10 reasons you need to take back your marketing

10 reasons you need to take back your marketing

Misconceptions and bad marketing experiences are common. For many businesses marketing is an afterthought. Or they are using the same channels and methods they’ve used for years. Thinking, it worked before; why wouldn’t it work now? Others have been burned in the past by marketers who sold them bogus solutions.

Here are 10 reasons you need to take back your marketing!

3 common reasons people don’t trust marketers

Most of “marketing’s” bad reputation is because some marketers are unethical. Marketing is not lying or manipulation. Not being 100% honest about what the product or service is or what it does is lying. What are three common ways unethical marketers hurt their customers?

1. Inflating expectations

3 common reasons people don’t trust marketers

Over promising a product’s effectiveness or making sweeping claims is lying. It’s can also be manipulating to use language or wording that relies on implied meaning and the consumer’s own logic.

For example, selling a cookbook by saying “the food in this cookbook will help you lose weight” is lying. It could be justified by assuming that consumers reading that phrase will understand the implied logic that other changes in their diet or lifestyle will probably be needed to lose weight.

There are always other ways to say things. It’s possible, to be honest and still use hooky and engaging language. Relying on implied meaning is just lazy.

2. Promising results they know they can’t deliver

The key here is promising a result that they know they can’t deliver when they make the promise. There are many variables in marketing and there are circumstances that can’t be accounted for sometimes. However, promising a result that isn’t doable is wrong. It is totally understandable that people who have had this experience with marketers have difficulty trusting any marketer’s promises.   

Although it may not feel like lying, not delivering on promises because of a lack of research or inexperience is still wrong. We are accountable for our actions. If we promise a result, we have an obligation to deliver it.

3. Focusing on money instead of service

This isn’t just a problem within the marketing industry. Many businesses ignore the fact that people (and therefore service) is what makes money. How has this attitude made it difficult for people to trust marketers? Not focusing on service shows a lack of concern and empathy for the customer. Customers (all of us) can feel when someone we are working with doesn’t actually care about wellbeing or success. Unfortunately, some marketers are only concerned with their own successes and not their customer’s success. The irony is that marketing in general is about building a client’s business and setting them up for success.

4 common misconceptions people have about marketing

4 common misconceptions people have about marketing

Another reason many people and businesses need to take back their marketing is that misconceptions about what marketing is abound. Many people don’t understand what marketing actually is or why their business needs marketing in general. Here are four common misconceptions.

1. Small businesses don’t need to market

Many people feel like marketing is a waste of time and/or money for small businesses. The reasoning is that many small business owners are extremely busy, and marketing isn’t a necessity. Is that true? Not at all.

For one thing, “marketing” encompasses a lot more than people think it does. Any time or way a customer interacts with your company is marketing. It’s especially important that small businesses think about their marketing. (Their brand strategy specifically.)

Small businesses do need to market differently than larger businesses. To make more effective use of time and budget, smaller businesses need to have a clear and well-thought-out marketing strategy. It’s important to think about what channels are used and how campaigns are executed. campaigns need to be rolled out slowly and methodically. It’s also super important that small businesses collect and use data and analytics from their marketing.  

2. Marketing can be done by anyone

For some reason, there is a stereotype that marketing is easy. That misconception is probably why many people try to handle marketing their business themselves. “Try” is the keyword there. And yes, Canva is free. Anyone can throw something together for their business. There’s also always a chance that a haphazardly thrown-together ad or post might work. “Pray and Spray” is a thing for a reason. The question is whether that method of marketing is the most effective or most efficient use of a marketing budget.

Marketing takes a lot of time and effort. It requires skill and dedication. Having a clear strategy and understanding the reasons why something will work takes a level of commitment and research that many don’t have the time to do. Even if someone does have time, it might not be the most efficient use of their time.

In the long run, having a professional do your marketing will give you a stronger foundation for success.

3. Marketing is only to acquire new customers

Simply, if you stop marketing as soon as you get a customer, they aren’t going to be a customer for very long. Marketing is also necessary to build relationships with customers and build loyalty. Returning customers are essential for success and growth.  

4. Quality products and services will sell themselves

Wouldn’t that be nice? Unfortunately, having a great product isn’t enough. A product is worthless if no one knows about it. Marketing is necessary to find and retain customers.

3 common mistakes people make with their marketing

3 common mistakes people with their marketing

People also need to take back their marketing because many people lack the right information to build successful campaigns. Here are three super common marketing mistakes.

1. Starting with the wrong data

Starting with the wrong data might be a little generous. Many people don’t use data in their marketing at all. Marketing data covers a lot of different things but mostly it is about people. Using accurate data helps you know who to market to. Data informs what type of person who should be marketing to. Marketing data also encompasses specific contact information.

Using the wrong data (or no data) is like putting regular gasoline in a diesel truck, you may think you are getting somewhere, but it’s just going to blow up in your face. 💥

2. Focusing on the wrong metrics

It’s easy to get distracted by vanity metrics. Having lots of followers or views on a video is great but are they the numbers that you need to be looking at? Without clearly defined goals or targets you don’t know what matters to you.

