RECOMMENDED: MARKETING ARTICLES
- September 3, 2018
Welcome. This is a resource page with all recommended marketing articles those in business nowadays should read. Every link shared here was personally read by PETERSON TEIXEIRA, hence the commentaries, the highlights and screenshots so you can know beforehand what you’re spending your time on before you click and read. Naturally, this resource page will be constantly updated and/or corrected to prevent any misleading information and to maintain a good, reliable list of top marketing articles.
TARGET AUDIENCE: CEOs, Entrepreneurs
IMPORTANT: The majority of the articles here are recent, but you may find resources that date from 2013. Nonetheless, everything is extremely valuable if you intend to master the market. The goal is to provide all the greatest insights and information published online in these last years, “marketing/advertising milestones” so to speak, so that you know everything there is to know from the Internet on Marketing/Advertising in order to master Marketing today.
Read all the other recommended sections:
- Recommended: Business Articles
- Recommended: Artificial Intelligence Articles
- Recommended: Cybersecurity Articles
- Recommended: Secrets of The Market Articles
- Recommended: Market Facts
- Recommended: Market News
LAST UPDATE: This page was last updated in December 22 of 2018
The list is decrescent, which means that the latest added article by PETERSON TEIXEIRA is the one on the top of the list. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the article’s publishing date is also recent because as said before, the objective is to collect all marketing-related masterpieces from the whole Internet. Finding the needles in the haystack is the goal, not be the news.
The Links below are just so you can jump straight to the article, its highlights and comments.
- Read #122: Apple News Is Giving The Media Everything It Wants, Except Money
- Read #121: GDPR Has Cut Ad Trackers in Europe But Helped Google, Study Says
- Read #120: Europe is Drawing Fresh Battle Lines Around The Ethics of Big Data
- Read #119: Did Facebook’s Faulty Data Push Publishers To Make Decisions on Video?
- Read #118: Netflix is Planning A Choose-your-own-Adventure Black Mirror
- Read #117: Google’s New Search Could Significantly Change Content Discovery
- Read #116: 91% of Content Gets No Traffic From Google
- Read #115: Google Shows Answer Without Any Search Results
- Read #114: Google Makes Push to Turn Product Searches into Cash
- Read #113: The Google Data Protection Regulation: GDPR is Strafing Ad Sellers
- Read #112: We Analyzed 10,000 Google Home Results. Here’s What We Learned
- Read #111: You Can’t Just Pivot Into A Subscription
- Read #110: Reality Check Is Coming For Subscription-thirsty Publishers
- Read #109: Confessions of A Media Buyer: ‘It’s A Game of How Cheap You Can Be’
- Read #108: No, Advertising Spend is Not Moving Online
- Read #107: Brazil’s Biggest Newspaper Leaves Facebook After Algorithm Change
- Read #106: Unilever Threatens to Pull Ads From Facebook and Google
- Read #105: How Facebook and Linkedin Algorithm Changes Are Hurting Digital Business
- Read #104: Facebook’s Big Threat: Advertisers Questioning ROI
- Read #103: Publishers Stop Facebook Ads: Policy Views Them as Political Advertisers
- Read #102: Publishers Wrestling With FB’s Desire to Own Facebook-funded Watch Shows
- Read #101: Facebook Ad Costs Spiked After A Big Change to Its News Feed Algorithm
- Read #100: Facebook’s Future Rests on Knowing You Even Better
- Read #99: Why Facebook’s Troubles Haven’t Dented its Profits
- Read #98: Interest in Facebook Groups is High, But Growth is Slow for Brands
- Read #97: Apple’s New Privacy Rules Put Google And Facebook in A ‘Precarious Place’
- Read #96: Coca-cola Breaking The Agency Model to Test Crowd-Sourced Creatives
- Read #95: Influencers Are Getting Long-term Contracts
- Read #94: Brands Are Bringing Influencer Marketing in-house
- Read #93: Youtube Can Now Deliver Ads Specifically to Its TV Viewers
- Read #92: Youtube Will Frustrate Some Users With Ads So The Pay for Music
- Read #91: Social Media Marketing is Completely Useless
- Read #90: Are ZERO-Result SERPs The Next Step for Google?
- Read #89: The Tiny Tracker Could Change The Way Brands Measure Engagement
- Read #88: You Say Paywalls Are Back? For The FT They Never Went Away
- Read #87: We Want to Become A Marketing Company: Meet The New Cisco
- Read #86: How to Audit Your Adtech Vendors’ GDPR Readiness
- Read #85: Consent is Unworkable for Programmatic Ads in The Era of GDPR
- Read #84: For Marketers, TV Sets Are an Invaluable Pair of Eyes
- Read #83: If KOLs Aren’t Part of Your Marketing Strategy You Need to Read This
- Read #82: Why Building a Brand is The Most Viable SEO Strategy
- Read #81: Millions of Young People Are Flocking Away from Social Media
- Read #80: Ad Retargeters Scramble to Get Consumer Consent
- Read #79: The Epic Review of The Biggest Trends & Updates in PPC 2017
- Read #78: Want to Start A Publisher Co-op in Asia? Here’s The Winning Formula
- Read #77: Youtubers Beg Fans: Leave Videos on in The Background
- Read #76: Facebook Overhauls News Feed in Favor of “Meaningful Social Interactions”
- Read #75: The Publications That Have Most to Lose from Facebook’s New Algorithm
- Read #74: P&G Plans to Cut Another 50% And Bring More Media In-house
- Read #73: A Fifth of UK Brands Plan to Decrease Their Programmatic Ad Spend
- Read #72: 77% of Content is Being Shared via Dark Social
- Read #71: 10 Psychological Retail Tricks to Make You Splurge This Holiday
- Read #70: The Chatbot Monetization Report
- Read #69: Facebook’s Key Video Ad Program Isn’t Delivering Much Money to Publishers
- Read #68: British GQ and Universal Music Test Shareable Podcast Formats
- Read #67: How to Make Your Own Rankbrain List
- Read #66: Google Penalties and Messages Explained
- Read #65: Attribution Measurement is The TV Industry’s Latest Weapon
- Read #64: Dodgy Agency Tries to con Publisher in Ads.txt Fraud Saga
- Read #63: 5 Ways SEO Experts Say You Should Optimize for RankBrain
- Read #62: Scandal Prompts FTC to Crack Down on Social Media Influencers
- Read #61: Marketing Next Big Hurdle: The Rising Cost of Customer Acquisition
- Read #60: Adform Discovered Bot Network Generating 1,5 Billion Requests/Day
- Read #59: Google Manual Actions: Frequently Asked Questions And Their Answers
- Read #58: Domain Spoofing Costs Business Insider 10M Fake Impressions in 15 Minutes
- Read #57: It Takes Just $1,000 To Track Someone’s Location With Mobile Ads
- Read #56: Chase Had Ads on 400,000 Sites. Then on Just 5,000. Same Results.
- Read #55: When Adblockers and GDPR Kill All Adtech and Martech
- Read #54: If Ads Don’t Work, can Publishers Strike Subscription Gold?
- Read #53: Every Major Advertising Group Is Blasting Apple for Blocking Cookies
- Read #52: IAB Europe Warns of Restricting Data-Driven Ads
- Read #51: The GDPR Will Help or Hurt Publishers, Depending on Who You Ask
- Read #50: GDPR: CMO warns of Threaths Within Martech Infrastructure
- Read #49: The Russian Methbot Scam Is Just the Tip of the Ad Fraud Iceberg
- Read #48: ‘Biggest Ad Fraud Ever’: Hackers Make $5M A Day By Faking 300M Video Views
- Read #47: Bot Traffic Report 2016
- Read #46: How Do CEOs Consume Content? Quartz Asked 940 Executives to Find Out
- Read #45: Facebook Moving Non-Promoted Posts Out of News Feed in Trial
- Read #44: Burger King Turned Tweets From People Complaining About Wendy’s Into Ads
- Read #43: How Easy it’s for Anyone (and Russia) to Target You With FB Ads
- Read #42: Facebook’s Efforts to Axe Russian Hackers Will Hit Marketers
- Read #41: Ad Contrarian: ‘Marketing to Youngsters is Narcissism Disguised as Strategy’
- Read #40: How The FTC is Cracking Down on Deceptive Influencer Marketing
- Read #39: Ad Fraud Is The New School Mafia
- Read #38: There’s a Ticking Time Bomb Inside The Online Advertising Market
- Read #37: The Complex Problem of ‘Click Spamming’
- Read #36: Mobile ‘Click Injection’ Fraud Forecast to Become Prevalent in 2017
- Read #35: Trade Desk Responds To P&G’s Pritchard’s CTA, Takes Shot at Google
- Read #34: WTF is ads.txt?
- Read #33: Digital Ads is Facing Its Ultimate Moment of Truth, and Billions Are at Stake
- Read #32: Six-Second Commercials Are Coming to N.F.L. Games on Fox
- Read #31: Google Refunds Advertisers Whose Ads Ran On Fake Traffic Websites
- Read #30: Ad Contrarian (Bob Hoffman) Warns Marketers to Pull Back from Digital
- Read #29: The Complete Guide to Google Adwords Plug-and-Play Scripts
- Read #28: Comscore Says People prefer Ads in Podcasts Over Any Other Digital Medium
- Read #27: Youtube’s Key Audience is in The Living Room And Advertisers Want In
- Read #26: How Advertisers Are Using Waze to Connect With People Behind the Wheel
- Read #25: Display Advertising: My 3¢ Worth
- Read #24: Will February 2017 Go Down as The Month That Destroyed Adtech?
- Read #23: The Day After Tomorrow: When Adblockers Stop All Martech Platforms
- Read #22: The Panoply Network Is Now Using Nielsen Data for Targeted Podcast Ads
- Read #21: Why Brands and Agencies Are Preparing for the Era of 6-Second Ads
- Read #20: Will Radio Kill The Internet Star?
- Read #19: In Six Seconds, Giphy Could Make Billions
- Read #18: Cardlytics: Using Credit Card Consumer Data for Marketing
- Read #17: How Marmite is Analysing your Face to Personalize Experiences
- Read #16: Influencer Marketing on Facebook is about to Get More Expensive
- Read #15: The Secrets Of Writing Smart, Long Articles That Go Absolutely Viral
- Read #14: How to Get Your Medium Stories to Rank on The Front Page of Google
- Read #13: Artificial intelligence is changing SEO faster than you think
- Read #12: Marketers Who Won’t Change Won’t Survive: Marketo’s Chris Connell
- Read #11: 41 White Hat Backlinks Hacks for an Online Business
- Read #10: 128 Marketing Tactics and Strategies: The Most Epic Growth Hacking List
- Read #9: The Practical Guide to doing your Own PR
- Read #8: Here’s What We Learned About YouTube SEO After Analyzing 1.3M Videos
- Read #7: Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List
- Read #6: A Few Thoughts About the Coming Content Marketing Apocalypse
- Read #5: How To Promote Your Blog: 559,402 Visits and 25,309 Social Shares
- Read #4: SEO Mythbusters: Top Marketers Share THE MOST Counterintuitive SEO Truths
- Read #3: Taco Bell Explains Its Social Media Blackout and How It Lit Up Mobile Orders
- Read #2: The Death of Advertising
- Read #1: The Social Network Doling Out Millions in Ephemeral Money
HEADLINE: Apple News Is Giving The Media Everything It Wants, Except Money
COMMENT: DEFINITELY A MUST-READ. The Guardian has already pulled its brand from Apple News due to ridiculous results and many other big brands are also considering the same. Almost all brands are just there to feed Apple News, without getting much. First Facebook, then Google, and now Apple is taking advantage of brands while giving little traffic/money in return. Looks like the digital landscape is getting harder and harder by the day. Read this article before you put any money into Apple News. Enjoy.
HEADLINE: GDPR Has Cut Ad Trackers in Europe But Helped Google, Study Says
PUBLISHER: Tech Crunch
COMMENT: DEFINITELY A MUST-READ. The funny thing about all this? Read Marketing Article #113.
HEADLINE: Europe is Drawing Fresh Battle Lines Around The Ethics of Big Data
PUBLISHER: Tech Crunch
COMMENT: DEFINITELY A MUST-READ. More evidence. This is another aggravant that supports my view — read Marketing Article #106 — that social networks will turn into a subscription model. GDPR will not only crush new data-driven startups, blocking competition and innovation, but it’ll also force established businesses to give money to rigged social networks just to survive. Read this.
