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The SMS: Seven Mobile Stories

by Camille Bishop | May 12, 2017

The SMS is a collection of industry news from the world of mobile and digitial marketing, compiled by Marchex. These are the top seven stories which caught our eye this week. Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments!

How to choose martech tools that your team will love

By Alison Lohse

Marketers have a love/hate relationship with martech. On the one hand, marketing technology allows us to automate, optimize and measure our programs like never before. We can do so much more with so much less. We can identify and reach our target audiences at incredible levels of precision; understand what they’re doing, where, when, how and why; influence their behavior by combining the powers of art and science; and prove the results and value of our efforts.

But all of this magic comes at a price. With great power comes great responsibility. We are responsible for the integrity of our brands. Marketing technology makes the process of communicating with your audience more frequent and more impersonal, capabilities that must be used wisely. We are responsible for often vast budgets that can be spent, for better or worse, with the click of a button. And perhaps most stressfully for many marketers, martech makes us responsible for our own decisions.

Because of marketing technology, we can no longer hide. Marketing no longer gets a pass. If we recommend a course of action and it fails, the data is now there to prove it. This is empowering, but also incredibly anxiety-inducing. We marketers will tell you that we are absolutely thrilled to finally be able to measure the impact of our efforts, but inside, we’re nervously chewing our nails. What if it doesn’t work? What if the results are dismal? Will I get passed over for that promotion? Will I get fired?

Viewability Is Mobile Marketing’s Achilles Heel

By Sean Hargrave

It’s all the rage — it’s where our attention is turning. Mobile advertising has now overtaken desktop in both the UK and U.S., according to the respective IAB figures.

There’s just one problem — viewability. The latest research from Meetrics shows that two unsavoury facts for the UK digital marketing industry remain. The first is one that we are accustomed to. The UK has the unwelcome crown of being the worst advertising market for viewability. It almost seems too convenient to be true, but advertisers really are wasting half their money. Just 47% of digital display in the UK is viewable, and the figure for Q1 2017 is down from 49%.

To put that into context, 67% of display is viewable in Austria (always at the top of the table) and 60% in France. Germany is just lagging a little behind at 55%.

The Meetrics researchers estimate that if you correlate this with the latest IAB/PwC figures for annual digital ad spend, this could be costing British advertisers three-quarters of a billion pounds per year.

The fact that the UK is doing poorly in viewability will come as no surprise to anyone in digital marketing. The fact that the market leads on mobile ad spend will also come as no surprise. Thus, the researchers are linking the two and directly proportioning the blame for the first-quarter viewability slip on mobile marketing.

Scott Brinker Explains WTF This Martech Graphic Means

By George Slefo

Scott Brinker is exhausted.

Since last fall, he’s been relentlessly pulling data to create the latest version of his infamous slide, which is pictured above. It features thousands of different logos for nearly every single marketing tech company operating in the space. Despite all the attention it gets, the graph itself might be getting stale, and Brinker knows this, adding it’s likely that it won’t have the same impact as it once did for much longer.

For those who don’t know, Brinker is editor of Chief Martech, and the face of the three-day event known as the Martech Conference. He’s working on some really big ideas, he says, including one where his beloved chart evolves from conversation piece into something that can actually function as a utility for marketers.

Brinker also has some thoughts on this whole martech consolidation thing, and how it will impact advertising. But right now, he’s literally trying to catch his breath. The Martech Conference ended about an hour ago, and employees at the Hilton Union Square are stacking thousands of metal chairs from the hotel’s numerous ballrooms as they clear out any remains left over from the San Francisco event.

Facebook Touts Instagram’s Growth

By Gavin O’Malley

Another day, another milestone for Facebook’s favorite son.

Yes, Instagram has surpassed 700 million monthly active users, the Facebook unit announced on April 26.

And according to internal calculations, the picture-based social network is adding MAUs at a record rate.

Indeed, “The last 100 million of you joined faster than ever,” Instagram boasts in a new post.

The network attributes its accelerated growth to global expansion, along with the success of new features like Stories, live video, and disappearing messages in Direct.

Stories — which allow people to share moments from their day in slideshow form — is proving to be a particularly big success for Instagram. Since January, the number of people using the feature every day has ballooned from 150 million to 200 million, Instagram recently revealed.

Since late 2016, meanwhile, the number of people using Direct — Instagram’s messaging feature — has grown from 300 million to 375 million, per internal figures.

Dealers race to keep pace with Google marketing

By Vince Bond Jr.

What does the “www” in Web addresses stand for?

Says one digital ad expert playfully: “wild, wild west.”

Joking aside, that’s how it can seem for dealers who hawk their inventory in the digital realm each day, especially in the noisy bazaars and shadowy alleyways controlled by Google.

The search giant’s evolving portfolio of marketing options can be a treasure trove for dealers who skillfully wield its tools.

But there’s a catch: Stores and their vendors have to keep track of the whirlwind of advancements or get left behind in a cloud of digital dust.

In the area of search advertising — where marketers bid for the privilege of having their ads appear prominently among the search results for a particular word or phrase — Google has introduced a number of AdWords extensions to help businesses grab attention and communicate directly with consumers.

Chatbots are gaining traction

By Laurie Beaver

Chatbots are gaining popularity globally, according to a new survey by LivePerson.

The survey, which incorporated over 5,000 consumers from six countries, found that 38% of consumers globally rated their overall perception of chatbots as positive.

Only 11% of those surveyed globally reported a negative perception of chatbots, while the remaining 51% had neutral stances. The results could bring a sigh of relief to bot developers concerned about recent reports of negative user experiences.

While overall positive sentiment toward chatbots outweighed the negative, perceptions varied heavily by country and industry.

Chatbots were most used for customer support purposes. Of those surveyed, 67% used a chatbot for customer support in the past year. Chatbots used for productivity purposes — such as scheduling — ranked lowest, as only 14% of those surveyed did so in the past year.

European countries seemed more receptive than others. France was the most receptive, with 50% of respondents viewing chatbots in a positive light. Respondents from the US and Japan were the least receptive, with only 32% and 33%, respectively, perceiving chatbots positively.

Although the use of chatbots is becoming more acceptable, the majority of consumers still prefer human assistance. Over half of consumers globally, 56%, reported still preferring to speak with a human instead of getting assistance from a chatbot. The US had the highest preference for human assistance among the countries surveyed, at 59%.

Prepare Now Or Pay Later: Optimizing Data-Based Business Performance With Evolving Regulations

By David Jones

Today’s business world is getting smaller and smaller. This phenomenon is in large part due to a combination of technology, the instantaneous access to monumental volumes of data, and the ability to make business decisions based on a very granular level of data insight. This shift toward data use has influenced virtually every type of organization and has created a wave of data-centric businesses that are built upon new technology and business models that allow for original market opportunities, expanded global reach and greater profits.

Looking forward, we can see that 2018 is going to be a transformative year for businesses and, in particular, the way they use, manage and secure data. 2018 is going to have organizations in EMEA, and those that support EMEA, looking down the barrel of two major pieces of data regulations, including the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as well as the pending Markets in Financial Investments Regulation (MiFIR). Both regulations, which focus on data, are going to tax all levels of an organization and its efforts to collect, manage, report and use data. Not only will organizations be affected materially with the fines (up to 4%) associated with noncompliance of GDPR, but also by the resources and budgets that will be required by organizations within the financial services industry to support the new reporting demands of MiFIR.

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