3. Quantity over quality

Quantity of marketing efforts will probably show you quick results, but the poor quality will hurt you in the long run. The sheer amount of products, companies, and information available now is staggering. Having your product in your consumer’s face isn’t enough anymore, your brand ideals and personality also need to match with the personality of your consumers.

For example, 56% of Gen Z consumers say that having shared passions and perspectives is a major factor when it comes to their engagement with a brand. Additionally, 72% of consumers want the brands they care about to be positive contributors to society. We’ve seen in recent years that many brands (especially smaller companies) connect their core brand to a charity or cause they care about. Younger consumers are 69% more likely to buy from a brand that contributes to a cause.

If you are focusing and the amount of content you are putting out and not what the content is saying, then you are giving up control of how you are seen. Instead, you are allowing your marketing to imply who you are. Chances are that quantity of marketing over quality is implying that your company does not care about quality. What does that say about your product or service?

This is not to say that quantity of marketing is bad! Quite the contrary. However, you cannot allow your quality to suffer from quantity.

10 reasons is a lot of reasons to take back your marketing. Are you up for the challenge?


What Data Do You Need To Organize Multichannel Campaign?

How To Organize A Successful Multichannel Campaign - Featured Image

The key to any marketing campaign is having a well-thought-out strategy. This is especially true when planning a multichannel campaign because there are more moving pieces. What information do you need to build an effective campaign strategy? And what’s the best way to organize a successful campaign?

Why does starting with the right information impact success levels?

The right information is the fuel. There’s always a chance a poorly planned (or spray and pray) campaign may yield results. However, like putting regular gasoline in a diesel truck, you may think you are getting somewhere, but it’s just going to blow up in your face. 💥

Not only does starting with the right data and a plan give you a chance for success, but it also allows you to measure that success. Without a strategy, there’s no way to track or judge something’s effectiveness.

There are questions to ask yourself that give you the right information to build a campaign.

  1. Who are you targeting?
  2. How are you targeting them?
  3. What is your message?
  4. How are you tying your channels together?
  5. What data are you gathering?
  6. When and how are you retargeting?

Breakdown of the steps

How To Organize A Successful Multichannel Campaign - Who to target
Who are you targeting?

Step 1: The Who

How do you figure who to target? The easiest way to decide who to target is to figure out what is your buyer persona. Or if you already have buyer personas, which one to use for this campaign.

Here are the questions to ask yourself to find the fundamentals of your “who.”

  1. What are their basic demographics?
    What gender to they identify as? How old are they? Where do they live? What is their relationship status? Are they educated?
  2. What do they do for work?
    What’s their job title and description? But more than that, are they a decision maker? What do they influence at work?
  3. What are their interests?
    Do they have hobbies or interests? What do they do in their free time? Are they part of a community?
  4. What do they want and why can’t they have?
    This a big thing for figuring out what you can do to help them! What are their goals and dreams? What are their pain points? Like, what keeps them up at night?
  5. Why wouldn’t they buy from you?
    What’s stopping them from buying from you? What objections may they have?
  6. What ways would they prefer to interact with you?
    Do they use social media? Do like a particular social media? Is a phone call the best way to reach them?
How To Organize A Successful Multichannel Campaign - What Channels
What channels are you using?

Step 2: The How

Now that you know who, you probably know what marketing channels are most effective for marketing to them. Then you just need to decide what channels to use for the campaign you are planning.

How do you decide what channels to use? The most important thing is that it what’s your target audience responds to.

Other important factors to consider:

  • Your budget
  • What step in the sales process is this campaign
How To Organize A Successful Multichannel Campaign - What Message
What is your message?
  • How many channels do you want to use

Step 3: The What

What is your message? How will you modify that message for the different channels?

The What needs to be third because Who you are talking to and How you are talking to them informs the decision about messaging. For example, if you are planning on using social media as a channel, then your tone needs to be more informal and your content to be more entertaining.

How To Organize A Successful Multichannel Campaign - How are you integrating channels
How are you integrating the channels?

Step 4: Integration

How are you going to integrate or tie the channels you are using together? Will customers interact with channels in a specific order? What type of interacts do you want your customers to have with these channels? Is there a path you want your customers to follow?  

How To Organize A Successful Multichannel Campaign - What data are you gathering
What data do you need to gather?

Step 5: Data gathering

Before your campaign starts, it’s important to know what data you want to learn from it. Do you want to learn data about your customers?

Other important data to track is what are the metrics you are going to use the rack the effectiveness of this campaign. Is this a branding play campaign and impressions are most important? Are email opens relevant data?

Step 6: Retargeting

How To Organize A Successful Multichannel Campaign - How are you retargeting
How are you retargeting?

Retargeting should not be an afterthought of your campaign. Any retargeting or (remarketing) should be planned out and integrated into your original campaign strategy.

Having a strategy for marketing campaigns is extremely important. However, actually planning the campaign doesn’t need to be overwhelming or complicated.

What questions have you found to be important to ask yourself when planning a marketing campaign?

