June 2024

What’s new in the realms of paid search and social media? This month, Courtney Shaw, VP of Social Media Solutions, and Maggie Shelton, Director of Search Media Investment, compiled all the latest news, trends, and resources that advertising pros need to know.

The creator economy in 3D [:02]

THE NEWS: Deloitte’s new report details the impact of the creator economy from the perspectives of creators and influencers, brands, and consumers. One takeaway of note for advertisers: The report found that bonds between consumers and their favorite creators can lead to increased trust between consumers and the brands those creators partner with.

THE CONTEXT: Brands are upping their investment in the creator economy, with 92% planning to increase their spend on creator marketing this year, and 36% planning to spend at least half their entire digital marketing budget in the space.

EXPERT POV: Marketers can no longer afford to sit out on creator marketing. Creator content, whether owned, organic, or sponsored, is here to stay and is fast becoming the key to winning new customers. As we look at investment across social channels, advertisers may need to be wary of platform-managed creator marketplaces, where exclusive contracts can limit brand usage rights across the open internet. – Jess Kaswiner | Director, Social Media Investment

Global Ad Trends: Social media reaches new peaks [:20]

THE NEWS: Global ad spend across social media platforms is up by a whopping 14.3% year-over-year, making it the leading media channel in the digital ecosystem. This surge is fueled mostly by advertising spend on Meta platforms, which is set to surpass linear TV for the first time in history. The report attributes some incremental increase in social spend to artificial intelligence, suggesting that new tools that automate creative development and media planning, such as Meta Advantage+, are growing in popularity.

THE CONTEXT: The surge in social media ad spend comes on the heels of a rough couple of years for many of the biggest players in the social space, which were marked by plummeting stocks and missed revenue expectations. However, things haven’t turned around for all the major players: While Meta, Pinterest, TikTok, and Snapchat are forecast to enjoy double-digit growth this year, the report notes that X’s revenue woes will continue.

EXPERT POV: Brands show no signs of slowing down their social ad investments. To ensure the social presence of a business acts as a buttress rather than a mere prop, advertisers must understand what that businesses’ audience wants to hear/read/see, while simultaneously differentiating from competitor content. – Jess Kaswiner | Director, Social Media Investment

Instagram confirms test of ‘unskippable’ ads [:02]

THE NEWS: After screenshots surfaced on social media, Meta confirmed that it’s testing a non-skippable ad unit on Instagram. These new ad breaks will display a countdown timer that stops users from being able to browse through more content on the app until they view the ad. The functionality is similar to YouTube, which requires users to view some ads in full before and in the middle of watching videos. Information about the test is limited, such as where the test is running from a geographic standpoint, or how long the test will run.

THE CONTEXT: With 44% of consumers preferring to learn about products and services through short-form video (where Instagram excels), and 87% of marketers reporting that video has directly increased sales, an unskippable ad unit would likely strengthen the impact of Instagram’s video ad offerings for advertisers.

EXPERT POV: Should this “forced view” ad unit on Instagram become available more broadly, advertisers will have the opportunity to fully capture a user’s attention with guaranteed visibility, which will help to drive awareness and engagement. Brands will want to ensure the content of the unskippable ad is engaging, with clear messaging and CTAs. – Laura Kubiesa | VP, Social Media Investment

Study Shows Young Consumers Are Increasingly Turning to Social for Discovery [:02]

THE NEWS: Young people are increasingly using social apps—TikTok and Instagram in particular—to find products. Gen Z users search social apps primarily for fashion, beauty, food, and craft-related trends, but turn to Google for bigger purchases, places to go, and professional services.

THE CONTEXT: Whether looking to drive sales from younger or older consumers, there’s gold in those social media hills: Both product discovery and purchase happen on social media at rates higher than on messaging apps, video, or through influencers. This trend goes hand in hand with the rise of social search, with over 25% of 18 to 54-year-olds preferring to perform their online searches via social media.

EXPERT POV: The integration of generative AI into search and social platforms is likely to further blur the lines between different types of product discovery channels. By staying informed about these consumer trends, marketers can better navigate the shifting landscape of product/brand discovery and optimize their strategies for maximum impact. – Erik Chellberg | VP, Social Media Investment

Google launches Google TV advertising network [:02]

THE NEWS: Google announced the launch of the Google TV Network, a network aimed at leveraging Google's vast audience to distribute and monetize TV content. This network is available within the Google Ads platform through YouTube and display campaigns and currently focuses on the six-second bumper ad format, with more formats coming. The platform offers a range of content, including sports, news, and entertainment, and focuses on personalized recommendations and targeted advertising.

THE CONTEXT: This move from Google empowers advertisers to make the most of the rapid growth of free ad-supported television (FAST) channels like Amazon’s Freevee, Pluto, Tubi, and Roku, in light of rising subscription costs for other streaming services.

EXPERT POV: For now, my team is opting in to the Google TV Network within non-skippable and bumper YouTube campaigns. As we see more data coming from this network, we will evaluate whether performance is of high enough quality to continue opting in—I recommend other advertisers do the same. – Heather Crider, VP of Search Media Solutions

Google Ads rolls out new design to all markets on Aug. 30 [:02]

THE NEWS: On August 30th, Google Ads will complete the rollout of its new design to all markets. New features include a left-side menu that organizes pages into several high-level categories, a more comprehensive search function, and an overall cleaner and more modern-looking UI.

THE CONTEXT: Google trialed two different looks in 2023 before landing on this UI, based on user feedback, for the full rollout.

EXPERT POV: You can expect all the same functionality in the new Google Ads design, but the tools and menus have moved around a bit. Users should adopt the new Google Ads UI early and get as familiar as possible with the various changes, as there will be no way to opt out after August 30th. Certain things have shifted, from tools and menus to more efficient campaign segmentation for Performance Max, and it will take some time for the new navigation to become second nature. – Sofia Petrovsky, Director of Search Media Investment


May 2024

Google Marketing Live 2024: Everything you need to know [:03]

THE NEWS: Content at Google Marketing Live 2024 focused on AI-driven updates, including those that enhance creative production and consumer engagement. Key highlights include:

THE CONTEXT: Google has been on an AI tear as of late, adding AI-powered tools meant to help marketers with creative development, campaign management, and seemingly everything in between. Their stated purpose? To respond to an “evolution of [consumer] attention.”

EXPERT POV: This year’s GML was a continued push into AI, adding incremental features to a lot of what was released during GML 2023. Agencies and brand marketing executives should swiftly educate and integrate Google's AI-driven tools to streamline creative production, enhance consumer engagement, and optimize campaign management. By leveraging these advancements, they can achieve deeper customer connections and more efficient marketing outcomes in an increasingly AI-centric landscape. – Robert Kurtz | Group VP, Search Media Solutions


April 2024

President Biden signs law to ban TikTok nationwide unless it is sold [:04]

THE NEWS: After years of Washington lawmakers scrutinizing the platform, President Joe Biden signed into law a bill that will ban TikTok in the US if its China-based parent company, ByteDance, does not sell the app within a year. Lawmakers say their main concerns are around data privacy and the perceived possibility of “espionage, surveillance, [and] maligned operations”. ByteDance has called this ruling “unconstitutional” and has promised to sue.

THE CONTEXT: If they aren’t successful in court, ByteDance says that they’d rather shut down TikTok in the US than sell the app and its algorithms to an American buyer. A shutdown would be a big deal for advertisers, particularly those working for small- to medium-sized businesses: TikTok recently released a report that claims SMBs using the platform’s free services and paid advertising contributed a total of $24.2 billion to the US GDP last year.

EXPERT POV: Advertising on Tiktok will continue to operate as usual for now. However, with TikTok having risen to the top of the list of social platforms that provide value for SMBs, its political limbo status should cause advertisers to monitor and evaluate existing similar features across other social channels, like YouTube Shorts and Meta's Reels, while also keeping an eye out for any new copycat features or channels that come down the line. – Jenny Lewis | Director, Social Media Investment

TikTok won’t dial back on TikTok Shop content, but it may not matter for time spent [:02]

THE NEWS: Since the launch of TikTok Shop in September 2023, reports have suggested that the increase in TikTok Shop content was causing a decline in overall usage of the app. However, many users say they have increased their TikTok usage since TikTok Shop rolled out. Time spent on TikTok is plateauing and new user growth is slowing, but given that the app already has 107.8 million monthly US consumers who spend immense amounts of time on the app, this simply indicates a more mature growth phase.

THE CONTEXT: While time spent on the app and user growth may be slowing, forecasts still show that US adults will spend 58.4 minutes per day on TikTok in 2024, up from 2023 numbers and ahead of every other social media platform for most US social users.

EXPERT POV: While some headlines may infer growth on TikTok is declining, users are still spending a lot of time on the app, which presents a great opportunity for advertisers. Regardless of a brand’s location in the funnel, there’s something for everyone when it comes to advertising on the platform: TopView can be leveraged for boosting reach and awareness, while Video Shopping Ads maximize sales with tailored ads. TikTok is investing in rolling out new paid opportunities and features weekly, and there’s no time like the present for advertisers to ensure they’re capitalizing on the highly active user base and ensuring their paid social strategy encompasses TikTok. – Laura Kubiesa | VP, Social Media Investment

4 ways to use Search to check facts, images and sources online [:02]

THE NEWS: In honor of International Fact-Checking Day, Google highlighted its fact-checking tools and shared expanded features within those tools. “About this image”, for one, appears to be very similar to Reverse Image Search, with additional features that provide information about the image’s history as well as what reputable sites are saying about it. There’s also a new version of “Fact Check Explorer” that allows users to explore images as well as topics and people.

