When you don’t agree with the word of a Marketing GURU, I think this is what you do.
A Facebook Friend of mine named Justin Brooke (JB) made a Facebook post that I responded to and I felt I should share the exchange. The reason, it’s about a very hot topic in the news. And I think it’s highly misunderstood. He had over a 150 People praising his post agreeing with him and then there was me. I responded to his comment in separate modules, to each of his specific statements. Note: Justin is a top notch Media Pro who teaches others how to run digital campaigns at AdSkills.com He’s a Pro and you should check his stuff out.
The start of my response...
Justin, I’m giving you these comments because I respect you. That comes with very high expectations and I know you can reach them. I'm supposed to say that when I’m about to disagree with most of what you said. I do agree with some of it. This will require a detailed response because you gave Me a lot to chew on. Let's begin...
JB: "I've been saying for years, retargeting and all of this custom/lookalike audience collection is not going to be around forever."
GO: Other than the dirt beneath our feet, not much will be around forever. In the world of digital, data will last longer-much longer than anyone reading this post. We live in a sensor economy. Sensors collect data, IoT. Sensors are growing in numbers, exponentially, there are billions and will soon be trillions of sensors. Data+Data=Insight And insight is valuable. Data-driven marketing collects, analyses, and utilizes all forms of data from sensors. Within a few layers of various companies and identity resolution technologies, IoT goes from anonymous to not. And yes, there are proper and legal ways to deal with PII to maintain privacy laws. And this Genie is not going back in the bottle. If People want to use all the cool new technology like Google Maps, Alexa, Facebook - basically all tech - they give up data collected by many, many sensors. Within tech, this is not going away. Ad platforms that help Advertisers produce audiences, leads & customers will always allow Custom Audiences for the proper utilization, optimization and enhanced targeting of that first-party data. This is not going away, it's growing and will continue to do so. Similarly, Lookalike Audiences extend the reach (in an amazing way I might add) for the Advertisers and Ad platform will continue this as well.
JB: "#CambridgeAnalytica marks the peak and #GDPR is the signal for it starting to go down from here."
GO: In terms of "starting to go down from here" there's my comment above addressed. In terms of Cambridge Analytica, from what I've read, the main issue at hand has everything to do with the data and how they went about getting the data they used. The real issue isn't Custom and Lookalike Audience. If it wasn't first-party data, that's an issue, it needs to be. If it was collected and utilized outside of Facebook's policies, that's an issue too. However, Zuck has stated it was not and policies have since gotten stricter. In terms of GDPR, I do not see similar laws coming to America. It's a much bigger discussion that gets into the politics of why. Personally, I think this whole Cambridge Analytica issue has become an issue for political reasons. All the hubbub isn't a long-standing one.
JB: "Blasphemy you say..."
GO: The irony coming from an "Ad Guy" I guess you could say that, you said it, not me.
JB: "Consumers do not like to be tracked. This weeks FB ads fiasco is the clear cut proof of that."
GO: Of course, Consumers don't want to be tracked. It's a bit of a platitude though. It's like saying people don't like to be sold, but they sure do like to buy shit. There's a give and take with using today's tech. People have a choice to unplug and tune out. Having free access to super cool tech without being "tracked" has not become an entitlement.
JB: "Browsers, the software we all use to access the Internet sides with the user. For years they have been tightening the tracking controls for the user. Now they are starting to outright just block ads, cookies, VSL's, and many other things. If the consumer does not want to be tracked, then it is only a matter of time before custom audiences and cookies go the route of pop ups (the old school kind)."
