Insights from Nebo

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September 12, 2013

Retargeting and the Power of Story

I still remember the first retargeting campaign that I created. It was late 2009, and Nebo was lucky enough to be enrolled in Google’s beta remarketing program.

While the concept of retargeting wasn’t new at that point, Google opened the doors and made it easier to jump in and create retargeting campaigns that reached a large audience regardless of budget.

Those first few retargeting campaigns I created were pure magic, considering I put minimal effort into them. This was not entirely out of laziness; back then, there just wasn’t much you COULD do. Essentially, I would set up two audiences, those that came to a site and converted and those that came to a site and didn’t convert, and then had one ad for each of those audiences. Then I watched the ROI on these campaigns hit up to 10x the return of the general display campaigns.

The whole thing was too good to be true—literally. As time passed and Google opened up their platform to everyone, the performance of these campaigns started to decline. The return was still better than any general display or search campaign, but the “crazy awesome” metrics dwindled to just “pretty awesome.”

September 10, 2013

Coachable Moments: Ping-Pong and Digital Marketing

Our office recently resurrected the all-but-forgotten Nebo Ping-Pong Tournament and, needless to say, it was quite the show. Lots were cast, alliances formed, and 35 rounds later a winner emerged (we’ll talk about him later). While the tournament was entertaining, it’s interesting to note how teachable an experience it was as it relates to our industry. Rule changes in the games of ping-pong and table tennis come about in order to adjust to the ever-changing advancements of the game—not unlike the field of digital marketing. Throughout the tournament, I couldn’t help but notice how many winning ping-pong strategies could easily be applied to our ever-evolving industry.

September 4, 2013

A World Without Google

Today marks the 15th anniversary of Google, undoubtedly the most successful Internet concept ever. In just a short time, Google has become a seamless part of our lives, ranking somewhere between Jesus and bacon in importance. The brand has joined the ranks of Kleenex and Xerox (and if you’re in the South, Coke), with its name becoming synonymous with its product and somewhat generic as we “Google” this or that. Most of the world can’t use a smartphone without using a Google product. Some people can’t even travel across their own city without using Maps. It's hard to fathom a life without it. Google Reader users, however, got a small taste of life would be like without the Big G in our lives.

On July 1, 2013, Google Reader said its last goodbyes and walked off into the sunset. Though far from a popular product, it still had its fair share of fans and public outrage. A petition was created for it on, garnering over 150,000 signatures. Just one small, almost forgettable product in Google’s portfolio had such a fanatical cult following that people were willing to make a petition about it next to fighting for women’s rights and stopping Medicare cuts. And it was taken seriously.

It begs the question: what would happen if some of Google’s other products went quietly into the night? Though we imagine we’d get by somehow, I’m not so sure.

August 30, 2013

College Football Friday

It’s finally upon us. No need for explanation. If you’ve got a heart that pumps blood and feelings that feel and a Fathead of Julio Jones, then you know what I’m talking about. With college football underway and the NFL season right around the corner, it’s no wonder this is the favorite time of year for so many people.

Being based out of the South, Nebo’s office is full of fierce college football loyalty. It seems to be a point of some confusion for those coming from other parts of the country. If you don’t understand the scale of college football fanaticism in the South as it relates to other parts of the country, maybe we can help you out with one of our favorite things in the world: analytics.

ESPN released viewership data for the 2012 college football season, ranking big market cities in terms of the percent of the population that watched college football. Check out this cartogram showing the results. As he always does, Nate Silver did some very interesting stuff with these data to find the true fan base of different Division-I schools.

August 27, 2013

Redefining Public Relations in a Digital World

The marketing industry has experienced a massive shift in philosophy over the past few years, and public relations, in particular, is no exception. We’re well past the days of faxing a press release to a local broadcast newsroom. PR has become a 24/7, 365-days-a-year industry, with professionals now required to be constantly tuned in and responsive. The always-connected, always-on digital world we now live in has forced us to redefine not only the tactics, but also the purpose of public relations.

In late 2011, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) launched Public Relations Defined, a (long overdue) initiative to develop “a modern definition for the new era of public relations.” Failed attempts to do so in 2003 and 2007 had left this vague and dated definition in place since 1982:

“Public relations helps an organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other.” 

The reworked version was revealed in early 2012 in a New York Times exclusive:

“Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”