The Webrepublican Nr. 25, March 2016

06 Mar 2016 / by Simon Wüthrich / Webrepublic / Comments

A fundamental change in Google AdWords, 9,000 spectators at a car premiere, hundreds of personalized banner ads, a 360° video from Mars, 1092 subscribers, 4 minutes and 5 seconds of reading time, and a projected open rate of 51%. That’s Webrepublican No. 25.



The Webrepublican Nr. 25



This news has caused quite a stir in marketing circles and beyond: Google eliminates the AdWords ad column on the right-hand side of search results pages for desktops. So what effect will this have? A positive effect, especially for advertisers who understand their craft and implement truly relevant ads – which is also in the interests of users. And if we’re making assumptions, the freed-up space could be used for Google Shopping Ads. Online shoppers and e-commerce providers are sure to be equally happy about a well-maintained data feed.


Before SEO matured into its current state, search engines were relatively simple and keyword stuffing was the name of the game. Things have become a little more complex since then and Google now considers 200 factors in deciding which search results the users are actually interested in. Does that mean keywords are now obsolete? Rand Fishkin does not seem to agree with this argument completely.

160306 Webrepublican 25 Rand Fishkin


Volvo’s digital marketers prove they’re still up for experimentation: they unveiled the new V90 live on YouTube as announced on Facebook and Twitter. But there was room for improvement: the Swedes could have done more to activate its audience by opening up a live Q&A session about the new hybrid drive on Twitter. Nevertheless, the numbers for the cross-channel campaign are impressive: more than 9,000 people have watched the live stream with over 6,800 shares, likes and comments on social media; and a quarter of a million people watched the recording within a week.


Wouldn’t it be great if every individual in a target group could be shown a personalized banner? This is exactly what we did for Swiss Life, together with Jung von Matt/Limatt and adwebster. At the end of 2015, users entered their resolutions for the new year on a microsite. At the beginning of 2016, their resolutions were displayed on a banner ad. The campaign is a good example of how storytelling can be taken to a new level with advanced marketing technology.


Facebook is driving the development of its Messenger app at full force. After rolling out a payment solution and bots that partially automate the communication between brands and fans, Facebook is now looking to integrate advertising into Messenger according to Techcrunch. Facebook will inevitably play a central role in e-commerce, CRM and CRM-based marketing – and is a crucial platform for marketers.

160306 Webrepublican 25 Facebook Messenger


Meanwhile, Wall Street’s favorite scapegoat, Twitter, is moving away from its reverse-chronological timeline. The new algorithm-based feed will show users short messages that match their interests. This is good news for brands that rely on content that corresponds to the actual interests of their target groups.


Programmatic is a hotly discussed topic in digital marketing. Why? Programmatic promises coverage and efficiency gains – but also raises questions about transparency and quality of placements. Ultimately, everything revolves around the question of how brands can apply the new technology in a profitable way. One thing’s for sure: only by systematically collecting and evaluating data can new technology be used to ensure that relevant ads are displayed for the right user at exactly the right time and place.


NASA has blessed us with the most exciting yet frustrating 360° video in recent months. Exciting because we are able to marvel at the videos of our planet from the Mars rover Curiosity and frustrating because the rover does not move from its spot. And yet, though the video doesn’t quite satisfy our explorer’s spirit, it points to a not too distant future in which we will be able to explore otherwise inaccessible places using virtual reality – a clear indication of why VR will be extremely popular as soon as the hardware becomes affordable.