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Mobile Fix — May 25

Today’s the day

GDPR kicks in today and we have already seen the first effect — the tsunami of emails asking if you want more email. It seems that most people have ignored many of these unnecessary emails, so they can’t be mailed any more. The second effect will be more subtle for consumers but equally disruptive for the industry — fewer ads. We believe many brands and agencies will watch from the sidelines for the next few weeks

It seems appropriate to quote the Don of Permission Marketing, Seth Godin

Talk to people who want to be talked to.

Market to people who want to be marketed to.

Because anticipated, personal and relevant messages will always outperform spam.

And spam is in the eye of the recipient.

In two simple words: Ask First.

A big focus of our work is on harvesting 1st party data and we think that this will be a huge factor in a brands success going forward.

Direct Brands

The dramatic rise in Direct Brands continues to reverberate around the boardrooms of big business. Seeing some startups eating your lunch is making people question the real value of the brands they have invested billions in. No one company is that big but together the plethora of DNVBs are having real impact.

And the Guardian have been looking at subscription shopping.

Music

It’s interesting to hear a Google exec say “There’s nothing healthy about a duopoly,”

But the YouTube head of Music wasn’t talking about the Ad duopoly — rather the fact that Spotify and Apple are the big players and YouTube would like to break that up. With another new offering they do have some interesting new product features.

We are fascinated by music as the reinvention of that industry has implications for advertising. Not least the fact that it’s all about discovery, which is essentially the function advertising serves for consumers.

Talking about their new investment from LVMH a Fix friend at Lyst talks about the similarities between music and fashion when it comes to discovery. Much of that thinking applies to advertising when done properly

Another aspect of music that is fascinating is how powerful playlists have become — much of the YouTube innovation is around playlists. Again a new type of discovery.

Retail

With news of Marks & Spencer closing stores there is much talk of the death of the High Street but I thought this Property Consulant sums it up well in the FT;

“The high street isn’t dying, it’s evolving at a very rapid rate — and those that are quick to respond and nimble are seeing some very respectable results. All the changes and challenges in the industry are tantamount to retail’s ‘industrial revolution’. Some companies seem to really relish that challenge are doing a fantastic job of it and sadly, some others are being left behind.”

Zara has opened their new flagship store in Westfield Stratford, with a big focus on ecommerce — with quick picks ups and same day collection. They also have RFID mirrors etc too, and we understand they are encouraging use of their app in store so they should be capturing good data.

It is this blending of mobile and retail where we see real potential — like Abercrombie driving 40k people into their stores with a Snap promotion A new report from Criteo talks of Shopper Engagement and makes good sense but limits itself to online. The real way to win at retail is to get engagement online and offline — enabling physical store shoppers to be -smartly- retargetted online.

The rise of online retail will only intensify — the barriers to entry are so low. Millions use Shopify to build online stores in a matter of hours and now Adobe have bought Magento which is the bedrock of more sophisticated stores. Businesses will now be able to manage — and measure — their entire customer experience through Adobe.

Content

As their Prime Video reshapes the market for TV content and films, Amazon Channels is also making waves — new research suggesting they are selling over half of channel subscription sales — for channels like Hulu and Showtime. Even if these figures are exaggerated, Amazon has inserted itself in another market and created a powerful position.

Running a modern media business is challenging and Vox have had to downsize when Facebook changed how they treated video content, but this interview suggests their approach might just work. They have a range of media brands and its important to remember how diverse the content market is.

The news that Fox are partnering with WSE wrestling in a $1Billion deal supports this — especially as the rights went for 3 times the previous deal. As Fox move away from general content through the sale to Disney, New Fox is all about sports and news — catering more for the Trump base than the East and West Coast.

But the best example of the diversity of content is Fortnite — a game where the top player earns half a million dollars a month streaming his sessions on Twitch. And in social he outranks Christiano Ronaldo in terms of likes, shares comments and views.

Ads

Understanding how each platform is evolving is vital to making the most of their potential for marketing. But it’s hard as they keep changing. Facebook have added a powerful new feature to Instagram, enabling regramming of others posts — but only as a story. This will undoubtedly prove popular and will push more people to create stories. With 150m users of Stories on Facebook — versus the 190m claimed by Snap — we can expect similar functionality to get to Facebook before too long, as they seem intent on overtaking Snap.

Twitter are trialing a new ads product that should improve their offering versus Google and Facebook

The other side of the coin in ads though is measurement — knowing what is working and what isn’t. Multi Touch attribution remains a hot topic and this is a sensible look at how to make it work for you. Measurement is something of a rabbit hole — you can go deeper and deeper. This academic PDF looking at how Randomised Control Tests could be a better way to estimate the effects of ads, shows how complex this stuff can be.

Agencies

It’s an interesting time to be in the Agency business. As expected the Consultancies are getting into digital media buying. If you position yourself as an Experience Agency you have to handle both media and creative.

Will Accenture now play M&A to build their own tech stack? And do they need to buy a Media Agency to fuel this new venture? Recent big pitches highlight that many agencies are still paid on the basis of what they spend, although smart brands are — finally — moving to paying for the team.

Publicis have unveiled their Marcel platform — which is essentially three apps built by Microsoft; one that serves you up 6 pieces of interesting content each day, one that uses LinkedIn tech to help you find people in the organisation that may be able to help and one that lets people share briefs and have teams pitch to solve them. Sounds like their own walled garden.

The smart guys at Betaworks think brands need to be building tech. Brands need to get involved with digital and embrace the possibilities.

I believe the best response for an Agency is blending really creative thinking with deep domain knowledge of GAFA etc. Get that right and you can help your clients grow, faster. Which is all anyone really cares about.

Everything else seems like rearranging deckchairs.

Quick Reads

I spent a stimulating day at an IAB and IPSOS workshop on Voice yesterday. Lots of potential and this article on the current state of voice search and voice commerce is a good read. There is sufficient reach to make this area mainstream now, rather than experimental, and everyone should be looking at how to do better in voice search. And Skills can be a good campaign element as shown by this one for C4s Humans.

Techcrunch have some good ideas on how the Echo and Home can be improved.

China is moving very quickly in AI and are using it to censor uploaded content in near real time — with 10% deleted.

More from China — mobile games on WeChat are proving very popular, with hundreds of millions of users — and much broader audience than -say — Fortnite

The next big thing is transportation is electric scooters. Bird and Lime are very popular on the West Coast and other firms are popping up in other cities. A curious parallel industry has grown up around Bird with people making a living finding and charging the scooters — and being paid by Bird for doing so.

Starbucks is our favourite example of a business that gets mobile right. We always feature them in our Retail workshops as prove that anyone can profit from being really good at mobile. Its mobile payments are more popular than Apple Pay or Google Pay

The NYTimes has a pop at new economy brands by focusing on MoviePass, a loss making start up. Some people are building businesses that make no sense but many more are creating businesses that can and do create value.

Finally…. in the absence of all those emails you won’t now get, why not read my wifes new book She’s Back on rebooting your career.

Fix is my thinking rather than that of MediaKitchen. We now have over 5600 subscribers across Google, Facebook, Snap, Amazon etc as well as many VCs, Brands and Agencies.

If you enjoy it please share it with anyone you think might be interested They can sign up for the email here. And are we connected on LinkedIn?

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