31 Jul July’s Digital Marketing Stories
The digital world doesn’t rest. If you blink (or sleep) you are in danger of missing out on a breaking story. If you’ve not been glued to your newsfeed this month or even had the audacity to go on holiday, don’t worry, here is a recap of important stories that have you may have missed.
Artists of the future handicapped by Microsoft
The summer is always a period of transition and goodbyes. Whether it’s moving to secondary school, University, or graduating, the sun is almost synonymous with farewells. One bedrock of our digital history is leaving us soon, Microsoft has announced that Paint will be disappearing from PCs in the Windows 10 Autumn update. Future generations will miss out on the simple joy of creating a plethora of random shapes and filling them with colour to create artistic masterpieces that rivalled Salvador Dali.
Such was the furore on social media that the corporation swiftly announced that the beloved retro program would be available in the Windows Store. Chalk one up for the good guys!
Amazon goes old-school to ensure digital sale success
It was pretty difficult to miss it. But in case you were lying on a beach soaking up the sun on 10 July was Amazon Prime Day. The third annual 30-hour sale across 13 countries where the digital behemoth that is Amazon slashed prices for a very limited time. The 2016 version saw Americans buy over 16,000 pairs of headphones before breakfast.
What was interesting about their promotional strategy was that in addition to the expected digital and social media push, the brand also invested heavily in more ‘traditional’ advertising methods. It was pretty difficult to avoid the clutches of their campaign, with TV, radio and out-of-home methods all employed.
This tactic aimed to lure non-digital natives into the Prime ecosystem. The thinking is that once a user has experienced the convenience of same day delivery, they won’t go back. A very interesting strategy, going old-school to promote their digital offering.
All is forgiven Google — TV advertising in trouble?
You will probably remember the outraged mass-exodus of brands that jumped ship from Google following an algorithm error that resulted in paid content being shown next to extremist or offensive videos.
It appears that all has been forgiven now as brands are quietly returning to Google and Youtube to continue their advertising campaigns. This, in addition to the EU referendum, has created a recession in TV advertising according to Channel 4’s Sales Director Jonathan Allan.
While it’s claimed TV advertising is just as effective, large brands who were the traditional big spenders on TV have a more restricted budget until exchange rates normalise after Brexit calms down (ha ha ha).
Google is set to update its homepage
Yes, you read that correctly. Google the owners of one of the most popular, yet simple pages on the internet are about to do the unthinkable and add ‘clutter.’ I know you’re shocked, take a deep breath and make a cup of tea before reading on.
The tech monolith is set to introduce a personalised feed based on your previous searches and online behaviour. This switch from user driven searches to AI predictive content has been inspired by Facebook and Amazon. Experts are saying that this shift demonstrates that Google is preparing for the end of search and the rise of the AI newsfeed. Regardless of what the motivations are, it’s a historic moment for a company that has been entwined with the internet since its infancy.
Facebook to start sending us ad messages
Facebook usage rose by 18% over the last 6 months to over 2 billion users. With over a quarter of the world’s population as a member, the company has decided that it can resist advertising to us via the messaging app no longer.
Following successful tests in Australia and Thailand, ads will be rolled out later this year. Before you get too freaked out, advertisers won’t be able to read your messages to improve its targeting, however, it will be based on audience data. We’re speculating that one reason this has been rolled out is that Facebook’s algorithms are currently pretty restrictive about showing users marketing messages in the newsfeed. So… that’s something to look forward to later this year.
Youthful tweeting works for railways
Something slightly more light-hearted to finish with. Southern Rail, whose Twitter interactions are normally apologies for their service had a refreshing voice on 11th July. A young work experience boy called Eddie was given the Twitter reins, The result was a refreshingly youthful voice which was a nice touch from the train line and garnered great PR on a medium that traditionally brings them little other than abuse. Could we see this being a regular occurrence with social media managers becoming ever younger?
We’ll be providing more interesting marketing stories next month. Don’t get too excited!