Google, Facebook Start to Make Direct Play for Co-op Funds
May 20, 2019 | Contributed by: Greg Sterling
Money or reimbursements available through brand co-op programs may be worth up to $70 billion annually in the US. Perhaps half of that money goes unused for various reasons. Both Google and Facebook have become increasingly interested in accessing these funds on behalf of advertisers on their platforms.
Now they’re taking their first formal steps in that direction. Perhaps more accurately, they’re creating formal structures to enable brands and retailers to apply co-op funds to ad buys through Google and Facebook.
Facebook recently announced “Collaborative Ads.” And last week at Google Marketing Live the company rolled out Shopping Campaigns with Partners. These ad units aren’t explicitly directed at co-op funds but they strongly imply co-op as a subtext.
Here’s how they’re formally described (verbatim) by each of the companies:
Facebook Collaborative Ads are intended to make collaboration between brands and merchants on Facebook safe and easy. Collaborative Ads give you the opportunity to go beyond brand advertising and drive direct sales of your products on Facebook. Your merchant partner will share a segment of their catalog (called a catalog segment) with your business. You’ll run dynamic ads with this catalog segment using the catalog sales objective, which allows you to retarget your products to people who have interacted with them on your merchant partner’s website or app.
Google Shopping campaigns with partners allow retailers to accept additional budgets from brand manufacturer partners. It’s a partnership designed to let brands support their retail partners in promoting specific products, growing sales and consideration for both brands and retailers. Shopping campaigns appear in places where Google display ads appear: Google.com, YouTube, Google Display Network, Google Images and Gmail.
The programs and associated ad units are somewhat different. In Facebook Collaborative Ads the brand controls the campaign and seeks to drive traffic to an online retailer that sells its products. In Google Shopping campaigns, the retailer gets budget from the brand to partially or entirely fund its campaign, which is more like traditional co-op.
In both cases the objective is the same: selling more of the brand’s products through a retail partner. Nowhere is co-cop mentioned in the copy explaining the ad units — co-op is a funding mechanism and relatively channel agnostic, although money remains concentrated in traditional media — but that’s what I immediately thought of when I saw each of these announcements.
See related LSA co-op reports:
Learn still more at Co-Op Connect.