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Things of note for the week ending Friday, January 18h, 2019.

Newsletter #282: Introduction 


How the hell are you doing? 

I write this to you with about two weeks left of my planned runway of time off and trajectory of my next landing is lining up nicely. More to follow on that soon enough. 

As trailed last week, later on in this edition (as in, right at the VERY END) you'll find the unused notes from the trend research I was doing before the end of 2018. It covers three main areas and hopefully you'll find some interesting reading there. Outside of that, we've got the usual random set of five things (films, games, and razors feature this week - what a surprise), the essentials, and of course your bonuses. And we'll get right to that shortly... 


Lastly: a quick thank you for the notes that have come back this past week - a wide variety of work offers (thanks!), a couple of other folk doing similar things re quitting their jobs and pursuing something else, and at least four of you that also went out and bought a Pixel 3 thanks to that Carphone Warehouse loophole the other week.

Hurrah and hurrah again.

Now look, I know I say it every darn week but really, replies are the best. Especially ones in response to the THINGS themselves. So if you see something in this email that stirs you, hit that darn reply button and let me know.

I'll be all ears. 

NOW SHALL WE GET TO THE THINGS ALREADY?

LET'S. 

1. THE BEST A MAN CAN GET

Come on, I can't NOT talk about it.



If you're yet to watch the ad in question, you can do that right now (it took me half a day or so to get to it so you're forgiven if you've honestly not had the time to watch a 1m 49sec 'short film'). 

Done that? OK. Good. 

Here's what I did.

First, I read this Mark Ritson piece calling it 'The Year's Worst Marketing Move'. It's all very dramatic and he hugely overplays his hand (basing validation on YouTube likes, for example, is a fool's errand). But by the end of the article (please read it) I was all like 'OK, I'm probably about 75% onboard with what he's saying'.

Admirable idea that in the first instance feels cheap and hollow in its execution - especially given all the falsities around 'brands with purpose' over the past couple of years.

What Gilette does next will be what matters - but we'll come back to that. 

I took some to think about it for a bit and then got to a place of being in two schools of opposing thoughts:

Morally, I know that the long-term impact of toxic masculinity upon the world is A VERY BAD THING. It MUST be fixed and any attempt at bringing this to a broader - global - audience can and must be applauded; it can only be a GOOD THING. 

From a professional marketing perspective, it rings hollow AF. You look at it (as Ritson does) and see the cracks. I don't think it'll be 'suicide' - that's an overstatement. Nor do I think it'll impact the bottom line. Cynically minded would say this is an attempt to 'do a Lynx' and completely reposition as a modern brand for me (vs a 90s brand for people that still read Loaded). It's also worth noting that the Lynx reposition was, to my mind at least, VERY EFFING LATE to the party (which means Gillette has turned up while people are doing the tidying from the night before?). I get it. Of course, I get it. And it's hard to separate the 'Don't attack my masculinity' from the 'that's
a crap and hollow ad' - but that's where I'm landing at the moment.  

Good that the issue is getting talked about but eff me that execution is awful. 


Then I read this thread of thinking from writer and journalist, Ally Fogg. In it, he goes over what is good and what is bad about the ad. Pulling out the reactionary and the clumsy and demonstrating why it has provoked such a strong response.

And I was all like 'OK, I can see where you're coming from on this too'. But then got stuck in a never-ending cycle of 'how do I say I don't like the ad without saying I like toxic masculinity but then again why does my opinion matter and this whole thing is ridiculous and omfg how much privilege do I have that this is my issue and I get to discuss it'


////

AND THEN DO YOU KNOW WHAT I DID, READER? 

I did what I should've done right away and I sought out the opinions of the smart women in my life.

And they had some things to say.

Among a whole ton of 'Oh, #MeToo is about men now? OK!' and 'Yeah? If this is where Gillette is going with this, let's see them bring parity to blade pricing!' (at the time of writing, 8x 5-bladed men's are £15.59 - 6x 5-bladed women's are £17.53), the main thrust of commentary I got back was 'FFS. The world is and has always been awful for women - because of men. If ANYTHING helps bring this conversation forward and up into the light then IT IS A GOOD THING.'