THE CONTEXT: Several of these tools and features were introduced in October 2023; since then, an academic study has questioned the sufficiency of Google’s fact-checking information for most false claims, even as the search engine’s results themselves were deemed “relatively reliable”. Fact-checking is particularly critical today for both advertisers and consumers due to the rise in AI-generated disinformation.

EXPERT POV: For better or worse, AI is becoming a bigger part of the online world, making it much easier for bad actors to create mis- and disinformation, which can quickly erode consumer trust. Tools like this can help by providing users with options to weed out that noise. However, they don't have complete coverage and the results can be unreliable. This puts the onus on advertisers to be as transparent in their messaging as possible to foster trust and prevent misinformation from spreading. – Jesse Foley | VP, Search Media Investment


March 2024

Google suspended 12.7 million ad accounts and blocked 5.5 billion ads in 2023 [:03]

THE NEWS: Google’s 2023 Ads Safety Report highlights their efforts to maintain a secure online environment. The search engine suspended or removed 12.7 million advertiser accounts last year—nearly two times the amount from the previous year—and blocked 5.5 billion ads for violating the company’s policies. Key violations included misrepresentation, financial services violations, and malware promotion. Google took several actions in response to these threats, including launching its Ads Transparency Center and updating its suitability controls.

THE CONTEXT: Duncan Lennox, Google VP & GM of Ads Privacy and Safety, cites generative AI as both an opportunity to improve policy enforcement and a challenge—with “bad actors operating with more sophistication, at a greater scale.” Deepfake artificial intelligence has made it cheaper and easier to launch campaigns featuring, for example, fake celebrity endorsements for products and services, which fraudsters have used to scam people out of money and personally identifiable information.

EXPERT POV: While this added safety and security good in general, we at Basis Technologies are seeing more questionable violations that require us to push for re-review. For clients in sensitive verticals like politics, health, and finance, it can make running ads more difficult and time-consuming. Be prepared to file certifications proving your identity and bona fides before your ads go live (or shortly after launch). – Jesse Foley | VP, Search Media Investment

LinkedIn Rolling out Company Page Messaging to all Brands [:01]

THE NEWS: LinkedIn has confirmed that Pages Messaging is being rolled out to all businesses after initially launching the functionality with some company pages in June 2023. In addition to its direct in-app messaging expansion, LinkedIn is also partnering with various third-party platforms to facilitate company messaging via social management tools (e.g. Hootsuite).

THE CONTEXT: Adding Pages Messaging was a logical step for LinkedIn, as social media activity continues to move to private messaging, 78% of consumers surveyed say they have used a direct messaging tool to interact with a brand, and 86% of those consumers said those direct interactions positively impacted their perception of the company.

EXPERT POV: Company leaders and advertisers alike have long been anticipating this feature’s rollout on LinkedIn. The imperative now is to be ready to react, which means devoting resources to monitoring, responding, and possibly escalating customer concerns. While social media—and, increasingly, DMs on social—are a means of customer service, they can also serve as “free” listening tools to help guide other marketing and advertising efforts, like campaign themes and timely creative swap-outs.  – Erik Chellberg | VP, Social Media Investment

Instagram Tests Option To Comment on Specific Frames Within a Carousel Update [:01]

THE NEWS: Instagram is testing out a new way to comment on specific images within a carousel post, with some users able to link their reply to a photo or video based on its assigned number in the display. This update is aimed at driving more focused engagement and encouraging more interaction around each content element, while also clearing up confusion around carousel post comments. Instagram is testing the new carousel tagging option with a limited number of users at this stage.

THE CONTEXT: Instagram carousels already have the highest engagement rate of all post formats. This new feature allows for even more engagement and could lead to strategic engagement opportunities and more learnings for creators, influencers, and brands.

EXPERT POV: Engagement rate rules supreme for Meta—the more a user engages with a brand, the more Meta “rewards” the brand for fostering that in-platform engagement. And with this content-specific engagement, advertisers are afforded more insight into what resonates most with their audience. They can use that information to inform other marketing and advertising collateral, from products to feature in display or shopping ads to tiles that could transfer from high-performing organic content over to high-performing advertising content. – Erik Chellberg | VP, Social Media Investment

Google changes definition of 'top ads' [:02]

THE NEWS: Google’s text ads appear to be showing up at different positions relative to organic results on a search engine results page. While “top ads” have generally appeared above the top organic results, this “definitional change” means top ads may also show below the top organic search results on certain queries. The placement of top ads is dynamic and may change based on the user’s search. Importantly, this will not affect how performance metrics are calculated.

THE CONTEXT: This change seems to be a by-product of Google’s search engine results page continuous scroll functionality, which allows ads to appear in more positions among organic results than just the top, and which has prompted Google to experiment with those positions. To that point, Google has provided tips for advertisers to help improve their ad positions.

EXPERT POV: If ads appear below the top organic results more frequently following this definitional change, we’ll be monitoring for downstream effects on click-through rate and other key metrics. In the meantime, maintaining a focus on ad rank factors such as relevancy remains key to securing top placements. – Alexa Dillon | VP, Search Media Investment

Google Ads Introduces Customizable Automation With “Solutions” [:04]

THE NEWS: Google recently launched Solutions, a free tool within Google Ads that automates and simplifies campaign management in an accessible and user-friendly way. It comes with several pre-built automation templates for the campaign management process, including Performance Reporting, Anomaly Detection, URL Validation, Budget Optimization, and Negative Keyword Management—all of which can be customized to meet different advertising needs.

THE CONTEXT: As part of this launch, Google announced it will sunset its manual solutions library. This focus on automation comes on the heels of Google’s new AI-powered approach to displaying responsive search ads and its application of Gemini for text and image generation within Performance Max (which has not been hiccup-free). Overall, the company continues to push advertisers towards automated processes across the campaign life cycle, from creative development, to ad placement, to campaign management.

EXPERT POV: Google continues to create new tools to help free up time for paid search managers to analyze data and make strategic decisions. By starting to use the Solutions tools now, search managers can get ahead on campaign management simplification, allowing them to spend more time on optimizations and recommendations that grow paid search accounts and drive business goals. – Nick Tuttle | Director, Search Media Investment

Microsoft Advertising launches Performance Max campaigns globally [:03]

THE NEWS: Performance Max (PMax) campaigns are now available globally through Microsoft Advertising. PMax is an automated campaign type that uses artificial intelligence to create ad assets and automate ad optimization across different Microsoft Advertising formats and channels. The company will soon add more automated features, including brand exclusions (for less inflated performance metrics), search insights reports (for greater visibility into user queries), and video assets (for broader creative distribution) to its PMax campaigns.

THE CONTEXT: This global release follows a closed beta launch in May 2023 that Microsoft deemed successful. Time- and resource-strapped marketers who rely on manual efforts may appreciate PMax campaigns’ automated optimizations, even as some position the campaign type, similarly available through Google, as relinquishing control and decision-making power to artificial intelligence.

EXPERT POV: Rolling out PMax campaigns globally is another instance of Microsoft competing with Google, particularly by relying on AI and algorithms that identify when and where someone is most likely to convert. When it comes to the landscape of search advertising, Google is still far and away the most dominant search engine, but Microsoft integrating ChatGPT into Bing helped increase its market share from 6.35% to 8.07% over the past year. When determining whether PMax may be a valuable, additional layer in your search investment, consider your ideal demographic (as older generations are more likely to use Bing) and your vertical (as certain industries, like healthcare and financial services, attract larger shares of older users). – Nick Tuttle | Director, Search Media Investment

Reddit launches free tools to help businesses grow their presence on the site ahead of IPO [:02]

THE NEWS: Reddit is launching a suite of tools, called Reddit Pro, for businesses looking to grow their organic presence on the community-driven platform. Currently in its beta testing phase, Reddit Pro uses AI to help brands identify trending topics and conversations, even allowing them to see when their brand has been mentioned in a subreddit. The suite of features also includes content drafting, scheduling, and reporting tools, as well as the ability to easily turn organic posts into paid advertisements. This is Reddit’s first set of free tools meant to inform businesses’ social media strategies, and the company plans to launch additional features within it later this year.

THE CONTEXT: The Reddit Pro launch came as the company prepared its initial public offering (IPO) at a stock price that valued the company at nearly $6.5 billion. Reddit is likely leveraging this new suite of free tools to entice brands to the platform and turn them into paying advertisers.

EXPERT POV: All eyes are on Reddit as the platform continues to make headlines with news of its successful IPO. Brands looking to connect with a wider audience may want to explore adding this channel to their organic and paid social portfolio. These new Reddit Pro tools—only available to brands that are active on Reddit—grant deeper insight into what Redditors are saying about brands, what aspects of products or businesses are resonating with customers, and which industry topics are trending. For brands not yet using the platform with a u/ (Reddit-speak for “username”) of their own, these new tools may incentivize them to create Reddit profiles and start an “OP” (“original post”) of their own. Pro Tip: Get to know the Reddit lingo! LSHMSFOAIDMT – Jess Kaswiner | Director, Social Media Investment

TikTok users bombard Congress with phone calls to save their favorite app [:03]

THE NEWS: TikTok has been under the US political microscope for some time, but now it’s ramping up its own political activity: TikTok users were shown a pop-up message earlier this month, urging them to call members of Congress to voice their opposition to a bill that aims to ban the app in the United States if its parent company, the China-based ByteDance, doesn’t sell it. Congress was quickly flooded with phone calls from TikTok users of all ages; the majority of calls, however, were from children. Since then, anonymous sources say some of the calls have turned threatening and concerning.

