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11 September 2019
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Vlog – The fall of the mega agency – The marketplace is changing!


Dave Granfield: All right. We don’t even have a name for this podcast yet, right? This is going to be just a Jay and Dave spewing crap interview, and trying to get out some good information and show the ethics in our industry.

Dave Granfield: So Jay, why are we wanting to put content out in the first place?

Jay Janus: Ultimately, I think we just want to give some value. We are lucky enough and blessed enough to be in the position that we’re in, and we just want to give back. That’s probably one thing, and the other one is also I think, just want to shed some light into some of the inner workings of the industry, inner workings of agencies, and yeah, just shine `the spotlight on a few things that we see here and there.

Dave Granfield: I think one of the biggest things for me as well is from my end, is you and your team are doing such an amazing job with your ad buying, that I want people to know what you’re doing, and I want to bring back the ethics into our industry a little bit, and in doing so, it’s just sharing and giving.

Dave Granfield: Plenty of people over the years have talked about giving 80% of your information, and I actually just want to be transparent in that, and while we might not give your playbook of exact strategies that you use for growing people’s ad accounts, just giving actual real non-regurgitated information to people.

Jay Janus: Yeah, I find it hard when we go through an onboarding, and if we’re bringing a new client on board who might have been working with previous agencies, and just some of the stuff that they’ve had to put up with, or they’ve taken as gospel previously is, yeah, it’s frustrating when you know that they’re getting played that way.

Dave Granfield: 100%.

Jay Janus: Yeah. Obviously, our clients want them to be as knowledgeable about the platform that they’re advertising on as they can be.

Dave Granfield: Yeah, 100%.

Jay Janus: There’s no smoke and mirrors. When we work on an account, they own the data and they should own the data. Yeah, so things like that get a bit disheartening, which is also why we’re doing this.

Dave Granfield: One of the things we’re going to talk about in the next couple of days is also my big adventure. So when we worked with them and we actually told them, “No, we don’t want to work with you, and we don’t want to spend your advertising dollars,” and just what that meant to that customer. She’s given us a fantastic video testimonial about just how we conducted ourselves, and that’s kind of along those lines, where she wasn’t ready to spend, so we didn’t take her money. So yeah, that’s cool.

Dave Granfield: Hey, let’s talk about new releases in Facebook at the moment. So, there’s two things that I’d like you to unpack with this and anyone who watches or listens, two new things this week. So Instagram Explore ads, and generating lead generation within Messenger.

Dave Granfield: So Instagram Explore, I go to it a lot, it’s if I want to find something trending, I want to find something within the niche that I’m particularly industry interested in, like my Instagram Explorer is full of cars and fishing stuff. Right? My wife’s is full of makeup, but then being able to place ads in there, what’s the power for us to place our customers’ ads within Instagram into Explore these days?

Jay Janus: I think they’re just targets, opens up a deeper level of targeting, and also a very visceral and visual way of targeting. When you’re looking at the Explore, you’re seeing the images that are being shown, and when you’ve got the option and the opportunity to put one of your own images in there, highlighting your brand or your product, it’s really powerful because when people are browsing those topics, they’re in the mindset of that topic, and if your product and your service matches that topic, it’s shooting fish in a barrel really.

Dave Granfield: Well I’m going to assume that Facebook’s targeting is going to be pretty spot on with this, so if I look at cars and fishing stuff, it’s going to show cars and fishing ads within that Explorer, so it’s just a really hyper targeted way of getting a brand in front of people who are looking for exactly what you are.

Jay Janus: Yeah.

Dave Granfield: What about generating leads within Messenger? So, when you create Messenger campaigns, now you can select leads as your optimisation, or ad delivery within the Messenger set up. So from my understanding, it’s going to create ads that open up an automated question and answer kind of experience and get qualified leads. So how do you see that panning out? So if we’re sending sponsored messages to potentials and then getting a direct ability to, I guess, aggregate a lead, how does that help us with our attributions and how does it help us with our reporting for customers and actually giving measurements from those styles of ads?

