Episode 7: 🛍️ The ‘Reliance Economy’

Staying Human in an Automated Marketing World

🔥 🏖️ the D2C funnel, TikTok as Trojan Horse?,🤱The ‘Reliance Economy’, 🐷 Influencers & AI, Say 👍 to MarTech Certificates, 🙌 Stay human

GCP is the newsletter that marketing execs read to keep their brands up on societal automation, social, commerce + algorithmic trends coming out of Amazon, Facebook, Apple & Google + China’s BAT (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent). Let me know how you think it can be improved, simply hit reply or reach me here.

[👀 The Week’s Insights RoundUp]

👉Hello Automated Marketer. This week’s roundup keeps we marketers thinking ahead of the curve on topics like how should we flip our funnels to be D2C; how we can build our products and services to be a part of the ‘Reliance Economy’ - but perhaps built with technological functionalities that improve our customers lives with convenience and productivity - not just focused on habitual addictive use of the product. And as AI increases its push into our automated marketer daily lives, we still have a love/hate relationship with its ‘take over’ - because we know its efficiencies, yet we need more time to get trained to manage it. The question is, will we fully ever manage the marketing technology going forward? Finally I leave you with the “Near Me” generation. As we wish to remain relevant to our users we must recognize that our customer’s mobile phone is now effectively their new ‘home’ - wherever they are physically - that is their ‘home’ - with their entire lives controlled and managed by that mobile phone as a remote control. How can we increasingly redefine commerce and provide customer experiences where we meet the needs of the “near me” generation (allowing our users to order, receive deliveries, and return items from wherever they are “home”)? Remember, team always: 🙌 Stay human .

[👯 Spotlight:this Week’s Influencers👯]

Gerard Keeley, @mahoney_sarah, @TobyNwazor, Jesse Weaver, @conniechan, @TaylorLorenz, @PCMag, @AWS, Matthew Humphries, @AWS, @JorgeGregonis, Pandu Danzinger, Amit Sharma, Seema Gupta, Phani Manpaka, Daniyal Malk, @TechNote, Nick Frisch, , Jack Loecher, @mp_research, Ray Schultz

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[🛍️  How to be D2C & Subscription First]

More than half of consumers expect a response from customer service within an hour, even on weekends. *Edelman Digital

👉4 ways next-gen D2C brands can crack creative marketing. Link by Gerard Keeley. SO WHAT?: 1) understand your audience; 2) hang on to that funnel: use content to ignite interest and bring a product to life, use paid social ads to deliver those messages, and employ pixels to facilitate retargeting and drive purchases directly through social platforms with features like Instagram checkout; 3) develop a test-and-learn creative mentality. 4) budget for multiple formats - brands that want to go truly direct must now factor in Amazon as part of their growth strategy, understanding how to use it as a distribution tool for their products. ASK YOURSELF: Moving to D2C? Taking these steps?

👉The secrets of D2C powerhouses. Link by @mahoney_sarah. SO WHAT?: If you want to be D2C, traditional [legacy brand] companies put brands on top, and build on an “industrious dedication to creating products,” quoting Jim Stengel, P&G’s former CMO. Insurgent [challenger] brands “reverse that process, starting with personality, then tribe, and then brand and product.” ASK YOURSELF: How can I flip my funnel? How can I refocus my marketing on my audience first vs product?

[🧬 Improving AI, Marketing Automation & the Engineered Algorithms Incentivizing Us]

As technology advances, we have begun offloading more and more of our cognitive functions and skills to our devices -Jesse Weaver

👉Welcome to the “Reliance Economy”. Link by Jesse Weaver. SO WHAT?: Some might define it as ‘getting customers productive” or making their lives convenient, but Jesse outlines that today, much of our existence centers on the attention economy, where our focus and time are mined, and the resulting data is manipulated and sold as a commodity in service of driving advertising revenue and feeding algorithms. He believes that despite the way we position it, technology is no longer a tool to solve problems; it has been twisted into a tool to grow profits. “Capitalism isn’t geared to solve problems. If a company truly solved a problem, it would put itself out of business. Instead, the system [the algorithm] is geared to keep consumers perpetually in need,” he says. ASK YOURSELF: Are we trying to addict users or solve their problems? How about we meet somewhere in between and develop an addictive solutions app?

