marketing-post54.5.0

Marketing Consulting Services: A Hardcore Truth

Welcome. Question: Are you seeking marketing consulting services to help you grow your business? If the answer is YES, then this is a must-read for you. Next, I’ll show you what huge problems business owners, entrepreneurs, C-level executives and large companies now have with Advertising, Google, Social Networks, Top Publishers, The Global Economy, A.I. and more, that are completely taking over the market right now. This is serious stuff, so you better grab a cup of coffee because there’s a lot to know. And this kind of concentrated, million-dollar-like information, you won’t find anywhere else on the web that easily. I can personally assure you.

Now let’s have a serious business talk.

IMPORTANT: Every article you’ll see embedded is a preview. Every article is much bigger and is worth a read. I recommend you to read all of them. ALL OF THEM. Every single one. Just click on the image of the article to read the full resource. Enjoy.

ADVERTISING: THE CHAOS IN THE INDUSTRY
OK, we all know that Advertising is what allows brands to be visible in the market. If your business is in obscurity, then you have a real problem because if nobody knows your company exists, then you don’t even have a chance to sell something, after all, your company “doesn’t exist” to the market. If people don’t know you exist, how can they even choose to buy from you? It’s like a company marketing its products while in a windowless room, without internet, and in 100-feet under the ground. Agree?

“Ok, sure. Nothing new here, Peterson.”

Good. Next, I’ll show you some hardcore truths about Advertising, my friend.
Basically, if you think about putting money in Advertising then you’re probably thinking about buying Ads on Facebook, Google Adwords, Youtube or some other major social media. Correct?

Super. Then let’s talk about Google Adwords first.

GOOGLE ADWORDS: YOUR MONEY FOR ROBOTS
What happens if you find out about this (especially the last two highlights)?

business insider article

Ok, so you probably bought Google Ads and got fake traffic for your dollars. Now, this is a major issue because of a few points: 1) One thing I learned in business is that most companies will only admit their mistakes to the public and to the market once it’s a bit safe to do such thing (like after earning billions via Ads, right Google?), so how long have brands been buying fake traffic from Google Ads? 2) Google is the main B2B channel and part of it is compromised, which means me and you (B2B companies) are wasting money and not finding any new customers.

But relax, we’re just starting (unfortunately).

FACEBOOK: A MASKED REALITY
Many people don’t know about this — including marketing agencies and inhouse marketing teams — but Facebook has some enormous holes in their Ads metrics, which got the fame of Facebook’s 10 famous metric errors (for those who are aware of it):

digiday facebook ads 10 metrics errors

“But every company has the right to make some mistakes right? Bugs exist. And since Facebook is a piece of software at the end of the day, it’s understandable to have some metric errors.”

Well, that’s what I thought.
But let’s take another cute point next:

the atlantic facebook estimative article

“Ok, hold on a second now Peterson.
Are you saying that Facebook’s Ad estimative has been promising to have a bigger reach than the actual amount of people in the country?!”

Exactly.
Now we’re getting somewhere, don’t you think?
The moment you’re about to buy some Facebook Ads and you check that nice estimative reach, which tells how much people can possibly be reached if you publish that ad, know beforehand that it’s an inflated, completely unrealistic number in the MILLIONS.

Millions.
How can someone estimate something with a margin of error around 10 million?!
(by the way, did you know that Twitter accidentally inflated its user base for 3 years?!)
How many companies got excited because of their ad reach possibilities? How many marketing budgets were wasted? And how for long the industry wasn’t aware of this major issue?
Anyway, now here’s what you just learned in 5 minutes:

  • Google Adwords has been sending fake traffic to brands for years
  • Facebook has a bigger audience for advertisers than the actual amount of people alive
  • Facebook has been hiding some major metric errors for a long time from companies

Ok great. So what’s the real worry? These are just 2 companies, right?
Well, not exactly when it comes to Advertising. You see, Google and Facebook are called “The Digital Duopoly” by those in the industry because both brands combined own 84% of all digital ad dollars in the world, which basically means they ARE the digital industry for businesses:

marketing week why fear digital duopoly article

“Ok then let’s just stop giving money to them Peterson. And play organically”
I completely agree with you. But to give you more context about all this whole chaotic scenario and the organic reach game, there’s info you need to read first. For instance, did you know that only 48% of internet traffic is human? Many of your visitors in Google Analytics may be bots. And don’t think you can block them all with your filtered views because some of these bots are really professionally-made (by hackers) with advanced stealth/mimicking functionalities to avoid getting detected. Also, did you know that 40% of all Google searches result in no clicks? This means a lot of effort and/or money spent on content that gets nowhere. And did you know that after cutting the organic reach of Facebook Pages on purpose back in 2014, Facebook is once again giving to the market another lousy excuse just to shut down organic reach altogether to companies so it can become a 100% pay-to-play social network? A rather problematic scenario for organic reach if you ask me, my friend.

