Sunday, January 22, 2017

Voice Search is on the rise. Foolish to ignore this trend in SEO!

Among what we learned this week, what surprised me most, was professor Kagan’s repeated emphasis on voice search.

Honestly, I never thought about voice search as a trend before. Why? Because I never use voice search. So I took it for granted that most people don’t use it. See, that shows why a marketer should never speculate on consumer behavior based on his/her own habit.  Same for keyword planning in SEO!

I read this article today reminding me again that voice search is a trend now. The writer says that a survey found making calls and searching were the top 2 use cases in voice search. In addition, “60 percent of voice users want more answers and fewer search results.”

Given that voice searches are on the rise, how to optimize search engine ranking for this new type of search?

First, there is a huge opportunity for local business. Many people use voice search looking for business nearby, like “flower shop near me.” Accordingly, make sure that your business profile is accurately listed on Google My Business or Bing Places.

Second, use long-tail keyword phrases in conversational language. Think about what questions might be asked from your customers, then tailor it to naturally spoken phrases which simulate what people usually say in voice searches.

Third, make a FAQ page for your online business. A voice search is usually a question, which begins with “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” “why.” Having a FAQ page with similar-structured questions may appeal to search engine.

Fourth, optimize your mobile site experience. Most voice searches are done on mobile devices, therefore, a mobile-friendly site is essential to retaining customers who click into your site.


Saturday, January 21, 2017

Your 2017 Digital Plan

While searching for trends in digital marketing, I came across an article in Forbes about things you should add to your digital marketing plan this year. Interestingly, top three suggestions were influenced by Google. 

Suggestion to have outstanding content make sense. It’s fair to assume that people will prefer to visit a site with better quality content. 

Since more than 50% search queries now come from mobile devices, it’s no surprise that mobile optimization is one of Google’s ranking factors. This will probably make SEO a bit more challenging as most sites will require SEO for both desktop and mobile. After all, the other 50% searches are still coming from desktop or laptops. 

Google’s emphasis on switching from “http” to “https” is a bit curious. While “https” is secure, not everyone needs it. It certainly makes sense if you are selling something. In fact it shows that you are concerned about customer data. On the other hand the benefit of securing a site with instructions to tie show laces is debatable. Nevertheless, now that Google has made https a ranking factor, it is prudent to switch.

You can read details about the suggestions mentioned above and other suggestions by clicking here.


Tips to Utilize SEO in 2017

Marketers are beefing up their investment on content creation, which could possibly drive traffic and popularity of the websites. But to leverage these efforts, they also need to learn the rules for SEO in 2017. The days when driving traffic equals the use of keywords are long gone. Experts remarked that the SEO strategy revolves around another big-money marketing focus: experience.

Historically, the recommendations for SEO have been focused on keywords. But with the search engine becoming more intelligent, content creators have less control about how their pages are showing up and what words they’re showing up for.

On the basis of an August 2015 study on the future of SEO by Moz Inc., the most important factors for SEO in the next year will be mobile friendliness, simplicities, a page’s perceived value, usage data, and the webpage’s design. In contrast, the influence of paid links and anchor texts will be reduced within in the next few years.

Intention is everything
In the old days, it was all about clicking the links, but now search engines care more about how the customers are interacting with the website. Are they going back and clicking on results, or are they finding the answers they’re looking for when they’re on your site? Satisfying people's needs in a straightforward way matters more today.

Keywords are no longer the perfect tool
Keywords are not that magical today, and search engine, such as Google has new ways to interpret meanings. For instance, if you want to rank the best restaurant in the city, you have to mention “the best restaurant” in the title or content of the article for several times or put it in the meta description. But with the advancement of search engine, the best restaurants could also equal to great dining experience or high rate.

Also, to get the most relevant and accurate results, the search queries people provide should be between three and five words long. If they only type "marketing," or any one-or-two-word query, they will not get the results they want. As content creators, when you are thinking about optimization, you have to take this perspective into consideration.

