What’s new in the digital world? Here’s all the latest buzz in this edition of “Catching up”.
Back to basics
Rand Fishkin’s insightful observation on the state of digital marketing in 2019. Over the last 10 years, the nature of the web has changed completely. The rewards that can be gained from marketing are yesterday’s news. SEO is no longer about keyword density, quality content is not enough, commitment is declining, visibility is also declining, influencers are no longer influencing many people, advertising is increasing, and ROI is falling. What’s causing this seismic shift? Social platforms and Google have literally swallowed up the ecosystem along with the external flows of organic traffic. Indeed, the notion of a marketing influencer can be summed up these days by – Pay half naked people on Instagram $500 to snap photos with your product. Marketing influence has become shallow and trivial. In terms of advertising, investment and costs are increasing, but the profit and profitability curves are at an all-time low.
So, what’s the plan? As is so often the case, returning to the basics:
- Refocus on your website, visitors and email campaigns.
- Switch to a Search rather than Click approach.
- Gradually invest in genuine good levers.
- To really understand your audience and sources of influence.
- Be more imaginative than your competitors.
- Engage without soliciting, with quality content.
- Make yourself known before buying advertising.
The Danish Margarethe Vestager, a committed supporter of anti-trust laws, is reportedly about to run for the presidency of the European Commission. Currently a member of the Brussels competition authority, she recently imposed a third 10-digit fine on Google for abuse of a dominant position in the Adsense section of an investigation that began in 2016. Queen Margarethe is the daughter of a Lutheran pastor and has a direct and precise approach that is appreciated in Brussels. Indeed, the American giant could soon be in even more financial trouble with ongoing investigations into the search for local jobs, travel and businesses.
Rumour has it that Alphabet (Google) is on the list of companies to buy the world’s largest music catalogue held by Universal Music Group (Vivendi). Expected price tag? $40 billion.
This would directly benefit the YouTube empire. With 1.6 billion visitors per month and more than 80% of its revenue from advertising, it pays 7 times less royalties to songwriters and creators than Spotify. This could create a few waves in the music industry.
For better or worse
Wedded together for better and for worse, the media inevitably has to deal with data. It can create value for everyone involved, but only to a certain point. All is plain sailing as long as the media are not looking to meet Google/Facebook head on, whose use of data is increasingly insensitive to privacy and journalistic ethics. With only a few weeks to go before the European elections, the stakes are high for democracy. Here’s a reflection on the moral relationship between media groups and their audience data.
American academics have developed an interactive chart of 24 vocal expressions with the feelings associated with them. As well as being fun, this project also aims to advance robots and other AIs in their understanding of the human being. Listen here.
See you next time on the Internets!
Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash