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Month: October 2019

iManila joins the Google Learning Session 101 by Google PH

“Be there, be seen, be relevant”


Such were the words spoken by Google PH’s Agency Acceleration Specialist, Berns Bachar in the recently concluded Google Learning Session 101 at the Google Headquarters in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig last October 18, 2019.

The Google session was attended by various representatives from digital marketing agencies, and brand specialists from different companies in the Metro who were looking to learn more about Google’s Search and Display Ads, and YouTube Ads. Google PH’s training highlighted the importance of creating digital campaigns for the success of one’s business.  “One of the most effective ways to spread brand awareness is via Search ads,” Bachar said.


*Photo and figures by TechCrunch


Search Ads are intent-based campaigns where ads appear when users search for a particular item or brand through different keywords.

Basing on Google’s monthly search record, the search platform receives over 2.5-billion searches per month in the Philippines alone and 3.5-billion daily searches worldwide. Google’s search engine market is valued at 94% of all searches and outranks other search engines in most, if not all, countries in the world. A total of 70% of these searches take place in mobile devices while only 30% on desktop and tablet devices.

According to Google, their search platform is an arena where brands fight over to outrank competitors and get everyone’s attention. So Google warns, if you aren’t there, your competition will be!

YouTube ads, on the other hand, are not intent-based like search ads, hence, they only appear to users who are viewing videos relating to the brand. For the record, YouTube has more than 1.5-billion monthly active users, second to Facebook which has more than 2-billion active users monthly. Though outnumbered by Facebook, 90% of digital users globally consider YouTube as their primary destination and 70% of consumers go to YouTube before buying a product.


*Photo and figures by TechCrunch


According to another speaker, Andre Visenio, Google PH’s Agency Business Lead, there are four unique approaches that you may apply to your future YouTube ads:

“Attract, Brand, Connect and Direct”.

Attract is basically for a bumper or 6-seconder video ads. The video must start with a bang, run in the middle subtly and end it with another bang. To power your video ad, it must have good audio and sound effects, eye-catching visuals and a relatable storyline. Brand, however, is more of highlighting the brand; Connect is provoking an emotional connection, sometimes funny and mostly heart-touching video ads. While direct is like the word itself, ads that are direct with clear messaging.

Compared to other social media platforms, YouTube users tend to spend more time on the platform. On mobile specifically, YouTube reports the average session time as more than 40 minutes. This is great for small businesses looking to drive more attention to their ads.


*Photo by Sapling


The latter part of the training discusses the perks of creating a display campaign for businesses. According to Bachar, who previously discussed about search ads, “Consumers in a browsing mindset are more receptive to learning about brands.”

Unlike search campaigns that are intent-based, display ads are more passive as they only show up while skimming through websites to shop, watch videos or read articles. Display ads appear in Google Display Network (GDN) platforms such as Chrome, YouTube, Gmail, Google Map, and Google Play. In a report by Google, users spend 10 hours a day online, in which 42% of all users go to social media and the remaining 58% spend their time online outside of social media, doing either online shopping or reading articles. As for people who visit the website, 10% of them read news, 25% watch videos, 25% are shopping and researching, while 40% are playing games.

The era has come where brands would raise their fists and fight off other brands to step up and capture their target markets. Search, Display and YouTube campaigns are great ways to start in building your brand.


“People expect your brands to be present online, especially on the web. Take this opportunity to boost your brand on a bigger and wider market. Advise your clients, friends or families who sell their products offline to switch to digital now,” Bachar said.


Unsure of how you’re going to maximize these digital opportunities? We can help you! Send us an email at [email protected]! #iManila #GooglePartner #DigitalMarketing


How Forever21 Was Crushed By eCommerce

How Forever 21 Was Crushed by eCommerce

Nearly a decade ago, even before #InstagramInfluencers existed, Forever 21 helped young girls embody teenage dreams and suit up fashion havens. Girls, young and young-at-heart, had the chance to dress up like celebrities but for an affordable price! Through the years, Forever 21 grew aggressively, but like what business analysts warned them about, if the time ever came for F21’s “coolness factor” to fade, the company will struggle to get back up. And that’s exactly what happened – now, gone are the days of Forever 21’s sunshine and la la la’s.

On the morning of September 30, an announcement struck headlines. It was F21 filing for bankruptcy, deciding to cease the store operations of over 350 branches across 40 countries worldwide. According to the company’s Executive Vice President, Linda Chang, 

“This was an important and necessary step to secure the future of the company, which will enable us to recognize our business and reposition Forever 21.” 