👉Influencers & AI: 6 ways top influencers are implementing AI and machine learning to grow their followers. Link by @TobyNwazor. SO WHAT? You may be posting, you may be leveraging automation, but are you using AI like influencers are? ASK YOURSELF: Will I lose ground if I don’t leverage the latest AI?

👉How TikTok is different. Link. by @conniechan. SO WHAT?: In another step towards a “Reliance Economy” subservient to the decisions of ‘the algorithm', Connie Chan teaches us that TikTok stands unique among other social platforms because of its use of AI. Whereas Netflix, YouTube, and Facebook’s news feeds all use recommendation algorithms to push users a curated list of options, TikTok removes choice from the experience all together. Its algorithms give viewers only one video to watch at any given moment and uses subtle cues like how much time you spend on it, whether you like it, or even how quickly you swipe away to determine what video you get to watch next. ASK YOURSELF: Are you yourself comfortable with algorithms making this many decisions for you based on your behavior?

[ 🦁 eComm Everywhere: Amazon Prime, Alexa, Shopify]

One-third of all purchases during the 2018 holiday shopping season were made on smartphones. *TechCrunch

👉Amazon Web Services: check out this global infrastructure interactive map of Amazon’s web services. Link by @AWS. SO WHAT? The Verge says Amazon is thought of as retail, but it is clearly becoming something much more massive than just that. ASK YOURSELF? Is your company tapping the real Amazon yet?

👉Over 40 percent of Amazon's sellers are based in China. Link by @PCMag/Matthew Humphries. SO WHAT?: Turns out that U.S. Amazon addicts could be responsible for the current trade deficit? Says Matt: “If you're not buying direct from Amazon, chances are you're dealing with a Chinese merchant regardless of which regional Amazon website you shop with.”ASK YOURSELF?: As we increasingly become addicted to convenience, productivity and ‘near me” - should we be personally concerned about how much power we’re handing over to foreign product manufacturing via Amazon?

[Building A Marketing Strategy for the 4th Industrial Revolution]

Omni-channel customers spend 4% more in store and 10% more online than single-channel customers. For every additional channel they use, customers spend more money. *Harvard Business Review

👉Ditching omni-channel for a new 'harmonic' model? Link by Pamela N. Danziger @Forbes. SO WHAT?: says Pam,Retailers are still trying to force the customer into channels, be they physical or digital, so that the retailer can manage them…the idea of omni channel retail still forces the customer along predetermined paths to purchase that are aligned with the organizational structure in order that results can be measured and quantified. The solution? Become D2C, right?! ‘Harmonic sure sounds like ‘becoming D2C’. ASK YOURSELF: can we merge our omni channel KPIs together so it becomes one KPI – the lifetime customer value.

👉The Instagram Aesthetic is Over? Link by @TaylorLorenz. SO WHAT?: While on Facebook we all put on the best to ‘beat’ the Jones’ next door, on Instagram “everyone is trying to be more authentic,” says Lexie Carbone, a content marketer at Later, a social-media marketing firm. ASK YOURSELF: How can I be more authentic on IG?

👉Why Marketers should focus on the “Near Me” Generation. Link, by Amit Sharma SO WHAT?: As consumer increasingly use their cellphones as remote controls that makes their lives more convenient, they’re expecting that a retailer will provide service to wherever they are [kind of like when you’re walking alone in the park and you so want to ask Alexa what’s the temperature]…..meaning their ‘home’ is wherever they are with their phone. He notes that Google searches for “Near Me” and “Can I buy….” have skyrocketed 500%. ASK YOURSELF: How could I ever implement this if I wasn’t working with Amazon/AWS?

