The number of marketing technology tools is rising at a staggering rate, having nearly doubled YOY in 2016. On average, 51% of organizations use 21 or more digital marketing solutions. While having the ability to access all this new information provides unprecedented insight, it frequently results in an overload of data siloed in disparate systems. Marketers are buried under a landslide of fragmented campaign metrics, products, customers, purchases, and more. And there’s seemingly no end in sight; Gartner reports that 50-65% of marketing executives plan to spend more on marketing technology in the coming year. To make meaningful use of all this data, metrics need to be reviewed cohesively. Without a full holistic view, it’s impossible to get a complete understanding of the real story. Only analyze existing customer behavior and you may miss out on opportunities to attract new audiences. Only review site traffic from media placements, and you lack an understanding of why your customers are loyal to your brand, or how to create more of them. The problem is that most marketing teams don’t operate with systems that talk to each other. They end up trying to manually analyze disparate data points to uncover insights, a practice that is neither scalable nor responsive in real-time. This data fragmentation is costing marketers real dollars as they lose the ability to effectively optimize campaigns and fold learnings into future plans. An example of how some marketing departments utilize data today: The solution begins with creating a connected data ecosystem. The concept is simple—collect all data points into a centralized system able to analyze them en masse and surface actionable insights in real-time. Using those insights, marketers can then start to roll out personalized content, translate strategies across all channels, and efficiently improve customers’ experiences. While the initial creation of the connected data ecosystem can be time-consuming, it pays off. One example: Annuitas Group reports that businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects report a 451% increase in qualified leads. Based on our experience with building ecosystems for clients, we have created a four-step process that we follow: Discovery: we assess all the various systems that are collecting data around your organization. We also identify areas where the data returned may be less than perfect in quality–a very common occurrence. During this period we also outline the shared objectives and definitions of success across all the stakeholders. Solution design: using our learnings from the Discovery period, we design a customized solution that aligns to your business objectives. We build a roadmap using multiple analytic approaches across our four service categories: Performance analytics, marketing sciences, research, and business intelligence. Analyze: This is where the magic happens. Now that we’ve designed your ideal system, we begin to collect the data and review the outputs using our team of data analysts, statisticians, and social scientists to uncover those insights that will truly give your business the competitive edge. Insights: This is when our team works with marketers and other members of your organization to communicate our findings and share recommended actions to meet your KPIs. Once the initial foundation is built, this process can be repeated multiple times over the course of the year, ensuring your teams are always up to date on the latest findings and fully able to use fresh data to inform future plans. The creation of a connected data ecosystem takes some effort but pays off almost immediately by making teams run more efficiently with a full understanding of the current state of their business and what levers they have to achieve their goals.
When it comes to measurement errors, the third time is even less charming than the second and first. Last week, it was reported that Facebook had been miscalculating how often users react to live videos and how often users like and share links posted on Facebook. Because the error is the third of its kind since September, some marketers are questioning Facebook’s maturity. BLITZ’s director of social, Kevin Wright, says “given the frequency and severity of the errors being discovered, Facebook should be proactively reaching out to their partners.” Proactivity is key.
The aftershocks of Facebook’s measurement errors continue to ripple across the advertising industry. While Facebook has emphasized that the flawed figures — such as average watch time, organic reach and video completion rates — did not affect how much money it charged advertisers for their campaigns, that doesn’t mean advertisers and their agencies haven’t been affected. Just ask BLITZ’s Director of Social Media, Kevin Wright, who shares how some marketers have been shook up. Years to build, seconds to destroy.
Recent reports indicate that China’s advertising growth will continue to outpace other large international markets and that digital ad spend will finally usurp TV ad spend next year. Researchers also predict that mobile will take up nearly all of the global advertising growth and that social video will be a major driver of mobile’s growth. 'Tis the season for planning.
For Snapchat Discover media publishers, the platform giveth and the platform taketh away. Shortly after Snapchat tweaked its Stories page to move Snapchat Discover content closer to the bottom of the page — below stories posted by your friends — multiple Discover publishers saw daily viewership drop. Two Discover publishers said they noticed about a 33 percent drop in daily viewers after the change. Starting from the bottom.
App-install ads are a major success story in marketing these days. Facebook claims it will be responsible for 4 billion app downloads by 2017, representing up to 20% of its ad revenue. Google recently claimed its app-install ads prompted 2 billion downloads. The hype is real. That's about one app download for every human, which makes this advertising tactic among the most effective that mobile has ever seen. But do these alarmingly large numbers mean that native apps are a winning strategy for brands? The catch.
Facebook is opening itself up to more third party measurement in a bid to stop the spread of negative sentiment among advertisers that’s building in the wake of its admission of more miscalculated metrics. Concerns that the social network can’t continue to ‘mark its own homework’ have come to a head after trust in it appeared to have been knocked following this week’s revelations. A problem not Facebook's alone to solve.
The social network is absolutely crushing the competition online, new information from the Pew Research Center shows — in case you needed more evidence. Seventy-nine percent of American adults who use the internet are on Facebook, and 76 percent of them say they use it every day. The next-largest social network is Facebook-owned Instagram, with 32 percent of online adults. Welcome to Facebook's internet.
Facebook announced a wave of ad measurement news this week that even Facebook’s VP of measurement, Brad Smallwood, admitted were eyeball-glazing in their nitty-grittiness. But as boring as they may seem, they’re important. Facebook is trying to give advertising’s sabermetricians — the Moneyballers of Madison Avenue — a better way to evaluate its ads against those from other channels, including TV, competing to make their media rosters. Pay attention, moneyballers.
The next two years will not be kind to the now rapidly declining desktop ad industry. Zenith predicts that spending on smartphone ads will eclipse their desktop counterparts much sooner than anticipated — possibly as soon as next year — as people do more of their web browsing on smaller devices. I'm moving on to mobile.