In a recent quarterly earnings report, Facebook reported a 30% increase in ad prices year-over-year. It also delivered 12% more ads delivered which is a function of more impressions driven by higher usage among existing users or new users to the platform or both.

The truth is, there are only so many levers you can pull in order to effectively contain costs. I’ll outline them and give specific reasons why.

Increase your inventory — As you narrow your audience pool, the likelyhood of you incurring more competition (therefore potentially increasing prices) goes up. …


One of the most important but hardest decision companies face is defining a good attribution method. Simply put, there are a lot of different ways and given the fragmentation and lack of data sharing it’s an equally important and challenging decision.

Attribution is a method of assigning a conversion (event and/or value) to a particular source. By analyzing attribution, you can confidently measure CAC and therefore better manage spend.

  • Last Touch: Gives credit (click or view) to the last source. This is most common amongst Google Analytics users. The downside is other channels don’t receive any credit where they may…

Apple recently shook the advertising world when it announced it will more or less be eliminating IDFA. By forcing advertisers and brands to show a App Tracking Transparency (ATT) prompt, it gives users more control over if they would like app activity to be collected. It also resurfaced a new attribution approach and API called SKAdnetwork.

What is IDFA and what does it do?

IDFA stands for Identifier for Advertising and is the counterpart to Google’s Mobile App Identifier, Google Advertising ID. IDFA accomplishes two things:

  1. It is the “connective tissue” for Mobile Marketing Partners (i.e. Singular, AppsFlyer, Branch, etc.) to reconcile clicks to installs. Put another way…


Recently, Facebook announced a new app install tactic called Automated App Ads. While there are some limitations, I believe there is good reason to test this alongside the more legacy app install approaches.

Can be selected upon campaign setup

What is Automated App Ads?

Automated App Ads (AAA) are an automated ad type that grants Facebook more freedom to place ads it feels will yield generate more efficient app installs and/or in-app events. In practice, this allows the machine learning to work with less constraints therefore working more efficiently.

How does it work?

You’ll need to give one ad set different media variants (images, headlines, copy…


Performance marketers are often measured against the effectiveness of marketing dollars. A fantastic way understand advertising effectiveness is through measuring incrementality.

Incrementality is the measurement of impact that can be reasonably attributed to advertising spend.

Measuring these effects of advertising remains quite challenging even with granular level data. In recent years, Facebook has brought incremental lift tools across conversion and brand. You can combine the two for what Facebook is calling a Power Lift Study. They can be applied account wide or to specific campaigns.

Because I’m a performance marketer, I’ll focus on conversion lift. The design involves taking two…


Wow, 2020 has been a crazy digital advertising year. For many, Facebook provided historical performance. The landscape didn’t disappoint in the amount of tracking changes either. From IDFA getting an overhaul in iOS14 to an increased effort around third-party cookie tracking, the landscape is moving faster than ever.

Tracking and attribution (through matching) is paramount for most performance advertisers. Without it, you can’t see how your ad dollars are performing. That’s why having a direct server-side event is so important.

What is server-side event sending?

In a nutshell, this is a pathway in which you can send data from your server directly to Facebook’s servers…


As an advertiser, what is Facebook trying to accomplish? The answer is it’s designed to predict who your next customer will be based on whatever your pre-determined objectives is. With that, creative is one of the most important variables the Machine Learning (ML) reviews to work effectively. Creative tells the story of what your brand’s user value is and drives a lot of the signals (that the ML uses) being used.

Product marketers, creatives, and media buyers are constantly working together to find incremental and exponential value adds for their products and to build concepts that can effectively showcase those…


Apple has recently delayed the launch of iOS14 which in turn will delay the launch of a new prompt that will give users the ability to easily opt out of IDFA tracking. The delay allows developers, app reliant companies, and Mobile Measurement Partners (MMPs) more time to make the necessary changes.

Upcoming Changes:

Up Front Data Collection Practices

In an effort to force app companies to be more transparent and accountable, Apple is requiring companies to tell users what information will be passed before downloading. This will be seen on the app product page.

Examples of information you can expect are third-party SDKs, sharing of…


Performance marketers are trained to constantly be testing. Whether it’s creative, targeting, or landing pages we’re most likely always in a test and learn mode. Unlike some other advertising technology companies, Facebook does offer a testing tool that could be useful in your testing journey. It’s the A/B test tool.

Generally speaking, the A/B test tool allows you to answer specific questions that can be backed up by statistically significant results. For example, if you hypothesize that a certain ad creative will do better than what has performed currently you can easily run a test to answer the question.

What variables can you test?

  1. Creative…

If you’re a performance marketer using Facebook, you’re likely well aware of all the ad inventory placements you can buy. Basic examples are Instagram Stories or the Newsfeed. But one that some DTC, non-app install performance marketers overlook is the Audience Network.

What is the Audience Network?

In a nutshell, the audience network a set of apps outside of Facebook that Facebook uses its 1st party data on users to power personalized and highly targeted ads for advertisers. To be clear, this is advertising off of Facebook (which also includes Instagram). For marketers, this unlocks another set of inventory (to scale) while still leveraging the…

Stuart McMullin

Sr Director, Paid Social, GoodRx. Open for good connections — https://www.linkedin.com/in/stumcmullin/

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