UPDATED: iOS 14 and Privacy: What it Means for Advertisers

Updated 9/3/2020
Apple has now delayed enforcement of its requirement for apps to gain explicit user permission for tracking until early in 2021, to give developers more time to prepare for this change.

The latest in the tug-of-war between consumer privacy and effective digital advertising pits Apple against Facebook, Google, and others. At stake for ad tech: significant revenue for ad publishers and app developers, effective ad results for advertisers, and more relevant ads for consumers. At stake for users: consumer privacy protection, the use of their behavioral data for marketing, and possibly – the future of “free” software. Apple’s pending release of iOS 14 is a strong consumer-privacy-first stance and a potential disruption to digital marketing as we know it. But what is the real impact for targeted digital advertising?

What is Changing?

In a nutshell, Apple devices running iOS 14 will now require explicit user opt-in to allow apps to track behaviors across sites using the Identifier for Advertising, or IDFA. The IDFA ties a unique, random number to a user’s device, allowing advertisers and data companies to evaluate ad interactions on an aggregated basis. Blocking user tracking by third parties has already been a staple for privacy-first browsers for some time (Apple’s own Safari, Chromium-based Brave, the Tor browser, and others), and has been offered as an opt-out model within mobile operating systems, as well. However, the shift to a more aggressive opt-in model is expected to be disruptive to app ad targeting and attribution.

Impacts on the the Facebook Ad Platform

Consumer Behavior Data

By losing access to information that links consumer behavior across experiences (apps, websites, etc.), Facebook and other ad networks will have less visibility into user actions outside of their own properties. This downturn in insights may decrease targeting effectiveness in aggregate over time.

Ad Targeting

Without distinct information about potential consumers, networks like Facebook must rely on non-personalized information when determining to whom to serve an ad. On iOS 14 apps and devices, consumers can expect their ads to be less personalized, and advertisers can expect the impact to be far lower as a result.

Attribution & Optimization

Not only is it difficult to determine who an ad is served to, Facebook algorithms will be blind to the impact of the ad, diminishing the ability to understand how many clicks resulted in installs or other conversions. Losing visibility into specific consumers who viewed the ad makes it far more difficult to determine which converted users saw the ad.

Specific Impacts for Facebook Advertisers

This may seem obvious, but this is (currently) only expected to impact consumers on iOS 14. While Apple is a dominant player in mobile devices in the U.S. (58.78% in the US versus Android’s 41.03%), they are less dominant worldwide (24.82% versus Android’s 74.6%). Is this a precedent that could expand, with broader adoption of Apple’s opt-in approach, or will we see networks maintain status quo with the opt-out standards already implemented by companies like Google and Microsoft? Only time will tell. 

Third-party Placements (via Facebook’s Audience Network)

Facebook uses its Audience Network (FAN) to provide advertising placement into non-Facebook properties. These ads are commonly served in apps and games, and are particularly effective because Facebook knows far more about a consumer than the app developer does, giving them an opportunity to target ads and attribute from where positive results originate. Some of the biggest changes to iOS 14 target app access to consumers’ IDFA, requiring an opt-in to use. Advertisers expect this to negatively impact Facebook’s ad effectiveness and behavior tracking in third-party platforms. Based on their tests, Facebook expects a 50% decrease in ad revenue due to a reduced ability to personalize and target ads. This seems to be the leading Facebook risk, and may become so ineffective as to be discontinued.

App Install Objectives

App installs, a type of conversion objective optimization, are reliant on a signal from a consumer device that the desired app has been installed (and possibly opened). This is expected to be significantly hindered for iOS app installs, driving attribution and targeting effectiveness downward. Facebook is asking developers to use a new version of the Facebook SDK to support the new Apple SKAdNetwork API, and also to create a dedicated iOS 14 ad account for these ad campaigns.

Lower Immediate Impact (or None)

Advertisers using Facebook’s First-party Placements

The bulk of Facebook’s advertisers today use Facebook’s first-party placements, which include Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, Marketplace. These placements reach consumers wherever they spend time on the Facebook platform: in-app or in-browser, mobile or desktop, and benefit from full targeting, attribution, and optimization as before. The only exception is for app install objectives.

What’s Next?

Facebook continues to invest in methods to improve advertising and conversion signal resiliency. Some of these, including the ability for businesses to provide external conversion data (such as business transaction matching), or server-side (rather than client-side) signals for consumer behavior, are unaffected by these changes. These require businesses to share first-party business data (activity, conversions) directly with Facebook for attribution and optimization. Using these within campaigns and to create custom and lookalike audiences remain very powerful tools for effective marketing.

