May 23, 2017

Google wants to count more than just clicks


Google today is overhauling its marketing analytics platform, announcing today Google Attribution which will use machine learning to measure user engagement with ads across display, video, search, social, and their site or app, on any screen, all in one place. Google's ‎Sr. Director, Product Management Babak Pahlavan tells Axios, "The emphasis is on simplicity and availability to everyone."

Why it matters: Google's current marketing platform, Google Analytics, is the largest in the world but mostly just measures the lask-click that drove someone to take action on an ad. That created a perverse incentive for marketers to focus only on getting clicks, instead of on the marketing that drives engagement to get the click. (See Axios: Death of the Click for more details.) This is Google's attempt to broaden its focus and measure how users interact with content beyond just a click on a link.

Get smart fast: This is Google making a bigger play for brand ad dollars. Most major distributors in the digital ecosystem are trying to get some of the $70 billion spent in TV ad market — a market that mostly serves brand advertising, not direct-to-sale advertising. With last-click attribution, it was more difficult to make the case for buying brand ads on Google platforms (search, YouTube, etc.)

Cross-device marketing is big problem: The discovery of a product and the intention to buy it often occurs on mobile, but many times, the sale isn't carried all the way through on mobile, but rather desktop. The inability to track this intention could stall mobile ad sales. This fixes that problem by giving advertisers a way to follow users all the way to a transaction.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 5,271,047 — Total deaths: 340,196 — Total recoveries — 2,087,336Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 1,613,476 — Total deaths: 96,662 — Total recoveries: 350,135 — Total tested: 13,398,624Map.
  3. Public health: Why Americans in food deserts are even more vulnerableThere is "little evidence" coronavirus is under control in most states, new report finds Muslim health care workers balance Ramadan fasting.
  4. States: D.C. and its suburbs have some of the worst coronavirus rates in the U.S. Daily deaths in New York drop under 100 for the first time since March.
  5. Business: Small business outlook is slowly improving, but the pandemic hits minority-owned small businesses harder.
  6. World: Health officials report first death in Gaza stripCoronavirus testing is virtually nonexistent in some poor countries.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 23 mins ago - Politics & Policy

The coronavirus leaves those in food deserts even more vulnerable

Data: USDA; Cartogram: Sara Wise/Axios

The coronavirus pandemic has pushed many people to buy groceries and supplies in bulk, but nearly 23.5 million Americans who live far from supermarkets don’t have that option.

Why it matters: Low-income households in food deserts — more than a mile from a supermarket in a city or suburbs or more than 10 miles in rural areas — often struggle with having enough to eat, and the global pandemic has exacerbated that circumstance. Their access to fresh produce and meat continues to decrease, and they often turn instead to fast food or processed foods, according to the Agriculture Department.

A glimmer of hope for small businesses

Data: Census Bureau Small Business Pulse Survey; Chart: Axios Visuals

New findings from a weekly U.S. Census survey show that things might be slowly looking up for small businesses — or at least steadying.

The big picture: The number of companies reporting severe problems from COVID-19 — or of temporary closings or having to cut employee hours — has been dropping. At the same time, far more said they had received aid through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).