HEADLINE: Did Facebook’s Faulty Data Push Publishers To Make Decisions on Video?
PUBLISHER: Nieman Lab
COMMENT: DEFINITELY A MUST-READ. This is why companies must not make data-driven decisions all the time. Creativity and “gut feeling” are just as powerful for getting results, if not more. Now many brands made big mistakes because the data they were looking at wasn’t reliable, but the truth is that data is not 100% reliable anyway. Quick example: A high bounce rate — which is the data about people who visualized a page on a website and left within seconds — could mean that: 1) That person didn’t like the content; 2) That person didn’t like the page design; 3) That person lost the internet connection; 4) That person is in the middle of a fight with his spouse and closed the notebook in a moment of anger but actually liked the content; 5) That person is actually a robot; 6) That person quickly found the answer to his question on the first paragraph; 7) A fan just came to check out if that page was updated (and so forth). So even if you have your data right, it still doesn’t tell the whole story (of course, I’m referencing individual cases for a better understanding). Therefore, when you put all these different scenarios together it gives you just one big piece of data — the bounce rate — which marketers usually tend to interpret as “people aren’t liking this page/content so they’re leaving pretty fast”. Not true. Remember: data is always flawed. Always. Trusting data too much to make big business and marketing decisions is very dangerous, and news publishers now know it. Data is always provided by others (companies, institutions etc) and we never fully know what’s going on behind the scenes. This is why observing and studying human behavior yourself may be far more effective to get real answers on what to do next with your marketing. That said, enjoy the article (Obs: read this together with this other card: Secrets of The Market #74).
HEADLINE: Netflix is Planning A Choose-your-own-Adventure Black Mirror
COMMENT: Horrible headline. The headline from Futurism is more accurate: Netflix Plans to Try Out “Interactive Shows”. Those words make a lot more sense because this is actually a HUGE milestone in today’s marketplace, if you stop to think about it. Fans can brag about deciding a better end for a certain show putting them on the spotlight, opening job opportunities and adding another level to “Social Currency”. And that’s huge because people like to feel important. That’s the whole point for why many people buy from expensive brands in the first place, they want to feel important. They want status. This kind of marketing move does exactly that (assuming the show gives proper credit to whoever won their 15 minutes of fame). This is the kind of Marketing I respect and admire. It’s genius. Although it’s technically a variation of Interactive TV, there’s no doubt that pushing the customer to interact with the narrative of a serious show brings User-generated Content to a whole another level. You can even use your fan base to deliver a more proper, smarter ending to a series that is about to get canceled, but that fans love. Likewise, fan theories sometimes turn out to be better than the actual official script of a show, and now these crazy fan theories may start to flood the entertainment industry if shows decide to use this marketing strategy. Also, “ordinary people” will become a new type of influencer, and TV shows may even start paying ordinary people in exchange for those scripts if they become a hit (or just better than the official ones). This is a reality because I saw many times over and over, some fan theories that were much better than the official storyline of a movie/tv show. Anyway, endless possibilities. Great Marketing. And bravo for HBO for jumping into this before Netflix.
HEADLINE: Google’s New Search Could Significantly Change Content Discovery
COMMENT: More evidence to something I’ve been saying over and over: Google DOES NOT want brands and businesses getting free traffic from Search Results. If you read the three previous cards — Marketing Article #116, Marketing Article #115 and Marketing Article #114 — then you already know this is very true. Get ready for not counting with Google for getting new business through organic traffic. Read this.
HEADLINE: 91% of Content Gets No Traffic From Google
COMMENT: DEFINITELY A MUST-READ.
HEADLINE: Google Shows Answer Without Any Search Results
PUBLISHER: Search Engine Roundtable
COMMENT: One more huge evidence proving that Google is getting ready to answer search queries by itself as much as possible, taking any organic possibility away from websites when it comes to getting a visit from Google. And if you think long-form content is out of the question and your company is safe then you clearly haven’t seen how Google’s New Algorithm Creates Original Articles From Your Content (!). That alone is enough reason for every online business to worry about getting axed from search results because if Google is putting its extremely advanced A.I. to work (link #1 | link #2), and testing this new zero-results page, then something is definitely underway. And yes, I know Danny Sullivan was pretty fast in defending Google while promising to review all the feedback, which ultimately resulted in Google reverting its zero search results page a few days later. But that DOES NOT matter. That’s just temporary PR to avoid any bigger news outbreaks among bigger news outlets like The New York Times, Wall Street Journal etc — I’m not talking against Sullivan here because such business decision will ultimately always come from a higher table. So what matters is the test results Google got from it because from there, Google can simply do another more complex test just as stealthy as this one until the algorithm finally reaches a certain level of maturity that allows it to be unleashed to the public. However, this is a much faster cycle nowadays because of the massive amount of data Google owns. Google already has hordes of your personal data like location (Android), what you like to watch (Youtube), where you click (Google Search), what URLs you access (Google Chrome), and practically all clicks, traffic, and key pieces of content from most business/personal websites of the world (Google Analytics). And let’s not forget that Google owns 91% of the search engine market, so they basically already know what THE WORLD searches. Therefore, testing another update is much easier for them now than 10 years ago. There’s just too much data they control which can be easily mirrored to simulate entire digital environments — but they don’t have all the data obviously. But still, algorithms do need to be tested. Always. Especially if A.I. is involved. Finally, like I previously wrote in The Marketing Article #114, you have to understand where Google wants to go next — business-wise — to not be fooled by PR. Because if everybody is merging lately to survive the global financial crisis, and if the whole digital advertising game is broken (link #1 | link #2), and if many companies around the world are doing massive layoffs, and if companies are selling their assets to raise cash for growth, and if Amazon robots are now moving to Headquarters, and if Amazon is about to dominate retail (and maybe other industries)……..do you really think any community has any saying in reversing any Google algorithm after going online? Who are Google’s competitors? Wake up, boys and girls. Because 91% of content already gets NO TRAFFIC from Google and featured snippets are basically stealing your clicks. Therefore, get ready for a nice and pretty zero-results page.
HEADLINE: Google Makes Push to Turn Product Searches into Cash
COMMENT: Well well well…finally some more evidence to support that Google is obviously aiming to turn every aspect of its search business into paid access as much as possible while trying to kill organic access for businesses at the same time. Now, you have probably seen many marketers advocating in favor of SEO if you’re running a business online, and you also probably applied many SEO techniques yourself — or your marketing team — to your company’s website to better your rankings on SERPs. Nothing wrong here. However, many SEOs and especially marketing executives forget that Google search is a business and that Google has no interest in giving brands free advertising by raking their content. They think it’s some sort of…public service or something. Curious, isn’t it?! But if you too, are lost, I can show you more empirical evidence to open your eyes. So do you need more evidence? Then here’s a very big one for you that supports what I’m saying now: Google’s New Algorithm Creates Original Articles From Your Content (!). Yes, I know. That’s a big one. Relax, and go drink a glass of water to calm yourself down. Now, do you really think Google wants brands, publishers, companies and especially e-commerce websites ranking their content for free and driving customers to their websites WITHOUT giving Google any money for it? If you do, then you’re probably also from the same beautiful world of some executives that I previously mentioned in The Marketing Article #113. Therefore, remember: Google wants to answer everything on its own and eat a share of your sale, whether through advertising or by taking a percentage of your final sale. Now that you understand this business reality, have a look at what Google wants to conquer next: “Google has been working on retail challenges for some time. The problems: (1) how to make mobile shopping from its properties like Search faster; (2) how to maintain market share for product search in a splintering mobile landscape of apps and digital assistants; and (3) how to compete against Amazon, the number one threat to product search originating on Google. All of which relate to how to make more money from product searches” – SOURCE: Search Engine Land. Question: do you see Google’s next goals now? Therefore, strategize your marketing by predicting where Google goes next — business-wise — and see if there are any real marketing/advertising opportunities to explore because otherwise, you’ll just waste time, money and effort in your campaigns involving Google. That’s what marketers today forget to consider that makes a huge difference in getting long-term results. Google wants to turn as many interactions with you as possible into a way to make money, as you can see in this quick image showing shopping actions through Google Express, Google Assistant, and Google Search (by Search Engine Land). And Google DOES NOT want you driving customers to your brand for free. Remember this rule when planning your long-term marketing campaigns.
HEADLINE: The Google Data Protection Regulation: GDPR is Strafing Ad Sellers
COMMENT: This article is definitely a must-read because it connects precisely with The Marketing Article #51 that predicted the exact same thing about the regulation handing over more control to Google and Facebook over digital media, which was also published by Digiday a while ago. Some naive executives came to me at the time the first GDPR articles came out saying they were “100% sure” that GDPR was mainly coming to hit Facebook and Google, while other businesses wouldn’t have to worry too much about it or its consequences — and they were adamant about it by the way. Well, I found that was cute. Really cute. But I don’t really blame them because they are clearly from this world for sure, where life is a bit different and full of rainbows. I wish I could live in that world. But leaving that aside, read the article below and the link I just gave you. You’ll see the harsh reality where GDPR hits businesses in the face while helping Google and Facebook become stronger, by killing their data-driven competitors in their infancy and by redirecting demand to their ad platforms as you can see below. Enjoy your readings.
HEADLINE: We Analyzed 10,000 Google Home Results. Here’s What We Learned
COMMENT: Once again Brian Dean, founder of Backlinko, delivers some very critical insights about Voice Search SEO. This is the kind of article you won’t find elsewhere. You’ll see many facts that may help you predict the future of search. Read this.
HEADLINE: You Can’t Just Pivot Into A Subscription
COMMENT: Read this. You’ll see some very interesting arguments and facts from top business people about the reality of the digital marketplace today.
HEADLINE: Reality Check Is Coming For Subscription-thirsty Publishers
COMMENT: If you haven’t read it yet, take a look at this other article: The Times: No More Than 10 Global News can Have A Paying Audience. There’s a lot of truth to that which agrees with the article below. However, US publications for instance, are getting smart and finally seeing one of the last opportunities available: going international with translated content. Here’s what many of them are targeting as a business goal now as a way out: “For now, a lot of this work focuses on serving English speakers living abroad. But the Times and Bloomberg are planning to expand into different languages, albeit in different ways. Businessweek, which already publishes foreign editions in Mexico, the Middle East, Indonesia and China, is eyeing licensing partners in South America, Central Europe and in the Asia-Pacific region, which will license Businessweek content and translate it. The Times, which publishes small editions in Chinese and Spanish — around a dozen pieces per site, per day — also recently launched a collection of stories in French. Almost all of this activity is focused on selling digital subscriptions. Though they have their share of problems — extra local taxes and duties, substantial delays between when a customer pays and when they can access the content — shifting to a digital-only product has made all this possible.” – SOURCE: Digiday – On the hunt for subscriber growth, US publications look abroad. This is where globalization reaches its peak online and gives a hard time for local businesses, by the way. But without leaving the subject, this is definitely the last move many businesses have today because many brands have superior quality in comparison to local ones, opening some big doors to real growth. But once that’s saturated, there’s no more way to go. That’s for sure.
HEADLINE: Confessions of A Media Buyer: ‘It’s A Game of How Cheap You Can Be’
COMMENT: Read this to understand what agencies are facing today on the market. This trend will only likely increase because this article connects to this other one: We’re less likely to collaborate in Bad economic times — hence the reason why this is happening. However, that’s actually just bad management happening at a worldwide level, which obviously means there’s a bad rewarding system for employees because otherwise workers would help each other out. But once your reward is at stake, you’ll try to protect what’s yours at all costs. So that below is the end result of poor management — which is something that’s basically happening in almost every company today, not just agencies.
HEADLINE: No, Advertising Spend is Not Moving Online
PUBLISHER: The Drum
COMMENT: This is definitely a must-read especially because of the insights involving working trends, like the last one I highlighted below. Another point is that it reveals some mediums getting more investments than digital that many marketers mistakenly consider useless or too old for today’s market. Make sure to read it.