At the same time, there is a looming specter of broader governmental regulations, following in the steps of GDPR and CCPA, which look to take a stance on consumer privacy and the use or sale of this data for advertising (or other means). Legislation is being considered or implemented in many U.S. states (Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and many more) and in other countries like India.

iOS 14 changes the game for monetizing in-app ad placements with their opt-in-required updates for tracking. App-centric campaigns (by objective or placement) are hardest hit, with tests showing a 50% revenue hit as targeting, attribution, and optimization become severely limited. Other first-party campaigns on Facebook’s platform should expect no immediate impact. The trend toward more consumer privacy is clear in products and legislation; what remains to be seen is whether the industry will embrace a new opt-in standard or stand by the current opt-out model

As a preferred Facebook Marketing Partner, Tiger Pistol is committed to helping our clients and their stakeholders navigate changes like these. Contact us today. 

Bob Govia is Director of Product Management at Tiger Pistol. 

Unpacking Facebook’s New “Leads Center”

Facebook announced a new feature on Business Pages called Leads Center. With this new feature, leads collected on Facebook through Lead Generation campaigns now auto-populate inside the Leads Center. New tools also make managing leads easier: 

  • Set reminders to follow up, assign an owner to your leads, or add notes to their contact information
  • Filter by category, owner, label, or date
  • Create Custom or Lookalike audiences based on how you categorize your customers
  • Directly email leads from the Leads Center

While Leads Center introduces some lightweight CRM-like management options of leads, data has shown that the primary success KPI on leads is response time:

  • Contact and qualification rates drop dramatically in just minutes and continue to decrease over the next few hours (Harvard Business Review)
  • Sales Conversions are 391% Higher in the First Minute (Vendasta)
  • 78% of Customers Buy from the First Responder  (Vendasta)

Facebook’s Lead Center solution does not entirely solve for response time, especially for SMBs and businesses that prefer to call leads directly. Doing so quickly is paramount, so the immediacy of follow-up is most important.

The Leads Center is a great place to organize and manage leads, but if you are most concerned with response times, it doesn’t offer much additional help in that area. Users are still reliant on Page notifications, or self-directing into Ads Manager, Leads Page Management, and the like to grab leads as they come in.

Tiger Pistol’s lead delivery system prioritizes immediacy, and offers advertisers flexibility across multiple different lead management systems. 

  • Automatic Lead Notification Emails : Our Platform immediately recognizes a new lead coming through on a campaign and emails the specified account contact(s) the lead information instantly, enabling businesses the ability to immediately reach out to leads when they come through. End-users can also customize the cadence and frequency of these notifications from instant, to once daily, or a weekly summary. 
  • Leads Webhook : For delivering leads securely into external and third-party systems, Tiger Pistol also offers a webook that can send leads anywhere using a callback URL in real time. This means that leads can also simultaneously be sent into CRMs such as Salesforce, Zoho, or custom built applications.

In truth, the best lead management solution is multi-faceted. With instant notification, you solve the most important issue of responding quickly. This is where Facebook Leads Center comes back in and can provide added value to advertisers regularly managing leads. Facebook Leads Center centralizes all leads collected and allows for aggregate lead management options, outside of the immediate first follow-up, such as a view of all historical leads, allowing you to categorize them or even build custom audiences to use in future campaigns. 

Tiger Pistol’s lead delivery options complement Facebook’s Lead Center, just as they complement connections into external systems. You can gain the response benefits of immediate notification plus a solid management solution with almost no barrier to entry. For SMBs looking to take more control of their leads, the Leads Center is sure to become a valuable tool. Yet tagging and categorizing leads will only take you so far. Their value is still very much concentrated on your ability to respond to them quickly and convert them.

Chris Mayer, a Solutions Engineer at Tiger Pistol, specializes in helping digital agencies, SMB resellers, and global brands build scaled Facebook advertising solutions with an emphasis on local activation.

Tiger Pistol Named to Inc. 5000 List

Tiger Pistol Ranks No. 1425 on the 2020 Inc. 5000 with Three-Year Revenue Growth of 311.4%

Inc. Magazine recently revealed that Tiger Pistol, the only social advertising platform that delivers local activation at global scale, is ranked No. 1425 on its Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. 

