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Mobile Fix August 17

Influencers

Rightly maligned for the lack of rigour and accountability, Influencers can still have a role in driving commerce. This NYT piece shows fake followers and views can be industrial in scale but If you have your metrics lined up you can usually spot them. And the UK regulators are taking an interest too.

There are constant innovations — good and bad — as the rise of Virtual Influencers in China shows. But the issue they help on is discovery; with so much choice and so few really efficient ways to get recommendations, influencers can fill this gap.

On Spotify the power of playlists is driving curation with people being encouraged to include tracks on their Playlists. In many ways Spotify curators are the modern equivalent of radio DJs. Gilles Peterson on BBCR6 is an essential part of my Desert Island Media. He can and does break acts through a combination of impeccable taste and an awesome network feeding him new music. The Industry has always looked to influence DJs choices and Payola was a huge issue in the Music business in the past. Spotify now sees the new version.

As the big influencers price themselves out of the market, brands look for micro influencers but managing these campaigns can be a challenge. Some Fix friends have a neat new tech that encourages anybody to be an influencer by enabling brands to reward them when their share drives a sale

With our interest in newRetail we believe there is an often overlooked source of influencer and advocacy — your own store staff. Leveraging the knowledge and passion of a brands own people can be really powerful — as Macys are finding with their Style Crew. We are not great believers in instore tech, but initiatives like John Lewis giving all their staff an Iphone so they could use the John Lewis app can make a big difference.

newTV

One of our many smart readers corrected my Schoolboy error last week — the Amazon games are not until 2019. But the Facebook push into football is gathering momentum. They have bought some of the La Liga rights in India and Champions League rights in Latin America. We have already covered their partnership with Eleven Sports to show their La Liga and Series A games in the UK, with the first game tonight

At the moment the games are ad free but we don’t see that lasting long. With Sports Betting being legalised in the US, GAFA will be looking to learn from Europe how best to maximise ad revenue. And how the games are presented is going to be interesting — it’s not just about pundits.

When we look at newTV lots of the news is about the content and the platforms. But of course the driving force is the desire to dip into the enormous TV budgets around the world. But newTV isn’t a zero sum game — there is huge potential to drive more revenue through addressability;

In AT&T’s most recent earnings call, CEO Randall Stephenson said the company can get three to five times more money per ad sold on DirecTV when using its data to target the ads to specific audiences.

If you want to go deeper, this Credit Suisse report (PDF) from a couple of year ago is really interesting. Look at how targeting can dramatically reduce ad load — enabling much higher CPMs and revenue whilst eradicating wastage; everyone benefits.

Audio

Not sure if Audio is new radio but both streaming music and podcasts keep growing and the ad opportunities keep evolving. There are some power plays too — Spotify walked away from Adswizz when it was bought by Pandora, in favour of AppNexus and their own self serve platform.

This is a good deep dive into what’s happening with Podcasts and it’s clear that a major issue is Discovery again, with over 500k podcasts on the Apple Podcasts app. Ad revenue is just $300m. Huge potential for growth.

The other side of the audio coin is voice and the problem with hyped research is demonstrated with the Information claiming just 2% of Alexa users have bought from Voice. But there are various other surveys claiming as many as half of all Alexa users have bought from it. Along with all those claims that half of all searches will soon be voice we need some common sense.

These devices are reaching high levels of penetration and used in lots of ways. Devices with screens are growing fast too — Google Assistant is now in a suite of new products. We see these devices now as media channels — reaching a highly prized demographic — and commerce will follow.

User Experience

The best way to optimise a media campaign is to to get the customer experience right. That means making sure the creative is exactly right for each placement and that the destination works properly. The best way to waste a media budget is to drive traffic to a poor experience, which is why bounce rate is such a crucial metric.

As Salesforce encourage us to get ready for Christmas they remind us a slow loading site is a huge turn off for consumers — 40% will quit a site if it takes more than 2 seconds to load. Spending time improving customer journeys always pays off.

Halving basket abandonment is probably easier than doubling clickthough — but has the same effect on ROI. In his long but essential Mobile Planet deck Luke Wroblewski talks of Hotel Tonight being 4 clicks and 8 seconds to book a room versus Hotels.com with 40 taps and 109 seconds.

46% say the thing they hate most about web on mobile is slow pages and stress caused by
mobile delays is comparable to watching a horror movie. How is your user experience affecting your ad investment? An Indian tech firm that makes it easier to adjust and improve your app has raised funds to expand into the West

With a constant stream of new ad formats and opportunities (you can now run Video in search results) the growth of Amazon advertising is impressive. A Wall Street bank thinks ad revenue will top $16bn by 2021- eclipsing the revenue from Amazon Web Services.

We have shared a number of posts from VC Andrew Chen on measuring marketing. This podcast is really good insight into his approach. All about the L28

Still some life in old media — UK magazines being bought and invested in.

The Guardian looking at Peak Social. We think it’s more different social, as the 500m Monthly Average Users of TikTok must have come from somewhere

There is an appetite for negative stories on GAFA and we think the privacy angle is getting traction with people. No signs of much change in behaviour yet, but…

Finally…. The Ad Contrarian (finally) sees the good side of online advertising. We agree. Done properly it’s a great way to drive your business results and build your brand. It is just hard to find someone who can help you do this really well.

Cough.

Fix is my thinking rather than that of MediaKitchen. We now have over 6000 subscribers across Google, Facebook, Snap, Amazon etc as well as many VCs, Brands and Agencies.

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