Friday Jan 14, 2022

The future will soon be cookielss. Are you ready? EP - 019

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Greg Marshall  0:03  
And ladies and gentlemen, we got our audio is actually working on this one this last time. We forgot to double check it. And and I thought it was a good one.

Blake Beus  0:13  
Yeah. It's good. It's it's good to be back. I think this is the first one we're actually recording in the new year. I mean, we've recorded some Yeah, before the new year and they launched after the new year, but now we're actually recording in the new year. So all of the holiday season is over now. 2022 Yeah, especially for us. And advertising is going to, I think advertising is going to take a big bunch of changes are going to, and you were just telling me right before Yeah, yeah. This this big, big admission?

Greg Marshall  0:46  
Yeah. Facebook, I couldn't believe it. That's why That's why I think I had to like do a double take, because I thought I was like, Is this real? So there was like a big notification on one of the ad accounts when I when I went on there. And essentially, it was Facebook saying we understand that tracking is not is accurate. And you know, and I'm paraphrasing here, basically, that you're you're seeing worse results tracking wise than you ever have. That's essentially what it was saying in a very nice, nice way.

Blake Beus  1:17  
Or they ran through a whole team of PR people or something but not opened ourselves up to any sort of legal acts. Yeah, having a terrible product.

Greg Marshall  1:27  
And that's, you know, and that's basically what it felt like, right is I was reading it, and I was saying, but we're working very hard to fix this. And so, with that being said, I think a lot of customers and people that are using ads are are coming to the realization, which was something that I felt like, I will communicate with clients a lot, which is, and we've done this for years, right? Where even when we thought Facebook was super accurate, it still wasn't no 100% accurate. And so it's just now less accurate. Which, you know, is, you know, what are your thoughts on that? Like, for me, I know what I see. And like, it doesn't really bother me that much. Because there's there's a way around, then yeah, it actually makes it a little bit more, where you have to, I guess be a little more skilled at what you're doing. But what are your thoughts?

Blake Beus  2:21  
Yeah, I'm gonna have a couple thoughts here for first and foremost, I feel like it's a little bit like Reagan in the Cold War when he said trust, but verify. Yeah. Except for I don't even know if I would entirely trust reported data into ad platforms. In fact, none of the ad platforms, right, just just the nature of how data works. It's never 100% accurate. So you always need to kind of verify it with with some hard data, right? So if, say hard data, yeah, if Facebook is saying you got 10 purchases, you look into your actual purchase system and see did you get 10 purchases that day, right. And so it's hard to pair up those purchases with a Facebook ad from your, from your purchase system, unless you're maybe dumping some traffic tracking codes into your purchase purchasing system, then you can but but you just want to kind of double double check. The second thing, the second thought that comes to my mind is, is I think we're gonna start seeing a lot more companies turn more and more to good media buyers and advertiser advertisers, because Facebook used to be a very easy platform for an entrepreneur to hop in there and kind of do their own thing. But so many things are changing with how tracking works, and how everything works, that media buyers are going to have to step up their game and the media buyers that are fastest at learning, the new things and fastest testing things are going to be the media buyers that are going to succeed in 2022. And beyond. And more companies are going to hold their media buyers to higher standards of communication and talking through what's going on and explaining those things. And more companies are going to look for media buyers to help them with this because it's becoming more and more time consuming for them to manage it themselves.

Greg Marshall  4:08  
Well, I what I'm seeing just from an inquiry standpoint, I'm definitely having more people reach out needing help with their, their Facebook ads. Yep. And what that tells me is it is becoming harder and harder meaning the the novice, were in the past, you could literally just go in member like even you can even set up your picks without having to do website domain verifications and doing all and setting up your aggregate event. He didn't do any of that, right? You get a piece of code or a number. And you put it on your website and you started running ads. And essentially, the pixel algorithm did all the work right? Right now it's actually you have to do most of it. And so because now there's More people reaching out needing help. That right there tells me that it's just getting harder to track, it's getting harder to track and you can't get away with like, the easy stuff that you could have back in the day. Now, it's actually, you have to think this through and come up with a real strategy, right. And one of the one of the things that I've been thinking about recently that may change, and since you understand the back end data more, you can verify this, but in my opinion, I don't see any of this tracking that we've had in the past ever coming back. I don't think there will ever be a time where you can track every piece of behavior. And when I say track meaning off platforms, right, right. So like, with if you're on Facebook, or on Google or on YouTube, I believe that's not going anywhere, because they like own that. And they can track all that but meaning the behaviors that you made when you went off of the platform. So