HEADLINE: Brazil’s Biggest Newspaper Leaves Facebook After Algorithm Change
PUBLISHER: The Guardian
COMMENT: Businesses don’t usually know this but Brazil is Facebook’s 3rd biggest market in the world, with 130 million users making this a pretty big deal because remember what I said about the big whales leaving Facebook? If you haven’t read it, then read it. So yes…this is definitely a huge problem that involves many very negative consequences for Facebook. That’s for sure. But it’s mainly a bigger issue for companies (international or not) who are too reliant on Facebook for business because Facebook is currently the 2nd biggest eater of advertising dollars online, which in turn brings up an unprecedented bad domino effect (obviously). If the one company that controls a lot of the access to customers worldwide is having huge issues, then everybody is on the same boat. But I won’t repeat myself here. Just check the links and read everything I wrote and you’ll understand the bigger picture.
HEADLINE: Unilever Threatens to Pull Ads From Facebook and Google
PUBLISHER: The Guardian
COMMENT: First of all, you must read this with the Marketing Article #104 card because a lot of the subjects that have to do with this article below are already connected there. Facebook has customers who are basically whales, meaning if those big customers pull their ads from Facebook the huge consequences I explained in the card that was just mentioned will likely take place. But if you’re curious, one obvious consequence is Facebook becoming a pay-to-get-in social network. If too many “whales” decide to leave Facebook, then its revenue and stocks will tank overnight and stay there because a huge chunk of Facebook’s revenue will never come back since money is being concentrated in fewer hands. We already have some big examples as evidence like Folha de S. Paulo — Brazil’s Biggest Newspaper — quitting from publishing content on Facebook which obviously means they won’t be paying any more money to boost posts anymore. That’s just one example. Then you have Mozilla pressing pause on Facebook advertising as well, adding one more big brand to the head count. Next, you have Adidas, another big brand pulling its investments from Facebook along with many senior marketers as you can see next: “The marketer’s media team stopped buying video ads on Facebook and is reviewing whether to cut its spending there due to concerns that people aren’t regularly viewing its ads there, according to three separate agency executives, speaking on condition of anonymity. The executives said Adidas is frustrated about the limited amount of data Facebook shares with its marketers to verify the efficacy of their ads, even as it becomes more expensive to advertise on the site. Up to 30 percent of what Adidas spends on Facebook could be wasted, said one of the executives, who works with Adidas’ media team. The sportswear advertiser isn’t the only one frustrated with Facebook. In a CMO Council survey of 233 senior marketers, 62 percent said reports of false metrics from Facebook have pushed them to pull back on spending on it” – SOURCE: Digiday. This goes all the way through marketing technology companies which are also considering the exact same thing: “Bob Gilbreath, the chief executive of the marketing technology company Ahalogy, said that his company has been watching the Facebook changes and consumer responses carefully. ‘We have to let the court of public opinion shift, and certainly, if Facebook puts more controls down or if the costs go up, we’ll move dollars elsewhere’ he said.” – SOURCE: The New York Times. Finally, there are C-level executives making this same decision but based on other motives, such as personal or moral judgement: “Unilever CMO Keith Weed announced at the annual Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) conference in California that he was weeding out advertising from platforms that ‘do not make a positive contribution to society’. But what exactly constitutes a positive contribution to society? And who decides? The lines are in danger of blurring now between hate speech, which is legislated against, and differing opinions and tastes, which call for moral or personal judgement.” – SOURCE: The Drum. Now, do you really think Facebook can resist all these factors together? Not if you read the whole problems Facebook is facing today, my friend.
HEADLINE: How Facebook and Linkedin Algorithms Are Hurting Digital Business
COMMENT: Read this.
HEADLINE: Facebook’s Big Threat: Advertisers Questioning ROI
COMMENT: Ready to a reality check? Because if you’re a big brand who is feeding dollars to Facebook and getting nowhere this will definitely be liberating. It’s not just you. It’s not a lack of marketing expertise. And it’s not the size of your budget. Facebook Ads ROI has actually tanked for good. Take a look at some big testimonies: “The Weather Channel is no longer publishing videos to Facebook. ‘Facebook video hasn’t been beneficial,’ said Neil Katz, global head of content and engagement at The Weather Channel. ‘We went along for the ride every single step of the way,’ Katz said. ‘But we noticed, over the course of two years, that we were being paid in all types of currencies — followers, shares, views — that did not feel like money’. Paid to produce a predetermined number of minutes per month, The Weather Channel found it was only making $28 per minute of video produced. For comparison, Katz pointed out how the CBS reality show ‘Survivor’ cost $45,000 per minute to make in 2009.” – SOURCE: Digiday – A Fun Adventure, Not A Business: The Weather Channel stopped publishing video on Facebook. Are you understanding now? Does it look like this is a problem only a few brands are having? Definitely not. The reality is much worse and this article below connects precisely with everything I wrote in this other card, where I proved through “A + B” why Facebook is a lot more expensive nowadays and why it’ll only be even more expensive in the future. Now just read everything I wrote there and you’ll see what comes next. Finally, there’s also something you need to worry about: if all major Facebook customers begin to pull ads and investments from Facebook in a short amount of time, revenue and stocks will drop tremendously. That wave of desperation may trigger more aggressive business measures from Facebook like finally turning it into a pay-to-get-in social network (which is something already underway). This is a very serious issue because it may change the whole digital advertising industry overnight. Therefore, remember: If big money leaves Facebook too fast, get ready to pay a lot more to Facebook because someone will have to pay the bill. Enjoy your readings.
HEADLINE: Publishers Stop Facebook Ads: Policy Views Them as Political Advertisers
COMMENT: Read this. Seems like Facebook is trying to subtly shut down journalism, by wrongfully branding them as political advertisers and making absurd requests in order to let them advertise on the platform.
HEADLINE: Publishers Wrestling With FB’s Desire to Own Facebook Watch Shows
COMMENT: Facebook is now seeking to eat publishers’ lunch by going after their Intellectual Property, claiming ownership over their IP which opens doors to many profiting opportunities. Take a look at what Facebook recently did to its licensing terms for Facebook Watch shows: “Facebook is willing to put more money toward these projects — while budgets will obviously vary, multiple Watch partners quoted potential budgets well into six figures per episode — but it increasingly wants to own these shows. This means the producer would only make the typical 10-15 percent profit margin that entertainment studios carve out for making TV shows, sources said.” – SOURCE: Digiday – Facebook is changing licensing terms for Watch shows, creating a dilemma for publishers. First, Facebook went after people’s personal data and now it’s after people’s work. After all those scandals Facebook still tries to suck more out of you. Ridiculous. Now it’s up to you to decide whether you want to become a slave to Facebook or not. That’s the end result where both your best work and your data are handed over for Facebook to profit off of it. Read this.
HEADLINE: Facebook’s Future Rests on Knowing You Even Better
COMMENT: Yes, definitely another must-read. Definitely. But make sure to read it with this other critical card (!) because it’ll help you connect the dots and understand where all this is going for Facebook — and consequently, many businesses. Ok, The rising cost of Facebook Ads has to do with many things — the card I just linked to you is definitely one of those things — but basically it has to do with the following key factors: 1) FEWER PEOPLE USING FACEBOOK — Since fewer and fewer people are using Facebook nowadays, businesses have basically fewer targets for their ads. This automatically forces companies into a more expensive auction because the number of business paying for ads on Facebook hasn’t changed much — in comparison to the number of users — making 500,000 companies (example) pay a lot more to win auctions to get their ads shown to, now, fewer users (due to lack of users). Besides, current users are logging less as well. Supply and demand, remember? If you don’t have many eyeballs as before to supply, but you still have almost the same number of companies wanting it (demand), the price of ads skyrockets. 2) RIDICULOUS ALGORITHM CHANGES — Because of the latest stupid algorithm changes, Facebook removed more organic access to customers for brands. The problem is that for many of those businesses, Facebook is pivotal to customer acquisition forcing many of them to shift to pay-to-play mode on the platform. However, by doing this, Facebook naturally increased competition on ad auctions making almost all businesses pay more in order for them to have a chance to get the eyeballs they want. Facebook manipulated the demand by changing its algorithm. Again. The result? Well…here’s the result. And since Facebook is not increasing the number of ad inventory available, businesses are competing for almost the same inventory as that used back in 2010. Therefore, you have 1000x more businesses than in 2010 fighting for the same ad inventory now. Completely unsustainable. Got it? Enjoy your readings.
HEADLINE: Why Facebook’s Troubles Haven’t Dented its Profits
COMMENT: This is a DEFINITELY A MUST-READ because it shows how Facebook executives and Mark are giving everybody a critical warning hint: Facebook next move is to become a pay-to-get-in social network. The signs are already here. Because once you see the true reality of Facebook in the marketplace nowadays, you realize they’re actually hanging by a thread. There’s not much of a way out, except charging people for its “service”, both businesses and users. And you can bet that many companies that still use Facebook for chatbots, facebook groups, live shows and ads will suddenly get caught by surprise with their 6-month marketing budgets falling too short, due to lack of anticipation. Read this.
HEADLINE: Interest in Facebook Groups is High, But Growth is Slow for Brands
COMMENT: Good article to make you realize two things: 1) The real reasons people/consumers decide to participate of Facebook Groups linked to a brand/company; 2) How even Facebook Groups are actually ridiculous if you’re seeking growth for your business on Facebook. Surely, the reason why this is happening nowadays is simply because Facebook cannot resist or hide these horrible business realities anymore. Read this.
HEADLINE: Apple’s New Privacy Rules Put Google/Facebook in A ‘Precarious Place’
COMMENT: Apple just delivered a big blow to the whole advertising community. Since Google and Facebook account for 84% of digital ad dollars worldwide, with this simple cute “tweak”, Apple just made things a whole lot worse for marketers and advertisers. It looks helpful, but it’s not. Many companies rely too much on Google and Facebook today to reach customers, so if the Duopoly can’t be as precise anymore then reaching the right customers at the right time in this chaotic war we call digital market (!) will become an even harder task. How many brands, companies and entrepreneurs are already killing to get some attention nowadays? How much content are they having to create just to get some eyeballs? How many dollars are they already wasting? Did you forget that The next big hurdle for marketers is the rising cost of Customer Acquisition? This means that companies are having to spend a lot more money to get customers today, and as you now know, Apple just made this big problem a whole lot worse. The good side is that this is only affecting Safari users which represent 13.85% of the browser market share worldwide but imagine if another browser decides to do the same thing — like Firefox, for instance. Big mistake. Now, although I’m 100% against companies abusing personal data use, and totally pro-privacy, the reality is that while in a super-competitive market the more data you have on your customer the better. Without it, you can’t create laser-like advertising because adverts of extreme precision require personal data. But now this is starting to fade away should browsers begin to do this.
HEADLINE: Coca-cola Breaking The Agency Model to Test Crowd-Sourced Creatives
PUBLISHER: The Drum
COMMENT: Genius Marketing. By pushing freelancers to help in their marketing, Coca-cola did the following with just one move: 1) SUMMONED GREAT DESIGNERS & ILLUSTRATORS FOR NO MONEY — Since many freelancers are in a war zone today to get their name out there in order to get better gigs, showcasing your work through Coca-cola itself helps a lot in getting perceived as a top quality freelancer (plus, it feels good). You can see that every work links back to someone’s social profile on the website I just linked to you. However, this also brings back the memory of something I saw years ago, the hilarious Divasca Blog [portuguese] where a professional illustrator posts the absurd requests he gets from “business” people, replying to them with drawings specifically created to mock their absurd requests (like do this illustration for free to get exposure etc). So there are two sides of a coin here. 2) SHARING MACHINE — Naturally, since freelancers and normal people with design skills want their 15 minutes of fame, they’ll overshare their work everywhere online to brag about having the skills to produce “Coca-cola level work”. To them, that’s bragging, but to Coca-cola, that’s free marketing. 3) BYPASS SOCIAL MEDIA ALGORITHMS — Many freelancers use personal accounts instead of business ones to showcase their work, and since social networks are killing free reach for businesses this campaign naturally bypasses those stupid algorithms while boosting Coca-cola’s reach at the same time. Got it? That’s what a good user-generated content strategy looks like, folks.
HEADLINE: Influencers Are Getting Long-term Contracts
COMMENT: Read this article along with this quick card to understand where all this is going for influencers and the business impact for them at the end of the road.