3 Things to focus your Content on in 2022

3 Things to focus your Content on in 2022 - Featured Image

The end of the year always provides such a good time to reflect on trends and the direction we’re going! After a year with so many transitions across industries, privacy laws, and marketing channels, our focuses for next year have also shifted! One area to focus on in 2022 is content marketing.

If these last few years have taught us anything, it’s that content-based marketing really is one of the most important pieces of marketing. Your approach to content informs many aspects of business, not just marketing. Content covers all the ways you communicate. It’s tied to branding and mission and purpose and your focus. The type of content you produce helps you make decisions about marketing channels and our audience.

Content Trends 2022

With the rise of content marketing, ecommerce, and digital advertising, everyone acknowledges that social media, blogs, email marketing, etc. are all effective ways to sell people. The problem is that the very nature of content marketing erases the lines between education, entertainment, and sales. We have become so inundated with ads that our brains have been conditioned to go on the defensive when we feel like we are being sold.

An often-quoted marketing research study from 2007 found that the average American saw 5,000 advertisements a day. 5,000 ads a day pre-digital billboards, pre-Farmville, pre-Instagram, and pre-iPhone. Current estimates put the average number ads seen every day closer to 10,000. The 2007 study warned that number of ads cluttering our life would push for innovation in advertising that would in turn, create more clutter.

What can we do to cut through the clutter in 2022? Content marketing is an effective way because if done well, isn’t actually an ad and will actually reach the consumer.

Here’s three trends/focuses to incorporate into your 2022 content marketing.


This ties into the old writing rule: show don’t tell. Telling a customer how great you are won’t make them believe you. Showing them will prove it to them. But weaving a story around your product, brand, and successes will build an emotional connection between you and your customers.


This goes hand in hand with storytelling and the inundation of advertising we all deal with. We have an excessive number of options to choose from. As well as our personal connection with brands, we use things like Social Proof to help us decide what products to buy. Brands can use this to their advantage by educating customers about their product instead of selling their product. The focus on pure information takes the pressure off the consumer to purchase. In turn, an educated customer is more likely to purchase.


Even with increased privacy and data laws, there is more access to information about customers than ever. We often talk about personalized advertising in connection with retargeting and audience segmentation. It’s easy with personalization to focus on how specific and personalized you can get your advertising. ‘If someone clicks this and this and lives in these areas then we know all of this about them and can serve an ad for this specific product.’ That type of thinking is very valuable and helps you communicate effectively with your customers.

But personalized advertising doesn’t need to be that minute; it can be as simple as thinking about what channel you are using. Are you making blog content? What type of person reads blogs? You could build out a detailed buyer persona based on analytics and write with them in mind. That is very personalized! Or you could use common sense to tell you that most people who read blogs are probably interested in educating themselves, which also gives you a lot of information to personalize. The personalization can just be the focus of the channel. ‘These consumers are here to be educated, so we are going to educate them.’

Spotlighted Marketing Channel: CTV

Many marketers are using CTV (connected TV) or OTT (over-the-top) channels to target consumers using streaming services and connected TV devices such as Hulu and Roku. Advertisers are embracing these platforms as more and more ad space becomes available. Spending for CTV advertising grew from $6.94 billion in 2019 to $8.88 billion in 2020, a 28% increase.

Advertiser spent an estimated $8.88 billion on CTV in 2020

Read more about the future of CTV here!

What things are you excited to focus on in 2022?

It’s Holiday Campaign Time… Already

It's Holiday Campaign Time... Already

55% of consumers say that they will start their holiday shopping before Halloween this year. This means, the holiday season is here early! Consumers are worried about increased shipping times and product outages, pushing them to get their shopping done early. Americans are also expected to spend 7%-9% more this holiday season! What do you need to get your Holiday campaign set up on time?

Supply Chain and Shipping Issues

Pandemic-related shipping delays have gotten a lot better this year, but many companies are expecting large delays, due to volume, this holiday season. Also, many shipping companies’ deadline for Christmas deliveries is earlier this year. For example, FedEx’s Economy deadline is December 9th, UPS is December 16th, and USPS is the 15th. USPS also updated Holiday pricing this week on October 3rd.

Just about every part of the supply chain has been disrupted. There’s a shortages of factory workers, shortages of cargo ships and containers, large scale storms, a lack of truck drivers and warehouse employees, and retail workers. Big companies like Nike, H&M, and Ikea have already been affected.

What does this mean for you?

The best time to get started on your holiday campaign is RIGHT NOW. Especially if you are a small business; take advantage of all those big companies’ supply chain issues!

Good campaigns take time to set up and the sooner you can get your message out, the better. In the past the rule of thumb has been to have your campaign live by November 19th; however, a lot of brands have already started easing into their holiday campaigns. (Looking at you, Pottery Barn.)

What do you need to set up your holiday campaign?

Holiday Campaign Schedules Chart

Step 1. Have a plan! That’s why it’s a campaign and not just content! A strategy is key! How do you know what should be holiday 2021 strategy? Start by asking the “why.” Why are you doing a holiday campaign in the first place? Do you have an awesome product that a lot of people would love? The next step is the campaign objectives. What do you want to specifically do you want to accomplish with this campaign? Are you trying to build brand awareness, drive traffic, or sell a specific product? Once you know what you want to accomplish, the next step is to figure out what channels and methods would be the most effective way to reach your audience.

