🐇Rabbbits Weeekly: The Branded Community Moment 🕳️
This issue feels light. So either my internal curation filter is getting stricter. Or the holiday slowdown is upon us. I have a lot of pieces I want to get out before the end of the year, we’ll see how that goes.
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This weeek: why brands should think Mastodon before metaverse, why you might want to ditch a sales landing page in favor of Google Docs, and some headlines.
At this point, any company working on a metaverse presence* (or the 56% of media buyers kicking the tires on it) should probably spin up their own Mastodon server and hire a community moderator to run it.
The Stanodons probably won't like this, but it's not about corporatizing the fediverse.
People checking out Mastodon as a Twitter replacement have to figure out which server to choose. Many servers are temporarily freezing sign ups or buckling under the weight. How many will buckle under the increased moderation and management load down the road?
Many brands love talking about digital community building. Now is the perfect time to put their money where their brand mouth is.
*This certainly isn't limited to metaverse-curious brands, but if you're spending time and money to build for something that is basically in public beta with low user uptake, why not shift some of those resources to an effort that can pay off now?
Google Docs as Sales Page
This is a cool use for Google Docs.
we used a Google Doc that pitched the course and used a Stripe payment link for checkout.
Visitors could see that 90 other people were looking at that page when there were only 30 remaining spots.
YouTube’s list of top ads is out and the verdict is: it pays to be funny. Super Bowl ads littered the top of the rankings with Amazon’s taking the #1 spot. On the flip side, the list was light on Consumer Packaged Good (CPG) megalith brands, which could be a sign that retail media is sucking up their ad dollars in this inflationary environment.
But this quote is where the value is to me:
humor and relatable imperfection can show that a brand gets their audience, and that’s reflected in how products and services are advertised.
This lines up with a lot of the reasons influencers seem to work. So stop over-polishing (or start under-polishing?) your ads and try to relate to your customer.
Google gave up on FLOCs so LinkedIn decided to borrow the idea. The professional platform’s new Group Identity features lumps users together based on first-party data like job title, company, industry, etc. It then uses this to deliver and measure ads in a “privacy-enhancing” way.
Da Goog has overhauled its ad creation and management flow. This is boring unless it’s of interest to you, so here’s their post about it (with screencap gifs, my preferred form of media for seeing stuff like this).
Brave is growing its privacy-focused, Google-alternative stack. It started with a browser, then an index of the web, then a search engine on top of that (“recently passed 20 million queries per day”), and now search ads (in beta). Don’t want ads? $3 a month gets you ad free search.
Brave Search only uses your search query, country, and device type to show you ads, and does not keep any kind of profile of your searches.
Podcast platform Acast has opened wide the doors to its self-serve ad platform. Providing another alternative to Spotify (like RedCircle). Minimum spend is $250 (not sure on timeframe) and the shiny new feature is Keyword Targeting (based on AI transcriptions).
Taboola has given Yahoo a 25% stake in the ad platform in exchange for becoming The Yodel's exclusive native advertising partner for the next 30 years. It's not a new connection, but it's the newest step in the relationship. The goal: build a ‘Contextual Powerhouse.’
Google Analytics 4 has two new metrics (that are old hat for Universal Analytics): Average Session Duration and Views Per Session. These are available through the custom report building tools. My PSA: independently these metrics are pretty useless. Use them together or not at all (unless one has changed dramatically and you’re trying to figure out why). Google PSA: GA4 and UA may show different session numbers.
Retail Tea Leaves
Yeah, Amazon has a lot of ads. Like, mostly ads. How close is this to the digital incarnation of merchandising practices in physical retail?
Why, in a world of one click, do you need to check a little box to apply a coupon on Amazon? To give shoppers a feeling of control and a dopamine hit from scoring savings, which is amplified by having to “work” for it. I would guess it’s also to redirect the decision making process. Instead of a customer asking “should I buy this?”, they’re asking “should I snag this coupon?”
OpenAI may have cracked imitation learning for AI. A model trained on videos of people playing Minecraft was able to complete tasks involving complicated input sequences. This form of machine learning is much closer to the way humans learn.
Natural Language Processing (NLP) is common in things like chatbots and social listening sentiment analysis efforts. But the big winner is personalization via data a.k.a. The Amazon Effect. (Paywall, podcast recap)
Apple and Google have released their lists of Top Apps of 2022, and the big winner was BeReal. The drop-everything-and-be-authentic-on-camera app won Apple’s top app and Google’s users’ choice spots (for non-games). Google’s best overall app was AI text-to-image art generator Dream by WOMBO. Locket got a cultural impact nod from Apple.
Based on post content trends, Insta is for the glam and TikTok is for that real real. Keep this in mind when planning your posts and ads for each platform.
Looks like you made it!
Look how far you’ve come…down your screen.