User experience matters
The original content is more important than ever, whether it’s an image or a video, or long-form content, anything you can put together that’s going to justify someone’s desire to read or share it. But do remember to scatter this original content to different places, making them digestible. If you take content from other website, give them credit and add some attribution to make it yours.

Longer article wins easily
Longer articles, between 1,200 to 1,500 words, (with more words and images to rank on the page) perform better in search, and they’re ranking higher in SEO. Tips for the structure of the article is breaking up long-form content with subheads, bullet points and images throughout the copy to make it easy for readers to scan and digest it quickly.

Optimize for mobile
The number of people reading news on their smartphones is increasing exponentially, so it’s important to ensure that the content is searchable on mobile devices. In addition, making sure that Google can understand the content found within a mobile app, and leveraging the marketing of the app with respect to SEO, is an opportunity on the consumer and business-to-business marketing side.

Use unique pictures
The same image can show up in hundreds of places around the Web, but creating unique content around the images is what makes it stand out. The most important SEO tip for the next few years is to focus on your audience. In the past, what marketers care about is to promote their content, but now it’s about delivering what people actually want to see, and that perspective will boost your SEO ranking. 



A new robot on the market, Kuri, follows you around the house and promotes a cheerful attitude. But the question is, relating to digital marketing, how do we communicate our partner companies value propositions through a non-display device? Products such as this can begin to make decisions for us on our behalf. The new form of revenue is beginning to be not from advertising but rather revenue from automated purchases made my self-aware products (the empty friendly milk-jug in the fridge) on our behalf, and for our convenience.


Marketing Science: Target your ad to people not platform

Many companies are consumed by clicks and Facebook's VP of Market Science, Brad Smallwood, challenges that theory and suggests people measurement versus platform measurement is more important.
FB is trying to get advertisers and marketers to focus on people as opposed to platforms. Instead of saying "I have $150K to spend on Instagram" FB sales are encouraged instead to recommend: "I have $150K to spend on getting my message in front of this type of person, regardless of platform".
There is far more data and it should be used to implement a far better marketing strategy than 'pay per click'.

Youtube interview here:


Google’s Travel Search Dilemma

Google is under constant fire for apparently favoring their own content in searches, which obviously puts marketing and strategy firms, and the companies that hire them, at a huge disadvantage.  Traveling marketers have jumped on the bandwagon to criticize Google as the economy is picking up, and people are spending more money on lavish trips and vacations.  Google obviously knows that they're the biggest search engine in town. As traveling trends increase, marketing budgets will also increase.

Talented marketing and strategy firms should look to capitalize on these trends.  I think the firms with a great track record of SEO will benefit the most.  With Google under more and more pressure, it will take talented teams to maneuver and successfully market their clients content despite many considering the system rigged.  I also think marketers should take advantage of users social media (mobile) experience and look to continue to target potential clients, particularly in the traveling/high income space. Those marketing firms that can successfully get their clients to the top of searches the fastest will obviously prove their worth, which should be evident in ROI.


5 Things to Add To Your 2017 Marketing Plan

Interesting article that reflects what Patrick Ambron spoke about in yesterday's class - that if you don't stay on top of your internet presence, it will have significant consequences on your reputation.


Why the Hemingway App revolutionized my approach to blogging... and is now available for desktop

As someone who regularly writes and approves other's written and visual content for a corporate website and blog, I was over-the-moon when I discovered the Hemmingway App a year ago. It completely changed my approach to writing for the web. This incredible app is an incredibly useful tool that helps make your writing bolder, clearer, and much easier to read for the web.  

And now, according to Lifehacker, the app is now available on desktop for $19.95. The web version remains free if you don't want to pay.

How does it work? The web version is simple. Just paste your content onto the page and it will point out which sentences are hard to read, which words could be simplified/removed, and which phrases could be written more clearly. 


Measuring Digital

2017 is likely going to mark the first time ever that digital advertising spend will surpass television.