Blake Beus  6:00  
and what we talked about what Greg means by that is, when you click on a link to take you off of Facebook, now you're on say, my website, Blake Beus calm. Yeah. I used to be able to track and send a lot of data back into Facebook, using their pixel just kind of did it automatically. Now that data is limited. Facebook doesn't see as much of what's going on when someone's going around on my site. Yep. That that they did 345 years ago.

Greg Marshall  6:28  
Yep. So I feel like one of the big changes that will happen, or strategies or moves that you'll have to do is get really good at in app. Just you know, retargeting tracking, setting up. So the fundamentals are always the same, right? build awareness, engage with them, and then convert them. Yeah. But instead of you could just a few years ago, not even two, three years ago, you could actually skip a lot of that you could just go straight for purchase, like just just buy. Yeah. And you didn't have to warm people up and use kind of the quote unquote, old school methods. But I feel like it's gonna we're going to be forced to do that. Yeah, to be forced. Go back to that. And that's where it becomes a little more challenging, because you're, you're losing your teammate base.

Blake Beus  7:17  
Yeah, and like, I think what a lot of people realize is, is, well, I think about it this way. This is going to make lazy advertisers drop the platform. And unfortunately, businesses that are a little bit less sophisticated with advertising are going to maybe just drop online advertising altogether. But what that means is you're going to have more sophisticated advertisers on platform and everything like that. But to talk about your point, when you start talking about off platform versus on platform, what I'm going to what I'm going to guess is going to see a lot lot lot more improvement a lot more use is retargeting based on on platform events. Yes, right. And you brought this up, you taught you right before this call, you brought this up talking about retargeting based on video views, which is not a new strategy. Yeah. But but to to explain to you how this works. You know, you who out there is listening. If someone is watching a video on the Facebook platform that you uploaded, Facebook knows and can fully track your behavior, your customers and visitors and viewers behavior on that. And then you can retarget those people based on those, those events, the events where we can't retarget as good anymore. With it with as good of accuracy is the events that happen on my website. Yep, yep. Right. So that so basically what that means is,

Greg Marshall  8:50  
you'll have to, I feel like this is what's gonna happen is you'll have to be very good at enap retargeting and thinking about the entire, like flow of them. And I also think that there's a couple of changes that are happening on these platforms that are going to impact that. So number one, did you see the update with Instagram? That's gonna roll out here soon. We're gonna change the option to do chronological. Yes, based on I did, I did, I did. I think that's a big indicator that the algorithms are gonna have to switch. Mm hmm. Because now since they have way less data, they now need to, I feel like they need to focus heavier on making sure people don't jump ship completely off the platform. So now they actually are like going backwards. So making because if you need to do in app ads, you need people to use the apps you write. And people have been complaining about the algorithm saying I don't see any of my friends posts. I just see what you're feeding me. Yeah. And that's something that I believe forces people on other platforms? Yeah. Because they're seeing stuff they don't really, they're not choosing to see it's their Facebook is dictating. Yeah, what they see right now they're offering that option back. And I feel like that's going to be a big That, to me that communicates a shift. And they understand they're probably gonna have to do a lot more in app conversions type model. So they need people to stay on.

Blake Beus  10:23  
They need people to not leave the app. And to be fair, that was the goal. That's been their goal all along. The longer people are on their app, the more money they make from advertisers, the more eyeball inventory, yeah, they can, they can sell advertisers. But I did see that I mean, Instagrams feed used to be chronological, and then they switched it, claiming, quote, it's going to be better experience, we're going to give you posts, that's nice, that's corporate, that's a marketer speak for we're gonna make a whole lot more money by showing you the posts, we want you to see and not give you a choice what you can see. But I feel like Instagram has been feeling the heat from things like tick tock, oh, there's, there's, and they're and they're reverting back to the old way of things on the for their people's feed, or at least giving people the option to view their feed that way, and giving them the option choose how they want to eat. Am I in a mood right now to explore content that I may not be aware of? Yeah, or am I in the mood right now to only see the content of people I know and, and want to see that content. And so they're giving people that option to keep them more interested in the platform. I ultimately think that is a good move for most people, though, because I hated when they got rid of the chronological feed. I

