I’m fortunate to say that I thrive in a WFH environment. I know this isn’t the ideal work configuration for everyone, but I handle it well. However, I cannot look at myself any longer in video chats.
Coming up in this week’s newsletter:
- Some thoughts on the Google cookie/ads changes.
- Who should and shouldn’t use free versions of marketing tools.
- Every social media platform is becoming the same.
- How are you affecting change? | Get better every day
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Google, privacy, and marketing
I think it is still way too early to tell what is going to happen to 3rd. party ads and how ad tech will change after Google’s announcement and their change to ad targeting.
Here is an excellent primer if you don’t know what I’m talking about – In drastic shift, Google will end behavioral targeting, profile-building in its ad products
Here’s what I do know:
- Google is an ad company first, everything else second. They would never roll something out that is going to hurt their ad business. In all likelihood, this will only strengthen their position.
- Owning YouTube, Gmail, Maps, Android, Drive, and a myriad of other “essential to business” services, Google has an intense amount of info on us. Considering that they know all the places we go (directions and reviews in Maps) and everything we buy (receipts in Gmail), they may not need any other info to draw a conclusion.
- Privacy is changing. Google has every reason to get ahead of the changes coming to privacy. There are now two states with consumer privacy laws, and more are coming, not including what may happen at the Federal level.
Where I’m paying attention is to the privacy advocates. Although I am in digital marketing, I am pro-privacy, and I think it is essential laws and business practices change to protect people. I don’t think behavioral tracking is good. Things do need to change.
I saw this tweet earlier in the week
Content and first-party data are going to matter more than ever going forward. It is imperative that if you don’t have a content plan, if you aren’t collecting emails, and if you are not developing your brand, you are going to have a hard time.
Here’s some additional reading on this topic.
- Breaking Down Google’s Privacy Update: Cross-Site Tracking
- Google’s FLoC Is a Terrible Idea
- Google Just Dropped Another Privacy Bomb on Ad Tech
The definition of “free”
There is a delicate balance in using free versions of marketing tools. If you are just getting started, a small business, or a growing personal brand, using the free version of the tools listed in this tweet thread is great.
But, I’ve experienced poor leadership at the enterprise level that tells their marketing departments to use the free tools. This often comes with the insinuation that marketing shouldn’t cost money.
Let’s be real clear: Marketing is an investment. It is an investment in time and funds. Correctly allocating both is critical to your success.
This is why strategy is so important. Knowing what your business needs will help shape the marketing tactics you deploy. Then you can choose the right tool for the job. If you have marketing but think it’s free and easy while also thinking it is essential for your business, you have a significant problem. These free tools are for small companies on tight budgets and people just getting started. But don’t think for a second that marketing is free.
Real results cost money. Actual results need investment.
Social is in a weird place
I’ve spoken a lot about how organic is dead and, for the most part, brand social media is a waste of time. One of the other problems, but less talked about, is stagnation. I’m sure creators on YouTube will find a good use for Shorts. As a marketer, I’m always open to more places for ad inventory, too. But we are quickly reaching a point that it is hard to determine the difference between most social networks.
Snapchat was something new, and now all of its features are in every social app. TikTok had a slight variation on Snap; now its features are in just about everything. As Clubhouse rises, multiple platforms add the same functionality or elevate their existing features to grow engagement.
If you use YouTube, either making videos or partnering with Influencers, I’m sure Shorts will have their place in your creative strategy. My concern is that all social media platforms eventually become Facebook, and that’s bad for marketing.
- Instagram launches ‘Live Rooms’ for live broadcasts with up to four creators
- How to Resolve Duplicate Content
- Brook’s Law | @svpino on Twitter
- My thoughts on all the new Twitter changes, in tweets!
Want change? | Get better every day
“How are you complicit in creating the conditions you say you don’t want?”
During times of hardship, I always try to focus all my efforts on what I can control and accept what I can’t. Now a full year into the pandemic, we have all experienced a significant impact on some aspect of our lives. Over the last year, it has felt like there is almost nothing that is under our control. Instead, the world is just kinda… happening to us.
As a leader, we have to balance the organization’s desires and provide the care our team needs. I’ve been thinking a lot about this quote and what the people around us need. I believe we control more than we realize, and taking actions can have a considerable impact. For example, we all want remote work to be better. What change do you want? Are you doing anything about it?
Do you want fewer Zoom meetings, but continuously schedule Zoom 1:1’s with your team? Do you want to be more asynchronous but immediately pick up the phone when you want to ask someone a question? Do you want people to work at their best times but wonder why they aren’t answering their emails at 8 AM?
What change do you want? Now, how are you helping that change happen?