OK, so here’s what your mind absorbed in the last 10 minutes:

  • Google Adwords has been sending fake traffic to brands for years
  • Facebook has a bigger audience for advertisers than the actual amount of people alive
  • Facebook has been hiding some major metric errors for a long time from companies
  • Facebook is crushing organic reach for companies on purpose to boost its ad revenue
  • 40% of Google Searches results in NO clicks. Zero.
  • 48% of internet traffic is human. The rest? Bots.

Now, once you know all this, the worse part is having SEO experts advocating in favor of things like Google Snippets in the hopes of getting “more organic traffic”. Like this:

screenshot--google-snippet

GENIUS! “Let’s all provide our content to Google like slaves so it can use our hard work to answer its user’s questions without giving us many visits!”. I seriously don’t understand how experts enforce snippets. This is obviously not “the organic game” you want to put your money on, if you know a little bit about business. Because the more you rely on another business to make money in your own business, the more vulnerable you are.

But I’m not yet done with Advertising because there are two more core subjects to talk about: Ad fraud & Adblockers. Here’s where you start plucking your eyes off from your face.

ADFRAUD: THE MASSIVE MONEY WASTE
Ok, in a happy world filled with rainbows and unicorns, you would buy some ads and you would get some attention in return. Simple. Your ad dollars would always result in real, human eyeballs that if convinced by your marketing skills, may turn into a customer.

The problem? Companies are paying for a lot of fraud. A lot.
You see, professional criminals are migrating to online ad fraud because it’s simply more profitable than counterfeiting goods, tax fraud or almost any other “offline” criminal activities. So why risk getting caught for far less in the real world when there’s tons of money to be made online? Criminals have more business models now. And they’re here to stay.

A famous case that went viral in the advertising industry is The Methbot ad fraud in which Hackers made 5 MILLION per day by faking 300 MILLION video views:

forbes article the methboth ad fraud hackers

But just to give you more perspective, JP Morgan & Chase had ads on 400.000 websites. Then just on 5.000. And they got the very same results. Don’t believe it? The New York Times had to write the story themselves:

JP Morgan Chase ads on 400.000 websites ad fraud

But besides Methbot, there’s a new kid on the block in the ad fraud space that a company named Adform discovered: Hyphbot. The professionals behind Adform claimed it is the largest bot network since Methbot, generating up to 1.5 BILLION requests daily:

adform discovered hyphbot ad fraud

Sure, it can be a way to draw attention to their company.
But you can read their full paper on the Hyphboth case, if you want to make your own conclusions. It’s ad fraud. There’s no denying it. And here’s Methboth full paper as well.

The reality companies are living nowadays is depressing, to say the least. Nissan’s top marketer is pissed off because of this whole ad fraud chaos because they spent around 2 BILLION dollars in advertising. A Business Insider advertiser thought they had purchased $40,000 worth of ad inventory via open exchange when in reality it only saw $97. Talk about a waste of money…

domain spoofing business insider million fake views

Awesome, right? Fun stuff. Are you having fun?
Now let’s check out the Adblockers subject for a moment.

ADBLOCKERS: THE REALITY ABOUT MARKETING DATA RELIABILITY
The Adblocker trend really started to DOMINATE the advertising space after companies chose Retargeting as their main marketing weapon to reach customers. Why? Because we all hate adverts. We hate it. We don’t want interruptions. We want experiences instead.

Surprised? Why would you?
Retargeting Ads do one thing only: They PURSUE people all over the web to interrupt them.
Hence the reason for creating browser extensions like the absurdly famous Adblock:

Adblock Plus is another famous software among savvy internet users.
But just so you have a glimpse of how many users are blocking your Google Analytics scripts and other professional Martech and Adtech tools, here are the dangerous numbers you — marketer/entrepreneur/businessmen — need to worry about:

screenshot--adblock-plus-and-adblock-user-statistics

screenshot--adblock-plus-statistics1

Now, if you’re a little bit smart you’ll notice I only mentioned TWO brands of adblock software. Two. There are many more out there and many reasons why people choose the adblocking software they do. This is not the complete overview. For example, cybersecurity professionals may treat certain browser extensions as a trojan horse and choosing a less-known adblocker may be the solution for them, since hackers tend to attack software that is used by many. This is why hackers, cybersecurity experts and great programmers use Linux, FreeBSD etc. Snowden recommends Signal over Whats App for messaging because of trust regarding privacy issues. The point being made here is simple: This is just a glimpse of how many people are actually using adblock software.

