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Mobile Fix - March 3

FOMO

Talking with young, early adopters of Snapchat we found a major drive was fear of missing out. By not using Snap they risked missing some good news or a joke from friends. And given the ephemeral nature of Snap content, they had to keep checking – inculcating the behavior.

Now that widespread habit is inducing FOMO amongst investors with shares priced at $17, towards the high end of estimates, valuing the company at almost $24billion. They opened at $24 making it worth $33bn.

I guess the question is whether Snap turns out to be an Apple – creating a conveyor belt of new products that capture the imagination of affluent users – or a Twitter, where the initial idea is so strong that it seems to preclude new product developments.

Just as happens with Apple, there will be plenty of people to copy the good ideas but if your audience chooses to stay with the innovator, rather than drift to an imitator, you can do very well.

A smart VC points out one reason for reticence - Snap have just signed a 5 year deal with Google for Cloud Services - and a fear is that this bill could keep growing. With Amazon and Microsoft the main competitors to Google Cloud it's another example of how GAFA can control the ecosystem.

A really good take on the current state of Social can be find in this podcast with Oliver Luckett, the guy behind taking Disney and Pixar Social and the founder of Audience, where he drove social for a wide range of Celebs. Start around 20 minutes in for his take on the current ecology. His new book Social Organism is a must read.

ROI

A key quote from the Sorrell interview sums up the biggest challenge we face;

An FT piece rather hysterically says Advertisers are trapped in an age of online obfuscation but Google have shared some insights into the ways they are measuring the value they create.

Brands want to understand their ROI and whilst there is an acceptance that old school TV drives brand equity, people still look for proof. The general view, from one of the Dons of Ad effectiveness, is that the optimum campaign is 60:40 in favour of long term brand building versus short term sales activation. But now more campaign focus on the short term – usually digital. So many see that as bad.

The author of this study Les Binet works for the same agency whose CEO believes there is a divide between ads that drive culture and those that are marketing collateral. And the culture shifting ads have no use for data.

Of course this is a false distinction. Good ideas work across all channels and can be made to achieve both goals. It used to be called integration, but we have always preferred amplification. The Board of a business care about the brand health measured through sales; the long term brand equity work has a lagging effect but the activation is more short term.

Both are essential and digital can and does deliver both.  Today’s challenge is how to best blend all channels, but few are getting this right. As Binet says

“Digital media is making mass media work better and that potential effectiveness is much higher. But while potential effectiveness has increased. Actual effectiveness has not,” 

NewTV

Interesting week for GAFA and the evolution of TV;

We are not in Kansas anymore.

This is smart thinking on what new TV might look like – and it’s all about Live.

Programmatic 101

In our many conversations around this space we have come to realise that Programmatic is the Scientology of the marketing world.

It’s a bit of a mystery, which few seem to really understand. Its enthusiasts are passionate disciples but any attempt to better understand quickly leads to an almost impenetrable set of jargon and theories.

But with so much money and enough smart people involved, it can’t be written off as a fad.

We are big believers, as done correctly Programmatic unlocks the potential of digital  - significant reach against discreet audiences, with a tailored message. And the ability to measure the effect in terms of online action, store visit and the effect on brand metrics. It’s not perfect, but plenty of people are growing their business rapidly using these tools.

Just how we persuade non believers remains a challenge.  The Guardian point out that we need to restore brands faith – making the point that context has to be recognised as an important factor. This piece from a prolific industry commentator expands on this.

But the premium quality content guys need to demonstrate that context is a factor worth investing in. There is some research supporting this but it’s not that widely known; it is worth reading these studies and sharing them with your agencies

We still see scope for more proof and keep trying to pull together a UK study that would measure the brand effect between premium sites and a more general buy. If anyone is interested in getting involved, let me know.

MWC

We didn’t make MWC but you can get just about everything here in London, other than the fun (One friend saw Will.i.am in Soho House Barcelona every night)

Two other Fix friends shared good reports on what they found interesting. As well as new handsets, the main themes were 5G, VR and Cars.

Google trumpeted their success with Cardboard – 10 million Viewers shipped and 160m downloads of Cardboard Apps on Google Play – and announced new content from Sky and others.

Apple doesn’t show up in Barcelona (and nor did Samsung this year) but the constant improvement in Android devices raises the bar for the iPhone 8. VR will play a big part in that as could face recognition with their latest acquisition

Quick Reads

There are now over 10000 Alexa Skills. The problem now is discovery

Net A Porter founder joins rival FarFetch – unfinished business, given how she was treated

Will AR be big in retail? Unilever CMO Keith Weed seems to think as he shared this on LinkedIn

SoundCloud enter the streaming wars – all the music everyone else has plus their unique UGC content – including new Kanye.

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