tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/media-planning-buying Latest Media planning & buying content from Econsultancy 2017-11-23T10:14:54+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69596 2017-11-23T10:14:54+00:00 2017-11-23T10:14:54+00:00 Digital publishers fall back to earth Patricio Robles <p>The company was a poster child for the rise of digital publishers. Founded in 2005 by then 19 year-old Pete Cashmore in his home in Aberdeen, Scotland, Mashable grew its audience to 30m-plus and its social media followers to more than 14m before it raised outside capital for the first time in 2014.</p> <p>At the time it decided to take investor money, Cashmore boasted that Mashable was profitable and spoke of a bright future. "What's exciting is that we are only just beginning to realize the potential we have to build a new kind of company, which is equal parts media and technology," he stated.</p> <p>But in just a few short years, Mashable's fortunes appear to have reversed. While the company reportedly achieved good revenue growth, it apparently spent far more than it took in; the Wall Street Journal says the company was set to realize a sizable loss in 2017.</p> <p>But Mashable isn't the only digital publisher that appears to have hit a bump in the road. <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/buzzfeed-set-to-miss-revenue-target-signaling-turbulence-in-media-1510861771">According to</a> the Wall Street Journal, an even larger name in the digital media space, BuzzFeed, "is on track to miss its revenue target this year by a significant amount" and as a result, the company's plans to go public next year are looking less viable.</p> <h3>Is there a digital media crash taking place?</h3> <p>Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall <a href="http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/theres-a-digital-media-crash-but-no-one-will-say-it">suggests</a> that "there's a digital media crash...but no one will say it" and even for those who believe such an argument is exaggerated, it does appear that an important shift is now taking place.</p> <p>The rise of digital publishers like BuzzFeed and Mashable has been fueled by the rise of the digital ad market. As advertisers shifted more and more of their money to digital, the piece of the pie available to top digital publishers grew.</p> <p>These digital publishers were eager to capitalize. Not only did they prove adept at leveraging their young brands and impressive audiences, they were quicker than many established publishers to embrace new digital ad formats. BuzzFeed, for instance, was a native advertising pioneer and up until recently, actually favored it over display advertising.</p> <p>In Mashable's case, the company built on its success as a tech blog and expanded its audience by extending its coverage to topics like entertainment, culture and business. Last year, it embraced video in a big way in an obvious effort to take advantage of advertisers' seemingly insatiable demand for video ad inventory. And it even operated Mashable BrandLab, an agency-like division that "helps...clients become content creators and amplify their social media assets."</p> <p>But despite their ability to grow their audiences, innovate, and develop offerings designed to help them get cozier with advertisers, it's now clear that the laws of gravity applied to digital publishers too. In other words, they face many of the same challenges as the established publishers they have eclipsed online.</p> <p>Good content, especially video content, is costly to produce regardless of whether you're New Media or Old Media. Initiatives designed to forge stronger advertiser relationships, such as Mashable's BrandLab, are also expensive and as the Wall Street Journal noted, hard to scale up. And despite the fact that they probably should have known better, upstart publishers proved they can splurge on non-necessities like swanky offices and high-profile hires just as well as their older competitors.</p> <p>At the same time, the digital ad market has changed. Advertisers are more savvy and thanks to concerns over issues like <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69276-following-youtube-s-brand-safety-backlash-will-ad-relevance-take-center-stage">brand safety</a> and <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/67246-advertisers-willing-to-shift-spend-over-viewability-report">viewability</a>, publishers don't have it as easy. Growth of both <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/67076-the-rise-and-rise-of-ad-blockers-stats">ad blockers</a> and <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69125-despite-losses-of-6-5bn-there-is-some-good-news-in-the-fight-against-ad-fraud">ad fraud</a> is problematic and, perhaps most importantly, the <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69381-the-google-facebook-duopoly-extends-to-mobile-apps-what-can-marketers-do">so-called duopoloy of Google and Facebook</a> has only strengthened. This has meant that even though the digital ad pie is growing, lots of the growth – virtually all of it according to some estimates – is going to Google and Facebook.</p> <h3>Where to from here?</h3> <p>Obviously, it's not all doom and gloom for digital publishers. BuzzFeed might not be able to go public in 2018, and the price Ziff Davis paid for Mashable is certainly a huge wake-up call, but just as many disrupted established publishers have not gone out of business, there's no reason to believe that the survival of the brightest stars of digital publishing will be disappearing any time soon. At least not yet.</p> <p>It is clear, however, that those looking to avoid the fate of the companies they so thoroughly disrupted will need to make big changes, and that will give established publishers who have been transforming themselves into digital publishers time to play catch up.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69586 2017-11-15T14:30:00+00:00 2017-11-15T14:30:00+00:00 After Keurig faces social media backlash, brands need to get smart about advertising and politics Patricio Robles <p>It has found itself in the cross hairs after it pulled its ads from <em>Hannity</em>, a political commentary cable program that is broadcast on the conservative Fox News network.</p> <p>The show and its host, Sean Hannity, has come under fire after he conducted an interview with Roy Moore, a candidate for the U.S. Senate who has been accused of inappropriate behavior with underage girls.</p> <p>After being asked why it its ads appeared on <em>Hannity</em>, the company announced on Twitter that it was taking action to ensure its ads would not appear on the program.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Angelo, thank you for your concern and for bringing this to our attention. We worked with our media partner and FOX news to stop our ad from airing during the Sean Hannity Show.</p> — Keurig (@Keurig) <a href="https://twitter.com/Keurig/status/929404968750198786?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 11, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>That was welcome news to some, but others saw Keurig's move as political cow-tailing and a fierce backlash ensued. #BoycottKeurig became a top trending topic on Twitter, and individuals even began posting videos in which they destroyed their Keurig machines in what might be one of the most visually impactful brand boycotts seen yet.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Liberals are offended by this video of a Keurig being thrown off of a building.</p> <p>Please retweet to offend a Liberal.