Good morning, could user distrust of Facebook hurt our marketing efforts?

Last year, the Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal marked a turning point for Facebook users whose data was collected through the platform (and later exposed in other databases). Since then, a steady stream of surveys and anecdotal evidence indicates Americans are less trusting and engaged with Facebook. And yet, the social media giant reports that ad revenues are up – and so are active users.

The latest evidence comes from the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s (ACSI’s) annual ranking of social media sites. According to the survey, the results show “a dramatic loss in user satisfaction with Facebook, and the site plummets 6% to the industry’s bottom with an ACSI score of 63.” This is 12 points lower than the company’s highest score of 75 in 2015.

But with Facebook generating $16.6 billion in ad revenue for the second quarter of 2019 (a 28% increase year-over-year), how can marketers reconcile the gap between user discontent and revenue growth? There are indications that Americans are more skeptical about online privacy than ever before, resulting in users reducing time spent on Facebook rather than abandoning it altogether. As marketers, our digital strategies should always account for consumer perception and explore tactics that enable meaningful connections with audiences beyond retargeting alone.

Speaking of audiences, we’re interested in learning more about ours. Every year, we like to reach out to subscribers to better understand what interests you so that we can bring you the content you care about most. The survey is completely anonymous and takes about 5 minutes to complete. You can take the survey here. Thanks in advance!

Taylor Peterson,
Deputy Editor

Pro Tip

Agencies can address client needs more easily with flexible working agreements

“A traditional agency/client contract is very detailed in its scope of work but an agile team needs the ability to pivot quickly based on customer responses. If all work is a contractual obligation, this hamstrings the agile team,” explains Stacey Ackerman of Agilify. “Instead of a detailed scope contract, turn to a flexible working agreement. The flexible working agreement is best done in the form of a retainer. Here’s an example of what’s included: 1) The goal of the engagement; 2) The desired outcomes of the work; 3) The people needed to do the work; and 4) The duration of time the agency will engage with the team.”

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Social Shorts

Facebook’s latest move to fight ad fraud

Facebook has filed a lawsuit against LionMobi and JediMobi, two app developers accused of click injection fraud on the Facebook Audience Network ad platform. According to Jessica Romero, Facebook’s Director of Platform Enforcement and Litigation, the app developers created apps available via the Google Play store designed to infect users’ phones with malware that produced fake user clicks on Facebook ads. 

“Our lawsuit is one of the first of its kind against this practice,” writes Romero on the Facebook Newsroom blog, “Facebook detected this fraud as part of our continuous efforts to investigate and stop abuse by app developers and any abuse of our advertising products. LionMobi and JediMobi have been banned from Audience Network and their accounts have been disabled.” Romero said the advertisers impacted by LionMobi and JediMobi’s ad fraud practices were refunded in March of this year. 

Ad fraud continues to be an industry-wide problem, but platforms are paying more attention to advertisers’ concerns and taking actions to reduce problematic activity. Google announced this week that Google Ad Manager and AdMob, Google’s mobile ad network, will support IAB Tech Lab’s app-ads.txt anti-fraud protocol for app publishers beginning August 27. When implemented, the app-ads.txt protocol blocks ad serving of unauthorized in-app ad inventory for publishers.

What we're reading

We've curated our picks from across the web so you can retire your feed reader

Another major radio station conglomerate thinks podcasts are the future – The Verge

Delivering the Right Content at Each Step of Your Buyer’s Journey – CMS Wire

Amazon’s Treasure Truck expands to Charlotte, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Las Vegas – VentureBeat

Study: 38% of shoppers purchase via retailers’ mobile apps – Mobile Marketer

Lens on Strategy: Connecting In-App Video Creative to Mobile Consumers – Street Fight

Want to innovate like Amazon? Here’s their formula – Chief Marketing Technologist

The Philippines Was A Test Of Facebook’s New Approach To Countering Disinformation. Things Got Worse. – BuzzFeed