The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses. Intuit, Zappos, Under Armour, Microsoft, Patagonia, and many other well-known names gained their first national exposure as honorees on the Inc. 5000.

“We are honored to be recognized not only as one of the 1500 fastest growing private companies in the country, but also in the top 150 in the advertising and marketing segment,” said Paul Elliott, CEO, Tiger Pistol. “Our team takes immense pride in delivering huge impact, driving efficiency and speed to market for our global brands, agency, and reseller clients. Our hyper-local approach to advertising has truly taken on new meaning in light of COVID-19, as advertising has narrowed its parameters from region to region or block to block to actual individual businesses, many of whom are relying on local advertising in their recovery efforts.”

Not only have the companies on the 2020 Inc. 5000 been very competitive within their markets, but the list as a whole shows staggering growth compared with prior lists as well. The 2020 Inc. 5000 achieved an incredible three-year average growth of over 500 percent, and a median rate of 165 percent. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue was $209 billion in 2019, accounting for over 1 million jobs over the past three years.  

“Continued focus on deepening our product offerings and expanding into new industry verticals and emerging markets have allowed us to grow our existing customer relationships as well as build new ones, which has resulted in significant year-over-year growth,” said Anthony Antonelli, Vice President of Finance, Tiger Pistol. “Additionally, we’re proud to be one of few companies of late continuing to grow and invest in our team, with open positions ranging from technology engineers to client-success specialists, who are regularly helping our clients solve problems, and client managers, who build and own the relationships with our clients.”

Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at www.inc.com/inc5000. The top 500 companies are also being featured in the September issue of Inc., available on newsstands August 12. 

The 2020 Inc. 5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2016 and 2019. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2016. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2019. (Since then, a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2016 is $100,000; the minimum for 2019 is $2 million. As always, Inc. reserves the right to decline applicants for subjective reasons. Companies on the Inc. 500 are featured in Inc.’s September issue. They represent the top tier of the Inc. 5000.

This is the second recognition for Tiger Pistol by Inc. Magazine. Earlier this year, Inc. Magazine ranked Tiger Pistol in the Top 100 on the Inc. 5000 List of Texas’s Fastest Growing Private Companies and in the top 5 among advertising and marketing companies. 

About Tiger Pistol 

Tiger Pistol is the world’s #1 social advertising automation platform for local. For nearly a decade, the company has been obsessively focused on building the world’s most effective social advertising platform for global brands, resellers, and agencies who realize the power of local activation at scale. As a preferred Facebook Marketing Partner and the largest third-party publisher of social advertising for local, Tiger Pistol creates, deploys, manages, and optimizes high-performance Facebook and Instagram ads at unprecedented scale, with over 800k Facebook and Instagram campaigns published to date. Tiger Pistol’s first of its kind technology delivers meaningful and measurable business impact for brands, resellers, and agencies alike, helping to unlock value and efficiency through innovation-led social advertising automation. Tiger Pistol is the most awarded and recognized social advertising platform of 2020.  Visit TigerPistol.com, or follow on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

About Inc. Media

The world’s most trusted business-media brand, Inc. offers entrepreneurs the knowledge, tools, connections, and community to build great companies. Its award-winning multi-platform content reaches more than 50 million people each month across a variety of channels including websites, newsletters, social media, podcasts, and print. Its prestigious Inc. 5000 list, produced every year since 1982, analyzes company data to recognize the fastest-growing privately held businesses in the United States. The global recognition that comes with inclusion in the 5000 gives the founders of the best businesses an opportunity to engage with an exclusive community of their peers, and the credibility that helps them drive sales and recruit talent. The associated Inc. 5000 Conference is part of a highly acclaimed portfolio of bespoke events produced by Inc. For more information, visit www.inc.com. For more information on the Inc. 5000 Conference, visit http://conference.inc.com/.

Global Analysis: Tracking Facebook and Instagram CPMs Alongside Covid-19 Active Cases

Several weeks ago, Tiger Pistol’s Paul Elliott, CEO, began tracking a global analysis of the weekly growth of active COVID-19 cases in eight countries to determine how they correlate with the average Facebook and Instagram CPMs during the same time*, all to discover if CPMs could be a leading indicator of economic recovery.  Since then, we’ve been closely monitoring the trends outlined in Paul’s original publication and will be offering  insights as they arise in the data.

