Great infographic on all the ways you can target on Facebook

I was doing some research on Facebook targeting and found this wonderful infographic on all the ways you can target via Facebook. This is a great resource when conducting split testing for your campaign.


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Header Bidding

If you have a great website that attracts a lot of visitors you’ll likely want to monetize that traffic with digital advertising. Under traditional models advertisers underbid, ad servers take a big cut, and publishers don’t get as much money as they could. That may be changing with the creation of header bidding. Overlooked in the Congressional hearing regarding Google’s dominance of the digital advertising marketplace was the hack by publishers to extract more revenue from advertisers. If you’re not aware of what header bidding is please see the following: It’s an important development in the world of digital advertising.

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Can not advertising at all be better than advertising on billboards or through direct mail?

That’s the question I explore in my latest article (Journal of Services Marketing). Using both the home improvement sector and a real estate brokerage I find that things such as word-of-mouth and maintaining a good website can bring in more clients (at a cheaper cost) than actual advertising can. For a home improvement contractor, each time they get a request they need to submit a proposal which is costly. However, a lot of customers that come via this marketing communications channel haven’t narrowed down their company search. If the consumer comes via a word-of-mouth or the website then they likely did their homework on the firm. This means they are more likely to be a paying a customer. Effect of Interactive Marketing Communications Channels on Customer Acquisition – JSM – 2020.

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Teaching in the Fall during the pandemic

For the past few weeks I’ve been re-learning how to teach. With the help of my colleagues at UMW such as Dr. Russell, Jerry Slezak, and Dr. Greenlaw it’s been an eye opening experience. As of this writing I know that two of my classes are going to be face to face (Mktg 460 & Mktg 417 – Section 2) and one is going to be online (Mktg 417 – Section 1). After Thanksgiving though, all my courses will be online. My challenge for the online course, and to a lesser degree the other two courses, is how to make them engaging and active while online. There are things I know for sure, things I’m leaning towards, and things I’m still exploring.

For sure

  • I will have class synchronously but I will record the lectures and put them on my YouTube page so that students who are not able to attend during the class will not be penalized
  • There will be quizzes after each lecture, this worked pretty well in the Spring. The quizzes will take the place of a mid-term
  • The final exam (if there is one) will be online. This goes for all my classes
  • I’ll be using Zoom, it’s user friendly and worked well in the Spring

Leaning towards

  • For the online class, I’ll do poll questions via Zoom to increase interaction
  • Making greater usage of break-out rooms
  • Sending material to students in advance that we can go over during the class
  • Using tools such as Padlet and virtual reality to enhance engagement and create discussion

Learning about

  • Bringing in more guest speakers. If the class is online then the guest speakers can visit virtually.
  • How to create virtual challenges that students can participate in

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Avoid Stubhub

The economics of this isn’t pretty for consumers so be warned. The ticket seller Stubhub has given itself a cash cushion from buyers who had events cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally (pre-pandemic) consumers who bought tickets on the platform were guaranteed a refund if the event was cancelled but less than the two weeks after the NBA and the NHL seasons were put on pause, Stubhub quietly amended its policy (on March 25th) to give consumers who purchased from them a voucher worth 120% instead of a refund. They are now the subject of a class action lawsuit, read more about that here. However, here’s why this their voucher idea is good for Stubhub and bad for consumers.

  • The vouchers expire by December 2021, so if you had waited more than two years to see that band finally come to your city and they’re not coming back for a while, well you’ll have to choose an inferior substitute
  • If everybody that had tickets to MLB, NBA, NHL, or concert over the course of multiple months now has vouchers they have to spend by a certain time it’s going to increase demand for tickets. An increase of demand is going to increase prices that sellers can charge (they are free to charge what they want). So I may have paid $100 for tickets to a hockey game in section 211, Row J before the pandemic, if I want those same tickets for the same game a year later I may find that the price is now $130 or more because there are a lot of people who have vouchers that they need to use.
  • Stubhub charges a lot in service fees, for buyers they charge 10% the purchase price of the ticket and for sellers they charge 15% per ticket. So for a ticket that’s priced at $100 the seller will get $85 and the buyer pays $110. What is to stop Stubhub from raising their fees once sports resume? They were “ethical” enough to quietly change their refund policy, what if they raise the fees on customers to 15% to recoup the value of the vouchers? That means the ticket now costs $115 and coupled with increased demand that may further diminish the actual value of the ticket.
  • Similar to gift cards, people often receive them and forget to use them, so there will undoubtedly be some people who simply forget to use their vouchers and it becomes a gift for Stubhub.

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