The Media Buyer Newsletter

The Media Buyer Index #17

Welcome to The Media Buyer Newsletter, where we deep dive into the latest ecom data (powered by Northbeam) to see what trends, anomalies, or interesting findings we can uncover. We keep it simple with three sections: The raw numbers, a quick summary, and our key takeaways.

In our 17th installment of The Media Buyer Newsletter, we’re talking NewFronts, Meta's improvements, and YouTube exclusions. Let’s dig in.

The Summary

Meta numbers keep improving as ad accounts regress back to their pre-meltdown performance. This change can be felt across other platforms as well: Tiktok continues to get more difficult for advertisers as budgets shift and Tiktok ad volumes keep jumping.

Google moves in line with Meta in most cases, and the increased focus on Meta ads this week improves Google's numbers. YouTube, a well-performing but under-appreciated channel, finally plateaus for at least this issue.

The Takeaway

The Meta/Google funnel is returning back to normal. Note the Conversion Metrics graphic: green arrows across all conversion metrics for both channels as the post-meltdown disruption on Meta start to fade. We’re hearing most people are back up to where they were before in terms of conversion performance. Are your campaigns back to normal yet? We’re seeing case-by-case struggles and successes.

Are you up to date on the latest Meta news? A handful of updates:

  1. Meta quietly removed “recently in” and “traveling in” from location targeting, instead lumping them together, stating that “all location targeting will now reach people living in or recently in the location you select.” No press release about this, as far as we can find. Here’s to hoping the algorithm is smart enough to know the differences that many advertisers rely on. If you use location targeting, go check on this.

  2. According to this AdExchanger reporter, several advertisers are hearing they will NOT get reimbursed for Meta’s meltdown two weeks ago. This is a complicated situation: is Meta responsible for paying that back, or does voluntarily entering your payment info into the platform absolve them of guilt in the event of a overpayment glitch? Wethinks this will end up in court soon enough.

  3. Meta’s new groundbreaking ad format is… AR filters? Meta debuted a handful of these ads at the NewFronts. They work just like the selfie filter ads you’ve seen on Snapchat, and they’ll work for Reels and Stories. No word when this will be live to the public. This is a clear shot at Snap’s ad business. Keep an eye out for ads from Sephora and Tiffany & Co.

A lot went down at the NewFronts - get their full report here. While these events mostly debut new ad formats that are only available to enterprise customers like Coca Cola or Nike, these ad formats will become available to the rest of us soon enough. It’s important to keep an eye on them. Some highlights:

  1. The writers strike and AI-driven tensions loomed large while streaming services tried to convince us to give them our TV ad budgets. It’s clear that streaming services from Paramount+ to Hulu want ad budgets large and small. What isn’t clear is if those ads are worth it, and which streaming services can provide the tracking, audience segmentation, or algorithmically-optimized trafficking that us advanced media buyers demand.

  2. Tiktok premiered something called “Pulse” which feels like it might have a future impact on their already-sliding ad performance. Essentially TikTok is making a “VIP” section around top-performing bits of content in the feed, ensuring that higher ticket advertisers can place their content around the platform’s most popular videos with higher certainty. This will likely have downstream effects for smaller budget advertisers, but TikTok needs to capture huge ad budgets to hit revenue growth targets.

  3. We finally have an opportunity to advertise on Amazon Originals! Freevee will be getting a ton of Amazon Original shows this year on their free, ad-supported tier. No word how to get ads on there yet, but if you’re trying to choose a streaming service to put ads on, Amazon will likely be a great choice. If they can strategically align ecomm browsing data with Freevee viewing data, this could be seriously the strongest-converting CTV ad placement in the business. We’re bullish on this one.

Some helpful links:

  1. The only exclusions you need to add to make your YouTube ads win. A snippet of a chat with David Sanghera.

  2. Doing lots of email? Make sure you get a blue checkmark. We’re betting it’ll increase your performance big time.

  3. Doing Google Ads? Get a gold checkmark too. Wild that the fraud prevention plan is verification instead of better filtering fraudlence at signup, but we’ll take whatever we can get.

  4. This allegedly leaked document from a Google source claims that Google “has no moat” against open-source AI projects. Pretty technical but strategically sound arguments, and if it’s true, Google has a fight on their hands.

  5. Why design your own landing page when you can copy one from this Figma swipefile? Featuring some of our editors favorites, including Girlfriend Collective, Tushy and Farmer’s Dog.

Register for our first every DTCx Media Buyer Summit! You’ll learn from the brightest minds in media buying, including speakers from Hexclad and The Ridge.

Early access is now open for MMM Plus, Northbeam’s Media Mix Modeling solution. “Media mix modeling” is a statistical analysis that shows you the optimal blend of budget across your advertising channels. Northbeam is bringing MMM into the future, powering it with machine learning and designing it bespoke for ecommerce. If you've wanted to try MMM at your brand, now’s your chance: sign up to learn more here.

Join us next Monday at 10:30 AM PST / 1:30 PM EST for the weekly Media Buyer Webinar, where we’ll discuss these trends in greater detail. Come with your questions and takeaways! We’ll see you there.

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