“In 2017, digital ads will bring in $202 billion—40% of all ad spending, according to industry forecaster Magna. That compares with 36% for television.” – Barron’s. January 21, 2017.

As digital advertising becomes an increasingly larger part of ad spend, it becomes clear that those people making ad investment decisions are going to demand better ways to measure the performance of their ads.
The implications for the industry are significant. What tools are available for advertisers to best measure the efficacy of their digital campaigns? And, in light of recent headline news about hundred-million dollar ad fraud, how do advertisers make sure that their tools for measurement aren’t incentivizing others to game the system?
It's hard to imagine that as more and more marketing dollars get allocated to the digital space that the ability to measure how successful these ads are doesn't start to become one of - if not the - most significant decisions for those controlling the budget. As this space continues to grow, it seems publishers will start to prioritize those channels that are most measurable, whether or not they are the most effective.


Online to Offline Tracking

After displaying an ad to a potential customer, it has been hard to know if that ad led to an offline purchase. Facebook released an update that attempts to solve this problem, by using the location data provided to them on your mobile devices. This, in combination with matching data records across a variety of services, such as Square, can give the advertisers better knowledge of how their digital marketing efforts are creating conversions. While this is not new, it is a maturing area that is continually becoming more intelligent. Another area where privacy concerns turn up.

Tracking customers via physical location is becoming even more accurate as well. Not just what stores they have visited, but perhaps even what aisles they walked through, as mentioned in this article: "The level of precision is "almost 'has this consumer walked down aisle 3?' said Mr. Collins. "That is one of the great benefits that comes with beacon-based data.""

This could give stores with a variety of products knowledge of what each customer is looking for, providing even more targeting data that is also timely. 

It makes one want to shut their phone off, as some of these collectors are surely selling the data upstream.


Reputation risk vs Utility

Reputation risk vs Utility
We learned how to manage reputation risk on the internet personally. When we consider using social media or other user participatory communication platform for business, we would have similar issue but with a little different dimension. The definition of the “risk” in that case would be uncontrollability, unpredictability and impossibility to recover (as mentioned in the guest speaker discussion). Many people could be involved with company-managed SM for example, which means far more uncontrollability/unpredictability compared with individual case. One partial solution sometime used is restricting the use of those SM to CEO of the company only at least internally. This would be somewhat helpful to reduce uncontrollability/unpredictability.
However, if we pursue this idea too much, those communication platforms could be called into question their raison d'etre as efficient business tool. Here is an extreme example. A couple years ago, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA) and the Finland embassy in Japan had a limited-time twitter conversation to establish a further friendly relationship. The response from the Finland embassy was very quick. But that of MOFA was extremely slow because they obtained an approval from the top for every single tweet considering potential diplomatic problems. In the end of event, Finland embassy tweeted in casual Japanese “Looks like it’s time to go. I wanted to chat more.” This is too extreme but also shows that balancing reputation risk vs utility is not so easy once organizations are involved.


The Advent of Alexa

The Advent of Alexa

By now, much of the world has learned about Alexa, Amazon’s voice control system.  It allows people to talk to their Echo device and order or search for items.  Even more than that, it allows for smart home control, such as dimming the lights and playing music.  Echo has “far-field” microphones, allowing response to voice commands from anywhere within earshot.  By simply saying “Alexa,” you can command it to get to work, bypassing traditional routes of search from your computer or phone.

At CES 2017, which took place in Las Vegas last week, more products were introduced which were powered by Alexa – LG introduced a new fridge, with a 9 inch touch LCD which allows the user to search recipes, play music, and order items through Prime as well as put items in their shopping list.  Lenovo launched an Alexa powered device as well, the Smart Assistant, powered with Harman Kardon speakers. 

Furthermore, both Ford and Volkswagen are integrating Alexa into their fleet.  This allows cars that are Alexa-enabled to do anything the typical Echo device does – music, timers, order from Prime – as well as car-centric features, such as ordering supplies or parts, through their Amazon accounts.