Updated August 6, 2020

With July over, the formal #StopHateForProfit boycott has ended. As a refresher, more than 1,100 advertisers paused advertising on Facebook and Instagram for July. Some advertisers have doubled-down on their commitment to their customers and will continue to freeze spend on the platform for the foreseeable future.

Despite the boycott, Facebook reported a 10% year-over-year increase in advertising revenue, which isn’t as surprising as it seems, seeing as most of Facebook’s advertising revenue comes from small- and medium-sized businesses

From a health perspective, things have escalated across the globe, some more rapidly than others. Notable highlights include:

  • In the United States, the number of active cases grew week-over-week, while CPMs rose and fell. 

  • In Australia, a “state of disaster” has been declared for the state of Victoria due to a steep increase in cases. Our friends in Melbourne are now under a curfew for the foreseeable future due to a “Stage 4” level restriction in the area. CPMs for July rose and stabilized at the end of the month.

  • Spain saw a large increase in cases towards the end of the month, but experienced a recovery in CPM after experiencing a small drop mid-month.

  • Canada, on the other hand, realized an 80% decrease in its active cases week-over-week in a stunning change, while only seeing a small drop in CPM. An article in the Washington Post contributes Canada’s success to a number of factors, most notably, “The Canadian people have been less divided and more disciplined. Some provinces and territories could have locked down sooner, analysts say, but once measures were announced, they were strict, broadly uniform and widely followed.”

It’s clear that Facebook as a platform is a major outlet for advertisers big and small. With audiences engaged more than ever, it makes the decision to continue an advertising boycott dedicated to a single technology even more difficult. With fall quickly approaching and school shopping on the horizon for us in the U.S., absence from an ads platform could cause a considerable revenue hit for many companies’ forecasts.

Updated July 17, 2020

Halfway through July, we’re still seeing surges in the United States and Brazil. Australia has seen a shocking increase in cases from the start of the month. It’s fair to say that there is a loss of correlation between cases and CPMs, most likely because of the inconsistency of closures and pandemic guideline messaging. In countries like the US, Australia, and Canada, where national economic reopening is continuing, CPMs have risen even as active cases rise.

In Spain and Brazil, where active cases have also risen, CPMs have done the opposite and fallen, a conundrum.

Even more confusing, Germany and Italy have seen active cases dropping, but their CPM has also dropped by 22% to 32% week-over-week.

We intend to keep tracking to keep abreast of any trends that may emerge, revisiting the data monthly during the pandemic and recovery to identify correlations.

Updated July 10, 2020

We’re officially in the second half of the year, and cases are still rising in countries like the United States and Brazil, with numerous U.S. cities posting daily records. From a medical perspective, in the United States, multiple states are beginning to mandate residents wear masks in an effort to slow the spread and businesses are moving back to partial opening or closure.

We’re also nine days into the #StopHateForProfit campaign, which saw a 32% drop in CPMs week-over-week in the U.S. Whether this drop is connected to the shift away from Facebook spend or the rise in cases remains to be seen.

Canada saw the steepest drop in CPM with 42% week-over-week.

Germany is the outlier in this week’s report. They’ve not only seen a drop in cases this week, but their CPM is the only one to rise this week. 


Updated July 2, 2020

A few days ago, we hit 10 million global COVID-19 cases, a milestone we didn’t think we’d see a few months ago. Now entering the third quarter of 2020, we might begin to see some fluctuations as governments enact long-term plans for the safety and well-being of their citizens.

Overall, we’re seeing cases spike in the United States and a continued rise in Brazil.

In other countries, a slight uptick in cases, but the same sort of fluctuations in CPM from week to week. Within July, we may also begin to see effect of #StopHateForProfit on Facebook advertising, but this might only affect US CPMs. 

Curiosities:

  • Italy has made the biggest comeback, with their CPM regaining strength this week to the highest level since before we began tracking.
  • Canada & Spain are also seeing CPM strengthening.
Updated June 26, 2020

This week’s overarching message can be stated in a word: Instability. Some countries are trying to decide “is this over?,” while others are clearly not out of the woods. 

We’re still in Wave 1 in most places, and a case could be made for Wave 1.5. Studies are showing that being in enclosed places (restaurants, bars, etc.) increases the likelihood of contracting the virus, which leads to a lot of businesses having to make the decision whether or not to reopen or stay closed. Through the end of Q1 and beginning of Q2, it’s clear there was stability in most of the countries.