Jay Janus: Yeah, attributions is a big one. So I know we’re going to talk more about that in an upcoming podcast, but-

Dave Granfield: We’re going to flog the the pants off that topic!

Jay Janus: … but I guess a little bit of a teaser on that, and a bit of information is, when we’re talking attributions, it’s how do you attribute, not just the final purchase to an ad, but every touch point of a customer’s journey to purchase, from a cold audience right through to a purchase, and then beyond a purchase, how do they then start to refer for you or to come back as longtime loyal customers?

Jay Janus: So when we’re talking attribution in this state with Messenger ads, keeping it on platform. So at the moment, with Facebook, you’re on a leader and it stays in Facebook’s platform, you’ve got a heap of other retargeting opportunities because it is in Facebook’s platform where you can re target the people that might’ve seen the [inaudible 00:05:50] and didn’t even submit it, you can get back in front of them, and it just keeps it platform centric.

Jay Janus: So it’s very easy just to then see where did that advertising spend, where was it most profitable? Did it return a result? And if it did, obviously in this case, we can see that it was directly out of a Messenger campaign, which is a really powerful insight.

Dave Granfield: Yeah, that’s really exciting to be able to start tracking that stuff a little bit better. Awesome. So new releases, two new releases. Instagram Explore and generating leads within Messenger and sponsored messages, which is kind of cool.

Dave Granfield: Hey, I wanted to highlight something that we did recently. So I spoke at a conference for the future of social media down in Melbourne a few weeks ago, and one of the bits of research that we did was just talking to eCommerce stores, and we kind of went through the largest Shopify stores in Australia, and had conversations with them. And what we found out, we talked to about a thousand brands, or we interacted with about a thousand websites and brands, and one of the things we found out through that process was about 80% of those ad buyers had no idea how to use CBO.

Dave Granfield: Now CBO being campaign budget optimisation, it’s one thing that you love talking about, and it’s one thing that’s a massive point of contention, and I’m sure we’ll talk about lots over the next couple of months. But what’s your thoughts now? 80% of ad buyers don’t know how to successfully run a CBO campaign.

Jay Janus: Okay. I think the more and more we’re kind of doing this, we’re definitely seeing different levels of ad buyers and it’s easy to kind of think of an ad buyer as an ad buyer, but there’s definitely what I would think of are different levels, you’ve got the people that just go in, they build out a quick campaign, you know, the mom and dad business where they can just get in and do it, don’t really understand the nuts and bolts of it.

Jay Janus: And then you’ve got the hyper level that actually start to dive in and understand, they have a very deep level of the platform. And in that there’s been … I’ll go on a bit of a rant … There’s been-

Dave Granfield: Yes.

Jay Janus: For a while there’s been the opportunity to really game the system. Previously before CBO, you could run a post engagement campaign driving social proof onto an ad, taking that same post ID duplicating that across the whole campaign and letting all of that snowball conceptions down, better engagement looks better, and it just presents a much better ad, and basically you’ve hyper accelerated the learning on an ad to get better results.

Jay Janus: And there’s been a whole industry inside of ad buying that is where the gurus have popped up, we’ve got this special method and we’ve got this special strategy, and I’m sure you would’ve seen or been targeted, if you’re in the marketing world, they’ve all been targeted by these gurus.

Jay Janus: CBO is actually removing that opportunity, and it’s flattening the playing field.

Dave Granfield: That’s a bold statement, and it is still flattening the playing field, but there still ways to game it right? There’s still ways to … is there still ways to game it, or is there ways to use it more effectively?

Jay Janus: We’ve put several million dollars worth of ad spend through CBO campaigns now. It’s a different method of working. Is it gaming? I don’t know. There’s definitely strategies and and correct strategies that you need to employ. In my conversations with our Facebook reps, they’re very strong on that, and it’s a different way of doing things. It’s more robust, but the algorithm is a lot more advanced, which is understanding the algorithm is the difference. There’s a big difference now between an in depth understanding of the algorithm and the machine learning, compared to what’s the latest method and strategy and to employee on an account.

