Happy Holidays whichever ones you celebrate!
In New York City, we approach the winter solstice, the darkest day of the year.
The days are short and filled with cold winds and weak sunlight.
By contrast, the sidewalks are filled with people who procrastinated with their shopping lists, leaving them to battle through the last-minute crowds.
Tourists and family visitors take advantage of the holiday decorations to feel wrapped in the spirit of the season. They rush to see as much of the holiday glitter as possible. They spend their day window shopping, purchasing unusual gifts and going out to celebrate.
What does this mean for you as a marketer?
You need a break too!
Whether you’re still plowing through a last-minute list of “To Do’s” or panic shopping, take advantage of the quieter times.
And, in that spirit, I’m taking a break so there will be no AMG Newsletter next week.
Enjoy a healthy and happy holiday and I’ll see you in the New Year.
Marketing Lesson of The Week
2022 was a year of change across marketing as well as the broader world.
Here are the trends that had and will continue to have an important impact on marketing:
The Economy Is Opening Up
People want their lives to return to normal, even if it’s not the pre-pandemic normal. After over 2 years of the pandemic and other viruses, people want the curtain to go down on this phase of their lives.
They want to see people they care about and do things that they haven’t done in years; to get out and see people. Despite the lingering risks and spikes, we want our lives back to normal, even if it’s a new normal.
As a result, activities across the economy are opening up. Often these activities differ from the activities people indulged in during the pandemic. This has implications for all kinds of businesses. For example, the Peloton store in my neighborhood has closed.
Most notably, people are traveling and returning to indoor events like movies and theaters to be entertained.
Actionable Marketing Implications:
- Monitor which products your buyers want and how their buying behaviors are changing.
The Experimental Phase Of AI Continues To Grow Rapidly
The growth of Artificial Intelligence is due to the large number of people testing a wide range of use cases for generating text, images and code.
Largely this is attributable to easier-to-use, increasingly accessible, and more affordable technology from organizations like OpenAI, a non-profit research group that provides a public API for its ChatGPT (text), DALL-E (images), and Codex (code) AI models.
As a point of reference to show how fast this technology is growing, ChatGPT had over 1 million users within five days of its November release (Source: Insider).
With the post-pandemic shortage of tech workers, more companies and people are open to trying new forms of technology to produce and distribute their content more efficiently.
Note that many of these use cases may not have representative starting samples, so their results may be limited or even incorrect. It’s important to remember that AI is still in its infancy and that further user testing and validation are necessary.
Related to the increased use of AI is the need for consistent data across your organization. In my experience, this is a major hurdle for companies since there’s always a system that supplies necessary information that isn’t integrated with the firm’s technology or data.
For marketers, better data integration can help prove that your projects and campaigns yield profitable revenues.
Actionable Marketing Implications:
- Assess where AI can help improve your existing Martech stack.
- Determine how to integrate your data across the organization and various technologies. Where necessary, cleanse and update your data and related metadata so that it’s usable and findable to meet your current needs.
Social Media Continues To Evolve
Younger users have driven social media use and popularity. As Gen Z, aged 12 to 17 start making their presence felt across social media platforms, their behavior differs from older cohorts.
For example, more than 3 out of 5 US teens report that feeling “welcome and safe” is important for them (Source). They also prefer to discuss fandom and shared interests.
Facebook (aka: Meta) Has Lost A Significant Portion Of Its Users
Most importantly, this erosion is among Facebook’s younger users. In part because they don’t want to be on the same platform as their parents and grandparents.
Further, Facebook seems incapable of keeping toxic content off of its platform.
Facebook’s focus on the Metaverse, including augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) hardware and software, has hurt its business overall. Through 3Q2022, Meta has lost a total of $9.44 billion in this division (Source).
Musk Takes Over Twitter
Since Elon Musk took control of Twitter, he’s made almost daily changes to the platform.
As a result, thought leaders, major media outlets, advertisers and users have left the platform in large numbers. Others post minimally and respond elsewhere as noted on a pinned tweet.