United States/Canada: Three of the largest populated states in the USA have begun experiencing a rapid spike of cases within the last week, leaving governors to decide to continue or halt phased openings. June as a whole saw an increase in overall CPM, after an initial dip at the start of the month, but with the uncertainties surrounding freedom of movement during the summer, we’re predicting CPMs may drop again in July (as seen in the last week). 

EU: The EU ramped up opening its borders, with most of the countries listed below open to travelers on the continent. Spain has seen a resurgence in cases and while they reopened their borders, a mandatory quarantine is in place and CPMs – while overall had steadied, plummeted the first weekend of reopening. Italy, similarly to Spain, has seen a sharp rise and fall of CPMs in a 3-week period, but have not seen a rise in cases (except for a new set of cases in the southern part of the country). Germany is all over the map, with sharp rises and drops, garnering attention as while the country was set to reopen fully, officials were forced to put that on hold due to a case flare up.

Australia: Australia managed to deal with the outbreak pretty swiftly, with a short spike and then drop off of cases. This has led to a steady rise of CPMs for the region.

Late outbreaks:

Brazil – Brazil as a country is really struggling, drawing eyes not only from a public health crisis perspective, but also from a “discount” perspective. CPMs remain steady since their drop in Q1, as the country has yet to see a drop in cases.

For continued updates, be sure to bookmark this page. To learn more about Tiger Pistol and social advertising at scale for SMB resellers, agencies, and global brands, contact us today!

Localogy Live: Interview with Tiger Pistol CEO Paul Elliott

Recently, Localogy’s Mike Boland chatted with Tiger Pistol CEO, Paul Elliott, about driving social advertising success on a local level for enterprise brands, agencies, and SMB resellers alike. As Tiger Pistol continues to grow, its sights are set on further penetration among the enterprise market. Elliott reveals how the organization has been structured to serve these unique customer sets from both a sales and a product perspective.

“We can accomplish the things that everything else says “no” to. Those things that are just assumed that you can’t do or that they are too big, they’re too scary, they’re too hard – that’s what drives us forward.”
– Paul Elliott

Watch the on-demand video now on Localogy.com.

Tiger Pistol Takes Home Two U.S. Social Media Awards, the Latest in a String of Honors for the Company

Tiger Pistol Recognized for Excellence in Social Media Advertising, Innovation, and Strategy

Tiger Pistol, the only social advertising platform that delivers local activation at global scale, announced today that it recently won two U.S. Social Media Awards – Best use of Facebook/Instagram and the Innovation Award. The company was also runner up for Best Use of Paid Social, Best Social Media Campaign, and Best Strategic Use of Social Media. 

With these latest awards, Tiger Pistol is now the most awarded and recognized social platform of 2020. In the span of eight months, Tiger Pistol was recognized by Digiday as the Best Social Media Marketing Platform, by Street Fight for Best Social Media Campaign, by Localogy as Best Localized Marketing Campaign, by AdExchanger for Best Social Media Campaign. Additionally, Tiger Pistol took second place in the Franchise Innovation Awards. The company was also named a finalist for three Shorty Awards for Best Facebook Campaign, Best Strategic Use of Localization, Best Use of Social for Consumer Products; and a finalist for two Digiday Media Awards for Best B2B Brand Partnership and Most Original Use of Social. 

“These honors really speak to the quality of our social advertising technology, our company culture, and our common mission,” said Paul Elliott, Tiger Pistol CEO. “We want to help our clients grow. We’re highly competitive and fearless. You’ve got to be bold when you’re competing in a highly dynamic marketplace. We like to say we can accomplish the things that everyone else says ‘no’ to – what’s assumed to be too big or too scary or simply can’t be done. These are the challenges that propel us forward with great success.” 

See how the award-winning Tiger Pistol Platform can unlock local activation at global scale for your business.  Request a demo today!

Video: Tiger Pistol Brings New Jobs to Cleveland

Recently, Good Morning Cleveland anchor Katie Ussin visited the Tiger Pistol office to see our new space and learn more about the opportunities we’re bringing to the city. Watch the video and read the accompanying article on the challenges of opening a new office during a pandemic.

Learn more about working at Tiger Pistol and see our career opportunities.

Tiger Pistol Expands Operations to Northeast Ohio

Tiger Pistol, the only social advertising platform that delivers local activation at global scale, has opened its first operation outside of its headquarters in Austin, Texas, bringing at least 25 new jobs to Cleveland.