Implication:  It seems that Amazon continues to take steps to capture clients in every aspect of their daily life and increase ease of ordering items through Prime.  This further changes the landscape of search evolution, bypassing the traditional computer and even now, starting to bypass phone use.  Amazon will surely be able to leverage the data they collect to be able to even better predict

consumer needs, and start offering services that are partnered with Amazon – for instance, if it has been 6 months since your last oil change, it may be able to remind you to order what you need through Amazon.


Friday, January 20, 2017

Snapchat will target ads based on what people buy off Snapchat

Have you ever been surfing the internet, cruising on Bloomingdales website for their latest sale, checking out those cool boots on Zappos, or flipping through Amazon for that certain book you can't seem to find at all the closing book stores, and then you switch over to Google and there is an ad for one of those websites you were just on? Google, among many others, uses Oracle Data Cloud to track its customers online and offline purchases and group customers into segments. Just when you thought your every move is being tracked, another social media power house has been added to the list of companies that do this. Joining the likes of Google, Facebook, Pintrest, and other top names, Snapchat will start to target ads based upon what its customers are buying off of Snapchat.

Some thoughts are that Snapchat is looking to beef up its ad revenue for potential sale or IPO later this year. And in addition Oracle Data Cloud will enable Snapchat to see conversion rates- customers who clicked on the ads that then resulted in a sale. This also will be a valuable metric to show any potential buyers.

I think the big question here is- How does this make you feel? Do you care that you are being watched all the time, not only by big brother, but also by tons of companies out there who just want your consumer data? For those that are totally creeped out (like me!!) don't fret- there is a way to opt out of this tracking on the app settings on your phone.

Check out article here for more info!
Snapchat will target ads based on what people buy off Snapchat


Trustworthy Content in an Untrustworthy Industry

As today is Inauguration Day, I could not help but find some news article that discussed a correlation between digital media advertising and elections. In his article, "Why Digital Hasn't Lost Its Luster", Andy Amsler discusses the success of digital media advertising (digital advertising expenditures in 2016 topped $1.4 billion), but also the need for firms to recognize its importance as a function of their future marketing success as many partner with agencies "framed by traditional thinking rather than forward-looking strategizing, at the expense of overall effectiveness and impact."

Making the case that digital media advertising is incredibly more effective now than it once was - as it relates to running a modern day campaign, Amsler states: "let’s stop pretending that persuadable voters can’t be reached online and that TV alone holds the key to winning elections or advocacy fights." That said, a successful digital campaign in politics - in any industry really - is the need for advertisers to create content that is trustworthy. "Trust in all forms of advertising is eroding", and as a consumer, I could not agree more. Advertising today does not connect - especially if it's political in nature.

But how does an industry infamously known for smear tactics and propaganda create content that is trustworthy? Amsler argues that if politicians were to create a campaign that was (more) truthful, s/he would experience longer lasting effects and an effect would be trust. If a politician was to establish trust with the help of advertising, one would assume a vote in his or her favor would follow.

With this most recent election, one thing many people can agree on is that the way in which politics and campaigns is played is forever changed. It is likely a safe bet that digital media advertising will play an even bigger role in 2018 and 2020. The challenge to advertisers will be incredible as they will be responsible for creating trustworthy content in an incredibly untrustworthy industry.


5 powerful call-to-action examples in real estate marketing that make people click

For agents, brokerage owners, and online real estate marketers keen to grab the attention of increasingly de-sensitized buyers and sellers online, the art of crafting with a clever call-to-action (CTA) is an ongoing challenge. Though many real estate sites still use "Click Here" for CTAs, more savvy online marketers have created much more effective verbiage that truly get clicks and generates leads. Here are five powerful CTAs that work in the online real estate space: 

1. 'Start Your Search' First Team Real Estate

"Home is a State of Mind. Find yours..."
This Californian real estate brokerage uses a very clear, easy to understand, and catchy tagline that's prominently displayed on their homepage. The "Start Your Search" button that 
follows is simple yet enticing, and provides an engaging play on the proceeding text that makes users take action.

