Facebook Lets Publishers Decide Where to Place Ads: What This Means for You


Adotas talks with Rich Kahn, CEO, eZanga, about recent changes in Facebook’s ad placement policy.

Q: Do you think that Facebook allowing their brand advertisers more control over where their ads appear is a positive move? If so, why?

A: It’s like anything else, people like options and control. When you advertise on a search engine, you are selecting keywords to try to be in front of people when they are looking for you. In Facebook, not only do they know what the person is looking for based on all the data they have, but they probably have one of the most robust datasets for any company out there because people are constantly posting everything on social media.

As such, they should allow their advertisers to tap into this technology, if they want to, because people like choices. Not everyone is going to take advantage of it, but a lot of people who do will likely see that the extra work is well-worth the effort. Facebook gives media buyers a whole new set of data to buy from, differentiating itself in the marketplace.

Q: Although this is one step toward more transparency on the platform, what other actions do you think Facebook should take to become more transparent?

A: If you want to allow advertisers to see exactly where their ads are showing up and where traffic is coming from, then you need to give the advertisers the ability to either whitelist or blacklist based on these criteria. People like display networks and spend billions of dollars on display because they know exactly where their ads are showing and can choose exactly where they want their ads shown. If a brand is super-specific about where they want to be present, or even about where they don’t want to be present, this full transparency gives them the flexibility to make that decision for themselves. Anytime you can add more transparency, it gives the advertiser more control, which means they’d be more likely to spend money with you.

Q: How would sharing where traffic comes from be beneficial to brands and their campaigns?

A: Before this transparency, advertisers had the ability to see where their ads were located, but could not control if they wanted them there or not. Maybe half of these sites I want to be on, but the other half I don’t. Now, I have to come up with a price that makes sense across the entire gamut of where my ad may be showing. This means that although I am spending money on places where I want my ad to be, I am also spending on places that are irrelevant to me, giving me a blended average.

However, if advertisers can go to the sources and say “Hey, I only want to show up on this 50%,” they would likely be willing to spend more money on the 50% they want, versus the 50% they don’t. Knowing it’s a bid environment, they may raise their bids to ensure they will show up where they need, and want, to be. By giving that control to the advertisers, they will ultimately spend more for less.

Q: What do you think this change means for the overall adtech and digital space?

A: Overall, we will see more technology emerge. The added control given to advertisers will increase the amount of time spent on campaigns playing with data, controls, and making decisions, which all need to be managed. As such, there will likely be additional ad technologies that are created to streamline the analysis and management of these campaigns.

In my opinion, these changes will bring growth to the space. As advertisers have more information and the ability to choose where their ad is being placed, they will be willing to spend more money where they want it and not have to worry about a blended mix.

Richard K. Kahn, co-founder and CEO of eZanga.com, Inc., has been a leader in the online advertising industry since 1993. Rich started eZanga.com, a digital marketing firm specializing in pay per click and pay per call advertising, in 2003 with his wife, Beth.


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