Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 2 years ago

31) #InsideDigitalGrowth: The Digital Advertising Industry's Dirty Little Secret


I predicted the demise of digital ads three years ago. And I was right.

Recent changes to Google's ad policy have added restrictions around targeting, and the federal government is cracking down harder on big tech. In light of all that, are digital ads still worth it?

On this episode of the Banking on Digital podcast, I answered a question from Michael about digital ads — the industry's dirty little secret.

I talked about:

  • Why the coming cookie apocalypse will change the ad landscape for financial brands
  • Two things you can do to stay on top of Google Ads' new policy
  • What will replace ads in the digital marketer's toolbox

You can find this interview, and many more, by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here.

Michael ask what's your opinion on digital ads today? Are they worthwhile? Er's the market to saturated now? Well, it's a great question, Michael, and one that I'll answer for you on today's episode of banking on digital growth. You're listening to banking on digital growth with James Robert Lay, a podcast that empowers financial brand marketing, sales and leadership teams to maximize their digital growth potential by generating ten times more loans and deposits. Today's episode is part of the inside digital growth series, where James Robert shares answers to some of the biggest digital marketing and sales questions he gets from the digital growth community. Have a question you want to get answers to on a future episode? Visit WWW DOTGO ask jrcom to submit your question today. Now let's go inside digital growth. Greetings in hello, thank you for tuning into the thirty one episode of the banking on Digital Growth Podcast, where I James Robert Lay, your digital anthropologists, think through the research we continue to do here, research that is rooted at the center of Marketing, cells, technology, and here's the wild guard human behavior in a digital world, and we do this research with one primary goal in mind to provide you with clarity through education and insights, practical insights that guide you forward along your digital growth journey and really empower you to generate ten times more loans in deposits by simplifying digital marketing and sell strategies. Here's why? Because, into days ever growing, confusing digital world, simplicity. Simplicity is the path forward to escape complexity and chaos. Today's episode is part of the inside digital growth series where I want to help you to escape that complexity and chaos by answering a question from Michael, who is an a VP of marketing for a financial brand in the Midwest. Once again, Michael asked what's your opinion on digital ads today? Are they worthwhile or is the market to saturated now? Thanks again for the great question, Michael, and it's one that I've been thinking deeply about for the last twelve to eighteen months, as the digital ad game is really being disrupted and turned upside down on multiple fronts right now. In fact, going back three years, I had predicted the demise of digital ads thanks to at that time was really two things, ad bots and add blockers. We're going to destroy add bys but what is got me thinking more about digital ad disruption today is the recent changes coming from Google's ad policies that will be going into effect on October nineteen, two thousand and twenty, which is right around the time that we're going to be publishing this podcast. So for some context of what's going on and to get everyone up to speed before I share my perspective on digital ads and really, if they're even ads, are still worth investing into and today's saturated market, Google's up to this point, Google's personalized advertising has targeted users with more relevant content and, as a result, they've improved the experience for people while increasing Roy for advertisers. And as a result, what is Google gained money, a whole lot of money. But here's the thing. This new AD policy...

...that's coming out in October two thousand and twenty is going to add restrictions that are important for financial brands to be aware of when it comes to targeting. According to Google, and I quote, and an effort to improve inclusivity for users disproportionally affected by societal bias, is housing, employment and credit cards or services that can no longer be targeted to audiences based upon five things. Number One, gender, number two, age, number three, personal status, number for marital status and the number five, zip code and quote. Now, for the past ten years, Google's AD policies have prevented brands from targeting people based upon their identity, their beliefs, their sexuality, and in reality, I'm not surprised at all by Google's new ad policy updates once again. Three years ago, I had predicted the demise of ads because of the rise of Ad Bots and add blockers were already starting to destroy advise. But what I did not see at the time was the fight that we're seeing right now for consumer privacy and the control of personal data becoming a really big part of this narrative. That has been further driven by increasing government regulations. So for some context many of the AD policies that we're seeing and half seen over the last twelve months those changes and will probably continue to see. Go back to two thousand and sixteen. It was a pro public report, where that we're PROPUBLICA found that facebook was allowing the placement of housing ads that excluded certain ethnic affinities. Then, in March of two thousand and nineteen, the Department of Housing and Urban Development charged facebook with housing discrimination. And when they did this, they put Google and twitter on alert and some of these other big major digital ad platforms. Why is it important to understand this part of the narrative, even at a high level? What difference does this make to you as a financial brand marketing or or leadership team member? Here's why. These government regulations threaten the profits of the biggest technology players, facebook and Google, even Amazon, as their profits are closely tied to add revenue. So it all comes down to that one thing. It all comes down to money. In addition to these recent policy changes from Google and facebook, was last year. Financial Brand Marketing and leadership teams must be aware of what I had talked about before and predicted three years ago. It's that rise in add fraud and rise in AD blockers. Add fraud. Add Fraud is the digital advertising industries dirty little secret. No one wants to talk about it. Platforms don't want to talk about it, the AD networks and ad exchanges they don't want to talk about it. DIGITAL AD agencies don't want to talk about it. But here's the question. Why? Once again, like before, with government regulations, there are billions and billions and billions of dollars at play. According to Paymentscom, quote, the global digital ad market is expected to be valued at two hundred and twenty, five billion dollars. By Two thousand and twenty, that's one fourth of a trillion, continue the quote. So it's no wonder fraudsters are trying to steal a piece of the Pie. Paymentscom continues. Advertisers,...