Man brands telling men to be better men is an effing good start. And let's be clear, Gillette - in the ad - demonstrates ownership and accountability to its own enabling of this long-standing issue. Is it clumsy? Maybe. Is it needed? Definitely

So yes. More of this please, Gillette. As mentioned, you've lifted your not insubstantial branded head of razors above the parapet. Now follow through. Put funding into men's health issues, into MeToo charities, and also, just maybe, think about putting the razors at the same price as well.

PS. And as for brand-wagon jumping, this thread from Tom Morton has the final say on that.

 
2. THE FAVOURITE

Image result for the favourite poster

I've just spent a couple of minutes watching the official trailer for this film - so I could use it as a jumping off point to tell you about just how amazing it is (we'll get to that) but the trailer - the official 2min one I just saw - honestly gives away some of the best scenes in the entire film. AVOID the trailer - do not watch it.

Instead, immediately book tickets to go and see this FANTASTIC film. I went on Monday and, while not being anything near what I half-expected it to be (the TV trailers aren't as revealing but imply a different story) it is a BRILLIANT film. The set, the cast, the production (hello gorgeous outfits/wigs/dresses - you name it), the cinematography (purposefully challenging in the choices it makes) AND THAT ENDING. 

Yes. Go see THE FAVOURITE.

PS. If you've seen it already then you should now read these two articles. The first is about the film's historical accuracy (a healthy mis-match of incredible truths and movie-lies) and the second is about how they did a CERTAIN SCENE.

Both are great reading - but no reading until you've seen the film, OK? OK.
3. THE PINKERTONS ARE COMING



Those blokes facing us? The two with the hats? They're Pinkertons. Two of a handful (that I've met so far at least) in the video game, Red Dead Redemption 2. 

STOP! DON'T SCROLL YET! THIS ISN'T ANOTHER 'JAMES IS TALKING ABOUT RDR2 AGAIN!' THING. PROMISE. ISH. 

Look.

"[Last month], Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations (now a subsidiary of security firm Securitas AB) delivered a cease-and-desist order in December, roughly two months after Red Dead Redemption 2’s release. It commended game development studio Rockstar’s “clear affection” for Pinkerton, but claimed it was trading on the “goodwill” associated with the company’s trademarks, creating a false impression that the game was made by or connected with Pinkerton."


Said order demands that Take-Two Interactive (owners of the game's developer, Rockstar Games) either pay a lump sum or ongoing royalties. To which, as I'm sure you can imagine, Take-Two have issued a rather clear F U - in the shape of a counter-complaint regarding what is and what is not fair use when it comes to historical representation. 

"Take-Two notes that the Pinkerton National Detective Agency is referenced in plenty of other Western fiction, and that the agency played a major role in real 19th- and early 20th-century American history. (It was not, however, the inspiration for the Weezer album Pinkerton.) Among other places, Pinkerton agents appear in the 2000s-era TV series Deadwood; the 1980 film The Long Riders; and the 2010 game BioShock Infinite, where the protagonist is a former Pinkerton agent."


An interesting case - and you can read all about it (and the complaint itself) over at The Verge
4. 11 WAYS TO BE A BETTER PERSON IN 2019



I'm not normally in on much of this kind of jazz but any list that starts off with 'Look, first thing first, just have more sex this year, OK?' is alright in my book.

And actually, having just finished reading the whole thing it's all pretty solid advice. 

Go read

5. WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE A WOMAN ON THE INTERNET



This story is absolutely mental. I mean, full on complete head-opened-wooden-spoon-inserted-into-your-brain-and-given-a-big-ol'-stir-around insane. 

The great, smart, and incredibly articulate Chloe Condon (who you may remember from a previous edition when I linked her 'What it's like to be a woman at a tech conference' post - also worth a read) had a VERY WEIRD THING happen to her this past week.

And this article, by Chloe, tells you all about it.

