[WEBINAR]: How will Facebook’s Conversions API help propel brands into a cookieless future?

Join us for a webinar on Wednesday, May 5  at 12 p.m. Central to find out how Facebook’s Conversions API will help propel brands into a cookieless future.

Web browsers are enacting new policies that limit or block the use of cookies, and advertisers who don’t adapt to these changes may experience higher customer acquisition costs. Facebook’s Conversions API is a Facebook Business Tool that can be used to help improve the performance and measurement of Facebook ad campaigns.

Sign up for our upcoming webinar to gain insight on leveraging this technology to position your brand for success in the cookieless future.

You will learn:

  1. How to navigate the cookieless future with lower acquisition costs
  2. Advantages of implementing Conversions API
  3. Businesses that can benefit the most
  4. Impact on campaign performance

This free webinar is being presented in partnership with Facebook. Meet the speakers:

Mindstream Media Group Joins The NOW Massage’s Inner Circle

With boutiques across the country and plans for steady expansion, The NOW Massage has chosen Mindstream Media Group to rejuvenate and scale their marketing efforts. An audit of current search and social campaigns revealed The NOW could benefit from a refreshing massage of their media strategy.

We’re excited to begin our partnership with the high-quality, affordable massage destination that believes self-care is a necessity, not a luxury. People are looking for ways to relax and recover from the stress and anxiety they face daily. What better way than to visit an oasis founded on the importance of taking time to slow down, be present and practice self-care by staying in THE NOW?

Mindstream will be helping The NOW connect with weary consumers to increase bookings, boost product and gift card sales and drive newsletter subscriptions to support their mission of promoting methods for at-home relaxation. Thanks in part to low buildout costs and a scalable model, there has been a significant response to franchising opportunities. We’ll be helping new locations build excitement with unique pre-opening and post-opening digital media plans tailored to each market. Of course, our analysts and media managers will also be providing insight based on performance and maximizing optimizations to make every media dollar count.

We look forward to putting our franchise expertise to work to drive an enhanced media strategy for this growing brand as they seek to “Restore Your Body. Reset Your Soul.”

[Case Study]: Media Restructure Delivers 55% Lead Efficiency in Pandemic Year

The Graduate Management Admission CouncilTM (GMAC) is a global, mission-driven association of leading graduate business schools. They own and administer the Graduate Management Admission TestTM (GMATTM), the most widely used exam for graduate business school admissions. Mindstream Media Group has had the pleasure of partnering with GMAC for several years to hone strategic media initiatives that grow their business, even in spite of the difficulties created by the coronavirus pandemic.


GMAC found themselves facing simultaneous challenges. The issue of potential MBA candidates opting out of business school to go straight to the workforce, combined with the increase in schools dismissing the need for the exam when recruiting new students, were already a trend impacting the business over the last several years; moreover, the 2020 pandemic caused all global test centers to shut down for months at different times as the virus progressed in each country. This resulted in a large decrease of their primary revenue source (in-person testing), considering at that point all tests were conducted in person.

These challenges needed to be overcome with less resources compared to previous years, due to the impact of the pandemic.


In order to solve these complex challenges, we gathered data and insights from previous years of campaigns and built a robust, yet lean, paid media funnel where the target audience (potential MBA candidates) could be nurtured through their journey from initial awareness and engagement, to the purchase of test preparation products, all the way through to the exam registration.

Based on the historical data, we completely restructured GMAC’s campaigns across all platforms involved, resulting in a channel mix allocation which included paid search, paid social and programmatic display. Creative focused on each step in the customer journey to resonate with users whether they had not yet considered graduate management education, were merely considering it or were ready to purchase study materials or register for the GMAT exam. Specific and measurable KPIs were identified within each stage to gauge campaign success.

The carefully planned funnel, along with remarkably close monitoring of data through our analytics technology and intel, allowed for agile adjustments on all types of allocations from channels, to creatives, to global regions, with the objective of maximizing the efficiency of every marketing dollar.


At the end of the most challenging year in recent times, the overhauled marketing strategy and implementation of the paid media funnel yielded extraordinary results. In 2020, there was up to a 55 percent improvement (decrease) in Cost per Lead and a 70 percent improvement (decrease) in Cost per Registration compared to the previous year (2019). We anticipate continued improvement throughout 2021 as well as funnel stage allocations are adjusted to fine-tune the structure.

