Paid Media Pioneers Talk Super-Targeted Ads, Mobile Optimization at Jersey City Tech Meetup

The Jersey City Tech Meetup (JCTM) was back again in person on May 26 at Brand Experience Lab, in Jersey City to discuss paid digital advertising.

JCTM host Ben Yurcisin, founder and CEO of BeYu Media (Jersey City), a social media agency assisting small and medium-sized businesses, was joined onstage by Alex Eick, culture and elevation officer at Qualifyd Digital Media (Princeton), who’s also a familiar face to attendees of past JCTM events, as he appeared as a “Clubhouse Craze” panelist earlier this year.

The panelists included:

  • Cynthia Sandoval — founder, director of growth, and paid media strategist at Cynthia is Marketing (New York), a boutique growth-marketing consultancy.
  • Ashley Silver senior director of PepsiCo digital activation at the advertising agency OMD USA (New York).

On-site food sponsorship support was provided by Tony Boloney’s (Jersey City), a past JCTM participant on a food-related panel, and by Vibal Energy Tea (Hoboken). An excellent DJ added ambiance to the event with a combination of upbeat tunes and creative sound effects.  

What made the evening’s discussion particularly intriguing was hearing these two paid marketing experts compare and contrast their work, which is significantly impacted by ad-spend budget availability.

Silver and her OMD USA colleagues have potentially tens of millions of dollars at their disposal to spend on behalf of one of the world’s leading food and beverage consumer brands. Her own specialty is mobile ads.

Sandoval focuses on integrating direct-to-consumer (D2C) paid advertising with leading social media platforms for such clients as a standing-desk company that did very well during the pandemic. She typically works with much more moderate advertising budgets than Ms. Silver has for PepsiCo.

Highlights from the evening’s discussion:

  • Super-targeted and narrow ads should be part of all brands’ digital marketing efforts.
    • With paid platforms like Facebook, you can go as narrow or as broad as you want, as long as your ultimate goal is ensuring that the message gets to the right target.
      • You ultimately want to reach the right people at the right time, and on the right platform.
  • The size of one’s media budget will help drive efficiencies and affect profit margins.
  • Facebook pixel facilitates the leveraging of machine learning, and allows enhanced tracking, as well as the ability to measure success.  
    • For example, if a website has a sign-up form or is able to transact e-commerce, a brand can follow up with people who might not have finished filling out their forms, or it can send a gentle reminder about a shopping cart that was abandoned prior to checkout and payment.
  • There are many ways to measure paid marketing success or failure, and a number of key abbreviations. A few of the most popular include:
    • CAC – Cost of Acquiring a Client
      LTV – Lifetime Value of a client (how much they will spend with your brand once you acquire them as a customer)
      ROAS – Return On Ad Spend
      CPC – Cost Per Click 
      CPM – Cost Per 1,000 Impressions, that is, per 1,000 views of your ad (3 seconds minimum counts as someone viewing your ad)
  • When inserting online video ads, the choices include:
    • Pre-roll (ad runs before the content)
    • Mid-roll (ad runs during the content)
    • Post-roll (ad runs after the content)
      • Online video ads typically run 15, 30 or 60 seconds.
  • The best data is based on comparisons with your own brand’s past performance.
    • It’s also important to compare with peers and competitors.
  • The current business environment or the time of year can have a significant impact on how much your brand should spend.
    • For example, the COVID pandemic impacted countless companies.
      • With most people spending much more time at home than they did pre-pandemic, media consumption patterns were invariably altered. In many cases overall screen-time rose.
  • PepsiCo subsidiary Frito-Lay shut off its paid media efforts during the first half of 2020 due to the impact of the pandemic.
    • The company was actually doing well at the time, Silver noted, but was leery about saying anything that might be highly scrutinized by consumers and/or the media.
    • Frito-Lay is part of a consortium of businesses that have agreed not to purposely target anyone under 18 with advertising.
  • Make sure your business website is mobile optimized, as an increasing number of consumers are on their mobile devices (as opposed to their desktops), and that is how they will experience your site.
  • Watching social media platform tutorials can teach you how to orchestrate and plan your company’s ad campaigns.
    • If your monthly ad-spend budget is less than $5K, it makes economic sense to do it yourself, as opposed to hiring someone from an outside agency.
  • Apple’s iOS 14 software update is critical — there are choices for users regarding the data they’ll allow to share with advertisers and marketers.
    • This move will likely hurt small businesses in the long run, as it will be more difficult for them to target ads to specific audiences.
    • Creating “lookalike” audiences is a key to successful advertising on the Facebook platform.

Click to here to access the JCTM YouTube channel. The next meeting of the JCTM will cover non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

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