After 6.5 or so years - I don't sell media anymore. After helping package solutions for hundreds of clients, with dozens of potential tactics - I've seen what works and doesn't close up.
This gives me unique perspective - and I no longer have a dog in the fight. Sure, I believe in the attributes of ads on television and on local websites - they really do work.
And I think paid search is a great tool. Same thing with programatic ads, retargeting, SEO, email and geofenceing. Once in a while even radio and an old-fashioned billboard might make sense.
But there's one thing that, in my opinion, works the best.
It's no small wonder that Facebook is eating the ad tech industry. The giant social network that nearly all adults use each week (or day, or hour...) has one advantage that just about no other type of advertising can match: tons of first-party data.
Every click or tap or like or comment leaves a breadcrumb of detail about you. While programatic advertising and email also have some of these attributes - Facebook has more of it, and is more likely to be locked to you personally.
I've seen some amazing ad campaigns perform at incredibly high levels for seriously low rates. High engagement rates, click-through rates and, frankly - business results.
Facebook's ads do not just run within its own walled-garden any longer. The social giant is branching out, using that first-party data tied to your sign-in to serve ads in a variety of apps and other locations. The reach is immense, and because the platform has so much data on its users, the ads are often highly-tailored to the end-user.
This doesn't mean that logging onto Facebook and putting your own campaign using the service's do-it-yourself tools is the best route. Because there is so much data and the task is so complex, the average business owner might struggle to put together a top-performing campaign. When I was at KTVB, I was particularly enamored at G/O Digital's ability to use a proprietary software program that sat on top of Facebook's data engine and built custom audience segments and optimization profiles.
Facebook is best at driving in-store traffic, pushing an event or selling product. It can work across the buying funnel and push a wide variety of levers for any business.