Greg Marshall  11:39  
was like, I love the craft. And here's the thing, kind of the irony of all this is, there's a there's a podcast I like to listen to, and he talks about this all the time, which is competition is good. Instagram, and Facebook would never do this. If tick tock wasn't the number one visited website last year. Growing, right. And that's, this is a good lesson to show you can never believe you're bigger than your customer base, because they will leave the second a better experience or service comes out. And this you know, tick tock right now, like I remember, just two years ago, there was almost no one using tick tock. No.

Blake Beus  12:20  
I used to think tick tock was stupid. Me too. And I use it a lot.

Greg Marshall  12:23  
And I'm on there. I mean, it might be to be honest, it's getting close, you choose my favorite platform, but tick tock is getting very close, because there's a lot of fun stuff on there, and cool content and and that's the thing. That's that's where I feel like these changes are being made to enhance the user experience on their platforms, because they now feel threatened. I feel because this other platform is gaining so much momentum. Yeah.

Blake Beus  12:50  
Yeah. Yeah. So I completely agree with you about you know, the the competition being good. What is is interesting, though, is the players are having to play different and one of the things that I find very interesting with with tick tock versus all of the others is from like, a, a business perspective. And I don't know if you're still seeing this, but from a business perspective. I'm still seeing people are struggling big time to monetize tick tock. Yeah, I I listened to an interview of a guy that has nearly a million followers on tick tock, and he was talking about, you know, how many views and things he gets on stuff and he didn't talk about hard numbers, but I kind of went through and, and looked through his sales funnel from his home screen and everything. I I can't imagine this guy is making more than a few $1,000 a month off of his following. Whereas on Instagram, as someone has a million followers, I know a few people that have a million followers. And again, they they don't tell me how much money they make.

Greg Marshall  13:53  
But another day,

Blake Beus  13:55  
I mean, I trade up houses every couple years to bigger and bigger, bigger homes and they're driving super fancy cars, and this is literally their full time thing. They do nothing else other than this. So So Tik Tok is a platform is is fantastic, but it's not super mature from the monetizing perspective just yet. Yeah. But I definitely want to keep an eye on and I'm sure it will get figured out. Someone will. Someone I'm sure a few people have figured that out. Right. But But the other thing I found interesting about the Tick Tock platform when we can dive back into tracking and we wanted to talk about server cookieless trucking, but the one thing I found interesting about tick tock with this guy that has a million followers on Tiktok he'll have a video that will get 10 million views and then the next video will get 5000 Yeah, and then the next one will get 500,000 It's it's almost like the number of followers you have is has zero indication as to what you're going to get view wise Yeah. And and that all has to do with how their algorithm works and everything. But the number of followers you have is a flex yes does give you authority to people's eyes, and can be leveraged to monetize in ways and just say, well, this person has a million followers. So they're selling washing machines. And I saw this guy, he's got, like, 500,000 followers, and he's this local appliance seller in Canada. Gog. I love his video. Yes. So good. Yeah. And I'm sure he's the best seller in that area, because he has 500,000 followers on Tiktok. But anyway, we wanted we kind of got off track, but we want to talk about tracking the track

Greg Marshall  15:45  
because we have to talk about if you're going to go the cookieless world, then an app experiences is going to play a big role a big role. Yeah. On content, what's what type of content is being put out there. And I do think one of the advantages at the moment that Tik Tok has, and this may be a strategy of theirs is they are making it easier. There's, there's less limitations to what you can put, like what you can put out in order to get more views. And the regular user that doesn't have a lot of followers can still get a lot of views. Right. And so I think that is what hooks more people in is because the opposite is true. Instagram face. Absolutely.

Greg Marshall  16:31  
If you have 10 followers, there's no way you're going to get well not no way but the likelihood is very small, that you'll get a lot of views versus on Tik Tok, you can literally have like five followers come up with a video. That's pretty good. And you can still get 10,000 views. Easy, right? Yeah. And so that's why I think that may be a strategy of theirs is to help people get seen more, because they know the biggest complaint that people have on Instagram. Is no one sees anything.

