Your weekly stats roundup includes juicy details on marketers’ dream jobs, data leaks, Facebook privacy and AI.

Enjoy, and don’t forget to check out the Internet Stats Database.

Majority of Americans unaware of their Facebook ad preferences (and uncomfortable with them, once aware)

How well do Americans understand ad targeting? And how accurate do they think it is? These are the questions addressed in a widely covered survey this week from the Pew Research Center.

The survey revealed that 74% of Facebook users say they did not know that a list of their traits and interests existed (in the ‘Ad Preferences’ section) until they were shown as part of this study.

facebook-ad-preferences-pew-stat

And once aware of how their interests are classified, 51% said they were not comfortable with such a list. As for Facebook’s accuracy:

  • Fifty nine percent say these categories do in fact reflect their real-life interests.
  • Twenty seven percent say they are not very or not at all accurate in describing them.

The survey of 963 U.S. Facebook users ages 18 and older was conducted in September 2018 and also revealed that half of Facebook users (51%) are assigned a political “affinity” by the site.

Of this 51%, nearly three quarters (73%) say the platform’s categorization of their politics is very or somewhat accurate, while 27% say it describes them not very or not at all accurately.

You can read more on Pew’s website. Interestingly, reporting of the survey led Rob Goldman, VP ads at Facebook to issue a rebuttal of sorts, or at least to pose some valid questions about the study.

Econsultancy’s Trust, Transparency and Brand Safety report

UK marketing budgets plateau for first time since 2012

The Q4 2018 IPA Bellwether report has found no change to overall marketing budgets for the first time since 2012.

Spend in mainstream media advertising was down on Q3 (6.5%), as was direct marketing (5.6%), market research (4.7%) and PR (4.1%).

Search and SEO fell 3.9%, the first fall in nearly a decade. Online advertising overall grew by only 2.1% (compared to 13.6% in Q3).

More from Net Imperative.

Wowcher used AI copywriting to reduce Facebook ad cost per lead by 31%

This week saw an excellent marketing AI case study on the Econsultancy blog.

Working with Tomorrow TTH and AI platform Phrasee, Wowcher optimised its Facebook ad copy to reduce cost per lead (CPL) by 31%.

Sara Cartelle Buceta, account director for Tomorrow TTH, said the “campaign was a little challenging because Wowcher generates a lot of ads per week – they have a lot of promotions.”

“The main goal was to compare Phrasee’s technology against human copy, using A/B testing. We would use four different pieces of copy generated with Phrasee’s technology, and then one human copy, and see which was most effective.”

The ad versions used the same assets but with different copy, improving Relevance Score as well as CPL.

Two side-by-side screenshots of Facebook ad copy, both of which use emoji and sound extremely similar.

Working from home is UK marketers’ most valued job benefit

What does the UK marketer want from their job? CV Library surveyed 1,200 of them to find out.

Salary:

  • One in three (33.3%) marketers want a salary over £51,000
  • Over a quarter (27.8%) would be happy with an annual pay of £25,500

Hours:

  • The majority (66.7%) would prefer to work flexi-time, choosing their eight hours between 06:00 and 18:00.
  • Only 22.2% want to stick with the traditional 9-5.

Business size:

  • Nearly four in 10 (38.9%) would prefer to work for a business with fewer than 50 employees.
  • Just 11.1% wanted to work for a start-up and 27.8% for a medium sized business.

Benefits:

  • Working from home – 70.6%
  • Health insurance – 64.7%
  • Paid sick leave – 47.1%
  • Staff discounts – 23.5%
  • A company car – 23.2%

WPP M&A activity slows

According to research from Results International, in 2018 the advertising group WPP saw its merger and acquisition activity fall 50% on 2017 as CEO Mark Read restructures. Fifteen deals in total were done in 2018.

Dentsu topped the 2018 listed with 31 deals, followed by WPP and then Accenture (nine).

Despite the WPP drop, overall deals increased 4% in 2018. Of 882 M&A deals, 126 were for full-service digital agencies, the biggest category.

More from The Drum.

Econsultancy’s Top 100 Digital Agencies report

Thirty six percent of business leaders unsure about 2019 digital marketing strategy

A survey of 1,021 UK workers carried out by MarketingSignals.com, revealed potential missed opportunities for marketing in 2019.

Thirty six percent of business leaders are apparently currently unsure about their digital marketing strategy for the year ahead.

Furthermore:

  • Thirty seven percent of respondents said they aren’t answering potential customer questions adequately on their own website.
  • Thirty two percent admitted they aren’t actively retargeting website visitors.
  • Twenty nine percent said their website isn’t fully mobile responsive.
  • Nineteen percent said their site did not load quickly enough.

773 million email addresses leaked

You’ve probably heard about the enormous data leak, reported by security researcher Troy Hunt.

A total of 773 million unique email IDs and 21 million unique passwords. A whopping 12,000 files with a total size of 87GB, and nearly 2.7 billion records, were hosted on MEGA (though have now been removed).

The data apparently comes from a collection of 2000+ dehashed databases.

More from The Next Web.