The Facebook-Google duopoly means ad tech growth is drying fast

The duopoly is real, and independent ad techs are feeling it.

Citing research by LUMA partners, the New York Times reported that the number of independent ad tech firms fell by 21% since 2013, amounting to just 185 as of last quarter.

Meanwhile, of the $88bn spent on digital ads last year, over 90% went into Facebook and Google’s pockets, leaving a remaining market worth just $9bn for those smaller outfits.

The result is that venture capital investments - which reached a high just shy of $3bn in 2015 -...

By Mark Jones, 14 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Advertising Technology.

The top four ways small online businesses can use AI automation for a better CX

The customer experience is becoming more important than ever to online businesses. Customers are already willing to pay more for a better experience, and 71% of businesses agree that a strong and positive CX is the best competitive advantage a brand can have.

When you are selling online, improving the CX is a task that never sleeps. Every part of the buyer’s...

By Manish Dudharejia, 14 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Automation, Customer Experience, Data-driven marketing.

The new search trends e-commerce marketers should embrace

From search engine algorithm updates, to new technology permanently altering user behaviours, the search marketing landscape is constantly evolving.

These evolutions keep us on our toes and, for savvy marketers, present an opportunity to ensure their clients always have the edge over their competitors. Recently, the biggest disruptor to the industry has almost certainly been the advent of voice and visual search – changing SEO forever.

These new search technologies are particularly pertinent in the...

By Paul Delaney, 13 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Content Marketing, Organic Search, Paid Search, Search Marketing.

Clearing the ‘murky waters’ of non-loyalty customers

Loyalty schemes form a critical part of a retailer’s retention programme. After all, a happy customer is a returning customer.

But behind the machinations of loyalty is the data that sits behind the scheme, which gives the retailer the power to deliver personalised communications, offers and promotions, all of which add to the customer experience. Retailers analyse spend, frequency and items purchased to build up a view of what an individual customer looks like across all channels - online, mobile and...

By Andy Watts, 10 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Customer Experience, Data-driven marketing, E-Commerce.

Two-thirds of organisations plan to up spend on martech, but struggling to keep pace

Nearly two-thirds (65%) of marketing organisations plan to up their spend on martech in the next year while just 5% intend to curb it, according to Walker Sands State of Martech Report 2018.

Right now, though, they’re struggling to keep up.

According to the report, based on responses from 300 marketers of varying company size, level and experience, martech certainly doesn’t suffer from a lack of interest of...

By Mark Jones, 10 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Marketing Cloud, Personalised Marketing.

Twitch-based influencer marketing platform PowerSpike lands $500K as esports boom

Do the names shroud, tfue, dakotaz and ninja sound familiar?

Probably not, but they are some of the top 10 most-watched gamers on the Amazon-owned live-stream platform Twitch, and together they racked up over 10m in viewing hours in just the first week of this month.  

Ninja in particular - a self-titled “professional Battle Royale player” - accounted for 4.8m of those hours alone, and recently surpassed landmark 10m Twitch followers who currently...

By Mark Jones, 09 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Video & Audio Marketing.

Embrace risks to build a culture of marketing experimentation

Emerging technology has disrupted the way marketers plan and implement any strategy. Whether it is investing in virtual or augmented reality (VR/AR) to bring a campaign to life or implementing artificial intelligence (AI) to manage and analyse data, technology is firmly ingrained in the daily lives of marketing teams.

However, with budgets squeezed and expectations mounting from executives, the pressure is on to provide a real return on investment. As a result, marketers have begun focusing purely on...

By Ginny Follen, 09 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Campaigns, Customer Experience.

Can martech really influence wider business processes?

Despite the mounting pressures being placed on marketers to do – and achieve – more, budgets are still being stretched to their limits. Investment in marketing tech is no exception, which means the business case for comms platforms and apps needs to be strong.

Previous articles have covered topics such as budgeting for marketing automation software and even

CRM software giant Salesforce appoints Keith Block as co-CEO

Enterprise software giant Salesforce has promoted its former chief operating officer, Keith Block, to the role of co-CEO.

Reporting directly to the board and working alongside the cloud CRM specialist’s founder and CEO, Marc Benioff, who will remain chairman, Block’s move puts Salesforce in a very small camp of co-led companies which, funnily enough, includes rival Oracle - where the two originally met.

Block has served as the company’s vice chairman, president and director since joining in...

By Mark Jones, 08 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Automation, CRM, Data-driven marketing.

Four ways in which marketing automation is evolving

Marketing automation has been somewhat of a blessing to many employed in the field; it’s freed up a lot of time and reduced the tedium associated with repetitive tasks.

Automation swooped in providing a range of tools to save time and effort needed day to day. Still, the digital marketing landscape is evolving further, driven by changing consumer behaviour and demands; on average, consumers now spend more time online...

By Matthew Walker-Jones, 08 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Automation, Customer Experience, Email marketing.