Amid speculations, theories, and gossip-mongering, what could be the possible reason as to why the once-called retail giant suddenly became bankrupt?

According to the New York Times, Forever 21 is said to be losing young shoppers. The fashion company was originally themed to be a youth-driven fashion haven which helped popularize youthful fashion in the 2000s by hawking trendy and affordable clothes before they even made it to the runway. But throughout the years, the company struggled to be in tune of what is in or out, trendy or cool and eventually the company just couldn’t figure out how to reach their young shoppers.  

Unlike other affordable but highly fashionable clothing brands like Zara, Penshoppe and Uniqlo, Forever 21 lost track of the millennials and Generation Z when 90% of their population combined shifted their expenses to Internet fashion retailers and e-commerce powerhouses such as Lazada, Shopee, and Zalora. This sudden shift is what these generations call the “Retail Apocalypse”, a threatening term used to describe how the Internet has changed consumers’ shopping habits, which have, in turn, affected retail brick and mortar stores.

To stop you from wondering further, here’s a breakdown of two other reasons that might have led to F21’s downfall.

Online Shopping is Killing Traditional Retailing Because of Young Shoppers

The strong growth of e-commerce and the slow sales in physical stores threaten a doom to traditional retailing.

According to Marketingdive.com, 75% of Gen Z and Millennials combined populations enjoy online shopping more than moving around stores. In the past few years, as many retailers have moved shop online, Forever 21 continued to build more brick and mortar stores and continued to expand their footprint offline. In this regard, they have forgotten who their target market really is — the millennials and Generation Z – the generation who immediately adapted to online shopping!

E-commerce websites such as Lazada, Shopee, Zalora experience more than a hundred million monthly website traffic in the Philippines alone. This one data is a testimony that e-commerce is the only way to capture a mass market, especially the Gen Z, which are considered to be a consumer powerhouse and valued to be the biggest retail market cohort sharing $44-billion in the market yearly.

As e-commerce continues to boom, traditional retailers like Forever 21 continue to struggle to adapt to changing consumer behaviors.

Bad Publicity and Ineffective Marketing Strategy

Whether created by huge designers or small indie brands, Forever 21 has made a signature version of customer purchase. However, in recent years, F21 has been accused of a series of copyright infringement lawsuits from more exclusive and expensive clothing lines and famous celebrities. Their stained reputation is on the edge.

The clothing chain has faced more than 50 copyright lawsuits for stealing the works of designers like Gwen Stefani, Anna Sui, and Trovata and violated some publicity laws.

The world-famous singer and record-breaking artist, Arianna Grande sued F21 both under state law and federal law, claiming that Forever 21 is guilty of false endorsement, copyright, and trademark infringement. Forever 21 was set to feature Grande in one of their campaigns, however, in the end, they were unwilling to pay Grande for she was worth too much. F21 then retracted the contract but still went ahead and launched the campaign, merely substituting another model that looks like Grande, but continuing to use the posts and themes heavily related to Grande on Forever 21’s Twitter and Instagram pages.  

Another lawsuit filed against F21 was by the International fashion house, Gucci. For more than half a century, the clothing line has been known for its iconic stripes in blue-red-blue and green-red-green. But earlier on, familiar designs with similar stripes were seen on F21 stores. Now Gucci is suing the fast-fashion retailer for trademark infringement, reports CBS News’ Dana Jacobson.

F21 is not alone. There are many other fast-fashion giants whose stock prices continue to plunge amid drops in revenue as young shoppers continue to shop more online. Take this case study from the once retail giant, Forever 21. Don’t disregard the shopping habits and patterns of the millennials and gen Z consumers. Don’t let your business get left behind. 

Want to launch your own eCommerce website? We can help! Drop us an email at [email protected] or call us today at (+632) 3490 0000. 

Google Display Network for Brand Awareness

When getting started with digital marketing tools, chances are you’ve probably already heard of Google Ads. What not a lot know though is that they branch out into two – Search and Display. While a search campaign shows text ads on search engine results (Search Network), a Google Display campaign is the more visual approach of showing banner/video ads in over 2 million partner websites, videos, and apps (Display Network).

A valuable marketing platform, Google’s Display Networks reaches over 90% of internet users and it takes the form of visual banner ads as seen below.

Google Display Network

Search Ads vs. Display Ads

What sets both networks apart?

While the Search Ads taps into users directly and actively searching into Google’s Search Engine or other partner search sites. This means that there is already intent in the minds of the users to search for that particular item.

