• First party data (the most important party in town)

    About every five minutes, a new article comes out talking about the demise of cookies – the kind that contain data, not chocolate chips. With the demise of cookies comes the end of ad tracking, retargeting, and behavioral/locational targeting as we know it. For many of us, this is like a giant meteor hurtling toward the […]
  • How to get the most out of your ad campaign (part 2)

    In my previous post I talked about the importance of using daily budgets, creating an audience structure, and constructing a funnel approach for reaching your audience. This post focuses on the final element, which is usually the most critical one: properly structuring your creative assets. Creative Structure Once your audiences have been divided into separate […]
  • How to get the most out of your ad campaign (part 1)

    Most units at the U of I deal almost exclusively with performance marketing campaigns (vs. brand campaigns). These campaigns have a specific action you want the user to complete, such as apply for a program, buy a ticket or donate money. And at the university, our offerings are typically high-involvement purchases, similar to a car […]
  • The Mighty DSP (and how it can help you reach your audiences)

    You’ve probably heard some talk around campus about this DSP. What the heck is this thing? And why in the world should you care?    First the boring part – explaining what a DSP is. A DSP is a Demand-Side-Platform, which in essence is a form of software used by us advertisers to place all different kinds of […]
  • How to flip the script on the dreaded budget question

    “What’s your budget?” If you’ve ever bought a car or dealt with sales people pitching you a service, you’ve heard this question. Most of the time it’s probably the last question, thrown in at the end of a nice informational meeting, along with some random nonsense talk around “customization to fit your needs.”  If they […]
  • How to use Google Tag Manager

    If you’re just using the out-of-the-box tools on Google Analytics you’re missing out on most of the value gleaned from analyzing activity on your website. Google Tag Manager allows you to easily track things like button clicks, form submissions, scroll depth, video plays, and so much more without having to bother your developer. This is […]
  • Greater than zero

    “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Remember that old line we heard a hundred times as a kid? Whatever happened to it? My theory is that it’s been replaced with fear. Fear that the idea – or, in this case, the ad – isn’t good enough, and if it isn’t a perfect […]
  • Content over commercials

    Advances in technology and media have brought on significant changes in consumer behavior and content consumption. To successfully market and advertise in the current media landscape, you need to be in the business of content-production, not ad-production. Using the term "content" serves as a reminder that you are creating something people should want to consume. […]
  • The ad puzzle

    When it comes to advertising campaigns, it usually isn’t hard to uncover the objective. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle after it’s all put together: The big picture is clear. But what do we know about puzzles? Well, when you open the box, you have a mixed-up set of maybe 1,000 pieces, and the promise that […]