Blake Beus  17:00  
No, yeah, if no one sees anything, and they tried to fix that with reels. And you can on rails, if you've done rails you can get with you know, so you have 1000 followers, you can get 10,000 15,000 20,000 views. Yep. But it's not as it's harder to amplify that then than it is on Tik Tok. But it's easier to turn it into money on Instagram. So there's there's like

Greg Marshall  17:26  
those a trade trade off? Well, let's let's talk about cookieless. Tracking, right. So cooking is basically meaning not being able to track people all over the internet. Yeah, so

Blake Beus  17:37  
let's just real quick tech, deep dive on on cookies, right. So when someone comes to my website, you're going to have a script, set a cookie on the browser, it's literally this little tiny piece of data that sits inside your web browser that can then be sent consent events back to your server. That's not how it really works. But that's how effectively it works for a technical person. So but the thing with cookies is they're very easy to block, right? So you have ad blockers, iOS 1415 plus whatever, they're they're just blocking any sort of tracking cookies. And, and they, they can just have errors with network problems, right? Because the internet feels like it's pretty great. But there's a lot of dropped data packets behind the scenes that can cause problems. So yeah,

Greg Marshall  18:27  
I heard Google Chrome's taking. Yeah, yeah, it's gonna be taken Absolutely. But

Blake Beus  18:30  
Google, Google as an advertiser, Facebook as an advertiser, and a few others have announced that they are going to be moving forward with cookieless. Tracking. Yeah, so it is going to be the future. Yep. And what does that mean for people? Well, well, what what that means is, for many people is you're either going to have to do your tracking in app, or using an in app browser, which tic TOCs in a browser. pisses me off is not good? Well, it won't let you leave it. Meaning meaning so on on Facebook, if I click on a Facebook ad, it opens up in their web browser. But I can click on that and click on the buttons that say, Hey, open this up in my phone, whatever, right? So if I'm looking at my phone, tic TOCs phone browser, you can't do that. They force you to stay in there. I can't copy the URL on any buddies profile pages and open it up in a different browser. So you have to use their browser and I guarantee that's because they want to force their tracking. Oh, yeah. Cuz on it's gonna be it's gonna You're still in app at that point. You know, you're maybe on my websites gonna be the new way. Yeah. And so it's frustrating, but I think that's what they're doing. But But then you're what you're gonna see is you're gonna see a lot of people, right? You're going to probably need to have a better website hosting server infrastructure to send data back to Facebook and Google whatever. And what I mean by that when when someone lands on On my website, their own web browser on their own computer sends the the tracking code and information back to the Facebook's ad platform. But the new way is going to be your web host, will send it from server to server send that tracking information background. But that was going to require your that you are on a web host that has those capabilities. So we're going to start seeing that pop up and become more and more and more interesting because most web hosts don't support that at all right now. And that is going to give us much more accurate information. When we send this data server to server. both Facebook and Google already have that capabilities. It's just that most people are on a server platform that doesn't support it. Got it. So we're gonna see more and more and more of that happening. And so it's not super urgent right now. But people are going again, this is one of those things where I said, people are going to need to reach out to media buyers, because it's getting more sophisticated. Well picture, people are going to need to reach out to more sophisticated hosting platforms, or even companies that do managed services with hosting to set this up properly and manage it properly for them.

Greg Marshall  21:17  
What do you think? Here's a question for them. What do you think? All right, so a lot of the reasons in the past with pixels. And what made it effective is not only the targeting, but the optimization, right? So the more data you fed back into the account, typically, the lower your cost per purchase will start to become Yeah, what do you think will happen with an app? Essentially? How do you do that? If there's no real information really getting pushed as effectively in the past back into your ad account? Because that's where all the optimizations happen.

Blake Beus  21:55  
Right. So I think, I think what people are going to need to do more and more and more is leverage the offline conversions features that is both in Facebook and Google. And what that is for for you that may not know is, if I have a list of customers that purchased yesterday, I can essentially upload that list in a CSV file, or write some software to push it manually push that over there with a couple of unique identifiers, their email address, maybe the NPC ID that they would that gets appended to the URL when someone clicks on a page, send that data back into the Facebook platform. And then and then you'll you'll be optimizing that way. Also, you'll have server platforms that can optimize. And so you might the net effect, if you're doing both of those, you might actually get more optimization data than you were with the pixel. Yeah. But there's more setup more, it's hard. It's hard to say it's harder and logic. Yeah, it's just not done for you. Right, the pixel was he so you copy and paste some code on your site, and it's done. This is another level.

