Author Archives: BEBdata

Google Store Visit Conversion Reporting

Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords) is now reporting Store Visits as a new Conversion Metric for a small group of US dealers.

A store visit is defined as someone who has physically been in a dealership after clicking on a paid search ad or being shown a viewable impression of a display ad within the past 30 days. An ad impression is considered viewable when at least 50% of the ad is on screen for at least one (1) second. Currently about 300 dealerships are able to track Store Visits. The quantity of dealers is expected to increase over time. In approximately 12 months, about half of all dealers in the U.S. are expected to be tracking Store Visits.

Store Visit data is based on anonymous, aggregated statistics. Google Ads creates a count of visitors by using current and past data on the number of people who click or view your ads and later visit the dealership. Visit data can’t be tied to individual ad clicks, viewable impressions or people. Industry best practices are used to ensure the privacy of individual users. Google states that they are accurate >99% of the time.

To be able to measure store visit conversions you need the following:

• Receive thousands of ad clicks and viewable impressions.
• Have a Google My Business account linked to your Google Ads account.
• Create each of your store locations in your Google My Business account.
• Have at least 90% of your linked locations verified in Google My Business.
• Ensure location extensions are active in your account.
• Have sufficient store visits data on the backend to attribute to ad click or viewable impressions traffic and pass our user privacy thresholds.

Read more about this at https://www.l2tmedia.com/2018/08/new-google-store-visit-conversion-metric-in-google-ads/

Introducing Beacon Technology

Beacon Technology is the next big thing for local Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The Big technology companies including Google and Facebook have already implemented beacon technology and are actively seeking early adoption of beacons on the store-level.

The definition of a beacon is a physical light or other visible object serving as a signal or guide. Beacon Technology operates the same. Beacons are physical devices that operate based on proximity. All beacons use a low-energy Bluetooth signal to operate and are a cloud platform device. Some frequently used names are Proximity Beacon (PB) and Bluetooth Low Energy Beacon (LE).

Beacons are used to encourage customer engagement, send quick knowledge, and drive sales. Beacons can send push notifications to people within a certain distance of the device. Brick and mortar stores can send specials or savings to in-store customers to encourage purchases or give them helpful business information that solidifies trust. Public locations like bus stops can provide information that is publicly accessible and will help people get information instantly, such as what time the next bus is stopping there. They can also encourage user-generated content. Users are encouraged to add images of your business and leave an online review of your business.

Beacons are a new way to ensure customers are getting accurate, up to date information when they want it. It is also a way to reach people when they are most engaged, or conversely if they are in your business but may still be price comparing on their phone. Beacons can be an excellent way to seal the deal or promote a “why you should buy” message.

Google beacons allow businesses to promote a URL, which allows customer interaction with Google’s Physical Web product. Physical Web is a platform that finally acknowledges consumer behavior in real-life. Physical Web allows you to interact with what’s around you – interact with inanimate objects or choose web pages related to your surroundings.

A Bluetooth signal will initiate information transfer when a customer is within a certain radius of a beacon. One important thing to note is that beacons are ONE-WAY information transmitters, therefore they are not be collecting data or violating any privacy laws. Instead of taking information from your phone or you personally, beacons are only submitting information to the user. The Facebook beacon will display information when a user is using the Facebook app within the beacon range. Facebook will show Place Tips, a welcome note, and photo. The Facebook beacon will also encourage users to like the business page and check-in to the business. Being a social app in nature, it will also display recommendation information from a user’s Facebook friends.

For now, the Facebook beacon is free. There are several companies that offer beacons for a price such as the Google-compatible beacons average $25 per device.

Both Google and Facebook beacons will come already activated right out of the box. You simply have to place them in a fixed location, preferably a doorway. Some beacons also work by USB power instead of an internal battery – these must be plugged into a computer at all times.

Beacons may begin to collect more accurate data on key business factors like the busiest time of day and the average foot traffic of each location. While these are relatively simple devices, they may be able to track the aggregate number of impressions served over a certain timeline and report back on them. While those statements are just a theory, one thing is for certain: beacons will be an effective way to engage with the formerly disengaged customer who is more focused on their phone than the world around them.

From an advertiser perspective, beacons may help assist with the Store Visits objective. The current challenges with Store Visit measurement is primarily geographical; currently only large, freestanding stores like Whole Foods and Target have effective store visit capability and measurement. Anonymous solutions like beacons may bridge the gap for the large percentage of business that is currently unable to measure in-store success and cross-attribution from their digital campaigns.

