Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 1 year 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 digitalads 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 youon today's episode of banking on digital growth. You're listening to banking on digital growthwith James Robert Lay, a podcast that empowers financial brand marketing, salesand leadership teams to maximize their digital growth potential by generating ten times more loansand deposits. Today's episode is part of the inside digital growth series, whereJames Robert shares answers to some of the biggest digital marketing and sales questions hegets from the digital growth community. Have a question you want to get answersto on a future episode? Visit WWW DOTGO ask jrcom to submit your questiontoday. Now let's go inside digital growth. Greetings in hello, thank you fortuning into the thirty one episode of the banking on Digital Growth Podcast,where I James Robert Lay, your digital anthropologists, think through the research wecontinue 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 youwith clarity through education and insights, practical insights that guide you forward along yourdigital growth journey and really empower you to generate ten times more loans in depositsby simplifying digital marketing and sell strategies. Here's why? Because, into daysever growing, confusing digital world, simplicity. Simplicity is the path forward to escapecomplexity and chaos. Today's episode is part of the inside digital growth serieswhere I want to help you to escape that complexity and chaos by answering aquestion from Michael, who is an a VP of marketing for a financial brandin the Midwest. Once again, Michael asked what's your opinion on digital adstoday? Are they worthwhile or is the market to saturated now? Thanks againfor the great question, Michael, and it's one that I've been thinking deeplyabout for the last twelve to eighteen months, as the digital ad game is reallybeing disrupted and turned upside down on multiple fronts right now. In fact, going back three years, I had predicted the demise of digital ads thanksto at that time was really two things, ad bots and add blockers. We'regoing to destroy add bys but what is got me thinking more about digitalad disruption today is the recent changes coming from Google's ad policies that will begoing into effect on October nineteen, two thousand and twenty, which is rightaround the time that we're going to be publishing this podcast. So for somecontext of what's going on and to get everyone up to speed before I sharemy perspective on digital ads and really, if they're even ads, are stillworth investing into and today's saturated market, Google's up to this point, Google'spersonalized 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 aresult, what is Google gained money, a whole lot of money. Buthere's the thing. This new AD policy...

...that's coming out in October two thousandand twenty is going to add restrictions that are important for financial brands to beaware 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 targetedto audiences based upon five things. Number One, gender, number two,age, number three, personal status, number for marital status and the numberfive, zip code and quote. Now, for the past ten years, Google'sAD policies have prevented brands from targeting people based upon their identity, theirbeliefs, their sexuality, and in reality, I'm not surprised at all by Google'snew ad policy updates once again. Three years ago, I had predictedthe demise of ads because of the rise of Ad Bots and add blockers werealready starting to destroy advise. But what I did not see at the timewas the fight that we're seeing right now for consumer privacy and the control ofpersonal data becoming a really big part of this narrative. That has been furtherdriven by increasing government regulations. So for some context many of the AD policiesthat we're seeing and half seen over the last twelve months those changes and willprobably continue to see. Go back to two thousand and sixteen. It wasa pro public report, where that we're PROPUBLICA found that facebook was allowing theplacement of housing ads that excluded certain ethnic affinities. Then, in March oftwo thousand and nineteen, the Department of Housing and Urban Development charged facebook withhousing discrimination. And when they did this, they put Google and twitter on alertand some of these other big major digital ad platforms. Why is itimportant to understand this part of the narrative, even at a high level? Whatdifference does this make to you as a financial brand marketing or or leadershipteam member? Here's why. These government regulations threaten the profits of the biggesttechnology players, facebook and Google, even Amazon, as their profits are closelytied 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 fromGoogle and facebook, was last year. Financial Brand Marketing and leadership teams mustbe 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 totalk about it. Platforms don't want to talk about it, the AD networksand ad exchanges they don't want to talk about it. DIGITAL AD agencies don'twant to talk about it. But here's the question. Why? Once again, like before, with government regulations, there are billions and billions and billionsof dollars at play. According to Paymentscom, quote, the global digital ad marketis expected to be valued at two hundred and twenty, five billion dollars. By Two thousand and twenty, that's one fourth of a trillion, continuethe quote. So it's no wonder fraudsters are trying to steal a piece ofthe Pie. Paymentscom continues. Advertisers,...