Greg Marshall  23:07  
One, this is like, what some of my clients to like, some of them aren't even aware of what a CSV file is. Yeah. Right.

Blake Beus  23:15  
And where should they have to? Like they do, they don't necessarily need to know that to run a successful business doing, I don't know, plumbing or something like that. Right. In and, you know, that's why they outsource to people like you or whatever. But, but yeah, it's

Greg Marshall  23:33  
well, here's Okay, so here's another question for you from the data side. So like companies like a high growth? How does this impact if it becomes cookieless? How does that impact a business like that?

Blake Beus  23:46  
So Hieros, and companies like Hieros, they all claim to be able to handle cookieless. But none of them really do it. Okay. iros runs into the exact same problems. And the reason it worked really well, at the beginning was because the cookies weren't noticed as tracking cookies, and they weren't blocked yet, because they were a new player out there. And they weren't big enough for Apple to care about for ad blockers to care about. But they still they still are using cookies and everything. And so what Hieros if you look at setting up Hieros, or some of these other platforms, what they have you do for their quote, unquote, cookieless support is either build some way to push data directly into their platform from your server, yeah, or upload a CSV file of your data into the server. So it's the same, it's the same kind of thing, right? Offline conversion, essentially the same kind of thing and they handle the conversion tracking, a little bit different and probably a little bit better for some use cases than like Facebook does or whatever. And it's probably a little bit easier to integrate into their system from server to server than it is to maybe Facebook or something like that. I don't know, I haven't actually done an integration. I've looked into it. But they're, they're going to bump into the same problems. And I have looked at their site and I have seen when I run an ad blocker on on Hieros website is a blocker, it blocks any site that I know that that is running Hieros, it will block those transactions. So they're bumping into the same problem.

Greg Marshall  25:24  
Again, too big,

Blake Beus  25:26  
they're getting too big. And they wanted to push the easy button because they needed to onboard enough clients and copying and pasting some cookie tracking code is the easiest way to get more clients. If you have a sophisticated integration process. You can't onboard a bunch of new clients. If you're a brand new startup, you need to onboard a bunch of clients before you start becoming cashflow positive. And so they push the easy button. I'm confident they'll they already have plans in the works to have deeper integrations and things for those people that need it. But they're bumping into the same problems.

Greg Marshall  25:57  
Well, here's a question, you know, just from like a super high level. Alright, so why why is there such an anti tracking issue? What meaning Why is it such a big? Like? It seems like one of the challenges with digital marketing is attribution we've talked about? Yeah. And it seems like, anytime a solution comes out, it eventually gets blocked. Yeah. So my question is, from a high level, philosophical reasons, why do you think there is such an issue? With the tracking when it comes to the marking? Meaning? Why does each company want to stop or block it?

Blake Beus  26:43  
I think it's a big question. And then as a big conversation, I think there's a couple of different reasons. Reason number one, I feel like that it's, it's so that these big companies can try to gain a competitive advantage. So a lot, a lot of people know this. But Apple has its own advertising network. It's specifically for apps in their app store, on iOS devices, but they have an advertising network platform. So they very conveniently blocked all of Facebook's ability to track and then came up with and then came up with rules that Facebook had to follow in order for them to be partially tracked on the platform. And, and but conveniently, Apple still allows their own tracking cookies on their own ad network. Strange, right? And so So, so that's one of the reasons and here we have to, I don't know what they're worth trillion dollar companies butting heads, and the consumers are over here saying, I just want I just want my shit to work.

Greg Marshall  27:49  
I just, I just want my business. Yeah, no, it's working. Yeah, that's it.