Further, Musk’s massive layoffs have left the platform unable to control the increase in spam and other negative content.
The US’s Love-Hate Affair With TikTok
In 2021, TikTok had roughly 86.9 million users in the US and is projected to grow about 8% year-over-year to 94 million users in 2022 (Source). It’s one of the fastest-growing social media apps in the United States and is especially popular with younger audiences.
TikTok remains teen’s app of choice. About 70% of Gen Zers will use it monthly in 2023. (Source: InsiderIntelligence) This demographic is driving the growth of TikTok’s social commerce.
So what’s the problem?
TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company.
Users are concerned about how much of their information is collected and with whom it is shared. As a result, the US government and major companies are scrutinizing TikTok more closely.
Rise Of Private And Other Social Networks
Changes across established social media platforms provide opportunities for new platforms.
One of the key areas where this growth is happening is in private social networks. From a marketing perspective, know that you’ll need to set parameters for participation and to have an employee dedicated to managing and growing your community.
Based on US data, at least weekly private network usage includes:
- 9.2% Discord,
- 8.2% Signal,
- 8.0% Telegram,
- 6.0% Slack, and
- 6.0% Twitch. (Source: Trust Insights)
While these numbers may not seem high, they represent people who are interested in participating in conversations related to your business.
In addition, this has given rise to a number of new, smaller social media platforms, such as Mastodon, an open-source, decentralized alternative where communities are in control instead of corporations.
Actionable Marketing Implications:
- Continue your social media listening program to understand where your social media followers spend their time and what they’re talking about with regard to shopping and your products in particular. Where appropriate, engage in social media customer service to help prospects and customers get the information they need.
- Assess whether running a private social media community makes sense for your business. Test the waters by participating in other people’s communities.
- Test new social media options since they provide opportunities to grow during their early days.
Digital Advertising Declines
For the first time since 2014, the Google-Meta advertising duopoly will account for less than half of US digital advertising.
Following Google and Meta is Amazon, which ranks as the third largest digital advertising platform in the US. Amazon continues to grow. In part, this is attributable to the fact that 60% of shoppers, especially Prime members, turn there first to start their shopping process. This percentage continues to grow.
Adding to digital advertising problems is the fact that Gen Z loses active attention to ads after just 1.3 seconds—less time than any other age group, according to a global study by Yahoo and OMD Worldwide.
With the growth of screens across homes, work and other environments, advertising options will continue to change and evolve. Especially advertising integrated with and based on retail and streaming platforms, will be able to provide useful first-party data and be contextually relevant.
While the major manufacturers in the voice assistant market have significantly streamlined their offerings, a large installed base of users remains. If you include other forms of connected devices across locations and the Internet of Things, that number increases.
As a result, connected devices provide potential advertising and shopping opportunities as the technology and marketplace continue to evolve. From a marketing perspective, the benefit is capturing shopper desire in the appropriate context.
Actionable Marketing Implications:
- Reassess your digital advertising spend to achieve a balanced advertising mix.
- Assess other distribution channels and partnerships to get broader visibility for your content marketing and advertising.
What Should You Do As A Marketer?
To build a relationship with your audience over time, be prepared to meet prospects, customers and end users where, when and how they decide to engage with you. This translates to being ready to respond to your audience on their timetable through a variety of options that they choose.
Given increased concerns about money and pressure to show results, consider how to meet your audience and keep them engaged over time. Translation: Increased focus in terms of onboarding and retention. Since these strategies support your business for the long term. Further, they’re less expensive and easier to track.
Plan Ahead: Mark Your Calendar
► Digital Book World – January 16-18 in New York City
The annual gathering of the publishing industry returns to New York City after six years.
► SearchLove Conference – March 13-14 in San Diego
Top speakers lead this in-person and virtual SEO event. Early-bird tickets are available.
► Are you hosting an event that you’d like us to add to the Marketing Calendar?
If so, let us know by using our Contact Form with the Subject Line:
Event For AMG Newsletter Calendar.
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