Have you ever had to answer that one question?

There’s a good chance that if you’ve seen a few videos on YouTube then you’ve had to answer one of these questions before the video. Why are you being asked that question? Why you? What is it’s purpose? The reason stems form a concept in online advertising called brand lift. What advertisers want to figure out is whether the advertisements they created were noticed or recalled and whether it helped the firm who advertised more than not advertising would have. For example, suppose that I go online looking for a motorized scooter (for the over 40 crowd of course), will showing me an advertisement on another platform (say Google search) increase my likelihood of purchase over not showing me another advertisement.  Was my mind already made up or can I still be influenced? The scooter firm may have shown me an advertisement and now they want to measure whether I noticed or recalled it. Better yet, maybe they didn’t show me the advertisement and I can recall it just as well as someone who saw the advertisement. That’s not good (from an advertisers standpoint) because it means I’m wasting my money on an advertisement when I didn’t need to show one. It’s one way marketers measure the impact of their online advertising.

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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. https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2016/06/27/facebook-ad-targeting-options-infographic


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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: https://adprofs.co/beginners-guide-to-header-bidding/ It’s an important development in the world of digital advertising.

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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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A student perspective of the strangest semester in over 50 years

It has undoubtedly been one of the strangest semesters in the past 50 years ago. We started out as a we normally do then things changed suddenly in late February. Cases of the Coronavirus had appeared in Washington State and schools there started to close to slow the spread. In early March there were reported cases in New York City and a few days later the first cases were found in Virginia. On the Monday I was having lunch with another professor and I suggested off-hand that we may have to switch to online instruction (I didn’t think it would happen). Just to hedge my bets, in class on Wednesday I spent the first few minutes of all of my classes talking about the plan to go online should that remote possibility come to fruition. I left campus at 4:45pm that day and a few minutes later I read the email from President Paino which told us that we’re going online and everybody that can leave campus should do so. So much has happened since then and it was undoubtedly strange to the students. I asked one of my outstanding students to finish off his internship by making a short documentary on how the changes have impacted him and other students. He put together this outstanding video to give that perspective. It’s quite good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFpbNKGOmnU

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