2. 'Find a Knowledgable Agent'
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services

Whether buying a home or selling one.Find a Knowledgable Agent.

Many brokerages in their real estate sites use "Search Agents" or "Find Agents," in a CTA, Berkshire Hathaway's clever addition of the word "knowledgeable" adds a compelling element that attracts readers attention. The verbiage is simple, short, and effective. Playing to the needs and concerns of both buyers and sellers, this clever CTA pairs in a compelling way with the heading, reinforcing the firm's focus on expertise and unique skills. 

3. 'Discover our Advantage'
Michael Saunders & Company

Selling your home.
Discover our advantage

This Florida Gulf Coast firm uses clean, powerful and straight-to-the-point wording on their website. Their CTAs targeted to homesellers are no different. The text between the heading and the CTA is phrased in very short sentences and unlike many other real estate websites, uses strong and compelling wording without being too "salesy." 

4. 'Take a Look', 'View Lineup' and 'Check 'Em Out' 
First Team Real Estate

Take A Look

View LineUp

Check 'Em Out

Another shoutout to this Californian brokerage who uses clever, short, and bold wording that pairs the headings with CTA buttons and efficiently captures the attention of potential homebuyers. While the 'Check 'em out' type language might not work for a more formal brokerage, the Californian-style casual language works effectively for the local readership.

5. 'Contact Our Concierge'
Partners Trust

A Peerless Real Estate Experience
Contact Our Concierge

This LA-based brokerage takes a different approach in its marketing and its CTAs for potential sellers. For Partners Trust, touting their quality service and unique 'concierge' type offering is a compelling presentation. Their CTA is made especially enticing because it is preceded with a quote from a former seller, inviting consumers to experience the same success with the sale of a home through this firm. 


Malvertising and Ad-Blockers

As digital marketing has become a more important part of a brand's marketing strategies, the sheer size of the effort often begs for outsourcing and automation. This can lead to not knowing exactly where one's ads show up, how safe the ads are, or how customers are seeing your brand delivered.

Malware exploits have commonly infiltrated ad networks at even the most reputable of sites, such as NYTimes and through networks such as Google's AdWords. Ad networks have introduced tools to prevent such events from occurring, but as attackers move and change tactics, some still find success. How does this change consumer behavior and how they interact with online advertising? I have begun training employees on never clicking an online ad for these very concerns. Later we blocked all online ads from being delivered at the corporate firewall. Meanwhile, ad blockers have become ever more popular among the browsing public.

I am curious how this has already changed, and will continue to change the landscape. As my day-to-day landscape has been very protected from online ads, I now see extremely targeted ads on mobile in Instagram and Facebook. They have become very well tailored, from my perspective, and in their ecosystem seem to lack the same vulnerabilities that have cropped up on the web. For now.


Digital Marketing to Healthcare Consumers

Working in the healthcare industry, specifically insurance, I initially did not see how digital marketing to consumers could be integrated given a few factors: the high level of regulation, the fact that doctors and payers are the ultimate gatekeepers for care, and the patient's payment structure (e.g. copays). However, the changing landscape makes digital channels a potential force in marketing to consumers.

Most importantly, the change in insurance plans to high deductible plans has forced consumerism onto patients (often unwillingly). Rather than paying a simple copay, patients much deal with higher upfront costs in deductibles and coinsurance. Because of this sticker shock, patients are much more price sensitive to healthcare treatment and would likely be more receptive to marketing of services that promote quality and low cost. Patients are much more likely to be researching care before receiving it, rather than simply trusting their family physician as was the case in the past. Sites like WebMD (while questionble in their own right) offer easy platforms to target patients with certain conditions. Ultimately though, it will be up to the insurance companies on whether they will cover the product/service being marketed, so healthcare companies must consider all parties (consumers/payers/providers) when marketing their products.