Dave Granfield: One of the things you said earlier which struck me, was there’s multiple levels of ad buyers, right? There’s the mom and dad, or the mom and pop businesses, which are just getting in there and running some boosted posts or some ads. CBO was really supposed to be designed for those people, isn’t that right? So my analogy when I spoke on stage the other week was, campaign budget optimisation is kind of like the AdWords Express for the Google ads world.

Dave Granfield: But that was a massive flop and a massive failure, and no-one physically uses AdWords Express if you know what you’re doing. How’s that going to be different where we’re all getting forced down the line of CBO? It’s not an option, it’s not something you can turn off.

Dave Granfield: Come February, 2020-

Jay Janus: 22nd, yeah.

Dave Granfield: … it’s going to be everyone’s using CBO, right, so how do then … where’s the line going to be drawn between the mom and dad business just running a simple campaign, which they’ll be able to do, to someone like you who’s putting a million plus dollars a month through CBO campaigns and actually trying to get results for customers?

Jay Janus: I think the biggest difference is probably the optimisation, is you optimize a CBO strategy different to what you would optimize an ad set, an ad set level strategy, but you’re still optimizing. We spend the majority of every day diving in and understanding the data and the numbers that are coming through on an extremely granular level.

Jay Janus: On the campaign, the ad sets and the ads inside of them, and then getting an overall holistic picture of what’s going on, how that plays into the CBO algorithm, and optimize that way accordingly.

Dave Granfield: That’s cool.

Jay Janus: Yeah.

Dave Granfield: I’ve just checked a note in for a conversation in a couple of days time about, one of the trends we’re seeing in the groups is a lot of Facebook’s really centric advertisers are now starting to talk on their channel, and they’re starting to talk putting ad spend in other directions, and maybe that is a direct correlation to it, they just don’t get CBO yet, right? They’re not understanding how to make their advertising dollar work, so they’re struggling, they’re to find the top of funnel advertising on other platforms, they’re to find bottom of funnel delighting on other platforms, and we’ll unpack that a little bit more another time, but we could talk for hours and days on CBO, right?

Jay Janus: Yeah. I think ultimately, I don’t think it’s a that’s a bad thing or a good thing, it’s just a thing, and what I really like is the fact that Facebook is constantly updating and constantly changing, and that’s a good thing.

Jay Janus: That’s our job as marketers and as an agency, is to be on top of that, and to be the best that we can be, and to understand that for our clients. And that goes hand in hand that the reason is Facebook is doing that, is because it wants that experience for its users to be as good as it can be.

Dave Granfield: Yeah, awesome. Perfect.

Dave Granfield: Hey, I want to talk about a bit of a commentary on what’s happening in our industry at the moment. Now we’ve been to a few awards ceremonies, you and I the last couple of weeks, one of them was really interesting, sitting on one side of me was a representative from one of the largest agency conglomerates in the world, and on the other side was a representative from a Singaporean based SAAS platform who is seeing their clients turned away from using these large agencies.

Dave Granfield: Now Mumbrella posted an article recently on one of these big behemoth agencies, losing $253 million. They recorded a $253 million loss, which was a 2000% decrease in revenue in the last financial year.

Dave Granfield: We know what’s happening, we can see the trend that’s happening, it’s going to be probably a few years delayed within Australia here, down under, where big household names of big brands are getting sick of no transparency on where their advertising dollar’s going. They’re getting sick of paying a a one stop shop of $1 million a month, and then not knowing how much of that goes to ad spend, how much of that goes to production, how much of that goes to management, and when we’re sitting at this event wedged between the two ends of this market, we’re seeing that these big behemoth agencies are now losing a bit of control, and slowly losing a bit of control on their customers, because their customers want more transparency, right?

Jay Janus: Yeah-

Dave Granfield: What’s your thoughts on that?

Jay Janus: Yeah, I think transparency is the key. For so long digital marketing has been this black cloak service where you just don’t know, it’s very overwhelming for a lot of people and it’s easy to kind of say, “Here’s a budget at the end of the month, just report what you’ve done.” And the reporting is generally pretty shallow.

