Tech-Giants in Trouble, Retail Sales Slump and the Death of Remarketing: Our August Round-Up

The digital world stops for no one 🌏 Somedays it feels like I blink and suddenly everything has changed. There’s been a major product launch, a household name has gone bust, or there’s been a huge algorithm update!

There’s so much happening, both good and bad, that business owners and industry professionals like yourself need to know.

The problem? You rarely have the time to wade through politics and celebrity trash to read it. Plus, how do you know what you should actually pay attention to, and what’s just scare-mongering? Ahhhh we know the feeling!

That’s why we are making a new habit of publishing a round-up of the months biggest news pieces and why they matter to you!

In a Snapshot:

  • The ACCC’s Digital Platforms Inquiry: What Marketers Need to Know
  • Off-Facebook Data Protection Tool and What it Means for Remarketing
  • Australian Retail Sales Slump: A Positive Perspective

ACCC Digital Platforms Inquiry

Do you fully understand how Facebook and Google are using your data?

First up, the ACCC’s Digital Platforms Inquiry.

In early August, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) released their long-awaited report on the Digital Platforms Inquiry.

The report was aimed at levelling the playing field for Australian businesses and ensuring tech-giants are playing by Australian consumer competition and data privacy rules. Surprise….they aren’t 🙄

At the centre of the report were two key questions.

  • Do Google and Facebook hold substantial power in crucial digital markets?
  • Does this power pose a risk to competitive processes?

Here’s the ACCC Chairman, Rod Sims take on the findings,

“In part we were shocked, but it’s just the enormity of the issue that we all have to grapple with that had really come home to us after this 18-month enquiry.”

Rod Sims, ACCC Chairman

Read on to discover the 7 ‘harms’ outlined in the report and what YOU can do to protect your business against the potential highly-probable shake-up!

Off-Facebook Data Protection Tool

Watch the video here:facebook.com/off-facebook-activity

I don’t want to say, ‘I told you there would be a Facebook ‘shake-up’, but hey, I didn’t exactly read this in tea leaves….it’s been a long time coming!

Now we’d be puffing our chests a little to say the Australian Inquiry alone led to this decision, chances are it’s been in the works for a while, likely triggered by a similar investigation by America’s ACCC equivalent, and of course, the Cambridge Analytica Scandal. I mean who could forget that sh*tstorm!

Anyway, Facebook has decided to clean up their act, implementing a tool that gives users greater control of the data collected by Facebook Pixels on external sites.

How it works! Image source: www.facebook.com/off-facebook-activity

‘YES!! More control of my data, GREAT 🎉 ‘

….well, mostly great. I’m sorry to be a Debby Downer but this will impact one of the greatest tools in Facebook’s marketing arsenal…remarketing.

While the platform is not on a crusade to destroy Facebook Remarketing, per se, they are expecting it to be impacted.

On the expected revenue loss from remarking ad spend,

“It’s one of the factors that’s contributing to our expected deceleration of revenue growth throughout the year.”

Facebook CFO David Wehner, speaking at a Morgan Stanley Conference

Facebook has been put between a rock and a hard place when it comes to data privacy, and they’re obviously willing to make the revenue sacrifice if it means winning some user brownie points back.

So, What’s Going to Happen to Facebook Remarketing?

A fortnight ago facebook announced the launch of its new “clear history” feature. A feature that currently allows users in Ireland, Spain and South Korea, view and deletes the pixels placed on them by external sources.

WHAT IS A FACEBOOK PIXEL?

Pixels work by placing and triggering cookies to track users as they interact with your website and your Facebook ads.

For example, previously if you were Kogan’s website, shopping for a new microwave, Kogan could ‘drop a pixel’ so that when you left the site you were retargeted with microwave ads on Facebook. Highly-effective and a great way to recapture lost leads indeed!

Remarketing for Dummies.

With the new feature, the user will be able to view and delete or ‘disconnect’ the tracking pixel placed on them by Kogan. While this is good news for users, it will be the marketers paying the price.

Remarketing on Facebook is (was?) a really powerful marketing tool. Let me explain!

Broadly speaking there are two reasons for a person to log in to their social:

1.   Killing boredom
2.   Connecting with people

If you’re into technical jargon, one might say that the average Facebook user has a fairly low ‘buying intent’. Or, they’re more TOFU (top of the funnel) or maybe MOFU (middle of the funnel).

*Side note, have marketers went too far with our acronyms? A discussion for another day 😂

Think of it like this, when compared to Google, whereby users are actively seeking something, audiences on Facebook are there to kill time or connect with friends.

Remarketing unlocks the ability to target highly-qualified and engaged Facebook and Instagram audiences, beyond the basics of buyer personas and key demographics.

Moving forward we need to consider how our strategy will change without these tools at our disposal. In order to prepare, we think it would be super helpful to start considering:

  • How can you optimise your sites user experience (UX) to reduce your bounce rate? Read: How to Perform a DIY UX Audit
  • How can you improve your onsite conversions for new visitors? Can you optimise your pop-up strategy?
  • Have you got strategies in place to grow your email list? Here are some ideas.
  • Focus on other areas of lead nutriment such as an email welcome series, social media and content marketing
  • Calculate the Lifetime Value (LTV) of your current customer base. Would it be worth upping your entry offer to earn a new customer?

Don’t say we didn’t warn you! The Australian roll-out is expected in ‘coming months’ so let’s get started on some of the above today. If you have any questions, shoot us an email.

A final note, as much as we love Facebook Remarketing we are happy to see Facebook making changes on the data privacy front. Plus, we love the challenge of finding new, sustainable ways to engage with customers on Facebook. Consider it as a golfing handicap for marketers 🏌️🏻‍♀️

Retail Sales Hit an All-Time Low

‘HEY!! Aren’t you supposed to save the best for last?’

Australian economists are once again reporting a fall in quarterly retail sales. Turns out ScoMo’s low-to-middle income tax break and lower interest rates didn’t result in a nationwide shopping spree. Who would’ve thought… 🙄

Instead of flocking to retail stores, the tax break has been spent elsewhere with the Australian Bureau of Statistics reporting a 0.1 per cent drop in sales. OUCH!

Well, there’s no use in walking around dragging your feet. Ebs and flows are all part of running a business and this has been a long time coming. There are still many retailers succeeding in today’s volatile climate. Here are some blogs to brighten your day, and light a firecracker under the butt of business growth:

I think we are in a really interesting spot right now. Politically, there’s a lot of volatility with both Brexit and the Trump Trade War leaving many questions unanswered. Plus, the ‘data economy’ is now valued higher than the oil industry, crazy times indeed 🤯🤯

If I can leave you with one note, I would just like to reiterate how important it is that you’re thinking long-term. Now’s not the time to throw innovation and growth strategies to the wind simply because discounting and relying on other methods of reactive marketing, feels ‘safer’. We love a quick-win…not so fond of the ol’ quick-fix!

What you need is…

  • A strategy that is driven by insights, not instinct
  • Increased customer loyalty and reduced reliance on discounting
  • Enhanced team capabilities for increased speed to market
  • Greater return on investment with sustainable campaigns

This is exactly what we deliver our clients with our in-house customised training programs. If it’s what you need, you know what to do!

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