THE CONTEXT: Less than a week later, the US House of Representatives passed the bill, 352 to 65 in favor of a nationwide TikTok ban if the app isn’t sold, driven by concerns over the data security of US TikTok users. The bill’s future in the Senate is unclear, but President Biden has said he would sign the bill if Congress passes it.

EXPERT POV: While a ban on TikTok in US markets could have significant implications for brands already active on the platform—especially those leveraging it for influencer marketing and e-commerce sales—daily active usage is not showing any signs of slowing. The recent developments around TikTok highlight a continuing concern with and focus on data privacy in the digital advertising space. Taking a step back from TikTok specifically, this situation underscores the importance of diversification in media planning. In the short term, however, Committee and House votes are the beginning, not the end, of a long process. – Jess Kaswiner | Director, Social Media Investment


February 2024

In Pinterest’s latest campaign, the P is for Performance [:03]

THE NEWS: Pinterest’s recent campaign, “The P is for Performance,” touts the platform’s full-funnel approach to advertising, including lower-funnel case studies that show as much as a 28% increase in conversions and up to a 96% increase in traffic for its advertisers. Pinterest’s performance products include mobile deep links and direct links, making it easier for users to convert, plus shopping ads for greater inspiration and Pinterest API for Conversions for higher reporting visibility.

THE CONTEXT: In years past, Pinterest’s ethos of being a place for discovery has appealed to advertisers seeking upper-funnel awareness for their brands. With this campaign, Pinterest seeks to broaden its draw for advertisers who may only think of it as an upper-funnel platform. The campaign launched shortly after Pinterest released its Q4 2023 earnings, highlighting 12% revenue growth compared to the same period in 2022 and its 11% increase in global monthly active users.

EXPERT POV: Pinterest has thrived as one of the first social platforms to sit in a space that blends paid search and social channels. It’s no surprise that as a historically well-established traffic driver, Pinterest has now set its sights on also fiercely competing in lower-funnel effectiveness. Recent product releases have proven to be fairly low-lift activations for advertisers, particularly in the retail, e-commerce, travel, and professional services industries. Brands can significantly cut down the path to conversion by leveraging Pinterest to display product information, prices, and descriptions directly to their audiences’ feeds via shopping ads and simplify the consumer journey by tapping into direct links. – Jenny Lewis | Director, Social Media Investment

Cyber Week Lessons CMOs Can Apply To Their Digital Marketing Strategy [:05]

THE NEWS: Online sales for Cyber Week 2023 were up 7.8% year-over-year, with e-commerce sales totaling $12.4 billion on Cyber Monday. Paid digital marketing was a big driver of that growth, and advertisers are relying more on automated platforms to enhance efficiencies and expedite the scaling of campaigns. On the other hand, with advancements in automation and AI, invalid traffic has become more and more sophisticated over the past three years. One advertiser explained that tackling invalid traffic led to “more stable and predictable growth across our most important paid media channels.”

THE CONTEXT: 22% of ad spend in 2023 (or $84 billion out of a total $382 billion) was lost due to ad fraud. However, $23 billion of that amount would be recoverable with fraud mitigation platforms in place. Given that political advertising for the US presidential election will drive up ad costs at the start of the holiday season, driving efficiencies by leveraging the right technologies will be especially key for advertisers this year.

EXPERT POV: Ad networks aren’t incentivized to crack down on the increased bot traffic we’re seeing due to AI advances and the corresponding ease with which bad actors can create bots. So, the onus is on the marketer to stay alert for signs of high levels of bot traffic. These include high bounce rates and traffic spikes without corresponding conversion increases. Consider ways to block or limit these, like captchas, using conversion-based goals with machine learning bidding, and optimizing landing page content to be very specific to the intended conversion. — Jesse Foley | VP, Search Media Investment

Nearly 8 in 10 Consumers Would Rather Receive More Ads Than Pay for Digital Content and Services, According to IAB Research [:03]

THE NEWS: The IAB’s new comprehensive consumer privacy study found that nearly 80% of consumers would prefer to get more ads in exchange for not having to pay for websites and apps, and that 90% prefer personalized ads, but that nearly half feel websites and apps aren’t clear enough about how their data is used.

THE CONTEXT: With Google planning to fully deprecate third-party cookies in its Chrome browser by the end of this year, and signal loss across the industry as a result of data privacy concerns, figuring out how to use consumer data in ethical, transparent ways to serve personalized ads to consumers is a must for digital advertisers.

EXPERT POV: The fact that most consumers would rather receive more ads to retain their free access to websites and apps means that advertisers’ digital media investments are well-positioned to reach consumers who find them valuable. Advertisers should take a “test and learn” approach to understand which channels work best given their KPIs and to remain flexible and fluid with budget allocations based on results. —Laura Kubiesa | VP, Social Media Investment

Google Releases New Features for Responsive Search Ads [:02]

THE NEWS: Google’s responsive search ads rely on artificial intelligence to combine headlines and descriptions based on consumer behavior and predicted outcomes. New AI-powered features allow Google to decide when an ad should display only one headline versus two, with the second headline appearing at the beginning of the ad’s description section. Google can now also supplement or override an advertiser’s manual assets—like images, sitelinks, callouts, and structured snippets—with its own AI-generated assets if it feels doing so will help an ad’s performance.

THE CONTEXT: AI’s influence on ad placement and creative continues to grow. Search Engine Land weighed the pros and cons of Google’s update, noting that while it may serve to drive engagement and performance, it also means that advertisers are surrendering more control to Google. At the same time, artificial intelligence tools often don’t perform with 100% accuracy—and as this is a newer feature, advertisers have no benchmark for how much accuracy these specific features can provide.

EXPERT POV: With the increased focus and adoption of AI capabilities in digital media, it’s no surprise Google continues to roll out these features within their campaign types and ad formats. As the industry continues to trend in this direction, getting left behind means being unable to capitalize on the reported improved performance of these AI-powered features. However, many advertisers need to maintain control over the images and copy that run within their ads, so turning off the auto-assets feature within Google Ads may be the better option. Advertisers who aren’t comfortable giving up control can still take advantage of some of the latest updates by testing the new campaign-level headlines and descriptions and scheduling them to run during certain time frames, which can help manage time-sensitive promotional copy. — Alyssa Theo | VP, Search Media Solutions

Meta spotlights how AI investments are paying off for advertisers [:06]

THE NEWS: AI and automation within Meta's ad products, such as its Advantage suite, helped fuel 24% year-over-year growth for Meta's ad business in Q4 2023. The social giant also shared advertiser success stories that included increased revenue and improved performance metrics for brands’ campaigns when they employed Meta’s AI ad tools. Meta plans to expand its generative AI features, including text and image variations, to further enhance advertising capabilities.

THE CONTEXT: Meta, along with every other social platform, is placing a high level of priority on building out further automation and AI solutions that work in tandem with their advertising algorithms to drive strong results for customers while making the lives of marketers easier.

EXPERT POV: In the face of ongoing question marks with Meta’s advertising platform (e.g. third-party cookie deprecation, ATT impacts, and data privacy regulations), capitalizing on AI and automation solutions integrated into the platform is an effective way to manage media campaigns efficiently, expand existing audience targeting to reach engaged new users, and create a high volume of ad iterations for easier creative testing. — Erik Chellberg | VP, Social Media Investment

Pinterest announces major ad partnership with Google [:02]

THE NEWS: Pinterest has begun rolling out an integration that allows ads to show on Pinterest via Google’s Ad Manager. The integration will make it so that when Pinterest users come across a Google ad, they’ll be sent to the advertiser’s website to finalize their transaction. This partnership will not only broaden the reach of advertisers using Google Ads but will allow them to engage an active, high-value consumer base.

THE CONTEXT: Pinterest’s stock dipped almost 28% in early February, but bounced back after this Google deal was announced.

EXPERT POV: For those advertisers looking to generate discovery, this new inventory source could be very beneficial. Google is rolling out this new option over the next several quarters, and it will be available within Google’s Ad Manager. As of now, Basis Technologies is waiting to see how this inventory performs to inform future recommendations. — Robert Kurtz | Group VP, Search Media Solutions

ICYMI: The power of TikTok pulse: How content adjacency drives impact [:05]

THE NEWS: TikTok's Marketing Science team partnered with IPG's MAGNA Media Trials to conduct a study of digital video through the lens of TikTok’s impact on its advertisers. Contents of the report include TikTok’s positive effect on brand sentiment and consumer experience, higher engagement with skippable vs. non-skippable video ads, how contextual content adjacency increases ad view time, and the details of TikTok Pulse, a feature that guarantees ad placement next to top-performing organic content.

THE CONTEXT: TikTok has faced several hurdles in the past few years, not the least of which being several countries and US states implementing full or partial bans of the platform. And although TikTok’s growth is slowing, it still led 2023’s list of app downloads and consumer spending.

EXPERT POV: Advertisers are right to prioritize TikTok, given the time users spend on the app per day, averaging 53.8 minutes, and the platform’s abundance of out-of-the-box and accessible ad products, betas, incentives, and platform support. — Alana Putterman, Group VP, Social Media Investment

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Native advertising: the veritable chameleon of the digital marketing world. It’s come a long way since its inception over a decade ago, evolving into an important strategic component of digital campaigns that can effectively connect brands with their audiences. Marketers find it powerful enough that US native display ad spending is forecast to reach $97.46 billion this year, accounting for nearly two-thirds of total display ad spending. Against all the disruption and recalibration across the digital marketing industry right now, native advertising shines through as a reliable and trusted way for brands to communicate their story. In fact, research shows that whether it’s building brand awareness or developing message association, native advertising is an effective tool in the marketing toolbox.

