred to as the Quality-over-Quantity rule.

Challenges All E-commerce Sites Face and How to Solve Them

Choosing the right technology solution providers

Between two or more businesses offering the same type of product, the one that stands out is often the company that has chosen its technology solution providers well. Many online retailers encounter difficulties with growing their business because the solutions they chose were not easily scalable or because they engaged the wrong partners to manage their operations.

Technology is one of the bedrocks of business growth. You need to choose the right solutions for all facets of your business, such as collaboration, customer relationship management (CRM), order management and fulfillment, inventory management, website analytics, email marketing, and finance and accounting.

In this sense, “the right solutions” does not just mean software that offers all the bells and whistles. For small businesses, it may also mean integrations with existing software, user-friendliness, and low costs. For example, some businesses may need specialized bookkeeping software, especially if they handle large volumes of complex transactions. Others choose to start with cheaper Quickbooks alternatives for simpler transactions then upgrade when they can afford it and it becomes necessary.

In addition to choosing the right software, hiring the wrong partners for software maintenance and project management may adversely affect your growth. You may think you’re saving money by hiring someone with a very low cost, but in the long run, you may end up paying more for software repairs and data recovery on top of the sunk costs of system downtime. Select a partner that has a proven track record in implementing the solutions you need and is able to provide assistance as soon as you detect an issue with your solutions.


Operating an e-commerce website brings challenges that are different from those you encounter while operating a physical store or another type of business. As your business expands, addressing these challenges will help you convert them into opportunities for generating more revenue and establishing customer loyalty.

The way that you deal with problems will determine the direction your business will take. Focusing on the customer, offering a true omnichannel experience, attracting quality traffic, and partnering with the right technology partners will help you take your business to the next level.

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Jimmy Rodriguez is the COO of Shift4Shop, a completely free, enterprise-grade ecommerce solution. He’s dedicated to helping internet retailers succeed online by developing digital marketing strategies and optimized shopping experiences that drive conversions and improve business performance.

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How to Run Google Ads

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How To Run Google Ads


  1. Vocabulary
  2. What are Google Ads
  3. Setting Up Your Ad


  1. Objective – What you want the ad to accomplish
  2. Keyword – a google search that is related to your product (what a customer might type to find your product)
  3. CTR (Click-through-rate) – the percentage of people that click on your ad after seeing it


Google Ads, formerly known as Google Adwords, is an online advertising platform. Google ads can work for any product or service because people search Google for almost any and everything.

One strong suit of Google Ads is that the system is centered around showing your ads to people who are ALREADY looking for a solution that your product or something similar will offer, as opposed to a lot of other forms of advertisement that may show it to people way outside your target audience.

The pricing system is pay-per-click (PPC). This means that you do not pay except the ad actually gets people to click on it and get to your chosen landing page/website. You can set your maximum bid for each click (Google Ads pricing works with a bidding system) and Google Ads will not spend more than that from your account. Payment could be CPC cost-per-click, CPM (cost-per-mille i.e. cost per 1000 impressions) or CPE (cost-per-engagement).

Google Ads, generally, averages an 8% click-through rate. With almost 250 million  different visitors and about 700 million dollars return on investment from the 2.3 million searches that Google gets every second, you can be sure that there are a lot of potential customers on the platform for your brand or business. The exception is that Google Ads does not support ads for products or services that are:

  • Dangerous e.g. weapons, recreational drugs
  • Inappropriate or offensive e.g. bullying and racial discrimination
  • Advocative of dishonest practices e.g. hacking software, fake documents

Types of Google Ads

There are five different types (also called campaigns) of google-ads namely: 

1. Search: These are the types, in text form, you see at the top of the result page when you make a google search. Ads can also be created to appear in Google Maps.

2. Display: These show up on Gmail and other websites that are a part of the GDN (Google Display Network) like youtube, gmail. etc. alongside relevant content, Google Display Networks have 180 million impressions per month. 

3. Shopping campaigns: These can show off your products with images and include links to your business page.

Source: Search Engine Land

4. Video: Ads shown on YouTube by the side bar and also placed when playing videos.

5. App: These promote your app on Google Search, YouTube, Google Play and other platforms to advertise to the right people.


Objectives of Google Ads

You can choose the goal you want to accomplish for your brand from the list of laid out objectives that will be shown to you in the process of setting up your ad. This list is comprised of the following:

  1. Sales
  2. Leads
  3. Website Traffic
  4. Product and Brand Consideration
  5. Brand Awareness
  6. App Promotion


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There are 3 stages to setting up your Google Ads Ad:

  • Create Campaign
  • Create Ad group
  • Create Ad in Ad Group

Before you start creating your campaign, it’s best you do some research on the most effective keywords for your niche.