That being said, HIPAA presents a challenge because of the privacy laws around medical records. Just as Target got in trouble for marketing to a pregnant teen before her family knew she was pregnant, healthcare marketing could create issues if targeting members in digital channels that are not websites related to a certain condition. Consumers likely would not take kindly to prescription medication ads popping up for a potentially sensitive condition while they are shopping for shoes. It will be interesting to see how marketing methods, and the regulators, evolve in this area.


Digital Marketing for Healthcare Providers

For healthcare providers such as hospitals, attracting patients is increasingly competitive and although increasingly transparent, the process of finding and selecting a provider is opaque. Traditionally, healthcare provider marketing was limited to providers developing relationships with referring providers, sending direct mailings, hosting community events, sending information on services and physicians to local newspapers, and advertising on local billboards.

With the prevalence of online reviews, regulatory and non-profit sites posting reviews, sharing healthcare experiences on social media, and healthcare consumerism in general, healthcare providers have been forced to join the rest of industries in incorporating digital marketing into their marketing and growth plans.

Northwell Health's integrated marketing campaign in 2016 is one of the best examples I have seen of a healthcare provider leveraging digital marketing. If you lived in or just visited New York City in 2016, you were very likely to see Northwell's subway ads, bus stop banners, TV ads, paid search ads, or Facebook/Instagram pushes. I received an innovative Instagram video ad in the summer I immediately sent to our marketing team at the hospital company in Boston where I work.

Healthcare is extremely local, and the ability to target local potential patient populations using social media is a huge asset not yet leveraged to its full potential by many traditional providers. In addition, with the wealth of reviews on providers on social media, managing the brand reputation on social media sites is a necessary marketing function many providers are not yet prioritizing to the extent they should.


Inside Real Madrid's Game Plan For Digital Domination

Real Madrid is the most successful sports organization in the world.  I came across an article that discussed their recent efforts to turn their digital content into a revenue generator, and it seems to be working as planned.

Last year they partnered with Rebel Ventures, a digital strategy agency that also works with other successful teams like the Boston Red Sox and the Liverpool Football Club.  The agency has strong relationships with the major social media platforms.  In an effort to increase their digital footprint Real Madrid also increased their digital operations team from 3 to 20 members.  As you can imagine, their results have been stellar.

I believe this is a great example of how powerful digital marketing can be if done correctly.  Because of successful digital marketing, Real Madrid is no longer just a great football club.  Now they are a content provider, which has helped them create a cult following that's nearly impossible to duplicate. Their ability to create customer captivity is a competitive advantage that should continue to grow, which should increase their profits for their new (digital content) revenue generator.


Behavioral Advertising - Is it a boon or a privacy nightmare?

What is Behavioral advertising?
Behavioral advertising is advertising to select users based on their browsing history or prior purchases. As an example, if you were to shop for a new car at a dealership's website yesterday. The next day you went to your news website and lo-and-behold, you see an ad from your dealership showing the exact car you were looking at.

It may seem creepy but to me personally I find this better than having to see an irrelevant advertisement. At a very high level, the ad companies state that the big data that drives such advertising does not contain personally identifiable information. However, when you aggregate all the information, it may be possible to narrow down to a single individual. What makes it scary is when this data is sold to third parties. We may not know to whom this information is sold to and how this third party uses the information. Companies like try to give you back the control of your online information and manage it. In fact, when they sell aggregated reports to a third party, you earn points and rewards if you anonymized information was used for such a report.

There are definitely benefits of customized advertisements but there are some ethical concerns of the re-purposing of your data that needs to be looked into.


Influencer Databases

If the inundation of influencers on our own social media accounts isn't enough, further proof of influencer marketing growth is shown by the existence and growth in influencer databases. There are now enough marketers looking for influencers, and influencers on social media to sift through, that companies are investing in creating a market for influencers and marketers to connect.