Here, we define what native advertising is and unpack what it looks like, how it can drive performance, and what the future holds for the medium.

What is Native Advertising?

At its most basic level, native advertising is a form of paid media that mimics the look, feel, and function of its editorial environment. In other words, unlike most standard display and banner ads, it fits in naturally alongside the original content on its host website without disrupting the user’s browsing experience—sometimes to the extent that consumers don’t even register they’re engaging with an ad.

Native advertising is most commonly deployed as paid “in-feed" posts on search engine results pages (SERPs) and on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (among others). Indeed, seven out of every 10 native display ad dollars are spent on social networks, while, incidentally, 96.0% of all social network ad spending is native. But it also takes other forms: as “recommended content” typically found at the foot of news sites, or as more extravagant “branded content” that consumes entire webpages (and occasionally entire websites). Let’s dig deeper into these different formats:

Native Advertising Formats

In-Feed Native Ads

In-feed native ads copy the layout (arrangement of elements) and the design (font, color, scheme, aesthetics, etc.) of the surrounding platform while simultaneously including visual cues informing the reader that it is a paid ad and not organic content. For instance:

Historically, when a consumer interacts with an in-feed ad, they will subsequently navigate to the advertiser’s website. But through the rise of technologies and spaces such as social commerce and retail media networks, brands can now enable users to shop and take action directly on many publishers’ sites, putting customers closer to the transaction point. As these systems evolve and mature, in-feed native ads could potentially assume even greater importance.

Content Recommendation Native Ads

Content recommendation ads are delivered via widgets into the main hub of a publisher’s page or underneath or beside individual articles. These native ads don’t necessarily imitate the appearance of the editorial content neighboring them, and the majority will link off-site. Disclosure language for these units can be anything from “You might also like” or “Elsewhere from around the web”, to “You may have missed” or “Recommended for you”. If served via a third party, the technology provider may also include its name or logo to further indicate that content is not produced by the publisher, i.e., “Recommended by Outbrain” or “Recommended by Taboola”.

Branded Content

This type of native advertising goes beyond the initial ad by also incorporating written content and (sometimes elaborate) design work that takes the form of an article, blog post, vlog, infographic, or interactive webpage. This branch of native has grown to be quite lucrative in recent years, with many major news outlets opening their own in-house commercial teams specializing in producing multi-dimensional content on behalf of brands (think T Brand Studio at The New York Times or Brand Studio at The Washington Post).

This content lives on the publisher’s site but will typically feature multiple outbound links directing to the advertiser’s own pages. The key thing to note here is that branded content is created and produced through direct partnerships between an advertiser and a publisher, with their placement guaranteed based on a fixed pre-negotiated (and oftentimes premium) price.

Programmatic Native Advertising

For advertisers looking to scale their campaigns in a cost-effective way, programmatic native advertising offers great opportunities. By automatically serving ads in real-time through a demand side platform (DSP), advertisers can create better, richer, more relevant brand experiences for consumers across screens and devices. Advertisers simply need to provide an image, headline, description, and click-through URL. Then, depending on the form of the organic content on the site where the ad will be shown, the programmatic native platform used by the DSP will determine which of those elements to bring in.

Programmatic is so dominant in the native ecosystem today that it constitutes 96.4% of all native display ad spending—a number that is forecast to grow to 96.9% in 2024. Additionally, 63.1% of all programmatic display ad spending in 2023 will be native, though that share has been dropping for a few years as programmatic increasingly permeates newer, emerging channels such as connected TV (CTV), digital out-of-home (DOOH) and podcasting.

All said: the combination of native and programmatic is powerful, if not ubiquitous.

What Does Native Advertising Look Like?

As adtech becomes more sophisticated, brands can leverage a host of creative native advertising formats to make a more compelling impression on consumers—going even beyond branded content. No longer are marketers restricted to the use of a single, static image: native ads can now incorporate animated GIFs, carousel ads, click-to-watch video ads, instant play video ads, and more. Advertisers can then pick and choose which style(s) best serves their message and potential customers.

For example, B2B brands looking to tell a story around a campaign to drive leads can create a click-to-watch video ad with an embedded CTA. Retail and e-commerce brands can use native carousel ads to showcase a collection of products (or multiple images of one product). And travel and tourism brands can create snazzy photo spreads or cinemagraphs to showcase the allure of a particular destination or travel experience. The possibilities are virtually endless!

Looking Toward the Future

What does the future hold for native advertising? Well, there is definitely change afoot.

The medium is still growing, but its share of total display plateaued in 2020 and 2021—largely because its fortunes are so intrinsically tied to those of social media, and there has been significant upheaval on that front of late. Marketers are increasingly redirecting dollars from social networks into other areas, such as CTV. To put the trend into context: native nonsocial ad spending grew 7.9% in 2022 and is predicted to grow 12.0% in 2023, while native social grew just 3.5% in 2022 and is predicted to grow 8.7% in 2023. Social platforms have dominated the native space for so long due to their audience targeting capabilities and array of available ad formats. Now, though, streaming and mobile channels are opening up new opportunities for native ads—with more inventory available via programmatic—and they are getting better at delivering results for marketers. Put it all together, and social doesn’t dominate native ad spend the way it once did.

What is Native Advertising—Wrapping Up

Native advertising can be a dynamic addition to any marketing mix. By seamlessly and authentically integrating into consumers’ online browsing and shopping experiences, native ads are often able to achieve higher levels of engagement and brand recognition than other channels. From an advertising perspective, the core purpose of running native ads is to blend in with the content a user is already immersed in—it’s critical that the brand story is subtle and slight. There are also exciting innovations across the digital ecosystem that could expand native advertising’s reach and what it looks like.

Want more insights into how native reimagines consumer connection in meaningful and less disruptive ways? Check out our Native Advertising Guide.

2022 was a rocky year for social media. Economic headwinds and increasing consumer privacy demands collided with shifting user behavior and new and emerging players to upend the status quo. Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) policy also severely diminished social platforms’ targeting and measuring capabilities and, consequently, cut into their bottom lines. And all the while, rumbling in the background, regulatory pressure is building while a pair of Supreme Court cases could significantly affect the power and responsibilities of Big Tech behemoths.

All this has led to a great deal of media hyperbole around the so-called demise of social media in recent months. But as Mark Twain may have tweeted were he around today: “The reports of social media’s death are greatly exaggerated.” A whole generation of people don’t know of a world without social platforms, and crises or not, social still commands a quarter of US digital ad spend. But—and this is a big but—social media is undoubtedly evolving rapidly, making it harder and harder for advertisers to keep up and optimize their social budgets.

Fortunately, we’re here to help. Let’s dive into the latest from the worlds of Meta, TikTok, Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube and consider how events unfolding today will impact the landscape tomorrow, including channel-specific perspective from Basis Technologies’ SVP of Paid Search & Social, Amy Rumpler:   

Meta

As we begin 2023, Meta is no longer the titan of innovation it once was. Sixteen months after rebranding alongside Mark Zuckerberg’s gamble on the metaverse, Meta is facing mounting losses, declining revenues, staff reductions, growing competition, increased privacy-related investigations, and minimal consumer adoption of VR. To say it’s been a tough transitional year would be putting it lightly.

The silver lining for this social giant is that despite all those challenges, its ad business remains the envy of almost every other digital media company across the globe. Meta is expected to generate $51.34 billion in US ad revenue this year, a number that only Google can beat and one that dwarfs its social media counterparts. By all accounts, this is a huge moment for Meta, so every decision it makes will be closely scrutinized by analysists and advertisers alike. Starting with its plans for Facebook...

Facebook

Facebook advertising—the foundation of Meta’s business today—is running aground. Ad revenues on the platform dropped by 8.5% in 2022 and are expected to fall another 1.2% in 2023. To try and right the metaphorical ship, Facebook is concentrating on areas of the app that are most resonating with users—namely, Groups and Reels. It introduced several enhancements to both features in the last quarter, all in a bid to spur more engagement within the platform and offer creators more ways to monetize their content. It’s a sensible move at a time when influencer marketing is in high demand across the social spectrum, but only time will tell if it can help Facebook correct its course.

Instagram 

Like its Meta sibling, Instagram is also working overtime to retain its creator community.After a series of missteps with creators and its commerce offerings, chief among them its decisions to eliminate its affiliate commerce program and remove the shopping tab from the main navigation bar, Instagram appears to be pivoting away from social commerce. Instead, it’s hunkering down and getting back to its key strength—advertising—while paying particular attention to incentivizing content creation and massively enhancing its Creator Marketplace. Instagram needs influencers to keep posting original material on the app to continue attracting new audiences, and these moves are designed to encourage just that.

Meta | Basis’ Take

Meta’s advertising power is the result of their massive reach, high user engagement, well-developed targeting capabilities and ad products, and ability to generate ROI. Historically, they’ve far outmatched the competition in nearly all areas (especially when you take into account the full ecosystem of Meta ad placements and the mature automated ad tools available through their network). Recent developments might mean a slowdown in ad revenue growth for Meta, but it’s still a safe bet for most advertisers, and no one is better positioned to pivot quickly than Meta. Yes, the door is open for other platforms to claim advertising share, but don’t expect Meta to lose their seat at the head of the table in 2023. - Amy Rumpler

TikTok 

A trendsetter and a trailblazer, TikTok is fundamentally changing the way consumers digest content. But there seems to be a double-edged narrative around the app these days.

