Quantifying Qualitative Ad Performance Data on Facebook

Advertising on Facebook is a “must have” in the advertising repertoire for many big brands, especially those that are end consumer focused. Historically, executives and marketing managers have had a difficult time demonstrating a Return on Investment (ROI) from that social media advertising spend.

To help alleviate this, Facebook has developed a number of different algorithms to measure advertisements and attempts to quantify relatively qualitative data. As part of their ad selling strategies, they give their customers some tools to measure advertisement performance. According to Facebook’s website, “The more relevant an ad is to its audience, the better it’s likely to perform. Ad relevance scores makes it easier for you to understand how your ad resonates with your audience.”

Each advertisement is score based on the following:

“After your ad is served more than 500 times, your ad receives a daily relevance score from 1–10, ten meaning we estimate your ad is highly relevant and one meaning we estimate it’s not very relevant. You can view the score in Ads Manager by going to Campaigns and clicking Ads.

Your ad’s relevance score is based on positive and negative feedback we expect from the people seeing it, based on how the ad is performing. It is calculated differently depending on your objective (e.g. clicks to website or video views).

  • Positive feedback. The number of times we expect people to take a desired action such as share or like your ad, or help you achieve your objective, such as visiting your website.
  • Negative feedback. The number of times we expect people to hide your ad or indicate a negative experience such as choosing not to see ads from you” (Facebook, 2016).

Tools such as this go a long way in terms of justifying advertising spend on social media and demonstrating ROI to executives and members of senior management.



You’ll Be Thankful for Personalization

Companies need to engage customers on their level at all touchpoints to ensure the experience is consistent, unified and desirable. Having that personalized touch with a broad consumer base is not an easy task to accomplish. In fact, even when marketing teams feel as though they are doing a good job reaching their customers in a personalized way, the same customers that they are trying to reach often have a very different perspective. A 2015 Forrester survey found that, “While 66% of marketers rate their efforts at personalization as “very good” or “excellent,” just 31% of consumers report companies are consistently delivering personalized, cross-channel experiences.”

In addition, and equally important, only “16% of marketers surveyed currently have the capability to capture customer intent and deliver real-time, behavior-based marketing across all channels.”

High levels of personalization takes a significant level of resources: tools, time, personnel, and data. But, this increase in resources might very well be worth it.

In 2016, “a new study by Jivox that measures the impact of personalization on digital advertising performance finds that consumer engagement with online advertising increases by 3x when ads are personalized vs. standard display ad performance.”

So, despite the increased costs, you will be thankful for personalizing your advertising!

Happy Thanksgiving!!




The Art of the Parody

Video content is critical to brand success across many emerging media platforms, especially YouTube. One unique phenomenon that has emerged with the creation of so much marketing video content are marketing video parodies. Several brands have had parodies created of their commercial, with Lincoln’s Matthew McConaughey commercials a recent version. One brand that was able to have success with parodies (even before the age of YouTube!) was Mentos. Back in the 90s, they had a longstanding campaign in a happy-go-lucky almost sitcom style where each advertisement “would feature a protagonist faced with an obstacle. Upon popping a Mentos, our hero figures out a way to overcome this obstacle. Then, FREEZE FRAME.”

Many of the parodies created around this concept can be found here:


There are a lot of different opinions about whether or not “all press is good press” or not. I think that this is very situational. There are three different outcomes when an advertisement becomes a parody:

  1. The ad (and brand) gets overshadowed by the parody.
  2. The brand gains publicity and sales from the parody.
  3. The brand takes matters into their own hands and creates the parody themselves.

I think that the lighthearted nature of most parodies enables good press and brand promotion. Being picked up by SNL means that you have made it and have a successful ad.