Just this week Insightpool launched its Universal Search platform with 600 million influencer profiles across 100 social networks. Insightpool touts this as the largest database in the world with competing platforms containing less than 100,000 profiles.

The cost to use the tool is not publicly available, but will be critical to determine whether this will help smaller companies not spending on influencer marketing now to find and leverage influencers to market their products and services going forward.


Embrace Augmented Reality: Baidu opens AR lab

Article link:
Baidu opens augmented reality lab, begins integrating AR into search

Baidu, China's search giant recently has opened an augmented reality lab, which focuses on developing new technologies and AR-based apps related to education, healthcare, tourism as well as marketing.
Before this, Baidu has launched its AR platform for smartphones, DuSee, in August 2016. Baidu has created AR marketing experiences for clients such as L’Oreal China, KFC China, Lancome, and Mercedes-Benz.
Baidu’s AR technology is currently available in Mobile Baidu, Baidu Maps and local services app Baidu Nuomi. Starting this week, Beijing subway users can use their smartphones to view 3D simulations of the city's historical gates by activating the camera function within the Mobile Baidu app.

Compared to VR, in general applications of AR have a brighter future in marketing in many aspects. Cell-phone based approach is an advantage of AR. It enables AR to gain quicker adoption in the market. That's why Baidu chooses to focus on developing on mobile instead of large investment on head-mounted systems. While the technology is becoming more and more accessible to the public, and the growth of its applications in marketing is rapid. The need of marketing content in AR applications is growing, too. AR offers an amazing channel for more creativity, good content is still the king when marketers leverage this technology.


Ads for Google Products Dominate Its Searches

Google Buys Millions of Its Own Ads

It turns out that Alphabet Inc, one of the largest advertising businesses, sells itself the most ads.  While many of us are aware that there is some bias in the reported results that occur, it is surprising to me that Google products and its subsidiaries products appeared in the top spot for 91% of 25,000 recent searches related to the items.  In 43% of these searches, the top 2 ads were for google-related products.

As a shareholder, personally, I like it.  As a consumer, however, it just means that one needs to be aware of what they are seeing when they search for a product.  The highest item on your search list isn’t necessarily the most popular or the one that fits the best, but rather, a product that google wants you to purchase. Per Google, when it competes for the ad space against other advertisers, it claims that other advertisers are charged as if it wasn’t bidding – meaning that prices shouldn’t be inflated. 

The implications:  Google holding top ad slots for search ultimately increases competitors bidding for the remaining slots for views.  This also means more in-house products that Google is able to showcase and sell, but at the cost of displaced ad revenue from other companies.

These will be interesting metrics to track over time.  Per Google, it says that its house ads appear on a much smaller portion of searches than in 2010.


For Netflix, Original Content Is the New Black

I saw this news on yesterday, saying that Netflix is significantly boosting its original content production in 2017, as a strategy to cope with the slowing down user growth.

A few trends in digital marketing could be implied from the article.

Frist, content is king and it is increasingly becoming the forefront of digital marketing strategies. This year, just like Netflix is doubling down on its original content, marketers will put more efforts on creating unique, entertaining, and useful content for their target audience. In addition, there is no longer a one-size-fits-all approach; all content needs to be customized in the digital marketing era.

Second, consumer engagement is expected to grow in a more competitive environment. As Netflix pursues its new strategy, it will face more pressure not only from its direct competitors like Amazon and Hulu, but also from those video-creating platforms such as YouTube and Facebook. To retain existing customers and win the battle, marketers need to further encourage consumer engagement and foster a strong relationship with consumers.

Third, marketers are pursuing cross-device options. Targeting customers and providing services through multiple devices such as smartphone, computer, and TV is in the mainstream of digital marketing. As said in the article, Netflix is increasing access to their service through different platforms including cable providers and smart TVs this year. Today’s customers are more fastidious than ever, as a result, marketers must provide not only seamless service but also consistent experience.