On one side, this video-sharing juggernaut looks like it’s in a tremendous place—it coasted along relatively unscathed last year amidst the larger social media tumult and it’s fast becoming a pillar of many brands’ media plans. US ad revenues increased 139.9% in 2022 and are expected to grow a further 36.0% this year. User numbers are increasing, and average time spent with the app is also on the rise

But then there’s the other side to this platform. TikTok’s ascension is not happening in a vacuum, and it’s currently facing scrutiny on multiple fronts. Areas of contention include its effect on young usersits management of dataits dissemination of misinformation, and the one that just won’t go away: its links to China. The biggest threat to TikTok’s US growth may very well be government legislation seeking to ban the app because of mounting security fears. In a bid to assuage those concerns, TikTok is playing the transparency card, proposing to give US officials some degree of oversight into its famed algorithms.

For now, these issues are unlikely to deter consumers and advertisers, but they’re certainly worth watching.

TikTok | Basis’ Take

The challenges TikTok faces in 2023 are not new. Since its arrival on US soil, the app has lived in the shadow of all of the concerns mentioned, ever-present alongside any positive outcomes or mentions covered in the news. Advertisers and users, however, don’t seem to care. As things stand, the risks aren’t enough to outweigh the benefits for brands, and they certainly haven’t convinced young Americans to spend less time in the app or delete it altogether en masse. As long as users continue to embrace the app, so too will advertisers. 2023 should be a banner year for TikTok, with more new brands than ever before testing the platform, and spend from brands already investing in the app continues to rise in response to campaign success, new feature releases, and increasing comfort levels with creating TikTok-worthy ad content. - Amy Rumpler

Twitter 

Ah, Twitter! Where do we even begin?

Suffice it to say, Twitter’s future remains a source of constant speculation. It was only in October 2022 that Elon Musk took the reins following a tumultuous, protracted takeover saga, and ever since he’s been rewriting rules and loosening content moderation on what seems like a whim. He’s also laid off half the workforce, feuded publicly with Apple, overseen chaotic policy rollouts, and already promised to resign as CEO based on the results of a Twitter poll—and that’s barely scratching the surface.

Altogether, the unpredictability and radical changes are making stakeholders uncomfortable, and it’s scaring off Twitter’s main source of revenue: Advertisers. US ad spend on Twitter fell a massive 46% in November 2022 from a year earlier, and user numbers are also predicted to drop 6.2% in 2023 to 48.3 million.

Can Musk turn things around and make Twitter into a success? Who knows, but don’t expect the turmoil to end anytime soon. In its current state, it’s clear that many brands see Twitter as a risk not worth taking.

Twitter | Basis’ Take

I’m not sure this is the horse I’d recommend betting on in the race for 2023 ad dollars, even with high-stakes odds on the table. Without a clear vision for the future, a conceivable plan for shorter-term advertiser support, or glaring advantages in ad cost compared to results produced, most advertisers will continue to steer clear of Twitter in 2023. There are just too many more compelling options available elsewhere. That said: as long as users continue to rely on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news and information, some brands (maybe challenger brands, for example, or those in emerging verticals) will still be willing to invest. - Amy Rumpler

Snapchat 

On to Snapchat—the one-time darling of the ad industry that’s now facing an uphill battle to get its stagnating ads business back on track after a seriously shaky 2022.

The good news is that Snap CEO Evan Spiegel seems to have something that Meta and Twitter do not: a transparent and crystal-clear vision for the future. And that vision involves doubling down on its augmented reality capabilities as a differentiator.

The biggest challenge facing Snapchat over the years has been that brands have seen it as a non-essential player in the digital ad market—a platform without a firm identity and one that many advertisers have failed to fully appreciate. By paving this new course dedicated to AR, Snapchat can start to carve out a niche space for itself in 360-degree campaigns alongside the other major social channels. It’s also recently struck partnerships with a series of ad industry heavyweights (DisneyAdidasAmazonHBO Max, and Kroger, to name but five), a promising sign for the future. The fact that Snapchat can also act as a testing ground for metaverse-based activations may further work in its favor as brands look for soft entryways into that space.

Snapchat | Basis’ Take

Snapchat is a great play for the future-forward brand marketer who desires to be on the cutting edge of metaverse-applicable advertising. Of all of the partners poised to make a splash in a more or fully virtual environment, Snapchat is paving the way through their AR capabilities (which are still often copied by other platforms). If you’re looking to create fully immersive customer experiences, and can embrace the latest technological and creative applications to truly engage users in new ways, then Snapchat is the place to play. Whether this strategy will pay off in 2023 is speculative, but brands that are willing to go out on a limb with Snapchat today may very well end up ahead of the competition by embracing marketing strategies of tomorrow. - Amy Rumpler

YouTube 

As digital video consumption hits overdrive, YouTube is locked in battle on multiple fronts: Its ad business under attack from streaming platforms on one side, and social media rivalries with TikTok and Instagram on the other. The platform’s ad revenues are still projected to climb, though—9.6% this year to $8.06 billion before jumping another 14.2% in 2024—with an ever-increasing share of those dollars coming from connected TV.

This estimated growth comes as YouTube has been making some pretty big moves. In just the last six months, it has launched a dedicated page for podcasts, nudged itself into Amazon Prime Video and Roku’s market by offering streaming subscriptionssnagged the coveted NFL Sunday Ticket, and begun testing a new hub of free, ad-supported streaming channels. Put it all together and YouTube is looking to become a central video-fueled destination across various formats and genres, which should provide some exciting opportunities for advertisers.

YouTube | Basis’ Take

Of all partners on this list, YouTube may be in the best position to capitalize on momentum in 2023 and beyond. They sit perfectly balanced between traditional and digital TV/streaming and social/engagement networks, allowing them all the advantages and ability to tap into upward trajectory trends of both sides of the advertising coin. Backed by Google data and dollars, and chock full of content that hits on a deeper level than what we tend to see on social networks, the appeal for both advertisers and users will remain undeniably strong. If YouTube isn’t part of your 2023 marketing strategy, I’d reconsider. - Amy Rumpler

What's the Latest with Social Media Advertising? Wrapping Up 

The wild world of social media is undergoing deep, disruptive change, and there’s little evidence to suggest things will settle down anytime soon. For advertisers looking to chart a path through the chaos, staying agile and regularly revisiting the basics will be key, and that starts by making sure messaging is native to the medium and the target audience. Marketers that establish those firm foundations will be better positioned to weather social storms and pivot accordingly.

Looking for advice about how to get your social campaigns off the ground, but don’t know where to begin? Our Media Strategy & Activation team can point you in the right direction

As a media planner, several targeting tactics are available to you for every digital initiative you’re working on. Each programmatic campaign type brings its own unique set of challenges. Certain targeting strategies are more helpful against specific end goals and KPIs, but there’s one tactic that will always add to the overall performance of your digital program: retargeting.

Retargeting Ads and Programmatic

Let’s kick off with the basics: What is retargeting, and why is it so crucial?

In broad strokes, retargeting is a form of online advertising that uses data to re-engage consumers who leave a website without converting and/or whose information you already have in your database. It empowers advertisers to create a series of customized touchpoints around the digital universe—be it via display, search, social, connected TV, or wherever—that are tailored to that one specific user, reminding them of products or services they once expressed an interest in.

When done right, retargeting campaigns can potentially serve a range of benefits, including:

So, how does it all work? It’s pretty simple, really. When someone ends up on a company’s website, an unobtrusive piece of code (often referred to as a tracking pixel) sends a string of text (otherwise known as a cookie) from a web server to the user’s browser. Then, when said user leaves the site to continue surfing the web, that cookie will sync with the company’s retargeting systems to serve up ads on other platforms based on the pages they visited on the website.

The classic example of this in action—and one we’ve all no doubt experienced—is when an ad for the exact product we just looked at, added to our virtual cart, and then abandoned suddenly, magically appears all over our social feeds. It’s a tried-and-true tactic, but a dramatically different operating landscape is on the horizon...

Retargeting in a World Without Third-Party Cookies

Yes, the elephant in the retargeting room: the impending deprecation of third-party cookies.

For years, third-party cookies have been the bedrock of retargeting, but they are slowly and surely fading from view. Last year, Google announced (yet again) that’s it’s delaying third-party cookie deprecation in its Chrome browser, this time until the second half of 2024. The event has been widely seen as the de facto deadline for the industry to shift to alternative targeting solutions. But, in reality, the volume of identifiers accessible to advertisers has already dropped significantly—by some 50 to 60% according to some estimates. In other words, this “cookieless future” everyone is talking about is already here.

Why, you ask? Here are just three of the reasons:

  1. The introduction of data privacy laws governing the collection, use, and disclosure of data (think GDPR in Europe, CCPA in California, etc.) and stricter enforcement of these laws
  2. Forward-thinking companies getting ahead of the privacy conversation (consider IDFA on iOS and browsers that have been cookieless for a while—Safari, Firefox, Brave)
  3. Ever-increasing consumer demand for privacy (as evidenced by consumers opting into Apple’s ATT and using ad blockers, all compounded by declining trust in Big Tech)

Add it all together, and marketers are now compelled to reimagine and overhaul their data, targeting, and retargeting strategies. Moving forward, it will be critical for advertisers to adopt new, privacy-friendly addressability and measurement solutions. The key here though is not to procrastinate. After all, the process of building, managing, and activating a stockpile of first-party data is long and complex, so there’s no time to waste!

How Can You Retarget Without Cookies?