I followed it as it happened but the write up is also worth a look. I read it and, aside from all the feelings I've already stated above it reminded me of a guy I used to know who it turned also out lived a life that didn't seem to be real (Sam Ismail, remember him?) and I just thought: what drives people to this? This level of public lying about public people that other people will find out about - it's all very WEIRD.

Anyway, read Chloe's story. Kudos to her for handling like a damn champ. 

THE ESSENTIALS: 

Every week, for The Essentials, I look through the news to find the topics that talk about the continuing efforts of the MeToo movement.

Nearly everything this week is about that Gillette (because of course it is) however, there is one thing that stood out that definitely deserves your attention and that's this incredibly well put together website, BlackWomenToo.

Go and explore, please. 

BONUSES! BEE OH YOU OH EN EE ESSS! 

READY? GO!

THE END IS NIGH (ISH). 

Well done for reaching the end of the newsletter (almost). 

For regular readers, this is the end. For those of you who are sticking around for the trends, you can roll on past the goodbye gif and I'll see you down there shortly. 

Thank you for reading, writing, tweeting, and generally sharing the ever-living fire truck out of this here newsletter. It means a lot. And it's always nice to see that sub number go up every week. That only happens because of YOU.

Yes, YOU. 

Until next time, take care of yourself. 

Whatley out x


PS.  #BONUSTRENDS2019

Still here?

OK.

As promised at the end of last week's edition:

The last trend paper I co-published was around this time last year (you can find that here) and this year, I passed the baton over to the Ogilvy Consulting gang who have done an incredible job of pulling focus over into business transformation and how digital trends will impact their target market: the c-suite.

What that has meant however is that I've got some unused notes laying around which related to day-to-day marketing trends and, to be quite honest, I'd quite like to clear them off my desk. So that's what I'm going to do. 

There are three things that I'm going to cover should come of no surprise. They are immediate marketing trends and for each of them, I have broken it out into three sections.

Why are we here? 
Background. Facts. Figures. Key drivers. 

What does that mean today?
The trends and proof points we can see around us right now. 

What should you do tomorrow?
Actions. It's all well and good knowing this stuff but if you walk away and do nothing, then what's the bloody point? 

If the feedback is positive (there I am hankering after you to hit that reply button again), I might turn this lot into a deck that I can present in the future but for now, this is all you're getting.

Clear?
Clear.

Oh, and if you want to talk about any of this with me, please use the hashtag #BonusTrends2019 (because why not), I'll keep my eyes and ears out for that on the internets.

Onwards.

 
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TREND ONE: LET'S TALK STORIES



WHY ARE WE HERE?

Stories as a product are not a new thing. I remember writing about ephemeral content way back in December 2013 when Snapchat first launched its 'Stories' offering and at that time thinking, this is a lot of investment for content that doesn't last. That was six years ago. 

Fast forward a few years - to August 2016 in fact - and (the by now Facebook-owned) Instagram lifts the Snapchat feature set for Stories wholesale and launches its own offering, Instagram Stories. They didn't even change the name.  

In fact, so blasé was this theft that in an interview shortly after launch Kevin Systrom said this on record


“Let’s talk about the big thing. Snapchat pioneered a lot of this format. Whole parts of the concept, the implementation, down to the details…”

“They deserve all the credit.” Systrom interrupted me. “Totally,”


Facebook dgaf.

And this is a recurring theme you'll notice throughout both these notes and the year ahead...


Speaking of Facebook, at the start of Jan 18 (in the 4th quarter earnings call - I love a good earnings call), Mark Zuckerberg said



"We expect Stories are on track to overtake posts in Feed as the most common way that people share across all social apps"

And I believe him.

Last year, in a meeting with Facebook, I was told that - as of June 2018 - 40% of time spent on Instagram is in Stories. 

That is a huge shift in eyeballs. 

FYI: I've explored and unpacked this a lot in a separate Twitter thread that examined if IGTV was worth a punt (it isn't but the thread itself is worth a look as the numbers are pretty astonishing.


WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TODAY?

I'm glad you asked.

Here are two charts that tell this story in a much better way than I ever could.

This first one is from 2017 and comes via Recode, and plots the astronomical growth in IG Stories users vs Snapchat.



Six months it took Instagram Stories to match Snapchat DAUs. The months that followed? WHOOSH.

This second chat, this time coming via TechCrunch, is from September last year and shows not only just how far Instagram Stories has come but also how much Facebook is going ALL IN on Stories across ALL of its products and services. Look.


Three things to notice about this chart: 

1. IG Stories now has over double the amount of DAUs than Snapchat has in ITS ENTIRE APP

2. Stories as a feature
is now everywhere

3. Err... Hello WhatsApp Status?!


If you've never heard of this (and if you're in Europe, you probably haven't) this is basically the WhatsApp equivalent of Stories. If you've never seen it, open WhatsApp on your phone right and go to you main screen, 'Chats'. Right, there? OK. Now swipe left. There it is! Yeah, no one you know uses it BUT IT IS BIGGER THAN INSTAGRAM STORIES AND THAT IS INSANE. 

I get asked a lot 'Where and how will Facebook make money next?' The answer is a) Stories, b) Whatsapp, and c) Stories in WhatsApp. 

Shall I move on? 

As I said, Facebook is investing BIG in Stories. The feed is done. Over. Well, not over, but it's yesterday. Tomorrow is Stories. Everywhere. Late last year, The Verge reported that Stories would be even coming to Facebook Groups

And, as we all know, where eyeballs go, advertisers follow. In March 2018, Faceobok rolled out ads for IG Stories. Six months later, it did the same for FB Stories. With Stories now available in Messenger, WhatsApp (ish), and soon Groups, you can begin to see where the rich creamy dollar-flavoured milk from this particular cash-cow will start to flow from next. 


WHAT SHOULD YOU DO TOMORROW?

First thing first: TEST THE HELL OUT OF IT.  

If you're running any kind of advertising programme on Facebook or Instagram - whether that’s in-feed, carousels, portrait videos or whatever, then DO take a look at Facebook’s story products. You'd be silly not to. 

Have a look and see what assets you have that can be chopped into story-format and then test and learn with organic and paid.

As I mentioned in the Twitter thread I linked to above DON’T waste time or money on IGTV. You'd be nuts to do that. 

I can't think of any major successes in this format and are not recommending it to clients as a viable ad platform (and please don't email me with that one killer case you've seen on it because dude, and it will be a dude, dude, that's exception not the rule). 


Second thing second: ORGANIC? JUST SAY NO (MOSTLY)

Given both Facebook and Instagram’s algorithmic content serving – the wasteful budget that can be lost on organic content for feed also applies to Stories. Why waste money creating content that'll never be seen? 

That said, posting organically can be a good way to store experiences, as pinned Stories, for fans and followers to find out more about you (and test what works and what doesn’t). 

Third thing third: USE THE TOOLS AVAILABLE!

Facebook, for all its shortcomings, does actually have some great tools that it lets advertisers take advantage of. Facebook ad manager has a feature called 'Placement Optimization' - that literally does all the work for you. 

It's snazzy as hell and it looks like this: 



What you do get is the ability to squeeze and sweat one asset or key visual across multiple channels, ready to use for Messenger or Stories or whatever (although, if you use it in Messenger I will hunt you down and kill you).

Obviously, this comes with the obvious downfall of not actually having any kind of creative oversight or direction.

From a budget standpoint, this is hella useful if you're spending pennies and not pounds. 

 
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TREND TWO: THE SOUND OF THE FUTURE



WHY ARE WE HERE?

I've been writing trend articles, documents, and presentations for the best part five or six years. The main trend that I've seen coming through in all of that was VIDEO. The rise of video across multiple platforms, 360 video, square video, portrait video, circular video (Snapchat Glasses, remember those?) - over the past five years we've seen it all.

The next battle to be fought in video won't be a platform innovation, it'll be on the streaming front. Disney v Netflix v Amazon v YouTube...etc etc. And we'll see the first round of that play out later this year I'm sure. 

I'm getting off point. 

What I'm trying to say is: video, from a platform innovation standpoint, is kinda done (for now at least). The next big area where we'll see constant innovation and growth - for at least the next five years - is voice and audio technologies. 

Here's why: 

1. Smart speaker ownership continues to grow and grow.
According to NPR, in the US over 21% over 18s own a smart speaker. That's around 53m people (an uplift of 14m new smart speaker owners YOY). 

Here in the UK (and something I covered in the voice chapter of the governments 'Five Trends in Leading Edge Communications' document last year), YouGov published its own report in Q2 of last year that smart speaker ownership had doubled in six months (from one in 20 to one in 10 owning a smart speaker). 

2. With more users, usage patterns follow. 
This is really interesting - 



This data, also from NPR, demonstrates the utilitarian ways that consumers are using these products. They're immediate demands. And crucially they are entirely brand free. REMEMBER THIS. IT'S IMPORTANT.  

3. Podcasts are totally huge right now.
It's undeniable.

You want data? I got data. 

- Here's Statista on 'The Steady Rise of Podcats' (US)
- Here's All Response Media on the Rise of Podcasts in the UK
- Here's some mad numbers re: SERIAL.
- There's also My Dad Wrote a P**** (which I'm not linking to because it'll hit your spam filters) but go google it. 

Point is, Podcasts present another opportunity for advertisers. 

 
4. Radio is sitting up and paying attention
Radio listenership is UP. The really amazing thing about this is that with digital, internet-connected device penetration increasing, personalised programmatic advertising can be served up to listeners - at scale.

5. Then there's this tiny thing called 'Voice Search'.
Thanks to the YouGov report cited above it's clear awareness of voice search is not really going to slow down anytime soon. People are doing it more and more and, when Google figure out the privacy knot it finds itself in currently, being able to serve up ads against voice search results will be a very interesting place to be in indeed.

That said, and let's be clear: I'm putting this in so you can sound smart in your next meeting with the innovation team, by 2020 50% of all searches will NOT be conducted by voice. That stat was misreported and has been seven times around the world before the truth, delivered by Econsultancy, could get its boots on. Good debunking here


WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TODAY?

I'm glad you asked.

I've already pointed out in the chart above that nearly all (in fact, it is all of them) of the most popular voice interactions have any brand mention whatsoever. That hasn't prevented brands from experimenting though. 

UK retailer, Argos, launched its own Google Home Assistant action – enabling store location, product browsing and reservation, as well as sending links to products direct to your phone. I've tried this and it's actually pretty easy to navigate (if slow) and ideally you need a screen - something I'll come back to later.

Also, Wavemaker built an Alexa skill for Public Health England and Start 4 Life. Helping new mums with their breastfeeding experience (which can sometimes be really effing difficult so having 24hr hands-free support on hand has worked out quite well).


But that's just voice tech. I'm talking about smart speakers. When it comes to planning your media for 2019, and I'm going to be labouring this point a lot this year, you need to be looking at CLEVER ways to at implementing radio. Did you know that 2018 was the first year that digital radio became the most popular form of listening (over and above your more traditional AM/FM)? That's a HUGE marker that the radio industry has passed. USE IT. 


WHAT SHOULD YOU DO TOMORROW?

First thing first: VOICE SKILLS? NO.   

For real, unless you've got a killer insight (and I mean KILLER), a budget, or tech partner that can do you build at mate's rates, or even an agency partner that knows what it is actually doing when it comes to this stuff - then I would strongly recommend NOT investing valuable time and money into branded voice skills quite yet. Consumers aren't ready for it. The market isn't ready for it. Branded experiences on home assistants - except a handful of notable exceptions - just aren't welcome.

Second thing second: VOICE SEARCH? TAKE A LOOK AT IT.