There is a tool in Google Adwords that can help you do this, but you must have created your first campaign to have access to it. It’s called ’Google Ads Keywords’.

You can create a campaign, use the Keyword Planner and then edit your keywords for that ad. However, sites like, ahref can help you with this before your first campaign is created.

  1. You must have a Gmail address to run a Google Ad.
  2. Go to Google and click ‘Start Now’ at the top right corner of the page.
  3. At the bottom middle, click on “Switch to Expert Mode”

i. You’ll see an outline of different objectives. Select the one that is most relevant to you. For This example, ”Website Traffic”

a. Select web-site traffic.
b. Select the type of ad you want to run e.g. ‘search-based’
c. Input your website
d. Click continue.

e.Create your campaign

    1. Name your campaign (this won’t show on the ad)
    2. Deselect ‘search-network’ and ‘display-network’ if you don’t want your ad shown on the sidebar of other websites outside Google. Since Google seems to be more effective than its search partners, unchecking this box should save you some money.
    3. Set your start-date and end-date. If you don’t set an end-date, the ad will continue to run and you will continue to be charged.
    4. Select the location(s) where you want people to see your ad e.g. your country. (the more specific you are, the more the ad might cost you).

Instead of typing in a specific location, you can also set the ad to run within a specific-mile radius from a particular point e.g. a 30-mile radius from your store.

    1. Select the language you want your ad displayed in.
    2. Set your budget. You can start small and see how effective the ad is.  
      A very low budget like 1USD per day might not give you an accurate representation of how effective Google Ads is for your business because it is likely to afford you just a couple clicks.

You can set a maximum CPC. You can also experiment with this and see how it works .

Choosing accelerated means Google will spend your budget as quickly as possible, Standard means your budget will be spread over the course of your ad’s lifespan.

In additional settings, you can do things like set a time schedule for your ad to run, if you want it to run for specific periods during the day. You can also add more business information and your prices to your ad, amongst other things.

  1. Click ‘Save and Continue’.

f. Create an Ad Group

    1. Name your ad group (this won’t show up on the ad itself)
    2. Enter the phrases/keywords you want to trigger your ad. Once you have set up your account (which we’re doing right now), you’ll have access to Google Keyword Planner which will help subsequently in helping you choose the most precise and profitable keywords for your product or service.

There are also other tools that you can use to take the guesswork out of the game, even for your first attempt e.g.

In inserting your keywords, you can type it in 4 different formats for 4 different effects, these effects are called ‘matches’.

      • Broad match: If you enter your keywords in this format: dresses for babies, it will give a broad match to those words and anything related e.g. baby clothes, baby things.
      • Modified broad match: In this format, you put the plus sign before words that you want to be in the Google search mandatorily e.g. +baby clothes (if someone searches ‘infant clothes’, the ad won’t show up) or baby +clothes (if the user types in ‘baby apparel’, the ad will not come up.
      • Phrase match: If you enter the keyword in quotation marks like so “dresses for babies”, it’ll give a narrower match to google searches that contain that exact phrase e.g. if someone searches ‘dresses for baby’, your ad won’t show up but if someone typed ‘colorful dresses for babies’ or ‘dresses for babies discount’, your ad will be displayed.
      • Exact match: Entering your keyword in square brackets allows a match with the exact phrase and no other additional word. It has been modified to include searches with synonyms or reordered phrases e.g. if your keyword is [dresses for babies], it will match with searches that say ‘dresses for babies’, ‘dresses for infants’, ‘babies for dresses’.

Each keyword can be entered in multiple formats in one ad, if you so wish, for any reason.

A column on the side will show you an estimate of how many clicks you could get with those keywords and how much it would cost you.

    1. Click ‘Save and Continue’.

g. Create Ad

      1. You can use split-testing and split your budget between multiple ads under one ad group so you can see which one works best and continue to use that one in the future.

Tip: Make sure to assign tangible amounts of money to each ad so you can get an accurate reflection of its effectiveness.

      1. Insert your 2 headlines. Try something catchy, maybe add a

discount to the second headline.

      1. Insert your descriptions.
      2. Save and Continue.
      3. Insert payment info and if you have a promo code, insert that also.
      4. Submit.

Congratulations! You just created your first campaign.

Tools to optimize your Google Ad:

      1. Now that you’ve set up an ad, you can make use of the Google Keywords Planner Tool to optimize your ads.

Click on explore your campaign.

To create a new campaign, go to All Campaigns” and click on the plus sign.