Marketing Parodies: Their Idea, Your Viral Fame


Leveraging Emerging Media to Gain Exposure Using a Well-Timed Product “Leak”

Journalists, reporters, and less formally, bloggers and social media influencers, live in a world where the speed to a story is paramount for their success (sometimes even at the demise of accuracy). Being the first to publish breaking news and get “the scoop” early is critical to getting website hits, social media likes, and re-posts. With social media, everyone is a reporter and able to break news, meaning that journalists have to work hard and fast to get news quickly. Savvy companies are able to capitalize on reporters’ aggressive appetite to get information early and can attain a tremendous amount of earned media and press with very few resources. Leaking product information prior to a release is a tactic that Apple certainly mastered and has used for years to generate additional buzz around a launch event or coming product. Reading or hearing about leaked information gives the consumer a feeling of being “in the know” attracts a lot of attention. On April 27, 2016, Amazon launched the Kindle Oasis and made the product available for purchase for the first time. The product was “officially” released two weeks prior on April 13; however, there were several news stories about the launch and the product itself in the ten days prior. On April 4, 2016, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, sent the following tweet:

“Heads up readers – all-new, top of the line Kindle almost ready. 8th generation. Details next week.” – Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos)

That was enough to get the new stories flowing including from The Wall Street Journal, PCMag, PCWorld, TechAdvisor, BGR.com, among other news outlets in addition to countless blog articles and posts.

One article in particular from PCMag is called, “Whoops! Amazon Kindle ‘Oasis’ Details Leak” included links to multiple sources with leaked product details. Not ironically, much of the “leaked” data came from Amazon itself.

This firestorm of media originally came from a one-line tweet and a few strategically placed product details. The leaked data did not give away all of the details of the product (and temper the actual launch), but it did provide just enough to “wet the appetite” of the consumers and generate the buzz that Amazon was looking to achieve.





Your Competition Isn’t Necessarily Who You Think It Is

Social media and other emerging media types have given tremendous access to consumers – in places where they spend a significant amount of time. Organizations are using all social media platforms to push advertisements in an attempt to gain business from new and returning customers.

With so much information out there, brands often talk about the need to “break through the clutter” to get noticed and gain these new customers. This is extremely difficult to do – and the competition is great. In a previous blog post, I mentioned Jay Baer, the CEO of a marketing firm and consultancy called Convince & Convert. I have attended a couple of workshops with Jay, and one of the things that he impressed upon me was the need to really understand who our competitors are – and they aren’t always who you think. Just now, I pulled up my Facebook feed and these are my first four pieces of content:

  • My sister posting a picture of my nieces at a girl scouts activity
  • A Southwest airline promotion
  • A friend posting pictures from the Chicago Cubs victory parade
  • A sponsored article and advertisement from Golf.com

In terms of breaking through the clutter, we are really competing for attention. Southwest Airlines isn’t just competing against other airlines, it is competing for my attention with my niece, my friend, Golf.com, and many others. Within emerging media platforms, it is critical to give consumers something that really peaks their interest – against things that you know already peak their interest based on the preferences of their Social Media profiles.

It is family and friends that you are competing with, and competition is fierce!!



Maintaining Control of Your Content: Responding to Negative Reviews

A few days ago, I went to Amazon.com to buy a couple of accessories for my Halloween costume. For each item, there were several different vendors offering the products that I was looking for. The prices were pretty consistent across vendors. Before clicking on a vendor to purchase, the first thing that I did, was scroll through the reviews for several of them and look at the highest rated vendors that had many satisfied customers. I quickly ruled out any vendors that had a lot of negative reviews.

Most companies have online reviews, comments, and feedback on Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, as well as marketplaces such as Amazone.com. These reviews and comments can have a lasting impact on a business.

It is critically important it is for companies to manage their online and social media presence as it relates to customer reviews.

A study from global marketing firm, Mintel, found that (not surprisingly) researching online reviews is now an integral part of the buying decision for consumers. Millennials make up the market segment that is most likely to utilize online reviews prior to making a purchase with 81% of respondents to the survey stating that they seek the opinion of others online prior to making purchase decisions.