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BoycottKeurig?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BoycottKeurig</a><a href="https://t.co/0qbHlmyqcA">pic.twitter.com/0qbHlmyqcA</a></p> — Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) <a href="https://twitter.com/CollinRugg/status/929777702537543681?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 12, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Forget brand safety. Companies need brand savvy</h3> <p>So what to make of the situation? It's simple: Keurig messed up. Big time. In fact, the Keurig's CEO has even <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2017/11/13/keurig-ceo-tweet-regarding-hannity-created-an-unacceptable-situation">admitted as much</a>. In a statement, he wrote:</p> <blockquote> <p>In most situations such as this one, we would "pause" our advertising on that particular program and reevaluate our go-forward strategy at a later date. That represents a prudent "business as usual" decision for us, as the protection of our brand is our foremost concern. However, the decision to publicly communicate our programming decision via our Twitter account was highly unusual. This gave the appearance of "taking sides" in an emotionally charged debate that escalated on Twitter and beyond over the weekend, which was not our intent.</p> <p>I want you to know the decision to communicate our short-term media actions on Twitter was done outside of company protocols. Clearly, this is an unacceptable situation that requires an overhaul of our issues response and external communications policies and the introduction of safeguards to ensure this never happens again. Our company and brand reputations are too valuable to be put at risk in this manner.</p> </blockquote> <p>For his part, Sean Hannity has called Keurig a victim and said that the company was "preyed on" by an organization that he claims has been targeting brands that advertise on his program.</p> <p>Notwithstanding the fact that Hannity is using this incident as a way to hit back at an organization he has been dueling with, there is a valid point here: in today's highly polarized political environment, there are a growing number of groups with political agendas that are looking for ways to attract attention. Increasingly, one of the ways they're doing this is by trying to publicly influence the entities that fuel the media business: advertisers.</p> <p>Advertisers can no longer ignore this fact. For all the talk about brand safety, advertisers also need to be brand savvy and that means <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69116-how-brands-can-navigate-today-s-super-political-environment">being smart about how they navigate politics</a>. If they make hasty decisions in response to the slightest politically-motivated provocations, the odds are good that eventually they are going to find themselves facing a Keurig-like backlash.</p> <h3>So what should advertisers do? Is it even possible for them to win?</h3> <p>The way companies purchase advertising has changed dramatically in recent years. Specifically, advertisers today largely target people (audiences) and not properties.</p> <p>While advertisers are rethinking some of their media buying habits in the wake of this year's brand safety and ad fraud crises, it's unlikely that this trend is fundamentally going to reverse.</p> <p>Given that, brands should consider the possibility that they're going to need to become more active in educating consumers about how they purchase ads. Specifically, they need to be clear that they're trying to reach a diverse range of consumers and that involves advertising on a diverse range of properties. That means their ads are likely to appear on properties that publish opinions on topics that can be polarizing, including politics.</p> <p>While this fact obviously isn't going to appease those who are looking for for opportunities to deliver ultimatums to brands, advertisers need to come to grips with the fact that it's simply not viable to pull ads from major media properties the minute those properties publish or broadcast something that is slightly controversial or upsets a particular interest group.</p> <p>The sooner brands take a stand and make clear to their stakeholders that they're not going to respond to every controversy that causes somebody to demand that they pull their ads and that they're not going to make all of their media buying decisions public, the sooner they can start to avoid Keurig-like backlashes.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69556 2017-11-10T10:01:15+00:00 2017-11-10T10:01:15+00:00 More brands want to bring programmatic in-house, but can they? Patricio Robles <p><a href="https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/309473/32-of-marketers-to-bring-programmatic-media-buyin.html">According to</a> Advertiser Perceptions DSP Report, which polled more than 700 advertisers, nearly a third (32%) of those surveyed say they plan to bring their programmatic buying in-house. </p> <p>And it looks like many agencies apparently aren't going to stop them from doing that as the majority of marketers and agencies polled revealed that they believe programmatic ad buying will eventually become an in-house responsibility.</p> <p>The reasons behind this are not surprising: brands are increasingly concerned with ad fraud, brand safety and verification. As <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69438-is-uber-s-lawsuit-against-an-agency-a-harbinger-of-greater-brand-agency-discord">Uber's recent lawsuit against one of its agencies</a> demonstrates, these issues are difficult for brands and agencies to navigate and when something goes wrong, the fallout can be ugly.</p> <p>There's also the issue of cost and how agencies are paid. Specifically, brands have become aware of <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/05/23/mark-ritson-agency-kickbacks-are-turning-media-buying-into-a-shadowy-black-box/">agency kickbacks</a> and double dipping, and for obvious reasons, they don't like it.</p> <h3>What needs to happen for programmatic to move in-house?</h3> <p>Of course, bringing programmatic in-house will require more of brands in the following areas:</p> <h4>Knowledge.</h4> <p>Knowledge of programmatic has improved considerably in recent years but before brands can bring programmatic in-house, they will need to honestly and accurately assess how much knowledge of programmatic exists within their marketing organizations and not only ensure that they have enough to support programmatic in-house but establish plans to grow and disseminate that knowledge throughout the marketing organization.</p> <h4>Resources.</h4> <p>Programmatic can be complex and the processes that support programmatic efforts can't be done without ample people and technology resources. This is especially true for brands that expect their in-house programmatic operations to perform better than agency operations.</p> <p>People and technology resources both obviously require an investment of dollars and brands should keep in mind that even with dollars, staffing can be a challenge because there is a shortage of skilled and experienced programmatic professionals and many of them are concentrated in a small number of geographic regions.</p> <h4>Vendor relationships and partnerships.</h4> <p>Brands that want to bring programmatic in-house will need to establish direct relationships and partnerships with vendors that supply technologies and services related to programmatic. From attribution modeling to data management platforms (DMPs), there are a whole host of external vendors that brands will need to line up to bring programmatic in-house.