GO: Bro, you're mixing in a ton of stuff here that shouldn't be correlated together. Thank God we still live in a Free market society where yes, the User, the Customer is still always right and in control of the products they get to use. And maybe someday People will stop using Facebook, and Google (I don't think so) or there will be an ad-free paid version like Netflix. Ok, great. However, please don't think that will stop data collection, analysis, and utilization on so many levels it would makes People’s head spin. ALL machine learning and AI operate because of DATA. And what produces data, sensors. Please don't believe an ad blocker stops data collection. It stops an ad from showing to that Person on that channel. Those Advertisers who are One Channel Ponies will have a problem. And the Cookie, well, it's been crumbling for years with the advent of more and more new devices. The Cookie alone isn't cross-device or cross-channel. Thus, the advent of People-Based Data and Marketing. Believe it or not, People want the right message at the right time. In an ever growing multichannel world, Advertisers who become Omni to the segment of One, are going to win. Honestly, to liken custom audiences to pop-ups is to suggest that data collection, analysis and the utilization of behavior will stop within the ecosystems of tech and Advertising. Where's the hockey puck going? Data absorption and networked data are creating the ad networks of the future-now. They are inclusive and beyond the walled gardens. It's decentralization. The largest and smartest companies have been doing it for years. Combining the use of hybrid data platforms, DMPs, DSPs and CDPs are now audience hubs treated much like advanced CRM automation systems. It's about building Identity Graphs. Detailed profiles tagged and segmented similarly to the way Facebook and Google already do it, except, Advertisers are building their own data networks as long-term assets. People don't need to be in your CRM/Funnel to be intelligently identified and targeted. When Advertisers buy the targeting from the ad platform, IT COST MORE. When Advertisers bring their targeting into the ad platform (Custom Audiences), and it's highly responsive, IT COST LESS. Paying the heaviest load Advertising to a haystack of data on Facebook, Google or anywhere, to identify the needles that are going into your CRM/Funnel isn't necessary anymore. It's happening, it will continue, and it will become increasingly better. Side note: I think AI will take over running ad campaigns on Facebook and Google way before custom audiences are gone like the popups. That includes page/funnel optimization, and SEO as well. -- I could go on…
JB: "So then what are my options? Well, for now the window is still open. This is like in the movies where the hero is running towards the closing vault door and slides under in the last second. You're now the guy running towards the closing door. The closing door is browsers and ad networks slowly removing your ability to track user behaviors so accurately. Use it while we have it."
GO: We agree, use it. Indeed! However, the window is not getting smaller and closing, it's getting bigger, much bigger. Here's the issue, your statement "browsers and ad networks slowly removing your ability to track user behaviors so accurately" That's not happening. On some levels, it might seem like it, but it's not happening. The exact opposite is happening. This is the thing, Advertisers, in a very big way, make the world go around. Some might dispute it or say the world is flat. None the less, Advertisers and their big Agencies have for years been demanding more transparency from their huge ad spends. Why? For better attribution. To justify the ad spend while battling massive Ad-Bot Fraud and to protect their Brands from noncongruent Publisher placements. Advertising transparency is a must. You see, none of this is possible if there is no transparency in advertising. Within a few layers of various companies and identity resolution technologies, IoT goes from anonymous to not. That transparency in advertising allows for identity resolution while 100% maintaining privacy laws. The Genie isn't going back into the bottle. So, the big question is, are Advertisers going to stop spending those massive advertising dollars anytime soon? I don't think so. Decentralization is happening, it's real, and we'll start to see Zapier type APIs into the ever-growing number of Independent Data Networks.
JB: "I suggest using it more than ever before and focusing on building real audiences like email lists, youtube subscriber counts, FB groups, forums, Slack, and social media followers."
GO: Again, we agree, use it. Big time! All of the channels you mention have copious amounts of data collected in so many different ways. You use the term "real audience" in front of those channels. I find that interesting and would love for you to expand on what you mean by it.
JB: "But the movie Minority Report predicted us having ads everywhere? That's not what the consumer wants. That is a nightmare scenario to the consumer. Ads have been dying for many years now, this is just the movement now reaching the Internet. It already happened to TV and other media."
