( Apologies for the typos last week — writing Fix whilst watching a Brexit focused Question Time isn’t a good idea)
GDPR = Y2K ?
A few month in and GDPR hasn’t had any of the dreadful consequences many expected. Terry Kawaja has a new video celebrating this in his inimitable style. But it may be a little early to call this. A recent decision by the French looks quite ominous as it appears to require a firm to verify that all consent has been captured in a compliant way, rather than rely on a contract with a partner saying this is so.
It’s all quite nuanced but has the potential to unravel the way the industry works. Watch this space.
US marketing ‘guru’ Gary Vaynerchuk is an easy target. He makes so much content and has a very Noo Yawk delivery. And he leads with his chin. Saying no-one watches TV or sees posters anymore is going to get some reaction. Mark Ritson believes he is wrong wrong wrong and his demolition of GaryVs argument has got lots of attention.
As ever, things are not so black or white. The reach of TV and OOH is still huge. But we all know that much of the time people are watching TV or passing posters the siren lure of the smartphone, that just about everybody has to hand, means attention is divided.
That doesn’t mean you should not invest in TV or OOH — but you should do so thinking about how the smartphone can add value, rather just detract. Our friends at Mporium know a TV ad drives search volume and have clever ways to capture the value of this. And OOH players like Exterion are seeing innovative ways of blending Mobile
The way Vaynerchuk thinks about using social makes lots of sense. VaynerMedia is a pretty successful agency with lots of smart clients. His shtick is designed to get attention and promote his agency. Just like the schtick of ThinkBox ( on who Ritson relies for much of his counter argument) is designed to get you to spend with ITV etc.
Smart people know the knack is getting the right balance between channels and strategies.
The $31bn take by Alibaba in last weeks Single Day is staggering and so too is JD.com taking $23bn over the week around Singles Day.
The other China story we keep going back to is Bytedance — now the world’s’ most valuable start-up. This indepth look at the company and its battle with BAT is a good read but doesn’t mention the new CEO
One of the fascinating things about China is that the innovation happens across the market. 7Fresh, the new supermarket from JD.com is clearly mass market and its insistence that shoppers download the app for a better instore experience — including lots of QR codes — will be watched by Western retailers.
And luxury brands are learning from China that online and offline need to be seamlessly connected; LVMH are experimenting with the TopLIfe concierge service from JD.com and sales assistants — globally — uses WeChat.
If you are still not sure of your Weibo or your WeChat the New York Times has an excellent guide to Chinese Social media. If you want to dig deeper the latest Kantar report on Social Media Impact in China has lots of interesting data
And an ad exec who has moved back from Shanghai to New York laments going back in time.
Following the LA Concept store we mentioned a few weeks ago Nike now has a flagship store in New York with similar technology. Like 7Fresh in China, shoppers are encourage to use the Nike app (on their own phone) to interact with the QR codes throughout the store, enabling customers to get much more from their visit. With lots of customization and personalisation, as well as a Sneaker Museum this is what we mean when we talk about Brand Cathedrals.
The other master of Brand Cathedrals is Apple and their new store in Paris sounds fabulous.
I missed what sounds like an excellent Firestarters on the Future of Search. From Neil Perkins great write up i was delighted to see someone call out the spurious stats on how big voice search will be. This speaker has expanded on their talk with a good article on the future of search — covering Voice in some detail. And you can go deeper here with advice on optimising your site to better handle voice search.
It’s easy to underestimate the pace of change in search — it’s not that long since the smart new strategy was to use video and images, as Google favoured richer content. But no longer; it seems fewer videos are appearing in results.
Some interesting research on how people are using their Alexa and Google Home devices. No huge surprises — around half of owners use the device daily or more and the obvious use cases dominate — music, weather, info and timers. More controversially the research suggests almost half of users have bought through these devices. Most purchases are from Amazon or Google but food delivery is popular too. If you are a QSR brand there is some potential here.
The battle for distribution of these services is going to be critical; Siri has the iPhone, Alexa the Echo and Google has both Android and the Home. But how do they expand? Google are trying to ‘hack’ Siri to get more usage of Assistant on the iPhone
I have been using the newTV term for years as it seems to capture the opportunity for the reinvention of TV across new devices and in new formats ( from the short to the long binge watching experience). With the industry love for three letter acronyms (TLAs) we now get OTT and CTV and here we is an explanation of the differences. We are going to stick with newTV.
YouTube almost define this space. Their mix of UGC and professional content shows how much things have changed and their hunger to be on more devices and have more business models, helps drive the space forwards. Now they are showing free full length Hollywood movies — and in a separate announcement tell us they will now show two pre roll ads rather than one.
One of the issues for GAFA in new TV is that whilst people can and do watch on smartphones, they also want the option of watching on the big screen. There are various ways around this — Chromecast, Firestick etc. But now Amazon are bidding to buy some of the US TV stations that show big sports games, which Disney has put up for sale. Is that a significant new strategy?
Neither have much that will be new to Fix readers, but both are worth reading, if only to be reminded how big a deal the shift to new TV is — for everyone in the value chain.
The relentless rise of the DTC brands impacts newTV too. As the brands that traditionally spend on TV shift money to digital, all the TV networks are very keen on DTC bands that do the opposite; shifting money out of Facebook and Instagram and into TV.
NBC is chasing DTC brands and offering a range of services over and above just airtime. The DNA of these brands is performance and there is a theory that the demands of the new brands will shape how TV is traded in the future.
We see quite a lot of interest in good old fashioned cheap reach from some digital brands; the CEO of Trivago has apparently been talking up the benefits they saw by chasing cheap reach on TV and OOH.
One other thing that differentiates DTC brands is their attitude to data. They are totally data driven but will also use their direct relationship with customers to get a much deeper understanding. Which means their marketing can be much smarter. The old adage of you don’t ask you don’t get works here.
Hard to ignore the noise around Facebook. The long NYT article on their ways of dealing with the various scandals has caused a lot of controversy in the US. Their explanation of hiring a right wing PR firm and spreadng stories about Soros etc was shared right before Thanksgiving. Nick Clegg has his work cut out.
Reading an interview with Snap CEO Evan Spiegel you see some parallels — he isn’t interested in how the markets perceive Snap as he is looking years ahead.
But there is little sign that any of this has affected usage of Facebook.
LinkedIn expect to make $2bn in ad revenue this year. And eBay plan to take more in advertising with a new tech stack
Identity is going to be a huge issue as GDPR precludes much tracking. A new approach from Flashtalking looks promising. The question is whether Identity can be shared across vendors and platforms.
A Swedish service that lets people buy now and pay later is working well with ecommerce — especially that aimed at the young. Interesting new business model.
Seth Godin has a new book on Marketing — here he asks if marketing is evil
A car ad written by AI? Having one of our favourite Digital Creatives involved probably helped too.
The death of Beacons? Android doesn’t support Nearby notifications any more.
The latest Deloitte Global Mobile survey is out — always lots of insight
We have long used a Venn diagram of people who talk about Big data and people who understand Big Data. Not a lot of crossover. So the news that marketers struggle to get the most out of data isn’t a surprise.
There are still some discounted tickets for Fix readers to attend The TBD conference Great speakers lined up from Google, Uber, Lego and many more. Use the code TBDCONF50 for half price tickets
Finally a great podcast — Tom Ollerton talking with P&Gs global Media Director. Gerry D’Angelo. Lots of good stuff in here. A must listen.
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