All of these things are your strategy: the why, the what, and the how.

The next step to planning a campaign is content and message. You know what your goal is, now you make the creative that goes with it. Whether that be social content, print and mail, or digital ads, or hopefully, some combination of all the channels!

After putting your campaign out into the world, the next step is to learn. This is the data gathering and retargeting phase. A one step campaign isn’t going to be as effective as a campaign that customers on a journey.

Marketing Channel highlight: TikTok

TikTok is going to be a powerful channel this holiday season. 47% of surveyed TikTok users said that TikTok is likely to inspire a gift this year. 39% said that they discovered a product or brand on TikTok, and 77% said that they have bought things because of TikTok. TikTok is also offering incentives for advertisers to use their platform.

Do you have your holiday campaign ready to go?  

What is the foundation of all effective marketing?

What is the foundation of all effective marketing?

Most people’s favorite part of building a marketing campaign are the visuals. While how your marketing looks is important, who you are sending it to, and how  you are sending it should be the first step with any marketing.  Those two things inform everyone’s favorite part of marketing: results.  

 It’s like a luxury car…looks beautiful and sure makes an impression, but if there’s no gas in the tank, it won’t go anywhere.  Going (hopefully fast) is the goal!

So, how do you know what the best fuel is for your marketing campaign?   

The right fuel is determined by who your audience is, what your campaign objectives are, and the best ways to reach your audience.  

Which comes back to the two most common questions we get asked: 

  • What data do I need for marketing?  
  • How do I reach my customers?  

What data do I need for marketing?  

Really the first question is: what data is available? Viant had a great illustration about the different types of marketing data.

First Party Data - Your Cow

Data Types (Explained with Cows)

First-Party Data

You own a cow. You know the cow’s name, what it eats and where it sleeps. These are your customers; you have their contact information in your CRM. They know you have their information.

Second-Party Data

Second-Party Data - Someone else's cows you rent

You rent some cows from a friend for a fee but you don’t necessarily know the cow’s name, what it eats, or where it sleeps. You have to pay your friend each time you need some milk. Second-party data is first-party data sold to another company for a specific use. For example, say you own a company and you looking to expand into a new market. You can buy a list of first-party customer data from a company in the new market you are tapping into and market to them for an agreed-upon number of times. However, with the increased privacy and data laws using second-party data can sometimes be problematic.   

Third-Party Data

There’s a village full of cows that were bought, rented, or found. The cows with similar traits are herded together and sold to you. You don’t know where the cows came from or sometimes if this is even a real cow. Traditional list data and many digital audiences call into this category. Which is one reason it’s so important to get data from a good source! You need to be able to trust that you aren’t buying fake cows or ones that don’t match the traits you need. Another thing to remember about 3rd party data is that it is the most impacted by the cookie and privacy laws! Relying too much on traditional 3rd party data can set you up for failure in the future.

Third-Party Data - Cows you buy

Looking into the future with post cookie advertising, traditional 2nd and 3rd party data channels are going to change. The ways to gather consumer data have already changed in a lot of ways. For example, Connected TV doesn’t support cookies and instead relies on IP targeting. This is data you can use for marketing but doesn’t have the same types of information you would get with traditional list data. You are going to get demographic data and location data but probably not names or a specific address. Using IP targeting is a great way to maintain your same flow of data-driven campaigns while still working within updated privacy laws.

This is often called people-based data. When you use people-based data you know you are reaching real people in real households.

What data do you actually need?

The data you need is based on two things: What do you know about the people you are trying to reach? What is your goal with this campaign? What you know about who you are trying to reach impacts your demographics and helps informs decisions about methods and channels. Your campaign goal also helps you figure out what channels to use as well as campaign scale and message.

Questions you can ask to help learn about your customers:

  1. What are their basic demographics?
    What gender to they identify as? How old are they? Where do they live? What is their relationship status? Are they educated?
  2. What do they do for work?
    What’s their job title and description? But more than that, are they a decision maker? What do they influence at work?
  3. What are their interests?
    Do they have hobbies or interests? What do they do in their free time? Are they part of a community?
  4. What do they want and why can’t they have?
    This a big thing for figuring out what you can do to help them! What are their goals and dreams? What are their pain points? Like, what keeps them up at night?
  5. Why wouldn’t they buy from you?
    What’s stopping them from buying from you? What objections may they have?
  6. What ways would they prefer to interact with you?
    Do they use social media? Do like a particular social media? Is a phone call the best way to reach them?

Learning about your customers and the best way to communicate with them is the foundation of effective marketing! Effective marketing = results!

What is the value of companies promoting Flow State?

What is the value of companies promoting Flow State? - Main Image
title overlaying an image of a neon sign of a brain inside an outline of a body.

With many companies adjusting to being back in the office or a hybrid work model, employees are having to change their Flow State. What is a Flow State? (Sometimes just called Flow.) Flow is simply that state of mind in which we feel and perform our best and feel at ease. We all have systems or processes that make it naturally easier for us to access Flow. We can, however, also we can take steps that can allow us to access it.