Of course, there will be times when marketers may not be able to place a tracking pixel and capture specific visitor data. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t workarounds. With the right technology in the toolkit, there are still a number of ways to execute retargeting campaigns. Here are five:

  1. Ad tracking: Leverage tracking URLs to create retargeting groups based on users who have clicked on your ads and/or users who triggered a conversion for a pre-determined tactic. Quick tip: To drive higher engagement, be sure to use CTA best practices—create, test, iterate.
  2. Redirect pixels: Rather than placing a retargeting pixel on the page/site you wish to collect user data on, consider implementing a redirect pixel. This snippet of code will be embedded in a URL redirect so that whenever a person clicks on your ad, you can capture their data first before redirecting them to the target landing page.
  3. Audience profiling: Aggregate first-party buyer intent data to create basic audience segments—essentially, cohorts who have taken the same actions online. Once you’ve collected enough data to meaningfully populate these segments, you can serve these targeted groups with customized ads based on their demonstrated interests (think something like Google Topics).
  4. Cross-device retargeting: Advertisers can integrate this tactic to broaden their reach with consumers, delivering relevant messaging across different channels and devices to power a more holistic brand experience.
  5. Dynamic creative ads: Tap into highly automated dynamic creative optimization technology to rapidly build multiple ad iterations from the same base creative, using variables such as audience, context, and past performance to tailor ad segments and improve campaign effectiveness.

A note here as well on FLEDGE (or First Locally-Executed Decision over Groups Experiment) API, a post-cookie advertising alternative in Google’s Privacy Sandbox dedicated specifically to the retargeting aspect of performance advertising. It works by storing information on users’ devices, as opposed to making it broadly accessible—the theory being that it protects user privacy by limiting the amount of data flowing around ad systems and bid streams. Early results have been, shall we say, mixed, and early adopters are in short supply. But those invested in cookieless retargeting strategies may want to keep an ear to the ground for updates on how the experiments progress.

What is Retargeting? Wrapping up

Retargeting has the capacity to increase the effectiveness of other marketing efforts and raise brand awareness. It allows users who recognize your brand to see your ads all across the digital ecosystem—creating the impression of a large-scale advertising campaign, but for a fraction of the budget. And it’s a targeting tactic that increases brand recall and drives consumers down the sales funnel, allowing multiple opportunities for conversion.

By molding the online experience around consumers’ recent behavior, brands can stay top of mind with uses and re-engage someone who might otherwise have turned into “the one who got away.”

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Looking for advice about how to get your retargeting campaigns off the ground, but don’t know where to begin? Our Media Strategy & Activation team can point you in the right direction.

Cultural change is happening faster than ever—and Gen Z and millennials are at the forefront, together reshaping the world and driving seismic shifts in consumer behavior, working norms, and technology adoption.

This disruption is perhaps no more keenly felt than in the financial services industry, where the collective characteristics of the younger demographics are pushing brands into pivotal and profound tactical evolution. Advertisers in this space know they cannot simply market to Gen Z and millennials in the same way they did (and do) to Gen X and baby boomers who have altogether different financial goals and consumption behaviors. The young consumers of today are digital-first, technologically savvy, TikTok obsessed, streaming everywhere, and relate to financial institutions with a high degree of pragmatism. In other words: they require a standalone marketing strategy.

Gen Z and millennials are also openly embracing a wide variety of emerging FinTech tools designed to democratize personal finance and help users manage money more effectively. These providers have set their advertising sights squarely on younger cohorts, executing campaigns and simplifying messaging in a way that breaks down the complexities of navigating the financial landscape. Thanks in no small part to those efforts, 51% of consumers aged 18-24 and 49% aged 25-34 name a FinTech company as their most trusted financial brand, while only 23% and 26%, respectively, name a more “traditional” national bank.

Legacy financial institutions won’t be conceding market share easily, though—not with $30 trillion inheritance on the line. The big banks may be behind the curve when it comes to targeting Gen Z and millennials, but they’re beginning to catch up, either by striking partnerships with emerging tech or establishing their own brand of modern products (à la Marcus by Goldman Sachs).

In short, the fight to engage and resonate with younger generations is on, and coming out victorious will require understanding those consumers’ preferences and needs. And that isn’t just about digitizing current experiences—it’s about omnichannel connections, education, convenience, and marketing with authenticity.

Setting the stage—why have financial attitudes changed?

To understand the financial attitudes of young consumers today is to understand the economic instability they endured across the formative years of their adult lives. Millennials were kneecapped by the Great Recession. Gen Z similarly by the COVID-19 pandemic. Living through these periods of turbulence and intense financial hardship has made these generations anxious about their finances—they’ve adopted a cautious approach to saving, they’re highly risk averse, and they’re eschewing conspicuous consumption.

But there is more at play here. That is, compounding everyday financial pressures.

Gen Z and millennials have some serious economic baggage that they won’t be shaking off any time soon: soaring student loan debt, stagnant wages, skyrocketing house prices and, most recently, staggeringly high inflation. As of right now, almost half of zoomers (46%) and millennials (47%) live paycheck to paycheck and worry they won’t be able to cover their expenses. Indeed, for both these demographics, the cost of living is their number one concern.

Against this reality, young people are looking for clear actions they can take to ease their financial distress. That’s where financial brands have great opportunity. They can step in to help young consumers feel more in control—they can assuage fears with connective, relatable messaging that demonstrates how various financial vehicles work and how they can be utilized to secure both short- and long-term financial stability.

In many regards, Gen Z and millennials demand more from brands, but there are certain strategies financial advertisers can adopt to reach them effectively. Here are four:

#1. A trusted social presence is key

Young consumers continue to look to friends and family most often for financial advice, but they are also digesting financial content from an ever-expanding list of digital avenues—a trend that is opening the door for challenger brands to garner the attention of information-gathering consumers.

Social media platforms are, predictably, the most popular of these sources—around four in ten zoomers and millennials are gravitating toward them to learn about personal finance, shares that massively exceed those for Gen X and baby boomers. The increasing influence of TikTok is likely playing a huge role here. The financial TikTok space (dubbed FinTok) is global and growing, and it’s engaging young people who may not otherwise have an interest in personal finance. A significant 41% of zoomers are turning to TikTok for investment information, a percentage that beats out both financial advisors (21%) and personal finance websites (also 21%).

This is a fascinating statistic, but it’s also a potentially hazardous situation for young consumers. TikTok, like any social platform, can be a breeding ground of unvetted content, and reports are surfacing that detail the scale of the widespread misinformation it harbors. As such, financial brands have a chance here to cut through the clutter. They can establish a trusted presence on what is a massively Gen Z and millennial-skewed platform and offer up thoughtful, caring content that comes from a place of authority. Winning on this channel (and, indeed, all social channels) may then also have a multiplicative effect, as young consumers often seek the opinions of their friends. How’s that for a bit of #symmetry!

#2. Create a path to financial literacy

From building emergency funds, to paying off credit card balances, to saving for new homes, to opening investment accounts, Gen Z and millennials are juggling a lot of financial goals.

This ambition has the potential to get overwhelming pretty quickly, so by breaking down financial planning in simple terms, FinServ brands can start to combat financial illiteracy and build brand trust that helps sow the seeds of long-term brand loyalty. Across both Gen Z and millennials, a top priority is putting money aside to cover any number of unforeseen financial situations, signaling this might be a good place to start for financial advertisers—creating snappy content that provides tips and tricks for building a financial firewall and laying out a plan of action.

Another forward-thinking goal for financial brands to draw on is investing, with 24% of Gen Z and 28% of millennials saying they are interested in opening an investment account. When it comes to marketing, online trading platforms have led the way in this space—their easy-to-use apps are educational and fun all at once and they serve to demystify, and even gamify, investing while removing brokerage intermediaries and making it straightforward to get started with only small amounts of money. And that’s ultimately what reaching young prospective FinServ clients is all about: this notion of breaking through inertia and simplifying industry jargon to help make the sometimes-daunting world of finance a more accessible place.

#3. Level up your mobile app experience

Just a short time ago, back in 2018, only 39% of consumers said it was important that they were able to do all their banking using a mobile device. Fast forward to 2022, and that figure has soared to 65%. Broken down generationally, that number increases again to 84% for Gen Z and 82% for millennials, indicating app-based mobile banking is now a concrete expectation among young consumers.

With such widespread adoption and high expectations, it’s essential that brands optimize their app experience. Around six in 10 zoomers and millennials even said they would switch financial services providers for a better mobile app experience (talk about unforgiving!)

While perhaps a bit daunting for app developers, this appetite for mobile banking actually represents a great opportunity for marketers. As the cookieless future edges closer and advertisers search for reliable ways to uncover consumer behavior, a great app ecosystem can help financial brands seamlessly collect and piece together valuable first-party data. The benefits of this are fairly clear (if not guaranteed): a deeper understanding of customer journeys, optimized targeting, more consumer-centricity, more personalized advertising (something else younger generations love, by the way) and, ultimately, smarter campaigns. 

And side note: a mobile app enables advertisers to connect with users on a deeper, individual level through push notifications that simultaneously avoid the crowded marketplace of email and the somewhat invasive nature of SMS.

#4. Be truthful and authentic, always!

Trust is an extremely valuable commodity. Without it, the whole premise of successful relationships breaks down. No, you didn’t accidentally click away to a marriage advice column. We’re talking about just how important trust is between a consumer and their financial services providers.

For traditional institutions, in particular, this is a major problem area. They have a reputation issue—especially with younger consumers. Among teens, 42% think banks don’t care about their financial futures and 25% believe they aren’t seen as valuable customers because they don’t make enough money. For most, however, the skepticism goes far beyond simply feeling misunderstood: young consumers also worry financial institutions will take advantage of them in some capacity, be it through unpredictable interest charges, hidden fees, or other predatory practices.

