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Agency-Client Trends, Snapchat’s Maturing Ad Offer, And More

Trusted trends reports are essential tools for all businesses, helping to make the call around future investments. Two such compilation reports released within the past month offer marketers real insight to help strategic decisions.

First up is the 2016 Internet Trends report, released annually by Mary Meeker, an analyst and partner at KPCB. It’s worth taking a look at the 200-plus slides, which have been widely shared on SlideShare (two million views so far this time).

In recent years Meeker has highlighted the trend of smartphone adoption, and that continues this year, but she also highlights how the smartphone use and growth globally will now be largely driven by adoption in Asia—in 2008, 34% of all smartphone users were based in Asia, but by last year, this had risen to 52%—a point strikingly made by this chart.

Next up, The State of the Agency-Client Relationship report from SoDA and Forrester is another regular, trusted report, this time looking at emerging trends in how digital marketing is managed. In the latest edition, the report focuses on collaboration between agencies and their clients.

The chart shows a high level of dissatisfaction in the way agencies and clients work together.

Drilling down into some of the reasons behind this, the report looks at client-side organisational structure and why businesses part company with their marketing agencies.

Tellingly, while the majority of client-side respondents (48%) think their structure is fit to support innovation rather than hindering innovation (29%), a majority of agencies think it limits their capability to innovate (55% hinders innovation vs 12% who think it supports innovation).

And while agencies often state the reason for the end of a client relationship is because of management changes on the client side, for clients it’s more typically around price/value.

SoDA explains:

This is not surprising, as agencies struggle to prove the impact of their work through measurement and clients feel increasing pressure to prove the ROI of agency investments. Agencies owned by holding companies feel this more acutely, with 48% selecting pricing/value as a reason for termination versus 35% of independent agencies. This could be because holding company agencies are often sitting on bigger budgets and clients expect greater efficiencies.

Platform Developments
Facebook and Snapchat have both added new features in the past month:

Facebook: Multichannel Feature. Driven by a need to prove its influence on offline purchases to advertisers, Facebook’s latest innovation is its new locator feature. The company points out that while people use mobile in 45% of all shopping journeys, the majority of sales (90%) still occur in brick-and-mortar businesses.

To help connect mobile users with relevant local stores, Facebook’s new shop locator shows a map of all of a business’s locations nearby. Clicking on the map within a “Local Awareness ad” reveals further information about those locations. Without leaving the advert or app, users can view the address, opening times, phone number, website, and estimated travel time from where they are for each shop.

Facebook has also improved its Local Awareness ad reporting to give marketers more insight. Its shop visits reporting now shows:

  • The number of people (with location services enabled on their phone and who have given permission) who come into store after seeing a Facebook campaign.
  • How to optimise ad creative, delivery, and targeting based on shop visits.
  • An analysis of results across shops and regions to help plan and optimise future campaigns.

Facebook says that retailers including E.Leclerc, M&S, Petco, Burger King U.K, and Cadillac have already trialled store visits to better understand foot traffic to their locations after running Local Awareness adverts.

In France, E.Leclerc was able to reach 1.5 million people within 10 kilometres of their stores and found that approximately 12% of clicks on their advert were followed by a visit to a store within seven days.

Snapchat: Maturing Ad Offering. Snapchat’s popularity with the younger audience has driven its growth from an impressive 50 million daily active users back in 2014 to nearly 200 million today. Its users are highly engaged, and spend an average of between 20 and 30 minutes per day on the app, fuelling 10 billion daily video views.

The platform introduced some basic advertising features in 2014, but has recently announced three new developments to encourage more advertisers as it looks to monetise the platform further. These are:

1. Ads Between ‘Stories’
Snapchat users can see what their followers are posting through Snapchat stories. A recently added “auto-advance” feature means that when one person’s story (a series of videos or pictures) comes to an end, it automatically switches to the story of the next person in your list of followers. Now digital marketers can buy short-format video ads which will appear occasionally when auto-advance switches people to the next story. It’s akin to an ad break on TV between programmes, except it lasts a matter of seconds.

2. Expandable ‘Snap Ads’
Previously, advertising on Snapchat was typically about using creative to build brand awareness or excitement around a particular event, rather than driving clicks and actions. This has changed with the new “Snap ads” feature, which allows users to swipe up to download a promoted app, read an article, watch a longer video, or visit a mobile website.

3. API For Ads
Rather than having to strike a deal with Snapchat for each ad campaign, brands can now utilise Snapchat’s new API to buy ads programmatically. This should help make it easier for brands to start advertising, either directly with Snapchat or via other platforms or their ad agency.

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