</p> <h3>Is an in-house shift really going to happen?</h3> <p>Some brands might have a reasonable rationale for wanting to bring programmatic in-house and have the substantial resources necessary to make the investment, but even then, there are few examples of brands actually doing so. For example, when <a href="http://adage.com/article/digital/l-oreal-bring-progra/302519/">L'Oreal made headlines</a> about this last year, <a href="https://adexchanger.com/data-driven-thinking/when-programmatic-in-house-is-really-not-in-house/">it was clarified</a> that its initiative was actually a “strategic partnership with our media agency supporting our decisions, the operations, technology, and relationships.”</p> <p>So for the time being, while nearly a third of brands say they plan to bring programmatic in-house, there's no reason to believe that number will be achieved any time soon.</p> <p><em><strong>Subscribers looking to learn more about programmatic can download <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-cmo-s-guide-to-programmatic/">The CMO's Guide to Programmatic</a></strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69531 2017-10-31T15:10:00+00:00 2017-10-31T15:10:00+00:00 Direct ad buys are back in fashion as programmatic declines Patricio Robles <p>Meanwhile, following the <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69276-following-youtube-s-brand-safety-backlash-will-ad-relevance-take-center-stage">YouTube brand safety scandal in April</a>, more brands owned by two of the largest advertisers in the world, Procter &amp; Gamble (P&amp;G) and Unilever, started purchasing ads directly.</p> <p>Between January and March, MediaRadar observed 49 of P&amp;G's brands purchasing premium video and native ads through direct buys. From May through July, that number increased 27% to 62.</p> <p>The number of Unlilever brands turning to premium inventory through direct buys was even more substantial, growing from 25 in the January to March period to 53 between May and July, a 112% increase.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9920/mediaradar.png" alt="" width="449" height="522"></p> <h3>Not just a temporary shift?</h3> <p>Obviously, programmatic is clearly here to stay. It now accounts for over 80% of the display ad market, and the industry has invested significant sums in building out programmatic infrastructure.</p> <p>At the same time, however, it is also looking like concerns over brand safety, as well as ad fraud, have caused brand advertisers to fundamentally rethink their digital advertising strategies.</p> <p>"Everyone is talking about transparency and brand safety," stated Todd Krizelman, CEO &amp; co-founder, MediaRadar. "In the quest for it, many of the world's largest advertisers are shifting ad spend, and now spreading it across more than a dozen different media formats."</p> <p>From P&amp;G, which slashed its digital ad budget by $100m, to Chase, which cut the number of sites it advertises on from 400,000 to 5,000, both without any apparent negative impact on return, it's increasingly evident that brand advertisers are not just making temporary changes.</p> <h3>Has the ad industry been living a lie?</h3> <p>Business Insider's Mike Shields believes that it has. In <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/the-advertising-industry-has-been-living-a-lie-2017-10">a piece</a> that has sparked discussion and debate, he suggested that advertisers "have fallen in love with the fantasy of buying ads aimed at exactly the right people on the web's 'long tail.'"</p> <p>But, he observes, "most people don't spend time on thousands of websites", which begs the question: if consumers don't spend time on thousands of websites, why have advertisers been throwing so much of their budgets to programmatic channels that help them buy ads across thousands of websites, exposing themselves to <a href="https://www.buzzfeed.com/craigsilverman/ad-industry-insiders-are-connected-to-a-fraud-scheme-that">audacious fraud</a> in the process?</p> <p>If MediaRadar's data is any indication, it would seem that brand advertisers are starting to ask themselves that very question.</p> <p>While it's too early to predict the precise long-term impacts of this trend, it seems reasonable to assume that greater scrutiny of open programmatic exchanges, renewed interest in direct buys, and more adoption of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68844-should-advertisers-be-more-picky-with-programmatic">private exchanges</a> lie ahead.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69429 2017-10-23T10:58:00+01:00 2017-10-23T10:58:00+01:00 A day in the life of... a trading director at a DSP Ben Davis <p><em>If you're after a new role in marketing, ecommerce or media, do check out the <a href="https://jobs.econsultancy.com/?cmpid=EconBlog">Econsultancy jobs board</a>.</em></p> <h4> <em>Econsultancy:</em> Please describe your job: What do you do? </h4> <p><em><strong>Carl Millikin:</strong></em> I’m the Trading Director for the UK and France at The Trade Desk, running a team of nine traders. </p> <p>At The Trade Desk, each of our agency clients is set up with an account manager, a business development specialist, and a trader. It’s the traders’ job to strategically plan and optimise campaigns, and provide the reporting and insight that helps clients learn from and improve their campaigns.  </p> <p>The trading team play an important role in helping our clients understand both our platform and wider technological developments, and get the best results for the brands they work with. </p> <p>My job is to oversee that part of the business, acting as a guide for the traders. I’m also constantly listening and responding to our clients’ feedback, to make sure that our platform evolves to align with their needs. If they require a different approach to a feature or product, we’ll make it happen.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?</h4> <p><em><strong>CM:</strong></em> I sit within the EMEA leadership team, but I’m physically located in our London office - reporting to the Director of Trading for the East Coast of the US &amp; EMEA. We have around 90 traders in the trading department, who are based across 20 offices globally.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/9914/headshout_2_-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="358"></p> <h4> <em><strong>E:</strong></em> What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?</h4> <p><em><strong>CM:</strong></em> Traditionally, being a good trader was all about being analytical and numbers-focused – I came from a financial background myself. Being analytical still forms the backbone of the role of a trader, but it’s not all that’s important. The shift in trading responsibilities means that a trader now needs to not only pull the gems of insight from large, often complex amounts of data, but also be able to present this to clients in an engaging and informative way that will help their campaign objectives. </p> <p>No longer hidden away, our traders are in our clients’ offices multiple times during the week, presenting, training and building lasting relationships with our clients. They’re like secret salesmen - highly technical analysts that use their knowledge and insight to improve clients’ campaign performance and meet brands objectives.