55% YoY Decrease in Cost per Lead


70% YoY Decrease in Cost per Registration


Julie Slovin, GMAC Senior Director of Strategic Marketing notes, “The funnel performed so well that the performance gains that we saw this year I think were so significant that they sort of outweighed the market losses that resulted from the pandemic, from an advertising and marketing effectiveness and efficiency standpoint.” Click here for the full interview.




iOS 14 User Privacy Update: Impact to Advertisers

The core of Apple’s targetable ad system, Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) is one of the most accurate means of tracking iOS users. This randomly-generated and generally anonymous tag allows advertisers to track and identify users as they interact with mobile advertising campaigns on Apple devices; however, it has come under increasing scrutiny amid consumer privacy concerns. As a result, Apple’s recent iOS 14 launch included a major privacy update that limits tracking across apps and websites. Designed to improve transparency and control, the new privacy features require users to opt-in to data tracking. This profound shift from the traditional model of requiring users to opt-out will affect all advertisers and every digital platform.

The new privacy features include three policies for apps:

  1. Apps must submit information about their app’s data collection practices through Apple’s App Store Connect.
  2. Apps must ask users permission to track them across third-party apps and websites through Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) Framework. ATT is a prompt that will pop up asking users for their permission. The prompt will be configured by the app, not by the advertiser.
  3. Apps without user opt-in will need to use a new framework adhering to Apple guidelines which will restrict data, aggregate some data and cause delays in event reporting for advertising purposes. Each platform will have variances in the data they can capture and report on due to the limitations required by Apple’s new policy. Like the ATT prompt, the new framework will be implemented by the app, not the advertiser.

Each social platform will have a different approach for how advertisers should move forward. This is a massive industry change, and while the platforms have been able to provide next steps for advertisers, there are still unanswered questions. Below is a summary of how some of the most popular social platforms will address the policy rollout based on what we know today. Our social, planning and analytics teams are working closely together to assist clients through the transition.


Facebook has outlined an initial roadmap to help advertisers navigate impacted areas. Both Facebook and Instagram will be adopting Apple’s ATT prompt requesting permission to track and will also enact Aggregated Event Measurement (AEM). This will align with Apple’s policy which restricts, aggregates and delays data usage. These changes will impact Facebook Business tools and event setup, optimization, targeting and measurement.

ATT Prompt Implications

If a user opts in through the prompt, there will be no change in data use. However, if a user opts out, then Facebook will use AEM which will restrict, aggregate and delay event attribution. This will also apply to advertisers using the Software Development Kit (SDK) to track and measure in-app actions. If a person opts into BOTH Facebook and the third-party app there will be no change in data usage. However, if a user opts out of one or both apps, the conversion data shared through Facebook’s business tools may be restricted, aggregated and delayed. Facebook will be applying these prompts on all operating systems and not just iOS 14. If a user opts out, it could potentially exclude them from being included in a custom audience.

Aggregated Event Measurement (AEM)

AEM helps advertisers measure campaign performance while complying with consumers’ decisions about their data. Advertisers will need to prioritize eight conversion events per domain to collect data. If a user opts out, the highest ranked conversion event, per the prioritization, will be recorded. For example, if an advertiser has “purchase” as the top priority and “add to cart” as the second, when a user makes a purchase from an ad, only the purchase conversion will be recorded. As a result, campaigns will need to be optimized to one of the eight priority conversions.

Attribution Changes

On January 19, the default attribution window in Facebook changed from a 28-day click/1-day view to a 7-day click/1-day view. The 28-day attribution window will be accessible for past campaigns until the iOS 14 ATT prompt goes into effect. Although it will vary by advertiser, Facebook has stated this attribution change could cause up to a 10 percent decrease in conversions. Our social and analytics teams are working together to forecast the expected impact for each Mindstream client.


Until Apple’s new privacy policy is mandated, there will be no disruption or changes on Snapchat for advertisers; however, once implemented, Snapchat will be prompting users for permission to track them across apps and websites owned by other companies. The Snapchat pixel will continue to be supported with no configuration changes and should be compliant with Apple’s new policy by the time it goes into effect.

Snapchat will also support Apple’s SKAdNetwork, an API that helps advertisers measure the success of ad campaigns while maintaining user privacy. A closed beta was completed in the fourth quarter of 2020 and should be available soon. Reporting will be provided in Ads Manager and Mobile Measurement Partner dashboards.

Efforts are currently underway to create more, but two tools are currently available to help advertisers maximize their efforts using their own first-party data.

Snap App ID

The Snap App ID is a unique code that authenticates ownership of the app to ensure control and privacy of the data. It will unlock new features such as self-serve mobile app custom audiences, app re-engagement goal-based bidding, tracking toggle and dynamic ads with more coming soon.