Switching up work environments over the past year and a half has facilitated many employees having to adjust how the access their Flow State. What is the value of companies promoting Flow State? How has the changing work model impacted Flow? And how can you access your Flow State and increase productivity?

What is Flow?

Your Flow State is what is happening mentally when you are “in the zone.” It’s being fully engaged in a task. Flow was first identified and popularized by psychology researcher, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, from Claremont Graduate University in California. Everyone’s Flow State is different is directly connected to their effort and creativity. When you are in your Flow State, you brain is locked into process and knows exactly what it is going to do from one moment to the next.

What is the value of companies promoting Flow State?

Flow State sounds abstract and kind of like a fuzzy motivation tool. How can it actually benefit companies? The main way is that when employees are in their Flow State, they are doing their best work. Not only that, employees who work in a Flow State often gain greater satisfaction from their work and a that contributes to motivation and company loyalty. While working in a Flow State, employees have more concentrate and focus and therefore, less distractions. The clarity that comes form that leads to innovation. All of these things are qualities that make up exceptional employees.
Flow State can be broken by distraction. Employee distraction is also detrimental to companies. Microsoft’s 2020 WFH study found that before the pandemic, on average, workers felt like 52% of their day was wasted by distractions and unnecessary disturbances. A 2013 study found that employees who were frequently interrupted and dealt with a lot a distractions reported higher fatigue and burnout rates. Burnt out employees are more likely to make mistakes, call in sick, as well as look for new jobs. (As we’ve seen this year with The Great Resignation.)


How has the changing work model impacted Flow?

One of the main advantages to a hybrid work model or allowing employees to choose weather or not they WFH, is that help each employee work in an environment that best suits them. Some employees can tap into their Flow State best in a quiet, comfortable space; weather that be at home or in the office, free of home’s distractions such as children or pets. Others like the background noise of a coffee shop. Some enjoy the collaboration of working in the office and having coworkers around them.

This year has given a lot of people an opportunity to find which type of work environment actually works best for them. Of the over 1,200 employees and 133 executives surveyed in Microsoft’s WFH study at the end of last year, 55% said they would prefer to still work remotely at least 3 days a week. And before this past year, many of those people probably wouldn’t have been given the chance to know what work environment worked best for them.

And how can you access your Flow State and increase productivity?

Here are the 2 main steps needed to tap into your flow state. 

  1. First, you must observe yourself. For the next two weeks, observe yourself, notice what you’re doing, and look for the clues of flow: losing your sense of time or self, feeling that you’re acting with ease, gaining new insights, and having a positive feedback loop.  
  2. Then, when you are in a state of flow, broaden your awareness: Notice and remember the activities surrounding you. Recognize what you’re physically doing and think about what you’re doing mentally.  

What ways have you found to be effective in “getting in the zone” and accessing your Flow State?

What’s new in TV marketing?

What's new in TV marketing?

One thing that stays constant, even in the midst of challenging circumstances such as a pandemic, is that people consume media. We always seek out entertainment and information. Content consumption is at an all-time high and therefore, competition for viewer’s attention is as well. However, 84% of marketers say that it is getting harder to grab a consumer’s attention with television advertising alone. Most advertisers surveyed say that TV ads isn’t the first thing that they plan anymore, instead starting with digital and then working in TV. How can CTV and OTT change that?


Many marketers are using CTV (connected TV) or OTT (over-the-top) channels to target consumers using streaming services and connected TV devices such as Hulu and Roku. Advertises are embracing these platforms as more and more ad space becomes available. Spending for CTV advertising grew from $6.94 billion in 2019 to $8.88 billion in 2020, a 28% increase.

Advertiser spent an estimated $8.88 billion on CTV in 2020

What’s the difference between CTV and OTT? Connected TV are things like Apple TV and Amazon Firestick. It is marketing based on the devices used to connect users to TV without cable. Over the Top is advertising space found on streaming services, like hulu and Peacock. (Personally, it helps me to think of them like CTV is hardware and OTT is software.) Right now in the United States more people are reachable through CTV and OTT than with cable. Hulu alone made $3 billion in ad revenue last year!


What are some disadvantages? There is one main thing. CTV and OTT have lower engagement rates than people who come from digital advertising expect. Why? Well, theres no way to click or show engagement through your TV. For the consumer to follow through a call-to-action, they probably are going to use a different device. Cross device traffic is harder to push and harder to track.

With old school TV advertising, an ad’s effectiveness was tracked by seeing if sales went up in the area the ad played. Thats just not enough data now, especially if CTV/OTT is just a piece of a multichannel campaign. It’s important to be able to track every part of a campaign.

Tracking Options

Option 1: Use IPs. Most people make big purchases on their home wifi. Using retargeting and IP based cookies, it’s pretty simple to serve ads across devices.