</p> <p>Communication with clients and our internal teams is a huge part of the role. Being able to communicate effectively is a real advantage in order to be successful as a trader. </p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Tell us about a typical working day… </h4> <p><em><strong>CM:</strong></em> There’s no such thing as a typical day if you’re working in media! The first thing I’ll always do is check the tools we use to track the pacing, delivery and performance of all our accounts and make sure nothing is falling down. I also check in with each of the traders in case there’s anything we need to deal with. </p> <p>We have internal meetings for each individual client every week, where the relevant account managers, traders and business development specialists get together. We’ll talk through how campaigns are performing, what we’re planning for the client, and where there are opportunities for training and development to help them take full advantage of our platform. </p> <p>We also have product meetings – both client-specific and about the global positioning of our products. I run the monthly EMEA product meeting, where we build our region’s collective view on how we should be developing the platform, then try to push these changes through during our global product meeting, later in the month. </p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What do you love about your job? What sucks?</h4> <p><em><strong>CM:</strong></em> What I love most is the variety. That’s why I’ve always loved ad tech – no two days are ever the same. I also love my job because of the people I work with. I have total faith in my team, who are all incredibly smart people – and, because they require so little guidance, it frees up my time to affect more business change. </p> <p>We’re incredibly fortunate at the Trade Desk to have a fantastic team of highly skilled engineers, constantly coming up with innovative ideas to develop new products and enhance our platform. If I had one wish, it would be to be have an even greater number of engineers to enable us to bring to life every one of the big ideas we have.  </p> <p>The only thing that actually sucks, though, is being based in Farringdon. I have to take two different tubes on my commute to work!</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?</h4> <p><em><strong>CM:</strong></em> My main goal is to build the best demand side platform in the market. Clients are a great barometer for this. We know that external traders use multiple DSPs, so if they start favouring and spending more with The Trade Desk, we know that the technology or functionality we’re using is the best for them, and we can then develop this further. We have a really strong relationship with our clients, and their feedback forms a core part of our product. </p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?</h4> <p><em><strong>CM:</strong></em> I like to use the data visualisation tool, Tableau. It’s a really easy way of understanding what the numbers mean, and tracking how we’re doing and where we’re at with our clients. Our own media buying platform is pretty essential, too! </p> <p>Other great tools to get the job done include Jira, which tracks everything product related, and Slack and Zoom, which let us communicate across the globe and really sync our teams. Without these I’d be pretty lost.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9840/tableau.png" alt="TABLEAU" width="615"></p> <p><em>Image via <a href="https://www.tableau.com/">Tableau</a></em></p> <h4> <em>E:</em> How did you get into programmatic, and where might you go from here?</h4> <p><em><strong>CM:</strong></em> I started my media career in publishing, working for companies like MySpace and The Telegraph. Then I moved to Videology where I focused on the demand side, specifically around performance and delivery, followed by another DSP where I headed up platform operations for RadiumOne. </p> <p>I became interested in the bidding side of things, and almost fell into programmatic from there. Now I would never leave adtech and programmatic – I love how it works, how you can always come up with different strategies and tactics, and how it’s constantly evolving. One day in the distant future I’d like to run my own company – something to do with trading, no doubt.  </p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Which brands do you think are using programmatic well?</h4> <p><em><strong>CM:</strong></em> There’s a lot that brands can learn from the retail and FMCG industry when it comes to programmatic. Retail brands tend to use more aspects of programmatic strategy and more channel diversification – as well as using various companies to understand footfall, for example.  </p> <h4> <strong><em>E:</em></strong> Do you have any advice for people who want to work in programmatic?</h4> <p><em><strong>CM:</strong></em> Be curious. Read widely to stay up to date with industry news, and go to as many events as possible to hear what people are thinking. Become a sponge. Take advantage of all the training tools and education out there – whether that’s content freely available online or specially designed programmes from tech providers or partners. And take an interest in what’s happening while you’re surfing the net – try to piece the puzzle together to understand why you’re being targeted in the way that you are, and you’ll start to understand programmatic a lot more. </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69491 2017-10-17T10:00:00+01:00 2017-10-17T10:00:00+01:00 Why digital out-of-home advertising is not really digital (yet) Nick Hammond <p>With this investment comes greater impact (e.g. increasing use of video), flexibility and of course income for the vendors. Alongside this burgeoning focus on digital creative delivery, there is attention on how the medium could be sold more efficiently – more like other digital channels and less like traditional out of home. </p> <p>Moving from a cost-per-panel approach and with access to more detailed, real time audience information on the horizon (rather than periodic panel data) the ability to trade on an audience model isn’t far off. For example, in Canada Outfront Media has launched its own real-time analytics platform, having agreed a partnership with mobile network Cellint.</p> <p>By tapping into available data, the platform will allow tracking of hourly impression numbers, including the proportion of those that are unique views. In the UK Transport for London has a considerable amount of data garnered from 5.6m mobile phones connected to Wi-Fi on the Tube. This mobile data can be used to track interchanges, and even walking routes and platform use within a station.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9753/dooh.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="353"></p> <p>Whilst these developments provide considerable opportunities for advertisers and OOH vendors alike, a recent piece <a href="http://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/jcdecaux-we-ensure-outdoor-doesnt-fall-pitfalls-digital-media/1446445?bulletin=campaign_breakfast_briefing&amp;utm_medium=EMAIL&amp;utm_campaign=eNews%20Bulletin&amp;utm_source=20171005&amp;utm_content=Campaign%20Breakfast%20">in Campaign</a> highlights how out of home’s convergence with the digital world could have its downsides. </p> <p>OOH vendor JCDecaux has launched a brand charter which is seeking to avoid problems that have been plaguing the mainstream digital sector. These include accountability, viewability, measurability, transparency and brand safety. JCDecaux commented at launch, 'we must ensure outdoor doesn't fall into the pitfalls of digital media'.