Happy New Year. We’re back and excited about the possibilities of 2018. Lets connect better this year - on LinkedIn and IRL - we will be doing more speaking and keen to do more workshops with smart brands around our key themes; what could we help you with?
Rather than predictions let’s open with the Unilever CMO Keith Weed, nailing the opportunities for 2018 in this video. An essential 3 minutes. We agree with just about everything he says and look forward to helping smart brands profit from this.
We are fascinated with how brands sell - through retail and direct.
Benedict Evans makes a good point about the distance between some big brands and their customers.
By launching online, the Davids develop a direct relationship with the customer and can
make informed, data-driven decisions about their businesses
The start up mentality that drove digital products in the past few years is now endemic in real physical products. Method is the poster child for these companies - from nowhere to a global brand listed in most supermarkets, although they did it the hard way, winning retail listings on the strength of their product.
The barrier to entry used to be the need to fund huge ad campaigns that would persuade retailers to give you shelf space, enabling Goliaths like P&G, Colgate and Kraft to use their big budgets - and expertise in media buying to monopolise their sectors.
Now selling direct through Facebook ads reduces the need for deep pockets, as does the clever use of pop up stores. Brands like Unilever see this new competition and are reacting, but with newTV, brands can and do build their business without needing the huge traditional ad budgets.Our US client Noosa buys Facebook ads against their core demographic in just 50 urban areas, where they have good distribution, and it’s working really well. There is more on this topic in the Nov 24 Fix - with data from Accenture and the Economist amongst others.
And they use their size to create new ways to treat their customers - this box of product samples costs £10 - which you get credited back against other grocery purchases - but oddly not against Fresh or Pantry.
The resourcefulness of the ad tech industry in finding ways to track users is remarkable. Playing a mobile game like Beer Pong? The app is listening to the background noise hoping to understand what TV shows are on - and hence what ads you may have seen. Another company is using your browsers ability to store user names and passwords to track you, and share the info with Acxiom. And our friends at KidTech firm SuperAwesome have seen that kids are incessantly tracked; 72m pieces of data before they are 13
But we are probably in the last days of these types of nefarious tracking. Apple disapprove and their new Intelligent Tracking Prevention blocks much of it - hurting some of the ad tech giants. Criteo, who dominate remarketing, expect their revenue to fall by 20%. And the Google chrome ad blocker kicks in next month. Then we in May we have GDPR, although the regulator is keen to stress that May 25 isn’t a Y2K deadline.
The FT have a good summary of how companies are preparing, but few are confident they will be ready. Our friends at PageFair have shared their thoughts on how granular consent will need to be and it’s quite sobering; I would not sign up to their example and wonder how many people would. We have always talked about the value exchange in advertising - but there doesn’t seem a lot of upside for people here.
Clearly this is just a point of view from Pagefair, but it seems well thought through. And if they are anywhere near correct the approach of AdRoll and Criteo would seem inadequate. Digiday have spotted a couple of examples where these firms are taking the view that when users don’t click to deny consent, they implicitly have consent. This looks like wishful thinking.
GAFA & Content
The focus on content from GAFA is going to increase through 2018. But the imminent Premier League rights auction may be too early for a big Tech play - and the FT doesn’t think the Fox deal will affect Skys desire to keep its crown jewel. With just domestic rights on offer I don’t think GAFA will try and compete with Sky - it’s the international rights where GAFA can really make a difference.
But there is one package that allows for simultaneous games and we wonder if GAFA could take a swing at that, to let them test the water - The Telegraph say Amazon have had conversations with the Premier League. And remember Facebook are still hiring Sports experts.
The other big Football opportunity in 2018 is the World Cup and we hope the sponsors - which include 3 Chinese brands - are going to do more than run epic TV ads around the games. We are working on some social content ideas for the tournament and keen to talk with brands who want to get involved.
GAFA - addictive?
When one of the creators of the iPhone and two of Apples biggest investors say Apple has a problem with user addiction - particularly children - Apple has a problem. We have covered the rising tide of concern over how smartphones traffic dopamine hits to keep people engaged but there now seems real concern. The French are on it, banning smartphones from schools and requiring parental consent to open a social media account.
Fold in the increasing comments about business practices that enable fake news, concern over taxes and talk of regulation and it’s clear the benign environment that has broadly welcomed tech, is changing.
Finally..we take the glass half full view of our world. There are problems in digital, but they can be overcome and we are convinced that brands can gain competitive advantage by being good at this stuff, as most brands are not.
But this week we have heard quite a lot of nostalgia for the good old days, dressed up as concern that digital is a con and money will soon flow back to old media when everyone realises this. This trade press article is fairly typical.
Tens of millions of people spend around 3 hours a day on their smartphone, making their lives easier and better. Sophisticated ad opportunities abound - letting brands solve problems for their customers with well targeted relevant and contextual messages.
Whilst the luddites and laggards call for a revival of the good old days, there is a great opportunity to build your brand, drive your sales and make a profit on your investment.
Don’t miss this opportunity.
What’s cooking at The Media Kitchen?
Back on the new business tip - lots of meetings being set up - should we be talking?
Whatever your marketing stack I feel sure we could probably add value. Lets discuss.
And keen to hire a smart Account Director - if you know anyone who is great point them my way
Fix is my thinking rather than that of MediaKitchen. We now have over 5500 subscribers across Google, Facebook, Snap, Yahoo etc as well as many VCs, Brands and Agencies.
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