What You Don’t Know Can Hurt Your Campaign

Quick, what sites performed best for your most- recent network campaign? What drove the most clicks? What about conversions?

Media buyers and planners need to know these answers to key questions to better plan, execute and optimize existing and future campaigns. Yet, many do not, and cannot, know these answers. Why?

Because of a lack of transparency. 

Lack of transparency can damage a campaign in several ways, including:

  • Wasted Client Money
  • Potential Loss of Revenue
  • Brand Dilution
  • Damaged Reputation

All of these could threaten the success of your business, resulting in lost clients and lost jobs.

Let’s look at this through the lens a traditional ad buy. A TV buyer would not spend his clients’ budget on ads without knowing where they are airing. So why should a digital buyer, with greater access to insights, accept a lack of full transparency?

Transparency, more than programmatic or native advertising, is the key to the future of digital advertising.

Notably, without transparency you cannot make truly informed decisions about your ad campaign. Without transparency, your “big data” is misinformed and can lead your campaigns astray. Without transparency, you are generating false data and wasting budgets.

We’re not the only ones pulling back the curtain on this. AdWeek’s Mike Shields wrote a compelling article ”The Amount of Questionable Online Traffic Will Blow Your Mind The World Wide Rip-Off“ that examines this ever-increasing problem for buyers and sellers – lack of transparency. In that article, Zach Coelius, CEO of Triggit, hit the nail on the head when he said, “Whenever you buy from someone who won’t tell you where your ads are running, there is a real danger they are ripping you off.”

Following up on this, Digiday published an article “The Hidden Cost Bots Add to Online Ads,” where they continue to highlight and address the fraud issues facing digital buyers and sellers. The article points out, “Not only are brands paying for fraudulent ad impressions, but they’re also finding bots are leading them astray in their efforts to reach real humans.”

So what can buyers do to help ensure their data is real and their campaigns optimizing correctly?

Demand transparency.

If you can see the sites that are driving traffic you can make informed decisions and more easily detect fraud. If you are running a public affairs campaign, and the bulk of your clicks come from ads on CollegeHumor (mentioned in AdWeek article), you should question the results.

Don’t waste your budgets on fake or misguided impressions or clicks. Before you plan your next campaign, make sure you can monitor and manage the sites where your ads run. Demand transparency.

Read more

Masonry Layout Meets Politics

CRAFT is proud to work with Congressman Chris Gibson (NY-19), an Army hero who served our country in uniform for 24 years. Recently, we launched Colonel Gibson’s redesigned campaign website, a non-traditional, tile-themed site that breaks the mold of typical political pages.

Read more

Google+ Hangouts On Air: The Tool All Public Figures Should Understand

Since its launch, Google+ has struggled to compete with Twitter and Facebook as a social media platform. Nevertheless, the live Google+ hangout feature has incredible potential for growth, and many public figures are already taking notice.

For the uninitiated, the live Google+ hangout feature is a free live videoconference that can automatically be streamed, recorded and uploaded to a YouTube channel. All that is needed is a Gmail account synced to a YouTube channel and a Google+ account, making barriers to entry pretty low.

What makes Google+ hangouts so beneficial for public figures is the incredible control over the videoconference. For example, the host has the ability to invite select guests for the conference, mute or have normal dialogue with participants, and the audience can be as broad or narrow as desired.

Last week, I participated in a Google+ hangout with President Obama, hosted by YouTube and Google. While President Obama had a large team of people making sure nothing went wrong technically, it is overkill for most individuals’ needs.

In my hangout with President Obama, he took questions from five participants with one Google staffer moderating. The look of the event was very similar to a “talking head” show on cable news, only with more participants. President Obama did most of the talking, and the five participants asked the questions. Overall, the hangout went very smoothly and generated major news headlines.

What we should expect in the future is many politicians using Google+ hangouts on air with their constituents, artists having hangouts with their fans, candidates for public office holding hangouts with their supporters, and CEOs having hangouts with shareholders or board members. It even has a feature to play video as the conference is taking place. The video playing and screen sharing features make it ideal for presentations.

The possibilities for this relatively new platform are endless, but because Google+ hangouts can facilitate controlled access to individuals at a low cost, every public figure should know and understand its benefits.

Here is a post explaining how to begin a live Google+ hangout. I recommend testing a private hangout before going live, but the feel of the event is pretty natural and the camera will automatically switch to the person talking, reducing the amount of interruptions.

If you are interested, you can watch my hangout with President Obama below.

Lee Doren is the Research and Outreach Manager at CRAFT | Media/Digital.Lee specializes in public policy research and analysis. He also focuses on online issue advocacy, which includes reaching out to reporters and bloggers on behalf of clients. You can reach Lee via email at ldoren@craftdc.com or on Twitter @ldoren.

Read more

We’re not just yelling anymore.

Since its inception, political communication has revolved around one key question: How do I get my message out to the largest number of people possible?

There is hardly consensus as to what the first piece of political communication technology looked like, but one thing is certain: It was simple.

Read more

Not So Super…Bowl Ads

Here at CRAFT, the general consensus seems to be that Chrysler Group’s “Farmer” ad (Ram Trucks) was the most memorable ad of this year’s Super Bowl.

It was unlike every other ad that ran on Sunday night. There were no sexual innuendos. No celebrity brand endorsements. No reference to popular culture. And shockingly enough, no Twitter hashtag.

Read more