Brave Browser for instance, which was created by Firefox co-founder has built-in adblock capabilities. Here’s Brave’s dashboard showing how many scripts got blocked when accessing Fastcompany:

screenshot--brave-browser1

Did you see Google Analytics getting blocked?
So much for the “We only make decisions based on data” gang. Your data is corrupted now, my friend. And as a natural and obvious consequence to its adblocking feature, Brave loads pages faster. That’s why Brave brags about being the fastest browser for users. Faster than Google Chrome:

screenshot-brave-browser2

Obviously, they’re right. Because if most scripts aren’t allowed to load anymore then we have a faster loading time when opening a link (assuming the link/website has a few scripts). Now, would you prefer to load websites faster while blocking ads at the same time or stay in the old model, fighting pop-ups and retargeting ads all the time etc?

You don’t need to answer that.

OK, remember what I said about criminals choosing the advertising industry as their new gold mine? Well, a very famous cybersecurity expert asked in a Twitter pool to other experts which software would they rather have installed on their computers: Ad blocking software or Anti-malware software. The result: experts are 6x more likely to have Ad blocking software over Anti-malware software in order to protect themselves from a fun thing called Malvertising (Malware in Ads). One more motive to block your hard work because there are many serious attacks Malvertising can accomplish.

Now here’s what you just learned in the last 15 minutes:

  • Google Adwords has been sending fake traffic to brands for years
  • Facebook has a bigger audience for advertisers than the actual amount of people alive
  • Facebook has been hiding some major metric errors for a long time from companies
  • Facebook is crushing organic reach for companies on purpose to boost its ad revenue
  • 40% of Google Searches results in NO clicks. Zero.
  • 48% of internet traffic is human. The rest? Bots.
  • The Duopoly (Google + Facebook) owns 84% of the global digital advertising industry
  • Professional criminals are jumping into online ad fraud because it’s more profitable
  • Criminals are making millions with ad fraud and top brands are taking a BIG financial hit
  • Malvertising + Retargeting Ads is pushing internet users to install Adblocking software
  • Adblockers are making Adtech/Martech software useless by blocking its scripts
  • Remember: Google Analytics is Martech software which means your data is corrupted
  • Browsers are also blocking Ads/Scripts. Brave is one. Apple two. Chrome…three.

You think this is serious?
Wait until you see what comes next, my friend.
Let’s talk about the global market now.

THE MARKET: THE BUSINESS REALITY EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT
Since we’re talking about Marketing/Advertising, let’s reveal some facts about these subjects first that are happening behind the scenes in the digital space before we move to the Global Economy, The Job Market, A.I. and other interconnected subjects.

Well, the 1st fact is that Reddit is being manipulated by big financial services companies. That was hard to swallow. Check out the video in the linked article to see how companies are making shady business moves, manipulating social media on a daily basis as if it were nothing special or illegal. And you think you’re playing a fair game, huh? The 2nd fact is that Reddit CEO admitted he edited redditors’ comments because of political reasons which reveals how biased social networks really are. For instance, The New York Times asked some very powerful questions about the 2016 Election to Facebook, but got very few answers in return:

NY Times asked Facebook 12 questions about election

The Political view of a brand can obviously influence its marketing results nowadays. If your political view doesn’t match those who own the platform you’re using to market your company, better not expect full integrity and neutrality. But leaving politics aside, thanks to changes in social media algorithms like Instagram removing the chronological feed, killing organic content marketing strategies, we have Instagram Influencers using Comment Collusion to game the algorithm as a way out to keep making money. The thing is that sometimes brands “get gamed” as well. They’re putting money in influencer marketing campaigns that portray influencers with an inflated following and fake engagement numbers, thanks to bots. Fake Influencers are deceiving MANY companies once you look at the numbers and the astonishing part about it, is that these companies cannot tell the difference most of the times. Serious influencers are losing business to bot-inflated Instagram accounts every day. That’s our market. Want to see it by yourself? Click on the image below to see a true experiment made by an agency to replicate what’s happening:

screenshot-fake-influencers1

Easy, right? More marketing budget being wasted by brands.
And since we’re talking about buying influence, I have something else for you.