Burger King gamified CTV ad.
Burger King’s

Option 2: Use, specific trackable call-to-actions. Building in gamification to CTV/OTT ads allows consumers to use their phones to follow the call-to-action. The QR-code Burger King ad is a fantastic example of this. In a CTV ad, Burger King challenged consumers to “catch” a moving QR code. If you caught the QR code, it took you to download their app and with the app download, they gave you a free Whopper. It was fun and engaging AND trackable.

Into the Future

Since CTV/OTT is a relatively new ad format, theres a lot new and exciting ways it can be used in the future!

  1. New ad formats.
    We will probably see more direct response ads like the Burger King one. As well as things like pause ads. Ads the are promoted when a users pauses the program. A great way some companies are starting to use this is thinking about why someone would need to pause the show. Are they hungry? How about an Uber Eats ads? Or do they need a bathroom break? Maybe a toilet paper ad?

    Another new ad format is contextual-in-show advertising. A billboard in the background of a show can be sold as ad space. It can be changed based on who is watching the show.
  2. Programmatic Linear TV is also starting to become more of an option. Although quite new, it’s becoming more possible to use Nielsen-based user-level data (age, demographic, income) or media-level targeting (show, part of day, network) to inform programmatic style ad spend for traditional linear TV. 20% of advertisers surveyed said that they planned to incorporate programmatic linear into their marketing plans this year, and another 20% said that while they aren’t incorporating it this year, they plan to in the near future.

How will TV advertising change in the future? It’s possible that as CTV and OTT take over the traditional TV space household level targeting such as IP address and Neilson style demographics will become the identification of choice for marketers looking to incorporate TV into their omnichannel campaigns.  

Using new tools and integrating in traditional ones, marketers will be able to effectively use TV in their campaigns on into the future!

An Update on… “The Apple Privacy Update”

With the upcoming release of Apple’s new Operating System and (another) Apple privacy controversy in the news this week, we thought it was a good time to bring this article back. 😜

This spring’s iOS updated promised increase security and user control for inter-app tracking and cookies. However, the changes are taking a lot longer to reach users than first promised. It seems like all the changes they announced were more for show than actually giving users more control over their personal data.

And…. on the topic of personal data: make sure you do the emergency update on your devices today! The update fixes a bug that makes the over 1.65 billion Apple devices worldwide vulnerable to Pegasus Spyware. 

Pegasus spyware is particularly dangerous because unlike most spyware and malware, the user doesn’t need to click a link or open a suspicious email for it to be installed. The spyware doesn’t give the device’s user any indication that it was activated. This “zero click remote exploit” spyware was developed by Israeli cybersecurity firm NSO. The Pegasus spyware can turn a device’s microphone or camera on, and record even encrypted calls, texts, messages, and emails.

NSO has been subject to controversy in the past for it’s client list. They say that they only sell their spyware to government and organizations that meet strict human rights standards and who will use the spyware to track terrorists and criminals. However, the Pegasus spyware has been linked many times over the past couple years to organizations that do not meet those criteria. 

It is interesting to see if this latest privacy controversy will impact the upcoming ios update or change Apple’s approach to large scale privacy initiatives in the future. 

The (Un)Official Guide to The Apple Privacy Update

April 28th, 2021

The (Un)Official Guide to The Apple Privacy Update

The Apple privacy update rolling out this week that finally does what they’ve been threatening to do for a lonnnggggg time. Control over the ADFA (Apple’s Device Identifier for Advertisers) and other app tracking tools are being given directly to the users. What Apple decides to do when it comes to data privacy and marketing tools greatly impacts the entire industry.

Why? For one thing, 45.2% of smartphones users in the United States have an iPhone. Another reason is that they have marketed themselves as the company that is going to stand up for its user’s privacy and control, even if that means going against Facebook. Or the Government.

The big question is though… what does it mean for you? As a user and as an advertiser?

What does the privacy update actually do?

With the new update scheduled to go out this week, Apple is introducing a feature called “App Tracking Transparency.” What does it do? Well… it makes advertiser tracking between apps more transparent to users. Apple has made the ability to see (and change) what apps are tracking what for years. The difference now is that instead it being buried deep in settings, a pop-up window will show up on every app that tracks something or collects any data. This pop up (like the one for sharing location) will allow users to control what personal data each app has access to as well what other apps it can connect to.

What information are apps collecting/what are they collecting? Apps (and websites) can collect a surprising amount of information that users haven’t directly given them. Some apps track your physical location. They can use this information to serve you targeted ads based on where you are in the physical world. Knowing your physical location can also give you better recommendations on things “near you,” whether that be pizza for lunch or the weather forecast.  

Apps also can have tracking pixels built in. These pixels can track your movement form one app or website to another. This is how you can get an ad for something you just looked at on Amazon. Amazon has a tracking pixel built into their website, they in turn take the information the pixel has collected about visitors to target them on other websites and apps.

What choice do users have now?

In the popup window, users will now be given the choice: “Allow” and “Ask app not to track.” In the past Apple has let you decide which specific elements you would allow, like only location sharing or only ADFA tracking. However, this feature appears to be all or nothing. If you “Allow” then you are giving complete access.

What happens when you say no to tracking? Apple stops giving the app access to your ADFA, stopping it from learning about you from other apps. It also tells apps that you really would rather they didn’t track or share your information in any other ways.