GO: Again, I truly believe that People want the right message and the right time. The only way to do that is with the proper data. I also believe we will have advertising EVERYWHERE, Omni to the segment of One style advertising. Ads are not dying, the methods used to connect the messaging are dying. And if we're going to use movie analogies, I'll go with the movie Inception. It's the job of the advertiser to plant the seed and make the Consumer first "think", determine they want what you have to offer. People will want advertising in exchange for value.
JB: "The consumer wants to be able to control their feed. Right now we live in a blacklist era, where the consumer see's your ads without choice and has to blacklist you to make you go away. Soon we will live in a whitelist era where they have to whitelist you to even be seen."
GO: We agree again! My belief, in the not so distant future, our Identity which is our personal data, will be controlled within the blockchain, giving each individual person 100% control over who can message them. In essence, a state of true 1 to 1 marketing, with the Individual Person in control of the toll gate. Thus creating an economic model for a basic income to each and every Person. We all only have 24 hours in a day, the attribution of where it's spent will become what we know as Immersive Advertising. The attention of People, of a Person will become the only channel. Omni to the segment of One.
JB: "Social networks, ad networks, and browsers live off of consumer demand. They MUST adhere to the consumers demands or they will die.
When Myspace became too cluttered with ads, what happened? Right..."
GO: We agree again! The issues in this regard have to do with the timing. When will Consumers controls over their personal data have more strength than the Advertisers? I would leave that prediction to Ray Kurzweil, because I do not know. I do believe it's in our lifetime, just not anytime soon.
JB: "For now, use every advantage we have. Use it to build the biggest permission based audience you can. You'll have a huge head start over people 2 - 10 years from now. But expect a future where the consumer only ever see's ads they have approved to show up in their feed. Act for the short-term, but prepare for the long-term."
GO: We keep agreeing here, I like it. Let's use every advantage. I love it. I AM doing it. My question is, are you doing it?
The Chief Rainmaker
You pay Facebook and Google for views, clicks, and leads. They show you data on how well your campaigns/ads perform. That’s great. However, what they don’t show you is WHO is engaging with your campaigns/ads/website. Imagine knowing WHO. I’m telling you right now, you can and should know WHO.
Do you run Facebook and Google custom audience campaigns?
Tag, segment and lead score the People from your campaigns into specific behavior buckets, allowing you to run tighter more specific sequenced campaigns.
The data driven marketer uses their data to better target and personalize their marketing across multiple channels. New audience data technology is changing audience targeting. Audience data derived from first party retargeting pixels and correlated to keyword search intent, can be onboarded and deployed across a multichannel ecosystem.
Openers & Clickers - Here’s a non-specific, yet probably the best comparable example I can give you, to convey the optimization opportunities extending from knowing WHO is engaging with your campaigns.
Let me suggest a hypothetical situation, say you’re doing an email marketing campaign. You’re going to send an email to 1,000 people, and the cost to send each email is $1 per email sent. Let’s refer to the total universe of the 1,000 people, as “The Haystack”. You messaging The Haystack to identify the Needles in The Haystack. In other words, the People who are interested in your email offer. After you send the first email, you want to send a second email. Here’s the key, you don’t waste your money on sending a second email to the entire 1,000 people. Instead, you only send your second email to the openers & clickers of the first email. Targeting the People who engaged your first email is more cost effective and you will get a better response.
Now use this same example, except it’s not for email, it’s for your Facebook and Google campaigns. Again, you can tag, segment and lead score the People from your campaigns into specific behavior buckets, allowing you to run tighter more specific sequenced campaigns. Advertising to The Haystack to find the Needles become way more efficient.
The biggest gaps in today’s marketing are in attribution.
The starting point for better attribution is identity.
You cannot rely on modeled cookie pools or walled-garden IDs to execute cross channel 1-to-1 digital attribution. Identity is at the heart of our new multichannel reality. If you get identity wrong, everything else is wrong.
Over the past decade we’ve all seen the latest and greatest omnichannel, 1-to-1, addressable, just-in-time-messaging panacea. They promised the kind of meaningful interactions that used to only happen in real life. Why didn’t they deliver? Why didn’t it work?