Taipei’s Appier launches AI-driven content marketing platform

A Taipei-headquartered artificial intelligence (AI) solutions provider called Appier - which serves brands including Nivea, Carrefour, Audi and Japan’s Softbank - has launched an automated content marketing platform aimed at delivering personalised messages across multiple channels.

Dubbed AIQUA, and following the recent acquisition of Indian content marketing startup for an undisclosed fee, the platform will be available to marketers across the APAC (Asia Pacific) region allowing them to preemptively...

By Mark Jones, 07 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Automation, Content Marketing.

Three solutions to the 'nonsensical' ad viewability standard

In 2014, I wrote a piece calling out our industry for its pretty feeble definition of ‘viewable’. Little did I know I’d be saying the same things four years later. 

But the fact is, very little has changed. The Media Rating Council’s standard still stands: a digital advert is classed as ‘viewable’ if half of it is in vision for one second or more. Run that by anyone outside media-land and they’d laugh in your face.

I actually have sympathy for the Media...

By Daniel Shaw, 07 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Best Practice, Campaigns, Programmatic.

YouTube in hot water again as Mars departs over brand safety concerns

Social video sharing site YouTube is once again in hot water over advertising brand safety.

This time, it’s Mars that has suspended marketing on the platform after an advert for Starburst sweets was found to be placed at the start of a rap music video allegedly supporting gang violence in London.

The film by a group called Moscow 17 is part of an emerging genre called ‘drill’ which has been cited as violent “soundtrack” to gang warfare in London, with rival gangs often using the...

By Mark Jones, 06 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Best Practice, Social Media Marketing, Video & Audio Marketing.

Is SPO the silver bullet to programmatic’s transparency challenges?

The ongoing header bidding revolution might be bringing joy to publishers, but it’s giving the buy side of programmatic a bit of a headache.

While the technique allows demand-side platforms (DSPs) to help advertisers access a wider range of inventory, this amplified scale is creating issues. Not only does the bid duplication header bidding generates mean DSPs must deal with higher volumes of requests, but greater adoption is disrupting auction mechanics and leading supply-side platforms (SSPs) away from...

By Ivan Ivanov, 06 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Programmatic.

WhatsApp launching pay-to-use tools for brand marketers

WhatsApp is launching a pay-to-use advertising service for brands looking to engage their customers directly on small screens.  

The move opens up a new revenue stream for the Facebook-owned messaging app since removing subscription fees in 2016 and allows businesses to send information or services updates, such as delivery information or tickets.

According to BBC news, the fee will be based on confirmed delivery, on which advertisers will pay between 0.5 cents to 9 cents (0.3p to 7p), depending which...

By Mark Jones, 03 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Customer Experience, Mobile Marketing, Social Media Marketing.

80% of marketers don’t trust their martech vendors with GDPR compliance

Approaching three months since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force across Europe, the update remains a lingering pain point for the digital marketing industry, with some pretty hefty fines delivered to companies in breach.

Concerns aren’t exactly dampened when there’s no guarantee your own marketing technology vendor isn’t wrestling with compliance themselves and, as found in a new study by Demandbase, more than a few marketers have their doubts over the data...

By Mark Jones, 02 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Automation, Best Practice, Data-driven marketing.

What does voice innovation mean for search marketing?

The upsurge in the use of voice-controlled devices has rocked the way we, as people, behave. So many households now rely on gadgets like Alexa to play music, check the weather and turn out the lights. They’ve introduced a newfound level of convenience – and some would argue laziness – to consumers’ lives.

These same innovations have changed how some people buy – albeit usually simple commodities – online, and they’re even being used to settle family debates too, when...

By Andy McCaul, 01 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Search Marketing, Web Analytics.

Facebook topples from list of top ten most-innovative brands

Battling fake news, mass data breaches and a stomach-lurching drop in share prices, it’s hardly been a good year for Mark Zuckerberg, and as if to rub salt in the wound, the social network and tech colossus has now fallen out of sight on a rank of the world’s most innovative brands.

The revelation comes as part of Brand Keys’ sixth annual

By Mark Jones, 01 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Advertising Technology, S-Commerce, Social Media Marketing.

Four key aspects of customer review management that marketers need to know

Every day the customer experience becomes more important to brands who aim to capture their audience’s attention. A better CX can be the competitive advantage a brand needs to push themselves above the crowd, considering the fact that 86% of customers would be willing to pay more for a better experience with a business.

Smart marketers know that honest customer reviews are

By Manish Dudharejia, 01 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Content Marketing, Customer Experience, Search Marketing.

12% of UK Instagram influencers are still buying fake followers

Despite surging popularity in the emerging marketing channel, it seems a large chunk of influencers still refuse to play by the book in order to make a quick buck.

A study by independent campaign measurement firm CampaignDeus found 12% of UK influencers to have bought fake Instagram followers in the first six months of 2018. The findings were based on analysis of nearly 700,000 posts, identifying ‘bot-buyers’ by those with low UK followings, inexplicable jumps in follower count and subpar...

By Mark Jones, 01 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Campaigns, Mobile Marketing, Social Media Marketing.