How quickly are things changing in the digital advertising marketplace? Fast enough that Facebook estimated it would lose $10 billion in revenue this year.
The stakes are high with more than $320 billion in global digital ad spending in play. The companies involved are some of the largest and most valuable in the world, including Apple, Meta/Facebook and Alphabet/Google.
How important is digital advertising to these Big Tech behemoths? Google generates 81% of its total global revenue from digital ads. For all the talk about the metaverse, Facebook depends on digital ads for 98% of its total revenue.
These seismic shifts have the potential to impact every digital marketer’s ad strategies and tactics, so let’s get you up to speed quickly on:
- The changes taking place across the digital advertising landscape
- What they mean to you, the independent retailer
- And how AdRocket is keeping up.
What’s changed since Summer 2021?
The biggest change since last summer was a subtle one. For iPhone and iPad users, they started to see a popup window like this one:
The “Allow ‘Facebook’ to track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites?” prompt lets users decide if they want to allow apps on their devices to track their behaviors after they stopped using the apps themselves.
This “third-party tracking” capability is at the heart of the massive digital advertising industry, since it allows advertisers like Google and Facebook to serve up highly targeted ads based on personal information gathered while you’re using their services—and what you do the rest of the time you’re online, too.
This model has been referred to as “surveillance advertising” and, not surprisingly, most consumers don’t like it. Since the prompt to stop third-party tracking appeared last summer, 84% of Apple users have blocked their apps from gathering information about them outside of the app itself.
This had an immediate impact on small businesses that rely on Facebook ads in particular. “Everything came to a screeching halt,” for Seven Sisters Scones, a mail-order pastry shop in Johns Creek, Georgia, which saw revenue drop from $40,000 per month to $16,000 almost overnight.
Other small businesses saw their cost-per-click for Facebook ads increase significantly, while conversion rates dropped—which led many to shift spending to Google’s keyword-driven model instead.
What these changes mean for RWS retailers
RWS customers who rely on WebFronts, WebFronts Review™ and RetailDeck® all rely on first-party cookies and information—data gathered about retailers’ visitors by RWS on your RWS platforms and products—to power the industry-leading features and functions you rely on to compete and win in your local markets.
AdRocket Base and Boost rely on digital advertising placements on both Facebook and Google to generate traffic and demand for RWS customers. So, dedicated digital advertising experts at RWS are continually scanning the landscape for changes—working in concert with the AdRocket platform’s built-in AI capabilities—to dynamically shift spending as needed to maximize returns.
“The development of AdRocket Ignite has added a whole new promotional aspect to our retailers’ WebFronts® websites,” said Jodie Pierce, RWS chief operating officer.
“Ignite is a cross-over media type that ties a retailer’s third-party advertising strategy to their WebFront—meaning the ads that consumers may no longer be seeing across the Google or Facebook networks can now be seen while shopping the retailer’s site.
“This allows retailers to showcase what is most important to their business to consumers who are advertisement adverse and privacy savvy.”
Further, notes Pierce, “Retailer Web Services is a Google Premier Partner, which means we’ve been recognized as one of the top three-percent of all Google partners in the United States.
“That status means we have unprecedented access to Google’s own digital advertising plans and roadmaps, which allows us to anticipate any changes that might be coming well before they impact the market.
“This means our AdRocket retailers can rest easy, knowing we’re always working in the background to help them maximize the effectiveness of their digital advertising spending.”