The Tiger Pistol Cleveland Office is located in an historic building on W. 6th Street.

The company, which ranks in the Top 100 of the Inc. 5000 list of Texas’ fastest-growing private companies and in the Top 5 among advertising and marketing companies, resides in a space on West Sixth Street in the Warehouse District of Downtown Cleveland for its Cleveland office. The expansion will further accelerate Tiger Pistol’s innovation roadmap for tools that help global brands, agencies, and resellers capitalize on the benefits of Facebook and Instagram advertising.

Tiger Pistol cites the Cleveland-area’s pool of technology and marketing expertise and affordability as some of the key driving factors for expansion into the market.

Tiger Pistol CEO, Paul Elliott is no stranger to building successful marketing companies in Cleveland. “Having had the opportunity to build my own digital marketing agency here, as well as serve in a leadership capacity for other outstanding Cleveland-based marketing and technology organizations, I am well aware of the amazing assets we have access to here in Cleveland,” said Elliott. “Cleveland’s world-class marketing and technology talent and their amazing work ethic is a competitive advantage when building and scaling a business. Our Cleveland expansion will help further strengthen our social advertising offering, which is already the dominant solution for multi-location marketers.”

The company considered other locations throughout the Midwest, but a team comprising the city of Cleveland, Project Management Consultants, JobsOhio and Team NEO collaborated to ensure Tiger Pistol would choose Cleveland for its expansion. The project is still subject to approval of state and local incentives.

“The City of Cleveland welcomes Tiger Pistol’s decision to invest and grow in Cleveland,” said Mayor Frank G. Jackson. “This investment reflects the continued growth of Cleveland’s technology sector and we look forward to working with them on their expansion.”

Citing a quality workforce and Ohio’s business climate as benefits to operating in Northeast Ohio, Bill Koehler, CEO of Team NEO, added, “Northeast Ohio is home to great companies looking to deepen their digital marketing and technology capabilities in order to grow. Tiger Pistol’s decision to invest here is a strong statement about the depth and breadth of the digital technology capabilities in this market. We expect their success to offer further encouragement to other digital technology companies exploring a significant investment in Northeast Ohio.”

About Tiger Pistol

Tiger Pistol is the world’s #1 social advertising automation platform for local. For nearly a decade, the company has been obsessively focused on building the world’s most effective social advertising platform for global brands, resellers, and agencies who realize the power of local activation at scale. As a preferred Facebook Marketing Partner and the largest third-party publisher of social advertising for local, Tiger Pistol creates, deploys, manages, and optimizes high-performance Facebook and Instagram ads at unprecedented scale, with over 800k Facebook and Instagram campaigns published to date. Tiger Pistol’s first of its kind technology delivers meaningful and measurable business impact for brands, resellers, and agencies alike, helping to unlock value and efficiency through innovation-led social advertising automation. Tiger Pistol has been recognized by Digiday as the Best Social Media Marketing Platform, by Street Fight for Best Social Media Campaign and by Localogy as Best Localized Marketing Campaign, and by AdExchanger for Best Social Media Campaign. Tiger Pistol Ranks in the Top 100 on the Inc. 5000 List of Texas’s Fastest Growing Private Companies and in the top 5 among advertising and marketing companies.

About Team NEO

Team NEO is a private, nonprofit economic development organization accelerating business growth and job creation throughout the 18 counties of Northeast Ohio. As the designated JobsOhio Network Partner, we align and amplify local economic development efforts in Northeast Ohio’s 18-county region; we conduct research and data analysis to inform local conversations and influence solutions; we market Northeast Ohio as a region; and we work to increase access to jobs, education and training for the region’s 4.3 million people. For more information, visit teamneo.org.

About JobsOhio

JobsOhio is a private nonprofit economic development corporation designed to drive job creation and new capital investment in Ohio through business attraction, retention and expansion. The organization also works to seed talent production in its targeted industries and to attract talent to Ohio through Find Your Ohio. JobsOhio works with six regional partners across Ohio: Dayton Development Coalition, Ohio Southeast, One Columbus, REDI Cincinnati, Regional Growth Partnership and Team NEO. Learn more at www.jobsohio.com. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

Unpacking Discovery Ads with Google: What it Means for Facebook

You’ve heard it a million times since the dawn of social advertising, “search for is for intent, social is for discovery!” And for a time, all us marketers constantly reckoned with this fact. The ad tech industry quickly codified itself into specialized tools on either ends of the spectrum, with a few hybrids in between. Though the fact of the matter remains, no one goes to Facebook and just searches for something. They access their feed and view their friends’ content. It’s a more reactive experience by nature. Whereas when users hit the Google front page, the intent is always specific – I am going to search for something, or I am going to click into a specific Google tool, like my email, or calendar. These differing experiences made it easy to think of social and search advertising as separable.

