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Snapchat Is Playing A Dangerous Digital Ad Game

Much maligned and often mocked messaging platform Snapchat is introducing a program that will allow third-party measurement firms to track its ad's impact on a brand's sales and to include that data in the dashboards that marketers use to evaluate where they are spending their money and where they are seeing the best return on spend. 

Snapchat is launching a measurement program that specifically addresses marketing mix modeling, or MMM, with four data companies: Neustar Marketshare, Nielsen, Analytics Partners and Marketing Management Analytics (adding to Snap’s existing 15 measurement partners that vet the app’s impressions, reach, targeting and viewability metrics).

Snapchat’s new program will reportedly work across all of the mobile app’s ad formats and will track campaigns’ return on ad spend, as well as sales lift. Those metrics help marketers evaluate how past campaigns impacted their businesses’ bottom lines and where they should spend their money in the future, and they are already available for ads on other platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

The rollout should provide marketers with an opportunity to obtain a truer network-to-network comparison but that may ultimately not be a good thing. For many, Snapchat will be seen as playing a rather dangerous digital ad game. What if performance doesn't match up? What if it turns out that Twitter provides a better return? That would be rather bad news, of course. 

A better approach for Snapchat to acquire a greater share of ad dollars (particularly as the holidays are fast approaching) would be to make its platform more accessible to a wider segment of the population - not just low-income millennials (who aren't going to purchase anything anyway because of their obvious budget restrictions).

Besides, a new report out from Campaign Monitor found that millennials are the group most likely to take action based on an email

Perhaps it's time for Snapchat to concentrate on growing its audience again. 
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