...and this is important to pay attention. Advertisers will lose a projective five point eight billion to forty two billion to fraudsters this year alone. In quote. Now we can overlay those insights with other sources, for example, e Marketercom found that, even though fraud detection is difficult to track, and it is, but we've we've been able to identify it multiple times for financial brands in our program advertisers are still estimated to lose billions in two thousand and twenty alone. Now, the challenges of add fraud, and I could do a few very deep level podcast just around that subject matter alone, are further compounded by the continue nude rise in AD blockers, AD blockers being a subject that I'm going to come back to here in a moment because, to top all of this off, we have what is called the coming cookie apocalypse. Now, bear with me for a moment, because I'm just going to get slightly technical for contextual purposes, about what's going on at the macro level, because it is important to understand how the pending cookie apocalypse will indeed impact your financial brand's future digital growth potential. In January two thousand and twenty, google made a big announcement when they shared that they are phasing out third party cookies over the next two years. And No, I'm not talking about chocolate chip, our macadamian nut, I'm talking about Internet cookies, because, with Google's phasing out of third party cookies, cookies being used to help track browser data, the consumer data, consumer data with Google, will now be centralized and only accessible when chrome determines a consumer does not want to be tracked anonymously. But who doesn't want to be anonymous on the Internet? So what does this mean for financial brands? It's exactly what I predicted three years ago. Digital ads are going to be even less effective and the cookie pocalyp this is going to change the entire ad landscape for the exchanges, for ad agencies and, most importantly, for your financial brand and here's why. Cookies are used by web browsers, and it is the cookies that empower your financial brand to save data about what people are doing on your website. Third Party cookies are also placed by advertisers and a website can use a variety of different third party cookies to collect information on consumers digital activity. And with Google phasing out third party cookies, but consumer data once again will only be accessible and centralized whenever chrome determines a person does not want to be anonymous. What this decision means for financial brands is that it will render digital ads and add targeting even more less effective. Now the coming Google Cookie pocalypse. Does it come as a surprise, and it actually follows trends from other browsers like safari, because safari is shipping with native ad blockers installed. In two thousand and Seventeen Apple's native browser, which is Safari, they energy introduce what's called I tp, and that's intelligent tracking protection and also cookie time limits. Then in September two thousand and nineteen, Firefox introduced what's called ETP, or enhanced tracking protection, that blocks third party...

...cookies. So in that sense, Google was late to the game to prevent third party cookie tracking. But of course there's a reason for this delay. Once again there's that word money, those billions and billions and billions of dollars I talked about before. Now, when apple released ITP through safari, they didn't really receive much flat at all, if any, because at the time safari had a much smaller share of the browser market and and Safar's Ip actually aligns with Apple's mission of protecting users data. And so now apple is once again applying their mission of protecting users data with an upcoming IOS fourteen update that will further prevent companies like Google and facebook and others from collecting your digital ad identifier, which with without having someone's permission. Because now, going forward, apps will begin to prompt, APPs on the iphone will begin to prompt if someone wants to have their digital behavior tracked. Once again, who wants to be tracked on the Internet? The most important thing to note in this big tech showdown is that apple's revenue model is not tied to, or is dependent on, digital ads. See, that's the biggest difference between apple when comparing them, say, to facebook or a google or even an Amazon, because their ad are their revenue models Google, facebook Amazon are in fact based on their ad models. So consider this too. Google owns almost sixty percent of the market share with chrome, and when it comes to Google phasing out third party cookies, my bet. My bet is Google is doing this for their own good, not for the good of brands and not even really for the good of consumers, even though it's position that way. Because they're doing this play because they know that they're going to be able to drive add revenue away from facebook ads and more revenue into Google's paid search model. Technology has transformed our world and digital has changed the way consumer shop for and buy financial services forever. Now consumers make purchase decisions long before they walk into a branch, if they walk into a branch at all. But your financial brand still wants to grow loans and deposits. We get it. Digital growth can feel confusing, frustrating and overwhelming for any financial brand, marketing and sales leader. But it doesn't have to, because James Robert wrote the book that guides you every step of the way along your digital growth journey. Visit www dot digital growthcom to get a preview of his best selling book banking on digital growth or order a copy right now for you and your team from Amazon. Inside you'll find a strategic marketing manifesto that was written to transform financial brands and it is packed full of practical and proven insights you can start using today to confidently generate ten times more loans and deposits. Now back to the show. So, in summary, we have some foundational context of all of the challenges and and they are some technological challenges driving this, impacting the digital ad space for financial brands and and once again, brief review three major things happening at the macro level. Number One, government regulations forcing changes and around how you can target audiences on platforms like Google and facebook. Number two, the rise of AD blockers...

