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Snapchat opens its advertising API to everyone

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Snapchat is going all in on automation.

More than a year after Snapchat’s parent company Snap officially launched its advertising API for approved developers to build software to programmatically buy ads on Snapchat, the company is opening up the automated ad-buying toolkit to all advertisers, agencies and third-party developers, Snap announced on Tuesday.

Through Snap’s Marketing API, companies can develop their own programs to buy and target Snapchat’s vertical video Snap Ads and Sponsored Filters. They can access the API — which is no different from the one previously only available to approved ad tech firms — and its corresponding documentation on Snap’s developers site.

“We’ve been listening closely to third-party developers as we transition Snapchat ad products onto our self-serve platform. Today we’re opening up our Marketing API to give every developer tools to build the Snapchat ad solutions that perform best for them and their customers,” said Snap’s director of revenue programs, James Borow, in an emailed statement.

For advertisers, the Marketing API removes the need to go through Snap’s direct sales team, pay for third-party software or manually place each ad buy using Snap’s self-serve ad-buying tool, Ad Manager. For agencies, it can reduce the reliance on outside vendors to manage clients’ Snapchat campaigns and increase their flexibility and control over those campaigns. And for developers, it can enable them to erect new ad-buying dashboards to serve more niche needs than what may be satisfied by larger, more general ad tech firms.

And for Snap, the Marketing API could further fuel its advertising revenue. Over the past year, the company’s ad revenue has grown in tandem with advertisers’ growing adoption of Snap’s programmatic tools to buy its ads. To that end, the recent loss of its global ad sales boss may not be such a hit to Snap’s business because of his focus on direct sales and the company’s growing emphasis on programmatic sales.

Last week, Snap said that 90 percent of the Snap Ads sold in the fourth quarter of 2017 were bought programmatically through its ad API or self-serve Ad Manager. The company is expected to double down on programmatic this year by making more of its premium ad formats available through its automated ad auction, Snap execs said during last week’s earnings call.

“The engine that drove the growth in the fourth quarter and will continue to drive our growth really is the auction platform. That’s really where things are heading,” Snap CFO Drew Vollero said last week.

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Short Form Video and the Evolution of Customer Engagement

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Video is a powerful component of an intelligent content mix. Today, as digital trends evolve, brands are investing further in video assets to drive experiences that are more dynamic for their customers. Still, ephemeral channels like Instagram stories and Snapchat have disrupted traditional video production, and challenged brands to develop shorter, more personalized content to address their audiences.

To uncover how brands are currently activating short-form video in their engagement strategies, Olapic collaborated with Worldwide Business Research (WBR) on a survey of marketing leaders. Download the full report to learn insights such as:

  • 90% of marketers surveyed are using short-form video in their marketing efforts
  • 74% of marketers surveyed report short-form video performs either “exceptionally well” or “very well” in campaigns on Facebook
  • 66% report a lack of production quality as an obstacle in activating short-form video across channels

Download the full report by filling out the below form.

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IPG credits media and creative networks after third quarter revenue rise

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Interpublic Group has reported net revenue of $1.9bn for Q3 of 2018 – an increase of 3.4% on the same period last year.

The New York-based holding company, which counts McCann, FCB and Mullen Lowe Group among its stable, announced net profit of $161m in the quarter.

Net revenue for the first nine months of the year stood at $5.62bn, up 5.2% on 2017, as the marcomms group recorded net profit of $292.7m.

"We are extremely pleased with our performance this quarter and year-to-date,” said IPG chairman and chief executive Michael Roth. “We continue to deliver notably strong growth in the US and in many international regions.

“These results were driven by strong top- and bottom-line performance in media, as well as growth from our three global creative networks, our marketing services agencies and our digital offerings.”

Roth heralded IPG’s $2bn acquisition of data marketing business Axciom this week as another source of optimism for the marcomms business.

"With the completion of the Acxiom acquisition, we have a strengthened position to help clients succeed in a world where data-driven marketing solutions are increasingly core to brands' success,” he said.

“We also feel that we remain positioned to achieve our previously stated goal of net revenue organic growth of 4.0% to 4.5% and margin expansion of 60 to 70 basis points.”

IPG’s results come a day after rival Publicis Groupe posted a net revenue rise of 1.3% for Q3.

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Marketing with real meaning: the importance of a good citizen marketing strategy

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Can a company or a brand really market with genuine meaning and be a good citizen? In the first of a two-part blog, Jennifer Wilson of Way To Blue examines the Good Citizen market strategy.

I’ve worked in the marketing industry for over 20 years around the world and too often brands, particularly in the wellbeing space, stagger between pushy messages with veiled product promises to bland meaningless promotional tweets. A different approach based on delivering real consumer value can cut through the noise, develop customer loyalty and engage your audience.

We throw around terms like ‘brand citizenship’, ‘corporate social responsibility’ and ‘reputation management’ as part of the concept of brands working to project an identity of themselves as caring, sharing, trustworthy members of society. I don’t feel this goes far enough and brands must push themselves to be Good Citizens and actively pursue this as a strategy.

Good Citizenship Marketing is when a brand understands its evolving role in society, proactively acts with purpose and chooses to invest in positive acts both to improve perception of it as a brand and as a tool to build trust. Good Citizenship goes hand-in-hand with reputation management but is a more active way of building trust.

Although it might seem obvious that brands need to do this, there are tangible reasons to work on Good Citizenship:

  • It’s easier to hire staff – 93% of us are influenced by wanting to work for Good Citizens
  • It increases business – 70% of us are likely to not buy from a business that doesn’t demonstrate Good Citizenship
  • We’re likely to be proud to work for Good Citizens – 72% of us want to work for companies led by CEO’s who actively work to build Good Citizenship practise

The ‘image’ of Good Citizenship

Brands always want to project a perception of good citizenship, but walking the walk is more important than talking the talk.

Johnson & Johnson, one of the world’s most successful medical devices, product, pharmaceutical and consumer packaged goods companies, also ranks highly when it comes to fines around products – most recently £3.6bn related to talc (currently subject to appeal).

Johnson & Johnson has traditionally worked hard to retain its good reputation and it will be interesting to see how it counters the negative effects of both this Baby Powder ruling, and the findings relating to their vaginal mesh products. Johnson & Johnson is an active participant in many clinical trials – a way to use good citizenship to rebuild its corporate credentials, which may be why the brand chose the good citizenship route.

Coca-Cola is well known as a soft drink, but they are also one of the most reputable brands in the world – with solid leadership and vision, strong environment credentials (more than 40% of the bottle is plastic recycled by Coke), and increased emphasis on low/no sugar drinks. That said – producing over 110bn plastic bottles a year – most of which end up in landfill or oceans remains a problem for them they are yet to overcome. Good Citizenship would be a good focus to try and address this.

When trust is gone

Sadly, the Good Citizen Marketing Strategy is most useful and visible when something goes wrong. Mistakes happen, we know that, particularly in the health and wellness space and these stories get a lot of press and social commentary that can set a brand back years. Countering a situation can be hard – the trust that has been built up over the years can be destroyed by a single incident. Rebuilding trust is hard and will take time. Working out where to start can be a huge challenge that brands must face head on.

The same applies to brands or products linked to health or lifestyle outcomes, such as tobacco, fast food and gambling brands, getting on the front foot and positioning yourself differently in the mind of consumers can be critical to getting traction and, more importantly, an audience where you might otherwise be an outcast.

Jennifer Wilson, global head of health and wellbeing, Way to Blue

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