Budgets rollercoaster



Next year’s ad budgets are getting scrutinized


…and not quite in a good way.

The majority of advertisers surveyed by World Federation of Advertisers claim budgets are under “heavy scrutiny” as financial concerns demand more justification of spend.

Glass half…what: Nearly 30% of surveyed marketers—which include five of the world’s top 10 biggest advertisers—are planning to cut their budgets.

Sounds grim, but behold the optimists. The same percentage of respondents claim that they intend to increase ad budgets, with the remaining 40% plan to leave budgets intact.

According to study, both increases and decreases won’t go further than the 10% mark.

The salvation is…online? Maybe, as 45% respondents say they’ll move away from traditional media including TV, radio, and print and invest more in digital advertising, with greater flexibility and measurable performance cited as the main reasons.

Why we care: Because next year points out to marketing smarter. Big advertisers cutting budgets will open more opportunities for smaller advertisers.

However, with most advertising moving online, the competition may be fierce. Good thing you’re always in the loop when reading Stacked Marketer, right?


Ads expanding to the “small screens”

Uh-oh… Get ready for sudden ad interruptions in the middle of your Ted Lasso rewatch.

It looks like Apple is in talks to launch ads on their Apple TV+ streaming platform sometime in 2023, in a bid to boost their ad revenue.

Ads and originals: Digiday claims Apple held “separate exploratory discussions” with multiple media agencies about monetizing their original video content with ad play.

In other words, the tech giant is planning to bank on their original shows, such as Emmy-winning Ted Lasso and The Morning Show. And that may be just the start.

The Apple gambit: This further expansion comes after Apple Search Ads have tripled market share since their privacy regulation change.

On the other hand, their rivals from Meta and Google are starting to lose ground. Hardly a coincidence….

Why we care: This is more than just another potential ad channel. It’s an indication that Apple is establishing itself as a big player in the advertising space.

With privacy regulations allowing them to profit from their “private” advertising network, Apple could become one of the most effective channels for your efforts.


Are you pre-testing the conversion power of your UGC paid social ads?


One thing marketers always forget to do is test their UGC ad creatives in advance.

Knowing the winning ad formula ahead of time makes it faster to produce and easier to scale—especially when you need it tomorrow.

How do you test your UGC content?

This Creative Testing Guide is a great start.

It’s published by Insense, a one-stop shop where you can collaborate with creators for UGC, organic posting, and whitelisted ads on Instagram and TikTok Spark Ads.

And this guide shows you:

  • How to identify the best-performing CTAs and hooks.
  • Tips for creating new ads from repurposed content.
  • How to scale the right ads.

…and more.

You can download Insense’s Creative Testing Guide here.

Insense is also offering Stacked Marketer readers up to $200 platform credits until Oct 19.

Book a free strategy call to claim your $200 credits!


3 ways to test your responsive search ads


If you’ve been running Google Ads for a while, there’s a good chance you’re feeling bummed that expanded text ads (ETA) are no longer a thing.

ETA campaigns were easy to test, and it was easy to compare things like CTRs. Sigh.

But while it’s harder to run A/B tests using Google’s new responsive search ads (RSA), it is possible—and worthwhile, if you want to optimize your results.

You just need a different approach to testing.

Ashwin Balakrishnan offers three effective experiments to help you better understand and improve your RSA performance:

Experiment #1: Pinning vs. Mix-and-Match. RSA automatically combine various headlines and descriptions for testing, but their pinning feature lets you decide which headlines and descriptions appear, and where.

So create two RSA campaigns using the same creative, then pin a few headlines and descriptions in one ad, while leaving the other intact.

Running identical ads with ones pinned can help you determine which version gets better CTRs and conversions.

Experiment #2: Segmenting by message. This experiment helps you find out which topics enact engagement and what your customers are looking for.

Create multiple ad groups with a distinct theme centered around a particular keyword and use a broad match. You should look to target different personas, pain points, and even offers for topics.

Since everyone’s using the same Google automation, this will help you get an edge over your competitors.

Experiment #3: Pseudo-ETA with a Control RSA. You can create an ad resembling an ETA by pinning.

Create two of these “pseudo-ETAs” by pinning just three headlines and two descriptions. The third ad is RSA where you leave everything unpinned.

This helps you understand the CTR performance of pseudo-ETAs, especially if you’re in an industry where you need to display particular information at all times.

And there you have it: three experiments to try with RSA. So roll up your sleeves, enter your Google Ads laboratory, and start experimenting. Good luck!


Build your dream workflow for free and skyrocket your team’s productivity


Coordinating different departments and juggling apps slows down your marketing team and creates complicated—and often unnecessary—steps.

That’s why 800,000 teams use ClickUp’s customizable platform to bring all their work into one place and create their ideal workflows.

You get hundreds of tools for maximizing productivity, including automated tasks, design proofing, visual timeframes, and much more.

Simplify your work and get more done for free.


Should you get into ‘Drop Servicing’?


Sure, you’ve heard of dropshipping (and at this point, probably far too many times).

But have you heard of Drop Servicing?

It’s what it sounds like: The term Drop Servicing is used to describe a business model where you market yourself as providing a service—graphic design, for example—and you then outsource that work to someone else for cheaper.

For example: You sell graphic design services for $1k per month. Someone hires you. Then, you go on Fiverr and hire someone for $200 per month. Easy profit, right?

Not so fast.

Notice something? Drop Servicing is just another way to describe the agency model. When you Drop Service, you’re acting as the head of a loosely-organized agency. You’re selling something, then paying a team of people less money to get it done.

And, when you put it that way… It’s not so easy. Running a good agency is a difficult thing to do. Ideas like ‘Drop Servicing’ get traction because, on the surface, they seem like easy ways to make cash without having significant skill. But that’s not the truth of it.

The Crew’s Insight: We just spent the last month diving into all sorts of business models, and this is one that came up. While it may seem attractive, don’t let fun new words like ‘Drop Servicing’ distract you from the model itself—which is a lot of hard work. If you want to start an agency, do it! Just don’t get lost in the ‘Drop Servicing’ sauce.

If you want to learn about dozens of other business and pricing models (with real-life examples), sign up for Stacked Marketer Pro and read our latest deep dive. You can test it out for just $7 today.


UNLIMITED COPYWRITING: Finding a copywriter that lives up to their website or Upwork description is a pain in the you-know-what. Panda Copy vets skilled copywriters for you. No sourcing. No filtering. No headaches. Get unlimited copy for 7 days for $49.*

DESIGN: Microsoft launches Designer, a potential alternative to Canva, aka “every marketer’s favorite design tool.” Apparently it will feature an AI text-to-image generator powered by DALL-E, and will target bigger enterprises, so the two may cohabit peacefully. Hmm…

SHOPIFY: If you’re a Shopify merchant in the U.S, you could soon retire tax spreadsheets and calculators. The platform’s new addition allows you to access tax-specific features directly from your admin page… and make correct sales tax decisions. Bye, calculator!

ANALYTICS: Zero-click content, privacy regulations, lack of data… How to track the untrackable in marketing? Well, Rand Fishkin may have an idea or two. Might be worth a read…

*This is a sponsored post


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Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things marketers like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

White noise discography


No headbanging. No dancing. No singing. Just vibes.

The music industry looks to be cashing in on white noise.

Apparently sound recordings of crackling fire, raindrops, humming of the wind, and more are having hundreds of millions of plays on platforms such as Spotify and Tidal.

Yep…these recordings are earning the same as your favorite artists on the platform. Unfair… we know.

Well, don’t be surprised when Sound of ocean waves wins a Grammy Award in 2030!

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