tickling your tentacles: controlling content

by Ovative Group
March 30, 2017


Welcome to Ovative’s marketing/tech news digest – where we hope to keep you up to date on all things new and exciting within Marketing, Measurement and Technology.

Always informative, sometimes entertaining. Enjoy.

Fodder for the water cooler: Ever feel like your laptop is the only one that truly understands you? Maybe, maybe not. However, very soon you might. Get ready for “Neural lacing” – a technique that uses a series of electrodes implanted into the brain to allow a wireless link to computers. Mr. Elon Musk just put it on his to-do list.

Verizon and AT&T pull some Google ads as concerns mount about hate content | CNBC | March 22, 2017


Quick pitch: What do you do when you find out your ad is now one of those poorly-coordinated billboard combinations? Take it down.


Now I want the details: Two ‘small’ telcom companies just hung up on Google after learning their ads were placed near hateful content on the internet. AT&T claims their ads were placed next to YouTube content that promoted terrorism and hate. Verizon’s concerns were around their ads being placed on non-sanctioned websites that promoted hate. The Google machine made a public apology and says it’s committed to “put in place changes that give brands more control over where their ads appear”.  Better late than never…

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What we’re thinking: This isn’t surprising. With so much focus on positive and factually-correct news sources, it’s not shocking that companies are taking a firmer stance on where their ads are placed. We’ll continue to monitor the progress Google makes on their promises to make sure companies have control over the placement of their ads. We anticipate these types of demands will become more and more common in the digital ad space, as brands take a more granular focus on where, when and how they are reaching their customers.

Close variants now connects more people with what they’re looking for | Google Adwords Blog | March 17, 2017


Quick pitch: Google recently expanded “close variants” for paid search ads. This will help advertisers capture more traffic by serving ads based on search intent regardless of the many ways that a query can be worded. Previously only including plural and misspellings, now it includes reordering of words…


Now I want the details: Google has been improving its SERP (search engine response page) for both searchers and advertisers since 1998 and this has resulted in it being the most widely utilized search engine by FAR in the US for the last decade or so. By introducing close variants, advertisers may be able to capture up to 3% more traffic with keyword list by reordering and rewording search queries against keywords.

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Examples of now-included variations:

parks in san diego —> parks san diego

news from today —> news for today

running shoes —> shoes running


What we’re thinking: Reactions from the search community on this expansion have been mixed. Some feel that Google continues to take control away from advertisers (as this is standard and not opt-in). We at Ovative feel like overall this change is a benefit for our clients and will allow for more qualified traffic. We can continue to expertly managed paid search campaigns and RTFB on strategy and measurement and let the algorithms do their magic. As long as it bodes well for the user, the business, and we can learn from it, we can benefit from this expansion in definition.

LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences will target ads based on people’s web browsing, email addresses | MarketingLand| March 20, 2017


Quick pitch: All aboard the retargeting train! The newest ‘social’ network to enable retargeting will begin doing so sometime in ~November of this year.


Now I want the details: LinkedIn will offer new website retargeting and email targeting options as part of their new ad-targeting program called “Matched Audiences”. The new service looks a lot like their previous “Lead Accelerator,” which enabled retargeting of LinkedIn users on other sites. However, LinkedIn appears to be using this as a launching pad for email-based targeting. Initially this would only be enabled by partners like LiveRamp and eventually through uploading CSV customer-files with email addresses.


What we’re thinking: Too early to for us to know all of the details on this new offering. However, from the looks of it, this will be a good new ‘channel’ for specific types of business-centric advertising. One thing we hope LinkedIn does right, that many other social platforms don’t exactly nail: measurement. LinkedIn has the opportunity to set themselves apart from their social advertising peers as they build their capabilities from the ground up! We’ll keep you posted on how LinkedIn’s capabilities evolve.

“What We’re Into!” A section where we tell you about what we’ve been reading, watching or listening to in the past few weeks. As always, let us know if you’ve been into the same thing!


What We’re Into: Funky fresh workday jams that help us crush it. Need some new tunes in your headphones for those blocks of time where you need to get things done? Check out The Floozies.

Questions? Comments? Hit us up: [email protected], [email protected]


Ovative/group is a measurement and activation firm focused on activating enterprise value through marketing, measurement, and technology services.  Through our 20+ related engagements over the past three years in this space, we’ve observed some common themes that, when considered, greatly increase the probability of building solutions that lead to lasting capabilities rather than shiny pennies few are willing to adopt.


Our clients span multiple industries, including retail, healthcare, education, CPG, and hospitality; for companies with sales that range from $250M to $100B.  We engage with our clients both as advisors and as outsourced service providers; as a neutral measurement partner or as an end-to-end measurement and activation solution provider.

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