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The Weekly Digital Marketing Round-Up

The digital marketing world is changing rapidly, even as I write this. Marketers in 2017 must understand the entire ecosystem, not just topics specific to current jobs and responsibilities.

But even if you check Twitter every five minutes, live by BuzzSumo, subscribe to The Skimm, and have sophisticated alerts set up, you’re bound to miss something: a social network development, a hot-off-the-presses study, a new ad campaign.

That’s where Simply Measured’s weekly Digital Marketing Round-Up comes in.

Here’s the first round-up of 2017, for the week of January 6-13.

1. These Privacy Rules Will Affect Your Global Business

Do you have a European market? Then this affects you. According to a MarketingLand article earlier this week, new rules proposed by the European Union will change the way Google, Facebook, and other digital media companies and ad technology firms are allowed to collect consumer data. The rules will:

  • Extend to email and messaging services such as Facebook Messenger, Gmail, iMessage, Skype, and WhatsApp (consumer consent will be needed to track and retarget via these platforms)
  • Not prohibit advertising, or the possibility for websites to use cookies or other technologies for tracking user behavior (will just require consumer consent)
  • No longer require consumer consent for cookies set by a visited website counting the number of visitors to that website
  • Allow publishers to check if the end-user’s device is able to receive their content, including ads

What This Means for You: These developments will have a direct impact on the amount of digital data you’ll be able to mine from your customers on social, through the web, and from messaging apps. These rules will also increase the necessity of building creative, seamless mechanisms for acquiring consumer content so that companies can access this data effectively and use it to make better business decisions.

2. The Facebook Journalism Project Is Here

This week, Facebook announced “The Facebook Journalism Project,” a new initiative that will include collaborative development of news products, a focus on local news, tools and training for journalists, and promoting news literacy and avoiding news hoaxes for the general public.

Specific features include: 

  • New ways for media outlets to share their content, similar to Snapchat Discover
  • Select publishers will be able to choose a cover image or video and a selection of Instant Articles (the fast-loading version of posts) that users can then swipe through.
  • Users can Like, comment, and share each individual article
  • Facebook users can also subscribe to a publishers’ digest and receive a notification when the latest one is released.
  • Remains to be seen whether Facebook will limit to a select number of partners (a la Snapchat) or open it up to any publisher, like it does now with Instant Articles

What This Means for You: If you’re a news publisher, the Facebook Journalism Project is obviously important to you, but if you’re not a news publisher, you should also pay attention, for two reasons. Reason #1: If the Snapchat-like feature eventually gets rolled out to all brands, there is big opportunity here for experimenting with a new medium on the largest social network in the world. Reason #2: Depending on where Facebook takes this crusade, the way people are used to consuming and interacting with information on the network may change. This impacts every brand and every customer journey, whether you sell shoes or software.

3. Instagram Adds Ads…

…to Instagram Stories.

  • 30 advertisers have signed on so far, including General Motors Co, Nike Inc., and Airbnb
  • eMarketer found that 74% of U.S. companies plan to use Instagram this year, up from 53% in 2016
  • The new ad product will show full-screen ads intermittently as users swipe through photos and videos on Instagram Stories

What This Means for You: Instagram traditionally tests ad products with a limited number of brands. If the product is successful for those brands, it rolls them out to all brands. Keep an eye on this. You might not be in the initial partner program, but this feature could be available to you sooner than you think.

4. Snapchat Is Testing Deep Linking and Web Autofill for Ads

  • Deep linking enables Snapchat users to swipe up and tap a link, which will bring them to a specific place within another application, such as a playlist in a music app or a product page in an e-commerce app.
  • Web auto-fill enables users to complete lead-generation forms and opt to automatically use the personal information contained within when that information is required to sign up for products or services, sparing them the difficulty of repeatedly entering their details on smartphones.

What This Means for You: The path to conversion from Snapchat will become clearer in 2017, as Snap Inc. competes with Instagram and prepares to IPO–but you’ll have to pay to play.

5. Predictions, Predictions, Predictions

Are you tired of hearing about 2017 predictions? Neither am I. Our friends over at Sales Hacker put together some great trend predictions, including: 

  • Microsoft could be preparing to take on SalesForce–but only after buying more data-heavy companies in the space
  • Google may buy a CRM to put on top of Gmail, like Streak or ProsperWorks
  • Salesforce is still a major acquisition target for someone…like Amazon?

Check out the rest of the predictions here. And see you next week!


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Lucy Hitz

I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.

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