5 Game Changers Every Advertiser Must Know in May 2018

SQAD POD: 5 Game Changers Every Advertiser Should Know – May 2018

Industry news and insights podcast curated from the world of advertising and marketing trends.Audio Player00:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.

All the April showers have finally delivered May flowers…and more showers. But nothing can dampen the momentum and trends for the ad industry. Now that the temperatures are warming up and spring is in the air, we’ve got the big news stories everyone is talking about from the world of advertising. This month, we’re exploring Facebook’s clear history tool, transparency around political ads, Amazon’s next big move, the power of proving ROI, and Netflix’s eye on out-of-home advertising.

1.Facebook’s “Clear History” Changes Everything

Facebook’s advertising platform is fueled by the massive amounts of data it collects from users, whether through the site itself or via Facebook plugins embedded in external apps, websites, and devices – delivering unprecedented targeting resources for advertisers while churning out tons of ad revenue for the social giant. However, from the words of Harvey Dent, you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become a villain – and it appears Facebook is inching its way towards to the latter (in the eyes of advertisers) as it looks to reimagine their relationship with user data. Thanks in part to new GDPR regulations, and the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook is making big moves in the direction of user data protection and permissions. Up until now, there was no easy way of stopping Facebook from collecting user data, which has provided advertisers an all-you-can-eat buffet of unrestricted consumer data for targeted ads. But, CEO Mark Zuckerberg appears to be changing the game by announcing a “clear history” option that allows users to clear their browsing history stored by Facebook and to opt out of having their data collected. The implications are obvious: Facebook is no longer the reliable source of targeted consumer access, and advertisers are already looking for new solutions. It’s too early to tell if the changes to Facebook’s data model will break its current position as part of the duopoly with Google, but it’s clear that advertisers will need to start diversifying their digital ad strategies if they want to stay in front of their core buyers.

2. Lifting the Veil Off Political Ads

The digital space has exploded over the past decade as the new go-to channel for advertising, thanks to its ability to target audiences in a way that traditional TV, radio, and OOH never could. Look no further than the recent trends in political advertising spends, to see how powerful digital influence has become. But, recent revelations about collusion, foreign manipulation, and data breaches have resulted in regulations that crack down on digital political advertising and demand more transparency. This comes at a time where heated political issues dominate the media, as well as social media – where many operatives have leveraged loopholes for unverified content, to boost political campaigns, stoke racial unrest, deepen divides, and prey on the base fears of core constituencies. Promoted content for political propaganda has saturated social media newsfeeds over the past few election cycles, and now online companies are trying to do something about it. Specifically, Google is leading the way by requiring anyone purchasing a political ad, to have documents proving that they are a U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. Additionally, the company will release a Transparency Report that will document who is buying election-related ads and how much money is being spent. Google will also be requiring political ads to have full disclosure as to who is paying for it. If implemented and fully enforced, this could drive changes in other ad platforms and provide much-needed transparency, in a time where truth and transparency are in short supply.

3. Amazon on the Advertising Offense

While it’s not “breaking news” that Amazon is trying to position itself as a major player in the digital advertising world, some of their recent moves are really changing the game. The e-commerce giant is introducing a new tool that allows merchants selling in its marketplace, to purchase ads that will track users around the Internet and lure them back to Amazon for purchases – targeted remarketing. Normally, the fact that those running shoes you checked out on Amazon are showing up on other web pages would be blamed on Google. But now Amazon wants to do the targeting and be the beginning and ending of all advertising for products and services provided through their vast marketplace. The Amazon ads will be bought through a bidding system (similar to Google) and will appear on other websites and apps (similar to Google), giving merchants an opportunity to reach more eyeballs and thus more potential customers – all without getting Google in the mix. The new tool is undoubtedly one of Amazon’s most aggressive moves in the battle for advertiser dollars, and they’re clearly gunning for Google. Being a one-stop-shop for all the advertisers and content creators distributing through Amazon platforms could be a game changer and drive a real wedge in the duopoly of Facebook and Google.

4. NBCU and iSpot Team Up to Prove ROI

Advertisers want to see results. Results may come in the form of leads and increased brand awareness, but ultimately it comes down to the dollar signs. How much revenue is a campaign bringing in for the company? NBCUniversal has teamed up with iSpot.tv to provide ROI answers for advertisers – and ensure NBCU networks are the first choice for those advertising dollars. The partnership will provide advertisers with an outcome measurement that tracks ROI indicators such as web traffic and sales, specifically for TV advertisements. TV networks have been able to provide viewership guarantees, but now NBCU is stepping up the game to prove the actual effectiveness of ads with real hard data. Pairing with iSpot gives the network valuable viewing data, which they can use to track households that visited websites of brands they viewed on TV. The availability of this data has the potential to put pressure on other platforms to provide the same type of transparency or run the risk of being dismissed as immeasurable. Bringing real ROI measurements into the world of TV advertising will change the game, and help the aging linear format compete with the ever-growing dominance of digital ads.

5. Netflix Buys OOH Business, Because Why Not?

Digitally-native companies are starting to flock to out-of-home (OOH) advertising because they know people tend to skip, block, hide, or ignore ads that pop up online. With OOH, there are no options to skip the ad and it typically isn’t even interruptive to begin with – it’s just there, whether on a bus station shelter, a vending kiosk, or a billboard. A potential consumer just happens to pass by it, they get an impression of the product, and then through repetition, gain a relationship with that brand. The inability to “skip” an OOH ad is driving a bit of a renaissance for the industry as companies look for effective ways to get meaningful impressions with consumers. So it may not come as a surprise that there are whispers going around the industry, that Netflix is looking to acquire Regency Outdoor Advertising, a company that sells OOH spaces in California, Netflix’s home state. The streaming giant is probably thinking: why continue to pay rent on a billboard when we can own the billboard outright? Netflix is offering $300 million for Regency, and based on their advertising budgets, it will earn that money back in no time with savings. Plus, they can rent out the inventory to other companies when not in use. It’s a win for them, and a potential game-changer for the industry as a digital giant gets into the business of physical advertising.