For more information go to https://www.clickherepublishing.com/local-seo-beacons/

Facebook Recommendations

Facebook has introduced a new template for business manager pages effective August 22nd 2018.

The new template will allow people to easily connect with your business. You can choose your business’ new template based on your business goals and priorities. For example, if your business is a restaurant there are templates available that prioritizes restaurant goals. If you choose a template for businesses, sales goals are prioritized. Template options consist of services, venues, movies, nonprofit, politicians, and the list goes on. Each template is prioritized to show what your viewers and/or customers find most important.

The new template allows you to customize how your page layout appears to users. You can easily rearrange sidebar tabs prioritizing what you think is most important to users and your business, hopefully improving conversion rate.

Another new twist is that Ratings are now Recommendations. While it is still under the “Review” section, you can no longer rate a business on 1-5 star scale. When customers want to write a review, they can choose to recommend or not recommend your page.

Recommendations are powerful endorsements. 2 in 3 Facebook users visit the page of a local business at least once a week. 1 in 3 people on Facebook use the platform to look for recommendations and reviews. When customers publicly recommend you in a group or to their friends, it appears on your page for all to see. Therefore, recommendations are essential to your business in order to drive more sales and to, obtain a positive reputation.

Any Facebook user can easily report content that you believe is unfair, fraud, spam or paid for. This feature will benefit your business by keeping your businesses reputation true.

Customers can now easily share important details through tags and photos. In order to leave a recommendation, locate the recommendations on the left side of a page. Click YES to recommend or NO to not recommend. Write your custom recommendation or you can choose from auto tags (friendly staff, slow service, etc.)

Facebook is testing a new rating and recommendation system. Facebook currently uses a scale of 1-5 stars as an overall rating for your business. A new system is currently being tested to replace the 5-star scale with a rating scale from 1-10. Sentiments within reviews as well as recommendations and response times to private messages will be considered when calculating the overall rating of a business.

We’ll keep you posted as things continue to change within the FB platform.

DMA ANNUAL EVENT & THEN

We are getting fired up about attending this year’s DMA & Then Conference.  Each year, &THEN becomes the global HQ for the data-driven marketing industry. It’s a place where ideas take root and business gets done.

This year’s conference looks fantastic.  Sessions on Blockchain Marketing, Print and Digital Integration, and Internal Data strategies are only a few highlights.

We hope to you see there.

New Vehicle Sales Up 1%

The Graph above shows sales volume of new vehicles, month-to-month from 2017 and 2018.  Overall, new car sales are up 1% YTD.  June numbers rose by 7% with an increase of over 100K vehicles sold.  March finished in a close second for highest increase of sales  with a 6.3% up tick or 97,000 more sold than in March last year.

July and April bring up the rear with April showing a decrease of 5.3% and July at -3.2% compared to last year.

US Trustee & Bankruptcy

The vast majority of bankruptcy cases are filed by consumers rather than businesses. Most consumer cases are filed under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the federal Bankruptcy Code. Approximately 70 percent of cases are Chapter 7 liquidations filed by consumers, and nearly 30 percent are Chapter 13 wage-earner repayment cases. This fact sheet describes the United States Trustee’s primary responsibilities in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 consumer bankruptcy cases.

Chapter 7 Cases
In Chapter 7 cases, the United States Trustee litigates issues that affect the integrity of the bankruptcy system. For example, the United States Trustee might:

  • Argue that granting the debtor a bankruptcy discharge would constitute a “substantial abuse” of the bankruptcy process.
  • Object to excessive fees requested by the debtor’s attorney.
  • Take action against unlawful practices by bankruptcy petition preparers–generally, non-lawyers who receive a fee to prepare a consumer debtor’s bankruptcy papers.

The United States Trustee also appoints and supervises the Chapter 7 trustees who administer consumer debtors’ bankruptcy estates. In most Chapter 7 cases, no assets are available for distribution to creditors. However, if a Chapter 7 debtor has property that is not exempt from creditors’ reach under state or federal law, the trustee may sell that property and distribute the money to creditors.

The United States Trustee appoints each Chapter 7 trustee to a panel for up to one year, renewable at the United States Trustee’s discretion; these “panel trustees” are then assigned to Chapter 7 cases on a blind rotation basis. The United States Trustee supervises the panel trustees’ administration of individual debtor estates; monitors the trustees’ financial record-keeping; and imposes other requirements to ensure that the trustees carry out their fiduciary duties.