</p> <p>This charter aims to set a gold standard of best practice across the digital out-of-home industry and in this brave new world JCDecaux will ensure its metrics and measurements are independently verified by Price Waterhouse Coopers; who will provide a quarterly compliance report to ensure transparency.</p> <p>This is an interesting development as out of home has a history of being one of the more opaque advertising channels in terms of the buying process, audience measurement and invoicing.</p> <h3>OOH automation </h3> <p>In the UK, digital buying practices are moving into the OOH sector in the shape of increased automation. </p> <p>From the Campaign piece – ‘Also mirroring the wider digital market, JCDecaux has launched a new external smartsuite platform, SmartBRICS, which allows advertisers and agencies to place their own DOOH campaigns for the first time. The platform has been used internally for the past two years but (now).. will be available to external users through an API. Users will now be able to plan, budget and create their own campaigns based on the platforms in-depth rules and filters on its dashboard.’ </p> <p>So, what are the challenges and opportunities for digital practitioners? We are already seeing digital experts’ influence spreading across traditional channels such as TV, which is increasingly being bought <a href="http://www.thedrum.com/opinion/2017/06/13/get-ready-programmatic-tv-advertising">in an automated fashion</a> (see <a href="https://www.skyadsmart.co.uk/">Sky AdSmart</a>), and this is beginning to happen with OOH as well, as observed above.</p> <p>Clever recent activational examples in DOOH were featured in <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69100-six-clever-examples-of-what-dynamic-outdoor-advertising-can-do">this Econsultancy piece</a>. I particularly liked the FT’s use of digital billboards at Heathrow’s Terminal 5 to target passengers travelling to six pre-selected US cities. It was achieved by tapping into Heathrow's flight data via an API.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9752/FT_heathrow.jpg" alt="" width="568" height="400"></p> <p>Guinness devised a dynamic campaign in London that allowed posters to direct RBS 6 Nations fans to nearby pubs to watch the games. </p> <h3>Is DOOH digital?</h3> <p>So, just how digital is digital out of home? For DOOH to become fully digital in terms of trading (as well as delivery of creative), the key area will be around improved audience assessment. It is achieving this, which will allow a mainstream programmatic digital approach including real-time bidding, behavioural and contextual targeting.</p> <p>Because of the size of the OOH medium, the variety of locations and the challenge and cost of quantifying and assessing audience behaviour, the measurement of OOH has traditionally been restricted to periodic panel research – OSCAR, then <a href="https://www.research-live.com/article/news/postar-to-measure-90-of-outdoor-media/id/2000079">POSTAR</a>, and now <a href="http://route.org.uk/research/">ROUTE</a>.</p> <p>The resultant audience information is therefore nowhere as detailed and current as that available across other digital channels. JCDecaux’s charter is well timed, especially in terms of brand safety, but from an audience perspective the PWC verification is only happening on a quarterly basis.  </p> <p>For DOOH to really align with digital media, it will need to achieve accurate, real time, detailed consumption data that can fuel truly digital trading methodologies.</p> <p><strong><em>For more on this topic, see:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68051-six-case-studies-that-show-how-digital-out-of-home-advertising-is-changing"><em>Six case studies that show how digital out-of-home advertising is changing</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67414-is-this-the-next-step-in-programmatic-out-of-home"><em>Is this the next step in programmatic out-of-home?</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69474 2017-10-12T14:30:00+01:00 2017-10-12T14:30:00+01:00 The myth of storytelling in marketing and why brands should encourage 'story sharing' Nick Hammond <p>The myth in question and my provocation here, is that not only is the term ‘story’ overused in the world of communications, it is also widely misused. </p> <p>The root of storytelling, at least in the occidental tradition, connects back to the classical period, when stories were initially passed on by word of mouth. The best known examples of this genre are the stories of the Greek oral tradition ascribed to <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homer" target="_blank">Homer</a> – The Iliad and The Odyssey.  These stories were always changing as they were told and re-told, influenced by audience response and reaction. </p> <p>So, what of the current state of storytelling in the advertising industry? There was plenty of talk on this topic at Cannes earlier this year, and <a href="http://www.campaignlive.co.uk" target="_blank">Campaign</a> provided a perspective with this video titled ‘What’s the secret to great commercial storytelling?', including a sequence of interviews with brands and companies such as Burger King, Microsoft, Direct Line, McCann and WCRS.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Vjrts2GxHxI?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>Some of this is rather less than inspiring, with plenty of buzzwords being thrown around, but here are some of the highlights:</p> <ul> <li>Ogilvy One: Emotional content that is timely, relevant, useful and/or entertaining.</li> <li>Airbnb: Figure out why consumers should care.</li> <li>Microsoft: Authenticity. Real stories about real people.</li> <li>WCRS: The brand has got to stand for something before you can tell a story.</li> <li>Havas Creative US: Make really awesome stuff!</li> </ul> <p>The use of the story concept in communications parlance allows marketeers to connect with a rich emotional tapestry and heritage. But are the stories being told in the world of marketing really stories at all?</p> <p>At this point, it's worth listening to the always enlightening <a href="http://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/secrets-commercial-storytelling/1437709?bulletin=campaign_breakfast_briefing&amp;utm_medium=EMAIL&amp;utm_campaign=eNews%20Bulletin&amp;utm_source=20170629&amp;utm_content=www_campaignlive_co_uk_ar_6" target="_blank">Martin Weigel’s</a> perspective on storytelling: ‘The hubris, the delusion, the philistine rhetoric masquerading as depth, the pomposity parading as wisdom, and the narrowing of our industry’s ambition is too much to bear. For if advertising’s stories are among the best our civilisation has to offer then please, shoot me.’</p> <p>Weigel quotes Aristotle as defining the essence of a story as being ‘a change from bad fortune to good or from good fortune to bad.’ Essentially there is no point if the story ends in the same place that it started. He has issues with the nature of commercial storytelling in the following areas:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>There is limited appetite for conflict:</strong> ‘Stories that succeed in shining a light into the crevices of the human soul. Stories that illuminate our place in the state things.’</li> <li> <strong>There is no interest in deep exploration:</strong> ‘When did an insight unearthed and authored by a planner ever hold a candle to the examination of the human condition offered up say, by Chaucer or Dickens?’