The reason is because, it was before People-Based Marketing.
Targeting InMarket Prospects from Google and lead scoring their engagement on Facebook is easier than you think. You might think, how is this possible, Google doesn’t even allow you to run a Facebook pixel on your Adwords campaigns. And you’d be right and I tell you to expand your thinking. I encourage you to start researching everything you can about People-Based Data and Marketing. It’s the future of where all marketing will start and finish. Why? Because all multichannel marketing requires you get identity right first. People-Based Marketing is the new gold standard to getting identity right.
The Chief Rainmaker
Chances are, you are familiar with running campaigns with custom audiences. Of course, most Pros are maximizing their reach with their current data assets. Uploading your prospects/CRM data and your customer data to run ads directly to those People has become a standard operating procedure. However, acquiring new prospects and customers is expensive and you need to constantly do more of it to be able to extend your reach with look-a-like-audiences. The rub is, scalability is an issue. The good news is, we’ve fixed the scalability issues. We’ve developed a low-cost solution to engineer in-market audiences. I’m talking about People-Based Custom Audiences derived from first party retargeting pixels and correlated to keyword search intent which is deterministic behavior. Audiences that will lower your lead/customer acquisition cost by at least 25% without you doing ANYTHING different, other than utilizing the audiences with your current campaigns.
I read this article from Liveramp, interviewing the Chief Product Officer of Share This. It’s a short, very worthwhile article that covers some of the challenges and benefits of using custom and look-a-like-audiences.
“The ability to build custom lookalike audiences empowers marketers to identify new consumers and increase their lifetime value.”
Nowadays, just about every ad platform/network offers you the opportunity to upload your data to run a custom audience campaigns. The more channels you run, the more lift and return you will get. Run as many channels as you can. Then, create look-a-like-audiences from your custom audience data and you will see the biggest and best producing campaigns you’ve ever run. Once you discover the power of look-alike-audiences (LALAs) you’ll then want to know how to scale those successes and we’ve got you covered.
The Chief Rainmaker
The ads you buy, produce first party data and you own it.
Every time you select your ad targeting inside an ad platform, you’re paying a usage fee for that audience to the ad platform, and depending on the ad platform, to a third party. As an Advertiser, when you pay for that Advertisement, the data from it, becomes your first party data, meaning you own it.
First, let’s talk about first party data. This is data generally referring to information that you have collected. In the context of retargeting campaigns, first-party data is often cookie-based data, and it includes information resulted from analytics platforms, CRM systems, or business analysis tools. First party data is and has always been valuable. However, when first party data is verified by a People-Based data framework, the audience targeting correlations rise to a whole new level. Your first party data becomes immensely more valuable.
Talking to Marketing Pros everyday, I have found, this is not common knowledge.
The goal of this post is to get you to realize the power of the data associated with the advertising you buy. Before you can start acting like you own your ad buys, you first need to understand the variables associated with your data.
Data alone is information, two data points together becomes an insight. In terms of retargeting data and People-Based data being correlated to each other, it means you, the Advertiser the owner of your first party data, have new choices you’ve never had before.
Some of those amazing new choices come from gaining permanence and portability with your Audience data. Keep in mind, currently, Advertisers, you pay a premium price for expiring retargeting pixel pools which are captive to the ad platform of origin and you still find a way to convert a positive ROI.
Your audience data, is identifiable, yet anonymous, reachable across various channels and ad platforms, yet most Advertisers only use one channel and one ad platform. Yes, even most of the ultra successful Advertisers who spend millions of dollars to make millions more, often use only one channel and one ad platform. Successful in spite of this shortcoming, I refer to this ailment as The One Channel Pony Syndrome. The good news is, it’s curable.
“if you have the Audience, you should be going multichannel, all day, everyday, in every which way”
Portable, interoperable audience data will become the cornerstone of our inevitable, multichannel future. And the more ambitious Advertisers will aspire to a fully synchronized omnichannel vision.