After the Great Recession, many have come to view large financial institutions as exploitative and are looking to disestablish the status quo. In one famous example, young investors who were part of a Reddit community used FinTech investment platforms to drive up the share prices of meme stocks such as GameStop and AMC to manipulate the markets and prevent larger “establishment” hedge funds from cashing in.

This innate distrust of the big players is a driving force behind the rise of non-bank entities and other FinTech brands that are more comfortable engaging with digital natives. Gen Z and millennials respond more favorably to communications from organizations they believe are honest, authentic, and transparent, and that actively acknowledge their barriers in life. If these cohorts sense that brands are not truly working to help them reach their financial goals, they won’t hesitate to go elsewhere.

The takeaway here: be truthful and authentic, always!

How FinServ brands can reach Gen Z and millennials—wrapping up

Gen Z and millennial consumers are steadily reshaping the financial services industry. Although there are generational differences both in terms of financial literacy and financial priorities, it’s clear that educational experiences and relatable advertising are top priorities for reaching these two cohorts. Appealing to them involves truly understanding their pain points and then presenting them with easy-to-use, non-complicated solutions in the channels and places they want them.

Looking for more financial advertising tips and tricks? Check out Basis Technologies’ dedicated financial services resource center.

Programmatic advertising has a brief yet dynamic history. What began 15 years ago with a narrow focus on display banner ads has quickly expanded across the entire digital media ecosystem.

This year, it is estimated that programmatic will account for a massive 90.2% of all spending on US digital display inventory—a broad bucket that includes digital display (obviously!), digital video, connected TV (CTV), digital audio (as a subset of rich media), and, within that, podcast advertising. It is already consuming a hefty share of the market, and all signs suggest programmatic will maintain its incremental growth through 2024 as advertisers and publishers look to shed the burden of insertion orders and tap into the myriad benefits that automated purchasing offers.

The path to programmatic ubiquity was essentially laid by the real-time revolution and the pace of technological advancement that made digital the new frontline of the consumer experience. Marketers today must meet customers in the right place and at the right time, and programmatic helps satisfy this imperative—its automated processes and in-flight flexibility make the old ways of buying and placing ads (think RFPs, manual bid negotiations, and predetermined campaign windows) look somewhat primitive by comparison.

Here, we shine a light on the trends behind programmatic’s continued evolution, covering its widening scope across multiple formats, the growing popularity of private marketplaces (PMPs), the identity solution saga, and a whole lot more.

Video is experiencing huge growth (thanks to CTV!)

2022 marks the first year that video will account for more than half of all programmatic ad spending. It’s a transition driven primarily by growing investment in one key area: CTV—the next great frontier for brands. The influence of CTV is so profound, in fact, that without it, video’s share of programmatic spend would amount to only 39.7%.

The current excitement around CTV is fairly self-explanatory: advertisers are simply following cord-cutting (or cord never) consumers who are spending more time flicking between Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Peacock TV, and other streaming services to watch movies, shows, and even live sports. By 2024, programmatic CTV video ad spend is projected to sustain its solid double-digit growth and likely play an even bigger role in the broader TV advertising market.

Of course, the lion’s share of programmatic video ad spending still takes place on mobile—66.6% in 2022—but it’s worth mentioning that ad spending on non-video formats on mobile will still account for more than half of mobile programmatic display ad spending through 2024 (54.8%). However, given the rising tide of social video advertising, propelled by the TikTok juggernaut, it’s likely that video will continue gaining share of mobile programmatic display.

Private marketplaces are growing in popularity

Over the years, the vast majority of programmatic business has funneled through direct buying methods. Today, they account for three-quarters of all programmatic transactions—a dominance attributable to the influence of social media, where the bulk of display ads are purchased directly at a fixed price via a particular platform and then served programmatically. That share looks set to stay as it is through 2024, but what’s especially interesting here is the story within the other 25%—the RTB side of the coin.

Indeed, a notable shift is occurring here as advertisers continue to pull more and more media dollars away from the open exchange and plug them into PMPs. The reasons behind this trend? Greater control and increased transparency. In open auction transactions, anyone can buy or sell ad inventory without either side knowing who’s on the other end. In the customized, invite-only environments of PMPs, however, advertisers and publishers can work together directly, helping advertisers insulate themselves from brand safety risks and the growing threat of ad fraud while reaching targeted audiences with better precision.

The significant growth of CTV also contributes to this shift in buying behavior, since the vast majority of programmatic ad spending in CTV transacts through programmatic direct and PMP deals.

Programmatic is expanding its reach across emerging channels

There’s no denying that CTV is this year’s MVP of programmatic digital display, but there are a few other channels seeing increased programmatic penetration—namely, linear TV, digital out-of-home (DOOH), and podcasts. Increased programmatic investments in these areas indicate that advertisers are expanding their horizons, evolving their omnichannel strategies, and embracing new ways to deliver brand messaging with higher levels of targeting and efficiency.

Here are a few key stats:

Privacy and identity resolution still up in the air

Programmatic advertising was effectively built on the connective tissue of third-party identifiers, so it’s no surprise the ongoing privacy and identity saga is the most important force reshaping programmatic today.

Back in July 2022, Google once again announced it is delaying third-party cookie deprecation in its Chrome browser—this time until the second half of 2024. This has been widely positioned as the de facto deadline for the industry to have reliable alternative targeting and measurement solutions in place. But here’s the thing: we’re already in the “cookieless future.” Non-Google browsers like Apple’s Safari, Mozilla’s Firefox, and others stopped supporting third-party cookies years ago, so it’s not really a “future” problem—it’s a “now” problem.

Recent research published by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) paints a stark picture of the industry’s inactivity in this area, spanning across brands, agencies, publishers, and adtech companies:

These numbers show that organizations throughout the advertising industry must inevitably take more action to address the new measurement reality.

As of right now, there are a handful of privacy-friendly targeting solutions on the market. You’ve got universal IDs that are based on a persistent data signal such as an email address. There are cohort-based solutions, which aggregate user data and place individuals into targetable groups (for example, Google Topics). Then you’ve got seller-defined audiences that leverage publisher first-party data. And finally, there are contextual targeting tactics that work by serving ads based on similarity between the characteristics of the ad and the content adjacent to it.

Each of these comes with benefits and limitations, and advertisers would do well to start exploring any and all solutions that are available to them and determine what combination may make the most sense from a goal and data strategy perspective (that is, if they’re not doing so already!)

In essence: don’t wait!

The Evolution of Programmatic Advertising—Wrapping Up

The programmatic advertising landscape is an incredibly complex beast. It involves a smorgasbord of moving parts, and it is in a perpetual state of evolution. Here, we didn’t even touch upon the mounting regulatory pressures facing Big Tech around the world, how programmatic can be effective in the world of B2B, how marketers can assess whether they’re ready to bring programmatic in-house, how programmatic may fit into the metaverse, and the value between direct and third-party measurement.

The good news, though, is that all those topics are covered in our webinar, Programmatic Advertising: The Automation that’s Dominating Digital, featuring eMarketer analyst Evelyn Mitchell. Check it out on-demand to get an overview of where programmatic advertising is today and where it’s heading tomorrow.

Mobile usage is through the roof. Mobile ad spending continues to soar. Mobile gaming is off the charts. Mcommerce (or mobile commerce) keeps gobbling up marketing share.

Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets are becoming ever more embedded into digital infrastructure, with consumers turning to them for everything from news and communication to entertainment and shopping, and more. Indeed, as these handheld electronics grow increasingly ubiquitous around the globe, brands are embracing mobile advertising as a critical component of their marketing strategy. And now, with many of the mobile behaviors that consumers adopted toward the beginning of the pandemic looking like they are here to stay, marketers have an array of new possibilities to effectively and efficiently meet the needs, habits, and surroundings of their audience—and to build more trust-based, personalized relationships at scale.

So, just how much time are consumers spending on mobile? What is mobile’s share of digital ad spending? Where are mobile ad dollars going? And what technology threatens mobile’s dominance? Find answers to all those questions, and more, right here.

Mobile Penetration is Climbing and Climbing

Mobile devices are quickly becoming an inextricable extension of the modern consumer—and, in turn, a core pillar of relationship marketing. The pandemic fast-tracked mobile proliferation and this trend looks set to continue evolving, as increased adoption of 5G and the constant emergence of advanced mobile technologies will likely provide an additional boost to mobile device usage.

Mobile Ad Spend Increasing Across the Board

It’s worth remembering that mobile advertising is a relatively new and rapidly evolving phenomenon—marketers are still discovering what’s possible on the medium, and the scope of mobile campaigns widens year after year. That said, mobile is already a tough channel to beat when it comes to the basics of digital advertising—i.e., massive audience reach, precise targeting, and personalization opportunities—and this is reflected by ad spend numbers. When it comes to programmatic, social, native, audio, video, and B2B spending on mobile, all the trend lines point north:

Mcommerce is Making its Move

After mcommerce momentum picked up steam during the pandemic, signs indicate continued growth in the coming years, as new technologies like augmented reality (AR) and 5G converge with frictionless payment services like Apple Pay and Google Pay to help fuel the shift to mobile buying. For retailers, in particular, this presents a great opportunity to double down on building relationships with consumers via mobile media.

A Golden Era of Mobile Gaming is Upon Us

From casual games that require zero set up to fully developed immersive media experiences, mobile gaming today caters to a wide-ranging audience far beyond the stereotypical younger demographics. Indeed, the original generation of console gamers are now well into adulthood (it’s been over 40 years since the Atari was released!) and the share of adults who play digital games will almost certainly continue to rise. Mobile gaming is still fundamentally in its infancy as an entertainment outlet, but there is already big money in the industry—both in terms of investment and ad spend. And with a game and format out there for pretty much every brand (and consumer), it appears ready to explode.