Did you know that brands are secretly buying their way into Forbes, Fast Company and Huffpost lately? Which means if you saw a link to a startup or a product in one of those top publications, it may not be for merit, but because cheating companies paid some of the writers of those publications to reference their products/startups in their articles. Although those big publications had nothing to do with it and knew nothing about it, serious readers like businessmen, entrepreneurs and marketers still assume Forbes, NY Times, Fast company and others are endorsing the success of those new businesses and products. But it’s not. It’s just a corrupt writer doing nasty work and earning a few dollars in exchange for giving away some very good PR. Indistinguishable from real PR. But hey, you want to experience success faster? Here’s your menu: A brand mention in The New York Times costs $5,000. Tech Crunch costs $4,500 and there’s A LOT more.

Now let’s have a short talk about ranking content.

You already know that every company today is a Media Company at the end of the day, right? If you don’t have any content out there to draw attention, then your best shot is at building relationships. Pure sales mode. However, almost any company in the world today thinks going digital and exploring the Internet is a huge opportunity where you can reach tons of customers with a very low investment cost. These companies assume Content + Social networks is the ultimate solution. Entrepreneurs think the same. Marketers, still believe this as well.

Well, the thing is that it is just WRONG.
A famous consultant nicknamed Ad Contrarian warns marketers to pull back from the Digital cliff and many of his reasons I explained here. But a real, good business example to support the truth about social media, likes and the whole fluff, comes from Pepsi. You see, a while ago, Pepsi cancelled almost every other form of advertising to put some serious money (U$50.000,000 – U$100.000,000) into one of the LARGEST social media marketing experiments done by a company: The Pepsi Refresh Project. Well, check the real business results they got out of this project. I’ll leave that to you.

Now that it’s proved how companies have unrealistic expectations about digital, let me add to that scenario one more thing: Ranking content on search engines. You see, search engines are the best place to be if you’re a B2B company or a simple e-commerce store because of user intent. Someone using Google is far more likely to be in a precious “I’m ready to buy” mentality than anywhere else on the web. We all know that.

If you know the exact words your ideal customer is typing on Google when he’s after spending some money, then you just create some content or a page with well-crafted marketing that ranks. The page will then throw him into a sales funnel to then make him open his wallet. Great.

Then a guy named Brian Dean, founder of a SEO company called Backlinko discovered the Skyscraper Technique. What the technique basically means is that Google will rank your content over any other one if your content is 10x better than what’s out there. Therefore, a smart, solopreneur/entrepreneur could outrank a Fortune 500 company on Google if his content is just better, giving him access to a huge crowd of prospects.

This was true, and the whole marketing industry started writing articles with 3,000, 4,000, 10,000 words (!) just to cover as much information as possible to outrank other brands. But then…..THE MARKET BRUTALLY CHANGED in a very short amount of time leaving marketers starving for attention, and many didn’t know why.

So here’s where things start to get ugly.
The very first warning came from Steve Rayson from Buzzsumo.
He published a very worrisome article in September 2016, proving how Google is giving almost 30% more traffic to brands like The WSJ due to a high-volume publishing agenda. This means that being smarter is not enough anymore (considering one piece of content alone), but you need to have the manpower (and therefore, more money) to keep hitting the publish button over and over to win.

Basically, Google is rewarding QUANTITY over quality when it comes to content:

Buzzsumo Google rewarding quantity over quality content marketing

Well, so much for the skyscraper technique because although it still does work nowadays, brands with little manpower will have to put far more effort to publish ONE, TWO or maybe FIVE pieces of great content per week/month. Whilst companies with tons of money will just keep pumping content (The WSJ is publishing 1,200 pieces PER DAY) like there’s no tomorrow.

One can argue that a “News brand” needs to be putting more content out every day because everyone expects some new news on a daily basis, and therefore, Google must identify a brand as such and reward it if it’s publishing more news. But major news brands like WSJ, The New York Times, The Guardian and others publish content about almost EVERY other subject nowadays, like Business, Travel, Money etc. And it’s high-quality content too. This is why every company today is a Media Company. Gary Vaynerchuck, the famous marketing billionaire was precisely right back in 2013:

Ok, so Google is giving more traffic (and therefore, more customers) to brands that are publishing more content whilst being “smarter” is not good enough anymore. Big brands have tons of money to invest in CONTENT which means more fuel to keep hiring tons of writers, video editors, illustrators etc. Nonetheless, it’s a massive war for attention since content doesn’t stay “alive” for too long once it gets published. And the small companies have to spend their own resources like people and money just to keep hitting publish while at the same time, trying to make their core business model work.

Now wait, because it gets worse.
And here’s where The Economy and Technology comes in to play.
Ready?