HEADLINE: Brands Are Bringing Influencer Marketing in-house
COMMENT: Influencers will become something like employees, eventually. This will kill that “business freedom” attached to being an influencer, and the financial outcome that comes with it because it’ll ultimately block influencers from raising their own prices killing their ability to grow their personal brands faster. They’ll also get commoditized by brands which will ultimately impact in their will to keep working — just like underpaid employees — because influencers are usually very different from each other regarding their work. So if an influencer considers himself better than another one, and if he feels he has a better craft but he and the other guy are both being paid the same amount of money for it, then that’s when things start to break. Make sure to read this.
HEADLINE: Youtube Can Now Deliver Ads Specifically to Its TV Viewers
PUBLISHER: The Drum
COMMENT: A serious advertising-changing move by Google. There’s some real possibility now for companies to reach customers who are in their TV rooms, on their sofas just chilling after a hard day at work, and paying a lot of attention to the ads being shown without having the same ability to skip them as fast as in a PC or smartphone. TV viewers are in a passive mode, not in active mode, controlling everything and seeking something on a computer. So this is pretty huge because have a look at the percentage of Smart TV sales (worldwide). Crazy, right? Smart TV sales have only been growing lately so there’s definitely something here. However, you must take into consideration a few things: 1) IF YOUTUBE IS BOMBING VIDEOS WITH ADS TOO FREQUENTLY — That Youtube isn’t bombing videos with more ads like it’s doing with music videos because people in their living rooms won’t use Youtube much if that’s the case, regardless of how awesome some brands are on Youtube. Many news outlets and entrepreneurs do a lot of professional live shows and videos on Youtube, but even those won’t survive in people’s living rooms if Youtube’s ad bombing business strategy is being too constant; 2) US-CHINA TRADE WAR — Double-check the impact of the US-China Trade War because americans import a lot of TVs from China . If the Trade War gets worse, TV prices will skyrocket therefore messing up with this Youtube Ads opportunity. The rest of the world may suffer the same consequences because there are too many connections between these two countries that impact other countries, due to globalization. 3) THE FINANCIAL CRISIS — Double-check the impact of the global financial crisis and also what unemployed people — remember this card about unemployment (!) — are doing to survive because at least in the latest financial crisis in Brazil, A LOT OF PEOPLE sold their furniture and TVs. You can see that by checking websites where people sell their stuff, like E-bay for instance. In Brazil it’s Olx.com. So as the financial crisis worsens, people take measures to survive which may impact your viewership. Got it? Enjoy your readings my friend.
HEADLINE: Youtube Will Frustrate Some Users With Ads So The Pay for Music
COMMENT: There are three things to notice here: 1) NEW ADVERTISING SLOTS — New Advertising slots are about to show up once Youtube purposely targets music videos, which creates opportunities for music-related brands (like Spotify) — although interruptive ads are not a good way to grab customers (hence the headline). 2) GOOGLE EATING MUSICIANS’ MONEY — Youtube is going to eat a share of musicians’ money, since this is the only way those vast amounts of people will pay for music as they like free stuff. Besides, many don’t have money anyway and won’t be able to pay anything — especially Millennials (!). 3) GOOGLE WILL BOMB FREE VIDEOS WITH ADS — Google apparently is now OK with increasing rampant ads to force people to spend money — a big cultural shift — whether that’s through excessive ads or by forcing them to join their paid service. Besides, Youtube is kicking out many content creators out of its ad program as Recode reported back in January 2018: “YouTube is going to make it harder for small video makers to make money. The world’s largest video site will kick thousands of people out of its ad revenue-sharing program, and will make it much harder for new ones to get into the program. The change, which goes into effect today, is one of YouTube’s responses to a year of criticism it has generated for a series of scandals involving questionable and offensive content that has appeared on the site.” – SOURCE: Recode. Now, if you’re a smart person then you can predict the consequences that come next right? First: serious, professional content creators will vanish from Youtube, lowering its overall quality. Second: New content creators won’t even consider Youtube as a platform to invest time, money and effort since there’s a monster barrier for them to make money since day one. And finally, this impacts Youtube’s overall revenue since its platform got weaker. So what might come next? Massive Ads for free videos and the experience we used to have, only in paid version. Get it? This is why I always say that the better you predict where all these tech companies that move Online Marketing are going next, the better your marketing strategy will become. So you can surely bet that once the financial crisis worsens, every single free video will get this “excessive ads treatment” that music videos are getting. Think about that when thinking about creating content to post on Youtube next time.
HEADLINE: Social Media Marketing is Completely Useless
PUBLISHER: The Drum
COMMENT: Great Article. A BIG reality check for brands in a world where social media marketing is completely overrated. Once you study the facts and the data involving social media marketing, you can clearly see the ugly truth as Samuel exposed. So unless you’re using social media as a Celebrity, CEO or individual person, there’s not much point in spending your hard-earned money on social media. The ROI is weak. Brands have little engagement in social media because customers DO NOT want to talk with brands. Period. However, there are a few exceptions like using it for customer support — Xbox does this very well on Twitter — or to promote a new movie — like John Wick Chapter 3 — but ultimately, brands will have to spend a lot of time and money into something that won’t increase sales that much. Remember the fiasco behind The Pepsi Refresh Project? Well, this article shows more business realities like that. There’s no point in putting money into a campaign to get 10 MILLION followers if your sales stay the same after the campaign. Read this.
HEADLINE: Are ZERO-Result SERPs The Next Step for Google?
COMMENT: Ok, set aside anything you’re doing for 5 minutes because this whole card is a must-read for professional online businesses. What this Forbes article brings to discussion is simple: Will Google turn its search results into a one-result page eventually? Meaning, since Google has been answering questions by itself either by using its own answers, or through rich snippets (grabbing chunks of content from websites), will brands still have a organic space in search results? Jason — the author of this Forbes article — explains some crucial points we need to pay attention to on this subject, and very well. But there’s definitely more to this as his conclusion goes against mine. First off, the reasons Jason gave for this NOT to happen are basically weak if you pay attention to the global business scenario. One reason he gives is “competitors arise and take on Google” (by exploiting the opportunity of a possible backslash). However, that’s extremely difficult to happen. Why? For starters, Google already has 91% market share (globally) when it comes to search engines. That literally wipes out any chance of possible competitors taking Google’s place because in order to fight Google you need: 1) time burning resources (workforce + money) in a fight with Google to then eat Google’s lunch; 2) remarkable tech infrastructure that also has cybersecurity experts and robust protection systems in place to block hackers from crushing your work WHILE you’re in a WAR with Google. From my perspective, only Bing could (possibly) meet those criteria since it’s backed by Microsoft. However, we all know that in order to penetrate the global market and REVERSE the situation and eat a good piece of Google’s search engine market share, Microsoft would need to deploy many resources for a good amount of time. Because timing here isn’t enough. Exploiting a bad move made by Google is definitely not enough. Massive resources are necessary to keep adding pressure on Google until it loses its dominant position. And that takes time. So competition is out of the picture simply because it would take too much time, too much effort and too much money to start a fight against Google. No company in today’s market has billions to burn just to go to fight this kind of war. They’re light-years ahead in expertise and data gathering. Also, Google could rollback its updates and crush any competitor in a very early stage. That’s one point. The next point is Applicability, which basically means if this zero-result scenario can fit the bill for EVERY query. For example, is it possible for Google to use one result to answer queries such as “professional plumber in London” or “travel agency in NY”? Because this naturally implies that the user wants as many options as possible, right? Well, yes and no. You see, consumers don’t actually like to do plenty of research before buying something. They only do it, because they want to make sure they’re making the right choice (like not buying a poor quality product) or to make sure they aren’t being deceived by some shady brand. This is why product review websites are critical for today’s economy. Because it shrinks the amount of work involved in the buying process. People don’t want to “work” every time they want to buy something, which is also why people stick to a brand once they find a good one. So how could Google solve this kind of query where many options are expected in its search results? Simple: Centralized platforms that connect professionals/products with customers (like Upwork, Amazon etc). Google could rank a platform’s ideal professional/product or a list of professionals/products to solve this and platforms would keep fighting for that one place in search results. But there’s a problem: why would professionals submit to such platforms in the first place instead of running their own brands and trying to rank them? Easy: due to lack of visibility. The same reason why companies use social networks today as an extension for their businesses: lack of attention. Without attention, your business cannot survive. Why do you think businesses choose to sell their products on Amazon (a platform)? Answer: more visibility. And why do you think 55% of online shoppers in the U.S. start their product searches on Amazon? Answer: Less work in the buying process. If you’ve been monitoring the market, giant corporations are spreading themselves all over the world lately. It only takes a good investment, and a great strategy for a big corporation to start a fight with local businesses. For example, who would predict that Amazon would buy Whole Foods 2 years before it happened? Practically no one. But with too much money in your pocket, and proper tech and a strong market strategy, a corporation can “invade a country” and become a direct threat to local/national businesses extremely fast. And since businesses are shifting their attention to other countries trying to find a less competitive market, this is obviously expected. Ok, that’s another point. Now, let’s head to the final argument. It begins after these next important paragraphs extracted from a great Moz Article. Here it goes: “First off, preliminary data suggests that these really are isolated cases. Across the 10,000 searches that MozCast tracks daily, one search (0.01%) currently displays zero results: “1 gigabit to gigabyte.” This change is not impacting most high-volume, competitive queries or even the vast majority of results with Knowledge Cards. Second, we have to face the reality that Knowledge Cards, even paired with organic results, already dramatically impact search user behavior. Thanks to Russ Jones, we’ve pulled some data from an internal CTR study we’re currently working on at Moz. In that study, SERPs with 10 blue links have a roughly 79% organic click-through rate (overall). Add just a Knowledge Card, with no other features, and that drops to 25%. That’s a 68% drop-off, a loss of over two-thirds of organic clicks. Google has tested this change and likely found that showing organic links on these particular searches provided very little additional value.”(SOURCE: Moz). Did you see that? ONE Knowledge Card drops organic CTR from 79% to 25%. Huge problem. But hold on, because there’s more: “While the zero-result SERP is certainly a new and extreme case, the removal of organic results in favor of other features has been happening (and expanding) for quite some time now. SERPs with as few as 3–4 page-one organic results have been appearing in the wild for well over a year.”(SOURCE: Moz). Hmm…”expanding” is not a good word here. And it’s true if you’re paying attention to this topic (and if you’re paying attention to your own google results being served to you). But what about the claim that “preliminary data suggests that these really are isolated cases”? Well, don’t trust that as an argument to disregard Zero-result SERPs as a likely possibility. Regardless of the tiny amount (0.01%) of cases taking place. The reason is simple: Google owns A LOT of data. Google owns Google Chrome (data on your browser history), Google Analytics (data on your business), Google Search (data on what you want, and data on your internet behavior), Google Maps (data on where you go), Google Adwords (data on what you want others to buy from you), Android (data on your phone, including your personal location regardless of whether you give it to them) and a lot more. Now, once you put all these facts together you can be pretty sure that Google knows A LOT about almost every internet user alive. Therefore, do you really think they need to test changes like Zero-result SERPs with more than 0.01% to project results? There’s no need for Google to make a lot of “noise” to test things nowadays. A subset of queries can give them the core insights they need before rolling out something like this. Of course, there are many variables and it’s definitely a complex update, but it’s something Google can handle for sure once enough tests are made. So is this a likely scenario? I’d say it’s extremely likely. And I’ll also say this: Google is going to become a pay-to-play channel just like Facebook eventually. The reason is simple: global economic pressure. You see, the global market is about to experience a SERIOUS crash and with problems like ad fraud and ad blockers going viral, even Google is returning money to businesses. Chaos is being installed in the digital industry. So a way for Google to make money out of this whole apocalyptic situation is to turn most of its search results into a PPC model. And here’s another argument to support this: Google is going after those in the market who still have money to spend. You see, money is being concentrated in fewer hands and that eventually becomes a problem for the free market because in order for a business to make HONEST money, it needs to provide value. The only way to create growth, is through value exchange. But fewer companies today can bring value to a market that’s about to crash. That’s the truth. But since Google controls a lot of the global attention, it has value to provide in this chaotic scenario. So if everybody is getting stripped off of their attention levels, do you think businesses will think twice before jumping on a new pay-to-play Google model? Definitely not. Because without attention, a business will soon cease to exist. Many brands STILL put money on Facebook even after the massive scandals that came to light. That’s what I wanted you to know. Make sure to read both articles. Enjoy.
