Good news for publishers, bad news for marketers

It’s almost that time of year again. With the holiday season just around the corner, marketers everywhere are starting to refine their strategies and brace for rising CPMs as people start to get in the mood for shopping.

A recent article from Digiday outlined some key statistics about the advertising landscape for publishers – and, by association, marketers. Let’s dive into some stats from the last couple months:

  • Display CPMs are on the rise. Numbers from revenue data management service Staq show that display CPMs across open exchanges were up to $1.35 on average as of late August, up from $1.16 at the beginning of the month. This is also likely due to the fact that many economies are continuing to recover from lows during the spring.
  • August was the most expensive month for advertising this year. Ezoic’s Online Ad Revenue index reports that ad rates during August this year were more similar to December 2019 (holiday season!) than August 2019 – a sign that cheap pandemic advertising is all but finished.

The Crew’s take: This data, while it may cause a headache for some marketers, isn’t too surprising considering the crazy year we’ve had. Big advertisers, some of whom sat out Q2, are back and better than ever with their campaigns, driving costs through the roof.

Buckle up as we head into the holiday season – ads certainly aren’t getting any cheaper!


Is Facebook trying to sabotage you?


If you advertise on Facebook, you know that there’s an algorithm that determines which of your ads to serve, and it’s designed to maximize your profits – in theory, Facebook shouldn’t be serving poor-performing ads over standout ones. Right?

In a Twitter thread yesterday, Andrew Faris and Gil Davis had a discussion over why Facebook might sometimes recommend your ‘bad’ ads over your good ones. Here’s a breakdown of the conversation:

  • Facebook’s algorithm is more complex than a couple of numbers. Andrew pointed out that, even though it might seem like Facebook isn’t optimizing your campaigns effectively, the algorithm is a lot more complex than a couple of KPIs. It’s trying to predict future performance, and might be seeing something you’re not.
  • If you’ve got a small purchase sample, it can be hard to tell what’s what. Two of Gil David’s ads were generating a similar CPC for the same sale, but one of the ads had a drastically higher CVR and AOV. As Andrew pointed out, this is somewhat unlikely to remain consistent with a larger ad spend – sometimes, luck and chance are involved!

If the ad spend on your Facebook campaigns is looking questionable, try considering this advice before you panic! The Facebook algorithm doesn’t always know best, and flukes do happen – but it’s usually good to take everything into consideration before making drastic changes.


Creating Google campaigns that sell


Marketers are getting ready for the Q4 madness, and many are already thinking about alternatives to Facebook – especially considering what happened on Facebook in the 2018 and 2019 holiday seasons.

Some of us still have nightmares about it…

If you were thinking about jumping into Google Ads this holiday season, this post from Frankie Quiroz contains some interesting points to be aware of.

His recent Google campaigns made $468k at 6.5x ROAS for his branded, print on-demand store.

He brings up some great points, especially if you’re fresh to Google Ads:

  • Google loves simplicity: Create your campaigns, ad sets, and ads in the simplest way possible.
  • Create more than 3 ads per ad set, but no more than 5-10 ad sets per campaign.
  • Learn and study the different bidding options with different budgets: Frankie says that he starts by bidding $1 per click. Then, he analyzes the results of the keywords and if they don’t deliver impressions, he increases the bid.
  • Use one ad account per branded store – don’t mix and match.
  • Launch your campaigns in CPC bidding first. Then, if they get more than 30 sales profitably, switch to Automated Bidding.
  • Analyze your competition and launch Google campaigns to surpass your competitors’ organic results.
  • Longer keywords have lower search volume, but show more intent.
  • Don’t stop at Google Search Ads. Run Google Shopping Ads as well as YouTube and Display Ads. Frankie says that they use Display Ads for heavy retargeting.

It’s not rocket science here. But, they’re some useful practices to give a head start to your Google campaigns!


APPLE: As part of a potential effort to explore Apple TV+ bundles, Apple has hired a former exec from Hulu and Quibi.

FACEBOOK: It appears that a ‘cashback’ style feature is now available on Facebook for offers and deals.

SEO: If you’re looking for a quick way to absorb some SEO knowledge in pretty graphics, this page from Sam Underwood is a great one to check out.

EMAIL: Looking for some inspo for your email campaigns? This site has a great compilation of some of the most effective – and pretty – emails that have ever been sent.


Arnold Schwarzenegger has a long one. Michael J. Fox has a short one. Madonna does not use hers. Bill Clinton always uses his. The Pope never uses his. What is it?

You can find the solution here.


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

What if we named bands after SEO terminology?


What would bands be named if the world revolved around SEO? Andrew Isidoro posed a similar question on Twitter recently, and there were some pretty creative responses.

Here are a few of our favorites (warning to those of you who aren’t SEO geeks – this might get confusing):

  • 301 Direction
  • Blink 404
  • Link Floyd
  • Schema Patrol
  • Linkin Park – this one doesn’t even need to be changed!

Can you figure out which original bands those were based off of?

If you’ve got any SEO-themed band names of your own (or marketing-themed band names, for that matter), go ahead and share them with us! We’d love to hear from you.

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