The US isn’t that Mature

We never lose an opportunity to show the data supporting the notion that mobile usage growth hasn’t slowed even a little.  It’s still charging ahead, especially in the US.  Now that’s counter-intuitive because one might think that the emerging markets are adapting at higher rates and that the US, a more mature mobile market, would be slowing.  But 170% increase in ad requests tells a different story – the US isn’t that mature. Source: MarTechAdvisor.com

Retail Ad Spending Grew 40% in the Second Half of 2018

A breakout from Smaato of ad spending by category for the second half of 2018 shows that 72% of all spending came from two categories: retail and media.  All other categories combined to deliver the final 28% of dollars. 

The big story was the 40% growth in retail spending in the second half of the year compared to the frist half. Total retail went from 35% to 49% fueled by online marketplaces Amazon and Walmart, which together accounted for 28% of all ad spending. A lot of that second half spending in retail was likely related to the holidays.  Source: MarketingLand

High-Tier Consumers Pull Back in China

Chinese consumers appear to be pulling back according to a new survey sponsored by Credit Suisse and conducted by Nielsen.  Expectations were 14.3% lower in the 2018 survey as compared to 2017.  Tony Wang, one of the authors commented, “… Chinese consumers [are] less willing to spend across all categories, especially on large-ticket items such as cars and property.”

Interestingly, consumer sentiment in China’s lower-tier cities remains strong.  Even luxury products continue to see high purchase intentions.  These are the cities that have only recently begun to feel the advantages of China’s new economy – in part a result of the Alibaba and JD.com expansion into the hinterland over the last couple years.  Source: South China Morning Post

Compliant Inventory Wins in Europe; Coming a State Near You

Analysis of ad requests, bids, and impressions from the GDPR months of 2018 (July thru December) by Smaato tells the story about tough verification rules.  Advertisers have bought into the scheme.  They have shifted their ad spending to GDPR compliant inventory and they are paying more for the privilege.

We can expect the same response in the US as states such as California establish their own requirements.  Expect ad dollars to move with force toward the clean inventory.  Know it, prepare for it, embrace it.  Source: MarTechAdvisor.com

Smart Subscribers Pass 1.3 Billion in China

February saw a 38% drop in the number of new mobilesubscriptions compared to January.  One explanation might be the widely reported drop in China’s iPhone sales, though it was also reported that local brands have taken up much of the slack.  Apple may not have merely lost a month, it could be a long term loss of market position.  Meanwhile, the number of smart subscriptions moved passed the 1.3 billion mark, emphatically emphasizing China’s status as the largest mobile market in the world.  Sources: China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom

Three Rules for Social Media Content

Blasting social media content without regard for how its being delivered and where its going is not a marketing approach.  Here are three guard rails designed to keep your social media marketing on track.

  1. Assume that all social media posts are a sales pitch though the content may not be very aggressive in tone and make sure that your story supports the interests and concerns of the kind of people who buy your product(s).
  • Sixty years ago Marshall McLuhan wrote, “The medium is the message.” The adage still applies. Understand each social medium for what is.  The long form content that works on Facebook is not suited to Twitter’s limitations.  Instragram demands pictures over copy and You Tube prefers video over copy.  Lesson: Just as the content has to fit the audience (rule 1), it must fit the delivery medium.  Both have to be in sync.
  • Finally, your social media content needs to reflect your business.  Keeping it close, keeping it in-house will assure it’s written from a personal point of view.  That will keep it original and most likely interesting to your customers.  Source: Forbes

Advertising Dollars Still Concentrated in the US and AsiaPacific

Ad spending in the US and AsiaPacific lead the world, yet in spite of that they are expected to to contribute more to this year’s expected ad spending growth.  The biggest growth in AsiaPacific comes from all the highly populated countries outside of China, Japan and South Korea – India especially.  Exxpected growth in Eastern and Western Europe and Latin America will account for less aggregate growth than the US.  Source: The Drum

In China, 2018 Ad Spending Suggests 2019’s Trend

China’s ad spend for 2019 is projected to increase by 7%.  For a clue as to where that spending will go we have data from where it went last year.  2018 saw digital spending increase at the cost of all other mediums. Like the US, it was newspapers that gave up the most revenue in service to the digital spending trend.

Global CEO & chairman of Dentsu Aegis Network, Tim Andree, commented, “Digital connectedness – driven not only by advances in technology, but the speed of consumer adoption – has fundamentally changed the shape of our business and will continue to do so.”  Source: The Drum

In AI: It’s all about the Rule Set

Tom Ohanian, global sales executive for IBM Watson Media & Weather. speaking at the Smart Hollywood Summit reduced the AI challenge to its essence when he said, “It comes down to these two questions: Can we produce content in a way that’s acceptable, and can we break these down to rule sets?”

In real life it is necessary to switch these questions around because to get acceptable content out of the machine, one must start with a rule set that can deliver a simulated human expression – which leads to a realization that we have come to understand while working with AI content creation.  AI can produce content, but just as a pool of writers needs an editor, a human editor, so does the machine.  The more sophisticated the machine, the closer it can get to natural language – Watson is among the best – but still, before synthetically created content goes out, a human needs to be the last reader.  Source: Smart Content News; Bidwin analysis

China’s Service Sector Declines Modestly

February’s service sector declined modestly while maintaining a solid underpinning for the Chinese economy.  It sits just below the 13-.month average of 52.9.  Though the manufacturing sector has shown weakness the service sector remains comfortably on the positive side of this scale. Projected GDP reflects this modest downturn.  Source: China Caixin