HEADLINE: The Tiny Tracker Could Change The Way Brands Measure Engagement
PUBLISHER: Fast Company
COMMENT: A must-read to see where Marketing may be going next when it comes to measuring engagement thanks to Neuromarketing principles (link #1 | link #2). And make sure to watch the Coca-cola and the Super Bowl videos to test the results by yourself. You’ll notice the difference and how this can look through the rigged value humans attribute to an ad.
HEADLINE: You Say Paywalls Are Back? For The FT They Never Went Away
PUBLISHER: Fast Company
COMMENT: The WSJ model is something very impressive from a marketing standpoint which makes this is a must-read if you’re thinking about implementing paywalls for your online business. However, there’s a complementary resource worth checking out that raises a good warning on this subject: The Times:”No more than 10 Global News can have a paying audience”. This is why I’m certain almost everybody will have to embrace a pay-per-content model instead of working with subscriptions. Because eventually, people will choose the pieces of content that serves them in every area, from entertainment to business. Think about it. Today we already have massive noise thanks to hordes of content being created by the second. No matter how big your budget is or how much content you produce, the noise on the internet is overshadowing EVERYBODY so keeping up with this pace won’t change your results. The level of attention is dropping tremendously and we’re seeing a brand new problem: The Rising cost of customer acquisition. We’re putting too much effort to get too little attention because even when things go viral, they don’t stay viral for too long. The next week there’s something else already stealing attention because the world is too interconnected. Besides, content production at the pace brands are trying to maintain today just kills their workforce because of one simple thing: burnout. People are not machines, and eventually they’ll stop delivering. And yes, Paywalls are showing some good results, but the truth is that we don’t enter a supermarket and buy everything that’s inside. Likewise, we don’t watch everything that’s available on Netflix just because we have full access. Get it? I’d only buy SOME articles from The New York Times. Not everything they publish is of my interest. And I’d only buy SOME movies and TV series from Netflix because some of its content is just not for my taste. Therefore, pay-per-content is the way out. A model where everybody will benefit, from brands down to content creators. Companies will be forced to know the needs of the market with much more precision to deliver something that sells. Companies will also be forced to calibrate their hiring to get more sales per content, as if a business article is just as important as a new Netflix series. And content creators will have to bring real value to the table in order to land a job or a project, whether that’s a web series, a whitepaper, a video or a great article. If anything in this chain fails, companies lose revenue and content creators lose value in the market. Finally, here’s what we know for ages: People want to work less. People want more money. People want results. Pay-per-content is the way out.
HEADLINE: We Want to Become A Marketing Company: Meet The New Cisco
PUBLISHER: The Drum
COMMENT: Everybody is a Media Company remember? There’s no avoiding it anymore and Cisco just realized the depressive and harsh reality about today’s marketplace. Now they’re investing their efforts in getting attention and they’re having a truly impressive head start as a “marketing company”. Check the article and especially the videos and you’ll definitely agree. Seriously, just read this.
HEADLINE: How to Audit Your Adtech Vendors’ GDPR Readiness
COMMENT: A great resource with an 11-question questionnaire for auditing your Adtech vendors about GDPR readiness. There’s plenty to watch out for nowadays. For example, some Adtech businesses are constantly making deceptive assumptions, such as “We can continue to use personal data without consent because of an apparent carve-out related to “legitimate interest” contained in the GDPR” (SOURCE: PageFair). WRONG. Read the previous link. Read it. There can be no pre-ticked boxes, and “consent based on silence” is not permitted. How can you assume consent when there are at least 10 different purposes for which personal data are currently processed in the online behavioral advertising system?! Look, GDPR is not your friend. You must always remind yourself of these harsh realities to avoid falling into problematic scenarios with your business. I cannot stress enough how important this is for today’s international businesses.
HEADLINE: Consent is Unworkable for Programmatic Ads in The Era of GDPR
PUBLISHER: Martech Today
COMMENT: Just read this. This shows how serious the GDPR subject really is for companies today. There’s nothing pretty about it, folks. And a good complementary resource to this article is: GDPR Will lead to a scramble to pass off Liability to others. If you do your homework, you’ll listen to the warnings and advice experts are giving everybody and it will ultimately help you protect your business. Enjoy.
HEADLINE: For Marketers, TV Sets Are an Invaluable Pair of Eyes
PUBLISHER: The New York Times
COMMENT: The next level technology about to take over the market for TV-based content. No doubt. Because although there’s some creepy stuff sneaking into our living rooms, with consumer consent, understanding how content penetrates and influences the brain is definitely a valuable weapon for professional marketers. Mastering content in order to create good outcomes like good emotions, strong brand identity and sales only helps brands and consumers at the end of the day. Less annoying marketing, better experiences, and better results. Read this.
HEADLINE: If KOLs Aren’t Part of Your Marketing Strategy You Need to Read This
COMMENT: That’s the benefit of studying highly competitive markets like China: you see what works, and what’s most efficient. Very smart marketing. Check this out.
HEADLINE: Why Building a Brand is The Most Viable SEO Strategy
PUBLISHER: Search Engine Journal
COMMENT: Some brands will make you click on its links on search results regardless of the subject you’re searching for, because you simply trust the quality work of that brand. You just know there’s good work behind every publication, which is why you’re giving more SEO juice to that brand indirectly every time you click on its links and stay to check out the content. But that’s all due to one thing: brand identity. Because you know how that brand works, how it treats content, how it does research and fact-checking, you’re increasing its odds on search results every time you click on its links. But it’s all thanks to having a strong brand. Get it? Read this.
HEADLINE: Millions of Young People Are Flocking Away from Social Media
PUBLISHER: Business Insider
COMMENT: Youngsters are ditching Social Networks for Messaging Apps in the last 2 years due to some key reasons (that do make sense) as you can see below. For brands, this is very important to know as it shows how user/consumer behavior changes due to the weirdest reasons. Furthermore, this Exodus is likely another explanation why we’re seeing a boost in content sharing in Dark Social channels as well. With tons of youngsters on Dark Social every day it’s only logical that content sharing soars on such channels. And the trend is not going away since all latest Social Media algorithms are crushing post visibility, with users getting pissed off with social networks because of it. Another good reason for youngsters to leave everything for messaging apps that usually guarantee delivery and visibility (along with more privacy and protection from grammas). So if you are a brand, read this. Because the better you understand how user behavior changes and the motivations behind it, the better your marketing.
HEADLINE: Ad Retargeters Scramble to Get Consumer Consent
COMMENT: Anyone surprised?
HEADLINE: The Epic Review of The Biggest Trends & Updates in PPC 2017
PUBLISHER: Search Engine Land
COMMENT: A must-read. Check out the advancements and upgrades the industry is getting for PPC campaigns.
HEADLINE: Want to Start A Publisher Co-op in Asia? Here’s The Winning Formula
PUBLISHER: The Drum
COMMENT: Read this if you’re looking for new ways to advertise to a business audience without giving money to Facebok, Linkedin or Google.
HEADLINE: Youtubers Beg Fans: Leave Videos on in The Background
PUBLISHER: The Daily Beast
COMMENT: There’s one hidden issue here many aren’t noticing: By restraining the number of hours a youtuber has to have to achieve Youtube’s monetary requirements, Google is also blocking smarter marketing strategies that are ideal for today’s digital market such as SNACKABLE CONTENT. Since there’s way too much content and people don’t tend to watch longer videos, if you start a Youtube Channel with a different approach like a professional 1-min video strategy, you’ll either get overwhelmed by the hard work or by the budget. Professional editing takes time and expertise and youtubers/brands will have to put much more work/money for minuscule rewards over time. While the marketing strategy to get attention is being precise, attention is all they’ll get for a long long time. This won’t work for those aware of the digital chaos taking place and want to strategize better to win. Today, even adverts are now being built to last as little as 5 seconds. Remember Jason Bourne’s “trailer” or Netflix’s House of Cards Season 4 Teaser? That’s because of the lack of attention internet users have today towards content. So if a smarter Youtuber is working on a marketing strategy involving snackable content — which will probably get attention if done right — Youtube will actually be playing against him from day one.
HEADLINE: Facebook Overhauls News Feed in Favor of “Meaningful Interactions”
PUBLISHER: The Guardian
COMMENT: OK, time to deconstruct this “announcement”. First of all, Facebook doesn’t want businesses using its platform without paying, so this is a way to end organic reach without having the balls to say it to the industry. Secondly, Facebook is having a big problem with shortage of ad inventory in the last few years as you may know (read this to understand why) but now the situation is becoming completely unsustainable. That’s mainly because many people like solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, businesses, and gramma’s home-based candy store invaded Facebook in the last 2 years and are now fighting over the same slots of attention on people’s news feeds. With so many people engaging in war for the same amount of slots than 2 years ago, Facebook Ads ROI drops tremendously. Therefore, while some are paying Facebook to get people’s attention, others are just in the way creating organic noise using things such as cat videos and taking over people’s news feeds. Facebook’s “meaningful posts only” ridiculous excuse is a way to shut that down for good so brands that do pay for attention get a better chance to reach customers. And another point is gathering as much as the wealth available on the market as possible during an economic crisis. Today, companies may be paying to do marketing on Facebook but if customers are going through a hardcore financial crisis then they can’t buy, can they? Therefore, after running some campaigns, businesses will stop putting money on Facebook Ads once the money doesn’t come back to them as expected via sales and conversions. However, for Facebook, there’s still money available on the market. The money from businesses. Regardless of whether the crisis is crippling customers (i.e. conversions) or not. So if Facebook suddenly cuts businesses’ attention, most of them will get desperate and put their remaining dollars on Facebook Ads without knowing what’s really going on in the market. Get it? Simple, isn’t it? That was a handmade meaningful comment for you, my friend.
HEADLINE: The Publications That Have Most to Lose from Facebook’s New Algorithm
COMMENT: You already know about the stupid excuse Facebook has been giving everyone in the industry about its latest algorithm change, right? It wants its news feeds to be “more meaningful”. What does it mean? Well, Facebook will favor family and friends posts in everybody’s news feeds over organic posts from business pages because that way people “get more connected” whenever they log on Facebook. That’s so cute. Great idea! Curiously, if you’re paying to promote the posts on your Facebook page instead of relying on organic reach, suddenly the meaningfulness is not a factor anymore. Interesting, isn’t? So basically, what you need to understand from all this is quite simple: “Facebook wants everybody to pay up to reach its audiences and organic reach is no more! But due to a lack of balls, they’re too afraid to speak things directly. Hence the ‘meaningful’ card.”. Now, since I know you’re smart, you and I both know that businesses will suffer from the algorithm change losing massive reach overnight. So here are the likely first catastrophic consequences about to take place for some major brands relying on Facebook traffic (click to read the full article with all brands):
HEADLINE: P&G Plans to Cut Another 50% And Bring More Media In-house
PUBLISHER: The Drum
COMMENT: Remember this? Well, now we’re starting to see how things are really getting serious. The ticking-time nuclear bomb in digital media is making its victims now, with big media companies finally admitting facing economic hardships because of the Google & Facebook duopoly, along with the many money-sucking problems crushing everybody in advertising today and making victims like JP Morgan & Chase while taking pieces of brands like Business Insider in just 15 minutes. There’s no joke anymore. No reason to trust agencies and the ad industry. We can’t even trust Google or Facebook nowadays (link #1 / link #2). So if you knew how the market actually is today, you would probably do the same. P&G is showing that agencies are about to die due to two factors: this massive chaos happening in the ad industry + the arrival of big consultancies in the marketing game. Because the reality is that very few agencies are aware of all these facts today. And even fewer agencies are professionally prepared to handle these issues and give new solutions for customers. That’s for sure.
HEADLINE: A Fifth of UK Brands Plan to Decrease Their Programmatic Ad Spend
PUBLISHER: The Drum
COMMENT: The consequences of lack of transparency, brand safety, ad fraud and ad viewability are now exploding in everybody’s faces in the advertising industry. Brands are waking up for the awful reality that their ad dollars are being wasted. This is nothing but a red alert telling marketers that the whole industry is having some serious problems with programmatic ads. Watch your money, folks.