Knowing that bad online reviews can devastate a business with millennials, how they handle and respond to the negativity is critical to their success. Some brands are able to take advantage of negative reviews and even build a strong relationship with millennials in the process. Marketing professors Michael McCollough and Sundar Bharadwaj coined the “service recovery paradox” as “the result of a very positive service recovery, causing a level of customer satisfaction and/or customer loyalty even greater than that expected if no service failure had happened.”

So, don’t get “spooked” by negative reviews. Take quick action and turn a negative into a positive!

Happy Halloween!!




Providing ‘Youtility’ w/ Mobile Apps

One of the most powerful emerging media types is not a shared platform, but rather the ability to create a mobile application that consumers want to download and use. I had the good fortune to attend a conference in which Jay Baer, the CEO of Convince and Convert, was the keynote speaker. When discussing content and content rich campaigns, Jay uses a term that he coined called “Youtility.” He defines Youtility as “content that is so useful, people would pay for it.” He believes that if you create content to market your company or your products, you may sell whatever you are pitching and gain a customer for that day, but if you create content that is useful, and if you genuinely help someone with your content, you will create a customer for life.”

The premise is that if you create a useful mobile application, consumers will download the application to their phones and you will have the ability to market your brand and products.

Kleenex created a content rich mobile application that is extremely useful to customers and potential customers. They developed an app called “achoo” that leverages search data and crowdsourcing to predict whether or not you will catch a cold within the next few weeks based on your zip code (and presumable buy more tissues ahead of time). They also have a feature on their website where you can send a Kleenex Care Pack to a sick friend with a personalized message or with a selected message from a dropdown menu such as “You may be sneezy, but you still look great!” This useful content is all part of Kleenex’s campaign around the tagline “Someone needs one” and the idea of making “caring contagious,” which is also a clever pun that plays of off illnesses being contagious, so tissues should too.

The campaign has run on both digital and tradition media with television spots and billboard placements; however, it is Kleenex’s mobile application that gives them direct access to their consumers.


Jay Baer: Convince and Convert


Kleenex: “Achoo” (a YouTube video)


Welcome! Helping You Stay Current and Connected.

Hi and welcome to the “Stay Current. Stay Connected.” blog! My name is Brian and I created this site to showcase the innovative and visionary media types that businesses and marketers are using to go to market with their offerings; and equally important, how businesses can stay connected with their customers using emerging media. Oftentimes organizations get wrapped up in the need to gain new customers that they lose sight of the important of customer retention and the value that marketing to existing customers can bring to you growth strategy and bottom line.

We interact with emerging media on a daily, hourly, and sometime even a minute-by-minute basis through social media, through mobile apps, and through the lives that we now live online. This online and ever-connected world has fundamentally changed the way that we consume products and services. The “buyer journey” is now driven by the buyer and not the seller. Consumers make purchase decision long before ever engaging with a sales person (if it all). This is why emerging media matters. Emerging media platforms continue to provide new ways for engaging and connecting with customers.

I established this blog to provide a place to discuss the issues and challenges surrounding emerging media and the evolution of technology and how that evolution affects marketers (and consumers). I want you to be informed about what emerging media means, the different platforms that exist, the applications that you can utilize, and concepts for reaching your market. Most importantly, I want to discuss how a versatile approach and staying current with technology that spans multiple platforms can be utilized to help you succeed in reaching your audience. I’ll address business marketing issues such as: bringing utility to your consumers through emerging media, enabling the experience economy, and ethical approaches to leveraging emerging media. In addition, I will discuss the pros and cons of several emerging media platforms and talk about what has worked and not worked and how to best leverage emerging media to stay connected with your customers.

I sincerely look forward to creating a dialogue and sharing insights. Do you agree with what I’m saying? Or do my thoughts and ideas drive you crazy? Either way, I would love to hear from you! Please don’t hesitate to reach out. Feel free to comment or ask questions. Let’s learn and explore together. You can reach me via email at brian.wallenhorst@gmail.com or on the “Contact” page of this website.