Mobile Competitors Picking Up Steam

It is quite clear that connected TV (CTV) is having a moment, reinvigorating TV and the wider video landscape. Virtual reality (VR), too, is now making its way into the mainstream with improved, more powerful headsets such as the Meta Quest 2 helping to increase adoption. Together, these technologies could bring consumers back to the living room sofa and siphon minutes and dollars away from smartphones and tablets.

Mobile Advertising by the Numbers—Wrapping Up

With consumers spending more and more time absorbing content on their smartphones and tablets, mobile advertising is front and center, and there are ample opportunities for marketers to provide highly personalized touch-point experiences on those devices. The brands that get it right as part of their omnichannel marketing strategies can build deeper, more durable connections with their audiences that pave the way for long-term brand loyalty.

Want to optimize your mobile campaigns but don’t know where to start? Our Media Strategy & Activation team can point you in the right direction.

Marketers today have access to an array of analytical tools to make sense of their data and accurately measure performance metrics—from customer data platforms (CDPs), to bespoke homegrown systems, to good old Google Analytics. For advertising professionals, few such solutions have more valuable features than AI-powered custom dashboards, which can dynamically showcase brand stories and help you finetune your campaigns for optimal performance.

With tools like custom dashboards, marketers can get a more robust read on their data to better understand consumer behavior and anticipate next moves. And at a time when economic storms are putting brand loyalty on the line, and mis- and dis-information is a constant threat to brand safety, marketing organizations that can stay agile and data-driven will be best equipped to succeed and earn consumer trust. Let’s explore how bringing data to life through interactive graphic visualizations can help you improve your KPIs and ROI while simultaneously enhancing collaboration—both internally and externally.

Faster Access to Critical Insights

Dashboards provide a visual summary of the metrics that are most important to your marketing operations, empowering you with a quick and easily-digestible overview of how the main elements of your program are performing—all in real-time. This ease-of-use means you can access critical insights without having to rely on your IT department or data analysts to parse and interpret the information for you. Advanced dashboarding tools also include discovery features that can help you explore data far beyond the most basic metrics.

Time Savings

Creating reports manually is an incredibly time-consuming process. You need to gather data from disparate sources, organize and stitch it together in spreadsheets, run your analyses, create visuals, and then distribute them to the appropriate stakeholders. The intricate process can often lead to calculation errors and analytical inconsistencies that themselves translate into potential wasted costs.

Automated custom dashboards, however, do all that menial work for you. And, against the backdrop of the Great Resignation, relieving your talent of manual tasks—and subsequently empowering them with more time to focus on higher-value strategic initiatives—can help your organization avoid higher rates of cost-sapping staff turnover.

Visual Reporting

Recent research revealed that advertising professionals use an average of nine platforms for a typical ad campaign and touch seven of those platforms in a typical day. The fragmentation makes it all the more difficult for marketing organizations to develop the kinds of fluid, cross-channel, hyper-personalized experiences their consumers expect—particularly when it comes to drawing meaningful holistic conclusions from multichannel campaigns.

Custom dashboards can help solve this problem by allowing you to bring all your data together in one centralized location. From there, you can determine the best metrics and graphics for showcasing your campaigns’ performance and results.

Always-On Reporting

Marketing professionals can often feel pressured to make changes to improve campaigns before they’ve even had a chance to fully analyze and dissect performance. By utilizing custom dashboards, you can ensure you’re always making informed decisions based on the latest insights while boosting confidence in the data you’re using to make those decisions. You can also easily see how current and projected performance compares to your overall goals and then confidently reallocate budget and resources to optimize your media spend.

Enhanced Cross-Organizational Collaboration at Scale

In the new work-from-anywhere reality where teams are often scattered across the country (or around the world), it’s important to consider how your tools can help foster cross-organizational collaboration. With the right dashboarding tools in place, marketing teams can simply create a report and seamlessly deliver it to any relevant internal and external stakeholders through one file or shared login. Gone are the days of needing to manually process spreadsheets or rely upon third-party programs, which inevitably slow down decision-making.

Whether your challenge is data consolidation, preparation, crafting presentations, or analysis, automated dashboards remove the barriers to collaboration and essentially act as a facilitator for ongoing discussions—if/when stakeholders ask questions, you can provide answers on the fly—streamlining the feedback process and allowing you to develop quick, actionable plans. The result: a simpler path to profitability.

Improved Job Satisfaction

Custom dashboards can help fuel employee fulfillment and productivity by replacing once-complex analytical approaches with powerful graphic storytelling that makes it easy to analyze and understand performance. Compiling data from all relevant reporting sources in a single location and highlighting the most relevant insights for your team can help them see how their work directly relates to results and overall business goals. For many employees, this is a huge motivating factor that can guide their work in the areas that matter most.

Understand Key Factors Behind ROI

Traditionally, digital marketing success has meant demonstrating your team’s impact on revenue and the robustness of your marketing-generated sales funnel. But new research shows that KPIs like customer satisfaction, content engagement, customer acquisition costs, customer retention rates, mobile analytics, and customer referral rates are all growing increasingly important to modern marketers.

With basic reporting technology, it’s difficult to fully drill down into what initiatives are powering those aspects of business performance. Intuitive, data-rich visuals can change that, however, empowering marketers with better visibility into aggregated marketing impact and ROI. Suddenly, it’s possible to see what products, offers, and creatives are resonating with specific customers and segments across individual devices and channels.

Easier to Secure Buy-In

Key players in sales and marketing often utilize performance reports to illustrate the effectiveness of their strategies and secure buy-in from their superiors. With custom dashboards, you don’t need to sift through dull, static spreadsheets while preparing your presentations—the dashboard has all the features you need to automate the illustration of those insights to your audience. And the engaging nature of the visuals can help you keep decision-makers informed with the most relevant insights.

Whether you’re speaking with a manager, board members, investors, or clients, custom dashboards make it easier to demonstrate performance and (ultimately) earn that much-desired buy-in.

What to Look for in a Custom Dashboarding Tool

Custom dashboards can offer users an array of benefits, but when it comes to improving KPIs and ROI, not all dashboarding tools are created equal. Here are a few key features to look for if you’re in the market:

Custom Filters

Easily change parameters and uncover hidden insights from your data sets.

Diverse Visualization Options

Create bar graphs, pie charts, boxplots, data maps, and other forms of visual reporting illustrations.

Drag-and-Drop Editor

Move your dashboard elements around to keep the most important ones front and center. A drag-and-drop editor also allows you to easily add or remove graphs so you can focus on the data that best suits your business needs.

Predefined Templates

Instead of creating dashboards from scratch, choose from a list of predefined templates and then adjust it according to your specific needs.

Multiple Custom Dashboards

Use more than one custom dashboard for the different aspects of your marketing initiatives. Examples include campaign performance with delivered spend, groups and tactic performance, and location targeting performance, among others.

Dashboard Sharing Features

Easily export your dashboards into PDF, PNG, or CSV files, or create logins for your internal and external stakeholders to view your dashboards on their own time.

Alerts

Create alerts that inform you when any key metrics you’re tracking on your dashboards experience volatility.

Lookback Windows

Step back in time to see which behaviors led people to click on your ads.

Custom Dashboards—Wrapping Up 

Change is constant in marketing. Getting access to tools that can help you better manage and interpret data will set your organization up for future success in this fast-moving landscape. Custom dashboards offer the flexibility, portability, and insights marketers need to optimize their strategy for today’s world.

Data Canvas from Basis Technologies empowers users to create customizable, live dashboards that help tell the stories of their campaigns, simplifying the reporting processes and eliminating errors from manual calculation. Curious? Visit our dashboards page to find out more.

A telecommunications company boosted its brand awareness and app installs within the Hispanic community by leveraging programmatic video, display and social resulting in 1,160 new customers.

Story

Our client, a telecommunications company, has been empowering its customers with free phone service technology for over a decade. Before working with Basis Technologies, the telecommunications company focused solely on lower-funnel campaigns with Google Universal App Campaigns (UAC) and other platforms that focused on driving app downloads. For 2021, the client's goal was to expand their efforts and reach a wider audience, specifically the Hispanic community.

Solution

The customer evaluated a variety of solutions, ultimately selecting Basis Technologies due to its unique blend of digital media services and owned and operated technology, Basis. The client utilized Basis Technologies' Media Strategy and Activations team to deliver front-to-end support and drive their first-ever full-funnel digital media strategy that incorporated programmatic video pre-roll, display, and social. The campaign ran for three months and focused on the top five Hispanic DMAs, including Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Houston, and Chicago. The campaign also provided the opportunity to test different audience segments within the Hispanic community and ad creative elements such as language, emotion, and cultural nuances needed to mirror and authentically reflect bilingual individuals' experiences.

Campaign Highlights

Programmatic

Video pre-roll was a great compliment to the display campaign that drove awareness and supplemental app installs. Video pre-roll achieved a high 65% VCR (video completion rate), exceeding the goal of 60%. It was noted that Basis DSP campaigns achieved a 138% increase in impressions and a 36% increase in app installs vs. Meta (formerly Facebook).

Audience Targeting

The team implemented various targeting tactics such as demographic, behavioral, contextual, and retargeting while leveraging data partnerships with Adstra and Cuebiq to efficiently reach the Hispanic community. For further audience segmentation, the team layered in targets to reach consumers that were identified as mobile device users (Android and iOS), young adults, searching for phone services, small business owners, and low income to see which audiences engaged the most.

Results

The campaign helped establish the telecommunications app as a young, fun brand and attracted new customers who then went on to install and use the app. Between June - August 2021, the ad campaign achieved: