Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

New Business Bulletin: Hootsuite, Time Out London, Publica by IAS and more

Hootsuite has launched its Social Trends 2024 Report, and while the data points to an ever-evolving space, much remains constant — the quest for social ROI, the challenge of upholding the essence of social relationships, and striking the balance between authenticity and a steady churn of content. The content code has yet to be cracked by many brands on social — pointing to an unrelenting disconnection between brands and the users they’re trying to reach. Hootsuite found that 34% of consumers say a focus on self-promotion is a major turn-off in how they perceive brands and 56% of consumers think that brands should be more relatable — and yet, 48% of marketers are still publishing product or brand updates or news multiple times a week. So, what has evolved? Social marketers have come of age and are mastering the art of deep breathing and keeping their eyes on the prize (ROI, of course) despite the constant noise and continued downpour of new tools, platforms and shifts in algorithm science. In 2024, ROI will take centre stage on social as smart organisations finally close in on their top-performing tactics.

Following the success of season one of Time Out London’s Love Thy Neighbourhood podcast, FREENOW has renewed its sponsorship for a second season. Love Thy Neighbourhood is Time Out London’s first podcast series, which sees Time Out London editor Joe Mackertich invite famous Londoners to show him around their favourite part of the city and share their tales and anecdotes about the spots they love. Season one featured Derren Brown in Hoxton, Bimini in Bankside, Sophie Duker in Dalston and many more. FREENOW’s pre-, mid- and post-roll ads – read by presenter Joe Mackertich – integrate seamlessly into the podcast and demonstrate a clear brand alignment: Time Out inspires and enables people to experience the best of the city, FREENOW helps you explore all corners of the city. The second season of Love Thy Neighbourhood will feature two Christmas specials in December and will continue in January. Season one is available to listen to here.

Publica by IAS, a Connected TV (CTV) ad server owned by Integral Ad Science, has formally announced its new global partnership with Vevo, the world’s leading music video network. This collaboration enables Vevo to improve their advertisers’ targeting capabilities, enhance their streamed content with a traditional TV-like viewing experience, and maximize CTV advertising revenue via the introduction of a programmatic unified auction for the premium ad slots within their streamed ad breaks. The partnership enables Vevo to provide advertisers with enhanced buying techniques similar to those of linear TV. This includes competitive separation, frequency management and the ability to purchase the first slot within ad pods, much like standard TV commercial breaks. 

More than half (51%) of marketing decision-makers across key European markets agree that the future of marketing seems uncertain, given the economic environment. This viewpoint comes amid a range of uncertainties impacting their working lives, with 84% reporting that the current economic situation has impacted their marketing strategy. The findings were revealed in ‘Marketers’ guide to sustainable success’, a report by performance marketing collective Linehub, aimed at understanding European businesses’ marketing strategies and the impact that the current economic environment has had and will have over the next 12 months. A third of marketing decision-makers reported that they have had to make budget cuts to their marketing strategy over the last 12 months. Specifically in the UK, nearly half (48%) of respondents stated that they have had to make cuts – 16% higher than the average European marketing decision-maker. Over the next 12 months, only around 2 in 5 businesses expect budgets to increase – yet this is only the case for 1 in 5 businesses in the UK. AI also presents a further sense of uncertainty for marketing leaders. Two-fifths of marketing decision-makers believe that their role may not exist in the future due to advances in AI. When asked about key ways that they hope to remain relevant, almost three-quarters stated that using real-time market insights are their best bet. The same number agree that brand building needs to be prioritised by senior leadership; while the marketing industry needs to prioritise effectiveness (72%); and diversify marketing efforts to spread the risk and enhance the brand (69%). They also see that they need to start investing in alternative marketing solutions like affiliate marketing and checkout marketing.

Technology moves fast, and SentinelOne continues to move fast with it. For the fifth consecutive year, the AI security leader has been named to the Deloitte Technology Fast 500™, an annual ranking that recognises the most innovative and fastest-growing companies in North America. Now in its 29th year, the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 provides a ranking of the fastest-growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences, fintech, and energy tech companies — both public and private — in North America. Winners are selected based on percentage fiscal year revenue growth from 2019 to 2022. SentinelOne was ranked 177 on the list with revenue growth of 808 percent.

ESW, a global direct-to-consumer (DTC) ecommerce company, has announced it is now a Gold Partner in Adobe’s Technology Partner Programme. This partnership will empower Adobe Commerce merchants to scale their direct-to-consumer (DTC) businesses to more than 200 countries internationally. By leveraging its deep understanding of local markets, ESW creates DTC opportunities that drive enhanced customer lifetime value. Brands maintain control over every aspect of their experience, from their data to the look and feel of their ecommerce sites to their content, catalogue, payments, fulfillment, and delivery and returns experience. This expanded partnership will allow Adobe Commerce merchants to benefit from ESW’s cross border solution and offer a fully localised experience simply by plugging ESW’s digital checkout solution into Adobe Commerce.

SplitMetrics, an American startup specializing in app growth solutions, has acquired App Radar, an Austrian app marketing and analytics platform in a seven figure all-cash deal. The agreement creates the industry’s largest platform providing AI powered services including paid user acquisition (UA), app store optimization (ASO), conversion rate optimization and data analytics. SplitMetrics and App Radar will continue to operate as separate brands and provide services to more than 1,000 customers across Europe and the UK, North America and the APAC region.

Microsoft has announced the launch of a new partnership with Baidu Global, the international AI business growth engine under the Baidu brand, a well-renowned global AI company. Through this partnership—preparing rollout this year with a launch in early 2024—Baidu Global will use Microsoft Advertising’s Chat Ads API to serve highly relevant and engaging sponsored content recommendations to users of the Chat AI feature on its mobile keyboard, Baidu Global Keyboard. This will become available in the US, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia markets.

New data from Braze reveals consumer trust is low when it comes to brands collecting and processing their data. Only half (53%) of consumers are confident that companies will use their data responsibly and over a third (38%) saying they’re not comfortable with AI technology such as ChatGPT being used by brands to create a more personalized experience, compared to just 29% who are comfortable. This is at a time when 61% of marketers claim to be using AI in their marketing activities. At a time when marketers are looking to harness first-party data ahead of Google’s cookie phaseout in Q1, the data shows consumers’ lack of trust is driving them to withhold their information from brands online. Nearly three-quarters (71%) say they are most likely to click ‘Ask App Not to Track’ when visiting a mobile app, and 22% of mobile website visitors reject requests for their data to be tracked online. The study also reveals that this reticence to share data could stem from a lack of consumer understanding. Just a quarter of consumers say that when they use websites or apps that request their permission to track or collect data they have a good understanding of what they’re consenting to. However, the report also reveals a huge opportunity for brands that build trust with their customers around data collection. The majority (70%) of consumers are willing to share personal data with brands in exchange for a highly personalised experience. And a third (33%) will prioritise brand trust and product quality when they make a repeat purchase from a brand.

Good-Loop, the media partner that simplifies doing good for brands at scale, has announced the launch of its Good Media™ Packages, a highly effective service enabling brands to create a positive impact within their media campaigns. The Good Media™ Packages represent Good-Loop’s first programmatic package initiative. These services provide an easy way to initiate scalable positive impact through programmatic ad campaigns while ensuring high effectiveness. The packages are divided into two categories: Firstly, Good for the Planet serves ads on values-aligned publishers and supports carbon-efficient websites, climate journalism, and eco-living editorial. It targets climate-conscious consumers. Secondly, Good for People supports the causes that consumers care about, rewards trusted publishers, and fosters a better society. These ads help fund minority ownership publications, reliable journalism, and reach high-intent and ethically-minded consumers. Research shows that ad-context increases memorability by 40%. Both packages aim to reduce media waste and boost ROI by aligning quality news and journalism contexts with the advertiser’s message and will also both donate 5% of the CPM to good causes.

Fiverr International Ltd., the company that is changing how the world works together, today released data on how small and medium U.K. retailers are gearing up to tackle an unpredictable holiday shopping season. Fiverr conducted a survey of 3,000 consumers and 3,000 small-to-medium business leaders globally, including 1,000 consumers and 500 business leaders in the UK, in partnership with Censuswide. Several trends that emerged from the data include: UK consumers are expected to spend less this festive season than US counterparts, UK retailers are slashing prices to meet consumers’ expectations and UK retailers are divided on the use of AI. This survey was conducted in partnership with Censuswide. You can also find a collection of expert tips and resources for businesses navigating this holiday season in Fiverr’s Holiday Hub.

GOA Marketing has joined forces with Ebiquity to empower brands to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and profitability of their Google ad campaigns, through the smart use of technology. The partnership will see Ebiquity incorporate GOA Marketing’s automation into its Paid Search Forensic Review, providing advertisers across the globe with access to an enriched, and more comprehensive view of their ad campaign performance. This will enable them to optimise their paid search activity – such as fine-tuning expenditure – to ensure it is relevant, right and useful, and most importantly that it unearths opportunities for further return on investment (ROI).