These problems ultimately stem from the switch from buying context to buying audience which coincided with the automation of buying; most digital ads are now bought programmatically. It's quite feasible to only buy from an agreed set of sites - but the long tale can dramatically reduce costs. Here price can get confused with value. And the long tale can be really long.
It’s quite simple to reach most of your audience in places you have heard of, where you know how the ads appear and you have a good idea of the frame of mind of the user. So you can decide if it’s a good place to tell them about your Car, Computer or Coke. When you add 150,000 more sites you have no idea of the context or how the ad appears.
I’d advise everyone to read the paper and follow the recommendations. And best practice is to have direct contracts with every element of your tech stack - so you know what each vendor brings to the party and how much they cost. It's time to Marie Kondo your Tech
One obvious thing to say here though - if this was easy it would be sorted now. It’s a complicated field and changes the whole time. Having a smart team is the key issue.
These four seem well positioned to come out of the crisis strongly but there is one sleeping giant. This is good thinking on why Apple is getting back into ads and this piece looks at the opportunity for in app ads - which has largely been ignored by Programmatic. With a lot of DR being around driving app downloads Apple has a natural interest in improving the ad ecology and capturing another slice of revenue from app developers.
Now it’s not a big surprise that people who make money from advertising would like you to keep spending. But there are new potential customers with time on their hands and money to spend. You should be testing whether your product might resonate with this audience. This is good advice on how to run experiments at scale.
One of the best things about the DR world is that many have recognised that creative is a huge factor in success and are experimenting with how ads get made and how they get paid for. Both these are changing fast and it’s a space most traditional agencies are not close to.
I am impressed with West Coast agency Common Thread and have shared some of their content over recent weeks. So when I found their ‘lesson’ on ad creative for Shopify I thought it a must share. They have taken the old AIDA model (crediting Ogilvy, Bernbach and more in the process) and matched Facebook metrics with this so they can constantly optimise ads. Knowing that improving the 3 metrics drives improved Return On Ad Spend. So simple but so smart. The whole thing is an hour and it’s time well spent - or you can jump to the key issues here. (You will need to create a Shopify profile)
We see the opportunity in this space is to combine great experience around creative with expertise on how technology can be used to help. For example our friends at Spirable have had great success building very detailed Localisation campaigns on Facebook with as many as 30,000 localised ads for Guinness to drive footfall into 2000 bars to watch the Rugby. Clients have seen increases of 5x ROI and 9.5x CTR when using personalisation - but it’s time consuming. A new product from Facebook (Segment Asset Customisation) makes this process much quicker and even more flexible. So huge opportunities if you have the imagination and know how to use the tech. But that still seems a rare combination.
We now have a good network of friends and family across creative and tech, so if you want help making your ads more successful, let's talk.
Our Deep Dive this week was Merchant and you can catch up here - lots of good stuff on Food / Drink / Delivery / Shopify and more.
The Shopify results for Q1 are out and growth was stellar. Revenue was up by 47% and GMV and Profits up by a similar amount. Earnings per share were up by over 200% so the stock price spiked too. Their Investor Deck is a good read.
Their Shop app is getting a lot of attention - we covered it in Wednesdays Fix - and this WSJ piece compares it to the Amazon experience, with a Shopify exec saying;
One piece of good news in newTV -- Sky are offering to help 100 SMEs get on TV for the first time with their AdSmart technology. This is a great opportunity to use a highly effective medium and the £10k package is well worth applying for.
What are you going to do to seize the opportunity?
The Media Kitchen on Building An Optimal Amazon Strategy
Amazon is an important partner for brands today and will be a mainstay on media plans tomorrow. At TMK, we are passionate about innovation and love discussing the future of technology, media, content, and commerce. Amazon sits at the intersection of those forces they continue to evolve and expand their business. As they disrupted retail, Amazon is shaking up advertising and we are excited to help our clients adapt their media plans accordingly. Learn More
Making the simple complicated is commonplace;
Making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity
We are with Charles. Too many people makes things complicated. I try to really understand things and look for patterns that help us unlock opportunities for our clients.
Why not share Fix with colleagues or friends who might find it interesting? We have subscribers across GAFA, Snap etc as well as many Adtech firms, VCs, Merchants, Brands and Agencies. And are weconnected on LinkedIn