It’s eye opening, truly amazing, to see the simple idea and impact of Advertising to the same exact Audience in more than one channel and more than and one ad platform. If you want to see a noticeable lift, simply put, add an extra channel to the same Audience.
Think about it for a moment, think about your daily routine. If some Advertiser, who you never opted into their funnel, sent you one to three marketing emails in one day, you might get a bit ticked and consider unsubscribing. However, fast forward a bit into the very near future…
If that same Advertiser, took a different approach and in one day, sent you a marketing message via email, in-app mobile, on your iPad in Facebook, on two different digital billboards, sequentially, on your drive to the office. While you’re listening to your favorite station on Spotify or a podcast/audio on Soundcloud. And if that’s not enough, then, more digital billboards, sequentially, on your drive home. Before you get home, you stop by a store to pick-up a few things. In front of the store you receive a mobile notice, a discount, co-branded by the same Advertiser, you open it to see an augmented layer of multiple targeted offerings available inside the store. Since they know what you’re in-the-market for, the ads are all relevant. And when you get home, you check your mailbox, you see what else, of course, a postcard. After dinner you turn on your Vizio TV, watch some Hulu, Roku and what do you see? Yep! You can see it now. It’s the near future. Now, everything I mention, here in this example is possible right now. It’s not possible inside a unified system, yet. There are multiple SaaS platforms heading toward filling that gap, soon.
On the Audience side of this equation, it’s very doable. We call it, Independent Audience Engineering and it’s the future, now.
Broadcasting will become antiquated and narrowcasting to the specific Audiences on specific channels and/or devices will become the standard.
To achieve the maximum, holy grail of omnichannel goodness, true multichannel, synchronized messaging , the industry will require the fragmented platforms and data world to untangle itself and standardize. And it is happening before the eyes who are seeing it.
Right now, we’re doing our part, a bit slower than we’d like, it’s not automated or fully synchronized, but with the right SaaS partnerships, we’re heading in that direction. The reality of capturing the inventory of an available market is this, beyond programmatic direct buys, there is Independent Audience Engineering. The concept of Independent Audience Engineering is somewhat similar to programmatic direct buys, but Independent Audience Engineering is much different, and comparatively on steroids. It is realistic to capture 10%-30% of ANY market we want to engineer and that number is growing.
My advice to Advertisers and Agencies looking to expand their reach, frequency and branding is this, go multichannel, now. Start today. Start, quantifying and capturing a portion of the available market now, because it’s available. The people who are searching for the products or services you offer are available for pennies, or fractions of pennies, not the dollars or tens of dollars per click you’ve become accustomed to paying.
Fear not, the channels or ad platforms. Don’t be a One Channel Pony.
If you don’t know how to use a specific ad platform, and that’s the only reason you’re not going multichannel, then here’s my second tip. Hire someone who does know how to use the specific ad platforms. If you have the Audience, you’re leaving money, most likely a fair amount of money, on the table without leveraging every possible marketing channel and platform. The key is here, if you have the Audience, you should be going multichannel, all day, everyday, in every which way. The lift, the impact you’ll see in your overall Audience/Customer acquisition will be substantial. With a hyper targeted Audience that is permanent and portable…
The real question is, what market do you feel like conquering today?
The Chief Rainmaker
Welcome to my inaugural post. As The Chief Rainmaker, on a quest to help other Chief Rainmakers, my post today is about one of the most significant shifts in marketing since the invention and use of email. Ironically, what’s old is now new again, email has become the linchpin to the biggest developments in digital marketing.
You can think whatever you want about email marketing. However, if you’re paying attention to how hot People-Based marketing is, then you know it’s because email transactions associated with the browser, has become the saving grace to digital marketing.
