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Mobile Fix - November 30

Mobile First

The new Ericsson report (PDF) is good reading - huge growth and very positive for 5G. The chart above is key though - everyone (virtually) is on mobile now. Now this chart slightly over eggs things as it covers any mobile device but globally smartphones are at 80% ish. And it is pretty likely that everyone you want to reach has a smartphone now.

One issue with mobile has been that its rising share of traffic hasn’t driven a similar share of transaction - largely a product of poor user experience on mobile sites. On Thanksgiving Day, data from Salesforce shows US mobile traffic to US retail sites was at 68% and the mobile share of order was 54% - the first time it has exceeded desktop. But Adobe data on Cyber Monday shows rapid growth for mobile but desktop still the leader.

It is still a huge competitive advantage to be really good at Mobile. There is a good chance your competitors are still average. But you should fear someone entering your market who does get this opportunity.

Amazon

Everyone fears Amazon entering their market. As a new WSJ article covers Google and Facebook are now coming under pressure on ad revenue as Amazon flexes its muscles. It’s no surprise that 73% of ad buyers plan to spend more on Amazon ads next year. But the nature of Amazon ads is different. You can run display like ads across its Ad Platform but a lot of focus is on getting the most of out of the range of options for what is essentially digital point of sale.

Look at this graphic from the WSJ article showing just how many ad placements there are on a typical product search page;

At some point this will be rationalised - like Google did as it evolved search.

Knowing how to maximise instore presence and influence sales has been a separate skill set (Shopper Marketing) but it is now colliding firmly with digital. Amazon is fast becoming a new speciality, just as essential as Search and Social. This (PDF) report from SearchEngineLand forecasting Amazon 2019 activity looks at the range of detail involved and finds that nearly 80% of brands handle Amazon in house.

Within these new opportunities, some may be risking customer wrath. One option is to have your products appear within WishLists - with a tag saying these were sponsored. Now some argue that the tag isn’t as prominent as it could be.

Embracing Dark Patterns in ads may seem like a good idea but as Dave Trott points out, understanding people is even more important than understanding numbers.

newTV

It’s good that more people are coming around to our way of thinking and seeing that ad supported video is going to grow dramatically. The Trade Desk CEO believes that Netflix will launch an ad supported service as a way to keep up with YouTube user numbers. And the Amazon plan for ad supported services is thought to be imminent.

Last week we shared that YouTube were to double down - literally - on pre roll ads, with the current single ad being replaced by two pre rolls. This seems to support the theory that YouTube is rolling back on its plans for a premium paid service; YouTube Originals will now be available free - with ads - rather than within the $12 a month Premium Service

Facebook are struggling with their play in this space; Watch hasn’t really attracted an audience and seemingly they are considering refocusing on an older audience.

As digital channels increase the number of ads, their traditional competitors are cutting back; NBC will reduce the number of ads generally and run their 1 minute Prime Pod in more shows. Getting ad load right is one of the key issues facing the industry; as everyone looks for the sweet spot where viewers are not too turned off and brands are willing to pay well for standing out. Smart targeting helps as brands will pay proportionality more to eliminate wastage.

But the driving force behind TV (old and new) is talent. People go to ITV, YouTube, Netflix and now TikTok to be entertained by great talent. In the old world talent struggled to get on screen but now the barriers to entry have gone. Within TikTok and the rest of UGC the signal to noise ratio is low, but there is talent in there. So people like Jungle Creations can go from a listicle article to billions of views a month in just 4 years. This interview with their Chief Content Officer has lots of insight into the talent and the science to make successful content.

Visual Search

The new deck from Activision is essential reading as ever. One trend they focus on is Smart Cameras, seeing that cameras will have a similar path to Voice devices

Surprisingly they don’t mention Glasses, which we think people have been too quick to write off. Google have a new edition of theirs, aimed at business users. And Snap have a new AI pair of Glasses coming out. The obvious use case where the glasses recognise the person you are talking with is no longer science fiction; facial recognition is fast improving and it’s not a huge jump from the visual product search in the Snap app

The speaker from Firestarter we mentioned last week has a good look at visual search here and she too is bullish on smart glasses. With Apple entering the fray there is something here and i wouldn’t bet against Snaps instinct for product that get teenagers excited.

Quick Reads

A16ZVC Andrew Chen with more good stuff - this time the rise of marketplace in the Service economy

Another interview with the Trade Desk CEO - this time on Asia, TV and identity

Eyetracking research shows that when people are watching the skippable ads they spend a lot of time staring at the skip button

The concerns over GDPR and the fining of the French adtech company roll on. The IAB think all is ok but Fix friend Johnny Ryan isn’t so sure. Still a way to go with this.

Finally...It’s all about Mobile Video. This chart from the Ericcson reports hows how Video will grow from 60% of all mobile traffic to 74% by 2024. We all need to be thinking about how to make compelling video. Watch TikTok for the emerging visual memes. Build your videos so they can evolve and adapt to context. Test and learn which distribution works best. Develop an ecosystem so you can capture the value of the engagement created. So much potential.

Fix is my thinking rather than that of MediaKitchen. We now have over 6000 subscribers across Google, Facebook, Snap, Amazon etc as well as many VCs, Brands and Agencies.

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