That separability is about to turn on its head, as Google launched Discovery Ads globally just last month. The premise is a familiar one, “Discovery campaigns take their cue from Facebook’s success at exactly this type of visually impactful, native ad format targeted based on audience data rather than search intent”. However, Google is proceeding down this path with caution, only launching one ad slot to start. But Google’s intent is clear here, they are aiming their sights directly at the “discovery media” Facebook has been so effective at collecting. Google’s own documentation on the format positions it just as Facebook would a Reach campaign: “Reach more of Google with a single ad campaign. With the ability to reach up to 2.9 billion people monthly… you can now reach more potential customers as they browse… on popular Google properties.” The idea being that Google will optimize Discovery ads using their customer intent data, just deployed in a slightly different way, to find users likely to be interested in similar products and serve them ads in the Discovery slot.

Google also notes that the properties these ads will feature on: YouTube’s Home and Watch Next feeds, the Gmail Promotions and Social tabs, and Discover, which for them, is the right way to think about discovery tactics, placing those units on properties where users tend to spend the most time, or in other words, places where people are naturally inclined to search for and consume content as opposed to engaging with specific search intent. So on one hand, the logic is sound. Google does indeed have a ton of user data, and enough for certain, to be able to use machine learning to identify the “interested users” necessary for deployment of discovery ad tactics. 

Does this supplant Facebook? That’s probably not the right way of thinking about it. We have seen new ad networks and properties come and go, and evolve, but rarely are these ever more than evolutions of traditional tactics. Rather than complete re-inventions of digital ad products and strategy. Although, it does mean Google could very well be a bigger part of conversations on Discovery, and the search-social digital framework is going to get muddier in terms of now being able to deploy discovery and intent tactics across both networks. Really though, it’s just one more place to cross-target ads, whether that be off search data and tracking alone, or through combined retargeting efforts across social and search.

When considering SMB advertising, introducing another, separate, Discovery placement into the mix feels premature, especially on the brick-and-mortar side. Consider what a typical scaled social and search strategy looks like. One example is an integrated marketing software for SMBs. This client helps manage web presence and SEO, in addition to paid digital advertising, but they need a way to generate leads reliably through search and discovery efforts. Being that most of their customer base is brick and mortar service providers, shopper-driven, product-based discovery was difficult. They decided to double down on Facebook for lead generation, leveraging the Facebook Pixel to middleman between their inbound activity based on search intent and effective re-marketing on social.

Tiger Pistol worked to develop a full cycle approach to lead generation and lead nurturing:

  • The customer’s contact list is sent to Tiger Pistol via API for automatic creation of a Custom Audience, which is then used to create a Lookalike Audience on Facebook for targeting purposes.
  • Tiger Pistol automatically creates and publishes a Lead Ad, enabling Facebook users who look like their existing customer base to submit their contact information natively.
  • Leads are then automatically sent to the customer’s company contact list, where a lead nurturing track is triggered to drive conversion.

The integration provides the client’s customers a seamless, automated process to drive and nurture leads, allowing the client to spend more time managing its business. As their end-users find their customers on search, those customers are captured and used to find lookalikes. What’s more, each discovery-based lead also feeds the data loop. While one could imagine inserting some Google Discovery into this mix, it’s hard to pin down at this moment whether or not it’d be worth the effort, or if it’s best to wait for more data on the new Google placements. Google also lacks the journey driven lead collection that’s native within Facebook. As such, it’s also hard to imagine scaling a Google Discovery solution for SMBs given that it would require an offsite landing page to support lead collection- whereas Facebook does not, because Facebook enables direct lead collection across all its primary properties.