      1. Monitor the insights that Google Ads gives you on how well ads are doing. This will help you understand what’s working and what’s not so you can further optimize your ads in the future and gain more bang for your buck.
      2. Negative keywords: These stop your ad from being shown in search results if someone uses certain words along with your keywords e.g. discount or babies if you don’t give discounts or sell clothes only for adults. It also stops Google from bidding your set price/budget against the advertisers that want to use that/those keywords.
        • Click on keywords
        • Add negative keywords
        • Save

You can also create a negative keywords list to use in the future by clicking ‘Explore Campaign’, then ‘Tools and settings’ then Negative keywords list. When you’ve named it and created the list (it can be one or two words long), click on it, then click on “Apply to Campaigns’ to apply it to all or some of your campaigns.

Tip: You can use to find negative keywords for your brand

      1. Google keyword planner:
        • Click Explore Campaign
        • Click on tools and settings at the top-right corner of your screen
        • Click Keyword Planner. Two bars will come up.

-You can use the first to find new keywords, see how much each will cost you, how much competition each keyword has (you want to pick the ones with low competition but relatively high searches; compared to others on the list).
-The second bar will help you see potentially how well your ad might do -this will help you ‘discover new keywords’ that you can use and see how well existing keywords do for other ads e.g. the CPM (cost per 1000 impressions).

      1. When you click on a particular campaign, you can change certain settings like what types of devices your ads are shown on by clicking the tab that says ‘devices’ on the lower left portion of the screen. Selecting the most likely option for your business removes the risk of your budget being used to show your ad on devices that are irrelevant to your business.


      1. You can choose to pause or even stop your ad at any point in time you so wish. You can even adjust your budget after it starts running.
      2. One campaign can have more than one ad group and one ad group can have more than one ad in it
      3. The more clicks you get, the less your CPC becomes.
      4. if you will be creating a large number of campaigns, you can use an app/tool called ‘Google Adwords Editor’ to help you out with managing them.
      5. If you’re managing multiple accounts for multiple clients, you need to first create a managers account.

You can then create your clients’ accounts under that and start from there. You can use one email for both the manager s account and up to 20 client accounts.

      1. To track conversions, you need to define what a conversion is to you: leads, sales, signups, phone calls from your settings. This will help you know which ad is working and which is not, know what time of day your ads are most effective etc.


Remember Google shows your ad to who is looking for you. You have the ability to advertise to individuals that want to find you. This step-by-step guide covered the necessary knowledge you need to have before, during and after creating your first google ad. From Knowing the types of google ads, creating your campaign account, drafting your ad, picking a suitable keyword to tracking and measuring your first google ads.

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Marketing Campaigns: Creating Highly Effective Promotions

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Marketing campaigns: Creating highly effective promotions

This is the ultimate guide to crafting online marketing campaigns that converts traffic to clients. This article is written to get you high ROI from organic and paid marketing.

Do you want a highly effective marketing campaign that delivers quality traffic that converts to paying customers? This article is for online businesses who want to attract prospects & qualified traffic that converts to happy customers.

1. What you will learn in this article

In this article we address marketing campaigns. For starters we provide the definition of a marketing campaign. We provide some background history. We outline developments in internet advertising which set the playing field. There is a list of ten steps to plan a perfect marketing campaign. We discuss the challenges marketeers face; what makes it difficult to launch a successful marketing campaign. We discuss options specific to LinkedInGoogle, and Facebook.

To give value, we provide tools for improving your chances of launching a successful marketing campaign and seeing a return on your investment. Learn more by watching this video.

Table of contents:

  1. What you will learn in this article
  2. Definition of a marketing campaign
  3. Best way to plan a marketing campaign
  4. Problem (issue) the difficulty of launching a campaign in today’s environment
  5. Potential solution – use measurement for data-driven campaign planning and execution
  6. Recent developments in the history of marketing campaigns
  7. The current landscape – challenges facing marketers – better targeting
  8. Avoid spend without ROI
  9. Measure and Increase Chances of Measurable Success
  10. Conclusion

2. definition of a marketing campaign

The definition of a marketing campaign is an effort to publicize new or existing products and services through established channels using advertising and marketing materials. A typical combination of media might include email, social media, pay-per-click, and print, television or radio advertising.
dictionary for marketing campaign

The main goals of a marketing campaign should be to drive traffic, improve brand awareness, and increase market share through additional sales.

3. best way to plan a marketing campaign

This list of ten modern Best Practice will help you create an exceptional data-driven marketing campaign.

Ten steps: the best way to plan and run a successful marketing campaign. The process from campaign launch to leads.

