karl taylor

2 minute read


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, and 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.

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.

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