Google Admits [You] Wasted [Your] Money On More than 50% of Internet Ads.
Google announced that 56.1% of ads served on the internet are never even “in view”—defined as being on screen for one second or more.
The web metrics company ComScore reported last year that 46% of online ads are never seen. Spider.io, an ad fraud company acquired by Google in February, has pointed out that a large portion of ads are “viewed” only by robots, revealing that one botnet of 120,000 virus-infected computers viewed ads billions of times, running up the tab for advertisers without offering them the human eyeballs they sought.
Take a minute. Process that stat and its pain. Now, tell yourself ... I was right all along.
Now ask yourself:
- if my internet advertising isn’t working what’s next?
- if botnets pump the stats and costs for my digital advertising, do I have options?
- if no one sees my digital ad because, well, it’s never shown ... what am I going to do?
Here are some options:
If change is too difficult, you continue without changing. ‘course, now that you know, the level of effort required to maintain denial will grow. Thats an added expense that will show up somewhere, sometime, and always when it’s the least convenient.
You want to change but don't know how to initiate that conversation within your organization (when did you know, what are we going to do), continue to ‘advertise.’ Make a small change to how you categorize that amount in your financial reports. Keep the same amount but move, say, 56% of it from GS&A or Operating Costs or Marketing - Internet into Donations - Google/Facebook. That’s what you’re doing. You’re donating to their success. It's a baby-step towards transparency.
Stop. Just stop. It's tougher than cutting back on caffeine. You're severing your ties with your life rope, albeit an imaginary one but ... still. Some might say well keep the 44% that’s working. Which 44%? They don’t know. Google doesn't know. You don't know. So, just stop.
Redirect those amounts into your:
They’re the two stakeholders who drive your brand.
That’s right. Take the money you usually donate to internet advertising and invest it in the experiences and successes and happiness(es?) of your two most important stakeholders:
Prioritize them in that order.
- Invest in training. Right there, that positions you as a leader.
- Invest in equipment.
- Upgrade your future hires.
- Give them a raise.
- Add a benefit.
- Add a bonus or two for the right metric for the right mission and purpose.
- Trust them with the authority and resources to make decisions.
- Spend more time recognizing them than reading reports about them.
- Tell them what you’re doing.
- Invest in the Christmas Party they deserve.
- Invest in whatever it is they want.
- That's why they are your customers. You provide what they want, when they want it.
- Don't know? Ask. Use the Net Promoter Survey.
- Invest in correcting your mistakes. I know, I know, no one makes a mistake. But if you make a mistake, be generous.
- Lavish attention and resources on ‘making things right, making them whole.’Right there, you're a leader. And leaders generate what? Word-of-mouth. Positive word-of-mouth advertising, the most powerful message ever created because it's created by the passion and confidence you instill in your customers and its shared in their words, with their friends and neighbors, and for no other reason than you wowed them.
- Answer their calls on the first ring.
- Answer their emails within, I don’t know, ten minutes? See above. With these added dollars you can hire another person if you need to.
- Exceed their expectations. If you do the above two things, you'll have done that for most companies.
This may sound pollyannish. So what. It’s the truth as I experienced it.
As CEO of a company I saw that my ads no longer worked. Internet ads, Google and Yahoo (back in that day) and everywhere we could find. I had the stats because I tracked their clicks, their costs and more importantly the calls and new accounts they generated. Suddenly, they stopped generating anything except profits for ... Google and Yahoo and god knows who, I’ve forgotten. The mind has a way of doing that. Self-preservation thing, I guess.
I reinvested those dollars in employees and customers as I outlined briefly here. The results were sales conversions rose from 50% to 80%, customer churn dropped by 2-3% points, positive cash-flows grew, revenues grew.
We competed in a commoditized industry with a very boring* product: conference calling. We weren’t the lowest-priced provider, either. Matter of fact, people would ask why were our prices so high. Then after they became our customer, they’d tell all their friends. We had testimonials all over our website, with their pictures and names and company names. We had video testimonials way before video was so easy to handle.
You can do the same. Just stop throwing your money away on stuff you knew wasn’t working but couldn’t find the data. Now you have the data to confirm that suspicion. Then invest it in those who make your company grow: employees and customers.
Have a good weekend.
* Boring. Seriously. Who goes home and says to their spouse and kids. Honey? Kids? Guess what I did today. I called a number and listened to someone talk for about an hour ... and they muted my line so I couldn't interrupt them.
Or, Guess what I get to do today?!! I get to be on a conference call!