April 17, 2018: The future of advertising, Cheddar challenges traditional news publications, Facebook launches new research initiative and Instagram releases Focus mode.

Here’s what’s worth knowing this week:


The Future Of Advertising

What do direct-to-consumer relationships, ROI, identity and TV advertising all have in common? They all rely on data and, according to a new Media Post report, are positioned to be the top drivers of the advertising industry over the next four years.

What it means, IRL: Simply put, brands who are looking to be relevant in the next decade are adopting direct-to-consumer (DTC) strategies – it’s why digitally native vertical brands (DNVBs) have surged in popularity almost overnight. In addition to providing consumers with an elevated brand experience, such strategies equip marketers with mass amounts of first-party behavioral data, storing these data points in CDMs instead of DMPs. Unliked DMPs, CDMs make first-party CRM data more actionable, enabling marketers to do more thoughtful targeting and deliver a better CX – yas!

Make it work: If a DMP and CRM had a baby it would be a CDP. As marketers, we have the opportunity to leverage this new & more-inclusive technology to deliver hyper-personalized comms to consumers in a much more meaningful way. To start, work cross-functionally to integrate your CDP into your marketing infrastructure (i.e. email, web, etc.). Then, take it a step farther and understand which of their customers are influential by determining levels of influence and bring them into the marketing process accordingly. And we can help you do  that. #ShamlessPlug

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TV is having a moment, if you will. It is still unrivaled as a mass-medium: 80% of video viewing still happens on TV, with DNVBs like Warby Parker, Dollar Shave Club, and Peloton are making big ad investments to scale their businesses.

What does continue to evolve are consumers’ TV-watching habits – which are increasingly digital. The most notable change being in news consumption (which shouldn’t be a surprise, given Facebook’s recent meeting with Congress). In the same way that DNVBs have reinvented the retail landscape, digitally-native publishers are on the front lines of media innovation and there’s a lot to be learned from orgs like Cheddar. Unlike other news publications who focus on promoting long-form content, Cheddar breaks down news stories into easily digestible content chunks – think post-cable, next-gen global news network. With the recognition & success Cheddar has received, it’s likely we’ll see other publishers follow suit.  Stay tuned…


When Less Is More

In the era of shrinking attention spans, the shorter the better – for ads, that is. TV networks are beginning to introduce six-second ads to capture consumers’ interest and, according to a new report, shorter videos deliver nearly 10 times the impact per second.

TV is the final holdout to jump on the six-second bandwagon as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube already have versions of the ad format. Repurposing TV ads for the digital space has always been  a struggle, and with the convergence of ad formats, it will be easier to seamlessly repurpose content across multiple channels. To make the most of this new ad format, involve influencers in the creative process to learn how they’d tell your story in six seconds or less, and if you’re planning to repurpose influencer-generated video content – make sure your briefs make six-second video shorts mandatory.


Facebook Scholars

Despite Facebook continuing to be one of the most frequently used social media platforms, its track record with fake news & elections hasn’t been too hot. It’s why, last week, Facebook announced plans to launch an independent research initiative in which Facebook will partner with seven non-profits to understand how social media can impact elections. Under the new initiative, a group of scholars will propose research projects for peer review based on a set of general research goals. Once a proposal is approved, the scholars will receive the anonymous data from Facebook and the accompanying funding from the foundation.=

The new initiative attempts to tackle a tricky issue for Facebook –  one that has left Zuck & Co. in the hot seat week after week. Even with desperate self-policing attempts to rid itself of fraud on its platform, marketers should be informed with their approach to Facebook and should understand the  importance of developing a first-party data strategy for all marketing initiatives.


Focus On Instagram

Maybe it’s not all bad news for Zuck & Co. Last week, Instagram rolled out Focus Mode – a new feature that blurs the background in shots to focus on the subject’s face, elevating the picture and giving it a next-level, professional look. To find the feature, simply open the camera and you’ll  see “Focus” next to “Superzoom” under the record button. The feature works in the front-facing or rear-facing camera – so you can get that perfect selfie too. Step aside iPhone Portrait Mode, Instagram is coming in hot. With the launch of Focus Mode, Instagram is competing where Apple can’t by bringing focus features to non-iPhones.



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