Tech giants share quarterly earnings


It’s that time of the year again.

Google, Microsoft, Spotify, and Shopify all shared their quarterly earnings yesterday… and the reports are mixed.

Google’s year-on-year (YoY) revenue went up by 13%, but it’s still the slowest growth since pre-pandemic times.

And while Google’s ad revenue saw an increase of 13.5%, YouTube missed growth expectations by 2%, with advertisers “pulling back due to a number of factors.”

Microsoft saw a $100M decrease in ad revenue but announced steady growth in their owned assets:

  • LinkedIn revenue increased by 26%.
  • Bing’s search ad revenue went up by 15%.

Shopify has seen better days: After laying off 10% of their workforce, the company announced missed revenue expectations and predicted a further decrease in consumer spending. Ouch.

… Meanwhile, Spotify is putting up record numbers: The streaming platform grew active users by 19%, and ad-supported revenue increased by a staggering 31%.

The Crew’s Take: Ad spending and consumer spending are definitely slowing down due to inflation and rising interest rates.

… And it seems e-commerce is taking a step back to pre-pandemic times.

But LinkedIn, Bing, and Spotify ads are growing, which suggests advertisers are finding success with these channels. Maybe you can, too.


Transparency is coming to ad spend

Where does your ad money really go?

Does it really all go into ads? Are there any hidden fees?

Google wants to answer your questions with Confirming Gross Revenue, a tool intended to provide much-needed transparency.

How it works: Confirming Gross Revenue helps you confirm that the media cost in your reporting matches the gross revenue of the publisher.

If there’s a match, you can assume that you haven’t spent money on hidden fees, and that all your money went to advertising.

Who can use it: Google plans to test the tool with Display and Video 360 ads with the help of select publishers and agencies.

Why we care: According to Google, 15% of ad spend is unattributable. This is a first step towards full ad transparency in a way that won’t compromise user privacy.

If it works, it could go a long way toward shoring up the reputation of digital advertising.

By the way, speaking of ad spend…


This DTC brand slashed Facebook Ads costs by using custom machine-learning models


Like many businesses, Liquid IV’s margins were getting crushed by high CPMs… Until they started leveraging an asset they were literally sitting on:

Their own data!

And the solution was as fast as it was effective: Liquid IV saw a 178% increase in profits.


They used Black Crow AI’s platform to create custom machine learning models based on their first-party data.

Black Crow AI enabled them to create high-converting Custom Audiences.

Not only did it boost the ROAS of their retargeting campaigns… The algorithm became more effective at identifying new high-quality prospects.

They generated 48% new customers at a 32% lower CPA.

You can get the same results: All you need is to plug the Black Crow AI pixel onto your website, then give it a few days to gather data and create ML models for you.

Start slashing your ads costs and improve profits now.


Are you missing conversions in Google Analytics 4?


No joke: Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is difficult to use… even when you’re an expert user.

For example, Charles Farina recently discovered that he was missing key conversions in reporting due to the wrong Google signals setup.

Charlies realized that GA4 wasn’t showing three essential conversions during a particular 30-day reporting period—even though the conversions definitely happened during that time.

Why does this happen? Well… because of Google’s new data thresholding policy.

Google intentionally withholds data and hides rows with low volumes to “prevent you from inferring the identity of individual users.”

In other words, if the sample size is too small, Google doesn’t want to risk compromising the privacy of the users that trigger your events.

So you have two options if you want to make sure you’re capturing conversion data:

  • Change the reporting identity to “device-ID only” in Admin settings. Just keep in mind this method doesn’t let you use your own CRMs or user IDs.
  • Disable signals. Unfortunately this prevents you from seeing demographics and other data provided by Google media. Another limitation is that you need to use signals if you want to do any remarketing with GA4 audiences.

… Of course, there’s also the option Charles used when he realized he was missing data: Change the reporting date range to about 90 days so you have a larger data sample.

One final note: If you enable signals once, you can’t undo data thresholding. If you have User IDs and want to avoid the policy, never activate Google signals.

Hopefully, we’ll see a feature that will help you register User IDs without enabling signals… guess we’ll see.

There you go—you’re ready to make sure you don’t miss any conversions in GA4!


How to reach fresh, untouched, top-of-funnel audiences this Q4


… To be fair, that’s just one of the benefits of adding Outbrain’s native advertising to your media strategy.

Another benefit is their retargeting feature… the one that helped CBR Fashion Group boost their sales by 66% in Q4 2021.

Plus, the earlier you start discovering this channel, the more prepared you will be for the shopping rush.

This free article shows you how Outbrain can help you make big profits this Q4.


A foolproof tactic for cutting marketing jargon out of your copy


“Why waste time use lot word when few word do trick?”—Kevin Malone, The Office

That’s good advice, Kevin.

But, cutting the big words and the jargon from your customer-facing copy and communications is hard.

It’s difficult because you’ve used the same jargon so often it’s become a habit—you don’t notice when you’re using words that confuse your audience.

So here’s a tactic for cutting out jargon: Read your copy, word-by-word, and ask yourself if you can replace a vague word with a specific example.

For example:

“Stacked Marketer Pro is an advanced marketing insights community. You’ll get access to valuable, deeply-researched marketing strategies, sourced from some of the world’s most successful brands.”

It’s not terrible. Here’s what happens when you apply the tactic:

“Stacked Marketer Pro is the result of 3,600+ hours of market research. You’ll get access to real insights that boost your ROI—with strategies sourced from top brands like Huckberry, Wise, and Athletic Greens.”

By making a few small copy changes, the blurb goes from “generic marketing jargon” to “oh wow, this is pretty cool.”

Speaking of… Stacked Marketer Pro is pretty cool, and you can learn more about it here.


COPYWRITING: Let’s be honest, we all have too much work to do, right? But we don’t always have the time, or skills, to write that perfect piece of content. That’s where this group of copywriters can help you. Not sure? Have a free look at their writing samples here.*

INSTAGRAM: Most of your Instagram feed will soon consist of Reels… and most videos are becoming Reels anyway. So what can you do? Well… make great Reels. Meta published a guide that can help you get started.

AMAZON: Speaking of videos… Amazon has apparently started displaying—and autoplaying—videos in its search engine results. We’d love to know how this impacts engagement. It seems like a powerful feature…

GOOGLE: Good news if you’re listing exclusive products… Merchant Center accounts will no longer be disapproved if they’re using “Login required” or “Restricted purchase” issues. They’ll remain active… just with limited visibility.

TWITTER: One user discovered she’s able to add statuses to tweets, including “unpopular opinion,” “spoiler alert,” “need advice,” and more. Looks like Twitter is testing a new feature…

TWITTER: … And that’s not all they’re up to. Spaces is experimenting with “cards,” a new feature that lets users reply, engage, and share from the Space. If you use Spaces, this could be a useful engagement tool.

*This is a sponsored post.


Some will use me, while others will not, some have remembered, while others have forgot.

For profit or gain, I’m used expertly, I can’t be picked off the ground or tossed into the sea.

Only gained from patience and time, can you unravel my rhyme?

What am I?

You can find the answer here.


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

Mmm, historical sandwiches…


Sure, it all started with meat between two pieces of bread…

But the history of the sandwich predates that famous lightbulb moment when the Earl of Sandwich wanted a snack without the trouble of picking up cutlery.

So if you like going back in time, there’s a guy who reviews historical variations of sandwiches on TikTok… and they’re fascinating.

From China to India…

From oyster sandwiches to tomato sandwiches and French pan bagnat…

This guy makes them, bakes them, and eats them. And it’s making us think that maybe there’s more to sandwich than it seems…

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