Blake Beus  27:54  
Yep. And then the other part of why tracking is because in the past companies, specifically Facebook, we have the whole Cambridge analytic a thing, and 2016, where they were very clearly abusing the amount of data that was collected, and giving it to their advertising partners to a scary level. And so protections, new new legislation came out. Europe launched a whole bunch of new legislation. That's why there's the GDPR, California came up with its own, like cookie tracking registration or stuff. So there's all these new things that came out, because of the abuse of data collection. And really, most people, most people don't know how much data is collected about them by advertisers and then sold to other average other advertisers. And if most people knew how much data was collected about them, they would probably not be not feel comfortable with that. Sure. But you and I know how much it is. And I'm like, Yeah, I'm like, I still want to use Facebook.

Greg Marshall  29:05  
But yeah, what's my alternative? Right? Well enter the cave and have no internet and no, yeah, access to the way the world right now. And sometimes

Blake Beus  29:12  
that sounds nice. But it's not in reality, it's not sustainable. So so that's kind of the two the two sides of it. The other thing is is like a matter and this is a little bit of a deep, deep and going off the deep end here, but it's a matter of custody, right? And what I mean by custody is, is who owns that data? And are they taking good care of it? Right? So if Facebook knows a whole lot about me where I'm going because they have GPS enabled on my phone, what stores I'm at, I know who I'm talking with, because I'm sitting next to Greg right here for for an hour and our phones are right next to each other. So clearly Greg and I know each other so it's gonna show up. Hey, do you know Greg Yeah, next time we see each other, like, like, they know a lot about me and are they taking good care of that data and and making sure that it's secure? Yeah. So that Hackers can't get to it, are they making sure that they are doing with they are being transparent about what they're doing with that data, and a few other things because people have a reasonable right to privacy. But with digital, that line is lousy. And the laws kind of don't catch up with how fast technology advances and how fast how technologically knowledgeable the general population is. And so there's this like gray area where

Greg Marshall  30:29  
they're really smart people can be steps ahead. Yes. And he's right. And yeah, bad, bad actors and bad people could could abuse that kind of like a sporting event where you know, the play of the other team. I don't know that you know that. Exactly. So you can't exactly easily win. And I guess, so I guess that's probably the biggest thing. And so I think with this with this episode, the, the key changes that I believe will be made from from a marketing standpoint is get really good at in App Tracking, get really good at coming up with true media buying true messaging, and you're just gonna have to do things differently. And the same at the same time, right. So like, you're gonna use the same thought process and concepts that you were using before, when you had access to all of the tracking outside of the platform, but you just are going to do it within. Right, right. And so I just got to get really good now, being able to understand what's happening, who to target, and what behaviors indicate that this may happen. So you're going to use a lot of the same thinking patterns. Yeah, it's just mostly going to happen within that, right,

Blake Beus  31:46  
you just need to maybe shift how you're handling retargeting and shift your understanding of how tracking works. And I would say, take a big step back. And if you're going to dump a ton of time into something surrounding your marketing, I would spend that time and energy on your marketing message and your offer. Yep. Right. Because you're at the end of the day, you're speaking with people. So you want to trigger those, those emotions that are going to get them to take action, you want to be very clear about not only what features your product or offer has, but what benefits and what what that actually means to to them and what they want their hopes and dreams and helps them run away from their fears and anxieties, and focus on those things. So that's where I would do my time and then I would maybe look into kind of outsourcing or offloading some of the technical bits Yeah. To a consultant or a media buyer or someone that you can do some brainstorming with and then can help set up the tracking and everything that demand

Greg Marshall  32:46  
is gonna go up I think big time. Yeah, I

Blake Beus  32:49  
think I definitely think so.

Greg Marshall  32:52  
Well, I think outside of that, I guess we will Blake how to get how do people get a hold of you if they need to?

Blake Beus  32:58  
Yeah, just go to just go to Blake Beus stock calm. And you can you can see a couple things I have going on there I have my SM three membership, which help. It's like it's like a group membership where we do 90% Done For You kind of content creation where you kind of puzzle piece the things together. And then trainings and community and challenges and stuff like that. That's the main offer I have right now. And you can just find that at Blake calm. And what about you, Greg,

Greg Marshall  33:23  
you can just go to Greg And if you need help with any your marketing, you need a strategy call. Just go ahead and book one and we can hop on and talk about how we can help you so outside of that. Thanks for listening and we'll talk to you guys next time. Yeah,

Blake Beus  33:37  
we'll talk take we'll catch you later.


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