Why should you allow tracking?

The (Un)Official Guide to The Apple Privacy Update -  Image of the AppTracking Transparency PopUp

Personalized ads are one part of the puzzle when it comes to be tracked online. As we’ve talked about in the past, personalized ads are very effective. Younger generation that have grown up online don’t tolerate non-personalized ads very well. We are constantly inundated with content and advertising, so it is easy to completely zone out advertising (in any form) that is something you are not directly interested in.

Also, many consumers now have in innate understanding of how their personal data is used to create targeted ads. Being targeted (or retargeted) based on their interests and past activities are expected. Recently surveyed consumers between the ages of 18-34, 58% said that a personalized ad helped them make a purchase decision. 42% also said that they had clicked on a sponsored ad in the last 6 months!

For a lot of us, the privacy concerns pale in comparison to function and usability of an app. A TapResearch poll conducted in August 2020 shows that 23% of iOS users are likely to opt in to sharing data with apps that request it. Another 21% of consumers are neutral on the subject, suggesting they will not opt out. Recent eMarketer research shows that 75% of consumers are willing to share their location if it enables a mobile service or saves them money. Which highlights how many users feel about personalized advertising: getting a coupon or an ad for something you were probably going to buy anyway is not a bad thing.

The Facebook Controversy

Facebook has been by far the most outspoken opponent of AppTrackingTransparency, going so far as to take-out full-page ads in newspapers and other print publications. Facebook says that AppTrackingTransparency will hurt small businesses’ ability to advertise to those in their community. And that Apple shouldn’t be able to make “unilateral decisions without consulting the industry about a policy that will have far-reaching harm on businesses of all sizes.”

Apple shouldn’t make “unilateral decisions without consulting the industry about a policy that will have far-reaching harm on businesses of all sizes.”


In general, the consensus seems to be that Facebook is upset because of their ongoing rivalry with Apple and more importantly, this decision’s impact on their own revenue. In the months since its announcement Facebook has changed its tune a bit. Zuckerberg said in an interview in March on Clubhouse that Apple’s new privacy policy may actually help Facebook; if advertisers can’t find space across iOS apps they may turn to Facebook.

Time will tell if these changes pull advertisers more into Facebook marketing, but one thing is for sure, they have already impacted Facebooks. We were sent this by Facebook this week: “Apple released changes with iOS 14 that impacts how we receive and process events from tools like the Facebook SDK and the Facebook pixel. See updates on how these changes affect your ad account and see tasks that can help you reach your audience.” So far, the only thing we’ve seen impacted on Facebook is size audiences available. That is expected to level out though, in coming months as people re-opt-in to app tracking.

The (Un)Official Guide to The Apple Privacy Update 
75% of consumers are willing to share their location if it enables a mobile service or saves them money.

What are advertisers doing about the privacy update?

Many apps already have another type of pixel technology built into them called “Fingerprinting.” Fingerprinting has been developed recently to combat this end of cookie era. Fingerprinting works by collecting seemingly unimportant data from your device such as screen resolution, phone model, and current operating system, and combining it into a way of recognizing your unique device. Much like actual finger printing, fingerprints match to fingerprint, not a name, address, phone number etc. This allows advertisers to target you with ads without knowing who you actually are, thus getting around any data privacy issues.

There are many tools becoming available that do similar things. Tools like Household Level Identifiers that don’t target specific people. Apple has given advertisers time to come up with solutions, so we will probably see more options in the coming months and years.

So, what do you think? Do the advantages of AppTracking outweigh the privacy costs?

Have you seen any evidence of increase privacy for personal data?

The Value of the Social Proof Phenomenon

The Value of the Social Proof Phenomenon -  Main Image. An Influencer holds up a shirt to her phone

The Social Proof Phenomenon is a foundation piece of how our culture buys now. Between Instagram Influencers, Yelp reviews, and 5 star Amazon products, most of us make purchase decisions on the value others see in the product. How can Social Proof and online reviews work for you?

The Social Proof Phenomenon

What do online reviews have to do with “Social Proof?” “Social Proof” is the phenomenon based on the fact that it’s easier to buy things or trust companies if we know that other people already have. Our peers provide the proof of something’s value. None of us would buy something on Amazon with 10,000 1 star reviews. We trust those 10,000 strangers because that product connects us as a community.

“Social proof” is also part of the transparency that builds brand trust. Most consumers (almost 88%) research a business before buying from them. A lot of that research comes from reviews and reading what other people have said about their experiences.

What Can Social Proof Do For You?

Reviews can help educate consumers on your products and services. Reviewers usually talk about their specific experiences in their reviews. It can be an easier way for potential customers to learn more about what you offer.

Reviews Boost SEO. Specifically, Google Reviews. Google indexes reviews connected to your listing to help filter results. Especially for local traffic. “Best __ Near Me” is decided by reviews and stars. Customers will often use your keywords in reviews without even realizing it. This helps Google learn about you.

What Can You Do To Collect Reviews?

