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Mobile Fix — October 12

newTV

We know when a new sector really arrives — Terry Kawaja christens it with a lumascape and his firm has now termed newTV as Convergent TV. It’s interesting that the latest Lumascapes don’t include Agencies — all the older ones did. Is that a simplification for clarity or a comment on the industry?

Whilst we see lots of logos here, in this interview our favorite Wall Street analyst Rich Greenfield talks of his belief it’s all about size and the big players in TV are dwarfed by GAFA, so trying to get better organised

He also wrote a good piece on the considerable challenges facing Disney with their streaming service. And a Hollywood lawyer wrote about how he thinks DisneyFlix will work, highlighting the huge risks they must take with their current business model.

Signals

What makes newTV so interesting to us is the ability to translate our skills with Signals into the world of TV. Being able to reach the right people at the right time ( and measure their response) at the scale TV delivers is a huge opportunity.

Facebook have responded to the restrictions in Safari with a new ‘First Party’ tracking cookie, emulating what Google and Microsoft already do . Second party tracking is also growing in importance

Devices

We don’t get too excited about new devices these days — smartphones is a pretty mature sector and replacement cycles are lengthening as people see that the latest doesn’t have that much more than their current one. (I may well invest in the new Pixel as my old one is held together with sellotape — long story - and the Google Assistant integration is excellent.)

But the more interesting space is home devices — where Amazon have been setting the pace. Stratechery make the good point that Amazon had the freedom to innovate in home devices as their play in smartphones failed and he explores the battle for the home in some detail.

Facebook are the latest entrant with Portal, which seems underwhelming. If you have a smartphone what’s the reason to buy this? And given how many people are convinced that WhatsApp is being mined for ads who will want a device in their home that is always watching and listening? Not even Zuck, based on this picture showing he has taped over the camera and microphone on his laptop.

The smartphone will remain the key device — you need the app to programme your Alexa — and watches and glasses are still more peripherals than wearables, as without a smartphone nearby the functionality is really limited

Facebook

There seems to be a conveyor belt of new products from Facebook & Instagram. As they prepare to change the privacy settings on Instagram to share location they have a Facebook nearby map that gives a rationale for sharing. Nametag makes it easier to share your Instagram profile when you meet people. (More QR like action).

And as Facebook Marketplace turns 2, new AI features help by classifying product and suggesting prices based on the photo you take. There seems to be lots of inventory in Marketplace but does anyone know if the stuff is selling?

More interesting to Fix readers, Facebook have a new tool that can diagnose or forecast ad effectiveness. We always try and pretest ads with a modest budget to test effectiveness but this seems like a good additional tool.

Snap

A long memo from Snap founder and CEO Evan Spiegel was leaked so a lot of their future strategy is now public knowledge. The focus on getting the product right is no surprise but the move to age the audience by bringing in older users seems ambitious. But defining their purpose as the fastest chat could make them an alternative to WhatsApp.

As ever, plans are great but it’s all about execution. The full memo is well worth reading.

Spiegel makes much of international opportunities and a very smart Fix friend runs this for Snap. This interview with her is good reading too.

Amazon

More evidence of search budgets migrating from Google to Amazon and Scott Galloway thinks Amazon are bossing the rest of GAFA

But it’s not all good news — as this piece shows people are realising that the Amazon algorithms don’t alway work in the customers favour. This is the achilles heel for Amazon — if they lose that reputation for value they are in trouble.

Retail

A16Z VC twitter thread on what she looks for in a DTC brand to show it’s worth investing in. The WSJ goes into detail of how to launch a DTC brand — talking about the need for a Brand Stack and Darren Hermann shows the evolution of DTC as told through adtech.

But eventually you run out of road with Facebook ads etc and need to look elsewhere — as this article points out;

It’s never about one channel; it’s about doing all of them well.”

Quick Reads

As Uber seeks to consolidate its strong position in Meals delivery — in some markets Meals are bigger than rides — are Dark Kitchens the next flashpoint with unhappy staff?

Google have a good new ebook on effectiveness with case studies from leading brands and lots of good advice. A must read.

Uber have taken some of their programmatic in house

The US investigation into how Agencies handle Media Buying is gaining momentum with the FBI approaching the Trade body to find victims. As we have been totally transparent from our launch and charge only for our, team and time we are on the sidelines here. But there is going to be lots of dirty laundry aired in the coming months.

Lots of work going on around how to identify real news and value context. This is a good insight into one of the key players.

An interesting piece on how Amazon use AI across its business, balanced by a story highlighting the limitations of AI; Amazon used AI for recruitment until it found its algorithm was biased against women.

Whilst getting people to download brand apps is really hard, some fashion brands are finding success with exclusive apps that are only available by invitation. Just as drops have used scarcity to drive sales, the scarcity or exclusivity of apps can be a smart strategy. This evolution of CRM and the ability to harvest data is really interesting

Short Ads are a thing and this article is a good take on how some agencies and media owners are approaching them

Weidens Martin Weigel is a smart thinker and his latest deck on how an Agency can add value is worth reading

Finally… our new Creative Collective partners Forsman & Bodenfors won an IPA Effectiveness award for a great P&G campaign in China. We now have capabilities across every type of marketing and comms and, with all skillsets working closely together, we can help you grow your business. Come and talk.

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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