Survival of the fittest

You don’t survive in the news business for 175 years without learning how to adapt. At The Globe and Mail, change is an integral part of the company’s DNA.

Over the last two years, the company has organized its digital ad sales strategy around Programmatic Guaranteed, which combines the automation and audience precision of real-time auctions with the safety and assurance of reserved ad buys.

The strategic shift toward more guaranteed deals helped The Globe and Mail grow its programmatic revenue by 164% year over year in 2018.

Feeling Special is Important

Every visitor wants to feel special. This is a basic tenant of human nature.


Visitors want to be treated like they are really special. In fact, recent surveys show that 42% of consumers get annoyed when their content isn’t personalized, and 66% of consumers will not purchase from a site when they feel the content does not speak to their specific interests.


Personalization is no longer a nice-to-have—it’s a necessary part of any successful product or website.


When a user is returning to a site rather than visiting for the first time, they shouldn’t be sent to the same page. Instead, a company should recognize a returning visitor as a customer and present them with the most relevant experience for their location in the funnel.

Loading, loading … gone.

That’s how your consumers will react if your slow mobile site gets in their way. And all that beautiful marketing imagery bringing your brand to life may be the culprit — higher bounce rates and fewer conversions translate to missed revenue opportunities. UBT can help you overcome this popular issue with smarter website planning and analyzation. For now, here are some quick fixes for your site imagery you can collaborate on with your developer to get started.

Prioritize your brand site’s images in order of importance.

  • Before optimizing the images on your site, consider whether they’re all necessary. Sure, that high-res photo looks great, but does it actually help to convey the message you are trying to get across?

Choose an efficient image format.

  • JPEG: Photos with no transparency
  • PNG: Transparent backgrounds
  • SVG: Scalable icons and shapes

Compress and Resize Imagery

  • Optimizing images can help you achieve the largest byte savings and mobile site performance improvements. Even the most basic optimizations — like compressing images, removing metadata (such as the date and time), and experimenting with quality settings — can help.

Use loading techniques

  • Compressing and resizing images is the basic approach that every designer and developer should enforce.

Make mobile experiences a business priority

People expect fast and relevant experiences on mobile. When brands are there with seamless mobile experiences, it’s a win-win for everyone. Consider these three mobile marketing guidelines to be successful:

  • Each second counts: The average mobile page takes more than 15.3 seconds to fully load. A recent Google study analyzed load times for a set of mobile sites and found that those that loaded in two seconds or less had a 15% higher conversion rate than the average mobile site.
  • Each step matters: Almost half (46%) of consumers prefer to use their smartphone to complete the entire process from researching to buying. But people often abandon their carts due to poor mobile checkout experiences.
  • Each user differs: Sixty-one percent of people expect brands to tailor experiences based on their preferences. Furthermore, 90% of leading marketers say personalization significantly contributes to business profitability. As such, leading brands are creating value for shoppers based on their past interactions.

Your brand approach is important

Consistency is a unique challenge for brand marketing today, because there are so many touch-points and interactions that customers expect to have with the brand. It’s important to focus on the central message or even, more importantly, the feeling you want to deliver as a brand. We believe in focusing on creativity.

UBT Agency’s brand message and approach is creativity. Another insight that informed our strategy is sequential messaging and the right creative would help move people from browsing to buying. Brand and e-commerce teams collaborated to adjust campaign creative and calls to action to drive brand awareness (“Explore now”), product consideration (“Learn more”), and eventually, a purchase (“Shop now”).

This collaborative marketing approach creates remarkable results. People who received the “Shop now” e-commerce-focused ads in addition to the “Explore now” brand ads were 75X more likely to convert than those who only saw the brand message. UBT Agency credits the improvement to consistent messaging and a strong connection between brand and performance teams.

Because the close collaboration between our teams leads to such strong results, UBT Agency carries this approach forward. Our marketing organization ensures that brand and e-commerce teams work closely together to drive consistency across creative and messaging on all campaigns.

How data can shift merchandising from an art to a science

In retail, there’s no space for standing still. Empowered by mobile, people can get exactly what they want instantly and effortlessly, and they expect retailers to meet their needs faster than ever before.

With shopping behavior constantly evolving, the backbone of retail — product merchandising — also needs to evolve.

A few things retailers can do to jumpstart their data-powered merchandising: 

  • Use search signals to understand what you should be selling.
  • Tune into local insights around your brick-and-mortar stores and use them to inform your inventory strategy.
  • Clear inventory profitably by using data to make smarter pricing decisions.

Impatience: Right Here, Right Now!

Whether it’s a jar of spices or a restaurant, today’s impatient consumers want things in the moment they need them—which is typically “now.”


From on-the-fly travel plans to businesses “open now” to same-day shipping, people are using search to find answers to their immediate needs. It’s clear that expectations for finding exactly what people want, exactly when they want it, are growing.


You’ve probably done a version of these searches yourself. And when you type in something like “open now near me,” what you want is hours, a specific location, and available inventory, not a slow-to-load website that buries the relevant information.


The challenge for marketers is to make sure you’re giving people the answers they’re looking for as quickly as possible. And the opportunity is capturing their consideration—and the sale—by doing so.

Growth Begins and Ends with Data

Data doesn’t merely reflect what’s knowable. It’s the fuel of smart, informed decisions. Certain user actions within your app could hold the keys to unlocking greater lifetime value.  


Analyze data to identify the types of users of your app -who were most likely to shop in your app. Use insights to revamp your paid advertising strategy for growth.


With optimization of your app campaigns, you can see up to 40%+ relative uplift in retention. Using data to understand user flows, drop off, usage, and retention rates helps inform your marketing decisions, leading to overall higher lifetime value.

Customer Value Optimization

As a marketer, one of your biggest challenges is to determine who cares about your brand enough to keep coming back. But even more important is finding users who are going to drive profitability. Machine learning makes it easier to find and engage the customers that are most valuable to your business by letting you look for them in places you may otherwise miss. 
Rather than narrowly defining a target segment simply as “35-54 year-old woman,” machine learning lets you cast a much wider net, taking into account your business outcome—a sale, an in-app purchase, a completed level in a game, etc. It then looks at millions of signals to find people at scale who are likely to complete those actions. 
With machine learning, your first step is analyzing the people you know: your most valuable or profitable app users. The system then looks for other similar profiles. If you’ve developed a travel app, for example, it may look for individuals who have made purchases in other travel apps, are watching travel videos online, or who are in the market for flight and hotel deals. 
Take Trivago, for example. The online travel company wanted to drive in-app transactions from high-quality users. It used Universal App campaigns, which are powered by Google machine learning, to optimize for shoppers likely to make in-app conversions. As a result, the company saw a 20% increase in high-quality users across iOS and Android.

Customer Lifetime Value

In today’s competitive landscape, attracting — and retaining — customers is more challenging than ever. But understanding how the differences in customer lifetime value can help. While analyzing and developing your CLV model is no easy feat, don’t let the complexity deter you. The payoff can result in long-term success. Need help in this area but don’t know where to start?


Contact us today! What you gain as a UBT client can move your marketing strategy forward, to ensure you’re spending the right resources on the best customers.