People are inclined to leave reviews if they a specifically positive or negative experience. Therefore, work hard to provide an overwhelmingly positive expertise for your customers! (You should be doing this anyway; the review is just a byproduct. 😉 )

Google My Business Reviews help prove your company's value to potential customers
Google My Business Reviews

People like to do things for other people so a great way to collect reviews is to just ask for them! A follow up survey email after they buy from you is an easy way to this. Ask them specific, easy to answer questions about things such as: service response times, shipping times, product or service quality etc.  

Make it easy to review you. No one has time to take 10 minuets following a complicated review survey with long required written answers. People are doing you a favor by reviewing you, show that you appreciate it by being respectful of their time and effort. Take out pain points of the review process: go through and make sure there aren’t any unnecessary steps or questions. Double check the user interface, id it easy to figure out?

Incentivizing your reviews (specifically ecommerce) is a big no-no! As temping as it is to show your appreciation for the review with a coupon or free shipping, or something: don’t. Both Google and Yelp have policies in place banning incentivized reviews. They will take the reviews down and give you a slap on the wrist.

What To Do With Reviews Once You Have Them

You have the reviews – now what? Here’s 2 ways to leverage them!

  1. Show them off
    Let your reviews sell your product for you. Happy previous customers can be a great way to convince your potentials to buy from you! Show off your reviews on your home page with Google review widget or prominently feature some reviews as part of the design. Don’t forget to ask for permission first if you are going to highlight a specific review, especially if you are going to use their picture.
  2. Engage with reviewers
    let them know you appreciate them! It doesn’t have to be a big deal, simply liking the review or just saying thanks goes a long way. That little bit of effort can turn a happy customer into a loyal one. And a lot of marketing automation software makes replying to reviews across multiple platforms easy.

Do you have a favorite customer review?

While we are on the subject… leave us a review! 😜

Get the most out of Instagram – How?

Get the most out of Instagram - How?

Instagram can be a confusing and overwhelming beast. It has its own constantly changing algorithm and culture that separates it from any other social media. Getting Instagram to work for you takes time, effort, insight, and unfortunately: intuition. What do you need to get the most out of Instagram?

Being an Instagram pro requires knowledge of 3 things: its culture, its algorithm, and your own analytics of those 2 things. Understanding the culture and the algorithm don’t do you much good if that knowledge is disconnected from your own follower and user data.

Instagram Culture

The biggest thing to remember is that Instagram is not Facebook. Facebook is for information, Instagram is for connections. And Instagram’s user base is generally younger than its big brother Facebook. More than 50% of Instagram users are between 18-35, while more than 60% of Facebook’s user are over 35. Therefore, these users have grown up with social media, including Instagram, and have shaped its function and culture. (For example, by the time my friends and I were old enough to have social media, Facebook was already too big and felt like something elusively for our parents. For a long time, Instagram was the only social media any of us had.)

Although Instagram is great for showing off products, the thing it is best at is highlighting your brand’s culture and personality. It is not enough anymore to have a good product available anymore, your consumers need to feel connected to your brand. 56% of Gen Z consumers say that having shared passions and perspectives is a major factor when it comes to their engagement with a brand.

$ things to remember about Instagram's Culture

And 49% of young consumers say they will evangelize a brand they feel represents their values, likes, and personality.

Don’t be afraid of incorporating causes you care about into your brands personality! 72% of consumers want the brands they care about to be positive contributors to society. We’ve seen in recent years that many brands (especially smaller companies) connect their core brand to a charity or cause they care about. Younger consumers are 69% more likely to buy from a brand that contributes to a cause.

The Algorithm

According to Instagram, they decide to show your content based on 6 factors:

#1: Interest

#2: Relationship 

#3: Timeliness

#4: Frequency

#5: Following

#6: Usage

The first three are somewhat self-explanatory. Instagram shows you things based on what you’ve liked in the past. They highlight posts from people they’ve decided are close to you: people whose content you most engage with, the people who tag you, the people you DM etc. Instagram also cares about when you post. Keeping track of your analytics can give you a good idea about when the best times to post for you are.

#4 Frequency
Instagram Algorithm - Cat scrolling through Instagram

Frequency isn’t about how often you post but instead about how often interact with the app. The more often you check your Instagram feed the more likely your feed will be chronological because they are always trying to show you the newest content available. This is helpful to understand what type of Instagram users your followers are. If they don’t check the app that often, then it will be harder to have your posts seen. Building up the other 5 components to the algorithm will be all the more important.

#5 Following

Instagram assigns value to follower counts in a couple different ways. First, is simple: the more followers you have the more likely your posts will be highlighted in your follower’s feeds. However, they also look at your follower’s engagement levels. If you have a lot of ghost followers that don’t interact with you, then they could actually be hurting you. Another thing to consider, the more people your followers follow the more competition for space in their feed. Do your followers follow a lot of people? Understanding that can help you decide if you need to adjust where you focus your efforts.

#6 Usage

This is how Instagram qualifies the amount of time spent on the app. The more time spent on the app, the deeper into its catalogs they have to pull from to show content. You can use this to your advantage by using hashtags or developing content that matches with the interests of Instagram’s heavy users.

How do you get the most out of Instagram?