...and bought traffic, further destroying the ability to effectively target and place ads. And then number three, once again, the coming cookie apocalypse, and it's not chocolate chip or macadamian nut, as Google phases out third party cookies within the browsers. So the big question is, where do you go from here as a financial brand marketer or a leadership to team member thinking about your future digital growth strategies? When it comes to digital ad policies, it's going to become even more increasingly difficult for financial brand marketing team specifically to keep up with all of these ongoing changes with ad policies and and only managing those changes, managing digital add strategies internally. The placement the budgets will those will be the ones who are most likely to be internally aware of all of these changes, because oftentimes when you log into the add account of whether it be facebook or Google, you typically notified of those changes. So that's why the biggest challenge here when the add policy changes, the AD strategy must change. But what if you're not managing your ad accounts internally. See, financial brand marking teams are already stretched so thin and I'm understanding and empathetic of the fact that many just don't simply have the time to stop to learn, to apply those learnings going forward and as a result, they end up in the circle of chaos. They feel confused, they feel frustrated, they fill overwhelmed and and this is why, number one, investment and ongoing training must become a central piece for a marketing team's growth strategy because of all the exponential changes that are occurring and will continue to occur throughout all different channels in mediums of digital and number two, and just as closely important to just ongoing training and education. A financial brands marketing teams aq their adaptability quotient will be a competitive advantage as they are going to have to quickly pivot and to quickly transform strategies and even habits based upon the training and education that they receive. Furthermore, and this comes back to are you managing your ad accounts internally or are you sourcing them to a third party? There is a level of risk for many small to midsize asset financial brands who are relying on third party digital ad agencies to manage the implementation of ad strategies because, as those add rules will continue to change. The big question here is will the digital ad agencies provide recommendations on the next best steps forward, or are they going to just simply await the orders from their financial brand clients? So, when we look at what are the risk here, you can go and you can read the policy from Google. But a couple of things to note, and really the most important thing to note and most troubling, unlike others, is the fact that Google shares accounts may be suspended if we find violations of our policies or the terms and conditions within that policy. and quote, that's from Google. So just like with facebook, but policy changes from Google. It's becoming very crystal clear who has all the power in the control in the digital space, and it's not financial brands.

