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Mobile Fix - July 3

Search, Cannes, Agencies, Delivery, newTV, DOOH & More

Mobile Fix July 3

 

Mobile Search

 

For all the hype around people spending a huge proportion of their time in apps, search on mobile remains in (relatively) good health. With over half of all searches now on mobile and lots of innovation in product there is lots of opportunity for brands – and clicks are probably cheaper than on desktop.

 

But despite the dominance of Google, the fight for market share rumbles on. Whilst Yahoo and Bings quest for search reach may seem like those Japanese soldiers who didn’t know the war was over, they are making some progress.

 

Firefox switched to Yahoo last year with marginal impact and Apple continues to push Bing in Spotlight search on the iPhone. Yahoo has announced some improvements to their mobile search experience – but there is little real innovation.

 

The news that Microsoft is outsourcing its advertising to AOL was a little surprising but the focus on AOL using Bing as it’s default search engine wasn’t. Again its not a huge market share but it makes Bing a little more important to SEO people – although a big chunk of users will be desktop given AOL still have over 2 million dial up customers.

 

The possibility (probability?) of Apple changing the default search settings in Safari remain the biggest threat to Google dominance in Mobile search and the reason we advice clients to spend some of their SEO resource on Bing. But the regulatory pressure could end up being a factor too; Yelp have funded a study which claims Google manipulates search results and this could prove interesting to Brussels

 

Cannes

 

As the hangovers subside and the battles kick off to get expenses claims approved, we can now look at the work that got awarded in Cannes. This is all of the Grand Prix winners. And this is a fun tool to generate your own winner.

 

Did we mix up the links? Its hard to tell.

 

Graham Fink is one of the smartest creative around and his pick of Cannes is worth reading.

 

Tom Goodwin has a good opinion piece on how Cannes needs to evolve, which strikes a chord.

 

Agencies

 

One of the most entertaining sessions at Cannes was Terence Kawaja of Luma Partners (the people behind the infamous industry maps) sharing his thoughts on the ad tech market. Intriguingly his next project is a look at the future of the agency – at the end of this interesting video he talks about the rebirth of Mad Men but suggests the industry structure is going to change.

 

With all these pitches going on we could see the start of these changes – Coke have asked a creative agency to pitch for a media assignment as they talk of reviewing their agency model and this piece speculates a Consulting firm could win one. That may seem unlikely until you look at the work Boston Consulting Group has been doing on digital advertising.

 

The furore over adblocking fuels these discussions and long time media commentator Michael Wolf argues – in a plug for his new book – that Advertising as we know it is at an end. Techcrunch have quite a good take on adblocking and the issues but no real answers. The people that are going to sort the future of advertising are the people in the industry, but whether they achieve anything in the current silos is questionable. We need better collaboration between all the interested parties – brands, publishers, tech platforms and creative thinkers.

 

Delivery

 

Increasingly purchase and delivery are being blended by the innovators in ecommerce. Instacart in the US and HubBub in London act as a service layer on traditional grocery retailers. And Farfetch does a similar thing for fashion.

Getting purchases into the hands of the buyers quickly remains a key differentiator.

 

Two new developments in London show how the rules are changing – Amazon now offer one hour day delivery in parts of East London. And John Lewis are trying to better manage their service by introducing a £2 fee for click and collect orders under £30

 

This is a little surprising, as many retailers believe the value of the store visit makes the cost of the click and collect service worthwhile – one department store believes 3 out of 10 collection visits results in a sale. And a while ago eBay suggested some stores were so keen to get these visits they were considering handling returns for other retailers.

 

newTV

 

Over the years we have had heated debates around the quality of online media research data versus traditional media data. We have always argued that the census style data a Comscore or Neilsen can give is superior to the legacy ways of measuring traditional TV and Print. As audiences migrate from traditional TV to newTV this debate is heating up and the pressure is on traditional media to provide better data. As Sir Martin (who has a number of interests in this debate) says;

 

“Media owners are upset and advertisers are upset”

 

In another sign TV is changing, the Sky Adsmart service - where brands can target down to the post code level – has now clocked up 500 advertisers – many new to TV. (We have always been big fans of the ACORN data that drives post code targeting so were pleased to see our friends at Infectious are using it in programmatic targeting)

 

Of course the other option for targeted TV is online video and Facebook continue to add new functionality as they battle YouTube – they will now suggest other videos based on the one you are watching. Within these videos are ads and they plan to share ad revenue with the video providers. Given video is proven to work better than static ads for app installs we can expect a lot of growth here.

 

Google & OOH

 

With one of the London Underground ad contract is one of the biggest in the world and is currently out to tender. A couple of years ago we predicted that Google could be a left field bidder as the push to digitize out of home took off.

 

New moves in the US support our view – Google now owns ( along with some partners) an outdoor ad company with lots of street furniture including the phone boxes in New York. This acquisition is part of Googles plan to bring fast free wifi to cities and it seems likely that it fits with the Google Fiber initiative too.

 

Bringing this ambition to London would seem to make sense and funding it through selling London Underground advertising inventory does too. As more and more outdoor goes digital – and DOOH embraces programmatic - Google is just as relevant as ClearChannel or Exterion. And one historic anomaly also makes this partnership relevant; DOOH has always sold portrait screens and now that vertical video is emerging as the smart way to develop video for mobile, we can see the same creative truly working across all screens. As this bit of future gazing shows there is lots of innovation coming to the high street and the ability for brands to deliver targeted video messaging across DOOH is going to be a big part of this.

 

Quick Reads

 

Are Apple and Facebook good news for publishers – the FT think they are generally good opportunities but publishers are probably right to worry

 

Upworthy test 25 headlines for every article they run

 

Chinese phone maker Xiaomi is coming to the US – but no date set. This good interview with Hugo Barra is worth a watch. Brazil will be their first market outside Asia, with sales starting next week.

 

A significant chunk of our work is helping brands with Digital Transformation –looking at the skills and organizational change they need to be really digital. McKinsey have a new report on Digital Quotient ,which looks at the digital maturity of a company – essential reading.

 

The response to the launch of Apple Music is largely meh. This Apple watcher thinks they need to do a free service – but isn’t really clear how it could be monetised.

 

Finally few people have combined tech and creative with the success that Pixar have. Their Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter has written a great article on tech and storytelling which, after the Cannes obsession with firsts, is a must read;

 

It’s not the technology that entertains people, it’s what you do with the technology.

           

We are out and about next week and I will be speaking at Google Firestarters on Thursday about Programmatic Creative - adapting and optimising messaging at scale. If you are there do come and say hello.

 

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