HEADLINE: 77% of Content is Being Shared via Dark Social
PUBLISHER: The Drum
COMMENT: If you’re constantly thinking about where your marketing efforts are going after you’ve created so many great campaigns with everything in place, remember this article. Many websites are probably seeing tons of visits today from direct traffic, which is where Dark Social fits in Google Analytics. This website has more visits today via the direct channel (which can be traffic originating from Email, Whats app, Facebook Messenger, Slack etc) than any other channel. Since I’m targeting C-level executives and knowing how CEOs share and consume content Dark Social fits the goal. There’s not much ROI in sharing content in Social Media for this brand today. Therefore, the question you need to ask is simple: Are you marketing on the right place now that Dark Social became the new rule and millions of youngsters are flocking away from Social Media to Messaging Apps? Read this and think about it.
HEADLINE: 10 Psychological Retail Tricks to Make You Splurge This Holiday
PUBLISHER: Market Watch
COMMENT: Marketers will lose this because it all comes down to Neuromarketing. There are many exploitable flaws in the human mind to market a product, like using many of the resources available in Neuromarketing, The Psychology of Colors, The 5 Human Senses that make people buy and a lot more. Sean Parker, former Facebook president, even admitted that they were exploiting a few psychological tricks in a very evil way in order to maintain Facebook users addicted to its product back in the old days. With all these links, now you know how it works. Be a good boy and use these super powers for good, ok? Enjoy the read.
HEADLINE: The Chatbot Monetization Report
PUBLISHER: Business Insider
COMMENT: Regardless of what business you own, if you’re not thinking about delegating some of it to chatbot automation then you’re missing a big opportunity to lower your costs in customer service and content promotion/distribution. There’s even the possibility of cloning a CEO using a professional chatbot framework if you have the time, the resources, the energy and the right DATA to create a professional face of your company that people want to engage with. Now you have Business Insider showing through well-researched, hard data, that a chatbot is no joke when it comes to automating a business. Read this to see what you may be missing.
HEADLINE: Facebook’s Video Ad Program Isn’t Delivering Much Money to Publishers
COMMENT: Well, where do I start? Facebook’s Ad Platform is being easily gamed and people’s privacy is being cheaply bought by anyone with a few dollars, Facebook Ads customer reach estimative is larger than the actual amount of people in the country, and Facebook has enormous measurement errors, but besides all those nice news, there’s also this low incentive to publishers issue. With these few previous lines of FACTS, you now have a broader view that allows you to sit back, stop any stupid Facebook marketing moves you were about to make, and really think things through if investing money and resources on Facebook was something permeating in your head. Seriously, video publishers, what did you expect?!
HEADLINE: British GQ and Universal Music Test Shareable Podcast Formats
COMMENT: Innovation is what will save many companies in this crazy business Era where bots, extreme competition and people slaughtering each other for attention are the rule. Congrats to the folks at British GQ for pushing another innovative way to reach customers with Podcasts into the market. Let’s not forget that customers revealed Podcasts Ads are their favorite way for brands to reach them. Creating snackable content out of your shows can only help your marketing if you know what you’re doing and if you know who you’re targeting.
HEADLINE: How to Make Your Own Rankbrain List
COMMENT: This is a more technical view on how to “optimize” your website for Rank Brain. Just like I pointed out in the Marketing Article #63, making your website optimized for Google’s machine learning algorithm requires handling every search query as one different entity that has its own optimization profile. This is a must-read if you want to understand how to deconstruct Rank Brain nowadays.
HEADLINE: Google Penalties and Messages Explained
PUBLISHER: Search Engine Land
COMMENT: A very good resource to revisit if you’re running into problems with Google Penalties. Save this.
HEADLINE: Attribution Measurement is The TV Industry’s Latest Weapon
COMMENT: The marketing industry is living a boom in older channels like Radio and now TV, but you know why? Because digital isn’t working anymore. Thanks to the duopoly (Google & Facebook), marketers are exploring channels that can deliver without having to deal with the usual known problems of Google’s fake traffic, massive ad fraud, lousy Facebook metrics errors and more. TV is one of those promising channels that deliver without giving additional headache to marketers and CMOs. There was one problem though: you couldn’t have marketing metrics similar to digital due to the limiting technology. But now is here. Here’s a 15-second example by Netflix on iSpot.TV with Media and Attention measurements. Welcome to the new world.
HEADLINE: Dodgy Agency Tries to con Publisher in Ads.txt Fraud Saga
COMMENT: Whenever fraudsters get hit in the face, you can bet that they’re about to find a way to hit back. Here’s proof of what bad activities the market is seeing happen lately. Read this (especially the email sent to people in the ad industry).
HEADLINE: 5 Ways SEO Experts Say You Should Optimize for RankBrain
PUBLISHER: Search Engine Land
COMMENT: Remember Google’s 200 Ranking Factors published by Brian Dean? Well, Rank Brain isn’t like that. You cannot optimize for Rank Brain because Rank Brain uses its machine learning algorithm to DECIDE WHICH algorithms among the 200 will better suit a query. This means that queries are now having a personalized treatment, blocking the efficiency of old-school search engine optimization. Rank Brain can decide that only 14 of all Google’s algorithms are necessary and relevant to rank “shoe store in NY” whilst it can use only 7 algorithms to rank “sports t-shirts promotion” (just an example). Therefore, the way out for SEOs is simple: find out how the query of your product with all its particularities is ranking on Google and try to reverse engineer from that.
HEADLINE: Scandal Prompts FTC to Crack Down on Social Media Influencers
COMMENT: The wild wild west Era of Social Media Influencers is coming to an end now that the FCC is putting its efforts into ending unregulated, shady promoted posts. This short article by Mashable is a compilation of FCC’s new rules that anyone working with influencer marketing must comply, in order to avoid any further problems. A good resource to come back to, whenever you need to double check whether you’re playing by the book or not. And by the way, make sure to check out this article because of the scandal with YouTubers Martin and Cassel that happened in July 2016. You’ll understand why the FCC is restraining things for influencers and companies that work with them.
HEADLINE: Marketing Next Big Hurdle: The Rising Cost of Customer Acquisition
COMMENT: There’s a new problem in the market: many brands are spending their budgets like there’s no tomorrow to get a customer that won’t make the ends meet in the end. You see companies spitting out Content Marketing, PPC campaigns, Influencer Marketing campaigns and a lot more resources to trade ad dollars for….bananas. That’s because there’s too much competition, too much ad fraud, too many robots inflating traffic, too little Facebook inventory and too much content that needs to be bypassed in order to get your customer’s attention. Brands are now having a difficult time reaching their customers and prospects in a super-crowded, ultra-competitive and noisy online world. As a result, companies are forgetting about Cost of Acquisition (COA) altogether because there’s one thing more important than COA: Surviving. But how long will that last? How long can brands deal with the rising cost of customer acquisition? It’s time to think.
HEADLINE: Adform Discovered Bot Network Generating 1,5 Billion Requests/Day
PUBLISHER: The Drum
COMMENT: The folks at Adform did a good job publishing a paper about a large bot network named Hyphbot, which is supposedly bigger than Methbot, the biggest Ad Fraud to date (what a nice surprise!). I guess this became some sort of competition by now. The Drum presents some great highlights on the case, but check Adform’s paper if you want to really see how deep is the rabbit hole.
HEADLINE: Google Manual Actions: Frequently Asked Questions And Their Answers
PUBLISHER: Search Engine Land
COMMENT: A great resource from Search Engine Land on the FAQ regarding Google Manual Actions that you should keep in your pocket for whenever you have any doubts on the matter. Very concise and precise information.
HEADLINE: Domain Spoofing Costs Insider 10M Fake Impressions in 15 Minutes
COMMENT: Ad fraud is DOMINATING the Advertising industry. This is another piece of proof exposing how serious the matter is, and how much of your money is going down the toilet, especially if you’re buying “inventory” of top publishers like Business Insider and others. Hackers target where the money is, so don’t be stupid. Think before you put a massive amount of dollars into ads.
HEADLINE: It Takes Just $1,000 To Track Someone’s Location With Mobile Ads
COMMENT: A must read. The research the security experts from The Washington University did, was genius. Genius. It proved that by setting up a few location-based ads, you can triangulate someone’s position, and discover extremely personal data as well in the process. A simple ad would appear in location #1 when the user opens an app, then another ad appears on location #2 and thanks to identifiable mobile data (Mobile Advertising ID – MAID) you can follow someone using just mobile ads and reconstruct their path and even find out where he lives and works. The image below shows the trajectory of an individual discovered through this method. Like said before, this is a must read. And besides this article, I recommend you to read the full paper of this research. Everything is explained in a great level of detail, from the test subjects to the full experiments done by the researchers. Enjoy.
HEADLINE: Chase Had Ads on 400,000 Sites. Then on Just 5,000. Same Results.
PUBLISHER: The New York Times
COMMENT: Welcome to the apocalypse in the ad industry. I must admit that I was VERY surprised when I saw these numbers for the first time. This is past absurd already. JP Morgan & Chase had a massive amount of ads spread across 400,000 different websites, then, just on 5,000 and it got the very same results! This is pure chaos to say the least! It’s almost 99% of WASTED dollars!!! And this is just one case being reported. How many brands out there, are realizing they’re wasting their ad dollars without telling anyone? How many small, medium, and large companies are burning cash today? Definitely many. Billions are being sucked in by ad fraud, adblockers, bot traffic etc. The next time your agency starts asking for more budget to buy ads, remember this article. Because advertising is almost broken.
HEADLINE: When Adblockers and GDPR Kill All Adtech and Martech
PUBLISHER: The Drum
COMMENT: So many truths and so much data in this article that there’s no need to add anything else. Just read this. Period.
HEADLINE: If Ads Don’t Work, can Publishers Strike Subscription Gold?
COMMENT: Companies and investors are taking more seriously subscription-based business models with all the mess that has been happening lately in the advertising space. This will likely become the main model for all serious brands because putting aside the chaos in the ad industry, there’s also another factor to consider: the financial crisis. When this comes to play, many brands have to adapt really fast or else, die. Subscriptions are the future. No doubt. The market is already proving that to be true with major publishers like The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Financial Times embracing subscription-based models. As a consequence, finding free high-quality content will be just like finding gold in real life. Because serious brands, which are capable of producing content that matters, have bills to pay. But with all these new regulations, adblockers, ad fraud, brand safety problems and everything else, advertising can’t be trusted anymore. Subscriptions, are a different story. They can save the day for brands in financial crisis and in the midst of this advertising mayhem.
HEADLINE: Every Major Advertising Group Is Blasting Apple for Blocking Cookies
COMMENT: Yes, besides adblockers, ad fraud, bot traffic, new regulations, several fees for a dollar invested in advertising, here comes Apple to mess things up a little more for marketers by removing important cookie trackability functionality. All these highlights about “generic ads” are 100% right. Without data, every company will keep fighting for attention without being able to be as precise as they once were. Bad for customers, bad for businesses. This is what happens when Steve Jobs leaves the building.
HEADLINE: IAB Europe Warns of Restricting Data-Driven Ads
PUBLISHER: Research Live
COMMENT: Data: 66% of current digital ad spend requires DATA. Period. This proves that more than HALF of the digital advertising industry requires data to make the industry what it is today. Now, what will happen to Europe once part of its “marketing juice” gets taken away because of new regulations? Answer: international companies dodging European customers to avoid the massive GDPR fines is one obvious consequence. Another obvious consequence is European companies putting a lot more effort in other countries to avoid its own fines. Both consequences will increase competition in places that most companies are not expecting, practically in a matter of months (or maybe even weeks). Remember China New Cybersecurity Law that gives absurd control over foreign tech? Well, this is what can cause a HUGE exodus of businesses in a short amount of time. For the country that lost all businesses, it’s bad. But it’s far worse for the other countries that will welcome these businesses because suddenly, you have MASSIVE COMPETITION overnight. Example: If you had 100 American companies fighting for a certain number of American customers, then suddenly you have 10000 companies fighting over the same customers. All thanks to government regulations causing an exodus. With one regulation, you can increase competition in foreign countries in a short time span.
HEADLINE: The GDPR will help or hurt publishers, depending on who you ask
COMMENT: This is one of the many articles that you should show to delusional business people who are still thinking that Facebook and Google are the ones who should be worrying about GDPR. Help them with their homework by giving them this link. Remove them from The Wonderland.
HEADLINE: GDPR: CMO warns of Threaths Within Martech Infrastructure
PUBLISHER: Martech Today
COMMENT: This article has some very good warnings for the those using martech in the marketing industry. Very few marketers are thinking about their services and marketing tools as a system as a whole, because that’s what GDPR will consider in the end. Check out this article.