  1. define your marketing campaign goals
  2. define measurement metrics for your marketing campaign goals
  3. build your call-to-action – what do you want people to do
  4. plan the work flow – where will visitors land – build and test your landing page(s)
  5. outline campaign goals: define success – the minimum numbers needed for ROI
  6. determine your marketing campaign budget
  7. asset production: prepare your message and offers
  8. identify marketing campaign channels
  9. identify target personas
  10. measure results: monitor conversion closely once the campaign is launched

4. The difficulty of launching a successful marketing campaign in today’s environment

On the face of it, this should not be so complicated. At the moment however, many people are losing money on marketing campaigns. It’s become increasingly difficult to guarantee success or even positive ROI outcome in today’s landscape. The point of a marketing campaign should be to: use a formula to put in Spend and get out Desired Outcome. At the moment however, we see people spending money and losing it.

Question: what is the current problem with launching marketing campaigns?
Answer: the complications and uncertainty involved in predicting success, or even break-even outcome

5. Potential solution – use measurement for data-driven campaign planning and execution

Question: what is the solution?

Answer: social web and mobile analytic data now available for measuring marketing efforts allows you to deliver data-driven campaigns. This increases the chances of a successful outcome. Identify your ideal target buyer personas and use data to target them. Marketing can target them with content. Once they are engaged, leads can be passed on to Sales. Use metrics to manage and improve the process.

As with many strategic business decisions, fail to plan = plan to fail. Here is a list of campaign components you will need to plan:

Options (channels, platforms)
Audience (target buyer persona)
Workflow (call-to-action)
Plan (budget and objectives)
Mechanisms to track and monitor success (test, deploy, monitor, adjust, repeat)

Uncle Sam's marketing campaign

6. Recent developments in the history of marketing campaigns

Ten years ago, it was relatively easy to launch a marketing campaign. Instead of becoming easier, things have become more complicated. The current landscape is a moving target. It is very hard to guarantee ROI. There are many unknowns; targeting has become both standard and increasingly expensive, to the point of being cost-prohibitive. An additional challenge is designing measurement correctly so you can both pivot and measure conversion. In other words plan for and define the desired outcome.

Some historical background

Advertising and Marketing is an ancient and noble art. A bronze plate advertising a needle shop during the Song dynasty in China a thousand years ago is considered our first advertising medium. Trademarks have been around for up to 4,000 years, in the form of marks and seals. The first advertising agency in the U.S. was founded in Philadelphia in 1840. Think of campaigns such as ‘Uncle Sam wants you’ and ‘Got Milk?’ which have become part of our cultural lexicon. [insert image – Uncle Sam Wants you / Got Milk?]

7. The current landscape – challenges facing marketers – better targeting

Fast forward to the 1990s and the introduction of search engines which allowed for targeting based on search queries. Today, the problem situation is:

  1. the major players are Google Facebook, and LinkedIn
  2. the marketplace for launching campaigns is a shifting landscape
  3. this is further complicated by the fact that lead generation involves several delicate steps
  4. Google and LinkedIn are no longer for testing – they are expensive
  5. You need to be an expert in many fields – ie LinkedIn / Facebook / Adwords certified in order to compete. It takes many months – even a year, to become an expert – which costs money (or hire an agency due to complexity)

Context: a few years ago, Facebook started by copying Google, in allowing you to target ads. Six months ago, for example, you could not target niches on LinkedIn.

Now, Facebook is copying LinkedIn, allowing you to target professions/ professionals using lead ads. Meanwhile, LinkedIn offers targeting via firmographic demographics.

8. Avoid spend without ROI

This may sound like a lot of opportunity, but many people try and fail, because a) prices have become so high and b) linking the technologies together is tricky. In other words, the outcome is a (high) cost without the desired outcome. It is necessary to configure attribution, conversion, and success in order to measure and repeat results. A structured plan will increase the chances of generating a positive ROI outcome because it will allow you to verify results, both good and bad.

9. Measure and Increase Chances of Measurable Success

In spite of uncertainty, by looking at these basics we can help you increase chance that ROI outcome is successful. You can minimise risk through planning. Using the

  • i. point 3. above: Ten steps to plan a Marketing Campaign
  • ii. planning how to measure and
  • iii. using metrics to update campaign elements and increase chances of successful outcome

10. Conclusion

Learn more by watching this video.

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Tag and add notes to Visitor Profiles

We are very pleased to finally release User-Tagging, which is now available. User tagging allows you to actually edit the Visitor Profiles for each and every visitor with a simple mouse click. User-tagging demo video from Opentracker on Vimeo. This new feature turns Opentracker into a very powerful CRM system – you can combine contact information with actual website browsing history. Example: send out an email and combine response to your newsletter with insight into what each recipient (email address) actually looked at on your website. user tagging username in Opentracker clickstream Here are the fields that you can add/ edit:
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