Let me assure you, I didn’t sit down this morning to write a rant about the state of the digital advertising industry. Not at all. That being said, there are some things that are keeping me on edge… driving me crazy, if you will. Here’s my attempt to air these grievances without wallowing in negativity!
- The perpetuated idea that all ads and advertisers are evil and all advertising should be removed from the internet experience. Take this NY Times article for instance detailing the growth and sophistication of ad blockers. The author makes some valid points and admits to the fact that the vast majority of content consumed online is only available because of advertising. My 2 cents – people need to pay up for premium content or make peace with ads. Is there room for improvement in ad formats and placement (display ads primarily)? Yes. But accept the reality of the Internet economy as it is today or be willing to pay subscription fees to your (currently) free websites.
- The idea that Google doesn’t know what they’re doing. Recent example? Yesterday’s discovery of the potential switch from “clicks” to “interactions” within AdWords and the immediate negative reaction within the PPC community. True, that’s a pretty big change, but after thinking about it for a few minutes I decided that it makes sense. In an ecosystem where you are intermingling search, display, video and now Gmail (Gmail Sponsored Promotions) ads, a simple “click” is no longer relevant. You have video views, ad engagement (Lightbox ads), Gmail saves, Gmail forwards AND website clicks. If you want all the cool toys in AdWords, you need to learn how to roll with the new lingo, too. Has Google flubbed up and gone off the rails in the past? You betcha. But they aren’t billionaires for being completely clueless.
- Realizing that many agencies are reticent or incapable of leveraging sales funnel/CRM data to help manage digital advertising from lead to sale. At the end of the day our job is to make our clients REAL MONEY, yes? How can you ensure your campaigns and actions are resulting in new customers if you aren’t tracking each step of the sales cycle? Baffles me every time.
- AdWords Editor 11 complaints. This is somewhat in line with #2, but with a much more specific slant. AdWords Editor 11 was a HUGE change in the desktop editor paradigm. My initial reaction after upgrading was one of shock and confusion as I tried to feel my way around the new interface. After that it was all systems go with the understanding and realization of just how much faster campaign management could/would be. Are there negative aspects of AWE 11? Sure! There always has been. But is this a backwards step in the evolution of the software? Hell no. This was a massive step forward. My opinion is that Google failed miserably on preparing advertisers for the changes and haven’t followed through on training. (I have the same argument for people who bullishly refuse to upgrade to Windows 10, but that’s another topic altogether.)
- Google’s 5pecialist Challenge. This one’s petty, so bear with me. I actually think it is perfectly fine for Google to emphasize their certification exams – especially since there are now 5 distinct exams. We are working through the tests internally at Clix, so I’m honestly not complaining about the program itself. But just because there are 5 exams doesn’t give anyone the right to try and use a ‘5’ as an ‘S’ in the word specialist. I mean, what the hell is a “fivepecialist” anyways? ; )
That’s it. I’m done for now. Grievances aired; complaints submitted. Time to go do some actual work for the day! What about you? What’s driving YOU crazy in digital advertising this week?