Nov 14, 2017:  Cookie-based marketing comes crumbling down, Instagram cracks the whip & lets you follow hashtags, Facebook introduces Polls, and Twitter gets wordy. Here’s what’s worth knowing this week:

That’s Just The Way The Cookie Crumbles

Cookies have gone stale – on Safari at least. Apple recently announced Safari is going to prevent advertisers from dropping third-party cookies to target & re-target users. The move comes in the name of ‘trust and privacy’ – a response to consumers’ mass adoption of ad blockers (which btw, Google is also introducing to Chrome). Not surprisingly, this has every advertising trade up in arms – publishers, brands and ad networks all have a lot to lose – to the tune of $83bn.

What it means, IRL: No more cookie data = no more audiences to target (and ads to follow them to the ends of the interwebs). TBH cookie-based targeting has its many challenges: fraud, brand safety, and viewability to name a few. The move also speaks to the absolute power that tech providers like Apple and the duopoly of Google-Facebook can wield in an instant to disrupt entire revenue models for brands and publishers. If programmatic ad buying and audience targeting is no longer the best option, what do you do?

Make it work:  The fact that the cookie is crumbling may not be a bad thing, especially given that the many ‘reasons’ cookie-based advertising was supposed to be an advantage – experience, relevancy, personalization – rarely happened. When you can’t buy an audience – buy what they’re interested in. Your consumer insights team is your new BFF. In order to achieve comparable reach and frequency, brands should seek out influencers and publisher collectives (like TrustX) based on their complementary categorical knowledge, editorial calendars, and first-party audience demographics to co-create brand content. Look for programmatic content and influencer marketing to be a big trend in 2018.

Keep Calm And #Hashtag On

Last week, Instagram began testing the ability to let its users follow social hashtags. The feature allows users to click a hashtag to follow it to ‘see top posts and recent stories.’ Insta claims hashtag following would allow users to ‘keep better tabs on topics that matter to them.’ Hashtag following, the recent collections feature, and product tagging are all major moves on Pinterest territory – aka king of curated content – positioning Insta the future of visual search and visual commerce as we know it.

With this new means of content discovery and curation, brands now must consider the #who and #what for Insta domination. To make the most of this feat, brands should leverage higher volumes of influencers and advocates to own relevant hashtags during key periods, like #blackfriday and #holidays.


Insta is also starting to crack the whip on influencer-generated content. The social media giant is expanded the roll out of its Branded Content tool, now requiring all sponsored posts by influencers be published using the tool. The ‘Gram announced the tool back in June in response to the infamous FTC-Insta crackdown and then, in August, established an initial branded content policy alongside it.

In addition to requiring all branded content to be tagged, Insta also says it will automatically detect and notify accounts that have posted content without the tool. Once notified, they will be prompted to tag a business. Sounds like music to the FTC’s ears if you ask me.

Phone A Friend

Sometimes you just can’t decide between Panera or Chipotle and that’s okay because now, you don’t have to – your friends can decide for you. Last Friday, Facebook introduced a new Polls feature that allows users to create two-option polls as a status update. Users can pose a question, encourage their friends to vote, and see ‘real-time’ results.

Similar to Insta Polls, FB’s new polling option provides brands with another avenue to communicate with consumers in real-time. As such, brands should work with influencers from an ideation standpoint to develop creative ways to target and engage people based on feedback. Then, brands should be leveraging influencers to develop fun, Q&A experiences i.e. which recipe to make for dinner, which outfit to wear, holiday gift ideas, etc.

Are FB Polls the workings of Zuck & Co or in support his new alter-ego as “Community Builder”?

You tell me.

What to Say When Your Coworker Talks ‘Social Listening’

‘Historically, 9% of Tweets in English hit the character limit. This reflects the challenge of fitting a thought into a Tweet, often resulting in lots of time spent editing and even at times abandoning Tweets before sending. With the expanded character count, this problem was massively reduced… Since we saw Tweets hit the character limit less often, we believe people spent less time editing their Tweets in the composer’ – Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey

If you don’t know now you know – Twitter officially launched their new 280-character limit. But did anyone actually ask Twitter to increase its character count? Based on the response of the masses, it doesn’t appear so. #BringBack140

So much for social listening. Twitter can keep the extra characters – we’re still waiting on the ability to edit Tweets. The other reason we spend so. much. time. editing tweets .. is that we can’t edit tweets once published.


On The Move – Toutiao is buying in deal worth $800M-$1B

Creepy Or Cool – Amazon Key’s big privacy test in now in your hands

New Year, New Me – B2C’s top 5 marketing predictions for 2018

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