[🧬 Surveillance Advertising]

76% of consumers think companies should understand their expectations and needs. *Salesforce

👉Promote Mode: the machine behind Twitter’s strangest promoted tweets. Link by Sophie Kleeman. SO WHAT?: At its core, Promote Mode, which launched in 2017, is simple: Users pay to have their tweets automatically beamed into people’s timelines. Twitter calls it an “automated, always-on advertising solution,” intended for people who don’t have the money or time to devise an ad campaign but who want to build their brand or their company’s brand. In practice, this means paying $99 per month to send your first 10 tweets of the day to an audience that matches certain interests or locations. (Quote tweets, replies, or retweets aren’t included, and selected tweets must adhere to Twitter’s quality filter.) ASK YOURSELF: Do I need Promote Mode, or should I remain an ‘old-school’ influencer?


[🇨🇳 The China BAT: Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent]

China has not only successfully isolated its billions of citizens from the rest of the internet behind the Great Firewall—it has also built its own parallel tech industry. It has its own Google (Baidu), its own Twitter (Weibo), its own Amazon (Alibaba), and its own Facebook (Tencent).

👉 Alibaba’s world domination playbook. Link & Link by TechNode. SO WHAT?: Alibaba’s “new retail” wants to use data and technology to transform retail, including offline retail, which accounts for 82% of the total. New retail is Alibaba’s strategy to redefine commerce by enabling seamless engagement between the online and offline world. It’s not about converting online users to offline customers or vice versa. It’s about building a retail ecosystem that blends online and offline channels in a unified way that features the consumer at the center, often in new and unexpected ways. ASK YOURSELF? Time to call AWS?

👉Global Data Harvesting: Is TikTok a Cambridge Analytica data bomb ready to explode? Link. SO WHAT?: Nick Frisch, a fellow at Yale Law School’s Information Society Project, warned of China’s newest growth export: the surveillance state. He said we should be concerned by these “illiberal innovations,” and included the lip-sync social media sensation in his inventory of reasons to be more skeptical of the “Made in China” tech movement. ASK YOURSELF? do we feel comfortable that the hottest algorithmic driven app in the iTunes app store today collecting data on U.S. users and stored in China? Would we feel comfortable if China were building a huge database profiles of all Americans for as yet undisclosed intensions?

[🤖 Our Automation Nation & Your Job]

63% of Millennials start their customer service interactions online. *Microsoft

👉Should We Be Worried About AI? - Link, by @JorgeGregorio SO WHAT?: Nice infographic at this link to visually show how while AI certainly is advancing past humans in marketing decision making, humans are still going to be ‘brothers in arms’ with AI. #stayhuman

👉How Marketers Need to Evolve to Embrace AI. Link, by Seema Gupta. SO WHAT?: AI can be used in marketing in all the three layers of the pyramid – Bidding, Targeting and Messaging. 

👉Martech is evolving more rapidly than marketers use of it. Link, Jack Loecher, @mp_research. CMOs need to spend less on Martech and more on training for Martech. Link by Ray Schultz. SO WHAT?: Those martech certifications may become more valuable than an MBA?

[🦄 Unicorn Life]

👉Are you taking chatbots seriously yet? Link, by Phani Marupaka. SO WHAT?: Prediction: in five years your company website will be a giant chatbot.

👉Pooling User Data: My 2020 Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp strategy just became more clear! Link, by Daniyal Malik. SO WHAT?: Facebook is now looking at your brand and the customers who interact with your brand from a holistic cross platform perspective across FB, IG and Whatsapp.

[🤡  What’s On my Amazon Wishlist?]

👉The Age of Continuous Connection - received an advanced copy from Norbert Beatty and just read their cover story in the HBR. To be honest the book is really about taking what Facebook does for a brand in its walled garden platform and showing companies how they could apply that same approach to its other channels. Well done, was wondering when someone would articulate the secret of Facebook for the rest of digital marketing channels.

[🎧 Got Your Brandhacker Story?]

👉We need your marketing insights. Visit Brandhacker Stories and provide your perspectives. We’re launching carpool karaoke type resource of marketing influencers, like you. Care to be in the spotlight? Our podcast is work in progress (iTunes, Stitcher, Google, Overcast).

[🎙️ Got News? What Are You Working On?]


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Have a great week - Robb

👨I’m @robbhecht - your host and Get Customer Productive modern marketing coach

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