The ONeil Edit – September 17, 2021

Last week my husband and I went to Nashville for a quick 3 day getaway, thus no Edit was published. Having never been to Nashville, I wasn’t sure what to expect. My takeaways were that Nashvegas is an apt nickname, the people who live and work there possess more patience than I ever could for the endless throngs of tourists partying through their streets, and the food is worth every single glutinous calorie. The 25 miles of walking we did over the course of 3 days barely held up against the amount of beer, booze, and food I shoveled into my mouth. I needed two days to recover from the trip. I could not live the Nashvegas life on the regular. Needless to say, I’m happy to be here today bringing you the news of the week. 

Lumber’s coming down, but so many other things are in the way for home builders, Facebook is testing more automated tools, Google’s returning some search terms to reports, and iOS 15 launches Monday. Read on for more details.


On Wednesday, we had our all-hands in-office meeting (so awesome), and checked in on the lumber prices. Happily they’re back down to more reasonable prices (not quite the norm, but far better than they were back in the Spring). Sadly, supply chain issues and labor shortages persist. So much so that there’s simply no way for builders to meet the homes shortage that exists today.

While this isn’t the news we want to hear, there is some good news amidst all of this. Demand remains strong and the home building curve continues to head North. We all just have to adjust to higher prices, longer lead times and a slower pace.


Facebook and Google often mirror each other’s behaviors as ad platforms. And both are moving in the direction of automating as much of the advertising process as possible. Facebook is apparently testing out a streamlined ad creation tool called Ad Strategies that will help small businesses create campaigns that accomplish their goals by guiding them through the process with a few questions. 

I’d love to get my hands on the tool and see how it functions in real life. The good news with tools like this is that it generally does make the process easier for someone who might not be too comfortable with Facebook’s Ads Manager. The bad news is that often by streamlining processes such as these, control is limited. Most often though, I feel it works in favor of the ad performance. Just as using Facebook’s AI to find the right audience for an ad was first seen as a loss of control because advertisers were no longer providing detailed targeting information to the platform, I think a tool like this could end up in the same position over time. 


Search terms are returning. About a year ago, Google removed some search terms in an effort to uphold user privacy. But search marketers complained loudly that they needed that data so last week, Google gave it back! Unfortunately, they’re also taking some away in early 2022. 

Search term info is useful for updating keyword lists and understanding user behavior and the more info a marketer has, the better so limiting views in this area can have a big impact on performance. 


Apple rolled out new products, did you order a new iphone this morning? More relevant for us is the fact that iOS 15 is coming on Monday and with it the new email privacy protocols

“They include Mail Privacy Protection, which stops email senders from using pixels to collect user information; the automatic obfuscation of IP addresses on Safari as part of Intelligent Tracking Prevention; and Private Relay, a new service as part of iCloud that masks Safari traffic so that other companies can’t capture IP addresses, browsing history, location or other data to be used in a profile.”

This means, open rates and click-throughs will become far less reliable for people using iphones.

I love that each week there’s enough happening in the digital space, that I have to sort through the news to bring you the highlights. No two days of work are ever the same and if I don’t keep learning and growing, I’ll become obsolete. That is the most fun part of this job. Change is inevitable and I happen to love it. 

Part of our focus while we were together this week was on the future of Homefiniti and the additions to it that we’d like to make to enhance its performance and usefulness. A lot of that is driven by these changes that Apple and Google and Facebook are making in terms of automation and privacy. I have no idea what the future looks like in digital marketing, but I do know it will look nothing like what it does today and that is invigorating.

As always, thanks for reading along. Have a great weekend!

Molly White

Molly White

I am a passionate early adopter. At ONeil Interactive I help clients put their best technological foot forward while generating high quality leads with digital campaigns that consistently beat industry averages.