THE ECONOMY: THE SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES OF A DOMINO EFFECT
Let’s talk about Massive Layoffs. Global massive layoffs. For those unaware, a “massive layoff” is when companies decide to fire lots of employees in a very short amount of time in order to cut costs and keep the doors open. Now, I published a very good summary of such “events” happening all over the world in this Market Mastery business post a while ago:

market-mastery-business-article77

So where’s the issue here?
Well, the thing is that a lot of these people getting fired around the world don’t want to go back to the corporate life anymore, and others are leaving the same life as well for similar reasons so they’re all opening online businesses. That makes it a very crowded game. Your marketing message has to be EXPLOSIVE, smart, and creative in order for it to get noticed now. Just pay attention to the number of results and how recent these videos are so you can have an idea of how much noise exists:

screenshoot-Youtube-search-left-corporate-job

That’s only Youtube.
You can find the same subject on other social networks as well.
Now, remember the thing about every company being a Media Company?
If so many online businesses are jumping on the digital trend, starting blogs and social media accounts, what do you think happens next to the Global Market?

Answer: A TRUE CONTENT EXPLOSION of Biblical proportions.

More people creating content (noise) by the second which increases the possibility of a company going invisible while decreasing the “attention time window” for those who are already playing. This means that regardless of how powerful, creative and unique your content is, a few minutes later or a few days later, new content (not necessarily better, just new) can overshadow your hard work.

Another bad consequence of massive layoffs resulting in new online businesses is the massive competition for getting Ad Inventory to promote your brand. For example, 2 years ago places like Facebook had 1.000,000 businesses PER user (hypothetical number). But with all this Exodus happening due to layoffs, we now have 750.000,000 businesses PER user which means there’s a lot more competition in Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Youtube Ads etc. After all, Facebook and Google didn’t change their ad inventory much. Facebook is now using the news feed but that’s it. Google remains the same. As a result, PPC becomes more expensive and your level of attention becomes smaller thanks to this massively competitive landscape.

TOO MANY COMPANIES ARE PAYING TO COMPETE FOR THE SAME AD INVENTORY WE HAD 3 YEARS AGO

Now let me add one more thing to all this overpopulated scenario: Artificial Intelligence.
PS: I’ll talk about A.I. a few minutes further, but this part helps you connect the dots faster.

The fusion between Marketing and A.I is a huge milestone for businesses once you know how A.I. can improve how marketing messages reach a customer. For example, you can create and market a message that is crafted just for “John” with A.I., because A.I. knows that:

  • John prefers to watch VIDEO content always on weekends at 3:00pm
  • John liked three Facebook Pages. Two about business. One about travel
  • John wrote 45 comments on 7 different posts on business websites

While A.I. also knows that:

  • Sara prefers to read ARTICLES always on week days at 9:00am
  • Sara liked twelve Facebook Pages. Two about business and ten about fashion
  • Sara watched 200 hours of fashion-related content on Youtube

Therefore, even if John and Sara are part of the same audience, there’s still room for improvement when it comes to creating marketing messages to reach both of them effectively. But this is the good part of Artificial Intelligence. Regardless of how powerful A.I. is to provide a solution to this whole chaos, what I need you to worry about is the ability A.I. has to produce content:

writing bots mean future journalism

Japan’s leading technology blog just hired a bot from Articoolo to write part of its news. A new A.I. can write music as well as a human composer (!). Scientific American published a breakthrough, where a startup shows how they can use A.I. to mimic Donald Trump, Barack Obama voices promoting your startup (which opens the gate for A.I.-powered forgery).

Now, if robots can also create content for businesses already, then you can surely assume that the content creation rate will increase exponentially. Right? We already have absurd amounts of content popping up daily because any human with a laptop and internet access can add a lot more hay to the haystack on its own. Put robots in the equation and you have….

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE CREATING CONTENT
=
(BUSINESSES + NEW ENTREPRENEURS’ CONTENT)
* 100.000,000

Pure chaos. A brand new noisy world.
Then you say: “But Peterson, A.I. cannot yet match the level of content humans can create”.
Like extremely complex articles about Marketing, Business, Money, Investments etc.

Sure, I agree.
The thing most people are blind about, is one thing:

THE NEW REALITY ABOUT CONTENT
Artificial Intelligence has the ability to create content. Increasing the amount of content you have gives you a better chance to draw people’s attention because you’ll have more “things” pointing to your website/brand. Companies are already struggling for attention now. Add to that, the pressure to survive which the global economic crisis will put on small/medium/large companies, entrepreneurs, startups like never before. Add to that hackers with malicious intent using bots to create more noise. And realize that there are few businesses that care about Branding and doing Marketing right. The market has many business owners, which are those who only care about numbers and money (like VCs/Investors). But very very few entrepreneurs who care about the brand, the dream and doing things like Marketing, the right way. With so much pressure coming both ways (both from the economy and from the lack of attention), almost everybody will choose to buy a nice imperfect robot to keep producing content just to get A CHANCE of getting people’s attention in an attempt to survive. That’s the real problem.

