Rabbbits Weeekly after dark: License to Spam
A double feature edition quickly touching on some social giant struggles and ending with Metatrends. With the usual headlines and things about algorithms, ads, retail, & attack vectors in the middle.
I’m no Jordan, so instead of turning in a flu game I’m bringing you a delayed double header. Rabbbits Weeekly up top, Metatrends at the bottom. Like a marketing news mullet.
First up, in current news, Meta laid off 11k people today.
Speaking of layoffs, Twitter is a mess right now. I really don’t want to rehash it all, so you can get a quick breakdown by listening here. I think this sums it up pretty well though, at least from the marketing angle: Elon writes a letter to advertisers assuring them it will still be a good platform for that purpose (10/27), Elon suggests a “thermonuclear name & shame” of advertisers that leave (11/4), Elon tries to smooth things over with advertisers (11/8). People spend money on their hobbies. Really rich people spend lots of money on their hobbies. Steve Ballmer likes basketball, so he bought the LA Clippers. Elon likes Twitter, so he bought Twitter.
Twitter’s new sheriff has locked down internal content moderation tools, which may be a red flag to many of these advertisers.
But hey, we might get Vine back.
Netflix with ads is live, but it’s missing some content. The new plan required new deals with studios and some heavy hitters have yet to sign on the dotted line, including “Walt Disney, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros, and Lions Gate Entertainment.”
Roblox is realizing Zuck’s dream, attracting brands like Walmart to the metaverse. Apparently Gen Z (and maybe Gen Alpha) are “really starting to get into Web3” and “spend an awful lot of time in the metaverse.” One industry person expects TV ad budgets to shift to this space.
Meta is taking businesses to the DMs. The move to encourage businesses to delve into the world of messaging makes sense.
Just a handy reminder:
TikTok has repeatedly explained that it’s not a social media app, it’s an entertainment platform, with a focus on showcasing the best video content, not building a social graph to connect users with friends, as such.
(that link is about the "Shoppertainment" opportunity in the APAC region)
The Trend Machine drives Millennials to restaurants, with over 50% of users visiting places they saw on the platform. And search keeps splintering.
And as it splinters, it expands. Rewind is a screen recording for your day that you can keyword search back through. Part of me feels shades of Minority Report and another part thinks this would work extremely well for me.
Stripe is cutting 14% of its workforce in order to “build for leaner times.” Probably not a great sign for e-commerce and other businesses built on internet transactions.
Etsy’s doing well, which could be proof that ‘tis the season for little luxuries.
eBay did alright too as people sought luxury at a bargain.
And it’s not just eBay, secondhand is having a moment and high income shoppers are looking for luxury.
Wayfair is losing revenue and customers since its pandemic bubble burst and this pesky inflation thing popped up. Interesting to note, many purchases on the site are impulse buys, so don’t build your holiday strategy on that impulse.
Snapchat is bringing the power of AR-enabled shopping to Amazon via their new partnership.
Amazon is going after grocery advertisers. “Retail analysts agreed that the move signals that Amazon’s advertising ambitions increasingly revolve around companies that sell household items and everyday goods.”
One of the most important targeting parameters of your Facebook ad might be who is in the picture.
Researchers found that more ads with young women get shown to men over 55; that women see more ads with children; and that Black people see more ads with Black people in them.
Some DTC brands are shifting their Meta ad budgets to TikTok. Not surprising a move, but it will be interesting to see how this impacts the maturation of The Trend Machine as an ad platform.
There’s a very specific kind of advertising creative recipe for Meta that is completely different for TikTok.
So say hello to TikTok Works, a series of studies by different partners to show that TikTok Ads, well, work.
Google is getting rid of similar audiences. Which sound like they should function like lookalike audiences on social platforms, but are a little narrower. Each network was siloed. On search, similar audiences were only people that searched similar queries, no other info was incorporated. So what should you do?
For Display, Discovery, and Video Action campaigns they recommend optimized targeting, which is like audience expansion using your conversion goals as the signal.
For other video campaigns they recommend audience expansion, which uses your first-party data as the signal.
For Search and Shopping they recommend Smart Bidding, hopefully this is not a change you need to make.
Lots of small ad product announcements from Microsoft, like low-code conversion tracking with the UET tag. Most interesting for the holidays, you can now import your Google Merchant Center into Microsoft Merchant Center.
Delivering the same message across multiple screens works better. At least when some of those screens are playing linear or Connected TV content.
98% of businesses believe that CTV advertising will be bigger than mobile advertising.
That’s a lot. How much of this is because it’s the new shiny? How much is due to privacy-related tracking issues? And how much is because it’s a return to the familiar world of TV for some?
First Safari, now Uber? StrangersTaxi is testing out push notification ads, so you can promote your business by annoying people.
Headline: More Than a Third of US Small Businesses Couldn't Pay All Their Rent in October
European TikTok user data is accessible to team members outside of Europe, including China.
The Facebook News section is getting fully turned over to the bots, as human-curation is now a thing of the past.
Fun holiday project: remove your info from data brokers.
Thanks for reading Chasing Rabbbits! Enjoying your time here, join the club.
License to Spam
I hope you like canned ham, because it’s about to get digitized and supersized.
The Republican National Committee asked Google to keep their emails out of spam, Google agreed and implemented a solution, now the RNC is suing Google because it didn’t work well enough. Doesn’t matter if users said they didn’t want the emails, they need to get them.
Twitter’s blue checks may soon be for sale, for $8 a month. I get that the old system for verification (whatever it was) was probably not great and made it another weird cultural status symbol, but this seems ripe for scams and spam.
The witches’ brew of poor media and misinformation literacy, large platforms’ transition to “discovery engines,” weaponization of “free speech” as a term, shoddy content moderation systems, and pay-to-play nature of many attention engines for brand content has us in a frothy spot for content delivery. Network effects and scale don’t only apply to quality content.
A split has been forming, or at least forecasted, in the advertising market. The big brands are spending big. Coca-Cola is spending at record levels and expects to step it up even more in 2023. Meanwhile, Direct To Consumer (DTC) brands are taking their dollars from Meta to TikTok.
The consumer side is hinting at a high vs. low split. Overall, consumers are expected to spend the same amount on holiday gifts, they’ll just buy less of them (thanks inflation). But breaking it out further shows high income shoppers are looking to reign things in while low income shoppers are planning on spending more. Amazon is going all in on grocery and everyday essentials for their ad products. And food related businesses show the highest volume of inflation mentions in Yelp reviews.
Everyday essentials and little luxuries should be in good spots, which explains the big spend from Consumer Packaged Good (CPG) brands. Legit luxuries could be a different story this Q4.
Assorteds & Alternates
A story of America’s bestselling yet forgotten poet who was also a proto-influencer? He launched a record label in the early 70’s and check out this marketing:
If you went to see Rod McKuen live in concert any time in the early ’70s,” said Zax, “there was a postcard sitting on your chair: ‘Get on the Stanyan Records mailing list.’ ”