I've recounted this advice so many times over the past 12mths but it remains unchanged: if it was your job to know what results are served when a consumer searched for you on Google? Or on Twitter, or whatever. It’s probably now your job to know what happens when a consumer searches for you with their voice. So you should know the answers to that. You might not have the wherewithal to fix whatever it is that happens but at least you'll know the answer. 

- What results come back? 
- How is that integrated into the device? (if at all) 
- What can you do to improve that experience? 

Third thing third: Radio Ads.

I've said it before, I'll say it again. And again. And again. And I'll keep saying it all year as long as you ACT on it.

If you’re planning your media channel mix for 2019 campaigns, you simply must consider adding in digital radio and streaming services into the mix. 

Challenge your media partners to inform you about the latest audio programmatic innovations and consider investing in proper audio-based creative.

You might be surprised at just how effective this now-vastly-improved digital channel can be.

And what about Podcasts?
My advice, if you think you know the audience you're after then go for it - and by 'go for it' - I mean sponsor one. But don't try and create your own (I'm looking at you Direct Line). That's folly.

I'm kind of in the place right now whereby unless we see a significant shift in how ad-tech works across podcast apps, then we are doomed to hear ads for SquareSpace for the rest of our lives. We'll see.

 
______________________________
 
TREND THREE: PLATFORMS X POLITICS



WHY ARE WE HERE?

Hold tight, this one is going to get hairy.

1. The Platforms Have Undermined Trust
At the end of 2016, I wrote that Facebook had a measurement problem. Little did I know that it would be the tiniest of tiny problems over the years to come. 

Data leaks, information harvesting, attacks on western democracy, bad actors, alleged willful negligence, Senate Intelligence Hearings, Cambridge Analytica, Genocide in Myanmar, the UK government seizing and then publishing Facebook’s internal documents… the list goes on and on.

And on.

While Facebook has been carrying the main chunk of it all, you can't get away from Google’s ongoing brand safety issues, the YouTube algorithm radicalization scandal, Twitter’s continual bot/nazi/abuse problems…

We are a long way from misreported video through rates.

2. Politicians are Empowered by GDPR


In May of last year, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came in – and it came in with teeth. As one of the most important changes in data privacy regulation arguably, ever, GDPR has changed the face of data handling forever.

Personally Identifiable Information was now protected by EU regulation and if companies were caught breaking it, they could be up for HEFTY fines: up to 4% of annual global turnover or €20m (whichever is greater).
 
There are several cases going through at the moment (with one major test case you should all be keeping an eye on) but this EU-wide legislature has given politicians new power to their collective elbows. Be it data, democracy, or even tax avoidance - the platforms have been running amok for far too long and legislation is what will bring them in line.

3. And what about Digital Health?
On top of the data and democracy issues, the other spectre on the horizon for these platforms is that of digital health and mental health awareness.

Exactly what kind of impact are these time-hungry pieces of software having on our collective mental health?

And what should be done about that? 

Earlier on in this edition of Five things on Friday, I linked to some research that debunked a lot of screen-fear-mongering. However, one 2017 study showed that depression and anxiety increased among people that used multiple social media platforms. These are headlines government ministers take notice of. 

Meaningful research is underway. But in fear of being legislated into oblivion, the platforms are rolling out their own takes on monitoring and/or improving user wellness – be that Apple’s ‘Digital Health’ feature or Instagram’s recent wellbeing monitor 'Time on Instagram'.

Make no mistake about it, these baby steps (grayscale screen after midnight? Lovely) are simply there to get ahead of the game. When it does come to legislation, the tech companies need to be able to point at something and say 'Yeah but we tried'. 


WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TODAY?


It's funny you should ask that, I've got just the chart.

To be blunt, trust has NEVER been lower.

In April 2018, Recode conducted a poll with nearly 3000 US adults asking which companies do you trust LEAST with your personal information.

This is what came back:



A M A Z I N G

So, given the climate, you would think that sending your most senior execs to a governmental meeting/hearing to discuss the finer points of fixing ALL THE BAD THINGS would be pretty high up on the to-do list.

Apparently not.