Display Ads, on the other hand, are more passive as they usually appear when users are just going about their usual internet activity such as skimming through a news article, watching video clips, and the like. These ads are mainly small banners or boxes following you around as you scroll through a site. This means that the primary interest of the user is the website content itself and the display ads are just merely secondary. The main difference is that the users aren’t directly on ‘shopping mode’ and may not be familiar with your brand at all. This is because the Google Display Network is a tool that can be used for prospecting and brand awareness.

Due to the low-intent nature of the users when encountering Display Ads, the click-through-rate (CTR) and conversion rate are often below 1%. But the advantage here is the wide array of targeting options that go beyond keywords, and the ability to access a good portion of internet users due to the numerous website placements. The result is finding a tighter network audience with more relevant targeting.

Prospecting and Remarketing

There are two ways to target using Google Display Ads:

(1) First is through prospecting which happens when internet users who may have no previous knowledge of your brand, product, or services are targeted.

(2) The other is through remarketing, which targets users who have engaged with your website in some form previously.

The latter is often referred to as the best way to optimize Display Ads, this option makes use of the audiences found in Google Analytics to help find your target market. These remarketed audiences take place in many forms such as website visitors, users who downloaded content or submitted forms, users who signed up for free trials or other offers, and users who have completed transactions previously. This is why it is said that remarketing completes the circle of engagement as it helps keep past visitors who took interest in a certain product or service to see targeted ads and eventually lead them to make that purchase.


We have laid out the basic need-to-knows about Google’s Display Network, perfect for any business that wants to get their brand or service out there to wider audiences. While Search Ads target those actively looking for products, who knows if you might bag the right market with you through the more passive Display Ads.

In the end, it all depends on your company’s marketing goals and knowing what type of ad or strategy to utilize. While it may seem scary to venture into Google Ads alone, there are always agencies out there to help you with your marketing goals. iManila is a Google Partner agency that can help you navigate Google’s diverse marketing platforms to reach your audience and deliver optimal results! Feel free to drop us a message at [email protected] and kick start your digital marketing journey with us.

How to Choose A Digital Marketing Agency

How to Choose a Digital Marketing Agency

Choosing the right Digital Marketing Agency for your company, like any other business decisions, should be thought of with careful considerations. Only a bad entrepreneur will invest his money in an agency without doing a little research first.

Below we’ve listed down a few things that you should consider when looking for the best digital marketing agency:


Decide what services you need

Before approaching digital marketing agencies, you must first decide and write down what you’re going to ask from them. Take a good look at your marketing and business objectives and then plot the strategies you think you’re going to need. 

  • Set an expectation for your digital campaign (Do you want more leads or are you just looking to build brand awareness?);
  • A project duration (Is this for a long-term project or something more urgent like an upcoming sale?);
  • and/or a specialty (Does your business have a website or is it heavier on social media?)


 Evaluate Case Studies

Review the digital marketing agency’s portfolio and previous clients’ feedback. A good agency will have positive reactions from their past clients and will also have an impressive portfolio of successful campaigns.  By doing this, you will also get a picture of the extent of their experiences and what you can expect from them.


See The Kind of People You Will Be Working With

A shared vision is the key to any successful campaign. If you have a team working for you, of course, you’d want them to understand your brand story and your goals. It is important to know whether the people in the agency are the kind of people you’d entrust your business with. So what’s the secret recipe in creating the A-Team (or should I stay DM Team)? Let me tell you:

  • Professional
  • Determined
  • Strategic
  • Creative
  • Team players


Look at the History and Reputation of the Agency

It is easy to think that young agencies are the most tech-savvy and therefore the right choice when it comes to digital strategies. But the key point here is not how young or old the company is. A great agency combines experience and development. Look at how a company started and how it is today. A company that has been in the industry for many years and is able to adapt through innovations shows that they know how to build and maintain–a company that is perfect in helping you grow your business. 

Awards and Partnerships are also a key factor in deciding which Digital Marketing Agency you should choose. An agency that has a certification or partnership with reputable companies like Google, is more likely to deliver quality service. You can also scan for news or run a quick Google search to show you everything you need to know about the Digital Marketing Agency you’re interested in.


iManila, a certified Google Partner, has over 20 years of experience in the IT industry and carries a website that is placed among the top 500 websites in the Philippines (we’re currently at Rank 460!). Competing against thousands of both small and big players on the web, iManila’s Alexa Ranking further proves our company’s credible reputation in delivering quality digital marketing services that are trusted by our clients both here and abroad. Choose iManila as your Digital Marketing partner now. Find out how by dropping us an email at [email protected] or by visiting our website at www.imanila.ph. #iManila #DigitalMarketing

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