Chapter 13 Cases
In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the United States Trustee supervises the private trustees who administer Chapter 13 cases. In this chapter, the trustee does not liquidate the debtor’s assets, but instead evaluates the debtor’s financial affairs and makes recommendations to the court regarding the debtor’s proposed repayment plan.

A Chapter 13 debtor must propose a plan that devotes all disposable income to debt repayment over a period of up to five years. Most Chapter 13 cases are administered by “standing trustees” appointed by the United States Trustee to administer all cases filed in a particular geographic area.

As with Chapter 7 panel trustees, the United States Trustee supervises the Chapter 13 standing trustees’ administration of individual bankruptcy estates; monitors the trustees’ financial record-keeping; and imposes other requirements to ensure that the trustees carry out their fiduciary duties. The United States Trustee’s supervisory actions include:

  • Periodically reviewing the trustees’ case reports, budget reports, bank account information, management skills, court performance, and similar information.
  • Ensuring that trustees are bonded.
  • Ensuring that trustees are independently audited.
  • Determining trustees’ maximum annual compensation and actual necessary expenses.
  • Providing training for trustees.
  • Monitoring trust account funds.

From The United States Department of Justice website: THE U.S. TRUSTEE’S ROLE IN CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY CASES

Baby Boomers & Bankruptcy

Since 2010, bankruptcies have declined by 50.7%, the second lowest number since 1990. Recent research published by The Economist suggests that this overall decline masks significant trends among age groups. BK rates among those over 55 are rising. There are a number of factors behind the trend, one being that the generation now reaching retirement (baby boomers) have always been prone to “going bust.”

Findings from the University of Idaho show that the proportion of all bankruptcy filings made by people over the age of 65 has climbed from 2% in 1991 to 12% between 2013 and 2016. The bankruptcy filing rate has declined over these two decades for those aged 54 or younger.

Across all age groups, job losses, income declines, and medical expenses have long been leading reasons for bankruptcy. Researchers site less generous Social Security, riskier pension plans and higher out-of-pocket spending on medical care as leading reasons for this emerging trend.

Many Americans have no way of supplementing Social Security through savings or private pensions. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, in 1979 84% of private sector employees with a pension had at least some element of guaranteed retirement payment in their plan. By 2014, only 28% had any level of defined benefit while the rest were completely reliant on plans that contributed to investment funds with payouts dependent on fund returns. This change significantly shifted investment risks from employer to employee as well as leaving retirees with complex decisions about how rapidly to spend down their retirement accounts, both of which increased the risk of financial misfortune.

As well as smaller and less reliable income flows, older people are facing rising costs for health care. Despite public support from the Medicare program, the Medicare and Medicaid spending report shows that out of pocket spending averaged $2,938 a year in 2012 for those over 65 –that compares to an all-age average of $1,016 and is 20% higher than the figure in 2002.

But while tougher circumstances may play the major role in the greying of American bankruptcy, the data also points to a generational effect at work. In 1991, data from the Consumer Bankruptcy Project suggests the highest bankruptcy rates were among those aged between 25 and 44. In 2001, the highest rates involved the same generation of Americans, now aged 35 to 54. In the period between 2013 and 2016, a little more than ten years later again, the highest rates of bankruptcy were amongst those aged 45 to 64. The trend seems to follow the Baby Boomers generation.

Dodd-Frank Update

Last week The House voted to give final congressional approval to a major rewrite of banking rules that would revoke key elements of Dodd-Frank Act but still leaving most of it tact.

The President is expected to sign into law the “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act,” which won House approval 258-159 as 33 Democrats and 225 Republicans voted for the bill. Officials say that it recalibrates regulation and risk in the financial services sector while promoting economic growth and new jobs.

The Senate Banking Committee Chairman said that the bill “right-sizes” regulations for smaller financial institutions, allowing community banks, credit unions and mortgage lenders to grow.

Key provisions of the legislation include:

  • Increasing banks’ asset threshold from $50 billion to $250 billion for extra regulatory scrutiny by the Federal Reserve.
  • Streamlining capital requirements and other exemptions from mortgage-lending rules for community banks.
  • Amending the Volcker rule for banks with less than $10 billion in assets in an effort to bolster market liquidity and decrease risk to the financial system in economic downturn.
  • Repealing the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, which aimed to minimize supposedly conflicted investment advice given to retirement savers.

Although Republicans claim the bill is a deregulatory effort, GOP lawmakers weren’t able repeal Dodd-Frank in its entirety. Key provisions remain, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Washington’s authority to unwind failing large banks.