Dave Granfield: I think probably that’s right on the big things too right, these bigger brands now have got teams inside which are data analysts, they’re looking at their data, and they get back a three liner report from a large agency at the end of the month with some CPM metrics, or some click through rate metrics or impressions, and that’s not good enough anymore because you can actually track revenue through ad spend, and they’re not getting it, and it’s really interesting for me.

Dave Granfield: So while this large company who I won’t mention, lost $253 million last financial year in Australia, digital advertising grew by 7.1%.

Dave Granfield: Now that was $9 billion of ad spend in Australia last financial year. So people are spending more online, but they’re trusting larger entities less to do that for them. That’s a really interesting trend, and I think that’s something that we’re going to see coming out in the next 12 to 24 months. The smaller agencies like BidPixel and some of the other ones, are actually going to start winning some of the bigger accounts that we never would have had the opportunity to work on.

Jay Janus: Yeah, absolutely. And that’s really exciting. And I think it’s probably a good time to shift as well. The digital market is maturing now, there’s so many great platforms, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google Ads, that are available and the people are using, not just daily but hourly or five minutely even. It’s a really powerful and quite a mature industry now.

Jay Janus: So I was at a conference in Brisbane last month, and about four and a half thousand, 5,000 people there, and the person who was presenting asked everybody to stand, and then went through the process of saying, “Okay, if you don’t watch free to air television, sit down.” And out at four and a half thousand people, probably 80% of the people sat down. So 80% of those people didn’t watch commercial television. And then he said, “Okay, out of those remaining, sit down if you do not watch the ads.” So three people remained out of four and a half thousand people who actually openly said, “We watched the ads on free to air television.”

Dave Granfield: They were probably people who work in that industry, right?

Jay Janus: Quite possibly. But that’s definitely … it was geared one way… but the reason they’re not doing that is because as soon as the ads pop up, they’re on their devices, they’re on YouTube, they’re on Facebook, they’re on Instagram, they’re on that are on Tip Top, they’re on LinkedIn, they’re constantly immersing themselves in digital platforms, which is really exciting because of the maturity of those platforms now.

Dave Granfield: That kind of reminds me of that email, but we’re going to one of our nurture sequences, so we’ve got a nurture sequence going out to automotive dealerships, and one of the emails there is toilet advertising versus TV advertising. And people don’t watch ads on TV anymore, they literally take their phones to the crapper with them, and that’s where they see your advertising, and that’s where they’re seeing your brand. And that’s such a real thing.

Dave Granfield: And I guess everyone’s sitting down, apart from a couple of people at that conference, really kind of shows that.

Jay Janus: Yeah.

Dave Granfield: But let’s wrap this one up. The last thing I want to talk about is a little segment that we’re going to do called What Makes This Crap? Now, a little bit of a rant, but what makes this crap? It could be a platform that’s maybe not built as, or as robust as it could , it might be a policy change or an algorithm change that’s happening within a platform that we advertise on.

Dave Granfield: Today, I want to talk about what makes this crap, and I want to talk about the tightening down on Messenger rules. Now, I love that Facebook is tightening down on the rules for Messenger bots. What I think is crap is that they’re not tightening down on, they’re not reprimanding people well enough, so there’s two particular gurus who are using Messenger bots substantially on someone from New Zealand, I might mention who they are, the other one is quite a large person, who probably was speaking at the conference you were at the other week, and constantly, almost every day, or every second day, I get a message in my inbox from them.

Dave Granfield: Now it’s not a sponsored message, they haven’t paid to do it the right way, it’s literally ManyChat Messenger bot message spamming my inbox.

Dave Granfield: One of them, the one that would’ve been at your conference the other day, I actually wrote, “Stop”, and it didn’t stop. I wrote, “Unsubscribe”, and it didn’t unsubscribe it, I keep on getting these things. How do you think Facebook’s going to go actually cracking down on these rules that they’re putting in place for Facebook Messenger bot use?

Jay Janus: Yeah, I think it’s an ongoing issue, so at the F8 conference … which is Facebook’s yearly developer conference … by talking a lot about further integration of all the platforms, so Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp audience network, and just kind of bringing them all in much tighter.

