Why It’s Worth The Long Hours

I still remember one of the first nights it occurred to me that I’d need to stay up and watch how an ad served.

We had been experimenting with a few different global audiences for an App.

One particular audience segment was performing particularly well throughout what would for me, have been the overnight hours.

I needed to measure comments at the same time that I was making changes. There wasn’t any way around it but to power through.

I got together some supplies, queued up some music and movies to play in the background and started combing through data.

As my ads served I thought about what I had always been told about advertising internationally.

There’s a really unfair bit of bias against it, and while I hadn’t thought about it at the time, some of it may have been born out of reaction to the difficulties in tracking verified views.

To be honest, that’s still a challenge, but it isn’t an insurmountable one. Not anymore.

As the results trickled in, I allowed myself a slight indulgence and spent a little longer examining the profiles of the potential users we were reaching.

I watched as users would engage with an ad. Some would have a positive comment, others would tap like, still others would download the widget.

When I could, I spent a little time looking at profiles.

I saw people with lives that were worth knowing about.

I saw people with lives I’d rather not have known about.

They stay a story should have some conflict to it, and this is about the part where I would throw some in. But the truth is, there wasn’t anything conflicting about watching this.

Whenever we start working on a new project, I try to spend some time watching profiles.

I take flack from our team for it all the time and the truth is they aren’t wrong: it’s wildly inefficient.

But every time I find it hard to get through a day advertising, I come back to those streams of profiles. Every time I can’t figure out why one adset is working great and another is falling or need to pin down just which element of a program is driving results, I go back to those profiles.

Because the truth is some of us didn’t get into this to shill, and sometimes watching the people is the best way to remember that.

Why It’s Worth The Long Hours was originally published in Notes On Digital Marketing.

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