‘Twas a few weeks before the holidays and news was quite light.
We hope you’ll bear with us and not take flight.
The stories we included were chosen with care,
Five stories on Zuck & Co. – we wouldn’t dare.
And now for the news – December 11, 2018: Facebook launches update to collections and tests “survey options” for comments; Amazon eyes possible expansion for Go stores in airports; Keith Weed announces plans to retire; New study sheds light on CMO’s shifting job responsibilities.
Here’s what’s worth knowing this week:
The Zuckerberg Holiday Collection
Just in time for the holidays, Facebook has launched a new update to its collection feature, allowing users to share collections of content directly with friends on the platform. Once shared, friends who are invited can become contributors to those collections, with the ability to add and edit posts.
What is Facebook’s collection feature?
You, my friend, are not alone in asking this question. Although Facebook claims that “millions” of people are now using collections every day, the feature “quietly evolved” from the Save feature at the end of last year. On the outside (and let’s be honest, on the inside too), the feature looks and feels like a Pinterest board, giving users the ability to save and organize content from the depths of the News Feed (including but not limited to posts, ads, a video in Facebook Watch or a listing on the Marketplace).
Btw, Collections are different from Collection ads, which are ad units designed specifically for mobile, directing users who tap on an ad to a “fast-loading visual post-click” experience – all without leaving FB or Insta. We’re not sure why Facebook couldn’t just give one of the two collections a different name.
With the holidays just around the corner, it makes sense that Facebook would do everything in its power to make the platform a bigger part of consumers’ holiday shopping plans – especially given all of the current drama that’s caused platform usage to drop again. It’s a way to bring new life to old content, with an added layer of social proof by showcasing Facebook content in the context of influencers, family and friends’ top picks.
From a marketing perspective, brands have the opportunity to collaborate with influencers to create or co-create curated gift-guides or other holiday-themed collections (product picks, influencer-generated content or mix of both). Similar to Pinterest Boards, collections are a way to expand a brand’s reach, collaborate with influencers and consumers alike, and engage relevant Facebook Groups. For those brands who have connected their product catalogs to Marketplace, shared, curated collections also present a new way to drive revenue. Start by partnering with a few key influencers and consumer advocates to curate and share their own collections.
Is This the End of the FLFC (First Like, First Comment) Era?
When Facebook isn’t busy defending itself to the government or the public, it’s testing new features to boost engagement. This week, the platform is said to be testing a new iteration of up and downvotes for comments: survey options.
Earlier this year, Facebook launched upvotes and downvotes for comments to ensure comment quality and provide Facebook with insight into what users like and don’t like within discussion threads. Now, Facebook has expanded upon that feature and has begun testing “Facebook survey” options on comments, asking users to rate the comment as “high” or “low” quality, on a 1-5 scale.
You know it, I know it, and even Facebook knows it: quality control is not a problem the platform can solve alone. It’s this realization that has led Facebook to begin to introduce more self-policing features, like comment feedback, which will hopefully motivate more advocates to jump in to help mitigate negative comments before Zuck & Co. have to. The comment quality features also add an element of social proof, reinforcing the platform’s overall transparency and efforts to increase trust (until all the negative comments get up-voted).
Amazon Is About to Make Hudson News An Angry Elf
Step aside Hudson News; Amazon Go’s cashier-less store model might be coming soon to an airport near you.
According to a new report from Reuters, Amazon is said to be eyeing a different type of commercial real estate for its next big Amazon Go push: Airports. Although the report claims that Amazon is merely “looking at” bringing the stores to airports, with the company planning to add as many as 3,000 Amazon Go stores by 2021, it doesn’t seem unlikely that this could be its next move.
Airline travel can be miserable AF, but a few leaders in the space have begun setting the tone for everyone else (See: Delta). If Amazon does move into the Airport space, it has yet another opportunity to disrupt an industry that hasn’t changed much in the last few decades and collect even more precise data on its customers – this time in regards to their travel purchase behaviors (which would be huge since consumer behaviors in the travel realm are understandably different from those in the brick-and-mortar space). If collected, this data can then be used for more precise targeting and further personalization (we’re mostly excited for the Prime discounts so we never have to spend $5 on a bottle of water again).
WWKWD (What Would Keith Weed Do)?
After 35 years of serving as Unilever’s CMO, Keith Weed has officially announced plans to retire in May 2019.
Talk to me about Keith.
Weed is widely regarded by his peers and industry leaders as one of the most “consistently influential” CMOs of the last decade. Over the past few years, Weed has become one of the industry’s most vocal advocates in demanding industry reforms in the name of brand safety and transparency, notably calling for “urgent action” to clean up the influencer marketing ecosystem last May and slashing the number of agencies the company works with.
What’s next for Unilever?
Things are ch-ch-changing. The news of Weed’s departure comes a week after the company announced that Alan Jope will succeed Paul Polman as the CEO, effective at the start of 2019. A spokeswoman says Jope will make the decision on a CMO successor after he takes charge. We’ll have our eyes on this story at the start of the new year. Stay tuned.
Weed continues to be vocal following the news of his retirement, offering parting wisdom urging agencies “to integrate to show your value,” once again echoing the need for fewer agency silos. With less than five months left in his role as Unilever’s CMO, Weed still has his sights set on his end-goal of achieving one-to-one personalized marketing at scale.
Marketers can apply Weed’s wisdom to their own influencer marketing practices in 2019 by forming a cross-departmental influencer marketing center of excellence within their organizations. Influencers’ value isn’t just in the content they create (more on that below) – but in the insights they provide that can benefit and solve problems within every department. In better understanding the collective challenges each department needs to solve, marketers can effectively show the value influencers can deliver.
For Your Aspiring CMO 2019 Goals
A recent study highlights that CMOs are not fulfilling responsibilities that go beyond brand recognition, brand value, and certain branding tactics, which, when considering CMOs’ primary responsibilities are to contribute to profitable brand growth, is problematic.
Tell me more.
The study, conducted by the CMO Council and Deloitte LLP, reports that 34 percent of CMOs identified their roles in their organizations as “storytellers,” while only 20 percent said that their roles were focused on identifying and mapping new routes to client revenue.
The results of the survey indicate a growing trend that CMOs are allocating their resources to first focus on what they do day-to-day rather than focusing on client business results. While storytelling is an important part of marketing, it should be secondary to driving revenue and contributing to sales.
As CMOs are increasingly expected to become more bottom-line focused and revenue-centric, they have the opportunity to lean on influencers to help across the entirety of their business organizations. Influencers are expert brand builders by nature and their value to marketers expands far beyond content creation alone. Marketers have the opportunity to leverage influencers’ unique knowledge about business, industry, trends, consumers, creativity, and content to discover opportunities to gain competitive advantage and increase market share.