HEADLINE: The Russian Methbot Scam Is Just the Tip of the Ad Fraud Iceberg
COMMENT: Another resource talking about Methbot, the biggest ad fraud advertisers ever seen in the market until this day. With such high numbers of fake views, this should at least make you think about how much of your advertising budget is being wasted. Nowadays, criminals are preferring online fraud instead of robberies and other offline criminal activities, simply because it’s just more profitable. With serious criminals stepping up in the market, the game changes completely.
HEADLINE: Methbot: Hackers Make $5M A Day By Faking 300M Video Views
COMMENT: Are you putting money in online advertising? Then you better be aware of Methbot, the biggest ad fraud to date which was able to fake 300 MILLION video views inflating several brands’ marketing reports with robot activity. The hackers reverse engineered ad-quality verification processes and determined how to pass off the impressions as legitimate. This was a powerful wake-up call to the advertising industry because ad fraud nowadays is rampant. Recently, Google even had to issue refunds to customers because of fake activity generated by robots. Therefore, double-check where you’re putting your money online.
HEADLINE: Bot Traffic Report 2016
COMMENT: Do you know how much of your current traffic is made just of robots? This report by Incapsula reveals some depressing numbers, I assure you. A medium website for example, which has around 1k to 10k visits per month has almost 25% of its visits made by bad robots, and almost 23% made by good robots. This shows that ALMOST HALF of a medium website’s visits is just non-human traffic. And don’t you think that a simple filter in Google Analytics is stopping you from seeing bots because many use impersonation techniques, after all many of these bots are run by hackers. Anyway, this is A MUST READ. Great work by Incapsula. Great work.
HEADLINE: How Do CEOs Consume Content? Quartz Asked 940 Executives
PUBLISHER: Brand Channel
COMMENT: REMARKABLE RESEARCH by Quartz. Extracting this amount of insights from CEOs is a very very very rare thing to see, even online. If you’re thinking about how to reach CEOs nowadays then you must check out this article because it’s a unique resource. A must read.
HEADLINE: Facebook Moving Non-Promoted Posts Out of News Feed in Trial
PUBLISHER: The Guardian
COMMENT: This is another piece of fact that shows why NO BUSINESS should trust social networks. Facebook is making the very same move it did a while ago when it flipped a switch and suddenly all businesses got only 2% organic reach, turning into a more “pay-to-play social network”. The next level will be definitely to make everything a pay-to-play environment for brands, not only because of Facebook’s business goal to find/increase sources of revenue, but also because the world economy is shrinking and the next global economic crisis is coming strong which will force businesses to make harsh decisions to survive and to keep investors happy.
HEADLINE: B.K. Turned Tweets From People Complaining About Wendy’s Into Ads
COMMENT: Nowadays, it’s VERY rare to find awesome marketing. This is one of those cases where marketing meets a genius marketing mind. If you wanna learn how to draw attention to your business, learn a little from Burger King. A simple example of how to use and REUSE social content, especially from competitors and other brands.
HEADLINE: How Easy it’s for Anyone (and Russia) to Target You With FB Ads
PUBLISHER: Business Insider
COMMENT: This article is a very good breakdown on political ads on Facebook, showing all best targeting possibilities that a politician (or a brand) can do and the amount of money it will cost you to get the results you want. The 3 companies that revealed their ways to target people, diversified between each other, giving you at least a few different ways to target someone based on personal preferences and personal qualities. Great marketing insights.
HEADLINE: Facebook’s Efforts to Axe Russian Hackers Will Hit Marketers
COMMENT: In today’s super-crowded Business Era, allowing such level of transparency may actually hurt businesses for several reasons. For example, larger companies can use the “user transparency” excuse to steal a whole facebook targeting strategy from smaller brands, and then throw a lot more money into that strategy making fair competition far more difficult. And let’s not forget the whole work done behind the scenes by marketers, which is also stolen indirectly. Businesses already have HUGE competition thanks to the massive number of websites publishing articles and creating more noise every hour, now once this “transparency” feature goes live, businesses on Facebook will have a harder time fighting big brands than ever before. Another point is Hackers. Depending on the product being sold, if it’s something expensive/premium and the company is targeting only those with high-income, a hacker can reverse-engineer that brand’s strategy to find victims or try to impersonate that brand’s adverts to lead victims to dangerous websites. And these are just two problematic points. There’s a lot more if you think very carefully about this.
HEADLINE: Hoffman: ‘Marketing to Youngsters is Narcissism Disguised as Strategy’
COMMENT: The headline of this article is not the reason why this was put on the list. The reason is all the many truths Bob Hoffman (Ad Contrarian) constantly speaks about the digital advertising industry. He stated many facts that few brands like to admit (especially agencies). Facts that you should know by now if you’re about to put money into digital advertising. And his age point is right: Americans over 50 years old control 70% of America’s wealth, and few brands target this side of the population (hence the headline). But check all other facts too because they’re important.
HEADLINE: How The FTC is Cracking Down on Deceptive Influencer Marketing
COMMENT: There’s not much to say here except that if you’re working with influencers in Social Networks then you better comply with these new FTC rules to avoid problems in the future. Any “workarounds” are not the answer, but creative ideas on how to promote paid posts are the answer instead. Put your creative mind to work because there’s always a way out.
HEADLINE: Adfraud is The New School Mafia
PUBLISHER: The Huffington Post
COMMENT: A few years ago Ad fraud was something few were exploring because of the very advantages mentioned in this article. Now, ad fraud is attracting criminals that used to sell drugs and do other malicious activities simply because it’s more PROFITABLE. There’s far more competition, but there’s also a lot more online criminals. Some are moved by money, others by necessity. There’s even a town in India where kids and youngsters admitted to the news: “We do online frauds because that’s the only work we know. That’s how we help feed our families”. So nowadays, whenever you buy some online ads, have this “alternative reality” in mind.
HEADLINE: There’s a Ticking Time Bomb Inside The Online Advertising Market
COMMENT: Whenever someone comes with that “Sunshine and Rainbows” sales pitch approach to you, trying to sell ads and traffic, remember the points highlighted below (especially the second one). This is the kind of information that you need to dig around to find, because it’s the “dirt” in the advertising industry that most publishers and ad networks don’t want you to know about.
HEADLINE: The Complex Problem of ‘Click Spamming’
COMMENT: Because of limitations in the click attribution technology, click spamming is something that stays present in the life of those involved in online advertising. As highlighted, good people use it for fair reasons. Did you know that publishers lose 30% of the app installs they generated on mobile devices? That’s because of lack of attribution, making good publishers lose money. That’s where click spamming comes to save the day. The problem is: bad actors use it to inflate click numbers too, generating ad fraud. This is another reason why ad fraud is something that’s not that easy to go away, and why you should expect even a little bit of money waste when buying ads online. The advertising system, is not perfect.
HEADLINE: Mobile ‘Click Injection’ Fraud Forecast to Become Prevalent in 2017
COMMENT: There’s always more wood to add to all the fire of ad fraud. This very short article gives you another warning: Android devices have a particular click injection problem that impacts your marketing data. Also, another proof that relying too much on data to make marketing decisions is a flawed business mindset, since data can be deceptive thanks to ad fraud, adblockers, illusional impressions, milliseconds of viewability etc.
HEADLINE: Trade Desk Responds To P&G’s Pritchard’s CTA, Takes Shot at Google
COMMENT: Interesting approach by TradeDesk and WhiteOps. If you don’t know WhiteOps, it’s the cybersecurity company that discovered and revealed to the whole advertising industry the famous Methbot ad fraud which made hackers earn between 3 to 5 MILLION dollars per DAY. Therefore, this is a strong partnership. The few highlights made below show that a VERY promising solution is coming to the marketplace, but make sure to check the article anyway.
HEADLINE: WTF is Ads.txt?
COMMENT: With all this Ad fraud taking over the whole industry it was about time for someone to step up and provide some solutions. One of them is Ads.txt. A file similar to Robots.txt, which you can access via URL that allows everyone to know all company’s partners that are allowed to sell ad inventory in that company. If some network is promising you ad inventory on Forbes, The New York Times, Fortune or other big websites, check the company’s Ads.txt file to make sure you’re not buying a lie. Here’s Forbes’ Ads.txt file so you can check allowed partners.
HEADLINE: Digital Ads is Facing Its Moment of Truth, and Billions Are at Stake
COMMENT: There are two things to observe here: 1) Big budgets are being wasted even by top brands proving that lack of transparency and ad fraud is in absurd levels to sustain the idea of putting hard-earned money into online ads; 2) With this kind of “Advertising Exodus”, if all called out brands (like Facebook and Google) fail to respond properly to those spending big money on ads, these companies’ revenues will drop substantianly in a short time span creating a scenario where ads in Google and Facebook will go sky high pratically overnight to smaller companies.
HEADLINE: Six-Second Commercials Are Coming to N.F.L. Games on Fox
PUBLISHER: The New York Times
COMMENT: Testimony: This new 6-second ads format WORKS! I actually CHOSE to view several 6-second ads because in my mind I was thinking: “Ok it’s just 6 seconds. I have six seconds to check this out before I go back to work”. Six seconds is the limit for humans to watch something before they get annoyed by a bad advertisement or to appreciate smart and good marketing. It’s not by chance that Fox is making this move. Check the article for yourself.
HEADLINE: Google Refunds Advertisers Whose Ads Ran On Fake Traffic Websites
PUBLISHER: International Business Times
COMMENT: Yes, if Google is returning funds to advertisers then all this ad fraud trend cannot be a lie or underperformed advertising, can it? This is the type of article you show to those skeptical business owners or smartass marketers who trust everything blindly because it’s big, colorful and shiny. A very good resource to use in business/marketing discussions.
HEADLINE: Ad Contrarian (Bob Hoffman) Warns Marketers to Pull Back from Digital
PUBLISHER: The Australian Financial Review
COMMENT: Duopoly. A word that has been present a lot lately in the news thanks to Google and Facebook bitting TOGETHER 75 to 85% share of the whole advertising dollars in the ad industry. If you’re in business, you know this is rather problematic. Lack of transparency + huge dominance are at least a red alert for smarter minds. Why share this? Because you better start building a Plan B to reach your customers since you don’t know what direction these two companies are going to take in the future. They may hurt you even more by cutting more organic traffic (like Google’s snippets) or via expensive ad prices, or maybe the government can create bad laws thinking of them, but that strikes smaller companies with a harder fist instead. Explore new channels and be wary when putting money in the duopoly.
HEADLINE: The Complete Guide to Google Adwords Plug-and-Play Scripts
COMMENT: This is a very useful resource for those running ads on Google Adwords. The guys at Adhawk compiled a listacle of 10 expert scripts that will both save you time and automate your daily work. Only 5 are shown below but you can see that these are GENIUS automations! Well, the founder of Adhawk is an ex-Googler after all. Check their article.
HEADLINE: People prefer Ads in Podcasts Over Any Other Digital Medium
COMMENT: Podcasts are something you should really think about investing because of these 2 facts: 1) Listeners don’t usually skip ads in them because it’s hard to skip ads with perfection, since you almost always end up skipping parts of the show along with the ads altogether (therefore, your consumers will almost always listen to 100% of your ad); 2) There’s pretty much audience for almost every industry thanks to the explosion of podcasts. Whatever product you sell, you can probably find a matching podcast. Some show that can promote your product perfectly. To consume a podcast, all you need is a smartphone. And nowadays even in the poorest countries people have one.
HEADLINE: Youtube’s Key Audience is in The Living Room And Advertisers Want In
COMMENT: Seems hard to believe but this whole digital advertising thing is converging back to….TV. From all the numbers popping up on this recently, brands are probably going back to the roots of advertising: Radio (podcasts) and TV (SmartTVs). Therefore, a smart advice is to think about delivering entertainment-like ads of your product/business. If people are in the living room for entertainment, don’t break the chain with something boring. Become entertainment as well.
HEADLINE: How Advertisers Are Using Waze to Connect With People
COMMENT: Location-based marketing is already growing due to its ad precision capabilities that actually converts. For instance, a die-hard fan of McDonald’s can see an ad of it if a McDonalds is nearby, while in another city not familiar to him. People tend to look for familiar products/brands/stores/restaurants once away from home. That’s just a glimpse of the power of location-based marketing. It works really well if you target people right. This is why Waze (now Google’s portfolio) is growing faster, you avoid traffic and you can even buy some goods on the way. But there’s no need to say anything else here, just look at the great targeting options and ad features Waze offers to marketers and you’ll see why some brands are exploring Waze instead of standard channels.
