8 New Digital Marketing Stats That Grabbed Our Attention Last Week

From Russia-linked Facebook ads to binge-watching

Marketers question viewability metrics while eMarketer drops Snapchat's revenue.
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With the ANA’s Masters of Marketing Annual Conference and Advertising Week behind us, it’s been a busy few weeks for digital marketers. Here’s eight data points that you may have missed last week to bring you up to speed.

1. So about those Russians …

After revealing that a Russia-linked organization purchased 3,000 Facebook ads, the social network handed over the details to Congress this week and said that it plans to hire 1,000 people to monitor and review ads.

Moreover, Facebook disclosed that 10 million people in the U.S. saw at least one ad. Of those, 44 percent were seen before the election and 56 percent were viewed after the election. Plus, 25 percent of the Russia-linked ads were never seen because Facebook’s algorithm labeled them as irrelevant.

2. The digital-bashing CMO tour continues

Procter & Gamble’s chief brand officer Marc Pritchard has been on a speaking circuit this year to talk about his one-year mandate asking its partners to clean up shady practices and the digital media-supply chain.

Ten months in, Pritchard said at the ANA’s Masters of Marketing Annual Conference in Orlando, Fla. this week that the work is about two-thirds complete.

When talking about challenges around the reach and frequency of digital ads, Pritchard dropped this one stat to sum up why consumers are increasingly tuning out ads, “Excess frequency is a massive source of waste, and it really annoys consumers. No wonder ad blockers are growing 20 percent a year. I mean, how many times does a person need to see a toilet paper ad to get the point?”

Elsewhere, Business Insider reports that Chase CMO Kristin Lemkau spoke at the conference about Amazon’s growing ad business and how it could challenge the duopoly of Facebook and Google.

3. Viewability is in the eye of the beholder

While most brands have transacted digital ads on the Media Rating Council’s three year-old viewability standard, other marketers believe that the requirement is too lenient and are creating their own metrics.

For example, HP only pays for ads that are 100 percent in view for five seconds, which is higher than the MRC’s recommendation that 50 percent of an ad is in view for one second. According to HP, the stricter guidelines have a conversion rate four times higher than the MRC’s definition.

4. Bumpy landing

Snap has had a tough few months since going public at convincing Wall Street that it can continue to grow while also staying ahead of looming competition from Facebook.

Faced with those challenges, eMarketer dropped its forecast for the app’s 2017 revenue by $126 million from $900 million to $774.1 million. Moreover, Snap’s U.S. business—where it makes the bulk of ad revenue—could shrink to $642.5 million this year, down from eMarketer’s previous forecast of $770 million.

5. Resetting Snap

Speaking of Snapchat, Nat Geo had 1.9 million subscribers to its Discover channel earlier this year after spending two years cranking out custom content for the app. Thanks to a new design and strategy three months ago, the publisher added 3 million subscribers and now has 5 million subscribers while daily unique users have doubled to quadrupled. Click here to learn more about how Nat Geo shook up its daily Snapchat output.

6. IRL meets social

Adweek’s senior editor Kristina Monllos took a deep-dive look into how brands are measuring experiential marketing in last week’s magazine.

In one example, M&M’s turned Times Square into an augmented reality experience to launch a caramel-flavored candy, which resulted in 26,000 impressions from people walking by and 2,200 tweets with the hashtag #UnsquareCaramel.

7. Binge-watching grows

According to new research from 1,600 Hulu viewers, 60 percent of consumers enjoy watching multiple episodes of TV at once while another 8 percent of folks will sit down to watch an entire season. The remaining 32 percent of people prefer to watch week-to-week, showing how TV has, “progressed from a static, scheduled platform to a dynamic and custom experience,” per Hulu.

8. Finger-powered Facebook ads

Are GIFs the next big trend for Facebook advertisers?

With its new iOS11 operating system, Apple launched a feature that turns live photos into GIFs. Carlsberg Israel and BBR Saatchi & Saatchi launched a clever campaign that plugs Apple’s feature into a post that promoted Rosh Hashanah. Pressing a finger on the screen triggers a series of photos to play across the screen.

According to the brand, the post performed superbly with a 13 percent engagement rate, up from its previous record of 9 percent. Moreover, it reached more than 250,000 people and over 50,000 clicks.