Now here’s what you just learned in the last 25 minutes:

  • Google Adwords has been sending fake traffic to brands for years
  • Facebook has a bigger audience for advertisers than the actual amount of people alive
  • Facebook has been hiding some major metric errors for a long time from companies
  • Facebook is crushing organic reach for companies on purpose to boost its ad revenue
  • 40% of Google Searches results in NO clicks. Zero.
  • 48% of internet traffic is human. The rest? Bots.
  • The Duopoly (Google + Facebook) owns 84% of the global digital advertising industry
  • Professional criminals are jumping into online ad fraud because it’s more profitable
  • Criminals are making millions with ad fraud and top brands are taking a BIG financial hit
  • Malvertising + Retargeting Ads is pushing internet users to install Adblocking software
  • Adblockers are making Adtech/Martech software useless by blocking its scripts
  • Remember: Google Analytics is Martech software which means your data is corrupted
  • Browsers are also blocking Ads/Scripts
  • Social Networks have political bias and may influence marketing results
  • Social Networks are altering their algorithms to shift their platforms to pay-to-play
  • Corrupt Writers are promoting newbie products in Top Publications for money
  • Fake influencers are deceiving many companies thanks to bot-inflated social numbers
  • Google is giving more traffic to those who produce more content
  • Massive layoffs indirectly increased the amount of content (noise) in the market
  • Massive layoffs indirectly increased the number of brands competing for Ad Inventory
  • A.I. is creating several types of content now: Music, Video and News Articles
  • A.I. is about to get overused by everybody who is desperate to survive/make money

What a challenging scenario, don’t you think?
Yes, but not even close to the whole story.
Let’s talk about The Economy.

THE GLOBAL ECONOMY: A SERIOUSLY WORRISOME SCENARIO FOR EVERYBODY
Globalization is a two-edged sword because it can allow companies to do business overseas whilst it can increase competition exponentially. Since globalization went mainstream a few years ago, everything is interconnected whether we like it or not.

This means that what other countries are doing in their economy, or with their laws, or in business will impact your country eventually. To make you understand what I’m saying, let me start with banks. The 2008 global financial crisis started a chain of events (bad events!) in the US with big banks getting bailed out by the government to save the economy.

Well, two major things happened that time:

  • Those banks became bigger, concentrating more of all american wealth in their hands
  • Other countries experienced several downturns because of those american banks

Now, if you’re a smart boy you know that once the wealth is concentrated in fewer hands the possibility of the whole market crashing is way bigger, since the economic stability of many depends on the decision of few. Well, so what happens to us all if huge institutions like The European Central Bank (ECB) buys TRILLIONS in useless, junk debt?!

And The Bank of England is also making the same thing:

hegde funds predict how it will all end

Banks lend money to businesses. Banks lend money to people to pay their bills. And banks use their stored money to make more money. The thing is that the money banks use is YOUR money. I’m guessing you already know that the money you have in the bank is just digits, right? Because your money is being given to others so banks can make more money for themselves and many times you don’t know that. The digits are there saying you have X in your account but if EVERYBODY were to the bank to get their chips back, the bank wouldn’t be able to do that.

This is why the EU wants to block people from withdrawing their own money lately. Because that’s called a “bank run”, which is when everybody withdraws the money they have at the bank leaving the bank…moneyless.

So, if banks use their money as an investment to buy debt that had the intent to make them more money, but is actually debt that will NEVER be repaid, then what happens next? Simple: Everybody just lost their money because the bank is stupid (remember that banks use YOUR money to make THEM more money).

But this is just the basics, the problem is the dangerous Domino Effect.
With such amount of debt waiting to be repaid, the bank indirectly removed trillions from the market because no one will acquire the “investment” (junk debt) it bought. Instead of putting more money available to fund new businesses/startups which can increase what the country produces in goods and services, creating more wealth, new jobs in society, pumping more money into the economy (which can be used to repay the bank)…no.

“Let’s just buy these monstrous pieces of debt that no one will ever be able to buy from us.”
Therefore, there’s far less money available to keep the economy and businesses alive. This means that companies are fighting for less “paper” (actually wealth) on a daily basis. Get it?

Naturally, companies go bankrupt because of it since the war becomes “more intense”. Many businesses exist today in a “comfortable level”. Meaning, they don’t know how to go to “WAR”. They aren’t following the latest business trends. They aren’t investing money in the business. They aren’t investing in their employees. Therefore, they cannot survive in the new game. Also, as a consequence, other companies that used to do business with THOSE COMPANIES dealing directly with banks like The ECB (that went bankrupt), also go bankrupt! This is the domino effect that started in a stupid bank making stupid investments.

