Why is Microsoft Changing Ad Campaigns Without Permission?

Microsoft may be creating campaigns and spending your money without you knowing about it… LinkedIn is working on a freelance marketplace, YouTube adds a nice new analytics tool, and more.

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Exclusive: Microsoft May Be Changing Your Campaigns Without Your Consent

Microsoft has started to change things in some ad campaigns — without the consent of the advertiser.

And we’re not talking about campaign names here.

We’re talking about big levers.

Some marketers are receiving this email from Microsoft:

I’m sorry, what?!

This makes Facebook’s infatuation with machine learning look like an act of holy benevolence.

Back to Microsoft’s email:

The email contains a link to a form that managers of affected accounts have to fill out by Tuesday to opt-out:

(At first, I thought this was a phishing link, but we reached out to Microsoft and they did confirm the email came from them.)

As far as we can tell, it’s only a test group — so if you didn’t get this email, in theory you’re not going to be affected by this.

But how many marketers got this email and didn’t see it?

To be fair, other ad platforms try this too. Google has something they call Auto Applied Recommendations — but you have to manually opt in for that:

This Microsoft implementation makes people opt-out.

As far as I can tell, we’re the first media outlet to report on this.

We actually learned about it on Wednesday, but held the story until we heard back from Microsoft.

But you would have heard it Wednesday too if you’re in our Slack community — because it was a member who shared that email with us all in there. It’s free to join — just go to TodayInDigital.com/slack or tap the link in this episode’s notes.

LinkedIn Planning Freelance Market: Report

Heads up if you find freelancers for your agency or brand on places like Upwork or Fiverr:

LinkedIn is said to be developing a competitor — a freelance marketplace that would let businesses find, contract, and pay freelancers — all on the LinkedIn site.

They do have a tool already that provides part of that — it’s called ProFinder — but that service doesn’t manage the hiring and paying workflow.

Honestly, this is one of those genius no-brainer ideas. LinkedIn already has professionals and freelancers — why not connect them, and maybe take a cut of the project fees along the way.

YouTube Adds Video-Comparison Analytics

YouTube has a nice new tool that will let you compare the performance of multiple videos.

You’ll find it in the Analytics section of YouTube Studio, of course.

You can actually chart the performance of up to 100 videos at a time, as long as those videos were published from 2019 and later.

It’s a pretty nice looking chart too — easy to see which ones did the best, and which the worst:

You can have it graph specific performance time periods like the first 24 hours, the first week, and so on. And a number of metrics are available like Views, Impressions, Click through rate, Average percentage viewed, Likes, Dislikes, and more.

It’s a little tricky to find, and the trick is:

  1. Once you’re in Analytics, click on Advanced Mode in the top-right corner

  2. Then Compare To — again, it’ll be in the top-right corner

  3. And finally click “First 24 hours video performance” in the top-right pull-down menu

Podcast Ad Industry Continues to Consolidate

The consolidation of the podcast ad industry continues. 

We learned today that iHeartMedia will acquire Triton Digital for $230 million. [news release]

iHeartMedia is the biggest owner of American radio stations and this acquisition can only mean they’re planning to invest deeply into its podcast business.

That deal includes Triton’s content delivery system that dynamically inserts ads into audio streams and podcasts, and reporting tools that can track and create audience groups.

Quoting MarketingDive:

Gimlet Drama

Spotify, you might recall, bought the Gimlet podcast network last year.

And there’s some drama happening there this week.

Two of its key talent are on leave after a blow-up over union organizing.

PJ Vogt [Twitter] and Sruthi Pinnamaneni [Twitter] of the wildly popular podcast Reply All are stepping away from the show, after a former Gimlet producer accused them of creating a “toxic dynamic” at the company.

Facebook’s Report on COVID Impact on Small Business Sales

Facebook today released its State of Small Business Report — a survey of more than 30,000 small business owners around the world.

Some key findings:

  • All sectors are seeing lower sales numbers that they saw last year

  • But the segment of businesses that don’t offer any digital sales channel dropped dramatically from 35% to only 13%.

  • They found that 70% of small businesses in minority communities had lower sales — while only 41% in non-minority communities had that decrease

Follow My TikTok!

Don’t forget, I’m now posting daily Digital Marketing Secrets on my TikTok account. Mostly web tools we use here at the agency that are super-helpful. You can find me there as @TodMaffin.

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