May Digital Marketing News

Sophie Wilkinson

Senior Content Manager

Ground-breaking study calls for transparency in programmatic advertising

In a nutshell

Only 51% of advertising spend makes its way to online publishers. This was the key finding of the ISBA Programmatic Supply Chain Transparency Study, which also reports that around 15% of programmatic ad spend is non-attributable in the supply chain.

Data collected for the study, carried out by PwC for The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers, represents approximately £100 million of UK programmatic media spend. This comes from 15 advertisers, eight agencies, five Demand Side Platforms (DSPs), six Supply Side Platforms (SSPs) and 12 publishers.

Results include a lack of ad tech supplier understanding around sharing data legally, as well as inconsistencies in data storage and formatting. It also found that data captured by a DSP for an impression is not equally captured by SSPs, which hinders impression matching.

What does this mean?

 “This report is a hugely important lens on programmatic display” says our head of paid media, Lottie Namakando. “With such heavy reliance on data and a focus on who, when and where, clarity and consistency on data formatting and access are essential. It’s only once we have this that we can feel confident in the results we’re reporting.

“Wherever possible, it’s a marketer’s responsibility to support the further analysis and understanding needed in the industry – including where the unaccounted one-third of supply chain cost is going. The industry must be held to a unified set of standards across the board, as without this, how can we be sure we’re driving the best quality and performance for our clients?”

The study makes two recommendations for advertisers and publishers:

  • Standardisation across a range of contractual and technology areas, to facilitate data-sharing and drive transparency

  • Industry collaboration to further investigate the unknown delta

Facebook launches Facebook Shops

In a nutshell

With many small businesses struggling and stores closing as a result of global Coronavirus lockdowns, more brands are looking to bring their offering online.

To help simplify ecommerce set-up and promotion, Facebook is launching Facebook Shops, allowing business owners to display and sell products on its platforms.

What does this mean? 

In a challenging time for retailers, Facebook Shops will allow businesses to set up one single online store that customers can access on both Facebook and Instagram. All sellers, no matter their size or budget, have the option of bringing their business online and connecting with customers in a place that’s familiar and convenient for them.

Consumers will be able to find Facebook Shops on a business’ Facebook Page or Instagram profile, or through Stories and ads. They can then browse collections, save products and place orders, as well as message businesses through WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram Direct to ask questions, get support and track deliveries.

TikTok’s developing an augmented reality ad format

In a nutshell

TikTok has announced that it will launch a new augmented reality (AR) ad format later this year, allowing users to add advertisers’ interactive visual effects to their videos.

Ads will be clickable, and we should see global rollout in Q3 2020, although cost is currently unknown.

What does this mean?

Speaking to Digiday, a TikTok spokesperson said: “Creative effects are a fun way for our users to express themselves and for brands to bring an interactive element to their campaigns with branded creative effects. We’re experimenting with ways we can continue making this a valuable experience for brands.”

TikTok’s growth is soaring - in 2019, its US user base increased by 97.5% compared to the previous year – making new ad formats on this platform an exciting addition for brands. And its offering is hot on the heels of other social platforms, with the AR ad product going head-to-head with Snapchat’s Sponsored Lens AR format.

Further highlighting potential for brands, in November last year, TikTok began testing shoppable videos, and Levi’s has recently announced its success with the platform’s Shop Now feature; which reportedly doubled its product views.

Pinterest ups organisation with planning aids

In a nutshell

Pinterest has added three new planning methods to its platform, aiming to help users keep track of inspiration:

  1. The ability to add planning notes and dates to boards. This will help Pinners (and their connections) keep track of project timelines, and easily make notes.

  2. Auto suggestions for in-board groups. The aim? To organise chaotic boards into neat, relevant sections.

  3. Board-relevant recommendations for additional products or ideas.

What does this mean?

For consumers, these updates enhance the platform’s user-friendly planning function. As Pinterest says: “People come to Pinterest to look ahead…we want to make board organisation easier than ever.”

This increased organisation could also benefit brands. Board tidy-ups and suggested ideas mean consumers could see more relevant content than before. But brands should be aware that these suggestions are likely to be pulled from what Pinterest can gather from a post. So, as ever, keep titles and descriptions clear and informative.

And don’t shy away from using these features on your own brand boards – adding dates, for example, will help you keep tabs on your seasonal content.

Marketing content consumption has risen

In a nutshell

Global media platform Teads has released data on what consumers are reading during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Its Media Barometer analysed the most-read topics through March. Unsurprisingly, content around health, hospitals and wellness shot up by 80%, but marketing coverage also saw a huge shift, increasing by 58%, making it more popular than exercise and games-related content.

What does this mean?

“This shows that consumers are proactively looking to see how the marketing industry is responding to and fairing during the pandemic”, says our head of marketing and new business, Martina Lacey. “It demonstrates the importance the general public puts on advertising as a bellwether for how the economy is doing. Plus, with the media being so dominant in the UK, it’s compelling to see public interest in how it’s being affected.”

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