So how many top companies will be impacted by this move made by The ECB?
And how many midsize companies are doing business with those top companies and rely on them to survive? And how many small companies are doing business with those midsize companies? Well, I’ll leave that to you.

Remember: I just mentioned a few banks. There are more in this scenario.

Now let me show you something connected to this: The Retail sector.
Here’s The Running List of Retail Apocalypse victims:

the running retail apocalypse list 2017

Toys R US getting hit in the face like this is not a good sign, is it?
Now, remember the thing about not being able to repay debt to the bank?
Check this out:

America retail apocalypse just beginning

So besides stupid investments banks are making, there’s also the problem that those borrowing from the bank aren’t being able to pay back their loans. As you can see, many companies today are in this position which makes banks more vulnerable and therefore, the economy more vulnerable. And you and your company…more vulnerable.

Now let’s address one more subject: The Job Market.

THE JOB MARKET: A HARD REALITY
First of all, being great at your job is harder than it used to be. Why? Simple: with less money on the table companies need to cut down costs and use its resources (people) as much as possible to survive and grow at the same time. The problem lies in those companies forgetting how fast the marketplace changes, and how technology disrupts everything in society creating a different business scenario every 4 to 6 months. You may not be aware, but right now some entrepreneur may explode in the next 3 months due to something he has been working on for the last 2 years.

And when someone explodes, he takes money away from those companies.
And those companies put additional pressure on their employees to fight back, work harder, learn new stuff in record time etc. At the same time, if an employee is in a comfortable job in a company that isn’t growing, those employees are becoming useless for the market since they aren’t upgrading nor updating their skill set. While the WAR is happening outside, they’re sleeping inside those companies. With all these big changes in technology and marketing, that’s a bad place to be if you want to keep providing for your family and have a good life.

Aside from this point, there’s this harsh reality: There aren’t enough jobs for everyone:

the job market

This is why many are becoming freelancers with individual and unique skills. Because they get to enjoy more of their lives, living with more freedom. And they know companies will hire them if they can do the work once they’re visible enough in platforms that match employers and freelancers, like UpWork etc.

There are those who are putting their efforts to survive in on-demand Apps like Uber as well. The problem is that the on-demand economy is a bubble about to burst and that’s because many alternative apps may be burning cash, in an attempt to establish themselves in the market as competitors of brands like Uber, for instance. They give money away to users to draw attention, but fail to make ends meet in the end. And of course, there are those Apps with weak business models as you may imagine.

There’s one last thing to complement what we just talked about.
Ready?

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: THE REAL SCENARIOS TAKING PLACE
I’m not going to extend the A.I. subject too much because this is not the place I want to do this. If you want to know more about A.I. then read its Market Mastery section. However, there are a few things I want to point to you, so you can understand how serious the scenario I showed you really is, once A.I. enters the game. So here they are:

  • A.I. vs NEW WORKERS — Because Educational Institutions usually don’t keep up with the pace of our global market, a lack of talent is another problem companies are already facing. And A.I. is supplying this demand in the market. For example, a lack of cybersecurity talent is driving brands to use AI against attacks. But you can bet this isn’t a rare case. You can be sure this will happen in many other areas and industries eventually due to the lack of preparation our current educational system provides. As a direct consequence, companies will look at A.I. as possible employees more and more, killing more jobs and reducing taxes indirectly.
  • A.I. vs CURRENT JOBS — White collar jobs are going down first. Take the Banking Sector. Recently, it was revealed why The Banking Sector will probably be ground zero for job losses from AI and Robotics. That’s because A.I. knows how to do analytical/mathematical work far better than physical work due to limitations in mimicking the human sensorial system. But don’t get too happy about it because A.I. will take both white collar and blue collar jobs. It will crush the middle class.
  • A.I. vs BIG CORPORATIONS — There are tons of innovations happening in the fields of blockchain and Artificial Intelligence that can challenge big corporations. Some startups are very disruptive, but the problem is that many of them are being “built for sale”. Meaning, some entrepreneurs backed by VCs or investors will start a company with the goal to sell it to a major company since day one. Others will just give up competing with tech titans and take the money. Either way, that’s bad news for innovation. Big corporations know what can become a menace. This is why Google, Intel, Baidu, Apple are in a race to buy A.I. startups in case you don’t know. This also increases the amount of wealth concentrated in fewer hands which is a major problem because in order for companies to grow, they need to provide value to validate the exchange. Nobody will give you money in the market unless they think you can provide more value to them than the money they own. When value exceeds price, people give each other money. Therefore, fewer and fewer companies will have the resources or the expertise necessary to provide value to those dominant companies, which means more companies going bankrupt.
  • A.I. vs MARKET STABILITY — Too much economic stability is also relying on the stock market today. The problem is that many Hedge Funds are using computer-driven algorithms to make every single move in the stock exchange. Those who embraced this first got ahead and made more money. But now, players are admitting they need more suckers at the table (humans making moves in the market) because all computers are making very similar moves, shrinking profit margins of all of them. At the same time, a wrong piece of data to those algorithms (like fake news) can start a chain of events that crashes the whole market in MINUTES. And another point, is that A.I. doesn’t have enough experience to handle the next Market Crash since it doesn’t have the ideal data to know what a “normal” market really is.
  • A.I. vs FORGERY — As if massive job losses, lack of human talent, market stability weren’t enough, we now have to deal with A.i.-powered forgery. This is a MAJOR problem to businesses now thanks to the recent explosion of cybercriminal activities. Hackers can be hired to attack another company’s reputation using A.I., since it can now write totally indistinguishable, honest product reviews. You have A.I. allowing you to edit videos using just your face in real-time which can be used to make fake announcements and crash the market, kill a CEO’s reputation which impacts stocks etc. Well, if A.I. can now mimic any voice we have a problem. And with all this huge global economic meltdown in our face, you can bet that criminal activities will proliferate since everybody will be after…money.

