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Mobile Fix — December 7

Plus ça change

It’s still all about GAFA and the usual suspects, but there are some green shoots of change. Do we think this will look the same in 12 months?

Mobile UX

So getting Mobile right is still the main event. Paypal data showed that mobile sales were up 42% year on year on Black Friday. The data on cyber Monday is less impressive as they think much of the buying is office workers who have waited until they get back at their desks. But we keep seeing that research is done on mobile, even where purchases are not.

The big issue on mobile is speed with too many sites being slow to load. The Accelerated Mobile Pages initiative started by Google continues to develop and they share good advice on how to improve speed. Worth seeing whether your development people are on the same page — and always worth running your site through the Google Speed Check tool.

The fact that AMP is a Google initiated project has restricted it’s adoption. They will be hoping that Flutter, their new cross device app development tool is more successful. After many false promises with tech that works across iOS and Android, there is clearly a demand for this type of approach. But nothing has delivered the quality of experience that native apps offer.

Reducing the cost of creating great mobile apps has to be of interest — and they have some good early partners. One to watch.


Some new Mobile apps in China worth watching — could one of these by the next TikTok?

Luxury brands are hugely invested in the dominant Chinese apps but some believe the decision by Kering to inhouse their ecommerce and hence pull Gucci etc out of Yoox Net a Porter is a smart move in China.

The reason? Kering have been quicker to use all the Chinese payment options, which have a positive effect in mobile sales. The same is true in the West — offering Apple/Android Pay and Paypal can have a dramatic effect on conversion.

And the new boss of Alibaba is profiled here — having the invention of Singles Day on his CV may have helped with this promotion.


Mark Ritson has a good analysis of the latest GroupM report ThisYearNextYear. Unsurprisingly he focuses in on the resilience of Trad TV but we all know that smart brands blend old and new. But he does repeat one of the myths about addressable TV — that targeting reduces the need for reach. It may do for some brands — baby products for example — but for many others addressable TV offers the seductive mix of reach and relevant creative.

Take someone like Audi for example. Their excellent Send in the Clowns commercial shows how powerful video storytelling can be. Using ITV it reaches pretty much everyone and evidences the breadth of their range. But in an addressable TV future they could run different version featuring different models so you are always showing someone the car that’s right for them. The latest video tech makes this sort of thing possible.

At a London conference this week the CEO of Sky called on the industry to innovate for advertisers and to make it easier for them to access the medium. TV advertising hasn’t really changed over time

And the plumbing is coming along. Sky Adsmart gives you a wealth of data to use for targeting and the AT&T AppNexus platform is now working and they are bringing the video tool closer to the online tool. ConnectedTV will eventually sit alongside other digital video opportunities rather than sit in its own box.

It’s interesting to see that one of the key benefits of TV is shifting to digital video. Fame was always a core benefit of being on TV and it still is. But more evidence things are changing when we heard that Vegan cook book Bosh was fought over by publishers even though is wasn’t on TV — just Facebook.

And being in Celebrity is no doubt still a good earner but the top YouTubers are making real money — a 7 year old makes $22m reviewing toys


When you see a headline and say Yes!.

Has the growth in digital stunted creativity in advertising? Research from Sizmek shows most agree.

I think this is the biggest problem in digital — and the biggest opportunity. We know that over half the effect of an ad campaign comes from the creative, so if we lift the bar the impact of the huge digital spend would rocket. A major issue is the preponderance of banners and MPUs.

Choosing to treat people as strangers, despite all the data that lets is recognise them, is another part of the problem. As is getting the best talent to focus on mobile ads. What could the team behind the Audi ad do with mobile?

Some people do get it. We hear major media agencies are embracing personalisation in 2019. Why wouldn’t you? We know it works on a number of levels; we have case studies on improved engagement, media metrics and business outcomes.


A new study from the Programmatic Advisory shows 55% of the inventory is standard banners — but down from 76% last year. That is progress but i believe the mobile banner is the biggest waste of money in our business. Most are hard to read and it’s hard to imagine anyone is engaged so the ‘reach’ they deliver is not effective reach. And if you look at bounce rates it would seem fat fingers are behind most clicks. The study is a good read as it shows the progress being made generally as Header bidding and Ads.txt gain wide adoption.

The next big thing is solving for identity and the ID consortium seems to have regained momentum after Media Math and App Nexus stepped back.

And whilst Programmatic is one of the key areas cited in inhousing, this argument (from a client) that agencies continue to have a valuable role makes sense.


One of the arguments used in support of trad TV is how much GAFA choose to invest in it — and Amazon are using it lots this Christmas. Again the clever thing is to work out to combine old and new. Amazon have a single focus — selling stuff — and they figure out the best way to do this. For example they have a QVC show selling Alexa and other hardware.

Their desire to maximise sales seems to be thawing their relationship with the rest of GAFA — after Apple started selling on Amazon they now have Apple Music on Echo speakers.

But their stringent policies can and do rile sellers on Amazon — will the Apple love affair last?

Quick Reads

Nick Clegg must be wondering what he has let himself in for. A new set of leaked Facebook emails shows various controversial ideas have been discussed and the share price has plummeted before bouncing back. Despite the fact anyones email trail contains a mix of good and bad ideas, the techlash is real.

Some smart thinking on growth frameworks

Long read on 2 of the top coders at Google. Good insight into how the company works.

Electric scooters are a new franchise opportunity. And this is the firm that makes them all.

App store optimisation is a big opportunity. Here is how people game the Appstore

More moves in Glasses — Bose have a pair coming next year. With AR audio.

Smart thinking on Digital Transformation from Fix friend Tom Goodwin. There are few more experienced or better qualified in making digital transformation profitable than our friends at Albion

The EU plans for some sort of digital tax are morphing from a tax on data turnover (which would hit all of GAFA and many European Tech firm) to one on digital advertising which mainly hits Google and Facebook.

Podcast marketplace aCast raise s$35m

Finally….we have noticed that some people are going early on Christmas, so you may already be suffering Slade etc as people turn on their Xmas playlists. We are still crafting this years Soulful Christmas Playlist but thought in the meantime you may like this one we came upon in our research. Enjoy.

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