Facebook and its family of apps remain the destination for discovery-grounded marketing, not only because the idea of the Google network still feels foreign, but also because Facebook has a decade’s head start on developing specific ad tools within the discovery framework. Facebook offers over a dozen marketing objectives and has numerous properties suited to discovery such as Instagram, WhatsApp, or Messenger. It will take Google considerable time to catch up if they continue to go deeper into discovery-based ad optimizations. Place your bets now, I imagine they’ll find a way to make it work eventually. For now, Facebook should remain the focus for discovery, especially if considering a tight budget. Introducing a “third split” so to speak, of sending spend across search, social discovery, and search discovery could possibly mean not doing any of the aforementioned tactics well. Maybe in time, with more data, and evolution from Google, the calculus will change. But it is likely still the case that the most optimal means to focus dollars within the discovery/intent distinction would be to continue to emphasize Google for search-intent tactics with a separate focused discovery effort across Facebook

Chris Mayer, a Solutions Engineer at Tiger Pistol, specializes in helping digital agencies, SMB resellers, and global brands build scaled Facebook advertising solutions with an emphasis on local activation.

Tiger Pistol, with Realogy, Named Finalist in Digiday Media Awards

Tiger Pistol Honored with Realogy for Social Advertising Strategies that Turned Real Estate Agents into Powerful Local Marketers

Tiger Pistol, the only social advertising platform that delivers local activation at global scale, has been named a finalist in two categories, Most Original Use of Social and Best Brand Partnership – B2B, in the prestigious Digiday Media Awards for its collaboration with Realogy, the largest residential real estate company in the US, for their Social Ad Engine product.

“By pairing Realogy’s real estate industry expertise with Tiger Pistol’s knowledge of social advertising at scale, we were able to deliver a large scale social advertising capability that drives remarkable results for Realogy’s real estate agents,” said Paul Elliott, CEO, Tiger Pistol. “Our relationship with Realogy is a true partnership, and the campaigns we execute together dramatically exceed expectations for effectiveness and cost efficiency. These honors from the Digiday Media Awards highlight Tiger Pistol’s industry leadership, as well as the collaborative nature of the relationships we share with our partners, like Realogy.”

Social Ad Engine’s industry-leading platform enables Realogy’s agents and brokers a seamless experience to publish high performing Facebook and Instagram ads. Every listing campaign leverages Social Ad Engine’s best-in-class, automatic A/B testing to ensure agents’ budgets are spent effectively to drive the best outcome. Agents realize the benefit of local social advertising with campaigns that are published directly from their Facebook Business Page versus from an office, company or brand page. For agents without an active listing, Social Ad Engine enables the auto-creation of branding campaigns to ensure agents can promote themselves anytime across the Facebook family of apps.

“Just like every Tiger Pistol platform offering, we developed Social Ad Engine with users in mind, simplifying the arduous process of publishing social ads for each listing by building behind-the-scenes automation,” said Talia Wachtel, VP Client Management at Tiger Pistol. “Our platform lets agents onboard and connect their Facebook Business Page quickly and publish thumb-stopping ads with only a few clicks. Agents can easily see what they are accomplishing with intuitive dashboards to view their campaigns, metrics, results, and other key elements. Moreover, they can download a report to demonstrate campaign success to their clients.”

“Tiger Pistol’s knowledge of social media campaigns, service level, attention to detail, and true commitment to our partnership were integral pieces of the successful simultaneous launch of Social Ad Engine to five of our brands,” said Christian Russo, Senior Director of Product Management, Realogy. “The dedication and enjoyment in their work and platform is evident in everything they do. When we established our long-term partnership, we had no idea how impactful it would be in today’s environment, however with Tiger Pistol’s help, we are able to deliver a level of certainty in these uncertain times with the speed and flexibility needed to let our agents and brokers own the recovery.”

Tiger Pistol’s partnership helped Realogy pivot seamlessly in a time when the real estate industry has been forced to undergo dramatic operational changes.  By accelerating the development roadmap, Tiger Pistol and Realogy were able to provide new and meaningful tools to agents through Social Ad Engine. Among some of the major changes made was a way for agents to speak to their communities in a more personal way through promoting agent advertisements, not just listings. Video and Carousel ads have also recently launched to enhance campaign performance and to give agents new ways to promote their listings and themselves.

Tiger Pistol and Realogy’s Social Ad Engine faces off against Questus and Fannie Mae HomeStyle® Renovation, IDG Communications, Inc. and Splunk, Verizon Media and Procter & Gamble, and the Financial Times and CFA Institute for Best Brand Partnership – B2B. The competition is equally stiff in the Most Original Use of Social category, contending with Sputnik France for Paris Mayday, ESPN for Dear Kobe, Zyper, E! News, and Bleacher Report. Winners will be announced Thursday, June 25 at 2:30PM EST in a virtual ceremony.