That’s what you needed to know.
So here’s what you learned in the last hour:

  • Google Adwords has been sending fake traffic to brands for years
  • Facebook has a bigger audience for advertisers than the actual amount of people alive
  • Facebook has been hiding some major metric errors for a long time from companies
  • Facebook is crushing organic reach for companies on purpose to boost its ad revenue
  • 40% of Google Searches results in NO clicks. Zero.
  • 48% of internet traffic is human. The rest? Bots.
  • The Duopoly (Google + Facebook) owns 84% of the global digital advertising industry
  • Professional criminals are jumping into online ad fraud because it’s more profitable
  • Criminals are making millions with ad fraud and top brands are taking a BIG financial hit
  • Malvertising + Retargeting Ads is pushing internet users to install Adblocking software
  • Adblockers are making Adtech/Martech software useless by blocking its scripts
  • Remember: Google Analytics is Martech software which means your data is corrupted
  • Browsers are also blocking Ads/Scripts
  • Social Networks have political bias and may influence marketing results
  • Social Networks are altering their algorithms to shift their platforms to pay-to-play
  • Corrupt Writers are promoting newbie products in Top Publications for money
  • Fake influencers are deceiving many companies thanks to bot-inflated social numbers
  • Google is giving more traffic to those who produce more content
  • Massive layoffs indirectly increased the amount of content (noise) in the market
  • Massive layoffs indirectly increased the number of brands competing for Ad Inventory
  • A.I. is creating several types of content now: Music, Video and News Articles
  • A.I. is about to get overused by everybody who is desperate to survive/make money
  • A.I. is now able to forge audio, videos, articles and product reviews
  • A.I. is taking jobs because there’s a lack of talent available (thanks educational system)
  • A.I. is about to take white and blue collar jobs aggressively
  • A.I. is managing Hedge Funds and fake news can trigger a crash in the whole economy
  • Banks are buying tons of junk debt and putting the whole global economy at risk
  • Big companies are buying more A.I. startups to gain leverage and kill new competition
  • The World’s wealth is being concentrated in fewer hands, which will kill many companies
  • There aren’t enough jobs for everyone already, mathematically speaking
  • Being great at your job is very hard nowadays, since the market changes every 3 months

Done. Now you’re more aware of how the business board is behaving.
Welcome to the game.

CONCLUSION: DOES MY COMPANY NEED MARKETING CONSULTING?
If this surprised you and this was a nuclear bomb in terms of market awareness to you, then definitely yes. You need Marketing Consulting. Today, you cannot build a marketing project without having a clearer vision of where the market will be 6 months from now, otherwise, you’ll definitely waste money. The market is changing too fast, and there are too many variables. This is why monitoring as much as possible the whole game is a must, so you can know the best links, the best social networks, the best tools and more.

Because 6 months from now, New Laws, New Tools, New Social Networks, New Startups, New changes in Algorithms may be appearing and changing the market and therefore, the game. While you’re still stuck with a marketing project that is not as effective anymore, and with half your budget wasted. The better you know the board, the better you can predict how the pieces will move, to then create a more precise marketing strategy from that point forward.

That’s all for now, my friend.
PS: If you want Marketing Consulting, remember I’m always one message away.

Take care.

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