Media Transparency is About to get Real. REAL Real.

The Association of National Advertisers just released a RFP for a research agency to ‘demystify’ the advertising & media landscape – and clear up perception issues around rebates, kickbacks, and other practices.  Results from a recent ANA & Forrester study shows some of the hot topics marketers are most concerned about;

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It is apparent that there is a wide disparity in the opinions throughout the industry. The lack of a common perspectiveruns the risk of suboptimal client/agency relationships and challenged business processes throughout the ecosystem. It is the ANA’s belief that the industry requires an independent, objective, third-party individual/organization to:

  • Demystify the landscape.
  • Understand the role of holding companies and their levels of engagement.
  • Understand if media plans are being compromised.
  • Develop practical solutions and best-practice behaviors that serve as industry standards.
  • Determine where marketers’ behavior may be “pushing the limits.

Facebook’s Ad Relevance Tool is a 10!

Finally, Facebook is taking a step ahead with the release of its new Ad Relevance Tool (rating 1-10) for advertisers.    We knew they’d get here eventually – as we’ve seen that;

Quality Content (Creative) = Higher Engagement  = Lower CPMs

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AdAge reports;

This move appears to be the latest way Facebook is trying to get a grip on the firehose of content flooding people’s news feeds. Last year the company moved closer to a pay-to-play model for brands to communicate with people on Facebook, which made room in people’s feeds for posts from friends and family. But heated as the competition may be to freely take up space in people’s feeds, things are also heating up on the paid side.

For the past two years, the average price for a Facebook ad has been on a steep incline, while the number of ads the company serves has dropped. In the fourth quarter of 2014, Facebook’s average price-per-ad rose by 335%, and the number of ads it served fell by 65%.

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(Thanks to AdAge & Senor Moreno)

From Insight to Action on Cross-Channel Attribution & Optimization

Kenshoo & Forrester just released a webinar presentation with some interesting stats and ideas on how to act on cross-channel attribution and optimization this week – including even basic level stats that are always useful when having to evaluate the value of digital;

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Facebook, Atlas & Adblock – oh my!

Facebook is finally unveiling plans (thanks WSJ) for what it intends to do with the Microsoft Atlas purchase it made earlier – unleashing a ad network that would rival Google’s CDN, with all of the targeting bells & whistles that make marketers get that warm & fuzzy feeling, like;

  • Tie online ads to offline sales (connecting consumer emails provided with B&M in-store checkout to the consumer’s email on Facebook, tracking back to an influential ad that might have prompted that purchase).
  • Improving online ad measurement across the web (linking ad interactions with users Facebook accounts).
  • Provide mobile ad measurement (view tracking of Facebook / Ad messaging on mobile, then connecting that to a purchase on a tablet or desktop).
  • More than just display advertising (mobile, in-app and desktop, and all ad formats including native, email, search, social and video).
  • Ad Buying / (and potentially) Programmatic Tools, coming… (it currently has an ad serving and tracking tool, but Facebook has plans to use the same technology to help marketers actually purchase ad space).

And, of course – with the advent of a new, revolutionary way to advertise, there are equal ways to help block such advertisements with Adblock Plus;

“If you don’t want Facebook and other corporate behemoths tracking your every movement on the Internet and on all of your devices in order to hit you with unwanted ads, install Adblock Plus on every device you own,” a blog post published Wednesday on the Adblock Plus site read.

“While Adblock Plus applauds innovation that improves the advertising experience for the user, we firmly believe that the user should have the choice whether or not they want to be tracked and targeted,” the post added.

…so, naturally, marketers are stuck giving consumers more incentives to NOT block advertising. I see  Anti-Adblock Plus, Atlas Advertising ONLY deals in our future!

HWG again, Amazon PPC, FTW!

Amazon’s own Ad Network (a potential partner site / CDN competitor to Google AdWords / CDN) is said to be opening up to advertisers and retailers by early 2015 (maybe earlier) – and it’s amazing the impact that experts are speculating it will make.  Most of their speculations are warranted as Search Engine Land notes – when you take a look at the data provided on Search Partner Click Share over the past 2 years, retailers and advertisers are looking for a better/different option;

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Who can find… TheFind?

I had never before found TheFind, so when I met them at IRCE this year, it was a total surprise to see a site that has replicated the branded / product level shopping experience (across retailers).  Great for brand / product searches for lowest price, or availability across retailers – and – soon to roll out advertising options.  With 3MM unique visitors in April (thanks, Compete), they aren’t doing too bad for a standalone in-site advertising site no one can find… (time for a traditional ad campaign?).

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In-Site Paid Search Ads #BestOfIRCE

We often get asked how to best optimize content / product listings within top retailer sites – and, while the organic search landscape still has too many variables to master, there’s always in-site paid search ads w/ HookLogic to consider… in many top retailer sites and OTAs that you never saw coming…

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SEM = Paid, SEO, SMM?

No wonder our prospects are so confused – EVERYONE – has a different term / meaning for SEM and Paid Search advertising.  To me, SEM = Paid Search (mostly because it works in tandem well with SEO – and the Paid / Organic dichotomy there).  Apparently other, LARGE entities consider it to be so much more… or do they even understand what they’re talking about?  (Thanks, Search Engine Watch & Rebecca Murtagh)



Retargeter of the YEAR

…and the RETARGETER OF THE YEAR Award goes to…  NORDSTROM!  As an added bonus, they also get the Multi-Channel Campaign Planning award, too.

A day after looking at these boots in the online shop (yep, I went to the product page) from a Nordstrom email, I’m getting retargeted with them via Sponsored / Promoted Posts within Facebook with the message “Go For It”.  I’d love to be a fly on the wall in that marketing performance review meeting…

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Facebook Video Ads

Facebook is aiming for more of brand budgets NOW WITH VIDEO (thanks, ZOG Digital). This Facebook Video Ads blog post (linked above) goes over an internal Facebook presentation/document that was shared by TechCrunch on Facebook video initiatives

Leaked Facebook Video Ad Pitch Deck Reveals Plans To Steal TV And YouTube Dollars

…and now -it appears that they moved up the launch date of Video Ads because of this TechCrunch article. These featured ad units are a limited beta for Facebook’s top 1% of existing advertisers, and will be available and visible for that group starting this Thursday (12/19/2013).  Given Facebook’s past experience, I’d give it another 6 months before this program rolls out to all advertisers (if it sticks).

Rivet & Sway HOPES Marketers Stay Away from FBX

The eyeglasses retailer gets a better ROI in Facebook’s Exchange Retargeting Ad Network than through Google AdWords – so they’re hoping competition doesn’t ramp up.  It’s certainly the right fit for the right consumer brands…

But even if FBX cost-per-click prices rise, FBX will continue to be an effective tool, he says, because the average conversion rate for those shoppers who click from FBX ads is nearly 20% higher than those who click on Google AdWords ads—and higher than every other channel save organic search and e-mail. Lusk declined to disclose the actual conversion rate, or detail how much the retailer pays for ads on Facebook and Google.

Thanks, Internet Retailer.

Nordstrom’s Best Retargeting Campaign

Nordstrom has mastered the art of retargeting with their latest campaign – from a consumer standpoint, it appears that they’re promoting your Pinterest Pins, only – it’s simply retargeting with dynamic ad insertion / product insertion.  BRILLIANT!  Nice find, Bryan Nagy.