</li> <li> <strong>There is little appetite for genuine human truth:</strong> ‘One struggles to think of any advertising that has expanded and educated our capacity for moral judgment. But then why should it? It has another agenda. For in the final analysis, and however it achieves it, advertising is always about the brand.’</li> <li> <strong>Most of what is made just isn’t a story:</strong> ’..reducing story to “somebody wants something and something gets in the way” is merely the stuff of plotting and structure. Stories – good, lasting ones – are so more than just structure, plot and momentum. Pattern does not a story make.’ </li> </ul> <p>The final provocation is whether marketeers should aspire to be storytellers at all – ‘And herein lies the truest, most clear and present danger for marketers in falling for the storytelling rhetoric. Convincing ourselves that we are storytellers might make us feel important (but) ..we need not tell a story for the consumer to tell a story. And indeed, sometimes just making something useful, or beautiful is enough.’</p> <p>No surprise then that the consumer, increasingly the arbiter of brand value, is key to the successful telling of a commercial story. Content needs to be powerful enough to have an impact and engaging enough to share. And this makes sense of course. Marketeers should be experts with regards to consumer understanding, but can hardly be expected to be expert storytellers. This is best left to Shakespeare, Milton et al.</p> <p>As touched on above, the most interesting observation of all (and one that goes all the way back to the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oral_storytelling" target="_blank">classical oral storytelling tradition</a>) is that great stories were never set in stone, but forever changing as they were told, influenced by audience reaction and then re-told; being passed on from one generation of storytellers to another. While the digital environment offers new channels and accelerated interactivity, it still echoes the ancient tradition of storytelling by mirroring the importance of the audience in the process. In both instances and across the centuries, the audience and consumers are there to listen, to develop and to share. </p> <p>Powerful stories are increasingly told in <a href="https://stackla.com/blog/videos-can-improve-content-marketing-strategy/?utm_campaign=Newsletters&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;_hsenc=p2ANqtz--837btttXLuo0SjBMM3dOw89na1MmvF5tnRKckyUCBaY6MqmZmJMfuE4UZU2Y_N4RInW_LN3P1Iyun8NMrnEY82TISBRxjmm4Ky-o8TirSkd-ur-Y&amp;_hsm" target="_blank">video form</a>, and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67977-four-examples-of-brands-using-an-episodic-content-marketing-strategy/" target="_blank">in short, episodes</a>. A disappointing downside for this, is that this has put <a href="https://digiday.com/media/general-atmosphere-ambient-dread-text-journalists-fear-great-pivot-to-video/?utm_medium=email&amp;utm_campaign=digidaydis&amp;utm_source=daily&amp;utm_content=170712" target="_blank">increased pressure on journalism</a> and jobs in this sector. A more positive development for the written word, has been the rise of ebooks, which are increasingly using <a href="http://www.wired.co.uk/article/serialised-books-mobile" target="_blank">a short episodic approach</a>, in a fashion not since the days of Charles Dickens.</p> <p>And if the audience is key to successful storytelling, how can we encourage consumers to tell brand stories?</p> <p>A perspective here, <a href="https://www.mailmunch.co/blog/content-distribution-strategies/" target="_blank">with some research from Mailmunch</a>, which identified the top content distribution strategies as follows:</p> <ul> <li>Influencer marketing: 26%</li> <li>Email marketing: 18%</li> <li>Social media: 18%</li> <li>Guest blogging: 16%</li> <li>Paid distribution: 14%</li> <li>Internal employees: 4%</li> <li>Distribution platforms: 4%</li> </ul> <p>Interesting to see the continued growth of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/measuring-roi-on-influencer-marketing">influencer marketing</a> in this list and the value of effective and authoritative sharing of commercial stories via this method.</p> <p>This is the real challenge and opportunity for marketeers. Of course, it is about creating ‘stuff’ that is of real interest to consumers, but it is also about having a strategy that encourages an audience to engage with each other around the stories that are being told. </p> <p>Some examples of brands that have successfully created ‘storysharing’ environments include Airbnb, with its <a href="https://www.airbnb.co.uk/stories" target="_blank">Stories</a> content, John Deere and its farming community <a href="https://www.johndeerefurrow.com" target="_blank">The Furrow</a>, and of course the <a href="https://www.nike.com/gb/en_gb/c/running/nike-run-club" target="_blank">Nike+ Run Club</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9643/nike_run_club.png" alt="" width="750" height="362"></p> <p>All of these brands created a subject and an environment that allowed their customers to tell stories to each other, whether that be around travelling and discovery, farming advice or sharing experiences around exercise and wellbeing. The Furrow’s content (with stuff about mushrooms, grain producing and Tennessee beef) is particularly interesting, as it shows that a powerful community can work in any vertical as long as there is a good enough ‘subject’ and an appropriate ‘environment’.</p> <p><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Pullman" target="_blank">Philip Pullman</a> said – ‘writing is despotism, but reading is democracy.’ It is by harnessing the power of democracy and individuals’ interpretation of stories they have heard; that marketeers can truly develop great stories and enhance the power <em>of their brands.</em></p> <p><em>For more on this topic, check out Econsultancy’s range of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/content-marketing-and-strategy">content marketing training courses</a>, or subscribers can download our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/content-strategy-best-practice-guide">Content Strategy Best Practice Guide</a>.</em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69438 2017-09-22T09:39:51+01:00 2017-09-22T09:39:51+01:00 Is Uber's lawsuit against an agency a harbinger of greater brand-agency discord? Patricio Robles <p>Procter &amp; Gamble <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69309-how-much-waste-is-in-the-digital-ad-market">has already slashed $100m from its digital ad budget</a>, while JPMorgan Chase has cut the number of sites it advertises on from more than 400,000 to 5,000.</p> <p>But unhappy with the results of some of its spend, Uber isn't just slashing its budget or cutting campaigns. As <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-18/uber-goes-on-rare-legal-offensive-suing-dentsu-unit-for-fraud">detailed by</a> Bloomberg, the ridesharing behemoth has filed a $40m lawsuit against one of its agencies alleging that it paid for "nonexistent, nonviewable, and/or fraudulent advertising."</p> <p>According to <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4053888-Gov-Uscourts-Cand-317169-1-0.html">Uber's complaint</a>, it discovered that "mobile first" ad agency Fetch, which is owned by Japanese holding giant Dentsu, charged it "tens of millions of dollars" while knowingly purchasing bad ads. It also alleged that Fetch "allowed networks and publishers to steal credit for organic installs of the Uber App, and Uber App installs that were attributable to other sources."