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Acquisition By Obscurity?

Data, data, data. For the ten years I have managed paid advertising online, that has been the mantra
The Marketing Brief
Acquisition By Obscurity?
By Rob Bettis • Issue #18 • View online
Data, data, data.
For the ten years I have managed paid advertising online, that has been the mantra - the superpower.
But lost in the buzz of machine learning and artificial intelligence, we have perhaps overlooked a very important casualty: data.
One of the moment’s subtle storylines is the lack of data advertisers are getting from the big tech companies via their new products. And I’m not talking about Cambridge Analytica-type data. I’m talking about run-of-the-mill targeting data. Data that answers the question, “Where are our ads showing and why?”
The writing was on the wall with Google’s new ‘Smart’ Display & Shopping campaigns. Kirk Williams has documented his displeasure with Smart Shopping late last year. And this week, Ginny Marvin shined a light on more obscurity coming from Google’s soon-to-be-released Discovery campaigns:

And there it is, the crux of the issue:
We are OK with the lack of channel reporting right now since the benefits outweigh the lack of transparency.
Having participated in a dozens of these private betas over the years, they almost always perform wonderfully while in beta. It’s a simple matter of supply & demand. But when the beta is opened to the public, the prices in auctions normalize. The balance of benefits and transparency becomes murkier. And advertisers like me want more transparency - more levers to pull in an effort to optimize the campaign for increased efficiency. More data.
I’ll pull out my crotchety old man persona for a moment, but I am bearish on how this will play out. For a decade, Google (specifically) was noble in prioritizing performance over their own profitability. But their actions in recent years have been far less noble. Look no further than those creepy “Google Reps” that call account owners to scare them into spending more, with little concern for performance.
But time will tell…
Make sure you enable this feature for any clients who qualify.
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If your brand is considering TikTok, there is a lot you should know. More so than any network before it, TikTok has it’s own network-specific nuances that could make or break your efforts - not to mention flood your brand with ‘Ok boomer’ embarrassment.
Marketing Land has created a wonderful guide to get you up to speed. Before you take the plunge, do your homework.
Facebook is developing shopping in the live stream |
The Super Bowl of Startup Ads
The year startups took over the Super Bowl
Just For Fun
Patrick OShaughnessy
“According to Chick-fil-A, 60k people apply to be operators every year — and only ~80 are selected.

With a 0.13% acceptance rate, it’s harder to become a Chick-fil-A franchisee than it is to get into Stanford University (4.8%) or get a job at Google (0.23%).”
10:47 PM - 5 Feb 2020
How Apple Killed The Swiss Watch Industry
Hindsight is 20-20. But I am always fascinated by these types of stories - the lack of technical understanding and commonly the smugness that leads to blindness.
Questions, comments, inquiries? I’d love to hear from you -
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Rob Bettis

Every week I summarize the most important stories, trends, & commentary in #eCommerce marketing - and deliver them directly to your inbox.

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