...and this is important to pay attention. Advertisers will lose a projective five point eight billion to forty two billion tofraudsters this year alone. In quote. Now we can overlay those insights withother sources, for example, e Marketercom found that, even though fraud detectionis difficult to track, and it is, but we've we've been able to identifyit multiple times for financial brands in our program advertisers are still estimated tolose 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 thatsubject 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 ina moment because, to top all of this off, we have what iscalled 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 goingon at the macro level, because it is important to understand how the pendingcookie apocalypse will indeed impact your financial brand's future digital growth potential. In Januarytwo thousand and twenty, google made a big announcement when they shared that theyare 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 Internetcookies, because, with Google's phasing out of third party cookies, cookies beingused 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 notwant to be tracked anonymously. But who doesn't want to be anonymous on theInternet? So what does this mean for financial brands? It's exactly what Ipredicted three years ago. Digital ads are going to be even less effective andthe 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 empoweryour 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 avariety of different third party cookies to collect information on consumers digital activity. Andwith Google phasing out third party cookies, but consumer data once again will onlybe 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 adsand 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 browserslike safari, because safari is shipping with native ad blockers installed. In twothousand and Seventeen Apple's native browser, which is Safari, they energy introduce what'scalled 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, orenhanced tracking protection, that blocks third party...

...cookies. So in that sense,Google was late to the game to prevent third party cookie tracking. But ofcourse 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 ofthe browser market and and Safar's Ip actually aligns with Apple's mission of protecting usersdata. And so now apple is once again applying their mission of protecting usersdata with an upcoming IOS fourteen update that will further prevent companies like Google andfacebook and others from collecting your digital ad identifier, which with without having someone'spermission. Because now, going forward, apps will begin to prompt, APPson the iphone will begin to prompt if someone wants to have their digital behaviortracked. Once again, who wants to be tracked on the Internet? Themost important thing to note in this big tech showdown is that apple's revenue modelis not tied to, or is dependent on, digital ads. See,that's the biggest difference between apple when comparing them, say, to facebook ora 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 thistoo. Google owns almost sixty percent of the market share with chrome, andwhen it comes to Google phasing out third party cookies, my bet. Mybet is Google is doing this for their own good, not for the goodof brands and not even really for the good of consumers, even though it'sposition that way. Because they're doing this play because they know that they're goingto be able to drive add revenue away from facebook ads and more revenue intoGoogle's paid search model. Technology has transformed our world and digital has changed theway consumer shop for and buy financial services forever. Now consumers make purchase decisionslong before they walk into a branch, if they walk into a branch atall. But your financial brand still wants to grow loans and deposits. Weget it. Digital growth can feel confusing, frustrating and overwhelming for any financial brand, marketing and sales leader. But it doesn't have to, because JamesRobert wrote the book that guides you every step of the way along your digitalgrowth journey. Visit www dot digital growthcom to get a preview of his bestselling book banking on digital growth or order a copy right now for you andyour team from Amazon. Inside you'll find a strategic marketing manifesto that was writtento transform financial brands and it is packed full of practical and proven insights youcan start using today to confidently generate ten times more loans and deposits. Nowback to the show. So, in summary, we have some foundational contextof 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 reviewthree major things happening at the macro level. Number One, government regulations forcing changesand around how you can target audiences on platforms like Google and facebook.Number two, the rise of AD blockers...

...and bought traffic, further destroying theability 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 questionis, where do you go from here as a financial brand marketer or aleadership to team member thinking about your future digital growth strategies? When it comesto digital ad policies, it's going to become even more increasingly difficult for financialbrand marketing team specifically to keep up with all of these ongoing changes with adpolicies and and only managing those changes, managing digital add strategies internally. Theplacement the budgets will those will be the ones who are most likely to beinternally aware of all of these changes, because oftentimes when you log into theadd account of whether it be facebook or Google, you typically notified of thosechanges. 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 accountsinternally. See, financial brand marking teams are already stretched so thin and I'munderstanding and empathetic of the fact that many just don't simply have the time tostop 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, investmentand ongoing training must become a central piece for a marketing team's growth strategy becauseof all the exponential changes that are occurring and will continue to occur throughout alldifferent channels in mediums of digital and number two, and just as closely importantto just ongoing training and education. A financial brands marketing teams aq their adaptabilityquotient will be a competitive advantage as they are going to have to quickly pivotand to quickly transform strategies and even habits based upon the training and education thatthey receive. Furthermore, and this comes back to are you managing your adaccounts internally or are you sourcing them to a third party? There is alevel of risk for many small to midsize asset financial brands who are relying onthird party digital ad agencies to manage the implementation of ad strategies because, asthose add rules will continue to change. The big question here is will thedigital ad agencies provide recommendations on the next best steps forward, or are theygoing 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 youcan 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 ofour policies or the terms and conditions within that policy. and quote, that'sfrom Google. So just like with facebook, but policy changes from Google. It'sbecoming very crystal clear who has all the power in the control in thedigital space, and it's not financial brands.