Jay Janus: Like anything, there’s generally ways around it, ways around systems saying you can have multiple ad accounts and share audiences between ad accounts, and if someone’s in a Messenger audience, and one you can show that to the other and, and bypass some of these restrictions, which isn’t ideal.

Jay Janus: So I think Facebook’s has got a challenge on its hand, I know Twitter has done some very heavy handed tactics in terms of tightening down, and they’ve probably gone to the extreme on the flip side.

Jay Janus: So yeah, I’m honestly not sure. I think we’re just going to have to see how some of these things play out. And one thing that is really exciting is … and probably daunting, and a lot of people won’t know about … is Facebook’s rolling out a feature that will enable all of its users to remove their data from their platform. So if you’re being re-targeted by a client, or by a customer … not our clients we would never do that to our clients … but if you’re being re-targeted by one of these people that Dave mentioned, is you can actually, you will be able to surely go into your settings and remove that targeting option. And it just basically removes the cookies from your Facebook profile.

Dave Granfield: Yeah, we were talking about this the other day, right? So it is announced kind of, and it is kind of available to be able to do, it’s going to be interesting when the big sort of roll out and announcement comes with this feature. I guarantee everyone’s going to get on their phone straight away, there’s going to be all those viral messages on Facebook posts where share this, within 24 hours, blah, blah blah. But I reckon we’ll see a massive trend of people going in and deleting all their current cookie data, and their pixel data, and then they’ll do it once, and then they’ll forget about it, or-

Jay Janus: Yeah.

Dave Granfield: … Facebook will change where to find it in the background, and so I reckon as advertisers, we’ve got a bit of an Armageddon coming, we’re retargeting audiences, just going to one day, just stop, because everyone will jump on the bandwagon, and then it will just be a case of rebuilding from there, and it’ll go back to normal I reckon within a month or two.

Jay Janus: Yeah, definitely. And I think they’ve rolled it out to two or three countries so far, so it’ll be interesting, they’re obviously going to be testing it in those countries, so this is more of them adhering to the privacy concerns that have been raised against them and the platform and I think it’s a good thing.

Dave Granfield: 100%, it’s Facebook safeguarding their platform so that they can ensure they can keep on doing what they’re doing.

Jay Janus: Yeah.

Dave Granfield: Awesome. So that covers everything we were going to talk about today. Next time we’re going to talk about getting ready for Christmas, so how to plan your media buying and creative assets now, September, and we’re going to talk about an ad campaign that we think is great. It’s not one of our customers, it’s just one that we’ve seen that we love, and I’m not sure which one we’re going to discuss yet, but we’re probably going to to talk about a bit of a full funnel, like how they re-target us, how they got in front of us again and again, what platforms they were getting in front of us on.

Dave Granfield: Then, I’m going to share a little bit about agency building, where BidPixel started from and who BidPixel is. Although we might work with millions of dollars of ad spend now, we started with $200 a month clients a long time ago, and that’s kind of where we cut our teeth and got our processes right, and so I’m going to talk about that and a bit of the journey that we’ve come on.

Dave Granfield: The next thing we’re going to talk about is a bit of a book review, with a book called Tools of Titans. It’s a short story book of some of the biggest influencers and minds in the world, and it’s a fantastic tool and a pick me up for when you want to, I guess learn a little bit more, or get some insights from some of the greats.

Dave Granfield: And then we can also talk about polarizing our marketplace. So what are we actually doing different in this ad buy marketplace, and digital marketing marketplace to polarize our audiences? And it’s kind of different to what our competitors are doing. So it’s going to be an interesting conversation, and I’m sure if anyone watches or listens to that, they’re going to have some opinions on that, which I’d love to unpack later on.

Dave Granfield: So Jay’s our chief operating officer of BidPixel, you can see Jay’s one of our mini team that works from home, we are location agnostic. Jay, thanks for coming along to this one and I’ll look forward to doing more of these with you, mate.

Dave Granfield: Yeah, for sure.

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