</p> <p>Uber says it discovered this fraud when it received reports of its ads appearing on a conservative political website that it had previously told Fetch to blacklist: </p> <blockquote> <p>Uber's investigation into that particular issue suggested deceptive naming was to blame. Specifically, the public-reported name of the websites and mobile applications where Uber advertisements supposedly appeared did not match the actual URL accessed. For example, one publisher retained by Fetch reported clicks on Uber ads as coming from placements such as "Magic_Puzzles" and "Snooker_Champion." In fact, those clicks actually originated from advertisements on Breitbart.com, despite the fact that Uber had instructed that no ads be placed with that website.</p> </blockquote> <p>Not surprisingly, Fetch is denying Uber's allegations. James Connelly, Fetch's CEO, says he was "shocked" at Uber's claims, which he calls "unsubstantiated" and suggests are designed to "draw attention away from Uber's unprofessional behavior and failure to pay suppliers."</p> <h3>The blame game</h3> <p>As Uber sees it, it hired Fetch for its expertise and part of Fetch's job was to deal with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67659-three-things-that-show-the-scale-of-the-ad-fraud-challenge">ad fraud</a>. "Regardless of whether Fetch purchased mobile inventory on an agent-principal or principal transaction basis, Fetch was responsible for the day-to-day oversight of [ad] networks and vetting of publishers for quality and fraud preventing, concordant with the...duties of a reasonably prudent mobile advertising agency," Uber's lawsuit states.</p> <p>Fetch, of course, says that it, like just about every legitimate player in the ad industry, is <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67660-what-can-prevent-ad-fraud-we-ask-an-ad-tech-ceo">trying to deal with ad fraud</a> and "minimize its impact." As Fetch's Connelly sees it, Uber is "[using] an industry-wide issue as a means of avoiding its contractual obligations."</p> <p>Ultimately, the two companies will either settle their dispute or let the legal system determine the facts and decide which party is in the right.</p> <p>In the meantime, the lawsuit, which is notable because Uber is targeting its agency and not the actual media sellers from which the allegedly fraudulent ads came, highlights just how significant the costs of ad fraud can be and just how difficult it is for brands and their agencies to deal with it.</p> <p>It also raises a number of interesting questions. As more brands scrutinize their ad buys, sometimes through formal audits, they will inevitably uncover evidence of fraud. Will this lead to more lawsuits against agencies? In an effort to up control and oversight, will more brands opt to build in-house agencies or split the difference with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69148-in-house-agency-versus-on-site-agency-weighing-the-pros-and-cons">on-site agencies</a>?</p> <p>Time will tell, but it's clear that agencies, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69357-what-s-next-for-the-agency-model">already under pressure</a>, have yet another thing to worry about.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69430 2017-09-18T11:33:46+01:00 2017-09-18T11:33:46+01:00 A day in the life of... an agency planner Ben Davis <h4> <em>Econsultancy:</em> Please describe your job: What do you do?</h4> <p><em><strong>Nicky Lloyd:</strong></em> My role as a planner sees me work horizontally across the agency with clients who have strategic needs from brand development and marketing strategy to employee engagement. Acting as the bridge between account management and the creative team I look to ensure that the voice of the customer is central to our creative strategy and is reflected in the customer journey.</p> <p>It’s all about relevance, distinctiveness and effectiveness. Creating solutions that are human centred and engage with the hearts and minds of audiences whatever the channel or touchpoint. </p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?</h4> <p><em><strong>NL:</strong></em> I report directly to the managing director and alongside my role I support the senior leadership team in the development of our own proposition and new business strategy. </p> <h4> <em><strong>E:</strong></em> What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?</h4> <p><strong><em>NL:</em></strong> It's a role that really demands you to use both the right and left-hand side of your brain. You need to be analytical, detailed and focused one minute and in the next moment creative, engaging and flexible. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/9017/nicky_lloyd-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="nicky lloyd" width="470" height="381"></p> <p><em>Nicky Lloyd, agency planner at Six</em></p> <h4> <em><strong>E:</strong></em> Tell us about a typical working day… </h4> <p><em><strong>NL:</strong></em> I might be undertaking research with customers and stakeholders to understand their needs and building a brand or digital strategy to support these one day and undertaking a channel review and forming a media strategy the next.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What do you love about your job? What sucks?</h4> <p><em><strong>NL:</strong></em> The best thing about my role is the variety of businesses and sectors I get to work with and the people that I meet as part of the journey. Whether that is as part of a stakeholder team or through my research with consumers. I’ve explored client side roles in the past and although they can be very rewarding I know that agency life suits my personality and voracious desire to learn and embrace new challenges.</p> <p>What sucks? Not having enough time, sometimes cloning seems like a good solution ;)  </p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success? </h4> <p><em><strong>NL:</strong></em> My personal goals are to continue to grow the strategic offer at Six and to develop a team which includes specialist planners from disciplines such as data and analytics, media planning and customer experience so that we can continue to support our clients and hold customer needs as a central thread in everything that we do. </p> <p>In terms of planning tools and metrics I have a marketing ROI calculator which comes in handy for large scale planning and I use reporting tools to capture multi-channel media performance, analytics and leads.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?</h4> <p><em><strong>NL:</strong></em> I use a variety of planning tools from brand planning models to research tools like Fresco, Acorn, Neilson and media planning tools like BRAD, AdDynamix, and Adwords.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> How did you get into media planning, and where might you go from here? </h4> <p><em><strong>NL:</strong></em> Media planning is only one part of my varied role. My first challenge was the development of a regional above the line advertising campaign using both off and online channels. The campaign which ran in the late 1990’s had a media budget of £500,000 and included TV, press, OOH and digital display. I worked closely with PHD to ensure that we could get the most effective return from our budget and we went on to win the Cream Grand Prix award, Young Director of the Year and be nominated at the Cannes festival.</p> <p>Since then I have worked in conjunction with a whole host of media buying agencies and SEO specialists to ensure that the campaigns we deliver generate the right amount of reach, OTS ('opportunity to see') and precision to encourage interaction and generate sales and or qualified leads.