Saving grace? Oh really, you might say. Saving grace from what? People-Based marketing, the framework, is the saving grace from Robots. Yes, little Robots that plague your digital media buys. It’s estimated that $16.4 billion could be lost to ad fraud in 2017. Yes, little fraudulent Robots, posing as real traffic, even real clicks and opt-ins.
And mobile media buys, those numbers are even higher. Obviously, advertisers are tired of getting punk’d and the reason People-Based marketing is so hot is because Advertisers started demanding the reality of this fraud, be seriously addressed.
It’s not a joke, even though what I wrote below, kinda is… 😉
Three Browsers walk into a bar and say, Mr. Pub bartender, drop some Retargeting on us.
Mr. Pub Bartender says sure, here’s a little pixel, this will get you loaded and follow you around ‘til your head spins.
Next, a nice Lady walks into the bar and says, which one of you Browsers wants to buy me one of those sweet little pixel drinks? I’m looking for a real Browser.
All but one Browser is broke and feeling a little fake. The one lucky Browser tells Mr. Pub bartender, I’m buying this fine Lady a drink and whispers to the bartender, I’d like access to your private reserve, the good stuff.
Mr. Pub bartender says, we can handle that transaction, give me your credit card for an open tab. The good stuff, it’s in that locked cooler, anytime you want to access it, just type in your email with this password.
The Lady whispers to Mr. Pub bartender, is this Browser for real?
Mr. Pub bartender: this Browser is about more than just a Retargeting pixel, he’s spending bucks to access the good stuff.
The Lady: Now that’s what I’m looking for. Can you get me that next Retargeting pixel on him and give me his email address when he accesses the good stuff?
Mr. Pub bartender: Missy, NO, I’m sorry, but that’s PII (personally identifiable information), and not legal for me to provide to you. However, I can drop your Retargeting pixel and give you the Hashed code of his email address. That way, the only way, you’ll be able to read the Hashed code of his email address, is if you already possess his email address. Technically and legally, I’m not giving you his email address, but if you already have it, then the Hash code will recognize that you do already have it and you’ll be able to read his email address. Capisce?
The Lady: Oh I gots me some emails, I capisce all that.
Mr. Pub bartender: Yeah Lady, I know, I’ve seen you around, a lot
Here’s the thing, we all still use our email address(s) to access things we’ve purchased. Robots are not in the habit of this behavior. The People-Based framework is simply identifying real people, using their email as an identifier behaviorally participating in transactions. Buying something, then accessing it. Seems kinda simple and on the surface, it is, and maybe that’s why it works so well. Everyday tens of millions of People participate in this type of behavior. When that type of behavior is associated with a Retargeting pixel, you have the opportunity to advertise to real People, instead of Robots. This is the People-Based framework of marketing. On top of this framework is the foundation for so many new and exciting data products, offered by an ever expanding group of companies. If you’re a Chief Rainmaker, I suggest you start doing your research on People-Based marketing. And if you got questions along the way, hit me up, I’m a real person who’s been deep into this for a while now.
My company, Profit Worldwide,Inc. has developed a stackable, layered process and data technology, building upon the foundation of The People-Based Framework. And since we invented something totally unique, we named it, Independent Audience Engineering.
Through our Agency Partners, we’re working with the top, biggest companies in our space. As of the date of this post and for the past two+ years, we have not seen any other company with our specific, stackable, layered process and data technology.
Our data correlations are allowing for pinpoint targeting in ways you’ve never seen before, until now. And yes, mobile is the future. Just wait until you see the IoT with augmented layers, connected Social-Wifi networks, and proximity beacons all feeding into the People-Based framework. Truly mind blowing.
As a media buyer, Independent Audience Engineering isn’t something you can buy at Google or Facebook or anywhere else.
The entire digital media industry will come to realize soon, there are other options to buying 100% of audience on a usage basis, over and over again. And if you don’t know what that means, you better figure it out soon. It’s your traffic, you’re paying for it. You own it, first party. Maybe you should start acting like it.
The Chief Rainmaker