HEADLINE: Display Advertising: My 3¢ Worth
COMMENT: This is a remarkable, simple, concise and powerful article. In a very short but dense post, Adcontrarian (Bob Hoffman) PROVES that for every 1 dollar invested in online advertising you get only 3¢ of actual advertising power. He goes step by step subtracting all fees involved in a display ads campaign (using a dollar) while linking to authoritative content to show you the FACTS. Another great resource for those wanting to shut up blind fans of digital advertising. And don’t belittle Bob because of his old blogspot blog. Search him on Youtube and you’ll find all his great speeches about many topics of the ad industry in high-level marketing events.
HEADLINE: Will February 2017 Go Down as The Month That Destroyed Adtech?
PUBLISHER: The Drum
COMMENT: This article shows a few realities about Adtech that you don’t want to miss if you’re in business. With P&G leading the way towards a confrontation against the giants in the ad industry, many top brands are following P&G causing considerable damage to companies such as Facebook (graphic below). Adtech is losing MASSIVE credibility thanks to bad metrics, brand safety problems and other problematic scenarios, while Martech is showing some promising results since it reveals powerful marketing insights so you can then work with that data as you please. One works behind the curtain promising huge results with its own data, whilst the other reveals everything to you so you can make your own decisions and take the action you want. Therefore, before you feed the Adtech machine, check the numbers. They usually don’t lie.
HEADLINE: The Day After Tomorrow: When Adblockers Stop All Martech Platforms
PUBLISHER: The Drum
COMMENT: There are SO MANY nuggets of crucial information here in this article that I don’t even have to add anything to this. Just a reminder: if you’re relying too much on data for marketing decisions or if you’re relying too much on Martech/Adtech for finding customers, then it’s better to seek new ways to find them because they’re ALL getting smarter by the day. Millennials are the next generation of consumers and almost 100% of them know how to use the web, install adblock plugins, apps and more. And the old folks are not getting behind as well. Therefore, assume EVERYBODY will start blocking adverts and tracking scripts/software and make another move.
HEADLINE: Panoply Network Is Now Using Nielsen Data for Targeted Podcast Ads
COMMENT: Nothing to say. Except that you can now clearly see serious brands putting serious effort into podcast advertising. One more argument in favor of exploring Podcasts if you’re in business these days.
HEADLINE: Why Brands and Agencies Are Preparing for the Era of 6-Second Ads
COMMENT: I’m just going to give it to you straight: I CHOSE to watch all 6-second ads embedded in this article. Did you hear me? I CHOSE! This is the new standard for sure because people’s mindset towards this will always be something like: “Ok let’s see if this company’s advert is creative and smart. If not, don’t matter. I’ll just lose only 6-seconds anyway”. Want to test yourself? Here’s Jason Bourne trailer in 5 seconds. Here’s Sing, a movie promo with Matthew McConaughey and Scarlett Johansson. Here’s Frank Underwood promoting House of Cards in 5 seconds. Now how much time you may have lost watching these ads? 15 seconds. Let’s be honest, you don’t really care about wasting 15 seconds in 3 different brands. This works. Period.
HEADLINE: Will Radio Kill The Internet Star?
PUBLISHER: The Drum
COMMENT: Yes, I know. You may be a bit skeptical about Radio. However, after double-checking all data mentioned in the article you’ll understand why Radio is still a powerful medium even in the Digital Era. Apparently, a lot of people still have the same costumes of 2005, listening to Radio while going to work, or to the gym etc. And the particular thing about Radio is that it does have that “unpredictable vibe” whenever you listen to a show. You don’t know what to expect of a show unless you’re a frequent listener. And even in familiar shows which you listen to religiously, you may end up getting some last-minute “Breaking News” which adds variety to the experience.
HEADLINE: In Six Seconds, Giphy Could Make Billions
PUBLISHER: Fast Company
COMMENT: The very FACT that the Emmy Awards asked Giphy to produce GIFs for them as a way to communicate interesting parts happening in the show, proves that this type of content is not a joke. People want entertainment. People want to laugh. And people want to be informed. If you can combine all three in a simple GIF AND deliver a marketing message you are winning. Period. Another unusual content marketing approach for outside-of-the-box thinkers.
HEADLINE: Cardlytics: Using Credit Card Consumer Data for Marketing
COMMENT: Not many marketers are exploring this option: Credit Card data. If you know what your customers are buying constantly then you can find websites to pitch advertising partnerships, target them better with ads, price accordingly and a lot more once you have access to this level of data. This is next level information. Use it whenever possible and without breaking the law.
HEADLINE: How Marmite is Analysing your Face to Personalize Experiences
PUBLISHER: The Drum
COMMENT: Interesting use of Facial Recognition by Marmite for marketing and product development purposes. The only “limitation” here is that no person will keep holding the phone WHILE eating just to feed his own facial data to the App. Unless, of course, the company is giving away prizes, discounts or a funny experience that can be shared with friends in return. Very smart marketing by Marmite. This shows that a new engagement metric has born: Facial reactions. No wonder social networks like Polygram are exploring this as well.
HEADLINE: Influencer Marketing on Facebook is about to Get More Expensive
COMMENT: Welcome to ANOTHER BOMB Facebook dropped in the business realm making now Influencer Marketing a difficult option for brands. The highlights below are all that you need to read to understand the chaotic point. But make sure to check the whole article because it has more important information. Congratulations to Facebook for ruining ONE MORE THING for marketers and businessmen. Well, can’t say I’m surprised to be honest.
HEADLINE: The Secrets Of Writing Smart, Long Articles That Go Absolutely Viral
PUBLISHER: Fast Company
COMMENT: If you don’t know Wait But Why check it out. This article is a reinforcement that: 1) Long-form articles can win when done with purpose/passion; 2) you don’t need 500 articles or not even 100 articles to rise to stardom and enjoy success; 3) expert-like and controversial content are two big wins no matter the competition; 4) Website design doesn’t count for success, only pure, HARD WORK. One article that I recommend you to read if you’re in business, is the Artificial Intelligence article that Elon Musk tweeted about. Put these two articles together and you’ll realize that results come with smart + hard work. It’s not about quantity, but quality + originality. That’s the content marketing game.
HEADLINE: How to Get Your Medium Stories to Rank on The Front Page of Google
COMMENT: Using other website’s authority as a way to rank your own content is a smart marketing strategy, and this article shows how to use Medium to do this job. It’s very well researched (the writer even spoke to some of those ranking medium articles on Google’s 1st page) and a very good resource if you want to know the actions and tricks you should take to ranking your own Medium publications.
HEADLINE: Artificial intelligence is Changing SEO Faster than You Think
COMMENT: This is a MUST READ if you don’t know yet the “collateral effects” of A.I. in the SEO industry. This is a very detailed article by Techcrunch where it breaks down A.I. to then, make you understand WHY Google’s Rank Brain algorithm completed changed the approach you must take to properly evaluate ranking shifts. Since Rank Brain became part of Google’s core algorithms, there are a few huge consequences to it regarding rank analysis. Check the article.
HEADLINE: Marketers Who Won’t Change Won’t Survive: Marketo’s Chris Connell
COMMENT: Short article. Short truths. If you’re in Marketing pay attention to Chris’ advice because it’s exactly what 70% of marketers out there need to do to survive in this new jungle where everybody is trying to kill each other for attention while using strategies and tactics from 2007. If Coca-Cola is kicking CMOs out of the window, you better pay attention to what’s happening.
HEADLINE: 41 White Hat Backlinks Hacks for an Online Business
COMMENT: This is a VERY good resource from Linkody. There are many hacks in this list that are well-known, whilst others are more advanced. Take number #37, for instance. If you track “went out of business” (or any variations) + [competitor] with Google Alerts you can know before everyone else of a MASSIVE link building opportunity in the market. Want a quick example? Here’s Factory Labs going out of business after 20 years. Now imagine how many backlinks you could get if you were tracking this kind of activity in news articles.
HEADLINE: 128 Marketing Tactics and Strategies: The Most Epic Growth Hacking List
COMMENT: This article really fits its headline. True Marketing Strategies and Tactics that I haven’t found elsewhere. Seriously. A MUST READ for sure if you’re in marketing. Some of these strategies/tactics came from a few of the top of the industry. Enjoy.
HEADLINE: The Practical Guide to doing your Own PR
COMMENT: This is one of those very valuable articles that you need to spend a lot of time to find in the huge hack stack of the internet because it isn’t published by any of the big publications or top influencers. Gary gave some really great insights on PR for those trying to make their own brand known. Check it out.
HEADLINE: Here’s What We Learned About YouTube SEO After Analyzing 1.3M Videos
COMMENT: Thinking about putting effort in Youtube videos? Check this article. Brian did his research, I can assure you. A few rumors and theories were finally confirmed, whilst other surprises appeared as well. Very easy to read article as you can see from the highlights below.
HEADLINE: Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List
COMMENT: A very good breakdown of all 200 Google’s ranking factors. Rare resource. Backlinko reveals everything there’s to know about this subject that matters for businesses. Once again, a few surprises emerged like some of the highlights shown below, and other theories were confirmed as expected by most SEO experts. Don’t forget though, that for EVERY ranking factor there are almost 50 variations. This is now of public knowledge because Bing tried to make Google look weak, but Google revealed its true power and punched Bing in the face. So always assume that Rank Brain comes to play in every single one of these 200 ranking factors (which tend to change).
HEADLINE: A Few Thoughts About the Coming Content Marketing Apocalypse
PUBLISHER: Content 4 Demand
COMMENT: You probably know by now because you’re FEELING it from the market, but content marketing is completely saturated. Here’s what’s happening: 1) WordPress is a free tool allowing everybody to build a blog. 2) Massive layoffs in the THOUSANDS are happening around the world in small, medium and large companies. 3) MANY of these people who were fired are not looking for jobs anymore for several reasons, but one of the main ones is hating working for the corporate world, so they are becoming online entrepreneurs. 4) MORE online entrepreneurs mean MORE content which adds a lot more noise to the whole marketplace, shrinking content marketing ROI to abysmal levels. That’s today’s reality and why this short article is important.
HEADLINE: How To Promote Your Blog: 559,402 Visits and 25,309 Social Shares
PUBLISHER: Robbie Richards
COMMENT: Richards shows you many ninja-like online marketing strategies which you shouldn’t miss if you’re still with your hands “in the dirt”. I’m highlighting one particular Quora hack below so you can see that this long-form article has many expert insights. Many.
HEADLINE: SEO Myths: Top Marketers Share THE MOST Counterintuitive SEO Truths
COMMENT: A HORDE of SEO experts joined this article to talk about the things online business people think is true regarding SEO, but that’s actually the opposite. You’ll find MANY nuggets and insights in this piece even if you’re an expert already, trust me. Recommended.
HEADLINE: Taco Bell Explains Its Social Media Blackout
COMMENT: Genius Marketing. This is the kind of approach that I enjoy because what really counts is not followers, not likes and not all these other stupid metrics. What counts is ATTENTION and CONVERSIONS. Period. Taco Bell nailed it.
HEADLINE: The Death of Advertising
COMMENT: Interesting read because of the valid point of view. Basically the writer believes that data will be used with surgical precision in the market, up to the point where brands will even be able to “match” their products with your BIOLOGICAL needs by looking into your DNA. With all the latest advancements in the biotech industry, this is a plausible idea. Also, A.I. can definitely help in matching people and products if it has enough high-quality, reliable data to work with. Thanks to all these factors put together, the question that remains is: Will Advertising be necessary in this brave new world? But there’s one personal point the writer is forgetting: Laws (like GDPR). We still have to fight the monkeys in the government before turning good ideas into reality in the marketplace.
HEADLINE: The Social Network Doling Out Millions in Ephemeral Money
COMMENT: You are pumping all big social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others with all your effort, resources, money and time. Steemit came up with an interesting approach: reward its content creators. Clearly sharing wealth with those responsible for putting the social network on the next level is now mandatory, since that’s the only way to fight the giants. This, and ICOs apparently. But let’s not forget that Facebook in its early years promised the world to businesses like free reach to customers until in a heartbeat all organic reach was crushed. Nonetheless, stay positive. Check the social network.