</p> <p>Paid media is of course only part of the story and as a planner I ensure that we use all the communications touchpoints available to us whether that's through paid, earned, shared or owned media (PESO). It is also essential that the destination supports the purchase journey and as such much of our time is spent developing rich content with simple user journeys and clear calls to action within the digital channel to encourage engagement.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Which brands do you think are doing paid media well?</h4> <p><em><strong>NL:</strong></em> According to the IPA, brands that use paid media in conjunction with earned and owned media typically grow three times faster than those that rely on earned and owned media alone. Adding television increases effectiveness by 40% and it’s also the best medium for generating top-line growth that drives profit, with a 2.6% average market share point gained per year.</p> <p>Adding TV and online video together gives a 54% increase in the average number of what the IPA terms “very large” business effects, versus 32% for television only and 25% for online video only. The most profitable campaigns have 60:40 ratio of long-term brand building media (broad reach, highly emotive) and short-terms sales activation (tightly targeted and information rich).</p> <p>Brands like Nestle, Jack Daniel’s and Heineken have made a return to the classic brand + response model. However, in the wider market, there still seems to be a focus on short-term activation rather than long-term brand building. I’ve had conversations with a number of clients in the past where campaigns created to educate and build brand awareness have morphed into direct response campaigns through the adoption of a misguided media strategy that focuses too heavily on PPC and digital display to the detriment of the original brief. </p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Do you have any advice for people who want to work in planning at an agency?</h4> <p><em><strong>NL:</strong></em> Planning is such a varied discipline it fulfils so many roles from: market researcher, data analyst, futurologist, NPD consultant, media/communications planner, strategy developer, think piece polemicist, insight miner and social anthropologist. As such there are many different routes into planning whether you start your journey on the account management side or as part of the creative team or if you come from a media-sales background the main thing you need is a good grounding and understanding of the creative process and a passion for working with people and a thick skin.</p> <p>Some of the larger agencies also offer internships and junior planning roles where you can shadow a senior executive and learn the ropes. If you are interested in working in planning head to apg.org.uk to find out about courses and hear from leading planners who are shaping our industry.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69409 2017-09-07T14:00:00+01:00 2017-09-07T14:00:00+01:00 What's up with Facebook's estimated reach numbers? Patricio Robles <p>According to Pivotal Research Group's Brian Wieser, the audience reach estimates Facebook frequently displays to advertisers vastly exceed those of the number of people who are actually in those groups.</p> <p>CNBC <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/06/facebook-inflates-ad-reach-claims-pivotal-research-analyst.html">explained</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>Facebook's Ads Manager claims a potential reach of 41 million 18- to 24-year olds and 60 million 25- to 34-year olds in the United States, whereas US census data shows that last year there were a total of 31 million people between the ages of 18 and 24, and 45 million in the 25-34 age group, the analyst said.</p> </blockquote> <p>This raises a huge question: how can advertisers trust the reach estimates if they indicate there are far more users on Facebook in a particular group than there are living, breathing people in that group?</p> <p>One possible answer: non-human users, or bots.</p> <p>As one commenter <a href="https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15187001">suggested</a> on Hacker News, "I doubt that Facebook is purposefully lying about their numbers, but the fact that they estimate their reach to be greater than the census results means there must be a lot of bot accounts on Facebook."</p> <p>He added:</p> <blockquote> <p>Assuming that Facebook isn't lying, and they actually see as many accounts as they claim to reach this data would suggest that at least 25% of the accounts on Facebook are alt accounts or bot accounts. And that is assuming that everyone in the target demographic who was in the census is on Facebook. Facebook must be greater than 25% bots.</p> </blockquote> <p>While bots are one possible explanation for the discrepancy between Facebook's reach estimates and census data, other possiblities include users with multiple Facebook accounts and underage users who Facebook's algorithms have lumped into older age groups.</p> <p>Technically, Facebook, like most social platforms, isn't open to users under the age of 13, but that doesn't mean they don't use the social network. <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/children/12147629/Children-ignore-age-limits-by-opening-social-media-accounts.html">According to one survey</a>, the majority of 10- to 12-year-olds use social platforms despite the rules and 49% of those surveyed said they use Facebook.</p> <p>For its part, Facebook says its reach estimates "are designed to estimate how many people in a given area are eligible to see an ad a business might run. They are not designed to match population or census estimates." Facebook's estimates are based on "user behavior, user demographics and location data from devices."</p> <p>The company revealed that its reach estimates include people who visit a geographic area but don't live there, but given the significant gaps that appear to exist between Facebook's estimates and census figures, it's hard to know just how much this accounts for the discrepancies.</p> <p><strong>Which highlights the real problem advertisers face: Facebook's reach estimates, like many of its other metrics, are often generated by black boxes that advertisers have little visibility into the workings of.</strong></p> <p>According to Pivotal Research Group's Weisner, "Conversations with agency executives on this topic indicate to us that the gap between Facebook and census figures is not widely known." But even now that this has been brought to their attention, they'll probably have a limited ability to really understand what's going on because it's unlikely Facebook is going to provide much more in the way of detail about its reach estimates.</p> <p>"We think that awareness of general measurement issues causes larger advertisers to require the use of third-party measurement services, including Nielsen's DAR and comScore's vCE, to provide the basis against which Facebook is paid," Weisner suggested. </p> <p>He added, "While Facebook's measurement issues won't necessarily deter advertisers from spending money with Facebook, they will help traditional TV sellers justify existing budget shares and could restrain Facebook's growth in video ad sales on the margins."</p> <p>While it remains to be seen whether advertisers will really shy away from Facebook, with companies pouring more and more money into Facebook and the cost of Facebook ads jumping by nearly a quarter year-over-year in the second quarter, the stakes are increasingly high.</p>