February – SEO and marketing news

Mar 16, 2018 by
February – SEO and marketing news

Marketers don’t expect the sky to fall with GDPR

With enforcement coming on May 25th, many marketers are fretting over the vagueness of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and exactly how much consent they need to acquire from customers on what they can do with their personal data. Just as many are approaching it, however, as neither a simple problem nor a revolution. Many agree that it will take some time to create a new approach to gather consent on use of personal data and develop trust, but it being looked at as an evolution of data law and speed bump at best.

“It’s not the technology. It’s the motive behind why we’re using them,” said Simon Hall, data privacy officer at Asda, at a Data & Marketing Association event. “If it’s for the company’s benefit, then it’s not going to work.” Hall said advertisers don’t trust customers enough to go, “’Here’s everything we’re doing [with your data], and you can ask us to stop.’ We have to be able to trust that they [customers] won’t start withdrawing consent.” He added that, “after a blip,” consent rates will rise.

The legal basis for processing personal data under the data protection act in the U.K. and the pan-European GDPR has not changed, with larger international companies like Adidas  creating a process where customers can select what parts of the company they want to share their data with. Smaller companies however are feeling the brunt of the change by running into difficulties tracking down customers and their data across Europe and gaining consent for use or removal.

GDPRDominic Chambers, Jaguar Land Rover’s head of digital marketing, said at a recent Mediatel event that his team’s preparations were on track but added there were things it is still working out.

“Being a legacy business, we have many old systems across Europe that are difficult to talk to one another,” he said. “There’s going to be a manual process if someone asks to be forgotten. That’s not going to be easy, and it’s certainly not going to be automated.”

In response to EU antitrust ruling, Google Shopping now shows ads from competing shopping engines

After having been fined 2.4 billion euros last year by the European Commission for favoring its own content in search engine results, Google Shopping has been spotted running competing Comparison Shopping Engines (CSEs).

Google Shopping within the EU has been remade as a distinct business, where it must bid within ad auctions with other CSEs to keep things equal as mandated by the antitrust ruling. A merchant’s visibility in EU markets will now depend on how well it does in Google shopping and on any other CSEs where it has purchased ads. Google now will now only bid as high to remain profitable to its markets, as it now finds itself in competition with other players. How long Google will have to continue doing this, or if their appeal will be heard, is unknown.

How UK challenger bank Monzo turned its customers into a loyal community

In an interesting show of good marketing, UK bank Monzo focuses their marketing on community building and giving customers a chance to have a stake in the company. By asking customers for feedback, holding events at chosen venues, and allowing customers to invest through equity crowdfunding, they are generating loyalty on a personal level.

“The goal is broadly to get to a stage where customers are referring their friends because they love the product and feel like they’re a part of the mission — you need to take customers away from being ‘standard customers’ to being advocates who are feeling like they’re part of it,” said Tristan Thomas, Monzo’s head of marketing and community.

Loyalty is what’s driving the companies growth, 80 percent of which came through through word of mouth, with the other 20 percent through limited ads of facebook and twitter. Monzo holds 8 to 12 events per year around the UK as networking events for their customers, and through equity crowdfunding has raised $3.5 million last year.

“You can build a great company through a great product — lots of tech companies have done that — but a much better way is to combine that with community and transparency and get the customers involved as much as possible,” Thomas said.

This approach has its drawbacks. As growth continues it has becomes harder and harder to maintain close ties with so many customers on such a personal level.

Amazon is set to compete with Facebook and Google in the advertising game

With Amazon’s new ad business growing 60 percent this month, the sales giant is aiming to follow through with its plans to become the new giant of marketing. With the company’s ad investments paying off last year, the company has grown its UK office (mostly with ex-Microsoft staff) with their agencies spanning Amazon Media Group, Amazon Marketing Services and Amazon Advertising Platform, according to LinkedIn.

Amazon has been very quiet about its activity in the UK, but has very little need to promote itself.  “Brands are becoming aware that more people start product searches on Amazon than on Google,” said Aydin Moghaddam, head of paid search at digital agency Roast. “This is pertinent because product searches ultimately have the most commercial value for brands.”

For some ad agencies, Amazon has become their go-to choice, especially for retail clients. But a big barrier is the limit on how much they will spend on the platform because there isn’t enough competition. Just because they are investing large amounts of money into it doesn’t mean they will see an increase on ad clicks. That’s usually when the spending stops and agencies switch to another platform.

The company will have to work hard to offer more branding opportunities. But with Facebook’s reputation in tatters with its controversial killing of organic ad reach, and Google suffering from UK and EU policies, Amazon may be able to fill a void. Time will tell.