Both Google and Facebook have recently come under fire for not sending the right people for these meetings and, as a result, have been ‘empty chaired’ – leaving their competition not only looking better but also in a position to pour gasoline on an already burning fire. 


WHAT SHOULD YOU DO TOMORROW?

There's no silver bullet for this one I'm afraid. 

So look, there's no escaping the fact that I've spent a good chunk of these notes talking up Facebook’s latest medium – Stories – as a great opportunity for brand marketers. 

And I should also acknowledge that I've just spent the last third of this document extrapolating upon Facebook’s myriad trust issues. 

There is a conflict here that needs to be addressed. 

It has been shown, time and time again, that what Facebook says and what Facebook does often do not match up.

This example, denying ever logging people’s call or SMS history without user permission is, at the time of publication, is one of the most recent additions to an ever-growing litany of how you might say ’problematic mismatched facts’.

As modern marketers, you have to make a call.

Do you a) take the moral high ground, denounce Facebook for everything that it is and remove your advertising from it or b) accept that Facebook is made up of many moving parts and the ethically-challenged coding behind the scenes is nothing to do with the ad units you need to purchase to hit your quarterly targets.

I'm sure if your bonuses didn't depend on it, you'd be all over 'a)' like a rash.

But they do, so you're stuffed

My point is, Facebook (and its ilk) have been left to run roughshod over all kinds of laws and legal loopholes all around the world. Playing fast and loose with not only people's data but also THE TRUTH about what it knew and when. I said earlier on that Facebook DGAF. It doesn't. That's a concern. A concern that I believe the politicians of the world will (eventually) fix. 

And for you and me, brand marketers operating in this space, just like GDPR before, we're going to need to be ready to adhere to any new legislation that comes in. Keep a watchful eye on what does and does not get passed in the courts. GDPR had a two year run up but all the work was done in the 30 days before it became law.

In short: keep yourself up to date; ignorance is not a defensible position. 


 
______________________________
 
BONUS #BONUSTRENDS2019 NOODLES

OK, so I'm nearly done. If you've ever read any of my trend stuff before you know I like to add in a few unfinished thoughts.

Here are four for you - very quick - and I'll be done and on my way.  


1. VOICE COMMERCE
It's a long way off. Amazon hasn't cracked it and Google hasn't either. I've got a hunch that with the advent of screen-based home assistants (eg: Google Hub) you might see some shift in this area. The thinking being, ordering stuff is fine and dandy but without a visual acknowledgment and actually being able to see the thing I've just paid for then it becomes a stretch too far. So maybe that'll change in the next couple of years. 

2. WHATSAPP PAYMENTS
Once Facebook survives whatever PR crisis it's going through next, it'll refocus on its messaging apps and launch mobile payments - not too dissimilar to what you see on Weibo - but this time on WhatsApp. ETA Q4 2019 at a push. 

3. WHAT ABOUT VIDEO? 
I think I touched upon it earlier. The war to own the biggest screen in the house is about to hot up again. YouTube now do movies (although it needs to sort out its whole Google Play vs YouTube Red offering - it's mixed up af), Disney is doing its own version of Netflix, and Netflix is doing Choose Your Own Adventure stories that might soon turn into ads. One to watch this year. Literally.

4. Snapchat? TikTok? 
Snapchat is doing OK here, better in the US. Its self-serve ad platform is working well. Evidenced by the fact that it continues to lose users while revenue goes up (this happened to Twitter a while back). They may shake it out. We'll see. Tik-Tok? It's too early to tell / or to make an informed opinion on. As ever, look, experiment, play - but don't go all in. 

____________

____________


And that's me.

I'm done.

#BonusTrends2019 is out and finished.

If you've got any questions, comments, challenges, or builds, then either hit that reply button or, better yet, hmu on Twitter (you know the handle by now).

Before I sign off for the night I must say a huge thank you to my friend, writing partner, trusted trend confidante, Marshall Manson. Without him, none of this would be here.

Until next time,

Whatley out x.



 
Copyright © 2019 James Whatley, All rights reserved.


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