All audience types. Coming back to this upcoming policy that's taking place in October two thousand and twenty. All audience types are going to be negatively impacted by this update. So, for example, financial brands will no longer be able to use in market audiences like they once were, able to reach people who might be close to completing a purchase for a home or a car, using age or Zip Code and in this will also impact the credit category as well, because you know, financial brands that use the Google ad network to generate awareness and trafficking leads for auto loans, for credit cards, for homes. Those are the three, typically the three biggest revenue drivers for interest income on the consumer side of a financial brand. So what can you do about all of this? Where can you go from here? Two quick thoughts. Number One, in sure you are not in violation of Google's new AD policy once again targeting around gender, age, parental status, marital status, Zip Code on any of your current or active campaigns. And if you're not managing this internally, be sure to go and talk with your digital ad agency. Take a proactive step, because once again, Google has the potential to ban accounts that are in violation of these policies. That's like cutting off of a whole nother area of revenue growth. Number two, to prevent any potential problems are flagging or possible suspensions. Be sure that as you go in and you talk with your ad agencies or you talked with your internal teams, start thinking about the the future, and that's why I want to come back to Michael's question. What's your opinion on digital ads? Michael asked, are they still worthwhile or is the market to saturated? Let's look towards the future. It's time to look beyond digital ads, as digital ads are really just a hangover from traditional broadcast marketing force into a digital medium utilizing direct response marketing strategies. For example, I do a I place a digital ad and then I expect to get be a loan or a deposit. Sure direct response, and I see a lot of this conversation happening at the leadership level because there's just a lack of awareness and understanding of the changes that have happened at the consumer level when it comes to marketing and cells. Because yes, back in the day direct response might have worked, before the Internet, before the rise of the empowered consumer, but we know it. You know it because you are one. Consumers are empowered, consumers are educated, consumers are informed and their buying journeys for loans and deposit products have become much more complex than just having two points on the buying journey, you know, broadcast marketing ad driving traffic into physical branch location and then someone gets the loan or opens up the checking account. In fact, digital consumer journeys are made up of micro journeys that a consumer has to navigate through, and we think about just the micro journey of the consideration stage of loan. It's just a lot of complexity tied into that. Furthermore, when we think about digital ads and when we review digital ad strategies, they are often rooted in the narcissistic marketing model that I write about... my book banking on digital growth, where all a financial brand what's to do is just push product and the problem is, you know, pushing product downs down people's throats is it's one that I provide a prescription and a cure to an episode number thirteen of this podcast, titled High Pressure Marketing and sell strategies simply don't pay, and I talk through the alternative solutions to pushing products down people's throats with a simple mantra help first and sell second. This is why I predict that email and also organic seo is about to go through their second golden age. Is As ad challenges will continue to increase in the years to come, and all of the environmental changes that we're seeing within the digital ad space, it cremit clearly creates a tremendous opportunity for financial brands to break free from that narcissistic direct response marketing and start to collaborate with consumers, to collaborate with people. Yes, with all of the digital ad changes we've seen and will continue to see, whether that be from government regulations to add bots, to add blockers, to the pending cookie apocalypse, perhaps the days of pushing and promoting commoditized products once again, that flawed idea held over from the legacy days of broadcast and direct response marketing. Those days might just finally be over, and that's why now, now is the time for financial brand marketing, for leadership teams to confidently commit to helping first and selling second in this digital world. The Path forward for financial brand marketing team specifically is rooted in transforming marketing departments to operate more like content and media departments. Content will drive organic search, while the email another content initiative. More specifically, email marketing automation strategies will be used for hyper targeting purposes, just like ads, but through a different context, through a different met Um. And the good news here with email is that email is an asset your financial brand owns, while ads are least from someone else's digital property and real estate, they control the game. This is why email must be viewed going forward as a strategic asset, where we start to place a monetary value on your financial brands email database, and you split that database up into really three distinct buckets, and and I'll unpack some more of this thinking on a future podcast specifically around email marketing, because I've been getting some questions about that. But if we look at those three buckets, you have your actively engaged email accounts, those that have an account with you. You have your unengaged emails, but they have an account with you, but they're not actively engaged or opening up your emails, are clicking on your emails. And then you have your perspective database, where that, to me, is a tremendous opportunity to collect emails, and we would call them these marketing qualified leads, to begin to build relationships with these people and and use their digital activity to help serve them the right content, the right message at the right time for the right product in their own buying journey. So, when we think about the email database being an asset, the same is also true for content, specifically strategic, Evergreen content pieces that...

...can create exponential value through organic search and particularly over an extended period of time. But, and here's the Big Butt, because this is important, viewing email and content as a valuable strategic asset, one that goes far beyond traditional digital ads. This will only happen when a commitment from the top empowers marketing teams to create space and time to build those digital assets, those audiences, those communities that their financial brand owns, not third parties like facebook and Google, and then also empower their digital sells teams to use the content that their marketing teams are producing and use those cells teams as a medium to share and distribute that content with their own personal social networks. See, just like marketing is being transformed, so to digital cells, or really sells for that matter, is also being transformed, and there's such a tremendous opportunity for marketing and sells teams to start aligning more closely together and creating value together. As always, if you have a question, like Michael, I want to hear from you because I want to help you. Just go to WWWDOTCO Aska Jirecom, submit your question and I will answer it for you on a future podcast episode. And Remember, the only bad question is the question that goes unasked. Until next time, be well, do good and wash your hands. Thank you for listening to another episode of banking on Digital Growth with James Robert Laigh. Like what you hear, tell a friend about the podcast and leave us a review on apple podcast, Google podcast or spotify, and subscribe while you're there. To get even more practical, improven insights. Visit wwwigital growthcom to grab a preview of James Roberts best selling book banking on digital growth, or order a copy right now for you and your team from Amazon. Inside you'll find a strategic marketing and sales blueprint framed around twelve key areas of focus that empower you to confidently generate ten times more loans and deposits. Until next time, be well and do good.

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