One Year Without Tracking Cookies
Well, last month’s hot news was that Elon Musk and Twitter had come to an arrangement where Musk would buy the social media platform for $44 billion. This month, that news has reversed course as we’re now learning that the highly anticipated acquisition deal is now suspended while Musk awaits data from the platform.
In other news, it’s now been a year since Apple’s privacy update made tracking cookies a thing of the past. How has that affected the marketing industry and has the industry been able to cope?
This month has also given us a bunch of new surveys and reports that can help decipher what consumers are thinking. While marketing budgets are increasing and approaching pre-pandemic levels, certain generational groups are no longer good candidates for targeted advertising. Is there another fundamental shift in marketing coming? We think so.
Enough chit-chat! Let’s get into the top marketing stories for May.
#1 Apple’s App Tracking Transparency framework – One Year Later
A study of Apple’s one-year-old App Tracking Transparency framework found that almost half of iOS users are tapping the “allow” prompt, with users in developing countries more likely to allow their data to be collected. Gal Ekstein, an executive at AppsFlyer, reports “renewed confidence in iOS, and a shift in mindset that puts privacy front and (center), without compromising on user experience.”
Despite the demise of tracking cookies, TikTok is offering the ability to add cookies to its site conversion pixel to track activity and is requiring those employing the feature to share third-party cookies with the social media platform. Disruptive Digital CEO Maurice Rahmey says, “At a surface level, it doesn’t make sense to go down the third-party cookie route when you know cookies are going away, but the opportunity to win and shift ad platform budgets is [happening] right now.”
#2 Constantly Changing Consumer Habits
The likelihood of social media purchases increased by 30% for those who use Snap, and more than eight out of ten users interact with brands on that platform, a report from the company reveals. The analysis also found that those who discover a brand on Snap or try a branded filter, are nearly two times more likely to make a purchase.
A PYMNTS survey of nearly 2,700 U.S. consumers has found that many millennials and older bridge millennials see lease-to-own as an attractive payment option. When LTO options are not present for specific durable goods, over half of consumers seek stores that have it or abandon the purchase altogether. The study found that 16% of respondents would not purchase a product with an LTO option, 10% look for cheaper substitutions, and 10% see a retailer offer LTO.
Companies looking to target Gen Z consumers shouldn’t even bother with traditional advertising. A recent report finds that 99% of consumers in this generational cohort will hit ‘skip’ on an ad if it’s an option and that 63% use ad blockers to avoid online adverts. They do so largely because they feel overwhelmed by the number of adverts they see daily. Nearly three-quarters of these consumers feel bombarded with ads.
#3 Elon Musk’s Twitter Deal Stalls, Twitter Keeps Moving Forward
Elon Musk‘s acquisition deal for Twitter has been suspended as he waits for data on the proportion of fake accounts across the network. He has said that cracking down on fake accounts is a significant part of his reason for attempting to acquire Twitter. The platform reports that fewer than 5% of users were false or spam accounts.
Several major Twitter accounts have been reported to have lost hundreds of thousands of followers this past month. The phenomenon was triggered by the announcement that Elon Musk’s purchase offer had been accepted. It is possible that several users with strong left-wing ideas abandoned Twitter now that it is clear that it will become Musk’s property, perhaps because of fears that the doors will be reopened to right-wing extremists.
Twitter is launching a public test of its ‘Twitter Circle’ option that will enable users to share tweets with a specific group of connections in the app. Twitter Circle lets users essentially create a private group chat via tweet, with a variable audience control process that enables users to share tweets with a specific group of chosen contacts. Users will be able to add up to 150 people to their Circle, with any tweets in the group then only visible to those people.
Twitter has new standards for blocking the promotion of certain tweets if they are seen as spreading misinformation during a crisis. The new policy puts particular scrutiny on false reporting of events, false allegations involving weapons or use of force, or broader misinformation concerning atrocities or international response. Twitter will apply the new policy to content about the Russian invasion of Ukraine but expects to apply them to all crises going forward.
Twitter Media has been replaced by Twitter Create, a new destination for creators to access creator resources, product information, best practices, and tips. The site will also feature interviews spotlighting creators on Twitter. The @TwitterMedia handle has also been changed to @TwitterCreate.
#4 Marketing Budgets Rebounding After Pandemic
IAB’s new “2021 Video Ad Spend and 2022 Outlook” report shows that digital video advertising spending surged 49% in 2021 and is expected to increase an additional 26% to $49.2B in 2022. Connected TV ad spend saw the highest increase of 57% in 2021 and is expected to grow 39% in 2022 to $21.2B. Between 2020 and 2022, CTV ad spend is projected to more than double, and three out of four video buyers label CTV as a ‘must buy’ in their media planning budgets.
However, traditional advertising is alive and well and headed for growth for the first time in a decade. In contrast to the historical trend, in August 2021 and February 2022, marketers predicted that traditional advertising spending would increase by 1.4% and 2.9%, respectively. Consumer-facing companies are leading the shift, with B2C service companies predicting the largest increase in traditional advertising spending ( 10.2%).
Sellics, a software company, has released data that shows Amazon ads cost 68% less than Google ads and 44% less than Facebook ads when comparing average cost-per-click on those platforms. Amazon also compares favorably with other major players like Instagram and LinkedIn, as well as with close competitor Walmart. This is despite the cost-per-click on Amazon increasing by 22% year-over-year from 2021 to 2022.
In today’s world, it can be challenging for marketers to establish relationships that feel genuine and personal. Many of them turn to social media, and influencers, to make more personal (and profitable) connections with consumers. Global marketers plan to increase their social media spend by 53% in the next year, more than any other marketing channel. And it’s profitable – 64% say that social media is their most effective paid channel.
A new report from Gartner Inc. is showing that marketing budgets have climbed to 9.5% of total company revenue in 2022, an increase from 6.4% in 2021. But while marketing budgets are increasing this year, they still lag pre-pandemic spending levels. “In the face of telling macroeconomic considerations, CMOs hold on to a belief that their own economic outlook is strong,” said Ewan McIntyre, chief of research and VP analyst in the Gartner for Marketing Leaders practice.
#5 Goodbye Passwords?
This month, Apple, Google, and Microsoft all announced plans to eliminate passwords and replace them with other secure sign-in methods. The announcement came just before World Password Day, an annually recognized event that highlights safe password habits. The three companies plan to follow a standard created by the FIDO Alliance and the World Wide Web Consortium. Users would sign in with a simple verification of their fingerprint or face, or a device PIN.
#6 Say Hello to TikTok Pulse
TikTok has a new way for its top creators to make money – it’s launching TikTok Pulse, an advertising program to let marketers buy inventory in the top 4% of all videos on the platform. Creators and publishers with at least 100,000 followers will be eligible to participate in the initial stage of TikTok Pulse. It will roll out first in the U.S. in June, with additional markets to follow in the fall.
TikTok Pulse will also add more advertising options for brands to get in touch with cultural issues and events. It is designed to give brands the tools and controls they need to be part of everyday moments and trends that engage communities. TikTok will be adding 12 categories of Pulse where brands can put ads next to culturally relevant content. The categories include beauty, fashion, cooking, gaming, and more.
TikTok is exploring another way for creators on its platform to monetize their efforts with its rollout of Live Subscription, a monthly subscription option for creators who go live. Live Subscription is debuting with a group of invited creators this month, with plans to take it globally over the coming months.
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