Author Topic: How your media buying agency is screwing you over  (Read 174 times)

rcjordan

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ergophobe

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Re: How your media buying agency is screwing you over
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2018, 04:09:09 PM »
What's missing from this article is the fact that most agencies seem to cherry-pick their metric.

About a year ago an agency told me something their campaign a particular ad buy had costs $7500 and had a 36:1 ROAS. So that would be $270,000 which was roughly a quarter of all revenue for the month. That seemed wrong immediately. I looked in GA and saw that on my end the campaign was showing about $3500 in revenue, meaning less than a 1:2 ROAS.

They were quoting "view through" numbers. Anyone who saw their ad and then converted got counted. I explained to them that if I could trust view through numbers. first they tried to explain why this number was relevant. Then they tried to say that if we didn't like view through, we could use click through. I explained this was still going to double and triple count people and unless they used the same attribution model as other media, I was only going to credit them for last click conversions...

Anyway, it wasn't even the first time we had had this discussion and it wasn't the first agency we had that discussion with. What they didn't seem to realize is that they were getting away with it when reporting to people who weren't asking where the numbers came from, but then losing all credibility once someone asked where the emperor's clothes were and they had to explain the numbers. It creates so much ill will with the client once the client figures out what the numbers actually mean.

aaron

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Re: How your media buying agency is screwing you over
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2018, 10:41:00 PM »
I think everyone in media does that...use whatever numbers make them look the best at first glance.

It is not an accident that Google Analytics defaulted to last click distribution (brand search late in funnel after purchase decision has already been made).

I think Facebook gave themselves a 28-day credit window for app installs, even though almost anything driven directly by the ad would typical happen in under a day.

About the only exception to the above sort of self-grading I can think of is when some numedia wants CPMs about 30x to 50x normal & then they talk about how influential their readers are (while maybe not mentioning too much how many of those readers use ad blockers, etc.).


ergophobe

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Re: How your media buying agency is screwing you over
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2018, 02:48:50 AM »
I think Facebook gave themselves a 28-day credit window for app installs, even though almost anything driven directly by the ad would typical happen in under a day.

I'm not entirely sure you're talking about the same thing, but, RE 28-day window, did you see this?
https://sumo.com/stories/black-friday-facebook-ads

Rumbas

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Re: How your media buying agency is screwing you over
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2018, 07:59:41 AM »
Quote
I think everyone in media does that.

Noo... ;)

Of course we report on the numbers that makes us look good - as some one the other end is not capable to understand the numbers anyway. If you only knew how much money is spent on BS to only make someone look good.

Eg. we audited a few Youtube Ads campaings for a client another agency did. They raved on the performance.. we couldn't identify a single sale or even a contact form, nothing, nada.. and they spent beyond $25K..

ergophobe

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Re: How your media buying agency is screwing you over
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2018, 06:45:17 PM »
Eg. we audited a few Youtube Ads campaings for a client another agency did. They raved on the performance.. we couldn't identify a single sale or even a contact form, nothing, nada.. and they spent beyond $25K..

So, the $7500 spend I mentioned was the huge "success" of a $30,000 ad buy. The rest performed worse, but the $7500 ad was the one they touted as having a 36:1 ROAS, even though it had about $3000 in directly attributable sales. The other $22,500 did worse. If there was a legitimate conversion, it was one or two at most. But the ad agency were raving over the amazing performance of the campaign.

This was the third agency in a row to do this and this third agency had been told that crap like this was among the reasons that the first two agencies weren't working with us anymore.... didn't seem to sink in.

I feel like they prey on people who do not know how to read the numbers or do not have independent ways to verify sales or something. Or busy people who think they can trust their ad agency.

It's like the people I see who are so excited because their PR firm got their PR piece on a blog with 100,000 visitors per month. A quick look and you find
 - the number doesn't match up with SimilarWeb at all (which for a decently trafficked site is not going to be off by 10X in my experience)
 - a site: search says the site has 10,000 URLs indexed in Google (so, roughly 10 visitors per page, but probably 50% of those to the top 10-20 pages).
 - none of the ten most recent posts has a single comment or social share except by the publisher.
 - the publishers social feed is nothing but automated posts linking to latest articles and has no interaction at all.

So basically, they got your piece on a crappy content farm. But it's a "PR win."

If it's a link and it's editorial and the page gets any readers at all, I think that *is* a win. Happy to have it. I won't look down my nose.

But I often see the report from the PR firm designed to imply that the article got 100,000 views, when it's the site as a whole that got 100,000 views (assuming they are actually telling the truth, which often SimilarWeb would suggest they aren't). Ultimately, though, it's not in the interest of the PR firm to push too hard on the stats that the publisher provides. Ideally, they should be inflated, but reasonable.

<rant class="unnecessary abbreviated">Influencers</rant>
« Last Edit: September 24, 2018, 06:57:16 PM by ergophobe »

aaron

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Re: How your media buying agency is screwing you over
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2018, 07:18:44 PM »
The less real something is that you are selling the more important it is to sell the sizzle.

A big part of how agencies lost their importance is through the laziness of trying to quickly spend budget through just a few big platforms (e.g. Google & Facebook), then demand anyone else take programmatic crumbs or even less, and maybe mix in a bit of bot action for some higher-margin inventory resales.

The other things with some of the scaled media coverage game (press release-lite article or such) are duplicate content filters will prevent such a thing from ranking many times in most cases & some of the sources selling that stuff don't tell you than in 2 or 3 months the URL will disappear from the web, so that $10,000 push to be in a dark alley on a legit property needs to pay off quick or you need to keep doing a new one every other month or so to stay current on those links (if they even count at all).

Drastic

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Re: How your media buying agency is screwing you over
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2018, 10:37:44 PM »
>I feel like they prey on people who do not know how to read the numbers or do not have independent ways to verify sales or something. Or busy people who think they can trust their ad agency.

I think a lot of it is just ignorance. People have no idea what they are doing, and more importantly what they should be doing. I have a client we just picked up that has been using a YP-ish agency for 15 years. They are still on page 5. I saw another proposal they received that said location didn't matter for local, and their location landers would just be built as 350 word blog posts with a stock photo each. Big money for this nonsense.

"Every damn digital marketing agency you will ever come across, from Bangladesh to Bolivia, will use the following buzzwords “tech savvy,” “creativity,” “innovation,” “social media guru,” “passionate,” “data-driven creatives,” “deep insight,” “story-telling,” “big ideas,” and so on."
*Every damn incompetent agency.
We have but one guy who is allowed to say the word "guru" in our building, he brought us 3 clients just this year.