All audience types. Coming back tothis upcoming policy that's taking place in October two thousand and twenty. Allaudience types are going to be negatively impacted by this update. So, forexample, financial brands will no longer be able to use in market audiences likethey once were, able to reach people who might be close to completing apurchase for a home or a car, using age or Zip Code and inthis will also impact the credit category as well, because you know, financialbrands that use the Google ad network to generate awareness and trafficking leads for autoloans, for credit cards, for homes. Those are the three, typically thethree biggest revenue drivers for interest income on the consumer side of a financialbrand. So what can you do about all of this? Where can yougo from here? Two quick thoughts. Number One, in sure you arenot 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 oractive campaigns. And if you're not managing this internally, be sure to goand talk with your digital ad agency. Take a proactive step, because onceagain, Google has the potential to ban accounts that are in violation of thesepolicies. 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. Besure that as you go in and you talk with your ad agencies or youtalked with your internal teams, start thinking about the the future, and that'swhy I want to come back to Michael's question. What's your opinion on digitalads? 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 adigital medium utilizing direct response marketing strategies. For example, I do a Iplace a digital ad and then I expect to get be a loan or adeposit. Sure direct response, and I see a lot of this conversation happeningat the leadership level because there's just a lack of awareness and understanding of thechanges 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, beforethe 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 havebecome much more complex than just having two points on the buying journey, youknow, broadcast marketing ad driving traffic into physical branch location and then someone getsthe loan or opens up the checking account. In fact, digital consumer journeys aremade up of micro journeys that a consumer has to navigate through, andwe think about just the micro journey of the consideration stage of loan. It'sjust a lot of complexity tied into that. Furthermore, when we think about digitalads and when we review digital ad strategies, they are often rooted inthe 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 theproblem is, you know, pushing product downs down people's throats is it's onethat I provide a prescription and a cure to an episode number thirteen of thispodcast, titled High Pressure Marketing and sell strategies simply don't pay, and Italk through the alternative solutions to pushing products down people's throats with a simple mantrahelp first and sell second. This is why I predict that email and alsoorganic seo is about to go through their second golden age. Is As adchallenges will continue to increase in the years to come, and all of theenvironmental changes that we're seeing within the digital ad space, it cremit clearly createsa tremendous opportunity for financial brands to break free from that narcissistic direct response marketingand start to collaborate with consumers, to collaborate with people. Yes, withall of the digital ad changes we've seen and will continue to see, whetherthat be from government regulations to add bots, to add blockers, to the pendingcookie 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 responsemarketing. 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 tohelping first and selling second in this digital world. The Path forward forfinancial brand marketing team specifically is rooted in transforming marketing departments to operate more likecontent and media departments. Content will drive organic search, while the email anothercontent initiative. More specifically, email marketing automation strategies will be used for hypertargeting purposes, just like ads, but through a different context, through adifferent met Um. And the good news here with email is that email isan asset your financial brand owns, while ads are least from someone else's digitalproperty and real estate, they control the game. This is why email mustbe viewed going forward as a strategic asset, where we start to place a monetaryvalue on your financial brands email database, and you split that database up intoreally three distinct buckets, and and I'll unpack some more of this thinkingon a future podcast specifically around email marketing, because I've been getting some questions aboutthat. But if we look at those three buckets, you have youractively engaged email accounts, those that have an account with you. You haveyour unengaged emails, but they have an account with you, but they're notactively engaged or opening up your emails, are clicking on your emails. Andthen you have your perspective database, where that, to me, is atremendous 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 activityto help serve them the right content, the right message at the right timefor the right product in their own buying journey. So, when we thinkabout 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 searchand 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 strategicasset, one that goes far beyond traditional digital ads. This will only happenwhen a commitment from the top empowers marketing teams to create space and time tobuild 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 sellsteams to use the content that their marketing teams are producing and use thosecells teams as a medium to share and distribute that content with their own personalsocial networks. See, just like marketing is being transformed, so to digitalcells, or really sells for that matter, is also being transformed, and there'ssuch a tremendous opportunity for marketing and sells teams to start aligning more closelytogether and creating value together. As always, if you have a question, likeMichael, I want to hear from you because I want to help you. Just go to WWWDOTCO Aska Jirecom, submit your question and I will answerit for you on a future podcast episode. And Remember, the only bad questionis the question that goes unasked. Until next time, be well,do good and wash your hands. Thank you for listening to another episode ofbanking on Digital Growth with James Robert Laigh. Like what you hear, tell afriend about the podcast and leave us a review on apple podcast, Googlepodcast 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 bestselling book banking on digital growth, or order a copy right now for youand your team from Amazon. Inside you'll find a strategic marketing and sales blueprintframed around twelve key areas of focus that empower you to confidently generate ten timesmore loans and deposits. Until next time, be well and do good.

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