Conversion API

The conversion API will allow advertisers to pass web, app (if Snap App ID is enacted) and offline events to Snapchat via a server-to-server integration. Depending on the information shared via the API, there are solutions for custom audience targeting, campaign optimization and dynamic ads.


Although Android audiences will not be affected, Pinterest does anticipate a decline in Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) available for measurement and targeting due to iOS 14; however, they do not expect any immediate impact on conversions passed through the Pinterest tag for web-based events. Rather than relying on IDFA, Pinterest is suggesting advertisers use emails for audience targeting lists. The Pinterest Conversion API or Conversion upload solution can also be used to pass mobile conversion events through.


For App Install campaigns, Reddit will only target users who authorize Reddit to use their information for advertising purposes. For ad groups targeting iOS 13 or lower, Reddit will proceed with their current method for reporting. For ad groups targeting iOS 14 and above, Reddit will use the SKAdNetwork implementation. The internal team at Reddit is still evaluating how non-app install campaigns will be affected and what next steps should be.

The new privacy regulations featured in Apple’s iOS 14 will significantly impact advertisers’ ability to target campaigns to specific user groups. This combined with the phase-out of third-party cookies by Safari, Firefox and Chrome has created a challenge for digital marketers and marks the end of the way many measure performance. At Mindstream Media Group, we’re working diligently to identify alternative solutions, assist clients with configuration updates and define optimization strategies to ensure efficient campaign management.

[Video]: Influencing the Customer Journey

In this episode of Fast-Forward the Conversation, Director of Digital Investment Chris Hunt explores how we move from theory to application in leveraging paid media to influence the customer journey for our clients.

Fast-Forward the Conversation

We believe the daily pressure on CMOs to move their business forward is real, intense and not going away. Join our media practitioners, as we discuss the HOW behind making meaningful progress, on well-defined targets.


Catch the Highlights

  • The customer journey is at the forefront of conversations with every single client we work with, especially given the unique time we’re in. In theory, the journey is laid out in a clear linear fashion, but in reality, it’s much more complicated.
  • Times have changed. Just a few short years ago we used data like Experian Mosaic® segments to help bucket audience attributes and transported them to various digital platforms and identified traditional parallels as well.
  • We now know the journey is more like a zig-zagging path of multiple touchpoints, moving through all sorts of media depending on where consumers are, what they’re doing and what device(s) they have in front of them.
  • The consumer journey is dynamic. It’s constantly changing. People change. Brands must dynamically be part of that journey. As players in the media game, we’re finding ways to intercept shoppers in the middle of their journey to influence their purchasing decisions.

 The Customer Journey for a Non-Profit Client

  • We partnered with a global non-profit operating in parts of the world struggling with poverty and injustice. They were striving to have a positive impact on children’s lives and in doing so were also influencing the entire community.
  • Non-profits pose a special challenge given that marketing budgets come almost exclusively from donations made by the very people they’re marketing to. This creates a chicken and egg scenario. We need to show the target audience the difference the organization is making in the world, but a budget is required to do so.
  • Creative assets play a significant role in influencing decisions, but the trick is reaching potential donors in the “moment to buy.” In donating, that cycle is much more involved.
  • Real-time data captured by Facebook and Google as consumers moved through the buying journey was used to identify parallels between the current marketing segment of Christian mothers and others. These inputs helped us expand the target audience and shape the points of the customer journey.
  • Insight from the client is invaluable. Through the course of conversation, the client mentioned a desire to target high-wealth individuals at the end of the year, as a tax break incentive. We created a path and inserted the creative at the proper point in the journey to encourage donations from this audience segment.

The Customer Journey for a Mortgage Lender Client

  • The mortgage business is one of the most competitive industries in the country and quite expensive in terms of the competition for lead volume. Our client was successfully reaching their audience through TV and radio, but they were capping out and looking for a way to scale further.
  • We crafted a digital strategy to reach a younger demographic, primarily online to drive incremental lift.
  • The effort paid off. Results coming from that audience were approximately 25 percent greater in terms of house-closing value. Credit scores of borrowers showed that qualitatively, it was a more profitable audience, albeit smaller scale, but incremental to leads delivered via their other tactics.

The Impact of COVID on the Customer Journey

  • Although unfortunate because of the huge, tragic ramifications of the pandemic, it has created an incredible opportunity to analyze data and act on it dynamically and in real-time.
  • The landscape has changed drastically. Consumer behavior is now more addressable than it has ever been. Brands can now engage with consumers that may not have even considered them before.

See the next episode, QSR in a Dynamic Marketplace.